Pizza for Dinosaurs

Good evening friends!  I hope you’re enjoying your weekend as much as we are here.  Ours has been filled with pool adventures, distressing furniture, marathon training, harvesting veggies from our garden and paleo pizza.

Yesterday I was in the mood to make it a wine & “build-your-own” pizza night.  After we put Madelyn to bed, hubs and I set off to make our own “his & her” pizzas.  While he went the traditional route and used a pre-made crust from Trader Joe’s (that he said was really good), I went balls to the walls and made my own crust and sauce.  Since Madelyn has to go completely dairy free for a whole month, I decided that I should also probably get back to being dairy free (since cow’s dairy messes with my stomach) so I’ve been doing a lot of research on the paleo diet. While I don’t follow it to a T, I’d miss my wine way too much, I try to already eat this way anyway-more whole foods; less processed food.

So I came across a recipe on-line and recreated it so that it’d be my own.  I was so happy with how it turned out that I thought I’d share.  I also made my own pesto sauce using the garlic and basil from our garden.  AHHHMAZING! That recipe’s on here too.

Paleo Honey-Almond Flour Pizza

Ingredients:

  • 2 C almond meal
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tbsp EVOO
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • a dash of oregano & rosemary

Preheat oven to 350.  Mix all ingredients together to form a dough.  LIGHTLY oil two pieces of parchment paper and roll out the dough between the two pieces of paper. Uncover the top parchment paper and place pizza on a pizza pan or directly in the oven (On the bottom parchment paper like I did).  Heat for about 15 minutes (depending on how thick the crust is-just make sure the middle is cooked through).  Load on your ingredients and then place back in the oven for about another 15 minutes.  Eat and enjoy!  I tried the vegan shredded mozzarella from Trader Joe’s and I was pretty happy with how it turned out.  It tasted great and melted perfectly.

paleopizza

And now for the crazy amazing pesto…

Pesto Sauce

  • 3 peeled garlic cloves
  • 1/4 c pine nuts
  • 1/4 c walnuts
  • 4 c basil leaves
  • 1/2 c grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 c EVOO

Pulse the garlic and pine nuts in a food processor (or vitamix) until chopped.  Add the basil and cheese and mix until you have a smooth paste.  Scrape the side of the container and with the blade still going, slowly drizzle in the olive oil.  Process until the oil is blended through.

thebestopesto

I’m off to watch some reruns of GIRLS…I can’t believe I have to wait until 2014 for it to air again!

Summertime, Please slow down.

Happy Monday!  My weekend went by way too quickly as it usually does.  This past week, I’ve been super busy getting stuff ready for the baby and finishing up other things I wanted to get done before the baby comes…like finishing our wedding album. So I took a little break from blogging this past week to focus on that.  It’s almost done.

On Friday, I celebrated my mom’s birthday by going taking her to Lululemon and buying her her first Lulu top, dining at Via on Downer, and finishing up with some frozen yogurt at My Oh My.

We started our meal off with the Crostino Milano appetizer with gluten-free bread.  On top of the bread was spinach infused with olive oil, garlic, basil, tomatoes and goat cheese.  It was very good and just what I needed.  I’ve been skimping on veggies the past few weeks because they just haven’t appealed to me in the raw sense, but this was very satisfying.

For dinner I went with the pizza.  They have some of the best gluten-free pizza I’ve tasted.  LC and I visited their sister restaurant a few months ago, and enjoyed it so I knew this place would not disappoint.    I went with the La Bella pizza and added chicken and goat cheese.  The last time I was at Via, I had a pizza with their garlic sauce and it won my heart so I ordered another garlic sauce based pizza.  My heartburn hasn’t been too bad this pregnancy, but I wanted to err on the side of caution and forgo a tomato based sauce.  The pizza originally came with artichokes, cheese, and onions.

After dinner, we headed to a new frozen yogurt place in Milwaukee.  In the land of ice cream and frozen custard, I’m so happy to see a frozen yogurt shop.  There were tons of them in Chicago and I’ve now seen two pop up in Milwaukee.

I loved the way this place is set up.  We walked in and a girl offered us little sampling cups so that we could try whatever yogurt we wanted before we decided.  It’s self serve and their flavors change daily.  I decided on 1/2 dolce de leche and 1/2 NY cheesecake.  I topped it with some strawberries and was on my way.  You can also top your frozen yogurt with whipped cream at the cashier’s station.  The yogurt was very good and I would decide to have this over ice cream any day.  Lately, ice cream and I haven’t really meshed well.  Last time we went to Culver’s for frozen custard, I opted for a lemon Italian ice instead.  Baby really prefers fruity and cold :-)  My mom said it was the perfect ending to her birthday :-)

On Saturday I went into work for a little bit and then came home and cleaned the house.  I finally understand this “nesting” stuff.  I’m constantly cleaning up our house every chance I get and I’m starting to drive my husband crazy.  After my cleaning frenzy, we went to El Fuego for dinner and headed down to the lakefront to watch the Festa Italiana fireworks.  It was the first fireworks show that I’ve seen all year.  We missed the 4th of July fireworks due to the drought/dry grass this year.

On Sunday, I had my girlfriends over for a girls brunch and some pool time.  It was nice catching up with everyone and getting together just for fun without it revolving around a baby shower, wedding shower etc.

For brunch I made a crustless quiche and overnight baked french toast.  A friend of mine also brought over a fresh fruit salad to share.  After brunch we headed over to the pool to sit in the sun and swim around.  It was the perfect afternoon with my girls and will probably be the last time I see some of them before the baby arrives.  We all agreed that we don’t get together often enough, but when we do we pick up right where we left off.  As we get older, life gets in the way.  I’ve been extremely blessed to have the same group of girlfriends since middle school (16 or so years?).  Two of them are also pregnant and due in December.  They both recently found out that they’re expecting girls, which makes me even more anxious to find out what we’re having.  EVERYONE keeps telling me that I’m having a boy (my sister is sticking to her guns and saying girl).  And last night I had a dream that I gave birth to a boy. In the beginning, I had dreams that I was having a girl and I’ve also had a few dreams that it was a boy.  Maybe that’s because it’s what everyone is guessing that I’m having?  Who knows, but we’ll know soon enough :-)

I’m off to the craft store for a DIY project for the baby’s room and I’ll be back later with a pregnancy update!

Something to talk about: In my opinion, summer goes by way too quickly as an adult.  What’s your all-time favorite memory of summer as a child? My grandma was a teacher’s aid, so I remember spending a lot of time with her in the summer.  We’d spend time baking, going to the library, movies, and the little wading pool in our neighborhood.  I also remember making homemade GAK with her :-)

 

Friday night Pizza Night

The long awaited weekend is finally here.  After last weekend’s drill, I am ready to just take it easy and relax this weekend and get outside to enjoy this beautiful weather we’re going to be having.  No big plans for us today.  We’re going to pick up Oliver from hub’s parents and probably take him on a short little walk, since he’ll likely be tired from playing with the other dogs all week.  Tomorrow we start our birthing classes & Monday we get to hear the sweet little baby’s heart beat.

Last night, LC & I went on a little date night to Transfer Pizza.  It was our first time visiting so we didn’t really know what to expect.  I had heard a lot of good things about it from co-workers and friends so I thought we’d check it out.  Plus, the baby really wanted some pizza.  When we got there, the hostess told us it would be about a 30 minute wait.  We waited about 10 minutes before two spots opened up at the bar, so we decided to eat there instead.  Their bar is much roomier than other restaurants, we weren’t smooshed up against the people to the sides of us so it was a good alternative when you’re extremely hungry and don’t want to wait for a table.

One problem that I find at restaurants that offer gluten-free options, is that they’ll have gluten-free meals but no gluten-free appetizers.  What fun is eating dips without bread or something to dip it in?  Not at Transfer.  Imagine my excitement when I saw they offered gluten-free toasted bread along side their artichoke and spinach dip.  I was in heaven.

Full of cheese and spinach, just the way I like it.  Hubs, let me have the last few pieces because he knows that it’s not often we go places and I can just eat bread freely.  What a guy!  And when the bread was gone and it was just the dip left in the bowl, I picked up the spoon and ate it.  He gave me this look like, are you serious?  To which I responded, “What?  Spinach and cheese are good for the baby!” That put the judgy looks to rest.

A few minutes after we I was done demolishing the spinach dip, our pizza came out.  The gluten-free pizza only comes in a small, but that is definitely enough for one, if not two people.  Torn between what kind of pizza to order I settled on a traditional deluxe with peperoni.  They had everything from BBQ chicken pizza, to pesto and cheese pizza and it can all be made on a gluten-free crust.  It was a tough decision.  Hubs ordered their special for the evening, which was something similar to an italian beef sandwich.  He loved it and ate the whole thing, probably because he got shafted from the appetizer :-) I ended up taking 1/2 of my pizza home with me.

Today’s lunch!

The pizza was very good and loaded with tons of toppings.  I had whole olives falling off of my slice.   The crust was nice and crispy.  We both decided that we would definitely be back here again since we both enjoyed our pizza very much.  I’d like to go back on a Monday because they don’t do an up-charge for gluten-free crust and they have 2 for 1 bottles of New Grist, Lakefront Brewery’s gluten-free beer.  That latter part will have to wait another 7/8 months or so but still a really good deal!

I’m off to go do my prenatal Bar Method DVD, a nice strengthening workout for the day.  Enjoy the rest of your weekend.    

Homemade Pizza Co

Happy Friday!  Even though it was a short week, the first week coming off of a 10 day vacay is always hard.  Our Christmas here was really good!  I’ve been extremely tired this week, hence the lack of blogging.  After work I’ve forced myself to do some kind of workout and after that I’m usually spent.  Last night, I allowed myself a night off from workouts and I literally came home, crashed on the couch and stayed there until I went to bed.  It was glorious.

Tonight, hubs made dinner.  Well kinda.  He picked up a pizza from one of our favorite pizza places in Chicago, Homemade Pizza Co.  I LOVE this place and I love them even more now that they offer gluten-free crust.  It’s a take and bake pizza company that offers fresh ingredients and a homemade taste.  Besides making your own from scratch, it’s the next best thing.

Because I’ve been on a veggie kick this week, I ordered the spinach pie with pine nuts, feta cheese, kalamata olives, roasted garlic and sun dried tomatoes.  It was so delicious that I ate so much and now I have a little pizza baby hanging out in my belly, but it was well worth it :-)

What’s pizza night without a movie?  Tonight we’re watching One Day.  I just finished the book which was really really good so I’m hoping that the movie does not disappoint.

I can’t believe tomorrow’s New Year’s Eve!! Honestly, where did this year go?  It seems like just yesterday LC was getting back from his 2nd deployment overseas and that we were getting married.  Lots of great stuff happened in 2011 :-) Last new year’s eve I completed my first ever keg stand…and this year I have a lovely dinner date planned with my husband and I couldn’t be more excited.  After dinner, we plan to watch the fireworks near Navy Pier…weather pending!

Friday Night Pizza Night

In our house, Friday nights are usually designated pizza & a movie night.  After the long work week, it’s just nice to relax & unwind at home.  Before I went gluten free, our choices were usually Lou Malnatti’s & Homemade Pizza Co.  But last night, we had to switch things up a bit.

I used a GF pizza crust from Against the Grain that I purchased at Whole Foods.  Before it went into the oven, it didn’t look like like a typical pizza crust, it reminded me more of a pastry shell.  I topped it with pizza sauce, mushrooms, onions, spinach, chicken sausage from Trader Joe’s and mozzarella cheese.

The pizza turned out very good.  The edges were crispy and the texture was just as a pizza crust should be.  My husband said that he couldn’t even tell it was gluten free, and as a Chicago boy, he is very picky about his pizza.  I would definitely use this crust again.