I don’t even know where to begin. Tonight’s dinner was absolutely out of this world. It all came about like this:
Today was shopping day; for my lesson plan cooking, which means a fairly extensive shopping day. My daughters and I went shopping AFTER our cardio dance class at the gym this morning. By the time we were done, we were all pooped. The receipt measured a good 3 ft long; it didn’t take long for the events in Libya to affect us here at home, did it? Aye, aye, aye. Usually for dinner I plan for a take and bake pizza on these big shopping days. After seeing the total on the bottom of that receipt I decided to close the ol’ wallet and “make do.” This is what makes learning all these cooking skills fun and worth while. I am in the mood to experiment (or out of necessity) and the family is getting used to trying new flavors. The girls and I arrived home and my son helped us unload bag after bag after bag. I think they can pack A LOT more into those “green” bags, which makes them HEAVY. We had a neighbor show up as we were unloading and so we visited for a while. Then before I knew it, I had the groceries just put away and it was time to leave again for piano lessons. This plan of having pizza at home was beginning to look doubtful. I was picturing a yeast dough, having to rise until doubled etc…we’d be eating dinner by 10pm. I got home at 4:30pm, and took a shower, finally….yes, it has been a long day. Then dressed in comfy flannel bottoms and big ol’ t-shirt, I thummed through my text book for a pizza dough recipe. I found it and it was only a 30 min. rest period for it. Yay! this is do-able. Here is that AMAZINGLY easy, tasty, chewy, fragrant, lovely recipe,
Pizza dough, a la Cooking School:
Yield: 1 lg, or 8 individual pizzas
active dry yeast. 1 TBSP
Water, warm, 2 fl. oz
bread flour, 14 oz
water, cool, 6 fl oz
salt 1 tsp
Olive oil 2 TBSP
honey 1 TBSP
stir the yeast into the warm water to dissolve. Add the flour. Stir in the remaining ingredients into the flour mixture. Knead with a dough hook or by hand until smooth and elastic, 5 min. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover. Allow to ferment in a warm place for 30 min. Punch down the dough and divide into portions. The dough may be wrapped and refrigerated for up to 2 days. On a lighthly floured surface roll dough into very thin rounds and top as desired. bake at 400F until crisp and golden brown, 8-12 min.
Tip: if it keeps wanting to pull back into a smaller shape as you try to roll it out, let it “rest” for 5-10 min. and then try to roll it again. It should lay out fine. The gluten will rest and let you roll it.
I decided to make pizza with whatever I could find at home in the fridge. I didn’t want to use anything I had just bought, because I worked hard and carefully on that plan.
I made a BBQ chicken pizza and a pepperoni, smoked sun dried tomato, roasted red pepper and nicoise olive one. BOTH were A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. I know, I keep saying that about some of these recipes. I have made pizza many times before, with home made yeast doughs even, but NONE have been this easy and this good. I am excited to try it with garlic minced and kneaded into the dough, maybe mixing it up with whole wheat flour….the possibilities are endless.
So, did I eat some? Yep. Did I eat a lot? Yep (4 pieces-2 of each kind) am I going to regret it? No. Will I let that inner, negative, voice tell me what a loser I am and how I failed myself and no wonder I am fat? Nope. That pizza was good. I worked out. Heck I even did “herkey” jumps which I haven’t done since cheer-leading in high school. 4 sets (8 reps ea.) of the darn things too! I amazed myself today. It wasn’t that long ago that I would not have even attempted that. I walked out of that class feeling 10 ft. tall. So, I had 4 pieces of pizza. Big deal. Will I do that for every meal? no. Will I make good-for-me choices as best I can? yep. Am I fat?? Nope. Hallelujah! Not one shred of guilt here! Something is starting to click. Things are changing from the inside out. Thank you Father, for I could not do this on my own. I hope you all are beginning to travel down this path with me. We women are amazing.
In case you are interested on upcoming meals here’s the plan:
3-9-11 piano and pay day, pizza…see, it was in the plan:)
3-10-11 grilled portabella on focaccia, winter white salad
*make french bread
3-11-11 deep fried codfish fillets, oven fries and green salad
3-12-11 4-h day, tortellini w/ butternut and broccoli sauce
3-13-11 chicken w/ 40 cloves garlic, french bread croutons, roasted fall vegetables
3-14-11 Horse leaders mtgs, black bean soup
3-15-11 Bible study and scout mtg, salad nicoise
*take out burger
3-16-11 piano lesson, burrito with black bean spread
*soak chick peas
3-17-11 falafel, german style potato salad
*take out chicken
3-18-11 Roman style free range chicken, safron vegetable risotto
3-19-11 cake 4-h mtg, BBQ beef sandwiches, oven fries and veggies
3-20-11 split pea soup and grilled cheese
3-21-11 marinated loin of venison roasted with mustard
3-23-11 bible study, chicken cacciatore
so as you can see, I am venturing into the vegetarian chapter of the book a little bit. This should be interesting. My oldest daughter looked at those giant portabella mushrooms and timidly, wincingly asked what they were for. Needless to say she’s not that excited to try ’em out. I am.
Love yourself today. Give your heart a workout, help it get strong. Drink water. Eat protein. Eat whole grains. Don’t diet. Don’t skip meals. Don’t give up on you.
“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending. ” – Maria Robinson