Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Pizza Dough Recipe

Everyone asks me for my pizza dough recipe.  I don't think it is because it's *that* good (although it is yummy!) but because making homemade pizza is still a novelty for most people in a world of $5 Hot 'n' Readys and Boboli crust.  I figure that I can make two homemade organic pizzas for about $5.  Take that, Little Caesars.  Oh and it definitely is healthier.

Breadmaker Way (2 lb bread pan)

1 cup and 2 t warm water
2 T oil (I use olive or grapeseed)
3 cups flour (I usually use 2 cups All-Purpose and 1 cup Whole Wheat--the more WW you use, the thinner the crust...but still so good!)
1 t salt
1 t sugar or agave
2 t yeast
*I also sometimes add fresh chopped herbs like basil and parsley...I usually always add garlic powder and oregano as well...

Place all ingredients in bread pan in the order listed.  Set to dough...this recipe can be used on delay as long as you don't add cheese to it (duh).  :P  My machine takes 1 1/2 hours.  When finished, scroll down to Bake.  :)

Good 'ole Pizza by hand...(or food processor or Kitchen Aid) 
1 cup plus 2 t warm water
2 t yeast
1 t sugar
2 T oil (I use olive or grapeseed)

3 cups flour (I usually use 2 cups All-Purpose and 1 cup Whole Wheat--the more WW you use, the thinner the crust...but still so good!)
1 t salt

*optional...fresh or dried herbs such as basil, parsley, garlic, rosemary, oregano, etc...

You need to proof your yeast.  In a small bowl (I like to use a 2 cup measuring cup), stir water, yeast, sugar and oil.  Let sit for five minutes until it gets bubbly and foamy.  Set aside.

In a medium bowl (or food processor or mixer bowl), combine salt, flour and optional spices.  When yeast is finished, pour liquid mixture into flour mixture.  Stir until combined.  On a floured surface, take out the dough and knead for 5-10 minutes..adding a bit of flour as necessary to prevent the dough from sticking to your hands.  If you are using a food processor or stand mixer with a bread hook, let it run for a few minutes until a ball forms.  No more kneading is required. When dough is soft and stretchy, put the dough in a large lightly-oiled bowl...coat the bottom of the dough ball and flip it so the top is coated too.  I ususally put  a plate or cookie sheet on top of my bowl and set it aside in a warm place for about an hour.

Bake
Preheat oven to 500 degrees.  Oil your baking sheets.

On a floured surface, take your dough ball and cut in half.  Roll out the dough with a rolling pin to your desired size.  Place crusts on pans.  Let rise for another 10-15 minutes while you get out your sauce, cheese and toppings.  When you are done getting everything out...place some sauce on crust (not too much!) and put on your toppings.

Bake for 10-12 minutes.  Enjoy!

From what I understand the dough freezes well. You just roll it up in a ball, saran wrap it, tuck it into a freezer bag and defrost the night before in the fridge. :)

Sometimes I make this recipe and make 8-10 personal pizzas.  I let them cool and freeze them in freezer bags.  I also will roll out the dough and take a cookie cutter that fits into my kids' school thermoses, cut them, top them, bake them and freeze them.  I take a few out the night before, put them in the fridge and on school day, throw them in the microwave for a minute or two...gooey (HEALTHY) pizza for school lunches! 


Birthday pizza for my littlest guy's 2nd Birthday.  :)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Original GLEE...

To all my dear family and friends...
PS22 Chorus "I'LL STAND BY YOU" The Pretenders

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Taking some time to just BE...

I'm struggling this week and as a result, I haven't been meal-planning, I haven't been cooking, I've been spending way too much money.  It is interesting to me how when you go numb for a bit, the easy everyday tasks get done but with no regard to any of your cares.  I haven't cared if the kids eat chicken and fries two meals a day or if their food has been all that healthy.  I just haven't had the energy or the fight to deal with it.  That's ok.

I've started this post about three times and erased it.  I'm having a hard time titling it.  Hopefully I will fill it in before I save it because then it won't save and that's what I've let happen...I've let my words be erased in technology-land.  But I'm trying to just let go what I have had to say.

Last week started with a dr appointment for a four-week cold.  I received my treatment and the dr said I had a heart murmur.  I was surprised because I had never heard that before and before I knew it, my EKG came back abnormal and I was scheduled for an echiocardiograph the next day.  I go in and leave with the expectations that the dr will call me with any abnormal news.  And so I began waiting.

I recieved a phone call last Tuesday night from our Preschool Director that our beloved teacher lost her husband unexpectedly.  He was only 31 and he passed doing one of his favorite things--hunting.  He left behind a lovely, inspirational wife, two small children (one on the way as well) and an absolutely heartbroken community.  I didn't know him but I hope that I can impact people the way he did and I hope that we can continue to support Vee as these difficult days come. 

Oh, the church community that they all belong to is UNBELIEVABLE.  Everybody just picked up responsibilities and got them done selflessly.  When we are ready to go back to church, I think we have found a new home.  :)

I received the phone call Friday night that I needed to come in Monday for a physical and to go over my results.  Apparently I have a leaky valve but I guess that's pretty normal.  No cardiologist, no exercise reduction or monitoring and the dr couldn't even hear the murmur yesterday.  Awesome news!  Then as he is checking my pulse tones and reflexes, he finds that they are feeble.  Over the summer I was diagnosed with a syndrome that leaves my feet feeling achingly cold all the time.  It is supposed to be more annoying then a concern.  Well, dr is ordering all sorts of bloodwork to make sure the circulation syndrome isn't masking itself as a neurolgical issue or an auto-immune disease like Lupus.  It's one thing after another...just hoping I remain healthy. 

That was one week.  So no, I am not going to meal plan, tell you about a great recipe or tell you how to be more eco-friendly.  I promise I will be back to that but for this second,
 I am going to just be...
be love
hug often
give thanks
show grace
act with compassion.

If anybody is interested in donating to the King Family Memorial Fund, please let me know.  :)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

What We are Eating 11/7-11/13

I love to meal-plan.  I really do.  I also understand that makes me a dork and those of you that know me in real life understand that I am a dork anyway and this is just one more thing.  :)  I have this really cute, really abused notebook that I open up and I write out the calender for the week on the right page:  Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.  :)  The page to the left (the back of last week's meal plan becomes my grocery list.  As I jot down the plans, I check recipes and my pantry for ingredients and add them according to the Whole Foods layout.  I know, super dorky.



I love planning for the meals.  I sit down with a couple random issues of Vegetarian Times or Veg News or I focus on one or two cookbooks.  If I'm not feeling the inspiration, I head to my favorite blogs on the internet.  WHEN do I do this?  Most likely in front of the tv when the kids are in bed or in the morning when my superawesomeamazing husband is feeding the kids breakfast.

I really do enjoy the meal plans but I don't always follow them.  Life happens and we end up going out or I end up creating something new.  Last night I was "supposed" to make sandwiches and roasted veggies.  I ended up making chocolate coconut pancakes, tempheh bacon and fresh fruit.  Sometimes we just need to follow the cravings.  :)

If you ever need help meal-planning, just let me know.  Remember, I'm the big dork with the notebook.  :)

Sunday 7:
Breakfast:  cereal and fruit
Lunch:  Chuck 'e' Cheese for a birthday party
Dinner:  chickpea piccata, mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli (trying this out for a potential Thanksgiving meal!)

Monday 8:
Lunch:  burritos and quesadillas
Dinner:  bean and pasta soup, green beans

Tuesday 9: 
Breakfast:  cereal and fruit
Lunch:  sandwiches (pb and j for kids, veggie for adults!)
Dinner:  homemade pizza and veggies

Wednesday 10:
Breakfast:  toast and fruit
Lunch:  hummus wraps
Dinner:  chana masala and rice, veggies

Thursday 11:
Breakfast:  banana coffee cake
Dinner:  avocado tortilla soup, chips and salsa

Friday 12:
Breakfast:  cereal
Lunch:  cheesy noodles
Dinner:  mujadra with pita and hummus

Saturday 13:
Breakfast:  cereal and fruit
Lunch:  out!  :)
Dinner:  whatever we are craving on the weekends or whatever leftovers we have!  :)

Extras:  Quinoa pudding, brownies

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Incredibly Ridiculously GOOD. Not kidding. Make these NOW!

OHMYGOSH.  These peanut butter cups are the most amazing thing I have eaten in a long time and I can't even taste due to my cold/allergies/hostile-takeover-of-the-sinuses.  Alicia Silverstone (of Clueless fame) went vegan, raw and eventually macrobiotic and she created a cookbook called The Kind Diet.  I haven't bought it yet, but my awesome mother-in-law sends me the most amazing vegan recipes (AHA!  My crazy daughter-in-law can eat THAT!) and this recipe for the peanut butter cups came in handy in time for a dinner get-together.  I don't want to share.  ANY.  But I did invite my sister-in-law over to try them because I am THAT nice.  Sometimes.  :)

Dairy-Free Peanut Butter Cups

(from The Kind Diet)


SERVINGS

12

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup Earth Balance butter

3/4 cup crunchy peanut butter (preferably unsweetened and unsalted)

3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs or 10 graham cracker squares (I used a graham cracker crust, crumbled)

1/4 cup maple sugar or other granulated sweetener (I used Vegan cane sugar)

1 cup grain-sweetened, nondairy chocolate or carob chips

1/4 cup soy, rice, or nut milk (I used almond)

1/4 cup chopped pecans, almonds, or peanuts (I used walnuts...trying to get those Omegas in!)


PREPARATION

1. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners. (If You Care makes unbleached liners made from recycled paper.) Set aside.

2. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.

3. Stir in the peanut butter, graham cracker crumbs, and maple sugar and mix well.

4. Remove the mixture from the heat. Evenly divide the mixture, approximately 2 tablespoons per cup, among the muffin cups.

5. Combine the chocolate and milk in another pan. Stir over medium heat until the chocolate has melted.

6. Spoon the chocolate evenly over the peanut butter mixture.

7. Top with chopped nuts.

8. Place in the refrigerator to set for at least 2 hours before serving. (I ate one at 2 hours and 1 minute..before dinner.)

Obviously if you are not vegan, you can make them this way or substitute regular milk and butter.  But you should really try them this way.  REALLY.  Let me know what you think!


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Meal Planning...a little late...10/31-11/6

I apologize for blogging so late into the week...as if you are all waiting impatiently for my meal plans (haha).  Halloween came and went, I have been fighting a cold and I am battling a pile with Mt. Laundry (and losing terribly!).  I'm also trying to adjust my meal plans since my weekly CSA is over (BOO!) and now I need to start using potatoes since I bought 50 pounds of them for winter.  They last that long since they are coming straight from the farm...for real.

Sunday 10/31
Breakfast:  pumpkin chocolate chip muffins
Lunch:  Miguel's Cantina (YUM)
Dinner:  spaghetti with marinara and alfredo sauce, homemade french bread

Monday 11/1
Breakfast:  toasted applesauce bread, fruit
Lunch:  spaghetti
Dinner:  shepherd's pie with pinenut breadcrumbs, french bread

Tuesday 11/2
Breakfast:  cereal and fruit
Lunch:  leftovers
Dinner:  chickpea and broccoli casserole, leftover shepherd's pie

Wednesday 11/3
Breakfast:  cereal and fruit
Lunch:  miso soup
Dinner:  black bean, corn and chipotle stew, kale salad

Thursday 11/4
Breakfast:  toast, applesauce, milk
Lunch:  bean burritos, veggies with dip
Dinner:  potato and spinach squares, roasted tofu

Friday 11/5
Breakfast:  coconut chai coffee cake
Lunch:  chickpea salad sandwiches
Dinner:  homemade pizza, steamed broccoli

Saturday 11/6
Breakfast:  cereal and fruit
Lunch:  Indian Buffet
Dinner:  tempeh sandwiches and roasted veggies

Extras:  peanut butter cookies and *maybe* a chocolate peanut butter pie.  :)

Holler if you want any recipes.
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