How to Make Stuffed Burgers – Monthly Food Column

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“How to Make Stuffed Burgers with Recipes”

 

Great For Outdoor BBQ’s This Summer!!

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From Dennis Weaver From The Prepared Pantry

 

* You can mix the filling right into the burger before forming the patties
* You can put a layer or meat, then a layer of cheese or other filling, then a layer of meat.

 

 

 

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For the first method, add grated cheese, peppers, onions—whatever—right into the burger meat before forming the patties.

For the latter method, we used to tinker around with a burger press making two thin patties and then squeezing a layer of cheese between the two and pressing the edges tighter to seal in the stuffing. That works. Now there is an easier way—a stuffed burger press.

With a stuffed burger press, you can make conventional burgers or stuffed burgers. The stuffed burger press creates a well, and indention in the burger patty that you fill with cheese or other goodies. Then you add more burger and the press forms the patty with the filling inside.

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* Get a conventional burger press

* Get a stuffed burger press

For us, one of the real advantages of stuffed burgers is that we can use lean meat. For most burgers, you need a relatively high fat content; use 80% or 85% lean burger. It’s the fat that makes the burger juicy and satisfying. But with these burgers, you can use leaner meat because there is cheese, butter, or bacon interspersed in the meat. And it takes less cheese to make a cheeseburger this way.

It’s fun to be creative with burgers. Surprise your guests and make Cheese-Stuffed Burgers, Buttery Onion Burgers, or Tex-Mex Burgers. Here are eight great burger ideas to get you started.

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Make Cheese-Stuffed Burgers. Instead of placing the cheese on top of the burger, use a stuffed burger press to make stuffed patties. Or toss grated cheese with your meat before forming conventional patties.

Make Swiss and Mushroom Burgers. Make a cheese-stuffed burger as above but with Swiss cheese. Top the burger with sautéed mushrooms.

Make Tex-Mex Burgers. Toss your ground beef with diced green chilies, chopped cilantro, and shredded Monterey jack cheese before forming the patties. Mix in some taco or other southwest seasoning.

Make Cheese and Herb Burgers. Make burgers as for Tex-Mex burgers but instead of chilies, use your favorite herbs.

Make Buttery Onion Burgers. Freeze a cube of butter then grate it as you would cheese. Mix the grated butter, a chopped sweet onion, and your choice of spices into your ground beef before forming the patties. (To keep the butter hard, place the grater and a plate or cutting board in the freezer before use. Make sure that the meat is ice cold.)

Make Blue Cheese and Bacon Burgers. Mix crumbled blue cheese into the ground beef. Cook and top with crisply fried bacon. If you are cooking on the grill, try wrapping the bacon strips around the burger patties before cooking. Secure the strips with toothpicks.

Make Italian Burgers. Mix one part ground beef with one part ground Italian sausage. Form patties. Season with additional oregano and basil or mix some in a little Italian dressing. Use a stuffed burger press if you would like to put cheese in the center.

Make Chuck Wagon Bacon Burgers. Microwave bacon until it is partly done. With kitchen shears, snip the bacon into bits. Mix the bacon bits into your ground beef along with your favorite seasoning. If you would like a little more flavor, open a can of mild diced chilies and mix that into the burger. Do not over mix the meat. Form the burgers with a burger press.

Make Asian Burgers. Pick your favorite Asian sauce — Thai Sweet Chili Sauce is one of our favorites—and mix it into your burger. Because it’s interspersed through the meat flavoring every bite, it won’t take a lot. Seasonings for Your Burgers.

We have a terrific selection of seasonings for your burgers

* The Prepared Pantry spice line includes a broad range of spices and some blends.

* The Colorado Cattle Company is a line of barbeque and grilling spices. The original burger and steak seasoning is one of my favorites for burgers.

* Yellowstone Seasonings has several very good regional blends.

* Teeny Tiny Spice Company of Vermont has a wonderful in of International and North American spices.

* Gresham and Myers is a line of rubs that work very well for standard seasonings.

Dennis Weaver and his wife, Merri Ann, are the founders of The Prepared Pantry Dennis is a baker and a writer. Dennis is the author of How to Bake: The Art and Science of Baking.

He is a food columnist and has written articles for websites, newspapers, and magazines. You can follow Dennis and get his articles and recipes by subscribing to the newsletter at The Prepared Pantry.

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Copyright © Dennis Weaver :: The Prepared Pantry :: Grandma’s Home Blogger Place :: All Rights Reserved

Review: Nutrisystem and New Lifestyle

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Good Morning!

I finally took action and started a new plan; (eating plan that is), for weight loss and also for my health. I started the Nutrisystem plan. Nutrisystem is quite the controversial program, and I knew that upon joining. 😉

 

 

 

This will probably be the most open (about me) blog post I’ll ever write

I’m not trying to impress with my writing in this post…as it’s not a formal article. It’s just MY JOURNEY.

I’ve made many goals, over and over again to lose the weight and get healthy. However, here I am NOT at my weight goal…again, still!

I’ve even written (actual articles) about me becoming healthy and my weight loss in the past. Well this time, this is the real deal. I’m not messing around any longer. YO-YO dieting is probably the most dangerous thing you can do to yourself; so brutal for your heart!

Despite what quite a few people think, Nutrisystem IS a good program to get you eating smaller portions (at a time) and eating your daily servings of fruit and veggies. I’ve learned so much about protein, carbs, fiber and portion size in the past month and a half. I’ve also made it my mission to always read labels.

Do some of the NS bars and entrees have a little too much sugar or carbs? Yes, they do. There are preservatives in Nutrisystem products; they also have frozen meals that are shipped with (dry ice). When you think about it, not everyone is going to have enough space to freeze 28 days worth of food.

The article at the end of this post will give you a bit of information on preservatives

I’ve lost 14 pounds since March 11th. 🙂 To my surprise, I don’t feel deprived at all. However, I do admit to craving soda every once in awhile. I do allow myself one soda per week; that is on Friday nights when we go out. Yes! I gave up soda, and I drink water…Lots of water! I’m drinking approximately 60 to 70 ounces of it every day, and sometimes more. When I drink soda now, it tastes a little too sweet. Still is good though! Three of my favorite snacks now are peanut butter and celery, tangarines and carrot sticks. :)lol

Here’s a huge thing for me; I’ve been able to NOT gain weight when dining out, and also on the weekends. When dieting in the past, I would fall off the “diet” bandwagon on both occasions. I’ve found I don’t like using the word diet now; it’s just called eating healthy and changing eating habits. A lot of it is lifestyle.

I’m making changes for the long haul

I’ve tried many, many things for weight loss in the past. This includes starving myself…not good at all, I know. 🙁 I’ve starved myself in the past couple of years for our vacations; and only to gain much of it back. I know this all too well. Was I aware it wasn’t healthy and in fact, quite dangerous?! YES, I did! I have a serious eating problem; something that’s substantially difficult to admit to myself. 🙁 I’m sure some of you can relate to my fait. If so, I’d love to hear from you. 😉

Below are my (before) pics; I’m hoping I can share the (after) pics in maybe a year from now…hopefully before. If it’s beyond a year, oh well. We’ll see. 😉

In 2008…This is a pic at Anna’s wedding shower. Looking on, I’m on the right of Anna, Anna’s Mom is on the left.

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In 2011…in California

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Please Note: In addition to the Nutrisystem food, I had to shop for fruits and veggies to go with my meals. They are labeled as “powerfuels” and “smart carbs.” That was something I didn’t know about the program when I ordered. In fact, that’s a part of the program that is rather vague.

The specific plan that I ordered costs a whopping $250.00 per month. Yep, mighty expensive! And, let me tell you that extra expense has been a bit difficult. I don’t expect to stay on Nutrisystem throughout my whole journey to skinniness! lol…

At some point, I will switch to Healthy Choice/Weight Watchers and will eat the same way and still include plenty of veggies and fruit. I will be a pro at reading labels!

I do like the Nutrisystem food, (for the most part)

There are only 4 things that I didn’t like. You can go online and adjust your choices before your next shipment.

I know, nothing exciting! lol However, the lightly sweetened cereal was good 😉

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Obviously, NOT NS! It was a morning snack…100 CAL Pack of almonds – (powerfuel)

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The Nutrisystem plan offers a lot of pastas. However, they also have chicken breast (which was good), turkey and beef patties

Raviola…one of my favs, light, cherry applesauce, carrot sticks, and 1 slice whole grain bread with Smart Balance spray buttter

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Tuna casserole….DID NOT like this one at all! And I usually love tuna casserole. LOL

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Rasberry-Orange pastry – Breakfast

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Chicken Salad, Very good

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Pizza, didn’t look as good as it tasted in the pics and looks really small, I did have veggies with it. lol Very good

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A dessert…all desserts (and breakfasts for that matter) is all good (to me).

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Two elements that are crucial to ANY weight loss plan is drinking water and working out. And it’s all been said before; however, it’s SO TRUE! I’ve learned to drink enough water during the day in order to keep losing. That’s been difficult for me due to the simple fact that I’m not that crazy about plain water. Yes, I’ve tried the flavored water; I don’t like them! lol

I’ve slowly learned to actually like water. However, it has to be cold. I’ve heard a lot of people say they like “tap” water; well I don’t 😉 I’ve noticed on the specific days that I didn’t drink enough water, those pounds didn’t move. If you’re trying to lose weight, drink plenty of water!

Recently, we were at Applebee’s, and I ordered water with lemon (2 wedges). It was really refreshing. When we go there now, I always order the (half) chicken Caesar salad. I love it! Then when we get home, I’ll eat my Nutrisystem dessert. Their desserts are pretty darn good considering it’s “diet” food.

Something that I just realized…I’ve basically given up red meat! Not that I actually crave it

I’ve recently started back with my workouts. I get up at 5 AM, (excluding weekends) to get it out of the way and also get an early start with my work day. I’m being very honest here; sometimes it’s extremely difficult to make myself get up when my phone alarm goes off! I do give in at times and sleep in. However, it just gets me down knowing that I was lazy that day! So, it’s just better all around if I just get up and get it done. 🙂

What am I going to do “when, NOT if” I get to my goal weight? How am I going to maintain? Hmm… Well, for starters, I’m going to keep working out and drinking water. In addition, I will stay with my small portions and eat healthy foods in general. This will also include snacks in between meals to keep my metabolism going good.

I think the most important thing I’ve learned is that metabolism is the whole key to losing the weight. And it all makes perfect sense; I knew it did all along…just me and laziness, I guess that’s my excuse. lol

Drink plenty of water, don’t starve, eat healthy at meal time and snacks in between meals, and workout

I’m placing myself accountable to everyone that reads this blog post! LOL

Hmm, well the most important person is me…

I’m going to be accountable to me. 🙂

I’m also putting my walking shoes back on and getting back to my walks (in between helping Anna with Cheyanne and Wyatt)

So there you have it, a little about Nutrisystem and also about me.

I hope the next important blog post will be about my new grandbaby with pics!!! 🙂

As Promised, The Article About Preservatives is Here

You can also access the Nutrisystem site Here

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Copyright © Nutrisystem :: Grandma’s Home Blogger Place :: All Rights Reserved

Family Friendly Meal Planning :: Frugal Meal Options & Printable Grocery Lists

Menu Planning Central Half-Off Sale

With spring in full swing, I find our family desiring to spend more time outside enjoying the weather and that leaves me less time to spend in the kitchen. However, we all still want to eat, and we don’t want to spend the money eating out frequently. I have returned to focusing on simple family friendly meals from one of my favorite resources – Menu Planning Central.

Within Menu Planning Central you will find pre-made family friendly, healthy, vegetarian and frugal meals with printable grocery shopping lists.
It is so easy to print off your menu for the week, shop and cook! 🙂


Personally, I LOVE the My Menu Maker Software offered to members. Here you can pick and choose from over 1700 recipes (or add your own) and create a
meal and shopping list that is perfect for your family. They even allow you to enter in allergies and food preferences to make choosing recipes
quick and easy. The monthly resources and bonus’ (Many not mentioned on the sales page) are worth quite a bit in and of themselves!

Christine “The Menu Mom” has just let me know that she is running her annual half-off sale for Menu Planning Central this week! Now is the time
to check out Menu Planning Central, and you have nothing to lose, as she offers a 100% money-back guarantee.

Go take a peek and I’ll see you on the members only Facebook Page after you join!

This resource should make your spring and summer meal-planning much simpler! Simply Print, Shop and Cook – feeding your family has never been
this easy!

You will LOVE it! PROMISE!

 

Get It Here

 

 

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Copyright © All Rights Reserved – Menu Planning Central – Grandma’s Home Blogger Place

The Best Way to Color Easter Eggs – Monthly Food Column

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By Dennis Weaver From The Prepared Pantry

It’s fun to color Easter eggs. Pink and yellow and lavender eggs are part of the Easter tradition. And of course, kids love colors and you can now choose from 41 colors.

In this article, you’ll learn the best way to color eggs plus how to boil an egg and avoid the green on the yolk

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How to Dye Easter Eggs

1 Choose fresh eggs free from cracks.

2 Commercial egg producers coat their eggs with an oil to help seal them. Wash the eggs in a mild detergent to remove the oil and to let the color adhere more readily to the eggs.

3 Boil the eggs to the “hard boil” stage.

4 To one cup of hot water, add 2 tablespoons of white vinegar, and the desired food coloring or dye. Be sure to get enough food coloring in the water to make it a darker shade than the desired shade for the eggs.

5 Dip the eggs in the colored solution until the desired shade is reached. For darker shades, let the eggs sit in the dye for up to two hours.

6 If the eggs are to be eaten, keep them refrigerated.

Use professional food color gels from Americolor, or equal. Professional gels are not expensive, they are nine times more concentrated so it takes a lot less, and the colors are brighter and prettier. Gels just make prettier eggs.

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Tip for blown eggs


If you are going to use blown eggs for Easter (those with the egg blown out through a hole in the end of the shell), color the eggs before blowing. If you blow the egg from the shell before dying, the empty, fragile shells will be difficult to immerse and handle in the dying water.

How to Boil an Egg so that is Perfectly Cooked

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Would you like to avoid that green coating on the yolks of your hardboiled eggs? You can do so if you time your cooking carefully. It’s a matter of temperature. Always use an egg timer.

1. Use only clean, fresh eggs. Discard eggs that are cracked.

2. Lay the eggs in a heavy saucepan, one layer deep.

3. Cover them with cold water just to cover the eggs.

4. Bring the water in the pan to a rapid boil.

5. Remove the pan from the heat, cover it with a lid, and let the eggs stand in the hot water for 14 minutes.

6. Remove the eggs from the pan and place them in ice water until they are cool enough to handle.

Colored egg timers are pretty amazing. There is a built in gauge that tells you how hard boiled your egg is. It takes the guess work out.

Dennis Weaver and his wife, Merri Ann, are the founders of The Prepared Pantry. Dennis is a baker and a writer. Dennis is the author of How to Bake: The Art and Science of Baking.

He is a food columnist and has written articles for websites, newspapers, and magazines. You can follow Dennis and get his articles and recipes by subscribing to The Prepared Pantry’s newsletters or See What’s Cookin’, a log of recipes and methods from The Prepared Pantry’s test kitchens.

livelaughlove

Copyright © Dennis Weaver :: The Prepared Pantry :: Grandma’s Home Blogger Place :: All Rights Reserved

Suggestion​s for Valentines​ – Recipes and More – Monthly Food Column

 

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Suggestions for Your Sweetheart

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From Dennis Weaver Of The Prepared Pantry

I’ve been married for 33 years to Merri Ann. She’s the light of my life. My joy is to please her. She can’t eat wheat but I can make her a Legendary Flourless Chocolate Cake. I’ll drizzle it with raspberry sauce and top it with raspberry whipped cream with a touch of cream cheese added.

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Make a chocolate pie. See these recipes. A chocolate pie is a great choice for your sweetheart. Choices include a French Silk Pie, a Mississippi Mud Pie, and more. (You can make a Mississippi Mud Pie from a mix.)

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Make Raspberry White Chocolate Scones. Here’s breakfast on Valentine morning, absolutely divine. Read the reviews. “The tastiest, flakiest scone I’ve ever baked/eaten . . . worth every calorie!” Make Raspberry White Chocolate Scones for only $4.99, Regular $7.25

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Make Cupcakes. Yesterday we made raspberry chocolate cupcakes with raspberry filling and raspberry cream cheese frosting. The day before, we made the cherry version. If you want to go really special, make Maple Bacon Cupcakes. See how to make these cupcake recipes.

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Make Chocolate Lover’s Muffins. These are a breeze—just add water. They’re made with famous Ramstadt Breda cocoa and mini chocolate chips. Make Chocolate Lover’s Muffins for only $4.99, Regular $6.99.

FULLCHEESECAKE

Make a cheesecake. Cheesecakes are easier than they look. We have dozens of recipes including no-bake cheesecake recipes. Our favorites include White Chocolate Cheesecake and a German Chocolate Cheesecake


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Copyright © Dennis Weaver :: The Prepared Pantry :: Grandma’s Home Blogger Place :: All Rights Reserved

My Mom’s Recipe For No-Bake Cookies

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Photo Source Smart Balance

These cookies are my absolute FAV of my mom’s recipes! 🙂

No Bake Cookies

Ingredients

2 c. sugar
1/2 c. milk
1/4 c. cocoa (unsweetened)
1 stick margarine
1/2 c. smooth peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 c. quick oats

Directions

Combine sugar, milk, cocoa in small saucepan. Bring to boil for 1 minute.

Remove from heat, add remaining ingredients. Mix well.
Drop by tsp. onto waxed paper.

(May need to refrigerate)

You can find more articles and recipes, along with grandparenting and parenting tips at Grandparenting Articles and Tips

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Six Easy Ways to Delight Your Family With Leftover Turkey -Monthly Food Column

By Dennis Weaver of The Prepared Pantry

What do you do with all that leftover turkey? I welcome it. It’s a busy time of year and I use it to ‘jump start” some great meals. It just takes a little planning. Here’s my strategy:

1. Peel the meat from the carcass. Divide it into portions, a pound or so in each depending on the size of your family, place it in zipper-type bags.

2. Set aside enough meat for a few turkey sandwiches. Of the remainder, freeze all but what you’ll use in the first three days.

3.Save the gravy and the bones with meat attached for soup. If I’m going to make soup right away, refrigerate it or else freeze it for later use.

4.Find a half dozen turkey recipes you would like to try. You won’t use all of them, but having them available will give you options and something to look forward to for diner over the next several weeks.

Turkey sandwiches. Instead of using slabs of turkey for sandwiches—which is certainly good—I think I’ll make turkey salad sandwiches

Turkey salad. I love club sandwiches and I want something very simple. This turkey club salad is made with club sandwich components. The bacon is cooked in the microwave.

Turkey soup. We don’t have snow yet but there’s a chill in the air. I want a hearty soup. This turkey white bean chili is very quick and simple to make . . . and good.


Turkey pot pies. This is easy comfort food. You can make them in the ovenproof bowls you have in your kitchen. If you use our just-add-water pie crust mix, you’ll have the crust made in a minute and the pies in the oven in less than fifteen. See how to make quick turkey pot pies.

Turkey enchiladas. My mother made chicken enchiladas; we loved them. We morphed her recipe to use leftover turkey and gravy. In fifteen minutes and with the microwave, you can have these turkey enchiladas ready for the oven. Add a tossed salad and open a can of beans or refried beams and you’re ready for dinner.

Turkey wraps. Wraps make quick, easy, fun meals and you can be as creative as you want to be. Grab some tortillas from the store or make your own tortillas. Spread them with mayonnaise, a sandwich spread, or salad dressing and load See how to make a wrap with wrap ideas.

About The Author

Dennis Weaver and his wife, Merri Ann, are the founders of The Prepared Pantry. Dennis is a baker and a writer. Dennis is the author of How to Bake: The Art and Science of Baking.

Copyright © Dennis Weaver :: The Prepared Pantry :: Grandma’s Home Blogger Place :: All Rights Reserved

How to make Halloween Cookies – A Delightful Video About a Grandson Making Cookies With His Grandmother

 

 

 

 

Picture Shared From http://www.pumpkinpatchesandmore.org/ 😉

I received a lovely email message a couple of weeks ago about an awesome video featuring a grandson making cookies with his grandmother. This young man -Alex Aiono; also gave me a great compliment about my blog here 🙂

I just wanted to share this sweet video with you all! (Includes Recipe as Well)

Quoted From Alex:

So for my first Halloween tradition, I made Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies with my sassy Grandma! Be sure to comment below with your Halloween traditions for me to try out!

Please Note: Don’t comment here on the blog, however, on the site of the actual video.  😉

Thanks for watching! And be sure and check out his other videos!

Check It Out HERE And Enjoy!

A Manual for Making Lighter, Thinner, Healthier Pizzas – Monthly Food Column

 

 

From The Prepared Pantry

 

 

Years ago, probably when we still lived in Alaska, I bought this little cookbook called, The Weekend Chef. In it was a recipe for an everything-on-it pizza. It turned out to have a big thick crust and a boatload of toppings. The crust was partially baked and the meats precooked and the toppings loaded on and the pizza pushed back into the oven. It really good but with all that prep and rising twice, it seemed like an all-afternoon project. It was too big and too rich and I still remember the heavy feeling after dinner.

I don’t eat pizzas like that anymore. Over the years, our pizzas have become lighter and thinner, certainly healthier. The crusts are thin and crisp. The toppings are much fewer, often with fresh veggies, and with a light layer of cheeses. I’m enjoying these pizzas and I don’t have to look away if I see my doctor in town.

Thin Crusts

Debbie Frantzen, our daughter and operations manager, is the queen of thin crust pizzas. She takes our pizza dough mixes, adds the water, mixes them, and then divides them in half. She uses a pizza stone and a pizza peel and makes two 14-inch pizzas out of one mix. She rolls them very thin and bakes them crispy on a preheated pizza stone.

I’m lazy. I just roll about two-thirds the dough out in a dark colored pizza pan. I have enough dough left for a couple calzones. I have two pizza pans, an old battered relic that’s nearly black from use and a newer perforated pizza pan that is perfect. I sprinkle a little cornmeal on the greased pan and roll the dough in pan using a pizza roller. The dark pans absorb heat and the thin crusts bake quickly and crisply.

Quick and Easy

Debbie taught me that you don’t have to stop and let the crusts rise. If you make and roll the crusts first, they’ll rise enough while you’re prepping and loading the toppings. Plus you’ll get oven spring, a rise in the oven, and the crusts will be crispy by the time the toppings are done. It makes for a very quick and simple pizza.

If you grease the pans well and sprinkle them with cornmeal, the pizzas will slip right off the pan. Slip a spatula under the pizzas and twist it around the pizza to make sure that it is not sticking anywhere, clasp the pizza with the spatula underneath and your thumb on top of the edge of the crust, and quickly slip it off the pan onto a cooling rack. You need to remove the pizza from the pan immediately so that it doesn’t sweat.

Making the Dough

The enemy of thin crusts is “springback.” The gluten in the dough makes the dough elastic. As you try rolling it thinly, it springs back. It has a memory and doesn’t want to roll out thinly and smoothly. It’s almost impossible.

When we first started developing our pizza dough mixes, we added rye flour to dilute the wheat gluten. We still couldn’t get the dough soft enough. So we started experimenting with commercial dough relaxers. We found one that was like magic. We could make the dough just s soft and pliable as we wanted and absolutely eliminate springback. We now use this in all our pizza dough mixes and tortilla mixes.

Since we absolutely love this relaxer, we now package and sell it. If you are going to make pizza dough from scratch, buy this dough relaxer. It’s essential to your thin crust pizzas.

We also sell a pizza flour blend with the dough relaxer already added. The amount of relaxer in this blend is just right.

White Sauces

Debbie discovered a white sauce pizza in the little one-service-station town where she lives, Ririe, Idaho. It had a white sauce made with minced onions and topped with new red potatoes sliced thinly. She brought some to work; it was very good.

Since then, we have experimented with all kinds of white sauces. Alfredo works well but there are a hundred other choices. Here is a list of those we have tried:

White Alfredo pasta sauce

French onion chip dip (You can make a great pizza with this.)
Ranch salad dressing (Doesn’t ranch make everything better?)
Chip dip made with dry onion soup mixes (quick, cheap, and surprisingly good)
Elki dips and spreads (These cost a little more but make some very fine pizzas. Debbie likes the creamy roasted red pepper spread; I like the pineapple cream cheese spread.)

You can see the possibilities. Just keep experimenting

Light Toppings

We mentioned the potato pizza above. Consider fresh veggies on your pizza. I’m particularly fond of fresh tomato slices
but we’ve made pizzas with green beans, with zucchini, and broccoli—often with no meat. Top the veggies with a thin layer of cheeses.

Dennis Weaver is the founder of The Prepared Pantry. He is the author of How to Bake, a 318 page book about the art and science of baking. You can download a free copy of How to Bake Here!

Kindle, Nook and iPad versions available. I personally have the free “How To Bake” book on Kindle and it’s a 100% excellent resource! 🙂

 

 

 

 

Copyright © Dennis Weaver :: The Prepared Pantry :: Grandma’s Home Blogger Place :: All Rights Reserved

Baking With My Granddaugh​ter – Guest Post

This is a compassionate story by Marjorie Newton about baking along side her granddaughter. 🙂

“Gramma, Gramma. Are you awake?
Gramma, Gramma, I want to bake!
I want to make some cookies…or cake…

Right now! Please, Gramma! I wanna bake!

Slowly my eyes open searching for the clock…almost 7 a.m. and, heavens, a little female creature peeks around my bedroom door to see if I’m awake. Now, of course, anyone knows that 7 a.m. is a great time, maybe the best time, to make cookies, even if you’re not quite awake. But if you have a little four year old, red haired, curly headed granddaughter insisting on making cookies NOW, it is definitely the best time. So, I roll out of bed not resisting this little eager child as she leads me from my bedroom. What a sight I must be in baggy pjs and uncombed hair. She doesn’t care how Gramma looks. We are headed for the kitchen to get the baking action started for the day.

Baking has played a huge role in my life. As a child, whenever my mother baked, I stood on a chair next to her at the kitchen counter. Watching her every move, I begged her to let me crack the eggs, blend the sugar and butter together, sift the dry ingredients together, and mix it all in the bowl. In spite of the clouds of flour and the puddles of milk on the counter and floor, I think she enjoyed teaching me the various stages of creating a cake.


The exception to the fun, I am sure, were all the times I found it important to check the batter. The frequency I dipped into the mixture with my little sticky fingers had to be frustrating for her, but if so, she never mentioned it. She was very patient with me. By the time I was nine, she suggested I bake alone, either because she really felt I was ready for my solo flight or she had had enough batter tasting.

The tradition of baking and batter sampling continued with my own daughter as she took to baking as obsessively as I did. Like I had done, she stood next to me at the counter begging to help, especially when it was time to crack the eggs. As I remember, she was much more insistent about doing it “by myself” than I had been, so at a younger age I allowed her to take over the baking process with her own exuberant style. Her creations were new and not found in any recipe book. Fearlessly she unleashed her wild imaginative baking techniques which of course included testing the batter often…so often in fact little was left for the pan and the oven. The final product was camouflaged and oozed with icing, leaving her father and me to guess just what she had made. No matter….whatever it was, naturally, was delicious.

So, now this morning the family baking tradition is again unleashed. I am in the kitchen at 7 a.m. with a large mixing bowl, measuring spoons, wooden mixing spoons, and a cookie sheet spread before me on the counter. I guide my little granddaughter’s cookie making enthusiasm as best I can, but she has her own ideas.

And so I hear, “I can do it myself, Gramma!” and she does as she cracks the eggs with a flair getting them in the bowl and not on the floor. This is her favorite part of the process so it always gets done first even if the recipe doesn’t require it first. The chocolate chip cookie mixture is tossed into the bowl also, some of it missing its mark, but I am still told,

“Gramma, I can do it myself!”

Water is poured into a measuring cup she now claims as her own and poured precariously into the bowl. With a grand flourish she stirs vigorously with her own wooden spoon saved for these occasions. But never, never fear, she does not forget the very necessary sampling of the batter time and time again. With already sticky and often licked fingers, she begins to form the cookies on the sheet.

Suddenly, she stops, pauses a second or two, and then with a huge sigh says, “Gramma, I’m bored. You finish the cookies. I want to garden. I want to plant flowers! Common, Gramma! Now!”

The cookies are abandoned. She drags me to the patio where pots of fresh potting soil wait to be planted with flower seeds….and….and….but I’m afraid our gardening adventures are another story for another day.

Article By Marjorie Newton