Monthly Archives: September, 2016

That’s Not Pizza!

Ever since reading about cauliflower pizza crust, I’ve wanted to try it.  But certainly, in no way shape or form do I know ANYONE that would be on board with a vegetable crust!  Because, as I heard after I made it – more than once – “That’s NOT pizza!”  Finally yesterday, since I wasn’t up to much else and had all the ingredients, I decided to tackle it.

I did make “real” homemade pizza dough for the BH and the girls, simply to keep the peace.

Cauliflower Pizza Crust
Adapted from Damn Delicious

1 head cauliflower, chopped and steamed in microwave until soft about 10 minutes

2 large eggs

1 T. whole wheat flour

1/2 c. fat free shredded mozzarella cheese

2 T. grated Parmesan

1 T. Italian Herbs (from the refrigerated section)

salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425*.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside.  Put steamed cauliflower into a food processor until finely ground, it should make approximate 2-3 cups. Using a clean dish towel, drain cauliflower completely, removing as much water as you can.  Mix cauliflower with eggs, cheeses, flour and Italian herbs then season with salt & pepper.  Spread the mixture into a 15 x 10″ baking sheet, spray with Pam and bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

I baked the crust for approximately 25 minutes until I thought it looked “done”.

20160926_143658.jpg

It looks exactly like pizza crust!

Then I put on the toppings:

Newman’s Own organic marinara
Spinach
Tomatoes
Mushrooms
Black olives
Onions
Peppers
Canadian bacon
Shredded parmesan
Shredded mozzarella (fat free)
cojito cheese
goat cheese crumbles
Italian spices

I baked it for another 15-20 minutes, cut it into 18 squares and dug in!

20160926_152410.jpg

I really enjoyed this, it had a great flavor – I even ate it for lunch today, albeit with a knife and fork.

My only complaint, it was super soggy after it sat a while.  (Say that 5 times fast!)  The BH tasted it and said “eh, it’s ok.”  The youngest tried just the crust and said she liked it (she thought it was bread and I didn’t bother to tell her any different)  I would make this again, and maybe change the toppings see if it helps the sogginess some.

Hope everyone has a terrific Tuesday!

xoxo

“Do You Have Any Yellow Mustard?”

Oye, what a weekend.  I won’t bore you with all the monotonous details but somehow I hurt my back.  Basically my entire weekend was spent in bed or on the couch.  Saturday, I managed to be verticle long enough to watch both soccer games, but crashed super hard afterwards.  That’s what I get for taking a mild muscle relaxer, with me, there is no mild, they all knock me out.  

We ordered Chinese take out and waited with great angst for S’s date to arrive.  Once he did, we took time to take a few photos and off they went to the dance, sweaty palms, stomach butterflies and all!  They had a reservation at Bonefish, but they were too nervous to eat much and settled for an appetizer and dessert.  Although I was asleep when she arrived home, the next morning I was full of questions.  Thankfully, all reports were good and the dance went well!  

Sunday I managed the grocery store and Ollie’s, and for some reason during our travels, the better half got himself a hankerin’ for White Castle’s.  Since my defenses were extremely low, I too succumbed – bad, bad move.  Leftover Chinese and White Castle’s were Sunday’s menu in it’s entirety – bad, bad move.  

You know, I am NOT a White Castle girl at all.  I am a Krystal girl.  There is nothing that compares to a bag of warm Krystal’s.  Not even a bag of warm White Castle’s.  I know there’s a ton of dispute over this and I’ve done my research.  I know which one came first and I’ve read why people think the way the do.  I do tend to agree that you usually like the one you grew up eating best.  I never had a White Castle that I can remember until I actually moved here to Indiana.  Visiting family and living in the South, I’ve always been a Krystal girl.  And really, the only difference I find noticeable is the addition of mustard to the Krystal’s.  I’m not even that big of a fan of mustard, but it adds that kick that I think the White Castle’s lack.

Every year, I have to indulge at least once and it’s usually during summer vacation when we head South!  And I ALWAYS take pictures!

IMG_0696.JPGIMG_0699.jpgIMG_0697.jpgIMG_1378.jpgIMG_1459.JPG 

Although I’m a Krystal’s fan, Last year, I decided to give the White Castle copycat recipe a try and if my memory serves me correctly!  They were great and tasted exactly like a White Castle.  And although the copycat says WC, I just had to go against the grain and add mustard.  My “Copycat Krystal Burgers” were excellent!  If you like White Castle sliders or Krystal burgers, try this recipe.  You won’t be disappointed!

IMG_6519.jpg

Copycat Krystal Cheese Burger
Adapted from LifeLoveLiz

2 pkgs. dinner rolls
1 lb. ground beef (I use sirloin, but chuck is recommended)
2 1/3 c. beef broth
3/4 c. dried minced onions
8 Kraft American cheese slices
16 dill pickle slices
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper

Line a 10 x 15″ baking sheet with parchment paper.  Mix the hamburger, 2/3 c. broth and the salt & pepper until it’s easily spreadable.  Gently press and spread meat mixture into pan until you form a thin, even layer.  (Burgers are about 1/8″ thick)  Using a knife, score into 16 equal rectangles.  Use the handle of a wooden spoon or your finger to make 5 holes in each patty.  (This helps steam the buns later on)  Place the burgers in the freezer for at least 1 hour.  Remove the patties and the parchment paper from the baking sheet.  Preheat oven to 450*.  Pour remaining beef broth (1 2/3 cup) onto the baking sheet and spread minced onions over entire bottom of pan.  Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes.  Cut all dinner rolls in half to make buns.  Place frozen beef on top of onion mixture.  Place in oven for 10 minutes to allow burgers to steam cook until they turn brown.  Remove and place cheese on each patty.  Top each with a bun top and return to oven for 3 minutes or until cheese is melted.  Top each bun bottom with a dill pickle and a squirt of French’s yellow mustard.  Use a spatula to pick up each burger half and place on bun bottom.  Enjoy!

Hope this recipe will quell your hankerin’ if you can’t seem to get to a Krystal or a White Castle any time soon!  Have a great Monday!

xoxo

Homecoming

IMG_7319.jpg

Half-time at the Homecoming Game!

Depending on age, that word can mean many different things.  Today it means dance, first date/dance, first dressed up date dance!  Aaaaahhhhh!!  “Mom, it’s not Prom!”  “Ok, fine…I’ll back off.”  “No!  I need you to dress me!”  LOL  YAY!!  I’m still needed for something other than a ride somewhere or money!  Go me!

Today my oldest will go to Homecoming with her – dare I say – boyfriend!  Yes – already.  I swear I still look at her and see her as my baby girl, it makes me tear up when I think about it.  Like seriously…how?  I remember her holding my hand to walk across the street and her snappy little flip personality.  And now, she’s transformed into my genuinely sweet, intelligent, responsible teenager.  <sigh>  Where did my baby go?  With boy issues, driving school and college talk, it’s all just overwhelming.

I am much more excited about tonight than she is.  Probably not, but it seems like it since I’m not afraid to actually show my excitement.  But I know that to keep her from backing off from me in horror, I have to reel myself in and “chill”.  Today will be a day of firsts and I’m excited.  I’m hoping she’ll have loads of fun and of course, a memorable time with her friends and her boyfriend.  Me?  As I pose her and her boyfriend for photos, I’ll just be wondering how my little girl grew up so fast.

Breakfast Bars

I picked up a new cookbook the other day, cuz you know – a girl just can’t have one!  I finally had a chance last night to go through it, page by delicious page!  It’s called ‘Bake Something Great’.  And this morning, I did just that!

Since I’m always in the kitchen, I seem to have a pretty good mental inventory stashed of what ingredients I have on hand.  I came across this recipe and knew I had the majority of what it called for.  I whipped up a batch for the girls breakfast this morning.  The oldest ate two bars, but the youngest, she doesn’t like to eat in the morning.  She winds up stuffing two mandarines in her purse and runs out the door – which totally drives me nuts.  I’m a huge “you have to eat breakfast” person.  Having been overweight all my life, I now understand a little better how to keep from becoming overweight.  You actually have to eat so you don’t overeat later.  It took me a long, long time to learn that.

I do my best to teach good eating habits to the girls, but it’s tough.  I do remember not wanting to eat in the morning, but still I push breakfast.  She had a bite and said it was good, but it wasn’t good enough to make her sit down and eat a whole one.

If you like a good-for-you, quick breakfast from an easy recipe, here ya go!

20160923_054932.jpg

20160923_094039.jpg

Honey Granola Breakfast Bars

2 c. old fashioned rolled oats
1 c. whole wheat flour
3/4 c. packed brown sugar
1/4 c. wheat germ (this was the only ingredient I was missing…I just omitted it)
1/4 c. ground flax seeds
1 t. ground cinnamon
1/2 t. salt
1 egg
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1/2 liquid honey
1 t. vanilla
3/4 c. raisins or dried cranberries
1/2 c. chopped dried apricots (I used an entire 6 oz. bag) or dried apple

In a bowl, combine rolled oats, whole wheat flour, brown sugar, wheat germ, flax seeds, cinnamon and salt.  In a small bowl, whisk egg, oil, honey and vanilla until blended.  Pour over oat mixture, mixing until dry ingredients are moistened.  Stir in raisins and apricots.  Press evenly into prepared pan.

Bake in preheated 350* oven until light golden brown, 20 – 30 minutes.  Let cool completely in pan on rack.  Cut into 24 bars.

I plugged the recipe into My Fitness Pal and 24 bars came back as 167 calories per serving.  Not too bad!

Hope everyone has a great day!

xoxo

“It’s So Cute!”

persimmon.jpg

Persimmons.  They’re just so cute!

This morning I was talking to my bestie on the phone about enjoying warm desserts cold.  Our conversation made me think of this recipe for persimmon pudding that I just absolutely love after it’s been in the fridge!  I told her I’d post the recipe it so she could give it a try and if you’ve never tried it – maybe you can too!

Persimmons are a really popular fruit here in Indiana.  I would guess because the trees grow everywhere – both farmed and wild.  I’ve always heard of persimmons and persimmon pudding but until I met my better half who was born and raised here, I don’t think I’d ever even seen one much less tasted one.

A few years ago, he requested persimmon pudding and because I love new challenges in the kitchen – especially if I’ve never worked with the food before, I decided to give it a go.  I found out, after one time of making this recipe that I love persimmon pudding and especially cold!  I think the reason I’d shied away from them before is because I’d always heard talk about eating them when they weren’t ripe, that they were nasty and extremely bitter.  Hence the reason the recipe calls for very ripe pulp!  But bitter isn’t the word to describe this yummy dessert!

I found this recipe on food.com.  It looked easy enough and it’s now my go to persimmon pudding recipe.  I make at least 3 to 4 pans each fall.

20160912_111841.jpg

Persimmon Pudding

by Rhonda O on Food.com

1 c. very ripe Hachiya (recommended) persimmon pulp* (see link for how many you need if you’re making your own pulp)
3/4 c. sugar
3 eggs, beaten
1 c. flour
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. nutmeg
1 c. milk
1/4 lb. butter, melted
1/2 t. cinnamon

Combine the persimmon pulp with the sugar.  Beat in eggs.  Stir in milk and then the butter.  Sift or stir flour with baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg.  Mix with persimmon mixture.  Pour batter into a well greased 9″ square cake pan.  Bake in a 325* oven for approximately 60 minutes or until knife comes out clean.  

*We buy frozen persimmon pulp from local orchards.  Below is the last type we found and purchased, but you can certainly make your own pulp as well.persimmon pulp.png

There are two kinds of persimmons that grow here in Indiana, Hachiya, which are oblong shaped and Fuyu which are round shaped.  There’s more about them here.

To make the pulp, wash the persimmons and slice them in half, scoop out the seeds and put the fruit into a blender.  Blend until pureed.  Pour the puree into a sieve and push through the sieve with a spoon.  There you have it!

Here’s a website that’s full of information concerning persimmons and it shows an easy way of pulping them:  Food-Skills-for-Self-Sufficiency.com and here’s another with more info and lots of persimmon recipes rural values.org/images/RC_persimmons.pdf.  I’ve only made persimmon pudding, but I’m certainly not against trying any of them!  The persimmon cookies caught my eye!

I just now discovered they are having the 70th Annual Persimmon Festival in Mitchell, Indiana!  Sadly, it ends this Saturday so that knocks us out.  We have other exciting events taking priority this weekend – but more on that later!

I hope everyone has a great Thursday!

xoxo

Ohhh Apple Crisp

Good Monday morning! I wanted to tell you about Friday, but more specifically about Friday’s dessert!  It was a super successful cooking day, I made the bean and ham soup, cheesy corn cornbread and apple crisp. I have to say, it was all delicious. I was a little skeptical of the cornbread considering most breads don’t taste right since I stopped eating so much of it but everyone assured me it was very good.

Not surprisingly, the apple crisp did not survive the evening. It went home with our company, which was the perfect scenario since I would have definitely gone back or at least have been tortured thinking about seconds had it stayed!  This is absolutely the best apple crisp I’ve ever had.  I have to admit, I usually buy the crumb topping that comes in a package from our local apple orchard.  Since we haven’t been this year yet and I had to come up with a dessert and apples go well with ham, hence the apple crisp!  I will admit, the next time I make this, I will be much more careful with the sugar, it was just so sweet once adding the caramel sauce!  I doubled the recipe since I had so many apples and both of the girls have requested that I make it again.  Success!  And – it’s fruit!  I’ll get it in any way I possibly can!  Even swimming in sugar, lol!

Apple Crisp

Adapted from TastesBetterFromScratch

Crumb Topping:

½ c. flour
½ c. old-fashioned oats
½ c. brown sugar
½ t. baking powder
¼ t. ground cinnamon
¼ t. nutmeg
dash of salt
1/3 c. butter, diced into small chunks (I left a couple sticks of butter on the counter over night to soften)

Apples:

3-4 large Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced thin
3 T. butter, melted
2 T. flour
1 T. lemon juice
3 T. milk
½ t. vanilla extract
¼ c. brown sugar
½ t. ground cinnamon
¼ t. nutmeg
dash of salt

Serve with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce

Preheat oven to 375*. In a medium bowl, combine the crumb topping ingredients with a fork or pastry blender* until it resembles small crumbs. Refrigerate while you prepare the apple filling. For the apples, in a small bowl, combine melted butter and flour until well blended. Add lemon juice, milk and vanilla and stir well. Stir in brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Pour butter mixture over apples and toss to coast. Pour apple mixture into an 8×8” baking dish and spread into an even layer. Sprinkle crumb toping evenly over the apples. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown and top is set. Remove form oven and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce.

*If you don’t have a pastry blender, please go buy one. I’ve always used a fork, but no more.  I just invested one of these and wow, it really incorporates the ingredients so much better than a fork!

One of our family to-do’s for the fall is we visit an apple farm/pumpkin patch every October.  Now, armed with this recipe, I’ll definitely be buying more apples than usual!

Have a great day everyone!

xoxo

Chaotic Shapes

Art and Lifestyle by Brandon Knoll

Sew Dashing llc.

Made locally

SKYLARITY

Mindfulness, Spontaneity and Authenticity

Between the Pages

| a lovely place to be

My Meals are on Wheels

Life and Cooking from a Wheelchair

The Busy Spatula

There's always something to make!