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Sugar Dish Me

"if you can read, you can cook" -my momma

Posts Tagged ‘parenting

Sugar Dish Me Moved!!

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So… by some default of my own (because i am the complete opposite of techno-savvy), some of – actually A GOOD CHUNK of – my traffic keeps landing here at WordPress.com.

And I’ve made SOOOOOOOO many new things since those Whole Wheat Strawberry Muffins.

I moved Sugar Dish Me and it would make me so so happy if you’d make the jump with me (if you haven’t already).

To see allllll the new goodies CLICK THIS LINK!!!!

And when you get there you can subscribe at the right-hand side of the page.

Here is a quick look at a few of the things you’ve been missing (you can click the photos for the recipes)…






If you’re already following at the new site THANK YOU!!! I appreciate you so much! I really truly do.

And if you’re new here, I look forward to hearing from you!!

Until then…

~Heather

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Written by Heather @ Sugar Dish Me

November 12, 2012 at 1:53 pm

Maple Oatmeal Breakfast Bread

with 20 comments

maple oat bread

Breakfast is easily my favorite meal of the day. Unless dessert is a meal.

I love breakfast for lots of reasons. Some of them include waffles with whipped cream. Or “Ah-lah-modey”. Other reasons have to do with coffee, eggs, breakfast potatoes. Don’t even get me started on biscuits or cinnamon rolls.

But I have to say that one of my very favorite things about breakfast is that I don’t have to talk my children into eating it (except when I make these Oat Nutty Whole Wheat Blueberry Pancakes – Evan doesn’t like them. Because his taste buds are deranged). So here’s the deal: I cook. Every night. I think I’m pretty decent at it… unless all of my family and friends have carefully constructed a very elaborate lie that includes all of you. Gah. That would be weird, right? One of you would tell me I hope.

Okay, so DINNER. I cook the food, I set the table, I call the family, we all sit down. I’m going to take a wild guess and say that 4 out of 7 days one or the other of my boys has to be coaxed into eating his meal. It. Drives. Me. Crazy. We’re eating good food over here!

Evan tries to pick out every shred of seasoning – today he was totally offended by cilantro. He spends mealtimes dissecting food, searching for things like green peppers and red onions. Andrew, to be fair, has gotten much better about this with age. But he still has major aversions to all beans (unless they are in chili), shrimp (unless it’s shrimp cocktail or fried), and mushrooms (unless nothing- he hates them).

making maple oat bread

Breakfast presents NONE of these problems. No matter what I put on the table at breakfast, the little boys are all about it. Maybe pickiness expands as the day wears on? Maybe they’re still asleep when I feed them at 6:15 a.m.? Whatever the rhyme or reason, in the morning I never have to tell them to finish their food 14 times. It’s such a relief.

Most days my breakfast is cereal. Or oatmeal with fruit. Lots of days I call a banana + coffee breakfast. I started making this bread last month, and it has quickly become my favorite breakfast staple. It’s great fresh from the oven. But if you don’t feel like baking for two hours before you eat the first meal of the day, it’s still great the day after, toasted, with a little bit of butter and way too much blackberry jam.

P.S. The power just inexplicably went out … what in the world.

how to make easy oat bread

This bread is fantastic covered in peanut butter and sliced bananas. It makes THE BEST cinnamon toast. Slice it up and soak it in custardy goodness for french toast? Amazing. Mapley bacon and egg sandwiches? Yessssss. Oh! In one of those breakfast casseroles that calls for cubes of bread? I just thought of that. Just right this minute.

Do power outages boost creativity?

knead the dough

I call this “breakfast bread” because it’s a little bit cinnamony and a little bit sweet with lots of earthy whole wheat and oatmeal goodness. Not that it wouldn’t easily pair up with sliced turkey breast, a big leaf of lettuce, and a cranberry spread… wow. My mind just totally went to a Thanksgiving place…

ready to rise

But really this bread is suited for breakfast. Slice it thin. Dip it in egg.

Your kids won’t complain about a thing.

maple breakfast bread

Except maybe the egg.

breakfast bread

Maple Oatmeal Breakfast Bread (adapted from THIS recipe at King Arthur Flour)

2 cups boiling water

1 cup old fashioned oats

1/3 cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons maple syrup

1 tablespoon honey

1/4 cup unsalted butter

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon instant dry yeast

1 1/2 cups bread flour

4 cups whole wheat flour

In a large bowl, combine the boiling water, old fashioned oats, brown sugar, maple syrup, honey, butter, salt, and cinnamon. Stir, set the bowl aside, and let the oatmeal mixture cool to lukewarm.

When the oat mix has cooled, stir in the yeast and then the flours with a sturdy wooden spoon until a shaggy dough forms. On a clean work surface, knead the dough for about 10 minutes, dusting the surface with bread flour occasionally if the dough gets too sticky. The dough will be smooth and a bit satiny. Form a ball and transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl (butter, cooking spray, a bit of olive oil- whatever suits), cover the bowl loosely with plastic wrap and let the dough rise for 1 hour.

Grease two 8 1/2 X 4 1/2 loaf pans (you can use a larger loaf pan but your bread won’t be as tall). Divide the risen dough in half, shape into two loaves, and situate the dough in the prepared loaf pans. Cover each pan loosely with GREASED plastic wrap and let the dough rise for another hour, or until it’s about an inch above the rim of the pan.

Preheat the oven to 350.

When the dough has risen, uncover and bake for 35 minutes. Remove the loaves from the oven when they are golden brown. Let the bread cool slightly before turning out of the pans. Slice with a sharp serrated knife to avoid smushing your pretty bread.

This bread is best served warm, but it will keep, wrapped tightly, for up to a week (if it lasts that long).

Written by Heather @ Sugar Dish Me

September 19, 2012 at 8:13 pm

Cheesy BBQ Veggie Sliders

with 22 comments

easy veggie burgers
This weekend was all about amusement.

Saturday night brought the demolition derby type of amusement, complete with mullet-sporting spectators, loud cars, lots of mud, and my 9-year-old thrilled to pieces over some car with the word “renegade” spray-painted on the side.

And then on Sunday there was this: rollercoaster!

Soooooooo many rollercoasters. I am a thrill-ride junkie. I love love LOVE a rollercoaster. It’s been a few years since we’ve made it over to Paramount’s Carowinds (which is, like everything else in the civilized world, about an hour from here) because it is usually pretty pricey, the heat is unbearable, and the lines are way too long. But! Our dear friend Pat, who is too adorable to even try to put into words, really wanted the boys to do something fun this summer – her treat. We waited until the summer was hanging on by a thread and picked yesterday to indulge in all things too fast, too high, and too much fun.

Armed with a 12-pack of Coca-Cola, a pile of peanut butter sandwiches, and a box of those chocolate Hostess cupcakes with the curly-cues across the top, we made our way to the amusement park, dead-set in our rain or shine mentality. It was a torrential downpour all the way up the road… I was beginning to fear I’d have to placate the children with a movie I couldn’t bear to sit through (to give you a good idea of what I mean, Evan thinks that Air Bud makes for quality viewing material). But when we pulled into the park the downpour turned to drizzle and eventually just… stopped.

As a result of our fearless drive through the hurricane-force sheets of rain, we were able to ride every rollercoaster in the park at least TWICE without waiting in one single line all day. That was a very sweet gamble.

So it’s been a few years since I’ve been on a rollercoaster, and though I am ever unafraid, I have to admit that the Intimidator rattled me. It was the first stop of the day because we just knew that bananas long lines would happen at any minute. Rather than work our way up to the tallest, fastest, longest coaster in the southeast, we just jumped in with both feet. Eyes wide open.

There are no shoulder harnesses.                                                      YIKES.

diced red onions

But ohhhh so worth the scary.

Chad, my little brother, and I spent a good chunk of the day convincing the children to get on rides they had dubbed “too high” or “too scary”. Evan quickly established that his comfort zone involves lap belts and hills, but absolutely no loops. He actually buried his face in his hands on his first go of the Goldrusher, a train ride I very affectionately remember riding with my parents when I was very super small. Five I think.

making veggie burgers

Andrew totally resisted his status as son of a thrill-seeker until …he didn’t.  When he finally got it, he was all-in. You have never seen a kid more excited or more fueled by pure happy adrenaline than mine after his third trip round on the scariest rollercoaster I’ve ever ridden.

Heart-warmingly adorable.

chick peas, black beans, BBQ, sliders

The only thing we didn’t do yesterday is eat greasy amusement park food. We by-passed every steak ‘n’ hoagie, every single cheeseburger. We did not eat even one giant soft pretzel. There were no $7 Dippin Dots or $9 soft drinks in fancy souvenir cups. Halfway through the day we marched out to the parking lot, ate our picnic lunch, and marched right back in. That’s not to say I wasn’t totally enticed by the smells of Cinnabon wafting past, but I’m the mom that brings a purse full of candy to the movie theater. And I’m okay with that.

veggie-ful

I did, however, bring thoughts of fair-like food home with me. So I indulged today, but I healthed it up a pretty good bit.

These Cheesy BBQ Veggie Sliders are HANDS-DOWN the best veggie burgers I’ve ever had. What’s better is that they’re itty bitty, so you can have two.

Cleverly smashed into these lovely little sliders are chick peas, black beans, carrots, spinach, caramelized onions, cheese, and BBQ sauce. Ohhhhhh yeah.

Topping these with more cheese was an important decision. In my opinion, there is no such thing as too much cheese.

More veggies on top of the unreasonable amount of cheese.

veggie burger sliders

If they had sold these tiny veggie burgers at Carowinds, I might have been tempted to splurge. But I think I’m glad I waited to gorge myself on park-ish food today, in the comfort of my own home, where Chad is the only person that might point and laugh if I smear BBQ sauce on my face.

Cheesy BBQ Veggie Sliders (modified from THIS recipe at How Sweet It Is)

1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped

1 teaspoon olive oil

just a dab of butter

a pinch of kosher salt

15-16 ounces of cooked, drained, and rinsed garbanzo beans, black beans, or a combination of both (see note at the bottom)

1 medium carrot, grated

1/2 cup cooked greens — spinach or kale both work well, OR you can use thawed frozen spinach- just be sure to squeeze allll the water out

1/2 cup grated colby jack cheese (or whatever your preference)

2 tablespoons BBQ sauce (I used Sweet Baby Ray’s Sweet & Spicy)

1 teaspoon honey

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon paprika

a dash of onion powder

3 tablespoons whole wheat flour

More cheese, lettuce, tomato, red onion, and BBQ sauce for topping the finished sliders

8 whole wheat dinner rolls

Place the red onion, olive oil, butter, and kosher salt in a small saute pan over medium heat. Caramelize the onion, stirring it around in the butter and oil occasionally. This should only take a few minutes.

Meanwhile, put the beans in a large bowl and start smashing them with the back of a fork. You could use a food processor to pulvarize the beans, but I like this rustic sort of texture, PLUS the chunks of beans seem to help the patties stay together. Add the grated carrots, greens, and cheese. When the onions are good and caramelly dump them in. Continue smashing everything together with the fork. Mix in the BBQ sauce, honey, pepper, paprika, and onion powder. Keep using the fork to combine all the ingredients evenly. Then mix in the flour.

Using about 3 heaping tablespoons at a time, form the mixture into 8 equal-sized patties. Refrigerate them for 30 minutes (this just makes them easier to handle- it’s not completely necessary).

Heat a large skillet on medium high. Coat with just a dab of oil or non-stick cooking spray and add the patties just a few at a time so you have room to flip them (they will be a little bit soft; I like to cook 3 at a time so that there is room for my spatula in the skillet). Cook them for about 3 minutes on each side – you’re just browning them and trying to heat them through.

Slice the whole wheat dinner rolls in half, burger-bun-style. Drizzle a little more BBQ sauce onto the bottom half of each mini bun, Place the cooked veggie sliders on top of the BBQ sauce. Then top them with cheese while they’re still HOT! so it will melt. Stach each slider with lettuce, tomato, and red onion slices, finishing with the top half of the bun. You can hold them together using frill picks if you’d like.

**Note: To make 8 regular sized burgers or 16 sliders, use 1 (15 ounce) can of garbanzo beans (chick peas) and 1 (15 ounce) can of black beans, and then double the rest of the ingredients. You could use all of one kind or the other, but the combination of the two beans was great for flavor AND color. If you aren’t doubling the recipe, you could certainly still use half of each can and save the rest of the beans for another dish OR you could do like I do (if you either plan ahead or have a bit of extra time) and soak & prepare dried beans — I just measure them by scooping them out of the big pot with my liquid measuring cup. All beans do need to be drained and rinsed, of course. Even those you cook yourself.**

veggie burgers

Written by Heather @ Sugar Dish Me

September 17, 2012 at 9:47 pm

My Son Hates 7th Grade

with 36 comments

no-bake oatmeal cookies
My oldest son is in the 7th grade. That sounds really strange to me when I say it out loud. Because I can remember the 7th grade, and it doesn’t seem far enough away for me to have a kid that’s 12. But anyway.

Andrew, my biggest little boy, is right smack in the center of what I totally remember as being the most awkward, emotional, and unfriendly years of life… Middle School. Errgh. He’s lucky because he’s super-dee-duper cute. I had snaggleteeth. He wears pretty cool clothes (which I think must be easier for boys except for those unfortunate few that are shoved into too-tight Wranglers and velcro sneakers). I’m pretty sure I dressed like a loser… my sisters were too little back then to tell me what on earth to wear. He’s got a sense of humor, and a handful of friends, so in comparison to MY middle school world Andrew is doing pretty doggone good.

But he still hates 7th grade.

Everyday he comes home and tells me so.

It started with our open house/school supply disaster.

making no-bake chocoate peanut butter cookies

We went to the open house. The teachers actually gave us the time of day (which is more than I can say for any of them last year). We were feeling pretty good. I asked each teacher the same question: “Is there anything specific he will need for your class?” The overwhelming response was, “Nah. Not really. Just a binder. Some dividers. Pencils and paper– standard stuff.” We were super prepared for allll a that thanks to my sister, aunt AND elementary school teacher extraordinaire, who went crazy on school supplies and bought every single thing on every single list the schools had provided on their websites.

So Andrew headed off for his first day of 7th grade armed with an awesome 3-inch 3-ring binder, enough dividers for each of his 8 classes, pencils, paper, and a brand new book bag. He returned home with a list of demands from nearly every single teacher, all wanting their OWN binder, 42,000 dividers, pencil pouches, etc. I was so completely overjoyed to have to traipse around Wal-Mart on the first day of school with every other parent in our town trying to find supplies that sold out weeks before. I mean, what mom wouldn’t be?

Let’s not forget the part about the currently unavailable and previously unrequested school supplies being a test grade.

I wrote a very nice email letting the teachers know that we know they wouldn’t make these requests lightly and that we were trying to accomodate, but that I can’t be the only parent running up against this wall, blah, blah, blah. It was super carefully crafted; eggshell-worded. Because Lord knows I do not want my kid to get off on the wrong foot with his teachers. Buuuut my plan backfired. Because the only two teachers that responded were snarky beotches. Also Andrew overheard these same two ladies gossiping about us. Rude.

The principal was nice. She gets a gold star.

making no bake oatmeal cookies

Of course I drove in circles until I found every last school supply listed. Because I want my cutie boy to do well. It took me 3 whole days.

In the meantime Andrew discovered that none of his friends from last year are in any of his classes. He has the worst (and latest) lunch. He isn’t allowed to take his book bag to class and since we now have like 79 small binders instead of just one big one he has to try to go to his locker in between each block (there is no such thing as “1st period” or “5th period” anymore; now they are called “blocks”. lame.).

He has the bottom locker.
The bottom locker sucks.

This whole process has made him tardy 3 times in a week. Three tardies = Silent lunch.

chocolatey no bake cookies

In 6th grade there wasn’t much homework. My little one, who was in 3rd grade last year, always had more homework than Andrew did. I warned him that a light workload wasn’t doing him any favors… not that he could have done anything about it. And now he is paying the price. It’s sort of stressing him out.

So every day Andrew comes home from school and tells me that 7th grade sucks. I hate that. But I just keep reminding him that we are gonna get through it. HE is gonna get through it.

When your kids start to get big there’s really only so much you can do without making it worse. I’m trying so hard to help. And even though it’s sort of considered the un-cool thing to do, my help involves trying to pack Andrew’s lunch.

Late, friendless, silent lunch needs cookies. And if you smash all the good kinds of cookies into one, single, bake-free bar, you get these.

Today when Andrew came home he told me he still hates 7th grade. BUT! He got 104 on his spelling test last week. And he’s got a good grip on his math and science classes. And he made a few friends on the school bus.

So maybe it’s not all bad. And as long as there are cookies something is good.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip No-Bake Cookie Bars (from THIS recipe at Brown Eyed Baker)

Ingredients

3 cups old fashioned oats

2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, chocolate chunks, or mini chocolate chips

1 cup creamy peanut butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups granulated sugar

1/2 cup milk (I used 2%)

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1/2 teaspoon salt

To Make

Line a 9 X 13 pan baking dish with parchment paper or foil.

In a large bowl, stir together the old fashioned oats, 1 cup of the chocolate chips, peanut butter, and vanilla. Stirring peanut butter into oats is a good workout. Set the oat mixture aside.

In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, combine the sugar, milk, butter, and salt. Stir frequently and bring the mixture to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes.

Pour the hot sugary butter mixture over the oatmeal mixture and stir until the oats are moistened completely. The chocolate will melt. Dump the whole sticky wonderful mess into the prepared baking dish and press it out evenly with the back of a wooden spoon.

Press in the remaining chocolate chips.

Let it cool completely. It needs to set up for at least an hour before slicing.

I cut these into 1 X 2 bars and wrapped them individually. We stored them in the fridge and had them in lunches and for snack all week!

chocolate chip & peanut butter cookies

Written by Heather @ Sugar Dish Me

September 10, 2012 at 10:56 pm

Have a Cookie

with 23 comments

moist, chewy chocolate chip cookies

Do you want to eat this cookie?

I do.

IN FACT, I would eat this entire plate full of cookies right now if three cookie monsters who will remain nameless (ahem… you know who you are.) hadn’t beat me to it. They even demolished my secret ziploc freezer bag stash that was cleverly stuffed behind two loaves of bread and a roll of parchment paper. Apparrently I’m just going to have to be a bit more clever. Game on.

These were first day of school/after school snack cookies. For some reason, school turns the cookie monsters into the hungriest small people to ever roam the earth. They come through the door like ravenous little dinosaurs and if there isn’t a snack waiting they will rummage through the cabinets and devour all the cereal, raisins, and pretzels. Then they move on to the fridge and start putting dents in all the apples, yogurt, and cheese.

I draw the line at cheese. Don’t even think about it.

sticky batter & chocolate chips
My executive decision was to start this school year off right. Tee-totally prepared with a platter full of these big fat chewy chocolate chip cookies, and more for lunches later this week. And some more for Mommy’s secret chocolate chip cookie stash because sometimes she needs a little pick-me-up and almonds just don’t cut it (Dear Food Editors at All Women’s Magazines: please stop pretending like almonds and kale are going to satisfy all of our needs. Have you ever even had a cookie?!).

The little boys were thrilled to pieces with their chocolate chip cookies. And I didn’t even mind when they each traipsed past the plate six more times to “discreetly” snatch extra cookies while we sorted through giant stacks of school papers to be signed and they cranked out spelling homework. I wear the Irresistable Cookie-Maker Badge with pride. I gave the go-ahead after dinner when the plate of cookies started calling to them, because sometimes food talks to me, too.
baking chocolate chip cookies
I’m pretty sure I had a whole entire conversation with this cookie dough.

deliciously chocolatey chewy chip cookies
This batch of cookies DID survive Monday night. I managed to pack them away in little boy lunches and wrap a few for Chad to take to work. I had one before lunch.

Maybe it was two.

And after that … it’s a mystery (albeit not a very difficult one).

I suppose I should blame the author of this recipe for my cookies’ disappearing act. They were titled “The Best Big Fat Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies”. And indeed, they were.

amazing chocolate chip cookies
Still, though… someone around here owes me a cookie. Or 12.

The Best Big Fat Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies (modified from Allrecipes.com)

Ingredients

2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

1 cup packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup white sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla

1 egg, plus 1 yolk

2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

To Make

Pre-heat the oven to 325. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. In a large bowl whisk together the melted butter and sugars until combined. Mix in the vanilla, egg and extra yolk. Stir in the flour mixture until just combined. Then stir in the chocolate chips.

Drop by the heaping tablespoonful onto the prepared cookie sheet.

Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the edges are a pretty golden toasty brown. Cool the cookies for a few minutes on the cookie sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

warm cookies

cookies and milk

Written by Heather @ Sugar Dish Me

August 30, 2012 at 8:49 pm

Things I Like

with 17 comments

Appetizer Plate
Sometimes I am totally overwhelmed by the sheer volume of awesome things I come across on the daily. I try so hard to remember allllllllll the things I wanna tell you about because they plain old strike my fancy, but then I get distracted by things like baking bread or eating ice cream sandwiches.

Ice cream sandwiches are really distracting.

So before something shiny (OR chocolatey) snags my attention, let me proceed.

Awhile back my sister posted a link to these 27 Indisputable Facts that Everyone Knows are True. Numbers 7, 10, 14, 16, 19, 21, 22, and 23 are particularly awesome.

One day I came across this proposal video. I watched it twice. Then I made Chad watch it. Also I cried. Don’t judge me.

plate full of potato skins
I’m so ready for fall I can hardly even stand it. I want to wear things like THIS.

I’m a teensy bit obsessed with these… like I think I need to make them yesterday…

Photo Courtesy of Undressed Skeleton

And going back to indisputably true things… I really like it when my little Evan leaves me reminder notes taped all over the house or my Andrew sends me text messages just because he wants to talk to me… about nothing really in particular. I really like it when they solicit my approval on their Crayola masterpieces or beg me to join a card game, or pick me flowers from the yard to tuck behind my ear. I really, really, REALLY like alla that.
Also!! When the little boys rave over my baked goods it’s like a badge of honor.

Everyone likes badges. And dogs. Everyone [SHOULD] likes dogs.

I also like loaded potato skins. THEY ARE SO INSANELY ADDICTIVE.

bake the potatoes
Which is a little bit weird because baked potatoes, while pretty good and definitely falling on the list of things I like, don’t really qualify as addictive. Something happens to potatoes when you scoop out the fleshy middle (and save it for hash browns) and replace that middle with cheese.

preparing potato skins
It might be the bacon that sits on top of the cheese that puts these things over the moon. Or the sour cream that goes on top of the bacon. It could be the slight oniony crunch of scallions or chives or the chewy but crisp bite to the potato.

More than likely, it is all of these things, wrapped up into a few bites of deliciously satisfying appetizer goodness. What’s not to like about all that ?delicious
There is SO MUCH to like about loaded potato skins that this pile grew and grew.

Then it disappeared really fast.

how to dress up your baked potato
This morning my mind is pretty much stuck on sugary breakfasts (like those pop tarts I showed you before), so before I tell you all about how to make potato skins (which are a decidedly un-sugary breakfast food), I need to show you one more thing I like.

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls from the Joyful Baker

photo courtesy of Joyful Baker

I like these Overnight Cinnamon Rolls so much that I really wish I’d remembered to make them last night. I’m pretty sure they would more than drastically improve my morning. Coffee cake couldn’t hurt either.

Oh! When you make yourself that pile of potato skins don’t forget that ranch dressing is important on the side. It helps the celery sticks. And while you eat, you should totally watch THIS.

Loaded Potato Skins

Ingredients

Russet (or other thick-skinned, good for baking) potatoes, smallish in size and thoroughly scrubbed. I look for potatoes that, when halved, could be eaten in about 3-4 bites.

olive oil

kosher salt

shredded cheddar cheese

bacon, cooked and crumbled

sour cream

green onions or chives

coarsely ground black pepper

ranch dressing (for dipping)

To Make

Preheat the oven to 400. Rub the potatoes all over with the olive oil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the potatoes from the oven (but leave the oven on, reducing the heat to 350). Let the potatoes cool, cut them in half, and leaving a little flesh all the way around (don’t scoop all the way down to the skin), scoop the middle out of the potatoes. Set the potato middles aside for something delicious like hash browns.

Rub the insides of the potatoes with the olive oil and then sprinkle with the kosher salt. Line the halves up on a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle cheese into the hollowed middles of each potato. Then the crumbled bacon. Bake for another 10 minutes or so, watching for the cheese to melt but not burn. the potatoes will become a little more chewy and a bit crisp at the edges.

Spoon sour cream onto each potato half and then sprinkle with green onions.

Serve with ranch dressing.

 

Written by Heather @ Sugar Dish Me

August 16, 2012 at 1:45 pm

4:15 A.M.

with 26 comments


This morning, a little after 4 a.m., my eyes fluttered open because I heard a noise.

Actually, this is the third time this week that a late night noise has pulled me from my already sporadic slumber. The first two times were weird; once I woke up in a panic and scrambled off the bed around 1 a.m. because I felt certain something was creeping around, and it wasn’t Chad. Chad could sleep through a hurricane, so my scream-and-scramble-for-the-door move didn’t phase him much. He just swung his feet over the edge of the bed towards the floor and sat there rubbing his eyes in the dark, most likely thinking that I’m completely crazy. Then I made him try to sleep all night with the light on.

About the time we both dozed off, maybe around 3 in the morning, the TV in the living room started blasting white noise out of nowhere.

I promise I am not making this up.

Several mornings this week when I have gone into the kitchen to put the coffee on and start breakfast, my oldest son, Andrew, has been perched on the couch with a blanket quietly watching re-runs of The Office. As soon as I flip the light switch and start to wonder why the TV is on, his head pops up from behind the cushions like as if it’s the middle of the day. “Hi Mommy!”

“Why are you up?,” is all I can muster in my pre-coffee before dawn coma.

“Bad dreams… couldn’t sleep. Can we have pancakes?”

Geez.

So back to this morning at 4 a.m. A noise woke me up and when I sat up in bed to identify the source, I realized it was the TV. Not scary white noise TV like earlier this week, but little boys parked on the floor watching cartoons TV. And sure enough, upon opening my bedroom door and padding through the house, I found two little boys in a mess of pillows and blankets sprawled across the floor watching cartoons at 4:15 in the morning.

And they had yet to fall asleep.

I crashed the middle-of-the-night cartoon party and shooed my boys off to bed, managing to catch a teensy bit more sleep before my morning routine started calling. The only good that came of the whole mess was that they both slept until after noon. When I pressed the issue over cereal and milk at 2 p.m., expecting to hear tales of crazy nightmares or scary bumps in the night, they told me that they were simply staying up to see if they could do it.

Remember when you were a little kid and you just stayed up all night for no reason other than to see if you could? Completely the opposite of now, when I’m thrilled to pieces if I hit the sheets by 11 p.m. Or better yet, 10.

I can’t wait to see what kind of interruptions this night will bring…

southwest style pizza with black bean sauce
Typically I can offer you some clever liaison between what’s going on in my life and the recipe I’ve decided to share, but sleep-deprived as I am this week, It’s just not happening. I made this southwest inspired pizza shortly before we went on vacation. Chad talked about it for a week, so I’m guessing he liked it alright.

I used a whole wheat crust, but a jalapeno cheese crust would have been even better. In place of sauce I made a paste with some leftover black beans, a heap of seasoning, and a bit of chicken broth.

bean paste and dough
corn, peppers, and onions on pizza
I sprinkled corn, bell peppers, red onions, and tomatoes over the black bean sauce.


Added a little shredded chicken and a heap of shredded cheddar jack cheese.

Southwest Pizza
And then happily smothered each slice with guacamole and sour cream.

veggie-full pizza with guacamole and sour cream
So without further ado, because I’m looking forward to sleep and hoping to get through the night without any paranormal activity, I give you Southwest Black Bean Pizza.

Southwest Black Bean Pizza

Ingredients ** ingredients listed below yield 1 large pizza, but one dough recipe will yield enough dough for two crusts. I freeze the extra dough, but if you want to use all the dough just double the other ingredients**

1 recipe Simple Homemade Pizza Dough (Note: I used 2 cups whole wheat flour and 2 cups all-purpose flour to make the wheatier crust shown here. If you want to try this with a jalapeno cheddar crust, knead 1/4 cup chopped fresh jalapenos and 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese into the dough before the first rise) OR 1 package prepared pizza dough

1 recipe Black Bean Sauce (Below)

1/2 cup frozen whole kernal corn, thawed

1/2 cup green bell pepper. diced

1/2 cup red onion, diced

1 cup fresh tomatoes, diced

1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar jack cheese

1/2 cup shredded chicken

sour cream and guacamole to garnish

**Black Bean Sauce** based on THIS recipe from Good Life Eats

  • 1 can of black beans (or approximately 2 cups cooked), drained and rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • chicken broth, vegetable broth, or water

To Make

To make the black bean sauce, add the black beans, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, black pepper, and cayenne pepper to a food processor or blender. Pulse a few times and a thick paste will begin to form. Add in the broth or water a tablespoon at a time until you reach your desired consistency.

Spread the black bean sauce across the pizza dough. Sprinkle the bell peppers, red onions, corn, and tomatoes over the black bean sauce. Cover with cheese and chicken and bake according to the directions for your pizza crust.

Garnish each slice with guacamole and sour cream.

Southwest Pizza

 

Written by Heather @ Sugar Dish Me

August 2, 2012 at 10:50 pm

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