Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Heart Shaped Pizza for Valentine's Day

If you are staying home for Valentine's Day and want a fun, kid-friendly idea for dinner, try my easy pizza recipe and shape the dough into the shape of a heart.  Since we don't eat at restaurants as often as most families, we have learned over the years to make eating at home fun.  The kids never seem to mind.  Jack, my son with allergies, especially appreciates staying home, since he understands that it's safer.  We do have a couple of favorite restaurants that I have become more comfortable with trusting that we can get a safe meal.  But, for the most part, we enjoy home.  Aside from avoiding allergies, eating at home is also a great way to save money in a tough economy, healthier than eating out and an opportunity to spend quality time together, especially on Valentine's Day.

Stay home, have fun making dinner together and pop in a movie or play a favorite board game and enjoy being with your family.  We are making individual heart-shaped pizzas and letting the boys put what they want on for toppings. 

Pizza Dough Recipe:
1 Tablespoon Yeast
1 1/4 cup warm water
1 Tablespoon Sugar
1 teaspoon salt
31/4 Cup Flour
Corn Meal

  1. Blend together sugar, salt and flour.
  2. Dissolve yeast in 1 1/4 cup warm water.
  3. Mix yeast and water with sugar, salt and flour mixture.
  4. Kneed dough for about five minutes.
  5. Let dough rise in a greased bowl for about 45 minutes, or until it has doubled in size.
  6. Grease pizza pans.  Sprinkle corn meal lightly over greased pan.
  7. Divide dough and spread onto greased pizza pans.
  8. Put desired toppings on pizza.
  9. Bake at 450 degrees for about 12 minutes.
Other alternative toppings for pizza:  Try a Hawaiian pizza with sliced pineapple and ham, or vegetables and chicken instead of pepperoni.

Enjoy and Happy Valentine's Day~

Monday, January 23, 2012

What made out of milk proteins?

Seriously.  Is this for real?  My son brought home the Time For Kids magazine from school and it had an article about a German company that is making clothing out of milk.  Yes, milk.  It took me a few minutes to stop staring at the article in disbelief.  Geesh, now something else to worry about.  As if it's not hard enough to read ingredients on every food packaging label and soaps and lotions.  Now we will need to look for food ingredients in the clothing we purchase.

The cost of the clothing ranges from $200 to $270.   Probably not something I will be rushing out to buy.

Kudos to the biologist/fashion designer for coming up with a new invention.  This statement on the company's website is a little ironic, however: "More and more people suffer from sensitive skin.  Mainly from the increase in allergies, the demand for natural fabrics mount."

Guess they don't have milk allergies in Germany?

Friday, January 13, 2012

Rosemary Pork Loin Chops with Tomatoes and Peppers

So I never did finish my post for December.  Where did that month go?  I think I'll start fresh with a new recipe.  It's healthy for all of you with New Year's resolutions to shed a few pounds.  I know I fall in that category.  We had our share of baked goodies this Christmas.

With two boys involved in sports and music and other after school activities, it's always a challenge to come up with quick dinners that everyone likes and qualifies as healthy and doesn't have milk, butter and cheese, of course.  I am embarrassed to admit it, but quite often I decide what we are having for dinner about an hour before we eat.  So that's exactly what happened with the pork loin chops yesterday.  They spent the day thawing in the refrigerator and then around 5:30 I found myself scrounging through the food pantry looking for something to inspire a recipe.  What I came up with only needed a little olive oil, salt, pepper, rosemary and a can of diced tomatoes with peppers.  This is how I did it and it took me less than a half hour.  And did I mention all of my picky eaters loved it?!  Sorry, I did not have time for photos this time.  It was a quick dinner then off to guitar lessons.

1-2 pounds pork loin chops (boneless)
kosher salt
1 fresh rosemary sprig, or about 1 tablespoon dried rosemary leaves
olive oil
1 8oz can diced tomatoes with peppers

1.  Coat pork loins with salt, pepper and rosemary
2.  Heat about one tablespoon olive oil in skillet over medium-high heat.
3.  Brown pork chops in skillet about two minutes per side, turning twice.
4.  Add tomatoes and peppers to skillet. (I ran the tomatoes and peppers through the blender, since the kids will not eat whole tomatoes and peppers)
5.  Cover and simmer until cooked, ten to twenty minutes.  I did twenty minutes on a lower temperature.

Serve with rice and sauteed vegetables.