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Homemade pizza finally a success!

November 13th, 2013 at 03:54 am

So pizza is one of the items I was still eating out. I had previously had "homemade" pizza twice in my life (I was a kid) and, as you can guess by my remembering them so clearly, they were awful. I think both had been made with a jiffy mix pizza crust and it didn't have any flavor and was not very pizza like. I am not particularly impressed with premade crusts either.

Recently, I decided to try making homemade pizza. DH grabbed a no rise recipe and we did a test run over a long weekend. 1st pizza was the too thick and dense crust but good flavor so the 2nd one we thinned the crust down and I was okay with that.

So we just did the pizza again after work but this time did it with more toppings and in personal pans. Because the pizzas were smaller we cut the cook time. Oh my goodness, they turned out perfectly. DH had figured the crust out, we made sure to keep the crust thin and we loaded up on good toppings. Way better than the normal carry out restaurants. May never order take out pizza again.

The fresh mozzarella was the only reason we made it to round 3 of pizza making because it was so fabulous it was worth the work to get the crust to play nice so we could eat more of it.

We even have pizza dough left so we are putting it in the fridge to rise for 24 hours for tomorrow's pizza.

Despite using high quality ingredients, we will still be saving money over take out pizza.

Side benefits to being lazy

January 18th, 2013 at 02:34 pm

Since we have stopped eating out as much, we now have to go home and cook after work. But, we are lazy. So one of our staple meals has become a french baguette (take and bake loaves are wonderful)and cut up veggies. The baguette has either brie smeared on on it or we dip it in oil and balsamic vinegar and the veggies are whatever is in the house dipped in ranch. Our meal prep is the time to heat the oven plus the 10 min bake time for the bread so about 15 minutes. We eat this 2-3 times per week. We have been doing this for months now. Another thing we do is cut up veggies as a side dish to a main entree (we just cooked up hamburgers last night and had cut up raw veggies because I was too lazy to make a side dish).

The other day, DH and I looked around and realized we had been under constant exposure from our coworkers to a variety of illnesses and neither of us has caught anything. At this point, both of us should have caught something. In fact, December is my usual bad month because that is when the constant exposure usually wears me down. Given that work has been unusually stressful this year, you would think I would have been sick a couple of times. The only thing that has changed for the better is the constant healthy eating.

Because veggies are easy to prep and last forever, our grocery bill has dropped as a consequence as well (despite buying brie). So healthier and saving money. Go figure.

Cooking a Feast

June 16th, 2008 at 06:49 pm

We were cooking fools this weekend. Our first meal included Saffron Rice, Tabbouleh (think parsley salad), Pita Chips (we had to make the pitas first since we didn't have any made up in the freezer), and Baba Ganoush (eggplant based dip).

Our second meal included homemade thousand island dressing, a corned beef roast and the rye bread for the sandwiches was store bought (we don't use enough to justify buying the flour).

Turned out excellent despite the fact that the Saffron Rice was a first time try and so was the thousand island dressing.

The funny thing is we only cooked on Sunday. Saturday we were pretty lazy and only managed to go grocery shopping.

The good news is that we will have the first meal for a couple of lunches and have the second meal for supper tonight so won't have to worry about food today. Now I just have to plan tomorrow's supper in advance so I am not tempted to eat out...

Simple recipe for Non cooks -Stuffed Acorn Squash

May 30th, 2008 at 03:15 pm

Figure I would put this out for people who consider themselves very untalented in tke kitchen. It's good, very easy and is a great take to work lunch. Don't let the list of steps intimidate you. Once you do it once, you usually don't need the recipe thereafter.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 C).

Take 1 acorn squash, cut it in half from top to bottom and remove the seeds.

Take a fork and poke the inside flesh a couple of times to allow the ingredients to seep in.

Put a pat of butter (about 1-2 tablespoons) into the bottom of each half.

Sprinkle a tablespoon of brown sugar in each half.

In a bowl mix up about a 2 cups of bread stuffing mix with enough chicken broth to get the mixture moist (~1 1/2 cups).

Stuff the acorn squash halves with the stuffing.

Wrap with aluminum foil and bake for 60 minutes or until the squash is tender.

Pull off aluminum foil and bake for 5 more minutes to crisp the stuffing a little.

(If you pull it out too early, you will be able to see on the sides that the orange part is two different colors, you want the darker orange to go all the way to the edge of the green rind.)

Even my husband who thinks squash is a dirty word will eat this. I do cheat though and use Stove Top instead of making my own stuffing.

Cooking from Scratch

May 29th, 2008 at 05:06 pm

It occurs to me that I have only really mentioned this in passing and mostly on the forums so I made a category for it and will add some of my favorite recipes here for people interested.

One of the things I am doing to save money and to eat healthier is learning to cook from scratch. I still have a few items I haven't fully replaced and the big category is dressings. In fact, the only dressing I have successfully replaced is Catalina dressing and I only use it for taco salad.

I think this weekend I will explore making yogurt based salad dressings. I have seen a couple of recipes that look delicious and it should be fun experimenting.

Basically, I need a good italian, a good thousand island, a good creamy french and a ranch type dressing so I can work on 3 of the 4. Eventually I should learn to do a substitute mayo and whipped salad dressing but that can wait until I am ready to do potato salad.

So if I do find some good ones, I will probably do it as one post on salad dressings.