I don’t know about you, but with the weather changing the last thing I want to be doing is spending too much time in the house cooking. I have been trying to come up with some ways to be more efficient in the kitchen. So I wanted to share with you a few little tricks I have learned that have helped me lately. Make sure to leave a comment with your tips, we can all learn from each other.
To make it fun, I’m going to use my FAVORITE food as an example…. PIZZA!
Have you ever frozen veggies (or fruit) and had them clump together? Well try placing them on a cookie sheet, let them freeze, then place them in plastic freezer bags. These work great on pizza because you can throw them right on frozen.
When cheese is on sale, buy it in bulk and grate it all at once. I remember when I was little that was the job we all hated, so get it over with in one shot. If you don’t want the mozzarella cheese to clump up, throw in a tablespoon of cornstarch with the cheese. You can also buy freeze-dried cheese if you want some for an emergency.
Grind Wheat Ahead of Time
I usually try to grind all my wheat fresh (it reatins most of the nutrients this way). However, I usually have about 4-8 cups in my freezer to use if I am in a “hurry” and can’t get my wheat grinder out. Freezing it helps keep it from going rancid too quickly.
Go for 2 in 1’s
Whenever I make pizza dough, I double the recipe and turn the other half into pizza pockets. I let them cool down, then wrap them in plastic wrap and throw them in the freezer. That way I have lunches prepared ahead of time. I use these on days that I just don’t feel like it (do you ever have those?). I cook it in the microwave for 2 minutes and enjoy it every time knowing it is healthier and cheaper then store-bought hot pockets.
Once Julie discovered her all-time favorite bread dough recipe, it was a no-brainer for her to try it with pizza too. Now every week she makes a couple of loaves of bread AND a pizza for her family out of the same batch of bread dough. Talk about the ultimate 2-for-1. She likes to make her pizza crust thin and crunchy, and throws lots of veggies on top.
Jodi prefers a deep-dish pizza and her favorite recipe is this one modified from our friend Crystal at Everyday Food Storage.
Deep Dish Pizza Crust
Makes enough dough for two pizzas, or one pizza and a loaf of bread or some breadsticks.
2 1/2 C. Medium Hot Water
5 tsp. SAF Instant Yeast*
2 Tbsp. Sugar
3 Tbsp. Oil
1 tsp. Salt
6 C. Flour (you can do half all-purpose and half wheat or 100% fresh ground whole wheat)
1/2 Cube of Butter
1. Pour medium hot water in mixing bowl. Sprinkle yeast on top and allow to dissolve.
2. Add sugar, salt, and oil. Gradually add approximately 6 cups of flour.
3. Melt 1/2 cube of butter on cookie sheet in oven as it is heating to 400 degrees and melt in oven.
4. Place dough on cookie sheet and press to fill pan, make sure butter gets on top of the dough.
5. Add your sauce, cheese, and toppings.
6. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes or until cheese is slightly browned and the crust is firm.
* When using regular yeast change amount to 2 Tbsp.
Jodi’s kids enjoying the pizza! HOLY COW I AM REALLY hungry for some now!
-Jodi Weiss Schroeder