Pesto Sausage Pizza with Mushrooms and Olives - sausage, mushrooms, and olives on top of a creamy pesto sauce, topped with monterey jack cheese!

You guys.

I didn’t think this post was going to happen this week.

Months ago I started complaining that my oven temp was off because all my cookies were turning out flat and I almost had a full on breakdown a few weeks ago when boyfriend asked for cookies for a work thing and both batches came out flat and I had to send them anyway because he didn’t tell me until the night before.

Not that I’m still upset about it or anything.

Men though.

So yeah, it finally stopped working this week. And I, of course, didn’t realize it until after I thought it had been preheating for 20 minutes and was about to put 2 sheets of veggies in for dinner.

Ugh.

Anyway, the guy came out the next day and got it heating up again but now the whole house smells like gas when I turn it on and maybe I just won’t bake anything else until I move out of here.
Click for the full recipe

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We’re almost to the end of January! I hope that if you made any healthy eating or exercising goals, you stuck with it. I did… for the most part. I’m so bad about getting busy and then just grabbing whatever’s easy instead of what’s best for me. You know, leftover Chinese food, the rest of an ice cream container. You guys. I’ve got to stop.

I picked up some Tyson Grilled & Ready products at Walmart last week so that I can change my ways and have good protein at my fingertips at all times. I heard about the Tyson Grilled & Ready line a couple years ago when my mom went to visit my aunt and said that my then 11 or 12 year old cousin made himself salads with Seasoned Beef Strips and I was all “Whaaat? That’s a thing?!” If you go through my instagram from that time period, I had a salad every single day after that with those beef strips. I was obsessed. And quite fit. But that’s beside the point.

I used the Grilled & Ready Chicken Strips for this amazingly easy and delicious Greek Quinoa and Grilled Chicken Salad. It really couldn’t be easier to whip up a healthy lunch or dinner with the Grilled & Ready products. It took 15 minutes to cook the quinoa and then I just had to toss the rest of the ingredients together. So much easier than having to cook chicken yourself! And that makes it a million times more likely that I’ll choose a healthy meal like this over whatever else we have in the fridge.

The flavors in dish are outstanding! My husband hates kalamata olives but he ate over half of this salad and then raved about it for days. And my disdain for quinoa is well documented on this blog but I’m really starting to enjoy it. I find that the more textures you add to it, the better it is.

Tyson has Super Fridges in over 1000 Walmart stores across the country that are stocked full of Grilled & Ready products so make sure you look out for those next time you are grocery shopping! Walmart also has the Grilled & Ready products on Rollback for just $5.87! You should also check out the Just Add This Facebook app – it delivers daily tips and recipes through the end of the month and awards weekly prizes through March! For more recipes featuring the Grilled & Ready items, check out the Pinterest page!

Easy Greek Quinoa and Grilled Chicken Salad
Ingredients
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1 cup diced cucumber
  • 1/2 cup chickpeas drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives chopped
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese
  • 1 tablespoon fresh mint chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped
For the dressing:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 garlic clove minced or grated
  • salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Combine quinoa and chicken broth in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover and lower to a simmer. Cook for about 15 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed and quinoa is nice and fluffy.
  2. Transfer quinoa to a mixing bowl. Add cherry tomatoes, cucumber, chickpeas, kalamata olives, feta cheese, fresh mint, and fresh parsley.
  3. In a separate small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and salt and pepper. Pour over quinoa mixture and toss to combine.
  4. Serve warm or refrigerate and serve cold. It's delicious either way!

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I made my husband cook pretty much every meal this past weekend. Even though it was his birthday weekend. And I totally tricked him into it by tossing the new grilling issue of Bon Appetit at him on Friday afternoon. I was hoping he’d find at least a couple things that he needed to make immediately and he came through for me. On Saturday he made some grilled chicken tacos and then on Sunday he made the always popular beer can chicken.

I decided to actually get off my butt and make some Caesar Pasta Salad to go with the beer can chicken but don’t worry, I didn’t push myself too hard. This is one of the simplest pasta salads ever! It’s made with bottled Caesar dressing so other than cooking the pasta and bacon, you’re really just throwing a bunch of ingredients together.

The whole family loved this one! I was worried the Caesar would be a little too tangy for the tiny ones but they ate it up. And these kids usually don’t eat olives or tomatoes! I added chicken to mine to make it a one-bowl meal and it was delicious!

Caesar Pasta Salad
adapted from Big Sis Lil Sis
Ingredients
  • 1 pound mini farfalle pasta
  • 1 pound bacon
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes sliced
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 cup Caesar dressing
  • 1 cup black olives sliced
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
Instructions
  1. Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted water to al dente, then drain.
  2. Meanwhile, cut the bacon into bite size pieces and cook in a large skillet until crisp. Drain on paper towels. Discard the bacon grease; leaving just a teaspoon or so in the skillet. Add the sliced tomatoes and minced garlic and toss in the skillet for just a couple of minutes to cook the garlic and soften the tomatoes. Remove from heat and let sit until cool.
  3. Stir together the pasta, bacon, tomato mixture, Caesar dressing, olives, Parmesan, and lemon juice. Store in refrigerator until ready to serve.
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May is turning into such a great month for French Fridays with Dorie! First there was almond-coated fish and now bread! My favorite! And something I haven’t been making a whole lot of lately.

This is a Fougasse which is one of those breads that had always intimidated me. For starters, it just looks complicated. It’s also one of those breads that needs to sit overnight before being shaped and baked. The overnight sitters are always tough for me because I very rarely plan that far ahead. And it also means that I’m thinking about bread all night long. Torture!

The Fougasse is not nearly as difficult as I thought it was going to be. Like I said, it sits overnight before being rolled out, marked, and then only has to rest for about 15 minutes before going in the oven. Probably one of the easier “fancy” breads I’ve attempted since it really doesn’t have to be a specific shape.

This Fougasse is studded with olives, rosemary (I used dried), and lemon zest. The olives, even though they are so strong, don’t really add the typical olive flavor, just more of a saltiness. My 2 year old can’t stand olives but he loved the bread!

Fougasse is a cousin of focaccia so it had that crisp exterior with a nice, fluffy interior. Mine didn’t rise in the oven as much as I’d hoped it would but it was likely an issue with my oven and not the recipe. I’m looking forward to trying other Fougasse recipes now that I know how simple they are.

(The members of French Fridays with Dorie aren’t sharing all the recipes because we want to encourage you to check out Around My French Table.)

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I’m not sure if you guys have noticed but I haven’t really been in a sugary mood lately. (Which is a complete lie because I killed a box of Confetti Cake Pop Tarts in less than 24 hours this weekend. But I just don’t feel like making anything sugary.) So I’m going to apologize in advance if this week is a little more savory than you’re used to. Let’s blame all the Christmas cookies.

This is one of my all-time favorite breads but I very rarely make it because I am cheap and olives… well, they’re not. I found myself with an extra can recently and knew what they were destined for.

I can’t even begin to describe the amazingness of this bread. It’s cheesy and crunchy and salty. It’s pure heaven. Monterey Jack is one of my least favorite cheeses but it works here with the olives. I’ve also used mozzarella in this and it’s just as good.

My kids won’t eat olives so I normally halve this recipe and then use the other half of the bread for cheesy garlic bread. Perfect for spaghetti nights!

Olive Cheese Bread
adapted from The Pioneer Woman
Ingredients
  • 1 loaf french bread
  • 2 6-ounce cans ripe black olives, roughly chopped
  • 2 stalks green onions sliced
  • ½ cup 1 stick butter, softened
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 cups 8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
Instructions
  1. Combine butter, mayonnaise, cheese, olives and green onions in a mixing bowl. Stir together until thoroughly combined. Spread mixture onto French bread that has been sliced lengthwise. Bake at 325F for 25 to 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and browning.

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