World’s Best Homemade Pizza

After many years of trying to perfect our pizza crust my Mom and I finally hit upon a perfect recipe a few years back!  Now, I can’t claim that this crust is healthy but…pizza isn’t suppose to be healthy is it?  In the past we have tried to add in whole wheat, wheat germ, garlic powder, basil, etc.  But keeping it simple seems to be the best option it allows the full flavor of the toppings to shine through.

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Last week I got the chance to have my dear friend Leah and her new husband over for lunch.  It was a great chance to catch up with her and get to know the love of her life better!  She is really quite the woman of God and we always have such a nice time visiting…although our visits can be very few and far between. (If you want to you can check out her photography…a great new undertaking!)

It had been a long time since I had made pizza and I decided it would make a perfect lunch for my guests.  To help the lunch seem special I decided against the traditional pepperoni, sausage, or supreme pizza.  Instead, I opted for an elegant (Can I call pizza elegant?) chicken-bacon-broccoli pizza with an Alfredo sauce and a BBQ beef pizza.

I hope you will give this homemade pizza a try and enjoy it as much as my family and I do!

Ok, ok!  I know you are all saying, “When is she going to stop talking and give us the recipe?”  So, here is it.

Easy Pizza Crust

4 cups all-purpose flour

1 Tbsp yeast

1 Tbsp sugar (or other sweetener)

1 tsp salt

2 cups of hot water (Hotter than lukewarm, but not too hot…it will kill the yeast.)

1 Tbsp oil (vegetable, olive, whatever)

– Mix together 2 cups of flour, yeast, sugar, and salt. Then add hot water and thoroughly mix.

– Next add the rest of the flour a 1/2 cup at a time mixing as you go. At the end use your hands to knead in remaining flour, then form into a ball.  Dough may still be sticky, but that’s okay it’s what gives this pizza a nice soft crust.

– Pour the oil on top of your dough, roll to cover.  Cover with a tea towel and place in a warm place to rise.

– Let rise for around 20 minutes, in the winter months it may take 30 minutes.

– Punch down dough and split evenly into two balls.  Form dough until it reaches your desired thickness…I use my hands for this part, but my Mom prefers using a rolling-pin.

– Now have fun and top with all your family favorites!

Bake @ 425 degrees for 20-25 minutes

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Isn’t it cute how the yeast made a heart!

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Make sure to mix thoroughly!

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Begin adding in the extra flour.

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Pour oil onto your dough – make sure to coat all the dough and the bowl.

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Here’s the dough split equally.

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All ready for toppings!

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Pizza #1 with Alfredo sauce and parsley.

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Pizza #1 with chicken, bacon, and broccoli added…all it needs now is cheese!

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We each enjoyed a piece of this marvelous pizza!

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Pizza #2 is so simple – I just fried up a pound of ground beef and added barbecue sauce at the end.

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Pizza #2 I topped the meat with cheddar and mozzarella. I was amazing!

This recipe for crust can be used for many great meals!  Try making bread-sticks, pizza pockets, or easy dinner rolls (just remember the baking time may be different)!!

I would love to hear if you try this recipe and what you think of it!

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Fresh laundry

Today was a perfect day to hang clothes out on the line!  Hot and windy…I think they will dry quicker on the line then in the dryer!  I don’t know about you but I love the smell of clothes dried in the hot sun.

Old-Fashion Strawberry Pie

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I have to start off by saying that I really enjoyed this pie!  I don’t know why I have never made a baked strawberry pie before…but I certainly will be making one again!

We had a great strawberry crop this year, harvesting 21 lbs of berries so far (I’m hoping to pick our last pound or two tomorrow), so I have been fun finding news ways to enjoy our berries.  Most years we  freeze some of the berries for a winter treat, make a strawberry shortcake or two and make some jam.  We did make our traditional strawberry shortcake, but I have also made a few batches of strawberry Italian water ice and most importantly this lovely pie!

When I decided to make a pie I started scouring Pinterest for the perfect recipe.  At first I thought I wanted to make a pie with strawberries topping a chocolate ganache, it sounded really yummy, but not quite what I was looking for.  Then I came across this recipe and realized that it was just what I was looking for!

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Dark Chocolate Strawberry Pie

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Pie Dough

2½ cups flour, plus ½ cup extra for kneading

2 tbsp sugar

½ tsp salt

1 cup unsalted butter, chopped into small chunks

2 tsp vinegar

5 tbsp ice-cold water

Filling

5 cups strawberries, rinsed and halved

½ cup brown sugar

½ cup white sugar (reserve ¼ cup for sprinkling at the end)

½ tsp cinnamon

3 tbsp quick tapioca

Juice from 1 lemon

¼ cup dark chocolate chips

2 tbsp butter

Instructions –

For the pie dough, combine flour, sugar and salt.  Use your fingers to combine (Or a pastry fork, it’s up to you…I prefer using my hands). Add in butter chunks and continue mixing until small crumbs form. Gradually add in liquid, until a dough forms. Don’t worry if it is too sticky.

Remove dough from bowl and knead on a clean floured counter for about a minute until it is no longer sticky. Divide dough into two even sized balls. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, about one hour.

Roll out one batch of pie dough to fit into a greased pie pan. Sprinkle chocolate chips over the bottom of the pie shell.

Combine berries, brown sugar, ¼ cup white sugar, cinnamon, lemon juice and tapioca.

Pour strawberries into the pie shell (You may not want to put all of the juices in with the berries, as it may cause too much spilling out).

Roll out the second pie crust and cut into strips. Form a lattice topping on top of the strawberries with the pie strips.

Cut the 2 tbsp of butter into tiny pieces and dot them in between the opening piece of the lattice-work. Sprinkle the pie with the remaining sugar.

Bake for 1 hour, 20 minutes.

I love this old rolling pie...it was my grandma's!

I love this old rolling pie…it was my grandma’s!

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My not so yummy looking filling.

Here it is with the chocolate chips.

I love a little sugar on top, it makes it look so special!

I love a little sugar on top, it makes it look so special!

The finished product.

The finished product.

Old-fashion Strawberry Pie!  Mmmm!

Old-fashion Strawberry Pie! Mmmm!

 

I did make one small change to the original recipe…I changed the cornstarch to tapioca.  I’m sure cornstarch would work fine too, but I had recently bought the tapioca to make another pie (one that never got made) so I decided I had better put my tapioca to good use.  It didn’t look very pretty before it was cooked, as I’m sure you noticed in the picture, but the pie turned out great so I think I’ll have to try using tapioca again in the future!

Also, I’m not sure if I will use chocolate chips again in the future.  I couldn’t really taste them, so I would like to see what it tastes like without the chocolate.

What are some of your favorite strawberry recipes?  I would love to give them a try!

June Newsletter

Imagine after arriving in the city the man, your teacher, tells you that you have to go out and beg every day. You soon find out that your teacher is not a very forgiving man, when you fail to beg enough he beats you. Life is hard and lonely. being five years old and being sent to the city with a man you have never met before. Your father and mother tell you to be good and study hard. Little do you know that it may be another ten years before you see your parents again.

This scenario is a reality for thousands of little boys in Senegal. Much of their day is spent on the street begging and hope is in short supply.

But at the __________________ Day Center, ___________________ Dave and Denise __________ are working to bring hope to the street boys of Dakar. At the center, boys come for a meal and leave with the love of Jesus shining in their eyes.

God has blessed me with a family that loves me and a place to belong. I have felt God calling me to serve him as a missionary for many years and as I’ve been waiting on his timing, he has been growing and preparing me for ministry. I am so excited to be heading to Senegal to work with the Dave and Denise. The boys that come to the center need the love and hope that only comes through a relationship with Jesus.

What I’ll be doing:

  • Learning Wolof (tribal dialect) spoken by many people including the boys.
  • Shopping for food.
  • Playing with the boys.
  • Encouraging the Senegalese Christians that work at the center in their walk with God.
Final Thoughts

I’m really looking forward to what God has to teach me in this newest part of my journey with Him. I know that it will be hard at times, but He never said it would be easy. I’ve had concerned friends ask me if it’s really safe to go work in Africa with street boys…yes and no. Are we really safe anywhere? Not really. But I love a statement my pastor shared years ago that has stuck with me. “The safest place to be is in the center of God’s will.” I’m trusting that God will be with me through every step of this journey and that he will protect me!

Would you be praying about how God could use you to be a part of my team as I minister in Senegal? I look forward to sharing more with you in person!

 Thank you for your prayers,

 

    Kim Johnson

Things to share…

So, I have a number of different things I keep telling myself I need to share with you.  But so far none of them have been posted!  I am definitely the type that works better when I know other people are expecting something from me, so I decided that I should tell you what I’ve been wanting to share, then I will feel obligated to get them posted on here!

Here’s the list:

  • Homemade laundry soap
  • DIY Powder Foundation
  •  World’s Best Homemade pizza
  • Old-fashion Strawberry Pie
  • June Newsletter (The beginning of my missionary journey!)

If you don’t see all of these posts in the next month put some pressure on me!!

I hope you all are enjoying your summer and are finding some time to slow down (even if it’s only for an hour or two).  Life is short…take some time to enjoy it!  Have a great weekend!

 

JULY 4, 2013

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Happy Independence Day!  I hope you and your family enjoyed celebrating our country’s Declaration of Independence from England.  The 4th of July is one of my favorite holidays…I love reading stories of those who were living during our fight for independence.  I can’t quite imagine the arrogance courage and love of freedom those men and women possessed, but I am so thankful that they fought, bleed and died to give us the freedom we enjoy today.  I pray that each of us will demonstrate the same strength of character needed to ensure that this great nation remains the “Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.”

Here is a short excerpt from Wikipedia (I know…not always the most reliable source) on the history of Independence Day:

During the American Revolution, the legal separation of the Thirteen Colonies from Great Britain occurred on July 2, 1776, when the Second Continental Congress voted to approve a  resolution of Independence that had been proposed in June by Richard Henry Lee of Virginia declaring the United States independent from Great Britain. After voting for independence, Congress turned its attention to the Declaration of Independence, a statement explaining this decision, which had been prepared by a Committee of Five, with Thomas Jefferson as its principal author. Congress debated and revised the wording of the Declaration, finally approving it on July 4. A day earlier, John Adams had written to his wife Abigail:

The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.

Google images

Google images

Google images