Pizza Dough Tutorial {for a good hearty dough and a good hearty laugh!}

This past Sunday morning, a morning draped in hazy weariness due to the time change the night before, a morning where all the Ronnes were moving just a tad bit slower than usual, a morning like so many of our Sunday mornings where we gather around the table to eat cinnamon rolls, and drink coffee, and I make pizza dough for our traditional Sunday night pizza party.

A morning where I stood in the kitchen at around 10:00 am and realized my house was eerily quiet.

I glanced outside and noticed a few children playing.  I peeked down the stairwell and into the basement where I heard a few more. Ryan was off tinkering with something that needed fixing. I hollered out to the whole house “Who has Annabelle?” to which I heard my oldest daughter reply, “I have her Mom! She’s playing in my room!”

Alrighty, I thought, it’s as quiet as it’s ever going to be in this house.  I think I’ll finally follow through on my promise to record a pizza dough tutorial.  I grabbed the laptop, threw my hair into a pony tail, put on a little foundation and mascara, and hit the record button.

Honestly, this was a one shot deal.  Whatever I recorded was either going on the blog or I was not going to be releasing a pizza dough tutorial for quite some time because seriously, it is NEVER that quiet in my house.  I can get the first 7 of my offspring to be quiet for a decent amount of time but THAT BABY ?!  She’s two and not easily persuaded to do anything she doesn’t want to do.

I preface all of this to say, I was really quite proud of myself for managing to stay organized and functioning through all 6 minutes of the recording, at least I was proud of myself until Ryan watched it and pointed out a blooper so tragically ridiculous that we both just laughed and laughed and laughed.  I considered scraping the whole thing with the unlikely chance that I might be able to find a few rare quiet moments to record a new tutorial and then decided against the idea.  This was the video, plain and simple, the good, the bad, the mispronunciations, the ridiculousness, and all of the laughs. I pride myself on embracing all of my messes (jessplusthemess) and rejoicing in them. I pride myself on not staging my life on social media and by the act of not staging, I hope woman understand that my life is not perfect, but it’s still good. So, if you get nothing else out of this tutorial, I hope you at least get a good laugh at my expense.

Rustic Pizza Dough

Mix 1 1/2 teaspoon yeast + 1 1/2 tea salt + 4 1/2 cups bread flour.  Slowly add 2 cups of cold water. Slowly add more flour if needed.

Knead dough for about 5 minutes.

Place in a well oiled bowl and let rise for at least an hour.

Bake at 500 Degrees for ten minutes or until cheese is bubbly.




Just keep livin!

Banana Chocolate Muffin Recipe

These are really, really good and really, really addicting so it’s a good thing they have some health benefits or I’d feel really, really guilty after eating a few.  I usually make these for the kids breakfast because most days they’re up at 6:00 am so they need something easy, filling, and tasty in their bellies. These always do the trick.

Banana Chocolate Muffins

3 ripe bananas.
2 cups flour
½ cup maple syrup
2 eggs
1 tea baking soda
1 tea baking powder
½ tea salt
2 TB coconut oil
1 tea vanilla
½ cup orange juice.
1 cup dark chocolate chips

Mix the first 10 ingredients together. Stir in dark chocolate chips. (You could also add ¼ cup flax seed or chia seeds and no one will be the wiser ) Bake at 325 for about 15-17 minutes.

Healthier Chicken N` Dumplings Recipe

Simmering away and filling the house with deliciousness, my healthier take on a classic – chicken n’ dumplings. This version includes bone broth, organic chicken, a plethora of herbs, and lots and lots of fresh veggies.

Chicken N’ Dumplings

5 organic chicken breasts cut into bite sized pieces
Variety of fresh veggies (carrots, mushrooms, celery, leeks, even spinach, whatever you have on hand) roughly chopped.
Olive oil
Italian spice
Vege Sal
1 tea thyme
Salt if you must but the Vege Sal does a great job of seasoning if you let it.
Pepper to taste
2 cups water
6 cups bone broth (or vegetable or chicken broth)
1/2 cup white wine
2 cups all purpose flour
2 TB baking powder
1 cup plus 2 tea almond milk (or any kind of milk)
1 tea salt

(Feeds my crew of ten without any leftovers)

In a big pot (ceramic or cast iron ideally) heat the olive oil. Add the chicken pieces and coat liberally with Vege Sal and Italian herbs. Cook until browned on all sides and then remove to a plate. Add a little more olive oil to the pot and cook all of the veggies along with the thyme for about ten minutes or so. Return the chicken to the pot and add the wine. Cook for a minute or so stirring. Add the bone broth and water. Add salt and pepper to taste and simmer for a few hours or all day long. Before serving, combine flour, baking powder, milk and salt. Scoop dollops of the mixture on top of the stew. Cover and cook on medium high for 15-20 minutes or until dough is no longer gooey. Enjoy!

Healthy, Kid Approved Turkey Burger Recipe


As promised, I’m going to attempt to post a weekly Luke approved recipe, and the first one up are these super tasty, super nutritious turkey burgers that we had last night for dinner. This is my new favorite meal since giving up (for the majority of the time) red meat, well, this and the close cousin of the turkey burger, the chicken burger. In most of these recipes you will notice that I tend to pack as much hidden nutrition as humanly possible into the dish  because Luke is quite texture sensitive (if it’s too hard (carrots and most veggies) or too soft (berries bananas, etc) he won’t eat it.  He will, however, eat veggies if they are disguised as real food – especially with cheese on top.

Here goes.


My recipes tend to feed a crowd so adjust as needed.

3 lbs of ground turkey.

2-3 tea vege sal

1 tea salt

1 tea pepper

1 TB miso paste (optional – a healthy probiotic food you can order on amazon)

2 TB Dijon mustard

Dash of Paprika

Dash of cayenne if you like a little kick (we do).

Mix all this together

Then – in a food processor pulse a few handfuls of spinach, a sweet onion, and 3-4 garlic cloves till it’s teeny tiny.  You don’t want the kids or the husband to know your secrets. Throw this concoction in the bowl with the turkey mixture.  Now you’re ready to make patties.

You can cook these on a grill or a skillet works just fine as well with a little olive oil.  Heat about 5 minutes on each side.  We like pepper jack or cheddar cheese and whole wheat buns, but feel free to dress them up however you want to.  Enjoy!