Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Pizza Pinwheels

This amazing and quick variation to pizza is oh-so-delicious; and kid friendly too!  They are the perfect size for little hands, appetizers, or party food.

Pizza Pinwheels                                                      [click to print this recipe]

1 sheet of puff pastry dough; thawed
marinara sauce
sliced olives, optional (or anything you'd like on your pizza!)
4 oz. shredded cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease or line a baking sheet and set aside.

Spread the puff pastry dough on a lightly floured surface.  Spread a layer of your favorite marinara sauce over the dough.  If using olives or any vegetable, spread them over the sauce and top with shredded cheese.

Starting from the longest end, roll up the pastry dough as tight as you can.  With a serrated knife, cut the roll into 3/4 inch slices.  Place each slice on the prepared baking sheet.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the pastry dough is puffed and golden.

Enjoy!  Leave a comment and let me know if you tried this recipe!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Going Backwards

My weight loss is more like weight gain these days.  I know I shouldn't be complaining, but what's life without a pregnant woman to complain about everything?!

I'm 23 weeks pregnant now and I gained 7 pounds according to the doctor's office.  According to my records I gained 10 pounds, but no one seems to care about my records.  Anywho... at first I was excited.  Only 10 pounds and I'm halfway through?!  That's awesome!  Then I made the mistake of looking through my previous pregnancy book.  I was at the same weight gain at the same point in time and somehow I still managed to gain a total of 40 pounds by the time delivery came.  Sigh.  Am I just destined to gain a ton of weight during pregnancy?!

I know I should be happy, but I have to admit that I'm really not.  Not happy about the weight gain; very happy about the baby.  I hope that was self explanatory.  It's just that I just lost 28 pounds!  Will I be able to do it again, or will I just feel so defeated about starting from the beginning that I won't even bother?  With my two previous pregnancies, it took me about 2 years until I actually started getting serious about losing weight.  Will it take me that long again this time, or will I have the willpower to diet and exercise right away?

There's definitely one thing different about this pregnancy -- it's a BOY!  Let's hope that brings a lot of differences; like not being 5 days overdue, not waiting 2 years to lose weight, and successful breastfeeding.  I hope the easy labor and delivery part stays the same.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Chicken and Broccoli over White Rice

I've tried so many recipes for chicken and broccoli, yet for some reason I've always been disappointed.  Either the chicken was too dry or the broccoli was too soft.  This recipe has both the perfect flavor and the perfect texture.  No more ordering chicken and broccoli at the Chinese restaurant anymore; this dish is best served in the comfort of my own home!

Chicken and Broccoli                                             [click to print this recipe]

4 chicken cutlets
4 tablespoons of soy sauce
2 teaspoons of sugar
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups of chicken broth (or 1 1/2 cups of water and 1 1/2 teaspoons of chicken soup mix)
8 teaspoons of cornstarch
6 tablespoons of oil
4 cups of broccoli florets
1 cup of white rice, prepared according to package directions

Cut the chicken cutlets into small bite sized pieces.  

Combine soy sauce, sugar, and garlic and pour over the chicken pieces to marinate.  

In a separate bowl, combine the chicken broth and cornstarch; set aside.  

Heat the oil in a large non stick skillet.  Add the chicken mixture and cook until done, about 6-8 minutes.  

Add the broccoli florets and chicken broth.  Simmer covered over low heat until broth is thickened.

Serve over prepared rice.

Leave a comment and let me know if you enjoyed!

Cauliflower Salad

You're going to look at me like I'm crazy.  Whoever sees this salad is afraid to try it.  But once I convince them to just give it a little taste, they're instantly addicted.  What I once used to prepare just for myself, I am now asked to bring along to every meal, party, and barbecue that I'm invited to.

I was originally introduced to this salad at my aunt's house and I loved it from the start.  The problem is that she doesn't use a written recipe.  After trying and failing and trying again, I finally got the measurements perfectly.  It must be perfect, because everyone loves it!  Try it; you'll love it too!

Cauliflower Salad                                                   [click to print this recipe]

1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 handful of sliced olives

3/4 cup of mayonnaise
1/2 cup of sugar
1/4 cup of water
3 tablespoons of lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of black pepper

Place the cauliflower florets into a bowl or container and rinse well with water.  Then drain.  Add the diced peppers and sliced olives to the bowl with the cauliflower.  

Combine the dressing ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and mix until it is combined well.  

Pour over vegetables and refrigerate.

If you try this recipe, leave a comment and let me know if you liked it!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Franks n' Blankets

This is seriously the most simple recipe known to mankind.  I usually make these on a Friday afternoon so the kids ok so I have something to snack on while I'm making all the delicious Shabbos (Sabbath) food.  They serve as a great filler during the meal for those guests who don't like chicken or meat because who doesn't like hot dogs?!  They'd make finger food for parties too!

I refuse to spend hours and hours wrapping teeny tiny hot dogs in little pieces of dough just to get these delicious delicacies that everyone loves.  So I found another way, and I actually like them better.  Because I use large hot dogs and cut them up, the pieces stay nice and juicy.  You might be tempted to cut them up before you bake them because it's easier to deal with the raw dough than it is to deal with the flaky dough, but try it this way first!  They will get all dried out during baking if you cut them beforehand and this way, they stay nice and juicy.

Franks n' Blankets                                                  [click to print this recipe]

1 package of hot dogs
1 package of frozen puff pastry dough squares, defrosted
1 egg
sesame seeds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line or grease a baking sheet and set aside.

Rinse and pat all the hot dogs dry; this will help them stick to the dough better.

Next take one hot dog and place it on the end of a pastry dough square, parallel to the edge.  Roll the dough all the way around the hot dog.  It will overlap at the end, which is fine.  This helps the dough stay closed during baking.  Set the hot dog roll on your prepared baking sheet and repeat with remaining hot dogs.

Beat the egg and brush over each hot dog roll.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Bake for 30-40 minutes depending on your oven, or until the dough is puffed and golden.

These franks can be served whole just like you made them; they make a wonderful appetizer!  Or for finger foods, you can chop them up.  Let them cool for about 10 minutes; this will make the flaky dough easier to cut and more likely to stick to the hot dogs.  Then cut the hot dogs into one-inch slices.

Thanks for reading!  If you try this recipe, please leave me feedback and let me know what you think!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Supper Jan 6-10, 2013

From the time that I got married some 6 years ago I've been planning my suppers in advance by the week.  It just made things easier to know what was going to be for supper as opposed to having a panic attack after work.  The one shopping trip per week was a good plus too!  After I had children I've been on and off about my menu planning, but right now I'm back on it.  When I don't plan, we don't have the greatest suppers.  When I plan, that leaves me room to try new ideas... which I love!  So here's my menu for this week.  Be forewarned: this is not my usual supper menu.  This week is devoted to cleaning out my fridge/freezer and using up whatever I have in the house.  We all need one of those weeks every now and then ;)

Sunday, January 6th: 
Leftovers from Shabbos (chicken soup, deli roll, potato kugel, baked rice)

Monday, January 7th: 
Chicken Nuggets (The frozen ones from my early pregnancy days.  Gotta' use them up!)
Savory Baked Potatoes
Corn on the Cob

Tuesday, January 8th:
Cream of Celery Soup
Macaroni and Cheese

Wednesday, January 9th:
Cream of Squash Soup
Beef & Broccoli (from my freezer)

Thursday, January 10th:
Special treat for the kids ~ hot dogs from 7-Eleven (We're lucky the Mr. is the hot dog man so my kids get treats every now and then.)

And there you have it!  Hopefully as time goes on all these recipes will be up on my blog so you can reference them.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

I Did It!

I haven't updated my weight loss since August, so I just wanted to check in.  The last I posted in August, I was at 125.5 pounds and from then until October (when I got pregnant) I went down to 118.5 pounds.  You know what that means?!


I reached my pre-Ella-pregnancy weight!

That made me a little happier about being pregnant again... and getting fatter again... and basically probably having to start all the way from the beginning.  But at least I got down to my pre-pregnancy weight, something I've never ever done before.

I've been trying to eat right while pregnant, but it's REALLY hard!  Especially during the first trimester when I was so insanely nauseous and all I could keep down was pasta and pasta and yup, more pasta.  By now I'm not that nauseous anymore, although I do have my bad days.  Still, it's so hard to tell myself that I can't eat this or that.  When I want meat, I want meat.  When I want cheese, I want cheese.  When I want veggies (which happens to be pretty often), I want veggies.  When I want rice, I want rice.  And when I want ice cream I want ice cream!  So there.  I know I should be better, because I just know I'll regret it afterwards.  But how?  How does one control pregnancy cravings?  Even in Jewish law, there are so many leniencies for pregnant women with cravings.  We get our cravings because our bodies and our babies need whatever it is we are craving.  Now that doesn't mean that we should eat candy every time we crave sugar.  If I crave candy, that means my body needs sugar, which means I can also get it from fruit which is a lot healthier.  I just gotta stick to that!

All you mommas who gain 40-60 pounds while pregnant and are back to your pre-baby shape within 6 weeks, I officially hate you.