Paleo Pizza Crust/Hamburger Bun

So I love pizza! When I found out that I was intolerant to gluten and sensitive to corn and soy two years ago I was hesitant to make this drastic lifestyle change. What about pizza? Bread? Pasta? But the health benefits out weighed the food losses for me. (My moderate asthma and severe eczema went away with just changing my diet.) I had to learn to cook all over again.

I had thought of myself as a really good cook before the dietary change, but afterwards I felt completely lost and incompetent. After months of searching I found a few cookbooks and blogs that brought me back to my philosophy on food and helped me to find my confidence again. The two below are the ones I love the most! And no, no one payed me to say this.

Simone Millers’s Zenbelly Catering and her book The Zenbelly Cookbook: An Epicurean’s Guide to Paleo Cuisine.

Jenni Hullet’s The Urban Poser and her book My Paleo Patisserie: An Artisan Approach to Grain Free Baking.

Now I find myself once again having fun in the kitchen and with the courage to experiment with recipes. So today I am changing up Zenbelly’s NY Style Paleo Pizza Crust (click the link to get the recipe)! My husband and I do enjoy NY style pizza (thin crust) but we really love a good chewy thicker crust.IMG_20160625_135228766 In order to accomplish this I double the recipe and then follow Simone’s instructions until the step where you let the dough rise.

Dump out your dough onto a pizza pan lined with a piece of greased parchment paper (or if you have a stone like Simon from Zenbelly you will transfer the parchment paper to the preheated pizza stone when you bake it.)IMG_20160625_122849333With greased hands pat out the dough into the shape you desire.  I really like crust so I left a good ring of dough around the edge.  If you like your crust a bit thinner use a bigger pizza pan and spread it out to the thickness you like. Play with the recipe until you get it perfect for you!IMG_20160625_123540688Allow the dough to rise for the recommended time, about 60-90 minutes, until the dough almost doubles in size. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F when you have about 30 minutes left on the rise. If you are using a dark or nonstick pan decrease the temperature by 25 degrees.IMG_20160625_132125586Bake the crust for about 10-15 minutes until it is set and lightly golden brown. Remove from oven and let the crust cool slightly while you prepare your toppings. IMG_20160625_133744855_HDRPreheat your oven to 425 degrees F. Add your favorite toppings to your pizza. For my pizza today I decided to go with a BBQ chicken, onion, and spinach pizza. (If you want my recipe comment below.  Also I will post my recipe for my paleo friendly copycat Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce in a future post.) Make sure all of your toppings that need longer than ten minutes to cook are precooked. IMG_20160625_134318783Bake for approximately ten minutes until the pizza is cooked how you like it. I like my crust crispy and golden brown and my cheese just melted!IMG_20160625_135125384IMG_20160625_135228766You can see that it picks up and folds like “normal” pizza. It is delicious!IMG_20160625_135252338

I also love to use this dough and method to make hamburger buns!

Use a cake pop pan as the mold to shape your hamburger buns. Lightly grease the pan and cover with a piece of parchment paper, the grease helps the parchment paper to stay in place.  Divide out the dough (before the rise) into the four cavities and allow to rise for 60-90 minutes. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Before putting them into the oven brush the buns with a simple egg wash (1 egg and a tbsp. of water whisked together) and sprinkle with sesame seeds, if desired.


Bake for about 20 minutes or until they are nicely golden brown. Allow to cool in the pan.


Cut the bun in half.


And enjoy with your favorite hamburger and toppings!



Mommy of One!

My baby boy, Scott, turned 5 months old this month. He is a blessing and miracle in my life. Just a few months before we conceived him I had almost decided not to try anymore. You see Scott was my 6th pregnancy.

When I was a teenager I decided to wait for marriage to have sex. My parents were very open and honest about sex and how wonderful it was. They also emphasized waiting until you were truly in love, not lust. When I made my decision it was not really based on my parents advice (and at that point I was not really religious, I have since become a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and as such view sex as sacred (but not secret, more on that another time)), it was based on a feeling that I would get pregnant. Call it woman’s intuition, a spiritual prompting, whatever you like. I just had this feeling that I couldn’t shake.

During my teenage years I learned that I had PCOS, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. Basically my hormones where out of wack, my periods were irregular, it was difficult to loose weight, cysts grow on my ovaries (the largest one being 8cm), and my chances of being able to get pregnant were decreased.

So before I got married I made sure to have the talk with my husband. We both wanted kids and lots of them. He told me we would make it work, no matter if the kids were ours biologically or not (we both want to adopt anyway), it didn’t matter.

And then on our honeymoon I got pregnant! We were so excited! I could get pregnant! 6 weeks later I wasn’t anymore. The actual experience was horrible, physically and emotionally. That was our baby! But we knew I could get pregnant.

Through all of the ups and downs of miscarriage after miscarriage my husband and I struggled. We tried to be very open about our experiences. Miscarriages are nothing to be ashamed of. They happen, quite often actually. How I wish that I would have known that.

We tried to hold onto hope, joy, and faith. There were times when I was ready to give up, who really cared anyway? It was much easier to block emotions, to build up “walls” so I didn’t have to feel. It hurt too much to care.

My fourth miscarriage was the worst physically. I was approximately ten weeks along and the cramping started. The only way I can describe it is mini labor. I had contractions that came and went and got so bad that Jacob took me to the ER. They escalated until I delivered four golf ball sized clots. According to the doctors there was nothing wrong with me.

After taking sometime to focus on getting healthier and reducing inflammation and stress in my body, I started to feel a bit better. Friends and family helped. My husband helped me pick up the pieces once again.

I did have one more miscarriage. It was much easier physically, yet it took all of my faith to hold onto the hope and joy that one day we would have our own child. December 2014 I was pregnant again. This time however I was the sickest I have ever been. I could barely tolerate eating anything or keep anything down, I think it was the smell of food that was the worst. I knew that this time was different, this baby would latch, I knew even with all of my fears that this baby would stay!

The pregnancy was challenging as I encountered complications along the way. Then after 41 weeks of waiting and hoping and dreaming the trauma really started. After 30 hours of active labor, that was not helping me to progress, I broke down and got an epidural. It didn’t work, it only numbed the left side of my body and left the right side even worse. The drug to speed up labor made my baby’s heart rate drop. After 54 hours total (I was stubborn and was determined to have my son vaginally) I got a fever and even though I had finally progressed to 9 cm they were scared of infection and pulled me for an emergency c-section.

Giving birth to my son was the hardest thing I have ever done (so far) in my life. And yet when I look into his eyes, hear him laugh, and see him grow and learn it is completely worth every moment. He is worth it.

I still struggle emotionally at times. I don’t know when or if I will be ready to physically have another child, our family might only grow through adoption in the future. I don’t know. But I trust there is a plan for me, my family, and my rainbow baby.

A “rainbow baby” is a baby that is born following a miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal death or infant loss. In the real world, a beautiful and bright rainbow follows a storm and gives hope of things getting better.

I have hope in the future, I choose to have joy now. I am a mommy of one.


Dumb stuff we need to stop saying to Dads.

I loved this blog article! Dumb stuff we need to stop saying to Dads.

My husband is Daddy, not a babysitter!

Jack of All Trades!

My Husband, Jacob, worked for many years on different Open Source software projects and as a technical writer. He decided a few years ago to go back to school to finish his Bachelors Degree. He chose to focus on business (and consequently found a love for economics) so that he could combine his desire to be an entrepreneur with his love of technology. However, now that he is close to graduating and looking for a job, Jacob is finding it difficult to create a resume as he does not fit in a box.

Jacob is a Jack of all trades, and as he sees it a master of none.

He loves learning new languages. He enjoys “nerdy” games. He loves software stuff (I don’t understand all that he does with programming and technical writing.) He loves to ballroom dance (so do I! It is so romantic and fun!) He likes structure and yet to have the freedom to change things up. To work efficiently, yet at his own pace.

Jack of all trades, master of none” is a figure of speech used in reference to a person that is competent with many skills, but spends so much time learning each new skill that they can not become an expert in any particular one. The earliest recorded versions of the phrase do not contain the second part. Indeed, they are broadly positive in tone. Such a Jack of all trades may be a master of integration, as such an individual knows enough from many learned trades and skills to be able to bring their disciplines together in a practical manner. This person is a generalist rather than a specialist. -Wikipedia

Who decided to add the master of none to the end? Who decided to turn this positive phrase into a negative one?

I personally believe that this was added during the industrial revolution when factories needed workers to be skilled at one task.  They didn’t care if you could make a whole dress, they needed specialists to work on their assembly lines to make more faster.

We are no longer training people to become factory workers, so why do our schools still teach and train people to become factory thinkers? Specialists?

I always felt different in school. I wanted to learn by doing, not by being stuck at a desk. I still don’t appreciate “formal education” the same way I appreciate learning as I go. Asking for help from people who have done it before and want to share there wisdom. But then again everyone learns differently, so maybe for you school was great.

I, like my husband, am a jack  of all trades, a generalist. Yet I think of it positively. I am an actress, singer, dancer, painter, cake decorator, cook (I even cook and bake grain-free now due to allergies), sewer, movie watcher, reader etc. I say etc. because who knows what will be next. (These are some of the hobbies and talents I will focus on in this blog.) I don’t want to be put in a box of what I should be as a mother, an artist, a woman. I am me.

Being a jack of all trades helps me to understood both sides of an argument, as I can see both sides through things I do or care about. Art and Science. Nutrition and Modern Medicine. Republicans and Democrats. I can be religious and still see that other people aren’t (and that is their choice, therefore okay.)

I want to encourage learning different topics. Go for it! Try what you have always wanted to try! Branch out! Build yourself up! Become more! Multiply your talents!

I want to make the phrase Jack of All Trades a positive idea once again.