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Chocolate Macaroon Pizza

Ok, so here is a dessert that really is so EASY to make, but so doesn’t look it. It is on the new (January 2015) Pampered Chef white pizza stone.  I got this recipe from The Pampered Chef website. It is featured on all of their product inserts, website, etc so I had to give it a try. WOW!!!! It was super easy to make and tastes as great as it looks. It made a huge amount, so I will be calling people to come over and share! If you like German chocolate cake, or Almond Joys you will love this.  🙂

The finished product! Mmmmm....

The finished product! Mmmmm….

INGREDIENTS (Recipe is copied from The Pampered Chef website.)
1 pkg (18-19 oz or 450 g) fudge brownie mix (plus ingredients to make brownies)
2   egg whites
1 pkg (14 oz/400 g) sweetened flaked coconut
1 can (14 oz or 300 mL) sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk)
1 pkg (2.25 oz) sliced almonds (about 2/3 cup/150 mL)
1/4 cup (50 mL) semi-sweet chocolate morsels, melted
1 tsp vegetable oil
The coconut, sweetened condensed milk, and egg white mixture

The coconut, sweetened condensed milk, and egg white mixture

DIRECTIONS

1
Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). In Classic Batter Bowl, prepare brownie mix according to package directions. Pour batter onto White Large Round Stone with Handles, spreading evenly to edges (see Cook’s Tip).

2
Bake 14-16 minutes or until brownie is set. (Do not overbake.) Remove stone from oven to Stackable Cooling Rack.

3
In clean batter bowl, combine egg whites, coconut and sweetened condensed milk; mix well. Spread coconut mixture over top of brownie to within ¼-in. (6-mm) of edge. Sprinkle with almonds.

4
Bake 15-17 minutes or until edges of coconut are deep golden brown. Remove stone from oven to cooling rack.

5
In (1-cup/250-mL) Prep Bowl, microwave chocolate morsels and oil, uncovered, on HIGH 45-60 seconds or until chocolate is melted, stirring after 30 seconds. Drizzle chocolate over pizza.

6
Cut pizza into 16 wedges. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.

Yield:

,
16 servings of

Nutrients per serving:

Calories 450, Total Fat 22 g, Saturated Fat 10 g, Cholesterol 35 mg, Carbohydrate 57 g, Protein 5 g, Sodium 230 mg, Fiber 2 g

U.S. Diabetic exchanges per serving:

2 starch, 2 fruit, 4 fat (4 carb)

Cook’s Tips:

Be sure to choose sweetened condensed milk, not evaporated milk, for this recipe. Sweetened condensed milk is a mixture of whole milk and sugar, which is heated to produce a very sticky, sweet mixture. It is typically used in baked goods, candies and pie fillings.

The brownie base can be baked earlier in the day and cooled. To finish the pizza, prepare recipe as directed in Steps 3-6.

If desired, 1 square ( 1ounce) semi-sweet chocolate for baking can be substituted for the semi-sweet chocolate morsels.

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NEW business venture! !

eafc9c06587bd832141f899f6e3e83e4 Hello! It’s been a while since I’ve posted on my blog. I have been busy teaching middle school, giggling with my almost 9 month old baby girl, and I just started my own business.  I am an independent consultant with The Pampered Chef!! I am loving getting to know all their products and I just love them all! I will be posting about some of my favorites along with some recipes I’ve made using them. If you are interested in Pampered Chef, selling their products or want to shop then check out my website!  www.pamperedchef.com/pws/graceoliviacroson

Pull Apart Pizza Bread

Pull Apart Pizza Bread

Pull apart pizza bread
Pre-heat oven to 400. Grease a nonstick pan with olive oil or cooking spray.
Cut pizza dough into bite sized pieces, and toss in a bowl with olive oil, Italian spices, Parmesan cheese, shredded mozzarella, garlic, and pizza toppings until all pieces are coated with oil.
Throw everything into the greased bread pan or similar dish.
Top with Parmesan cheese.
Bake at 400 for approximately 20 minutes until the top is brown and it is cooked all the way through.
Serve with side of marinara sauce.

You can buy the pizza dough in the grocery store, but I find it simple to make my own with my Kitchenaid mixer.
http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Quick-and-Easy-Pizza-Crust/Detail.aspx?event8=1&prop24=SR_Title&e11=quick%20and%20easy%20pizza%20crust&e8=Quick%20Search&event10=1&e7=Home%20Page&soid=sr_results_p1i1
Ingredients

Quick & Easy Pizza Crust!
Original recipe makes 1 – 12 inch pizza crust
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
2 1/2 cups bread flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
Directions

Preheat oven to 400-450 degrees C. In a medium bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
Stir in flour, salt and oil. Beat until smooth. Let rest for 5 minutes.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and pat or roll into a round. Transfer crust to a lightly greased pizza pan or baker’s peel dusted with cornmeal. Spread with desired toppings and bake in preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Let baked pizza cool for 5 minutes before serving.

My version of pizza bread (pictured) uses cooked spinach and mushrooms, but you can easily substitute cooked ground sausage, peppers, or pepperoni.

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10 Things You Should Never Say to a Pregnant Woman

There are certain things I never thought about up until recent months. This is my first pregnancy so I spend a lot of time now reading books about pregnancy (fiction and non), looking at labor videos on youtube, researching natural births vs. medicated, and looking at my clothes wondering which ones I can still fit into!!  I also am working on getting supplies ready for the baby’s arrival, and reading briefly (if I have time) books about parenting. I am working out a few times a week, and eating… a lot…. I am always hungry, so I have to make sure I have fruit, greek yogurt, granola bars, or the occasional chocolate bar available 24/7!!! Not to mention… lots and lots of water. I fainted week 10 of my pregnancy from not eating enough and not drinking enough water. The baby and myself were completely fine, but I can’t stress enough that you need to eat and drink a boatload of fluids.

Anyways… I have been filled with a lot of anticipation and excitement surrounding the baby. People ask a lot of questions, even total strangers! Fortunately, I also know a lot of other women who have been pregnant recently, or are currently in that stage of their lives. I feel lucky to have a lot of women to talk to.

Since before I even announced it, I have been thinking about this… there are just certain things people should refrain from saying to an expecting mother. ESPECIALLY if it’s her first time carrying a baby. These are either things that have been said to me, or things I’ve heard said to other expectant women.

1. “Didn’t you just get married?!” (They cock their head to the side in wonder, skillfully trying to calculate how many weeks and days you are along to see if you got knocked up prior to the wedding).

2. “Wow! You must be having twins! You are HUGE!” No woman likes to hear they are huge, even though they are pregnant. Trust me… every time someone says that, you can bet that I did a few google image searches just to make sure I was a “normal” size for my baby’s gestational age.

2. On the flip side… (Gasping in shock) “You aren’t even showing! Are you sure there’s even a baby in there?!?!” Helloo…. way to make a pregnant woman panic?!? This might result in the expecting mom calling the doctor to find out if they should be “showing” more or spending a lot of time in front of the mirror, or just simply dreading the next doctor’s appointment so they can verify that the baby has a heartbeat and is growing as expected.

3. “My sister, friend, cousin, whomever had a miscarriage.” Let’s just put it this way… DO NOT EVEN SAY THE “M” word. When you’re pregnant, positive thoughts and encouragement are welcome. This is not.

4. “Are you getting an epidural, c-section, or having a natural birth?” We will cross that bridge when we come to it. Some things you can’t really plan.

5. “Did you plan to get pregnant?” Well.. ummm… some things are just awkward to discuss. Yes, I know how babies are made.

6. “Are you going to get married now?” (to someone who isn’t yet married) Hmmm… I’m sure they have thought about it, discussed with their significant other, beat themselves up over it (or not). Maybe it’s rude to ask such a question.

7. “I almost died during labor. Let me tell you all about it.” Please refrain.

8. “I was pregnant once, and I ate hot dogs and soda every day and my kids are just fine!” Well, that’s good for you. I’m  glad you got lucky. I would rather not take the risk, and don’t want to feed my developing baby chemicals and preservatives.

9. “Do you want a boy or a girl?” This isn’t a terrible thing to ask and it’s not offensive at all. However, I felt awkward answering this question, because what if it’s not “what we wanted” and then I would feel guilty if the child later found out somehow. Doesn’t everyone just want a healthy child?

10. “Are you sure you are ready for a kid?” Well, it’s a little late to debate that one now, isn’t it?

I do not intend for this to be a negative post. We are REALLY, REALLY excited about our baby girl’s arrival. We also REALLY appreciate all the positive well wishes from everyone. Here is our nursery so far. It still needs to be painted, and I am working on a baby blanket and curtains. 🙂 I hope everyone is having a great week.

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Currently week 26…. baby girl due April 24, 2014

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Giant Philly Steak Sub

Ever have a craving for something? Well, you might after you take a look at this. … a giant philly cheese steak sub with baby bellas, green peppers, and colby jack cheese on a large loaf of ciabatta bread. The butcher suggested I use shaved steak which turned out to be perfect. I sauteed it in a large pan with a few dashes of Worcestershire, pepper, garlic, sea salt and olive oil.  It was not much prep work and this torpedo was in the oven and bubbling within 20 minutes. The meat was unprocessed/ preservative free so it was a win-win. Enough to serve 2 people with big appetites. By the way.. I am 17 weeks pregnant so that might explain why I was craving red meat (packed with iron) and vegetables. I am so glad my appetite is back this 2nd trimester! I am also craving tons of fruit and fruit juice. I’ve eaten 20 kiwis in the past 2 weeks. Baby is due April 24th, 2014 🙂

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Sweet Potato Chips

I love sweet potatoes! Sweet potato fries, chips, or just a baked sweet potato with melted butter and cinnamon on it. Here I simply washed and sliced 2 large organic sweet potatoes, took the slices and tossed them in a bowl with olive oil, garlic sea salt, and a spice blend, laid them out on a cookie sheet (or in this case a pizza pan) and baked at 400 for 20 mins or until brown and crispy on convection roast. I served with sour cream on the side. This is not a very good picture, but you get the idea. By the way… they contain tons of beta-carotene and vitamin A. The olive oil on these chips actually assists with beta-carotene benefits. They are one of the healthiest foods you can eat full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. They taste great! Any leftovers I gave to the dog because he loves sweet potatoes! 

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Bacon & Swiss Quiche

If you love eggs as much as me, you will love this easy quiche. I love quiches because you can pretty much add anything to them and not screw them up. It’s so simple and delicious…your favorite ingredients, plus about 7-8 large eggs, a dash of milk, sour cream, and cheeses and dump it into a pie crust. Bake on 400 until it’s starting to split in the middle (cooked in the center).

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Since bacon and other cured meats contain nitrites (cancer causing) I was thrilled to discover this all natural bacon at my local grocery store. It tastes great too. I have to warn you though, it’s about double the price of regular bacon. I guess pay for healthy food now, or pay for your medical bills later? Ughh I had to have it!

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The ingredients for the bacon & swiss quiche:

  • about 1/2 package of bacon (cook it first then chop it up)
  • 3 tablespoons of sour cream
  • 7-8 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup of shredded swiss cheese (save about 1/4 cup to add to the top for the last 5 minutes of baking)
  • 1/3 cup of parmesean/romano cheese
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of ground pepper
  • pinch of thyme
  • pinch of garlic
  • pie crust

Beat all ingredients together with a wisk saving some cheese for a topping to add for the last 5 minutes of baking.

Pour liquid into bottom of pie crust in a pie plate.

Bake uncovered 400 degrees for 20 mins or so depending on your oven.

Fork around the edges of the crust if desired.

Let cool for 5-10 minutes before cutting.

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