A Goodbye to Cheese

Well, it is time that I grow out of my denial.  I mean, I'm going to be 30 years old next week for crying out loud!  For years now (yes...I admit...years) I have been denying that I am my mother's daughter in the lactose area of life.  I love cheese and everything about it.  Hard Cheddar, Mild Cheddar, String Cheese, anything Pizza, Grilled Cheese Sandwich, Ranch Dressing (especially at Red Robin), Mac & Cheese, cheese on my salad, I could go on.  Needless to say I have come to a point in my life where I will no longer allow cheese to dominate my life.  As much as I love it (and I do), I am in control!!!!!

So, as a farewell, here is a pizza tutorial!


12 easy steps to making your own homemade pizza!

Step 1:  Grab all the right ingredients.  I use Martha White's Pizza Flour, Ragu Pizza Sauce, Shredded Mozzarella Cheese, and some veggies.  You'll also need a mixing bowl, a spatula, a pizza pan, and some Pam.

Step 2: Spray the Pam on the pizza pan.

Step 3:  With the Martha White pizza flour - combine 1/2 cup of hot water with the pizza flour in a mixing bowl.  I always have extra flour on hand in case it is too gooey.

Step 4:  Set the oven to 425 degrees.

Step 5:  You want to mix it and form it into a ball.  Make sure that you get all of the flour so that there is no dry flour in the ball or bowl.  You don't want to start spreading it out and find flour!  If you need to add a little extra water, go ahead.  You just don't want it to be too gooey or too dry.

Step 6:  While the dough rises (about 5 minutes) chop up your veggies.  I like red and green peppers and sweet onions finely chopped!

Step 7:  You want to hand stretch the dough to fit the pizza pan.  Some people use a rolling pin, but I try to knead it.  You might get some holes, but just smooth it out with your hands until your dough is even all around.  You'll be able to tell where the dough is too thick and can massage it over.

Step 8:  Spread out the pizza sauce so that enough covers the dough. Use as much or as little as you like.

Step 9:  Add the cheese!  My love...my soul mate...cheese!  I'm breaking up with you Cheese!

Step 10:  Add the veggies!

Step 11:  I cook it in the oven for a starter of 10 minutes.  All ovens are different, but I usually need anywhere from 10-12 minutes.

Step 12: Bottoms up!  Enjoy your pizza!

It's not just cheese that I'm saying goodbye to, but a majority of dairy.  I've been using Smart Balance (instead of butter) and soy milk for years.  I have realized that string cheese makes me crave other "bad" foods.  Nothing in particular, but nothing healthy either.  So, no more of that!  The last time that I made a grilled cheese I felt the same way.  What is it about cheese that makes you want more bad food?  Greek yogurt does not have this effect on me, so I'm keeping it. That's about it though!

It's been grande, cheese, but it's time to say goodbye.  I will miss you, but enjoy my thin without you.


xoxo,
*erica*

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