When did you last make pizza?

This week has been quiet, but at the same time sort of exciting…our question was: “Is the latest hurricane going to make land near us or not?” On Monday morning, we were told it was coming close to us with winds with gusts up to 60 MPH and rainfall near or beyond six inches. At midmorning, there was a nice shower that lasted about 25 or 30 minutes, that’s it, no other rain, no wind, no anything! Later I found out it had come in around the El Campo area which is quite a bit east from us. I am glad we didn’t get the winds and heavy rain, but we could have used a couple of inches of it for our yards and the local hay fields, but since it didn’t happen, I guess for a few days I don’t get to sit and watch my grass grow!
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. Calling “pizza” pizza pie is a misnomer as the word ‘pizza’ means pie, according to some notes I found. My family always enjoyed some of the brands of frozen pizza, but they also enjoyed me making the following recipe that was in the Victoria Advocate when Mother and Daddy first moved to Yoakum even more. 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, and back then, I still had a couple of kids who were home at least part of the time!
1 package dry yeast
1 1/3 cups warm water
2 tablespoons cooking oil
4 1/2 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 who basil
Garlic powder, onion powder, and salt to taste
Saute 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 1 1/2 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 375 degrees F 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 two large pizzas)
1 1/3 cups warm water
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flower
2 to 3 cups white flower
2 teaspoons sugar
1 package dry yeast
2 teaspoons oregano or mixed Italian seasoning
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon red pepper
4 to 6 oz. spaghetti sauce or more if you like (roasted garlic)
1/2 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 of your desire
8 oz. can of mushrooms, well drained
4 oz. can of sliced black 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 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 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 1/2-inch of pan edges. Let dough rise 30 to 40 minutes or until doubled in bulk (about 1 1/2 inches thick).
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F 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 400 degrees F. 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!
After our nice, slightly spicy pizza, it’s time for a sweet and easy dessert! The following dessert bars have been a hit each time I’ve taken them to a meeting or get-together. I hope you enjoy them.
Pina Colada Dessert Bars
2 cups vanilla wafer crumbs
1/3 cup margarine, melted
1 can (8 oz.) cream of coconut (not coconut milk)
2 packages (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon rum flavoring
1 carton (8 oz.) frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 can (8 oz.) crushed pineapple in juice, drained
1/2 cup chopped Maraschino cherries
1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans
1/2 to 1 cup flaked coconut, toasted
Combine crumbs and margarine and press into the bottom of a 9×13-inch pan.
Place cream cheese into a mixing bowl and using electric mixer on medium, beat the blocks of cream cheese until well mixed, and gradually add the cream of coconut until well blended. Stir in flavoring and mix well. Fold in whipped topping, pineapple, cherries, and nuts. Spread over crust, sprinkle with toasted coconut; chill several hours or overnight. Cut into squares to serve.