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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Homemade Pizza

As most of my readers know, I am the mom of seven amazing children.  I will admit that I haven't always been the naturally homemade mom you see today.   16 1/2 years ago I was a macaroni and cheese and chicken nugget kind of mom!  I'm not saying that's horrible,  I'm just saying deep down I always wanted to feed my kids healthy foods without being dependent on the box aisle or freezer section at the grocery store.  Add six more children and a decade (plus) of experience and I have slowly become the kind of 'from scratch mama' I hoped to become!  Tonight I was making homemade pizza with the kids and I overheard my five-year-old ask my seven-year-old why we couldn't just order pizza.  He told her that everything homemade is always better than anything store bought.  I did a little jig in my brain :). 

As soon as they noticed I was kneading dough, the twins came over to the kitchen island yelling "zi-za!!!!" After making two homemade pizzas I had the third lump of dough left, so I let the 2 year old twins make their own pizza.  They beat the heck out of that was as flat as it could get!  There was flour all over the kitchen, sauce all over the counter, and smiles everywhere I could see. 

" Yes," I thought, "this is the kind of mom I want to be."Enjoy!

Homemade pizza dough (makes 4 large so half it if you don't need to feed an army!) 

6 cups warm water
1 stick butter,melted
2 tbsp yeast

1/2 tsp salt
10-12 cups flour
2 tsp olive oil

Melt butter and add warm water into a bowl.  Sprinkle in yeast and stir.  Let sit until dissolved and bubbly, about 5 minutes.  Dump in the salt, add flour several cups at a time, stir well.  When the dough is starting to stick together dump a cup of the flour onto a clean counter or surface.  Knead the dough into a smooth ball adding flour a Tbsp at a time if too sticky.  Split into 4 equal sized lumps.  Let rest 10 minutes.  

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Put each lump of dough onto pizza pan and press flat with your hands (or let your kids go to town :)  Top with pizza sauce, your favorite toppings and cheese.  Bake for 15-20 minutes.  

Now, before you discount this blog as too much work and 'that family is so perfect'.....I'm adding this final picture of my son who got into the lipstick in my purse while I was blogging this post.  Yeah, I'm that kind of mom :)


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Paleo Italian 3 Squash Casserole

I have been filling my freezer with as many healthy and quick meals as I can.  The other night I was tempted to eat the kids spaghetti noodles, but was able to resist by pulling out a two serving bag of chicken chili instead!  Worked like a charm.  This morning I got up and started making the kids breakfast.  I decided if I was going to be stuck at the stove cooking anyway, I should whip out a freezer meal too.  I love multitasking.  The result of my 'impromptu' recipe was wonderful.  I put 2 small casseroles In the fridge and ate a plate of the leftovers for breakfast too!

Here's what I did:

Brown 1/2 lb. Italian sausage
Chop one onion, small eggplant, yellow squash, zucchini and slice 1/2 cup cabbage.  Add to skillet and sauté.  Add 2-3 cups spaghetti sauce (I use marinara, because it is all I can find without added sugar and I love the taste).  Add 1-2 cups of water and cover.  Simmer for 20 minutes.  

Prepare your pans for the freezer.  I use 2 bread loaf pans.  They are perfect for two one serving meals.  Take aluminum foil and line the pans, with extra foil peaking out to cover the top when you close it.  Cross-cross the foil.  

Spoon the casserole mixture into the pans.  Let cool.  

Top with mozzarella cheese.  Cover with foil tabs and freeze in your freezer.  

After they are frozen, remove from freezer, and loaf pans.  Slip each foil packet casserole into a freezer storage bag and be sure to label it so you won't be playing a mystery meal game a few weeks from now!  Put back into the freezer.

When you are ready to eat it, remove from freezer, pop back into the loaf pan you made your mold from, and bake at 375 until bubbly.  Cook times will vary depending on much you fill your pan and if you cook from frozen or thawed.  Enjoy, you are planning ahead for your success!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Paleo Eggplant Pizza

One of ideas food gurus suggest to instill healthy eating habits in your kids is to let them pick our a few 'exotic' new foods to try each week while you're at the store.  Today's trip to Woodman's resulted in imitation cherry chocolate chips from my teenager and eggplant and Chinese cabbage from my 5 yr old.  I did a quick search on recipes for the eggplant and decided on mini eggplant pizzas. the 5 year old  helped me slice them, bake them, top them and then she tried it!   

Bottom line?  She was interested, involved and adventurous???? And I have an entire plate of eggplant Parmesan pizzas to eat tonight, but it's progress right????  Look at the Mother's Day Card in her hand.  It says in her handwriting, "thank you mommy for taking good care of me!"  I'll keep trying. ;)

Here's what we did:

Slice eggplant into 1/4 inch slices.  Lightly coat with olive oil.  Bake at 350 for 5 minutes.  Remove from oven, top each slice with sauce (I used marinara) and mozzarella.  Sprinkle on Parmesan cheese and bake or broil until cheese is toasted and bubbly.  Serve warm.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Wow! The Best Chocolate Chip Paleo Cookie, EVER!

One of the best ways I've found of staying on the path of sugar free - wheat free is finding ways to recreate your favorite foods Paleo style. This cookie is so very very good, I can't even do it justice in a description! I have made my friend Michele's recipe from a few times now and it's perfect as is, but as I do with every recipe, I also add to it and mix it up a bit, too. I will share both recipes and promise you no matter which one you try, you will love it!

Michele's Original Heavenly Paleo Cookie:

1 cup natural almond butter
1/4 cup raw honey (Hillbunker Farm honey is the best :)
1 egg
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup chocolate chops or nibs

Mix all the ingredients together, then fold in the chocolate chips. Drop on baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let stand 10 more minutes on the baking sheet to set. Enjoy!

Shelli's 'I have trouble following directions' peanut and almond butter cookies:

1 cup natural almond butter
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
1/4 cup raw honey (Hillbunker Wild Honey of course :)
1/4 cup milled flax seed
2 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup chocolate chips

Follow Michele's directions adding the extra ingredients and enjoy!