Italian Cravings

I couldn’t be happier that today’s forecast calls for 70 degrees.


Considering yesterday was in the 40’s and I was wearing my winter coat, scarf, gloves, Uggs as well as covered in a blanket at Little League last night, I am more than ready for a touch of spring.

And for a run outside. I hit the treadmill yesterday for the first time in a while.

Got my quick miles in and don’t wish to visit the machine again anytime soon.


Snack Attack time again at school.

Of course the colors this week are blue and purple. Just in time for the current rise in the price of the blueberry coupled with the sudden nonexistence of the decent sized containers.

What is up with the blueberries these days? Are we going through some blueberry crisis or famine that everyone was afraid to tell me about?


I really hate sharing my food, especially my last bite, but I can’t deny the boy a berry. Or any fruit for that matter. Well, maybe there would be an issue if I were down to my last green apple. I don’t know. Let’s not think about it.


I am glad he likes a variety of fruit. He requested the above mix of grapes, blueberries and strawberries (my nice containers were in the dishwasher).

I just wish we could get his vegetable situation under control.


We know he oddly likes his Bird’s Eye for a night time snack. He has me buying several varieties.

So why can’t he eat them at dinner?


Yes, those little tiny pieces are the vegetables he so perfectly picked out of his dinner and left on the side for me.

What was for dinner?


I made a baked ziti. Please note the missing chunk from the picture. He couldn’t wait for me to take a picture.


Some may call my version of Baked Ziti a  “Whole Wheat Pasta Primavera with Fat Free Ricotta Cheese and Part Skim Mozzarella.”

I call it Baked Ziti with a Touch of Motherly Love.


The boy has no issue with the whole wheat pasta, no issue (or clue) that I used lighter versions of cheese.

Yet he treated the above pictured plate as a Hidden Pictures page from Highlights Magazine and found every piece of carrot, broccoli and whatever else was on the list to locate.

I don’t get. He requests his Bird’s Eye vegetable mixes at night as some type of snack but won’t eat them at dinner.

I will keep trying though. Oh yes.

This boy will learn that vegetables are served and eaten at meal times simply so that he one day enforces the same rule on his own kids.

I am already looking out for my grandchildren.

Truth: I am not a big fan of pasta.

I certainly don’t dislike it, it’s nothing like that, I just don’t crave it.

I eat what I crave, even if sometimes the cravings are kooky combinations.

I don’t mind making a big baked ziti though even if it just the two of us with only one of us eating it.

It is great as leftovers either the next day or, like I usually do, I freeze the ziti in individually portioned squares perfect for a quick homemade meal for another day.

Anyway, while making the baked ziti, I was craving something Italian.

I felt like a sweet potato (of course I did). I also felt like pizza.

What does a girl do?

Voila- sweet potato wedges dressed up like pizza.


Very simple people.

Prepare the sweet potato wedges as you normally would and just top with sauce and cheese.

If you don’t normally make potato wedges here is a quick version of how I go about it:

I typically microwave the potato for a few minutes to soften. Then, I slice into discs, wedges, fries (whatever I am feeling). Place on baking sheet into the oven at 450 degrees with either a drop of olive oil or cooking spray and desired seasonings.

Bake until desired crispness (all depends, sometimes 20 minutes, sometimes I have patience to leave them in longer).

For pizza bites, top with sauce and cheese and place back in oven for a few minutes on broil.

On my to do list is to test out making the popular cauliflower pizza crust, a sweet potato pizza crust as well as the combo of the sweet potato and cauliflower pizza crust.

I have the recipes, just haven’t found the patience yet.

I may cook every day, but most of  my meals have the following requirements:

  • Minimal ingredients
  • Minimal appliance involvement
  • Minimal mess
  • Simple
  • Healthy
  • Delicious

I am determined to make those crusts though. Which should I make first?

Mid-Week Report

Where did my spring go? The last few days have been cold and windy. I had been planning to retire my  Uggs to the closet this week as well as run a few hilly miles outdoors this morning.

This is why I try not to plan ahead: 30 degrees plus wind chill was not part of  my spring training plan.

more mag

The half is next weekend already. I should probably formulate myself a taper plan soon. But, since I don’t like to follow plans, especially since my little plan for today isn’t working out as I hoped, tapering will be a day by day approach. All I know right now is that it will involve sweet potatoes and bananas.

Anyway, I am happy to report the following:

My Under Armour running socks are working out very well.  I can safely recommend that you purchase them.


And so are my rainbow sneakers.

I have FINALLY configured the laces appropriately so that I don’t notice my feet when I am running.

The key to foot happiness for me is to forget I even have feet. Make sense? If not, try running. Then you will understand.

Those pretty little sneakers have been quite temperamental. They developed a real complex after my post praising them a few weeks ago.

I was only wearing them for certain runs and perhaps they were insulted they were being left behind.


Did they not realize they were the third born in my little Asics family?

Isn’t the third child supposed to be easier? Or maybe they were behaving as the baby of the family?

baby corner

While on the topic of temperamental and offended, I have a confession: I have this fear of over-clicking the “thumbs down” on Pandora.


I am convinced if I click the thumbs-down one too many times, Pandora may get offended that I don’t like their recommendations and start sending me extra commercials as well as more really bad music in a row.

Nuts? maybe. I never said I was normal.

If you think that my Pandora fear is nuts, check this out:


No, you aren’t crazy – that is absolutely a cute sprinkled dessert bowl filled with vegetables instead of ice cream.


The little boy has suddenly taken a liking to Birds Eye Steamfresh. His favorite mix (which is mine as well) is the broccoli, carrots, sugar snap peas and water chesnuts.

Not only is it suddenly odd that he is asking  for vegetables, he is asking for them at night, after dinner.

He doesn’t want them with his dinner, he requests a bowl of Bird’s Eye as a “late night” snack.


Maybe it is the novelty of the chop sticks?

Whatever the reason, I can’t complain. The boy is eating vegetables.

If I succeed at nothing else in life, if I never appear on television again, I am satisfied in knowing my 9 year old boy requested and ate a bowl of vegetables.

Well, I have one complaint. Bird’s Eye is stingy on coupons.

I need to know:

Are you ready to retire your winter boots to the closet?

Do you keep Steam Fresh bags on hand in your freezer or only eat fresh vegetables?

Do you stick to a taper plan when preparing for a race?

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