Hello, Hello St Thomas’ Families!
We’ve all heard …..”April showers bring May flowers….”
Well… our May flowers are bound to be amazing with the abundance of showers we’ve had this spring!
In case it is raining again and you are looking for an activity to bring out the giggles and creative juices with your gang at home, here is a place to begin…
This favorite book (yes, I’m sure you know by now that I have LOTS of favorite books!) is sure to elicit silliness…
I wonder WHO is the pizza in your house? What toppings did you choose? Did the pizza laugh and run away after baking? These questions will make much more sense after you enjoy the story!
Now maybe you’d like to make your own REAL pizzas?
Since some ingredients might be challenging to find with less trips to the grocery store, I’ve included two dough recipes that are simple and require just a few ingredients. They are both so easy to put together and making them is a terrific family cooking experience. The dough will be ready even before you decide on your toppings!
Each chef can create their own mini pizzas ….or work together to create one large 12”.
- 1 package, active dry yeast (or 8 grams or 25oz or 2.25 tsp)
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 cup warm water (110 degrees F)
- 2.5 cups bread flour (or all purpose flour)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- In a large bowl, stir yeast and sugar into the warm water and let it sit for 5-10 minutes until it looks creamy (here you can watch the yeast come alive!).
- When the yeast is frothy, add the flour, salt and oil, and stir until well mixed. At this point, your dough will be loose and messy looking. That’s ok. There’s no need to form a smooth ball like you would with traditional pizza dough recipes.
- Let the dough mixture rest for 5 minutes.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and roll or pat into one 12” crust or 4 individual crusts.
- Transfer to a pizza stone or lightly oiled pizza pan.
- Spread pizza sauce over crust.
- Top with a handful of mozzarella cheese and various other pizza toppings.
Now just bake at 450 degrees for 15-20 minutes (large pizza) or 10-15 minutes for the smaller pizzas! YUM!
How about a pizza cook-off? Who had the most inventive toppings? What treasures did you find hiding in the back of your refrigerator? Maybe you made a breakfast pizza with bacon, eggs and cheese? Maybe a s’more pizza with chocolate, marshmallows and crushed graham crackers? Maybe you skipped the sauce and did all cheeses? I wonder which one you loved the most? Did you close your eyes and try to guess what someone else put on their pizza?
Maybe, just maybe you are in the mood for some warm and toasty homemade soft pretzels instead? Mmmmmm. Those always hit the spot! They feel like a warm hug on the inside. Speaking of hugs, here is another short story if you are feeling like you could use a hug…….
Now for the pretzel recipe…
- 1¾ cup self rising flour (easy to make if you only have all purpose flour, see below)..
- 1 cup plain greek yogurt
- 3 tbsp butter (to brush on pretzels)
- 1 tbsp course salt (to sprinkle on pretzels)
- To make self rising flour, sift together 2 cups all purpose flour, 1 tbsp baking powder and 1 tsp salt
For the dough, combine the self rising flour and greek yogurt in a medium bowl and stir until it forms a loose ball. On a lightly floured surface, knead 2-3 minutes to smooth the dough a bit. Divide dough into 8 even pieces. Set aside a bit or two for pretzel bites. Roll a piece of dough into a long rope and fold ends over to form a pretzel. Repeat with remaining pieces. If you prefer to make bites, cut the long rope into 1 inch pieces. The next step is optional but really gives the pretzels that crisp and golden outer shell….
It’s called a baking soda and water bath. (Silly pretzels taking a bath!) Combine ½ cup boiling water and 1 tbsp baking soda in a heat- proof bowl. Submerge each pretzel, one at a time, for several seconds before placing on a baking stone or cookie sheet. Brush pretzels with melted butter and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 20 minutes at 375 degrees for pretzels, and 8-10 minutes at 425 degrees for pretzel bites.
Maybe you’ll sprinkle them with cinnamon sugar or garlic and herb butter instead? Great for dipping in peanut butter, hummus or ranch dressing! Or anything else your heart desires.
And not to be missed would be making your own pizza dipping sauce, perfect on your homemade crust or for dipping your pretzels. Here you can add your own flair as well. Using any canned tomato sauce or chopped tomatoes, add an assortment of chopped veggies from your fridge. In school we’ve had such fun cutting carrots, zucchini and yellow squash (some cut very easily with plastic knives to keep little hands safe or are fun to grate). Add your favorite spices and dried herbs and blend in a blender or with a blending stick and simmer in a pot on your stove until the taste tickles your fancy. Pesto sauce is another option!
Maybe you’d like to open your own family pizza shop! How about making some menus with your art supplies? What toppings would you put on the menu? Are you selling whole pizzas or can your family buy just a slice? How many slices are in your pizzas? Can you create a few model pizzas on paper with removable toppings? (paper plates are a sure bet to make paper pizzas!) Maybe there is cardboard in your recycling to make a pizza box for delivery to the yard, the upstairs…where do you deliver your pizzas in your house? Maybe you’ll create some pizza art to mail to your friends and family to tell them that they have a “pizza” your heart!
Well all of you sure do have a BIG “PIZZA” my heart!!! I think of you all the time and send you happy vibes. Grab your aprons and spoons and let’s get cooking! Feel free to email me any pictures of your pizza adventures or pop a menu you create in the mail so I can order a slice!
Hey, want to hear a joke about pizza?
Never mind, it’s too cheesy! Hahahahahaha
Just remember, no matter how you “slice it”…you’re awesome!
Be well, be peaceful, take good care of each other.