Thursday, December 9, 2010
I cannot believe it. I've been so busy with my 'bucket list' of projects that I want to get done before I start student teaching in the Spring, that I have completely forgotten to add my monthly posts of the Biscuit!!!! This goes to show all the men and WOMEN out there, that believe that us SAH Mommies out there sit on the couch all day, are very very VERY WRONG!
Well, okay, so I do know some women that do this, but definitely not me. Not only do I have several projects going on, but I've also decided to add some of my favorite recipes on my blog as well for my girlfriends!!!
Not to mention getting the house ready for the holidays, the 2 loads of laundry per day (for some reason), along with all the cleaning that goes with a house that has 3 floors....Oh yes, and how could I forgot....A TODDLER!
Noa's growing like crazy....well, mentally maybe, but she's still a midget I tell ya! Nana and Papa weighed her, at 17 1/2 months and she weighs 19.8 lbs! There will not be any standing in the back row for group class pics for this little girl in the future, this we are now convinced of!!!
So, there's been alot going on in the past couple of months, including one trip to the zoo. Noa loved it!!! It was a beautiful day!!! Every single animal she watched at the zoo, she watched as if it was her last animal she would ever see....it was adorable. But with that was a short meltdown while so was being drug away, only to stop shortly after when the next animal was spotted at the next exhibit, followed of course be another scream when leaving, and so on. We knew she loved animals, but we never realized how much! IT WAS SO MUCH FUN WATCHING HER SO INTERESTED!
And yet another reason that I know she loves animals....before we left I bought her a monkey harness....that's right, I said a MONKEY HARNESS for kids! Listen, when you drive 3 hours to the zoo, the last thing you want is to make your toddler ride in a stroller all day, and did I mention TODDLER....it's not like she would just walk gracefully next to you all day!
Well, of course this bites me right in the face. It's not 30 seconds after we get there that I put the harness on her and try to get her to walk with me.....which ends in her falling face first on the concrete (you'll see the mark on the pics!). This ended in my husband cussing and me learning a quick lesson that harness are to keep kids from running away from you, not meant to lead your kids! OOPS!
So, I decided to take the harness off, which she then refused to take off the monkey backpack that came with the harness. So the Biscuit spend all day walking around this this monkey backpack on.....ADORABLE!!!!!
We didn't have enough time for the Science Center. But I'm really hoping the hubs will take us this winter before Spring! If not, we'll plan it in our next zoo trip!
A GOOD TIME WAS HAD BY ALL.....
So, when we got home that night, I threw in Madagasgar so Noa could see all the animals that she had seen that day. SHE WON'T STOP WATCHING IT....She runs around the house saying, "Zebra, ZEBRA!!"....I'm telling ya, this girl LOVES ANIMALS!
She has a big book of animals, she can name them all! One page has about 13 different kinds of birds and she knows each of them....it's amazing what they pick up on at this age!
So....OCTOBER Past! Oh, Noa was a skunk for Halloween. She was adorable. And got lots of candy! She had so much fun! She even ended the night visiting her buddies Kase and Kesli (she loves Kes!).
Okay, so November. Not much going on, it's getting cold, Noa keeps learning and growing, and we are getting ready for the Holidays! We of course put the tree up 2 weeks before Thanksgiving. I love this time of year. I love spending it with family!
Oh, by the way, I make a homemade pumpkin pie out of real pumpkins....AMAZING! Check out the recipe on the blog in DECEMBER.
So, now it's December and there's already presents under the tree. I thought I was excited for Noa's FIRST CHRISTMAS....But I'm ten times more excited about NOA'S SECOND CHRISTMAS!!!! I just cannot wait until that morning to watch her open her presents!!!!! I've got to tell you all, being a Mother is the greatest gift that I've ever been given!!!! It really makes a woman who she is because of all the wonderful feelings that go along with all the love!!! And it also gives you soo much more respect for my own Mother! How I am happy to report is feeling great and recovering well!!! God has definitely blessed us this year with good news in regards to her health!! I'll tell ya, for those who do not believe in God, I'd love to show them all the miracles he has given us in the last few years!!!
Okay, and speaking of great things!!!....I GOT MY CAMERA! Yes, it's an early Christmas Present! I'm soooo happy!!!!!...as if I wasn't before. Okay, I'm a bit more happier! I'm so excited to capture Christmas and other great events with my camera!!
Now, we are deep into December...it's cold and we spend most of our time inside because MOMMA HATES THE COLD! Christmas lights and decorations are allover the house!!!!
So, next up, CHRISTMAS!
So, I watched Giada make this really good pasta with spinach and fresh cherry tomatoes one day. I made it and it was good….especially for a Girl Day during the summer. It was light. However, my hubby wanted something more…it needed more depth. Still, I loved the idea that she used spinach in her pasta. So, I decided to come up with my own recipe, but still keep her spinach aspect in the pasta!
This is a cozy, alone, afternoon meal in my book. Meaning, it’s filling in my opinion, and makes a great meal on those afternoons or evenings when the hubby is watching the ballgame with his buddies and the kids are visiting the grandparents! I love to make this dish, cuddle under my blanket on my couch, and get caught up in whatever Real Housewives show is on my DVR….or lately, Sarah Palin’s Alaska….I love her ruggedness and blunt honesty!
Enough Sarah Palin talk….I may lose some readers!
My hubby’s definitely a meat and potatoes kinda guy, so I actually make this as a side dish for him when we want something different!
Okay, your Ingredients:
1 pckg fresh Spinach, roughly chopped
1 tbs tomato paste
1 cup of HOT water
15 or so cherry tomatoes (if you don’t have cherry, use a can of diced tomatoes and the juice or chop 1 or 2 tomatoes that you have
½ cup of Olive Oil
About 2 cups uncooked noodles (I use Penne, but you can use whatever you want)
1 cup Asiago cheese (I buy is shredded in the special cheese section)
½ - 1 cup of parmesan cheese
Basil (I use fresh)
1-2 Garlic Cloves
Let’s make some pasta:
Through your pasta in some boiling water….LISTEN…..It’s important that your pasta is AL DENTE….Don’t overcook it. There’s nothing worse than overcooked pasta! So keep checking it.
While you are boiling your pasta….
Roughly chop your spinach. Cut you cherry tomatoes in half.
In a pot, heat your Olive Oil on MEDIUM HIGH. You want your oil to get hot. I know, ½ cup of oil? Stay with me here….it makes a great base and adds to the other ingredients to create ‘warmth’ in your dish.
When your oil warms, through in your spinach and toss for a bit. Put a lid on it for a few seconds to let the spinach cook down, tossing every so often. While that’s cooking down, through in your tomatoes and your garlic. I use fresh garlic because I have a press…..but minced works just fine too. (If you don’t press your garlic or chop it, always keep minced in your frig….heck, regardless, always have minced available in your frig!)
Toss those ingredients and let them cook a bit. If you think your temps to high, just turn it down a bit and let those ingredients simmer together. KEEP WATCHING YOUR PASTA. Whenever it’s down, drain it….if your pasta gets done to earlier, throw it back in the pot after draining and put some Olive Oil in it to keep it from sticking together.
Back to your ‘sauce’….While your ingredients are simmering, get a cup of HOT water and add 1 tablespoon of tomato paste to it. STIR, STIR, STIR….OR WHISK, Whatever. I whisk!
At this point, your pasta should be done, if you haven’t already drained it, do so.
Now, pour your tomato paste/water mixture in the spinach pot. Stir. Then throw your pasta in, and throw in your 2 cheeses and tablespoon of each spice……TOSS THAT SUCK!!!
VIOLA…..IT WILL MELT IN YOUR MOUTH!!
Saturday, December 4, 2010
Okay, so….BBQ Chicken Pizza….I had it before, about 9 years ago….hated it!!! I really can’t even tell you why, in fact, after what I had the other night; I’m convinced that what I had 9 years ago was definitely not bbq chix pizza! (Oh, chix is short in restaurant for ‘chicken’, and being a waitress in my past during college, it’s just easier!).
Well, the other night we visited Jon, Krissy and Baby Will Biggs (Drew was at his Nana’s!). We all ordered a pizza in which Jon and Krissy raved about….the bbq chix pizza from Morelo’s in H’burg! To be honestly, I don’t think Colb or I was much interested in the idea (because of what I previously thought), but once the pizza box was opened….so was a whole new world! What a great choice by Jon and Krissy…..IT WAS AMAZING!!! (BRAVO, Jon and Krissy……BBRRRAAAAVVVO!!!!)
So, I almost forgot about it until I was thumbing through the Pioneer Woman site that this pizza ever existed! I looked at her recipe to see how she made it, and then decided I would try this one on my own. I decided to make up my own recipe since I just couldn’t get Morelo’s version out of my head! But to give The Pioneer Woman credit where credit is due, I did use three of the same ingredients…..chicken, bbq sauce (but a different kind), and mozzarella cheese)….oh, and onion….but really, is that any different from anyone else’s????? Still, I love her! (Oh, by the way, she covers hers with fresh cilantro after taking it out of the oven….I haven’t tried that but put some on your piece and see if you like it!)
1) THIS IS NOT STORE BOUGHT PIZZA CRUST!!!......YUCK YUCK YUCK!!!! Seriously, there is no point making pizza if you are going to use store bought like Pillsbury or whatever! I searched and searched and searched for a restaurant style pizza crust…..and I finally found one…..so please please PLEASE, use mine! This pizza Crust also works for regular pizza too…..I just add garlic and all kinds of Italian Spices to my dough when making regular pizza!
2) If you have a Bread Maker….use it…..if you don’t have a one but have a Kitchen Aid mixer (or similar) with a kneading attachment….use it!....it makes your life sooooo much easier! Now, if you don’t have any of these things, just mix and knead the dough how you normally would your bread…..including rising, etc.
3) Stretch or roll your dough while warm….cold dough = not very workable!!!
(Bear with me, I have a bread maker….so if you don’t, just follow the ingredients, again, how you would do any other dough….if you have never done dough before, just get online and see how some women do their recipes. But if you do that, I’m warning you, stick with my recipe ingredients….you won’t be sorry!!)
1 C Flat Beer
2 Tbs butter
2 Tbs sugar
1 tsp salt
2-3 Tbs honey
2 1/2 C flour
2 1/4 tsp yeast (or a package of yeast)
In Bread Maker….add ingredients as they are listed. After you add the flour, make a well with your finger in it (looks like a little crater in the dough) and add the yeast into the flour. I personally buy one of the big (ger) jars of yeast than just the packets because it’s so much more cost effective.
Turn your bread maker on dough and let her fly!
When it’s done, take the dough out, this recipe will make 1 X-2X large pizza or 2 med-large pizzas. I personally make two large ones because you have better control of your inner crust not being gooey!!!
If you’ve worked in a pizza place, then throw and stretch your dough, but for people like me, I kind of toss it around but most just roll it out into what appears to be a circle!
OHHHH…..The best way to separate any dough is the form it into a ball, grab the middle, and pinch the bottom half off (I learned that from my Momma about 2 weeks ago!) So, VIOLA…..Simple DOUGH FORMING 101!
Now, AGAIN, roll that dough out (in this case on the two smaller pieces).
THIS IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT…….It may take you making this one or two times to decide how you want your dough! …… if you make your dough a little thicker, be careful if you pile on your toppings, you don’t want gooey…..if you do make a bit thicker, I would cover the outside edge dough with foil and cook the inside dough open in the oven for about 3-5 minutes on 500.
I made this one thin crust, and actually made it too thin….a lesson I will take with me the next time. Again, it may take you a couple of times to figure out your style of crust. Just make sure that while you load up on your topping, you don’t make it too thick that the crust won’t cook!
Still, I give my outside edges one this little roll to make an outside crust!
Grab your pizza pan and drizzle a good amount of OLIVE OIL on the pan and through your rolled dough on it…..pinch some salt onto the dough.
Now, let’s talk topping….
7-8 chix tenderloins or 1-2 chix breasts
1-2 jars of bbq sauce (PREFERRABLY SWEET BABY RAYS),….If not, just use plain ole’ bbq sauce, nothing fancy, nothing too flavored, and definitely not a masterpiece or smoked or anything else…..JUST PLAIN BBQ SAUCE!
Mozzarella Cheese (one bag will do….best to get the fine shredded or you can get fresh if you want too)
One medium red onion
Bacon Bits or real cooked bacon cut into small bites/bits (OPTIONAL)
Okay, once you have formed your dough, or while you are making your dough.....
I work with tenderloins; again cost effective….but chix breast would be great. Put your oven on 350 before or while you are making your dough. Put 1-2 tbs of butter in an oven safe dish and smear it around….you want a little excess…it will give the chix an awesome flavor with the bbq sauce and keep it a little more most!
Place the chix in the pan (after you have smeared your butter), then pour some of your bbq sauce directly over your chix….smother them but you don’t have to use the entire bottle or anything (1-2 cups is fine!).
Throw those chix in the oven and let them bake about 30-40 minutes, flipping once or so, or until done. You’re going to know when they are done because they will fall apart nicely.
Take out your chix out of the oven and cut it up however fine you want (I cut mine into small chunks….other’s like to shred!)
NOW PUT YOUR OVEN ON 500!
OH YEAH, if you make too much….who cares, just makes a bbq chix sandwich with the leftovers the next day!
Cut your RED onion in half and remove the skin. You want THIN to SEMI THIN strips of onion….it’s just easier! So cut your onion in half, and then slice into your strips!!
NOW FOR PUTTING ON THE PIZZA….
ON THE DOUGH,…..
DRIZZLE A GOOD AMOUNT OF OLIVE OIL ON TOP BEFORE YOU PUT YOUR SAUCE! The oil on bottom and top of the dough will help the dough cook better and give it a gooooood taste!
Now, pour about ½-1 cup of bbq sauce on the pizza…..you’ll see what’s the right amount as you are doing this.
Then, spread your cheese over the sauce. Again, even if you want a lot of cheese, do it thin, that way the dough cooks adequately and isn’t gooey gross! (pics below in case if you are confused on the right amount). If you use fresh mozzarella, slice it THIN and then add your desired amount…..just keep the slices…THIN!!!!!
Next, put your onions on (amount and how is your choice)….then put your bbq chix on (again, it’s up to you how much).
Now you can put the bacon bits (use the real bacon bits of you have the choice…not BACO’S). This is optional….in our house, everything is better with bacon or real bacon bits, so we always try!) It’s good though, and not too over powering!
Next, put just a bit (just a tiny more) cheese on the top (maybe ¼-1/3 of a cup (really, more just for looks) and put a couple of dabs of sauce here and there on the top too.
FINALLY….THROW THAT SUCKER IN THE OVEN (AT 500 REMEMBER) for about 10-15 minutes until the top is perfection! WATCH IT THOUGH……DOUGH CAN GET TOOOOOO DARK IN A MATTER OF SECONDS! So, check it every minute or two after the first ten minutes.
When done, take it out, let it cool a bit, throw some parsley on top for make it prettier (if that’s even possible) and enjoy!!!!
I’M TELLING YOU…..IF YOU NEVER COOK ANOTHER THING IN YOUR KITCHEN, AT LEAST COOK THIS FIRST!!!