Thursday, July 30, 2015

Moroccan-Spiced Grilled Eggplant & Red Onion Pizza

Store-bought pizza dough is given a Moroccan flair topped with grilled eggplant, red onions and an easy homemade sauce that is all spiced up with heaping spoonfuls of Mina Harissa, giving this pie tons of flavor!

You guys! This pizza! Oh, man is it heaven. These days, I don't eat pizza very often because, you know, carbs + keeping diabetes at bay do not a good marriage make but ooooohhhhh, every once in a while, you just gotta because life is too short to not have the occasional food indulgence. And here, well, it isn't too over the top because, hey!, meatless. Plus we didn't get too crazy with the cheese and  – bonus! – no white flour. In fact, we're keeping it easy with store-bought ready made whole wheat pizza dough (although, if you're feeling ambitious, you could always make your own dough).

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Super Easy Homemade Pizza Sauce

If you're a long-time reader, you've heard this before as I've waxed on many times about my dad's Italian food-making skills. Some of my fondest childhood memories involve birthdays with trays of homemade lasagna or bowls of spaghetti and meatballs that he spent days making for us. Family gatherings (we're talking sometimes upwards of 15 people at some celebrations!) and Italian food was always such a treat!

Oh, and then there were surprise pizza nights on some Saturday evenings with dad making his pizza sauce from scratch, sometimes the dough, as well. Often though, he'd have ready to shape and bake pizza dough in the freezer for these "I'm in the mood for pizza" kind of evenings. He used to make, what he called, pepperoni pizza rolls which were among our favorite of his creations. Making his sauce from scratch, he'd slather it on a big ol' slab of dough, pile on the pepperoni slices and tons of shredded mozzarella, then tightly roll it up, jellyroll-like, and bake it. We were chomping at the bit waiting for it to come out of the oven only to have to wait for it too cool down for what felt like an eternity before dad would slice it for us, revealing the perfect pinwheel of pizza goodness.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

{Weekend DIY} How to paint photo backgrounds for food photography

I've been making my own tabletop photography backgrounds since the early 90s. Back then it was mostly for studio work for my day job and to use in creating my photo illustrations with hand-painted backgrounds like this one and this one. Continue reading for complete tutorial …

Monday, July 20, 2015

Key Lime Pie Bars in honor of Alex’s Lemonade Stand

I’ll talk about these yummy key lime pie bars in a few. First, I want to talk about the return of Alex’s Lemonade Stand this Saturday, July 25th to San Diego.

"Our mission is simple: to raise money for and awareness of childhood cancer causes—especially research into new treatments and cures—and to encourage and empower others, especially children, to get involved and make a difference for children with cancer.” Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation

The grassroots fundraising project was started in 2000 by Alexandra "Alex” Scott, a terminally ill child of four years old, to raise money that she could, in turn, give to the doctors who were treating her so they could help other children as well. Her first stand manned by her and her brother raised $2,000. She and her family continued to hold yearly lemonade stands to raise money for pediatric cancer research. Her call to arms quickly spread and by the time of her death in 2004, she, along with the help of others holding their own lemonade stands, had raised $1 million to help fund research for childhood cancer. The lemonade stand has gone on to be become a national charity, with lemonade stands of all shapes and sizes popping up around the country. They have raised $100,000,000 for pediatric cancer research, funding over 500 projects to date.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Esquites (Mexican-Style Corn In A Cup)

Think of esquites as Mexican-style corn in a cup! There's a bit of heat from jalapeño, creaminess from mayonnaise, brightness from lime and saltiness from cotija cheese. It makes a great snack, appetizer or side dish to grilled meats. Perfect for summer gatherings!

Let's talk about obsessions and surrendering first

Do you ever hear a song on the radio and become totally obsessed with it? Like, you buy it on iTunes and press repeat over and over until you’ve memorized the chorus and then some and you sing it driving to work at the top of your lungs with the windows rolled up because you know you have a terrible singing voice and heaven forbid you further embarrass yourself by inflicting said terrible voice onto others and you sing it driving home from work and then you think, how is it that this song is so perfect washing over you and into you and affecting you all the way to the very core of your being? 

I have. Many times. And I’m currently obsessing on Hillsong United’s “Touch the Sky.” Have you heard it?