My kids don't love to eat.  But they will gobble down pizza because they know it's supposed to be 'junk' food.  We filled this one with protein and veggies so we don't have to feel too guilty about feeding it to them.

Garlic Chicken Pizza

1 16" pizza crust (store bought or home made)
2 tbsp olive oil
2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and chopped or shredded
4 tbsp ranch dressing
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp garlic powder
8 green onions, minced
5 roma tomatoes, diced
2-3 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded

Prepare pizza crust. If making dough from scratch, spread on cornmeal dusted pizza pan, drizzle with olive oil and bake at 400 for 8-10 minutes. Meanwhile, combine chicken, ranch dressing and garlic. Let stand. When crust is finished baking, sprinkle with the garlic powder, green onions and tomatoes. Top with chicken mixture and spread evenly. Spread thickly with mozzarella cheese. Bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.
 
 
This week I'm trying something a little different for recipe day.  This week
Gussy Sews Inspiration Workshop!
And the topic this week is Favorite Recipes.  Excited much?  Oh yeah.  And what better place to start than browsing my Pinterest  page.  Here are a few recipes I've pinned that I am dying to try.  A lot of them are gluten-free because that's how I need to eat - but they still look super duper delicious!
I have a birthday coming up in just over a week.  It's going to involve a HUGE homemade lasagna with homemade meat sauce, broccoli and garlic bread!  And this amazing Gorgonzola loaf looks pretty perfect to me!
And it just wouldn't be my birthday without a giant slice of chocolate cake.  This one looks to die for.  I have yet to figure out how to make layer cakes gluten-free without having them crumble on one side - but some day I will figure it out!
Talk about inspiring - this lady has chronicled and entire year's worth of crock-pot recipes -- and they're all different!  I can't wait to get (slow) cookin'!

Here are some more inspiring yummies.  I hope that you're excited to race to your kitchen now - I know I am!!
 
 
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My Grandmother introduced me to this recipe.  She had spice cake for her birthday every single year.  It has now become my favorite fall "company" cake. It is especially good served with hot or cold apple cider. I often bake it as cupcakes and decorate with halloween or fall-themed sprinkles for the kids.


Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

1/2 cup butter
2 eggs
2 cups all purpose flour*
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cloves
3/4 tsp ginger
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cups milk
1 tbsp vinegar
1 8oz package cream cheese
1/2 stick butter, softened
3 cups powdered sugar pecan halves (optional)

For Cake
1) Grease and flour two 9" cake pans. In medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger.
2) Combine milk and vinegar and let sit.
3) Cream butter and sugar. Add vanilla and mix well. Beat in eggs one at a time.
4) Alternately add dry ingredients and milk to butter mixture, mixing well.
5) Pour into prepared pans and bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.

For Frosting
1) Beat butter and cream cheese on med speed until smooth
2) Add powdered sugar one cup at a time until well combined. Place first cake layer on plate and frost top. Top with second cake layer and frost top only. Decorate top with pecans halves if desired.


* to make this cake gluten free, use 1/2 cup potato starch, 1.5 cups rice flour and 1 tsp xanthan gum instead of all purpose flour

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Fall is officially here, which means it's apple season!  And at our house, that means we have a fridge full of half-eaten apples.  Our boys love to start apples, but they just can't seem to finish one.  My solution - make apple crumble!  It's super easy and super delicious, which is perfect for a busy afternoon when I want something sweet for dessert.  And the kids love to help.  My older son likes to measure the sugar and flour for me, and my younger son just likes to beg for apple slices while we cook.  Here's the recipe:

Apple Crumble

Filling:
6 cups apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp flour (all-purpose or rice flour)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg

Topping:
3/4 cup flour (all-purpose or rice flour)
1/3 cup brown sugar (or white sugar)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
dash nutmeg
6 tbsp butter, softened

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In large bowl, toss apples, sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Let stand 10 minutes.  In medium bowl combine flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Cut in butter with pie-crust mincer or strong fork.  Pour apples into 9" pie dish.  Spoon topping evenly over apples.  Bake for 40-50 minutes, checking frequently after 30 minutes.  If top begins to brown before apples are cooked, cover dish with tin foil for remaining time to prevent burning. 


 
 
I posted on our facebook wall yesterday about our super nutritious, delicious dinner:  Hot-dogs and fried squash.  Ok, so maybe it's not super nutritious - but it is delicious.  And my kids did actually eat some veggies.  Since some people were curious about fried squash, I thought I'd post the recipe here.  Note: This can be made with any kind of slice-able vegetable (carrots, zucchini, summer squash, peeled and soaked eggplant, cucumbers, etc). 

Fried Veggies

All-purpose or rice flour (if you're gluten-free)
eggs
cornmeal
thinly sliced vegetables
canola oil

Heat 1/2 oil in large skillet.  Toss sliced veggies and flour in gallon-size plastic bag until veggies are well coated.  Dunk veggies in beaten egg, then dredge in cornmeal.  Fry in hot oil (I set my flat-top stove at 3-4 so I don't burn things) until coating is crispy and just brown.  Drain on layers of paper towel.  Repeat until all veggies are fried.  Serve with ketchup, BBQ sauce, or marinara for dipping.  Quantities of ingredients will vary depending on amount of veggies cooked. 

Note: You can add seasonings to the cornmeal before coating veggies if you want to enhance the flavor of the dish. 
 
 
I can't always get my kids to eat healthily, but they adore this Millet Lasagna recipe.  They gladly gobble down spinach, artichokes and super healthy millet grains and don't even miss the tomatoes or refined noodles.  Serve it with a colorful salad for an extra nutritional punch.
 
 
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I'm trying to move away from the sugary cinnamon toast my kids have become addicted to at breakfast time, so I thought I'd try protein-filled breakfast burritos instead.  My kids love things they can roll up and eat with their hands.  Unfortunately, gluten-free corn tortillas are too crumbly to roll up, so we wound up with 'casserole' instead.  My kids thought it tasted good, but they were pretty disappointed they didn't get to roll it.  Feel free to use flour tortillas instead and make these into actual burritos.

Breakfast Burrito Casserole

6 corn (or flour) tortillas
5 eggs
dash salt and pepper
1/2 cup black beans
6 tbsp salsa
2 oz cheddar or pepper jack cheese, shredded
1/2 cup avocado, diced
1/2 cup tomatoes diced

Shred tortillas and divide among 6 plates.  In medium frying pan, scramble the eggs with the salt and pepper.  Layer eggs over tortillas and top with black beans, salsa, cheese, tomato and avocado. 
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A brand new, super healthy favorite in our house - this juice is all fruit and no additives - and pretty cheap!

Apple Grape Juice

4 gala apples
2 cups black grapes

Wash fruit and quarter apples.  Run all through juicer.  Do not strain. 
 
 
If your kids are like mine and go through 'veggie strikes,' here's an easy way to sneak a few more servings of veggies into their diets.  Reposting this recipe from my recipe blog.

Sneaky Veggie Meatloaf Surprise

1 lb ground beef or turkey
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 slices bread, crumbled
2 eggs
3 tbsp milk
1/4 cup green pepper, finely diced
1/4 cup carrot, finely shredded
1/4 cup broccoli florets, stems removed
dash salt and pepper
dash thyme
generous dash rosemary, marjoram, and savory
1/4 cup tomato sauce
2 slices cheddar or colby jack cheese

Combine all ingredients except cheese. Mix well. Oil a loaf pan and fill with half the meatloaf mixture. Place cheese slices in the middle of the loaf. Top with remaining mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.


 
 
We love smoothies in the summertime.  They're great for cooling off, and they pack quite a nutritional punch as well.  Here's the recipe for our favorite frosty treat:

Summer Smoothies


3 cups frozen strawberries
2 cups orange juice
1 cup raw spinach, torn

Place all in a blender and crush until smooth. 

 
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