Friday, May 23, 2014

Friday = Pizza Night!

Happy Friday to one and all.  Fridays are always a lovely thing...they mark the end of the work week and for me they also represent a rest day from running (and life, to be honest).  My favorite Friday night dinner is pizza.  Hands down.  Add in a movie and it's a match made in heaven!

But, sometimes I don't want to really make pizza.  I am a fan of the TJs refrigerated dough, don't get me wrong.  That stuff is legit.  And I just experimented with their frozen crusts and those are pretty good too. But still a lot of bread and time to let the dough rise and then bake it and when I get home from work I am ready for pizza right now!  What's that about patience being a virtue?  I suppose I should work on that!

Enter Trader Joe's whole wheat tortillas.  These crisp up in the oven in no time and are the perfect foil for multiple topping options. I just planted a couple tomato plants and can't wait until I have fresh tomatoes to put on my pizza with some summery basil!  But, because it's not quite tomato season, I opted for a Mediterranean-style pizza with hummus instead of tomato sauce.  I've made a hummus pizza before, but with a different crust.  I guess I really like hummus pizza.

I have been obsessed with olives lately. The brininess is just splendid.  And perfect on a Mediterranean-style pizza!

I topped the hummus and olives with a healthy helping of kale.  Here's a tip--drizzle a little olive oil onto the kale before topping the pizza and massage the oil into the kale. It helps break the kale down a bit and then also helps it get crisp in the oven.  Yum!  I sprinkled on a bit of nutritional yeast which adds a delightful earthiness. I know nutritional yeast sounds gross but it is really perfect on pizza.

10 minutes in the oven and BAM!  You've got pizza!  Just don't burn yourself trying to eat it too quickly.

Easy Hummus Pizza
*Serves 1
*Prep time: 5  minutes
*Cook time: 10 minutes
*Kitchen gear required:  Cutting board, bowl, knife, pizza stone or baking sheet, measuring spoons

1 whole-wheat tortilla
2 Tbsp hummus (any flavor! be wild!)
2 Tbsp chopped olives (I used kalamata but the world is your oyster--use your favorite variety)
1 cup chopped kale
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 Tbsp nutritional yeast

Ready, set, go!
1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  If using a pizza stone, let it heat up in the oven while you are prepping your pizza.
2.  Slather your tortilla with hummus and sprinkle chopped olives.
3.  In a small bowl, drizzle olive oil over kale and massage the kale for 30 seconds or until it wilts down a wee bit.
4.  Top pizza with kale and transfer to pizza stone or baking sheet
5.  Bake for 10 minutes or until tortilla and kale are crisp.
6.  Try not to burn yourself eating this thing piping hot from the oven.  Trust me, it's tempting!
7.  If you are me, and it's Friday night, put your feet up and turn on Netflix and unwind from the busy week!

Question: What are your favorite pizza toppings? I need inspiration for my Friday night favorite!


Thursday, May 1, 2014

Spring. Has. Sprung

Just when I thought I couldn't love Oregon anymore, Spring happened. I didn't think I had been missing out on Spring all these years but alas, while Southern California's weather is gorgeous, it is also fairly consistent (read: season-less). There's something really magical about the way our Pacific Northwest gray skies give way to bits of blue and the daffodils and tulips start to put on a show.  Remind me that I said this as we prepare for a week of rain next week after 80-90 degree days this week.

Show offs.   I mean, really.
One of the funny things that happened with the advent of Spring is that I actually found myself hungry for salads again.  The cold, rainy winter months made me crave warm soups and comfort foods.  Now I just can't wait to dig into salads and crisp veggies. I had the chance to visit my relatives' wonderful produce stand at the Albany Farmer's Market last weekend (hi Brian! hi Ruth!) and came away with most gorgeous bags of salad mix. Tell me you are not jealous that there are yellow flowers in my salad.  Threw in some blueberries, sunflowers seeds and Gorgonzola and dash of olive oil and drizzle of balsamic vinegar it was pretty much the best thing ever!

Salads.  Reunited at long last.
Besides my job (which I love!) the other claim on my time of late is my renewed love affair with running.  I joined a running club when I moved up here and it has been awesome.  I am getting faster and just signed up for my first 1/2 marathon in a long time.  The plus side is that I get 4 solid days of running in Monday through Thursday.  I mean, solid.  I've already run 27 miles this week and I haven't even done my long run yet. Amazing. The downside is that I don't get home until almost 8 p.m. most nights which makes for one tired chickadee who just wants to eat dinner and watch something on Netflix (I'd love to say I come home and read a book or something but I'll be honest I fall asleep within 2 minutes of picking up a book).  I've got to find that balance I suppose, but the good news is that up here in the Pacific Northwest it stays light out for.e.ver so I think there will definitely be some food photography/recipe creation happening in the very near future.

Loving my new Sauconys and nifty water bottle!
And I could live in these Nike Epic running tights.
Pity they aren't up to dress code standards for the office.
In the last few weeks I've travelled to St. Louis for business, visited my dear friends in Albany and took a sojourn to Pumpkin Hollow (darling little Americana craft boutique), celebrated Easter with my new church family and my extended family, got my new furniture delivered, had multiple facetime dates with my fam and discovered that I am sad when I run out of my Suave dry shampoo because, let's face it, I really am lazy when it comes to washing my hair.  Yep, I'd say my life is pretty full right now.  And I'm loving every minute of it!

Pumpkin Hollow.  Doesn't the name alone just make you long to visit? 
I promise to be back soon!  With recipes!  Thanks to you all who still ask about this 'lil blog.  Apparently people still read it which just makes me feel happy.