Homemade Whole Wheat Pizza

Monday, February 25, 2013


Like many of you I am sure; I grew up on frozen pizza, hot dogs( the ones with the cheese in the middle were my favorite) p.b. and jelly, boxed mac and cheese and frozen fish sticks. All of  which I loved, but I have found that homemade always tastes better and is better for you( if you can cook.)

Since marrying into my husband's family of 8 children, I have discovered homemade pizza which his mother has down to an art! At least once a month we gather together for someone's birthday or an excuse to have pizza, but usually a birthday. There are always birthdays!

I have asked many times for the crust recipe. Because really a good pizza starts with the crust, but Josh's mom never measures, she just feels it...so...if you are like me and have to follow a recipe what do you do? You mix and measure till you figure it out. Which I have done and now I am happy to say I can just  feel it too! But for you who need a recipe I have contrived to confine it to measuring cups and tablespoons though you just might need to feel it for yourself to get the true result.

I use flour that I have bought  from a co-op and milled myself. Now a couple of years ago if you told me you milled your own flour I would have thought you were crazy( sorry all you flour millers) but it is true. I couldn't see what was wrong with the flour in the store.Since becoming a miller I have seen and tasted the difference and though I use bread flour from the store to add to mine, I can not go back. I just love the look of my bread( I will share about bread another time) and crust with the whole grains peeking out making you feel like you are a homesteader from years gone by not to mention the grainy goodness taste and the health benefits.

 I have since learned  on my flour journey that once flour is milled it loses its nutrients after 70 hrs if not stored in the freezer. Now you can get a bit crazy and even soak your bread and crust overnight to really get all the digestive effects ( which I have done) but I leave that to you, either way if you buy the flour or mill it at home it will still be better then buying pizza someone else has made. I confess to still buying many a foreign pizza but I figure I am making enough at home to balance out any bad ones that comes in.

A mill can be very expensive so a few of my friends and I went in on one and just rotate it and it works out great for all of us.

I don't know about your kids, but mine can usually sense if food is good for them and immediately reject it before it even enters their mouths. I have always believed in making them eat whatever is put before them but it's hard to see your children not eat, and I refuse to make 3 different meal choices to please everyone!! So I am so excited when they like something that is good for them without putting up and fuss. I sit and just watch them as the nutritious food is going into their little bodies and savor the moment before it is gone.

Here is the magic recipe: It makes about 2 big pizzas, or 1 big pizza and 3 kid sized ones

-Put 2 cups warm water in a bowl with 1tsp of sugar or honey( whichever you prefer) to get the yeast activated.
- Add 1 Tbs yeast or one package to bowl
- Mix and let dissolve and bubble up for about 10 min
- Add your flour( milled or non) about 3 to 3 1/2. I use 1 cup whole wheat and 2 cups of all purpose.
-Add one cup at a time till the dough starts to remove from the bowl but don't to much , you want it to be a little sticky
- Here' the trick to making it really crusty and yummy. Add 2 Tbs. olive oil and just coat the dough in it but don't mix it into the dough.
- Cover and let sit for a half an hour to an hour or doubled in size.
-After it has risen grease your pans and form your pizza.
- Try to get it as thin as you can because it will rise back up in the oven.
- I let the oven preheat to 400.
- A trick that I have found to evenly cooked pizza is first putting it on the bottom rack for about 7 min and then transferring to the top until golden and bubbly and you will find it really makes a big difference.

I am sure there is a debate going on somewhere whether to put your toppings on after or before the cheese. I have come to like putting it on after the cheese because it gets all nice and roasted in the oven. But I think it just depends on your preference.

- I usually make a big veggie and meat pizza for Josh and I and let the kids make their own little pizzas which they love to do.

Another thing I learned from my mother-in-law is that scissors make awesome pizza cutters! Try it!

When I don't know what to make for dinner or have a lot of food on hand this is what I make. Once you start making it, it really is so easy. Sometimes I make it once a week. It's become a staple in our home. Try it for yourself and you will see for yourself why it's so good and how all frozen pizzas will be dead to you from now on!


The Best Cleaning Solution in the World

Sunday, February 24, 2013


I know this is not what you were expecting to see (be glad I closed the lid) but we all see it and use it everyday; young, old, rich, poor. Whatever you call it; the throne, latrine, W.C., the potty, outhouse; it is a daily part of life. Along with using it comes cleaning it...which of course I don't not look forward to with anticipation, especially with a house full of boys( use your imagination) but it is most definitely necessary.

 I don't think I could handle the stench or the look of the bathroom if we let it alone. Even though there are times when I think, "What is the purpose? It is just going to get dirty again!"

 This is what I was thinking one day last week as I was cleaning it for the 5,698 time( I could be exaggerating, but probably not) but then I thought of Jesus, yes Jesus... who did the dirtiest job in the world... as I was bent down doing the dirtiest job in the house. He died for us once for all (Heb. 7:27) but continually cleanses us of our filth and waste as we come to him in repentance.

Over and over again, we continue to sin even if we have accepted his gift of salvation. We will not be made perfect till we see Him as He is and are made like him.(1 John 3:3) How I look forward to that day! No more sin, no more pain, no more hurt, sickness, death!!!....and no more dirt or cleaning!! The streets and cities will be made of pure clear gold!!(Rev 21:18)

Until then I desire to live for him and honor him in all I do... even cleaning the toilet. It can seem so insignificant, yet it is important and even pleasing to God when He looks down and sees our hearts... worshiping Him in ALL we do.

"And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." Colossians 3:17

I am so thankful that I was listening to God. He is always speaking; wanting to show us and teach us things throughout our day, no matter what we do. So many times I have not heard Him, not because He wasn't speaking to me, but because I wasn't listening. It's amazing to me what I can learn just around my house and with the people He has put in my life if I am willing to humble myself and open my heart and ears to listen....even in the bathroom.

While I am talking about cleaning bathrooms I thought I would share my cleaning essentials with you.

If you are feeling dirty and in need of some elbow grease...go to Jesus, acknowledging your sin, ask him to forgive, cleanse  and make you new... and he will!!! And that is the best cleaning solution that I could ever recommend!!

“Come now, let us reason together, says the Lordthough your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool. Isaiah 1:18

Repurposing

I don't know about you but its so hard for me to get rid of things but since I have a small house I can not possibly keep everything! So I have been diligently trying to purge my house of things we do not use or need.

 It's amazing how much stuff we have that I was SURE we would need, and has just been sitting around taking up space. I never realized how many memories I had attached to my clothing!

Ohhh.. I remember that shirt I wore it when Josh proposed to me.

Wow... I still have those pants? They are huge, look how much weight I lost!

 I have had that skirt forever! I can't believe I still fit into it!

 Aww.. that little onesie is so cute! All the kids have worn it, I better keep it just in case we have more.

And it goes on and on.

 I know once I bag up the stuff and drop it off at the thrift store I will not even remember it...so if you have this same problem, take my advice... if you don't use something, bag it up and quickly get rid of it. It has to be a quick clean cut or else you will start thinking and you know where that leads to?

All this  is to say I am so glad when I can take something I can't use anymore and make it into something I can. I saw these cute easy skirt ideas at handmademess.com. I am all about easy and quick. I like to see results instantly! I wan't it now! I know though that things of value and quality take time.  Even easy things take a bit of time. So learn from my mistakes don't rush through it or it will take more time fixing your mistakes!

Make sure you are in the right frame of mind, your house is not calling you to clean it and your kids are not running around with sharpies or throwing things in the toilet.  I find I always end up frustrated when I try to do a project that I started at the wrong time. Okay, you have been warned.

I was so excited how nice  mine came out!  I think I just might wear it every day, its so comfy! Okay so I didn't make the skirt from old clothing( the material was on sale at Joann's Fabrics and I got the elastic at a yard sale) but I thought hey, I have some old clothes of Ellie's that are too small for her that I could transform.
The skirt was a dress that I cut the top off that didn't fit Ellie anymore and I thought I could use the elastic on the hoodie for the waistband.

 No, we can not always keep everything but its great when you can take two things you don't need and make them into one thing you do. I think these two pieces were meant to be together, Ellie agrees also...  and who can resist cupcakes!



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