Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Homemade Pizza

One of life's treats is pizza. We probably have pizza once a week in our house. Yes, I know, it's not the healthiest but it sure is tasty. I have tried many different pizza dough recipes and I think I've found a winner. This one comes from a blog called Annie's Eats and it's super easy to make. I have also tried a number of pizza sauce recipes as well as many store bought varieties. Last night I made the sauce using tomatoes from my mother-in-laws garden and it tasted wonderful. I think when I have the energy, it would be a good idea to make a ton and put them in jars for the months to come. Not this year though. It had a wonderful fresh taste you won't be able to get from any store bought pizza sauce. One last thought on homemade pizza-don't be tempted to buy the pre-shredded mozzarella. Sure it's a whole lot easier and it's one less thing you have to wash but it doesn't melt as well. Buy it in the cube and shred it yourself, you'll be happy you did.  Try out these recipes and let me know what you think.

Pizza dough ready to be cut in half and rolled out.
Marston "helping"

Basic Pizza Dough
Yield: enough dough for 2 medium pizzas or 4 calzones
½ cup warm water
2¼ tsp. instant yeast
4 cups (22 oz.) bread flour, plus more for dusting
1½ tsp. salt
1¼ cup water, at room temperature
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Measure the warm water into a 2-cup liquid measuring cup.  Sprinkle the yeast over the top.  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the bread flour and salt, mixing briefly to blend.  Measure the room temperature water into the measuring cup with the yeast-water mixture.  With the mixer on low speed, pour in the yeast-water mixture as well as the olive oil.  Mix until a cohesive dough is formed.  Switch to the dough hook.  Knead on low speed until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.  Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, turning once to coat.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size, 1½-2 hours.
Press down the dough to deflate it.  Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface.  Divide the dough into two equal pieces.  Form each piece of dough into a smooth, round ball.  (If freezing the dough, wrap in plastic wrap and freeze at this point.)  Cover with a damp cloth.  Let the dough relax for at least 10 minutes but no longer than 30 minutes.
To bake, preheat the oven and pizza stone to 500˚ F for at least 30 minutes.  Transfer the dough to your shaping surface, lightly sprinkled with cornmeal.  Shape the dough with lightly floured hands.  Brush the outer edge lightly with olive oil.  Top as desired.  Bake until the crust is golden brown, and cheese is bubbling, 8-12 minutes.

Abbi's Pizza Sauce
1 TBSP Olive Oil
3 cups (or 1 big can of crushed) pureed tomatoes
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste 
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano 
1 tsp salt 
1/2 tsp garlic salt 
Heat oil in sauce pan. Add all ingredients and bring to a boil. Turn down heat and simmer for at least 30 minutes. 

Friday, August 6, 2010

Adventures in Idaho

Our little family at Masa Falls, a beautiful and surprisingly huge water fall outside of Rexburg. 
We got to drive out to Rexburg to help Erik (Dan's brother) get settled at BYU-Idaho. We love it there. It's been 3 years since we've lived there and it was so fun to see all the new things in the town. We spent a couple of days there then Daniel drove home with his parents and Marston and I drove down to Preston to visit my family.  I love my parent's ranch in the summer. It's so beautiful. Sounds of birds, chickens, dogs, flies, cows, and horses and the smell of fresh cow manure and wood smoke make the sweetness of the ranch. We got to spend 2 and a half weeks there. Daniel flew back for about a week. We went on long drives in the mountains, went swimming, chased chickens, went to the Preston Night Rodeo and all the festivities that came with that, and ate lots and lots of ice cream from Big J's. I grew up doing that same things with my grandparents and I hope my children will have wonderful memories of Idaho like I have.

Bear Lake in the nude. 
My parents at Bear Lake.

We had some troubles with skunks this summer. My dad caught and released (somewhere in the mountains) 4 of them. 3 babies and 1 big mama. 
This calf was born that morning. 
My uncle owns a big dairy farm. 
Tuckered out. 
Dairy farm in Preston, Idaho.

Zana had her 10th birthday out at the ranch. We all went to Aggies in Logan and got a sink filled with ice cream. Jonas and Marston had the good idea of "eating" it with a straw.
Daniel and Marston ready for the Preston Night Rodeo. My two cowboys.
Marston, Erik and Daniel at the rodeo. Marston loved it. He cheered, clapped and gazed at all the excitement.