The Real Housewife of Santa Monica

Archive of ‘Christina’ category

Summer Pizza

Last night we got home from a few weeks visiting family & the beach in the Carolinas. I noticed the South has very little respect for those trying to practice a vegetarian diet or any kind of diet! OK. That’s unfair. We were in a pretty touristy place with amazing seafood so it was my own fault.

Anyway, when we got home I was looking forward to a) seeing my garden and b) eating something from my garden. I found this pizza recipe on and didn’t expect much from it but MAN oh MAN was it good!

It’s really easy too…

- pizza dough (I bought whole wheat pre-made from Trader Joe’s which was yummy)
- pesto (fresh is always best but I used some Trader Joe’s from a jar since I didn’t have time to make any)
- mozzarella
- tomatoes – either cherry tomatoes or 3 or 4 smallish tomatoes. The original recipe recommends Roma but I used my heirloom variety from my garden and I went for green, yellow & red for color.
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/4 c parmesan (I used pre-grated from Trader Joe’s – don’t overthink this too much. I didn’t.)
- 1/2 c corn (I used fresh which I just cut from about 2 ears but if you can’t get it use frozen.)
- basil (just enough to tear & sprinkle on top when the pizza comes out of the oven)

First: preheat oven to 450. NOTE: this is not a smart thing to do when it is hot out. But this IS a summer pizza. Does that mean you should make it in the summer or that your house will feel like it’s summer when you make it? For me both were true.

It was so exciting to find these in the garden when we got home! These are the tomatoes I ended up using.

Slice the tomatoes as thick or thin as you’d like on a pizza and sprinkle with salt & fresh ground pepper. Leave for about 20 mins. I just left them on the cutting board. But then of course I needed that same cutting board again for the cheese. But knowing me I’ll probably do that again next time!

Meanwhile, if you bought pre-made dough, take it out on a lightly floured surface and let it “rest” for about 20 minutes. Since you are waiting on the tomatoes anyway you can now work on the corn.

Slice the corn off about 1.5 to 2 cobs. Mix in bowl with the sugar & parmesan cheese.

Look at timer to see how much time you have. Run out back to turn off the sprinklers. Totally forget about the pizza, oven, tomatoes & resting dough and start talking to the neighbor about how to make mimosas. Hear a child screaming herself awake from nap, remember the pizza, oven, tomatoes and resting dough. Run back inside.

When 20 mins are up – stretch or roll dough. I actually gave it a few tries up in the air, Italian style but I got too nervous, knowing full well how long it’s been since the kitchen floor was scrubbed. Place on a lightly greased pizza stone or if you don’t have one, a cookie sheet.

Spread thin layer of pesto atop the dough. (I was an English major so I like to say things like “atop” when I can.)

Slice mozzarella and place on top of pesto. Then add tomatoes. Next time I might put the corn under the cheese & the tomatoes on top but I’m not sure why. Just to say I did it.

Finally, spoon corn mixture on top. (At least that’s what I did.)

And pop in oven for 15 minutes. Make sure your oven was at 450 before you put it in!


Save some for Daddy…

Vanilla Cupcakes

Yesterday Maddie told me about a cupcake she had at daycare. It was sooooooooo good (according to her) that she wanted to make some today. I got this recipe from The Pioneer Woman site. They are E-Z and yum-ee. The directions below are taken almost verbatim from her site except for small notes & tweaks.

You need these ingredients for the cake part:

1 cup vegetable shortening
1-¾ cup sugar
2-½ cups cake flour
1-¼ tsp salt
2 whole large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
2-½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1-½ teaspoon vinegar (I used white)

**NOTE: You won’t make the icing until the cupcakes are completely cooled BUT you might want to take this time to set the stick of butter and 8oz package of cream cheese out to soften at room temp.**

Preheat oven to 350. Line 18 muffin cups with cupcake liners.

Aren’t these cute?

In a LARGE bowl, cream shortening & sugar together until fluffy. I used a medium bowl and I paid for it later.

In another bowl sift flour & salt together.

Look at those hands -somebody send me my AARP card, pronto!

In yet ANOTHER bowl, mix eggs, buttermilk, vanilla, baking soda & vinegar. I actually used 2% milk here b/c my buttermilk was gnarly having been over a week past the “enjoy by” date. You can also easily make your own buttermilk but I was racing against Bea’s nap clock & feeding Maddie lunch and couldn’t spare the time needed to give myself a refresher on how to do that.

Where was I? Oh yeah, the reason for the large bowl will be illuminated (Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer – which incidentally, I did NOT yet read.) right NOW! Start mixing the flour mixture and buttermilk mixture alternately into the shortening mixture until fully combined.

Creamy good!

Before pouring them, we added food coloring to half the batter to make some pink cupcakes. Ooo la la! Have you noticed that some little girls like pink?

Spoon or pour (mine was a little too thick to pour) into cupcake liners.

Note: this recipe is for 18 cupcakes but I think you could make 20 cupcakes as I had batter spillage. We live and we learn. Bake for 17-20 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool completely.

1 stick butter, softened
1 package (8 ounce) cream cheese, softened
4 c sifted powdered sugar
¼ teaspoons salt
3 teaspoons vanilla extract

**Note: Although I laid it on thick (the icing that is) I was left with a little over a cup. You can probably cut this icing recipe down some but only if you’re REALLY good at math(s)!**

Combine all ingredients in mixing bowl completely. Ice cooled cupcakes.

Gaggle of girls

The Hennums came to town for Memorial Day weekend & somehow talked us into a 3 night camping trip on the Central Coast. Holy cow! This was quite an undertaking but totally worth every bit of effort. Poor G and Tim – talk about outnumbered…

The first night before camping!



This was a pretty little path near our campsite where both Liana & I narrowly avoided stepping on a SNAKE the next day during a run. I don’t like snakes.

Surprisingly, Maddie didn’t like eating marshmallows.

Happy hour!

Tiny ridge above our site.

Roughing it

Silly yoga instructors in Cambria

Down dog!


Tim took the Jive out for a little paddle on the flat water.

Tortured tot

Burying Siena

Our site

Maddie’s bed

Bea’s bed


Girl’s hike (sorry Root Beer)

Siena styled her mom’s hair

We had so much fun & can’t wait to see the Hennums again!

Dietary Desires

Maddie has rejected perfectly yummy cheese, sweet potatoes, strawberries and sugar cookies. Here’s what she REALLY likes…


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