Tuesday, September 30, 2014

polenta pizza - a balancing act

most of the time, i find cooking fun, even cathartic at times, especially when i cook with my family and friends... and it's often quite hilarious when my kids join me.

however, it's getting my family to be joyful eaters that is so very horrifically frustrating at times.  i guess if i'm not always excited to cook, why should i expect them to always be happy to eat?  would i be excited to cook all the time if i could be guaranteed sheer dining pleasure at the kitchen table?  i often have dinner on the table late (sorry honey, that time thing is tricky dicky), and then when i do get it on the table, i simply adore the suspicious looks on my family's leary faces.  will my kids ever wax poetic about my cooking, and someday cook the cherished recipes with their own families?

i have some work to do if i'm gonna make the "tried and true" dream come true...

i'm cooking up food love for all of the up and down moments, regardless if i get love back or not.  it's the end game i'm after.  and so far, i'm getting more love than not, and that's what's keeping this crazytrain on the tracks.

here's our latest cooking escapade over polenta pizza.  i have never made polenta from scratch (just bought it prepackaged in a tube).  perhaps that's why my family has never eaten polenta and liked it.  it's my latest ambassador recipe smash with terri salminen, a dear friend, ambassador and chef from the netherlands.

terri's rosemary polenta and pizza gialla

i learned three very important things in this polenta making experience:

1- do NOT skip the cooling of the crust.  i didn't think it was important for my first attempt, so that resulted in a polenta "bake", with only the edges getting crusty = not pizza.
2- you MUST flip the pizza crust (i ignored this step) to really get it nice and crispy.  terri reminded me of this essential step (she spent a week recipe testing this badboy) and i cannot wait to try it again = think about your pan selection.
3- let the pizza rest at least 15-20 min out of the oven to let the polenta cool into a more solid, cohesive crust.  i thought i biffed the recipe up again, only to find a beautiful, solid crust had formed after we put the kids down to bed = you will love love love these leftovers.
4- shake it off if it doesn't turn out how you or your eaters expect.  for a recipe is just a set of directions for all of us to experience & make our own with gumption... i am making the pine nut and garlic pizza gialla next terri!!!



and here are more hot.off.the.press recipe notes from terri for our next batch!

"let your polenta cool really well — let’s say make it at lunch and put it in the refrigerator till dinner — When it has had time to cool, it also sets into a more solid “dough” — We have to coax the cornmeal to do what we want it to do. Oh and one more thing — the topping has to be light — otherwise when you pick up the pizza slice it breaks because of the weight of the filling."

thank you thank you terri, muah!

Monday, September 22, 2014

hello fall, hello comfort food

fall + Comfort Food has finally landed in the USA tuuuuuuh-daaaaaaaaaaaay.

it's Jamie Oliver's newest cookbook and i am diving in...

he's the freakin daddio visionary behind the Food Revolution to which i volunteer my lover-ly time.

i decided to write about Jamie's Comfort Food because it's truly all about the food my family really.wants.to.eat and i'm always looking to spice up & improve my family meal plan.  i want balls out, ultimate versions of our all-time favorites + brand new go-to's.  

these are indulgent recipes i will save for special occasions - weekends, lovely holidays and other fun events where i gather with the people i love to spoil and celebrate with wicked abandon.  take a gander at the comfort food hub here for cookbook info and links for new recipes to try out with your kids (i'll be trying every.single.one, so stay tuned).  it will have a permanent spot on my open kitchen shelves as comfort food is always on request in the mullies.  

CONFESSION: even though taste buds have greatly improved over the past two years, if i stopped cooking, our real food ratio would very well plummet into poo-poo land.  yes, that's right... if push came to shove, my husband (who does not cook) and kids would gladly choose fast food over my veggie-laden-pile-fulls-of-love.  that's an unfortunate, sad & embarrassing fact jack... so, i have learned to mix in their favorite comfort foods and tweak them with gumption to fit our needs (abbie is still gluten free and i like to cook dairy free).  i'm seriously lovin on jamie's top ten easy tips to live by to help this mullies food revolution stay.the.course... for i don't want to lose my little buggers along the way during our crazy culinary adventures.

a balanced, centered kitchen on the power line = more strikeouts

i have found that when i cook from scratch with my kids, no matter what type of food ("healthy" or "indulgent"), it naturally teaches them where the food is coming from and what's in it... nobody is inadvertently eating any hidden, fake food ingredients and i love that!!  oh hum... someday, they'll be off to college and i am severely hoping they'll be some nights where they prefer to stay in, gather and cook with friends.  oh dear lord please.

so let's get cooking & playing together
let's fall in love
let's laugh more 
let's linger longer 
for some delicious
that we will 

make life a scream... to the mullies we go.  xoxoL


2 years ago, we used to eat meat almost everyday for dinner (for i have a meat and potatoes type of husband and that's what.he.wants).  however, since learning a little more about our food supply and meat industry practices, we do the best we can to eat local, sustainable, organic and humanely raised meat for dinner to 1-2 nights a week and i am cooking up vegetarian and vegan meals the rest of the time. 

this lovely article talks about why (if you're not already vegan or vegetarian) it's important for us to become food patriots with our meat: don't have a cow.  

looking for a local, sustainable & grass fed meat source lake county?  
check out wallace farms - they deliver the liver, loves.

Friday, September 19, 2014

finding the mullies

waving goodbye.

the other half of the mullies left on tuesday.

my beautiful sister and nieces.

we made such lovely memories and delicious food together,

over such a long, beautiful weekend...

they won't be back here for another year.

when you find yourself in the mullies...

the dear moments that make your heart burst with laughter and such...

with sunshine on your face, grass stains on your knees...

the electricity seems to last but only for a moment.

a memory kept alive with a photograph, two or three..

oh why oh why must we leave?


life is a swing, back and forth, back and forth...

here's to linking our kitchens

to cooking with our kids

to never growing up

to throwing lots of balls at each other

to the mullies

i love you and i'll be seeing you



thank you kurt and christina for sharing the most ridiculous, balls out, cioppino we have ever had in our entire lives.  kurt made his with gumption (no recipe) and here's a lovely, inspiring cioppino recipe for you:)


the one and only boeuf bourguignon

Monday, September 8, 2014

the mullies turns 2: A Food Revolution Plum Gumption Sauce

2 years ago today, i started this lovely blog.

i'm sitting here typing this at my island, in the exact spot i did a blink of an eye ago... 

i changed my daughter's diet and it changed the course of everything for her, for me, for us as a family.


and what FUN it has been celebrating two BIG birthdays, two weeks in a row...

i made the latest video last friday, during our one heck of a monsoon rainstorm.  i hope it inspires you to get your gumption on and cook with your kids with or without a recipe... start your own kitchen diary TODAY.  mine is getting rather full...

i'll be doing my best to put out fun, food revolution content that highlights my mullies quest to teach kids about their fruits and veggies, to teach kids how to cook, to teach myself how to become a better cook and most of all... not to take ourselves too seriously.

...it's the only way to survive a real food revolution.

i'm in it to win it... and i have a looooooong way to go... i'm banking on a solid, good 100 years at it.

cheers to birthdays
to the ever evolving, bumpity pace of growing up 
and to gathering with those who light our (b)asses up.

cuz you know i'm all about that bass.

let's go balls.out.together in the food rev and see where we end up!

lace it up sallies,


Monday, September 1, 2014

Happy 2nd Birthday Food Revolution!!!!!!

Happy 2nd Birthday Video link
(if the link doesn't work on your mobile, check it out on your computer!)

there's no place i'd rather be... 

click clicking my heels over here and enjoying a lazy labor day morning with the family.

enjoy this super fun video and i hope that it gets you to hit "play" in the kitchen more often with your love bugs:)

happy happy birthday to my JOFF team and community - you guys LIGHT ME UP!