Monthly Archives: August 2012

All Things Pizza

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Pizza is something that everyone enjoys, in one form or another.  My personal favorite is cold pizza for breakfast.  Weird I know.  I love leftovers the following morning.  In my book, it’s a great go to for breakfast.  It’s got protein in the meat, dairy in the cheese, carbs in the bread, and very little sugar.  Need fruit?  Go for it!  Pizza is something that my son loves to help us make.  About a year ago we started making our own dough and pizzas at home.  We found they taste much better than the store bough frozen variety and were much healthier.  We’ve experimented with several dough recipes, and found a great no knead dough at Onceamonthmom.com.  I use this dough for pizzas and hot pockets.  What I hate though is buying a can of sauce for pizza, and having half a can left over and wasted.  So today I made all things pizza.  A great way to use up the sauce and pepperoni and have several breakfasts, lunches, and dinners all ready to go for school.

Breakfast

Mini Pizzas (can also be a great go to lunch)

Ingredients:

English muffins

Canadian bacon (or your favorite topping)

Cheese (Cheddar and or Mozzarella)

Pizza sauce

 

How to:

  1. Split the muffins and place on a baking sheet.
  2. Spread a thin layer of sauce on each muffin half.
  3. Top with a slice of Canadian bacon (or favorite toppings)
  4. Add cheese on top
  5. Bake at 350 for 7-9 minutes.

 

To freeze:

Flash freeze (freeze flat on the sheet until frozen) before wrapping individually. place eat pizza in a large zip lock bag.

To Serve:

Unwrap and place in microwave for 1-2 minutes.

 

Lunch

 

Pizzadillas

Just like a quesadilla, it’s a Pizzadilla!  Place your pizza toppings (without the sauce) in a tortilla and cook on a griddle or in a pan.  As with other pizza items, flash freeze before individually wrapping.  For little hands, cut the pizzadilla into strips.

 

Hot Pockets

I haven’t bought a box of hot pockets in quite a long time.  I love making my own, and while they aren’t always pretty, they taste much better!  These little pockets are also a great way to use up left over lunch meat (not enough for a sandwich) and other little nibbles in the fridge.  The possibilities are endless.

 

Using your dough that you’ve already made (and always have an extra ball in the freezer for last minute meals), roll into a rectangle about the size of your cutting board.  Cut into 3 long rectangles.  Place your toppings, sauce, and cheese in the middle.  Wrap it all up like a mummy.  I have the best luck with pulling the sides over and then the ends.  Place seam side down on a greased baking sheet and bake at 400 for about 15 minutes.  Watch for browning… you don’t want burned hot pockets!

 

Dinner

Other than the obvious thought of Pizza, I stumbled upon this wonderfully easy and frugal pizza tasting dinner.  It’s called Bubble Pizza.  Like bubble bread or monkey bread, it’s centered on the use of canned biscuits.  It couldn’t be an easier recipe to make either.  Like all pizza recipes, the flavor combination possibilities are endless.  Make it to suit your family’s likes.

 

Bubble Pizza

Ingredients:

2 cans of refrigerator biscuits (10 count each)

1 jar/can of pizza sauce

Favorite pizza toppings

2 cups Mozzarella cheese

Fresh basil (optional)

 

How to:

Cut the biscuits into quarters and place into a bowl.

Add the toppings, 1 ½ cups cheese, and cheese to the cut up biscuits.

Place into a greased baking pan.  I used a disposable cake pan this time.

Top with remaining cheese and basil if using.

Bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes.  Check for browning.

 

To freeze:

Allow to cool completely before freezing.  Cover tightly and label.

 

To serve:

Allow to thaw and simply reheat in the oven!  Couldn’t be easier!!

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Start the Day Right!

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As a mom and a teacher I know that breakfast is the most important part of the day.  I also know that it’s the one meal that often gets skipped when we’re in a hurry to get to school, or the meal that contains the least nutritional value.  Too often kids are eating sugary breakfasts that lack any nutritional value or protein.  By recess, their brains are turning to mush, they are getting sleepy, and that important reading lesson that the teacher is presenting isn’t making any sense.  I’m guilty of this too!  I either skip breakfast as I run out the door or I run through the drive through.  Neither are good for my waistline or pocketbook!  Here are my go to recipes for breakfast.  They are healthier than the sugar cereal or donuts and will help you and your little one make it to lunch.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cereal Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1. 5 cups oats, ground
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup white flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup jam
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup chia seed or ground flax (optional but an easy way to add some nutrients to your day)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix all the ingredients, except the peanut butter and jam, together in a large bowl. It is easiest to do this with your hands. Once it is mixed well together (it should be crumbly like a graham cracker crust) make a small ball and press into the bottom of your muffin tin and up the sides. Add in 1 spoonful of jam and peanut butter in each muffin. Next, with the remaining mixture create 14 equal size balls. Smash each of the balls into a circle large enough to cover the top of each muffin. Make sure you seal each muffin.  Bake for 20-25 minutes until slightly browned. Remove from the oven, allow to cool for 5-10 minutes and then gently remove to a cooling rack. Let them cool a bit before removing them since they are a little soft and squishy when warm.  I find using my silicone muffin pan works best.

Freezing Directions:

Follow directions above but allow to cool completely. Flash freeze on a flat pan before putting in a  gallon freezer bag and freeze. Ready to eat?   Allow to thaw overnight and enjoy.

This is a wonderful recipe for emptying out those jelly jars that have just a little bit left in it.

Based on the this recipe from Once A Month Meals http://onceamonthmeals.com/homemade-cereal-bar-cookies/

Breakfast Burritos

It’s as simple as it sounds.  Tortillas and filling.  I usually stick to egg whites (can’t eat regular eggs), hash browns, crumbled bacon (get the bag from Costco that’s already crumbled), cheese, and whatever else you may like.  The trick to these is to make a bunch and freeze them.  I usually make a BIG pan full of filling and then start filling and rolling.  When you are ready to freeze them wrap them in either wax paper or parchment paper first, then aluminum foil.  Make a stack of foil, with wax/parchment on top, then foil, and wax/parchment, etc.  Then when you are ready to assemble, just wrap, wrap, and go to the next one.  Place them all in a freezer bag.  To serve, unwrap the foil and wax/parchment if you wish and microwave for about 1-2 minutes.

Homemade Pop Tarts

These may not sound very healthy to you, and you’re right.  I always have these with either yogurt, a glass of milk, or string cheese.  I leave off the icing on top and use log sugar jam or nutella (my son’s favorite).

Start with store bought pie crust, the kind you get in the biscuit area that comes in a roll.  Roll it out and cut into rectangles.  I bought the fruit pie cutter from wilton, and LOVE it!  Place your filling in the middle, not too much though and then top.  Press the edges with a fork and place on a greased cookie sheet.  Bake at about 350 for 15-20 minutes, or until lightly browned.  2 boxes of pie crust (on sale right now) make 12 pop tarts.  I used less than 1 jar of jam.  These are another great item to use of end of jars.  A tip.  If using jam or jelly, add a little cornstarch to it before filling your poptarts.  This will make the filling a little thicker so it doesn’t run out the edges.  After they have cooled, wrap each one individually and freeze.  To serve: I pop them in the toaster oven and toast, like a pop tart.  To be honest, I don’t own a regular toaster, so I’ve never tried that method.  I am worried about the filling getting hot and oozing out in my toaster.