Fast Five // 3.11.15

Fast five is an afternoon slate of short-form articles.  Today, we're talking ways to triple your wardrobe (without buying a thing), the benefit of working out with friends and a quick + easy kind-friendly meal, perfect for a mid-week table. 

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Week Night Menu: Baked Stuffed Peppers

Being a working mom, I am always looking for fun, easy, and nutritious meals for the kids and I and this dish hits all three objectives.  It's extremely easy to make and can be prepped the night before you plan on serving.  I sliced the peppers, made the meat mixture and had the kids help me stuff the peppers. The kids and I put them in a baking dish, covered them with foil and put the in the fridge for the next evening. 

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Snacks On-the-GO

I have to travel with snacks, because I get what's been called "hangry" -- basically the combination of hungry + angry.  When this happens, I need food ... stat and those who know and love me can usually see it coming. To ensure that I keep those who know and love me in my life, I make sure that I always carry snacks, both in my car and in my purse or bag.  Here are some suggested, easy, on-the-go snacks that suit everyone in the family.

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Recipe: Fun, Fabulous Football Food. A homemade pizza

Football, football, football! What a weekend for games, huh? Being a Ravens fan, I was not happy with the  results, but what can I say.  You win some, you lose some, and as much as I wish that I did, I have no control over the outcomes.  When I'm watching the games from home, the format is usually an alliteration of "N"s - NFL, nachos and nap.   But this weekend, I went with something new - Pizza!

While a frozen pizza or a pizza shell seemed like the easiest option, I have a silent internal struggle when I read the ingredients, many of which I cannot pronounce.  Strolling through the baking aisle, my gaze stopped on a packet for pizza yeast.  On the back of the 3-packet link were the ingredients needed to make pizza dough: flour, one packet of yeast, sugar, salt, oil and warm water.  It was a no brainer, I was making a homemade pizza!

I attached the dough hook to my mixer and started adding the ingredients.  By mistake, I forgot to add the 3 tablespoons of oil, but the dough turned out delicious enough without it.  To prevent sticking, I did put a little vegetable oil on the baking sheet.  I garnished the top of the pizza with sauce, green peppers, pepperoni and mozzarella cheese.  After taking it out of the oven, I grated some fresh Parmesan cheese on top.

To my surprise, and delight, the pizza dough was tasty and it took no more time than if I unwrapped a frozen pizza and put it into the oven. When it was all said and done, dough to table, the pizza took about 30 minutes and it was easy.  The next time I make the pizza, which will be often, I'm planning to try the recipe with Whole Wheat flour instead.  Making it at home is a great way to control fat, salt, sugar and ensure your ingredients are the freshest possible.

Recipe for the pizza dough 
(also available on the back of the yeast):

  • 1 3/4 - 2 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 envelope Fleischmann's Pizza yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup very warm tap water (120-130 degrees)
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • Pizza sauce and toppings of your choice!

I used a cookie sheet, and made a squarish pizza, as I didn't have a round pizza stone or pizza baking sheet, which worked just fine.