Polenta Pizza with Mozzarella, Ricotta, Peaches, and Balsamic-Honey Reduction

Fridays are for pizza!

One of the fun things about living with someone who has celiac disease is figuring out how to make some normally gluten-filled recipes gluten-free instead. This is definitely a process – not all of my experiments have gone well (apparently, you can’t just directly sub gluten-free all purpose flour for regular flour all the time). One ingredient that has been a blessing for us is polenta – and I think I’m finally mastering the use of it!

Polenta is a gluten-free grain also referred to as corn grits or cornmeal. It can be used in variety of dishes as a starch by adding water and cooking it. You can cook it the microwave very easily.Β  It makes a great stand in for regular pizza crust.

Setting aside the fact that you will likely need to eat your pizza with a fork, polenta has a great texture and stands up well for pizza. We have a Williams-Sonoma cookbook that has a bunch of awesome recipes, including one for polenta pizza. I’ve used the recipe before and gotten better results each time I’ve made it.

This week, I came across a summer pizza recipe from Cooking Classy that I really wanted to try. Featuring peaches, it’s different, lighter, and summer-ready. I made a few modifications – mainly exchanging the regular pizza crust for the gluten-free polenta one, but I also used green onions for a little extra kick in place of garlic, and only used two cheeses. We often modify recipes based on what we can afford and what we have on hand.

Step one was putting together the crust, which can find the Williams Sonoma recipe for here. I added grated Parmesan while cooking it for a little extra flavor. You can also experiment and add in fresh herbs.

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Tuesday Tidbits

This month is flying by. With the sunshine, summer plans, and job hunt, I am feeling more optimistic than I have in quite awhile. When I’m feeling optimistic, I tend to feel more creative and more interested in trying my hand at some new crafts, recipes and ideas.

Pinterest is my favorite site for inspiration. I now have over 5k pins across all of my idea boards, so I have tons to try! I do try to test thingsΒ  I come across on Pinterest often, so that I’m not just mindlessly pinning (although I won’t even claim to having used all 5k pins πŸ˜‰ ). You can check out my full Pinterest account here.

This week’s Tuesday Tidbits features some of the Pinterest links I’m looking forward to trying soon.

What I’m Loving This Week: Pinterest Ideas

β†’ Soon, I will be registering my car in the state of Oregon and getting new plates. The current Wyoming plates on my car have been there for over 11 years, and are vanity plates, so I’m little sad about it! I’m thinking of re-purposing them into a coat hanger like this one to keep them in my home.

β†’ Now that we have spruced up our tiny backyard, I’d love to make these adorable book bricks to add some life to the garden area.

garden crafts

Image via HomeTalk

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Book Review |101 Social Media Tactics for Nonprofits: A Field Guide – Melanie Mathos and Chad Norman

social media for nonprofits101 Social Media Tactics for Nonprofits: A Field Guide, by Melanie Mathos and Chad Norman

Book Finished: June 8th, 2015

Rating: 3.5/5

I skimmed, re-skimmed, and more thoroughly read this book several times over the course of my thesis research. In that perspective, it was fascinating to complete a literature review of what experts said, and then see the similarities and discrepancies of what those in the mental health nonprofit community said about the tactics that work for them. Now that I have my research complete, and was able to read this book again, it was an interesting look at how traditional media tactics carry over into new media.

Published in 2012, one review I came across of this text said simply, “does what it says on the tin.” That’s a pretty honest review of this book. It does have the promised 101 tactics, but they are found in smaller, easy to consume tidbits with occasional research backed notations. There isn’t much scientific reasoning given for a lot of that tactics, but there doesn’t have to be.

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Reading List | June 2015

I can’t believe it’s already June!

This means it’s already time for one of my best friend’s wedding, I’ve lived in Portland for 3 and a half months, and I’m ready to share my third monthly reading list on this blog.

The past month brought a few bumps in the road when it comes to reading. I haven’t been able to complete my May list yet. Part of this is due to my inability to get my hands on a copy of The Girl on the Train. I love having the library so close to home, but unfortunately, the book is still very popular. There are near 400 copies across the entire metro library system, and the wait list is still massive. As of this morning, I am number 531 on the waiting list. It’s going to be a while before a copy gets to me.

So, as soon as I am able to actually read it, you can expect a review here. This month’s list is a bit smaller while I continue to work on catching up for May.

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Tuesday Tidbits: Tech

Welcome back to Tuesday Tidbits at Intrusions of Beauty!

Yesterday, I found out that I was accepted to the Django Girls’ upcoming workshop in Portland. Django Girls is an organization focused on providing free workshops to women interested in learning programming. The goal is to create more women coders, and provide new, tangible career skills. The workshops are only able to accept a limited number of participants, so you have to apply. I’m very excited that I will be participating next month! The workshop will cover building a website with Python and Django.

In honor of this opportunity, this week’s Tuesday Tidbits is tech news and goodies focused. Have a great week!

What I’m loving This week: Tech

β†’ Over at TechCrunch today, there’s an interesting article on Facebook messenger reaching 1 billion downloads on Android devices alone. Not bad for an app that caused unbelievable annoyance and outrage when it first launched.

β†’ As someone who is in perpetual state of irritation with my devices’ battery life, I am all for this potential wi-fi charging technology.



β†’ I got this skin for my laptop 2 years ago, and I have never stopped loving it.

β†’ Wired has a good discussion on why open-sourcing is no longer optional. Even for giants like Apple.

β†’ Check out this awesome GIF of every Iron Man suit from the Avengers/Iron Man films.


intrusions of beauty

Book Review | Make Your Creative Dreams Real – SARK

spring reading list 2015

Make Your Creative Dreams Real by SARK

Book Finished: June 5th 2015

Rating: 5/5

It may have taken me about 12 years to actually finish this book, but I have nothing but praise for it. I LOVED this book.

I picked this book at Barnes and Noble around 2003. I can’t remember now what drew 13 or 14 year old me to the book; likely the colors and the prospect of starting high school and then college soon after. I started reading and do remember enjoying the content, but it may have been a little more than I had the capacity to work on at that period of my life. Over the next 12 years, eight moves, two college degrees and six states, quite a bit changed for me. I looked at this book often, wanted to continue reading it and just never did. Now that I’ve settled in Oregon, and books that had been packed away for years came our of their boxes, I came across it again. It was finally the right time in my life.

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Book Review |Social Change Anytime Everywhere – Allyson Kapin & Amy Sample Ward

nonprofit social mediaSocial Change Anytime Everywhere by Allyson Kapin & Amy Sample Ward

Book Finished: June 3rd, 2015

Rating: 4/5

I had the opportunity to read a good deal of what’s available book-wise in the realm of social media and nonprofits during my thesis research. When I recently began a volunteer social media project for a local nonprofit, I looked to those same resources. I found some familiar titles, and searched for more recent information. Though not “recent,” it seems I missed this book in my research before. It may not have added anything groundbreaking to my particular research (more books aren’t necessarily better), but as a how-to manual, it’s a great read.

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