13 Kids & Counting "Not all who wander are lost." J.R.R. Tolkien
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Homemade Pizzas

February 13

Are your kids like mine? Obsessed with junk food? Specifically pizzas, tacos, and hamburgers?

I have discovered at least that mine like the homemade versions of these better than the fast food versions.

That means that I can sneak in a little more nutrition when they aren’t looking at least!

We hadn’t made homemade pizzas in a while so I decided to make those yesterday on what was probably one of my busiest days off ever. Not my best idea ever I’ll grant.

But I had found a pizza crust recipe that I wanted to try out, so in between an eye doctor appointment for myself (the first in 15 years!) and Mario’s & Pookie’s parent teacher conferences, I made up a double batch of pizza dough & left it to proof on the kitchen counter covered with a clean towel while we went to those conferences. It doubled beautifully and was ready to go when we came home.

 

A couple things that the author of that blog failed to mention and I had to do a little digging to find is:

#1. Poke the pizza crusts with a fork, otherwise they puff up like pita bread. (And I still forgot to do this with the first batch!)

#2. Pre-bake the crusts with no toppings for 8 minutes at 375 degrees.

I had some assorted toppings: mozzarella cheese (of course), pepperoni, green pepper, white onion, pineapple, sliced black olives, and jalapenos (fresh, not pickled!).

We made individual pizzas so that everyone could have exactly what they wanted.

Cookie just wanted the green pepper. She didn’t even want the crust lol. She just kept snagging pieces of the pepper out of the bowl! But I did make her one with pepperoni, green pepper, & pineapple. She picked off some of the toppings and left the rest.

Everyone else loved the crust though! The double recipe made enough for 14 individual pizza crusts.

And a few things that occurred to me after the fact:

#1. Don’t wear a black shirt when rolling out pizza dough.

#2. Use a little bit of olive oil spread on the tops of the crusts when prebaking so that they brown a little better.

#3. And next, I want to try making my own pizza sauce!

 

Seriously some of the best crust we’ve ever made! I really encourage you to go give it a try!

White Chocolate Cherry Cookies

February 12

IMG_2882These are a family favorite! I thought I’d share as I’m making them tonight to put in the kids lunches.

1 cup butter, softened

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

2 eggs

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

2 1/4 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 – 16 ounce package of white chocolate chips

12 ounces of maraschino cherries, drained & chopped

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl, combine the dry ingredients and mix well.

In your mixer or large bowl, cream the butter & sugars together. Scrape down the sides.

Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well.

Then add the vanilla, mixing well.

Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture. I add it in one heaping tablespoon at a time.

Once the flour & butter mixtures are thoroughly combined, (Don’t worry if it seems a little stiff, no matter how much you drain the cherries, when you chop them, you’ll be adding some liquid into the batter.) gently stir in the white chocolate & the cherries.

On ungreased cookie sheet, lined with parchment paper, place the batter a tablespoon at a time, approximately 2 inches apart. (I was out of parchment but they still didn’t stick!)IMG_2877

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool 2 minutes on sheet, then move to wire racks to cool completely.IMG_2880

This recipe makes about 3 -4 dozen, depending on how large you make your cookies! Mine made 45 cookies.IMG_2887

Garden

April 2

We are starting to look at planting our garden for the year. Decided what to plant and where to plant it is always an engaging time.

I’m also looking forward to trying some new plants and seeing what I can make from them.

For instance, I’ve never grown eggplants or lettuces.

Lettuces are easy to use up but how about eggplant?

Anyone want to send me some recipes for eggplant?

Cherry Vanilla Bread

November 1

So I found a couple bags of dried cherries at the store on sale a few months ago & bought them.

I put them to work a short time later and came up with Cherry Vanilla Bread.

They were delicious but as it was the first time I had made it, I, again, took no pictures! (I really have got to stop doing that!)

But here’s the recipe:

3 1/2 c flour

2 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1 package (5 oz.) dried cherries

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened

1 1/2 c sugar

4 eggs

3 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 c milk

 

Mix all the dry ingredients in one bowl, excluding the cherries. After you’ve mixed the dry ingredients well, then stir the cherries into the flour mixture.

Cream the butter & sugar together.  When they are well blended, mix the eggs in, one at a time. Then add the vanilla & milk & mix some more.

At this point, you should have one bowl of dry ingredients & one bowl of wet ingredients. Slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, mixing in 3 or 4 parts.

Split the batter between 2 greased loaf pans.

Bake at 350 degrees for 65 minutes or until a piece of spaghetti or a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Merry Muffins

September 14

Last weekend, I made Merry Muffins. It was a recipe that I found in my grandmothers’ recipe files. I didn’t take any pictures because I didn’t know how they’d turn out or if anyone would like them. And very shortly after, there were none left to photograph! So, I thought I’d share the recipe. I thought it might need a little bit more sugar but my husband thought they were perfect. So, my suggestion is make them once & then adjust the amount of sugar if you want.

MERRY MUFFINS

2 cups all-purpose flour

2/3 cup chopped pecans

1/2 cup sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup milk

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 egg, beaten

1/4 cup chopped maraschino cherries

1/4 cup chocolate flavored drink mix (I used Nesquik)

Powdered sugar (optional)

Combine the first five ingredients in a large bowl, stirring well; Make a well in the center of the mixture. Combine milk, oil, and egg in seperate bowl; add to dry ingredients, stirring just until moistened.

Divide the batter in half; stir cherries into one portion. Stir chocolate drink mix into the other portion.

Spoon about 1 tablespoon into 1 side of each greased muffin tin. (I used paper cupcake/muffin cups instead.) Spoon about 1 tablespoon chocolate batter into the other side, filling the cup 2/3 full.

Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired.

Makes 14.

 

I doubled the recipe since making 14 wouldn’t even give everyone in my house one muffin! I suggest, if you double the recipe that you mix them up seperately & then just add the cherries to one bowl and the chocolate mix to the other. It would be easier than trying to divide the batter evenly between two bowls the way I did. (Yes, my lightbulb moments tend to occur after the fact!)

Try this out & let me know what you think!

Something Crazy

September 8

I’m contemplating doing something crazy. Like cooking every single thing in a cookbook. But I don’t know what cookbook.

Or if I even want to try some of those foods lol.

Thoughts? Cookbook recommendations?

Welcome to Life in My House. My husband and I have 14 kids, 8 of which live at home. Plus my parents live with us, too. The age range in our house is 10 months old to 80. My husband and I both work full time and it truly does take a village to raise a family when you both work. Join me to learn what it’s like to have this many kiddos, share my joys, my frustrations, and watch me figure this whole working mom thing out.


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