Nicole Davies

Hello! My name is Nicole and I am a Marine spouse and mother of three daughters, ages 16, 10, and 7. I have been a stay-at-home mom most of their lives while also pursuing my Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. In the past I have worked as a social worker for child welfare in the state of Pennsylvania. I have also taught preschool for ages 2.5 - 4. During my master’s program I interned as a therapist at an inpatient psychiatric hospital working with adults, teens, and kids. My ultimate goal is to become an independently licensed therapist. Our family has lived in Onslow County for 10 of the last 15 years, which has given my children a stability that is rare among military families. While NC has been my home for several years now, I am still a Yankee at heart! I will always choose a Philly cheesesteak over a pulled-pork sandwich. In addition to taking care of my family and my educational pursuits, I enjoy traveling to destinations near and far; a novel in which I can get lost; and chatting with friends over a good cup of coffee.

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What’s for Dinner?

Lexie's Veggie Pizza

We’ve got a new favorite dinner in this house.  And it’s so good and such a good choice for a house with teens that I thought I’d share.  It’s pizza.  But we’re making it a little differently these days, thanks to my cousin’s husband.

When we were on vacation at the beach house, my cousin’s husband, Scott, volunteered to make dinner one night, provided we let him do things his way.  I sure won’t say no to that!  I happily stayed out of the kitchen except to observe and stuff my face.  And when all was said and done, I got to keep the pizza stone he used to make the delicious pizzas.  (Maybe because there wasn’t a bit of room in their car thanks to my cousin taking home about 300 pounds of stones and shells?!)

Anyway, that pizza stone has been getting a workout at my house and we’ve used the knowledge I got from observing Scott and changed up a few things and come up with a process that works well for us and makes a pretty darned good pizza, if I do say so myself!

We start with that pizza stone, of course, preheated in a 450 degree oven while we’re prepping our toppings and getting our crusts ready.  I also got a couple of big aluminum pizza pans from Walmart for about $5 each.  I found some balls of dough in the deli department at Walmart.  They’re cheap and easy and ready to go at a moments notice.  Beyond that all you need is some sauce and cheese and toppings…pretty much anything you’ve got in the fridge will do.

Our first attempt with the dough was pretty scary.  It was hard to transfer the dough with all the toppings on it onto the stone.  Think smoke and fire alarms going off and a very dirty oven…but yummy pizza.  That’s where the pizza pans come in.  I got smarter the second time.  I tossed a small handful of flour onto the counter and plopped the ball of dough out of the package onto it.  I flattened it out into a circle and pressed it flat.  And then I started to use my balled up fists underneath to stretch it out into a thinner and thinner circle…imagine those cool guys at the pizza shop making the crust except without the cool tossing and fast spinning.  I have to say I was impressing myself a lot and my girls a little.

Once it was thin and round and looked like a pizza crust, I put it on the pizza pan and put it in the oven for about 4 minutes until it was a little solid.  Then I pulled it out and topped it with sauce and cheese and toppings and gently slid it from the pizza pan onto the pizza stone and baked it until it was bubbly on top and golden brown on the edges and looked and tasted like something from a real live pizza shop!  I carefully slid the pizza pan under the pizza to pull it out of the oven and we devoured it.

We took pictures of Lexie’s veggie pizza.  I got so excited to try my pizza that we devoured it without taking a single picture.  You’ll just have to take my word for it that that second pizza was a thing of true beauty.

My kids asked me to please quit calling myself Italian names.  But Lexie did ask me to get a pizza stone for home when Katie takes this one to her college apartment.  Enough said.

What’s for dinner at your house?

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