Homemade Pizza for a Cool Evening

The evenings and mornings are getting a lot cooler. I know it won’t be long now until the garden is completely tucked in for the winter. At that point, our days get a lot easier, in that the harvesting is done. The garden will have a thick layer of composted manure on it, the fall rye will have been sown and I can move on to other things.

What other things? For starters, sleeping in a bit would be nice. I love the days of October as I can lollygag around in the mornings. The laying hens are a lot more self sufficient than either pigs or meat birds. The hens don’t care if I feed them at 7 am or 11 am. Love those hens!

The freezers are full, not only of meat but also berries and frozen greens, broccoli and cauliflower. The sauerkraut has been made and canned and put away. Later in the Fall will come the time for pulling the berries out of the freezer and making jam or wine or both.

A few years ago, I canned a lot of tomato sauce and we still have a few jars left. We also have quite a few jars of homemade Pizza Sauce on hand and it is so tasty.

Here’s a recipe for Sicilian Pizza Crust – get a batch of dough ready and add whatever toppings you like or have on hand.

The crust:

1 pkt (2 1/4 tsp. yeast)

2 cups warm water

1 tbsp salt

4 tbsps olive oil

5 cups flour

Dissolve the yeast in the warm water. I like to let it sit for 10 – 15 minutes. Then stir in the salt and olive oil. Finally, add in the flour.

Knead the dough about one minute, just until it is smooth. Let it sit and rest for about 20 minutes. (Great time to sit back and have a glass of wine)

Then cover and keep the dough warm for 1/2 hour. I usually turn on the oven, set the bowl with the dough on top and cover with a clean tea towel. Go away (maybe have another glass of wine).

Cover your pizza pan with olive oil. Extra virgin olive oil is the best kind of oil you can ever use. Buy it in bulk and transfer some to a small bottle to keep on the counter. Keep it close by and use it all the time. Your body will thank you for it.

 

I grew peppers, onions, oregano and garlic to make homemade pizza

Here come the toppings – homegrown onions, peppers, garlic and oregano. I added some store bought mushrooms and some pizza sausage. Also had to buy the cheese, as we don’t have a cow and don’t have access to the goat cheese we usually get (which is awesome and I wish my friend would come back so we could get a Lot more!)

 

add homegrown herbs to pizza for a wonderful taste explosion

Homegrown Oregano, what is better than using lots of fresh herbs in your food? Bonus  that I just clipped off a branch in order to make the pizza. There’s nothing like using fresh herbs – try it and put that salt shaker away. Herbs taste much better!

 

I made my own dough for our homegrown pizza

Back to the dough – split the dough into 3 or 4 separate balls – I do 3, because we like a bit thicker pizza crust. If your family really likes thin crust pizza better, you can get 4 balls of dough out of the recipe.

 

homemade pizza dough pressed into olive oil covered pizza pan

Press out your dough onto the coated pizza pan. Take the other 2 or 3 balls, put them in separate containers and toss them in the freezer. Now you’ll be able to quickly make a pizza when you are running out of time or ideas for creative dinners.

 

make and can your own pizza sauce

The Pizza Sauce – this tastes so good. If you want me to put up the recipe for this sauce, leave me a comment and I will post it. This sauce is nice and thick and we love it. I can it in half-pint jars and we use a whole jar on one pizza.

 

I added peppers, onions, mushrooms and lots of mozzarella cheese

Add your toppings and bake in a preheated oven. 400 degrees and bake for about 18 minutes.

 

make your own pizza dough, sauce and grow your own toppings

Pour a nice glass of red wine (ok, another glass of wine) and enjoy with your dinner. Add a green salad and you are set to go!

Having Money at the End of the Month

How many of us are in this situation? We have month at the end of the money, instead of money at the end of the month.  It’s too bad schools don’t focus more on budget setting and financial awareness, which are both skills that should be learned when we are young. They are skills we will need to use our whole lives long! If you have young children at home, do them a favour! Teach them how to live on a budget and how to save up money for what they want. It will help them throughout their life and it will show them how to have money at the end of the month, instead of the other way around.

Here are a few more ways we can all keep a bit more cash in our jeans:

– Check your banking fees. Do you bank at one of the Big 5 here in Canada? Are you willing to spend an hour or two and explore the actual fees you are paying each month? If you write a fair number of cheques every month, make sure you aren’t being charged a per cheque fee. If you have more than one service through one bank (like a chequing account, plus a line of credit or a savings account) make sure you are credited every month for your fees. If your bank doesn’t offer that, maybe it’s time to look elsewhere to park your money.

There are also lots of online banks where you pay minimal if any fees at all. Just make sure your are FDIC covered (each bank should cover $100,000) worth of deposits. Some of these online banks give you cash back on all your credit card purchases, which can really add up! You can use credit cards wisely and actually use their “money” for free if you are smart about it. Just never carry a balance and always pay on the due date.

– Take a look at your cell phone contracts. Are you financially better off to have a three year contract and be able to use the phone as much as you want? Or, are you able to just buy a cheaper phone and have minutes put on, instead of signing a contract? Take a good look at how much you use your phone and whether you can get away without the contract.

– Do you have a computer maintenance contract?  This one is really coming for a personal perspective. I pay every year to have preventative maintenance done on my computer. Also, anytime I have a problem, I can get it fixed with on phone call. Perhaps you are computer savvy enough to be able to do all the necessary fixes yourself. I am not; I don’t have the time for it, nor the patience. So I am willing to pay so that the problem becomes someone else’s headache.

That being said, on a recent phone call with the company, they tried talking me into a $99.00 charge so that they could install a particular program which would keep my system running problem free. I declined, saying I wanted to think about it. Really, WHY would I pay this extra fee? I already pay them to look after the system. So, if I go ahead and buy the other program, I am spending MY money in order to save THEM time. Ummm, no thanks!

So, there are a few more things to look into, in order to save yourself some more money. It is very easy to get caught up in the daily living and end up spending more for convenience and saving time. If you have lots of money, do whatever you like. But if you’re like most of us and need to watch your pennies, look further into every part of your life where money is involved. Remember, the goal of business is to take money OUT of your pocket and put it into THEIR pocket.

Check out all our posts on Spending Less to try and save money on all of your purchases, whether it is food, clothing, recreation, travel, house expenses or vehicles. There are almost always extra deals to be had, if you are willing to take the time to find them!

 

 

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