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NYC-Style Pizza and Sauce

The old way we made pizza was fine. Fantastic, even, compared to the thick slabs of greasy dough that pass for pizza at local chain restaurants. But after many years of enjoying our homemade pizzas, a seed of discontent was sown when my husband went on a business trip to New York City and sent me pictures of the delicious slices he enjoyed for dinner the night he arrived. The discontent grew when we vacationed at the NJ shore over the summer and devoured a plain pie with perfect crust, the whole family vying for the last piece. Maybe the salt air made everything taste better, but I left determined--we had to up our pizza game.



Combine that determination with a happy abundance of frozen tomato puree from our garden, and the stage is set for me to share our new favorite way to make pizza at home. We enjoy letting the slow simmered sauce, fresh cheese, and exquisite crust take center stage here, and usually serve it with a big tossed salad and sauteed zucchini and onions, but you can cer…
Recent posts

Post-Christmas Reveal: Handmade Gifts for Kids

Quite a few secret projects have been underway here recently, and I'm thankful that there was time to finish them all before Christmas. My sewing machine has been a near constant fixture on the dining room table since Thanksgiving, and now that they've all been unwrapped by their intended recipients, I'm excited to share the fruits of my labors. :)

It's hard to come up with gift ideas for the youngest of 4, but my baby is outgrowing babydom and his hooded infant towels as well. I love the convenience of hooded towels, which make it so easy to scoop a little one out of a bath and quickly envelope them head to toe in warm coziness, and so I decided to make him some larger towels. This project used two full size bath towels and one matching hand towel, split in half and rounded off, to form the hoods. The center point of the hood was then matched to the center point of the bath towel, and attached, hems enclosed in bias tape, with a few rows of stitching. If you don'…

Pumpkin, Barley, and Sausage Soup

I was supposed to be picking up a few necessary groceries and heading back to my in-laws' house to pack for our trip home, but the Better Homes & Gardens "special interest" magazine caught my eye from an end-cap display and there I was, lost in 100 pumpkin recipes in the middle of September in a rural grocery store a thousand miles from my kitchen. You know how it is.

The second printing of 100 Best Pumpkin Recipes made the long car trip home with us and then sat quietly on my nightstand for a few months while we threw ourselves headlong into school. Flipping through it last night, past crumb cakes and pies, floats, breads, and cookies, I found a few intriguing soup recipes within those impulsively purchased pages. Since a quick Google search informed me that chorizo, which I always have on hand for rice and beans, was a fine substitute for the recommended andouille sausage, we found ourselves slurping pumpkin off our spoons less than an hour later. It could hardly b…

6 New Favorite Recipes from 2016

We're just a few hours away from rolling into 2017, which means I've previously written a total of four blog entries this year. I had high hopes of doing some more writing this past summer, but as it was an unrelentingly hot one, and I was very very pregnant, most of my mental and emotional energy was spent trying to think of reasons to stand in front of an open freezer instead. It's possible a lot of those reasons had to do with ice cream, but ice cream doesn't make for very interesting blog entries either. So here we are: I've got a 4 1/2 month old sweet and exceedingly cute baby boy, I'm cold, and I'm ready to write a little.

These are the recipes that have particularly delighted us this year.


The Best General Tso's Chicken (pictured above)
This has the best coating of any takeout-style recipe I've tried. I don't keep Vodka around so I use a little more rice wine instead; I use as little oil as possible for the deep fry step and cook the chick…

"Just Right" Brownies From Scratch

I figured brownies would be an acceptable way to break the radio silence here. Between school and incubating the 4th little egg to join our nest (expected to hatch in August :) ), I've been too tired to be terribly creative in the kitchen, and have been depending mostly on our tried and true favorites for dinners. But my husband and older kids are planting the raised beds as I write, the end of our homeschool year is in sight, and I hope to blog a few garden updates, homey things, and recipes before getting swept up in another newborn whirlwind. 

Yesterday was my current youngest's 3rd birthday, and she requested brownie sundaes for dessert.  I've tried a number of different homemade brownie recipes in the past, including the much talked about one from Baked, but in truth have usually preferred brownies from a box.  Whaaa...?  I think the homemade versions, while very good, always feel just a little too complicated to me with their additions of coffee or espresso, mu…

Sunday Morning

Oh when the saints go marching in
On any given Sunday morn
Some are cheery and exalting
Some are battle bruised and worn

There is no common thread between them
Save the one that grace has wound
All orphans with a family
Once all lost, all now found

When He called they answered
Brought their burdens to the cross
Came with joy and sweet relief
And gladly counted cost

Christ has not built his Church
based on merit, wealth, or looks
tax collectors, whores, and sinners
transformed as people of the Book

The world has nothing for them
But Good News is preached within
So how I long to be in that number
When the saints go marching in




White Pizza and Tomato Soup: Comfort Food for 2016

The first dinner I cooked in the new year was also a landmark one, for this, I decided, is how we're doing classic comfort food in 2016.  This soup works brilliantly with garden fresh tomatoes and basil OR with canned pantry staples. The meal meshes together two kid-friendly favorites and utilizes a time-saving dough if you prefer.  People who are mildly offended by pizza without tomato sauce (*cough* husband *cough*) can get their dose of red with a dunk before each bite, but a splash of sherry in the soup and the monochrome pie bring a little elegance to the whole thing. If it's colder than a polar bear's Frigidaire (see 1:12, oh how we love Slugs & Bugs!) where you are too, don't you think this would be a nice way to warm up tonight?

For years we've made and enjoyed the Cream of Tomato Soup recipe from the More With Less cookbook (How have I not blogged this?!  Thankfully, someone else has. ) but have come to prefer the flavor of this one.

Tomato Soup  (ins…