Any of you busy moms out there know that it is not always easy to get a hot, homemade meal on the table.
And all you moms of six, including 5 month old identical twins, know that it’s nearly impossible. (What? Am I the only one?!?!)
When the good people at Shirley J sent me some of their products to try, I stuffed them in the back of my pantry, because, really, I just didn’t have the time! Or so I thought. Then I sat down one quiet afternoon when the big girls were at school and the littles were miraculously sleeping at the same time, and I looked at the stuff Shirley J had sent. In my pantry, I now had some great shortcuts to homemade meals. I just had to add water to the Universal Sauce, heat it up for a bit and throw in some grated cheddar, and voila…sauce for mac and cheese. I could add a scoop of the Pizza and Pasta Seasoning to a can of tomato sauce and I would have a zesty pizza sauce. And how easy would it be to add some water and frozen berries to the muffin mix! We have since enjoyed many spur of the moment batches of muffins. And while I like to flatter myself that my homemade muffins are better, this mix really makes a good muffin…and easier even than a boxed mix.
Well, now, the babies are a little older and I’m cooking and baking again.
For my 12 year old’s birthday party, we made pizza. I mixed together some of my favorite pizza dough, but used my Shirley J shortcut Pizza and Pasta seasoning for the sauce.
I’ve never seen 8 ‘tweens put away four pizzas so fast!
Quick Homemade Pizza Dough
Most homemade pizza doughs call for a long rest time, generally overnight in the fridge. This one is delicious, and can be ready for the oven in about 2 hours.
This recipe will make 4 medium thin crust pizzas.
- 6 cups flour
- 4 tsp salt
- 1 T active dry yeast
- 2 cups warm water
- 1/4 cup olive oil
In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with a dough hook, combine flour, salt and yeast. Add the water and olive oil. Mix on low until it forms a dough (add more water, 1 T at a time, if it is too dry), then turn the machine up to medium and let it mix for 3 minutes. Put ball of dough in a greased bowl, turn dough so that it is coated with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let it sit for an hour or two, until it is doubled in size. Dump it onto the counter and gently press out any bubbles. Shape it back into a ball and let it sit under plastic wrap for about 15 more minutes.
Separate dough into 4 equal pieces. Roll out to desired thickness on a well floured surface.
Put dough round on a flat cookie sheet or a pizza paddle (either one dusted liberally with cornmeal). Dress the pizza with your pizza sauce, cheese, and desired toppings.
Bake pizza in a preheated 400 degree oven for about 15-20 minutes, until the cheese melts and browns, and the underside of the dough browns to your liking. (if you are using a pizza stone, make sure it goes in the oven while the oven is still cold, so that it can slowly heat up along with the oven or it will crack).
Now for the fun part. The nice folks at Shirley J have agreed to send out some of these time saving products to THREE lucky readers. Each winner will receive one jar of the Pizza and Pasta seasoning mix, one 5-pack of Universal Sauce mix, and one bag of Universal Muffin Mix. Just leave me a comment telling me how you save time cooking meals when the going gets tough. Three lucky winners will be chosen by random drawing and announced next Wednesday, December 7th.