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Our European adventure continues on to Italy. Tonight Joram made us some Pizza Margherita to end his little cooking adventure.

Or is it the end? He does not want it to be the end, in fact he’s found a few more countries to visit.

We’ve created a monster!

During the day I sent the kids web surfing through our three countries we visited and they made notebooking pages about each one. They drew pictures of the flags, the currency, wrote about the terrain and type of government each country falls into. Some of their details were very fascinating!

We used the globe to discover where in Europe we’d “traveled”. With Italy we also reviewed some of the things we’ve talked about in the past such as Rome and the Renaissance.

This isn’t the first time we’ve tied food into our learning. It definitely makes it more interesting and one of the many things we enjoy about homeschooling!

While they did that, I tinkered with our menu plans for the upcoming few weeks. We have some items to use up. I’m still not quite done, though much closer than this morning. Because of that, and the need to do this blog, I’ll be posting Menu Monday tomorrow. Just an FYI. Plan for it to be heavy on the potatoes!

Evening came fairly quick and we heard the boarding call for Italy! Joram made his pizza dough from scratch. He turned it into two balls and covered it so it could rise.

Rise little dough balls!

What impressed me was how Coach DS really walked you through activating yeast, mixing up the dough, kneading it, the whole nine yards. I’ve been real impressed with Coach DS to be quite honest.

Since that needed to sit for nearly an hour, Joram went ahead and took care of the cutting of items so he’d be ready to roll when the dough was done. He cut up the cheese and set out the basil leaves. He also cut up the tomatoes, without sampling a single one!

The good news is he bagged up the extra tomatoes so we are set for another meal!

After the bread rose, he rolled them out all by himself. Here comes snafu-city! Turns out this would make cute personal pizzas. And we only had enough crusts for two. Ooops! There’s four of us. Thankfully Megs had gotten off the train a mere moment before so I rang him. He nabbed us a pop-it crust, so we wouldn’t have to wait, on his way home.

Joram decided to let Caramon top his own pizza. Caramon, not being real big on tomatoes, opted to throw some pepperoni on his instead of the tomatoes. Here’s their pizza’s ready to go in the oven:

They look good enough to eat without even cooking!

They baked up beautifully. Now, I’ll be honest. I snuck a bite of Joram’s. Just a small one, mind you! I wanted to know how it would taste for this blog entry! Oh man was it good!

We had mixed reviews. My husband used to like sauceless pizzas, but he did not want them tonight. Don’t ask me why. I am iffy on them. Sometimes I get in the mood, but mostly I like pizza with sauce. (The sauce is the best part!) These were fantastic! Caramon thought it was OK, but definitely votes for making them with sauce next time. Joram enjoyed them because he absolutely loves tomatoes.

I will admit, mine wasn’t quite as good with the pop-it dough. Don’t get me wrong, it was OK, just not as good.

The best thing I heard tonight? “Homemade is always best!” No kidding, that’s what Joram said! My husband doesn’t seem to agree since he’s not keen on some of our homemade things of late. It can’t all be Big Mac’s though, right?

While surfing for meal ideas, my friend and the best realtor ever, told me about some yummy muffins she makes with jam inside. She sent me the recipe so I decided to make these tonight. The original idea was for us to have a great dessert, but we were all so full we decided to just set them aside for breakfast in the morning.

The muffins are made from scratch, and then you put a little into a muffin cup. You add a teaspoon of jelly, and then finish filling the muffin cup. The recipe came from the Williams-Sonoma cookbook.

The cups were completely full when I was done. When I baked them up they grew all puffy. This is the first time I’ve ever had muffins form an honest to goodness muffin top!

Don’t they look great? What surprised me is you can see in them that the jelly really infused itself throughout the muffin.

We did cut off a little bit of one of the muffin tops (hey it was sticking to the pan!) so we could try them. Oh man, moist and good!!! I can’t wait to eat them in the morning!

Well, this is the end of our Joram Takes Over Adventure. I think it was a roaring success! He’s hoping to help out with more meals and more cooking. I just love how excited this project made him!

Caramon asked if he could find something to make. So maybe you’ll get a post or two about his cooking expeditions!

As for our kitchen travels, they are far from over. We still have a boatload of potatoes and Coach DS showed me several meals we’re going to try over the next week or so. Looks like we might be able to hit another three countries.

Would you like to see more of our eating our way through Europe?

–Lady O

PS: I’ve shared the comments with Joram as well as the exciting news that we made the VOX homepage with this series. He thanks you for reading about him and leaving comments!