Apple, Goat Cheese, and Pecan Pizza

So this was a fabulous dinner for a super busy night!

And it’s Christmas colors!!!

Straight up from Cooking Light. I emailed Kevin and asked him to pick up a few ingredients on the way home from work — even the thyme!  I usually skip the fancy ingredients, and we already had pecans at home leftover from Thanksgiving.

Apple, Goat Cheese, & Pecan Pizza (via Cooking Light)

Ingredients:

  • 1 (1-pound) six-grain pizza crust (or see homemade crust below)
  • Cooking spray
  • 3 cups thinly sliced Fuji apple (about 8 ounces) 
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) crumbled goat cheese
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons honey
  • 2 cups baby arugula
  • 3 tablespoons chopped pecans, toasted 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450°.
  2. Place pizza crust on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Arrange apple slices evenly over pizza crust; top with cheese. Sprinkle thyme evenly over cheese. Bake at 450° for 8 minutes or until cheese melts and begins to brown.
  3. Combine oil and next 3 ingredients (through honey) in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add arugula; toss gently to coat. Sprinkle pecans evenly over pizza; top with arugula mixture. Cut pizza into 6 wedges.

One of my students was in Jamaica this week so I had time to make a homemade crust in between lessons:

Thin Pizza Crust (via MyRecipes)

  • 1 package(s) active dry yeast (2.25 tsp)
  • 1/4 teaspoon(s) granulated sugar (or honey)
  • 3/4 cup(s) 110 degree water
  • 1 3/4 cup(s) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) salt

Directions:

  1. Dissolve yeast and sugar in water; allow to rest for 8 minutes.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine flour and salt.
  3. Pour yeast mixture over flour mixture and mix well with a heavy spoon.
  4. Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead for 2 minutes.
  5. Working from the edges to the center, press dough into a 12″ circle. We’ve also found that holding the dough up, off the counter and stretching it works well, too (keep rotating the dough circle as you stretch to keep an even circle forming).
  6. Place dough on a lightly greased pizza pan and stretch dough to edges.
  7. Spread sauce over crust and top with cheese and desired toppings.
  8. Bake in a 500 degree oven for 8-12 minutes, or until edges are golden.

I sent Kevin to the grocery store unsupervised…. he came back with dark chocolate kisses and red hot blues. What a sweetheart!

Oh. And a huge $10 container of garlic!! Lol.

You can see it behind the locos on the counter – haha. And you can also spot my drooping poinsettia that I”m trying to coax back to life!

Here’s Pippa being cute:

 

And one for the Boyd fans:

I couldn’t believe it! Boyd jumped up on the piano bench to hang out tonight. You should see him trying to get comfortable on it. Doesn’t he look like he loves me???  He was feeling a little sickly today. He eats too much stuff out the in the yard (like wood chips).

Have a good night (or morning)! :)

My Graduation Gift

I know.

You might be a little confused. Kevin is the one graduated, but I got a gift!! But let’s face it, he probably couldn’t have made it through the MBA program without all of the cookies.

It was definitely a surprise. Kevin just gave it to me about an hour ago as sort of an early birthday present. Don’t worry. I’m already trying to define this. Is it REALLY a birthday present? I don’t know if I can count it so early… He had it delivered to his office. Super tricky. But we actually had to drive over there tonight to pick it up since he didn’t want to bring it home on his bike. Haha.

It’s a new Macbook!!! I’m so happy!!! My old one has been making blogging miserable because it runs so slowly and none of the browsers can be updated! So they were crashing constantly. It was so frustrating!!

But I do feel sad that it’s not white!

But it’s so skinny!! And I don’t constantly see the waiting wheel when I click on something.

Want to see a picture of me the LAST time (and the first time, actually) I got a new Macbook?

I know you do. July 2008, my friends.

Sitting in my parents’ living room. Just a few days before shipping out to the Dominican Republic for the first time. In fact, you can see my pink polka dot suitcase in the porch behind me.

Pre-blog. Pre-Kevin. Pre-Warby Parker.

Same nerdy facial expressions.

Here’s what I looked like with 3 of my younger siblings around the same time:

And now Josiah is a senior! And Hannah is running cross-country. Even my baby sister, AJ, has grown up a little!

A new Macbook is like the beginning of a new era! One with no homework! Two dogs! A green piano. Thousands of burpees!

 

That’s so Pippa!

Wedging her little nose with her toy in between our laptop knees. Kevin and I already have plans in the works to protect my new laptop from the dogs. They’re very boisterous and have a tendency to knock things off our little tv table work stations. So we’ve done some furniture rearranging.

Earlier…

3 miles with Pippa Cordelia +

Today’s WOD: (via GPP)

Afterburner

4 rounds for time:

800m run
30 V-ups
30 KB swings 25/35

I finished in 29:04. I was shooting for finishing in under 30. The V-ups really slowed me down. I had never done them before, and I wasn’t being overly graceful. After two rounds, I reverted to sit-ups because my form was just getting UGLY!

After my workout, I spent some time on studio business as well as PARTY business. Here’s a little peek at the invitation:

If it so happens that you will be around and I didn’t invite you… I would love to have you! Blogger friends are certainly included!!! The cookies are irresistible. Why do you think I was polling you on Facebook the other day? :) Just send me an email so I can add another 50 cookies. 50 cookies per person is about right, isn’t it? I want some to send home with everyone! :)

I have to go play with my new computer now!

Macs or the other kind? I think you know. And I’m winning Kevin over to my side.

What’s the first thing you would do on a new computer? Apparently, move the dock to the left side. And comment on Julie’s new baby!

Apples & Snaps + DR Trip Wrap-Up

Oh my. Back to work this morning already. It wasn’t so bad. Especially knowing that it was already Wednesday!!

Plus it was good to see all my co-workers again. But I always have a hard time describing trips to them. This one in particular. Yes, I had a wonderful time, but it also reminded me of how much I miss everyone in the DR. How a little piece of my heart will always be there. But then again, I missed Kevin dreadfully while I was away!! The apple and the Snaps helped. ;) I wish I could say that’s all the Snaps I ate. But they were right by the printer, and I had a lot of printing to do!

How sweet is this? Kevin bought two avocados a few days ago so they’d be ripe when I got home. And we thought it didn’t get any better than frying pans and flowers…  Since my body has been sugared and up and deprived of nutrients for the past week, I was all over the veggies tonight. Romaine + argula topped with black beans, avo, salsa, and some sharp cheddar.

Yay WOD day! I was nervous I was going to be totally awful after my break from strength training. And I was basically right.

12 Minutes AMRAP

I managed to injure myself on round 1 of wall balls. They really are not my strong point. I’m thinking it’s because of my supreme lack of sports ability. And my vision!! I smashed my poor right hand when I tried to catch about #3. And then on my first round of kettlebell swings, I lost control of the kettlebell and it actually flipped over my head. That really freaked me out so I lowered the weight and slowed down. I usually don’t overestimate the weights I can handle but I guess I got a little carried away today in my eagerness to get cracking again!

I finished 7 rounds + 10 Wall Balls and 5 KB Swings. So basically I was 5 KB Swings away from 7 rounds. If I hadn’t made mistakes, I would’ve certainly made it. Kevin finished a solid 8 rounds. He’s way better at both the exercises, but he says his arms are tired after using a heavier 40lb kb.

I had a few more pictures I wanted to share from my big DR trip if you’ll indulge me. :)

Sunday night…

We had a big shindig at my old apartment, inviting a bunch of guys from church over for lasagna, garlic bread, salad, Funfetti cake, and, of course, dominoes.

The three of us are pros at host/hostessing together. Does my dress look familiar? It was Megan’s bridesmaid dress for our wedding last year. I also wore Amy’s dress on my 27th birthday. Aimee… I’ml looking for your dress next! I’ve taken reuseable bridesmaids dresses to a whole new level. :)

Predictably, when the food was eaten up, the dominoes were busted out.

I’m not really allowed to play since I’m truly awful. That’s fine by me. My adopted son Morys and I both get extremely nervous when people get crazy competitive. We’d rather make jokes and be wallflowers!

And eat leftover rainbow chip frosting.

Our old roommate, Christine (two years back) came over with her husband. It was so good catching up with her. She’s still teaching the kindergarteners and her husband got a visa to go visit the States. Yay!

Monday…

I failed to take many pictures because I was at my old school most of the day. I read to Megan’s class, visited Lindsay’s (a new who teacher who I named as my replacement before leaving), and had the opportunity to share some of my testimony with Jake’s Bible classes.

Megan teaches a basketball class for the kids after school, and I offered to take it over for the day while she got caught up on some grading.

Yeah. I know that doesn’t look like basketball. It was their last day so we played some four square for fun. I was home schooled so I’m not really that good at it, but the kids showed me the ropes.

I think this photo explains exactly why I’m a failure at wall balls!! :)

Cheesing it with an old student of mine. If you look directly behind me, that building is where my old classroom was! I seriously didn’t have the heart to look in there, and I hated to bother the new teacher since I hadn’t really met him. So I just let it go for now. I mean, you never know what he’s done with all my Boomwhackers!! Haha.

One last outing with the chi chi bon bon before leaving the country. I couldn’t leave without a little Yogen Früz! I always choosecherry y fresa. One of my favorite treats ever!

Ever played dominoes? I mean like the real ones.Or four square? I hear it’s good to be the king.

Can you eat frosting from a can? For sure. Weird, huh? Since I’m not even a sweets person most of the time. But I love frosting!

Ever reworn a bridesmaid dress? Megan’s and Amy’s from my wedding! :)

The Office

First! Happy 4 month anniversary to my husband! I know you were looking forward to a sappy marriage diaries post, but I’m going to save that till my next day off! It’s tough now that I have a day job!

I wasn’t exactly dreading my first day @ my new job, but I definitely wasn’t looking forward to it! I tried to keep things positive and left my slippers by the door to keep me cozy the minute I walked in the door. I don’t know why I was planning that far ahead at 6AM!

If only I could’ve set  a timer for the fireplace too! I was chilly this morning!

Of course, we had to walk this little furball before breakfast! He’s lucky he’s cute! I probably wouldn’t walk with the boys in the morning except that I am trying to prove that I am responsible enough for my Vizsla!

Work outfit! I love this animal print shirt I scored at TJ Maxx in Roch. It has this cute little gather that’s hard to make out in the picture, but trust me – very figure flattering!

My office is on floor 12. Isn’t that completely insane??? I’ve never worked above floor 2 in my life. I seriously want to do a disaster drill. I should probably check out what natural disasters are possible in Colorado. That would probably have been helpful prior to my earthquake experience in the DR. I thought it was a tornado… you can take a girl out of the Midwest…

Can I just tell you a few things about my job? It’s my blog, right? First, this sounds like complaining, but I’ll just try to relate the facts. Ok, it’s a little disappointing that my “cube” area is totally on like the little end cap. The older I get, the more antisocial introverted I get so I like a little space to try to surreptitiously practice my office yoga. And there’s not even a decent drawer to text in! Haha.

Secondly, it’s easy. I was all auditing away this afternoon. Seriously. They unleashed me and my red pen, and there was a flurry of productivity! Yay! I like that. I love being busy. It’s so funny because  when you’re a teacher, you’re thinking please Lord, just let me sit at my desk for two seconds without someone asking for a Band-aid. And now, I’ll do anything to get away from my desk. I feel more out of shape already!

Through a series of unfortunate events, my husband totally abandoned me on the first day of us working for the same company. He was busy after being gone for a week, and he had a business lunch on his calendar that he had forgotten about. He redeemed himself by bringing me Subway & buffalo pretzel crisps, but I ended up walking most of the way home.

On the way home, I got distracted by something shiny sweaty! There’s a big gym between our office and our apartment so I decided to check it out. I would love to have a gym right there because I know I’ll always be waiting on Kevin to get done with work, and I’d like to do something productive. The gym was okay. It was PACKED after work, and they don’t offer very many classes. But they did have plenty of cardio equipment, and Body Pump which I’ve been curious to try. Ugh. They totally lost me when they introduced me to one of their trainers. She asked me what my goal was, and I told her I was interested in slashing a few pounds to make me a faster runner. She tried to tell me that I was wrong, and that I needed resistance training to make me stronger and that would make me faster. I don’t trust trainers. I’ve worked out with two and on both occasions I have both bulked up and gained weight. I just have one of those bodies – I guess I could be a bodybuilder if I was into that kinda thing. I told her no thank you as kindly as I could. One of the super peppy membership mongers sensed my mood and steered me into a different direction. I will say that membership is very affordable… Maybe… Convenience is definitely key for me in choosing a gym. I would hate a 10-minute drive to the gym because that would be 20 minutes wasted that I could be working out. Or blogging. Haha. :)

Kevin & I shared a Honeycrisp with some cheese before heading to our new apartment’s gym. My eyes were CRAZY SORE after looking at numbers and computer screens all day so I needed a little boost. I didn’t notice until the end of the day, but the whole glasses/reading combo gave me a nasty headache.

I ran 5.10 miles. I’m not sure of my time because the stupid treadmill stopped and reset when I went to get a drink. Even though I managed 43 miles during vacation week (that half-marathon really helped), I still felt lazy and even got a side ache! I haven’t had one of those in a month or two! If not more!

We had a delicious dinner, but I’ve gotten crazy wordy so I’ll save that for tomorrow!

What’s the highest floor you’ve ever worked on? Schools tend to be only a few floors so that’s probably the reason.

Any tips for staying active in the office? I like to walk to the printer for every single copy I make. And I’m a temp. I make a lot of copies.

What are you priorities in looking for a new gym? Treadmills. Group classes. Location.

Caramel Apple Squares + How I Got Habanera In My Head

Caramel Apple Bars (via my baking addiction)

Ingredients
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup chopped apple
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/4 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9×13 inch pan. Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon; set aside.
2. In a large bowl, mix together melted butter, brown sugar, and 1 cup of white sugar with a wooden spoon until smooth. Stir in the eggs and vanilla. Blend in the flour mixture until just combined, then stir in the apples and walnuts.
3. Spread the mixture evenly into the prepared pan. In a cup or small bowl, stir together the remaining cinnamon and sugar; sprinkle over the top of the bars.
4. Bake for 30-35 minutes in preheated oven; finished bars should spring back when lightly touched. Cool in the pan, and cut into squares.
5. After these cooled I drizzled them with melted Kraft Caramel Bits! Enjoy!

I promise you that my husband could live on three foods: apple crisp, chocolate chip cookies, and pizza! Tonight he wanted pizza and apple crisp, but I was able to persuade him to try them with a twist. I get bored of cooking the same things all the time! Kevin is always very suspicious of twists on his favorite foods, but they usually win him over. He admitted that he enjoyed these, that they were “amazing”, and “right up there with apple crisp.” And I quote: “I can’t take apple crisp off its pedestal.” Nerd.

While I was out on my sweet but snowy 7 miler, Kevin seriously depleted our Diet Coke supply. And the cold weather was a good excuse for a Skinny Vanilla Latte. He also finished of all the Reese’s Pieces Cookies! There about 20, I just made them yesterday, and I didn’t eat any!!!

And yeah, my husband is wearing North Face. I think he looks hott in that fleece, or trust me, it would’ve gotten shrunk in the drier by now. ;)

We also picked up some dinner and baking supplies to keep me busy in the kitchen while Kevin slaved away on his homework. I am an infamously slow walker. I have no idea why because that’s totally not my personality, and I’m not really a rose-smeller. I just kind of meander along, especially in trips from the parking garage to our apartment. This literally may be the one thing that Kevin is faster at than me so he likes to rub it in.

My husband was apparently in the mood to antagonize me today! He’s probably just bored silly from all the homework so he has to find a girl to torture. I know these things. I’m deathly afraid of the Pillsbury poppy tubes. I always make someone else open them. I hate that little pop! It’s like popping a balloon. Yuck! Kevin thought it would be cool to put me in a headlock and do it in front of my face. But I wriggled out of his grasp!

I immediately set to work on dinner & dessert. As you can see my bloody toe is now properly bandaged.

I spotted this cheese in the grocery store and knew we’d love it our little pizza. Ever since I can’t stop annoyingly humming Carmen’s Habanera. (Here’s an adorable video of a little girl playing a transcription for piano!) I’m probably going to have to listen to it 20+ times before I get it out of my head!

I got lazy with dinner. I had something totally cute in mind, but I started complaining aloud to myself that I didn’t want to make it. So Kevin James got his way with the pizza. We used the cheater Pillsbury crust and topped it with turkey pepperonis, green peppers, and the habanero cheese. My side had pineapple tidbits. It still breaks my heart that Kevin doesn’t like pineapple on pizza. I think he just can’t get over mixing things that are sweet & savory. I’ll trick him into it slowly, don’t worry. He barely even knows how to open the refrigerator after three short months of marriage! The only reason he remembers is because he has to get out the milk for our cereal in the morning because my eyes aren’t opened yet!

Favorite Starbucks drink? I’ve been totally won over by the Skinny Vanilla Latte. Otherwise it’s just a black coffee as bold as possible. I always just drink coffee at home. Yes, I’m continuing to brag about that. I’m just so proud that I trained myself to drink coffee black!! Kevin doesn’t really like anything, but he sometimes drinks my same drink. Copycat. Today he ordered a Tall, and I got his leftovers!

Slow walker or fast walker? I basically only walk quickly when I’m shopping. Clothes shopping. Not grocery shopping. I have a super slow supermercado walk!

Any ideas for entertaining me on a road trip? I am nervous about our drive to Minnesota next weekend. I like to read in cars, but I get restless unless I’m really hooked. I want to stop every hour and run a mile. That sounds fun, right?

Oodles of Strudels!

Today my mom & baby sisters came over to make strudel! I love the strudel making process because it’s always a whole day with a kitchen full of females! It’s a time for chatting and bonding. And today was no exception. Pictured above is a “vintage” magazine clipping that my mom found for Grandma Mary Kay while she was in college! I thought it was so cute that I had to share!



The egg in the well!


Stretching it out. Hannah and I were to prissy to do this part, but Mom and AJ weren’t afraid to get their hands dirty!

The strudel dome!

Flouring the tablecloth is fun times!

The person who ACTUALLY did all the work. ;)

What is that NERDLE doing off in the corner!?!?

Stretching out the dough. It felt so cool!

Apple strudel! I knew my husband would go BANANAS for this because he loves apple crisp!

This step was probably my favorite. Rolling it towards the center of the table.


The rolls are ready to go in the pan!


Finished products!

We also made a cabbage version and a peaches + blueberries variation! If you’re interested in trying it for yourself, click “more” to see the recipe + a pumpkin variation!

Continue reading

The Newlywed Diet: 7-5-11

This new part of the blog may not be of interest to all, but food is delicious and we are inherently nosy — so it won’t kill you.

A (hopefully) brief preface.

During the honeymoon, Kevin James and I ate without abandon. It was so fun! I know he’s a manly man, but let’s face the facts – I can eat him under the table. It was fun because I ate things I never really eat. You see, I like to eat junk food. In fact, I love to eat junk food. But basically, I’m all or nothing. You give me a candy bar, no matter how big it is, I will eat the entire thing. So generally, it’s just best that I don’t even take a nibble. Sweets are not my #1 thing – I’m a salt fieeeeeend! So I’ll avoid them in favor of “wasting” any extra fun calories on CHIPS!! But during the honymoon I ate monster cookies and ice cream bars and Oreos and DQ Blizzards and Old Country Buffet. The food was INSANE! It was like food heaven. But it only took about three days for me to start to get tired of it and dial it back a little. So I was really looking forward to starting our Newlywed Diet today. It’s not really a diet, per se. But I, unlike many people, am not afraid of the word diet. I think diets are kind of fun. Like a little game or a challenge. I never really gain/lose that much weight, but I like setting the goals and competing with myself.

I’m going to craft my own plan as I go along. It’s my game so I can play it how I want. I’ll go ahead and use the MyPlate as a guide:

I’m also trying my hardest to cut down on Diet Coke and drink more water. Exercise is, hands down, where I own the healthy lifestyle but I’ve been failing a bit in that area lately a well. It’s totally an excuse but I’m going to blame it on Kevin’s hamstring problems. We usually run together, so I just couldn’t motivate myself to run on the honeymoon without my honey!!! But trust me, that will be rectified! :)

On that note, check out today’s eats!

I started the morning off bright and early with some heart healthy oatmeal. I sweetened it with some Truvia I forced Kevin James to steal from the Pedal Pushers Cafe. It was then topped with blueberries and washed down with some black cafe. I measured it, but that was definitely a hearty portion for this cowgirl and it stuck with me through lunch!

For lunch I was really trying to get some vegetables in! Today’s lunch featured colorful vegetables with hummus, an open face Boca burger (the other face of the sandwich thin got stuck in the toaster), a few leftover baked beans, and some Salt & Vinegar Pop Chips. I drank water with my lunch! Aren’t you proud!?

On the way to my volunteer tutoring, I grabbed a tart little Pink Lady apple from the grocery store.

After tutoring began my downfall, because around 5pm I started to get THE HEADACHE!! I’m trying not to take ibuprofen right now so I gave in and drank Diet Coke. I don’t think you know how much I adore Diet Coke. I would really truly choose it over food. But I keep reading things about how horrible it is for you so at least I have to try. What are the odds I can trick myself into liking something gross like water!??!

When I was housewifing it up today by cleaning the pantry, I found a pouch of Chicken Curry Seasoning. So my Double H and I made some chicken, through in every vegetable in the house, microwaved some brown rice, and called it a day. It was actually seriously delicious. That curry packet was WAY spicier than I was expecting! Yum!!!

Not pictured: A few little snacky hands of Pop Chips before dinner and an additional Diet Coke (that’s 2 for today – I was going for one!) BOO!

Ok, I’m out like a girl scout to actually plan some more menus for this week. In case you’re wondering, Kevin James has to do LAME MASTER’S HOMEWORK so I have plenty of free time to blog. I’ll write more about this “diet plan” and my goals as I see fit. In case you’re wondering, Kevin James is enjoying a version of this same diet. He supplements it with whatever he sneaks at work and extra portions. So cute.

Don’t we look like we’re still on our honeymoon?? That’s what I thought. My Double H says we’re going to count the entire month of July, and what he says goes!! :)