Thursday, June 30, 2011

Greek Pizza

If you like your veggies and well, feta cheese,then you will love this pizza. My hubby declared it the best Pizza he ever had.  I eat up comments like that!  It's taken me a while to perfect my Pizza crust.  I know how to get the perfect crust everytime...finally.  I like my crust not to thin, crispy on the bottom but still soft when you bite into it.  Feel free to use your own recipe or give mine a try.  I use my kitchen aid for the whole process, but you can easily do it by hand.  Just mix in enough flour by hand to make kneading easier and then keep adding flour as you need to acheive desired consistency.

For the Crust:
1 Cup of warm water (110-115 degrees)
1 Packet of yeast
2 teaspoons of olive oil
1 tsp of salt
About 3 1/2 cups of flour

Combine water and yeast until foamy.  Next add the olive oil and salt along with 2 1/2 cups of flour.  Stir for about 1 minute until combined.  Keep adding flour until you have pliable dough...not to sticky and not to stiff.  Grease a bowl (I keep mine right in the kitchen-aid bowl) and turn dough once to coat.  Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled.

Once your dough has doubled, preheat oven to 450.

Punch down the dough and let rest for just a minute or two.  For this pizza I use a square pan (15x10).  I like to spray my pan with just a bit of cooking spray and then sprinkle on some corn meal.  Using your HANDS spread the dough out...this should be easy since the dough is so pliable.  Now it's time to assemble the toppings.

You will need:
Alfredo sauce
Fresh parm.cheese
Fresh tomatoes, thinly sliced
Green Pepper
Black olives
Spinach (fresh or frozen that had been thawed and drained
Garlic salt

The reason there are no exact measurements is because you really can use as much or little as you want.  Start by spreading some Alfredo sauce over the crust. Use as much or little as you want...keep in mind you don't want soggy crust.  I used a thin layer for mine.  Sprinkle some parm. cheese over the alfredo.
After you've added the parm., throw some spinach on. Spread a single layer of tomatoes over the entire pizza.  Set aside for just a moment.  Now throw some onions, green pepper and olives in a pan with olive oil.  Over high heat saute unil crisp tender.  I like to let mine sit a few minutes before I stir them, gives the veggies that nice "blackened" look which makes the pizza look rustic.  Once those veggies are done, throw them on top of the tomatoes.  Now sprinkle the feta over all.  Throw on a little more parm. if you like along with a sprinkle of garlic salt.  Now put the pizza in the oven on the lowest rack and cook for about 13-15 minutes.  The feta doesn't melt entirely so go more by the crust.  I sometimes take a spatula to lift up the pizza so I can check the crust to make sure it's crispy...but again...depends on your personal preference.
Remove from the oven and let sit about 5 minutes before cutting.  Dig in and don't forget to SHARE:)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

An Old Fasthioned Family!

Lately I've been thinking about this concept of an "old fashioned" family.  Does it mean that I'm walking around in dress and petty coat?  Does it mean I'm driving a car from the "fifties."  Rather It's a mindset.  Why is everyone so afraid of being labeled "old fashioned."  For some people its a dirty word.  Just because things are new and progressive doesn't automatically mean they are right.  That line of thinking is like a Pandora's box..Once you open it all kind of crazy things might come out.

For me the "Good ole' days" doesn't speak of a time when all was right in the world, but rather when things were more right with how people acted in society in general...I didn't say everyone.  A day when people still had morals, when things were clearly "right or wrong" not "morally acceptable."  So having said's the reason why I consider my family to be...."an old fashioned" family.

~We  teach our children how to act in public and at home.  My kids don't rule the house and dictate where we go. They are taught to look adults in the eye and not to mumble when they talk.  They are given clearly understood directions as to what is acceptable and what is not.  My little boy is taught to care for his sister and love here and watch out for her.

~We teach our kids to the Lord and proper care of things that we own.  That entails not ruining your toys by foolish or rough play, but also includes teaching them the value of a dollar and hard work.  If something gets broke there isn't always money to buy another's a life lesson all kids need to learn.  Take care of things when you are young and you will do the same when you are older.  Many people in the world don't have the luxury of owning things much less ruining them.  Being a good steward and being frugal go hand in hand.

~We still put on our Sunday Best.  Honestly, most people look like they just rolled out of bed when they come to church.  People can get all dolled up for all kinds of things but for some reason when it comes to church it's just too much work.

~We teach our kids that life revolves around church and not vice-versa.  You don't schedule events on church days nor do you miss church for anything other than sickness or being away (which we always try to find a good church).

~Respect for God's house...we teach our children that though we as Christians are the church, the building is the Place we meet to Worship the Lord and it's not a jungle gym.  Yes our kids have acted crazy in church, but its always dealt with and the children are lovingly reminded how "we ought to obey ourselves in the house of God."  Money and time are invested in the church and children need to respect that. In line with that we teach and train our children about proper behaviour at stores, other people's houses etc...  In a nut shell....we teach our children self-control.  There are rules that govern everything we do, so it is only logical that there are rules for how to act in various places.

~Family Meals....we do them faithfully.  Its a standing appointment unless you're sick.  We still pray and read scripture and we teach our children proper manners like "please, thank you and may I be excused."  Because of this we have been able from a very young age to take our children to  fancy restaurants without worry of them misbehaving.  They are growing up enjoying things that many children never get to enjoy because we know they will theatre, musical concerts (good music) etc...

~We all fulfill our rolls...Dad leads, Mom supports and follows (no I'm not perfect, but I know what is required of me) and our children are obedient to their parents.  Things work smoothly and we are all happy fulfilling our God-designed rolls.

~We teach our girl to be a lady (she's still learning and I might add that this doesn't just come from wearing a dress) and we are training our boy to be a man so that he can lead a family someday.  They don't follow modern media and their roll models are not girls dressed like harlots or effeminate boys.

~We live simply...we aren't overcrowded with media, possessions, hobbies (we have them) but we make an effort to keep all things in their place so we can enjoy being a family and have quality time together.  We aren't running around all week taking one kid here, one kid there and Mom and Dad someplace else.  Sometimes people just need to stay still and be thankful for what they have and realize that all the things our society says we need to be successful are only a ploy from satan.  They distract us from the heart of the matter...and that is...dealing with the matter of the heart and it's sinful condition.  Sometimes all of us as people are to "earthly minded."  Maybe we should all start looking beyond this earth into eternity.  To what really what last what is incorruptible and doth not fade away.

So what gets me started on all this...for one is some news articles I've read.  Another is how many Christian families are falling apart and have no impact whatsoever on the world around them.  Maybe this is why God has called my husband and I to ministry....because we are so troubled by what we see around us.  Because we want to be different...because we have told the Lord that we want to be set apart from him.

I Love my husband, I love my kids and I'm so thankful for them.  Were it not for my wonderful husband I may not be where I am today.  He is a faithful, Godly man who works hard for his family and for the Lord. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Spinach and Bean Quesedillas

I threw these together for lunch today using some items I had on hand and they were super fanastically good.  And the best part they are so easy to make...especially on a hot day like today!

All you need is:
Tortillas (any size will do but I used the smallest ones)
Refried beans
Fresh spinach leaves
Colby Jack cheese (or any flavor you like)
little bit of oil
Sour cream

Spread some of the refried beans on one of the tortillas.  Top with some fresh spinach leaves.  Put lots of cheese on top of the spinach and place another toritlla on top.

Place in a preheated and very lightly oiled skillet.  Cook until toasty and lightly brown.  Flip that baby over and do the same for the other side.  Remove from skillet and cut into quarters with a pizza cutter.  Serve with some sour cream (I used Chipolte sour cream...YUM!) and some salsa.  Enjoy!

Monday, June 6, 2011

A very "frugal" shopping trip!

Here is a picture of all the items I bought today.  I thought it might be a little hard to see all the items so I took a few more "up close shots."

I do use a lot of coupons, but I am not a hoarder.  I don't have a storage room for my stuff, I pretty much just use my large chest freezer, my small pantry and underneath my bathroom sink.  I also don't buy things I wouldn't use or no one likes (unless it's completely free and I can give it to someone who needs it.)  For instance...last week I got 7 half gallons of Friendly's ice cream for free.  We don't eat a lot of ice cream so I brought it to church and invited everyone to stay for an impromptu time of fellowship.

Having said that...I'm just happy to get more stuff, for less money, thus making the grocery budget go further.
Also really quick...We really make an effort to eat healthy.  I use primarily Whole Wheat flour in my baking for our family and also really limit white sugar.  I cook almost exclusively from scratch and try not to buy too much prepared food.  In cases like the rice sides you see in the picture....I usally doctor those up with chicken and loads of veggies and fresh lemon.  Don't sacrafice eating well just to save money.  Use your head and buy things you can enhance with fresh fruits, veggies and lean meat.

So this is what I got:

2 Oikos yogurts
3 (6 packs each) of Danimals yougurt tubes
4 (6 packs each) Dan-o-nino Yougurt
1 Smart Balance Spread
2 (18 ct.) Egglands best eggs
Coffee filters (no coupons for those)
3 (1/2 gal.) Smart Balance milk
6 packages of Knorr's Rice sides
4 cases (12 cans each) of soda (this is for treats only.  I don't give my kids much soda)
2 Febreeze sprays
2 Covergirl Natureluxe lip glosses
2 Oral-B Pulsar toothbrushes
2 Colgate 360 toothbrushes
2 Crest Pro-Health mouthwashes (33.8 oz. each)
2 Gillete bodywashes
2 Old Spice Body Washes (Denali and Matterhorn scents)
2 John Frieda shampoo/conditioner
4 packages of Chi-Chis tortillas
1 package of coleslaw
1(36 oz.)Tide stain release (I Love this stuff...gets out just about anything)
Tide Stain release booster pacs (18 count)

Total Before Savings-$189.05
Total After savings and coupons-$44.87
Total savings this trip-$144.18

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Lemon Pound Cake Muffins

I don't know what it is about lemons...they are just so sunny and refreshing.  When I saw this simple recipe, I knew I just knew I had to give them a try.  They are really delicious.  I of course ate mine with a cup of Starbucks Gold Coast Blend...but you can enjoy yours with the beverage of your choice.

Here's what you'll need:

1/2 cup of butter
1 cup of sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. of lemon extract
1 3/4 cups of flour
1/2 tsp. of salt
1/4 tsp. of baking soda
1/2 cup of sour cream
2 cups of confectioners sugar
3 Tab. of lemon juice

Do this:
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs and extracts; mix well.
Combine dry ingredients.
Alternately add the dry ingredients and the sour cream to the butter mixture.  Mix well.
Spoon into paper lined or greased muffin tins.
Bake at 400 for 16-20 minutes.  Let cool for five minutes in pan before removing.
For the drizzle:  Combine confectioners sugar and lemon juice and mix until desired consistency.  Drizzle over warm or cool muffins.