Tag Archive for pizza

I Found my Pizza Dough Recipe

Hello pizza fans.  After our recent birthday party bash I though I would share my pizza dough recipe with all of you.  My family loves pizzas, and they especially love it when it’s cooked on the charcoal grill with the Kettle Pizza attachment. If you click-through to this link for the Kettle Pizza attachment you should see a video done by my Travel Man.

After some trial and error the last few weeks I think I have found a recipe for pizza dough that is great.  I have been working to find a pizza dough recipe that I can make in my bread maker.  Then I will be able to make the pizza dough and freeze it ahead of time.  This will give me a  pizza dough inventory at a moments notice.  The challenge was to find a recipe that had good texture and would freeze well.

So the recipe that I really found that I like goes like this: and remember this is intended for a bread maker.

  • 3/4 c water about 110 degrees
  • 1 tbsp veg. oil
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  •  2-1/4 c bread flour
  • 1 tbsp dry milk
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp dry yeast

Place the ingredients into your bread maker in the order listed above.  Liquids first, then all of the dry ingredients except the yeast make a small little well in the dry ingredients, and add the yeast in this spot.  Start your bread maker on the “dough” setting and let it go.  My bread maker takes about 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Once the dough was finished I sliced it in half, rubbed with some olive oil and placed into sandwich baggies, and then in the freezer.  One batch of this dough makes enough crust for two medium-sized pizzas, thin crust of course!  We were cooking our pizza on the stone in the grill so if they were a little misshapen when we rolled them out it was no big deal.

I’m really happy with this recipe.  I liked the texture of the dough when it came out of the bread maker.  If you have a bread maker and a craving for pizza try this out and enjoy!

The Power’s out Grandma -Now what do we do?

Last Saturday our beloved Southern California Edison had scheduled some sort of maintenance stuff, and we had been notified that the power would be out some time between the hours of 7am and 3:30pm, by mail.  I wonder how many people in the neighborhood forgot about this and had friends or family over?  This timeframe was ok for me.  I didn’t have a whole lot going on, and whatever was urgent I finished on Friday.  My only commitment was to host my grandson, Evan, for an overnighter so his parents could have a “date night”.

 In a perfect world the power would have been off between 7am and 3:30pm, but in my world the power went out at about 11am, and didn’t come back on until almost 9pm!!!  The nerve. 

 I called my daughter to delay Evan’s arrival until 5pm or so.   Evan came over with the pepperoni pizza and bread sticks in hand, and I had a movie to watch.  At this point in the day the power was supposed to be back on at 6pm.  Of course I called to check on it.  My grandson was on his way over and I was the entertainment!   I figured no big deal, about 45 minutes with no power and then we could get on with our evening.  After Evan put the pizza in the kitchen and said his goodbyes to his Mom, he was investigating the house, the light switches, the tv. Walking around very inquisitively.

And this was his battery of questions-

So you mean the computer won’t turn on?

The light bulbs in the lights won’t turn on?

What about the plugs?  They still work don’t they.

Will the tv turn on how are we going to watch our movie??

And my response to each of these was “No Evan that needs electricity to work”.  It took him awhile to digest that information.

So, 6:15 rolls around, and still no power.  I called again to get a status and now the power won’t be back on until 9pm.  Yikes!  Not the evening I had planned.  Mini panic by Grandma at this time.

Now, Evan’s just a little scared because it’s getting dark, and our entire neighborhood is in the dark.  The street in front of our house is just pitch black.   I lit the fireplace in the living room, lit some candles, and we each had a flashlight.  At some point I had asked Evan if he wanted to go home, and he said, “Nope”.  Evan was too nervous to eat any pizza so he just snacked on the bread sticks.

 We played a short game of memory, and then Evan was looking around the living room and he says, “So this means I can’t play any video games, or watch tv right now”.  I replied, “You’ve got it!  This is a video/tv vacation”.  I’m thinking to myself maybe we should make this a regular thing.

Next I busted about my iPad.  I realize this contradicts my no electronics statement, but a Grandma’s got to go what a Grandma’s got to do.  I have some games on the iPad that Evan likes to play, plus it was well-lit.  We played checkers, tic-tac-toe, connect four, and then scrabble.  Evan’s really starting to get into the scrabble board.  He needs a little help, but enjoys putting the word puzzle together.

 Finally, the power came back on at about 9pm.  We scream Yahooeeeee, turn on the tv to watch the smurfs, make popcorn,  and eat some pizza.  TV/video vacation was over.

Isn’t it funny in this age of all things electronic that we just don’t take more time for some peace and quiet.  I think I have a new concept for overnighters at Grandma’s house.  A video vacation will be part of our new overnighter routine, and we’ll learn a new board game or card game, and read some extra stories together.

It doesn’t get any better than this.  Good night Evan.

Re-Discovering My Love of Cooking

If you are a regular follower of my blog you know that last year I quit my full-time job and became a full-time Domestic Goddess, as my husband likes to call me.  Being home full-time has given men the freedom to do lots and lots and lots of cooking.  I have always liked being in the kitchen and cooking for my family.  But having the time to try new recipes, and being diligent about menu planning can become a difficult routine to follow when you are working full-time and juggling your job and family/household needs.

You know when you are a working full-time and seeing to the needs of your family I think you get into a cooking “rut”.  Even when you do your menu planning it’s easy to get into a rut and just make the same dinners week after week.  I think it is kind of like “comfort foods”.  You have this set catalog of recipes that you are familiar with and “comfortable” preparing for your family.  This mindset alone made it difficult for me to say to myself that I should try something new.

Here’s my list of what I would call my “staple” dinners when I was in the working world:

Spaghetti

Sloppy Joes

Chicken Patties & Mac-n-cheese

Baked Chicken & Potatoes

Toasted Cheese Sammies & Soup

Brats & some kind of potatoes

Taco/Nacho Nite

Chicken Stir-Fry & Rice

Hot Dogs or Hamburgers on the grill with chips, etc.

Friday Nite Pizza Night- Usually from Little Caesar’s

So, I would rotate these meals, and Friday would be pizza night or take-out night, and then the rotation would start over again.  And just to be clear this list is just an example of the cooking rut I found myself in.  But, I did not really discover that fact until I stopped working.  That was an eye-opener for me.  I have always loved cooking, but it just became monotonous and routine for me.  It was comfortable, and not stressful for me that way.

But now, being the new and improved “Domestic Goddess” that I am, I am able to love trying new recipes, and being way more adventurous with my cooking.  And it is so much fun discovering new recipes that the family likes.  It becomes fun to “rate the recipe”.  Kind of a gauge of how everyone liked the recipe and would I make it again. 

Some great resources that I have found online and like for new recipe ideas are; The Pioneer Woman, All Recipes, and Cooks.com   Each of these sites has their own unique advantages.  Any of the Pioneer Woman recipes have always been delicious.  I was just telling the kids the other night that I don’t think there is a recipe that I have tried that we did not like.  The All Recipe, and Cooks.com sites are very practical and easy to follow.  They both have good search tools, ad you can really find a recipe for anything.

So, I am now pleased to report that my new and improved two-week menu plan would look something like this:

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce with Italian Sausage & Mushrooms – make a double batch of sauce and use the leftovers to make lasagna.   This was an amazing recipe: Pioneer Woman’s Best Lasagna Ever .  I will never buy the Stouffer’s frozen variety again!

Jambalaya with Summer sausage, grilled onions and peppers, and rice of course.  This is my daughter Naomi’s creation and it’s delicious.

Homemade pizza in the oven or on the grill when Travel Man is home.  Here’s a link to the recipe I now use for my homemade pizza sauce.

Beef Stew in the crock pot with Bisquik cheese biscuits.  This recipe is from the Fix It and Forget Cookbook.  See the details below.

Chicken Breast in the crock pot seasoned with taco seasoning to make shredded chicken for tacos, nachos, fajitas,etc.  Another creation from daughter, Naomi.

Homemade Macaroni and Cheese , Pioneer Woman style, and this could be a meal all by itself.  We usually have it with some sort of baked chicken.

Broccoli Cheese Soup – another one of my Pioneer Woman all time faves!!

Turkey Tetrazzini – This was a favorite with the leftover turkey meat at holiday time.

Chicken Tacos that were pan-fried in the shell – Totally yummy.

What a turn-around from my previous “in a rut” menu.  And I also make a lot more salads to go with the dinners than I ever did. 

You can tell that I have truly enjoyed the Pioneer Woman recipes.  The recipes are nothing complicated, but always packed with great flavor.  And my favorite all time book for crock pot recipes is the Fix It and Forget It Cookbook.

This book is jammed packed with great recipes for soups, main dishes, dips, etc.  I have used this one over and over again with great success.

So if you feel like you’re in a cooking “rut” jump on the internet, or go through your old cookbooks and find a new recipe.  Try it out on the weekend or on your day off when you have a little more time to spend in the kitchen.  Happy cooking everyone!

When travel man’s away…..the house can go astray…..

I hesitate (slightly) posting this blog while my travel man’s away right now.  But the circumstances just seem like they need to be shared.  It’s like Murphy Law taking over the house.  Travel man is gone for a few days, and stuff happens.  When you live with a “Road Warrior” you quickly learn the important things to tell him about while he’s gone, so you can keep the conversation in a “positive” tone almost all of the time.

Over the weekend my family had an amazing pizza party to celebrate birthdays’ for our nephew and daughter.  We had a great time assembling pizzas and used the KettleGrill to cook them outside, via the “wood fired” grill.   About half way through the cooking (my brother was the chef for this soiree) an edge piece of the pizza stone cracked and broke off.  Then a couple of pizzas later the entire stone cracked in half. Yikes!!  That is ugly!

So, my dilemma is should I rush to order one before travel man gets home next weekend, or wait for him to do some research, and get some really awesome, uber pizza stone.  I’m still having a debate with myself on this one.  (This is what I will call house repair #1)

Then after dinner my son headed out to the “beach” next to our pool to start a fire in the pit.  We need a little back story here to explain what happened next.  Now, over the course of this summer our fire pit got lots and lots of use and the bowl sitting inside started to crack.   So the guys decided just to leave the bowl in there so they could witness the fall of the fire bowl like it would be some glorious fireworks event.  This is what happened next.   Bryan gets a fire started flames are roaring and the bottom of the bowl completely falls to the ground.  Of course due to Murphy’s Law syndrome this week, he is the only one standing outside watching it.  He was stunned, no one else saw it but him and of course we all saw the aftermath.  (This is house repair #2)

Now if you are superstitious in any way it’s said that “things”- good or bad come in threes.  But being the positive person that I am this will be the only things that need repair or should I say replacement while travel man is out of town.  Not like earlier this year when I arranged for the entire replacement of the water heater.

I refuse to wait around for house repair #3, I just have to focus on fixing #1 and #2.  If #3 comes along later in the week we’ll just take care of that one too.  Question is will I have to give travel man any of the dreaded details while he’s away from  home?  Stay tuned for that answer.

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