So…. How have you been?

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I cannot believe it’s been so long since my last post! Life seems to have stolen me away from this little corner of the world. Since my last post I’ve continued to garden, travel, and work (and work, and work, and…). I’m actively involved with the local Master Gardeners as well as  another garden club in my town. With all of that, and my volunteer work, it has almost been a year and a half since I last posted. SMH. Just terrible!

Welp, I’m back and have some fun little projects that I’m working on. I can’t wait to share them with you!

 

Re-Post: Everyone’s Favorite…Pizza!

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I’ve decided to add a recipe segment to my posts. These will be recipes I have created on my own and some I’ve come across in cookbooks or the internet. What better to start with than a dish everyone loves- pizza! Making pizza from scratch is super easy. There are a ton of recipes to make the dough, but my favorite one comes from The Essential Baking Cookbook. This is my go-to recipe because unlike many others, you DON’T have to let the dough rise overnight. When I get the craving for pizza I want it then and there. This keeps me from caving in and ordering from a pizzeria!

 

Prep time: 30 minutes +1 hour 30 minutes rising

Total cooking time: 30 minutes

Makes 2 12 inch or 1 17 inch pie

Difficulty level: 1

 

7g (1/4 oz) sachet dried yeast

3 teaspoons caster sugar

3 1/2 cups (14 oz) White bread flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup (2 fl oz) olive oil

1/3 cup warm water (step 1)

1/2 cup warm water (step 2)

 

1. Place the yeast, sugar, and 1/3 cup of warm water in a small bowl and stir well. Leave in a warm place for 5 minutes, or until bubbles appear on the surface. The mixture should be frothy and slightly increased in volume. If your yeast doesn’t foam it is dead, so you will have to discard it and start again.

 

2. Sift the flour and salt into a bowl and make a well in the center. Add the yeast mixture, oil and 1/2 cup warm water and mix together. Add more water if the dough is dry.

 

3. Gather the dough into a ball and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for 12 minutes, or until soft and elastic.

 

4. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and brush over the surface with oil. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp tea towel and leave in a warm place for 1-1 1/2 hours, or until doubled in volume.

 

5. Punch down the dough. Divide the dough and gently knead on a lightly floured surface into the desired size and shape. Add toppings and bake 375 degrees for 30 minutes, or until full cooked and cheese caramelizes

 

* To make a classic topping, using a half quantity of pizza dough, roll out to a 12 inch circle. Spread 3/4 cup of bottled tomato pasta sauce over the base. Top with Italian salami, cut into strips. Follow with 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, 4 oz of sliced small cap mushrooms, 1 onion, cut into thin wedges, 1/2 green pepper, sliced and 12 pitted black olives. Place 6 anchovy fillets over the top and sprinkle with 5 oz Parmesan cheese.

 

** I made a vegetarian pizza with black olives, Roma tomato chunks, sliced cap mushrooms. I like everything spicy, so I also added powdered cayenne pepper and crushed red pepper to my pizza sauce. Topped of with Parmesan cheese and garlic powder. It. Was. Awesome! lol

 

The great thing about pizza is that you can make it your own! Put anything you can think of on it and it always tastes good! Get creative and have fun!

 

Notes-

You can substitute whole wheat flour for the white flour, but you MUST use the same TYPE of flour. In this case bread flour is used. Ex. 1 cup whole wheat BREAD flour= 1 cup white BREAD flour.

Dough can be frozen up to 3 months.

Re-post: Greetings From the Garden

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Over the last two years I have developed a love of gardening. I completely converted my small backyard into an organic vegetable garden, with peas, potatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers, blueberries, and much more growing side by side. It’s become something of a secret garden!

My goal is to transition into being 100% organic (including body care products). I’ve found that the cheapest, quickest, and easiest way to do it is to grown your own fruits and veggies. Not only do you save tons of money by growing your own foods (you can buy meat and dairy at the organic/farmers market), but it’s also a great workout! Everyday I get a bunch of “visitors” to my garden- butterflies, bees, dragonflies, turtles, and all types of birds (inc. hummingbirds<- my favs!). If you don’t have a yard, you can always look into container gardening, where you grow your plants in planters on terraces or windowsills! There’s nothing like making a meal out of produce you grew yourself!

Fast food

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Sautéed portobellos, red cabbage, carrots, and onion. Sprinkle some liquid aminos and add a pinch of salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. If you really want to kick it up a notch, you can wrap this in collard green leaves! Yum-mayyy!