Spaghetti Squash Pizza Casserole

My latest shipment of Humira just arrived today. I still have a bruise on my leg from my last injection, so at least I won’t have trouble remembering which leg to use this week. In 2005, I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis.  After eight and a half years I’m finally at a point where I feel comfortable talking to people about my condition. I won’t get into the details of all the symptoms with you here, but please take the time to read up on Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease on the Crohn’s and  Colitis Foundation of America website. Another great resource is iHaveUC. Roughly 1 in 200 Americans suffer with these conditions – and many folks haven’t been diagnosed and are struggling along without help. That’s a lot of people in pain, malnourished, trapped at home or in restroom stalls, and quite possibly dealing with depression. This week is Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Week, so I encourage you to learn more about these diseases, to visit a gastroenterologist if you’ve been suffering any of the symptoms seen on the CCFA website, to spread the word about Awareness Week, to make a donation to the CCFA, and/or, if you know someone with Crohn’s or Colitis, to let them know that you’re there for them when they need help.

Dinners here lately have been experimental. About a month ago I started cutting gluten out of my diet, hoping to control some symptoms I’m still dealing with. It seems to be helping, which is great. The downside is that I have to learn new recipes, or rework the ones I know. I’m also pretty sentimental about food – I love the recipes we had growing up, and have grown really attached to new ones I had learned since I moved out of my parents’ house.

So I took a chance to create a gluten-free version of one of my favorite childhood recipes. In my mom’s cookbook this is Pizza Noodle Bake. In our house it’s called “that pizza pasta stuff”.  For now I’ll call its new incarnation Spaghetti Squash Pizza Casserole, until a shorter or more confused name comes along. Pizza Squash, perhaps.

Lace and Lemons Pizza Squash Continue reading

Croque and Roll

 

One of my current favorite recipes comes from our friend Sara at By the (Cook) Book.  In one of her Foodtography Friday posts, she gave a quick recipe for pizza rolls.  They are so good and so simple. I’ve made them for dinner and as an appetizer for parties.

One of the greatest things about the recipe, though, is how adaptable it is. Why limit yourself to pepperoni and mozzarella? That’s how I decided on a roll-up version of the French sandwich, the croque monsieur, which roughly means “crunchy sir” or “crunchy gentleman”. It’s a fancy way of saying “grilled ham and cheese sandwich.” And it is oh so yummy.

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The Ol’ Labor Dabor

I appreciate any holiday that celebrates the American working by letting us not work for a day.

I’m going to keep the chat short in this post, because I’ve got to get ready for my holiday weekend, but in case you a) haven’t decided what to throw on the grill for your weekend picnic or b) don’t even have a grill, I strongly suggest you rush out to whatever grocery store is open and get the necessary items for these:

Broiler Sirloin Kabobs!

Broiler Sirloin Kabobs (adapted from Sensational Sirloin Kabobs)

For the Marinade (This marinade was a great find. I’ve used it on whole steaks and chicken breasts)

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic pepper seasoning
  • 4 fluid ounces lemon-lime soda

For the kabob fixin’s:

  • 2 pounds beef sirloin steak, cut into cubes
  • 2 green bell peppers, cut into 2 inch pieces*
  • 1/2 pound fresh mushrooms*
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes*
  • 1 fresh pineapple, or canned pineapple slices or cubes*

*Or whatever you like. If you’re the carnivorous type, have just the steak!

Prepare the marinade:

In a bowl or measuring cup (I lined a 2-cup glass measuring cup with a gallon size plastic storage bag) mix together the soy sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, garlic powder, seasoned salt, garlic pepper and lemon lime soda.

Reserve some of the marinade for basting. Mix the meat and the rest of the marinade together in a plastic bag and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.

Prepare the kabobs:

If you’re using wooden skewers, soak them in water for 30 to 60 minutes before you plan to cook your kabobs. I can’t guarantee they won’t burn at all, but they won’t burn as badly as dry skewers.

Preheat your broiler. Thread the steak, pineapple, mushrooms and peppers (or whatever you chose) onto the skewers.

You can lay the kabobs right on your broiler pan (spray it first, if it’s not a non-stick type). I needed a bit more space so I made a makeshift grilling surface with a large cookie sheet and two cheap cookie cooling racks.

Cook the kabobs for 10 to 15 minutes, basting and turning often, until done. You know your broiler better than I do (I think), so just keep an eye on them!  (Obviously you can cook these on a grill, too).

We had them with rice and a little of the reserved marinade.

I hope you all have a safe and happy Labor Day weekend!  Wear something white, but don’t drop any food on it!

~Amy

Btw- the post’s title is a reference to this:

We’re Back!

Hey! We are BACK!

Katrina here, offering apologies for the long hiatus. One of us went off and wrote a poetry thesis,

Oh hai!

And the other one got hitched!

Wouldn’t it be great if that were her real bouquet?

It’s all terribly exciting. But we have been thinking of you and feeling just lame about our lack of updates. So while I’m not 100% sure we’ll be back at full force immediately, we are making an effort to both blog and to do things worth blogging about!

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The Cheese to Your Macaroni

We’re mixing it up a little here on lace and lemons, and we’re moving our mocha break to Friday. I wanted to get this recipe up and ready for you guys because it is not only delicious (so delicious), but it’s filling and meatless, so a good option for your Good Friday dinner.

Let’s talk about Macaroni and Cheese for a minute. I am obsessed with Mac and Cheese, because it pretty much is the perfect food. While I will gleefully devour a box of the processed, dehydrated, amusingly shaped Kraft variety, I definitely prefer the decadent, excessive, home-baked variety when I have the time to make it.  I’m on spring break and was looking for something indecent to bring to the fast-becoming-weekly Mad Men family dinner on Sunday. Mac and Cheese (or more specifically, 5 Cheese baked Mac and Cheese) seemed like the perfect option.

Seriously, this is so delicious it's almost NSFW.

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But it Doesn’t Taste Like Apples (Oh Wait, Yes it Does.)

Readers, I’m so sorry for missing Wednesday. I did turn in the first draft of my graduate thesis, though! (I know you were worried!)  By way of consolation, I will tease that I am working on a fairly epic crafting project, but it’s a surprise for someone who reads this blog on the regular, so you’ll just have to wait. . . .

Let’s talk about breakfast shall we? I know you’re supposed to eat it every day, but man, I find that difficult. Usually I end up grabbing some sort of fake meal bar as I run out the door.  But on days when nothing is going on, or when I get up unexpectedly early, I really love breakfast. It’s just awesome. All warm and inviting and “good morning.” Mmm.

So the other day when my early morning babysitting gig canceled, I decided I had earned some breakfasty goodness. But I only wanted to use what I had on hand which wasn’t much, and I really didn’t want cold cereal, because blah.  So I whipped together some maple apple oatmeal. You guys, this was amazing. The warm, filling goodness of oatmeal with the sweet crunchiness of apple? Killer.

The first thing I did was make some oatmeal just using the directions on the box. My thoughts on oatmeal: Don’t get sucked into instant oatmeal. It’s never as good (I always find it gluey) and it takes like, five minutes more to make real oatmeal. Plus it’s so so so good for you.

Magic Food.

I boiled one cup of water (with a little salt in there for flavor) and then added one cup of oats. Boom. Oatmeal. At this point, you can do almost anything you want with oatmeal. Yet another reason why it’s so awesome.

I had an apple in the fridge that seemed to be on its last legs, so I decided to go with an apple bread type of flavor.  I added about a tablespoon of maple syrup (I think organic tastes best, but use whatever you have or like), a teaspoon of vanilla, and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Flavor Town.

Then I chopped up the apple and some walnuts I had lying around (guys, a stocked pantry and a willingness to play around are the secrets to awesome cooking) and threw all that in and gave it a stir.

I am one of those people who likes milk on her oatmeal. In fact, I am largely unwilling to eat oatmeal otherwise. Instead of regular milk, though, I used some almond milk I had. . . The sweet nuttiness was a really nice compliment to the apple and maple flavor. I highly recommend almond milk if you have some dairy issues or if you just want a change of pace. It’s delightful.

Almond-azing.

And then I enjoyed my awesome healthy breakfast. This entire process took me maybe ten minutes and it was so so satisfying. One note: This is filling as heck. Oatmeal is really filling anyway, and then with the apple and milk and nuts, it was just a lot of fiber and protein. I couldn’t quite finish it, so make your portions accordingly.

So SO SO SOOOO Good.

 

 

Eat your Veggies.

Remember how I said last post that I rarely can convince myself that salad is a meal?  You do? Well, dear readers, congratulations on paying attention to me better than I do.  Frequently when I go to the grocery store, I convince myself that this is the day I’m going to discover my love for salad. This is the day I’m going to become one of these women.  And people, as foolish as this is, it’s a noble goal. A good salad does taste delicious. Salad is light and refreshing and oh so good for you.  And I tell myself this repeatedly in my local Safeway, and come home with this:

Green Food!

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Roll Call

You guys, I am an adult. And as an adult, I know I should be able to make myself reasonably nourishing, moderately sophisticated meals on a regular basis.  There’s just a few problems with that. While I know that my idea of a healthy meal should look like this:

This is what grown ups eat.

My actual idea of a “good” dinner looks more like this:

Creamy goodness

And when I get home from work or class, what I usually have the energy for is this:

The little shapes make it taste better.

It’s quite a devolution isn’t it? From a balance of veggies and protein and vitamins to processed powder that once sat next to real cheese on an airplane. At 25, I feel slightly guilty anytime I eat Kraft Mac n Cheese (no matter how delicious), and know I shouldn’t make a habit of it. But I so rarely can convince myself that salad is “dinner,” when what I truly want is carbs and cheese.

So when I stumbled across this recipe, I decided this might be the solution to my dinner conundrum. These lasagna rollups satisfy my pasta and cheese craving (being cheese filled pasta), but they are also reasonably healthy and feature veggies in a prominent role. In addition, although they take a tiny bit of legwork to prepare, you can make a pretty big batch on Sunday evening and have dinner for several days.  They reheat like a dream!

Mmmm

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