Archive | In My Kitchen

Pizza: A Weekend Tradition

Does your family eat pizza on the weekends?

I have so many great memories associated with weekend pizza from my growing up years. From extended family get-togethers with my aunts, uncles and cousins~pizza every Saturday to be sure or with my own immediate family on our own in later years when we moved across the country . . . to now building the pizza tradition into our own small family life.

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Our family eats pretty much anything, but when the weekend rolls around, at some point we usually eat pizza in some shape or form! We *love* the New York Style available on nearly every corner here in Pennsylvania~delicious!! But there’s something so satisfying to me about making our own pizza too! Building a business for the past 3 years definitely saw us ordering in more pizza than usual, and now that I have been taking more time for the things I have always loved~one of them being the kitchen~homemade pizza is back on the menu!

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I don’t stick with one particular dough recipe because I like to try new ones from time to time, but I do like Pioneer Woman’s pizza dough recipe or a similar one from a Mennonite cookbook on my shelf. Lately I have also loved using the ever-wonderful crusty bread recipe as a great “sour dough” crust. Typically I use the pizza sauce that we canned during the fall with the tomatoes from our garden, but there again I appreciate variety and I’ve been *loving* this new twist on sauce, once again, using among other things, the balsamic vinegar that I have been loving and using on many foods.

Pizza Sauce from Scratch:
1 32 oz can diced tomatoes
6-8 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar (or if you’re like me, MORE!) 😀
olive oil

Combine and blend in food processor, use fresh on pizza for a great taste! OR cook in pan, leaving tomatoes in chunks . . .and spoon onto crust.

So wherever your weekend takes you, I hope delicious pizza is part of it! :) Maybe you’ll want to try this sauce recipe?? And if you’ve got a great pizza tip or particular way you like to eat it, I’d love to hear about it!

Happy Weekend!!


One Gift After Another!

Because Jesus is F U L L of grace and truth,
we A L L have received one. gift. after. another.
Yes and Amen.
Spiritual blessings too many to count . . .
and day to day blessings that make our lives beautiful.
I am so grateful for these:

Students eager to learn!
With a 1st grader, one just beginning Kindergarten work,
and another who loves to do “skoo wuk” too,
plus a babe that needs feeding or rocking at least once during school hours,
I sometimes feel pulled in, well, exactly FOUR directions.

But it’s a privilege to teach them.
I love to see their minds and hearts filling with good things.
Whether it’s becoming speedy in adding & subtracting,
painstakingly writing their names in cursive & print,
the smile that lights a face with the joy of learning to read a story book,
reciting “The Elephant” poem
and the Pledge of Allegiance
and John verses to their Daddy at night,
painting, cutting, gluing, coloring,
and making so many things for their Gramma far away,
(It’s time to send another envelope full of the things they give me to send to her.)

school 1

I overheard Claudia saying to herself the other day while coloring a gigantic picture,
“Eech binn sure es Gramma selt des appreciate-a”.
And for those who can’t read half-dutchified English, that was,
“I am sure that Gramma will appreciate this.”
Yes, daughter. I am sure that she will. :) It was indeed a labor of love.

This Kitchen:
with it’s lengths of counter space and drawers and the pantry where we stash things,
and it’s lovely window that lets in so much light, even on cloudy days,
making food photography a dream and allowing us to keep our own neighborhood watch. :)

And the things that we make in it:
food 2
food 1
1.Apple-pear tart 2.Kombucha 3.Deviled eggs
4.Spicy Thai beef stew and chocolate coconut macaroons
5. Flour-less brownies 6.Pizza with cauliflower crust

Date Night:
date 1
We don’t go as often as we’d love to,
but we treasure the times that we are able to get away!

church 1
Worship to Jesus, fellowship with our church family in the morning,
rest and quietness in the afternoons,
fun family outings in the evenings . . . or more fun at home!
It’s one of our favorite days of the week!

Some days I can hardly believe that I have THREE of them.
What a fun, noisy, chattery, giggly, emotional,
super helpful little “mommys” and lovers of beautiful things they are,
including beautiful music, ballet, PINK, and frilly.
Their brother and daddy keep them well rounded in the “rustic” out-doorsy side
of life as well . . . and they proved to be great hikers this weekend! :)

This Bebe:
{one month old}

* * * * * *


{two months old}

* * * * * *

{perky and oh so soft. mellllllt me.}




{staring . . .}


{sucking. oh that beloved thumb.}

{those toes. that adorbs diaper from the Honest Company. love.
three months of baby sweetness. a priceless gift that I do. not. take. for granted.}

So many friends have lost their precious babe or have not been able to conceive.
I don’t understand these things.
I only know to thank Him and worship with what He has given.
Inwardly I think, “Sometimes my life seems too easy.”
But neither do I want or ask for the hard things!
So even in all of this, I must trust, worship, and walk by faith . . .
T R U S T my Father as this sweet one trusts me.

For these and many more good gifts, I am grateful. Thank you, Jesus.

Thai-Style Coconut Chicken

This is one of my favorite comfort foods. Period. I don’t know if anything has the power to make my mouth water like coconut milk and cilantro and lime and ginger . . . all blended into one tantalizing aroma! I first discovered this recipe in a Betty Crocker cookbook that someone gave to us as a wedding gift. And let me say that it was worth every penny they spent, just for this recipe alone! I’ve tweaked it just a little to suit my taste, but really, you just can’t go wrong with this combination of ingredients.

This recipe is so delicious with jasmine rice, but if you are watching your carb intake, it is also great over konjac noodles, which I discovered through Trim Healthy Mama and have enjoyed many times in the past year.

So without further delay, let’s get cooking!

thai coconut chicken

2 Tablespoons coconut oil
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into bite-sized pieces
2 teaspoons grated lime peel
2 teaspoons grated ginger root2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
fresh serrano chilies or 1 jalapeño chili, seeded and finely chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
2 cans (about 14 ounces each) coconut milk (not cream of coconut)
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
2 cups sugar snap peas
2 medium green bell peppers, cut into 1 inch chunks
2 medium tomatoes, chopped (about 1.5 cups)
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves

Hot cooked jasmine or white rice if desired.

In a large skillet or medium pot, heat oil on high, add chicken and stir fry for 2-3 minutes til chicken is no longer pink. Add lime peel, gingerroot, garlic, chilies and cilantro; stir-fry 1 minute. Pour coconut milk over chicken.  Stir in brown sugar, salt, soy sauce, pea pods and bell pepper. Reduce heat to medium. Simmer uncovered for 3-5 minutes, until vegetables are crisp-tender. Stir in tomato. Top with basil. Serve with rice.

Tips: I love to have ingredients on hand to make my favorite foods at a moment’s notice in case of unexpected dinner guests or in case of a c.r.a.v.i.n.g for Thai food striking suddenly. This dish has so many fresh ingredients, though, so it’s been a bit of a challenge. I have discovered though, that bell peppers freeze well after being sliced or chopped. Also, I used to always buy fresh sugar snap peas, but recently had a light bulb moment when discovering them in the frozen foods isle. As for the lime, ginger, and garlic, I tend to always have those on hand in my refrigerator anyways, but did you know you can freeze those as well? That leaves the cilantro, basil, and tomato. You can freeze the herbs and get great flavor . . . it just doesn’t look quite as pretty, so since you need the tomato anyway, you’ll just have to do what I do and get your husband to stop by the store on his way home from work. Seems to work pretty well most times. :) Also, the last time I made this, I used chicken breast that had been roasted earlier in the week with seasoning salt. I chopped it in small pieces and added to the mix while adding in the last of the vegetables. Mmmm! So good, and convenient too.

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