Both of my parents were self employed when I was growing up. I am pretty sure every child labor law was broke because I started working for them as soon as I started asking for new toys. When I was in high school and finally old enough to start working my first job was at a pizza place. I have been a little picky about how pizza should taste since then. One thing I have learned over the years is almost every pizza dough recipe is basically the same. It is also super easy to make. A few tips, make sure you knead the dough long enough. If when you roll it out and it wants to shrink back then it was not kneaded long enough. Once it is rolled out use a fork to puncture holes throughout it. This will eliminate those big air bubbles. And even though it is really easy to make, it can be very messy, especially if kids are helping. This recipe makes enough dough for several pizzas. If you are only having one the rest can be put in the freezer for another night.
2 cups warm water
1 package of yeast (this equals about 1 tablespoon)
1/2 tbs salt
5 cups flour (I like to use half all purpose and 1/2 Llano Seco spelt flour)
1. In a large bowl mix the water with the yeast and let it sit for about 5 minutes.
2. Add in 2 1/2 cups of the flour to the water and yeast mixture. Mix together for several minutes. If you have a Kitchen Aid you can use a dough hook to make it easier.
3. Now add the remaining flour and salt. Sprinkle a little flour onto a surface place the dough on it and start kneading until it is smooth.
4. Form the dough into a ball and place back into a bowl. Cover the top with a damp kitchen towel and let sit for 20 minutes or until it rises.
5. Splt dough into 2 - 3 balls, depending on the size of the pizza you are making. Roll out on a floured surface and use whichever toppings you desire. Brush olive oil around the edges and bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes.
I do not go to coffee shops very often. I drink my coffee black and other than a chai tea as a treat once in awhile I am not a big fan of lattes or mochas. When my mom came to visit over the summer she walked in the door with this pink Starbucks drink. I took a sip and it was not love at first taste. To be honest, I really did not know if I liked it or not. So I took another sip and then I was hooked. It was not over the top sweet and had such a refreshing crisp flavor. I turned to the first place I could think of, Pinterest, and started to look for copycat recipes. To my surprise they were all different. Extremely different. I decided to try on my own and see what I came up with. I have not tried side by side but I think what I came up with is pretty darn close.
4 hibiscus tea bags
4 green tea bags
7 cups water
1 cup sugar
2 cups very cold water
1 cup berries (I used fresh blackberries but any combo fresh or frozen will work)
1.) In a pot on the stove boil 6 cups of water and add the tea bags. Remove from heat. Let the tea steep for about 30 minutes. I like to add some of the berries to the tea as it steeps.
2.) In another pot boil 1 cup of water and then add the 1 cup of sugar. Stir until the sugar has completely dissolved. Remove from heat.
3.) Remove the tea bags and pour into pitcher. Add the sugar water and mix together. Add the rest of the berries into the tea. Add the ice cold water and mix together then store in the fridge.
I cannot think of a single person that does not love mac and cheese. I don't mean the yellow powder in a packet type of macaroni and cheese either. Real mac and cheese is very easy to make and it does not take much more effort to take it up a level. My step son thinks that butternut squash mac and cheese is the best dinner ever and I usually need to make a larger batch when he is here. The best thing about this dish is that everyone can have it. Jake has to have meat with every dinner so I add in bacon. If you are a vegetarian you can leave out the bacon. If you are vegan, guess what, you do not even need to add the cheese and it still has that mac and cheese taste.
Pasta (Your choice, we like penne but you can go traditional macaroni)
1 medium butternut squash
bacon cut into pieces (we LOVE Llano Seco bacon)
2 tbs butter
1/2 tbs flour
2 cups of milk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
panic bread crumbs (you can use regular as well)
1.) Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice squash in half, drizzle olive oil on it and roast in oven. One helpful tip is to place whole squash in microwave first for about 5 minutes to make it softer and roast quicker.
2.) while squash is in the oven cook your bacon and pasta.When completed place bacon on paper towels to drain grease.
3.) Remove squash from oven. Melt butter in a saucepan. Add garlic and onion and sauté for several minutes. Add the 1/2 tbs of flour and mix with butter. Traditionally you would use equal parts butter and flour but the squash is so thick it will help thicken the sauce as well. Add the milk and whisk into the rue. Make sure the milk does not come to a hard boil and burn it. Keep it at a low boil for a couple minutes to thicken up.
4.) Scoop out the squash and place into a blender. Add the milk mixture. Blend together and return to saucepan. Heat it up again and then add both cheeses stirring until it is melted.
5.) Mix the pasta, cheese sauce and bacon together. Save a little bacon to sprinkle over the top. Pour into the casserole dish. Sprinkle bread crumbs over the top and the remaining bacon and place in the oven for 15 minutes just to get it nice and crispy on the top.