Homemade Pizza Dough

Who doesn’t love pizza? I’m pretty sure pizza has every single thing that you could need in life on it. Every single thing. And it’s hard to get tired of because there are seriously about a gazillion options for what you can put on it. It’s basically the perfect food.
 
Thank you to whoever said, “Let’s take delicious yeast dough and cover it in tomatoes and cheese and olive oil and everything yummy then bake it until it’s golden brown and bubbly.” You make my life better about once a week. Not that I’m saying I eat pizza about once a week…nope. Actually, yes. Yes, I do eat it a lot.
Risen dough

Just wait until you try this pizza dough that is light and airy but also chewy and crunchy. Is that even possible? The answer is yes! So try it. For real. I had been making a different dough for awhile now and it was good but after trying this one, I think this one takes the cake. It it is so much lighter and golden brown…yum! Wow, I really want pizza again.

I make mine on a pizza stone but you can also do this on a normal baking tray or round tray. I’m going to be honest though. The pizza stone is an awesome investment. Just think of all the money you’ll save from ordering out! That covers it, right? We’ll tell ourselves that at least.

Also, I didn’t add any herbs or spices this time but sometimes I will add in whatever I feel like (garlic powder, oregano, red pepper flakes, basil) to the dough. If you do this, just add the herbs or spices in with the flour so it can get incorporated during the kneading process!

P.S. I am a little over the top. I not only made the pizza dough but I also made the sauce and cheese from scratch. And the basil is from our garden. It was scrumptious. Who here didn’t know you can make cheese at home? Well, you can and I highly recommend it. It’s from a cheese-making kit and I’m still not good at it but apparently it’s still delicious even if you’re not good at it. Awesome! Also, pizza sauce recipe to be posted soon! **Update: Pizza Sauce recipe is posted here!

Homemade Pizza Dough
Yields 2
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Prep Time
2 hr 30 min
Cook Time
15 min
Prep Time
2 hr 30 min
Cook Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 cup warm water (105-115 degrees Fahrenheit)
  2. 1 tablespoon dry yeast (instant)
  3. 1 tablespoon sugar
  4. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  5. 1 teaspoon salt
  6. 3 1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
  7. garlic salt, optional
  8. corn meal
Instructions
  1. Mix together warm water, yeast, and sugar in a large mixing bowl (I used my stand mixer bowl). Let sit about 10 minutes until the mixture becomes foamy.
  2. Add olive oil, salt, and 1 1/2 cups of flour and mix to combine. I used my hook attachment on my mixer but you can do this by hand. Slowly add 2 to 2 1/2 cups of flour to mixture until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Start with 2 cups then add more flour if the mixture is still sticky. It should be barely sticky once the flour is added.
  3. Once the dough is barely sticky, mix on medium-low in your stand mixer with the hook attachment, or by hand, for 5 minutes.
  4. Lightly coat the bowl with olive oil (I used olive oil spray) and roll the dough around to coat the bowl and all the sides of the dough with oil. Cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel until it is doubled in size (1-2 hours).
  5. Preheat your oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit about 15 minutes before you think your dough has risen and place your pizza stone in the oven to preheat (preheat for at least 30 minutes).
  6. After the dough has risen, remove from the bowl and divide into 2 pieces. Make into 2 balls and cover with a kitchen towel and let rest another 15 minutes.
  7. You can freeze the dough at this point in separate plastic bags (spray dough with oil before freezing) or use it immediately. Take the pizza stone out of the oven and cover it with cornmeal. Stretch the dough to the size of the pizza stone and transfer to the stone. You can still stretch it on the stone (Be careful. It's hot!) to reach the edges.
  8. Spray or lightly brush olive oil over the dough then place your toppings on it. If you want, sprinkle garlic salt around the crust (The crust will taste like garlic breadsticks...yum!).
  9. Bake for 12-15 minutes until the crust is golden brown on the outside and the toppings are bubbly and delicious. You can also broil the pizza for a minute or two after you bake it to get an extra bubbly and crispy pizza.
Notes
  1. I froze one of the dough balls because we were only going to eat 1 pizza (even though I would have eaten them both if I could). As stated above, spray the dough with oil then place the dough balls in separate plastic bags to freeze. Defrost in the refrigerator for about 12 hours then let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking, making sure to preheat your pizza stone for at least 30 minutes before placing the dough on it.
Adapted from Carlsbad Cravings
Adapted from Carlsbad Cravings
Flavor From Scratch http://www.flavorfromscratch.com/
 

Spicy Fish with an Avocado & Greek Yogurt Sauce

 

I’m honestly new to this whole “fish” thing. My mom loves fish and probably would have made it more as we were growing up if my sister and I weren’t so darn picky. Unfortunately for her she pretty much lost that battle and lived a fish-free life for the most part. But guess what?? I like fish now! Kind of. In small quantities as least. I can really only eat about half a fillet of fish before I get tired of it and have to try and pawn it off on my husband or save it for another day. Progress is slow. But, hey…progress is progress.

This recipe was kind of the recipe that changed my view of fish from “no, thank you” to “hey, this is kind of not bad”. Actually, it is DELICIOUS! I can even sometimes eat a full fillet of this fish because I love it so much. And sometimes I only eat half but, again, progress can be slow. I use tilapia because a good tilapia fillet is light and it doesn’t really have a strong flavor so it can take on the flavor of whatever you put on it.

In this case, you put a rub on the fish that is so smoky and spicy and yummy it will make your mouth water. And it may make you sweat if you’re not up for heat. BUT, then you add this creamy and tangy avocado sauce that balances the heat of the fish. I can literally eat this sauce by the spoonful. I am not joking about that and I am not sorry for the image you now have of me stuffing my face with avocado sauce.

So, I’m sorry mom that you never got to eat fish because we were so picky. Turns out, fish really isn’t so bad after all. It’s actually kind of delicious.

Spicy Fish with an Avocado & Greek Yogurt Sauce
Serves 2
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
10 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
10 min
For the fish
  1. 2 fish fillets (I used tilapia. It was about 0.8 pounds)
  2. 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  3. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  4. 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  5. 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  6. 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  7. 1/8-1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, to taste
  8. 1 tablespoon olive oil, to fry in
For the avocado sauce
  1. 1 avocado
  2. 1/2 of small (5.3-ounce) plain Greek yogurt container
  3. juice from half a lime
  4. salt, to taste
Instructions
  1. Mix together the ingredients for the fish rub (paprika, salt, pepper, cumin, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper). Rub mixture on both sides of the fish fillets.
  2. Heat olive oil in large saute pan and cook fish for about 4 minutes per side, or until it becomes flaky. *Alternate method of cooking would be to place on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes in a 350 degree oven, or until it flakes with a fork. This method does not require the oil.
  3. While the fish is cooking, place the avocado, Greek yogurt, lime juice and salt in a food processor and blend.
  4. Serve with rice or on its own!
Notes
  1. If you do not have a food processor you can mash it together by hand but it may not get quite as creamy. You can also put this rub and sauce on chicken and it is also delicious!
Adapted from Baking with Blondie
Flavor From Scratch http://www.flavorfromscratch.com/

 

 

Lemon Extract

What do you think of when you think of lemons? Lemonade? Well that’s a good thought. I like lemonade. But that’s not what I was thinking of.  I think of the trip that my husband and I took to Italy a few years back. We went on a tour to the Amalfi Coast, where lemons were in abundance. To get to the coast, the little bus we were on had to make some turns that I’m pretty sure a bus shouldn’t make, especially on a road where one side was a cliff down into the Mediterranean. *Oh man* But, we all made it thanks to our wonderful bus driver who apparently was used to those turns and I live to tell the story.

It seemed like limoncello was literally EVERYWHERE in every single shop and every single place we went on the Amalfi Coast. The store owners pretty much chased us down to give us samples. But we also saw some good ol’ plain lemons. Case and point, here are some lemons we saw just sitting there in front of a truck waiting to go somewhere to be delicious. Now, I’m used to lemons like you see in the yellow bins there. But, then shift your eyes to the ENORMOUS lemons in the black bin. Whoa!! I certainly do not know what they are…I’m sure they have a special name. I’m just going to call them gigantic lemons because that’s what they look like to me.

At any rate, on a rainy day like today, it makes me smile thinking about these lemons and the beautiful coast of Italy. When you make this, if you close your eyes maybe you can picture yourself there too. Or maybe you’re not good at pretending. In that case, just enjoy the lemon extract!

Lemon Extract
Homemade lemon extract in a couple of months!
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Prep Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. zest from 1 lemon (preferably organic)
  2. 1 cup vodka
Instructions
  1. Zest 1 lemon using a microplane, or vegetable peeler. Use the top, yellow layer of the lemon trying to avoid the white pith as much as possible.
  2. Put the zest and the vodka in a mason jar and shake. Place in a cool, dark place and let sit for 1-2 months. Shake the jar occasionally.
Notes
  1. Use organic lemons if possible because the pesticides from the lemon can seep into the extract easily. If after 2 months the flavor is not as strong as you want, you can let the extract sit for longer or strain the zest and add fresh zest from another lemon.
Flavor From Scratch http://www.flavorfromscratch.com/

Asian Tacos

Well, I had been leaving you in suspense since I posted my flour tortillas as to what we ate in them. The time is finally here to announce and it is certainly delicious…ASIAN INSPIRED TACOS!!! Yay! Can you even believe it?!? What a wonderful idea.

These things make my mouth water just thinking of them. In fact, I am *super* excited to share that tonight is finally Asian taco leftover night!! I love leftovers. Especially when it was just so good the first time round. I have been waiting and waiting for tonight. Okay, it’s only been a couple of days but even that has been too long.

The taco meat is kind of tangy, sesame-y, spicy, and slightly sweet. THEN, you top it with this crunchy quick pickle that is out of this world. Put them all on my homemade tortillas with a little Sriracha and lime and I am in heaven!

Now, when I made this recipe I knew we were going to have leftovers so I actually halved the quick pickle recipe. I like the veggies crunchy so if I were to leave the prepared quick pickle in the fridge for a couple of days it would kind of get floppy. You just wouldn’t want to eat a floppy quick pickle…so make what you need for the night, please! Tonight before I heat up the tortillas and meat I’ll pull together the quick pickle and it will be ready by the time we eat!

 
Asian Tacos
Serves 4
Print
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
35 min
Ingredients for the quick pickle
  1. 1/4 cup vinegar
  2. 3 tablespoons sugar
  3. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  4. 1 cup very thinly sliced cucumber
  5. 1 cup shredded red cabbage
Ingredients for the tacos
  1. 8 flour tortillas
  2. 1 pound ground turkey
  3. 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  4. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  5. 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
  6. 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  7. 1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
  8. 3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  9. 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  10. 1/4 cup water
  11. 1 tablespoon corn starch
  12. lime wedges
  13. Sriracha, optional
Instructions
  1. Whisk the vinegar, sugar, and salt together in a small bowl for the quick pickle. Mix in the cucumber and red cabbage. Let sit for 15 minutes to 6 hours.
  2. Brown ground turkey over medium-high heat. Once it is cooked through, drain any excess fat. Set aside.
  3. Add the sesame oil to a skillet. Once heated, add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds or until slightly browned. Add the ginger, crushed red pepper, soy sauce, brown sugar, and rice vinegar and heat through.
  4. Mix the water and corn starch together. When the soy sauce mixture is slightly bubbling around the edges, slowly add the water and corn starch mixture while constantly stirring to incorporate. The sauce should thicken quickly.
  5. Once thickened, add the turkey back into the sauce and let simmer until it is heated through.
  6. Prepare the tacos with the ground turkey and quick pickles. Serve with lime wedges, and Sriracha, to taste.
Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens
Flavor From Scratch http://www.flavorfromscratch.com/
 

Flour Tortillas

We’ve been doing a lot of traveling this summer including many miles on the road and many miles in planes. I hate planes. I really do. I feel like I become claustrophobic after about an hour. Plus, my husband would agree that I pretty much squeeze all of the blood from his hand at take off and landing. But, with planes and cars come great places with great food!

We went to Hawaii at the start of the summer, including renting a car and road tripping back from Las Vegas. Yes, we had a wonderful buffet in Vegas where we ate EVERYTHING! We went to the buffet at the end of breakfast/start of lunch so we definitely stuffed our mouths full of both breakfast and lunch foods until we were sick. It was great. We’ve traveled back home to Ohio to visit family. Visiting family sometimes turns into a “let’s eat everything that we don’t eat when we’re just by ourselves but with family it’s okay” kind of thing. I hope you know this feeling or else my family becomes the odd ones out and this is just /awkard/. Anywho, his past weekend we traveled “up north,” as Michiganders say, to Mackinac Island and Tahquamenon Falls. Both gorgeous places with a lot of fun things to do.

This particular trip up north consisted of Mackinac’s famous fudge, ice cream, s’mores, and lots of yummy but not good for you grub. Needless to say, I needed some homemade goodness when we got home. These tortillas did the trick! And just wait until you see what went inside of these delicious pillowy treats…you’ll have to check back later this week 🙂 Sorry for testing your patience. It’ll be worth it!

Tortillas were something that I always took for granted because they came from the store, right? They’re one of those foods that unless you grew up making them you thought maybe they just were made by magic.

Well, my sister decided to make these flour tortillas for us one day. MIND BLOWN. Never again want to eat a store bought tortilla. For real. In fact, the recipe is from her blog! We’re like blogging sisters…but also literally sisters. Awesome, right?


Flour Tortillas
Yields 8
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 1.5 teaspoons baking powder
  3. 1 teaspoon salt
  4. 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  5. 3/4 cup warm milk
Instructions
  1. Mix together the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, and salt) in a medium-sized bowl. Add in the oil and mix until the oil is distributed throughout the flour mixture without any large clumps (this is easiest when using your hands). Add in the warm milk and mix until it forms a ball.
  2. Knead the dough on a floured surface for 2 minutes. Then, place the dough back in the bowl and cover with a kitchen towel. Let it rest for 20 minutes,
  3. Divide the dough into 8 pieces and roll each piece into a ball. Place the dough balls on a flat surface where they are not touching and cover again with a kitchen towel. Let sit 15 minutes.
  4. After resting, take each dough ball and roll out on a well floured surface to about an 8" diameter. Keep the complete ones covered while rolling out the remainder.
  5. Heat a griddle or large saute pan over medium-high heat without any oil in it. Put one tortilla at a time in the dry pan and cook on each side for about 30 seconds. They will start to puff up and get slightly browned. Cover the tortillas until you are ready to eat them.
Notes
  1. To store, put in a plastic bag or wrap in foil and refrigerate. You can heat them up again on the griddle/saute pan if you want.
Adapted from A Chookie Chookie
Adapted from A Chookie Chookie
Flavor From Scratch http://www.flavorfromscratch.com/