Easy Pizza Dough

Hello Stranger!  How’s it Cooking?

Between winter colds, a busy work schedule, good and bad news, and then the holidays… we have sadly fallen behind our posts.  But do not distress, fine friends!  For we have some lovely recipes in the works…

I’ll let the hubby take it from here with a fast and easy (and absolutely delicious!) recipe for pizza dough…

Easy Pizza Dough

So after trying a few pizza dough recipes over the years I’ve found this to be one of the easiest and quickest to make.  I found this off Martha Stewart’s Everyday Living magazine.

First you’ll need a few items…

  • 2 packets (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for bowl and brushing
  • 2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for work surface.
  • Pour 1 1/2 cups warm water into a large bowl; sprinkle with yeast and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.
Whisk sugar, oil, and salt into yeast mixture.
Add flour and stir until a sticky dough forms.
If you’ve got a mixer now’s the time to use it.  Attach the dough hook to your mixer and knead the dough til its all mixed up.
I’m mixing this by hand, which involves folding the dough and pressing it down.
Once you’re done shape the dough into a ball.
Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm, draft-free place until dough has doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
Here’s my dough after 1 hour.
Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and gently knead 1 or 2 times before using.
  This makes 2 pounds of pizza dough and either makes 2 large pizzas or 4 medium pizzas.
I usually cut the dough in half and freeze half of it for later use.  Then with the portion I didn’t freeze I cut it in half again so I can make 2 pizzas.
Pizza time!
So now the dough is made, start rolling it out with a pin or stretch it out with you hands slowly.  I’ve been stretching it with my hands, then use the rolling pin as needed later.  If needed sprinkle some flour on your work surface to keep the dough from sticking.
Once you’ve got the pizza as thin as desired, then you’re ready for the toppings.
I use a pizza stone that I got at Target.  You can also get a square patio stone tile at a hardware store and that should work just fine.  I heat the pizza stone in the oven to 400 degrees.
Another piece of equipment that I had to have in my kitchen, is a pizza peel.  I use this one pictured.
I corn meal the peel, then place the pizza on it.  You could flour the peel then put the pizza dough on it.  I do this so the dough doesn’t stick to the peel.  MacGyver says “Use a cutting board if you don’t have a pizza peel.”
First brush olive oil on the top, then put down your tomato sauce.  The olive oil will act as a barrier to keep the dough from getting soggy.  If you have a drier sauce you may not need to add olive oil, but go ahead and experiment.
In this photo I used olive oil, tomato sauce, sharp cheddar cheese, prosciutto, fresh basil, and freshly ground pepper.  The slide that sucker into the oven.
After 10-15 minutes the pizza should be done.
What are you waiting for?  Eat it!

This month is bananas! B-A-N-A-N-A-S!

Happy November, folks!

Another month, another day, and another set of holidays just around the corner!  You know what that means?  Food, food, food!!!

Halloween has come and gone.  Leaving us a huge pile of candy and fruit snacks.  Sadly, we had a total of ZERO kids the other night.  ZERO!  Crazy, huh?  Where were all the kids of San Francisco trick-or-treating???

In any case, the holidays lead to a LOT of eating and a LOT of deliciousness… and unfortunately, a lot of wasted food.

Wasting food is probably one of my biggest pet peeves.  I hate throwing things out of the fridge.  I am always trying to buy just enough to not lead to too many left-overs or try to find ways to utilize it in another way.

Bananas, baby!  Bananas!

My friend once described bananas as the perfect fruit.  They’re packed in their own compostable casing.  They’re easy to peel.  And if you are suffering from leg cramps, then you’re probably not getting enough potatssium and should go gobble up some bananas!


BUT… these yellow beauties can turn quite quickly.  Suddenly your beautiful, ripe, and yellow banana have turned into this…

Not so pretty.

But remember what your folks said about not judging a book by the cover… these ripening babies may be turning a lovely shade of black, but are also getting sweeter and softer by the minute.  What does that mean?


My mother in-law, my friend, and my sister’s sister-in-law make mean banana breads.  Delicious.  Moist.  Sometimes chock full of nutty goodness.  Therefore, being surrounded by delicious banana bread makers has left me without a good banana bread recipe for a long time.  That and being very intimidated to make banana bread.

Unfortunately (and fortunately), I cannot keep forcing myself and Kelson to eat bananas once they start going brown… so it’s time to bust out the recipes and find an easy go-to banana bread recipe.

Easy and Brilliantly Awesome Banana Bread Recipe

*This recipe is adapted from The America’s Test Kitchen Family Baking Book.


  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 very ripe bananas
  • 3/4 stick salted butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Optional: 1/2 cup toasted walnuts

1.  Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

2.  Whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl.

3.  In a medium bowl, mash the bananas.  (Bust out the potato masher if you got one!  If not, a whisk works just fine.)

4.  Then mix in the melted butter, eggs, yogurt, and vanilla together.

5.  Gently fold the banana mixture into the flour mixture with a spatula.  If you are adding nuts, then fold those in as well.  DO NOT OVERMIX!

6. Time to bust out the PAM or whatever you’d like to use to grease the bundt pan.  I love bundt pans.  I also love the word “bundt”.  Bundt.

7.  Scrape the batter into the bundt pan.  Smooth the top.  Bake for about 55 minutes.  Rotate the pan halfway through to make sure it cooks evenly.  If you’re not sure the banana bread is ready, do the toothpick test.  Stick a toothpick in the middle and pull it out.  If it comes out clean, then you’re good to go.  If you still see some batter stuck on, then bake it a little longer.

8.  Let the banana bread cool for about 10 minutes.  If you have greased your bundt pan well, the bread should pop right out.

Folks, you can now be that mother-in-law or friend or sister’s sister-in-law who makes the awesome banana bread.  All the while, preventing your rotting bananas from ending up in the trash.  Enjoy!