Pennies Pinched

June 12th

In lieu of visiting Oregano’s this week for one of my very favorite thin crust pizzas and a glass of chianti, I played around with that pizza dough recipe one more time and came up with something worthy of repeating:

I finally get this crust

Pizza for dinner

I figure I saved at least $40 by searching the pantry for ingredients instead of grabbing my car keys and the roommate for dinner. Plus, this is far from thin crust and therefore made dinner and lunch for two. It was considerably better than the crust I made Saturday. The only difference was the temperature of water I added to the dough. It calls for warm; the first batch’s water was too hot I’d guess. It was much harder to roll out and didn’t rise. This batch, on the other hand, was Goldilocks right. Then again, the roommate isn’t much of a food critic. He likes just about everything.

Sweet heavens, I never thought I’d be able to whip up a yummy pizza crust after work in time for dinner and make it something people would actually want to eat. Thank you again, Finny and my mama, for once upon a time being my domestic inspirations. Plus, there was that completely fulfilling feeling of using tomatoes, basil and rosemary we grew for our own dinner.

Garlic Hummus

Black bean cilantro hummus


Earlier in the week, I made hummus that received a “This is better than that Pita Palace place!” review. It’s Pita Jungle, but who am I to correct with that kind of praise? Thank you kindly. I made my standard garlic hummus and then went a little sassy with black beans and a handful of cilantro for the other. This was like hummus salsa and was so, so good. With a bit of grilled chicken, whole wheat pita, spinach and a splash of Sriracha — dinner is served.

{Btw — Mark Bittman says Sriracha is one of his kitchen staples and I couldn’t agree more. If you like spicy, pick up a bottle. They carry it in the normal, generic grocery stores in Phoenix. Plus, it is so hot all you need is a drop or two.}

This was a good week to stay in and cook from what we had in the pantry. Why? Because I’d much rather spend the dough (dough! ha!) at the beach, where I am escaping this weekend to visit some of my most favorite friends in the world. And now, thanks to a bit of frugal domesticity, I’ve got the cash for wineries in Ojai, pedicures in LA and lots of fun spoiling sweet Roscoe in between.

Happy weekend, friends!


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18 Responses

  1. Cooking with random pantry bits is such a wonderful feeling. I’m still too far away from having my own house to have a garden, but one day πŸ™‚

    Seriously, your food posts are all at once inspirational, frustratingly hunger-inducing, and so pretty!! Kudos.

  2. Your pizza and dough is looking really good Kelli. I will have to use you recipe. I cheat and use TJ’s fresh whole wheat pizza dough to make my pizza’s. Your hummus also looks very good. Clever additions. Your trip to So CA sounds like it is going to be killer! Do let me know about the inweries in Ojai. An area we have yet to make it to but on our list. Enjoy your good friends and our beautiful state.

  3. Keep it up and you’ll have your own restaurant πŸ™‚

  4. We’ve been eating a lot of hummus this week, but mine came from a jar. πŸ™‚
    Safe journey, my friend.

  5. I don’t suppose your hummus recipe is open to the public? I do love hummus πŸ™‚ Nice pizza, too!

  6. Have a most wonderful weekend!

  7. Stephanie June 12, 2009

    If the water is too hot it will kill the yeast, therefore it will not rise and hard to deal with unleavened bread. πŸ™‚

    A kitchen thermometer meant for testing the temp in liquids will ensure that your water is the perfect temp every time and that you have a perfect dough, encouraging you even further to cook/create at home instead of going out to eat.

    And by the way your food pics make me hungry, even when I’m not. LOL!!

  8. Stephanie June 12, 2009

    the first sentence should read: “…and will therefore result in hard to deal with unleavened bread.” and I call myself proofreading the first entry too. LOL!

  9. Mama MIA! Yummmayummmayummayumma Sister! I’m a droolin’ all over my keyboard…

  10. just had a hummus wrap…one of my favorites.
    it’s great to put a meal together with whatever is in the pantry.
    wishing you an enjoyable, fun weekend.

  11. Give my sweet nephew a kiss for me! Have a great time!

    PS: Pics of your hummus made my mouth water and Henry wants me to tell you: “There’s a hummus among us.” Wubbin!

  12. Tina in Duluth June 12, 2009

    Eating at your house always looks like it would be tasty!

    For your next book maybe you could have a hummus obsessed character and share all your hummus recipes with the world.

    Have a great time!

  13. Hope you have a great weekend…although you’ll be missing out on another unseasonably beautiful weekend here πŸ™‚ The pizza looks awesome.

  14. Yummy-looking photo pics! Have a great weekend.

  15. I love hummus,but usually end up with the storebought kind. Would you mind sharing your recipe?

    From what I understand, you can make a kinda of “instant” hummus with chickpea flour, which I already have.

  16. Wow, doesn’t it feel great to save so much money? Yes, Sriracha is a staple in our house. Hubby loves to put it on pizza. I would love to get your hummus recipe, too. Oh and shout out to Tina in Duluth!!

  17. The pizza looks fabulous. I never even thought about the temperature of the water, what a clever girl you are. I’ll give that a go when I make pizzas next.

  18. Need My Huumus Fix April 20, 2011

    I moved from Phoenix almost a year ago and miss Pita Jungles chicken and hummus like you can’t believe! I have tried every restaurant in our area but nothing compares. If you have a comparable recipe would you mind emailing it to me? I would be ***forever*** indebted. πŸ™‚ BTW, your photos are amazing. Loved the African wildlife and AZ cacti and flowers!!! Makes me miss the surface of the sun….ya know….AZ. Lol