10 rules of cauliflower “pizza crust”

cauliflower pizza

1. The first rule of cauliflower pizza crust is: don’t expect real pizza crust. It is only by lowering expectations that we can be pleasantly surprised.

2. If you’re feeling intimidated by this strange and mysterious process, say to yourself, “Look, it’s not brain surgery.” Of course, after you cleave that cauliflower into two pieces you will not be able to ignore the sensation that you are performing a lobotomy. Each “crust” (note quotes)  takes about half of a head.

cauliflower halves3. Stretch. Grating this much cauliflower into a “flour-like” substance (note quotes) is sure to dislocate your shoulder if you don’t start with a few warm-up exercises.

grated cauliflower4. Accept that all those leftover crumbles too big for the “dough” (note quotes) will go into your refrigerator with all the best intentions, and will need to be extracted from the crisper several months later while wearing a hazmat suit. Because: of course nobody ever chooses to eat cauliflower unless it is significantly transformed to taste like something else.

5. Never underestimate the power of parchment paper. Do not skip this step.

parchment6. I don’t care how many calories you intend to cut, you must respect the trifecta of cheese: fresh mozzarella, grated mozzarella, and way way way too much parmesan.

7. Bring a fork to this party: picking up this “pizza” (note quotes) with your hands is tricky business, especially after you heap on the toppings.

8. Prepare to be thinner, smarter, sexier, and, most importantly…..gluten-free! Is there anything more important than gluten-free these days?

cauliflower pizza crust 29. When you serve cauliflower pizza to your friends and family, use lots of air quotes.

10. As delicious as this is, and as much as you may convince yourself, your child will not, under any circumstances, eat even a bite of this trickery. Oh, nooooo nooooo nooooo, absolutely no fooling budding pizza aficionados (note NO quotes).

raspberries on fingersWhy eat that weird pizza when you can instead do THIS?

Here is the recipe I used: click here.

Here is the recipe I used for home-made sauce: click here.

All the above rules aside…if you are trying to cut back on carbs, I do seriously recommend!

Have you tried it yet?

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if peeling clementines were a profession…

clementinesAn Acceptance Speech

Wow, it is an honor and a thrill to be chosen by my colleagues for this prestigious award. Truthfully, I never set out to become a professional clementine peeler, let alone “a legend in the field” (thanks for that wonderful introduction by the way). But this definitely proves the adage that if you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life. Yes, I have peeled a lot of clementines in my lifetime and possibly even millions of these small, delicious spheres of sweet perfection in the last month.  Yes, I have done so with dexterity, stealth, and while juggling several other tasks, mostly of a holiday nature. But really, this has been a labor of love.

The beauty is that, to get to the heart of this fruit, you don’t need a pair of ever-elusive scissors. There is no mixing, rolling or sifting involved. All you need are your bare hands, a bit of patience and a willingness to get your fingers covered in a strange, strongly-scented film.

If I could take this opportunity to impart some advice to those of you who are aspiring to similar greatness, I would remind you that, as with all professions, it is important to keep learning and pushing the envelope. On this note, clementines do not string well on the tree – cranberries and popcorn are still better for this. And, for the record, it is not yet illegal to peel while driving but this could change once my case goes to court (case of delectable clementines that is…)

Anyway, behind every great clementine peeler is a supportive and citrus-loving family and I feel grateful for the following:

First, I’d like to thank my older brother and mentor who impressed and inspired me at an early age with his ability to peel an orange while keeping the rind in one piece. Well peeled, big bro, well peeled.

I’d like to thank my mother who always had a bowl of clementines out at this time of year.  This bowl was always perfectly mounded, despite our rapid rate of ingestion. More clementines seemed to magically appear throughout the day, to keep her counter top magazine-ready at all times.

I’d like to thank my husband, who upon discovering the specific splendor of this extra sweet fruit a few years ago, stood at our kitchen island in the Bronx and pounded about 16 of them in under seven seconds. This legendary frenzy, complete with slurping and rinds a-flying, made cookie monster seem like pillar of restraint.

I’d like to thank my 2 year old son who is now our latest clementine convert. He has decided that he prefers the pulp and juice over the skin, causing him to extract disgusting half-chewed sacks of citrus and saliva from his mouth and depositing them on his tray for me to dispose of. Of course, this has not caused me to love him (or clementines) any less.

Finally, I’d like to thank clementines themselves. Of course, I couldn’t have done any of this without you. Not only has this been a truly wonderful collaboration, you have given me the best holiday gifts anyone could ask for: you have helped me eat a few less cookies, a few less chocolates, and you have single-handedly kept the scurvy on this holiday ship very much at bay.

peeled clementinesDo you partake? Or do you have a similar obsession of an edible kind this time of year? Leave a comment below! And hope you are all having a happy one…

For more home tome but in smaller “segments” and flavored with the zest of infinite clementines, follow me on twitter here.

gingerbread on a shelf

Hallmark Tis the Season ornamentsource: Hallmark

We don’t have that little elf on the shelf yet, but don’t feel bad for us, because we have… GINGERBREAD. My aunt sent this Hallmark keepsake ornament called “’tis the seasoning” and it has certainly caught our toddler’s imagination. As soon as we opened the box, he started feeding the cookie the milk, complete with slurping sounds. Turns out this was just the beginning…

It wasn’t long before Gingerbread was up on our son’s bookshelf. It may look as if he’s waiting in an annoying line behind an overzealous zebra and two eager astronauts for that bottle of milk (hey, it’s his milk, you guys) but according to our son, this was in fact “A Party!”

hallmark tis the season ornament 1 Here’s his ride:

hallmark tis the season ornament 2His slide:

hallmark tis the season ornament 3

And, finally, who doesn’t love plastic cauliflower? Lightly sauteed, of course:

hallmark tis the season ornament 4

What I like about Gingerbread is that he’s a pretty easy-going guy: just look at that smile. And he’s obviously too busy chugging his milk to keep tabs on anyone or report back to Santa.

In fact, Gingerbread is having so much fun all over our house, I don’t have the heart to hang him up on the tree quite yet…Do you or your kids have any favorite ornaments this year? Leave a comment below.

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Thank you Aunt Margaret – sending you our love (and cookies) across many states!

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the sticker report

stickers

Sticker use is at an all-time high here at home tome headquarters. This is good news for sticker manufacturers and those who hold futures in adhesives. All indications point toward a steady rise in profits as we round out the fourth quarter and head into the new year. While this industry can be a bit “sticky,” reports indicate that record-breaking amounts of disposable income have been spent on sticker sheets, especially at one particular Dollar Store in one specific suburb north of NY City. As sales promise to be strong in this market, here is what you can expect throughout this holiday season:

Stickers, stickers everywhere,
Stickers on the wall, stickers in your hair.

Stickers ripped in half,

Now there’s a sticker on your calf.

Doesn’t matter if they’re right-side up,

As long as they’re not in your coffee cup.

They’re on, they’re off, they’re on again,

Stick them on the shirt of a friend.

Up and down your arm like a full-sleeve tattoo,

Lots of fun and fine motor skills, too.

When the sticker page is done, put it in the trash bin,

As long as there are more sheets, everyone wins.

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Here is our little guy (23 months today) focusing on the serious business of stickers with his new BFF, Laura:

stickers in action

Why sleep? Why eat? Why put on a jacket and go outside if you could instead do this? If you haven’t invested in the sticker market yet, I suggest that now is the time to jump in!

Do you know any toddlers who are similarly stuck on this activity? Hey, at least it’s easy to know what to stuff in the stocking…If you have any other gift suggestions for kids around 2 years old please leave a comment!

For more home tome fun, but with fewer words and lots of pretend financial advice, you can follow along on twitter here.

after I lose this baby weight…

scale with words

After I lose this baby weight, I’m hoping to also take off:

  • the pre-baby weight
  • the trying to get pregnant emotional roller coaster weight
  • the I’m just going to get fat when I’m pregnant anyway weight
  • the almost 40 years old weight
  • the wedded bliss weight
  • the honeymoon weight
  • the I finally met the man of my dreams weight
  • the maybe I’ll just be single for the rest of my life weight
  • the margaritas make dating bearable weight
  • the I think I’ll have oreo cheesecake for dinner and oreo ice cream for dessert weight
  • the I don’t really like beer but I drink it because I’m in college weight
  • the freshman fifteen
  • the I’m nervous about going to college weight
  • the two weeks ago I was an athlete but everything changed as soon as I quit weight

Are you one of the supermamas who managed to lose the baby weight? And then some? If so, I don’t want to hear from you. Kidding! How the H-E-Double-Hockey-Sticks did you DO IT? Please leave a comment.

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top 5 kid books featuring mushrooms

mushroom kid books 2

Finally! What you have all been waiting for: a guide to children’s books with MUSHROOMS. This is for those of you who decided to have kids in order to further celebrate fun fungi, toadstools, and the like… in illustrated form – and I know there are many of you. (In fact, I am bracing myself for this post to go viral just like that crazy outcropping of Mycena galericulata around our rotting tree stump last spring…)

Your little budding mycologists will love these books in general, but they will take particular joy in the pages featuring mushrooms, especially if you learn to the read the word mushroom in several different high, low, and just-plain-weird voices all conveying excitement and extreme appreciation. Even more so if you tickle your child while saying the word mushroom. Ahh, the power of suggestion. (Stage parent? No, ‘shroom parent.)

Who wouldn’t fall in love with the following pages? In fact, blowing these up 1,000 percent then using them as wallpaper is a perfectly normal reaction…

oh the thinks you can think1. from Oh, the Thinks You Can Think! by Dr. Seuss

LIttle Owl's Night 22. from Little Owl’s Night by Divya Srinivasan

The Crown on Your Head3. from The Crown on Your Head by Nancy Tillman

Red Wagon4. from Red Wagon by Renata Liwska

I am a Bunny5. from I am a Bunny, by Ole Risom and Richard Scarry

I know this post has forced you to ask many questions i.e. “Mushrooms? Really?” And: “Is she okay?” And: where can I get these excellent mushroomy books? Powells.com of course! But I have some questions for YOU:

1. Do you know of any more kids books featuring mushrooms? (Typed with the shaky hands of someone obsessed…)

2. What weird predilections are you actively (or passively) passing on to your kids? (Hopefully harmless, though this is always up for debate…)

3. Mushrooms aside, isn’t reading to your kids (and to yourself) THE BEST?! Cheers!

***I heart your comments even more than mushrooms! NOTE THAT DOING SO NOW REQUIRES THAT YOU CLICK ON THE WORD “REPLY” or “REPLIES” THE BEGINNING OF THE POST, UNDER THE TITLE***

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think carefully about which Halloween decorations you put up

mummy pumpkin and gourdsI am not a psychotherapist but I play one on the interwebs today. Do you like to squish pumpkin goop in your hands? Have you fooled yourself into thinking that the fake cobweb cotton you clumped on your hedges looks real? Hmmm, I see (scribbling notes).

Find out what these and other Falloween inclinations say about you on In the Powder Room today.

Click here to read What Your Fall Decorations Say about You.

In the Powder Room  is a great women’s humor site I recently discovered. If you leave a comment there I will be eternally grateful and I promise I won’t judge you for your decorations.

Don’t forget to follow me on twitter if you would like frequent bits of home tome-ish entertainment…