Berry Breakfast Bread on the New Site

berry breakfast bread


Thank you so much for your support as Try Anything Once has grown into an educational and healthier culinary experience.

I am so excited to announce a new “home” for Try Anything Once! You can see all the previous posts and photos at my new domain I hope that you will bookmark that address and subscribe so you never miss a tasty morsel!

I have posted my first challenge today and I hope you will go over and take a peek over at Try Anything Once Culinary. Come on over and see what I put together to share with you and let me know if you would like a slice with coffee or tea.

A few changes to the design but it’s the same great food and safe place to learn and enjoy everything about food!

See you there!

Delightful Mocha Truffles for your valentine!

mocha truffles

Happy Valentine’s Week!

Yes, it is already Valentine’s week!  It was just the holiday season and here we are already talking about chocolate recipes and ways to spoil your valentine!

Not only am I going to share our go-to mocha truffles recipe but I wanted to let you know that we are doing a live hangout today!  Tuesday Feb. 12 at 4:00pm PST/ 7:00pm EST.

We are going to show you how to make these decadently sinful and rich mocha truffles and we would love for you to come and visit!

Stop by and say hello!  You can go to our event page by clicking here.  We would love to have you there!

You can watch live from our events page and if you are early be sure to mention me in a comment and I would love to have you in our “peanut gallery” so you can talk to us live and get a front row seat. 🙂  You can comment during the hangout and ask questions, make comments or say hello.

mocha truffles for your valentine

Mocha Truffles

1 package of cream cheese 8 ounce, room temperature

4 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder

2 tbsp. instant coffee

2 tbsp. water

dark chocolate powder for rolling the truffles


Mix cream cheese, coffee, 4 tbsp. cocoa powder and water until well blended.  It is recommended that you use a hand mixer, kitchen mixer or even a food processor to get the mixture a smooth consistency.  


Scrape bowl and mix until color is uniform.

Mixture will resemble a thick frosting and you will want to refrigerate for at least an hour until firm enough to shape.  Form into balls.  Roll truffles in dark chocolate powder and arrange on your choice of serving plate.   Keep refrigerated.  Number of truffles depend on the size that you make your truffles.

Monkey Bread recipe for your Super Bowl Sunday menu.

Monkey Bread recipe for your Super Bowl Sunday menu.

Thank you to everyone that supported us by watching our Monkey Bread hangout!  If you missed it you can watch it by clicking here.

I saw several really good hangouts last week for SuperBowlPlus!  Here are a few I highly recommend:

Cake Decorating:  Championship Chocolate Cupcakes

Pimento Cheese for SuperBowlPlus Week of Champions

Buffalo Chicken Wings for the SuperBowlPlus Week of Champions

There are a lot more great hangouts and you can see them by searching SuperBowlPlus on YouTube or in Google.  If I had more time I would share each of them with you, but for now this will have to do. 🙂

Monkey bread really is very simple to make and you can easily add it to your Super Bowl menu and even have a helper put it together for you. 🙂

Remember, when things don’t turn out like you planned you can always turn it into something absolutely delicious!


Watch the video to see how this idea was born!  There is always a way to fix something and we are always trying something new in the Try Anything Once kitchen!

Monkey Bread demo 4pm PST/ 7pm EST for your dessert recipe on Super Bowl Sunday! #superbowlplus #weekofchampions

This is your official invitation to watch me do a live demo to show you how easy it is to make money bread and why you’ll want to add it to your Super Bowl menu!

This is part of SuperBowlPlus Week of Champions and I am so flattered to be a part of it!

Come and show your support at this live streaming hangout!  If you have a Gmail address you already have a Google+ account and you’ll just have to log into your email account and click HERE to watch me LIVE!  You can leave comments or questions on the event page and we will be responding during the demonstration.

Just click on the play button to start watching and refresh the page at the time it is scheduled to start so you can watch it.  You’ll be able to play this again on YouTube anytime you want to see it again. 🙂

Monkey Bread is great for your sweet tooth and so easy to add to your Super Bowl menu.

See you Friday February 1 at 4pm PST/ 7pm EST!

Chocolate layer cake and Google+ for SEO.

chocolate layer cake

By now I am sure at some point you’ve heard someone rave about how awesome Google+ is.  Now you can add me to the list of G+ fans.

I had a small lesson in Google+ and how it can increase visibility if you use it correctly…

I was doing some marketing research and I came across a photo and a post of a chocolate layer cake.  I commented on the thread and lusted after a piece of moist chocolate cake before I went along my merry way.

Two nights ago I needed a chocolate layer cake recipe and not just any ‘ole recipe I needed a GOOD ONE.  So I did what I always do…I Googled it.  And what do you think came up?

That G+ post that I commented on was right at the top of the search for chocolate layer cake.  I was surprised because it’s one thing to read how to use a marketing strategy and completely another to see it in action.  I saw it in action and it “clicked” for me.

I was reminded of the way this cake had tempted me nearly to the point of ransacking my pantry for all the things I would need to make it.  Seeing the post again I was reminded of my desire to taste this rich and decadent cake.  Before I made the cake I left another comment in the thread and made a mental note to tell you how powerful G+ has become.  And then there was baking!


This chocolate layer cake was the most moist and rich that I have ever made from scratch.  And yes, I followed the recipe.  🙂

This is now our go-to chocolate layer cake recipe and the birthday boy absolutely loved it!

I didn’t use the frosting recipe that was posted with the cake because my other half doesn’t like peanut butter for some reason.  So I made a dark chocolate mocha frosting and some scratch-made whipped cream to adorn this prize-worthy cake.

Then the kids got ahold of it and attacked it with sprinkles and decorations, but it was still so springy and chocolatey that everyone had a piece.  Not a single person was “too full” for cake tonight!


You can find the recipe for this chocolate layer cake here.

I thought I wasn’t going to post this week since my computer is being repaired but I’m glad that I am able to share this with you!  Both the chocolate layer cake and the wonder that is Google+.  Facebook, you are sooooo last year.


Guest post from Johan of Ziet’s Rambling’s

Guest post from Johan of Ziet’s Rambling’s

Hugs to you my friend and welcome to another guest post from a fellow blogger!  I would like to introduce Johan of Ziet’s Ramblings to you as he shares a post that I found interesting enough to put in queue for trying.

As you know I like to encourage people to step outside of his or her comfort zone.  That’s really how we learn and take steps outside of the routine.  Short of tossing people on a desserted island with a shoelace and a pocket knife, I figure this theme for a blog is more nurturing and realistic. 😀

Meet Johan of Ziet’s rambling’s!

I love Johan’s story of travel and food.  I feel as though I am getting a peek of his travel diary as I sit with him enjoying some tea and a snack.  I really enjoy his writing and corresponding photos.  His style and personable writing style have made him the first person to ever really inspire me to want to try and make a certain dish, but I don’t want to steal the show!  Enjoy getting to know Johan!

Bannock: Another Fallow Field of Fast Food?

This is another venture into, for me at least, an unkown field. This time it is yet another staple food, namely bread.

Bread comes in many forms, including the familiar sandwich loaf you buy from the supermarket.

There are round loaves, long loaves, pretzels, batards, boules and more. Check out the site of the American Culinary Federation for some extraordinary shapes.

The shapes are actually immaterial, but these breads are normally all baked in an oven.

Flat breads look like pancakes and are baked in a pan, not in an oven. Well, that is, except for your very familiar pizza, which is also a flat bread, but baked in an oven.

Flat breads like bannock look like pancakes and are baked in a pan.

Flat breads like bannock look like pancakes and are baked in a pan.

The next area of interest is whether the breads are made of leavened or unleavened dough. Leavened dough rises, whether by yeast, sourdough (wild yeast) or baking powder (baking soda). Beer also works to create bubbles that will expand before the dough sets into a loaf.

Scones are a fine example of a leavened dough using baking powder. Those little buttery cakes made from cake flour.

Well, a short search on Wikipedia for Bannock confirmed that these tea time delicacies served in the Old World with butter jam and cream have been quite well-known since ancient times. In fact, they are still cooked as standard bread in many countries even today.

We shall be concentrating on the version known as bannock. Bannock originates from Scotland, no less, and are quite well known in Canada. This bread is very easy to make and is quite useful fare as fast camp bread. For those of us with small children or grandchildren, this one is the way to go to keep these youngsters fruitfully occupied during holiday periods.

The basic batter is made with flour, salt, baking powder, butter, eggs and water. 1 cup of flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 3 dessert spoons butter, two eggs and enough water to make a stiff batter or soft dough. Mix the dry ingredients thoroughly, then add the butter at room temperature. Rub the butter into the dry mix until the mixture goes crumbly, then add the beaten eggs and mix. Then add a little water and mix some more. Keep on adding a little water at a time and mixing until the dough is soft and not yet runny. If it goes runny, add a little flour.

There are many variations of bannock.

There are many variations of bannock.

That’s it. Spread the dough in a pan, bake on the hob until steam starts to come out, then pop it into the oven under the grill at a medium heat and bake for about ten to fifteen minutes until it goes a nice light brown on top. Voila, you have bannock.

In camp you bake this in a pan over the coals. When the bottom is done to your satisfaction, you stand the pan on it’s side next to the coals to bake the top. Medium to low heat is all that is required. Check out the video:

There are many variations. The Canadians add dried fruit and nuts to the basic mix, making for a nice wholesome and high energy bread. Very useful in a camp or on a long hike. The Scottish version started by adding oatmeal to the basic mix, which is what I did. Take care with the ratio of flour to oatmeal. You need a large amount of flour compared to the other ingredients, otherwise the bread will not rise much, as was my experience.

I also added sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and some raisins. Again, be careful not to overdo the extras, otherwise your loaf may not rise to the occasion!

These breads can also be made in a muffin pan as individual little breads, making sharing at home a little easier. However, for my money, we are working in an ancient realm of rustic breads and a pan baked version works fine. You break off pieces and eat as is, no butter or jam.

As with normal scones, these do not last long and goes dry rather quickly. But that should not pose a problem, given my experience of the taste!

I trust you will also have lots of fun making this bread, as I did.

Bon appetit!

Johan, don’t be surprised if you see me trying Bannock!  I really love seeing new things like this that I can try.  I have been baking yeast breads in the oven for the past few years and working on trying new recipes keeping very few as my go to recipes but I have only tried one flatbread and this one is next on my list.  The video is very helpful and when I serve my Bannock, I will remember to break it. 🙂

Please go visit Johan at Ziet’s Ramblings and you will be hooked!   Johan, you are welcome to guest post here anytime!  Thank you for coming and I hope you have a good rest of your week!

What is your favorite flatbread?

Whole Wheat Seed Bread Recipe

Whole Wheat Seed Bread

by Dionne Baldwin

whole wheat seed bread

Whole Wheat Seed Bread

I love to make bread. I’m not using that word lightly, I mean I really love to make bread. There is no specific guarantee with bread and you never know what sort of curveball is going to be ahead in a seemingly simple process. I wish someone had shared this recipe with me when I tried my first loaf. 🙂

Simple perfection & ideal for beginner bread baking.

The more I bake the more I know the feel of the dough and I have a clearer vision of what the end product will be. I have learned what not to do all in one era and I am proud to emerge more aware and more knowledgable than I was 10 years ago when I started my bread making adventures.

whole wheat seed bread

With my workload, it’s a miracle that I even remember that I used to love baking bread. I haven’t had much spare time and working dough has been the last thing on my mind, but when I saw Lora’s post about the Twelve Loaves January challenge, it really got my mind going.

My inner baker said, “Hey! Remember you used to bake every day! Maybe you should give this a try?”

I replied, “No way. I don’t have time and those challenges scare me. What if I miss one of the criteria and screw it up?!”

My inner baker gave me a disappointed look. “Coward.”

“Am not!” I said. And then I realized I was talking to myself…

soft and rich whole wheat seed bread

soft and rich whole wheat seed bread

I couldn’t get the challenge out of my head. Submitting Artisan Bread was out of the question because that’s pretty much all I’ve really raved about! And I’m sure you all are tired of seeing photo after photo of the same kind of bread.

I have been needing (or kneading) a really good whole wheat bread recipe. White flour is no bueno for our bodies and the whole wheat bread that we can buy in the store has ingredients that aren’t worth taking the time to research.

Every whole wheat recipe I have tried tastes doughy, lacking flavor and very unpleasant. The very example of why people cringe at the thought of a whole wheat bread.

I’m sure you know where this is going. Yes, I was able to come up with an extremely good whole wheat bread recipe.

My dad and I have a bread that we like that has all kinds of seeds in it and we love the taste, but it’s with white flour. That is what inspired this recipe adaptation and I was very impressed with the result. In the first try the flavor was spot on and absolutely brilliant!

The crust was soft and moist, not your typical whole wheat characteristic is it? The seeds rolled onto the outside of the bread give you a warning of the inside texture and you just can’t wait to try a slice, can you?

Although this adaptation turned out right on the first try (that never happens) I tried it multiple times before sharing this with you so I could be sure to give you a good recipe. This is my go to sandwich bread recipe and it can easily be made vegan, which will be my regular version.

The theme for the Twelve Loaves this month is: Clean Slate. Oddly whole wheat came to mind for digestive reasons but anywho…

Starting the year with simplicity to follow the holiday season is the intent and this easy to make bread looks beautiful, but it’s simplicity and goodness should be celebrated with a hot cup of coffee (or tea) and shared with your favorite person in this world. Thanks to Google Plus you can actually do this with someone even if they are in a different part of the world. 😀

Whole Wheat Seed Bread Recipe

adapted by Dionne Baldwin from the King Arthur Flour Whole Wheat Bread Recipe

1 cup lukewarm milk

2 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup molasses

1/2 packet of instant coffee powder

1 1/4 tsp. salt, recommend Alaea Hawaiian sea salt

3 1/2 cups 100% whole wheat flour, I recommend King Arthur and no I was not paid to say that.

3 tbsp. sunflower seeds, plus extra for rolling on the outside

2 tbsp. flax seeds, plus extra for rolling on the outside

1 tbsp. poppy seeds, plus extra for rolling on the outside

In a large mixing bowl, add milk and yeast mixing briefly and let it sit for about 5 minutes. Then add salt, oil, honey, molasses, and coffee powder. Stir briefly to begin combining then add flour and seeds. Remember to save extra seeds for rolling the outside of the dough. 🙂 You can add different seeds and increase the amount depending on the texture you like.

Mix until combined and then knead for 10-15 minutes or until dough is smooth. Dough will be cohesive and slightly wet, but will hold together and easily form a ball when it is ready. It will likely not stick to your hands, if it does add a small amount of flour. Then form dough into one large ball.

You can knead this dough by hand, by mixer with a dough attachment or in your bread machine!

Then lightly oil a bowl and rub top of the dough, then place oiled side up and let it rise at least 2 hours. It will not double in size, but it will rise a noticable amount.

When you are ready, grease your bread pan with butter or oil and set aside. Take out dough ball and on a clean surface sprinkle your seeds. Form your ball into itself making a longer shape and then roll the dough in the seeds, pressing slightly to press the seeds into the outside of the dough. This will also allow you to form your dough into a longer shape to fit a similar shape to your bread pan. Repeat rolling process until you are satisfied with the amount of seeds that are stuck onto your bread.

Place in pan and let it sit for an hour or two until it has risen a significant amount. it will not double in size.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and bake for 35 minutes or until you tap the end of the loaf and it sounds hollow and the top is nice and dark and golden brown. If the bread is not ready, leave it in for about another 5 minutes. You can temp your bread by thermometer and according to the recipe that inspired this loaf, a finished loaf will be at 190 degrees F when baked through.

When your bread is finished, immediately brush milk or melted butter atop the crust to keep it soft and even more delicious. Remove bread from the pan and allow to cool on a baking rack. Try to resist the urge to bite into it and allow it to cool fully before cutting and eating.


I am very pleased with the results of this bread and I hope you enjoyed it too! Perhaps you will join this month for the January 2013 Twelve Loaves Challenge? You still have time!

What is your favorite kind of bread?

Guest post by Camilla from Culinary Adventures with Camilla!

Guest post from Camilla from Culinary Adventures with Camilla!

I am so glad that you’re here because you are just in time to see my very first guest poster here at Try Anything Once…for the sake of my piehole!

I’ve written guest posts and guest articles but never have I had a guest visit here.  Until today.  The only thing I asked for was trying something new or different and she has worked on doing exactly that!

Meet my new friend Camilla Mann!

Camilla is a real go-getter in the kitchen and she is willing to try almost anything.  She is very passionate about cooking, she is a freelance writer, jewelry maker and a photographer.  I’m very excited to have Camilla here guest posting today and be sure to head on over to check out Culinary Adventures with Camilla for recipes from all over the world!


Overcoming a challenge.

by Camilla Mann of Culinary Adventures with Camilla

In years past I have been wildly protective of my kitchen. Ridiculous even. Friends would come over for dinner and they would – literally – not be allowed to cross the threshold. They might make the mistake once and my husband would be quick to point out the daggers I was throwing with my eyes: get out of my kitchen! I’m smiling in this picture, but notice no one in there with me.


But it wasn’t just friends; my husband and kids didn’t set food in my kitchen either. I still don’t know why I had that territorial attitude. I knew it was silly, but I just didn’t want anyone in my space.

Ironically, when we ended up doing a short sale on our house and moving into a townhouse with a postage stamp-sized kitchen, I finally opened up my kitchen…to my boys, at least. Maybe I just needed a change in venue. Or maybe I just needed a reason.

My opening up my kitchen coincided with my embarking on a Cooking Around the World Adventure with my boys and my deciding that they were going to learn how to cook. I had intended to get through all 195+ countries of the world in 2012, cooking and eating our way around the globe. That didn’t happen. We’re starting off 2013 in the L countries of the world. So, we’re a little bit behind schedule. But I know that this helped me overcome my fear of letting people into my kitchen.

Here they are…

Rolling Nacatamales from Honduras2

Pressing Homemade Corn TortillasTortilla2

Juicing Lemons for Lemon CurdLemons

Making Meatballs for Fisinjan Plove (Azerbijani Pomegranate Meatballs)Meatball1

So, there you have it, I have finally be able to allow people into my kitchen – with a smile. My solution: they have to be helping!


Well, Camilla you have definitely overcome your tendency to have your own space in the kitchen!  And you have done quite well.  It’s hard to let go of our preferences and allow our loved ones some creativity in the kitchen but as you have shown, it’s well worth it!

Be sure to stop by and say hello to Cam!  I’m going to try making lemon curd for the first time. 🙂 Thanks Camilla for the inspiration!  I really enjoyed getting to know you a little better and I know that when I visit your blog, you’re going to show me all kinds of foods from different parts of the world!  Thank you!

If you are interested in visiting here as a guest blogger please email me at so we can talk it over. 🙂  Thank you for coming and I hope you have a good rest of the day!

What challenge have you overcome?


What can I do with beets for a quick dinner idea?

beets sliced and ready to roast

What can I do with BEETS for a quick dinner idea?!

Beets and I have never ever been friends. I can remember eating some sort of beet when I was little. I think my dad canned them or boiled them, something awful from what I remember. (No offense dad.) It scarred me for life enough to bring out the toddler in me when I see beets on a dinner table.

I am extremely grateful for my fellow food bloggers and members of the food blogger community for the suggestions of what to do with these beets!

I’m sure you’re wondering, why would you buy beets if you dislike them so much?! The weekly food co-op that I buy from graciously included them in 2 out of the 4 juice packs that I bought last week. Yippee. We don’t know for sure what will be in them, only that there will be fruits and veggies that are good for juicing. Or in my case, blending. 🙂

How to roast beets.

The first suggestion was that I should roast the beets. Simple and very little time spent on these little pests so it sounded like a pretty good plan! Roasting it is!


First I sliced red potatoes and put them in a bowl tossing them with salt, pepper, olive oil and onion powder. I mixed them really well before spreading them out in the pan. Then I sliced the brussel sprouts and did the same as I did with the potatoes.

When it came to the beets, I was really fascinated by the deep red color of the juice. If you eat beets often this is nothing new for you but keep in mind I don’t like them…and I was just in awe! What a great dye or paint that would make! 😀 Such a rich color and beautiful coloring in the beet that was worth documenting with a photo for sure!  I love to share my vegetable recipes with you (and you can also send me some too!)

beets3Curiosity got the best of me and I had to try a bite of raw beet. It had a firm and crunchy texture that reminded me of a turnip, but it was juicy and a little on the sweet side. Not too bad! Not a prominent flavor, but a slight earthy note along with the subtle sweetness. I would imagine this would add a bit of sweetness to a smoothy or juice.

I roasted the veggies at 350 F for about 40 minutes then at 450 for 20 minutes. The potatoes were crisp on a couple sides, tender in the middle. The beets were slightly tender and the brussel sprouts were roasted to perfection as far as flavor is concerned. Not crunchy at all, but the roasting added a richness to the vegetables. I was quite impressed! What a great suggestion!


I did get a couple other suggestions that I really wanted to try, but since I was limited for time I combined them into one.

How to pickle beets for a healthy lunch idea:  a quick beet recipe.

For my little informal beet recipe, I took another beet, sliced it, then put it in a small container. I added vinegar, then I mixed in some salt, pepper and onion powder and let it sit for a few hours. This is a great way to quickly pickle getting the acidity of the crisp beet and the depth that onion powder adds. I use this same method when I pickle carrots for my bahn mi sandwiches. 🙂 No lengthy process and just a short soak to let the vinegar and seasoning soak in and work some harmony. In this case, the beautifully colored beets.


This sandwich was a combination of the pickled beets and the beet, spinach salad. My other half went out and got a fresh baguette. If you are thinking of re-creating this exact sandwich I will give you the order from bottom to top and for maximum experience I would at least try a bite of the sandwich in this order:

  • sliced deli ham
  • spinach
  • pickled beets
  • raw rainbow carrots
  • sliced avocado
  • cheddar cheese

I must admit, it was not anything fancy but this was one of the best sandwiches I have ever made. If you prefer a light sauce or spread you can easily add it but I like to taste what I put in my sandwich and not usually add sauces or spreads.

The cheese balanced out the pickled beets and the beets had the perfect amount of acidity. They were tender and the carrots added a crunch that I go crazy for! The soft and rich avocado was perfection for sure. I could have done without the ham, but it did go well with the rest of the sandwich.

I do love the crisp, tangy flavor of the pickled beets and I must try the spinach salad with goat cheese! Maybe we will get more beets next week?  I would love to make more healthy lunch ideas and quick dinner ideas with beets!

As you know I like to grow my culinary knowledge and experience by trying new things and even unusual things so if you have any suggestions I always want to hear them!

Do you like beets? I’d like to hear about your favorite beet recipes!

Bacon and yellow squash pizza with scratch made ricotta and a handtossed crust.

by Dionne Baldwin

The triumph of making my own ricotta cheese and the sadness of Christmas past.


I am so sad Christmas is over.  I get sad every year on Christmas night when the day is over and presents are opened and laying about the living room.  Some leftovers are put away while others are left out depending on how much room there was in the fridge.

photo 1

Someone got creative with the gift wrapping this year! I LOVE THIS!

One of the rare days I get to see all of my siblings is gone.  No more secret-santa-whispering and finding that “perfect thing” to give with anticipation.  No more talk of people competing with my other half for his undefeated title of first place for secret Santa wrapping.

Christmas lights at the end of our street!  Music, flashing lights and everything!  We look forward to this every year.

Christmas lights at the end of our street! Music, flashing lights and everything! We look forward to this every year.

A list of memories that were not made because we just did not have time to do everything I had hoped.  Pounding the cardboard down into the recycling bin as I take out my sadness on the boxes and packaging that brought the gifts safely home.  Once in awhile I wipe away a stray tear that hopefully no one sees.


Time with my nephew! Ear squeezin’!

My three siblings and I work different schedules and two of them live over an hour away.  We don’t see each other much but when we do I always enjoy it so much and I’m so sad when it ends.  I don’t always get to buy presents for people because time is so restrained and Christmas is the one time we get to go all out and show our gesture of love in our own ways.


Making brownies from scratch for a class auction. They were a big hit!!

With us, it’s not about getting a bigger tv every year so people will be impressed with how much we spend.  We don’t buy the latest and newest gaming systems for the kids.  We certainly don’t buy designer clothes.  We love getting together even just to hang out and we laugh hard, cry hard and even yell.  We cook, bake, make messes and tell jokes.  We plot about how to help someone that is having a hard time without it seeming like help.

photo 2

L o v e s

We plan surprise get together’s with themes to make people laugh.  It makes new memories.  We love to get presents for each other that we need (so it’s paid for and taken care of) and that we want (because we don’t spoil ourselves enough).


Gotta find that darn pickle! This year it was a real pickle…

I don’t rush around to get my obligation list crossed off, I rush around to avoid the jerks that don’t enjoy Christmas.  At times I stress about not having enough time to make these little memories but I do slow down to enjoy them.  I don’t want to waste any of my time here and that includes being with my family and plotting how to cut down expenses for someone going through a financial hard time. 🙂


The sad little Christmas wreath I made!

I am so grateful that I have siblings that I love and enjoy being with.  I am so grateful for two kids that choose to do things with me and not by themselves in their rooms.  I am thankful for two dogs that watch over this house and play so well with the kids.  I am even more grateful that the kids pull on my arm and beg me to play video games and board games with them.  I am so grateful that they get upset with me when I have to get work done because that means they want to be with me.  I am thankful that my other half is healing and no longer in danger, but he is not well enough to work so we get to see him so much more.  I am grateful for a teenager who loves to talk to me about what is on his mind and a little girl that teaches me new things every day.  I am thankful to have a supportive network of people that teach me things even when they don’t realize it and they step up to take care of things when I have a family emergency.

For me, Christmas is a time to celebrate those things and sit listening to sappy Christmas music and make Christmas cookies.  I hate Christmas for passing so quickly and leaving me here to sulk and kick wads of wrapping paper in my last display of disapproval.  But I can enjoy all of these things every day and I fully intend to.  I’ll never wait for Christmas to enjoy things.  The things that matter.rollingdough

While the abundance of yellow squash is something I should be grateful for, I am quite sick of it.  I had never had it on a pizza before so I thought to myself, why not?

When we make this Semolina Pizza Dough from Kim of Liv Life(or her pie crust recipe!) I talk about Kim and how involved she is in Liv’s dance competitions.  My other half likes to hear about her culinary adventures in Italy and the kids really like hearing about her little doggies and how cute they are.  I always think about how sweet and thoughtful she is.  It makes the recipe meaningful and it becomes a part of our time together.  It isn’t just a recipe it’s a piece of our friends here with us while we prepare our food.

My other half offered to help make these pizza’s and he ended up really enjoying it!   He slapped the dough, rolled it out and loaded it up with yellow squash, olive oil, salt, pepper, crispy bacon and sliced almonds.  Oh yes, and my made from scratch ricotta cheese!  It was so easy, you really should give this a try!  (And not just because my other half ended up doing most of the work!)  It didn’t bring Christmas back but the four of us sat around and enjoyed this pizza and just talked.  And crunched.  And we enjoyed every minute of it.

This is my go to pizza dough recipe.  I love it since this crust can be rolled thin and made into a crispy crust or a thicker crust with a crisp outside and a soft inside.  It’s very versatile and I had to make a few adjustments since I don’t always have semolina flour but it can easily be substituted for regular flour and baked in the oven just as I did!

This made a really good healthy dinner meal and would also make a healthy lunch idea!



Liv Life’s Semolina Pizza Dough (click for recipe)

  • I used all regular flour since I did not have semolina
  • I used Hawaiian sea salt which is a requirement in our house. 🙂
  • I mixed and kneaded without a bread machine and let rise for about an hour.

Ricotta Cheese (click for recipe)

  • Be sure to let it come to a simmer, gentle low boil, and then let it do so for about 2 minutes.

How was your holiday?  Are you sad to see it end?