Grandma Sylvia’s Homemade Pizza

square pizza
Grandma Sylvia’s Homemade Pizza


1 can (28-ounces) whole peeled tomatoes, in juice
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
2 T. tomato paste
3 to 4 fresh basil leaves or 1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
Pinch salt
Pinch fresh ground black pepper
Pinch sugar, optional
2 T. olive oil, to saute

Empty the contents of the tomato can in a mixing bowl and coarsely crush the tomatoes with a fork or your hands, leaving them a little chunky.

In a heavy bottom 2-quart saucepan over medium heat, add the olive oil and onions. Saute until slightly translucent. Add the garlic and saute about a minute until golden. Quickly add the tomato paste (stirring) and crushed tomatoes to the mix. Stir well and bring to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper, add the dried or fresh basil, Italian seasoning, and oregano. You can add a touch of sugar if desired or if tomatoes are tart.

Simmer on low, stirring often for about 20 minutes. If not using right away, cool down and store in airtight container in the refrigerator, up to 1 week.

2 c. all-purpose flour
1 envelope dry yeast
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt

3/4 c. warm water

Place flour, yeast, sugar and salt in a power mixer bowl and mix until well combined, using a dough hook. Add warm water (start with 2/3 cup, you may not need the full 3/4) and mix at low speed until dough is soft and elastic and does not stick to sides of bowl. Dough should be stiff. If it is sticky, add a little flour. It should spring back if pressed with finger.

Cover and let rise in a warm place until double in size. When ready, pat dough into a medium-sized, non-stick cookie sheet until the pan is covered and up the sides about a quarter inch to form an edge. It will seem like it won’t quite fit the pan, but keep patting, and pressing, and it will fit.


Brown your chosen meat and saute any toppings you like to have pre-cooked (like mushrooms) and make your sauce. For the sauce (above), mix all ingredients and simmer 20 minutes.


Spread desired amount of sauce and toppings evenly over crust. You may have some sauce left over, depending on the size of your pan. Bake in a 425 degree F. conventional oven (375 F. for convection). Pre-bake crust for 15 minutes before adding toppings, then return to oven to finish baking for about 20 minutes or until edge of crust is browning and cheese is turning golden. Tip: Using a spatula, lift up a corner and peek at the bottom of the crust. It should be golden.


Chocolate Granola No-Bake Bars

chocolate bars
Chocolate Granola No-Bake Bars


1 cup natural peanut butter
1/2 cup raw honey
1/4 cup unrefined coconut oil
2-1/2 to 3 cups granola (your favorite)
1 C shredded coconut
1/2 C roasted pumpkin seeds
1-1/4 cups dark chocolate chips
1 t vanilla extract

Place the granola, shredded coconut, pumpkin seeds and dark chocolate chips in a bowl.

Meanwhile, melt peanut butter, honey and coconut oil over medium-low heat Stir until combined. Add vanilla.

Remove from heat and while hot, pour peanut butter mixture over the granola/chocolate mixture. Stir until chocolate is entirely melted.

Pour into a greased 9×13 pan and cool in the fridge. When it’s set, cut into bars. Optional: Line the cake pan with greased parchment paper for easy removal of the set bars. Then you can cut them more easily on a board rather than in the pan.

Other optional additions: Add 2 T ground flax meal and/or 2 T lecithin to dry ingredients.

Finished bars will keep for weeks when kept refrigerated in a sealed container. I like to wrap them individually in wax paper or plastic wrap.

When I don’t have granola on hand, I usually substitute mini shredded wheat squares and chopped dates (this is as good or better than my original recipe).

Vanilla Trail Granola

granola in a white bowl
Vanilla Trail Granola


6 cups raw rolled oats (not quick cooking)
1 cup jelly (preferably homemade) any flavor
1 T oil
¼ teaspoon salt (opt.)
1 teaspoons vanilla extract (opt.)
2 cups trail mix (your favorite)

Place uncooked oatmeal in a large mixing bowl. Heat jelly and oil in a small saucepan until bubbling.

Remove from heat and add salt and vanilla. Pour jelly mixture over oatmeal and stir to coat well. Divide in half and spread evenly on two cookie sheets lined with parchment paper.

Bake in a 325 degree oven until medium golden brown, stirring twice to assist in even coloring. Bake time varies between 15 to 25 minutes. Oatmeal flakes will be crunchy.

Remove from oven and place in large mixing bowl. Add trail mix, stir well and cool completely before storing in a tightly sealed container. (I prefer a natural trail mix with almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, coconut flakes, raisins, dried cherries and a few semi-sweet chocolate chips that I get from a local natural foods store.

Freedom Cookies

yellow cookies
Freedom Cookies

FREEDOM COOKIES (Low-Fat, Lemony Treats)

These easy to make, fresh tasting, lemon-flavored cookies are ready to serve in 30 minutes, start to finish: 5 minutes to prep, 10 minutes to prepare, 10 minutes to bake and 5 minutes for clean-up. What could be better, bake and take in half an hour. That’s less time than it would take to make a quick stop at a grocery store to pick up something to bring to the 4th of July picnic this weekend! Still not easy enough for you? They can be made ahead and frozen until you need them. The best part is, they’re new, they’re different, they’re delicious and no one else will have anything like them.

1 box lemon cake mix
1/2 c. applesauce
1 egg
1 cup corn flakes
1 T. lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Spray with non-stick cooking spray. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well with a spoon. Batter will be medium-stiff. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheets. Bake 10 minutes. Makes 48 cookies, 48 calories each.

Wild Honey and Pumpkin Seed Granola

Wild Honey and Pumpkin Seed Granola
Wild Honey and Pumpkin Seed Granola


1 c. wild, raw honey
1/3 c. safflower oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
5-6 c. old-fashioned rolled oats (not instant)
1 c. wheat germ
2 c. roasted pumpkin seeds
1/2 c. walnuts or cashews
1/2 c. brown sugar (opt.)
1 c. semi-sweet chocolate morsels
2 c. golden raisins or other dried fruits

Preheat oven to 300º and line 2 large rimmed cookie sheets with parchment paper and spray with non-stick cooking oil.

Mix together dry ingredients: oats, wheat germ, pumpkin seeds, nuts, and brown sugar. If pumpkin seeds are salted, you may prefer to reduce or omit additional salt.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the honey (you can use virtually any honey in this recipe), safflower oil and salt. Stir until warm and well blended. Honey mixture should be warm enough to pour freely. Add vanilla and stir again. Pour warm honey mixture over oat mixture and stir until well coated.

Spread the mixture on the prepared baking sheets and bake, stirring at 15 minute intervals until toasted and golden in color. Watch closely to prevent burning.

Remove from oven and let cool until barely warm. Then stir in chocolate morsels so they melt slightly. Oats and nuts will stick to the soft chocolate, forming crunchy chunks. Cool mixture completely, then add dried fruit and store in airtight containers or zipper lock bags.

Sprinkle this granola into yogurt, onto salads, eat as a breakfast cereal, or by the handful as an on-the-go snack. One handful is approximately a 1/4 cup serving.

Optional additions: Banana chips or toasted coconut. Slivered almonds or sunflower seeds can be substituted for pumpkin seeds.

Makes 12 cups, 270 calories per 1/2 cup serving. Omitting the brown sugar and increasing the quantity of rolled oats will help reduce the calories per serving.

Tomato Pie


Tomato Pie
Tomato Pie

Adapted from a recipe found at simply recipes dot com:

1, 9-inch pie shell
½ large onion, chopped and sautéed until translucent
8 Roma tomatoes, skins removed, seeded and chopped
2 Tablespoons flour
½ cup basil leaves, chopped
2 cups grated cheese, cojack or a mixture of cheddar and mozzarella
¾ cup mayonnaise (try yogurt for a lower fat option)
1 teaspoon Sriracha (or other brand) hot chili sauce
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake pie shell for about 10 minutes, or until lightly golden. Lightly saute the chopped onion until translucent and cool. Set aside.

Drop tomatoes into a pot of boiling water. Then place in cold water to cool. Peel away skins. Halve tomatoes and squeeze out seeds and excess water using a clean towel or paper towels. Chop. You should have about 3 cups of chopped tomatoes. Toss with 2 T flour.

Sprinkle the bottom of the pie crust with onions, then add basil followed by tomatoes.

In a medium bowl, mix together the grated cheese, mayonnaise, hot sauce, and a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Spread cheese mixture over the tomatoes.

Place in oven and bake until browned and bubbly, about 30-45 minutes.

State Fair Funnel Cakes

State Fair Funnel Cakes
State Fair Funnel Cakes

Make your own funnel cakes all year long.

2 eggs, beaten
1 3/4 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour, sifted
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

You’ll need:
A funnel with ½-inch hole
Oil for frying
Powdered sugar for dusting

In a mixing bowl, combine eggs, milk and vanilla. Sift dry ingredients together and add to egg mixture beating until smooth. Test batter to see if it flows evenly through funnel. If too thick add milk, if to thin add flour.

Pour about 2 cups cooking oil (about 1-inch deep) in an 8 inch skillet and heat to about 360-375 degrees. Cover funnel tip with finger and add about 1/2 cup of batter to funnel. Uncover funnel tip and release into hot oil in spiral patterns. Cook one at a time, frying until deep golden (about 2 or 3 minutes).

Flip and fry other side (about 1 or 2 minutes). Drain on paper towels and lightly dust with powdered sugar. Serve immediately in paper towel to outstretched hands.