We love pizza here at my house and I’m sure most of you do as well. I decided recently to start making my own pizza at home because the local place I normally order from has changed their recipe and it’s a bit gross. The other place I used as my number 2, I don’t like the way their crust tastes usually. It always tastes stale to me for some reason. It really isn’t hard to make pizza. It’s just a lot easier to dial a phone number and pay versus making it on your own. The convenience of it is the only reason I used to order it. Normally, I save my homemade pizza for Christmas Eve and have my son help me through the process. It’s our fun tradition I started a few years ago because I’m sentimental like that. I figured I would pull this out through the year because even though it may take some extra time to make, it’s well worth it in the end.
Who doesn’t love a good meatball? Many stores sell them for convenience but you can make these at home with a little time and patience. They are fun to make and easy for any kind of cook.
Smoothies are probably one of the best treats that are fast and relatively easy to make.
When it’s warm outside, I usually don’t like to eat hearty foods, or really hot dishes. This is a very easy, thrown together salad that I eat for lunch each day. (My Big Salad.) I rough chop ¼ green pepper, ¼ red pepper, ½ tomato, ½ small head of ice burg lettuce, ½ of an avocado, ¼ cucumber, some red onion finely chopped, and some black pepper. If I’m feeling up to it, I may add two Chik Patties from the MorningStar Farms line of veggie foods, or actual cooked chicken. I also add any dressing I feel like each day. The mixture will taste great regardless. It may seem like a lot to cut up, so feel free to cut a lot up at once and bag the mixture into smaller bags and keep in the fridge to eat through the week.
The one thing I don’t actively add is any kind of cheese to the salad. I know it’s tempting to pile on the cheese because cheese is amazing, but that can add an unreasonably amount of calories very quickly, and just about counter act any health benefit eating a salad does for your body. If I want a cheese taste, I’ll opt for a dressing with cheese in it. A favorite of mine is the feta dressing from Trader Joes, or a creamy Caesar dressing in full regular fat variety. I don’t bother with low calorie dressing. It usually tastes horrible. I’m not interested in suffering.
Feel free to add any of your favorites to your own mixtures: whether it’s fruit, seeds, olives, carrots – whatever, make it delicious, and make it yours.
Since Winter is finally winding down, I wanted to post one last hot, home made meal for you all to enjoy. There are a lot of pre-made frozen items we love, but don’t realize how easy they are to make at home. You probably have most of the ingredients already in your pantry. I love pot pies because they are amazingly delicious!
With Spring just around the corner, I wanted to focus on a more hearty meal this week. Sheppard’s Pie is a classic dish that is incredibly easy to throw together with items you already have in your pantry, fridge, and freezer. It’s a layer of mashed potatoes on top of a beef mixture baked together for a very yummy meal.
Potatoes mixture: I know everyone has a favorite way to make mashed potatoes. Some use cream cheese, extra butter, sour cream, and so on. This time I used red potatoes with a pack of onion mix, butter, and milk mashed together. I have found that using instant potatoes doesn’t taste as good in a Sheppard’s Pie. It also doesn’t bake as well either. I have found it burns a lot faster than real potatoes. Taste the final product before you spoon it on to the beef mixture so it’s to your liking.
Beef mixture: I don’t eat pork, so I don’t mix it with the ground beef. I know traditional Sheppard’s Pie uses pork and sometimes lamb as well. If you do, make sure all the meat is cooked properly and seasoned well. With just ground beef, I season it with salt, pepper, basil, garlic, oregano, with chopped white onions and green peppers. It will smell amazing. You can add mixed vegetables as well if you prefer. My family prefers the vegetables on the side instead.
Once both parts are made, spoon the beef mixture first into a deep pan, then spread the potatoes on top. Stick in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes uncovered. I let it sit on the stove covered for about 10 minutes afterward before serving it.
This is a great dish for all the “meat & potato” lovers out there, and just in time for St. Patty’s Day.
I hope you are all fairing well and staying warm through this winter season. This weeks entry is a favorite in my house. My son affectionately calls it, “Chip and Dip” but it’s a basic filling for any kind of taco shell, burrito, tortilla chips – whatever you want. It can be made with any protein base and works all year round.