My mother-in-law makes some amazing comfort food, and some great recipes to make with the kids. This recipe is a family favorite, and is definitely something you want to invite your children, or adult children to participate in. Everyone can decorate their own slice if you so desire. I particularly love the fruit pizza because the fresh fruit is obviously healthy, but my heart knows I'm eating a giant sugar cookie with frosting!
2 baking sheets 11x14
2 tubes of crescent roll dough
1 cup sour cream
dried seasoning packet (ranch or spinach and herb)
fresh sliced veggies (any you like)
1 tube of sugar cookie dough
8 oz. cream cheese (do not use low-fat)
powdered sugar to taste
fresh sliced fruit (any you like)
1. For both recipes, spread dough out onto the 11x14 baking sheet to form a crust - bake per instructions on package or until done
2. Let crusts cool
3. Mix sour cream and seasoning and spread onto crescent roll crust, mix cream cheese and powdered sugar and spread onto sugar dough crust
4. Decorate your pizzas with fresh sliced veggies on the crescent roll pizza, and fresh sliced fruit onto the sugar cookie pizza
Eat up my friends!
It's no secret that I love a good red wine. I tend to prefer Cabernet, because my dad once told me that it was more complex than Merlot, and that opinion has stuck. When I first turned 21, I went to the local liquor store every Thursday after closing the college dining hall, and bought something new so that I could "educate" myself. Having grown up in New Mexico and now living in Washington, my favorite wines are from those two states. What can I say? Loyalty is one of my top personal values. I'm revealing my hand here, but I very, very rarely pay more than $15 for a bottle. I've learned that my palate is not discerning enough to care/notice beyond that point. My favorite wine of all time was a Cuvee Rose from Temecula, CA for $35 a bottle, but it was not a dinner wine.
About once a year I spring for an all out dining experience. I know some people scoff at the price of high-end restaurants, but for me it's the same as buying concert tickets, or something similar for a hobby/interest that brings you great joy. Most recently, while on a work retreat, I had the pleasure of taking my long-time friend to dinner at the San Ysidro Ranch Stonehouse. While I waited for my friend to arrive, I perused the wine book. I'm not kidding. It was a book. There was an index and page numbers. I'm pretty sure it went to at least page 70. At any rate, my job was to find a decent wine I could afford. The cheapest bottle in the book was $35. When my friend arrived I asked what she'd prefer to drink. She said red, but added "anything but Merlot. It gives me headaches" A heart-sinking moment, the bottle for $35 had to be a Merlot! Our server, seeing our indecisiveness, said he would send over the sommelier. Ahhh! I can't talk to a sommelier. I will totally look like a fool, and they'll know I'm cheap. "Ok," I said with a gulp.
The sommelier sauntered over to our table in all his glory, and asked us what we like to drink. I said we like red, no Merlot, and (trying to sound cool) that we'd like something local. He kindly explained that because of the climate, Santa Barbara was known for Chardonnay, but if we'd like a red, that Pinot Noir was also grown locally, just a bit further out. I told him Pinot Noir sounded lovely. He asked if under $100 was alright. I swallowed my tongue. No seriously, I sheepishly said that was great, and felt grateful knowing that they had a bottle for sale at the low, low price of $5,000! I feel that I have to remind the reader that I work for a non-profit.
The wine was fabulous. I didn't look at the break-down when I paid. I was scared and slightly ashamed, so I don't know how much I was charged for this bottle of Melville Pinot, but I did see it in the Santa Barbara airport for around $30, and you can buy it online for as low at $26. From my experience, many restaurants charge you $8 a glass, for an $8 bottle, so that gives me an idea of the price I paid. Where am I going with this? I had an amazing meal.
Not pictured is my friend's Parmesan Crusted California Halibut, because I took a terrible picture. Lessons learned, maybe it's ok to say "no" to speaking to the sommelier? Most importantly, when your server mentions something like house-made mint-chocolate-chip ice cream three different times, just say "Yessss!"
I was recently cleaning out my pantry, and had some leftover canned pumpkin from pumpkin season, and I really didn't want to leave it until Sept. 2016. I also didn't want to make something overtly pumpkin flavored since it's January. I took to Pinterest to find some sneaky ways to use pumpkin and still bake some deliciousness. I found this easy-peasy recipe that only requires a box of brownie mix and some canned pumpkin puree, I loved that it was only two ingredients. It sounded easy, healthy, and I was going to kind of bake.
Pro-Tip - Never trust a food-blog with the word "skinny" in it.
When my son came upstairs he asked me when I was going to bake these. They had been in the oven for 30 minutes. He said they tasted likes chocolate-pumpkin-jello. My daughter (ever the optimist) said she loved that she could "bite" the brownies using her lips. They indeed tasted like chocolate. They did have a hint of pumpkin. They were vegan, which means no cholesterol. They tasted like there was no cholesterol. This is a good example of Pinterest gone awry. If you want a brownie, my advice is to eat a proper brownie. If you want to eat brownies, and stay skinny, try not to eat the whole pan. I will say that these would work as diet food, because I had no desire to keep eating them. They do make a delicious ice cream sandwich however. Oh shoot! That's like saying bacon makes salad better...
I figured since the boxed brownie and pumpkin mix was so easy, and my husband doesn't like chocolate, that I would find a pre-made blondie mix and make those as well (same day, same mistake). He scoffed. He didn't believe there was such a thing as a blondie. I later learned that he did know what they were, but had grown up calling them "cookie-bars." Sadly, our closest grocery doesn't carry blondie mix. So, I quickly took to Pinterest while at the store. Again I didn't want to buy much in the way of additonal ingredients. I was cleaning out my pantry. I found a gluten-free, vegan, paleo, blondie recipe. I though, "why not?" I may never learn. I should have known when the recipe said that sugar was optional, and that the author loved the natural sweetness of the mashed bananas on their own. I did put in the optional sugar, cause Mama didn't raise no fool.
These have also been baked for 30 minutes, and still look like I'm on a raw-food diet.
My sweet girl said these were bitter. The spices they have you use are not in balance with the minimal ingredients. If you forget the term "brownie," and "blondie" these might make a good breakfast bar. They have banana, pumpkin, and nut-butter (I used peanut because I'm cheap). In the end they got old and sad, and I gave them to our dogs as treats. I'm all for eating healthy. I love and support my vegan friends. I've went the vegan route for Lent before, and it was long enough for me to say crazy things like, "this vegan cupcake is just as good as a regular cupcake," but I think these two recipes are a case of authors that haven't had "real" food in a very long time. Maybe they just hate food...
I'm a not-for-profit worker that loves food, both healthy and indulgent. I've eaten the 12 egg omelette at Beth's Cafe: toast, hash browns, and all. Take that Adam Richman!