Saturday, April 04, 2009

Homemade Pizza Recipe

Several of my friends have asked for my pizza recipe. I must be honest and tell you that the crust recipe is not originally mine - it is from a collection of family favorites that my mother in law gave me when Joel and I were engaged. The sauce recipe is one that I've tinkered with for a few years. If you try it, let me know what you think!

Pizza Crust: I've made this using the dough cycle on my bread machine, but now use the dough hook on my kitchen aid. You could always knead it by hand, but I'm too lazy!

1 1/3 Cups hot water
2 1/4 teaspoons of yeast (equivalent of 1 package, but I buy my yeast in bulk)
4-5 Cups flour
2 tablepoons of oil (I use Olive oil, and sometimes add a tad extra)
2 tablespoons of honey (do the olive oil first, then use the same spoon for the honey and it will all come out of the spoon very easily!)
A dash of salt.

Dissolve the yeast in the water in a large bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and knead until smooth and elastic. You may need more water or flour depending on the humidity levels in your home. Add more water or flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, as needed.

Let dough rise for about 1 hour or until doubled in size. Punch down and divide, the roll out for crust. This recipe makes enough dough for 2 large pizzas.

Sauce: I'm giving approximations because I rarely measure when I cook (unless specifics are needed, like the dough recipe). You may need to adjust for your own personal preferences.

1 Can (15 oz) tomato sauce
Italian spices
Fresh garlic (I use a garlic press)
Olive Oil

Crush 2 cloves of garlic, mix with some italian spices and about a tablespoon of oregano. Heat in a sauce pan with a couple tablespoons of olive oil, 1/8 cup of water and about 1/3 cup of sugar (s0metimes a little more...Joel likes it sweet). Once hot and bubbly, stir in tomato sauce. Heat thoroughly. I do this all in one sauce pan (I hate using too many things to accomplish such a small task.)


Friday, April 03, 2009

Waiting on Wheels

I never realized how much I really appreciated my minivan. Seriously! We bought the van just before Josiah was born, nearly 4 years ago. In case you haven't heard what happened to our vehicles......
In February, Joel's car was hit by a drunk driver. Thankfully, no one was hurt (the car was parked in front of our house). Two days later we were able to pay off our van with our income tax return. We took the check from the insurance company and set it aside, looking for a good deal on a commuter car for Joel. The day they towed the car away was a sad one. That was the car I bought when Joel and I were engaged!

In early March, Joel and I drove to the Wilds for the Youth Worker's Conference (an amazing, wonderful week!!!). We arrived home on Saturday and then the next Tuesday night I drove to Cleveland. My sister in law, Angel, was going in for a mom was I took the boys to see the family. Besides, I wanted to meet my new nephew, Thiago!

I left my house at 9:00 Tuesday night and drove straight to Cleveland. It's almost exactly 3 hours from my front door to my brother's house. The kids were in their PJ's and slept most of the way. When I arrived in Cleveland, I realized that I had forgotten the kids' shoes at home!! Mom and I figured that we'd just stop at Target for crocs on our way to the need to spend a fortune on shoes for a quick trip, right?

So, Wednesday morning we get up and get ready to head to the hospital. Once Jim called, we got the kids' coats on and I went out to move the van from the street to the driveway since my kids were shoeless. There was one problem...the van didn't want to move. Oh, it started fine and all and went in reverse just like always. After waiting about 25 seconds, it finally shifted into drive and I pulled into the driveway. That's when I noticed that there was transmission fluid all over the place (the van had been in the driveway all nice...Jim moved it when the left that morning for the hospital.) Hmmmm......

So, I called my Dad and then headed to the gas station for a quart of transmission fluid while my Mom called my grandpa. Grandpa recommended my Uncle Vernon (he's a mechanic) so we called him. I ended up driving the van to Drellishaks Auto Car where they discovered that part of the transmission had crashed throught the differential and caused the leak. Cost of repair: $2000. Ugh. On top of that, my Uncle discovered another issue that would cost about $1000 to fix. The van wasn't worth that much!! Now what? I'm stranded in Cleveland, my kids have no shoes, and my van is done forever. My Grandpa showed up and I unloaded my van into his trunk...3 car seats, a host of toys and cds....and then I sold the van for $100 to the man from the local transmission shop.

Since that moment, we've not had a vehicle. A lady from our church was very kind and has let us borrow one of her vehicles while we look. Amazingly, God has provided money for us to purchase a van with cash...and hopefully we'll have that van this weekend. Waiting has been difficult! I really liked the ease of getting three kids in and out of a van. I didn't like having to make a big financial decision with Joel 200 miles away (though he was right in the mix of things thanks to cell phones!!)....but I had no choice. For what it's worth, I didn't cry about it all until I was safely home, had the kids tucked in bed and then thought about it all.

Then I laughed. It was only a vehicle. There are certainly worse things, more stressful and difficult things than losing 2 vehicles in one month!