Thursday, July 31, 2014

Fennel & Arugula Pizza {Dinner Tonight}

Stephen's out of town on business and the weather has been ahh-mazing. We had a few days reprieve from the muggy DC heat, just a little tease of the Fall weather that's to come (soon, please!).

I decided to make L.'s favorite for dinner, pizza, but not your average pie.

At our house, we take any opportunity to try a healthier twist on the standard pizza, so when I saw this recipe in Working Mother Magazine, I knew we had to try it. Since it was a work night, even though it's not as healthy as our homemade whole wheat dough, I took a shortcut by buying pre-made dough from Wegmans.

At first I was skeptical ---- fennel and lemon zest on my pizza? As you can see from the look on my resident lemon zester's face, I wasn't the only skeptic in the house.

Boy zests lemon

L. was determined to be fed well tonight, so he zested on. The cutest thing, I have to share. L. just started taking the tub that holds our kitchen scraps to the compost bin outside, all on his own. So proud of him, as we have added it to one of his little chores around the house. He walks the tub to the big compost bin at the edge of of yard and dumps everything in, then brings it back for me, all he needs help with is opening the sliding glass door.

Boy Zests Lemon

The pizza was delish! L. liked it too, minus the fennel, which wasn't really his thing, but it's the first time he has tried it, so my guess is he'll eat more of it next time. We invited a few friends over to try a bite and they approved as well.

I also used the tops of the fennel (since you only use the bulbs for the pizza) to make fennel-infused water for us to sip the next day. It was yummy with the juice from those lemons above! I just threw the fennel tops into a glass jug with filtered water and kept it in the fridge overnight, then squeezed in the lemon juice the next morning.

Try making the pizza at home and let me know what you think. Here's the link: Fennel & Argula Pizza Recipe
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  1. I think I'd like to request that L make my pizza for me, please! He has always been such a wonderful little helper and it tickles me to death to see him thrive with the added "chores" That boy is a natural leader!

    1. Thank you! Bonding with him in the kitchen is truly one of my favorite delights. It's a learning opportunity for me too --- it challenges me to think about what I can teach him, what senses we can use, and the most interesting way to go about it. He knows how to look for the 1/2 cup vs. the 1/3 cup, how to spot a scallion in an overloaded veggie drawer, he will even pull his little stool up to the fridge to reach something I've asked him to get if it's too high, all on his own. But best of all, it has taught him to be patient and listen for instructions because he knows that's the only way he can cook or bake with me, unless I've set him up with stuff on his own to do whatever he likes, make a mess, experiment, etc. I wish I could say that patience and level of listening also occurred outside the kitchen (someday perhaps!), but I cannot emphasize enough the importance of all this in helping kids learn about food and healthy eating. I know at your house you and SH cook a lot too, so R. will learn by "counter cooking" first too!

  2. Your son is adorable. God Bless! And my son and I also do fun things in the kitchen. He loves to all around and I call him my little handy man! :)

    1. Thank you! Kids are so handy in the kitchen, I love it and glad to know you also enjoy doing the same with your son. It's a fun time to connect and work on listening skills, learn about measurements, etc. The other day when we were driving my son asked if we could bake cookies when we got home and I said ok, sure, and tell me what ingredients we need. Minus the "red salt" (our baking powder is in a red can), he remembered most of the stuff in a recipe for chocolate chip cookies!