Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

Pizza-making Party

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

Saturday evening I decided to make pizzas again, since we only had 2 slices of pizza left in the freezer.  We all love our homemade pizza, but it does take some energy to get a bunch made and put in the freezer so we can pull it out and heat it to eat on a moment’s notice.

It usually takes up just about my whole island and
all my counters on either side of the stove for me
to make pizzas.

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Because I would like to have some on hand in the freezer after our new baby arrives, I made a bigger batch of dough than usual.  It ended up making 10 1/2 pizzas (the last of the dough made a smaller circle on one of the pizza stones).  I made 7 regular pizzas (sausage, onion, mushrooms, black olives, and pepperoni) and 3 1/2 Hawaiian pizzas.

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I don’t always make Hawaiian pizzas, but I really like them.  On Friday I had swung by the grocery store in B’water where they had fully cooked, cured ham butts on sale for .99/lb.  I got one, and Saturday morning I pulled it apart.  I sliced the hunks that were big enough for slicing (most of the ham), cubed the rest to go in scrambled eggs, and then had a bone left to cook in a good soup or stew.  Most of it I bagged up in smaller portions and put in the freezer.  I saved some out to make Hawaiian pizzas and for sandwiches on Sunday.

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Making pizzas is not the difficult, and it wouldn’t be that time-consuming if I only made 2 or 3 at a time.   But, making 7 or 10 at a time takes a lot longer.  It takes less time than it used to since my sister Rachel gave me a third pizza stone.  Now, I can have 3 of them hot at the same time.  I have 2 in the oven baking, and one is out getting dough and toppings on it.  Generally by the time I have stone #3 ready for the oven, one of the others is ready to come out for more toppings, or else is completely done, and ready to start over with another sheet of dough.

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My dough recipe is quite simple, and very easy to make.  (I made 6X this amount on Saturday.)

1 cup warm water
1 Tbsp. yeast
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. oil
enough flour to make a good kneading dough (I never measure flour in yeast breads unless I’m using the bread machine.)  The written recipe calls for 3 cups.

I usually mix up the dough and let it rise a little while I’m preheating the oven (with my 3 pizza stones in it heating up too), chopping up my onion, slicing the black olives, etc.  (In other words, preparing all my toppings.)  Oh, I should mention, I heat the oven to 425 (if I’m really in a hurry, I’ll bake them on 450).

Then,  I pinch off a ball of dough “just about that size” and roll it out with a rolling pin.  The thickness depends on if I’m on a diabetic diet or not at the time.  Since I am right now, I roll it to probably about 1/8 to 1/4″ thickness.  I transfer that to the hot stone where it starts baking immediately on contact.

I next sprinkle on just a little Parmesan cheese.  Then I smear on some pizza sauce (my own, seasoned to our taste, and canned in the summer), sprinkle on the sausage, onions, and canned mushrooms.

I then return it to the oven, preferably on the bottom rack, and let it bake until the onions are cooked and the edges of the dough are just beginning to turn a very light brown (barely detectable).  At that point, I pull it back out and sprinkle on the mozzerella cheese, place the pepperoni, and then the black olives (I like to use bell peppers too, but I don’t have any right now).  I then return it to the oven (preferably a rack in the middle of the oven) until the cheese is good and melted, and the crust is a nice medium brown (but the cheese has not turned brown yet).

Then, I pull it out and slide it onto a cookie sheet, and roll out and place another sheet of pizza dough, and start the process all over.

Just a guess, I’m thinking that the total baking time for a pizza is about 15 min.  It really isn’t that long.

I don’t think I have posted my pizza making methods and the crust recipe before, so if someone wants to try this, here is a springboard to launch from!

Great Recipes!

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

For the people who (on FaceBook) have been requesting the recipes of our recent meals, here they are!  I promise they are very delicious, and easy to make.  Just start the pots of soup either in the morning or right around noon time so they have enough time to simmer and cook before people are hungry for supper.  The bonus is that your house will smell great!

U. S. Senate Bean Soup
1 lb. dried great northern beans
1 meaty ham bone or 2 smoked ham hocks
3 med. onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 celery ribs, chopped
1 cup mashed potatoes or 1/3 cup instant potato flakes
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
salt & pepper to taste
parsley or chives for garnish

Place beans and enough water to cover in a saucepan; bring to a boil and boil for 2 min. Remove from the heat and soak for 1 hr. Drain and rinse beans. In a large kettle, place beans, ham bone or hocks and 3 qts. water. Bring to boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 2 hrs. Skim fat if necessary. Add onions, garlic, celery, parsley, potatoes, salt and pepper; simmer 1 hr. longer. Remove meat and bones from the soup. Remove meat from the bones; dice and return to kettle. Heat through. Garnish with parsley or chives.

Yield: 8-10 servings (2-1/2 qts.)

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Lentil Soup

1 “loop” Kielbasa sausage, cut up

2 T. olive oil

1 lg. onion, chopped

2 carrots, chopped

1 rib celery, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup lentils, rinsed and picked over

5 cups chicken stock (I use chicken bullion granules)

5 cups water

2 cups canned or fresh tomatoes, chopped, with their juice

1/2 tsp. salt or to taste

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

1/4 c. uncooked rice

1/2 lb. fresh spinach, rinsed and stemmed (I always use frozen)

Grated Parmesan cheese for garnish (optional)

  1. Brown Kielbasa in Dutch oven or soup pot. When moderately browned, remove from the pot, leaving the grease in the pot. Add the olive oil

  2. Add onion, carrots, and celery, and saute until they soften (8-10 min.)

  3. Add the garlic and cook another 2 min.

  4. Add lentils, chicken stock, water, tomatoes, and Kielbasa. Cover and simmer 45 min. to 1 hr.

  5. Add salt, pepper and rice. Cook another 15 min., or until rice is tender.

  6. Check the seasonings and add more if necessary. Add the spinach, cover and cook another 2-3 min.

  7. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese. (I’ve never remembered to do this. We always eat it without the cheese and love it.)

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Cheese Sticks

1 c. flour

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

2 Tbsp. butter

1/2 c. shredded sharp cheddar

1/3 c. cold water (if using a high-protein flour, it will take more water)

Mix dry ingredients.

Cut in the butter.

Add the cheese.

Stir in the water and knead lightly a few times until it is a consistency to roll out.

Roll to about 1/4” thickness, cut in strips, twist and place on ungreased baking sheet.

Bake at 425 for 10 min. for a shiny pan, 8 min. for a dark pan.