Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Homemade Pizza, Amazing Finds, Swimming Lessons, Birthday, and Potty Training Updates

My husband and I have been making homemade pizza for a long time now.  We discovered how much cheaper it is to make your own pizza instead of buying it or even buying the crust, the sauce, and the toppings and putting it together.  Not that we never order pizza... but, most of the time we make it from scratch instead.   And, I guess not surprisingly, I like our homemade pizza the most out of all of the kinds of pizza I've tried! 

So, here's how it goes... I make the dough and the sauce from scratch.  My husband rolls out the dough, puts the pizza together, and bakes it.  I think we make a great pizza-making team!

Would you like to try the recipe?  Here it is:

Mieke’s Famous Homemade Pizza

The Sauce:

2 small cans no-salt-added tomato sauce
1 small can tomato paste
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
Onion powder
Garlic powder
Dried oregano
Dried basil

In a saucepan, stir together all ingredients.  Bring to a boil and then let simmer on low heat for 10 minutes.  Use immediately, refrigerate, or freeze.

The Dough:

1 cup warm water
2 cups white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 packet active dry yeast
(or 2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Italian seasoning

In the Kitchen Aide mixer bowl, whisk together warm water, 1 cup white flour, sugar, salt, yeast, and olive oil.  Let the mixture sit for 10 to 15 minutes. 

Add 1 cup white flour, 1 cup wheat flour, and Italian seasoning to the bowl.  Attach the dough hook to the mixer.  Turn the mixer on to the “stir” setting until the ingredients have combined into a ball of dough. 

Remove the dough from the mixer bowl and lightly coat mixer bowl with olive oil or canola oil cooking spray.  Shape the dough into a ball and put it back in the mixer bowl.  Soak a dish towel in hot water and ring out.  Fold the dish towel in half and cover the mixer bowl with the towel.  Place the mixer bowl, with the dough, covered with the towel, into the oven.  Note: Do not turn on the oven.  Allow the dough to rise for at least an hour. 

Once the dough has doubled in size (or it may even triple or quadruple in size), remove it from the bowl and gently push it down to its original size.  Store the dough in a storage bag on the counter if you will be using it soon, in a storage bag in the refrigerator for use in the next couple days, or in a freezer storage bag in the freezer for future use.  Note: If you store the dough either on the counter or in the refrigerator, it will rise again.  That’s fine -- just gently push it back down to its original size before rolling it out.

This recipe will make two large thin-crust pizzas. 

The Final Product:

Preheat the oven with the pizza stone to 450 degrees for at least 45 minutes.

Cut the dough in half and shape each half into a flat circle.  Flour your work surface and the dough lightly.  Roll out the dough until it is about 1/8 inch thick.  Fold the rolled dough in half twice and place on parchment paper.  Unfold the dough.  Spread a thin layer of sauce on each pizza crust.  Cover with mozzarella cheese and your favorite toppings.  Using a large baking sheet or pizza paddle, quickly place the pizza in the oven on the pizza stone and close the oven door.  Bake for approximately 6 minutes.


 Or, you can download a copy here.

As those of you who know me already know, I am always on the lookout for amazing deals.  I love shopping at thrift stores, garage sales, flea markets, etc.  It can be an obsession at times!  Usually I am looking for quality products at an amazing price.  Well, recently I actually found a quality product for FREE on the side of the road!  

Here is a picture of what I found...
I know what you are thinking.  Wow!  You found a beautiful little girl on the side of the road!  No, that's Froggy Boots (my daughter).  I found the chair she is sitting in!  This chair is from One Step Ahead and costs $100 new.  And, I found it for FREE!  I drove by it the first time and thought to myself, "They aren't really putting that chair out on the side of the road for free are they?"  So, I kept on driving.  Then, I decided I should at least go back a check.  And, sure enough, it was sitting out on the curb with a wooden changing table (which another couple was picking up when I arrived).  Now, that is what I call and amazing deal!

Froggy Boots loves the chair because she can get in and out of it all by herself!  When we had her sitting in a booster seat on the dining room chair, she could not climb up and sit in it by herself.  Anything that encourages independence is a plus in my book!

Since it's summer, Froggy Boots is taking her yearly swimming lessons.  Well, last year was her first time.  But, the intention is for her to take lessons every year.  She loves the water, but does not like swimming lessons this year.  So far she has had two lessons and cried through most of the lesson because she wanted to go swim by herself, not with the group.

Here is a picture of her during one of the rare moments that she was not crying.  We were practicing kicking while sitting on the side of the pool.
Froggy Boots just had her second birthday on June 19th!  I can't believe it's been two years since she was born!  We did not have a party on her birthday -- her party is actually coming up this weekend.  But, she did get to open presents from her dad and I and we went to a kids' rock concert at Top of the Park to celebrate both her birthday and father's day.  My mom and dad, my husband's dad and step-mom, and my brother and his wife all joined us.  It was a really fun time!

Here is a picture of Froggy Boots opening one of her presents:
No, I didn't forget that Froggy Boots is a girl -- she loves Thomas the train as much (or more) than any boy out there!  So, I knew she would like Thomas wrapping paper!

I'd love to post a picture of Froggy Boots at the kids concert, but she was running around all over the place and dancing in front of the stage -- it was almost impossible to get a picture of her. 

If you read my previous post, you know that Froggy Boots is in the process of learning to wear underwear and use the toilet.  She now wears underwear all day (except during nap and at bed time) and has not wet her underwear in several days.  No, she does not use the potty either.  She waits until I put a diaper on her at nap time or bedtime and goes in that.  That means that she is holding her bladder for about 5 hours or more at a time, but still not using the potty.

So, in order to try and maneuver past this little glitch in the system, I have ordered cloth training pants with an outside waterproof liner.  She can wear these when we go out and at nap time.  She does not like to wet her underwear, so maybe she will be willing to use the potty if she wears underwear at nap time as well.  We'll see -- she's both smart and stubborn -- a challenging combination! 


  1. Wow! What a great find! I LOVE those chairs and I have to say I am green with envy! ;) That is really awesome!
    I'm glad to hear that you are all doing a bit better with Potty Training. Thanks to your inspiration I have put Pup into panties and she is doing pretty well! We have a few accidents the last few days, but so far so good! Pup also seems to have deveploped a dislike of taking a potty break and will hold it for a long time too! I hope that we work it out soon! Good Luck and Happy late Birthday to Froggy Boots!

  2. Hi Stephanie!

    Glad to hear Pup is doing well with her potty training! Let me know if you figure out any good tricks to get her to actually sit on the potty. I'd love any ideas I can use with Froggy Boots!

  3. Sorry it has taken me so long to get back with you! I gave Pup a sticker chart on the bathroom door. One sticker for potty, two for poo! It really seemed to help modivate her to go! She is doing really well! I hope that you are haveing a good week too with Froggy Boots!