Whole Wheat Honey Pizza Dough Recipe

I got this delicious whole wheat honey pizza dough recipe from my friend *Heather (A Mama’s Blog) a few months ago and have been enjoying it regularly ever since. It’s quick, easy and sooooo good. My family loves it too!

Whole Wheat Honey Pizza Dough

Ingredients:
4 1/2 teaspoons yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water
4 tablespoons honey
2 to 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons cornmeal
1 tablespoon olive oil

Mix yeast, water and honey and let stand 5 min.

Combine flour through cornmeal in a large bowl.

Add liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients, stir up a bit, then add in olive oil. Knead until everything is well combined. If it seems a little dry, you can add a bit more water at this point, but I don’t generally need to.

Cover dough in a bowl with a towel in a warm place for 30 min.

Punch down and roll out dough, add toppings and bake @ 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until done.

Makes enough dough to cover one whole cookie sheet (which is what I do) or (probably) two round pizza pans. I usually end up with a little extra dough too that the kids like to roll into balls and eat or last night I used the extra dough to make a big cinnamon roll for the family to share for dessert.

Enjoy!

* Recipe adapted from MyRecipes

Note: You should be able to use more wheat flour and less AP flour, but you might need to adjust other ingredients (like add more oil) to make the consistency work.

Peanut butter granola squares – recipe

Peanut butter granola squareThanks to tifi who tweeted this peanut butter granola recipe to me the other day. I made a few modifications to it (like cutting the amount of honey and sugar in half because it seemed like a lot, using whole wheat flour, and adding in flaxseed to it). The results were quite delicious. Here’s my version of the recipe:

Peanut Butter Granola Squares

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Ingredients:

4 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup whole wheat flour (or another kind of flour if you prefer)
1/3 cup ground flaxseed
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt (optional)

1 cup butter*
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup peanut butter (preferably organic PB with no sugar added)

Directions:
Combine oats through salt in a large bowl. Stir to combine.

Heat butter through peanut butter in a sauce pan until all are melted.  Add melted mixture to the dry ingredients in the bowl. Stir to make sure oats are completely covered.

Spread the mixture into a 13 x 9 baking pan. Bake at 325 degrees for about 30 minutes. Let cool and cut into squares. Enjoy!

* Farmer’s Daughter asked about cutting back on some of the butter and suggested applesauce as a replacement. I think this would probably work well and cut down on the fat. I plan to try it out the next time I make them. 🙂

Update 1/30/09: I made this recipe again, but this time used only 1/2 cup of butter and added 3/4 cup of mashed ripe bananas. This worked really well. It cut down the fat and the squares held together a lot better and were a lot less crumbly. And they are delicious!

The cookie tray – recipes to tantalize your tastebuds

As I sit here typing with a belly full of turkey, trimmings and pie, I have to admit that the idea of baking cookies is the farthest thing from my mind. Yet I know when I wake up tomorrow my desire to bake (and eat) will be renewed again and as the holiday music fills the air over the next few weeks, I’ll be happy to have this list of tasty recipes to look back on. Because even though I can’t imagine taking one more bite of food at the moment, these recipes look really darn good.

Chocolate chip cookiesI put together some of the best recipes I could find and broke them down into categories. I think there is likely something here to satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth, but if you don’t find something you like, please feel free to link to your favorite cookie recipe in the comments. After all, whenever cookies are concerned, the more, the merrier.

If you are like me and have a bunch of pureed pumpkin to use up, you welcome any recipe that involves pumpkin. Did I mention my neighbor dropped off a container full of 13 cups of pumpkin this week? Oh yes, she did. Ordinarily I would welcome such a gift, but when my freezer was already full of pumpkin puree, it forced me to get a little creative. That is why we had chocolate pumpkin cake for my son’s birthday earlier in the week, as well as two kinds of pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving this evening (and probably pumpkin soup later this week). Luckily for me there is no shortage of good pumpkin cookie recipes out there.

Pumpkin Cookies

  • Mommy Wizdom claims she has a recipe for The Best Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever and told me that anywhere she takes her cookies, people ask her for this recipe.
  • At Green Hour, there’s another recipe for kid-friendly Pumpkin Cookies (scroll down to the third recipe), where the kiddos can help “press raisin eyes, a nose, and a smile on each warm cookie.”
  • Julie at Persnickety Palate posted one of her childhood favorites, Mom’s Pumpkin Cookies. This variation includes almonds and chocolate chips.
  • Last in the pumpkin category is the recipe for the easiest cookies I’ve ever made. Seriously. This recipe for Pumpkin Spice Cookies (AKA The easiest cookies I’ve ever made) literally has only two ingredients (though more can be added, but that’s totally optional).

Speaking of simple cookie recipes, here are a couple more that even the most inexperienced baker can handle.

Simple Cookie Recipes

  • Jenn from The Green Parent told me this recipe on Twitter. It’s so short and easy, she gave me the whole recipe in 140 characters or less, and I quote, “3cups pb, 3 cup sugar, and 3 eggs…mix and bake then press a Hershey’s kiss in the top. Yum Yum and soo easy!” And hello, chocolate and peanut butter (which is what the “pb” stands for above) together? In my book that’s a combination that can never go wrong.
  • Brandy from Savin Some posted a Cake Mix Cookie recipe that uses white cake mix and just two other ingredients.
  • And at Cindy’s Desktop, Cindy confesses, “I cannot cook hard recipes!” Her solution is to only cook easy recipes and she offers up a variety of Cake Mix Cookie recipes.

Chocolate chip cookies are a favorite in my house. I always say that you can add chocolate chips to nearly any recipe and it will only make it better.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • When I first read about Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies on Twitter, I was a little taken aback. Sure, bacon is good and chocolate is good, but combining them? Hmmm. According to Michelle Baker, AKA the Urban Eater, “The salty, crisp bacon is MAGIC with the sweet chocolately cookie. Perfection. I recommend NOT eating these straight from the oven as you will not stop.” I’m not sure if I will try these out myself, but I’d love to know if anyone else does.
  • If you are looking for a little more traditional chocolate chip cookie, you might like these Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies from Teresa Long of Intent Blog.
  • These Black and white chocolate chip cookies that come from Jessie at the blog The Hungry Mouse use Oreos as one of the ingredients look pretty darn tasty.
  • Flour Girl, ironically enough, posted this recipe for Flour-less peanut butter banana chocolate chip cookies. Again, peanut butter and chocolate. Yum!

Of course, ’tis the season and a post about cookie recipes wouldn’t be complete without some holiday recipes.

Holiday Cookies

I should probably apologize to all of the vegans out there for that bacon chocolate chip cookie recipe above (sorry), but if it’s any consolation I found a handful of vegan recipes to help make it up to you.

Vegan Cookies

Since I included so many recipes that include chocolate (how did that happen?), I want to throw in this non-chocolate recipe for good measure: Lemon cookies from Mennonite Girls Can Cook. (Honestly, I had to include it just because it looks really good.)

And lastly, because we should not forget our canine friends, here are some cookie recipes for the dogs.

Dog Cookies

  • Lisa from Condo Blues had to get creative when she recently found herself out of dog treats before an agility class. Because her dog has allergies to wheat and corn, it is hard to find dog treats in the grocery store anyway, so she developed her own Allergy-free apple and banana dog cookies.
  • Ali at Home of the Lazy Dog has a recipe for Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits. She says she’s made a lot of different kinds of dog treats over the years, but these are her favorite. They’re “easy, healthy, natural, crunchy and taste great.”

Have a favorite cookie recipe you’d like to share? Please leave a comment with a link or the whole recipe, I’m not picky. Happy baking.

*When buying chocolate chips (or chocolate of any kind), I recommend buying organic and fair-trade whenever possible. If it’s just not in your budget (it’s unfortunately, not usually in mine), then I suggest avoiding Nestlé products and buying a store brand (generally cheaper) or another brand. Why? You can read about the Nestlé boycott here. This is a boycott that I continue to stand behind.

Cross-posted on BlogHer

Easy-peasy playdough recipe

On Sunday morning, I whipped up some homemade playdough for the kids. It took maybe 20 minutes from start to finish and was so easy it left me wondering why I never made it myself before!

our playdoughPlaydough

1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
1 cup water
2 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons cream of tartar
food coloring

Mix flour, salt, cream of tartar and oil, and slowly add the water. Cook over medium heat, stirring until dough becomes stiff. Turn out onto wax paper and let cool. Knead the playdough with your hands until of proper consistency. Use as is, or divide into balls and add a few drops of the food coloring to make various colors.

I love how soft it turned out and the unique colors. If the kids didn’t love it so much, I think I could spend hours just playing with it myself. 🙂

Julian and Ava reaching for the playdough

Here are some variations of the playdough recipe.

How to make and can strawberry jam (with giveaway)

This giveaway has ended and is closed to new entries.

A couple of weeks ago, I made my first batch of strawberry jam (from the organic strawberries we’d picked at a local farm) and tried my hand at canning for the first time as well. It was a lot of fun, but also a very time-consuming task as I learned the ropes. I decided to write up a how to guide with pictures up the wazoo to hopefully help someone else with their first foray into jam-making and canning. I think pictures would have helped me a lot.

I know some people are firmly against it, but I decided to use pectin in my jam, though not just any pectin. I found Pomona’s Pectin at the farm where we picked our fruit. Pomona’s is a natural pectin made from 100% pure citrus. Its jelling power is activated by calcium, not by sugar content, which allows you to make low-sugar or even no-sugar jam*. For my batch of strawberry jam, I used only 3/4 cup of honey as a sweetener. For the batch of peach jam I made, I used 3/4 cup of agave nectar. I thought it was fabulous to avoid the usual 5 or 6 cups of sugar required to make jam. (My kids don’t need all of that!) Oh, and both taste amazing!

Please note: The step-by-step guide below is for making jam with Pomona’s Pectin. If you have another brand of pectin or are making jam without pectin, this guide to making jam will not work for you. However, the process of canning should still be the same. 🙂

How to make strawberry jam with Pomona’s Pectin:

Get out all of your delicious organic strawberries:
Freshly-picked organic strawberries

Wash and hull the strawberries:
Washing the strawberries

While you work on making the jam, wash jars/lids in soapy water, then sterilize them in boiling water. The rack I had to put the jars in was too big for the size jars I was using, so I put two cookie racks on the bottom of my pot which kept the jars up off the bottom of the pot:
Sterilizing the jars and lids

Mash the strawberries (Cute helpers optional):
Mashing up the strawberries Mashing up the strawberries Ava helps mash the strawberries

Measure out 4 cups of mashed strawberries:
Measuring the mashed strawberries

Measure and add 2 teaspoons calcium water (included with Pomona’s Pectin) into the strawberries:
Calcium water

Measure out 1/2 cup to 1 cup honey (or agave nectar) or 3/4 cup to 2 cups sugar. Put in small bowl:
Measuring out the honey

Add and mix 2 teaspoons Pomona’s Pectin powder into the honey, agave or sugar:
Pomona’s Pectin Stirring pectin into the honey

Pour strawberries into pot. Add the honey/agave/sugar/pectin mixture to the strawberries:
Adding honey and pectin to the strawberries

Bring to a boil and stir vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes to dissolve pectin. Return to a boil and remove from heat.:
Stirring the strawberries vigorously

Remove hot jar and lid from boiling water. Carefully fill jar to 1/4 inch of top. Use a funnel if you have one. (I didn’t at the time, but I do now.):
Filling a jar with jam

Wipe the rim of the jar clean:
Wiping the rim of the jar

Place lid on jar and screw ring on until finger-tip tight:
Tightening up the jar

Using tongs, place the jar into the canning bath. Repeat until all jars have been filled and placed into canning bath. About an inch of water should cover the jars:
Jam in the canning bath

Boil 5 minutes (add 1 minute for every 1,000 feet above sea level). (I believe the amount of time varies for each recipe.)

Using your tongs, remove the jars from the water:
Putting jam into canning bath

Let jars cool completely for several hours. As they cool, the lids will suck down and you will probably hear a popping sound as the vacuum seal forms. Pop!

Once the jars are completely cooled (several hours), unscrew the ring and lightly pull on the lid to check the seal. Any jars not sealed will need to be reprocessed or refrigerated and consumed first.

Admire your finished product. Makes 4-5 cups jam:
The finished product - strawberry jam!

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Win It!
Pomona’s PectinNo, I’m not giving away a jar of my jam, but I am offering you a chance to make your own! Leave me a comment telling me what kind of jam you like best and you will be entered for a chance to win a box of Pomona’s Pectin. The deadline to enter is Friday, Sept. 19. The winner will be chosen using Random.org and notified via email, so make sure you leave a valid email address or a link to your blog where I can reach you. Good luck!

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Pomona’s Pectin is generally available at health food stores, food co-ops or farm stands. If you can’t locate it locally, you can purchase it online. They also have a JAMLINE for questions or assistance with converting recipes. (Doesn’t that rock?) And their boxes are made from recycled cardboard and the paper the recipes are printed on is recycled as well.

* From Pomona’s site: “Some other possible sweeteners are honey, fructose, sucanat, concentrated fruit sweetener, maple syrup, agave nectar, frozen juice concentrate, stevia, xylitol, Splenda and other artificial sweeteners.”

Best Granola Recipe Ever

So maybe I’m biased and maybe I haven’t really tried all that many granola recipes, but that’s only because I LOVE this one, so why should I bother with others? ;oP

The Best Granola EverI’ve been making this granola recipe for at least a year now, though I’ve taken the summer months off because I didn’t want to heat up the house. Now that it’s cooled off here in Colorado (at least for now), I’ve been craving the granola again, so while Julian napped one day this past week, Ava and I made a big batch.

I actually got my recipe from USA Weekend, but I’ve experimented with ingredients and tweaked it here and there, doubled the recipe (since my family always eats it up in no time flat) and made it my own.

Here’s what I now call the…
Best Granola Ever.

Ingredients:

1/3 cup + 1 Tbs. oil, vegetable or canola
2 Tbs. water
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
4 Tbs. molasses
4 Tbs. maple syrup
(Or you can just use 1/2 cup of maple syrup and omit the molasses)

4 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup wheat germ
4 Tbs. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
4 Tbs. ground flaxseed
2/3 cup coconut
2/3 cup pumpkin seeds (sunflower seeds can be substituted)
2/3 cup almonds (chopped or whole)

Adjust oven racks to middle positions. Preheat to 275 degrees. Coat two metal cookie sheets with cooking spray or oil and set aside.

Bring oil, syrup, molasses, cinnamon, water to a simmer in a saucepan over low heat.

Mix oats through almonds in a large bowl. Pour oil/maple syrup mixture over oat mixture and stir to combine.

Pour mixture onto two prepared cookie sheets. Working a handful at a time, squeeze granola to form small clumps.

Bake for 30 minutes. Stir and continue to bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes longer.

Let cool. Granola can be stored in an airtight container for up to two weeks. Enjoy!

Makes (roughly) 2 quarts.

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And if you’re looking for a great granola BAR recipe, try this one I wrote about a couple years ago. 😉

Raw broccoli salad with raw cashew dressing – recipe

When I tasted the raw broccoli salad my friend Melissa of Nature Deva brought to our attachment parenting picnic a week ago, I knew I had to get the recipe from her. I’m not usually a big fan of raw broccoli, but she shredded it in her salad, and that combined with the raw cashew dressing was a match made in taste bud heaven.

I made it for dinner on Sunday and the family gobbled it right up. I’m still enjoying the leftovers.

Here is the recipe, courtesy of Melissa (who recently wrote about her experiences eating a raw foods diet for the past six months).

Raw broccoli salad

Broccoli Salad

5 cups shredded broccoli
1/2 – 1 cup red onion
1 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/2 cup raisins

Add all to a bowl.

Dressing
1 cup raw cashews
3T raw agave nectar
2T raw apple cider vinegar
1/4t sea salt
1/4 cup water

Blend the dressing in a *blender (you may want to soak the cashews in water for an hour just to soften them up if your blender is not high speed to make it easier to blend or you can try first in the food processor then the blender). Pour over the broccoli mix and mix well with your hands to really coat it. Enjoy!

*My notes: I used my food processor to shred the broccoli, chop the cashews and mix up the dressing. My blender isn’t a super wowee one (though Jody and I were ogling a BlendTec at Costco this weekend – ooooh, ahhhh), but I heart my food processor (that Julie from Chez Artz sold me last year when she upgraded to a bigger one). Hope you like it!


20 minutes makes a better butter

I’ve been reading a few more crunchy blogs lately and have been inspired to expand upon my own crunchiness by making my own butter. Crunchy Chicken made it sound easy peasy on her other blog Crunchy Chicken Cooks, and my friend Julie also tried it with much success, so I decided we should have a go at it ourselves.

All you need to make your own butter is:

  1. A pint of heavy whipping cream
  2. A Mason jar with a lid

Then shake, shake, shake your way to delicious fresh butter.

Before:
Cream

The helpers shake it up:
Ava making butter - 2/9/08 Julian making butter 2/9/08

After:
The finished product - butter!

And on some homemade blueberry bread (made with the buttermilk that is leftover from making the butter):
Blueberry bread with fresh butter

I’d never had fresh butter before, but it really is delicious! 🙂

We speculate that the cream we got from our local dairy was not heavy whipping cream because it actually took us longer than 20 minutes to make the butter. The first time I thought it was because we let the kids help, but the second time I did most of the shaking myself and it still took a lot longer than 20 minutes. I think the next time I’m just going to pick up a pint of organic heavy whipping cream at the store.

You can read the full step by step instructions with pictures on Crunchy Chicken’s cooking blog. The last step that is optional (and that she did not include) is to add some salt to it if you prefer salted butter.

Next up for the Crunchy Domestic Goddess is making yogurt! I just need to get myself a candy thermometer and then I’m all over it. 🙂

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Also, just want to add that I’m writing for Blissfully Domestic now as the “Eco Diva.” My first post all about recycling is up today!

And while you are blog hopping, check out AllTop.com, a new project by Guy Kawasaki “that provides ‘all the top’ stories for 40 of the most popular topics on the Web. The headlines and first paragraph of the five most recent stories from 40 to 80 sources for each topic are displayed.”

Pumpkin black bean soup recipe

For everyone drooling over my Best Shot Monday post, here’s the recipe. It’s quick and easy and both of my kids love it. 🙂

It’s reportedly one of Rachel Ray’s recipes and I think my friend Nicole gave it to me. (Thanks, Nicole!) My comments/changes are in parenthesis.

Julian enjoying pumpkin and black bean soup - 2/29/08Pumpkin and Black Bean Soup
4-6 servings; Cook 20 min, 5 min prep

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (1 turn of the pan)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 cups canned vegetable stock, found on soup aisle (I use a few cups of water and a few teaspoons of vegetarian chicken base here)
1 (14 1/2 ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice (I blend it first so that it’s not chunky, since a few family members don’t like tomatoes)
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 (15 ounce) cans pumpkin puree (avoid buying Libby – it’s owned by Nestle)
1 cup corn, frozen or canned (drain and rinse if canned)
1 cup heavy cream (I use 1% milk, but you can use soy milk as well)
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (I don’t add this since my kids don’t do spicy foods)
coarse salt
20 sprigs fresh chives, chopped or snipped, for garnish

1. Heat a soup pot over medium heat.
2. Add oil.
3. When oil is hot, add onion.
4. Saute onions 5 minutes.
5. Add broth, tomatoes or tomato sauce, black beans, pumpkin puree and corn.
6. Stir to combine ingredients and bring soup to a boil.
7. Reduce heat to medium low and stir in cream, curry, cumin, cayenne and salt, to taste.
8. Simmer 5 minutes, adjust seasonings and serve garnished with chopped chives.
9. For Vegan option use Soy Cream or Soy milk.

Green tip of the week #2 – fruit and veggie wash

fruits and vegetablesNaBloPoMo – Day 17

Green tip of the week:

If you can’t afford to buy organic produce, you can still clean up your conventional produce and remove dirt, pesticides, chemicals, and insect residue with your own fruit and veggie wash spray. All you need for this recipe is natural soap, vinegar and water.

Not sure how contaminated your produce is? Check out the dirty dozen list to see which fruits and veggies have the most/least amount of pesticides.

Have any green tips you’ve recently learned? Please email them to me and I may include your tip with a link to your site or blog in a future post. 🙂