Bob B’s Homemade Pizza

 

 

My father in-law left us many special memories, too many to tell in one sitting. From all these remembrances, his fun dinner parties stand out in my mind. When Bob retired, he started cooking. I have his beef stew, taco pie and pizza recipes in my collection. It’s the pizza recipe that remains dear to me as it reminds me of fun times at the Blowey house.

 

 

I fondly remember one evening standing in my in-law’s kitchen, while Bob made homemade pizza with my mother- in -law Theo. She helped arrange the sliced peppers and onions. He was so funny that he would watch her working to make sure she did it the way he wanted. You see, Bobs pizzas were homemade and crafted with love, the very same as Theo’s homemade crafted pies.

 

 

 

Bob made magnificent trays of pepperoni, cheese and even shrimp pizza! When Tom’s siblings visited on weekends, they would have a grand spread of pizza, Bob’s speciality!  Don’t I miss those days and the mouth-watering pies!

 

 

So Bob’s recipes for pizza sauce and the crust have lived in my scrapbook cookbook but I have to confess…I’ve never made them! Maybe I thought that I’d never come close to his creations and the yeast factor scared the heck out of me! ( Yeast and I have never gotten along but lately I’m daring to try it and it’s working well!)

 

 

Here I’ll share his recipe for homemade sauce and crust. You need a full day of cooking the sauce, on and off for several hours for a rich flavor. I made my pizza on a weekend when I had plenty of time.

Pizza Sauce

1/4 c olive oil

1 garlic clove

2 cans tomato paste ( I used the medium size)

1- 15 oz stewed tomatoes, peeled & cut fine

1- 28 oz  diced or puréed tomatoes

1/2 green pepper chopped

1- onion chopped or grated

1 tsp salt

2 tsp oregano

1 tsp Italian seasoning

In a large skillet cook garlic in oil until soft. Add onion and green pepper and cook until translucent. ( just a couple of minutes) Next add tomato paste, stewed tomatoes and diced or puréed tomatoes. Bring to a boil and simmer. Add seasonings and stir well. Cook sauce for 20 minutes and then shut off. Keep covered. Do this routine three times throughout the day, 20 minutes and then shut off each time. After sitting and simmering all day on and off, it’s ready to top your pizza!

 

Pizza Crust

3/4 c warm water

1 pkg dry yeast

1/8 tsp sugar or honey ( I used honey)

4 c flour

1 tsp salt

1/4 c olive oil

In a small bowl put warm water with yeast and honey, stir. Let stand in a warm place for 10-15 minutes. It will get bubbly. In a large bowl combine 1 cup flour and salt. Add oil to yeast mix. Pour into the large bowl of flour and mix together. Gradually add second cup of flour. Stir  with a wooden spoon. When dough is mixed, add third cup of flour. At this point you may need to add a small amount of water. When it begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl, turn it onto a floured board. Gradually knead the remaining cup of flour into the dough. It should become smooth and elastic and no longer sticky. The amount of flour will vary depending on how moist the dough is and the weather. Coat a bowl with olive oil and place the dough ball in it, rolling it to coat it on all sides. Cover it tightly with plastic wrap and set it in a warm place, until it has doubled in size. This takes about 1 1/2 hours. ( I put my oven on and placed the dough on the warmest place on the stove top. )You will know when the dough is ready by pressing your finger in it, it will leave an impression. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Roll out dough on a floured surface. This makes a 20 inch round pan or a 12 x 18 baking pan. Brush oil in pan, place rolled dough and brush oil on dough. Place pizza sauce 1/4 inch thick. Next place sliced green pepper and onions. If you wish to add pepperoni, do it after the veggies. Top with mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle Italian seasoning or oregano on top. Cook 15-18 minutes till brown and cheese is bubbly.

 

So as I crafted my first pizza Bob’s way, I felt that he would have approved. He was so proud of his pizzas and that rubbed off on me, so many years later. I wish to dedicate this post to my father-in-law on the day he was born on. Here are some photos of him fishing and on a camping trip with Tom.

 

 

All My Best,

Heart and Soul

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My February Facts

I thought I’d write this post with a February theme and as the month is almost in the books, I’m on a time crunch! So here it goes…

 

February is a birthday month for my family! Both my sons were born this month two years and four days apart. Their Papa’s birthday was tucked in between the boys. Now our daughter- in- law’s birthday is in the same month! Wow, that’s a lot of birthday dinners! 

 

 

February usually presents itself in a milky white with snowy landscapes and frosted trees. Sometimes temperatures hover near freezing and other times we have spring like conditions with melting snow and flooding. You never know what you’re going to get here in New England!

 

February meals simmer in crockpots and we eat our hearty comfort food by our fire. I cook cream of chicken ( rice pilaf on the side), baked beans and barbecued ribs this month. With cold and snowy conditions, there’s nothing better than hot homemade food! I must mention I bake up a storm this month too….cookies, brownies and goodies!

 

 

This is the month I consider planning my garden and read up on planting techniques. It’s a way of bringing spring closer than what it is. Four months from now Tom and I will till the garden and plant for the season! I can’t wait!

 

 

 

 

February is cabin fever month for me. Winter seems long here and although I like the season and some of the beauty it gifts, by mid month I’m itching for green grass, summer birds and hot sun. Most northerners pack up and vacation south, but we need to stay for Tom’s job. Needless to say, February is a soul-searching quiet month.

 

 

What I love about February is that the wildlife emerges from a deep sleep and start trekking all over the region, in hopes of spring. Chipmunks, squirrels, skunks, foxes and deer show themselves and play amid the snow, leaving their tracks behind. These movements are my hope that spring is around the corner! 

 

 

Just a few February facts to share with you….I wonder if your Feb facts are similar or different? What do you love about February? Here’s looking forward to March and spring!

All My Best,

Heart and Soul 💗

 

 

 

 

When Will it Be Enough?

With so many school shootings in the news and the latest Florida tragedy weighing on our hearts, I have to post about this. Usually I cower from the news as it boosts my anxiety up to high levels but these occurrences have to be paid attention to. I feel very close to this issue, as I work and teach at a school in the elementary wing. I see many children work, laugh, play and even cry throughout the day. When I think of this horrible action happening at any school and possibly ours too, confusion and sorrow consumes me. Like many educators, I feel helpless and just want to do my job without worries of protecting the children if needed. Of course I wouldn’t  think twice to shield my students from danger.

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Happy Birthday, Dylan🎉

I have told you all before that twenty two years ago today my life changed drastically. I transformed from a  26 year old woman to a young mother, a role that I had to learn and practice. Although it took years to learn it all, one thing I never had to try at or practice was loving my son.

As most mothers will retell their story, I cherish telling mine. I awoke at 3 am out of a sound sleep, only to be surprised with my water bursting! After a hurried call to the doctor and a quick shower to calm my nerves, Tom and I headed to the hospital and to our new life. Eight hours later after a labor that I’ll never forget, Dylan James was born. He had a full head of dark hair and peach fuzz hair all over his little body. His anxious new born cry sent shivers up in my spine, a reminder that this really happened. I cradled him in my arms, looking at his five fingers and toes. Tom proudly held his son, a moment that touched my heart and made me so thrilled that we had a son.

 

My story continues, for I need to share something that happened on that hospital floor that stays with me. That night, after visiting relatives went home after meeting Dylan, the nurses wheeled my baby away to the nursery. They insisted this so that I would get my sleep and rest as needed. I lay there still and listening and of course I couldn’t sleep a wink. Five or ten minutes raced by and suddenly I heard Dylan’s cries floating down the hall. I just knew they were his, no doubt in my mind. I had to go to him and hold him. Trudging down that cold floor, I was ready to power talk those nurses and plead for my son to come back to our room. Sure enough Dylan lay wailing in the incubator and with tears running down my cheeks, I simply said, ” please bring my son back.”

I lay on my side that night, with one eye resting and one on my new baby. No, I didn’t get much sleep that February night but my son was by my side with his dad not far off in a recliner. All was good in the world.

 

Now that my little mothering story has been told I want to wish Dylan a very happy 22nd birthday! He’s a great  guy holding down a full time job at a local garage and paying his bills responsibly. Dylan plans to marry the love of his life in August and will start his family story. Tom and I are very proud of the kind of man he is and the young lady he’s chosen to marry…she’s a peach.

 

All My Best,

Heart and Soul 💗

 

Who Inspires You to be Good?

Flipping through Oprah’s March 2018 magazine, I saw the question, who inspires you to be good? I’m always striving to live like Jesus would, with kindness, compassion and empathy for my fellow-man. As I age, so does my heart expand with these traits and I work on these because I want to be good, to do amazing things in this world and affect others in a positive light. This doesn’t mean that I’m perfect by any means and sometimes I waiver and I  need God’s little  reminders to keep me on track.

 

 

My mom is one of the people who inspires me to be good. She visits people in nursing homes and prays for them and volunteers at a local senior center.

 

 

When I ponder over Oprah’s question, several inspirations come to my mind. First, God inspires me to be good in this life. I may not attend a church in this time of my life but I hope that I live a godly life. I pray throughout the day as a connection to Him and he carries me through every time. I realize that I need to take time to read the scripture and learn as much as I can. It’s a void that I’m going to fill soon.

 

Secondly, like many of Oprah’s readers, I am inspired by my family starting with my mom and dad. Even if I’m nearing 50, it still matters to me what my parents  think of me. I want to make them proud and that desire will never wane!

 

I wish for my husband to be proud that he married me. He doesn’t tell me all the time but I know I inspire him to be his best. We both compliment each other in that way. His calm and loving nature is good for me and the way he treats his clients is heartwarming ( he never charges more year to year because he knows people have a hard time making ends meet).

 

I also care what my sons think and want them to be happy by my example and live that way too.

Here is my dad, a hard-working man who creates wood projects with love and who I’m very proud of.

So I’m inspired everyday by God, my mom and dad, my husband and my sons. These people are who I look up to, who I wish to shine the brightest for and that keeps me going, striving to be the best person I can be. I’ve learned many principles in this life and one of them is to stay inspired and inspire others by trying to be an impeccable person. There are days I fall short of that desire but instead of crying in a puddle of tears, I pick myself up and try again.

As you go about your life, ask yourself  who inspires you to be good? You probably have multiple people as I do. Ask yourself are you being as good as you could? Are you focusing on others or yourself and your needs?

All My Best,

Heart and Soul 💗

What Cats Do Best

Our kitty Smokey laying just across a roaring fire with feet pushing up against the wall!

Spread right out,

be yourself

in an envelope of comfort!

Don’t  hold back,

relax and give in.

Sleep the hours away

and indulge in

a peaceful slumber!

Advice from cats!

 

Katy doing what she does best, relaxing in her chair without a care in the world.

 

 

 

Our sweet Smokey curling up on his favorite chair which happens to be mine too!

 

 

My beautiful kitty Katy, who is 14 1/2 years old.

My cats are quite the characters with their unique and quirky personalities. What do they do best? Sleep the days away but we love them even more because of that.

Isn’t it great dreaming of a sleep away kind of day?

All My Best,

Heart and Soul

Two Years and Counting

While browsing my blog stats and dates, I noticed that my blog has been running for two years. It all started as a simple idea and a whim. I had no expectations or plans tied with the launch. All I knew is that it was time to present my writing and satisfy my need to be complete. For as you and I both know, if you’re not practicing and doing what you love, then you’re not truly being yourself. I had to write and this blog was a way to do so.

 

I want to thank you, all of my readers who many have become lovely friends who I “talk” with back and forth such as Rhonda, Jodi, Tammy and Ellen just to name a few. Others who I check in with from time to time mean just as much. The one thing I’ve learned as a blogger is that you become a family member of the community, gaining a rich patchwork of friends. With all  you special people, I have read fascinating stories, tried delicious recipes and gawked over amazing photos and pieces of artwork! In the process I’ve shared my life stories and pictures and have put everything out on the table and trusted you all. It’s felt natural and good to trust and share my life.

I hope to continue this blog as long as I can for years to come. With this wish, my other dream is to compile alike posts and write a book someday about a mom’s life in rural New Hampshire. 

So here’s a HUGE thank you to my family and friends who regularly read my posts and offer positive comments in response. This is what has propelled me to keep moving forward…it’s something I’m very grateful for! ❤❤❤

All My Best,

Heart and Soul 💗

Mary ❤