easy whole wheat pizza dough

Posted: April 14th, 2015

easy whole wheat pizza dough

I’ve been thinking a lot about rest/sabbath/time for myself recently.  It seems to be a recurring theme, and I’m not sure if it is because I’m hyper-aware of it or if it’s because I actually am stumbling across other people’s thoughts about self-care and rest more.  In Shauna Neiquist’s new devotional book Savor, she talks about rest being a good thing and a holy work of sorts, not necessarily just because we are tired, but because it prepares us to do the other things in our lives.  Resting helps us to be more caring with the people we love; it helps us to be more productive with what we have to do.  Coming to everything in life exhausted and depleted isn’t fair to anyone.

Saturday night, after a frustrating day that was not at all the Saturday I had hoped it would be, I told Gerrit, “I feel like everyone needs so much from me and I’m running out of resources.”  And then I sat down to read a new book, The Fringe Hours by Jessica Turner, and I read the chapter on feeling like you have to be everything to everyone.  Ha.  Ok then.
The truth is, I don’t have to be everything to everyone, but at the same time I feel like just about everything I do right now is necessary, either for me or someone else or both.  I’m not sure what I can take off my plate to create more space for the other things I need, including rest.
I guess the answer might look different each week.  Sunday I stayed home from church and sent Gerrit and Evelyn off so I could do yoga and fold clothes and just have some peace and quite alone.  Next week it might be saying no to something else.  But I do know and have realized recently that it means blogging less often and cooking things that are simple and returning to my tried and true recipes that require little fuss (like this pizza dough obviously, which takes 3 minutes to put together in the morning and is ready when we get home from work).
There’s no such thing as perfect balance all the time (this is a hard thing for me to accept), but I’m at least trying to find a different balance each week.  And when I end a Saturday in tears because my day went nothing like I had hoped, I’m trying to learn the lesson in that.
easy whole wheat pizza dough
easy whole wheat pizza dough

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 8 hours, 20 minutes

Yield: 1 large pizza

One of the things that has changed my life in the best way is this pizza dough. I'm so grateful that everyone's favorite food blogger went to Rome at the same time I did, and when I fell in love with the pizza there so did she. She made a lot of good points about how surely these Romans have an easier pizza dough recipe than we seem to think (because the pizza is everywhere). I've changed it up a little bit because Gerrit and I have discovered that we love whole wheat pizza crust and with a bit less salt. But the same principles still apply: pizza dough does not need to be fussy; and you can use different yeast amounts for different rise times to fit your schedule (1/8 teaspoon to let the dough rise overnight and through the next day, 1/4 teaspoon for all day rising, and 1/2 teaspoon for a half day).


  • 1 cup (125 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups (190 g) whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 heaping teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1 to 1 1/4 cups water


  1. In a large bowl, stir together the flours, salt, and yeast. Add the water and stir until the dough comes together. If it seems a bit dry, you can add more water.
  2. Cover the bowl and let the dough rise all day. (Or overnight + all day if you use 1/8 teaspoon of yeast, or half the day if you use 1/2 teaspoon yeast.)
  3. To use the dough, lightly grease a baking sheet. Use your hands to gently spread the dough out to make one large pizza.
  4. Top with your desired toppings and bake in a hot oven (475 or 500 degrees F) for 12-15 minutes.


adapted from Smitten Kitchen

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two months of baby led weaning

Posted: April 10th, 2015

baby breakfast--blueberries and oatmeal fingers

{breakfast–blueberries and oatmeal fingers, her love for her sippy cup evident}

For those of you who care, I wanted to make sure I did a quick update about how Evelyn’s eating is going.  In short, it is going great.  Most meals she is scarfing down food almost faster than I can get it cut up and put on to her plate.  She regularly surprises me with how much she eats.

1. She eats three meals a day now and nurses 4 times a day.  When I first added lunch to her eating schedule she wasn’t particularly interested in it, but within a few days she was loving it.

2. Favorite foods include: chicken (if we give her chicken she will always eat it first and then hunt around her tray for more), steamed broccoli, roasted sweet potato, blueberries, and banana.  She wasn’t too keen on tomatoes at first (although she seems to have come around) and it’s taken her several tries to eat frozen peas (I think this has to do with her ability to pick them up, which she has started to figure out).

3. I feel regularly flummoxed by the guidelines of foods Evelyn should or shouldn’t eat.  Obviously no milk or honey.  But as to most everything else, the concern seems to be allergies.  The two schools of thought seem to be a) don’t introduce until much later because they might have an allergy or b) introduce early so they don’t develop an allergy.  Honestly, option b makes more sense to me.  (And did you hear about the new study with peanut butter?!)  So far the only thing we’ve given her that was debatable allergy-wise is scrambled eggs, which she had no reactions to and which she LOVED.

4. These days, most food is ending up in her mouth and very little on the floor (which is disappointing to our dog).

5. She LOVES her sippy cup.  As soon as we put it on her tray, she drops whatever food she might be holding and reaches straight for it, mouth already wide open.  It is adorable.

Like I said in my last post, when we first started baby led weaning I was so hesitant.  I was so close to breaking out the purees those first few weeks.  But within a few weeks she had the hang of it, and now she is an eating champ.  I’m so grateful for that—although I’m sure once she hits 2 or 3, as seems to be the case with so many preschoolers, that might change.  But for now I’m going to enjoy it.

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easter 2015

Posted: April 6th, 2015

easter flowers

I feel like for every holiday or big weekend event I say in my head that I’m going to blog about it.  And then when we are actually in the midst of doing something fun and having people over at our house or what not, I completely forget to take any pictures that would be useful here.

But I’ll tell you about it anyway.  It was one of those weekends from which I feel like I need a weekend to recover.  We hung out with friends, we had a birthday breakfast with Gerrit’s family, we went house hunting with Gerrit’s parents, we cleaned our house, we went to a wedding shower, we had our entire family over for Easter lunch, and we capped it with hanging out with neighbors and friends on our back porch Sunday night while Gerrit brewed beer.

I’m exhausted, but it’s a weekend that left my heart full and thankful.  It was a weekend that is evidence of the community we have, even though introvert me is now about ready to crawl into bed and not have to talk to anyone for a day.  It was evidence of the support we have–family babysitting Evelyn while we cleaned our house, everyone bringing food for Easter lunch (I really hardly cooked a thing).  It was a weekend of things that make me happy: sunshine, time with family, a new dress.

Now on to a week that feels like Spring (highs in the 70′s all week!).

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a month of meals {march 2015}

Posted: April 3rd, 2015

a month of meals--march 2015

Here’s what we ate this month.

{An explanation as to why I’m doing this can be found in January 2015.}

{Past months: January 2015  February 2015}

March 1–baked potatoes, leftover milk braised pork loin

March 2pasta with bacon, brussels sprouts, and ricotta
March 3–Chick-fil-a (this was the day I accidentally left the chicken we were going to have out on the counter all day)
March 4–dinner at my parents’ house–pot roast, biscuits
March 5creamy greek chicken noodle soup
March 6–rotisserie chicken from the grocery store, green beans with almonds, sweet potato fries from the freezer
March 7chicken pesto panini, sweet potato fries from the freezer
March 8–sandwiches/scrounging around for leftovers

March 9farro with mushrooms
March 10–dinner at Gerrit’s parents’ house–baked potatoes with BBQ chicken
March 11–dinner at my parents’ house–pork tenderloin, roasted potatoes, green beans
March 12–chicken thighs, roasted broccoli, macaroni and cheese leftover from the freezer
March 13–homemade pizza
March 14yogurt grilled chicken, roasted potatoes, green beans with almonds, brown butter blondies (we had friends over)
March 15roasted red pepper pasta

March 16asian marinated salmon, cous cous, green beans with almonds
March 17–take out from Taziki’s with Gerrit’s family and some friends
March 18–dinner with my parents at my mom’s school–take out BBQ picnic on the classroom floor (we were helping her move back into her newly remodeled room)
March 19chicken pesto panini, sweet potato fries from the freezer
March 20–dinner out for Gerrit’s birthday (we had a delicious meal (although a bit overpriced even for a nice restaurant) at Nick’s Ristorante.  My veal saltimbocca was wonderful.)
March 21–dinner with my family for Gerrit’s birthday–big green egg make-your-own pizzas (which we epically failed at)
March 22–sandwiches (we had lunch with my family for my grandmother’s birthday–lemon chicken with croutons, roasted root vegetables, pasta with sausage and goat cheese, and carrot cake)

March 23chicken thighs, roasted broccoli, cous cous
March 24–dinner at Gerrit’s parents’ house for his birthday–burgers and brownie mint trifle
March 25–dinner at my parents’ house–pan fried tilapia, quinoa salad, roasted okra
March 26–dinner out at The Public House
March 27–scrambled eggs, hash brown potatoes, biscuits
March 28–dinner at my parents’ house (my aunt was in town visiting)–flank steak, potato casserole, roasted parsnips and carrots
March 29mushroom marsala pasta

March 30chicken thighs, rice, roasted parsnips and carrots
March 31–fried rice (using leftover rice from the night before) with chicken

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brown butter blondies (+ loving my house)

Posted: March 31st, 2015
brown butter blondies
There are so many things I’m thankful for everyday.  All of usual suspects (family, health, friends).  But I’m going to be materialistic and tell you that one of the things I am thankful for everyday is my home.  As in my house.  I love my house so much.  I love it’s location.  I love the view out my back window.  I love that we have a screened in porch (although I often wish we had my parents’ screened in porch if I’m being completely honest).  I love my kitchen.  I love the light we get from our windows.  I love our yard and all the work we have planned for it this spring and summer to make it feel more like the relaxing haven we want it to be.

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