Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Pizza Dough

It's not always convenient to make your own pizza dough - but this is pretty darn easy!  I love making our own and this recipe is so yummy!  It's easy to change up the ingredients just a bit too and make it just the way you want.  Here's the recipe:

Pizza Dough
2+ cups flour (I usually use 1 1/2 cups white flour and 1/2 cup whole wheat)
1 cup very warm water
1 pkg. (1 TBS) yeast
2 TBS olive oil
3/4 tsp. salt
1 TBS sugar
1 TBS brown sugar

Combine 2 cups flour, yeast, salt and sugars.  Stir water and olive oil into dry ingredients.  Add enough flour to make a soft dough.  Knead until smooth and elastic.  Cover and let rest on counter for 10 minutes.  (This is the perfect time to slice and chop all those yummy toppings you'll be using!)  Spray pizza pan with nonstick cooking spray and sprinkle with  cornmeal - shake off any excess.
This is what it looks like with the cornmeal sprinkled on - keeps the pizza from sticking to the pan.

Roll and stretch dough to fit pans.
 Top with sauce and toppings and bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes.  If you are feeling extra industrious - here's an easy recipe for your own pizza sauce:

Pizza Sauce
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
1 6 oz can tomato paste
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. oregeno
1 clove garlic, smashed or minced
Mix all ingredients together.  May add a little water if needed to get the consistency that you like.  You can also add a little Parmesan cheese to the sauce.  This makes enough for 2 pizzas.

Doesn't that look yummy?   It was!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Mini Chocolate Cheesecake Pies!

Since it's just my husband and I at home - and we are both trying to lose a little weight (ok, a lot of weight!) - but since we still enjoy a treat now and then, it doesn't make a lot of sense to make a full Chocolate Cheesecake Pie and have all those extra pieces sitting around screaming: "Eat Me!"  So - I cut the recipe in half and used my cute little ramekins to make individual servings.  I made these for Father's Day and we had a couple of guests join us - so it was perfect!  An individual 'pie' for each of us!  

Crumb Crust
3/4 cup crushed graham crackers
2 tablespoons sugar
1/8 cup butter or margarine, melted
Combine all ingredients until crumbly.  
I divided the mixture between the 4 ramekins and used a measuring cup to mold it in the dish.


Chocolate Cheesecake Pie
4 oz. cream cheese - softened
1/8 c. butter - softened
little less than 1/4 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 - 1 cup milk chocolate chips - melted
4 oz (1/2 carton) whipped topping - thawed

In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter, sugar and vanilla until smooth.  Add the melted chocolate and mix well.  Fold in the whipped topping.  Spoon into crust.  Cover and chill until serving.  May garnish with shaved chocolate or drizzle with chocolate or raspberry sauce.

Isn't that just the cutest thing ever?!

Double the recipe for a full pie.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Caught in the act.....

We have struggled with our garden this year.  First to get it in and second to keep it going.  We had to wait to get it tilled because we don't have our own tiller, then we were gone for two weeks so we could love on a new grandbaby!

Rabbits are wonderful in the wild - and we enjoyed them the first year we were in Missouri.  But rabbits make a mess of your yard - the brown patch to the right is a nest.  The pull out the grass, dig a hole and have their babies.  We have three that I know of in our yard right now.

Secondly, they love gardens.  I have sympathy for Mr. McGregor and his fight with Peter Cottontail!  

 This bunny has been 'caught in the act' several times enjoying our beans.  They were coming up so well even though we had a late start in getting them put in.  More than once, I'm sure our neighbors giggled as either Don or I would come running from the house to the garden to scare them away.  The little ones would lay up next to the tomato plants where it was cool and damp and mom and dad would munch on the beans.  I was told to put dried blood on the row with the beans (who knew you could purchase dried blood?), but we were too late.  I even created a mixture of hot stuff:  hot sauce, chili peppers etc. that I steeped in some water and sprayed 
directly on the plants. Seems our bunnies must 'like it hot'!

So - this is what is left of our beans.  This picture was taken before those last two leaves were enjoyed.  It's been two weeks - the secondary leaf buds are just starting to appear on the plants, so I don't know if we'll get beans or not this season.  

Seems like bunnies also enjoy cantaloupe plants and cilantro and peas.  There are also NO peas left in our garden - although they didn't grow well from the beginning.  So - it looks like our garden this year may consist of tomatoes and one cantaloupe if it survives.  


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Testimony Bookmark

As promised, I'm sharing the bookmark that we made for the youth leaders at girls camp on Monday evening.  We used a talk on Testimony by Cecil O. Samuelson in the April 2011 General Conference.  You can find it here.  We took the 10 things he said we needed for a testimony and likened them to things in our own lives - and hopefully things the girls can relate to in theirs.  You can see what those are by looking at the bookmark.  You are welcome to use these - they were created by Lauren Arendt.  If you can't get it to download from here - contact me and I will email them to you - they are ready to print!

The theme for camp is:  Hang on!  And we thought one of the most important things the youth need to hang on to is their testimony - or the testimonies of others if they need to.  We then thought that many of these youth leaders will be on their way to college in the fall or next year - and likened the elements of strengthening a testimony to things they might take with them to school.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Testimony and Girl's Camp

It's girls camp this week.  I don't have daughters going this year - but for a LOT of years - I've been to camp in one capacity or another.  I just did some quick math - the first year I went to camp as an adult, our oldest daughter was 4 or 5.  She's now 27 going on 28!   That's a lot of time at girl's camp and I do love it though and am grateful for the opportunity to rub shoulders with the amazing youth of the church!  They are so much stronger in the gospel than I was at their age.

Anyway - the Stake RS presidency was invited to be at camp on Monday evening to make a presentation to the youth leaders who will be there and to provide breakfast for them on Tuesday morning.  We are each making 4 dozen muffins - I thought today was a good time to get that out of the way.  Our presentation is on Testimony.  Using a talk from General Conference a few years back, we are taking the steps to having a strong testimony and likening them to things they might put in their suitcases as they pack to head off to college, as many of them will be doing this year or next.  As we hold the suitcase with all of the things that help create a strong testimony - we will encourage them to 'Hold On To Your Testimony'.    After the presentation I'll try to put a copy up of the bookmarks that our President made for them to help them remember and the steps and likening that we used.

As a youth, I always looked forward to girls camp - and I have to say that the experiences I had at girls camp helped to strengthen my tender testimony.  I grew up in a home where I was the only active member, so the gospel wasn't a part of my everyday life.  Being at girls camp, seeing the example of our amazing leaders and having testimony building experiences helped me be who I am today.  I'll always be grateful for those experiences.  I hope my daughters had similar testimony building experiences at girls camp. 

Happy camping all!