Friday night pizza night


Every Friday night we have pizza. Sometimes it’s homemade pizza at home, and sometimes it’s leftover pizza from my inlaw’s school. My favorite is the homemade. It’s funny how things change. For years I hated homemade pizza. Now I love it. I think it’s the crust.

Over the years we’ve tried several crust recipes, from whole wheat to low carb to just basic white. Even though we prefer whole wheat baked goods for almost everything else, this recipe using all purpose white flour is still my favorite. I got it from a college friend my freshman year in college. I think it’s from the Betty Crocker cookbook but I’m not entirely sure.

Homemade Pizza

Makes 2 9×13 crusts

2 Tbsp active dry yeast
2 cups warm water
4 Tbsp oil
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp salt
5 cups all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 400. Dissolve yeast in warm water in mixer bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients. Beat well. Let rest 5 minutes.

Pat crust into well-greased pan and top with pizza sauce, desired toppings (our favorites are mushrooms, pepperoni, and sausage), and cheese.

Bake at 400 for 10 to 15 minutes or until cheese is lightly browned.

Pumpkin Cookies

A friend of mine on Facebook sent me a recipe for Pumpkin Cookies. I thought they sounded good, but made a few changes when I made them. Here’s the recipe the way I made it:

Pumpkin Cookies
Servings: 36
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup pumpkin
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  1. Cream together butter, sugar, pumpkin, egg, and vanilla.  Add dry ingredients and mix well.

  2. Drop by tablespoonfuls on an ungreased cookie sheet. 

  3. Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes.

Recipe Notes

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 96 Calories; 5g Fat (49.6% calories from fat); 1g Protein; 11g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 20mg Cholesterol; 115mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1/2 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 1 Fat; 1/2 Other Carbohydrates.

I used regular all-purpose flour tonight, but next time will probably make them with at least half wheat flour. They seem like they would taste better with a flour that’s a bit heartier than regular white flour. They were delicious though!



Iced coffee recipe


The other day, Mommyof8blessings asked if I’d share the recipe for my iced coffee. Unfortunately, I usually just dump things into the glass and eyeball it.

Here’s what I use though:

1-2 packets sweetener (I prefer Splenda)
generous splash of liquid French vanilla coffee creamer
equal parts coffee and milk to fill the glass
handful of ice cubes to chill it

Any flavored creamer would work, but I prefer the vanilla. Vanilla isn’t my favorite for hot coffee, but it is for iced. I’ve also used powdered milk for the milk portion of this, and it’s turned out fine that way as well.

Cheddar Parmesan Herb Bread

Cheddar Parmesan Herb Bread

Cheddar Parmesan Herb bread

9 oz warm water
2 Tbs oil
2 Tbs sugar
1 tsp salt
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbs yeast (or 1 packet – I use bulk)

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

2 Tbs dipping spices

Put first six ingredients in your bread machine in the order listed. Allow machine to run through the dough cycle only.

Remove dough from machine and place on oiled countertop. Roll dough into a large rectangle. Sprinkle cheeses and spices evenly across top, and roll up, jelly-roll style. Pinch edges to seal and place on greased cookie sheet to rise until almost doubled in size.

Bake in preheated 350* oven for about 20 minutes. You may need to cover the top with foil so it doesn’t get too dark while the inside finishes baking.

I made this stromboli-style, and everyone seemed to like it. The next time I make it, I’ll probably just dump the cheese and spices in with the rest of the bread ingredients. Not to make it easier (though it would really simplify it!), but because I think the flavor would be better with the herbs throughout the bread.



Dill pickle recipe

A few people have asked if I’d share my dill pickle recipe. This is the recipe my grandmother used for years, and she recently told me it’s the recipe her grandmother always used to use. She said she liked it because the ingredients are per jar – making it really easy to make pickles as your cucumbers are ready, instead of having to wait until you have a lot at once.

These pickles also have to age for a while. Mine will sit at least 6 weeks, but longer wouldn’t hurt.

Dill Pickles
Makes 1 Quart

1/2 to 1 Tbsp salt
1 cup white vinegar
1-2 heads dill
1/2 tsp. powdered alum

Put salt, vinegar, and dill in bottom of can. Add cucumbers and more dill, finish filling with boiling water and seal up.

Since I’d never made pickles before, I wasn’t convinced that the brine alone would be enough to preserve the pickles. We ran the jars through the water bath canner for 15 minutes (based on another pickle recipe we found). I’m still not 100% sure that’s the best way to do it, but I’m curious.

Chocolate milkshake with a twist

Today’s afternoon snack was unbelievably delicious – it was a chocolate milkshake with a twist. One of Wendy’s toffee coffee twisted frostys sounded nice, but I had no plans to make the 30-minute drive to go get one.

I wasn’t sure what to do to imitate the flavor since there’s no toffee-flavored anything in the house right now. I finally settled on a chocolate milkshake with coffee flavoring. I only added a tiny bit of instant coffee powder, but the amount of richness it added really surprised me. As a general rule, I do NOT like mocha-flavored coffee, so I was surprised I liked this as well as I did.

Here’s how to make it. This is the small mixer cup for my Magic Bullet knockoff (gotta love Aldi!). It holds about a cup, maybe a cup and a half, tops.

Fill your container most of the way with chocolate ice cream. I used homemade because that’s all we had in the house.


Add a splash of milk. In my case, use the rest of the gallon. It was maybe a third of a cup.

Dump in about a half teaspoon of instant coffee granules. This was decaf.

Insert into blender base. . .

Blend. . .

Enjoy. This never made it to a fancy cup. It was fantastic.


We are absolutely loving yogurt around here lately. Well, we always love it, but it’s been a long time since I’ve made any. With the diet changes we started implementing this week, I decided that having plain yogurt in the house was a good idea again.

The recipe I followed is at A Year of Slow Cooking. I’ve made it before, using a heating pad, but thought I’d try the crockpot method this time. What a difference – it is so sweet it doesn’t need sweetener in it at all if you’re going to eat it plain.

We’ve been making it into breakfast smoothies. We have a mini blender (a Magic Bullet knock-off we found at Aldi), so we just throw a handful of frozen fruit in the cup, pour yogurt over it, add some ice to make it thicker, and blend. Some fruit has needed a tiny bit of sweetener, but not all that we’ve tried.

I’ve made a half gallon at a time. Milk dropped to $2.09 a gallon at Aldi, so a whole gallon of yogurt at that price is wonderful! The sad thing is I already made a second half-gallon of yogurt, and it will probably be gone by Monday or Tuesday if we eat it as fast as we ate the last batch. It sure is good though!

Bread machine wheat bread

Today I needed bread for tonight’s French toast, so I threw the ingredients into the bread machine to mix. I baked it in the oven instead of the bread machine, but was thrilled with the results. It was so light and fluffy – not something I’m used to with this much wheat flour in it. I’ve only tried this combination of ingredients once, but I’ll be playing with it more, that’s for sure.

Bread machine wheat bread

9 oz warm water
2 Tbsp soft butter
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp sugar
1 heaping Tbsp vital wheat gluten
2 cups wheat flour
1 cup white flour
1 Tbsp yeast

Combine ingredients in bread machine pan in order instructed by your manufacturer. When dough is finished mixing, remove from pan, shape into a loaf, and put in greased loaf pan. Let rise until about an inch above the pan sides.

Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes (I lost track of time this time – I usually set the timer but forgot today).

I’ve been searching for the perfect bread recipe – one that uses no white flour but that is still light and soft. I know this still has some white flour in it, but it’s progress.