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Friday, November 4, 2011

green pizza to go with a green ogre

Have you ever called someone and left a message for someone else then that first person calls you back two weeks later and you end up inviting her and her daughter over for pizza and movie night? That is what happened to me as I was chopping chicken for my Pesto Pizza tonight. And I'm glad to say I made a new friend, and so did my son. Of course, it's easy to make friends when sharing gourmet pizza on homemade crust (my first attempt) and watching Shrek. I mean, really, Shrek brings everyone together. :D

Pesto Pizza. Easy enough. We had Pesto Pasta last night with a store bought pesto and those oil packed sun dried tomatoes. I made sure to save enough sauce and sun dried tomatoes, and I cooked up a little extra chicken. I made my own crust from scratch, sautéed some onions using the oil from the sun dried tomatoes and topped it with mozzarella. The only thing I would change is the Parmesan cheese. How can I not have Parmesan cheese in my house? My new friend brought a salad and we finished with a slice of home made pumpkin pie - from fresh pumpkin that I bought at the last farmers market of the year! It couldn't have been a better meal.

The pizza is pretty self explanatory (pesto sauce, tomatoes, onions, chicken, cheese) so I'll post the crust I tried. (Sorry, Mir, I couldn't find the one you linked - would you please link it again?)

2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast and brown sugar in the water, and let sit for 10 minutes (I used the quick rising yeast, so I didn't do this, I just mixed everything together).
Stir the salt and oil into the yeast solution. Mix in 2 1/2 cups of the flour.
Turn dough out onto a clean, well floured surface, and knead in more flour until the dough is no longer sticky. Place the dough into a well oiled bowl, and cover with a cloth. Let the dough rise until double; this should take about 1 hour. Punch down the dough, and form a tight ball. Allow the dough to relax for a minute before rolling out. Use for your favorite pizza recipe.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). If you are baking the dough on a pizza stone, you may place your toppings on the dough, and bake immediately. If you are baking your pizza in a pan, lightly oil the pan, and let the dough rise for 15 or 20 minutes before topping and baking it.
Bake pizza in preheated oven, until the cheese and crust are golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes.

We liked this crust, though, frankly it was a little too much crust for me. I have to have a thin crust, but this was REALLY thick. You could cut it back (and if you follow the link to they'll do it for you) but this was the right measurements for one packet of yeast, so *shrug*

We enjoyed our green pizza while watching Shrek's FinalChapter, amid the children running in and out, playing with the Hulk gloves (yes the ones that make noise) with their new friend. The kids pick the movie ever week, but they almost never watch it to the end, and with new friends around, who can focus on a movie?

Anyway, Shrek makes the comment that his life was so perfect. Donkey comes back with, "Then why did you wish it away?" The simple answer that I hope I can learn from him and not have to learn it myself: "I didn't know it until I lost it."

This should probably go on my rambling blog but here's my pizza night ramble: I've got the baby climbing on me and trying to eat MY pizza, even though she has a plate of her own right next to me; children are running in and out, punching each other with stuffed gloves, laughing, crying, and even fighting over the toys when they are supposed to be sitting down watching a move; pizza that I have picked up off the floor at least 4 times is on the floor again and the baby still won't eat it; and on and on. Part of me feels a lot like Shrek did at the beginning of the movie. Same thing day after day week after week, no break, no nice "mud bath" for me. And sometimes, I just feel so exhausted. But as Shrek found out, This. Is. The. Perfect. Life. I am so blessed to have a great husband, great children, a great new friend, and soon, a great new house. Life is good. Sometimes you just need a reminder to show you just how good it is. As we celebrate Thanksgiving this month (what? not Christmas? - Hush you! Thanksgiving is first!) I remind myself how blessed I truly am. I am thankful that my children are healthy and able to run through the house yelling and punching and laughing and crying. I am thankful for daily opportunities to meet new people and make new friends. I am Thankful for a sink full of dishes and a stove covered in pots and pans because it means we've eaten several times today (good food, too, if I do say so myself). I am thankful for the piles of dirty laundry in every corner of my house because we have clothes to wear and keep us warm. I am thankful for the roof over my head and the soft warm bed I have to sleep in. I am thankful for my family and friends, far and near. And most of all, I am thankful for the Gospel of JesusChrist and hope and direction that it gives me.

Ok, I'll stop rambling. Enjoy your Pizza!!

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