My Guilty Pleasure

Lots of times on childcare days I feed the the kids food and there is not enough for me.  A pack of hotdogs feeds only them.  There is often not enough hotdish or whatever it is I’m serving so I’m left with nothing really to eat.  I hate “making something for me”….I get tired of PB&J.  I don’t have time to make much else.   So more often than not, I resort to this…

I really don’t mean the words “resort to” like it’s something bad as I actually love it and prefer is over most anything for lunch.

It’s more or less corn chip dip.

Here’s what I do to make it….it’s way simple and so simple it’s not even a recipe.

I put a layer of refried beans out…..

I sprinkle shredded cheese over the top.

I microwave it long enough for the cheese to melt.

Then I cover it with a layer of salsa and a dollop of sour cream like this….
Then I dip chips in and eat it.  I adore it.  For quick and easy it can’t be beat….also, I straight up love it.

Sometimes I’ll eat this three days in a row for lunch…it’s a good thing I do love it. Do you have any other suggestions for me for quick and easy that isn’t a sandwich or a piece of fruit?  I should probably expand my palate.

A Peck of Peppers

On my list to do this year was to get to the Amish area south of us and buy some produce.  This time of year, it’s so cheap and so delicious.  One thing to do was to get peppers and onions.  My plan was to cut them up and bag them and freeze them for some quick fajita meals this winter.  I told Kalissa what my plan was and she was excited about it too.

The Amish area is beautiful this time of year.  I didn’t take pictures as I was too “in the moment”.  We regularly shop the “bent and dent” grocery stores there, get goodies from the bakery and pick up produce in season.

I got HUGE bags of onions for $6…It’s 10 pounds worth.

and a whole LARGE box of peppers for $9.  I counted and there were 54 peppers in my box!!!!  That figures out to be 16 cents per pepper!!

Our car was PACKED by the time we headed home!!

We had the boys with when we went and on the way home stopped at the park in Fairbanks.

I try really hard when I can to take pictures of my daughters with their kiddos.  I know so often there husbands don’t.  I don’t want them to end up like me with no pictures of us together.

I couldn’t decide which was my favorite so included them all.

Once I got home I started in on the onions and peppers.  Thankfully the onions were “crying” onions.

I’m was about half done and decided to quit.  Here’s my haul…. I have 12 bags all finished.  I put one onion in each bag and then I put in two or three peppers depending on the size of the peppers.

I don’t do anything more than cut them and freeze them.  When they unthaw they are soft but that’s all okay.  I want them soft for fajitas anyway.  Now they only really need to be warmed and spiced up.  Over the winter peppers get so expensive.  If I buy and process them now, it’s a big money and time saver later in the year.

I’ll finish cutting up the rest one day this week.  Hopefully Karl will be home and can be my helper.  It would go really fast then.

It was a fun day…I’m hoping to go again soon and get mums.  They had a couple there this time around but they were white and white isn’t my favorite.  That’s okay.  I have an excuse to go again.

…and that’s my story about my peck of peppers…or is that two pecks worth?

Tomato Basil Yumminess

I’m terrible with using the cherry tomatoes in my garden.  Terrible.  But I can’t resist planting them.  I love having cherry tomatoes in my garden as I typically go out and eat them right off the vine when I’m weeding.  Then once the regular tomatoes start producing the poor cherry tomatoes are forgotten and left behind.  Please tell I’m not the only one to do that.

Well a couple weeks ago Kayla and I were in Decorah and stopped at Oneota Coop.  It’s a very nice health food grocery that we both enjoy stopping by.  In their taste testing case they had some cherry tomatoes that were sliced in half.  The sign said, the ingredients were tomatoes, basil and salt.  Hmm.  I thought I’d give them a try.  I loved it.  Well how easy of a recipe is that??

So I went home and made some….

How simple but oh so tasty.  Yep…no recipe.

I cut up the tomatoes and basil and sprinkled them generously with salt.  It taste just like what we had at the store.  With only three ingredients, I expected it to but still was pleasantly surprised.

The happy news….
I made a bigger batch and they were still good after being refrigerated overnight.

So…guess what I’ll be doing with my cherry tomatoes now?  If you guessed making this, you are absolutely right.

Does anyone have suggestions for other things I could do with cherry tomatoes?  I’d love some ideas…and if it’s simple like this, all the better.

Pizza @ Jo’s

I’ve been known for my pizza.  Seriously, we rarely ever go out for pizza.  If we do it’s either:
-at the theater and we’re really more there to see the movie
-we get Casey’s (gas station) pizza for convenience

I learned early on to make pizza.  I think it was actually one of the first foods that we quit going out of eat to have as we felt I made it as good as the restaurants.  The funny thing is, it’s even better now than it was back then…and we all thought it was good then.

Kramer LOVED deep dish pizza…the deeper the better.  Me, I’ve grown to liking a medium crust that is still soft so, the last time I made pizza, I made a medium crust….Then I tried to mimic the pizza we last had at the theater….a “Big Kahuna”.

I made my crust then added pizza sauce…not a lot.  We don’t like really saucy pizza.  Then I added a complete layer of shaved ham.  Then bacon pieces…then pineapple.

The cheese for the top was this….

After that I put a really thin layer of shredded mozzarella.

After that one was done…I made a cheeseburger pizza.  This one was BBQ sauce on the bottom, then hamburger and bacon, then chopped pickles, then the same cheese and mozzarella.

So how did we like them????WONDERFUL.  Kalissa now is swooning over the “Big Kahuna” pineapple pizza.  The one in the picture is the cheeseburger pizza though.
I was sitting closer to the “Big Kahuna” pineapple pizza but oh my.  The cheeseburger pizza was my favorite.

Karl with the peace sign is actually voting for both.  He liked them both a lot.

In fact, we liked the pizza so much that I made them again the next day for lunch.  The childcare kiddos loved them too.  The “Big Kahuna” was their favorite.

On of my all time favorite thing to do is to try to replicate food we eat in restaurants.  It’s fun but it does spoil going out to eat.  So often I end up figuring something out and making it comparable to what was at the restaurant….then it’s no long such a treat to go out and order it.

A few tips I can give on the pizza front:
-Use cooking spray to grease the pan.  Spray it right on the pizza dough too.  I helps “move” and spread the dough out.
-Set the oven temperature to 425 degrees.  It sounds high but it’s perfect.
-Keep trying and trying.  Practicing is worth the end result.

Anyone have any other pizza flavors that are traditional?  I’d love to try some different combos.