You see I was supposed to be going to a Christmas Craft Show on the weekend, but due to circumstances beyond my control it didn’t happen.
That means, that besides all the cool unique crafts and handmade stuff that I missed out on, I also didn’t get to buy fudge from some of the amazing fudge making folks that tend to frequent the Christmas Craft Show circuit.
I will also be missing another local Christmas Craft Show next weekend.
It’s not like I need fudge. I mean, really. Does anyone need fudge? No. Of course not.
Christmas Craft Show fudge is so good!
I could just make some fudge, I suppose.
I can never make it the way the super fudge makers make it, though.
It’s just not the same.
I have a decent recipe. A few, even.
There are plenty of recipes online.
There is no shortage of recipes, really.
There is merely a shortage of fudge.
I should just forget about it.
But I can’t.
Help me to feel less kooky.
Is there a treat-y food that you have very rarely, but that when you do have it it has to be made a certain way? Or come from a certain place?
Do you like fudge?
(Do you have some? Because seriously, I have needs!)
Feel free to share a recipe or your thoughts on fudge in the comments.
I will share my best fudge recipe here with you all another day, but have you seen this*?
*A very funny tweep – @evilpez4 – shared that and will be blamed in absentia for any and all fudge related weight gain this upcoming Holiday season.
Make Your Own Pizza Night is a long standing tradition at Chez Peady and I will not be the reason it stops.
Not being able to eat delicious, chewy, crispy, fluffy, flavourful pizza crust (without feeling horrible) has put a serious dent in MYO Pizza night for the last little while and, quite frankly, we’ve had a lot fewer MYO Pizza Nights as a result.
I have had rather hit or miss experiences with making gluten free crusts. I’ve made this cauliflower crust and had it turn out great, but I have also made this exact recipe and had it turn out terrible. There are myriads of cauliflower crust recipes now – most are still just a variation on the same theme – and I have yet to find a sure thing.
So this week when I knew we were going to reinstate MYO Pizza Night, I knew I needed to approach it from a more creative place.
First, I prepped the pizzas for my family using pre-baked pizza stone crusts and the toppings they enjoy most which we, pretty much, always have on hand. Everyone has favourites and MYO Pizza Night is a great time to get what you want!
Daddy-O likes lots of veggies, cheese, pepperoni, and fresh jalapeño slices. Muy caliente!
Thing 1 is a carnivore and if the entire pizza could be fashioned out of meats and cheeses he would be praising cheeses!
Thing 2 likes a variety of flavours just as long as it isn’t too spicy.
The easiest way for me to deal with this, usually, is to have everyone make their own, but in the interest of saving time (there was a movie in our FFFN* plans) I just used the pre-made crusts and whipped up two pies! One for Daddy-O (leftovers were today’s lunch!) and one for Thing 1 and Thing 2 to share (again, leftovers for lunch today!).
They turned out great** and everyone was happy with a very simple MYO Pizza Night to ease back in.
Now what the heck was I going to do?
The trouble with needing a gluten free option is that it does take a bit of planning and extra preparation. Oh look! Two things I almost never do for myself! Shocker, eh?
You know what I almost always do for myself though? Think. So, I thought about what I needed and wanted and came up with a simple idea.
I would make a Pizza-Alike. It would have a tonne of veggies and jalapeños and it would not have a crust at all. Weird? Yup. Delicious? You bet your sweet bell peppers, it was!
Here is what it looked like.
This is what I did.
I used a glass pie plate and lined it with pepperoni slices (you could use another meat as a base).
I added my cheese (mozzarella & cheddar).
I added sliced red bell pepper, sliced mushrooms, some sliced jalapeño and a teensy sprinkle of parmesan.
I popped it into a 400 degree oven until it looked all melty, golden, yummy, and the pepperoni was crisp.
When it was ready, I removed it from the oven to let it cool a bit.
I sliced it into six wedges and placed them onto some paper towel and let them sit for a minute so some of the fat would be absorbed. (If you had a fat free or low fat pepperoni, based on this experiment, I’d say use that!)
Then I served up a few slices on a little plate with about a tablespoon of pizza sauce for dipping.
MYO Pizza Night Victory!
So tell me, are you gluten free? Do you eat low carb? Are there dietary restrictions *you* need to adhere to so you can be at your healthiest and happiest?
What alterations have you come up with so you can still enjoy your favourite foods?
Leave a comment and share with the whole class!
*Friday Family Fun Night. It’s a thing!
**The pizza crusts came from Costco and were an experiment. I was so happy they liked them. KISS! Simplicity rules!
Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something … Unfortunately, that’s too rare a commodity.*
Can a casserole be considered creative?
I say, if it renders everyone a) speechless or b) leaves them only able to mutter “mms” and other yummy sounds, it can be!
This is such a casserole.
Simple ingredients, easily thrown together at the end of a long and busy day, that results in yummy noises and a happy, full, family.
Here are the things I connected:
Frozen Hashbrowns (the little diced ones)(I’m sure the shredded ones would work, too.)
Dehydrated Onion Flakes
S & P
Grated Cheddar (I used a pre-shredded three cheese blend)
Into a 9 x 13 pan (I use a glass one) add about a table spoon of olive oil and coat the bottom and sides. (I have a teeny silicone brush for this task and it works well.)
Immediately add the frozen hash browns to the pan. (You can use a lot or a little of any of the above ingredients in this recipe, by the way. It’s difficult to get it wrong. Tonight I used an entire 900 g bag because everyone was really hungry.)
Add some freshly ground black pepper and a teensy bit of kosher salt (careful with the salt!).
Sprinkle about a teaspoon of dehydrated onion flakes over the hash browns.
Next, break your eggs (Tonight I used 9, but you can adjust according to your own needs.) and beat them together (with a fork – oh yeah, fancy!) with a bit of pepper and onion powder (trust me..) and cream. You want the consistency you’d be expecting for scrambled eggs, so adjust egg:cream ratio as needed.)
To the beaten eggs, add a cup of cheese (or a handful.. or as much as you’d like.. or need.. or are limited to) and blend.
Add your peppers and tomatoes.
Pour the egg mixture over the hash browns.
Top with the cooked and sliced sausages, spreading the pieces evenly over the casserole.
Don’t be concerned if it seems like the eggs have vanished because they will fluff/rise up nicely while the casserole bakes for the next 30-45 minutes in the middle of your preheated oven.
I use my nose and my eyes a lot in my kitchen. When it starts to smell like supper, you’ll know you are almost there.
When the hash browns are browning (Hello! They’re hash browns.) on the bottom of the pan (score one for the see through glass pan!) it’s time to turn the oven off.
The centre should be set. (No jiggly casseroles, please and thank you!)
Allow it to cool a little bit, and while it does, the kids can help set the table, so *everyone* gets to sit down to a scrumptious, simple supper – together.
Are you pro casserole or do you prefer your foods stick to their separate quarters on your plate?
Leave a comment and tell me about one of your creations that just works.
Oh, and if you try this let me know what you think of it!
*Source: Wired: UK, 2011, Steve Jobs: A Wired Life, reprinted from “The Next Insanely Great Thing” by Gary Wolf, Wired 4.02, February 1996
Last Friday, Thing 2 participated in her school’s Terry Fox Walk. I wrote my usual lunch note for her, but I included one of my very favourite Terry Fox quotes.
“It took cancer to realize that being self-centered is not the way to live. The answer is to try and help others.” ~ Terry Fox
She didn’t know what I wrote until she saw the note at lunch.
Before we headed down for the bus she ran to her room and came out with a handful of coins from her piggy bank.
Oh my heart! The little hand with all her little quarters and nickels and dimes.
We must be doing something right.
Oh sure, there’s that, but this kid… she’s something else. All on her own.
I helped her put her donation in her back pack and explained why I choose each year to add $1 per person in our family.
“When I started this run, I said that if we all gave one dollar, we’d have $22 million for cancer research, and I don’t care man, there’s no reason that isn’t possible. No reason!” ~ Terry Fox
It’s what Terry wanted.
I couldn’t stop tearing up on Friday. Maybe it’s because Terry Fox was a kid.. or maybe it’s that I remember him from when I was a kid.. but I just kept thinking about how his family – and country and the world at large carried on his Marathon of Hope just as he wished. What a beautiful tribute to his life!
“If you’ve given a dollar, you are part of the Marathon of Hope .”
I love that his legacy lives on through so many children who take part in these events year after year.
“Even if I don’t finish, we need others to continue. It’s got to keep going without me.”
Don’t worry, Terry, it has gone on without you. It goes on and on and on.
Every year in 25 countries all over the world.
To date The Terry Fox Foundation has raised $650 million* to support cancer research in Terry’s name.
Not bad for some Canadian kid, eh?
Do you participate in the Terry Fox Run? Do your children take part at school? Do you have memories of Terry Fox?
Please share in the comments. I’d love to hear what you have to say.
*Of course you can always donate directly, anytime of the year here.
So, if you want to be a super smartypants when people tell you today is the first day of Fall, you can educate them on all the fun facts you just learned. (You do click my fun links, don’t you? I mean, I wouldn’t just put something lame there.) (That’s a lie. I could possibly put something lame there, but this time I didn’t. Promise!)
I’m not saying this will get you invitations to the most happening upcoming events and parties or anything, but it might win you some respect in science-y circles. But I digress …
I wanted to take a minute to thank all the nice people who have encouraged me this week. Even though so many of you are far away from me, I really feel like you are here cheering me on. Whether it’s struggling with blogger’s block, dealing with Sunday stresses, trying to keep the Things on track, figuring out what’s for dinner, or making it through a Hot Yoga or Zumba class. I feel you. I know you are “Rah rah rah” ing from wherever you are and I am eternally grateful for you and your support!
I have the kindest readers. That’s a fact.
Today was Word on the Street day in Canada and there were events from coast to – well almost – coast. (I hope some year it will be right across the country.)
Here is a little bit of how it looked from the East *coughs* best *coughs* Coast!
Look at this amazing lineup of authors! Isn’t that impressive? There were readings throughout the day along the Halifax Waterfront. If you are a word nerd at all, this is the day for you!
I* even got to hear a reading from “Listen to the Squawking Chicken” by Elaine Lui of “The Social” (@LaineyGossip in the Twitterverse, FYI). Afterwards, I had a book signed. Ms, Lui (Lainey!!!) was extremely gracious and even posed for photos with those of us who asked.
Isn’t that kind? I think so. In fact, I love that!
So, that’s it. I posted something every day for seven days and do you know what? I think my plan worked. I feel better about my little corner of the blogosphere and the fact that it is okay for me to leave things here.
I think I’ll keep it up.
I do have a lot to say.
Yes, some of it is utter silliness. I am fully aware of that fact and perfectly okay with it, too.
I hope you’ll stick around. I have a feeling this is going to be quite a Fall!
*Not just me, it was a packed house … er… tent … and lots of people enjoyed the reading and the Q & A that followed. I always had suspicions about poor Joaquin Phoenix. He was Leaf. Then he wasn’t. So many questions!