Saturday, June 7, 2008


I dedicate this blog to all hardworking people out there who sometimes dread having to make dinner every night. My husband and I used to argue about what was for dinner and sometimes who would cook it.
I solved this little dilemma by making a menu. At first, I made monthly ones, then semi-weekly ones and now I'm down to weekly. Mostly because I find them the easiest to do. We are also members of a local farmer's co op that delivers weekly and I never really know what I'm getting until I get it. Kind of like a grab bag of yummy stuff.
I love to cook. But I'm not up for it every night. When you're the parent of a toddler, aka ball of fire, you don't get a whole lot of time to cook. When I do get time I take full advantage of it. I cook double, triple, sometimes quadruple batches and freeze the extras in dinner sized portions. On the nights I can't find it in me to cook, I break out a frozen dinner, throw together a salad or a side and call it done.
Not all of my recipes are freezable but are easy, inexpensive and quick to prepare, but most of all delicious.

Frozen Pizza For Those About to Rock

Lives today are so chocked full of work, school activities and sport practices that sometimes the only option to fast food is frozen pizza. Frozen pizzas that don't taste like the box they come in are expensive and are still loaded with preservatives and hard to pronounce ingredients. My solution to this is to make my own. Its really not hard or time consuming, really.
Freezer Pizza (enough for two crusts)
3/4 cup warm water
2 T olive oil
2 c flour
1 t sugar
1/2 t salt
2 t bread machine yeast
Place ingredients in listed order in your bread machine and set for dough. Let it do its thing.
Now, lets contemplate toppings. I've used just about everything but the Chinese leftovers for this. Sausage, chicken, shrimp, ground beef, pepperoni, cheese and sauce. I usually use spaghetti sauce, most pizza sauces are too sweet for me. Veggies are a little more complicated. Onions get stronger when frozen, mushrooms get mushy, black olives, tomatoes and peppers don't freeze well either; however, there is a solution. Fresh veggies can be put on the pizza before popping it in the oven, just sprinkle a little extra cheese over them. I also wait until I'm ready to bake before sprinkling on seasonings such as basil, oregano, garlic and thyme, as herbs can turn bitter when frozen.
When the bread machine has done its duty, lightly flour your work surface. Pour out the dough and divide in half. Roll out.
Preheat your oven to 350 with a pizza stone in it. Use your fingers to press down the crust leaving the edges and giving that dough cute little dimples.
You don't have to prebake the crust but I find that it makes it crispier.
The secret to keeping the crust from getting soggy is in the order of the toppings. For this pizza, add the cheese first. The cheese keeps the sauce from soaking into the crust. Cheese then sauce then meat toppings, if you aren't going to freeze it the veggies can be added now, covered with a little more cheese then baked until the cheese is all melty and looks like this...
If you can hold the temptation off long enough to freeze there is no need to bake. Add your cheese, sauce and meat to the crust. Lay flat and freeze. Do not wrap before freezing otherwise your toppings will stick to the foil. Once frozen solid, remove, wrap in foil then in an airtight bag. You might want to make sure your pizzas will fit into the bags first.
To reheat the frozen pie there isn't even a need to defrost. After adding any veggies, pop it on a pizza stone in a 350 degree preheated oven until the cheese is melted.