Posts Tagged ‘pizza’

I want to paint you a little bit of a time line…

In the fall of 2009, I had an opportunity to start babysitting. Since it wasn’t really my forte, I really had to pray about it. And after doing so, I knew it was going to benefit both families. Lo and behold, I ended up falling in love with the little girl, and I began to realize that I was actually making my own money for the first time in a looong time. I kinda blew it on silly stuff the first couple of months, but then I decided I wanted to save it for something big.

I wanted a new mixer.

Not just any new mixer.

A nice big, shiny, new RED, professional grade KitchenAid mixer.

Yeah, Baby!!

So, I started saving all my babysitting money and I got my beautiful mixer in March 2010. I loved her.

But then a very short month later (nearly to the very exact day, April 2010), I hurt my foot and had no idea that my life was about to be turned upside down.

July 2010: I was diagnosed with RSD/CRPS (Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy/Complex Regional Pain Syndrome) A chronic pain disease; for me, it’s located in my right foot/calf/shin area.

January 2011: Mike and I came out here to Virginia to meet some of the staff at Fairmount.

May 2011: We’re here!! We’re officially Virginia residents! However, with moving there are major costs and sacrifices that have to be made. We still own our home in Kansas and there are just a lot of expenses from the move. So, with feeling that I will never be able to bake again, I tell Mike that he can sell my Red Mixer.

June/July 2011: Ms. Rose Williams buys my precious Red Mixer. It was heartbreaking for me. I knew that I was willing to give it up. I knew I wasn’t going to use it anymore. It was just sitting over there on my cabinet….brand new….taking up space, and we could get a decent amount of money for it since I had only used it a couple of times. But when it actually came time for Mike to pack it up and take it away…I shed more than just a couple of tears. This Red Mixer epitomized my entire love for baking, and with it going away, so was the realization of me never being a baker again. RSD is a beast of a disease.

Fall/Winter 2011: RSD continues to get worse and so does my depression and anxiety. I really just don’t know what to do or where to go with my life. I really feel like I’m in the deepest darkest whole.

January 2012: Mike and my mom encourage me to start going to counseling. I go and for the first time in years, there seems to be a small ray of light and I finally feel like I’m going to be able to crawl out of this dark whole I’ve been living in for the last few years.

March 2012: It comes up in therapy that I truly would like to bake again, but I no longer have a mixer. My therapist encourages me to be bold and just ask Mike for a new one. I’m a little nervous. It took me a few months to save up for my Red Mixer. It was professional grade. Oh, well. I can be happy with just a regular KitchenAid. At least my love for baking is back and I want to be in the kitchen again! So I get my bold on and ask Mike. He, of course, says “sure!” So I start looking on Amazon and letting him know what the prices are now.

I decided I wanted to make pizza. Every Thursday is our Pizza Night. Before my RSD, I always made homemade pizza…and the kids love, love, loved it. Now….we order it from Primo’s. It’s great pizza, but I still like my homemade pizza. So, for the first time in almost 2 years, I want and feel like I can make homemade pizza. I even tell Mike that I think I can make it without a mixer….that’s how bad I want to be in the kitchen…to make this pizza. So, I’m getting some ingredient stuff together and I hear Mike come in the house behind me. Then I hear him taking something out of a box…I turn around…

It’s a new Red Mixer!

But I start looking at it and it isn’t brand new……

Wait a minute….

This is MY Red Mixer.

Mike tells me that he ran into Ms. Rose Williams the day before, telling her how I’m wanting to bake again, and she says,

“Oh, yeah…..I’ve got Shara’s mixer! I was saving it for her for when she was ready to bake again, because I knew she would want to bake again.”

Ms. Rose bought my Red Mixer from us only to hold it until I was ready to bake again.

Ms. Rose is an angel.

I just couldn’t stop crying.

I hugged my Red Mixer for a long time.

And then I made some awesome homemade pizza.

I love my Red Mixer, and Ms. Rose, and how great my God works.




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I know, I know…it’s been a loooooooong time since I’ve posted any recipes.  Quite frankly, I’ve just been making my staple dishes that I’ve already posted.  I just haven’t felt like being inventive or like trying anything new.  My foot can only take standing for so long, and if I’m going to be in the kitchen I want preparation to be as fast and as easy as possible.  One of my first posts was about a great go-to menu plan.  It’s something like this:

And I still use this plan.  My family’s tastes are pretty basic, so instead of stressing about what to make, I came up with this plan and it’s worked really well…especially during the school season.

Since tonight was Pizza night, I made my staple half cheese-half pepperoni pizza but I also made my new favorite:

Fresh Mozzarella & Roma Pizza

  • 1 recipe of Pizza Dough
  • 2 Tbsp real mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 3 medium roma tomatoes, sliced thin
  • 1 ball of fresh mozzarella, sliced (I buy mine at Aldi here in Hutch and it comes packaged in a round ball shape, but I’m sure you can find at just about any grocery store…just look where the specialty cheeses are sold).
  • 1/4 c shredded pizza blend cheese
  • Italian Seasoning, to taste (I use Pizza Seasoning from Glenn’s Bulk Foods)

Prepare dough and while rising, combine mayonnaise, butter, and garlic salt.  Slice tomatoes.  Slice the fresh mozzarella.  Divide dough in half after rising and with each half, spread out on greased pizza pan.  Prepare one of the pans with your favorite toppings (my family is half cheese and half pepperoni).  The other pizza top as follows:  spread mayo/butter/garlic mixture on top of dough; top with sliced romas, then pizza blend cheese, fresh mozzarella, and lastly sprinkle with italian seasoning or pizza seasoning.  Bake in 450 degree oven for 12-15 minutes or until bottom of pizza is golden brown.

Before baking:


And before I close and call it a night, there has been a lot of “firsts” for our family this week.  Today was another one:

You know what this is?  A bike chain.  You know why we need a bike chain?  Because my big 3rd grader has deemed himself old enough to ride his bike to school.  He’s been begging since last year, but I just couldn’t let him go…let go of him.  But last night, a friend down the street asked if Cade could ride with him this morning, promising that they could chain their bikes together, and I couldn’t think of a reason why he shouldn’t.  We’ve discussed it further after school, and came to a compromise of letting him ride 2-3 days a week, depending on our schedules.  He took the deal. 😀  So Mike took Cade to Target after dinner and they picked out this chain.

My mommy heart was hurting this morning.  Standing at the front screen door, as I watched him ride away , I couldn’t stop the tears from rolling down my cheeks.  Letting him go was tough on this ol’ softy’s heart.  I know it’s not that big of a deal, but it’s just one step closer to him taking on more responsibility.  A step towards his independence. One step closer to him becoming a man.  I’m not sure how much more my mommy heart can take this week. 😀

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Pizza Rolls

I was inspired by a recipe I found on King Arthur’s website (if you’re a baker…it’s an awesome site for all kinds of baking supplies and recipes) and came up with my own version of pizza rolls.  They were a hit with the kids!
Pizza Rolls
  • 1 Burger Bun Recipe
  • 1 lb Favorite Pizza Meat (sausage, pepperoni, salami, etc)
  • 3 c shredded mozzarella, divided
  • 1-2 c pizza sauce

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Make bread according to recipe.  After first rising, spread dough out on a greased surface.  Sprinkle 2 c of cheese over dough.  Layer on meat (I used some pepperoni on half and salami on the other half).  Roll dough jelly roll style….like you would for cinnamon rolls.  Seal end and edges.  Using a sharp knife, cut dough into rolls.  Place on greased baking pan and lightly press down.  Let rise for another 20-30 minutes.  Bake for 10 minutes and then remove from oven.  Top each with a tablespoon of sauce and a sprinkling of cheese.  Bake again for another 2-4 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Here they are before the 2nd rising:

Here’s after they’ve baked for 10 minutes and I’ve topped them with sauce and cheese:

And here’s the final product:

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Calzone…or Stromboli?

I’ve always wanted to know the difference between Calzone and Stromboli.  After my extensive research on Google (you know…the first two links that came up) I discovered that the main difference is that Calzone is supposed to have ricotta cheese…Stromboli doesn’t.  And that Calzone is in a half moon shape where as Stromboli is more of a long rectangular shape.  Both reliable sources said that the terms are used loosely and are pretty much interchangeable though.

So…..what do I call this creation?  What if I’ve been making it all these years without ricotta but making it in a half-moon shape?  What do I do now?!   What do I call this enclosed pizza pie?  Besides, yummy and gooey and delicious and cheesy and awesome…I guess I’ll call it Calzone.  Which is what I’ve been calling it all along.  There may be a time that I actually buy ricotta.  It would be officially a Calzone then.


  • Pizza Crust Recipe
  • 1 lb favorite meat, cooked (hamburger, sausage, bacon, pepperoni, etc)
  • 1 c favorite veggies, chopped (mushrooms, bell peppers, onions, etc)
  • 2 c Mozzarella, shredded
  • 1 can/jar of favorite spaghetti or pizza sauce

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Make pizza dough according to recipe.  Stretch out dough into a circle on flat greased pizza pan or cookie.  (letting your dough rest for about 5-10 minutes before this will make it easier to work with)  Add your meat, veggies, and mozzarella on one side of dough, leaving about an 1/2 inch edge.  Fold other half of dough over on top of filling and seal edges…either with a fork or pinching together.  Bake for about 15 minutes or until top is golden brown.  Serve with warmed spaghetti/pizza sauce.

These are also fun to make individualized.  Have fun with it!

The wonderful pizza seasoning I buy at Glenn’s Bulk Foods.

Just look at those spices!

I can’t even begin to describe my love for this:

It’s a bit unnatural probably….but….but….well, I’m not even going to try to explain it.

It’s squishy 😀

I actually divided my dough into 3 parts.  You can see here that I’ve spread this one into a circle and piled on the toppings.  I used sausage, bacon, pepperoni, fresh mushrooms, and mozzarella.

Here’s the pepperoni & mozzarella one.

I also made one with just mozzarella.  Here’s all three of them.  As you can see, I like to pinch my edges rather than using a fork.  Call me lazy…lol  And see that droopy dough on the front calzone?  This was the first one I made, and  I got the dough a little thin and it tore a whole.  So I just tore off a piece of dough from one of the other pieces (before making then into calzones, of course) and stretched it over the whole.  No biggie!

Golden Brown!


Oh…and in case you were wondering about my gourmet marinara sauce….

A whole 98 cents!

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Toasted Deli Melts

First of all, to all my fellow depressionists, depressioners, depression people, oh whatever…you know who you are:

Today in Hutchinson KS  the SUN WAS SHINING!!!!  Did you soak up some of that glorious Vitamin D?!  If not, you should have!!  I opened all my curtains and literally turned my recliner around so that I would face the sun today.  Oh, man, did it feel good.  It  just made me want to smile, despite how cold it was.  Who cares!!  THE SUN WAS SHINING!!  YEAH!!

And for those of you who didn’t know, the sun and all it’s glorious natural Vitamin D is fantastic for people dealing with depression.

And I read some in the book of James…such a great book for people dealing with troubles and issues and depression.  Good stuff in there!  Go read the first chapter and be inspired.

I’ve got a whole passel of kiddos over here tonight.  Three out of the four Keele kiddos (our Sr. Pastor’s kids) are staying with us tonight.  Their original babysitting arrangements fell through, so I’m glad they know they can depend on us in a pinch.  Wow it’s like a slumber party!!  Only it’s on a school night so they have to go to bed early – YEAH!!  lol

We had homemade Pizza and Snickerdoodles, so I’m sharing with you what I had for lunch:  Toasted Deli Melts

  • 1 bagel, split in half
  • 2 oz cream cheese
  • 2-4 Tbsp salsa
  • your favorite deli meats
  • your favorite cheese
  • sliced onion
  • sliced tomatoes
  • House Seasoning

I had a couple slices of honey turkey, Virginia Baked ham, salami for my deli meat choices, and  provolone, and swiss for my cheese choices.

Mix together cream cheese and salsa.  Set aside.  Butter each side of bagel (or spray with butter flavored Pam if you’re trying to be a little more healthy) and toast under broiler.  Spread each side with desired amount of cream cheese mixture. (I actually skipped this part today because, 1) I didn’t have cream cheese. 2) I really am trying to cut back where I can).  Next layer with your deli meats.  Top with a desired amount of slices of onion and tomatoes.  Broil again for about a minute or just to heat up the meat.  Take out and top with a slice of your favorite cheese.  Sprinkle a little House Seasoning on top.  Broil again until cheese is melted.

This is after it’s been in the broiler for  a few seconds

And this is the one with Swiss Cheese

And this is the one with Provolone.

My mom and I came up with these after eating something like these in a little shop in downtown Tahlequah, OK when I was in college.  So good!!!

Here’s the whole bunch (except lil’ Savannah – and for the record, she was crying when they left because she wanted to stay with Aunt Shara, too!)

P.S. If you’d like to give my Snickerdoodles a try before making them yourself, come to the Thailand Presentation tomorrow night at Crossroads, 6:30pm.  You can see and hear all about the trip our pastors (my hubby included) and a few other’s from our church took last fall.  And then you can stay for some cookies, mine included 😀

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