Sunday, January 29, 2012

Fresh Mozzarella Pizza

Here's another Pinterest recipe I made this week: fresh mozzarella pizza. It was supposed to be a tomato & basil pizza, but I forgot the tomatoes and I used spinach leaves instead of basil leaves (although I sprinkled dried basil on top). This pizza was AMAZING, even without the tomatoes on it, and it isn't that unhealthy. It would be even healthier if I had made the pizza dough myself using whole wheat flour (a project for when I have my stand mixer) and the pizza sauce from fresh tomatoes.

Here's the recipe on Pinterest. This served as more of an inspiration for my pizza rather than an exact guide, especially since the guy is clearly a pro and several notches above my skill level. I have always wanted to make a homemade pizza, so I looked to him for ingredients and spices to include. Next time I'll go all out and make everything from scratch. :)

Here are the ingredients I used:

Pizza dough, pizza sauce, fresh mozzarella, spinach, onions, basil, minced garlic, parmesan cheese

As for directions, I just followed the instructions on the pizza dough. Basically, you roll out the pizza dough and stick in the oven by itself for 5 minutes. While the dough is setting, cut the fresh mozzarella (and tomato) into slices. If you want to add onion, dice that as well. Take the dough out of the oven and spread 1/2 cup pizza sauce on it. Then add the mozzarella, tomato and spinach, and sprinkle your spices and parmesan cheese on top. Stick the pizza in the oven for 6-10 minutes or until the crust is golden brown (mine took about 8 minutes). That's it; you're done! So easy, and so delicious.

My next recipe is a healthy one - baked kale chips!

<3 Mrs. G

P.S. I made the pizza again with tomatoes, and it was even better!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Ham & Egg Cups + the World's Best Wheat Cookies?

Hi everyone,

This is the first of several recipes I'm trying this week and next courtesy of Pinterest. The other two I'm trying are kale chips and tomato basil pizza.

Today's recipe, however, is ham & egg cups. Or at least that's what I call them; I don't think they actually have a name... Here's the link to the recipe. It's super easy to make, it only takes about 10 minutes, and it's a delicious source of protein and veggies! I used chopped green onions and shredded cheese on top of mine. Here's how they turned out:

Another recipe I made last night is an oldie but goodie with a little modification. Remember my world's best sugar cookies? Well I attempted to make the the world's best wheat sugar cookies using mostly whole wheat flour in place of bleached (part of our effort to eat only whole grains). That combined with my vanilla buttercream frosting made the cookies taste like sugary, buttered wheat bread. They're not bad, but they're no world's best. Whole wheat flour is dense and dry. I've heard that mixing it with bleached flour and/or adding more liquid ingredients can help, but I'm not convinced I'll try it again. If you have any tips or success stories, please share!

In other news, my shin splints are still not healed, so my half marathon training is on hold a little bit longer... Nevertheless, here are my most recent marathon-related posts. Another one will be up on Friday! Hopefully I'll be running again by then.

<3 Mrs. G

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Spinach Dip Recipe & KitchenAid Mixer Debate

Hello everyone,

I figured it was time for me to share my spinach dip recipe since I make it basically every week - especially around the holidays. It's also been a favorite of mine, Mr. G's, and pretty much all of our friends for the past few months. It's really simple to make, and it tastes SO GOOD. I originally got the recipe from my Betty Crocker Cookbook app, but I tweaked it a little and my version is actually healthier. Here it is:

Creamy Spinach Dip

  • 1 box (9 oz.) frozen chopped spinach (preferably Green Giant)
  • 1 8 oz. container sour cream (I use fat-free and actually prefer the taste)
  • 1 cup mayonnaise (again, I use light)
  • 1/2 tsp celery salt
  • 1/2 tsp dried dill weed
  • 1/4 tsp onion salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped yellow onions
To make it, first cook the spinach according to the package directions (I usually boil on the stove). Then mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl, cover it and let it sit in the fridge for about an hour. That's it! You're done.

Now I need some advice...

I want to buy a KitchenAid stand mixer for my birthday in February, but I'm torn between getting a tilt-head or a bowl-lift. Both of the ones I'm looking at are similar in price, so basically I'm choosing between power and convenience... Here are the two I'm down to (I would get either in silver):

Tilt-head: KitchenAid Artisan series (5-quart glass bowl, 325 watts)

Bowl-lift: KitchenAid Professional series (5.5-quart bowl, 575 watts)

Stand mixer owners/aficionados - let me know your thoughts. I'm leaning toward the Artisan, but I'm not 100% sold.


<3 Mrs. G

Changed my Mind. My 2012 Resolution.

As I said in my previous post, I'm not really the resolution type. This week, however, I decided to change that. Right after I posted my bucket list, I reached a new threshold in my workout - by switching around my routine and doing cardio before strength training, I was able to run 10 minutes non-stop. I know that's nothing crazy, but for someone who never runs, it was a big moment for me. The next day, a coworker sent out an email trying to get a team of us together to run the Minneapolis half marathon in June in honor of another coworker's 4-year old son recently diagnosed with leukemia. I believe things happen for a reason, and I figured if this opportunity was going to present itself so conveniently, then I should do it. So now my resolution for 2012 is to run a half marathon and knock that off my bucket list. :)

Sometimes I need a purpose that's bigger than myself in order to push myself to do something. When I can do something that will not only be a major personal accomplishment (not to mention get me in good shape) but will also contribute toward a great cause, that will keep me motivated. And this time around, I'm definitely driven. I've run harder, longer and further this week than ever before in my life. Today alone I ran the distance of a 5k, which gives me hope that I may actually stand a chance at this! I bought new running shoes today as well, which definitely helps. I went to the Running Room in Apple Valley, where they analyze your feet to determine what kind of shoe you need. I ended up getting the Brooks Glycerin 9 in grey/aqua, and after testing them out today, I'm super happy with them. It's like night and day with my old shoes I bought from TJ Maxx 4ish years ago...

If you're at all interested in following my progress (I guarantee honesty, entertainment and hopefully inspiration), I'll be blogging about it on my company blog. I'll be posting my first training-related post on Monday and then probably every Friday after that. If you're on Pinterest, you can also check out my running board for ideas, motivation, and cool products I come across.

Has anyone else committed to running a half/full marathon this year? If not, what are your resolutions?

<3 Mrs. G

Monday, January 2, 2012

Bucket List for 2012 & Beyond (Mostly Beyond)

Hello everyone,

Hope you all had a lovely New Years! We didn't do much - just hung out with a couple friends and sipped champagne. But it was nice. :) We did have Christmas with Mr. G's family earlier in the day on NYE and had a great time. Nashville was wonderful, too. We have a guest bed now as well as some other awesome things. For example: between both of our families, we've doubled our everyday dishes and china this Christmas! Funny what you get excited about after you're married...

I don't really have any resolutions this year, but I thought I would go ahead and post my (ever-growing) bucket list in honor of the new year, even though these are not specific to 2012. I'll probably think of a hundred more things after I post this, but here is what I have so far:

  • Visit every continent (except Antarctica)
  • See the Northern lights
  • Go on a missions trip (perhaps later this year?...)
  • Have children
  • Adopt a child
  • Buy a house
  • Buy a car
  • Start a business
  • Write a book
  • Go scuba diving
  • Take a cake decorating class
  • Make homemade lobster bisque (boil the lobster and all)
  • Buy something designer full-price
  • Invent a recipe
  • Learn how to sew (well, re-learn)
  • Have a garden
  • Own a boat
  • Stay at a bed and breakfast
  • Become trilingual
  • Go to the Olympics (as a viewer, not an athlete...)
  • Run a marathon
  • Participate in a flash mob
  • Be able to fit in my wedding dress forever :)

I know I say this every year, but 2011 really will be tough to beat... New home, new job, first full year of marriage... It was a good year to us. :) May this year bring you joy, peace and many blessings. Cheers to 2012!

I took Mr. G to a Minnesota Wild game as a Christmas gift :)

"Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man."
-- Benjamin Franklin

<3 Mrs. G


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