Just Because – Recipe: The Ultimate Gluten-Free Pizza Crust

It is Friday! And, it is also a three-day weekend.  I wanted to dance or do cartwheels down the hallway at school.  Yes, I was honestly that excited!

It was another busy day, but I knew that I could do anything today because we have three days to just relax, play, sleep late, and watch college football.

Just in case you are wondering…the washing machine has not lost its entertainment value yet.  I love it.

But, what I love even more is that my boys love each other so much.  Yesterday Gabriel said, “I hope that Ethan can talk one day, but if he cannot, I will still love him just the same.”

I made these cupcakes today, and it made my day.  When I received the order, she said that she just wanted to do something special for her husband.  How that email made my day!  I love “just because” events.  I think that almost any day can be made into an event, a reason to celebrate.  I love that about being a wife and a mom.  It is the “just because” days that create the moments and memories that we catalog into a scrapbook in our minds.

As I was thinking about that today, I realized why it is so important to do things like Pizza and Movie Night.

It is about traditions, but it is also about the very thing that defines a family – unity, love, moments, togetherness, joy, and memories.  When I go to bed at night and flip through the scrapbook in my mind, I love seeing the pictures of all of those moments, those memories, that we created out of “just because” things, both big and small.

The Ultimate Gluten-Free Pizza Crust

The Ultimate Gluten-Free Pizza Crust

Ingredients

1/2 cup warm water

2 teaspoons yeast

2 teaspoon sugar

1 cup soy milk

2 cups brown rice flour

1 3/4 cup tapioca starch

1/2 cup potato starch

1/2 cup white rice flour

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons xanthan gum

2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin

2 teaspoons Italian seasoning

1/2 cup canola oil

1 egg

Instructions

  1. Sprinkle the yeast and sugar into the warm water. Let sit for 5 minutes.
  2. Mix together the flours, starches, salt, xanthan gum, unflavored gelatin, and Italian seasoning.
  3. Add the yeast mixture, soy milk, canola oil, and egg. Mix on medium speed for about 3 minutes.
  4. Put the dough in a warm place to rise for 20 minutes. I put mine in the oven, after heating it on the warm setting for 10 minutes and then turning it off.
  5. Remove the dough from the oven, and preheat the oven to 450.
  6. Spray a baking pan with cooking spray, and sprinkle it with some white rice flour.
  7. Press out the pizza crusts. This dough is very sticky. So, I sprinkled flour onto the top of it, and then I sprayed some cooking spray onto my hands. Press the dough out, however big or small you would like. I made 5 personal pizzas and had enough dough left over for 1-2 more.
  8. Bake the crusts for 10 minutes. Remove from oven.
  9. Add toppings, and cook another 10 minutes.
http://cookingformykids.com/2011/09/02/the-ultimate-pizza-crust-just-because/

In all honesty, this pizza crust is delicious.  Everyone liked it.  I have not been able to get Summer to enjoy my homemade pizza since we started this journey.  Tonight, she took one bite and said, “I like it, Momma!”  Those were sweet, sweet words, indeed.  I love that we are still on this journey together.  Yes, there are some things that Sean, Summer, and Gabriel do eat whenever they are not with Ethan, especially now that school is underway.  But, as a family, we stick together, continuing to fight for our sweet Ethan.  Gabriel is right, if Ethan does not ever talk, we will still love him just the same.  But, if there are things that we can do for him to help him continue to achieve great things and be the best Ethan who he can be, we will absolutely go that extra mile.

Have a great weekend…and make sure to enjoy those “just because” moments.

Friday = Smiles, Pizza, and a Movie – Recipe: Gluten-Free Pizza Crust

It is a Friday, and I am so incredibly excited.  The whole family is excited.

Every Friday is fun because it is pizza and movie night.  This Friday is even better because we made it through our first week of school.  We did end the week with a doctor’s appointment for Gabriel, but we made it!

Gabriel is okay.  The doctor thinks that it is the beginnings of a cold.  We were just a little concerned because of possible asthma complications.

To see him play after school, eat pizza, and happily watch the movie tonight, you would never know that we were at the doctor this afternoon.

I have been testing pizza crusts since we started this journey, 5 weeks ago.  Today, I found a keeper.  It is still not the same as gluten pizza, but it was good.  Really good.  Everyone except for Summer ate their whole personal pizza (minus some crusts).  Sean gave it a thumbs up once he was finished eating.  Victory is sweet!

Gluten-Free Pizza Crust

Gluten-Free Pizza Crust

I prepared this pizza crust using the Gluten-Free Pizza Crust recipe on Food.com.

Ingredients

1 tablespoon dry yeast

2/3 cup brown rice flour

1/2 cup tapioca flour

2 T sweet rice flour

2 teaspoons xanthan gum

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

2/3 cup water (110 degrees F)

1/2 teaspoon sugar o

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 teaspoon cider vinegar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. In a mixing bowl, add the warm water. Sprinkle the yeast and sugar into the water. Let it sit for about 5 minutes, until it bubbles.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and mix for about 3 minutes. If the dough seems too stiff, add a tablespoon more of olive oil.
  4. Put mixture onto lightly greased pizza or baking pan, and press into circles (1 big circle or 2-3 small circles, if you want personal pizzas).
  5. Drizzle on extra olive oil, and bake for 10 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven.
  7. Spread pizza crust with pizza sauce and toppings.
  8. Bake another 15 minutes for a chewy crust or 20-25 minutes for a crispy crust.
http://cookingformykids.com/2011/08/26/friday-smiles-pizza-and-a-movie/

We finished pizza and movie night with some delicious Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip (gluten and dairy free) cookies.  They were the perfect end to an awesome evening. I will post the recipe next week because everyone needs to try these cookies.

It is FRIDAY!  Have I mentioned that yet?!

Have a great weekend!

Pizza Night – Recipe: Pizza Sauce

We have pizza and movie night every Friday unless we are out of town, and then we have it Thursday or Sunday.  It is a sacred tradition, one that I tell the children that we will continue even when they are teenagers and eventually dating someone.  Their boyfriend or girlfriend will simply have to do pizza night with us, too.  We believe that it is very important to have traditions, and pizza night is one of those things that brings us together at the end of the week.  It signifies family, togetherness, and the beginning of the weekend, which is also sacred in our house.

So, you can imagine my panic when I read Ethan’s food sensitivity results and saw gluten, wheat, and cheese on it.   I immediately started trying to research pizza crusts and cheese alternatives.  I knew that I wanted pizza night to continue, but there was no way that we were all going to make Ethan watch us eat pizza while he had something else.  We are in this together.  I knew that we all had tried and liked goat cheese, so I was certain that I would find a good mozzarella goat cheese.  What I was less certain about was the pizza crust.  We tried gluten free a few years ago, and I tried many of the pre-packaged cookies, pizza crusts, breads, etc.  This time I knew that I wanted to try to bake everything from scratch.  So many of the mixes have other things in them that I did not want our family to consume.  We did not want to remove one sensitivity just to create another one.

I tried a gluten-free pizza crust recipe tonight.  And, I did not like it well enough to post.  The boys both ate as much pizza as normal, and Gabriel gave it a thumbs up.  Summer only ate one bite and declared that she did not like it.  Sean and I were very much on the fence.  To us, pizza is as much about the toppings and sauce as the crust.  We were not disappointed, but we still think that there is a better crust recipe out there.  Or, once I get better at understanding the gluten free flour combinations, I hope to be able to create on myself.

Overall, it was another successful day.

Breakfast – Egg omelet with turkey and goat cheese (will post recipe later – it was delicious!), bacon, and fruit salad

Lunch – Noodle soup (easy as can be – organic chicken broth, V8 vegetable juice, gluten free noodles, and MSG free season salt), pineapple chunks, and nectarines

Dinner – Pizza

Dessert – Snickerdoodle cookies (They are currently cooling.  But, if they taste as good as they look, I will definitely post this recipe later.)

Pizza Sauce

Pizza Sauce

Ingredients

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 clove of garlic

8 oz. can of tomato sauce

small can of tomato paste

Salt

Sugar

Onion powder

Parsley flakes

Instructions

  1. Add the olive oil to a sauce pan and heat on medium-low.
  2. Add the garlic.
  3. Let it simmer for about 3-4 minutes, and then add the tomato sauce and tomato paste.
  4. Add the seasonings. I just kind of toss the seasonings in and then taste it to see if I need more or less of anything.
  5. Let simmer on low for about 10 minutes.
http://cookingformykids.com/2011/07/22/pizza-night/

Overall, I think that day 3 has been a success.  We have found that we are getting hungrier more often than before, and snacking on nuts and fruit is not always what we are craving.  So, I hope to find more healthy things that we can snack on to keep us all a bit more satisfied throughout the day.  Honestly, though, I could not have hoped for better results than we have had thus far.  I am finding that it has been easier than I thought at times.  It has certainly kept me on my toes, though.  I need to plan more and be more organized because cereal for breakfast and sandwiches for lunch are just not an option right now.  That is okay, though, because cooking for my kids (and my husband) makes me happy.  And, at the end of the day, isn’t that what we all want?