Monday, September 23, 2019

BLAT Pizza and Healthier Crusts

There's something about a good flatbread or light pizza that's just so satisfying.
Flavorful and delicious without being heavy and greasy.

One of the things I love about the CAULIPOWER crusts (remember from the last post about Vietnamese Spring Roll Pizza?) is that they're the perfect, crispy base for toppings while staying light and not weighing me down.  Plus they're SUPER easy to pull out of the freezer and throw together a meal with- no prefacing of crust required!
I'm all about the easy meals at the moment.

I've got to say guys, this is my 5th semester of college and I'm just not digging this one as much as the others.  Maybe it's because I've been fighting a low-key cold and exhaustion for what seems like weeks now.  Maybe it's because I have other stuff on my mind.   Maybe it's just because I seem to have scheduled a semester that consists (almost) entirely of classes that- while in subjects that interest me- are kind of like the bottom level of that area of interest.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Spring Roll Pizza and New Uses for Cauliflower

I'm not sure when cauliflower became the duct tape of the culinary world, but these days it seems to be the cure-all, quick-fix du jour.

Want mashed potatoes?
Mash some cauliflower.
{Blech, btw}

Want rice?
Rice some cauliflower.
{Gotta say...tried it once and it just wasn't doing it for me}

Want a steak?
Grill some cauliflower.
{Tried it.  Good, but no substitute.}

Want pizza crust?
Use some cauliflower!

Ok, that last one...I've been mildly successful with.
I mean, not like "ohmygosh, I can't believe it's not bread!" successful, but tasty successful.
Totally passable on a low-carb diet successful.
{In fact, totally check out this recipe if you're low-carbing it, it's great!}

Lets just say, as a whole, I've not been super-impressed by the ways in which cauliflower has moved up in the world.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Grilled Pesto Marinated Chicken and The Joy of Swimming Alone

This year I discovered the joy of going to the pool by myself.
For the past 13 years I have rarely set foot in a swimming pool without constantly being on alert in order to make sure kids don't drown.

This week has been different.
It started the day after my kids returned to school- I'd spent several hours out in the heat working in the yard and I was hot and sore.
The pool sounded pretty fabulous, so I suited up and headed for the water.

Oh my word.

Relaxing in the water, eyes closed, carefree.
Lounging in a chair, soaking up the sun on my (very well coated with sunscreen) skin.

Sitting in a lounge chair!
Can you believe it‽

Those have always seemed like the realm of the child-free.
Yet I have enjoyed them every single day this week.
It's been pretty fabulous.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Greek Salads and Light Summer Sides

Have I ever told you about the time I walked into the dining room and found my daughter sitting at the table digging into a block of feta cheese like it was an apple?

Because that happened once- and she will never live it down.  :-)
That child, my far-less-than-before-but-nevertheless-picky eater, loves feta.
And I love it when either one of my kids expands their culinary comfort zone, so I'm all for it.
Which means that I often find myself making recipes that call for feta- and ensuring that there's a little left over in the fridge for her.

You know...maybe less than an apple-sized brick but enough to make her happy.

We've reached a point where she will eat tomatoes, peppers, and onions as long as they're cooked into something but we're still working on tolerating them in their natural state.  I decided to push her limits a little with My Big Fat Greek Salad.  Not only does it have her favorite cheese but two kinds of olives- and that child would eat an entire jar of olives if given the opportunity!

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Incredible Sauces and Former Vegetarians

My freshman year of high school I announced to my mother that I was becoming a vegetarian.

This announcement triggered a years-long attempt on her part to care for my nutritional needs by sneaking tofu into food, pointing at the word "seitan" in a recipe for the clerk at the health food store to avoid mispronouncing the word, and making sure that beans and rice were always paired to create a complete protein (to be honest I don't even know what that means...should I have learned this in Biology?).

Tofu was in enchiladas.  Tofu was in lasagna.  Tofu was everywhere.

Despite the fact that I'm still not much of a meat-eater, I haven't been a vegetarian for 18 or-so years now- and I haven't bought tofu since I moved out on my own.  This isn't the kind of recipe I'd normally gravitate towards!

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Thai Beef Curry and Unforgettable Meals

Cooking for my family can be a challenge.

My daughter and husband?
Meat and potatoes all the way.
My son?
Oh wow.  He's pretty much the pickiest eater on the face of the planet and there are almost no meals I can make for the rest of the family that he will eat along with us.

Then there's me.
I was a vegetarian for six or-so years.  I eat meat now...in very, very small quantities.
I like weird foods.  Or last least a variety of ethnic foods and more "new American" fare.

If it's different and full of flavor I'm drawn to it like a moth to a flame.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Easy Breakfasts, Delicious Ham, and Egg-Hating Children

Both of my kids liked eggs when they were little.  I still remember my daughter's little fingers plucking chunks of scrambled egg from her high chair tray and at one point in time her love of deviled eggs rivaled my own- even my picky son would eat them snuck into a grilled cheese sandwich as a toddler.
I have no idea what went wrong, but they've both been turning their noses up at eggs for years now.

I'll take them scrambled, fried, hard-boiled, frittata-d, omelette-fied, poached, and pretty much any other way they can be prepared short of over-easy or sunny side up.

I had the chance to work with Smithfield again (I love working with Smithfield!  Such a fabulous brand and quality product.  Remember those Spicy Smoked Back Ribs with Maple Glaze I made with them a few years ago?  That sauce is still my go-to BBQ sauce recipe!) for Allrecipes last month and this time the recipes focused on their yummy ham and were more breakfast-oriented.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Incredible Baked Chicken and Long-Awaited Returns

What a weird year.
What a weird life.

If you'd asked me at any point growing up where I envisioned myself at this point in my life there's a strong chance they involved a law degree from Harvard, 2 kids, the northeast, a luxury vehicle, a swimming pool in the backyard, and a picket fence around my perfectly manicured yard.

I had big, yuppie, dreams, guys.

Life tends to take a far more circuitous and unexpected route than we plan as kids, doesn't it?

I'm not going to lie: my life is fabulous.
Just not fabulous in the way I envisioned it as a child.
My family is fabulous, my needs are covered, I've had incredible experiences thanks to my love of cooking, and I get to spend my days learning incredible things at a school whose campus legitimately takes my breath away some days.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Long Breaks, Busy Days, and Quick Indian Meals

I've been at this whole blog thing for almost seven years now.

Seven years!

So much has changed in my life since then.
Seven years ago I was pretty new at being a stay-at-home mom.
I had a baby.
I certainly didn't imagine that present-day Nora would be back in school and taking math classes and working her tail off to keep everything in balance.

Yet, here we are, seven years later, living a life that looks very different than it did when I started this blog.