Tuesday, January 18, 2011

It's not delivery.....


One of the disadvantages of living in the middle of nowhere is that no matter how tired you are, no matter how busy you are, no matter how lazy you are, there's just no pizza places around that are willing to deliver 40 miles north or 45 miles south. I can't imagine why! After doing some rummaging around in recipes boxes, cookbooks and on-line sites, I found a recipe for homemade pizza that's almost as easy as delivery, and way better than DiGiorno!! In fact, it's become a bit of a Friday night staple at our house.

One of the things I like best about it is that the crust is made in my bread-maker, so I just have to throw the ingredients in and walk away for an hour. So here is that part of the recipe which I found on

(makes 2 crusts)

1 cup water PLUS
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons oil
3 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast+

I use warm water, to speed up the rising time, olive oil instead of vegetable, and about 2 tsp. of sugar. Be sure to add the ingredients to the mixing bowl of your machine in the order given. You could also add any herbs you wanted at the end of this list too. Then turn on your machine to the "dough" feature and let it go to work.

After about 55 minutes, my dough is ready to go.

I learned a little secret from my friend the Farmer's Wife, and that is to use vegetable shortening to grease the pizza pans. It works really slick because it is sticky enough to help keep the dough where you want it while you're stretching it and it makes a really crisp bottom crust too. I like to make a bit of a rim around the pizza pan with the dough to make a more pronounced crust.

Now, I will let you in on my pizza sauce. I discovered it purely by accident. I was mixing up pizzas one night, only to discover that I had only one can of tomato paste--no sauce either, but lots of tomato soup. One of the things I dislike about some pizza sauce is that it is so acidic due to the tomato, so one usually needs to add a little sugar to counter act. But this time I pulled out a can of condensed tomato soup, so I could stretch the paste a little further. I was kind of expecting it to be a one-time deal, because I didn't think it would taste very good. But I added some Italian seasoning and some garlic salt, spread it around and then added our toppings (sausage and mushroom, cheese, ham and pineapple, and tomato and bacon are the favorites around here).   I gotta say, it's a pretty darn good sauce, and I haven't gone back to jarred pizza sauce since! What is it that they say? Necessity is the mother of invention right?

After the toppings are good to go, you bake it in a preheated 400 degree oven for 18-20 minutes.

All four of my kids, plus my husband (and really, even me) are pretty much pizza hounds. We like it a lot. Now, they actually prefer MY pizza to any we can get in town except at the Airport Inn. That's a pretty good compliment, I think.  Ben even likes me to make extra so he can take it to school in his lunch as a leftover... and he hates leftovers.

If you're ever craving good pizza, but can't have it delivered for some reason or another, give this a try. It's not fancy or gourmet, but it passes the kid and husband test!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Christmas, New Years and Such...

I decided it was time to add my pictures from the holidays. We were at my parents' in Malta with my brother Frank, his wife Alex, their son Titus, and my grandmother Sylvia on Christmas Eve, and then my sister Cindi, her husband Travis, and their kids Taylor, Rylie, and Trevor joined us on Christmas day. We had a great time, and the kids had so much fun playing together!! We resolved that we need to do a better job of getting them all together more often, but since we are all farmers with cows and live 200 miles away from each other makes that pretty tough sometimes!

Nephew Titus... cute little guy!!

Aunt Alex and Allison with the new castle and princesses.... do I see another niece in my future?

 Alli, giving Titus a little cousinly advice about toys and presents.

 Mr. Ben and his new Star Wars Legos guys

 Titus taking a much needed break from the action!

Brother-in-law Travis with my Gram Sylvia, who turned 98 on January 7th. She's quite the lady and can put gardeners half her age to shame!

Adam always seems to get the shaft on his birthday as it is on New Year's eve. The past few years we've had his celebration on a different day so we could help with the all-night New Year's eve party at church, but this year we took a break and had a party, complete with party hats, noise-makers, presents, friends, sisters, brothers, moms and dad... oh yeah, and pizza, cake and ice cream. Adam was trying hard to be cool, and not enjoy himself too much in front of his friends....

Haley, Alli, and MacKenzie... with their tiaras. Beautiful aren't they? 

 Birthday Boy Adam... the big 1-3... Now we have TWO, count-em, TWO teenagers in the house!

 Ben, enjoying his ice-cream.....

Adam and his buddies

On NewYear's day, we did something a little different this year too... usually Scott's sleeping from his over-nighter with 200+ teenagers from southeastern Montana. This year we were all rested, so we had some friends over for more appetizers than a body needs all day long let alone before a prime rib-potatoes-salad-rolls dinner...and cheesecake for dessert. What a way to roll in the new year....Russ and Susie Milam with baby Hannah, and the W. Pluhar clan came over. Unfortunately, for one moment I allowed my children to be unsupervised with a Tech fan, and she did her best to indoctrinate them. Luckily, you can't really see Alli's horns behind Angus's head, so really it looks like she only got to one of them. We have been in an intensive Horns reprogramming mode, so I think we will be ready to go next year when they again win the Big 12, or whatever the name of the conference will be by then.

As you can see, we are off to a great start for the year... throw in a little more snow and some sub-zero weather, and it is obvious we are still in the midst of January... we keep looking forward though, and the mad rush that is calving, planting and spring will be upon us! 

Monday, January 3, 2011

A New Year, A New Post

Yes. It's true. I'm putting up a blog post. Life has been busy, and I've been spending too much time on Facebook. I am, like most of you, trying to turn over a new leaf. I'm trying to limit my total computer time on a daily basis, so I can tackle three big goals.

One is to get back in shape. I've been really slacking on the exercise and diet front. And my clothes are beginning to show it... the way they fit anyway. I'm sick of it, so I'm determined to do better, and that means more time for exercise, and less time for eating junk. I'm hoping the Wii we got for Christmas will help. I'm finding Wii Fit really fun, and even funny, when I try a skill or exercise that I'm not very good at. Turns out my balance is a little off. (Yeah, you knew that didn't you?) I also found a copy of EA Sports Active 2 on sale. It works with the balance board, an arm band with a heart rate monitor, and a leg band, to count moves and trace movements. So far I've done that one pretty seriously twice. Ouch. Seriously. Tomorrow I think the trips down the stairs may be a little difficult. I think I did like 3 sets of 16 lunges. But I was sweating and my heart rate went up. I figure between that and some time on the treadmill, I may be in shape by next year! Plus I decided to start eating a little better, so my fridge is stocked with celery, oranges, and apples. I need to pick up some carrots, bananas, and greens next time I'm in town. I also decided to quit soda. And I wasn't even drinking the real stuff... just Diet Coke, and I'm quitting that too. It's hard today. I haven't had much trouble up until today.

Another big "project" is to do better in the spiritual arena. Specifically I'm aiming to get in and read my Bible and have some quiet time alone with God 5 out of 7 days a week. Some neighbor ladies and I are working on Kelly Minter's No Other Gods study which has 5 daily lessons, and I have a book by Beth Moore on Jesus on which I'm going to work during the off days. I am also doing the Siesta Scripture Memory Challenge from the Living Proof Ministries blog which is to memorize two scriptures per month. I'm going to make an effort to post each scripture before I start on the 1st and the 15th of each month. Here's the first: Romans 15:13: May the God of hope fill you with peace and joy as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

The last big project has to do with bookkeeping. I have gotten so I feel pretty confident and competent in my abilities to do our books, especially with Quickbooks, but I want to do a little better job of getting things up-to-date beyond just once a month when I do my reconciliation. It's not a hard thing, just a self-disciplined thing, and a quit-procrastinating thing.

So there you have it. I will be updating photos soon as we have some great ones from Christmas and New Year's. Hope all are well out there, and surviving all the cold, wind and snow! The sun is shining today and it's beautiful!!