Happy, Healthy New Year!

Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a great Christmas! Mine certainly went well, large glasses of rompope and significantly more turkey and tamales than any one family should ever endure. This will be my first post for the New Year. One of my resolutions is to try how to focus on what I could do to lower the household expenses. I need help on this one, though. It is hard sticking to a specific budget for groceries and eating out. For me and my husband last year actual food expense averaged out to $189 per month. I didn’t bother to get cash out for groceries and I used my old debit card habits. Sure enough, we went $145 over budget. So my resolution this year is going back to cash shopping, because always makes me more thoughtful at the grocery store.

Yesterday we went to a local pizza house for lunch. We had a medium pepperoni pizza, breadsticks and two cokes. Our bill was $23, not including tip or tax. The pizza was $15, the breadsticks $4, and the cokes were $2 each. Is this the going rate for pizza? Life’s tough, eh? At least we can afford to eat, though.

I realize it’s my desire to please my family palates that makes cooking intimidating, but it hasn’t stopped me from trying, succeeding, and failing miserably. So should a pizza lover choose so seriously to commit making his/her own pizzas at home instead of ordering from a pizza restaurant? Yes, you can. I found this recipe few days ago, and boy, oh boy, if you’re craving pizza, have pizza! There’s nothing like homemade pizza – if you use mostly fresh homemade ingredients you can control the fat, sugar and sodium. Isn’t that great? I like to make my own homemade sauce. Once I have it made, I will freeze or can it for future use.

The idea to make this one came from Macheesmo This website has really good recipes! You can omit the meat to turn this dish into a vegetarian Pizza delight. Want a piece? That’s all I’m willing to share 😉

Cast Iron Pizza

2 1/2 Cups bread flour
1 scant Tablespoon sugar
2 Teaspoons kosher salt
3/4 Teaspoon active dry yeast
1 1/2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 scant Cup warm water
1 1/2 Cups tomato sauce
1 Teaspoon dried parsley
1 Teaspoon dried marjoram
1/2 Teaspoon onion powder
1/2 Teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 Teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 Tablespoon olive oil
Big pinch of salt and pepper
– 1/2 pound sausage, browned
– 1/4 Cup scallions, chopped
– 8-10 ounces mozzarella cheese
– 2 Tablespoons fresh basil, minced

For the dough, mix together water, sugar, salt, and yeast in a bowl. Stir it together and let it sit for a few minutes until yeast is dissolved and foaming a bit. Then add in your flour and stir it together. Use a hand dipped in water to vigorously work the dough into a ball. As you work the dough, you might notice that it’s too dry. Add a few extra tablespoons of water. The dough should be pretty moist and flexible. If it seems firm, let it rest and relax for five minutes, then continue to work it.

After about 8 minutes of kneading it, you should have a very soft ball of dough. Coat the dough well in olive oil and place it in a plastic bag. If you’re using the dough the same day, let it rise for an hour at room temperature, then take it out and de-gas it. Reshape it and store it in the fridge for at least 2 hours. Then take it out of the fridge at least an hour before you need it. Roll the dough into a large circle and just plop it in the center of your skillet. You don’t need to oil the skillet or anything. The dough shouldn’t stick to it at all assuming you have a well-seasoned skillet. once the dough is in your skillet, use a knife to cut off any extra dough, leaving about an inch of dough up the side of the skillet. Then use your fingers to kind of just fold the dough over itself, forming a crust.

Making the pizza!
Add a light coating of sauce to the pizza. You probably won’t need all of your pizza sauce. Then add on the sausage and scallions. Next add on all that grated cheese! Put in hot oven (450 degree) and cook it until the crust is browned and the cheese melted. This took the pie about 20 minutes. When your pizza comes out of the oven, you should be able to get a spatula and just slide the pizza right out of the pan!

About zoom50

“It’s amazing how people can get so excited about a rocket to the moon and not give a damn about smog, oil leaks, the devastation of the environment with pesticides, hunger, disease”
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