Easy Homemade Pizza Crust (You Will Never Need Take-Out Again)

Our family spends wastes a lot of money on eating out!

After a LONG day of school, Bible quizzing, cooking, cleaning, and on and on and on, that phone number to the local pizza place is so TEMPTING! I know that with just the push of a few buttons dinner will arrive fast and hot. However, my bank account will take a hit that it was not expecting and I will have to figure out where that money is going to come from.

ENTER Easy Homemade Pizza Crust! With a just a few ingredients and a little bit of time, I can save some DOUGH (you saw that one coming right?) by making DOUGH!

Extraordinary Homemade Pizza Crust
Extraordinary Homemade Pizza Crust

Easy Homemade Pizza Crust (original recipe)

1 cup warm water
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 1/2 cups bread flour
1 tablespoon yeast
1 heaping tablespoon sugar

Pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees.

Add water, salt and vegetable oil to a large bowl.

Add bread flour, sugar and yeast, mix with a spoon until a soft dough forms.

Put dough onto a floured surface and knead for a few minutes. Then roll out dough, on floured surface, until a little larger than your pizza pan (I use a stone from Pampered Chef). Place the dough onto your pan and roll up the edges to create a lip that will keep your sauce on the pizza while it bakes. Using a fork prick holes in the dough.

Pre-bake your crust in your pre-heated oven for 10 minutes. Take out and top however you like.

Return pizza to the oven and bake another 10 minutes. ENJOY!

Forget the Take Out!
Forget the Take Out!


Extraordinary Chicken Pasta Salad

My children are Bible Quizzers and that means that once a month during the quizzing season we head out of town for a tournament. We normally will go to wherever the tournament is the night before so that our children are assured of getting plenty of rest. Nothing like trying to remember 300 scriptures while dozing off at the quiz table!

As we are a one income family, week-end getaways once a month do not really fit in with our budget. So I cut the costs as much as possible. We ALWAYS stay in a hotel that offers free breakfast. This enables us to sleep-in a little longer and also saves us money. And we ALWAYS stay at a hotel that offers Government Employee discounts (Thank You USPS).

I also pack our lunch to eat during the quizzing tournament. I do this for two reasons. One, to save money. And two, because sometimes we have 20 minutes in-between quizzes in which to eat our lunch. Not very conducive to getting in the car, driving somewhere, ordering, eating, getting back in the car, and making it back to the church before the next quiz.

And so I pack sandwiches, potato chips, snack cakes, grapes, and I ALWAYS take Chicken Pasta Salad! WHY? Because it is AMAZING, that’s why! And I’m going to share the recipe with you! WHY? Because I like you, that’s why!

Extraordinary Chicken Pasta Salad


Amazing Chicken Pasta Salad

2 to 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (cooked and cut into bite size pieces)
1 box corkscrew pasta
6 green onions, thinly sliced (the original recipe calls for only 3 but I like them so I add more)
1 medium green pepper, diced

Mix in a large bowl.



1 1/2 cups Miracle Whip Salad Dressing
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice

Toss with chicken mixture.
Refrigerate overnight. (The original recipe says 2 hours but I like it better the next day). Also, if you are like me you will think that 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt is just too much but trust me and go ahead and follow the recipe exactly. When I tried to cut back the flavor was just not as great.


Extraordinary Chicken Pasta Salad
Extraordinary Chicken Pasta Salad

Amish Baked Chicken

Extraordinary Amish Baked Chicken
Extraordinary Amish Baked Chicken

This is my NEW “Go To” recipe for chicken. We all love this chicken. It is juicy, flavorful, pretty simple, and Finger-Lickin’ good!

I have made it for company (so you know it’s good) and it never fails to impress.

Now I am going to give a disclaimer on this recipe: I bake it on a stone with sides (Pampered Chef: Bar Pan) so if you do not have a stone I have no idea how this chicken will turn out! For me, the skin is crunchy and flavorful and the chicken meat is juicy and tender. If you bake it in a pan or some other way please leave me a comment and let me know how it turns out.

Amish Baked Chicken (Original Recipe)

1/2 cup flour
1/2 Tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
6 bone-in chicken thighs
3 bone-in chicken breasts

In a shallow pie pan combine flour and spices. Blend well!

Dredge chicken in flour mixture and then place on baking stone skin side down. I use two stones, one for the thighs and one for breasts.

Bake at 375 degrees for 45 to 60 minutes or until chicken is cooked through (mine always takes the whole 60 minutes). Flip chicken once, half way through cooking.

I do not work for nor do I sell Pampered Chef. I just love their stones and use them every single day!

Extraordinary Slow Cooker Beef (Or in This Case Pork) Stroganoff

Extraordinary Pork Stroganoff
Extraordinary Slow Cooker Pork Stroganoff

I have made this recipe a few times (trying to adjust this and that to make it a great meal) and I think I am finally on the right track! I love Beef Stroganoff and I love my slow cooker, so if I can put the two together then you know I am going to be one HAPPY girl! The problem with the recipe is that no matter what type of beef I used I didn’t like the taste. The meat was either too tough (when I used stew meat) or had a strange aftertaste when I used the cube steak. And I was not about to try an expensive cut of meat in a slow cooker recipe (defeats the purpose of a budget friendly easy meal). So I had some pork steaks in the freezer and I decided to give those a try! AMAZING!

I still have a few things I would like to “tweak” (Don’t you just love “You’ve Got Mail”?) such as figuring out how to get the small lumps of cream cheese out of the sauce. My cream cheese is completely softened and I cut it up in small cubes before I add it to the sauce but it still is not breaking down all the way. Any suggestions?

Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff  (original recipe)

2 pounds pork steak, cut into one-inch pieces
2 cans condensed golden mushroom soup (no substitutes)
1 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 (14-ounce) can beef broth
8-ounces fresh button mushrooms (I leave them whole)
salt and pepper to taste
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup sour cream
1 bag egg noodles (for serving)

In the slow cooker, combine meat, soup, onion, Worcestershire sauce, beef broth, mushrooms, salt and pepper. Cook on low for 5 to 6 hours.
Stir in cream cheese and sour cream about half an hour before serving, stirring every 10 minutes or so to break up the cream cheese. THE LAST TIME I MADE THIS I CUT THE CREAM CHEESE UP INTO PIECES AND IT SEEMED TO HELP IT BREAK UP MORE.
Serve over cooked egg noodles or rice. The original recipe calls for adding the egg noodles to the crock pot after they have cooked and when I did this we did not like it. The noodles became very mushy so now I just serve the noodles with the Stroganoff over top.
If the sauce is not thick enough for you, you can add some cornstarch and water. I have not done this so I’m not sure how it would work.

Extraordinary Dinner!
Extraordinary Dinner!

Extraordinarily Easy Taco Salad

Extraordinarily Easy Taco Salad


This recipe should be called VERY EXTRAORDINARILY EASY TACO SALAD! or it could even be called VERY EASY VERY YUMMY EXTRAORDINARY TACO SALAD! But no matter what you call it I am VERY sure that your family will love you for fixing it and you will love how quickly you are in and out of the kitchen! I make this recipe on church nights because it’s quick to the table and clean up is EASY too!

Easy Taco Salad (Original Recipe)

2 pounds ground beef
1 small onion
1 envelope (or 1 tablespoon) taco seasoning (next time I am probably going to up this to 2 tablespoons)
1 head iceberg lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces (I buy the shredded lettuce that comes in bags)
1 tomato, diced
1 bag Nacho Flavored Doritos
1 1/2 cups Mexican (or taco) cheese, shredded
1 bottle French Dressing

Brown ground beef and onion. Drain off fat. Stir in taco seasoning until well blended (DO NOT ADD WATER).
In a large bowl, or individual serving bowls (I use the individual bowls for easier clean-up). Layer the lettuce, meat, tomato, cheese, and Doritos.
Then top with dressing and serve!

Easy Peasy Taco Salad

I do not let the hamburger cool down before using it on the salad. I also use individual serving bowls because I have some who do not like tomato.

Extraordinary Stromboli

I made this recipe because when our family goes out to eat at our favorite little Italian restaurant this is what my husband and the boys order. Every time, without fail. So I figured I could make it and (probably) make it better!

The Stromboli was okay. It was a little dry and what I failed to remember (and the recipe did not mention) was that the Stromboli my family orders comes with a side of Marinara sauce (DUH) so next time I make this (along with my tweaks) I will be serving it with some Marinara on the side!

Extraordinary Stromboli


Stromboli (original recipe)

1 cup warm water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon yeast
1 tablespoon oil
1 egg
3 – 4 cups bread flour

Mix all ingredients together in a mixer (I used my Kitchen-Aid) or by hand. Form into a ball.
Grease a baking sheet (11 x 15).
Roll dough out to cover pan.

Dough rolled out onto baking sheet

2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 egg yolks (save the whites)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
2 cloves garlic, minced

Mix all ingredients together and spread on the center of the dough almost to the ends.

Butter Mixture Spread Out onto Dough


Can really be whatever your family likes this is what I used
1 pound hamburger
1 sweet onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 tomato, diced
2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded

Brown hamburger along with onion, pepper, and tomato. Cook until hamburger is no longer pink and vegetables are tender. Drain (WELL).

Place hamburger mixture on top of butter mixture.

Beef Mixture Spread on Top of Butter Mixture


Add cheese on top of hamburger mixture.

Cheese Added to Beef Mixture

Fold both sides of the dough up over the toppings and cheese and crimp together.
Brush with egg whites and bake at 425 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes.

Dough Brushed with Egg Whites


Stromboli Baked and Ready for Slicing


Lazy Sunday Casserole

Extraordinary Lazy Day Casserole

Do not let the “Lazy” part of this recipe fool you, it is not “Lazy” because it’s quick! It is however perfect for a rainy day or a day when you just need some good old fashioned comfort food!

I have already put this on the menu to make again and I have some “tweaks” that I will be doing the next time.

Everyone liked this recipe and I think you could adjust the vegetables to fit your families taste. I however would not recommend skipping the carrots as they were absolutely amazing! And I will be doubling them the next time for sure!

Lazy Day Casserole (original recipe)

4 sausages (I used smoked sausage)

1 pound of potatoes

1/2 pound of carrots (I am doubling this next time and using baby carrots to save on time)

1 bell pepper

1 large onion

2 cloves garlic

1/4 teaspoon salt

Fresh cracked black pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 1/2 teaspoons Italian herbs

1/2 cup chicken broth

4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Potatoes, Onions, Green Pepper, and Carrots


Spray your baking dish with cooking spray. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Peel the potatoes, wash and cut each potato into bite-size pieces. Peel onion and slice. Slice bell pepper into strips. Peel and cut carrots into bite size pieces (as I mentioned before I am going to try using baby carrots next time). Put carrots, potatoes, onion, and bell pepper into sprayed baking dish.

Use a bowl to combine the olive oil, Italian herbs, minced garlic, and chicken broth. Pour over the vegetables. Toss them around to make sure the broth gets everywhere. Season with a generous amount of black pepper and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Stir again!

Cover the tray with aluminum foil and put it in the preheated oven. Bake for 45 minutes.

After 45 minutes the potatoes and vegetables should be fork tender. If they’re not, cover the tray back up with the foil and pop them back in the oven for a few more minutes. If they are fork tender, place the sausages in the dish and add the balsamic vinegar. Stir to make sure the vinegar coats all vegetables.

Place the tray back in the oven, uncovered, for 25 to 30 minutes. Take it out after 15 minutes, and stir to make sure that the juices lurking at the bottom coat all the vegetables and sausages. Put it back in the oven for the remaining time, or until everything is nice and brown.

I served this with homemade buttermilk biscuits!