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Sunday, September 23, 2012

Birthday Boy! (with pizza dough recipe!)

A small interlude between the autumn themed crafts! It was my husband's 25th birthday yesterday! Quite an eventful day it was, indeed! We started off the day early (11am is early for us, okay?) and got ready to go survey people tailgating at the MSU vs South Alabama game for his Master's of Business capstone project. We managed to survey 50 people in a little over 2 hours. It was a little warm and sunny out, but a nice breeze kept us from  dripping with sweat. 

Surveying the event staff...

This guy said he was hot and bored so he was the perfect candidate for the survey!

Here is my husband (left) with his group mates as they set off to survey!
It was quite fun meeting strangers and getting a chance to chat with a few. After the hot, tiring trek around campus and 50 surveys later, we arrived back home. I went straight to work on making Brad's birthday cake. He knew I was making him a cake and picked strawberry. Being the non-baker that I am, I just made it straight from the box with some modifications. 

I remember seeing this pin on how to make boxed cake taste like it's from a bakery. I followed the pin to Bronze Budget Bride which had the complete instructions and used these to make the cake. After the cake was baked and set aside for cooling, I set to making Brad's surprise pizza. 

I had always wanted to make pizza completely from scratch. I looked up a lot of pizza dough recipes, but none really fit the bill, so I just used the recipe that came on the active yeast packet. I ended up making 2 balls of dough that turned into two 12-inch pizzas! The surprise was spoiled when Brad asked when I was ordering his birthday pizza and then realized I was making the dough. Brad actually assembled the pizzas himself since he is the pizza connoisseur! 

(Top) Bacon, Pepperoni, Mushroom & Onion
(Bottom) Pepperoni, Mushroom, Onion, & 3 cheese

The entire feast (including waffle fries, Japanese ramune, & Mike's Hard Strawberry Lemonade  - for me)

They were actually pretty good despite my first time ever making pizza dough from scratch! The dough was a bit denser and chewier since I used wheat flour instead of all-purpose flour. Otherwise, it added a nice "nutty" taste overall. 

As for the cake frosting, I mixed 1.5 cups diced fresh strawberries, a small container of strawberry yogurt, and a large container of whipped cream together.

Then, I let Brad frost his own birthday cake (he was quite excited about it!). 

Looks bad, but tastes GREAT!
I must admit, my frosting job would probably have looked the same or worse. I am a firm believer of taste, not looks. And this tasted great, believe me! The alterations to the boxed cake mix didn't seem to make that big of a difference. It tasted the same as boxed cake, to me anyway. And boxed cake is tasty! :)

Thanks for reading today's post! It's rare that I post about personal events in my life, but I felt that this was a good opportunity. More autumn themed crafts to come! Meanwhile, enjoy this photo mash-up I made and have a great week!


Pizza Dough Recipe
From Fleischmann's Pizza Crust Yeast packet

1 3/4 to 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (I used wheat flour)
1 envelope Fleischmann's Pizza Yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup very warm tap water (120° to 130°F)
3 tablespoons oil
Pizza sauce, toppings, and cheese (for pizza assembly)


Preheat oven to 425°F. 

Combine 1 cup flour, yeast, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Add water and oil. Mix together until well blended; about 1 minute.

Add gradually, 1/2 cup flour until soft dough ball is formed; will be slightly sticky. Add additional flour if needed to form dough ball.

Knead on a floured surface adding additional flour if needed; until smooth and elastic; about 4 minutes. With floured hands, press dough out to fill greased pizza pan, OR roll dough into a 12 inch circle and transfer to greased pizza pan.

Top as desired with pizza sauce, toppings, and cheese.

Bake on bottom oven rack for 12 to 15 minutes (I baked for 13 minutes and turned out great!) until cheese is bubbly and crust is brown. 

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