Tuesday, April 22, 2014

DIY Frozen Pizza

My husband, for one reason or another, loves frozen pizzas. And not even fancy Freschetta or DiGorno pizzas, but like the crap, made-from-cardboard, less-than-a-dollar ones. They are made from about a million ingredients and have basically zero nutritional value. (I was  curious and actually counted- it had a total of 119 ingredients) Anything that has over 100 ingredients probably isn't the most natural, so I decided to just make my own. And in addition to the fact that my own frozen pizzas had a much smaller list of ingredients and was more wholesome, they were also half the price of the 'el crapo' pizzas that my hubby loves.
(this is totally a thin crust lovers pizza. If you don't like thin crust, you probalby won't love this recipe.)

*4 cups flour (wheat/white- doesn't matter)
*1 Tb salt
*2 tsp dried oregano
*1/2 tsp black pepper
*1/2 Tb garlic powder
*1/2 Tb onion powder
*4 eggs
*1 1/3 cup milk

*2 small cans of tomato sauce
*1 Tb garlic powder
*1 Tb onion salt
*1 Tb oregano
*1 Tb dried basil

*as you like! Cheese/pepperoni/peppers/onions/olives/tomatoes/etc.
Rolled out on the tray 

12 gallon baggies

Step 1
preheat oven to 350 
Mix dry ingredients (add or take out spices as you prefer), then mix in the eggs and milk. The dough should be well mixed and slightly sticky (too dry and you will have some gross crust). If you find it dry, add milk as necessary to moisten up the crust.

Step 2
Using a measuring cup, portion out the dough into 1/2 cup chunks of dough. Roll each 1/2 cup portion of dough to a little less than 1/4 of an inch, and prick the crust all over with a fork.

Bubbles, but not browned
Step 3
Lightly grease cookie sheets and put two crusts on each tray and bake for 8-10 minutes until the crust bubbles but hasn't browned at all.

Step 4
Mix the sauce together (again, adding or omitting spices as you prefer). Spread the sauce evenly over the entire pizza crust, all the way to the edge. Sprinkle your non-cheese toppings on the pizza, THEN the cheese on top of it.

Sauce to the edge!
Step 5
Throw the whole tray right into the freezer and wait for the pizza to freeze entirely (3-4 hours). Once the pizzas have frozen through, take them out and, using a spatula, remove the pizzas from the tray and place them individually into gallon size baggies. Now you can put them right back into the freezer and stack them up in a corner.
Check out how cleverly I stacked
multiple trays of pizzas in my freezer!
It was a stacking adventure- that's
6 pizzas right there

Step 6
Now what?! Just bake the pizzas for an additional 10 minutes or until the pizza crusts are lightly browned.

I love this, because by doing one afternoon of mixing and baking, I can have several weeks of snacks that I don't feel guilty about giving my hubby. It's cheaper than crap pizzas and definitely more wholesome.
Pizza stack!

Monday, February 17, 2014

10 Reasons Muffin Tins Rock

Now, we all love ourselves a good muffin, right? It is, afterall, the only time you can refer to a muffin top with a smile, not a frown, on your face. BUT! Our wonderful friend the muffin tin is so much more than just a muffin-baker. Here are nine other, non-muffin ways to use that old pan in your pantry.

1. They work wonderfully when making a crumbly pastry, like a butter muffin, which easily crumbles when formed onto a tray.

2. They are great for starting plants in your home. I recently did my entire herb garden, all started in various muffin cups. They are especially great if you want to plant just a few of each type of plant so that they are eassily distinguishable.

3. Bake, don't fry, your meatballs. They keep their shape really well (mini muffin tin) and you pick them up and leave LOTS of grease behind.

4. (Not Pictured) Eggs IN Ham. You use a piece of thin sliced ham as a 'muffin cup', then crack one egg into each cup. Bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes and you have a beautiful all-in-one breakfast cup- see more at Pollyanna Reinvents.

5. Of course, smack dab in the middle, come blueberry muffins! And if you want to take the effort to bake them from scratch, may as well use the BEST recipe and make the BEST muffins ever.

6. Fancy Jello desserts! Use the tin to tip your cups while the gelatin sets for surprisingly attractive parfaits! Thanks William Recipes for a fun idea!

7. Mini pie shells. You can use pie crust or even just a ball of cookie dough, smashed down in the center, to make your own mini pie shells.

8. Paint projects! So perfect when you have more than one kiddo painting at the table- it helps to divide up (and keep divided!) your paints.

9. Condiment holder at a barbeque. Everything you need for your burger in one easy, display-worthy stop.

10. And, to finish out.... Use your muffin tin for big, fat cinnamon rolls! Cut them extra thick and place into your tin to bake. Baking times are slightly shorter in the muffin tin and if you are lucky... your cinnamon roll will have a muffin top of its own.

There you have it. Ten reasons to justify you having multiple muffin tins. I know I do!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Avocado Salsa Salad- Fresh AND Refreshing

I love avocado season, when the prices drop from 1.09 and up to.... 3 or 4 for 1.00! I always buy a dozen or so and go on kind of an avocado binge- I make guacamole, put it in my DIY Sushi- and, perhaps most frequently, this avocado salsa salad. I call it a salsa salad, because I eat it as both. It is mild enough that it can be eaten by the bowlful as a mid-day snack but is also great with tortilla chips or on a grilled tortilla. Bonus? Perfectly vegan.

*4 cups tomatoes, diced
*2 cups onions, diced (Walla Walla or Vidaila are best because they are sweet and mild)
*1/2 bunch cilantro, diced
*7 medium avocados
*juice of 3 limes
*1 Tb garlic salt
*1/2 Tb pepper
*1/2 Tb onion salt

All but the avocado...
Step 1
Mix together everything EXCEPT the avocados into a large bowl.

Step 2
Half the avocados, remove the pit (of course) and cut it horizontally and vertically (see the pic). Run your finger between the flesh of the avocado and the skin in order to remove it directly into the bowl. Once all of the avocados have been added, mix them in very gently, in a folding motion, with a wooden spoon.

Step 3
Enjoy! It's just a perfect balance of mixed veggies and seasoning.