Friday, November 7, 2014

Post Vacation Mindset Plus a Recipe

Five days into my post vacation-post Allume lifestyle and I am loving it! 

By, lifestyle, I mean, life well rested

It could just be that life seems more rested since I am coming off vacation. But, I don't think so. Life is more rested because I am making choices to be more rested. I am making choices about my time. I am making choices about my writing. I am making choices about feeding my soul. Even with the chaos of coming home from a 12 day long trip, with the piles of mail to sort, bills to pay, meals to cook, laundry to sort, bread to bake, house to dust, errands to run, and fridge to fill, I have had a great week.

In my newly minted Article club, we are reading an article on the myth of busyness. The author makes the case that what we mean by busy is actually, prioritizing our time. What do we make a priorities in the use of our time? Sometimes we choose time wasters, and sometimes we choose to use our time well. But, our time is filled regardless of how we choose to fill it. Filled with sleep, exercise, work, play, writing, FB. It is filled.

I'm just beginning to realize something about myself. Mr. Hippie calls me most days at lunch. He asks me how my morning was and I answer that I did_______. I am not the sum of my accomplishments. My being should not be equated with my done. This requires a major paradigm shift for me. 

It is shifting-slowly, but I believe, perceptibly. 

My time has been filled with good things this week-things I enjoy.

I have spent time reading. I have written for at least 1 hour each day. I have slept 8 hours most nights. I have run each day. I have made new recipes. I have pondered and I have taught. I actually feel really peaced out, which is a modern miracle for this particular month and time of the month-if you catch my drift.

I am resting, not because I've earned it, but because it is a choice and a gift. 

Btw, I am sure I will be writing more on time again soon, because it is always a topic that resonates with me. I am all about efficient use of my time. It is an integral part of my nature. But, these days I am aiming for restful and soulful also.

Anyway, here I am typing away, chocolate tea beside me. I'm contemplating the pile of brown leaves under the buffet in my living room. Yes. The living room. Not the front yard. Meres has been on this kick all fall. Gathering leaves and bringing them inside. She calls them flowers. I got the connection when they were bright oranges, yellows and reds. I'm not getting the connection so much with the brown leaves. Nor do I particularly understand why they must be placed under my buffet. Sigh...

The recipe I am sharing with you today is another from my BFF. She's a genius. That's all there is to it. 

In the nature of BHG recipes, it is delicious and easy. But, I am giving you some options so it really can be as easy as you want it to be. You can use pre-made pizza dough, pesto, meatballs, and roasted red peppers. Or, you can whip up the dough, roasted peppers and pesto from scratch. None of which are that complicated, btw. 

This Meatball Pesto Pizza is a winner with the younger crowd. Kids love meatballs. Pesto is flavorful, but not overpowering. And red peppers are delicious when roasted. I modified the recipe to include feta cheese with the ricotta. The feta gives some depth of flavor and twang to the recipe. I like recipes to have a twang factor. That distinct pop that pulls everything together.

the end product is rather Christmasy...

Pesto Meatball Pizza
20 meatballs, cut in half
1 cup pesto (make your own or buy a jar)
1 cup ricotta
1 cup feta
1 cup sliced, roasted peppers (roast your own or buy a jar)
salt and pepper
1 package yeast (1 Tbsp)
1 cup warm water
2-1/2 cups flour
2 Tbsp oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar

-Combine flour, yeast, 1 tsp salt, and sugar. Add 1 cup of warm water and 2 Tbsp oil. Beat vigorously by hand until combined. Cover and let rest 15 minutes.
-Preheat oven to 475 degrees.
-Divide dough in half. Press each half into a greased 12” pizza pan. (if you have a 16” or 18” pan, just make one pizza, using all the ingredients.
-Top each pizza with 1/2 cup pesto, 1 cup of ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup roasted peppers, and 20 meatball halves. Season with salt and pepper.
-Bake at 475 degrees for 15-18 minutes or until the crust is golden.

Spinach Pesto
1 (9oz) bag fresh spinach leaves
1/2 cup olive oil
3 garlic cloves, sliced
2 Tbsp pine nuts, or 1/4 c walnuts
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup fresh basil or 1-1/2 T dried basil

-Blend in a blender until relatively smooth.

How to Roast a Pepper
-Turn the broiler onto high, and place the oven rack in the highest position.
-Halve, seed and core the pepper, placing the halves face down on a broiler rack.
-Place the peppers under the broiler, and broil for 10-12 minutes, or until the skin is slightly charred.
-Remove from the broiler, and immediately place the peppers in a paper bag. Close and let sit for 10 minutes. Peel.

obviously my crust got a little more than "golden". See, I'm not perfect.=)
Have a fantastic, rest-filled weekend. I will see you again on Monday!