Now Is Your Chance!

If you haven’t moved over to the new Root&Blossom at now is your time! We are having a new giveaway going on now! When you begin following me at the new blog you earn one entry in the giveaway! But remember to leave a comment saying you did so! Check it out!

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We Moved!

Root&Blossom that is! I will no longer be blogging at Root&Blossom on WordPress, but rather you can find me on my new and improved blog at ! Give it a click and check it out! Don’t forget to begin following the new Root&Blossom by clicking follow on the bottom of the right side toolbar! Excited to see you over there!

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Chicken Veggie Alfredo Pizza=YUM!

I don’t usually crave pizza, but when I do it’s not the traditional type. I crave loads of vegetables and Alfredo sauce, but for my husband’s sake I also include meat chicken. For me, though I love loads of toppings, it usually comes down to the crust and for this reason I make my own.

I have a pizza recipe listed in my recipe index here on rootandblossom, however I decided to mix it up by using a wheat and bread flour mixture rather than unbleached white flower and adding a little sugar.

(Bread raising outside on the back porch in the sun!)

(after the first bake)

This was my first time using spinach on pizza, before adding the spinach to the sauce I needed to let it sit in boiling water for a few minutes.


  • 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic-herb seasoning blend
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2-1/4 to 2-1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1 tablespoon cornmeal
  • 1 cup fresh baby spinach
  • 1 jar reduced fat Alfredo parmesan sauce
  • 1-1/2 cups cubed cooked chicken breast
  • 1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • Dash white pepper
  • 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 plum tomato, seeded and chopped
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1/4 cup sliced ripe olives
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded Colby-Monterey Jack cheese

Directions: In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the oil, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, seasoning blend, whole wheat flour and 2-1/4 cups bread flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a stiff dough.

Turn onto a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a bowl coated with cooking spray, turning once to coat the top. Cover and let rise for 20 minutes.

Punch dough down; roll into a 15-in. circle. Sprinkle cornmeal over a 14-in. pizza pan coated with cooking spray (or greased pizza stone with cornmeal sprinkled on top). Transfer dough to prepared pan; build up edges slightly. Bake at 425° for 12-14 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, bring 1/2 in. of water to a boil. Add spinach; cover and boil for 3-5 minutes or until wilted. Drain and squeeze dry; set aside.

In a large saucepan, head through Alfredo sauce. Add the chicken, Parmesan cheese, remaining salt, pepper and reserved spinach. Cook and stir over medium heat until cheese is melted.

Spread sauce over crust; top with remaining ingredients. Bake 10-15 minutes longer or until cheeses are melted. 

(pre cheese and baking)

Husband LOVED this! Very hearty from the veggie overload! Yum.

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Backyard Friends

Each spring/summer growing up at my mom’s, I always looked forward to hummingbirds! Their delicacy and precision of flight at such great speeds is truly mesmerizing to me.

One of my hopes for our home was to have hummingbirds like my mom! Now, the number of hummingbirds my mom gets each year is kind of ridiculous and their behavior seems unnatural. I mean, do all hummingbirds land on a person’s finger?

(Picture from my mom’s house this past easter)

Chris and I recently put up a feeder in our backyard and we now have several birds who frequent our backyard! Unfortunately there isn’t the continual presents of these little cuties like at my mom’s house but it’s a start!

We didn’t have any red food coloring for our first batch of food but they drank it up anyways!

My mom has perfected the sugar-water mixture. Please don’t be tricked by the home stores selling hummingbird food, it’s just sugar-water and here’s the ratio:  1 cup of water to 2 cups sugar. If you search online, many sites list a higher sugar concentration but from my mom’s experience, it’s too much. Bring water to a boil, add sugar, stir till dissolved, let cool to room temperature before filling the feeder. You can keep extra food in the fridge!

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Late Afternoon (must have/happen) Snack

When Chris and I get home from work we are starved… In the past we have just ‘snacked’ but this usually pushes dinner off to right before bedtime and that just isn’t forgiving. The last week and a half has changed however, and it has Mom written all over it!

If you stay over at my mom’s house, one of the first things you hear in the morning is, “would you like a fruit smoothie?!” When she picked me up from the airport a few months ago after we were evacuated from Japan she said, “I brought you a fruit smoothie!” I love it. I love my mom and her incredibly hospitable self and I LOVE how she loves her fruit smoothies.

For some reason, up until the other week, I have only seen fruit smoothies as Mom’s thing. The smoothies that she makes are SO GOOD that to be honest, I was left a little too intimidated to try my own hand at the craft. Well, I gave it a go and success!

How do we do it? Well, it’s a little of this and a little of that, fruit that is! Semi-specifically our smoothies consist of (makes two),

  • 1 6oz container of fruit on the bottom Chobani greek yogurt
  • two bananas
  • cup-ish of chopped (seedless) watermelon
  • cup-ish of frozen blueberries
  • whatever other soft fruit you have lying around

In Ethiopia my favorite drink was a ‘mixed.’ A mixed is a drink that is made with layers of blended fruits  the base being made out of blended avocados! It sounds strange but you would never guess it to be avocados. I loved the base layer so much that I ordered just an avocado drink on occasion.

(Stan and I have avocado drinks while our friend Wonde ordered the mixed. He stirred it up before the picture was taken. This trip was during the Summer of 2008)

Needless to say, fruit smoothies after work have solved our late night dinner problem.

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Next Up, Master Bedroom

We started painting the master bedroom! The main color we picked is called Paris Mint by Valspar. We absolutely LOVE the color! For us, it was important to find a color that helped create a calming and relaxing feeling and we nailed it with this color!

Here’s a little sneak peek!

I spy with my little eye our duvet. You see it? I’d say it’s on the bed but you can’t really see the bed… Anyways, it’s white with a beautiful leaf pattern scattered in several greens. It was a wonderful find since during the registering process a duvet was the only thing we didn’t agree on. It helped inspire the green choice.

Gotta love the yard work/house work/lack of morning shower hair. Keeping it real.

Hopefully all the walls will be painted soon! It’s one thing to have the downstairs disorganized but another to have the bedroom all torn apart. Need to have balance somewhere!








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Light Summer Pasta

Note: Chris and I ate this for several days. On the third day, the last day, he was still saying he loved it! 


  • 4 cups uncooked whole wheat pasta (bow-tie, penne, shell, etc.)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 small sweet red pepper, chopped
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic clove, minced
  • 3 cups cubed cooked chicken breast
  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt (sour cream works too, plain greek yogurt is just a healthy substitute)
  • 1/2 cup fat-free milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried tarragon (you may use basil or marjoram as a substitute, I used marjoram )
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 4 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 4 teaspoons minced chives (you may sprinkle dried instead)

Directions: Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet, saute onion and red pepper in oil until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Stir in the chicken, yogurt, milk and seasonings; heat through. Drain pasta; stir into skillet. Sprinkle with cheese and chives. Yield: 8 servings*.

*We like making larger servings so we don’t have to cook every night with our busy schedule, you may half or double ingredients depending on what fits your needs!

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