November 6, 2012

Quick and Delicious English Muffin Pizzas

When you hear the phrase "English Muffin Pizzas" does it bring back memories of childhood sleepovers and friends gathered around the table assembling their pizzas with their favorite toppings?  For me, it definitely does.   We considered it a special treat to have friends over for a sleepover, and with sleepovers came fun kid-centric dinners.   One of my favorites was when my mom brought out the English muffins and we all became instant pizza chefs, concocting our own tasty masterpieces.
Several months ago, I started craving this fun treat.  I wondered if it would break some unwritten culinary rule for my husband and I to make English Muffin pizzas.  I had always thought of them as a kid food and hadn't eaten them in over 20 years.  But I decided to throw caution to the wind and I am so glad I did.  It turns out, anyone can eat English muffin pizzas! As adults we tend to have more sophisticated palates, and this opens the door to a wide array of amazing toppings. Plus, English muffins are low in calories and when you add fresh toppings, they aren't just tasty, they are healthy too and very easy to make.

  Start with a package of your favorite brand of English Muffins. Split them in half and add pizza sauce.  I find the Boboli brand pre-measured pizza sauce to be very handy. One package of sauce covers one package of English muffins quite nicely.

Spread the sauce with a spatula or knife. They are starting to resemble pizzas!

Next, add cheese and choose your toppings. This picture is an example of the kinds of toppings we like to add. (Kalamata olives, banana peppers, avocado and onion.)  See how "grown up" these toppings are? ;)

Chop up your toppings and place them in little bowls so everybody can have fun picking what they want. (If you use avocado, don't add it until after the pizzas are cooked.) Crushed Red Pepper is another topping we like to add to our pizzas.

Act like a pizza chef and create your amazing masterpieces. 

Bake at 350 degrees for about ten minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the muffins are cooked to your liking.  Then add any cold toppings (avocado, etc.) and enjoy!

Here are some other ideas for toppings that you may want to try:
Bell Peppers
Green Onions
Sun Dried Tomatoes
Blue Cheese
Black Olives or Green Olives
Canadian Bacon 

*Everyone's ovens cook differently so make sure you keep an eye on your pizzas the first time you make them to make sure they don't burn. 
 *I use an AirBake pan with holes in it to help the crusts get crispier without burning. Click here to check out the pan I use. You can also use a normal pan.(I don't work for the AirBake pan company, I just like them)
*Leftover pasta sauce makes an excellent and cost effective pizza sauce.

November 4, 2012

Reviewing "Understanding Theology in 15 Minutes a Day"

"Understanding Theology in 15 Minutes a Day" by Daryl Aaron does a great job of introducing the reader to the study of Theology. Theology can be very intimidating to a new Christian or even a seasoned believer and this book takes it and divides it up into manageable sections. Each section can be read in 15 minutes and begins to tackle a specific idea pertaining to Christian theology. A few of the topics Aaron includes in the book are "Did God Really Make Everything?", "Why Should We Believe that Jesus Christ is God?", and "Is the Holy Spirit a Person or a Thing?".
I wasn't sure what to expect when I started reading this book, since Theology is usually something that takes volumes to explain. I was pleasantly surprised at how well each topic was described and how the author tried to show both sides of some of the traditionally controversial issues such a predestination and if a Christian can ever lose their salvation. It would be very easy to read one of these chapters each day and get a good introduction to each of the topics he covers. It's not meant to be an exhaustive study on any of the topics, but rather serves to whet your appetite for Theology and cause you to hunger for more and continue to study on your own. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in getting a good introduction to the study of Christian Theology.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review of the book. The opinions represented here are my own.

November 3, 2012

"Our Daily Bread Devotional Bible" Book Review

Since it was first published in 1956, "Our Daily Bread" has been a daily devotional resource that has helped readers spend time each day in God's word. If you are a reader of this wonderful daily devotional, you will be thrilled to find out that the "Our Daily Bread Devotional Bible" contains 365 dated daily devotions structured in a way that starts in Genesis and takes you through the Bible.
For the purposes of this review, I focused on the book of 1 Corinthians. The book starts off with a great summary of what you will be reading in the book, including a sidebar with a list of important facts about the book and a book outline. As you move forward you find a dated page that also has a topic heading. It lists the scripture that you will be focusing on for that day and then a very thoughtful yet concise devotional that directly correlates with the scripture you have just read.
While reading through 1 Corinthians, I thoroughly enjoyed each devotional. The topics ranged from the gift of the Holy Spirit, to how to keep your marriage strong, and the importance of avoiding pride. I believe that they provide a neatly structured reading plan that gives you a direction for that day and will keep you coming back on a daily basis. I would recommend this Bible to anyone who is interested in a good daily devotional. Even if you have never been a consistent Bible reader, this is the perfect place for you to begin.

Disclaimer: Tyndale Publishers provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. The opinions stated here are my own.