Emmys! (and some hives)

It’s the superbowl of TV…the Emmy Awards! Only, there’s no typical food for this major American holiday, which is a shame. It’s my turn to host the Emmy’s “party” this year (read: a few friends in sweatpants sitting on a couch watching the show), and I decided to cook what will maybe become an Emmy’s staple menu.

Main Dish:

Homemade pizza — for recipe, see here.


Fried zucchini — essentially, zucchinni fried with garlic, salt, and pepper.


Strawberry chocolate oat muffins – a twist on my pumpkin oat muffins (vegan! gluten free! nut-free! woo-hoo!) only with pureed strawberry and some chocolate powder instead of pumpkin…or cherries

It all would have been an absolutely SUPERB dinner to accompany a really incredible Emmy show (Homeland! Homeland! Homeland!) but I erupted into hives for a reason I simply can’t understand.

Or maybe I can understand it. Last Monday, on the second night of Rosh Hashana, we had the traditional new fruits to make a blessing for the new year. I am allergic to most fruits, certainly exotic fruits, so I didn’t eat them. No one anticipated an airborne reaction, because there was no horseradish involved. And yet, I broke out into hives for a few days following that meal. My guess right now is that I had an apple that was right next to the fruits, and as with the horseradish incident of Passover, I think the apple absorbed some of the other fruits’ essences. Apples are pretty absorbent — they’re known to absorb most of the pesticides sprayed on them, for instance — and since I had definitely not overdosed on apples and that’s what I was eating when the hives began, I can only imagine they are the culprit. It’s been under a week, and I haven’t been strict about my Benadryl usage, but these sorts of hives can reappear for days. So I’m betting it’s that. Or I overdosed on wheat, with it being in the pizza, and having challah pretty regularly as part of all the ritual meals. Not that I’ve been eating a ton of challah, but I’ve had less wheat over more time than in most weeks (most weeks I eat wheat only on the weekends, in huge amounts. This week, I’ve had bread at many meals, but in small amounts).

Either way, my traditional Emmys meal was slightly marred, but very delicious, so here’s to hoping that next year:

a) I’m closer to winning an Emmy

b) my allergies are in check enough to eat the above foods totally 100% safely

Recipes: Spanish Rice and Homemade Pizza

Integrating dairy back into my diet while keeping pasta out hasn’t exactly been easy. But here are two great recipes that have become my go-to in lieu of pasta, cheese, and sauce. They’re kind of gourmet, definitely delicious, and really easy and quick.

Spanish Rice


tomatoes (2-4, depending on size?)

peppers (the more colorful, the better. 2-3 depending on size, or 3/4 a box of the tiny bell peppers)

white rice







cayenne pepper

(if desired: cilantro, cajun seasoning, onion)



cheese (cheddar, mozarella, jack — whatever!)

Cut up tomatoes and peppers. Cover the bottom of a pot in oil and heat the peppers and tomatoes. As they are heating, add in 1 cup rice and 2 cups water and the spices. Cook the rice according to the instructions on the bag. Stir occasionally to mix the vegetables and spices with the rice. When the rice is done (ie, all the water is absorbed), add the cheese. You can bake it if you like, or microwave it, or just allow the cheese to melt of its own accord.

Eat and enjoy!

Homemade Pizza

Eggplant pizza

For this one, I followed this recipe for dough: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/pizza-dough-i/

For the sauce, I heated a can of ground peeled organic tomatoes in a saucepan, added oregano, thyme, garlic, salt, and pepper. You could also add basil and garlic if you desire.

Knead the dough into a circle. Add on the sauce and top with shredded pizza cheese (or any shredded cheese of your choosing), and whatever toppings you like. Bake for about 20-25 minutes.

I made 3 small pizzas from the amount of dough in the above recipe, and had quite a bit of leftover sauce in my fridge.

The whole thing actually made me not understand pizza stores. It took me 45 minutes total to make the pizza, including a mental breakdown about converting dry yeast measurements into instant yeast measurements, hating myself for not understanding fractions, and celebrating when I figured out the math. This conversion website was extremely helpful: http://www.traditionaloven.com/culinary-arts/baking/dry-yeast/convert-ounce-oz-of-dry-yeast-to-tea-spoon-tsp.html

Anyway, going to a pizza store involves driving, waiting in line among loud people who are usually irritating, chancing cross contamination, eating on a dirty tray, and driving home. And for what? $3.00 a slice? For less money overall, you can bake your own healthier (read: less oily) pizza and enjoy it in the comfort and quiet of your own home.

I think my allergies have made me crotchety.