Homemade Pizza

Homemade Pizza

Entertaining with kids and food can be a challenge. You spend hours and hours fixing a meal to impress. Then the kids refuse eating what you make. After thirty minutes of telling them they will eat it or they will be hungry later you finally give in and throw some chicken nuggets on so that you can enjoy your now cold meal.

Instead of the above happening I gave in and decided on a pizza night with friends. I am not against frozen pizza or take out but there is something about homemade pizza that is just irresistible no matter your audience. Having never made dough from scratch I had to do some research online. I adapted this recipe from none other than Emeril Lagasse. Although it is probably safe to say that he does it much better!

What you need:

  • 1 package of active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water (110 degrees – warm to touch on the wrist – if the water is too hot it can kill the yeast)
  • 1  1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1  1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2  3/4 cups flour for the dough + approximately 1/4 cup for the surface to knead the dough
  • Toppings

How it comes to life:

  • Combine yeast, water, olive oil, and salt into a large bowl. Stir approximately five minutes. Using a Kitchenaid mixer with a hook slowly add in the flour and mix on low until the flour is incorporated. Increase to medium speed until a ball starts to form. The dough should not be sticky or crumble. If it is sticky add a dash of flour. If it crumbles add a touch of water.
  • Place the dough ball on a lightly floured and begin to knead until the dough is smooth.

Pizza dough

  • Place the dough into a large bowl and lightly coat with oil. turn the dough over to ensure you coat the entire thing. Cover it with a damp towel and set it in a warm place to rise. I let mine rise a little over an hour.
  • While this dough was rising I did the above steps again and made a second batch.
  • Preheat the oven to 500 degrees with a pizza stone inside. My pizza stone is Pampered Chef and I love it!

Pizza Dough

  • Once the dough has risen, divide the dough into two. Roll each into a ball and place them on a lightly oiled cookie sheet and cover one more time with a damp towel. Let it rise for another 15 minutes.
  • You have the option of making two small pizzas or combining the dough and making one large. I chose to make the large.
  • Shape the dough on a lightly floured surface and then transfer to the hot pizza stone.
Now make it fun!
Pizza Toppings
Pizza Topping
Pizza One – our guests are a little more traditional with their ingredients
  • Pepperoni
  • Ground sausage – cooked and crumbled
  • Shredded mozzarella
  • Tomato pizza sauce


Pepperoni & Sausage Pizza

Pizza Two – for Miles & I

  • Fresh mozzarella balls
  • Rotisserie chicken
  • Fresh tomatoes
  • Fresh basil
  • Bell peppers
  • Alfredo & pesto sauce

Chicken Pizza

It ended up being a great night. Parents happy. Kids happy. SUCCESS!!

Breakfast Enchiladas

I constantly struggle to find breakfast food that is outside of the normal eggs, bacon, pancake, and omelet routine. This recipe was easy and was a hit with my family.

dashoflovely.blog.breakfastenchilada.©2013MWBphoto-4, breakfast enchiladas

What you need:

  • chorizo – I used approximately 3 links
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • diced jalapeno peppers – add to your own degree of spiciness
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 cups pepper jack shredded cheese (divided)
  • 6 – 9″ flour tortillas
  • 1/2 cup skim milk, 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp ground cumin

How it comes to life:

Preheat the oven to 375.

Remove the casing from the sausage and brown in a skillet until fully cooked. Add the red bell pepper and jalapeno and cook until the pepper is soft. Remove from heat.

In a separate bowl, mix together the eggs, salt, pepper, 1 cup of cheese, and the chorizo mixture from above.

Place a tortilla on a large plate and scoop approximately 3/4 cup of the mixture into the center. You can add more or less depending on how full you want your enchiladas. Do not overfill or you will not be able to close the wrap. Fold the two ends in first and then roll up the tortilla. Place each enchilada into a greased glass dish with the seam down.

Sauce: In another bowl mix the milk, cornstarch, and cumin. Then mix in the remaining cheese. Pour the sauce evenly over the enchiladas.

If you are going to bake the next morning, cover the dish tightly and place in the refrigerator. If not, bake for 35-45 minutes. Make sure the eggs are done. The top of the enchiladas should be golden brown.

Breakfast Enchiladas

Topping: This is your chance to dress the meal up. I kept it fairly simple by adding sour cream, diced tomatoes, and fresh cilantro. You could also use salsa, bacon crumbles, onions…really anything!

Adapted from a recipe in the May 2012 issue of Oprah Magazine.

Shrimp Etouffee

shrimp-etoufette©mwb2013-11, shrimp etouffee

Hopefully by now you have seen my post on our trip to Wilmore, Kentucky. I mention in that post that one of the things we share with the Easley’s (Miles sister, brother-in-law, and nieces) is a love for good food. I love to cook, Meg loves to cook, and we all love to eat so when we get together that is what we do.

I mentioned to Meg that while in Natchez, Mississippi I tried Crawfish Etouffee for the very first time at a place called the Magnolia Grill. Miles ordered it and I ended up eating a good portion of his meal. Meg  just so happens to have an incredible shrimp etouffee recipe that she was willing to share. It originally came from her husband’s grandmother, MawMaw and has been passed down the line.

Instead of her cooking it for us, we decided that it would be more fun for her to teach me! I’m typically the queen of my kitchen but sharing the duties with one of my favorite people is loads of fun. It is becoming a bit of a tradition when we are together. With three kids in the house it is our “quiet time”.

Make sure you go check out the Easley Park blog. Hopefully we will see the gang again soon so we can have another guest blog recipe.

The beautiful Meg.

The beautiful Meg.

What you need:

  • 3 lb of shrimp, cleaned (we used 2 lb because that is what we had)
  • 1 cup green bell pepper
  • 1 1/3 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/2 cup green onion tops
  • 2 small cloves of garlic
  • 1 cup finely chopped parsley
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 4-6 cups chicken stock/shrimp stock
  • 1 can cream of celery soup
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • A good sprinkling of Tony Chachere’s

How it comes to life:

Shrimp Stock – After shelling the shrimp add shrimp shells to stock pot. Add water to cover shells by one inch. Add vegetables to season. We added diced celery and onion powder.  Heat to near bowling, turn down and let simmer for half an hour.

While the stock is cooking we used this time to dice up all of the vegetables so that when the time came all we had to do was dump them in.

shrimp-etoufette©mwb2013-1, shrimp etouffee

For the rue – Melt the butter in a thick pot and add flour. Cook until the flour mixture is the color of peanut butter.

shrimp-etoufette©mwb2013-6, shrimp etouffee

Add onions, bell pepper, celery, and tomato paste. Cook slowly, stirring constantly until wilted. Add garlic, parsley, and green onion tops and cook a few minutes longer. **We did not set a timer but once the veggies were added it probably cooked at least 10-15 minutes in total.

shrimp-etoufette©mwb2013-7, shrimp etouffee

Add about 2 cups chicken stock and 2 cups shrimp stock.  (Increase if mixture is too thick.) Add cream of celery and cream of mushroom soup. Cook for 5 minutes. Add the shrimp and cook over medium heat for 20-25 minutes or until the shrimp is fully cooked. Do not overcook the shrimp. Add in the salt, red pepper, and Toni’s.  Adjust the seasonings to your taste – may need more salt or Toni’s.

shrimp-etoufette©mwb2013-8, shrimp etouffee

Serve over hot fluffy rice with French bread buttered and warmed.

Wilmore, Kentucky

kentucky-trip©2013mileswittboyer.com-4, wilmore kentucky, asbury seminaryMiles and I spent the week in Wilmore, Kentucky working on a shoot for the  Asbury Theological Seminary for some of their new promotional material. This was unlike most of our jobs in that we got to work with family. Miles sister and brother-in-law own a design company called Two Cups and they will be doing all of the post design work once the images are complete.

kentucky-trip©2013mileswittboyer.com-1, wilmore kentucky, asbury seminary

Since Miles family lives so far away we rarely get a chance to see them. We sure make it count when we do. I’m sure like all families there are things that really bring you together. With the Easley/Boyer bunch it is a week full of food, coffee, outdoors, love and laughter. As Gavin gets older it is extremely important that he shares that same love for the Easley’s (including his two precious cousins). Now if we could only convince them to move closer!

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Aside from family time, we love visiting Kentucky because of the beautiful landscape of the country side. From the second you step off the plane in Lexington until the time you pull into the Easley mini farm in Wilmore there are miles and miles of white fences, old barnes, and fields full of flowers. Really a photographers dream.

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If not for family, Wilmore would not be my first choice for a vacation but if you are ever in Lexington, make sure you head out of town and it least stop in. If the beauty alone isn’t worth it, stop into the local coffee shop (Solomon’s Porch) and try a 7 layer bar! They are heavenly.


kentucky-trip©2013mileswittboyer.com-5,wilmore kentucky, asbury seminary

Check back soon for more Asbury Seminary photos from mileswittboyer.com as well as a to die for Shrimp Etoufee recipe!

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