Archive | February, 2014

Love It Pizza

28 Feb

“It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”  J. Krishmanurti

This pizza recipe is adapted from Everyday Paleo by Sarah Frangoso.  If you do not have a copy of this cookbook in your collection you are a loser.  Scratch that.  I meant to say that you should really consider the purchase. It’s a great cookbook.

However, I did dramatically change the recipe to accommodate things in my pantry.  This is my version.

CRUST;

2 cups almond flour

2 eggs

3 T extra virgin olive oil

1/4 t baking soda

1 t garlic powder

1 T Italian seasoning – oregano and basil if you don’t have an official blend of Italian seasoning

TOPPINGS:

1 pound Italian sausage – I bought bulk at Whole Foods

1 small onion, diced

2 small tomatoes, diced – or use canned well drained

peppers – I used the package of frozen red, green, and yellow, about a half cup

1/2 cup sliced black olives – I used sliced black olives

1 cup organic, gluten-free marinara sauce

DISTRUCTIONS:  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Mix all the crust ingredients together with a spoon until you can easily get in there with your hands.  Did you remember to wash your hands?  Good.  Form the dough into a ball.

Place the dough onto a round pizza pan or a cookie sheet that’s been lightly greased with olive oil.  Press the dough into the pan getting the dough as thin as possible.  Bake the crust for 20 minutes while you prepare the toppings.

At this point I chopped and diced.  I also squeezed the pork sausage into little flat pieces so they’d be ready to pop onto the crust and they would be thin enough to cook through.  True confession – I did not have an entire pound of the Italian sausage because it looked so good that I fried up a patty the previous day as part of my lunch.  Still had plenty for the pizza.

After the crust has been in the oven for 20 minutes top it with the marinara sauce, then the sausage, and then pile on the veggies.  Bake an additional 25 to 30 minutes.

Pizza

I love this pizza.  It had all the pizza flavor without cheese and gluten.  And think of all the other things you could top it with to make it your very own favorite.  I’m going to make it the next time I entertain the ladies.  Knowing my lady friends I’ll probably make two.  We are still ardent members of the clean plate club!

Loveya – The Grandma

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Macadamia Fudge Bliss

26 Feb

“Masquerading as a normal person day after day is exhausting.”

I wanted to name this post, I Cleaned My Husband’s Bathroom Macadamia Fudge Bliss, but this blog does not allow that many words in a title.  Drat.

This story began when we purchased a new washer and dryer about a year ago. Or perhaps it began when we bought this house about 20 years ago.  When we bought this big, old house my husband and I each became the proud owners of our very own bathrooms.  I logically surmised that whoever used a bathroom would also clean the aforementioned bathroom.  Can you see where this is going?

And then there was the new washer and dryer, without an agitator, and with instructions not to wash rubber backed rugs within.  Guess what kind of rugs we have in our bathrooms.  Or should I say, had.

So where does this cake come in?  I was visiting with some women and someone brought the Macadamia Fudge Bliss cake, which everyone raved over.  Not a shy person I mentioned that the recipe came from a cookbook that I wrote for some of my friends.  There was some of the cake left and the hostess insisted we all take a piece home.

I generally do not eat sugar desserts.  But I had purchased new, rubber-less rugs for our bathrooms and promised myself that I would clean my husband’s bathroom (rent hazmat suit) before I installed the new rugs.  I decided I deserved a treat because of the task I was about to undertake the very next day.

fudgeBl  

Yes, that is one pathetic piece of cake.  There is a bite taken out of it and it is way too small to prepare me for the task.  Be assured that I did not merely eat the cake and leave the bathroom untended.  I removed the dead moth from the bathtub and scrapped the bottom of the tub with a putty knife until the tub’s surface showed through.  Enough details.  Bottom line – if you have a task that’s going to take Herculean strength I suggest a hunk of Macadamia Fudge Bliss to get you ready. 

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup flour

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup sour cream

1/2 cup butter

1/4 cup cocoa

1 1/2 t instant coffee granules

1/2 t baking powder

1/2 t baking soda

1/2 t vanilla

1/4 t salt

1 egg

DISTRUCTIONS FOR CAKE:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9-inch round pan and line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper.  Spray that, too.

Whip sugar and butter.  Mix together the flour with the rest of the dry ingredients.  Mix together the sour cream and egg.  Alternate adding a little wet and a little dry, mixing at low speed, until everything is mixed in.  Scrape occasionally to get the goodies that are hiding in the bottom of the bowl.  Add the vanilla with a grand flourish and mix a few seconds more.

Pour the batter in the prepared pan and bake for 30 to 45 minutes.  Do the toothpick test.  Cool the cake about 10 minutes before removing it from the pan.  Discard the parchment and completely cool the cake on a rack.  You now have time to soak in the tub (your own) or de-flea the dog  before you need to make the frosting. But eventually you’re going to want to make the frosting.  It is so good!

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1/2 cup sugar

2 t butter

1 T corn syrup

4 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

1 t vanilla

7 ounce jar macadamia nuts

DISTRUCTIONS:  In a two-quart saucepan, over medium high heat, bring the first five ingredients to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook for another five minute, once again, stirring constantly.  It will be worth it!

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla.  Cool the mixture for about 15 minutes and then stir in the macadamia nuts.  Place the cake on a lovely plate and gently spoon the topping all over the top of the cake.  Allow the excess to cascade down the sides of the cake.

Refrigerate the cake for about an hour until the topping is firm.  Lick the spoon.  Lick the bowl.  Clean the bathroom.

Loveya – The Grandma

Salt and Water

7 Feb

“My fake plants died because I did not pretend to water them.”  Mitch Hedberg

One day a group of us were acting like experts on health issues.  It soon became clear that we were repeating things we’d heard along the way and making excuses for our lazy behavior.

One gentleman was lamenting about the advice to drink 8 glasses of water a day.  Those are 8 ounce glasses we all agreed.  “Do you know how much water 65 ounces really is,” he asked.  Yes we did but we also knew, right then, that he was lousy at math.

Eight ounces, by itself, is not a huge amount to drink at one time.  So if a person were to simply notice the time, or set a timer on their phone if they’re comatose most of the day, they could drink 8 ounces every hour on the hour and in 8 hours have their quota finished.  Is that so difficult!

Next we moved on to the topic of salt.  Needless to say, we all agreed that people eat way too much salt and many in the group bragged that they didn’t salt their food.  I had been part of that non-salting group.  Recently, however, I discovered that salt is an awesome addition to my homemade food and makes it sing!

Is it possible that the admonition to not salt food evolved because people were consuming such a large quantity of processed food, which is salted up to its proverbial eyeballs.  So why wasn’t the advice from the medical community to stop eating processed food?  Because we have no time to cook what with reality TV and Words with Friends.  Doctors know when they’re talking to walls.

No, I did not include pictures of water and salt with this blog post.  Go into your kitchen and look at them for yourself.  While you’re there, have a glass of water!

Loveya – The Grandma

Surprise Soup and Grilled Cheese

5 Feb

“Stay close to anything that makes you glad you are alive.”  Hafiz

Well today I’m not actually going to teach you how to make a grilled cheese sandwich, but rather, how to serve a grilled cheese sandwich if you have the misfortune to make it the way that I do.  

Also going to talk about soup.  That is usually the answer to almost all questions of what’s for dinner.  And yes, hearty soups can be made without the addition of carb heavy foods such as macaroni and potatoes.  Are we getting ready for bikini season or what!  In my case it’s the or what.  I have a bathing suit with enough support to hold up a bank.  Did that make any sense?  Too much caffeine.  

Surprise soup is so named because I had a half cup of chicken broth, a half can of diced tomatoes, and some celery in the fridge.  It was time to use them before they would be relegated to the compost pile (the celery) so I decided to thaw some frozen soup from the freezer, add my fridge finds, and make a brand new soup for us to “enjoy”.

Fortunately, I found some carrot ginger soup in the freezer, or so I thought.  Your right.  I don’t label my freezer treasures knowing that I’ll easily recognize whatever is in there.  The treasure turned out to be chunks of butternut squash in chicken broth.  

INGREDIENTS FOR SURPRISE SOUP:

Celery, whatever you have, diced

Medium onion, diced

Butternut squash in chicken broth

1/2 can diced tomatoes

1/2 cup leftover chicken broth

Any leftover meat, diced, optional

DISTRUCTIONS:  Saute the celery and onions in a little coconut oil.  Add the rest of the ingredients.  Simmer in a covered saucepan until the veggies are tender.  Serve with grilled cheese sandwich. 

SurpriseSoup

Lovely to look at and delicious.  Husband actually began to devour it before it cooled.  Very unusual for him.

My point is that soup isn’t rocket science and can be made quickly and easily.  It’s also a great way to use up bits of this and that that are hanging around in the fridge and freezer. On to the grilled cheese.

GRILLED CHEESE – is two pieces of bread with cheese in between.  The butter in my house is generally too hard to spread so I just put a chunk in the bottom of a small skillet and fry the sandwich in the melted butter.  But this is where it gets tricky.

On occasion I forget to turn the sandwich in a timely manner.  That means I have to serve the sandwich with a certain side up, hoping my inquisitive husband, Greg, won’t look at the bottom of the sandwich.

GrChezGuess which side I served facing up?  I am so clever!

Loveya – The Grandma

Chili Cha Cha Cha

1 Feb

“No diet will remove all the fat from your body because the brain is entirely fat.  Without a brain, you might look good, but all you could do is run for public office.”  George Bernard Shaw

Chili is one of those dishes that has 1000 varieties.  Really?  It’s my blog so I get to say what I want.

Truthfully, variations with chili are seemingly endless. Here’s a basic recipe that will allow you to dash off in various directions, rethink ways to serve chili, and stock your freezer with chili for a quick-thaw meal.

INGREDIENTS:

1 T coconut oil, or other oil appropriate for browning meat

1 pound meat – I used ground turkey in this version

1 onion, chopped

2 cups diced carrots

2 cups diced celery

1 to 2 cups diced peppers – red, yellow, or green or a combination thereof

Large can diced tomatoes

1 T chili powder, more or less

1 T ground cumin, more or less

1 T cocoa powder (Yes!  This is the secret ingredient that will make you chili sing!)

S&P to taste

DISTRUCTIONS:  In a large kettle or skillet brown the meat in the oil.  Add the chopped veggies and cook until the mixture is nice and hot.  Add the tomatoes and spices.  Season.  Mix.  Cover.  Cook on low heat until the veggies are tender or dump the mixture into a crock pot and cook on low until you’re darn good and ready to eat.  Check seasonings one more time.  Was that so difficult?

Other things that could be included in chili are corn, lima beans, or any other kind of beans that you like.  You’ll notice that my recipe does not contain beans.  Just a personal preference but it still tastes like chili.  

chili1

This is not the entire batch of my chili, but simply a small portion that I’m heating up for breakfast.  Breakfast!  Yes.  I really enjoy a small amount of chili or any other kind of soup for breakfast.  Or it could be a lunch.  Just plop on an egg or two, cover, and cook until the eggs are done to your liking.

Chili2

Feeding a crowd?  Use a large skillet and festoon the mixture with eggs for everyone!  

Loveya – The Grandma