Monthly Archives: March 2010

MIY Monday: Throw-Back Dinner

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I’m back! I bet you thought Make-It-Yourself Monday was gone forever! Sorry for the sabbatical, but I haven’t been making much of anything lately, except messes… and milk

But you probably don’t want to talk about that.

Sorry, I’m still a bit sleep-deprived lately.

It is Monday, isn’t it?

Well, I have been making the occasional dinner, which is what I’m going to showcase here today: last night’s feasting.

Remember French Bread Pizza? If your childhood was like mine, then probably many of your favorite memories are sprinkled with good ‘ole throw-back foods like TV dinners and mac-n-cheese and jello pudding and tacos…… and French Bread Pizza!

Well, if this is one of your favorites (or your kids’ faves) scour the freezer aisle no more, because you can so make this yourself! Yes, you can google “French Bread Pizza” but I’ll just tell you here how easy it is. But first, a dissertation…

Why Make French Bread Pizza Yourself?
– Cost Less / More for your Money
– Fresh Foods without Pesky Preservatives
– Greater Choice of Toppings
– Homemade Meal that is Super Easy
– You’ll be your Kids’ and Hubby’s Hero!

Okay, here’s how I made mine…

Grab a plain loaf of french bread at your local grocer. Or make your own, if you have the time and energy. Slice the loaf open. I pulled a little of the bread out of the center so the pizza would be crispier.

Place loaf halves on cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees until the bread is toasty/crispy. This keeps the pizza from getting soggy with pizza sauce.

Next, I rubbed down my toasty bread with slices of raw garlic because I sometimes like to pretend I’m Rachael Ray.

But then I remember that I have kids…

And I don’t have a posh New York home…

Nor can I afford to buy Brie on a weekly basis…

Nor do I look remotely Italian…

And I certainly don’t get paid to cook!

Okay, before I get depressed, let’s move on. You can do the garlic rub-down thing, or skip it; it’s your pizza!

Now, ladle on your favorite pizza sauce. Make your own, buy a jar, whatever. I personally use my friend Teesa’s recipe, to which I add about 1 tbs. or so of honey – because that’s how we like things down here in the south, nice and sweet! I love this pizza sauce. It’s so good that last night I was getting left-over sauce out of the pan and licking it off my finger.

Lest you think I’m joking…. see the finger trail?

I haven’t asked Teesa if I can share her superb recipe with you. Maybe if you’re really good she’ll divulge her culinary secrets…

Anyway, ladle sauce on the bread. Add your shredded cheese (I used mozzarella), and then your favorite toppings. I used what I had here: leftover chicken off the grill. Calamata olives. Chopped onion and red bell pepper. Then I sprinkled on some parmesan cheese, and a little more mozzarella. I used an 8 oz. block of mozzarella for a loaf of french bread. I also used every bit of sauce called for two whole pizzas. (Well, except the sauce I licked out of the pan, of course.)

Bake at 350 degrees until cheese is melted and bread is crispy.

Mmm…. cheesy……

Mmmm…. crusty….

Come to Mama-Mia!

What have all of you been Making Yourselves? Send me your ideas – I need some inspiration!

Happy Monday, everybody.

Mommy Olympics

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Confession: I am out of shape.

I don’t just mean I’ve got some baby weight to lose. Nor do I mean that I’m just a bit stiff since the pregnancy and c-section. I mean I am full-blown out of shape.

I have long suspected this, but a few days ago, I was in the back yard playing with the girls and I kicked a ball to the back fence. Trying to encourage Lilly (who was pouting) to run after it, I starting chasing the ball to the back of the yard. Immediately, I realized I was not wearing the proper, uh, attire for a nursing mom to be running around in the yard.

Let’s just leave it at that, okay?

And immediately, my knees, lower back, and shoulders all screamed, what on earth are you doing?

So, the running didn’t last long, but I was still in the mood to play so I joined the girls on the swing set and attempted to hang on the trapeze bar, pulling my knees up to my chest. It was at this point that my entire body cried out, who do you think you ARE?
It’s sad, really. I do need to work some stretching and exercise into my routine.

But lately, I feel like I’m training for the Olympics on a whole other level. This morning was prime example.

By 8 am I had already been peed on, and not by the kid you would first assume. I’ll divulge no names, but she does have some stinkin’ cute blonde pig tails.

By 8:01 am I had already been asked multiple times about breakfast: i.e, what is it, where is it, can we have it – those kinds of questions.

The morning continued in its usual sporadic unfolding. I can never tend to any one thing for very long before I’m interrupted by a kid or a calamity or a call… and today there seemed to be an endless chain of irritating events.

Quite a few times, I asked Maggie to do something or get something, (i.e. Maggie, get the hair brush from your dresser, please, so I can fix your hair… or Honey, go throw this away for Mama…)
She is a big helper, and quite capable of running such errands. I mean, it’s not like I said, Maggie, run fetch Mama a grande double-shot late’, hold the whip!

Please don’t comment on my coffee addiction. I’m feeling a little sensitive about it today. And I think a few friends of mine are planning an intervention….

Anyway, today, for some reason, Maggie repeatedly forgot or completely ignored what I said to her. Off in her own play-world.

And several times, the other sister got into things she has been told a million times not to touch.

After several go-rounds of these kinds of offenses, I had Maggie sitting near me on the couch, and had sent Lilly to lay down in her bed. After having a heart-to-heart with Maggie, I called Lilly from her room and she came whimpering. I turned to address her and found that she had wedged a Littlest Pet Shop plastic bunny in her mouth, and couldn’t get it out.

I freaked out mildly for a few seconds. And then I yanked the thing from betwixt her teeth.

She wailed.

I scolded..

Then I pulled her up on my lap and hugged her and rocked her.

Good grief.

Afterwards, I sent them both outside to play. Not 2 minutes later, I glanced outside to check on them, just in time to see Lilly slide off the swing, and then watch the seat swing back and hit her in the face, busting her lip.

Five minutes and a cold-press later, she was back outside, playing happily, when Maggie starting crying suddenly.


You get the picture. This was all before lunchtime, and occurring simultaneously with me preparing lunch, and supper for this evening, and holding/nursing/changing my baby boy.

Not only am I out of shape physically, but I have just felt emotionally and spiritually waylaid lately. I’m not depressed, or even discouraged. I just realize I’m in the thick of parenting 3 kids under 4-years-old, and this is not for the faint of heart!

Thank God for a great, understanding, and helpful husband! And were it not for him, and for my death-grip on the Word of God, I would definitely be washed under the waves of self-pity or pessimism.

This is not for the faint of heart!

All this to say – I know I’m not alone. I know many of you feel the same way sometimes. (And if you don’t, just humor me, okay?) And I further realize that many of you also work jobs outside of the home, and that even some of you don’t have a super husband to help carry the load.

But take heart. You are not alone. Get a grip – rather, get a death-grip on the Word of God. His Word will carry you through.

Okay, now that I’ve encouraged myself, and hopefully maybe one other person, I’ll quit blabbing.

And go make some espresso brownies.

Just kidding… maybe.

Lovely Distraction

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Hello bloggin’ world. I know we’ve been quiet over here at Our Blessed Life. The Hazleton household has been anything but quiet, though. We’ve been happily adjusting to our new Little addition in our home. So I’ve been a wee bit distracted.

Okay, quite a bit distracted.
And sleep-deprived.
And exhausted.
And frazzled.
(Did I mention I’m typing this post one-handed while holding a baby?)
But I promise to join you all again soon.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a handsome little dude to burp.