Mixing it Up in the Kitchen

Fast food has played a big role in our household. It consumes a quarter of our food budget. Menu planning isn’t something I’ve ever made time for so we eat pizza and some other form of take out 2-3 times a week out of convenience (and my lack of planning).

However, recently, I’m trying to get better organized to avoid going insane when baby #3 arrives. I’ve been trying a couple of different recipes each week to build a menu list. I make notes of what the family likes and dislikes. A couple of weeks ago, we were having our weekly pizza day when my son, Jacob, said I should make “my” pizza again. He actually prefers it to delivery. And hey, it’s more cost effective and healthier so how could I resist!

This pizza has become a family favorite. I got the original recipe from a 2007 issue of Better Homes and Garden 30 Minute Meals, however, we have made so many modifications since then. It’s quick and easy. It takes about 20 minutes to prep and 10 minutes to cook. I’ll share our most common ingredients but you can mix it up, however, you like!


  • Pizza crust – we started by doing individual pizzas but Walt and Jacob would eat two each so two 12 inch pizzas are more cost effective for our family. We use Mama Mary’s from the local grocery store.
  • Olive oil
  • 1 cup of pasta sauce – the original recipe didn’t call for pizza sauce but Walt and Jacob feel it’s not a pizza without it so I’ve since added it to ours. I usually use a plain marinara this time it’s Paul Newman but I stock up on whatever is on sale!
  • Shredded Mozzarella or Italian cheese – Jacob and Lily like their pizza plain so I stop here for theirs (6-8 ounces)
  • Artichoke Hearts (6-ounce jar for 12 inch pizza)
  • Sun-Dried Tomatoes (1-2 ounces for 12 inch pizza – I LOVE sun-dried tomatoes)
  • Goat Cheese (1/4 cup ~ 1 ounce)
  • Meat of Choice (it’s usually chicken, pepperoni or Canadian bacon)
  • Black Olives (1 ounce)

For this evening’s meal, I forgot to add the meat and I threw on some mushrooms. We usually have plenty of left over ingredients that we refrigerate for next week’s pizza.


  1. Preheat oven per the instructions of your crust.
  2. Brush the pizza crust with oil.
  3. Brush the pizza shell with pasta sauce.
  4. Add toppings
  5. Bake pizza according to the directions on the package.

We serve ours with a quick salad and we’re done! Yum!

This brings me to my favorite kitchen gadget – the Measure, Mix and Pour gadget!

Right now my favorite dressing is a homemade French dressing and I would have never discovered it without this Pampered Chef tool! It’s amazing!! You measure, mix and pour! It has ingredients for four dressing printed on the container so I bought a couple to have different dressings on hand. I’ve had a tough time finding a store bought dressing that compares to the taste of these freshly combined ingredients!

French dressing recipe

  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 pressed garlic clove
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 cup vegetable oil

Add all the ingredients and mix it up!

What is your favorite kitchen gadget? Or do you have a family favorite recipe to share? I’m always looking for quick and easy ideas. I encourage you to leave it in the comments section!!

I also encourage you give either recipe a try and be sure to let me know what you think!!

Check out Centsational Girl to see kitchen gadget favorites of other bloggers.

Linking to:

The Shabby Nest


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  1. Centsational Girl says:

    Pampered Chef is in the lead for popular gadgets today, great one to have! Thanks for linking up to the party today!

  2. Carrie says:

    Found you through the CG link up. That looks like a great gadget! I have a salad dressing bottle that’s similar, but I think yours is more versatile. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Robin says:

    The measure and mix gadget looks great, but the recipe really has me excited. I so used to love French Dressing but once we stopped eating sugar that dressing no longer worked in the diet. I’ve recently discovered low sugar ketchup so I’m going to try it in your recipe. Thanks much for sharing! If you ever use fresh mozzarella for your pizza I have a tip for cutting it in my post (use an egg slicer).


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