Monday, March 31, 2008

Easy, Healthy, and Good

I'm back!  
Here's a winner I made recently.  It's so fast and easy, but best of all, my kids really liked it.  Don't be afraid to add the pine nuts - the kids really liked those!  I served this with some homemade bread, salad, and fresh strawberries.  Yum!

Penne with Ricotta and Pine Nuts
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 1 pound whole wheat penne pasta (health food store)
  • 1 1/2 pound baby spinach, washed
  • 2 Tb olive oil
  • Course salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  1. Preheat the oven to 350*.  Spread the pine nuts on a rimmed baking sheet; toast in the oven, tossing occasionally, until golden, 6 to 8 minutes; set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the spinach penne until al dente according to package directions, adding the fresh spinach during the last 2 minutes of cooking.  Drain; return the pasta and spinach to the pot.
  3. Add the olive oil; season generously with salt and pepper.  Toss well.
  4. Serve immediately, topped with the ricotta, pine nuts, and parmesan.  
Serves 6

I just stirred in the pine nuts and cheeses.  It didn't look as pretty, but I have found that it's better with the kids if you don't give them options.  You better try this.  It doesn't get any easier than that!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Well, the kids are out of school and Spring Break has officially begun.  The kids and I will be heading to Show Low to stay with my brother and family.  Sammi and I are hitting the slopes for a little one on one time and hopefully we will catch the last snow of the season.  

I hate to do it, but I won't be blogging until April.  I am swamped with to many things to do, so I need to step away and be productive for the rest of the month.  Don't worry, I will be back with lot's to blog about.

Until then, have a great Spring Break and a happy Easter!  

Thursday, March 13, 2008

My Day

Today I will be baking about 80 cookies. (2 baby showers this weekend)
I will be listening to lot's of podcasts and music on my ipod and dreaming about the furniture I want to buy on Craig's List.  And if I finish up before the kids get home from school,  I am going to hit Borders book store and spend my gift card my good friend Angie gave me.
What are you doing today?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Did you say PIZZA?

Jeff and I love to grill pizza.  This is the best dough recipe I have found. Just make sure you make it ahead of time.  It works great in the oven as well as the grill.  I also threw in a quick sauce recipe if you are feeling ambitious.   Yummy!

Pizza Dough

  • 1 pkg active dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
  • 1 cup warm water   
  • 1 cup ice-cold water
  • 1 Tbl sugar
  • 1 Tbl salt
  • 2 Tbl olive oil
  • About 5 1/4 to 5 1/2 cups flour

1. In a small bowl stir yeast into warm water. Let stand until yeast dissolved, about 5 minutes.

2. In another bowl, mix cold water, sugar, and salt until dissolved. Stir in olive oil.

3. In Bocsh mixer, place 5 1/4 cups flour.  Add yeast mixture to flour along with cold-water mixture.  Beat the dough on low with dough hook until smooth not sticky, about 12 minutes.  (This recipe works best in a Bocsh.  It is really heavy and can stop up the mixer.  You can do it in other mixers, just make sure you let the motor cool off periodically.)

4. Scrape dough onto floured surface. Cut dough in half.  Pull edges together on bottom and pinch and seal to form a tight ball.  Place each ball into gallon size Ziploc bag and squeeze air out.  Place in fridge leaving enough room for ball to double in size. 

 Chill at least 10 hours or up to 2 days ahead.

Recipe makes 2 pizzas

 Quick Pizza Sauce

In a bowl, mix 1 can (14oz or 1 3/4 cups) chopped or diced tomatoes including juices, 1 (6oz) can tomato paste, 2 Tbl chopped fresh basil leaves, or 2 tsp dried basil, 1 1/2 Tbl extra virgin olive oil, 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano. 1 1/2  tsp sugar, and 1/2 tsp chopped garlic.  Add salt to taste.  Makes about 2 1/2 cups.


Monday, March 10, 2008

Mom's Birthday

Here's my finished cake.  Today is my mom's birthday.  She is an amazing gardener with a green thumb.  So of course I had to do a flower cake.  I am happy to report that she could name every flower.

My sister Linnea, her kids, my parents, and I, enjoyed a nice lunch at Rumbi's to celebrate.  Happy Birthday Mom!  You are one amazing woman!
Check back in later today.  It's my mom's birthday and I am trying to finish decorating her cake before noon.  I'll post the finished product this afternoon!  Wish me luck!

Friday, March 7, 2008

My mom woke up sick today so I won't be going to the mountains.   Instead I will be doing the yard work, laundry and making more frosting flowers because Rusty figured out how to get at the last batch.  (I am still to angry to blog about it yet).  So wildflowers - can you just stick around 1 more week?
Bummer for me.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Hiking the Superstition Mountains

Here's where I will be all day tomorrow.  I love the Superstition Mountains in the spring.
My mom and I will be checking out this valley in search of wildflowers.   Wish me luck!
Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Easter Ideas!

Easter is coming quick!  I LOVE making Easter egg cookies.  These are my all time favorite.  If you need some fillers for your kids baskets, I am selling large Easter egg cookies, personalized in a bag with ribbon, for $3 dollars a cookie.  I know my kids would love it if it had their name on it.
Or if you are hosting Easter at your house, what about a cookie bouquet for a centerpiece and your guests could each take a cookie home with them.  Just thought I would throw that out there.  
I will take orders up until a week before Easter.  
(P.S.  If you are worried about that fact that I don't worry about germs as stated in my previous post -rest at ease.  I run a tight ship in the kitchen).

Monday, March 3, 2008


  • I love the outdoors and wouldn't care if I never had to wear makeup again.  
  • I secretly love to eat Fruit Loops dry.
  • I only brush my teeth in the morning.
  • I never worry about germs and am anti-hand sanitizer. (Yes I wash my hands after using the restroom,  and yes I keep a clean house.)

Now you know... can you still be friends with me?