21 July 2009

What's for Dinner, Mom?

If you're like me, the thought of planning dinner is more daunting a task than actually cooking. Ladies, lets help each other out: Send me your easy, make-it-in-a-pinch dinner recipes and I will re-post to help ease your dinner-planning headaches! E-mail: gsparling@dallaschild.com.

In the meantime, I'll share a little inspiration from my kitchen. The past couple of weeks, my (teeny-tiny) backyard garden has been in full bloom. Green peppers, basil, cucumbers, tomatoes — it may be a small plot, but it sure does produce! To keep up with the ripening veggies, I've been on the hunt to find tasty meals to 1) entice young taste buds and 2) quell my husband's incessant appetite. (Don't forget No. 3: the meal must be EASY!) A friend of mine turned me onto pizza making — a great activity to involve kids or entertain guests!

The biggest leap of faith (for me, at least) was making homemade dough. But, let me tell you, it is worth it! Here is a quick, pain-free recipe for homemade pizza. (Never made dough? Check out this link for tips on making your own dough. No breadmaker required!)

Kid-friendly Pizza
Dough: Activate 1 packet of yeast, 1 and 1/2 cups of hot water and 1/4 teaspoon of sugar in a mixing bowl. Wait 5 minutes. Slowly add (one-half cup at a time) a mixture of 2 and 1/2 cups of plain flour and 1 cup of whole-wheat flour. Add 1-2 tablespoons of garlic-infused olive oil as dough gets tougher to knead. Remove dough and knead on floured surface for 10 minutes. Place dough back into bowl (first oiling bowl to prevent sticking) and cover with towel. Let dough rise for 45 minutes.

Pizza: Gather your favorite pizza toppings together on an open counter top. (GET THE KIDS TO HELP!) Roll out dough in preferred size and shape of pizza. Place on oiled baking sheet (no pizza stone necessary!). Have the kiddos toss on their favorite toppings ... including but not limited to pesto, marinara sauce, basil, garlic, pepperoni, tomatoes and (most importantly) CHEESE! When completed, place in a 400-degree oven for 25 minutes, watching carefully to prevent overcooking. When browned, remove pizza from oven and let cool. ENJOY!

Please share your recipes with me! Send to gsparling@dallaschild.com!


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