Thank Goodness It’s Pizza Night

Some days I wish I lived in a perfect little world. A world where my house was always clean, the dishes washed themselves, and someone other than me folded and put away the laundry. A world where all 13 of my students would learn a new concept the first time I taught it, and smile and say, “Mrs. McFeters, this was so easy. I definitely understood when we work an addition or subtraction problem we always start at the ones place.” A world where I never forgot to hit start on the coffee pot while I got ready and I never had to rock out an outfit with a coffee dribble from hitting a pothole on the way to work. But I don’t.

Unfortunately that world only exists in my daydreams. However, even with all of it’s imperfections this is a good life. Yes it’s full of little inconveniences. (When I get to heaven I fully intend to have a chat with Eve. Grr….) I am so blessed to have a good husband, and a family that cares about me. I am also incredibly blessed to have 13 kiddos in my class that think I’m really good at math-and that in itself is a miracle. I had quite the time studying how to teach the multiplication tables. An array? What is this magic you speak of? I digress.

Whenever I think about making a bad day better, I think about being back home and having pizza night. I used to love it. We could each pick out our own toppings, and we would cover the available space on the kitchen cabinets with pans of pizza.So amazing.

20161224_212017

This is the most current picture of my sisters and I. 🙂

When I married Scott, I got to enjoy his dad’s pizza. I may or may not invite us over whenever I hear he’s making pizza. It’s WONDERFUL. He makes a thai chicken pizza. He’s told me what goes on it, but I can’t remember for the life of me.

I decided that after going to a funeral today for a friend, this was a pizza kind of night. It has been quite the day, and homemade pizza was just what I needed.

My current favorite pizza is a spicy sausage, mushroom, and green pepper pizza. Don’t go for mild sausage, just trust me. It lends just the right spice to the pizza. When I’m in a rush, I run into winco and pick up one of the fresh dough packs they sell for $1.28. So worth it.

But, tonight I had time and energy. What a rare combination in my life. So I pulled out my current favorite pizza dough. It makes just enough dough to cover my pampered chef baking sheet and doesn’t shrink up like some other recipes. Ahem…winco’s. But still worth the dollar.

Pizza Crust (Adapted from here)

1 Cup h20 from the tap, as hot as you can get it.
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 Tablespoon active dry yeast
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 1/2 Cups flour
1 tsp salt

  1. Preheat the oven to 450F.
  2. Proof the yeast. If you don’t know what that means, basically you will have water at the perfect temperature. Then add the sugar and the yeast. Give it a good stir and wait 5 minutes. If the yeast bubbles and smells…well….yeasty, you know you are good to go.
  3. In a bowl, mix the flour, salt, and oil. Stir until combined. It might be sticky. Turn it out onto a floured counter. Add flour as needed. Knead until it’s a smooth dough. Roll it until it’s in the shape you want. As for me…that is a shape that tries its best to look like a rectangle.
  4. Pre-bake the crust for 5 minutes. This will prevent it from having a soggy bottom (as Mary Berry says about pies.)
  5. Remove from the oven. Add the sauce and the toppings. Bake for 20 minutes.
  6. And voila. Pizza!
    20170211_192116.jpg

 

Advertisements

Orange Cake

 

Whew. I survived mother’s day. Our church hosted a tea for 120 ladies. We recruited men to serve, and I conned my husband into running the kitchen. Needless to say, the months heading up to the tea has been insanely busy. I have been doing school full time, I work full time, I’m a pastor’s wife, and at some point in all of the craziness, we had to eat. We’ve eaten a lot of pancakes and sandwiches. (I’m sick of them, lol)

20160506_181812

one of the tables

20160506_181824

The view from at the entrance

Today was operation: clean kitchen. It’s been sadly neglected in our many days of not being home, and the table somehow always manages to collect the odds and ends. Someday, I will figure out a better system for our mail! As I was cleaning, I realized I had oranges that needed to be eaten right then or dumped. I was going to dump them, but then I felt bad. (starving people everywhere scenario) so I decided to make an orange cake. 20160509_183753

I wasn’t sure about this recipe because it called to separate the egg whites from the egg yolks and drop the yolks in one at a time, mixing well between additions. Then, it asks me to beat the whites until stiff peaks form, then gently fold it in. I was hoping it wasn’t necessary, so I did some research. Apparently it IS necessary. I found some good information here and here.

The batter was very thick before I added the egg whites, almost like a bread. But once I added the whites, it was much easier to deal with. It made my entire house smell delicious while it baked!! I’ve also discovered the dollar tree carries parchment paper. If you’ve never worked with parchment paper, you’re missing out. Layer it in your pan, spray it, and pop it in the oven. When it’s done, you just pull the paper away. No scrubbing a messy pan. Just pop it in the dishwasher, and boom. You’re done.

20160509_171707

My cake is ready to go with his parchment lined pan!

This recipe gives a pleasant hint of orange. It isn’t overpowering, and it’s wonderfully light and fluffy.

Orange Cake

2/3 cup butter
1 1/4 cup sugar
4 large eggs, separated
3 large oranges
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder

Grease an 8×8 pan, or line with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350. Beat butter and sugar on medium speed, until creamy and fluffy. (Should be about 2 minutes) Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating well in between each addition.

20160509_165314

no…really. one yolk at a time.

With the mixer on a low speed, add the juice from the oranges. The mixture may look curdled at first, but that’s ok. It will smooth out as you mix it.

Slowly add the flour and baking powder beating on low speed. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Add them to the batter, folding in carefully to not break up the air bubbles. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until golden brown.20160509_183743.jpg

Welcome to crazy

Oh wow. It’s been a month! October got off to a slow start, but by the end, Scott and I were stumbling trying to keep up!
Our Church Successfully hosted our first Children’s Rally. The kids competed in events ranging from the spiritual  (preaching), to the physical (foot races), to the musical. At the end of the day, almost every child won a medal.

image

It was also our Sunday school campaign at church. Scott dressed up like a hillbilly, a miner, and grew a beard for grow a beard Sunday. There was a cookout, and we made caramel apples.

image

As I said before, I learned how to make and can applesauce. It’s delicious!

image

We also had the northwest youth conference. The theme is “marvelous. It was amazing.

Somehow….I made laundry soap. Yupp. I did. It’s sitting in a bucket. I made almost 3 gallons of detergent for $1.17.

It seems to clean well. It got out coffee rings from white tablecloths, macaroni from my husband’s pants, and hasn’t left a residue.

My only complaint is it has no scent. That’s easily solved with essential oils. I have a sample I’m going to add when I refill my snazzy apple juice bottle my laundry detergent lives in. 😉

image

Snazzy....the label just add that touch of class.. cough, gasp....not.

Homemade laundry detergent
1/2 cup borax
1/2 cup washing soda (this is not baking soda)
1/2 bar ivory soap or 1/3 bar felt naphta, grated
Water

Add grated soap to 6 cups water in a saucepan. On low heat, stir until soap is dissolved. Do not boil. Remove from the heat. Add washing soda and borax to pan and mix well. Pour 4 cups of hot tap water in a bucket or large container. Add borax mixture. Stir until dissolved. Add 18 cups hot water. Stir and let sit overnight. In the morning it will have split into 2 layers. Stir until it’s only slightly clumpy. Pour into smaller containers if desired. Use 1/2 cup for large loads. Shake before each use.