I had a wonderful weekend. One thing I am trying to do is to keep my healthy living during the week, spill into the weekend. I cannot tell you how many weeks, months, years that I do really well Monday through Friday, but come Friday night all bets were off, I’d drink too much, eat too much pizza, and if I ate like shit on Friday night, why not just have a cinnamon roll as big as my head for breakfast on Saturday? And if I ate like shit Friday night and Saturday morning, why not eat fried chicken and mac n cheese for dinner on Saturday night? And while I am at it, why not open that can of corned beef hash you have in your pantry for Sunday brunch along with candied bacon and a couple eggs with cheese?
Whew, it’s no wonder that I’ve been struggling with my weight all these years. Well, I know I’ve had reasons in the last few years for not putting myself first. Maybe it’s just the clarity of not drinking wine that’s made me step back and realize what’s important, and while my Party Pizza Friday will always be a staple, it can’t and won’t let it be a jump start to a weekend of eating crap. I am done with working so hard during the week only to erase all the good with bad habits.
One thing that has helped me, just in the last couple Saturday’s, is knowing that I have to get up for hot yoga. I did my second class on Saturday, and not sure if the room was hotter, or I was able to do more, but I was dripping with sweat after the class and again it went by in the blink of an eye. Tia, you’ll have to come with me one of these days!
It sets the whole tone for the weekend. I didn’t want to just hit up McDonald’s after yoga to just erase what I worked off, and came home and had an open faced egg sammie with an apple on the side – it was perfect!
I had plans with Hannah and my Mom for lunch, hitting up Verizon to upgrade my Mom’s phone (she’s on my plan) and seeing the movie Carol. The temps hadn’t dropped yet and it was a balmy 30 degrees when we hit the road. Look at me – with mascara AND lipstick!
We went to P.F. Chang’s for lunch. Um, if anyone has any concerns about the economy, just go to Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg. It was a sea of humanity, and at 1:15 the restaurant was nearly full! We split the fried green beans, and I ordered the vegetable lo mein because it was off their “delightful” menu and stated it was under 600 calories. This was again a giant amount of food and I ended up bringing half of it home – but it was delicious.
So the movie? It was good. BUT SO SSSSSLLLLLOOOOWWWW. Like so slow. All three of us nearly fell asleep at one point or another and we all didn’t really know what we were getting into because the trailer was sort of nondescript, but with Cate Blanchett getting an Oscar nomination for it, we figured it would be movie theater worthy. Well, it wasn’t. If you have this on your list of movies to see, save your $11 matinee ticket and wait for it to be on HBO or Netflix by the summer. It was, however, a great day spent with my Mom and Hannah – I mean, really more for my Mom since she was not only with her favorite child, but also her favorite grandchild as well – the double whammy!
I hit up the gym on Sunday as well. I am almost finished with Episode 6 of Making a Murderer – I am steering clear of all the hoopla I’ve seen online until I get to the end. It’s so good though! It makes my treadmill workout go by so fast – I ended up doing a 5k in 50 minutes on 8% incline and 3.8 mph.
We had to buy a new Keurig – our other one was three years old, and um, let’s just say that I forgot to maintain the filter and it kind of got gross, and all the cleaning that Hannah tried on it, well, it wasn’t working out too well. If you know Hannah, that means just knowing what kind of gunk was still in the machine, she pretty much would never use the Keurig again. As luck would have it, the Keurig 250 was on sale at BB&B, I had a bit of money left on a gift card from Christmas, and with the 20% off coupon, it ended up costing $65 out the door – nice! This one reads up to 40 different types of K-cups too so that it makes the perfect cup of coffee each time. And because all three of us drink so much coffee, it was worth it. One of my favorite smells in the world – fresh brewed coffee – and that first sip of the day is life changing.
I’ve talked about the Cooking Club that I am in here and here. My friend Courtney is generous enough to host it at her house every month. Each month Courtney picks out a “head chef” for the night, and depending on what that cook wants to make, will dictate the rest of the menu for the night.
Well, it is of no shock to anyone that I offered to show and make my copycat Lou Maltanti’s Chicago Deep Dish Pizza. When you read the directions, it sounds so complicated, but I’ve made it so many times, after the dough comes together (and I’ve kept the dough in the fridge for over a week just fine) you can be eating deep dish pizza faster than take out. But I suddenly realized that one of the women in the group has a gluten allergy. Fudge crackers. There would be no way for her to eat the main dish of the night.
I figured there had to be a great gluten free pizza recipe out there so I started a bit of research. But after just looking at the first several recipes I came across, I knew I didn’t want to use almond or coconut flour, or flax meal, sweet potatoes, xantham gum or quinoa. I WANTED IT TO TASTE LIKE REAL PIZZA! And yes, I am shouting there. At lunch on Friday I hit up Mariano’s and discovered that Bob’s Red Mill has a gluten free baking flour that I thought might work. The price wasn’t too bad – I mean, a bit pricey for flour, but not too crazy – the 22 ounce bag cost $4.29. I also realized that Red Star Yeast has a gluten free version too, so I picked that up too.
I decided to blend up my no rise pizza dough with a bit of the Chicago deep dish pizza ingredients and ended up coming up with this:
- 2 cups of Bob’s Red mill Gluten Free 1 to 1 Baking Flour
- 1 package Red Star Yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup white corn meal
- 1 cup tap water
- 1 tablespoon butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon olive oil (to brush on the edges of the pizza)
- that’s it
- Mix the baking flour, yeast, salt, and corn meal together. Add water and bring dough together. Put the dough on the counter and kind of stretch it out a bit, and rub the tablespoon of butter all over the dough, and then roll up and knead for a couple minutes, adding a bit of the gluten free flour on your counter if it starts to get too sticky.
- I let this dough rise for about 45 minutes, but you could just roll it out and bake it at this point. I bake mine on a Baking Steel at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. This is enough dough for two 12 inch pizzas. I put half the dough on a piece of parchment paper and shape it in a circle. I add pizza sauce, and whatever toppings you want, and then before going into the oven, brush the crust with the teaspoon of olive oil.
- You can just make this dough, roll it out and bake it right away. Let it rest for 30-60 minutes - totally up to you. I put the second half of the dough in my fridge, let it get to room temp in 15 minutes and baked it up and I couldn't tell the difference from the first pizza, so not sure the rise time would make much of a difference in the taste of the end result.
Guys. I am going to say that after the dozens, hundreds, thousands (possibly millions!) of pizzas I’ve made over the years, this dough ranks at the very top. It has the best of both worlds for me in a pizza – a crispy crust, but still a bit of a chew in the middle. Hannah took that last three pictures for this post, and after we finished taking the pictures, she had a piece and said “I am not sure what a gluten free pizza is supposed to taste like, but this is a great pizza.” EXACTLY! That was exactly what I was going for, and the fact that I nailed it on my first attempt makes me absolutely giddy. I can’t wait for my friend at Cooking Club to try this. Hopefully I haven’t set the bar too high with my review of this, but considering how much pizza I’ve had in my life, I think I know great pizza when I taste one, and this one is delish.
If you try this, can you do me a solid and let me know if you like it?! Please feel free to share with your friends and family who have gluten allergies too.
Our week is starting out brutally cold again this Monday – it’s -6 degrees right now with a wind chill of –23. I’ll be hitting they gym at lunch for strength, and after work for cardio. I am on a mission to lose my 4.2 pounds these next two weeks!
Hope you had a great weekend – I’ll see you Wednesday for my adaptation of Mario Batali’s Braised Short Ribs over Cheezy Polenta. Make it a great day!