It has begun

My week was pretty quiet, it was one of those weeks that you have your days mixed up because Monday was a holiday. In fact, I thought Monday was Sunday and called my daughter asking if she was making a big dinner for a friend, her reply: “No Mom, it’s Monday”, my reply was: “Oops”. The week pretty much stayed that way. Workshop on Tuesday, and then gift shop on Wednesday, and on Saturday, my sister and I went to Victoria to do a little shopping, our main stop was at Hobby Lobby as she was looking for flowers.

We wandered around the store, and you know what? It has begun…What has? …Why Christmas of course! Everywhere you looked there was Christmas, Christmas and more Christmas, interspersed with a little Halloween and several aisles of Thanksgiving. Almost the whole end of the store where you enter is aisle after aisle of Christmas. Everything is already marked 40% off, if you can imagine, I saw lots of beautiful things, but with the amount of Christmas I already have, my buying anything didn’t make sense. We had a great time shopping and when we finished there, we went to Case Ole and had Mexican food for lunch, it was delicious. Last Tuesday, when we finished workshop the other two ladies and I went to our local Subway and two of us had pizza for lunch, it was really delicious, hot crispy and lots of toppings, and not too expensive. The pizza was pretty good, but not near as good as the following recipes that you make at home.
As far as I know, most people enjoy pizza, whether it is from the freezer section at the store or from the local pizza restaurant. My family always enjoyed that, but they also enjoyed the following recipe that was in the Victoria Advocate when Mother and Daddy first moved to Yoakum. It really became a staple around my house because it was so easy to put together and I enjoyed making it because it didn’t require a big rising time before you could put it in the pan!
1 package dry yeast
1 1/3 cups warm water
2 tablespoons cooking oil
4½ cups flour
Combine yeast and water and stir until yeast is dissolved. Add oil and flour and mix well. Divide dough into thirds and spread in 3 pizza pans, or use 2 pizza pans and spread the third section of dough into a large cast iron skillet to make a thick-crust pizza.
Sauce for Pizza
1 pound hamburger meat
3 cans tomato sauce (8-oz each)
2 teaspoons whole oregano
2 teaspoons whole basil
Garlic powder, onion powder and salt to taste
Sauté meat until no longer pink and drain if necessary. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for about 20 to 25 minutes. Spread evenly over prepared pans of dough topping with anything you like. (My Mom felt that this was too spicy for her, so we cut back on the spices.)
1 to 1½ packages of shredded mozzarella cheese or one of the packages of shredded mixed cheese for pizza
Vegetables, pepperoni, Canadian bacon, cooked sausage or whatever your family might like. Bake at 375ºF for 30 minutes.
(You read correctly, this dough does not have to rise or anything, you just mix it up and use it, which was why I always liked it!).
The following recipe is from my daughter and needs a bread maker to make, however, it is simple also, since the bread maker does all the work!
Pizza Dough
(Makes 2 large pizzas)
1 1/3 cups warm water
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1½ cups whole wheat flour
2 to 3 cups white flour
2 teaspoons sugar
1 package dry yeast
2 teaspoons oregano or mixed Italian seasoning (I use the Tone’s® spaghetti seasoning that I purchase at Sam’s)
¼ cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon garlic powder
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon red pepper
4 to 6 oz spaghetti sauce or more if you like (roasted garlic)
½ lb. sausage or hamburger, cooked and well drained
Cheese – 8 to 12 oz, shredded mozzarella, shredded mixed 4 cheese for pizza, grated or shredded parmesan or mixture to your desire
8-oz can of mushrooms, well drained
4-oz can black sliced olives
Put dough ingredients and optional ingredients you choose into bread maker and set bread maker to dough cycle. After machine has been blending dough for several minutes, add additional flour as needed until dough forms a smooth ball and moves around freely within the container. (If you are unfamiliar with the dough cycle on your bread maker, it is best to add only two tablespoons of flour at a time and let it blend in well before adding more – some machines take longer to mix the dough.) When the dough cycle is complete, usually 1½ to 1¾ hours, divide dough between two 12-inch to 15-inch pizza pans, which you have sprayed with cooking spray. Spray your hands with cooking spray before you begin pressing dough onto pans to within ½-inch of pan edges. Let dough rise 30 to 40 minutes or until doubled in bulk (about 1½-inches thick). Preheat oven to 375ºF and cook pizza dough until very lightly browned (7 to 12 minutes). This prevents the pizza from being “doughy” in the middle. Top with your favorite pizza sauce, (we use any brand we like in a jar or can), cheese (we have used just mozzarella as well as using the cheese made for pizza which is a blend of several types of cheese including Parmesan),and toppings, and cook an additional 10 minutes at 400ºF. (You may wish to put pizza under broiler during the last few minutes of cooking to melt the cheese more completely.) Virginia topped this pizza with sausage, black olives and mushrooms. You could use anything you wanted for topping including cheese only or sautéed onions and bell peppers.
The sausage or hamburger meat needs to be thoroughly cooked and well drained before putting on the pizza. Also, she used turkey sausage, but bulk pork sausage is fine also. This is one of those times you get to use your imagination! Now, I guess it’s time to give you an easy dessert!
Quickie Bars
4 eggs
1 box (1 pound) brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups baking mix (i.e. Bisquick®, Pioneer®, etc)
1 cup chopped pecans
1 can Bakers Coconut (I use 1 cup as the can is no longer available)
Beat eggs and brown sugar together. Stir in vanilla and baking mix, until well mixed; add pecans and coconut and stir together. Pour into 9×13 baking pan and bake at 350ºF for 25 to 30 minutes. Cool thoroughly and cut into bars.