Sunday, March 30, 2014

Whole Wheat Sourdough Pizza Crust


This crust is jammed pack full of flavors! The sourdough adds a whole new twist to the dough, it almost ruins any other pizza you will ever try.

If you are wondering what sauce would match the taste of sourdough, pesto works delightfully. I used homemade Pesto from last year's Basil crop as the sauce. You can also use traditional tomato sauce or get crazy with some barbecue sauce.

An ingredient used in this was the King Arthur's Pizza Dough Flavor. I really recommend getting this ingredient for all your pizza crust recipes. You will be pleasantly surprised by the little extra kick of tastiness it adds to your dough.

  • 1 cup sourdough starter
  • 1 tablespoon butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup spelt flour
  • 2 2/3 tablespoon pizza dough flavor
  • luke warm water (save on the side)
Except for salt and water, combine ingredients in a bowl. Add water, one tablespoon at a time, until dry ingredients form into a ball. Cover bowl and let rise for 20 min. After the 20 minutes is up, knead in salt until dough is sticky. Let rise an additional 4-6 hours.

After the rising period is done, place a baking stone in oven and preheat oven to 425°F. Roll out dough to the desire thickness, add toppings. Bake pizza 15-20 minutes or until cheese darkens.

Hope you enjoy this pizza as much as we did!

Nancy Jane

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Virtuous Pre-Wife, Part 1

Often women of my generation are looked down upon by society for our decision to become stay at home wives. Society wonders why we do this and how could we bring down years of social improvement, years of women’s rights, all for the sake of taking care of our family. They consider us out of date and dunce because we’d rather take care of others than take care of ourselves.

My purpose is to show that the Bible does not promote a helpless and powerless women, rather strong women who can nurture and take care of a family. Homemakers choose to sacrifice their own life to take care of others. However, this does not make us dolls who are controlled by men, rather supporters of our men. Not only spiritual but with our work.

I am writing this to the girls who are patiently waiting on the Lord, those who are not married and using this time to grow individually. I myself am waiting on the Lord, and boy has he taught me patience! I want to encourage women like me to start preparing to be a wife and homemaker.

Though I am not married yet, I do know I want to be like the Proverbs 31 woman. This section always stuck with me “She considers a field and buys it: from her profits she plants a vineyard.” Proverbs 31:16

This may seem like a strange verse to pick out of the chapter, however, it shows her financial smarts. Too often the stereotype for the homemaker is a women who helplessly has no control of the assets. However, this Proverbs 31 women uses her money to invest, to help increase her family’s funds. Now we might all not want to go out and buy a field and grow grapes, but this could mean our talents. What are your skills? Mine happens to be teaching and playing music. While we wait upon the Lord to bring us a husband, we need to learn to work hard, make money. I am currently learning now to build a business, how to take care of finances, how to promote my own business. Too often girls who choose to be homemakers do not work because they are waiting for a man. But this is not what our future husband is looking for, he wants a woman who can take care of herself. If we can’t take care of ourselves, how do you expect to take care of others? Along with our future husband, God does not want us to sit around either. The Lord does not say wait idly by, but to do something! If you cannot work, then volunteer in the Church, grow a garden, take classes at your local college. Don’t sit idly by and watch the World leave you behind.

We are not doing this to impress a man, but to make our God happy. Our heavenly Father lovingly gave each of us a skill, and He does not want us to waste it. Invest in your own life. Invest in your skills. Use this time of singleness wisely and do not feel sorry for yourself because someone else got married and you didn’t. Each of us have our own path to follow, and rather than feeling sorry for ourselves we need to start being productive!

Don't sit in your dark room, watch hours of Netflix, and dwell on all your problems, but start learning how to be the Proverbs 31 woman.

Nancy Jane

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Healthy Whole Wheat Pitas

Pita party!

Look at them, all puffed up!

Everyone should join the pita party. It brings the baker a great delight seeing the little brown circles puff up like balloons in the oven. Even greater joy taking a knife and opening up the bread to see the little pocket formed inside the bread. These darn little circles of dough are just too fun to bake! (And eat...) You can see your baking skills pop up right in front of you!

Another great thing about pitas is you can make them ahead of time! Just stick the dough in a Ziploc bag and refrigerate!

Whole Wheat Pitas
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1 1/4 cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
Combine all the ingredients in bread maker. Let knead for 45 minutes in machine. When done, put in bowl. Cover bowl tightly and let rise for 1 1/2 hours, or until dough has risen double in size.

When time as come for baking, place a baking stone in oven. Preheat oven to 450°F.

Take dough, roll out balls of dough, about size of golf balls if you wish to have small pitas. Let dough set for 10 minutes, then flatten with a rolling pin on parchment paper. Bake 3-4 pitas at a time for 5-10 minutes, or until pitas have fully "ballooned".
Look how big they get!
They open right up! (By the way, those are not my man hands!)

You can serve them warm or cold. My boyfriend and I enjoy pitas with falafels, hummus, tomato-cucumber-onion salad, and chicken sandwich. Very, very enjoyable!

Nancy Jane

Friday, March 21, 2014

Simply Refreshing Apple Cider Vinegar Drink

Delicious, refreshing, health building
Apple Cider Vinegar Ginger Tea

Drinking apple cider vinegar has a multitude of health benefit claims.  We enjoy this at least daily and up to three times per day.

This recipe must be altered to your taste preference, the perfect balance of vinegar, stevia (or honey) and ginger is a personal choice.

It is important to use good quality apple cider vinegar—unpasteurized, raw, unfiltered with the ‘mother’.   Our absolute favorite is Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar.

This drink is sold in bottles at Sprouts, while it is delicious purchased ready made, developing your won combination is less expensive and more accessible.

Simply Combine 
(In your favorite mug,  I prefer cups and saucers for other hot beverages, but a mug is needed for this concoction.)

Apple Cider Vinegar-start with 1 tablespoon and adjust to taste
Stevia or honey to taste
Ginger-we use 3 quarter size pieces
Hot water
Sip and adjust ingredients to your taste.

This can be made hot or cold, but the ginger will steep getting full flavor benefits if you use hot water.

Other options….Forego ginger….Nancy Jane is not a ginger fan like Mother Judith (her dog Gingersnap is the exception) so she drinks it solo, or with a smidgen of good quality cinnamon.
As with the vinegar, good quality cinnamon makes all the difference in the world, we use Vietnamese cinnamon.

Experiment with portions and other herbs and spices…try to add this to your daily maintenance for a wide spectrum of benefits.

Mother Judith

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Open-Faced Rustic Berry Pie

The King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion defines rustic as "the method of shaping the crust". I define it as "well, the edges of my crust did not turn out as pretty as I wanted".

Open-Faced Rustic Berry Pie is the easiest pie I have made up to this date. (Granted, this is not a well seasoned baker here). Basically all you do is roll out the dough, toss the berry mixture in the middle, fold over the dough and you made a pie!   The recipe is originally from the book, but with a few modifications.

Preheat oven to 425° F.
Take aluminum foil on cookie sheet, spray with oil. Roll pie crust flat on sheet. (The edges might hang off, this is ok). Set aside.

In a separate bowl, stir together sugar and cornstarch. Add berries. I opted for strawberries and raspberries since they were on sale. Stir ingredients together. Poor in middle of pie crust, leaving a 3 inch gap between berries and pie crust edge. Fold the dough over the berries, leaving a 4-5 inch hole exposing berries.
Steps for folding over dough.
Place in oven, bake 20-30 minutes, or until berry mixture begins to bubble and crust turns brown. Let cool for 15-30 minutes, serve with a scoop of ice cream and a cup of coffee!

I am so very looking forward to my berries this summer so I can make this pie with them.
Hope you enjoy the recipe!

Nancy Jane

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Get Tropical with Coconut Pie

Coconut Pie is a custard-like pie with hints of macaroons, almond joys, and tropical islands. Not only does the pie taste delectable, but is beautiful to look at. The vision of the pie was so tempting that I could not wait for it to cool off to try it. Of course, don't forget to add whip cream to the top of the pie to make it extra delicious!
I found the recipe in the Better Home and Garden New Cook Book. For the pie crust, I used a simple crust. You can buy one at the store or try this recipe here at this link
Coconut Pie
  • 3 beaten eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 4 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/3 cup flaked coconut
  • 1 uncooked pie shell
Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine eggs, sugar, butter, lemon juice, and vanilla. Stir in coconut. Pour into unbaked pie shell. Bake for an hour or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean.
Hope you enjoy this recipe!

Nancy Jane

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Lucky Green Cheesecake


With Patrick's Day rapidly approaching, coming up with an Irish themed dessert is probably popping up in your mind. Well, have you given thought to a green cheesecake? Festive, fun, and unique are the perfect words to describe the cake. Kids and adults will love the look and taste!

This recipe could not get any simpler. For the crust I just used vanilla wafers. I opted to make cheesecake in a cupcake form, but you can easily use the wafers as a pie crust, just line the pie dish with them. It makes a simple, yet scrumptious, pie crust.

For the cheesecake, Mother Judith recommended me using a no bake recipe. I found this recipe on Martha Stewart's website. The contribution I added to the otherwise white cheesecake is the green dye.

  • 2 eight ounce packaged cream cheese, room temperature. 
  • 1 fourteen ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Green dye
Using electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add in sweetened condensed milk, a little at a time. Add lemon juice and vanilla. After the mix is smooth, add in green dye until desired color is achieved (it doesn't take a lot).

Take cupcake pan, put in cupcake papers and add a vanilla wafer to each one. Scoop in cheesecake mixture over each wafer. Set in refrigerator and let chill overnight. The website only recommended letting it set 2 to 3 hours, but letting it chill overnight definitely made the cheesecake a little  firmer.

Remove cheesecake from the fridge the next day, and add decorations! I melted chocolate the night before and drizzled it on wax paper. I set that in the fridge over night as well, then set it atop my cheesecakes. You can also use green M&Ms, sprinkles, etc. This recipe is perfect to make with kids.

Nancy Jane