In the Kitchen: Pizza Rolls

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Thaw Frozen Yeast Rolls in a muffin tin lined with aluminum cupcake liners.
After they thaw and double in size, (5-8 hours… they work while you work!) pinch apart and stuff with some mozzarella cheese and your favorite pizza toppings.
Drizzle with melted butter and season (I sprinkled with parmesean and garlic powder.)
Bake according to the yeast roll instructions (mine was 375 degrees for 14 minutes)
Dip into your favorite marinara sauce for the weeknight dinner win!

❤️

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April Reading

As spring blossomed, I heeded the call to be outdoors this month (allergies be damned, ha). We spent several weekends at the lake, adjusting the dock and cleaning up after the flooding, and just enjoying some longer evenings spent with friends, riding bikes and playing in our neighborhood.

I had running on the brain, with the half marathon, and read a couple of cookbooks about running nutrition and whole foods- Run Fast/ Eat Slow and Nourishing Meals.

I also listened to Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli on my walks. It was narrated by John Ritter, a voice I adore. Stargirl is a girl who is misunderstood, who marches quite literally to the beat of her own drum. I loved it and can’t wait to enjoy this one again with my soon-to-be-middle-schooler.

I’ve been wanting to read When Breath Becomes Air for awhile now. Being so popular when it came out, it was hard to pick up at the library. And in forgetting to reserve it online, completely forgot about the book. A couple of months ago, when reading yet another glowing review, I finally pulled the trigger and got on the wait list at the library. Of course, the advantage in waiting is that the library has many, many copies now and the wait was not long. The book was hopeful, and sad, and lovely, and just everything I wanted it to be. (Well maybe not, I knew the ending, but if I didn’t- I would hope for some magical cure, happy-ending optimist that I am.) The medical jargon was a little over my head, but broken down enough that I got the gist of what was happening to Paul. I certainly read it more with the focus of Lucy and how she must feel to navigate this journey, rather than Paul. A true must-read, as many reviews have advertised.

I also read Running by Cara Hoffman. I had mixed feelings about this one. The story is centralized around a young girl orphaned very young, and raised unconventionally. She ends up hustling for money and squatting around Europe. Parts of the story were shocking, and seemed to amount to a miserable existence. Just when you think the abandonment and hopelessness would triumph, hope peeked around the corner and you realized that she was living the life she wanted. So maybe as an observer, I just don’t understand the appeal of the lifestyle, and that’s why I was a bit distracted and uninterested as a reader.

Have you read anything wonderful lately?

 

Reading Phases

I don’t know if this is common with others, but I go through reading phases. My interest will go heavily into nonfiction, fiction, biographies, magazines, cookbooks, or juvenile novels, for several months. Because I am actually recording what I read these days, there’s a certain effort into spreading it out. But what happens now, instead of enjoying that rabbit hole, it results in me just not reading and picking up my knitting or focusing on running, if I can’t get into what I’m telling myself I should be reading (instead of what I want to be reading). Which is a long way of saying, I haven’t been reading very much.

But I did pick up two excellent cookbooks that were new on my library’s shelves this past month (and disheartenedly, they are due tomorrow and reserved, so there’s no option of renewing).

Nourishing Meals by Alissa Segersten & Tom Malterre

Nourishing Meals was excellent, and would be a top notch resource if your meal planning involves sidestepping gluten, dairy and soy. You should have seen how many recipes I sticky-noted along the way! I made the grapefruit and radish salad a few weeks ago, and have so many more plans to incorporate these recipes into my daily routine. There’s practical advice on lunch planning, creating balanced family meals, and incorporating smart snacking into your diet.

Run Fast. Eat Slow. by Shalene Flanagan & Elyse Kopecky

I heard about Run Fast. Eat Slow. on the podcast, Another Mother Runner. The half marathon training was in full swing, and I was struggling with the energy to get out the door for the longer runs and trying to figure out what to eat (& when) to maximize my energy levels while also being realistic about balancing my busy work & kid schedule. With the help of this book, I roasted beets for smoothies, garlic and sweet potatoes, and batch cooked whole grains. This book was endorsed by some pretty impressive athletes- Joan Benoit Samuelson, Meb Keflezighi and Allyson Felix. I want to be running in ten or twenty years, and it is conclusive that getting nourishment from whole foods is the key to long-term success.

If you are into the whole foods movement or need help avoiding certain allergens, both of these books would be recommended.

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Eat Now: Radishes!

I have found that eating produce that is in-season is one of the easiest ways to save those grocery dollars, but it also maximizes the nutritional benefit of those veggies that you are spending your hard-earned money buying.

Radishes are not exactly packed full like your superfoods kale and blueberries, but they aren’t bad either – and you can get a bundle for less than a dollar (or grow your own easily from an inexpensive pack of seeds).  They have both ascorbic and folic acid, as well as potassium, vitamin B6, riboflavin, magnesium, copper, and calcium.

My favorite way to eat them is sliced paper thin on buttered toast with a little sea salt (pictured above). Not fancy, but dresses up some otherwise bread & butter in a delicious way.

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I also picked up Nourishing Meals recently and made the Grapefruit, Radish, and Cabbage Salad. The recipe calls to serve immediately, but I ate it for lunch for 3 days and it kept getting better. The champagne vinegar with the grapefruit juice was so sweet and tangy, and the crisp red cabbage and spicy radishes stood up nicely to it.

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Grapefruit, Radish, and Cabbage Salad (my version, adapted slightly*)

  • 6 cups red cabbage, sliced thinly
  • 4 pink grapefruit, sliced without pith 
  • 6 small radishes, sliced thinly
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp champagne vinegar
  • salt & pepper, to taste

Toss cabbage & radishes, slice grapefruit into the salad. Then whisk the dressing & toss into the salad. *I doubled the grapefruit & used red cabbage instead of napa cabbage because that’s what I had on hand. I left off the snipped chives to dress.

 

 

Simple 5 Ingredient Valentine’s Cake

5 Ingredients, 5 Steps!

  • Angel Food Cake
  • Jello Instant Pudding (Vanilla, White Chocolate, or Cheesecake are all yummy)
  • Milk (we use whole, 2% works great also)
  • Cool Whip
  • Strawberries
  1. Mix the pudding with about a 1/2 cup less milk than the box says. Fold in the cool whip to the pudding mix. Chill in the fridge.
  2. Slice the strawberries.
  3. Slice the cake into half or thirds (depending on if you want a 2 or 3 layer cake).*
  4. Layer cake, pudding, and strawberries.
  5. Decorate the cake with any extra strawberries.

*To make a cake easier to travel with, slice into chunks and layer like a trifle in a clear pyrex bowl or casserole pan.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Yummy Smoothies (without a $300+ blender)

Smoothies are a daily habit for me, especially now that I’m trying to squeeze in time to train for a half marathon. It’s an easy meal or snack replacement and extremely freezer-friendly.

I buy the base ingredients in bulk, especially the spinach or kale and bananas because we love to eat them. Then I freeze the bananas when they are too ripe for my taste (without skins) and leftover greens when it becomes obvious we won’t use them before they turn to slime. Frozen fruit is also something I buy frequently, especially in the middle of winter.

Of course you can get fancy and expensive blenders and juicers, but I use this affordable Cuisinart Hand Blender. I have to let the banana thaw for 20 minutes or so, but otherwise it works perfectly. As for flavors, ice cream is just about my favorite thing in the world, so I use ice cream flavors as my smoothie-inspiration.

 

I always start with this:

2 cups of spinach or kale

1 banana

1 tbsp ground flax

1 tbsp chia seeds

 

Berry Sorbet:

1 cup frozen blueberries and raspberries or strawberries

1 cup unsweetened applesauce

Young Living Vitality Citrus Fresh

Peanut Butter Cookie:

1 tbsp peanut butter

1 cup skim milk or almond milk

Young Living Vitality Ginger

Cafe Mocha:

1 cup chilled black coffee (French roast)

1 pack hot cocoa

Young Living Vitality Bergamot

Strawberry Cream:

1 cup plain greek yogurt

1 cup strawberries

Young Living Vitality Lemon

Superman:

1 small apple, cored & diced

Handful of shredded carrots

½ c pineapple

1 cucumber

½ cup blueberries

Young Living Vitality Lime

Creamcicle:

1 cup of vanilla greek yogurt

1 orange

1/2 c pineapple

Young Living Vitality Orange

Young Living’s Vitality line of dietary essential oils are perfect for adding a flavor boost to your smoothies also. You can find out more about becoming a Young Living distributor here.

Young Living products are not intended to prevent, treat, or cure any disease or condition.

 

 

 

The Only Cookbook You Need

For all you Marie Kondo fanatics out there, toss all other cookbooks you have and buy this one. Part teacher, part tester, part joy-sparker, these chefs have made all the mistakes and perfected the best dishes JUST FOR US! (well, for the purpose of good television and US!)

Complete America’s Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook is at the tippety-top of my birthday list. The copy I used currently is on loan from the library so I wrote out these 6 recipes that I want to try immediately:

  • Broccoli-Cheese Soup
  • Skillet Roast Chicken with Potatoes
  • Pan Seared Steaks with Shallot Butter Sauce
  • Shredded Beef Tacos
  • Fried Rice
  • Fresh Pasta without a machine with Tomato and Browned Butter Sauce

Did you just hear my stomach growl? What cookbooks have you found recently that I should know about?