16 September 2009

like mother like daughter

so, last night we made L's meatballs.....tonight we made a recipe courtesy of her daughter, my niece (thanks E!).  pepperoni bread - i simply can't describe how really good it is.  and how easy it is to make.  even someone as culinarily-challenged (yes, i did just make that word up, shut up giada) as i am, managed just fine.  actually, my daughter did most of the work, i just did the rolling before baking, and the eating after.  add a tossed green salad and it's the perfect meal.

E's pepperoni bread

1 tube ready/to/bake pizza crust
pepperoni slices
shredded low-fat mozzarella cheese (helps to ease the guilt)
italian seasoning

that's it, honestly.  i love making things that don't require lots of ingredients.

anyway, you roll the pizza dough out into a rectangle, then lightly sprinkle it all over with the seasoning.  i've seen a recipe where you spread a layer of butter (!) on the dough before sprinkling the seasoning, but we wanted to eat chocolate chip cookies later so we skipped the butter fat.  i don't think you need it at all, actually.  then spread a layer of the cheese, then a layer of pepperoni, then another light layer of cheese.  you can also sprinkle a little bit of grated parm on top for a nice twist.

then you roll it (like you're making a jelly roll.  not that i've ever done that, but that's what the "other" recipes say to do) and kindof press the edges closed.  it looks like a fat dough meatloaf, or a rectangular calzone.

bake at 375 for between 12-17 minutes (light brown) depending on your oven....

slice and eat.  a very quick and easy meal when you have sports practices, back-to-school night, and homework all at once (my life today).

one note -- we used regular pepperoni, and while it was very good, it was a tad greasy as pepperoni is wont to be.  i think we'll use turkey pepperoni (hormel makes the best and you can buy it in a little resealable bag) next time and see how it changes the texture and taste.  it's probably much better for you too.

sometimes these simple recipes are awesome to have in your hip pocket.  i've GOT to get out of the habit of looking at the clock at 5:50 pm and realizing it's time for dinner and 1) not only do i not have a plan for what we are going to eat, but 2) i don't have anything from which to make a decent dinner.

i think this is going to be one of my Go-To recipes.  

15 September 2009

something new

isn't it amazing that feeling you get when you try to do something for the first time --- and it works?

try making meatballs from scratch.  yes, i am on the north side of 40 and have never attempted it.  but i was motivated by my sister's story of meatball-making with my two nephews, and how much fun it seemed.  she is an amazing cook, and she really enjoys it.  i don't.  i cook so we can eat.  period, the end.  but i've got to do something to make the dinner-hour prep and cook time less onerous.  less of a torture session, with audible sighs of distaste, and more something i look forward to - or at least something i can survive with a minimum of frustration.  so i got my sister's recipe, hit the store and put on my apron.  literally and figuratively.  (i can hear the chortling from all who know me, but honestly i just didn't want to get sauce raw meat oil/grease crap all over my clothes.  you know how i am when i eat, it's much worse when i cook.  frightening.)  anyway, they were really good (thanks L) and i'm a trifle embarrassed i was too intimidated to try them before now.  not really all that difficult, and very tasty.....

or, another new (and frankly, terrifying) thing........like writing a blog - and actually publishing it.....i really enjoy the blogs i read most days, and find myself feeling like they are my buds, my cohorts, my pals.  they make me laugh, and they also remind me that there are other people/women out there who might be going through what i'm going through, or feeling what i'm feeling.

my sosister-in-law (slang for sortof sister-in-law, she's actually my sister's sister-in-law) writes an on-line journal and i love it.  i enjoy reading about the things that bring her happiness, and the things that challenge her....the funny things her kids do and say........and about the relationships with those she loves.  you know, all of the important things in Life.  she's a really good writer and i felt inspired after i started reading her posts on a daily basis (thanks girlysmack).

so i figured that maybe writing one myself would be a good, even cathartic, experience.  it certainly can't hurt, right?  and even if it does, probably only for a little while.   !!!!!!!!!!!!!

i'm a very private person, as my family can attest.  i don't put myself Out There very much, and keep a lot of things inside.  i'm one of those people who lets everything percolate for a while in my head......until i come to a solution or to a place where i feel better about things.  i'm not a talker, a communicator or a verbalizer.  it's a character flaw, or maybe just a character trait,  but i'm pretty sure i'm hard-wired that way.  sometimes it is actually physically impossible for me to talk about Anything until i've had a chance to go round and round in my brain and heart about it all.  so having stuff out there that others can read has been kindof a big step for me.  but i'm hopeful that putting things in writing will help me to get some clarity.  the written word has a tendency to force you to look at things more concretely.  writing also makes me feel ok about myself, as if i've actually accomplished something positive.  and i'm in real need of that right now.  so here goes. 

anyway, lately i've been feeling.........stagnant? stifled?  certainly unmotivated and uninspired.  i'm not sure. i've just been floundering.  so i'm forcing myself to do things i don't regularly or normally do, in the hopes that i will snap out of this mini-funk and feel better.  meatballing and blogging.  wow.

i'm actually thrilled that we had homemade meatballs tonight.  maybe not an earth-shattering event for some, but pretty big for me.  and i'm actually cool with writing about it and about other stuff too.

i've been inspired by many, influenced by a few, and pushed by even fewer.  meatballs and blogs. who knew.
we'll see how it goes.

14 September 2009


had the pleasure of spending the weekend with "the babies" as my daughter calls them.  my 3 1/2 year old nephew and 2 year old niece.  it was amazing.

i love the unadulterated joy you feel inside when a child's face lights up when they see you.......or how their little sleep-creased pink faces, upon awakening from a nap, can make your heart actually skip a beat.  my kids are older now so i don't get the unconditional displays of affection from them that i used to enjoy so much when they were little.  but i still get immeasurable joy from the pleasure of their company.

note to self about an interesting phenomenom - i had somewhat forgotten that a toddler's main job in life is to define the word "mercurial".  the swift change from happy to angry to sad to joyful is exhausting to watch!  can you imagine how tiring it is to actually BE that little person? 

i think that the memories of tantrum-filled days and restless nights mellow and fade with time.   how else would we be able to gird ourselves for the challenges of teenagers?

parenting.  an amazing journey. 

13 September 2009


kindof just occurred to me that summer is really over.  as in OVER.  while the weather is still warm and the sun still bright, the kids are back to school, the pools are closed, there is no beach traffic on I-95, football has begun, and it's dark just after 7.  i love summer.  LIVE for summer.  and this year has been no exception.  i think i could live at the beach year-round - i love the ocean.  the tranquility on a calm day, the angry water on a stormy day, the endless sound of the waves crashing........guess i'll keep buying lottery tickets.