Friday, January 28, 2011

another one bites the crust

Made my delicious wheat pizza crust again. I know. I know. Pizza twice in a week?! What are we, college students?! But it's true. After my success on Monday night I was dying to try to recreate my favorite pie from Sammy's Wood-fired Pizza. It's got Gorgonzola cheese, prosciutto and pears on it and is topped with an arugula (or in this case, Spring Mix) salad dressed with balsamic vinaigrette.
Was it amazing, you ask?
Would I post two straight entries about pizza if it wasn't?

No, I wouldn't.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

dough nut

I made my very first pizza dough on Monday! It was super easy and so delicious PLUS I got an awesome confidence boost because I made something with yeast without my bread machine that wasn't an abject failure! Definitely a first. Check it out.I got the recipe here after seeing it on Jane's blog! I'm a copy cat for sure, but the internet is so evil! I get cravings for things that I have never seen before and find myself having to make them THAT INSTANT. Like this little beauty, for instance. I am dying to make it. DYING.

Anyway, here is the finished product. It is definitely going to be a summer staple. Light and lemony and crispy and cheesy and delicious! Yum. I made a little salad to go with the pizza with red onions and pears and pistachios and a balsamic vinaigrette. Best dinner ever.
Well, it will be until I make this crust again, this time with gorgonzola cheese, prosciutto, pears and an arugula salad on top, a la Sammy's Wood-fired Pizza. Mmmmmmmmmmm

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

nothing wrong nothing right

Time is moving so quickly! Carter is seven months old!! She is sitting up on her own, army crawling (she ALMOST has the whole hands and knees thing figured out!), eating real food (well... sort of), babbling, playing, laughing and growing like a weed! It is so fun to have a baby who isn't skin and bones (no offense Avery)!!! She is so happy and sweet and easy and I am trying to enjoy every day. If only they would slow down just a little!
Avery is three and three-quarters (don't you miss measuring your age in quarters!?) and I can hardly believe how grown up she is! Of course, that is a double-edged sword since not only is she much more self-reliant, but she is much more head-strong and mischievous. Not a day (or practically five minutes) goes by that I don't have to get after her for painting her entire body with White Out from my backpack, climbing onto the counter and eating a half cup of honey (and spilling the rest on the counter and her clothes), trying to take whatever toy Carter is interested at the moment, washing her hands (and using all of the soap), using the restroom (and using all of the toilet paper) and, well, you get the picture. She wants a GREEN big girl bike for her birthday (green is her absolute favorite color and if you even tease her about liking another color BOY are you in for it!) with Buzz Lightyear on it and a pouch to hold her lip gloss and toys (she has tested said bike out at Toys R Us many times) and she wants a doggy "of my very own!" Oh, and, by the way, she is a professional ice skater (can't even stand on skates without holding onto someone), "cooker" (every time I even set foot in the kitchen she is there pushing a chair along so she can stir and crack and cut and whatever else. Dinner feels more like Mission Impossible than Food Network lately), and big sister. Just ask her.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

picture of health

Okay, I lost my camera (again) so I took this with my phone's camera and the quality is horrible, but this meal was so-o-o good I had to share. I got the recipe here (yeah yeah. I know. Her pics are AMAZING. I'm over it) and did I mention it was so good!!
Since swearing off refined sugar and processed food, I have been feeling great! Despite all of the stress of starting school last week it really has been quite easy. And I have been able to grow as a home cook and shrink as a person (four pounds down! Thanks for nothing, Cheetos.) The list of my "firsts" with this whole experiment keeps growing. Despite the added time it takes to think before I run out the door (to make sure I have meals and snacks for me and the kids. I can't believe how much packaged garbage we used to eat!!), I am loving life. I think I might buy some Birkenstocks and stop shaving. I'll let you know how that goes via grainy cell phone pics. Don't worry. You'll love it.

In the last two weeks I have:
Poached my first egg.
Made my own crackers (who knew they even existed before Nabisco and Zesta!! But, trust me, once you make your own graham crackers you will NEVER go back. Never. I'm tackling Saltines tomorrow. So stinking excited!! And did I mention NO SUGAR? No Splenda, either. I'm talking whole organic stuff!)
Made a "cheesecake" with Greek yogurt, sucanat, cocoa powder, carrots and egg whites. The crust was hazelnuts and my homemade graham crackers ground up with a teensy bit of oil! Mmmmm.
Used my new air popper for the first time. And the second. And third. And fifteenth. Popcorn is now the Official Treat of the Tietjen household.
Made a cauliflower gratin that K and Av ate up, then licked their plates and asked for it again. And again. What was the cheese sauce? 1/2 cup part skim cheese, 1/2 cup skim milk, pureed carrots and a little Parmesan on top. It was bright Velveeta orange! haha No wonder they loved it.
Made two loafs of seven grain whole wheat bread (okay, my mom gave me her bread machine because there is NO WAY that I would have been able to do that. I stink at bread. But it was still delicious!
Made baked GREEN falafels with tahini and cucumbers and lettuce and tomatoes and pita. Mmmmm. They were made with cilantro and parsley (as well as the usual garbanzo beans and garlic and such), hence the greenness. Avery's favorite color is green so she was thrilled!
Purchased a truck-load of veggies and fruit... and haven't thrown one thing out. It's incredible! And a first.
Not skipped one workout and have kept my energy up. Not a first, but it's been a loooong time.

In the next week or two I hope to:
Make my own cheese. I went to a demonstration on how to make mozzarella last year and it looked simple. I can't wait to try it!
Look into better eggs (range free, cage free, etc.??) and meat products. I watched Food Inc. for the first time and I have vowed never to eat another ammonia-washed burger or sad, big-breasted chicken again!
Get my hands on the documentary Food Matters. It comes highly recommended by my friend Jane who is a natural food guru! She even has her own granola company! Check her out.
Try out more homemade handy snacks like Goldfish crackers! I actually found a recipe! I might seem excitable to you, but I have a three year old who is having withdrawals.

My biggest surprise in the last couple of weeks is how little all of us have missed our old, gross, sugar-and-saturated-fat-riddled lives! I thought Avery would have a tough time, but she is perfectly happy when I hand her a banana even if she asked for a GoGurt or chicken nuggets. How are your goals going?

a day in the life

Up at 5.
Drive to Rexburg.
Swim workout.
Shower in stall.
Dress out of locker.
Breakfast in car.
Class at 8.
Home by 10.
Online school til noon.
Chef again.
Textbook-reading, paper-writing, iPod-listening fool.
Pass out at 10.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

$#@! my daughter says

Avery has had quite the week. On Wednesday she was playing in the room adjacent to where I was doing some homework, talking to herself and such, when I hear, amidst the mumbling, SH#@! No joke. Clear as anything, my baby girl said her first curse word. Not only did she say it, she used it 100% correctly. Holy cow, I was f-l-o-o-r-e-d. I have NO IDEA where she heard it from, either. I swear. Wait, I don't mean I SWEAR-swear, i just assure you that she didn't hear that mess at home. I got my jaw off of the floor eventually and snapped into mommy mode, telling her in the most serious way possible exactly how unacceptable mean language like that is. I have a nephew who used to bite until his parents finally (after multiple bleeding bites on his sisters) tried smacking him once on the mouth when he bit. And he decided really quickly that he was not going to bite anymore. Well, I'll admit it, just like that tactic I really wanted to associate swearing with something pretty scary, so I told Avery the next time she chose to say inappropriate words, she was going to get a smack on the mouth. She took it very seriously and told me sorry.
When Daddy got home (I, of course, had called and told him all about it earlier) he asked Avery if she had used bad language. She told him yes, but she would never do it again. Then I said, "Tell Daddy what will happen if you use foul language again."
Avery thinks about it for a minute, then, LIGHTBULB! "Oh yeah, " she says, "Mommy is going to punch me in the face."
Dead. Serious.
I am still laughing.
Then today Klayton and I popped some popcorn and turned on a movie for Avery. When K brought out the movie, he said, "Avery, do you want to watch Day-speak-ah-ble Me?"
Avery replies, "It's Despicable Me, you idiot!"
Now it was K's turn for the serious language talk. He sat her down and told her how hurtful words like idiot are. So Avery says, "But Daddy! Woody calls Buzz idiot!" Ahh Toy Story. Well, at least she didn't learn that other word from Woody.
When did my baby turn into a legit little kid? What is next?! I am afraid to find out.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


Christmas at the cabin was wonderful!! We made cookies for Santa, got to talk with my brother in Equador, my sister in England, opened waaaay too many presents, and even had a visit from Santa!! My favorite part, spending time with my family. And Christmas Eve cuddling with Avery, who couldn't fall asleep until 10pm, she was so excited!


Grinding legit peanuts into peanut butter at Fred Meyer yesterday? Coolest. Thing. Ever. And delicious!
Yogurt + Granola + Banana + For Real Peanut Butter = Best Breakfast Ever.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

oh honey honey

Call it a New Year's Resolution or just plain common sense, our family has given up all super processed food, refined sugar, and fast food this month! When I was pregnant with Carter and began to hate all food, and I do mean all of it, we started eating out a bit. And then a bit more, all in the name of less prego puking. Fast forward a year and we have been eating out almost daily!! How disgusting is that? Now that I have lost all of your respect, I could give you all of the excuses of how busy we are and how crazy each day has been, especially since Carter was born (more than six months ago! Can you believe it?!), but that doesn't matter. It is time to take back control! 
In the last four days I have made my own granola, bread and graham crackers, shopped for a seemingly-unending mountain of fruits and veggies, and cleaned house, getting rid of all packaged snacks, things canned in syrup, breakfast cereal and other garbage. And it is going great! I feel better and I am so on fire about keeping my family healthy and ending the gross rut we have been in. 
I am hunting for recipes big time, so if you have any good ones or a favorite food blog please send them my way. I hope everyone is having a great month so far and lots of success with your new goals!