Sunday, February 14, 2016

Healthy pizza crust and healthy salad. Good times with good friends.

It has been awhile since I posted anything on my blog. My excuse is life has been busy with work (overwork) and it's distractions and with grandchildren on the weekend. This weekend we had a friend and her two girls over for a movie night. So in anticipation of the evening we planned a pizza night where everyone would make their own pizza...except the crust.

For the crust I made individual 6-inch pizza crusts, of which, I made more "healthy" by using whole-wheat flour and non GMO flours, olive oil and coconut flour for greasing the bowl and baking pans. Here's the recipe:
  • 1 packet yeast
  • 1 cup water (warm water 105 degrees to 115 degrees for proofing the yeast)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat all purpose flour - non GMO
  • 2 cups regular unbleached flour - non GMO (1/2 cup or more may be needed)
  • 1 tablespoon corn meal
  • coconut oil to coat bowl
Warm mixer bowl with hot water and dry thoroughly. Add the warm water and yeast to the mixer bowl. When dissolved, add the salt and olive oil. Using the dough hook, turn the mixer on low speed (#2 setting on my KitchenAid) and first add all the wheat flour and then 1 cup of the regular unbleached flour. Slowly add the remaining flour until the dough clings to the dough hook and pulls away from the sides of the bowl, continue kneading for about 2 minutes.
Then grease a bowl with coconut oil, put the dough ball in, turn the dough over with the oiled side up, and cover (i.e. with a dish towel) the bowl. Leave in a warm area for an hour to allow the dough to rise (I turn on my stove and after the burner comes on, I turn the stove off and place the bowl in there).
After an hour, place the dough on a well-floured surface with the tablespoon of cornmeal, roll dough into a circle (i.e. 14 inch). At this point I portion it into 3 equal sizes and roll into 6 inch crust (I make thick crust, but makes more if rolled into thinner crust).
For the individual crusts, place on oiled cookie sheets and bake at 450 degree's until just beginning to brown (approximately 10-15 minutes). Let cool and store until ready to add the toppings. This works well also for freezing! After adding the desired toppings place in 450 degree oven and bake for 10 - 20 minutes until cheese is melted.

Toppings we used:
  • mozzarella cheese (low fat, and vegetarian)
  • cheddar cheese (regular and vegetarian)
  • pepperoni
  • ham
  • bell pepper
  • red onion
  • Jimmy Dean Meatlovers Sausage and Bacon Crumbles
  • black olives
  • pineapple
  • ripe tomatoes
  • Muir Glen organic Italian Herb sauce
  • Rotisserie chicken breast

For this occasion, I actually doubled the recipe and made enough pizza for 3 adults, 2 teenagers and 2 younger kiddo's. Everyone enjoyed making their own personalized pizza. For our "greens" we had a salad mix with regular lettuce, spring mix and kale. All the pizza toppings worked well to add to the salad also. For salad dressings, we either used traditional salad dressings or made impromptu homemade dressings with olive oil, red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar.

We had a very blessed evening with pizza, cola's (including stevia "soda-pop"), salads, and chips. Later, the teenage girls treated us with homemade brownies and candies that they prepared for a church gathering the next day.

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Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Tonights meal will be back again soon! Panko fried steak, vegetables and pasta, onion rings and garlic french bread.

I went into my kitchen this evening and had no idea what to cook, but I did not want to go out...again. I took note of what was available. Fresh vegetables (on the edge of spoiling)....broccoli, carrots and cauliflower, frozen "minute steak", onions, potatoes, french bread, and tri-color penne pasta.

I hate to see food go to waste, so I contemplated how to use the fresh vegetables, but I also wanted something different. I got out a saucepan, filled it with water, prepped the broccoli and carrots by cutting them in half for a smaller bite and to allow them to cook faster. In the end the cauliflower was no longer usable...arrg lost money and nutrients. I put a teaspoon of kosher salt in the pan of water and will turn it on a little later.

Next, I decided to use the minute steak so I defrosted it very gently in the microwave. I sliced the french bread and brushed it lightly with olive oil, sprinkled on kosher salt and garlic powder and set it aside. I turned on the oven to 350 degrees to pop the bread in at the appropriate time.

This brought me to the prep for the meat. Panko breaded steak (the steak when it was defrosted was more ground beef than steak but this did not deter the plan!). Then I thought, how good would this be if it was fried in onion flavored oil? Yes, definitely. I then set up the dredging station - egg wash (eggs and milk whipped with a fork), non-GMO all purpose flour seasoned with kosher salt, Tony Chachere seasoning and panko breadcrumbs.

I turned the sauce pan with the water and salt to high heat and put the fresh prepped vegetables in. I sliced one-half of an onion into thin slices. Then I added non-GMO canola oil to a skillet on medium heat and dredged the onion and steak in 1) flour, 2) egg wash and then 3) the panko breadcrumbs (yes, in that order). When the oil was hot, the onions went in first and were taken out when they were lightly brown. Then I added 2 servings of the tri-colored penne pasta to the boiling vegetables in the saucepan. Back to the skillet, I pan fried the steak in the flavored oil. When I turned the steak over, I put the bread in the oven.

Now everything is coming together nicely. The steak finished and was set aside to rest. The bread was slightly toasted and taken out of the oven. The pasta and vegetables were ready to drain in a colander in the sink (Enters husband, sneaks an onion ring and is promptly growled out of the kitchen since he was in the way more than once! ), placed back in the pan with 2 tablespoons butter, and a pinch of kosher salt was added.


The food is plated and the husband was called (allowed) back in to prepare the drinks. And then the food disappeared and alas you will never know how fast it was consumed and how nice it looked. Maybe I will remember to get the camera next time I make this, because we agreed it will be cooked again.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, January 5, 2015

The best ever peach cobbler!

I made a nice supper tonight and then wanted a dessert for later. I discovered a 16 oz bag of sliced peaches in my freezer and decided a cobbler was in order. Not to mention the hubby loves cobbler. After consulting with said hubby regarding his desire whether or not to include cinnamon or nutmeg, I adapted a recipe from an old Alabama Home Economics cookbook and the recipe on the side of the peaches bag. Just to forewarn you, this dessert is very rich, tasty and satisfying for even the most discerning person with an after meal sweet tooth, and besides that, it is easy to make!

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Next, combine 1/2 cup hot water and 1/2 cup sugar in the blender and let it sit. I know that sounds strange but it works. You can even increase the sugar by 1/4 cup if you really like the sweet stuff. :)

For the batter, mix together 1 cup sugar, 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1 1/4 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp salt and 1/2 cup milk.

Now, melt the 1/2 cup butter (I used the microwave). Place the frozen peaches in a 2 quart casserole dish, first cover them with the hot water/sugar mixture (it's okay if there is some undissolved sugar), and next with the melted butter. Then pour the batter evenly over the peaches, syrup and butter.

That's it, don't stir or worry with it beyond that! Place in the oven on the middle rack. Bake until it is golden brown...checking at 45 minutes but keep in mind it may take an hour or longer.

Mine needed approximately 1 hour 15 minutes to bake in my small oven.
This is the best peach cobbler ever! The hubby definitely thought so also.
Very sweet and it will be my only peach cobbler recipe from today forward.

Ingredients & Such
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Takes approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes to prepare & cook depending on your oven
~ 2 quart baking dish (square one) - Serves 6 generous portions

For the syrup:
1/2 cup hot water
1/2 cup sugar
For the batter
1 cup sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
For the Oh My Goodness
1/2 cup butter melted
16 oz (1 lb) sliced frozen peaches

See the "how to prepare" above the photo :).

I must tell you, that I was a bit skeptical of not adding vanilla but thought that the peaches should be flavorful enough and they were. I also debated on adding eggs but I am now glad I did not. Overall, I was quite pleased with the end result, as was my hubby. The skill level was easy for this one, but it will not be considered easy to anyone you serve it too.

Hope you try this one and enjoy it as much as we did. Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Queen of the Castle. Part V. Meet the Queen.

Welcome to Queen of the Castle. We are on a trip to the Cochem Castle in Germany. 

In the earlier four parts of this series, we travelled to Cochem via bus (Part I); in Part II we travelled on foot from the village up to the Castle; and then in Part III, we explored the castle grounds and saw some really great architecture, and scenery just beyond the outer walls. For the previous episode, Part IV, we went inside and saw some awesome craftsmanship, massive furniture, stained glass windows,
and beautiful ceilings!

We have seen a lot but you still have not seen the Queen. But your wish is my command. In this the fifth and final post, you will meet the Queen.

Queen of the Castle, Part IV

Welcome to Queen of the Castle, Part IV.  Part I began here.  We are on a trip to the Cochem Castle in Germany.

And due to the propagation wait, Part II was posted here. At the end of Part II, we had made the foot trip up to the castle. This guy and I were waiting to enter.

On Part III, we explored the castle grounds and saw some really great architecture and scenery just beyond the outer walls.

Now, let's go inside. We did go to the gift shop but that was not the fun part unless, you were my granddaughter and got a sword to play with or a pretty trinket as a holiday gift later ;).

You should really go see this with your eyes to see the detailing and craftmanship in the ceilings, walls, windows and furniture. Totally awesome!

For the castle tour, there was a guide. She taught us many things. The castle has a rich history of kings and such, but, in 1689 the castle was set on fire, undermined and blown up. The castle was in ruins until
1868. Mr Louis Ravene, a Berlin businessman, bought the castle grounds and the ruins. At that time, many rich business men renovated castle's for summer homes. For this castle, Ravene had to also allow tours of the castle as part of the agreement with the King.  I thank them both! The town/village of Cochem now owns the Castle.

Bust of Jacob
Louis Fredéric Ravene

In this tour we will visit a dining room in Neo-renaissance style, a gothic and a Romanesque room.

This would be my favorite spot in the castle!

A very massive piece.

This is the ceiling!

Another massive piece.

I'll take this, please?

Ceiling. See it larger in the photo below.

Again, the camera does not do this justice. You have to see this with your eyes.

The stain glass windows were beautiful but there were too many folks in the way!

Another ceiling.

Stained glass. They were much more beautiful via eye. Again, much too crowded to get a good shot.

Check out the detailing on the ceiling and rafters.

Game room - castle style. Or maybe even the "man-cave"!

Beer stein or wine mugs. There was a story about these, I just don't remember it.

Remember the outside view of these windows?

Ceiling. Can you imagine living here?

Do you see the intricate detailing in this table and chairs? Lovely!

This wall was so beautiful.

I vaguely remember this was described as ladies armor? Anyone know?

A view from the castle itself. Notice how steep the plots are on side of the hills and they farm these. Amazing!


Okay, that's it for today. Next visit I become Queen of the Castle. And you thought I was kidding! I am leaving these two knights in shining armor standing guard to make sure you return for the festivities to come!

The big suit was told to be for a person of German descent and the smaller one for a person of French descent.Big difference!
And that is how we roll on "eBlebco". Been there, done that, share it.

 Bis Spaeter,


P.S. Part IV and Part V were originally posted on evibev.com. I am moving them back here since I am not sure if I will continue with evibev.com. 

Welcome to Queen of the Castle. Part III.

Welcome to Queen of the Castle, Part III.  Part I began here. We are on a trip to the Cochem Castle in Germany.

 At the end of Part II, we had made the foot trip up to the castle. This guy and I were waiting to enter.

In today's post, while we wait to enter the actual castle, we will begin to explore the castle grounds.

 We are going in this direction.

I was very taken in by the architecture and most of the photo's are of high things!

 I think we will look out these windows in the next post. Notice the circular design of the lead glass?

And there was ivy on the outside!

And at what are these folks peering?

 It was a very, very deep well.

And the view from the outer walls was spectacular!

More castle architecture and garden.

 And so, I will bid you tschuess from the castle grounds. We will enter the castle on our next post. The inside took my breath away.

Bis Spaeter,


P.S. Part III, IV and Part V were originally posted on evibev.com. I am moving them back here since I am not sure if I will continue with evibev.com.