Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Post In Which I Should Say I'm Packing...But Instead I'm Giving Recipes To You Fine People


I'm still baking, if that tells you anything. With some packing in between. Monk gets rather compulsive before a trip, running around and such. But me?

I'm somewhat of a slacker. I tend to fiddle around and pack a little, talk a little, pack a little, talk a little, bake, bake, bake, talk a lot, pack a little more!!

OH! MY!WORD! I crack myself up!! Do y'all even get that one? I came up with that all by myself!


Mrs. Elliot asked me about my recipe for pizza dough and I thought I would oblige her. Because I like her and such. And she's fixin' to move to England and I will then have a friend "across The Pond". I've always liked that saying. It's soooo British.

I can't take credit for the recipe though. I picked it up from Crystal's blog. But for the sake of time - mine and yours - I will post it here.

Easy Pizza Dough

Preheat oven to 450 degrees

1 TBS active dry yeast
1 c. warm water (105-110 F)
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 TBS vegetable oil
2 1/2 c. flour ( you can use all white or a mixture of white and wheat)

Dissolve yeast in water. Add rest of ingredients and mix. Dump on a floured surface and knead into a smooth dough (approximately 5 minutes - adding a little flour if it's too sticky). Roll out and press dough into pizza pan. Add sauce and toppings. Bake at 450 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

This really is the easiest recipe ever. I tried many a pizza dough recipe before falling in love with this one. I have found, in my own experience, that if I will let the dough rest a little (say 5-10 minutes) after I'm done kneading, that when it cooks it develops a crispier crust. Yum-O!

I have four pizza pans. Two large and two small. If I double this recipe I can make one large and two small with the dough. Hopefully, that will give you an idea of how far the dough will actually go.

Feel free to ask additional questions if you have them.

I will say that we have almost completely quit buying take out pizza. This is not only dirt cheap to make, but the pizza is SOOOO much better tasting. And...I can control the ingredients.


And now for one more recipe to stop me from finishing up the inevitable task of packing. I hope y'all appreciate that despite the fact that the clock is tick, tick, ticking away on me....I love you enough to share a recipe. Or two.

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins - yields 24 good size muffins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

4 1/2 c. flour
2 c. sugar
4-5 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or a combo of
cinnamon and nutmeg)
1 tsp salt
1 c. butter
1 c. buttermilk or sour milk
4 eggs, lightly beaten
3 c. shredded zucchini
2 t. vanilla
1 1/2 c. chocolate chips

Grease and flour muffin pans or use paper liners.

In a large bowl, combine flour and sugar. Stir in baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Make a well in the center, and pour in milk, eggs, zucchini and vanilla. Gently fold, adding chocolate chips and continue folding until blended. Fill muffin cups 2/3 to 3/4 full.

Bake in a preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool and enjoy.

Now I do a few things differently than the recipe. I usually use half white and half white whole wheat flour. I have found the muffin is still light and tasty doing this and certain picky family members don't know the difference. I also use two different kinds of sugar, half regular and half raw. Another thing that you can do that is use coconut oil in place of the butter. I have big 'ol bucket of organic, unrefined coconut oil that I purchased from Mountain Rose Herbs and I love using it in my baking. It gives a nice moisture to the muffins and a slight nutty, sweet flavor.

And now that I've bored some of you to absolute tears with recipes, I will now proceed to show you my reading list for the trip.

What? You didn't think we would be taking books? Have some of you forgotten who we are? We take books e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e.

A little light reading for 3 days, huh? Actually, most of these are browsing books. I tend to skim them for things I'm interested in and leave the rest. However, I have checked out the Home Comforts book before and it is fascinating. I didn't get to finish it and so I'm having a second go 'round. I'm highly anticipating A Slice of Organic Life too. I've never seen that one at the library so I'm fairly intrigued.

Monk has his books, Sis has hers and LiverPie has a few newly checked out Fancy Nancy books. We are in business.

Now, if I could just get us packed.


Mrs. Elliott said...

Oh my, I can't wait to try it out! Thank you Michelle!! Lord knows, we won't be buying pizza over there with things being so expensive ya know. Pardon all the exclamation marks, but we are pizza lovers and I can't wait to try this (oh, wait I just said that!) well, you get the idea, we're super excited about it. Thank you!!

P.S. I love saying "across the pond" too for the exact same reason that now I'm pretty sure I overuse the phrase.

Shelly said...

It's a different color but I have that same "fix it & forget it" cookbook. I've done a couple recipes in it before.

mindi said...

My company is UK based - and they say "across the pond" ALL THE TIME!!! I keep thinking to myself that it is one big pond . . .
Thanks for the recipes, I'll have to try them!

Sgt and Mrs Hub said...

If I had zucchini on hand I would SO be making those muffins today. My children would Love them! Thanks!

Books on vacation?! OF COURSE! Otherwise, it wouldn't be vacation. Like, duh! ;)

Enjoy each moment!