bake.sweat.create.

Adventures in the kitchen, in fitness and with glitter!


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A Healthy Take On Pizza Crust

I have never been a fan of cauliflower but have seen it popping up everywhere as a healthy substitute in some of my favorite dishes, i.e. for noodles in mac and cheese and the crust for pizza. I found a great head of cauliflower at the Farmers’ Market on Saturday so I decided to try out a new recipe. I am a fan of Lauren Conrad and do follow her blog, so I decided to try a recipe that was shared recently on her blog for gluten-free cauliflower pizza crust. I started out by grinding up the cauliflower in a food processor and mixing it with the yogurt and whisked in the egg. 

A mixture of cauliflower, ground in the food processor, greek yogurt and an egg.

A mixture of cauliflower, ground in the food processor, greek yogurt and an egg.

It was pretty runny so I refrigerated it, hoping it would solidify some, but it didn’t make much of a difference. I spread the “dough” out on the pan and topped it with homemade pizza sauce I threw together. 

Tomato sauce, tomato paste, a pinch of sugar, basil and rosemary.

Tomato sauce, tomato paste, a pinch of sugar, basil and rosemary.

I cut up some of my favorite veggies and grated a combination of mozzarella and cheddar jack cheese. 

Ready to toss over the pizza!

Ready to toss over the pizza!

Then it was ready to go in the oven! 

Looks like a normal pizza...

Looks like a normal pizza…

About 40 minutes later, the “dough” was a bit soft still, but the top was bubbly and a bit brown. 

Looks delicious!

Looks delicious!

I cut into it and with the exception of needing a spoon to accompany my fork to scoop it off the plate, it tasted almost like normal pizza! I was pleased with the outcome but am going to do some investigating into how I can make the dough a little more solid for future trials. I’ll keep y’all posted. Happy cooking! 

  

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Tailgate Food!

It’s the first official Saturday of college football season! It is always a highlight of the year for me and I enjoy taking in football in the stadium and on TV. This weekend I settled for TV as the Badgers are on the road in Houston, facing LSU this evening. I picked up a few fresh ingredients at the Farmers’ Market again this morning and dug out some tailgating recipes to snack on while we watch the big game. 

I couldn’t pass-up the grape tomatoes again this morning at the market so I whipped up the warm tomato bruschetta from last week’s post. Still delicious! I also collected some ingredients I had to make a Corn Salad with Creamy Tomatillo Dressing. I had several ears of corn from the market, an avocado, jalapeño, fresh cilantro and onion on hand, so was able to whip up this yummy dish. I adapted the recipe slightly, partly based on what I had on hand, partly for health purposes. I opted not to char the corn, I’m not sure how much I like that deep char flavor and I was feeling just a little lazy. The tomatillo guacamole was easy to toss in the food processor, I added lots of fresh cilantro and garlic and it tasted delicious even before I added it to the rest of the salad. I’d say it was more of a salsa than a guacamole, it was good none the less. For the dressing, I used greek yogurt instead of mayo (personal preference) and Sriracha hot sauce and then combined it with the guacamole/salsa and poured it over the corn mixture. I added feta cheese over the top as well. It had quite a kick to it initially but as it has marinated today, I think the yogurt has calmed some of the spice. I can’t wait to put it over a salad, or nachos, or just eat it with chips. 

This isn’t traditional tailgate food but I’ll wait to break out the real stuff for the home games I am attending this fall! 

I hope you all are enjoying college football and an enjoyable holiday weekend! 


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Out on the Town

I received the most pleasant surprise during work today – a good friend from MT texted around noon and reminded me that he was visiting Madison this weekend, or rather tonight! His family is from Wisconsin and he and his girlfriend are visiting with his family for an extended vacation around his cousin’s wedding. His first stop was Madison! He’s quite the beer connoisseur so he visited a couple local breweries before meeting me in downtown Madison.

A quick recap of the first part of his trip – Ale Asylum was the first stop, the brewery is location yards from the Madison airport and I believe gets a lot of airport traffic! My BF’s favorite is the Hopalicious, an American IPA, super hoppy! My friend highly recommended the Belgium IPA, which is made with a Belgium-yeast and lots of hops. Next was the ever-popular Wisconsin brewery, New Glarus Brewery. The brewery doesn’t export beyond the Wisconsin boarder and is up there next to Miller as the most popular cold one in Wisconsin. Spotted Cow is their biggest seller and the brewery expanded into a new location recently, it’s like a castle, a really neat trip to rural central Wisconsin to visit.

From there I met up with my friend and his family on the Capitol Square, at The Coopers Tavern. I had a great Blanche De Bruxelles, Belgium Ale and the crew split a local cheese plate and traditional soft pretzels. From there we moved on to the Tipsy Cow. My friend walked by and was so intrigued by the name, we had to stop. He chose well on the menu and got a Mokah stout, a chocolate and coffee stout beer. It wasn’t my style, but he was impressed. I went for a Heartland Wheat, from Lucky Bucket Brewing. Then it was finally on to dinner, I had picked out a list of some of my faves near the Square and we decided on Graze. This was one of the first restaurants I tried with the BF on the weekend we were apartment searching in Madison, and the mac and cheese has kept me coming back! The place has a great view of the capitol building and the square looks so nice lit up at night. We had a great meal, I got the mac, made with 10 year cheddar, and my friend also opted for the mac too, but topped with pulled pork! His mom and sister split the Graze burger, which was made of fresh ground bacon, sirloin, ribeye & short ribs! My friend’s GF was feeling adventurous and ordered the Bibimbap – marinated ground pork, crispy rice, sunny-side-up egg, market vegetables, and a spicy sauce. She raved about it, the radishes on top looked delicious too. It may go on the shortlist for next time I visit Graze.

It was a fun the evening with old friends and we made quite the tour of downtown Madison. It was awesome to connect with a friend from MT out in Madison and visit with him and his family. Sorry, no pictures, we were having too much fun!


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New Running Shoes!

A great day for a runner is the run they take to break in new shoes, or rather the run after they break in new shoes. Today was my first day in a pair of new kicks! I was a loyalist to the Nike Pegasus line for several iterations (25-27) then moved to Asics Gel Cumulus for my first marathon and my latest half-marathon. Earlier this month while in Portland, I was lucky enough to visit the Nike Employee Store. Besides being in heaven, I was looking to pick-up some practical goods. A new pair of running shoes was high on my priority list, as my last pair needed to be cycled out over two months ago! I went back to my old standbys and picked up a pair of Pegasus’ – they are up to 31! And they are bright pink!

Side view!

Side view of the new kicks!

 I have been in a rut lately on my runs so I was hoping a fresh pair of shoes would invigorate me some. I tested them out with a 5.5 mile trek near Lake Mendota this morning. I started off slow and then decided to try and descend my miles. It worked for the first four, and my fourth mile was pretty fast, so I wasn’t able to descend from there but my last 1.5 miles were still at a good pace. I think it was decent fresh start for my shoes and a good omen for my running. My toes didn’t get numb, the shoes had good cushion for my feet and legs and the laces stayed tied! All in all, I am looking forward to run number two in the Pegasus!

Got socks to match too!

Got matching socks too!


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Sunday Funday!

This version of “Sunday Funday” wasn’t the traditional practice of that term, instead I spent another day in the kitchen! After sleeping in a bit and spending some time cleaning up around the house, I ventured to the local Piggly Wiggly in town to pick up the final supplies for the crockpot. I tried a Sweet and Sour Chicken recipe from a blog I found on Pinterest (of course!). 

It was a mostly healthy, but not quite the “clean” she advertises. I used a green pepper from the farmers’ market, real sugar and a fresh pineapple. Easy execution, I just tossed it all in the crock pot!

Simmering away in the crockpot!

Simmering away in the crockpot!

It’s hard to replicate the glaze of restaurant style sweet and sour chicken in the crockpot, but the sauce in this version was still good. It was on the thicker side, but the green peppers and pineapple were tender and delicious and the chicken was soft but just a tad dry. Definitely a recipe I’d use again! 

On the sweet side, I used the zucchini from the farmers’ market to make some zucchini bread and muffins, recipe coming soon! Have a great start to the week, everyone! 


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Saturday in the Kitchen!

Today was a Saturday, I was in Madison, and I had no obligations. Woo-hoo! This was my first in Madison since July 4th weekend and I made the most of it! Madison has been saddled with muggy and humid weather for the past couple days but I still seized the day and woke up early for a run around Madison with my favorite running partner. Once we were finished with our quick six, it looked like we’d showered outside! Whew. I dried off and hit the farmers’ market. Madison’s Farmers’ Market is expansive and lush with farm fresh fruits and veggies, breads and cheese, crafts, the list goes on and on! I found lots of goodies there today – corn, cantaloupe, peppers, zucchini, grape tomatoes, carrots, basil, cheese, fresh cinnamon rolls, my mouth is drooling just thinking about everything! 

My haul!

My haul!

Pro tip – I cleaned, sliced and diced all necessary fruits and veggies once I got back from the market to make it easier to eat throughout the week. 

After a nap, I returned to the kitchen to prep dinner. My landlords and friends recently experienced a pretty serious health scare, so another friend and I offered to cook them dinner this evening. Cooking for the house meant finding a low-sodium recipe. We turned to this Fettuccine Alfredo we found on an RD’s blog. It actually turned out awesome! It was obviously not as rich as the indulgence Fettuccine Alfredo usually is, but the base sauce plus a sprinkling of parmesan cheese and cracked black pepper was delicious with the whole wheat linguine. We added a spinach salad to the side that rounded out the meal nicely. 

Prior to the meal I whipped up a tasty bruschetta appetizer with the fresh tomatoes and basil from the farmers’ market along with some fresh mozzarella and Tuscan Pane bread from Trader Joe’s. It was soooo good! Had I not been prepping a meal for a group, I may have just eaten the bruschetta for my entire meal! 

Summertime staple!

Summertime staple!

All in all it was an adventurous and exciting day, full of some much needed time in the kitchen. Everything turned out delicious, I may add in an extra run tomorrow just to overindulge in the leftovers! Happy weekend, everyone! 


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#IceBucketChallenge

So we’ve all seen it, EVERYWHERE, and I was nominated yesterday by my dear friend at the HappyWifeHappyLife blog to do the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. I obliged, luckily it was an especially sticky day in Madison.  

Here I go! Brrrrrr!

Here I go! Brrrrrr!

I decided to make a donation to the ALS Association, as well as the Alzheimer’s Foundation. My grandmother had ALS and passed away before I was born and Alzheimer’s is also a cause that is also close to my heart, in honor of my late Poppa Tom.

I appreciate the viral-ness of the the Ice Bucket Challenge and applaud how people have responded and donated.As a marketer, I am in awe of those behind this challenge and the good they have done for Lou Gehrig’s Disease. But I also think people should think freely about where and how they donate their money.  

The bright side is that I got to nominate three other people to similarly dump themselves with ice water. I selected my mom, sister and the BF. They have 24 hours, we’ll see how they do. 

Anybody else participate in the challenge? Come across any hilarious videos of others you know? Good luck if you are nominated!