Freezer Recipe: Pizza Dough

Freezer Recipe Pizza Dough
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Hello ladies! I hope the first half of the week has been treating you well. I’ve got a great recipe for you today that only takes about 15 minutes to put together and can make 4 meals: pizza dough. It can even be frozen– That’s my kinda cooking!

First, I wanted to share some exciting news with you though– I got a new job! I’m extremely excited because it’s part time. I still was not sold on part time or full time so my wonderful husband prayed with me before I went into my interview that I would have peace about whichever was the decision for us and that I would know. I knew! Now I can’t stop being giddy about it. It’s at another bank, but I’ll only be working Monday, Thursday and Friday. I’ll have Tuesdays and every other Wednesday with my little man. Thank you to everyone who gave advice or prayed for me with this decision and hunt!

But back to easy weeknight meals and pizza dough… The only thing you’ll need for this, that you may not already have, is some active dry yeast. To start things off, you’ll need to dissolve the yeast in warm water. The water should be between 105-115 degrees (I do measure it). Then you throw in all of your other ingredients and mix it together.

Pizza Dough Mixed TogetherAt this point, I dump the pizza dough onto my counter that has flour on it to prevent sticking. Knead the dough for about 3 minutes. You can make either 4 pizzas or 2 pizzas with this. Clint likes thinner pizza and I like thicker pizza– we make 4 and are both happy. So either divide the dough in half or in fourths. The ball on the left is 1/4 of the dough and the right is 1/2 of the dough.

Dough After KneadingWhen I make it, we always eat 1 pizza then and freeze the other 3. To go ahead and bake the one, I just roll it out with a rolling pin to try and get as close to a circle shape as possible and pinch the sides over a little. I put mine on parchment paper and cook it on a preheated pizza stone. If you don’t have a pizza stone a greased baking sheet will do the trick. Don’t try to put your toppings on until it’s in/on where ever you are baking it. I’m not sure of how much of anything I use to top our Pepperoni Pizza. It’s probably around 2 tablespoons of pizza sauce but I have no idea how much mozzarella cheese we use. Just top it with whatever you’d like. We bake ours anywhere from 12-15 minutes.

Pizza Dough Mixed TogetherTo freeze the pizza dough, just put each ball of dough into quart sized freezer Ziploc bags (I like Hefty bags, but you get the point). When I do freezer recipes I like to put detailed instructions on the bag so Clint or my little sister can easily cook whatever it is without me giving a million instructions.

Pizza Dough for FreezerI didn’t write so many instructions last time, but the last pizza we had out of the lot wasn’t very good. I’m not sure if it’s because it wasn’t taken out of the bag so it didn’t actually rise or if it were past the 4-6 week period and just wasn’t as fresh. Either way, I’m writing all of these instructions from now on.

Of course, this is a little more work up front than a $5 pizza from the pizza place, but I think it’s better and cheaper. But there ya have it.. 4 meals for the time of 1. 🙂 A printable version of the recipe is at the bottom of this post.

Do you ever make homemade pizza dough? What toppings does your family like one their pizzas? 

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Leftover Enchiladas Recipe

Leftover Enchiladas
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Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a relaxing weekend to recover from the cooking, eating and shopping of Thanksgiving. I think I’ve finally caught up on my sleep from the Youth Lock-In at church. It’s pretty funny, to me anyhow, that my post today is a Leftover Enchiladas Recipe. I had actually planned to post about my freshly painted and distressed aqua media center for the Living Room, but it’s not quite ready.

As I was getting this post ready though, I realized you probably have some leftover turkey in your fridge right now. I think any meat would be great in these enchiladas and they’re super easy to throw together. If you’re tired of turkey, these freeze really well. I had some Chuck Roast that I tried a new recipe on leftover. We didn’t particularly care for it and I knew it would go to waste, so we threw these together.

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Oh and as you can see, I used the green Enchilada Sauce. Yum!

But there you have it, quick and easy. And depending on your family size this is probably enough for 2 meals.

I got a bunch of new earrings made this weekend too, so be looking out for those over at Aqua Anchor Designs! 😉

Coming Soon to Aqua Anchor Designs

What do you do with your leftover turkey? Any tried and true recipes we should check out? Leave a comment below!

Stocking the Freezer: Crockpot Shredded Chicken

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I love having a well stocked freezer. Since I’m not the type of person who is going to stop at the grocery store every night to pick something up for dinner, stocking the freezer makes my life so much simpler. Well, that and meal planning but that’s another post for another day. Besides, like I said in my Mom Guilt post, it lets me have more time to spend with Lucas.

In my opinion, shredded chicken and ground beef are two of the best things to have in the freezer. A pasta dish or casserole can be whipped up in a matter of minutes if you have either of those on hand.

Here is how I did mine in the crockpot. The 10 lbs of chicken leg quarters fit perfectly in my large crockpot. A printable version of the recipe is at the bottom of this post. I also made Chicken Broth with the leftover juice in the crockpot, I’ll post that recipe next within the next few weeks.

You can use any cut of chicken you want for this. I’m too cheap to buy boneless skinless chicken breasts, and they end up a little on the dry side anyway so I opted for something with bones to keep the moisture. Chicken leg quarters were on sale for $0.59/lb so I got 10 lbs of those. In hindsight, I would prefer not to use dark meat, so I’ll probably stick to Split Chicken Breasts with bones from now on, just a personal preference though. You could also just use a whole chicken which I’ve done before, but this was so much easier to pick apart when it was done.

Anyhow, here’s my chicken stuffed in the crockpot:

Crockpot Freezer Shredded Chicken

I know, these pictures won’t be very glamorous, but it’s chicken people!

By the way, I removed the skin from each quarter before I put them in the crockpot. I could’ve added some Mexican spices/herbs or Italian, but I wanted to be able to use the meat in whatever so I just did some pepper, a little garlic powder, and about 2 cups of liquid (water or chicken broth). Cook that on low for 8 hours.

When the chicken was finished, I turned it off and let them sit, to cool down a little, to make pulling the meat off easier on my fingers. I normally do whole chickens, so I was so surprised at how much easier these were to pick the meat off.

Crockpot Freezer Shredded Chicken Pick Apart

I set up a little station with my cutting board to do the work and two bowls: one bowl for meat, and the other for bones and such.

Crockpot Freezer Shredded Chicken Bowls

That’s how much I got from 10 lbs of leg quarters. Do not throw your bones away or dump out the crockpot yet, though.. you’ll use those to make your broth. I like my meat a little more broken up than pictured, so I put it in the food processor. I’ve heard you can use a stand up mixer with the bread attachment, but I don’t have one so I can’t give you my experience.

Crockpot Freezer Shredded Chicken Food Processor

Once that was finished, I packaged them up into 2 cup bags and got 4 bags total.

Crockpot Freezer Shredded Chicken Bagged

That’s it! Just throw them in the freezer and pull them out to defrost for a few hours or in the microwave when you’re ready to use them.

Do you keep your freezer stocked? Do you freeze any of your meat pre-cooked or only raw? Do you have any other tips to share?

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Easy Weeknight Shepherd’s Pie

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There is never enough time in the day. I complain, way too often- I’m sure, about being so busy. My weekdays look like this: I sleep as late as possible because I stayed up so late the night before trying to finish things up and then rush to get myself and Lucas ready. When I get off of work, I rush to get Lucas from daycare, go home and rush to get dinner cooked while trying to actually spend a little time with Lucas and Clint. Then we eat dinner together, Clint or I give Lucas a bath while the other cleans up from dinner. Usually, it’s now 8 p.m. and time for Lucas to go to sleep. See I told you, no time.

All that to say– I love quick and easy dinners. Shepherd’s Pie is one of my go to meals. It’s easy and yummy! My little sister was coming over the other night to visit. When she comes I try to cook something that everyone will like and all of us love this Shepherd’s Pie. Besides, we usually make some sort of dessert after dinner, so I wanted to make sure we had time for that. #priorities

Without any distractions (ha!), this probably takes me 20 minutes to throw together and then it’s another 20 in the oven. First things first, I peel about 2 or 3 potatoes, cut them up, and get them on the stove to boil.

potatoes

Once the potatoes are going, I toss a pound of ground beef and a diced onion in a pan to start browning. When the meat is browned, it gets drained and I stir in some flour to coat it. Then, I add ketchup, beef broth, and Worcestershire. The potatoes are normally finished by now, so I leave the meat to simmer and drain the potatoes. I add some butter to the potatoes and mash them. You don’t add so much butter that they’re creamy though, you want them a little stiffer than normal mashed potatoes. Then they get some cheese mixed in. Now it’s time to start layering – I told you, it’s easy!

First, the meat mixture goes in.

Shepherd's Pie Meat

Then, add some vegetables. I often do corn and one other thing. I had a can of green beans, so that’s what got added this time. Peas are our norm.

Shepherd's Pie Veggies

Then you spoon on the mashed potatoes, top with some cheese, and throw it in the oven. Easy peasy!

(Somehow I didn’t get a finished photo. I guess we were all too busy scarfing this down to even think about it.)

I made an extra one this time to throw in the freezer too, so it went straight to the freezer instead of the oven. This will save me even more time one night. Yay! When I’m ready to cook it, I’ll toss it in the oven from the freezer and cook it a little longer than normal.

Shepherd's Pie Freezer

Oh and the dessert we made was MadeFromPinterest.net’s Buckeye Brownies, except we made homemade brownies for the bottom. These were very rich but absolutely delicious!

Buckeye Brownies

 

Easy Weeknight Shepherd’s Pie

2-3 large potatoes

2 tbsp butter

1/2 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese, plus more for topping

1 onion, chopped

1 lb ground beef

2 tbsp all-purpose flour

1 tbsp ketchup

2 tbsp Worcestershire

3/4 cup beef broth

Canned or Frozen Vegetables of your choice (Corn, Peas, Green Beans, etc.)

Preheat the oven to 375°. Peel and dice potatoes. Place in a pot with enough water to cover and boil.

Add ground beef and onion to large frying pan and cook until the beef is browned. Pour off the fat, then stir in the flour. Once the meat is coated in the flour, add ketchup, Worcestershire, and beef broth. Let that simmer while you finish the potatoes. The potatoes should be tender, but not falling apart. Once you drain the water, add 2 tbsp butter and mash with a large spoon or potato masher. Now, add 1/2 cup cheese and mix in.

Spread the meat in the bottom of a 2 quart casserole dish. Next, layer frozen or canned vegetables of your choice on top of the meat. Top with the mashed potato mixture and sprinkle a handful of cheddar cheese on top.

Bake* for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and/or the mashed potatoes are golden brown.

*If you plan to freeze, do not bake it now. Cover with plastic wrap and tin foil and write the instructions: Remove tin foil and plastic wrap and bake at 375° for 40 minutes, or until cheese is melted and/or top is golden brown.

What’s your quick and easy go to meal on a weeknight? Have you made my Shepherd’s Pie yet?

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