Sunday, February 9, 2014

Ready to see my Soldier

  Tomorrow morning we head out to see out Soldier in Training become a United States Soldier. It will take us two days to drive to Missouri. We're taking the Little 2 with us. Sadly Twin#1 started a new job and isn't able to take off for the week. I spent the day sorting clothes and packing the rental Yukon. I really haven't been thinking too much about once we get there.

  But just a little while ago, we got a call from out Soon to be Soldier and it's just hitting me. My baby, my little 4 pound, plucked chicken, who needed to be in an incubator for the first two weeks of his life, is going to be a private in the Army. My emotions are all over the place right now. (poor Hubby) The days have been long, but now I realize the time has flown by and we're going to watch our child do the most important thing he's ever done. 

  I know when he walks a crossed that stage, I won't see the man the Army sees, I'll see my little boy, all dressed up playing GI Joe. But the truth is he'll belong to Uncle Sam for at least the next three years. So I'll need to be "Army Mom Strong" and try not to cry so I can get some good pictures of this momentous occasionI don't think they'll be tears of sadness or tears of fear. I think they'll be tears of pride and joy. And hopefully there will be at least one or two other moms who need a tissue to dry their eyes as they watch their little boy take a giant leap into being a man, a private, a US Soldier.

  I'll see this little boy playing "King of the Mountain"with his twin bbrother.

Twin #1 is on the bottom. Soon to be Soldier is sitting on top

Monday, February 3, 2014

More snow equals more pizza

 It's snowing (yet again) and the kids have another snow day.


Baby Girl asked if we could please make pizza for dinner again. Well since it means warming the oven, which will take the chill out the kitchen, and it will entertain her, which means she won't be bugging her older brother, pizza it is!!

I really like this recipe from King Authur Flour. I didn't have King Authur, so I used Gold Medal and it turned out just fine. In the directions you'll see they tell you to put mix your yeast with warm water and sugar to activate it. My kids love this part because "Look the yeast is farting" (thank you science channel)

If you really wanted to get into the science end of it with your kids on how and why the dough rises, this could be a good "science credit" But thanks to the the science channel (I'm thinking it was Beakman's World) my kids know that the dough rises because the yeast has gas, thus the "yeast is farting" jokes. (sorry we're not the most mature, high brow people in our area)

Ok so here's what our dough looks like once it rose (sadly I didn't think to take a before picture, but it was about 1/2 the bowl)

My lovely assistant

So now for the fun part, making a perfect round pizza dough with no holes in it. OK that so isn't ever going to happen. I do start out "tossing" the pizza, but it's more like I have my hands in prayer and I gently toss the pizza to get a little bit of stretch to it. Then we lay it down on a floured surface and use the rolling pin. I totally cheated and used parchment paper to rough out the dough on so I didn't make a hole in the dough when transferring to the pizza pan. This will only work if you've got someone to hold the paper as you roll the dough  (I know, bad cook, but I'm not Italian, so no one in my family cares) If you get a hole in your dough, just pinch it tightly, maybe put a little dab of water to seal it. I'm sure there's a right way to do this, but this way works for me, so take my advice for what it's worth. (and hey, don't stress, cooking, especially with the kids, should be fun). Once you've rolled the dough, just roll over the edge of the pie.

Ta Da the crust is done!

You can get as fancy with the sauce as you want. I used Prego Marinara sauce because it doesn't have a lot of "chunks" in it (Little Man doesn't like "chunks" on his pizza) We just used a spoon to spread it on, we used *maybe* a cup of sauce. I think it's one of those, put some on, oh, put some more on, till it's just right, type of thing.

"It's like I'm painting the pizza with sauce and a spoon"

Next step is the toppings. I like to sprinkle a little grated Parmesan then shredded mozzarella cheese. After that we topped half the pizza with slices of hotdogs. I know, you're saying ewww gross, but don't knock it till you've tried it. My mom would make pizza (a super yummy, rare treat since she had to make enough to feed 9) and hot dogs were a cheap topping. So the traditions carries on.

All ready to go in the 450 degree oven

  Now I didn't follow the instrutions to a T. I didn't let it rise again, once I rolled the dough (probably aanother no-no) I left the parchment paper under the dough so it didn't stick to the pan. And I just made one big round pizza, because it fit on my pan that way. Guess what? It still turned out pretty yuumy

Please note thick, tasty crust
 Now for some strange reason, my kids don't like the actual end, crust of the pizza (hello, that's the best part) but they loved this crust. Now that could have something to do with the fact that the Daddy put a little butter on his crust when he got to that part.

So if you're bored on a snow day, looking for something fun to do, make some pizza. If your kids are into veggies you could make this a lot healthier then I did. But tomato sauce with no chunks is as healthy as Little Man is going to get with his "no chunk" policy.