Saturday, June 26, 2010

Whole Wheat Pizza Crust /Originally posted 6/20/08

Recipe Update 6/26/10
The original recipe didn't call for it, but this dough really needs to rise for about an hour and up to three hours. I've now included that in the recipe, but if you happened to save this recipe to try, you might want to update it! If you don't let it rise, the dough is tough and hard.

Whole Wheat Pizza Crust
Makes two crusts

4 cups freshly ground whole wheat flour (or spelt or Kumut)
1 TB yeast
1TB olive oil
1 TB honey
1-1/2 tsp. salt
1 -1/2 cups very warm water (110*)

In a mixer add water, and then remaining ingredients, adding enough flour to clean sides of bowl. Knead dough 3-5 minutes or until gluten is developed. Cover bowl and let dough rise for at least an hour, and up to three hours.
Pre heat oven at 500 degrees. Remove from bowl. Use about one pound of dough per crust Make the pizza dough more stiff than normal bread dough so that it will be easy to roll out with out stickiness. Roll out on pizza paddle or pan (you can roll it out on cornmeal, but I just grease my pan) Brush crust with oil and prick with a fork. Prebake 5-8 minutes. After it's prebaked turn oven down to 350, to bake your topped pizza.

Crust variation
Herbed dough: (this is what we make)
While dough is kneading, add 4-10 TB minced fresh herbs or 2-6 TB dried herbs. Such as oregano, basil, tarragon, sage, rosemary, marjoram, or Italian Seasoning



Friday, June 25, 2010

Strawberry Kiwi Smoothie

Every summer for the past 2 or 3 years I try to go sugar free for at least two weeks, or as long as my sugar addicted self can possibly stand without having a nervous breakdown ;) I usually wait until after my birthday, but this year I decided to take the plunge a few weeks earlier. I'm doing things a bit differently this time though, for the first week (I started yesterday...) I'm just cutting out extra sugar - like cookies, ice cream, and snacks that are high in sugar, instead of just taking every single thing that has sugar out of my diet without easing myself into it.
A few sugary things I'm keeping this week are coffee and tea... next week I'll cut out coffee - I don't enjoy black coffee, and somehow honey-sweetened coffee doesn't sound appetizing ;) And I'll start putting honey into my tea instead of sugar. During these times I satisfy my sweet tooth with fruit, smoothies and sugar-less juices. Usually my smoothies are just yogurt, strawberries and bananas, but I wanted to try something different this time. I looked up a few smoothie recipes, and found one that looked pretty good, but needed a bit of modification. Here's what I came up with. Usually when I'm on a sugar free kick, I have to add lots of honey to my smoothies, but this needed no added sweetness, it was absolutely perfect, with just a touch of tartness. Makes a beautiful pale pink smoothie, that would be perfect garnished with a bright slice of kiwi or a small strawberry.


I use organic cream top yogurt - it's the closest store-bought gets to homemade. I also used pineapple and orange juices that had no water or sugar added, just pure juice. If you're using frozen strawberries, omit the ice at the end, I just added it to give the smoothie a bit more texture.

Strawberry Kiwi Smoothie
• 1/2 a banana
• 6 strawberries
• 1 kiwi
• 1/2 cup plain yogurt
• 1/2 cup pineapple juice
• 1/4 cup orange juice
• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
• handful of icecubes


1. Peel kiwi and banana, cut tops off strawberries. Place ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

This is our all time favorite Mac 'n' Cheese recipe. For years we ate either boxed stuff, or a velveeta base Macaroni, but when we started changing the way we cooked and ate, we started looking for a real cheese recipe. The problem was, every single recipe we tried was gritty... real cheese just didn't work nearly as well as processed for a nice smooth sauce. We were over at a friends house one day and they made a delicious baked mac and cheese that was creamy but not overly rich, no hint of grittiness and all around yummy. We've made this A LOT since then and I've made quite a few alterations, so here's my version! I've added a few notes below on the ingredients I use... do tell me if you try the recipe, and what alterations you make!
We try to eat meat with our Macaroni and Cheese, especially when I make it for dinner, add cooked (it can be cold) meat in as you stir the pasta and sauce together. Bacon Sprinkled over the top is my favorite, but my family prefers hamburger or smoked sausage.


The Cheese listed is just a guideline, you can use any combination you like (Last night I used sharp and colby jack, and I often use medium and colby). But after much testing of different cheese combinations, we found that Sharp and Monterey is by far the most flavorful combination. Also, feel free to use all purpose flour. I love the flavor the whole wheat gives the sauce, but it's completely optional.

A note on the pasta - Elbow Macaroni is obviously the most traditional choice, but I like to experiment with different types of pasta, and how they change the texture of the dish.
We have found the Bowtie (or Farfalle) is the best choice for this dish, simply because the sauce clings to the pasta better than traditional macaroni.
Cellentani is also a fun pasta to try, it's a larger twistier version of elbow macaroni, and great fun for kids. Two of my other favorites to use are shells and Rotini

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

3 ½ cups uncooked pasta of choice

½ cup butter

¾ whole wheat pastry flour

2 cups whole milk

1 ½ cups sour cream

1-2 tablespoons heavy cream (optional)

Garlic Salt, Onion Salt, Salt and Pepper

1 cup Sharp Cheddar

½ cup Monterey Jack

Cook pasta according to directions on package. Drain and rinse.

In a medium sauce pan melt butter an stir in flour. Gradually add milk, sour cream, cream, cheese and seasonings. Stir over low heat until mixture is thick and bubbly.

Place pasta in a 9 x 13 baking dish. Pour cheese sauce over the pasta, and stir. Bake at 350* for 30 minutes Add an extra handful of cheese over the top about 10 minutes before you serve.


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Whole Wheat and Oat Waffles

Last week we had waffles planned for dinner. The last time I'd made waffles they turned out a little less than delicious so I decided to try out a new recipe. I spent my computer time that day looking at recipes and reading reviews. I finally decided on a yummy looking recipe from All Recipes. It called for all purpose flour and whole oats, but I used freshly ground pastry flour and I ground up the oats in my blender for a slightly coarse oat flour. When mixed it all up it was far too dry, it wouldn't even pour out of the cup, so I upped the milk to about 1 and 3/4 cups. It was still thick, but pourable so I went ahead and used it, and let me tell you, I think I struck upon the PERFECT waffle batter. It made four huge Belgian waffles, and even after the fourth waffle, the iron was still clean. I know I'm not the only one who hates cleaning the waffle iron. If you're the same, try this recipe, and I bet you'll be surprised. All I did was wipe it down for good measure, and put it away. I'm lovin' it!!

These waffles are whole-grainy and wholesome but still sweet, crisp on the outside, and fluffy and light on the inside. Unfortunately, I completely forgot to get a picture, but I'll be making them again soon, so I'll be sure to get a picture then and post it!

Whole Wheat and Oat Waffles

• 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
• 1 cup ground oats or out flour
• 1 tablespoon baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
• 2 eggs, slightly beaten
• 1 3/4 cups milk
• 6 tablespoons butter, melted
• 2 tablespoons brown sugar

Grind oats in a blender until they're a flour-like consistancy but still ever so slightly coarse.
In large mixing bowl, stir together flour, oat flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt; set aside. In small mixing bowl, stir together eggs, milk, butter and brown sugar. Add to flour mixture; stir until blended. Pour batter on to grids of preheated, lightly greased waffle iron (amount will vary with size of waffle iron). Close lid quickly; do not open during baking. Use fork to remove baked waffle.

We served them with sliced strawberries, freshly whipped cream, and pure maple syrup.


As always, do try them and tell me how you liked the recipe!!


Momma's Homestyle Goulash

Last night we had one of my favorite comfort foods. Mom's goulash. Of course I'm the cook now, but it will always remain Mom's goulash. We usually make enough to feed an army, so if you have a big family, you're good to go. ;) As you will see this is one of those, "a little bit of this, and a dash of that" recipes, but I've done my best to put it into a coherent recipe. Do tell me if you try it and how you like it!


1 lb. of hamburger
Minced Onions
Onion Powder
Garlic Salt
1 large (29 oz?) can of Tomato sauce
Frozen corn to taste (I believe I put around 1 cup)
1-2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
Half a box elbow noodles

Brown Hamburger with a generous sprinkling of Minced Onions, Onion Powder and Garlic Salt.
After the hamburger is browned, add tomato sauce, corn, Italian seasoning, and another generous sprinkling of Onion Powder and Garlic Salt. Stir thoroughly and reduce heat. Simmer for 30 minutes or so. Meanwhile boil up about 2-3 cups elbow macaroni and have it drained and ready to put in the meat/tomato mixture. Right before you serve, add the noodles to the sauce and mix thoroughly.

Serve with garlic bread and salad. Yummy!


Saturday, June 12, 2010

Summer time tastyness.

Hello again everyone! Goodness, it's been awhile hasn't it!? I couldn't believe when I looked at the date of my last post how long it had been since I've been on here. We've been busy, and my blogs had to be pushed to the back burner, but life is slowing down just a bit, and I'm ready to get back into the swing of things. As you can see, I've given our blog a bit of a face lift, all bright and cheery and summery! Do tell me what you think, and please, tell me if it's a bit too hard on the eyes, since you will be the ones reading the blog!! I haven't been keeping a detailed menu lately, so it will be a bit before I start with our weekly menu posts again.
Since I stopped posting, we've moved from the soups, heavy pastas, and hearty hot meals that were appearing on our menu to light and summery dishes, but still 100% delicious!

We have been thoroughly enjoying the vast array of bright fruits, veggies and melons the have appeared in the past few weeks.

One of our recent evening meals just seems to epitomize summer - Grilled chicken and bacon sandwiches with corn on the cob, watermelon, cherries and sweet iced tea. Yummy!

Keep an eye out for some yummy new recipes this week!!