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Craving this every time I try to go low carb

Oatmeal Pancakes and sausages

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Pizza Two Ways

It’s pool cover removal day, and such an exciting event because it signifies the beginning of the summer season for me and mine. We enlist the help of a few willing volunteers, if any have the time. This year my son and his beautiful wife will be helping with the task. We appreciate the help and what a better way to say thank you than a pizza party, as son was nice enough to come over directly after a very long workday.

The Pizza Dough is from Money Saving Mom and her 4 Weeks To Fill Your Freezer Series.

Freezer-Friendly Homemade Pizza Dough

  • 2 cups warm water (105 to 115 degrees F.)
  • 2 Tablespoons active dry yeast
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 Tablespoons oil (vegetable, Canola, or olive oil)
  • 5 cups flour (can use all whole-wheat, half white/half whole-wheat, or all white)

Pour the warm water into a bowl and sprinkle the yeast over it. Stir to dissolve.

Add the remaining ingredients and mix.

Dump onto a floured surface and knead dough for two to five minutes until smooth and no longer sticky.

To freeze: Cut lump of dough in half and place each half in an airtight freezer bag. Freeze for up to 4-6 weeks.

To bake: Place frozen dough in a greased bowl and thaw at room temperature for at least 3-4 hours. Roll out and shape onto a greased pizza pan.

Add pizza toppings of your choice. Bake at 500 degrees for around 10 minutes (until the crust looks crispy and lightly browned).

If you don’t want to mess with freezing the dough, take the kneaded dough and roll out and shape onto a greased pizza pan. Add pizza toppings and bake as directed above.

BBQ Chicken and Caramelized Onion Pizza

I prebake my dough for about five minutes. I find it all cooks better and you don’t have to worry so much about sogginess. If you do this you may have to reduce your baking time or bake at a lower temp. I found that about 15 minutes at 425 worked out fine.

Caramelize a large onion in about 2 Tbsp olive oil. The trick here is to cook it low and slow.

I had the chicken tucked away in the freezer. I had sautéed pieces of boneless skinless breasts, the ones that were too small to pound and make Panko crusted, stuffed chicken. To these I had added a little McCormick BBQ seasoning.

When your onions are done, cook your chicken pieces and season.

I like to put a light layer of cheese down first. We chose a cheddar jack mixture. I topped that with about half a bottle of our favorite BBQ sauce. You could certainly make your own. Then layer the chicken, onions and more cheese.

Meatball Provolone Pizza

We had leftover meatballs and provolone cheese from our meatball sandwich supper the other night. I added some canned, diced tomatoes to the sauce to stretch it. Spread the sauce and broken up meatballs over the pizza. Cover with Parmesan and Provolone cheese. Bake same as above.

Yum!

If you are a daily reader you know I’ve been following along with Money Saving Mom and her 4 Weeks To Fill Your Freezer series. This week we’ve been filling our freezer with desserts and snacks. We’ve had our fill of sweets for the week here at the Frugal and Healthful house. So far we’ve sampled oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and energy bites. We’re into the holiday weekend now and a picnic tomorrow will mean the traditional brownie dessert too, so no sweets today. We’ll continue next week with Sweet Saturday.

In the meantime, I missed one of the supper freezer cooking sessions due to a lack of yeast. You can read about that fiasco here. Today I have all of the ingredients I need to make pizza dough for supper and for the freezer too. Later we’ll be creating a BBQ Chicken and Caramelized Onion Pizza. Yum! Be sure to check back later for the recipe and photos.

No Bake Energy Bites

Here’s a no bake treat to keep you going this holiday weekend plus have some to stash away in your freezer for another time. Are you following along with Money Saving Mom and the 4 Weeks To Fill Your Freezer series? You will find several freezable snack and/or dessert ideas there, and most of them contain chocolate.

This is a double recipe. I made half for now and the rest to freeze.

2 cups oatmeal
1 cup peanut butter (or other nut butter)
2/3 cup honey
2 cups coconut flakes
1 cup ground flaxseed
1 cup mini chocolate chips
2 tsp vanilla
Mix everything above in a large bowl until thoroughly incorporated.
Let chill in the refrigerator for half an hour.
Once chilled, roll into balls and enjoy!
Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 1 week. I threw some in a zip top bag to freeze too.
This doubled recipe made 38 energy bites. I may have went a bit large. 😉 Thank you Smashed Peas & Carrots for such a yummy recipe.
You know what I love about these? Your family will be eating ground flaxseed and won’t even know it. Ground flaxseed contains fiber, 4 grams in two tablespoons. To show you a comparison, 1 1/2 cups of oatmeal contains the same amount of fiber. Flaxseed contains high levels of antioxidants called lignans which can help prevent unchecked cell growth. Were you aware that your body cannot make omega-3? You need to get it from a food source or take a supplement. When you hear omega-3 you usually also hear fish oil right along with it. Flaxseed is an excellent source of the plant version of omega-3, a.k.a alpha-linolenic acid. OK, enough with the scientific jargon. It’s good for you. Eat more ground flaxseed!

Frugal and Healthful

When I noticed Money Saving Mom was inviting whoever was interested to join in on “4 Weeks to a More Organized Home,” I had to be a part of that. I love things that keep me motivated and you know I love a challenge. I’m starting a day late though, so I have to play catch up. This is what I have accomplished for day one and two’s assignments. Yes, I plan to do both today to keep on track. Let’s see how I do.

Yesterday’s Day One Assignments

#1  I dressed as I normally do because I plan to do some walking, but I did put on a new top that flatters my figure and makes me feel good about myself.

#2  My goals are listed for the week. I chose the five that were the most important to me this week. They are:

1. Check pantry, frig, freezer and…

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Simple Pleasures

While I’ve been healing from this horrid inflammatory eye interruption in my life, I’ve had time to slow down a little. This has given me the opportunity to open my eyes, no pun intended, to simple things that have gotten my attention lately. Often times we get so wrapped up in life, and we are so busy, that we forget to look around and be thankful for the little things.

This morning I awakened to notice the feel of the soft sheets and the warmth of a down comforter. It was nice to linger there for a moment and enjoy those things without immediately springing out of bed as I normally do. I could still catch the slightest scent of Moonlit Path with its hint of lavender that I had sprayed the night before to help calm my restless spirit more easily to sleep.

After making my way downstairs I’m greeted by two fury pups who want to roam around outside. Most dogs are always happy to greet their owners, of course, but it’s always nice to feel needed. As I sit down to blog I find a playful kitty who wants in my lap. He paws at me, staring up with his big green eyes. He settles in and starts to snore softly. I wonder if I’m his silky sheets and down comforter.

As I am thinking about simple things, supper tonight comes to mind. As we have entered the Lenten season we are doing a meat free meal. Homemade pizza is on the menu tonight and I’m rather excited about it. It’s been awhile since I’ve made my own pizza dough. I have a very simple recipe to share and will post that later this evening.

Look around. What do you see?

 

So is the unexpected truly unexpected? I say no. We all know bad things will happen. We hope they won’t, but it’s inevitable. It’s not healthy to dwell on this fact of life, but there are some simple things we can do to be able to rest easier about the uncertain future.

Stop procrastinating. Get whatever needs to be done when it needs to be done. If the unexpected strikes, it’s a lot more difficult if you are already behind on your normal daily chores.

Plan ahead. If possible, work ahead at whatever you can. For me this would mean having blog posts ready to publish. My goal is to be at least one week ahead in the future. This could also suggest that meals be ready in the freezer. That would mean one less basic necessity of life to worry about for a few days. With everything going on in the world today, for our family, this also means to have an emergency pack for each family member and the pets items ready to go at a moments notice. This may sound extreme but it gives us peace of mind. Remember that even a gas leak in the neighborhood could cause an evacuation. It’s also a good idea to have extra food and water in the house, for weather or other emergencies. I’ll elaborate more on this type of emergency preparedness in another post.

Ask for help. Most of us are prideful and want to do it all ourselves. We forget that we are not giving others the joy of giving of themselves. Start with immediate family and branch out. Your spouse and children who are old enough can certainly help you pick up the slack while you are under the weather. When we think we are supermom what message might we be sending our children, especially our sons? I do not have a son, but what might a male child think if he grows up in a household where mom always has it under control and never needs help with anything. Might he start to think that women don’t need help and are supposed to handle it all no matter what befalls them?  This is not a true picture of the world. Shouldn’t they see dad helping mom and caring for mom? Might this teach them to be caring, helpful spouses? Spouses are made for each other to help each other through this life. Some food for thought. Depending on your situation, there are also friends and neighbors who would be able to help. There might also be your church or other religious group who may even be looking for opportunities to help others. Our church’s youth group would find yards that needed tending and do that for whoever called them. Imagine what a blessing that would be to someone who just had surgery, or any illness for that matter. It would mean one less chore to worry about. From that connection and interaction imagine how many other helpful souls might catch wind of how their presence and kindness might be helpful.

Pray. I know there are those of you who will say this should be at the top of the list and those who will argue that it shouldn’t be on the list at all. Being a Christian I believe it belongs on the list. I recently read a book by one of my favorite authors. It’s “Fearless” by Max Lucado. It’s message to me was to give all of my worries to God who promises, according to scripture, to take care of all of the needs of whoever believes and simply asks. I believe in prayer. I also believe that in myself there is the ability to take some measures to make my family and myself more comfortable by preparing for the unexpected. For now I continue to do both.

It’s amazing how pain or temporary loss of one of your main senses can put a halt to the normal, everyday functions of life. Any type of pain makes it difficult to do daily tasks. You end up doing the bare necessities and all of your other grand plans get put on the back burner. My heart goes out to those dealing with any kind of chronic pain or acute, painful illness. You don’t truly understand until it happens to you.

The Unexpected

What do you do when the unexpected strikes?

Is the unexpected truly unexpected?

What are some things we can do to head off the unknown?

These are a few questions for me to think about while I go through a healing process. In case you haven’t noticed I haven’t posted daily as promised for the past two days. This is due to excruciating eye pain when I look at the computer screen. Donning my sunglasses I quickly type and propose the above questions. As I heal I will think them over and hopefully have a few interesting answers within the next few days.

Other things I’ll be working on during that time…

Color-coding my files

Visiting an organic poultry farm

This and more when I return. Any questions, comments or healing vibes you send my way would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks for your patience.

Decluttered

Mission accomplished!

It is a great feeling when a project is complete. The less you have the easier it is to keep up. This goes along with something I saw on Facebook today. Sometimes those cute little sayings aren’t so cute, but today it was deep and meaningful. “The less you own, the less that owns you.” from Money Saving Mom on Facebook. Isn’t that the truth? Her sayings are always inspirational. Have you ever thought about how much easier life would be if you made it more simplistic. Seems like a big part of my life is keeping track of stuff. While the weather is still gloomy and I’m waiting for the garden season to arrive, I think I’ll take a look around and see what I can purge. This could also turn out to be a money-maker. You can sell unwanted items on eBay or get items ready to have a yard sale in the spring. Less stuff equals less stress. How much healthier would we all be with less stress?

Does anyone remember what the cluttered mess looked like before?

I sure feel better about it. It was a lovely, snowy day today. The perfect kind of day to accomplish such a task.

The garden site is definitely asleep. Now who wants to help slap some paint on that fence? What kinds of clutter-clearing and other projects do you have to share?

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