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Archive for the ‘Baking’ Category

I GOT A NEW COMPUTER!!!!!!

If you have been following me for a while, you know that I spilled tea all over my brand new computer two years ago, and have since been without one…

But my husband surprised me yesterday with a new computer for my birthday!  And it’s not just any little old computer… he got me a beautiful, desk top Mac.
I know!!!  I couldn’t believe it!  I STILL can’t believe it!
It’s so much fun to work with!

I don’t know how I’ll be able to get anything done around the house in the next several days & weeks!  haha

I’ll finally be able to keep up with the blogging world (including my own little blog), and I’m excited about publishing the Skillshare class I’ve been working on, as well as other things I’ve been looking forward to for a while but had to put on hold until I had a computer.

Anyways… I know this is not an exciting post with a new project or recipe… but I was so excited I just had to share.

Have a wonderful week!

Daisy

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Homemade veggie pizza has now become a staple in our house.  I make it with a whole-wheat crust and pile on lots of veggies.  It really is delicious.  I’ll share that recipe with you at the end of this post.  I hope you’ll try it – I know you’ll love it!

Two years ago, this month, I began an adventure in a radically different (for me) health plan. I had a “routine” Dr visit which turned into a wake-up call for me. I knew I had to do something drastic if I wanted to feel better and avoid what could be terrible health issues. With the Lord’s help and guidance, this month marks two years that I have been on this health plan. I still have a lot to learn and there are days when I have to talk myself out of having a nice big slice of chocolate cake…  But overall, it’s been amazing.

I literally feel like a different person!  My cholesterol is down, my sugar level is great, my good cholesterol is up, my blood pressure is much lower, I lost 25 lbs., I have so much more energy,  …and the diagnosis I got at the Dr that day is no longer the same!!   Another huge factor is that I haven’t had a migraine for two years!!!!!!  If you knew me, you’d know that is amazing!  That fact alone, was well worth the change in diet.  I just thank the Lord every day for His strength and joy throughout this process, and look forward to continuing in this journey.

I’m not going to write 10 posts about it, tell you what you should & shouldn’t eat… We all know what is healthy and what is not.  I just had to share because I’m so thankful.  I wish I had started eating this way decades ago.  What a difference it would’ve made.  But, I’m happy to have started and looking forward to growing in this process through the rest of my life.

Take good care of yourself, friends.  The saying “you are what you eat” is really true!

And now, here’s that recipe I promised:

Pizza Crust
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup bread flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup water
1 pkg. yeast
1 Tb sugar or honey
2 Tb olive oil

In a small bowl, warm the water so that it’s warm when you dip your finger but doesn’t feel too hot.  Add 1 packet of yeast, and sugar; Stir until dissolved and set aside for five minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix the flours, and salt.  Add yeast & water mixture, Add olive oil, and stir until well- blended.  Add more flour if mixture is too sticky.  Knead for 8-10 minutes.  Place dough in a clean, oiled large bowl, cover with clean kitchen towel, and let rise for at least an hour.

Punch down dough gently, and place on floured surface.  I usually cut dough in half to make two 12” pizzas, but you can either use it for personal pizzas (6-8”), or one large pizza (18”).

Building your perfect pizza:
Now you can have some fun with toppings!  I usually brush the shaped pizza dough with olive oil, sprinkle garlic powder, and add fresh ingredients:  basil, artichoke hearts (my favorite!), yellow zucchini, green zucchini, mushrooms, onions, sweet peppers, and anything else you want!  I buy fresh mozzarella, and place some slices over the top.  You can also sprinkle some oregano, and drizzle a little olive oil over the top.

Bake it in a hot oven, 450-500*, for 30-40 minutes.  The crust will be crunchy and the veggies will be cooked and delicious!

Enjoy!

Happy healthy eating,

Daisy

 

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Thank you all so much for the way you responded to my last post.  It’s funny (not in a humorous way, but a thought-provoking way) how through this “blog world” I have made some unexpected friendships that have been a real blessing to me.

I really didn’t expect a lot of response after not posting anything for six months!  But you guys have just made me feel as if I got a hug from each of you!  You didn’t have to do that, so it means all the more.

I’m so looking forward to reading through your blogs and catching up on all you’ve been doing, and what’s been going on in your lives.

………………………………………………….

Now, about edible gifts…

We have several Christmas get-together with Pastors & their wives (with whom we work) in different regions so it gives me a chance to bake some special little things that are really only around at Christmas time.  (Not sure why!  They are good enough to eat all year round! 😊)

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s year I made three different things to go in the gift bags.  Mini Oreos, dipped in white chocolate and rolled in crushed peppermint candies.. Mini Swirl Cinnamon Bread loaves… and Fudge Brownies.

The mini Oreos are so easy. You just dip them in melted white chocolate then roll them in crushed peppermint candies. Place on a wax papered-covered baking sheet, and place in refrigerator (This will keep them crunchy). I was surprised how long they stayed fresh! They are a delicious treat!

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n came these mini Cinnamon Swirl loaves. Just use your favorite recipe, and you can add raisins, dates, or dried apricots – whatever you prefer.

The key is to bake them in paper loaves so you can just wrap them up in cellophane after they've baked and cool.

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last but certainly not least, are the fudge-y brownies, made with dark chocolate chips, if you like that extra chocolatey goodness. These are my favorite!!

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s always fun to bake something a little extra special for people that you know could use an encouraging word, letting them them know that they are appreciated, their work is not in vain, and that they're loved.

What are you baking today? Are you baking something sweet for someone special?

Have a wonderful Christmas season!

Hugs,

Daisy

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Yes, I was skeptical, but it’s true!!

And only three ingredients!!  Can you believe it??!!

Lately, I’ve seen all kinds of recipes on Pinterest for different things that call for 3-4 ingredients… pancakes, muffins, truffles, cookies, …  After reading several dozen different takes on the cookies, I decided to add a few other things I need to have every day (according to my Dr.).

Here are the basics:

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Yep!  All you need is 2 ripe bananas, one cup of quick oats, and your choice of 1/3 cup of raisins, dates, nuts, or chocolate chips.  You can also mix it up and have a little of each.

Today I used dark chocolate chips because that’s one of the things (believe it or not!) that I need to be eating!  I know, I know, it’s tough but. . .

To make these cookies fill the bill for my dietary needs, I also add flax seeds (either whole or ground, but I actually like the “toasty” flavor the whole seeds give).

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I realize I don’t need to show you how to mash ripe bananas, but I shared this photo because I just love the color of the blue with the pale yellow… (always looking at things as if through the lens of a camera, sigh).

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Mix in the quick oats a little at a time, and very lightly.  Don’t mush it together.  Be gentle.  🙂

At this point I add the flax seeds, ground cinnamon, and either vanilla or almond extract.  (I love almond extract!)

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Shape into a small ball.  I got 10 out of one batch, but you can make them bigger or smaller, whichever you prefer.

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Flatten out gently and shape into a patty.  (These cookies do not spread out).  You can also place each small ball on the cookie sheet and use a glass to flatten out a bit.

Now is when I prefer to add the “goodies”.  On this batch, I placed the dark chocolate chips and small pieces of walnuts on each cookie as I shaped them in my hand.

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I used a greased, 12 inch pizza round because it fits perfectly into my small counter-top oven.

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Bake at 350 for 12-18 minutes.  I actually left mine for 20 mins and they were perfect.

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Have them with tea, coffee, or cold milk.

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You can also add a spoonful of whipped cream, or drizzle left-over cream cheese frosting over the top.  The possibilities are endless!

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It’s okay to have 2 or 3.  After all, they’re really good for you!! 🙂

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Have fun baking these!  Let me know if you try them and how you liked them.

Happy snacking,

Daisy

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I’ve been experimenting with some basic ingredients and healthy foods…

This dish is surprisingly easy and light, but so tasty!

Rosemary Roasted Potatoes

Thinly slice 2 large potatoes, and half a small onion.  Fan out the slices of potatoes in a tart pan or pie shell.  (You can add 1/4 cup of water if you like).  Place the sliced onions over the top, and add a drizzle of olive oil over all.  Sprinkle some fresh chopped rosemary (or dried), salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  Bake at 375 for 30-45 min, until potatoes are tender.

This is a delicious and light alternative to most potato dishes we see this time of year, (especially if you’re watching your fat or caloric intake).

You can easily customize this to fit your family and tastes – add more potatoes, more onion, or anything you fancy.

Enjoy,

and Happy Thanksgiving week!!

Daisy
xo

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Baking bread is just wonderful….

 

It’s therapeutic for me mixing, kneading, waiting for the dough to rise…

 

 

 

The house smells so good while the bread is baking…

 

 

 

And then you get to enjoy the bread – in my case, I’m giving it to a friend, along with jars of homemade preserves.

I have to say, I love giving homemade food gifts to friends – the look
on their faces,
I can just tell they appreciate it and I’ve brought some joy to their day.

That makes my day!

 

 

Here’s the recipe:

Italian Bread

In a bowl, stir:
1 cup warm water
1 Tb sugar
1 packet of active dry yeast
Let stand about five minutes, until it’s foamy.

In a large bowl, mix together:
2 cups bread flour
1/2 tsp salt
Add to the bowl:
the yeast mixture and
2 Tb olive oil
Stir with a wooden spoon
Add up to 1/2 cup of flour until it forms a dough.

Turn onto a floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes.
Shape dough into a ball, place in an oiled bowl and turn to coat.
Cover with plastic wrap and let dough rise for one hour, until doubled.

Head oven to 400 degrees F.
Lightly oil the surface of a baking sheet with olive oil.
On a lightly floured surface, punch down dough and begin to
shape dough, long and tapered as in photo above.
I finished shaping it on the baking sheet so it would be easier to move.
Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise for about 20 minutes.

Use a serrated knife to make three slits in the surface of the loaf,
about 1/4 inch deep each.
Bake 20 minutes until golden brown.

Cool for a bit.
If you like warm bread, slice it while it’s still warm,
spread some butter and honey, or jam,
and Enjoy!

Have fun today.

Bake some bread. 😊

Daisy

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Homemade Pizza

I was craving pizza last night,

but I’ve been away and haven’t had time for grocery shopping,

so I just used what I had in my fridge & pantry…

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The result was an interesting (but tasty) combination
of some random items I normally would never consider putting on pizza.

 

I started out by making the dough for the crust.

I actually love this part.

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Peeking inside the bowl…

I love the smell of dough, and when I let it rise
and come back, it’s amazing how it’s doubled it size!

 

I cover the bowl with a light-weight towel and forget about it for about an hour.

 

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It’s pretty cool how it grows and becomes so soft.

I love this part, too… Now I get to play with the dough
and form the pizza crust.

It reminds me of playing with Play Dough! 🙂

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When the dough has risen, I put a little bit of flour on the counter
and I either roll it out to the size I want, or I just plop it onto the greased
pizza pan (or cookie sheet, in this case).

 

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I like this part, too!  I use my fingers to softly spread the dough
over the cookie sheet.

Someday I’ll buy a pizza pan!
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These are the simple ingredients I used on the curst.

 

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First, I sprinkle garlic powder over the crust,
then I spread olive oil on that.

 

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Then I pour some of the sauce…
Sometimes I make my own sauce, but this time I just decided to make things easy.

 

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I use this cheese for sandwiches…

I’ve never used this one on  pizza before, but it works well
if you like some heat.

I think it would’ve worked out fine…
…but I also put some hot chiles (in lieu of red/green peppers)…
In my defense, …I was tired, hungry, sleepy, exhausted,…
I wasn’t thinking.
…let’s just say the pizza was HOT!
But delicious.

 

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These are the toppings I came up with in my limited pantry:

Corn (I know! I know! It’s not traditionally a pizza topping, but…
I was desperate,…what can I say?)
Black beans (same excuse as with the corn)
Chiles (I didn’t have any red or green peppers so I thought this was the next best thing)
Black olives
Meatballs (Leftover from last night’s dinner) Cut into quarters.

 

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After the cheese, I put the meatballs…

 

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Black beans,…

 

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Black olives, and green chiles…

 

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I’m SO glad I had this cheese!!

I sprinkled it all over the pizza.

 

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It actually looked pretty good.

I baked it for about 20 minutes at 425 degrees.

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I was surprised at the flavor.

I didn’t expect it to be so spicy
—-(I’d forgotten about the cheese slices underneath everything)

I didn’t expect to like the mixture of the toppings as much as I did.
—-(maybe the fact that I was so hungry had something to do with it?)

 

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 The crust was crispy on the outside and soft on the center.

It was tasty and just what I was craving.

Not as good as the Pizzeria, but a little healthier.  🙂

 

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It’s really not difficult to make pizza
and it’s fun!

Hope you’ll give it a try!

Daisy

 

RECIPE FOR PIZZA CRUST:
1 cup warm water
1 envelope active dry yeast
1 Tb sugar

I warm the water in the microwave;
warm enough but not hot.
Then I add a tablespoon of sugar to the water,
add the yeast, and use a whisk to mix it well.
Let it sit for about 5 minutes, until bubbly.

While the yeast is working, I mix the dry ingredients:
3 cups bread flour
1 Tb sugar
2 Tb olive oil

Add the wet ingredients to the dry, until a dough begins to form.
Transfer to floured surface and knead until soft and smooth.
Place in greased (with olive oil) bowl, and let rise for one hour.
Remove from bowl and either roll dough or use fingers to desired
shape in pizza pan or cookie sheet.

Top crust with your favorite toppings and sauce.
Bake for 20 minutes at 425 degrees, in preheated oven.
Enjoy!

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