Friday, June 22, 2012

Make It Quick Pizza Crust

If you are like me, you like to make your own pizza but don't think about it until 5pm and at that point it is easier to make something else or pick up the phone. I've tried other "quick" dough recipes but they haven't wowed me. Either they are too heavy or don't really have the right texture. Then I tried this.

  • 1 T Instant Dry Yeast (I use Fleishmann's)
  • 1 C Warm Water, with a squeeze of honey dissolved in it
  • 1 C Wheat Flour
  • 1 1/2 C White Flour
  • 2 T Olive Oil
  • 1 t Salt

  1. Dissolve the honey in the warm water and then add the yeast. I use my glass measuring cup for this (the 2 C one works great). Set aside and watch it ferment.
  2. Put the yeast in your mixer (or a large bowl).
  3. Add the flour, oil, and salt.
  4. Mix until everything is moist. Don't mix too much or you'll over-activate the gluten and your dough will be too rubbery and hard to spread.
  5. Let the dough sit 10 minutes (not bad considering most recipes call for two hours!)
  6. Form dough into your pan, top with your favorite toppings and cook as directed in your recipe or at 425f for about 15 minutes.
Yield: Two Medium Pizzas (8 slices each)
Nutritional Facts per Serving:
(these stats are for the crust only, you'll need to calculate your toppings)
Calories: 78
Fat: 2g
Cholesterol: 0mg
Sodium: .4mg
Potassium: 45.6mg
Carbs: 14g
Fiber 1.1g
Sugars: .5g
Protein: 2.2g

Monday, March 5, 2012

Mushroom-Marsala Skillet Chicken

This recipe comes from Good Housekeeping Fast Weeknight Favorites
  • 4 medium skinless boneless chicken breast halves (1 1/4 lbs)
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/8 t ground black pepper
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 10 oz sliced mushrooms
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  • 1/2 C reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 C Marsala wine
  • 2 T chopped fresh parsley

  1. Cut chicken into pieces (approximately 2 inches). Sprinkle with 1/4 t salt and pepper.
  2. In nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium heat until hot. Add chicken breasts and cook, turning once, until browned on both sides and chicken loses its pink color throughout (6-7 minutes). Transfer to platter; cover loosely with foil to keep warm.
  3. To same skillet, add mushrooms, shallot, and remaining 1/4 t salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until mushrooms are browned, 3 minutes. Add broth, wine, and any juices from platter; cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce is reduced by half* (about 4 minutes). Stir in parsley. To serve, spoon sauce over chicken. *if you want it thicker, you can add some corn starch mixed with water.
Serve with garlic mashed potatoes or over pasta or with rice.

220 calories
36g protein
4g carbs
5g fat
82mg cholesterol
470mg sodium

**if you have concerns about the cooking wine, just know that there is less alcohol in it than in vanilla (just sayin').

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Lemon Chicken Pasta and Peas

I know! PEAS! The truth is I like peas as long as they are still crisp and not mushy. I like peas as an ingredient but not as a side dish. I found this recipe in a recipe book I picked up (total impulse buy) at Sam's Club. It is the Good Housekeeping Fast Weeknight Favorites. So far I've been very pleased with the food and the "fast" aspect. Slow food is great but when I'm cooking for 1 and 1/4 (yes, Eden only counts for 1/4 of a normal eater) the payoff of slow, deliberate cooking just isn't there for me. Quick, easy, balanced meals are the way to go and this book seems to fit the bill for me right now.

Total Time: 30 minutes
Makes: 4 servings

  • 8 oz pasta (they suggest extra-wide egg noodles - I used chinese noodles because that is what I had)
  • 4 oz stringless sugar snap peas
  • 1 C shredded carrots
  • 1 C frozen peas
  • 1 C chicken broth
  • 1/2 C heavy or whipping cream (or in my case I have to use Soy Milk because of E's lactose issues)
  • 1 t freshly grated lemon peel (I think it could have used more)
  • 1/2 t coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 2 C skinless chicken meat–cubed

  1. In large sauce pot, cook noodles as label directs. Add snap peas to pot 1 minute before noodles are done.
  2. Place carrots and frozen peas in colander. Drain noodles and snap peas over carrots and peas.
  3. While noodle mixture drains, in same sauce pot, heat broth, cream, lemon peel, pepper, and salt to b oiling over high heat. 
  4. Add chicken and noodle mixture to sauce; heat through, stirring constantly.

Each serving: about 510 calories, 33 g protein, 52 g carbohydrate, 20 g total fat (9 g saturated), 158 mg cholesterol, 750 mg sodium.

Chicken, Tomato, Spinach and Tortellini Soup

I wanted soup the other day. We've recently discovered Eden is lactose intolerant and so I couldn't go to my stand-by of potato soup. I looked in the pantry and here is what I came up with:
  • 1 Can Chicken Broth
  • 1 Can Stewed Tomatoes
  • 1/2 C Chopped Chicken
  • 3/4 C uncooked Cheese-filled Tortellini
  • 1/2 C Fresh (or flash frozen) Spinach
  • Italian Herbs (I used thyme and basil) to taste
  • Pepper to taste (the broth and tomatoes both have plenty of sodium so you shouldn't need salt)
  • Shredded Mozzarella Cheese for on top (this is low in lactose so I used it, if you aren't dealing with LI issues you could use Parmesan)
  1. Put the broth and tomatoes in a pot and bring to a simmer. 
  2. Add herbs (dried or fresh) - you could also add garlic here.
  3. Add the chicken and tortellini. 
  4. One minute before the tortellini is cooked through add the spinach.
  5. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle cheese on top.
Serve with bread or biscuits and some fruit.

This is a beautiful soup with a hearty yet fresh taste–not heavy. I will definitely be making this again!

 (I really should get pictures of my food so I can show you but I'm always too busy devouring it to take a picture so you'll just have to take my word for it.)

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Eden Says: Style, Lactose, and Priorities

Ok, I know I've been MIA for a while. I just didn't feel like blogging. Maybe I still don't, but Eden has been pretty funny lately so I need to record a few things.

The scene: my bathroom, I'm getting ready for church and Eden is watching me.

Eden: Mom, when is your hair going to get its style back?
(I have now made an appointment and will be getting some style back this Friday)


The background: we have discovered that Eden is extremely lactose intolerant. Even milk chocolate can cause her problems. After I made the discovery she had her wellness visit with the doctor. He really talked to her about taking responsibility for her own health. He told her that if she eats something with lactose it will be her tummy that hurts and so she needs to be the one to monitor it. She does a remarkable job (for a not-quite-four year old). She knows that her tummy doesn't have the enzymes to break down lactose and that is what causes the pain.

The scene: it is bedtime. We are in Eden's bed and I have read her three stories but she wants to hear a "real" story so I recite the story of her birth.

Eden: and then I wouldn't nurse!
Me: yup, why do you think that is? (usually she has said, "because I wanted my daddy to feed me")
Eden: well, I've been thinking about that and I think it is because I knew my tummy didn't have the em-signs for lactose so I didn't want to drink your milk.


The scene: we are at my parents' house. Eden is playing with her cousins and I am working on my dad's taxes (we call my dad, Punka).

Some things to know: 1) My mom has a treat jar and the kids get to choose a little toy or treat out of it if they do an act of service. Eden's favorite thing to do for Grammy is to wash windows. 2) Eden has become terrified of bees lately.

Eden: Mom! Will you come outside with me so I can wash the outside windows?
Me: I'm working on Punka's taxes. (I then turn my full attention to the computer while she says some things that I don't hear).
Eden: Mom! So, which do you think is MOST important, huh? which???
Me: Which what?
Eden: Do you think it is MOST important for you to do Punka's taxes or to make sure your daughter doesn't get stung by bees?

(obviously I joined her outside, standing guard against all bees and bee-like flying objects while she washed the outside window)