Olas & Chanclas | Carmalized Balsamic Onion and Blue Cheese Pizza with BasilWe usually do Friday night pizza night with the family. We’re not pizza snobs by any means, so this usually entails walking down to the pier to Cassano’s, a family-friendly (doesn’t matter how loud the kids are or that our little tornado screams “CHOO CHOO,” anytime the train passes by), pizza-by-the-slice-if-you-like joint that serves up one of the best White Pizzas (add basil!) ever. We had a regular waitress (gonna miss ya, Stephanie) who would set lemonades down for the kids and bring out a pitcher of Stella with two chilled pint glasses as soon as we sat down. So the fact that the landlord had a personal issue with the owner and refused to renew the lease, resulting in a local restaurant taking it over, is quite a disappointment. No recipes are being sold, so that means our favorite White Pizza and our coveted available-only-in-March St. Patrick’s Day Pizza (yup, corned beef, sauerkraut and mustard — don’t knock it ’til you try it because it is [was] absolutely amazing and addicting) are no longer. {super sad face here}

I’m not saying we won’t try the new place out once it’s up and running (it isn’t the new business owner’s fault the landlord crapped on the previous owner), but for now, we’re taking the opportunity to try making our own pizza. The girls can add their own toppings and that makes it more entertaining for them (even if they don’t get to search for sea glass and swing on the sand before dinner). The hubs and I can try all sorts of different ingredients, which is always fun.

Making the dough from scratch is a cinch. Bobby Flay (our hero) has a simple recipe my boss has touted, so of course that’s the dough we went with. You end up with two balls. I cut up the second ball into thirds so that each little one has their own pizza and can add whatever their hearts desire (of course little man gets what we say he gets). The first time we did pizza from scratch at home I also made a tomato sauce from scratch. The hubs thought it was overboard, but it was a really easy recipe and didn’t take long. I’m trying to dig that thing up so I can point you to it, but I will have to come back and update because for some reason I totally spaced pinning it to my board. The second time I used jarred Ragu I had on hand. It worked, but it certainly wasn’t nearly as tasty as the scratch sauce. Anyway, I digress …

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Last week was a real crappy one for our house. It started Wednesday morning, when we discovered fraudulent charges on our bank account. When you’re on a super-tight-to-the-penny budget (like most folks these days), missing $300 unexpectedly is no bueno.

Thursday morning we lost power at the house. Not an issue, usually. But when you’re working from home and have a pile up of files to edit and get through production, it throws your entire day off. But not like getting in a car accident on your way to pick up your daughter from school. Yup, that’s what happened later in the day. And I was at fault. Boo. Thank goodness for car insurance and our $500 deductible. Ah, but remember our to-the-penny budget? We’re screwed now.

The end of this month can’t come soon enough. Or at least my office lottery pool needs to hit at some point. That would be all kinds of awesometastic goodness. One can dream, right?

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Olas & Chanclas | Pasta with Marinated Roasted Peppers and Bacon

My husband set me up for a challenge (sorta) yesterday when I asked what he wanted for dinner.

At this exact moment in time our cupboards are bare and the fridge is practically empty. We are definitely due for a big Costco run this weekend, so I didn’t want to go to the grocery store for just one or two ingredients. I hate wasting time. But he reminded me that we had bacon and joked we could make all 3 lbs. of it. I chuckled. He said to make pasta. I said we didn’t have anything to put into the sauce (we always have a bottle or two for a base sauce to which I add protein and veggies). We agreed we’d throw together some quesadillas for the kids (most times we go without at night — I know, I know, bad habit!). But when I was done texting him, I set out to use said bacon in a pasta dish.

And it just so happened that in the morning I found my leftover roasted bell peppers that I had made for a pizza topping the week before. I was planning on eating them for lunch and had whisked up a quick vinaigrette/marinade in the morning to boost their flavor. But I’m a giver, so I decided to skip those for lunch and instead incorporate them into the pasta dish. Now I was set.

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