Inferior Imitator

ep·i·gone n. A second-rate imitator or follower, especially of an artist or a philosopher.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Chicken Alfredo Pizza

It's a holiday weekend, and I made pizza. Absolutely delicious.

1 pkg active dry yeast
1 C warm water
1 T canola oil
2 t sugar
1/2 t garlic-herb seasoning
1/2 c wheat flour
2 1/4 to 2 1/2 c. bread flour
1 T cornmeal

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Add oil, sugar, seasoning, wheat flour, and 2 1/4 c. bread flour. Mix, turn out and knead until smooth. Put in bowl coated in cooking spray, cover and let rise for about 20 minutes.

Punch dough down, and roll out to 15 inches. Sprinkle cornmeal on pizza pan, and spread dough, building up edges. Bake at 425 for 12 minutes or until edges are slightly browned.

4 t flour
1 1/4 c milk
1 1/2 c cubed cooked chicken breast
1/3 c shredded Parmesan
1-2 c fresh spinach, cooked until just wilted
2 oz mushrooms
2 oz olives
1.5 oz onions
1.5 oz red pepper
2 oz shredded low-fat mozzarella

Combine flour and milk in saucepan, bring to a boil, stirring until thickened (about 2 min). Add chicken, Parmesan and spinach, stir until cheese is melted.

Spread mixture over baked crust and add other toppings. Bake for an additional 10 minutes or until cheese is melted. 8 servings. 1 slice = 277 calories, 15 g protein, 41 g carbs, 7 g fat.

I obviously had some issues with the crust: it doesn't look very pretty, but it tasted wonderful. My pizza pan is also only 12 inches, so it's thicker than called for. Will definitely make again!


Saturday, May 08, 2010

Our House is a Very Fine House

My home is very comfortable. I've lived here for almost 9 years now...crazy to think of it! In that time, I've made very few changes aside from replacing the windows and refinishing floors. And I've kinda gotten to the point where I feel like I'm still living in a college student's apartment: I've made an attempt at personalizing my home, but it's still very haphazard and not well put together.

And I think I'm to the point where I'm even interested in doing that. I've got some ideas of things I'd like to do, but not an actual plan. So I'm going to make one: figure out what my priorities are, what I can afford, what I can do myself, and what I'll need to hire someone to do.

My first step is the yard. First thing is to put in a swale in the back yard to help direct water away from the house and keep it out of my basement. I've accepted a bid for that, and I've also got a landscape designer coming out at the end of the month to help put a plan together for the yard. My family helped clear out the jungle several years ago, but I didn't put anything in it's place to make it more aesthetically pleasing, at least to my eye. I also really want a sitting area, so I can enjoy it. While they're putting the swale in, it will be more efficient to have them prepare the terrain for the rest of the long-term plan, so we're all working together to get that done.

As for the house itself, I've got less concrete plans. I'm thinking, though, that it might be easiest to start with the living room, especially since that's where I spend the most time, and I think it will be the cheapest. Some paint, an entertainment center to organize stuff, and getting rid of this Persian rug. When I took it, I was hoping to put it in my bedroom, but the living room is the only room where it fits, so here it is. I like my original rug better, but I need to find a home for this rug. It is real, but damaged, so if you know anyone who might want it...

Next on the list after the water mitigation and living room is the bathroom. I really want an exhaust fan, and to do something about the shower walls, which I'm sure are hiding water damage, so that will be much more expensive. A new sink, perhaps a dual-flush toilet...maybe my plans are more concrete there than I thought. :)

But my main goal is to make my house more to my actual tastes instead of what's been thrown together. I'm looking forward to living in an "adult" space.