Joelle along with her husband, Jim, and 3 children (with baby 4 on the way!) enjoy creating their home and homestead on 5 acres in Northern, IL. Our family milk cow, Thimble, is the star of the show. We raise her alongside a few other cows, chickens for eggs and meat, bees, orchard, and large gardens. Together,
Jim and I love sharing the adventures of this homestead life, how we nourish our family, and the endless things that we are learning on our blog and YouTube channel.
Like many in this homesteading space, this has been a completely unexpected journey for our family.
Even 10 years ago I would have laughed at the thought of getting up to milk a cow each morning and canning endless amounts of tomatoes.
After being a competitive marathon runner while eating a standard American diet high in processed plant-based foods, my body decided enough was enough. I was infertile, depressed, and my hair was falling out. But, my desire more than the “perfect lean body” or fastest running times, was the longing to be a mom. In my desperation, I trusted this instinct (and urging from a close friend) that I needed to go back to eating the foods that people have been eating for generations – meat, milk, eggs – unprocessed foods, fresh from the source.
I did a complete 180, tossing my Boca burgers for steak and soy milk for fresh milk from a local farm. Along the way, we began visiting farms and meeting farmers. Learning how food was grown from the people that grew it. We were hooked.
And slowly, over the years that followed, my body began to respond. Yes, I was no longer a size 2, but I was joyful, my hair was shining, and eventually my fertility returned as well.
And slowly, over the years that followed, we became homesteaders. At first, spending our Saturday’s volunteering at local farms. Then, adding chickens, bees, fruit trees/bushes, and gardens to our 1/3-acre suburban lot.
Three years ago, we made the move to sell our home, my husband left his job and we purchased 5 acres in the country. However, we are firm believers that homesteading isn’t about having a certain amount of
land or a family milk cow. Long before we had these things, we were homesteaders. And it was this mindset that has brought and continues to bring us so much life. One of the things this homestead mama life is continually teaching me is to throw away any and all
expectations and to just enjoy moments – regardless of what is or is not finished.
As a type A, enneagram 1, perfectionist, this is hard. But today I bring you a staple in our family’s meal repertoire perfectly suited for “one of those days.” To be honest, I hesitated sharing this recipe here because quick rise yeast feels like a compromise.
But sometimes being ok with not being perfect is the best thing I can do as Homestead Mama. So, when you forgot to take the sourdough starter out of the fridge and feed it, when it’s 4:00 and you have no clue what’s for dinner, when you just want to sit with your babies and enjoy making memories together, those are the days that we make this quick-rise, weeknight pizza.
And bonus, it puts to use so many of those homestead ingredients – bits of leftover meat, cheese, all the canned tomatoes, and any veggies hanging around that need to get eaten.
Quick Rise, Weeknight Pizza Dough
4-5 cups of Flour (we love to use Einkorn for this)
1 tbsp sugar
2 tsp salt
1 ¼ tsp Instant or quick rise yeast
1.5 cups water
2 tbsp olive oil
– Mix 4 cups of flour with the other dry ingredients (sugar, salt, and yeast) in a mixing bowl.
– Add in water and olive oil.
– Stir everything together. Add flour ¼ cup at a time until a soft, kneadable dough is formed (I
usually end up using between 4.5 – 5 cups of einkorn flour).
– Knead dough for 5 minutes.
– Place dough back in bowl and let rest for 15-20 minutes. This is a great time to prepare your
– Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
– Divide dough into 2 balls and roll out onto 2 preheated 12” cast iron pans or pizza pans lined
with parchment paper.
– Add sauce, cheese, and desired toppings.
– Bake for 12-15 minutes at 450 degrees (if your crust is thicker, it may need more time) until
crust is baked and cheese is melted.