Monday, February 28, 2011

A different kind of pizza sauce

So my mom got me a gluten-free cookbook recently and it is a little bit genius. The flour mix is good, though I still have much practicing to get the outcome right on some recipes. It's called Cooking for Isaiah by Silvana Nardone (her son's name is Isaiah and he is gluten-free and dairy-free).

Silvana has a fabulous recipe for pizza dough (hallelujah! You would not BELIEVE how hard it is to replicate pizza dough without wheat flour. It's probably right below phyllo dough on the list of impossible things to make gluten-free) and even better recipe for a pizza sauce that wheat-eaters should definitely get to enjoy as well. You're welcome in advance.

Silvana's Pizza Sauce
2 TBS olive oil
1 tsp capers - rinsed, drained, and patted dry
1 tsp tomato paste
2 seeded and chopped red bell peppers*
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 c. water**

In a skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the capers and cook until golden, about 1 minute. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the bell peppers and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 8 minutes. Stir in the vinegar and cook until tender, about 10 minutes; season with salt. Transfer to a blender or food processor **and add water; puree until smooth. Spoon onto your pizza crust like you would marinara sauce. Enjoy!

I put chicken sausage, red bell pepper rings and red onion on this pizza. I will be making this again. A lot.

* I used one red bell pepper and one yellow one. Delish!
**I didn't add any extra water to this recipe. Use your own judgment. If it's too much like paste, add the water.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

I'll take some Sherry.......Dew

I visited my parents' a couple weeks ago and my mom lent me a collection of Sherry Dew talks to listen to on my four hour drive home. It was one of my favorite car rides ever.

Sherry Dew (it feels weird to call her Sherry or Sister Dew for some reason) is an amazing speaker with insights that are so refreshing and thought-provoking. I didn't listen to all 10 CDs on the way home, as there wasn't enough time for that, but I have been listening to them here and there in 20 minute intervals. I finished them yesterday and got really sad. I picked up a lot from her words but there was one thing she talked about that really stuck with me: how would my life be different if I thought of it as a ministry? She pointed out that she didn't necessarily think that we would need to do more, we would just need to do some things differently.

I love the idea that I am an eternal being and this life of mine is my ministry.
It's going to take a while to figure out exactly what that means to me, but I know that it doesn't mean being short of patience and love. It doesn't mean slogging through my days, forgetting that I am doing the most important job in the world by being a mother. It certainly doesn't mean filling my time with to-do lists that don't matter.

I have a lot of work to do.

Eventually, in the next life, I'll reach perfection. Right now, I'm just striving for purity.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The lullaby of Broadway

Yeah. Diarrhea all day yesterday (blowout through the onesie every time) and teething all last night. I'm talking about the tiny human in my house. I don't wear onesies.

Around the 3rd time waking up in 3 hours, I wanted to wave my white flag and have someone magically step in and take care of my kid for me. Or sell her to the gypsies....either one really.

I put her on the changing table and started to check her diaper. She was being weirdly quiet (read: not screaming) so I looked up at her. She had her hands in front of her face with her fingers spread and she was staring at her fingers like it was the first time she had ever noticed them. Then she asked, "waaa?". That was it. That was all I needed. It was so funny and I started laughing.

After that, I hummed her some songs and swayed (not rocked) her back to her sleepy state.

She slept the rest of the night.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Shedd Aquarium

Good times. Although the aquatic show was disappointing. Maybe they should gear it more towards 5 year olds (read: me) instead of PETA.

Salad can be delicious

So I love a good asian salad with the water chestnuts and the sesame seeds and the dressing and the wontons. The wontons are probably the best part. The problem is this: I can't eat wontons anymore because of the whole celiac disease thing. What good is an asian chicken salad without the crunch of the wontons? How many times can I say 'wonton' in one paragraph? I was craving a-one-of-these salads so bad last week that I finally just made up my own version. I don't know why I didn't think of this earlier but I used snow peas in place of the wontons - just as much crunch and a lot healthier.

For the salad dressing:
1/4 c olive oil
1/4 c fresh squeezed orange juice
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp coconut milk (optional)
1 tsp rice vinegar
1 TBS agave nectar or honey

Mix everything together and refrigerate until ready to serve.

For the chicken:
(you can obviously nix the meat)
3 med/small chicken breast
3 cloves of garlic, roasted*
1 TBS oil
1 splash of sesame seed oil
1 inch of ginger root, peeled and sliced
1/4 c soy sauce
1/4 brown sugar
1 TBS fish (or oyster) sauce
Mix the soy sauce and sugar. Warm the oil and sesame seed oil in a skillet and sautee the garlic. Add the chicken and cook until almost done. Add the ginger, sugar and soy sauce, and fish sauce. Reduce heat and simmer for 7ish minutes (or until most of liquid evaporates). Remove the ginger chips when done.

*You can just mince the garlic but I just love the creamy consistency of roasted garlic.

For the salad:
2 large hearts of romaine, washed and chopped
1 red pepper
1 or 2 handfuls of snow peas
2 oranges, pith removed, sections cut out and chopped
1 can of sliced water chestnuts, chopped
2 green onions, chopped

Assemble salad, put chicken on top. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve with dressing. Delish.

Alexander and I..... well, we're going to Australia

Bah. Today is one of those days where I'm in a bad mood and I just can't shake it and "bah" is really the best sentiment to describe it.

It probably doesn't help that I keep messing up everything I do. (Side rant: If you're going to make a child's dress pattern 12 months to 6T, I would suggest making not only the 3T and 4T dresses yourself but also the 12 month dress so you realize that it is close to impossible to turn the dress right side out through such a teensy shoulder strap. It probably doesn't help that this material frays easily and I should have quadruple-enforced the seam. End of side rant.) And when "everything I do" means sewing a toddler dress and being a mom, I think we can all agree that I'm being a titch dramatic. I mean, my kid is still alive and generally happy but she won't take a nap and I can't make her see that just because she can does not mean she should unscrew the caps to the 16 lip glosses in my purse and taste all of them. How do I classify eating lip gloss as me messing up being a mom? I didn't stop her until the 4th one (she has a thing for CO Bigelow). Let's just say that, if I were 13, I'd probably pick a fight with my mom over something stupid, tell her she was the worst mom ever, storm off to my room and slam the door.

Even sweet baby kisses aren't being fully enjoyed by my scrooge mcduck self.

So I'm blogging. You can't mess that up, right? Not that I want to fill the internet with more negativity but this isn't really negative for anyone, I think. It is therapy for me and some laughs at my ridiculousness for you. You are welcome.

So while she is FINALLY taking a nap....maybe... (she tried to go from 2 naps to 0 but realized she needs at least 1), I will look at her one-year-old pictures and smile, eat some chocolate, cut some more pattern pieces for her dress, and remember that the days are long but the weeks fly by.

Update: No nap. Just screaming. Bah.

Friday, February 11, 2011


In the past few days my heart has been touched and slightly broken learning about some babies that didn't get to stay on this earth for very long.

I am beyond grateful for my healthy, happy, sassy little girl. I am grateful that I get to wake up to her babbles and snuggles every morning. I am grateful to have such a sweet, special spirit in my home who challenges me every day. I am grateful I get to be with her for eternity and for the comfort that knowledge gives me.

I am so grateful

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Tiffany Epiphanies

Things I have realized/learned today:

1) If your thighs don't naturally touch when you walk you will look awkward on an elliptical. QED.

2) If you really want to know about the area school systems, hang out in the locker room at the Y for a while. And eavesdrop. I never do this because eavesdropping is rude (read: I always do this even though eavesdropping is rude).

3) Whoever gets on a weight machine after me without adjusting the settings probably feels like a teeny oompa-loompa. Unless they are also large in stature.

4) The older gentleman at the Y who chats with me every morning is actually hitting on me. I will inwardly cringe when he calls me "sweetheart" and stares inappropriately at me henceforward.

5) I still have a lot to learn about being a woman. I would like to thank the gaggle of women in their 50s on exercise bikes discussing their mammograms and menopause today. I SWEAR I WASN'T EAVESDROPPING THIS TIME. I guess hearing fades with the ability to bear children because they were basically yelling about their sore boobs to the entire gym.

Thank you, life, for these lessons.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A little pretty: felt flowers

I made some of these for my nieces' birthdays this month and I think I'll make a few for me. So simple and so cute!
Materials needed:
felt in various, matching colors
flower template (you can make your own or use this one)
scissors and pins
thread and needle
button (optional)
hot glue gun
barrette, headband, or alligator clip

Cut out your template pieces and pin them on your felt.

Cut out the felt, unpin them from the template, layer the petals in an aesthetically pleasing configuration, and sew them together in the middle (I did a couple stitches in the middle on the big ones and sewed a button on securely over the stitching to hide it. Also, I hot glued a couple of the bigger petals to each other for reinforcement). Hot glue your flower onto your hair piece and you're done!

Super easy. Very cute. Very cheap. Totally my kind.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011