Friday, April 29, 2011

Pizza Friday

Well this week went by's Friday again and as I've mentioned before, we mostly have pizza on Friday nights.   Two pizza are on the agenda - Hawaiian and Veggie.

After putting the warm water in the mixer, add the yeast, salt, olive oil and bread flour

After it mixes, place in an oiled bowl - turning to coat and cover with plastic wrap.  Put in oven that has been warmed up a little first.  It takes about 1 to 1 1/4 hours for dough to double in size

Then clean up :-)

Preparing the toppings-first the Hawaiian

Next the veggie

Trying a new pizza sauce tonight

Assembly time!  The oven has been preheating to 450 for 30 minutes - don't forget to put corn meal on your board!

Oven time

Next up veggie...

John and I were both happy tonight - he liked the first one a lot and veggie is my favorite - we gave tonight's pizza ratings 4.5 stars! 

Long post tonight - I was a "shutter" fly!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Another Chilly Day in April

Today the high was 44 and I was chilled to the bone (again).  I really wanted to warm up so made this recipe called Tracy's soup. We had this soup at Tracy and her husband's cabin about a year ago.  It was a huge hit and luckily she shared (hence the name)!  It is quick, easy and really delicious - John gave it 4.5 stars! 

Start by dicing the veggies and chicken

Saute these in a large pot

Next is to add the rest of the ingredients and let simmer for 20 minutes

Squeeze in the lime juice

And then discard (this reminded me of a venus fly trap!)

Chop some cilantro to your liking

Toppings could include crushed tortilla chips and cheddar cheese

Dinner is served!

Let's hope tomorrow we get that 65 degree weather they are talking about!!

Tracy’s Soup (Mexican) Serves: 4-6 Calories: NA Prep Time to Table: 45 minutes
Recipe : Tracy

-1 tbl olive oil
- ¼ cup diced onion
-1 yellow pepper diced
-1 red pepper diced
-7 oz. can diced green chilies
-1 can Rotel – lime and tomatoes
-1 can Rotel – green chilies and tomatoes
 -6 cups chicken broth
- ¼ tsp cumin
-1 cup frozen corn
-fresh cilantro chopped (to taste)
-12 oz. boneless chicken diced -Juice of 1 lime

1. In large pot, heat oil and sauté onions for 3 minutes then add peppers and chicken and sauté for about 5 minutes
2. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for about 20 minutes Notes: top with crushed tortilla chips, shredded cheese and sour cream if desired

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Book Club Beginnings....

I'm a book this was right up my alley.  Love to read - Love my new Kindle and own so many books that I could start my own library!

The year was summer of 2007 – 2 of my friends had their last child heading off the college.  With all their anticipated “free” time an idea of a book club materialized.  Myself along with 2 other empty nesters were asked to join in. We met in August (some of us for the first time) to discuss what the book club would be like, how would we choose the books, where would we meet, etc.
We came up with the idea of each taking a turn selecting a book and then rotating the houses to meet at.  This worked fine for awhile but then we could never remember who’s turn was next, who’s house etc., so we started keeping a diary and list of rotations.  It mostly works but sometimes it can still get kind of comical.  Once 4 of us went to one’s persons house only find it dark and empty and that person went to my house thinking it was there.  Since we were suppose to discuss The Girl She Used to Be (about the witness protection program), we joked that this is what happened to our friend and had a good laugh over it!

The hosting person writes down what we thought of the book, what food was served and any other interesting tidbits.  We’ve even gone to a couple movies – we read The Time Traveler’s Wife then saw the movie – 2 thumbs down; 3 thumbs up. We saw Eat, Pray, Love (not an official book club pick but most of us had read it) and beforehand ate at Olive Garden and talked about 3 things on our bucket list (ummm I said I wanted a small tattoo - it is still on my list!) We also read the book Honolulu (about mail order brides from Korea) and had a Korean guest prepare us authentic food.  Next up will be Water for Elephants.  This summer will mark 4 years and we are approaching 30 books.

So those of you thinking of starting a book club – go for it!  It doesn’t take much to get it started and you will get to read some great, interesting and "why did we pick this" books; get to know your friends (or new friends) better and enjoy a night of food and a glass of wine!

Click here to see the list of books we have read or what's coming up.  I would be interested to hear if any of you out there are in a book club and what yours is like.

Some of the books we have read

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Simple Easy Chili

Someone remind me again of the date - isn't the end of April not suppose to feel like early March?  Geez - this weather is getting to me.  Yesterday we had a teaser with 60's now today and tomorrow - more 40 degree days!  Twins game is canceled... 2nd time in 5 days due to rain.  Ugh!

So tonight's recipe is more of a "winter" dish but most appropriate for the type of day it was.  It's called Simple Easy Chili - fast to make and simple ingredients. 

Chop the peppers and brown with the ground beef

The seasonings - chili powder and Zesty Italian dry salad mix are added

The rest of the ingredients go in next, bring to boil - kind of half cover the pot and simmer anywhere from 30-45 minutes.

We like these cute mini corn loaves from Target

This warmed us up on this cool night - we debated about how many stars - we decided on 3 only because we've had fancier chili!  But this is very good!

Top with cheese if you like

Simple Easy Chili Serves: 4-6 Calories: NA Prep Time to Table: 45 minutes
Recipe : not sure where it came from

 -1 lb. ground beef
-1 green pepper chopped
-1 envelope Good Seasons Zesty Italian mix
-1 tbl chili powder
-1 can (15 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained
-1 can (15 oz.) kidney beans drained
-1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce
- ½ cup water
- 1 can (4 or 8 oz.) chopped green chilies, undrained

1. Brown beef with green peppers
2. Add Italian mix and chili powder and cook for about 2 minutes
3. Add remainder of ingredients and simmer about 30-45 minutes
4. Optional – serve with sour cream, cheddar cheese or other toppings you like