Cooking and Food Family Ties

Pizza Dough and Lunch at Our House

Midday meals are my favorite! What better time to teach little cooks about cooking? The fare is on the easy-side, we’re all still fresh and full of patience…unlike the busy supper-hour when my old-fashioned kitchen with its big-table-in-the-center becomes a one-person-too-many-kitchen! Unless it’s my dh vying for my attention, that is! By evening, I’m usually ready for some “taller than the table” conversation!

By helping me fix lunch my girls learn to use the stovetop and microwave, make sandwiches, chop veggies for salads, flip pancakes, become the “queens” of scrambled eggs…many days they won’t even let me in the kitchen because they want to surprise me with a fancy chef salad or a sandwich that would make Subway sit up and take notice!

Today for lunch we had apple slices, dill pickles and cheese pizza, courtesy of Miss Toddler…okay, she had quite a bit of help from me…

Pizza is one of my absolute favorites to make with children! And the best thing about my recipe for pizza dough is that it makes a bunch and keeps in the refrigerator for 2 weeks! Lots of dough to practice on and no time limits!  My girls know the easy way to make pizza sauce: pop open an 8 oz can of tomato sauce, add Italian seasoning, garlic powder, minced onion and a bit of sugar…while they’re perfecting the sauce (we’ve diced garden tomatoes in a pinch and that’s better yet!) my two year old is poking fork-holes in around the edges of the pizza dough. Big spoons all around aid in spreading the sauce, and yes, some gets on the counter…

Toppings abound, the most fun for this part is when each girl makes their own personal pan…several kinds of cheese is a must! We’ve made all the traditionals, plus taco and bbq beef…yes, even dessert pizza! And on Valentine’s day we always send a heart shaped pizza to work in Daddy’s lunch cooler!

Pizza parties have been monthly occurrences with my homeschool friends…in fact, I got this recipe from one of them. It’s the best out there imesho!

Pizza Dough

  • 5 cups flour

  • 1 TB baking powder
  • 2 cups milk (I warm mine in the microwave)
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 TB (or 1 pkg) yeast in ½ cup warm water

Beat together. Let rise and then bake at 425 degrees for 18-25 minutes. Dough keeps in the refrigerator up to two weeks.


  1. You can make this dough in your bread machine; I do it all the time. My bread machine pan is only a 2 lb capacity so I have to shorten the rising time by 15 minutes to keep the dough from spilling over and making a huge mess…
  2. On big pizzas make sure the center is completely baked before serving. It’s a thick crust and tends to be doughy if you’re not careful!

Reliable Guess-work

My oldest daughter’s attitude this morning wasn’t pretty. Sigh. We’d had a mini-blow-up last night when I told her and her sister to pick up their room. They’d just gotten going good on a new “play idea” and had arranged everything into little rooms of a castle. Problem? It was bedtime and the room-clog needed to go! And unaccustomed to this kind of inner revolt from my children, I blithely tucked them in and didn’t think twice about it.

So, this morning (as promised to my 6 yo) I went in and helped make “the castle” all over again for resumation of their playtime enjoyment! Carry on, troops! Right?

I know all moms can identify with the frustration of having a child who just refuses to “snap out of their snit”…and this emotional teariness was SO unlike my oldest. She absolutely did not want to drop the negativity, to put it nicely. She’d already announced she wasn’t going to play, and when we ignored her and kept making the castle bigger and better, her pouting increased…not so subtly.

Have you noticed how sometimes parenting seems to be going along all sugar and spice and then suddenly some outright rebellion slaps you in the face seemingly out of nowhere? Usually, in this case, you realize you’ve been letting little things slide b/c for the most part, your kids have been trotting right along  being the best kids in the universe!

So I admit to some floundering this morning when finally I confronted my 8 yo about her attitude. I waited till she was alone and reminded her that it wasn’t “the worst day in the world”…we talked about how sometimes when really bad things happen, ie–losing a loved one, we really turn to God and get strength to deal with it and help those around us. How ironic that we tend to “lose it” with the little things. We talked a bit longer; wish you could have been a fly on the wall to hear all her complaints.

I left her room and about a half hour later, she came to me. She apologized, asked my forgiveness and she started listing off all the things she was thankful for. It was genuine. How hard is it to admit to being wrong…to your parent even? Because the things she’s now thankful for, are the things she was complaining about this morning. She’d experienced God’s grace…a complete turn around.

Sometimes parenting seems like guess-work in the face of an angry, hurting child. Especially one old enough to know better. One that needs wisdom and direction. Not to mention that we parents are so afraid of failure.

I’m not advocating “preaching at”  your child. This “talk” must not be reaction-spawned or a put-down of them. Encourage them with reminders of why God’s way is the only and best way. Maybe share a story of how you had to learn the hard way. Then leave the room and…

Pray hard!