QUARANTINE PIZZA PARTY

During Covid, I have been extremely serious about not ordering any food out. (Unfortunately, I don’t know the health status of those working at restaurants. I’d rather not take the chance). All meals have been cooked at home. Pizza is one of my daughter’s favorites and is a staple in my home monthly. Pizza night is a must (WE LOVE PIZZA) and it makes a great breakfast!  So, the next best thing to delivery is sometimes you just have to make it yourself. For you homeschoolers, pizza is a great science and math lesson using measuring and they get to make dough rise!

Making pizza dough

Anytime the mixer comes out my daughter is there for it. It’s one of her favorite things in the house. Plus when children are involved with the preparation of their meals, not only are teaching life lessons for their future, but they take pride in their work and are more likely to eat well.

Pizza dough prep

It takes about an hour and 30 mins total.

Ingredients

4 cups of Bread Flour

4 teaspoons sugar

1 envelope instant yeast

1 1/2 cup of water (110 degrees F)

2 tablespoons olive oil plus, 2 teaspoons

***During Covid I wasn’t able to get packaged yeast or bread flour so I used self-rising flour and it worked just as good***

1. Combine the bread flour, sugar, yeast and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and combine. While the mixer is running, add the water and 2 tablespoons of the oil and beat until the dough forms into a ball. If the dough is sticky, add additional flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough comes together in a solid ball. If the dough is too dry, add additional water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead into a smooth, firm ball.

2. Grease a large bowl with the remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil, add the dough, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put it in a warm area to let it double in size, about 1 hour. I use this as multitask time. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide it into 2 equal pieces. Cover each with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let them rest for 10 minutes. Then roll out. Add your favorite sauce and your favorite toppings. My daughter loves turkey pepperoni, and I like plain ol Cheese.

Pizza dough

Cook’s Note

Using bread flour will give you a much crisper crust. If you can’t find bread flour, you can substitute it with all-purpose flour which will give you a chewier crust. It also freezes well if you want to make a couple of pies for later! I refuse to buy frozen pizzas…

FLASHBACK FRIDAY – MY MOST POPULAR POST SO FAR

This was published in November 2019.

I HAVE NEVER IN MY LIFE COUNTED A CALORIE!

I believe it’s more important to focus on the ingredients in your meal than the calories of your meal. Here is where my old Boss, Tyrone’s saying “KISS” comes into play. Keep It Simple Stupid! Quality over Quantity! 

Cutting out energy-dense, unhealthy items is crucial to weight loss. It’s more important to pay attention to what you’re eating! Watching the sugar grams and sodium intake, if you want to watch something.

The counting calories thing can throw you off because although avocados and nuts are high in calories, they are packed with nutrients like fiber and healthy fats that can promote weight loss. See how lines get blurred? Trusted Source

It’s all about having a healthy relationship with food! Make sure you are picking foods based on what nourishes your body rather than obsessing over which foods are “good” or “bad”. 

Rule of thumb if it says “Diet,” don’t touch it! The word diet within itself is a scam. Diet soda, salad dressings, and prepackaged meals are all full of chemicals and artificial sweeteners. If you are interested in learning more about nutrition or simply refreshing your relationship with food, hit me up for a nutritional consultation. Check out my wellness programs at teamcheriej.com.

MY NEW OBSESSION!

I am allergic to chocolate, so I don’t get to eat the regular Oreos, but I am in love with carrot cake. So, no… this is not my usual nutritionist post. This is my premenstrual, I need to eat something sweet, post. 

Before the whole quarantine situation, I was in Target doing a little Easter shopping while my daughter was with my mother and I saw these little bad boys on the shelf. They were with all the Easter stuff not with the food, so I bought two bags. Went home and started eating them as we were putting the groceries away and thought to myself, “Oh my God, these are heaven.”

Long story short, a week later they went on sale, then I may have purchased another two maybe or three …and I just may have bought six packs! (They freeze well.) They’re really good if you throw them in a blender with a vanilla shake. They are really good if you use it with any ice cream, they also make a pretty good piecrust! I couldn’t find them anywhere but Target so if you happen to like carrot cake, I promise you that you won’t be disappointed! 🥕 I have to admit I’m sad this is a seasonal item and I hope they bring it back next year! 

BENEFITS OF RED GRAPEFRUIT

If it is at all possible to be in love with the fruit, I have to admit I’m in love with red grapefruit. It all starts with the smell.  I can’t smell a red grapefruit without smiling. 

Eating grapefruit regularly may be beneficial for your immune system. They help break down calories and burn fat! That’s why they say it aids weight loss. 

Its high content of vitamin C, which has antioxidant properties known to protect your cells from harmful bacteria and viruses. Grapefruit also provides small amounts of B vitamins, zinc, copper and iron, which all work together in the body to promote immune system function.

Eating grapefruit may help control insulin levels and it has the ability to reduce your likelihood of becoming insulin resistant. Which coming from a family of diabetics, makes it 1 more reason I love to eat it! Prevention instead of treatment will be my choice every time. 

Ladies if I haven’t given you enough reasons to grab a grapefruit during your next shopping trip, research shows the smell of grapefruit on a woman makes them appear 5 years younger to men! 

*Be careful because when taking certain medications like the heart medicine Procardia, you cannot eat grapefruit. I learned that the hard way during my pregnancy. Grapefruit was my only craving and because I was put on Procardia, I could not eat it! 

MY FIRST PUMMELO

I love walking in the grocery store and seeing fruits that I’ve never seen before. I had no idea what a pummelo was. I asked a couple of people standing next to me if they had any idea what it was, nobody knew. So, I couldn’t just leave it there I had to bring it home and find out.

From the outside, it has a fresh citrus smell, kind of like a grapefruit. It looks like it could be a very large, yellow grapefruit. Maybe even an orange, whatever it was it seemed like it was very citrusy. 

I looked it up on Google, of course, and found out the pummelo is from South Asia and people were comparing it to a grapefruit. Well, I love pink grapefruit. So, I waited for breakfast the next day.

I was excited about waking up and cutting right into it. I cut it in half as I would a grapefruit.  It was pink in color and smelled so good, just like a grapefruit. The taste was definitely that of a red grapefruit after you put sugar on it. It tasted like pure sweetness, nothing like the bitterness and tang of a grapefruit.

For the first half, I used my grapefruit spoon to pull it out, and for the other half I decided I was going to peel it more like an orange. I have to admit, I enjoyed the side that I peeled more than I did the side that I used my grapefruit spoon for. I pulled the thick skin off of the outer perimeter and pulled out the inside pod. It was so juicy.

I had to fill you in just in case you have never tried one and you like pink grapefruit. It will definitely be my go-to citrus anytime I can find it!

Have you tried any new food lately? Let me know.

www.TeamCherieJ.com

PEOPLE DON’T REALIZE HOW SUGAR AFFECTS THE BODY!

120-ounce bottle of soda contains 65 grams of sugar. That’s pretty much equivalent to 16 packets of sugar and it affects your entire body: your brain, your heart, your liver and your joints. 

Sugar releases endorphins which is a good chemical, but it triggers sugar cravings that can definitely affect your mood.

People who have a diet high in sugar also leads to having a bad heart. Too much sugar makes your insulin levels go high, increasing the risk of heart disease overtime.

Oh, it affects your liver as well. Sugar takes a toll because the quick sugar load causes a fast riding blood sugar that overwhelms the liver and leads to a fatty liver and could lead to you battling cirrhosis overtime.

If you suffer from joint pain, it could be inflammation from eating too much sugar, which leads to vigorous joint pain and eventually arthritis.

If you suffer from any of those things or are you just eat an abundance of sugar, it’s never too late to try to turn around the affects. Think about an all-natural detox with Team Cherie J. It could do your body some good, especially in the long run.

TeamCherieJ.com

TIPS I’M USING FOR MY CHRISTMAS BAKING

I want to share a cooking secret with you. No, I’m not completely vegan but there are some things that I am learning to cut out of my diet. A great resource for me has been Going2Natural.com

I am not huge on eating eggs. (I feel like I’m eating an aborted chicken.) I am not big on chicken either unless it’s fried with a whole lot of hot sauce and bread wrapped around it. But I’m getting off track. I stole these tips about substitutes for eggs AND THEY WORK! So, I wanted to share that with you. 

Recipes requiring eggs

~Applesauce – Use 1/4 cup of unsweetened applesauce in place of one egg in most baking recipes.  Some sources say to mix it with 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder.  If all you have is sweetened applesauce, then simply reduce the amount of sugar in the recipe.  Applesauce is also a popular healthy replacement for oil in many baked goods.

~Banana – Use 1/4 cup of mashed banana (about half a banana) instead of one egg when baking.  Note that this may impart a mild banana flavor to whatever you are cooking, which could be a good thing.

~Flaxseeds – Believe it or not, heart-healthy flax seeds can be used as an egg substitute!  Simply mix 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseeds with 3 tablespoons of water until fully absorbed and viscous.  Use in place of one egg.  (You can use pre-ground flax seeds or grind them yourself in a spice or coffee grinder.)

Thank you, keep teaching us Going2Natural.com

IT’S PUMPKIN SPICE SEASON

I had to be ashamed of myself but I’m not. I walked into Walmart and begin laughing hysterically. They had pumpkin spice everywhere. Now I’m a give you a little backstory: my friend, Shawn despises pumpkin spice, pumpkin spice season and everyone who loves the taste of pumpkin. He thinks it’s the most ridiculous thing in the whole world. And because I pictured his face when I walked into the store, I began laughing so hard I was crying.

Let me explain this pumpkin spice thing to my white friends. Never bring a pumpkin pie to the cookout. Black people’s thing is sweet potato. Sweet potato pie is like our national apple pie. And it doesn’t matter how good you think your pumpkin pie is, it’s never going to measure up to a sweet potato or bean pie. 

Oh, this Walmart haul is ridiculous. They got pumpkin cupcakes, cookies, rice crispy treats and ice cream. I even bought pumpkin hand soap. (So far, the ice cream is my favorite.) 

My initial reaction was to call you for something stupid and ask you to come over. Then, I realized I moved to a whole different state so in the middle of trying to annoy you, I have a whole bunch of pumpkin spice stuff that baby girl and I are going to be eating in honor of you because nobody else in the house will eat it. They all looked at me like I was crazy and turned up their noses.

Just the image embedded in my head of your turned up face brought me so much joy. I love you with all my heart. Let me go drink this latte…Pumpkin Spice Latte, that is. LMFAO 

(I hope the kids at soccer will eat some of this pumpkin stuff I bought.) Lmfao

YES, I COOK BUT I DON’T ENJOY IT!

Being a mother, it’s my duty to make sure my child eats and eats well. So, I cook but it doesn’t mean I enjoy it. Yes, I have a beautiful kitchen but it’s not my favorite room to spend time in. See I am used to working long hours, eating whatever has been provided and had no problem spending most of my money ordering takeout at the Cheesecake Factory, lol!

3 times a day 7 days a week, I am tryna think of things to feed my mini me. I know it’s every mom’s favorite thing to do right….wrong! I notice my weeks go by better when I meal prep and think ahead! I have a 5-year-old so keeping it simple is always a plus. I’m going through a phase where I am fresh out of ideas about what to cook. I’m on the hunt for some yummy things that are also healthy. Calling all Moms help me out, please share. What are you cooking tonight?

FUN FOOD

My daughter brought it to my attention that I no longer make her fun food! She was right, she’s only 5 so food should still be fun! Only problem is she now eats a lot so the cute little plates I used to make her would now be an appetizer. I had just brought all of our Halloween decorations inside from the garage, so I figured what better time than now to make some spooky pancakes! Lol, look I’m no food designer and they aren’t Pinterest worthy but the great thing about kids is they aren’t judgmental. They enjoy and appreciate the effort. She giggled with every bite! Keep your kid’s food fun! It’s a great way to make memories…