Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Last 48 Hours

It is my final countdown to 30. While it is hard to believe my roaring 20's will soon be over, I must say that it isn't so bad. I realized that in the last ten years I am in a much better place. For instance, I'm married, have a house, and I have a job. I have a suitable car that gets me around and I'm much more responsible. Not to mention the fact that I am much more comfortable in my skin. Now, I really could kick myself for every thinking I was "fat" ten years ago because it really wasn't responsible. My thinking has changed and I really try to do what is best for my body because I like my liver and want to be around for my husband and children.

Now for the good stuff. Because I've learned in my life that you can have really good stuff without starving. One of my favorite comforts, pizza. I think if I ever own a restaurant someday, I will serve pizza. Especially, these guys:

Recipe #1- Spiced Pear Flatbread w/ Goat Cheese and Mustard Cream
Adapted from Bon Appetit September, 2009 Woodberry Kitchen

Mustard Cream:
6 T. heavy whipping cream
3 T. dijon mustard
1 T. fresh lemon juice
1/2 t. honey

Whisk all ingredients in a small bowl. I whipped the cream using an electric mixer until it had soft peaks and then folded the rest of the ingredients in until combined. This will act as your sauce.

Spiced Pear Topping:
2 ripe Bosc pears sliced thin
1/8 t. cayenne pepper
2 C. fresh baby spinach
8 oz. crumbled goat cheese

1 package pizza crust mix
1/2 C. warm water

Follow the directions on the package for the mix. I used a generic Hy-Vee brand and rolled the dough out very thin into a 12" disk. Bake the crust for 5-7 minutes or until very light brown. Remove from the oven and spread the mustard cream and add the toppings. Bake an additional 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

Recipe #2- Sicilian Sausage Stuffed Pizza
Adapted from Weight Watchers Pizza, Pizza cookbook

1/2 lb. Italian chicken sausage (I use the Isserino brand. You can find this at Super Target)
8 oz. sliced mushrooms
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 package 1/3 less fat cream cheese
1/4 C. Parmesan cheese
2 packages pizza dough mix (make two separate crusts following package directions)

Preheat oven to 500 degrees.

Spray nonstick skillet with nonstick spray and set over medium-high heat. Cook sausage until lightly browned; transfer to a bowl. Add the mushrooms and onion to the skillet. Cook until mushrooms are golden. Stir in the garlic and cook 1 minute. Add the mushroom mixture to the sausage and let cool for 5 minutes. Then, stir in the cream cheese and Parmesan until thoroughly mixed.

Roll out one disk of dough for the bottom crust in a 12" circle. Spread the filling onto the dough. Leave 3/4 of an inch from the edge. Brush the outer edge with water.

Roll out the second disk of dough into a 12" inch circle. Place on top of the filling. Press the edges together to seal. I pulled the bottom crust and folded the top crust to make somewhat of a braid. Cut 5 2" slits in to the top of the dough to let the steam out while baking. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the crust is golden. Let the pizza cool for 5-10 minutes before serving. I served my pizza with a side of marinara.


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Blizzards & Birthdays

We are in a real blizzard right now. Not just a lot of snow. An actual blizzard.

These images are of the backyard and our lovely patio area that were once green and filled with lovely summer scents. It seems all too long ago.

Clearly school was cancelled and Justin decided to stay home too since his office was going to be closing early. This morning before things really picked up, I decided to take a trip out to the DMV and renew my license. Yes, it is another sign I'm nearing 30. I must say, this wasn't a wise decision. My Iowa roots sometimes cause me to forget that snow and city drivers do not mix. I was able to dodge many poor driving situations; however, the little Corolla could not handle turning left while going down a hill. Luckily the Corolla and I are safe, but I am missing a hubcap from sliding up onto the side of the road. I was able to back out and drive home without any damage to my tire. I think there was enough snow that it caused a little bit of padding while I slid up onto the curb. Thankfully, all is good except for the hubcap. I can live without a hubcap.

In other news, my long time, best friend Jen turned 30 and had her party over the weekend.
Her sunny outlook, great sense of humor, and ability to turn any day into a party make turning 30 seem awesome! One of her friends made her this amazing gluten free cake. Kristy will be opening up her own bakery, The Upper Crust, in Creston very soon.
Happy Birthday Jen!!