Daily Archives: August 20, 2019

Fun & Fattening Food Day Celebration!

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Hi Everyone,

Hope all is well. I want to start out and thank those who are still sending me get well messages. I truly appreciate your care, concern, and prayers. You all mean the world to me.

I have the best members.

I am happy to say that I am at 6-months post-heart-transplant and feeling as if I am a human again. I cannot believe that I am halfway through recovery and then I will be able to start posting tablescapes again.

I am walking on my own unassisted (and not out of breath-yeah!). That alone is a miracle. I used to have to stop every few minutes to catch my breath and hold on to Bob for balance and never last more than 10 minutes before I had to be taken home to rest.

Now Bob and I go for our nightly walk along the boardwalk at the beach and I can walk for 30 minutes with no breaks. It is as if the world opened up for me.

Lesson learned don’t take anything for granted, even something as simple as taking a walk with your honey.

I was even given the okay from my transplant team to go food shopping, as long as it wasn’t on the weekend and not at a peak time and I have to wear my protective gear (mask & gloves) and carry Purell.

You would think I won the lottery, I was so happy to get out and see people after being in the house for so many months. 

I was never so happy to food shop.

The photo is of me making my great escape to Whole Foods wearing all my gear.

Photo Jun 23, 6 48 57 PM WF shopping

My checkups and biopsies have been good, and both the doctors and I are happy with the direction I am going in, so………….I decided to toss all my dietary guidelines to the wind and have a day of “Fun & Fattening Foods” to celebrate my “6 months post-heart transplant”.

I am sure my doctors wouldn’t be thrilled if they knew, but one day should do no harm. I only celebrated for one day, satisfied my cravings and then went right back to my doctor’s guidelines and restrictions.

I had to use the food saver & shrink wrap & freeze most of the celebratory meals (so I wasn’t tempted to cheat again) and save it for my son to take home on his next visit.

On the menu:

• Homemade pizza with spinach and ricotta
• Rice balls
• Pigs in a blanket


Let’s start the celebration…

Homemade Pizza with Spinach and Ricotta.

This was a very easy pie and I will take you through the simple steps.

Makes one 12-inch pie crust or 2 thin crusts.



  • 1 lb. pizza dough (either store-bought or homemade)* recipe for homemade below.
  • 1 (10 oz.) box of frozen chopped spinach – thawed and drained well (get all the water out so the pie isn’t watery)
  • 1 small container (15 oz) of whole milk ricotta
  • 1 (8 oz) package shredded mozzarella
  • 2 fresh thoroughly washed Roma tomatoes- sliced
  • Pre-cooked pizza sauce (jarred or homemade)
  • Grated cheese
  • Garlic powder
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Red pepper flakes (optional)
  • fine breadcrumbs (optional)


  • Put a little flour on your hands and pat the dough out to fill a greased pizza pan, OR roll dough to a 12-inch circle and transfer to a greased pizza pan or ungreased pizza stone.
  • I top the dough with fine breadcrumbs when I make a pizza with this many toppings so the pizza dough doesn’t get soggy.
  • Next, top the dough with pizza sauce, shredded mozzarella, drained spinach, dollops of ricotta, sliced tomatoes, grated cheese, and garlic powder – red pepper (optional)
  • Bake on the bottom oven rack for 12-15 minutes until cheese is bubbly and crust is browned.
  • Top with fresh basil when you remove the pizza from the oven

Ready for the oven …

Photo Jul 28, 7 46 06 PM PIZZA -READY FOR THE OVEN

COOKS NOTE– I always use Fleischmann’s Pizza Crust Yeast when I make a homemade pizza because there is NO dough rising time.

Look for this in your supermarket…..

Photo Feb 13, 6 55 06 PM

Pizza Dough Recipe

(from Fleischmann’s Yeast package)


  • 1-3/4 to 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 packet Fleischmann’s pizza crust yeast
  • 1 ½ tsp sugar
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup very warm water (120 to 130 degrees)
  • 3 tbsp. oil (I use olive oil)
  • Pizza sauce and toppings


  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  • I use the stand mixer ……
  • COMBINE 1 cup flour, undissolved yeast, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Mix and then add water and oil
  • MIX until well blended, about 1 minute
  • ADD gradually, enough remaining flour until a soft dough ball is formed. The dough will be slightly sticky.
  • KNEAD on a floured surface adding additional flour if needed until smooth and elastic: about 4 minutes
  • With floured hands, pat dough out to fill a greased pizza pan, OR roll out dough to a 12-inch circle and transfer either to a greased pizza pan or a pizza stone
  • TOP as desired with sauce and toppings and cheese
  • BAKE on the bottom oven rack for 12-15 minutes until cheese is bubbly and crust is browned.

Also, visit www.breadworld.com/pizza  for more recipes


Next up …… Rice Balls

Photo Jul 31, 8 01 10 PM RICE BALL 2

If you have been following DishingwithDiane, you would have seen the post for Rice Balls before and hopefully by now would have tried them.

Here is the link to my original post with step by step instructions along with photos. Click and open.


2019-07-31 20.01.49 RICE BALLS 1


Now, the Pigs in a Blanket ……

A while back I bought the cutest silicone “pig” mold. When I bought it, I wasn’t sure what I was going to use it for but I was in a “pigs are the cutest” phase of my life. I bought the mold along with a rubber pig-shaped spatula that had an untimely death with a hot burner.

I was originally thinking brownies or candy and then I read an article on Pinterest that had a new recipe for pigs in a blanket using pancake batter and a very similar mold. So, I went out to buy pancake batter and the rest is history as they say.

This brought out the little boy in Bob because he was fascinated when I brought this tray to the table. 

They are so cute and a very good conversation starter at your next get together. I served them with deli mustard. The mold makes 12 at a time.

I think the next time I make them I am going to try a thin cornbread batter instead of the pancake batter to make a corn dog and see which combination I like better.

2019-07-28 18.42.10 PIGS IN A BLANKET

So this is the mold I bought, BPA free and oven safe.

2019-08-20 00.46.13 PIG MOLD

And here are the directions ……


  • Cocktail franks (mini hot dogs)
  • Pancake batter
  • Vegetable oil spray


  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  • Lightly spray the mold with vegetable oil
  • Place on a cookie sheet or tray
  • Pour pancake batter halfway into molds (remember the batter will rise).
  • Gently press a cocktail frank into the batter
  • Bake for approx. 20 minutes
  • Enjoy! Serve with deli mustard


All in all, it was a very enjoyable celebration for a day and then I went right back on track with all my doctor’s orders.

Now I have to plan something for my one year anniversary of the transplant.


Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,


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