P 6

Pizza on Fridays (& a GREAT crust)

We started a tradition several months ago where on every Friday night, we eat pizza and do something fun as a family. The fun thing can be watching a movie, playing games, pulling out our original 16-bit Nintendo and having a Zelda-fest, camping in the backyard – whatever. The pizza thing is HUGE with our kids, and they have come to expect it.

Sometimes waiting for the pizza is hard. :)

We have a family motto that says: “We work hard and are honest.” My seven-year old modified it to: “We work hard, are honest and eat pizza on Fridays.” Yep, that pretty much sums up our family ideals. :)

As part of having pizza every week, we typically will make the pizza. Occasionally we’ll have a pizza we’ve bought from somewhere, but I found a crust recipe from allrecipes.com that makes it hard to want to buy a pizza, unless the day has been too crazy to want to add something else to it. It is VERY easy, and the dough is really elastic and smooth and delicious. It’s everything you could hope for in a crust. We even have kiddo helpers sometimes.

Ingredients

1 cup warm water (110 degrees F – this means it’s more like warm-hot water)

1 T. sugar

1 packet yeast (or 2 1/4 tsp.)

3 T. oil (original recipe says olive, but I usually just use canola or vegetable oil)

1 tsp. salt

1-2 tsp. italian seasoning (opt.)

2 1/2 c. flour

Step 1: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine warm water, sugar and yeast in large bowl. Mix.

Step 2: Add in the rest of the ingredients and mix. (See? I told you it is easy.)

Step 3: Knead. I use my handy-dandy kneading attachment to my hand mixer for this one. Once it is kneaded, it will have a FABULOUS texture.

Step 4: Rest the dough for 10 minutes. Then roll it out and place on a greased cookie sheet – or pizza pan.

Step 5: Top & bake for 15-20 minutes. Make sure if you use “wet” ingredients that you bake for closer to the 20 minutes or the crust will be cooked, but the middle will not be cooked through entirely. We have yet to burn the crust, but we have undercooked the middle when we’ve been impatient.

Yum. Yum. Yum. Yum. And, yes, I use cheddar cheese. It just tastes better (in my opinion).

Pizza! Hooray!

This is easy to do, and fun. What are some of your family traditions? Any fun types of pizza we should try?

Enjoy! :)

CCC

THE Best Chocolate Chip Cookies – Hands Down.

These lovelies are THE best chocolate chip cookies. Ever. Really. Whenever I make them, people ask for the recipe. And I laugh – because it is just slightly modified from the recipe on the Nestle chocolate chip bag. But the slight modification is what makes them perfect. I believe this was a tip passed on to my mom by a friend many moons ago (which is amazing, since my mom is still only 27….), and it is how we grew up enjoying chocolate chip cookies.

Ingredients

2 1/4 c. flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt (my mom updated this – she uses 1/2 tsp. – we’ll have to try that next time)

3/4 c. sugar

3/4 c. brown sugar (packed)

1 c. SHORTENING <—-THIS is the change, my friends.

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 eggs

Chocolate chips (the recipe calls for one 12 oz. package, but I usually use less – personal preference)

Step 1: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl.

Step 2: Cream SHORTENING, sugars and vanilla extract in a large bowl. Add eggs and beat well. Please, oh please – do NOT use butter or margarine. Use the shortening. It is magical. I promise. And, actually, all of my favorite cookie recipes have shortening instead of butter or margarine. Just sayin’. They will be fluffy and wonderful.

Step 3: Gradually beat in flour mixture, and then stir in your chocolate chips.

Step 4: Bake for 9-11 minutes on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Step 5: ENJOY!! :)

These are SO good – don’t they look perfect? Again, we gave some of these away too. Good for calorie counting, but sad for tummies that need yummy chocolate chip cookies. Not want, NEED. I may now need to make me some more of these. :)

BYUB 5

BYU Mint Brownies

Happy Friday the 13th! Those have tended to be good luck days for me, so we’ll do something minty and yummy today. :)

These are so, SO good. It really isn’t fair. We made these this weekend (we’ve made them a couple of times before as well), ate some, gave a bunch away, and looking at this picture makes me want to make more of them. Yummy chocolate brownie covered in mint frosting, and then chocolate frosting. The brownies are honestly good enough to eat alone, but when you add the frosting layers, it is perfection. I found this recipe from Christy @ The Girl Who Ate Everything, and she found the recipe from the BYU Dining website.

Ingredients (Brownies):

1 c. margarine

1/2 c. cocoa

2 T. honey

4 eggs

2 c. sugar

1 3/4 c. flour

1/2 T. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1 c. chopped walnuts (or leave the nuts out – that’s what I have done)

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt margarine and mix in cocoa. Allow to cool. I did this on the stove, but it just occurred to me that it would be even faster in the microwave. I get it to where it is JUST melted so it doesn’t take so long to cool down. Also, do NOT eat this. It may look delicious, but it isn’t. Your brain will tell you not to eat it because unsweetened cocoa is not very tasty, but sometimes the autopilot of taste-testing goes into override. Not that I speak from experience….

Step 2: Add the rest of the ingredients (honey, eggs, sugar, flour, baking powder, salt) and mix well. Pour it all into a greased 9×13 pan and bake for 25 minutes. Then let them COOL. I stick mine in the freezer to cool. Because I am just that patient.

Step 3: Get your frosting(s) ready!

Mint Frosting Ingredients:

5 T. butter (the original recipe calls for margarine, but I have found butter to work better)

dash of salt

1 T. light corn syrup

2 1/3 c. powdered sugar

1/2 tsp. mint extract

1-2 drops green food coloring

3 T. milk

Soften butter, and then add salt, corn syrup and powdered sugar. Beat until smooth and fluffy. Add the mint extract and food coloring and mix. Add the milk gradually until it is a little thinner than cake frosting.

For the chocolate frosting, you can either buy a tub from the store or make your own recipe. I found this one and have thought it is perfect – it can stand on its own with the brownie and the mint frosting, but still goes well with them. If you use that recipe, you can substitute milk for the evaporated milk and it works fine. I have also substituted margarine for butter, and that has been fine too.

Step 4: After your brownies have cooled, spread on your mint frosting. I put it in the freezer after this step too to make the next one easier.

Step 5: Spread the chocolate frosting on top.

That is IT. We have found these are best if stored in the refrigerator or freezer. How can you pass these up? I mean, really?

Enjoy!

TP 5

Tamale Pie

This recipe is a goodie. My mother-in-law passed this one along a few weeks ago, and we have enjoyed it. It is easy, and tasty. Just make sure to start making it early enough to allow for the baking time.

Ingredients:

3/4 c. corn meal

1 1/2 c. milk

1 egg, beaten

1 lb. ground beef, browned and drained (or chicken)

1 1/2 tsp. chili powder

1/2 tsp. cumin

1/2 tsp. sugar

2 T. dried onion (minced or flakes)

1 T. seasoning salt

1 lb. can chopped tomatoes (14 oz. is what I could find)

1 can corn, drained

1 small can sliced olives

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix corn meal, milk and egg in a bowl.

Step 2: Mix all other ingredients together in a large bowl. Yum. 

Step 3: Dump the corn meal mixture into the other ingredients and mix. Then pour in greased 2 1/2 qt. casserole dish (or other smaller baking dish) and bake for 1 hr. 15 min.

Step 4: Sprinkle some cheese over the top, and melt in the oven (about 5 minutes).

There you go! Very easy, and delicious with some sour cream. Enjoy!

 

BB 4

The BEST Bakers

My five-year old will NOT eat potatoes. Except for french fries. But no mashed potatoes, no bakers, no breakfast potatoes, no potatoes in soup, no nothing. Until we found these bakers.  They. Are. Awesome! He is actually excited to have them, and will eat them skin and all.

Step 1: Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Step 2: Wash your bakers, and poke them all over with a knife. This allows the steam to escape from the bakers while they are in the oven.

Step 3: Put oil and kosher salt into small bowls. Take a small amount of oil (enough to lightly coat the potato), and rub it on the potato skin. Then take some kosher salt and rub it over the newly-oiled potato skin. This will be a little messy. We have tried both olive oil and vegetable oil, and have found we like vegetable oil best. Canola oil would be great too, I’m sure. Don’t worry about over-salting at this point – you can always brush salt off at the end – but you don’t need a ton of oil. You could use less than a teaspoon per potato and it would be enough. This helps keep your fat down to keep the oil down.

Here is what they will look like before you put them in the oven:

Step 4: Line a cookie sheet with tin foil and put on the bottom rack of your oven (this will keep the oven clean while the bakers are cooking). Place the potatoes on the top rack in the oven, and bake for 45 minutes. If you have more than four bakers, you may need to increase the time by up to 15 minutes. When they are no longer firm, they are done.

Step 5: Take out the potatoes (using tongs or oven mitts), and carefully brush off the extra salt – the bakers are hot! You just want to leave enough salt on to have tasty bakers, but not to make you sick. :)

Step 6: Cut open and marvel at the fluffy yumminess inside.

For the bit of extra time this takes, it is totally worth it. The skin is slightly crispy and delicious, the inside is perfectly cooked, and even potato-haters will be happy with it. Enjoy!

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