Friday, July 26, 2013

I'm Still Cooking, But....

Hi there!  I say to no one in particular.  I don't think too many people view this site. 

This blog is for me to have a place to share and view my favorite recipes from the past year.   I have really enjoyed it.  I make these meals all the time for my family.

But I'm taking a break from recipe writing and creating new foods.  I'm still cooking but I'm focused on other things now.  I'm more than just a good cook after all.  I do writing of all kinds - stories, poetry, news articles, etc.  I've always been a creative writer.  I wrote my first poem in the fifth grade and won grand prize at my elementary school.  Ever since then, I've been hooked on this whole writing thing.   I enjoy reading all types of literature but my real passion is to write about real life, what I'm doing, how crazy my kids are, what we do together and more. 

Recently I have had two articles published simply because I wrote them and then pitched my ideas to a few different editors.  I was happily surprised how well received they were.  One is about a creative reading program you can do with your children.  The next one, coming out in September, is about my family's healthy eating habits, how we got rid of all processed foods and how we support our local farmers and farming communities.  I will share that one here once it's in print! 

I'm entering writing contests, from humor topics to essays.  I search every day for a new opportunity.  I can't believe how many free contests exist out there with winners having the chance to receive prize money and be published.  Hell yeah!~ 

In other news - I am also on the job hunt.  After being home with my girls for a year, it's time to enter the work force again.  I'm so glad I have been a stay-at-home mom not once but twice for my family.  It made a huge difference in our health and sanity.  We never could have made the switch to no-processed foods if I wasn't as committed to cooking at home as I have been in this past year.  Now that we have perfected that and that dollars are needed, I am ready to move on to a career.  Wish me luck!  I know that any employer would be lucky to have me.  I just have to find the right place that I will love and want to give my heart and put my determination toward.

So that's what is happening with me.  If you came across this site and liked what you see, thank you!  I will probably still post from time to time but certainly not that often or every week like I was doing for awhile.  Life takes you in new directions and you have to roll with it.

Have a great day.  Keep cooking.  Keep being healthy.  It will pay off! 


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Festive Flag Fruity Pizza and Happy Fourth of July!

I had an urge to be all Martha-Stewart like today and create something edible, full of holiday spirit and that looked pretty too!  The end result is cute and tasty, not beautiful like her creations but darn good for just little old me and my basic hands. 

This would be a great addition to your barbecues and cook-outs on Independence Day.  No guilt when consuming it either - this one is gluten-free, dairy-free, has no added sugars or artificial preservatives.  So relax and enjoy while watching the fireworks fly!

Festive Flag Fruity Pizza
(Serves 10-12)

For the crust:
1 cup of tapioca flour
1/2 cup + 1/8 cup of coconut flour
1/2 cup + 1/8 cup of pecan flour (or use almond or another nut flour)
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 eggs
1 cup of warm water
1/4 cup extra light virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp honey

For the whipped topping:
1 can of coconut milk - preferably one that was in the fridge for a day or so
3 Tbsp maple syrup

Decorations for the flag:
1 basket (pint) size of strawberries
1/2 cup of blueberries

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and lightly grease a 13x9 inch rectangle pan.

To make the pizza crust: In a large bowl, combine the tapioca flour, coconut flour, pecan (or other nut) flour, cinnamon, vanilla extract, almond extract, salt and baking soda.  Mix well.

In a smaller separate bowl combine your two eggs, warm water, honey and extra light olive oil.  Mix well.  Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.  Stir until combined.  It should look like a dough or typical batter:

Spread the pizza dough out into your greased 13x9 inch rectangular baking pan. Don't worry if the dough seems thin or barely able to cover the pan.  It will puff up and spread out.

Bake at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, until it is lightly browned.  Like this:

Let the pizza crust cool for at least 30 minutes.  Go do something fun - read a book, listen to music. 

After 30 minutes, make your whipped topping and slice your strawberries.

To make the whipped topping: Open up your can of refrigerated coconut milk.  Pour or scoop out into a standing mixer.  Add in the 3 Tbsp of maple syrup. 

Use the beater blade and whip for about five minutes or until it has a creamy texture.  Like this:

Spoon or pour the whipped topping over the cooled pizza crust.  Like this:

Now comes the fun part.  Decorate your pizza into a flag using about 1/2 cup of fresh blueberries and 1 pint of fresh, sliced strawberries.  Make your rows (stripes) and your square (stars).  Then eat and enjoy!

Have a wonderful Fourth of July Holiday!   Our guest room will be full for most of this month so I may be missing in action on this recipe site in July quite a bit. 

Let the summer time fun really begin!