Still Cookin', Good-Lookin'!

I've been teaching 6th grade art for 7 weeks now. It's nuts. We all thought last year was weird and tough, but this year? Off the HOOK. Not sure why yet. But I DO know I need to stay on top of my health. I'm slowing meeting new, wonderful doctors in the KU Health System. Primary doc, ob/gyn, rheumatologist, dermatologist, imaging lab, general lab (love these ladies). Next up, ophthalmologist. It takes a team for any hope of wellness success!

Somehow, most evenings after teaching, I'm finding the energy to cook dinner. It takes some serious planning, though. Sundays I make a list of the meals and snacks I want to repeat or attempt for the first time. I'm trying to stay seasonal, getting inspiration from the many Instagram foodies that I follow. Don't get me wrong, I could consume sharp cheddar, sourdough, and gin all day and be thrilled. But I know I need a bit more color and diversity. 

Below are some recent successes. Fall is slowly crawling it's way to Kansas City, which for cooks means a new season and styles of cooking. Pumpkin, squash, apples and cider, sweet potatoes. Roasting, toasting, and the occasional bake. Above all, I am trying to focus on whole food. At a glance, I want to recognize what I'm eating. As opposed to a casserole mash or pulverized soup. I truly believe my body needs a range of textures, colors, and solubility. Real veg and a bit of meat, paired with a sensational, fresh sauce, dressing, or dip. 

So for now, enjoy the pretty pictures. They tasted pretty great, too. Bon appetit!

Autumn Toast
Sourdough boule from the local grocery store, onion and chives cream cheese from the Einstein Bagels shop down the street, and roasted heaven straight off a sheet pan: 
sweet potatoes
red onion
Italian sausage
red and yellow bell peppers
red cabbage
curly kale
Seasoned with salt, pepper, nutmeg, brown sugar, garlic and rosemary

Shrimp Caesar Salad 
Homemade dressing, recipe HERE from my go-to blog Carlsbad Cravings
Fresh-cracked black pepper and grated Parmesan
Butter-sauteed shrimp. Forgot the croutons, but didn't notice!

Yummy big breakfast. Vanilla greek yogurt with toasted pecans and coconut. 
Toasted sourdough with creamy peanut butter and raspberry preserves. 
Hard-boiled egg with seasoned salt. NOM.

Homemade pizza continues in my weekly rotation. 
Favorite lately is pepperoni and kalamata drizzled with balsamic reduction. 
But for a change I made this loaded crab rangoon pizza. Delicious and crave-worthy:
fast-rise dough with garlic, salt, and brown sugar
tomato paste, olive oil, honey
topped with chopped imitation crab, plain cream cheese mixed with a splash of Worcestershire
chopped scallions, radish and red bell pepper
drizzled with asian sweet chili sauce YES
sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds

Pumpkin cream cheese muffins from my favorite baking blog, Sally's Baking Addiction

Chilaquiles. Pretty much made this up from what I'd heard. It worked. 
But one to improve upon, for sure. Stay tuned.