Fennel, Sausage, and Goat Cheese Pizza

Long time readers know that if there is one go to dinner that I love its homemade pizza. There is almost nothing easier than coming home and slapping some ingredients on dough. Plus it’s also my favorite go to meal after long runs. I pretty much have it down to a science. I love to experiment with different flavor combinations. Seriously, I think there needs to be a running pizza post on LCC, I make it that frequently.

Heather made a reader request last month for healthy pizza. I really love sweet potato kale pizza from the skinny bitch cook book. That recipe is vegan and totally delicious. Here is another healthy recipe. Ok, maybe it’s not as healthy as SB’s recipe but I think it turned out pretty well and let’s face it, it’s healthier than baked potato pizza (which is TOTALLY delicious).

For this pie, I prepped the dough as I usually do

Then I spread a thin layer of goat cheese on the dough.

I also laid down a layer of chopped fennel. I love the flavor of fennel (like black licorice!). Does that make me weird? I feel like that flavor doesn’t get a lot of love.

Then I added the rest of the toppings I love. Right now I am really into Trader Joe’s applewood sausages. I rarely actually cook meat for myself due to extreme levels of laziness but I’ve been adding this sausage to random dinners. I also added a general sprinkling of spinach which, again, I’ve been adding to everything recently! There are so many ways to include spinach in meals.

Doesn’t that make you just want to eat a ton of spinach? Just me? Just me? Ah well.

Baked at 450, 14 mins later…

I wasn’t totally sure how this pizza would turn out. I used a WEIRD combo of flavor combinations. I mean sausage, fennel, and goat cheese? Perhaps surprisingly, this was pretty damn good if I do say so myself.

OK, time to spill! What is your favorite, but totally weird, flavor combination? Besides fennel, sausage and goat cheese I enjoy pretzels dipped in veganaise. Yes. I am going on record and admitting that. Embarrassing, I know.

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Back at it

How was everyone’s long weekend? Mine was good. It was the last hurrah of vacation because I started work on Tuesday! This marks what will likely be the last internship that I will complete (did you know that I’ve done 6 total? True story) So far I really like the place I’ll be working and I am looking forward to going out in the world and actually doing something with my law skills. Very excited to see what the summer holds for me! More on that at the END of this post.

Before work started I made this fantastic dinner. It is Paula Deen inspired so you can probably guess what the main ingredient is (butter).

I give you: Shallot, Scallop and Goat Cheese Quesadillas.

Oh yes. Get excited. The inspiration for this dish came from Paula Deen’s Lady and Sons Savannah Country Cookbook. I took some of the elements of her Bay Scallop dish and rolled it into a quesadilla with some goat cheese.

I took 1 tablespoon of butter and melted it down at a low heat. Once the butter melted I added 1 chopped shallot. It is very important to cook the shallot and butter at a low heat slowly. Do NOT burn the butter. Seriously, just don’t. While the shallot is cooking take out a quesadilla (I used Trader Joe’s Whole Wheat) and spread it with goat cheese (again, I used Trader Joe’s spreadable goat cheese, but anything will work). Once the shallots are soft and lightly browned transfer the shallot to the quesadilla and set aside. There should be butter left in the pan.

Then, raise the heat in the pan to medium high and add about 8 baby scallops (which should be salted and peppered on either side) to the pan. If there isn’t enough butter then add about a half tablespoon more. Sear the scallops on either side for about three mins. Once the scallops are done, transfer to the quesadilla. So at this point you should have your quesadilla with everything in it. Lower the heat again, to medium, and place the filled quesadilla in the pan, heat it up, fold it up and cook until the quesadilla is crispy.

Yum. Shallots cooked in butter? Thank you, Paula. You are a goddess. The butter goddess. This will be a repeat quesadilla for sure!

National Running Day:

Did you know that today was national running day? Well it was! I hit the pavement after work for a 4 mile run (my favorite run around my neighborhood). I’ve been laying low on the running to ensure that nothing happens to my foot before my half marathon on Sunday but the 4 mile run felt incredible. My legs felt good and I had a fantastic runner high afterwards. Yay runners run!

What I’m Wearing Work Edition

Anyone who knew me, especially in college, can attest to that I love dressing up especially in business casual. Last week I took my suit (for court!), a blazer and a dress to the tailors. I hadn’t lost enough weight last summer to justify alterations and I didn’t wear them all year so some nip/tuck was much needed! In addition I dominated the Anthropology sale rack and Zara and came away with some fun new pieces. I’m so excited to wear them I thought that I would share them with you!

High Waisted Skirt, Zara

I don’t frequently shop at Zara (sometimes I feel like their proportions fit oddly on my body) but I did pick up this fun, high waisted skirt last week. Zara has cute stuff and is pretty affordable so I was happy to find something I really loved there.

Shift Dress, Anthropology Sale Rack!

I have an obsession with Antro. No joke. I really will know that I have made it when I can wear Antro to work every day. This dress fits like a glove and will pair well with a cardi.

White Blouse, Anthology Sale Rack

Not necessarily for work (maybe with a tank under, paired with a nice pant on casual Friday?) but this was fantastic for Saturday bunch in Silverlake. I paired with olive green shorts. I love how light and summery this top is!

How do you dress for work?

Grilled Baby Artichokes

When my Mom was in town we spent Saturday morning at the Santa Monica Organic Farmers Market. She was very impressed by all the amazing deals we have (like an entire bundle of thyme for $1) and the variety of items for sale. At one point we walked by a stand, the one I always get my broccoli from, her eyes landed on the baby artichokes I pass every week and she made an excited utterance. I always see them but have never been sure how exactly I would utilize them. This got my wheels turning.

Last week I passed them again and thought “what the hell, just buy the adorable artichoke”.

You would too, wouldn’t you?

There were a TON in the pack and I was able to enjoy them several times throughout the week.

These were sliced in half and positioned on my grill pan. I made sure to spray cooking spray on the pan and salt and pepper.

I love how GREEN they are!

All lined up. I used tongs to check them periodically.

Can I tell you how excited I was about the grill marks? Fantastic!

These were pretty good. The grill gave them a smokey flavor and the insides were moist. In the future I really want to try this roasted because adding EVO to anything always makes it better. This really is an ideal side dish or appetizer because it is so easy to cook and delicious to eat. I like challenging myself by picking up something I’ve never cooked before and experimenting with it and this was for sure a success!

Have you ever picked up a new ingredient on a whim and loved it?

Couscous Stuffed Pepper

Good evening blog world! How’s it going? Who has work or school off tomorrow? This girl does! I spent the afternoon chilling and cleaning. I did some serious cleaning! I’m not that messy but I did a deep clean including but not limited to dusting, moping, vacuuming, scrubbing, and organizing. I’m still not done but am excited about the results. I need to pass my Mom’s “white glove test”.

For dinner I was super healthy because, lets face it, I’m working HARD on that pint of pumpkin ice cream obviously served with mix ins. I had a couscous stuffed pepper with roasted veg. I made the quickie version.

The pepper at the farmers market for the last few weeks have been glorious. When I saw it I knew I needed to make something wonderful with it. I cored this puppy and roasted it (standing up) with other veggies on the same tray because this is the quick version. Normally I would sautee the veggies and then bake in the pepper. Tonight I roasted (at 400 degrees for 30 mins with EVO&S&P) bok choy, eggplant, squash (summer), and broccoli. While everything was roasting I prepared the couscous.

If there is a difference between regular couscous and whole wheat couscous I can’t taste it.

Then I took out the veggies. I was hoping the bok choy would turn out like kale chips…

Um, kinda? The white part was still moist but it was pretty tasty none the less! I actually liked these better than kale chips.

I combined all the veggies with the couscous and then stuffed the pepper…

Pretty good. For being a quick version it tastes a lot like the long version. The pepper was soft and flavorful. Farmers market for the win! This will be happening again soon. I liked the roasted veggies, especially the bok choy. I don’t cook with it often but I should cook with it more. This was a delish dinner.

Tomorrow is the kick off to a great weekend. There is talk of Clementine and dinner in Pasadena! Wahoo!

Orange-you Glad its Thursday?

Cheesy title, I know but I couldn’t resist. I am so glad it’s finally Thursday. Wednesday is my busy day so having it past me is a relief.

Tonight instead of going out and doing something fun I stayed in to outline (taking all my notes and breaking them down into a short, valuable document which can make or break an exam). After working for a couple hours I decided it was time to eat. But what should I eat?

One moment I was looking at this:

What to make,  what to make…

Even Izzy was perplexed. Yes. I went there. Don’t blame me. Blame it on the hearsay exceptions.

Then I saw a giant orange and some beef and before you know it I was roasting veggies, making orange scented couscous and grilling beef and orange. I know. I have a sickness.

This was the final product.

Roasted parsnips, potato and broccoli, yes I had couscous and potatoes. It’s almost finals. I’m entitled.

Orange Scented Couscous which basically involves cooking couscous with orange zest and is fantastic!

Orange and Balsamic Grilled Beef. The flavor combo was inspired by this months Everyday Food. I took orange zest, balsamic vinegar, and juiced half of a giant orange and grilled the beef in the sauce. This was obviously an improv kinda thing with no recipe so I wasn’t sure if it would orange or balsamic enough but it turned out pretty good. The flavor came through and it was nicely complimented by the couscous. And yes, I grilled the orange slices.

Pretty delicious for having no clue what I was going to make for dinner. Yum!

Hope you had a happy Thursday!