About Ali Cummins

Posts by Ali Cummins:

Homemade Pizza

This hands-on dinner is a great way to introduce the joys of cooking. The ingredients are easy to handle, and even with kid creativity, it is hard to go wrong. Add a level of imagination and mold the crust into festive shapes or cut the pepperoni into letters. The teaching opportunities are endless with this quick family dinner.

Homemade Pizza

Homemade Pizza



  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Prepare Jiffy pizza dough according to package.
  3. Shred mozzarella cheese and prepare additional toppings.
  4. Mold pizza dough into desired shape using flour to keep the crust from sticking to your fingers.
  5. Spread pizza sauce over the dough and top with mozzarella cheese.
  6. Add toppings.
  7. Cook for 16-20 minutes depending on oven, or until cheese is turning golden brown.
  8. Topping ideas:
  9. Pepperoni, sausage, onion, peppers, garlic, olive oil, pineapple, ground beef, ham, mushrooms, olives, additional cheeses
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How to Roast a Turkey (when you don’t have the right equipment)

Last Thanksgiving, I was given a 12 pound turkey. An odd gift that has been sitting in my freezer ever since. I’ve never cooked a turkey before and don’t eat a lot of meat. But, this week, running low on my food budget and being opposed to letting anything go bad, I decided to cook it. Or, I suppose it’s called “roasting” it. I did my research and quickly learned that I did not have any of the right equipment to accomplish this task. No roasting pan, no meat thermometer, not even an onion to stuff inside of it (yuck!). Not one to bow out when someone says “you can’t,” I gave it a shot, and it turned out great! Who needs all that fancy stuff anyway? Here’s what I did. (more…)

Kentucky Potato Salad

Lesley and I just got back from a lovely vacation in Cave City, Kentucky. We stayed in a cabin in Jellystone Park, which was perfect for camping with three young kids. There was so much for them to do, and we were able to cook our own food, which saved us a ton. Feeding five mouths on vacation is not cheap. Before we left, we loosely put together a menu, and for the most part, it turned out great. The potato salad, which Pinterest told me was the best ever, was a bit of a flop though. After a long trip home and having been left with all of the food, I decided to try again. Lesley did make a great suggestion on the first try–Why not add relish? So I did, as well as some red onion that was left over. This second try was much better. (more…)

Leftover Rice Cakes

Sometimes you just make too much rice. I like rice. It’s tasty. You can make fun dishes out of it. But sometimes taking care of all of the leftovers is challenging. After some experimenting I found the cure to my leftover rice boredom. Leftover rice cakes!

I first tired these after making a cuban dish that was so delicious but really produced a lot of rice. It’s hard to eat the same thing over and over. It had to be spiced up. Here is the outline of creating a great leftover rice cake. The specifics are really up to you. What kind of spices and vegetables do you like?

Lentil Burger with Mango Salsa

I’ve been doing a lot of crafts with the girls that involve lentils. Now, I have a kitchen full of unused lentils. Having never been a fan of lentil soup, this is problematic. What can I do with them? I decided to look up the nutritional facts for lentils. I was hoping that they wouldn’t actually be that good for you. Then I could let them sit in my cupboard guilt-free. Of course, it is quite the opposite. One cup of cooked lentils contains 18 grams of protein and 36% of the daily value of iron. That is almost as much protein as a hamburger, with double the iron. Seemed simple to me. I needed to make them into burgers. I am now a reformed lentil disbeliever. It was yummy! Lentils, it turns out, really absorb the flavors and allow them to mix nicely. (more…)