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How to make authentic Italian pizza at home

How to make authentic Italian pizza at home

The Italian cuisine is popular all over the world and their recipes are in great demand. When we talk about Italina food, the first thing that comes to our mind is Pizza. It is the most popular dish with great taste and the best thing is that it is very easy to prepare. Italian pizza tastes best and most authentic when it is prepared with fresh and local seasonal ingredients. Italians always cook Pizzas in olive oil as keeping the dish within considerable health quotient is equally important. They also use the wood-fired oven with a pizza stone to get the best taste. Though there are many companies manufacturing pizza stone but of you are looking for one of the best option then visit www.CaliforniaPizzaStones.com.

 

Dough plays a very important role when Italian pizza is concerned as iIt needs to be rightly prepared. The dough gives texture to the pizza and holds the flavors as well. Below given is the recipe and few simple steps to prepare an authentic Italian pizza at home.

 

Ingredients needed

 

  • Warm water (600ml)
  • 25 grams yeast
  • 1 kg flour
  • 1.5 tablespoons salts
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 6 table spoons extra virgin olive oil

Preparation

 

  1. Sprinkle 2.25 teaspoons yeast into a bowl and pour some lukewarm water in it. The water should be neither too hot nor too cold. Stir it continuously until the yeast dissolves.
  2. Place all the flour over a table and shape it like a volcano.
  3. Pour the mixture of warm water and yeast along with other ingredients into the crater.
  4. Knead them for at least 15 minutes. Stop kneading when the dough becomes smooth and elastic. The surface should be floured.
  5. Use olive oil to grease up a bowl and put the dough within it and leave it for 4 to 5 hours.
  6. Preheat the oven to about 200°C, or about 400°F.
  7. Put the dough in the floured surface. Punch it to get rid of bubbles.
  8. Divide the dough in four pieces and keep the other three dough pieces aside covering them with clean kitchen towel while you start preparing one.
  9. Use a roller pin to roll the dough to flatten it. Each disc should be 12 inch thick.
  10. Transfer the pizza onto a pizza stone or a baking sheet.
  11. Add tomato sauce if you want red pizza, which is better known as pizza rossa in Italy. Most of the pizza in Italy is pizza Bianca, which are without tomato sauce. The edges of the pizza need to be brushed with small amount of olive oil.
  12. Bake the pizza for 10 to 15 minutes, and then add the sliced or grated mozzarella cheese on top along with other ingredients. Other ingredients may include, pepper, oregano, and basil. All these things enhance the flavor and taste of your pizza. You may also put mushrooms or olives as toppings.
  13. The pizzas need to be baked until the crust becomes golden brown and the cheese is melted properly. Before taking it out from oven, ensure that the bottom of the pizza has also become brown.
  14. Remove the pizza from oven and garnish it with few basil leaves.

Once the pizza become bit cool, slice it into pieces and serve them. Your family members are going love this for sure.


Cheddar Potato Ham Soup

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I love the holiday’s, but man I am so lost with all the leftovers!   Generally after a Thanksgiving meal, I will make a turkey noodle soup.  But, I am always just kinda lost on recipes when it comes to leftover ham.   Well, I decided to try and whip up a quick soup the other night with some leftovers, and let me say.. I TOTALLY impressed myself, and my hubby.    Even posted a pic on Facebook and Instagram and had lots of people wanting the recipe.   So, here ya’ll go ~

Now, for this recipe I have no exact amounts because it was kinda what I had on hand.

First, I put a huge pot of water on the stove, and added about 3/4 – 1 cup of wild rice.  Boiled for about 20 min.  Cut up about 6 medium sized potatoes with skin on (reds) and added them to the pot of boiling water and rice.  Boiled till potatoes were soft.  Drained all the water in a strainer and bowl (not colander, as the rice would slip thru holes).  Left potatoes and rice in strainer for a bit.  Put pot back on stove, add 1 cup of water from bowl, 1 can of Cream of Chicken soup, 2 cups milk, 5 Tbsp butter, 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese, and simmered till cheese started to melt. Then, and about 2 cups of ham (cut up) and continue to simmer. When all is melted nicely, I added the rice and potatoes back in and mixed well.  Added pepper, garlic salt and parsley flakes.  Then, we enjoyed while watching a season of Deadwood on DVD  😉

 

Again, you might have to adjust ingredients to fit what you have on hand, but in the end, you will love it.

Greek Yogurt Bark

Greek Yogurt Bark ~ This is a simple and quite versatile recipe. 
Ingredients:
Greek Yogurt of choice (flavored ones work too)
Fruit of choice, you can do dried fruits or fresh berries. I used dried fig, apricot and pumpkin seeds.
Nuts (optional)
Parchment paper
Spread the yogurt over the parchment paper in an even layer (don’t make it too thin, it will break easily). You can use a cookie sheet or a plate – depending how large you want your bark. Place fruit on top.  Freeze for at least 3 hours. Use a knife to break into pieces. Serve COLD! It does melt.
Healthy treat any time of the year.  Use your imagination and make this holiday themed too.  This one looks like a Halloween treat.   You can add so many things to the recipe so there is a mix for everyone.
 

Healthy Fruit Bars

Healthy Fruit Bars ~ Similar to a Lara Bar
Ingredients ~
1 cup of chopped up dried fruit of choice
1/4 cup of chopped dates
1/4 cup of chopped nuts (optional)
Put all the ingredients in a food processor until the ingredients form into a ball. Take an amount, size of a golf ball (give or take),
 and put it on some parchment paper (dough is quite sticky), and use it to form your bars. I press it against a cookie sheet, as it helps make the sides straight.
The amount of the ingredients above make 2 bars, each measuring 3.5 inches x 2 inches. I individually wrap them in plastic wrap, as I like to take them as a snack for work.  Mine lasts in the fridge for about 7 days

Refreshing Homemade Tea Recipes

TeaTime

15 refreshing homemade tea recipes perfect for any time of the year.

Need a boost to start up your morning but not a big fan of hot coffee and tea?  Here are 15 refreshing homemade tea recipes that will keep you energized when your day needs a little pick me up.

Peach Iced Tea Slushie

Orange vanilla iced tea

Strawberry tea

Apple Mint Iced Tea

Iced apple cinnamon tea with honey

Honey Rhubarb Iced Tea

Very Berry Hibiscus Refresher

Five minute raspberry iced tea

Starbucks iced passion tea

Watermelon green tea

Sweet green tea

Copycat Starbucks Green Tea Frappuccino

Copycat Chai Tea Frappuccino

Iced chai latte

Iced green tea latte

Cranberry Orange Bread

With fall upon us more and more of us start baking.  Cranberry bread is always a favorite during the fall time, so why not add a zip to your normal cranberry bread.   This is such a hearty and delicious bread you will have your family and friends begging for the recipe.

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Cranberry Orange Bread:
1 cup fresh cranberries
2 cups all-purpose gluten free flour
2.5 tsp xantham gum
1 cup white sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp orange zest
4 tbsp butter, softened
1 large egg,
3/4 cup orange juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
Pre-Heat Oven to 350 degrees and grease a loaf pan.
In a small bowl, combine egg, orange juice and vanilla extract.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, xantham gum, baking powder, baking soda, salt and orange zest.
Add in butter and wet ingredients.
Combine.
Fold in cranberries.
Pour into prepared pan and bake 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center.  Let cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes, then remove from the pan and continue to cool before slicing.
Enjoy ~

Non GMO Meal Plan

The awareness of GMOs, genetically modified organisms, is on the rise. Genetically modified organisms are used in a myriad of foods to produce, bigger food that grows faster. However, since GMOs have been introduced to our everyday foods, like fruits and vegetables, there has been a rise in cancer rates and more! Because of this, many families are choosing to eat organic, locally grown, and GMO free foods. It can be overwhelming when you first make the switch to GMO free, but this non-GMO meal plan is designed to make your transition feel effortless. With a range of comforting foods and classic dishes, you’ll never notice a difference in taste, but you’ll likely notice a difference in your health!

nongmofoodplan

You’ll notice that a few of the meals are brand name meals. This is because they are pre-packaged and ready to cook and also GMO free certified! The nice thing about switching to GMO free food is that there are certainly convenient options just like with normal food, making healthier eating an option for busy families! There are also meals marked with (*) and those meals are linked directly here for you to find and save with ease!

Additionally, you may have to alter these recipes a bit to make sure they are meeting non-GMO standards and this includes shopping at local farmer’s markets, buying only organic foods, and checking the ingredient list on any additional items you buy to ensure that you’re not buying foods with GMOs. While following this meal plan, you’ll notice that eliminating the guessing of what to eat every day will be extremely helpful when you switch to organic GMO free food. It can be overwhelming at first, but the plan is designed to help you stay on track and make healthier choices with your food.

Breakfast:
Easy Non-GMO Pancakes
Lunch:
Feta Pasta Salad
Pan Fried Buttery Carrots
Dinner:
Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
Fajitas
Should you find yourself wanting to know more about GMO food and how to make healthier choices, there is some great literature on Amazon like:
AMAZON BOOK SUGGESTION
Whatever it is that drives you to make healthier choices is worth it, absolutely. GMOs can be extremely dangerous and the time to take control of what you put in your body is now!

To learn more about GMOs ~

What are GMOs ?

Are There Hidden GMOs in your food?

7 Easy Ways to Avoid GMOs

7 Easy Ways to Help Reduce GMOs

Having Fun With Flavor Thanks to #DASANIDrops



Disclosure ~  Living Smart Girl has been compensated for a review of Dasani Drops.
All opinions are 100% that of Living Smart Girl. 

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I am all about water.  I drink water all day long, just plain ol’ water.  I grew up in a household where we only drank water, because it was not in the food budget to have pop or other beverages in the house.  This was of course way before awesome products like DASANI Drops.   Now, hubby on the other hand does not like water.  AT ALL!!  It is seriously like trying to get a kid to eat brussels sprouts or something.  He gags, turns his nose up, and just hates it!!

Well thank goodness for products like DASANI Drops.  Now, he drinks water all the time. He keeps a huge jug in the fridge with his favorite flavor for the day, and drinks the whole jug daily.  Because I am a believer in getting your water daily, this has helped him with his allotted water intake.  And, because we are on the go a lot on his days off, I keep a bottle in my purse so when we are eating out, he orders water and squirts his flavor in the water.  Yeah, for awesome things like this that help us live a healthier life!

But, just because DASANI Drops are made for water, our use of them doesn’t stop there.   Hubby loves yogurt, but we only buy the vanilla for him as he just buys in big tubs.  He will squirt a flavor into his yogurt and enjoy something new every day.   He really liked the Pineapple Coconut in his yogurt.

There are many ways you can use DASANI Drops.  Here are a few that I came up with ~
Add drops to your coffee, hot or cold.   Add drops to your favorite protein smoothies.  Add drops to oatmeal, yogurt, vanilla ice cream, mix with cream cheese for a fun spread, add to your iced tea, mix with vodka for your favorite fun drink, add drops to milk to make a new fun flavor for the kids (and so much healthier than syrup flavors), add drops to your vanilla pudding, or mix into your vanilla frosting to add a twist to your cake.  I am sure you can come up with others?

I can see now how the holiday’s can be more fun if you host a party and offer DASANI Drops for your guests to use to come up with their own favorite beverage flavor.  It would be fun to do a contest and see who could come up with the most unique and best tasting beverage using DASANI Drops.  Do you have ideas?  Leave a comment and tell me how you can use your DASANI Drops.

A few fun facts about DASANI DROPS:
• Are flavorful, fashionable accessories for busy moms and calorie-conscious people alike
• Are zero-calorie liquid beverage enhancers that allow people to add a burst of flavor to their water
• Are packaged in a squeezable 1.9 fluid ounce bottle with a flip-top cap—perfect for those on the go
• Are a great value with each bottle providing 32 servings per container

Find DASANI Drops on InstagramFacebook and Twitter.

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Sweet Potato Waffles

SPWaffles[1]

Sweet Potato Waffles

Ingredients

1 medium sized sweet potato

1 cup milk

2 eggs

½ cup brown sugar

¼ cup melted butter

1 ½ cups flour

1 tbsp baking powder

1 tsp ground cinnamon

pinch of salt

Cooking Spray

sweetpotatowaffle3

 

Start by peeling and cutting up the sweet potato into four wedges. Steam the sweet potato till soft, drain water and mash. Set aside 1 cup of sweet potato mash.

 

Add all dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl. In a small bowl, mix all the wet ingredients except for the sweet potato mash.

 

Spoon the wet ingredients into the dry mix, stirring as you go to reduce clumps. Use a spatula to mix well, but don’t over mix the batter.

sweetpotatowaffle2

 

Spoon your sweet potato mash into the waffle mixture, a spoonful at a time, only mixing until there are no lumps of sweet potato in the batter. Your batter should be a nice light orange color at this point.

 

Ladle batter into a heated waffle iron that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Cook until the waffle iron indicates your waffle is ready, sweet potato waffles do not require any additional cooking time.

 

Enjoy!

Party Fun with Pudding Shots

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It’s that time of year again, when I am packing like a crazy woman trying to get ready for our main summer vacation.   Rock Fest 2015 here we come.  I look forward to this 5 days all year long.  This year, I decided to have a little extra fun and make some pudding shots, and jello shots.   I have made jello shots before, but never even heard of pudding shots till last year at Rock Fest, let alone make them.  They are so easy, and dang… so good!!   I tried my hand at a couple of my own recipes.   Check them out, and make them yourself.  Let me know your thoughts.

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Root Beer Float

2 Boxes Vanilla Instant Pudding
2 Cups Milk
2 Cups Root Beer Schnapps
1 1/2  Tubs of Cool Whip  (8 oz tubs)

Mix pudding and milk till smooth, slowly add root beer schnapps and mix till blended.   Fold in Cool Whip, gently till blended nicely.  Spoon into cups or dishes of choice.  I used 2 oz condiment cups.  Place in freezer for a couple hours, and enjoy.

Note ~   to make non alcohol ones replace the schnapps with same amount of root beer pop.   Regardless of made with our without alcohol, root beer pudding shots will be a hit at any party.

 

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CCR Pudding Shots

1 Box Chocolate Instant Pudding
1 Cup Milk
3/4 Cup Coffee Liquor
1/4 Cup Root Beer Schnapps
1 Tub Cool Whip (8 oz Tub)

Mix pudding and milk till smooth, slowly mix in coffee liquor and root beer schnapps till well blended.  Fold in Cool Whip gently, till nicely blended.   Spoon into cups or serving dishes.  Place in freezer for a few hours, eat and enjoy.

I named these CCR because I couldnt’ come up with anything else.  CCR = Chocolate, Coffee, Root Beer.   They might sound a bit strange, but turned out really good.   Kinda like a root beer barrel.

Enjoy ~

 

 

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