Eat your heart out Rachael Ray!

When I come home from work around 5:30pm, my older daughter needed dinner 30 minutes prior. She is at the point that if she doesn’t get some dinner, I feel like she may self combust. So I need to get creative. She is also very picky. I find myself preparing two different dinners many nights, but strangely enough, I am ok with that. I don’t have time for tantrums. I want my daughter to eat healthfully, with minimal outbursts at that crazy hour. So I have under a half hour to prepare a couple meals…

This Monday evening, I gave the Princess her choice of a homemade pizza princess sized or the pan fried tilapia, rice, and zucchini that J and I would enjoy. No surprise – she opted for pizza. I like to always have some pizza dough ready to go. Trader Joes has good prepared dough in the refrigerated section, but pizza dough is very easy to make.

I like the following quick recipe, which freezes well in whatever portions you may need:

2 cups of flour
1 tablespoon of yeast
1 teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoon of sugar
A couple tablespoons of olive oil
2/3 of a cup of warm water
Mix your ingredients together, slowly adding flour until you get the right consistency. Let the dough ball rest 5-10 minutes, before forming it into pizza crust.
I spread the dough into a 5-8” round for a personal size. If you have a pizza stone, that is great, use that. I don’t. I put the dough onto a pan that is sprayed with some olive oil spray. I wipe olive oil on the dough. Add a small amount of sauce. Add a generous amount of mozzarella cheese. Don’t be too generous with the cheese or the pizza can fall apart. We are more adventurous with adult pizzas.
The pizza was served with a healthy portion of grape tomatoes.
In a magic world, my menus would be planned for the week every Sunday…and the meals would all come together easily each evening. Reality is such that each morning around 11am, I call J at work and ask him what he suggests I make for dinner. Usually his response is, “Whatever is easy for you.” I hate that response – I need ideas. This time, he requested fried tilapia and “crunchy rice.” Crunchy rice is Persian style Basmati rice made with a nice tahdig crust.
I dipped the tilapia in an egg wash, and dipped them in bread crumbs and lightly pan fried.
I sliced up some zucchini, baby bella mushrooms, garlic, some lemon zest, salt, and grated pepper – sautéed up that mixture.
Dinner is served.

Pizza, fish, rice, veggies, and baby food were ready to go in a half hour. Eat your heart out Rachael Ray!
About Hindy Garfinkel


  1. Everything sounds yummy. I am interested in a cook-a-long for the cruncy rice.

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