Tuesday, April 26, 2011


When Tracy Wolff gets stretched thin, she's got a recipe to get her through...

I’m always on a deadline … or so it seems. With three different pen names, six different series and three different editors, I feel like I’m on a marathon writing treadmill all the time. Most days I think I manage to balance writing, teaching college and raising three rambunctious boys pretty well (don’t ask me how—it’s a complex recipe that requires getting by on very little sleep) but occasionally I feel the pressure—usually in the week before a book is due. That’s around the time I’m writing around close to around the clock, my brain is burned out and the last thing—absolute last thing I want to think about when the book is really rolling is what I’m going to fix for dinner.

During those weeks, I have a few, quick fail-safe recipes that help balance out the Subway and Chinese food runs. These are usually recipes the boys enjoy—and can help with. They’re also recipes that help me help them get their vegetables, which is usually a struggle. So for deadline recipe day, I thought I would share my boys’ favorite recipe—Make-Your-Own-Deadline Pizza.

Early in the day, usually right after I get the kids off to their three different schools, I slice up a bunch of vegetables—eggplant, asparagus, zucchini, red peppers, summer squash, Portobello mushrooms—and roast them in the oven while I exercise. Then, a few hours later, when I’m taking my twenty minute break from writing, I mix up a quick batch of pizza dough with the following recipe, which I stole from my mom many moons ago:

Pizza Dough:

* 1 package active dry yeast

* 1 cup warm water

* 2 cups bread flour

* 2 tablespoons olive oil

* 1 teaspoon salt

* 2 teaspoons white sugar


Dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.

In a separate bowl, combine 2 cups bread flour, olive oil, salt, white sugar and the yeast mixture; stir well to combine, until a stiff dough has formed. Cover and let rise at least 30 minutes (until about double in volume).

When it’s time for dinner, I preheat the oven to 375. Then I quickly roll out the dough on a board dusted with semolina flour, one crust per person. When that’s done, I let the boys go at it. They load the crust with pizza or pesto sauce, turkey pepperoni, their choice of veggies and fresh mozzarella cheese. I bake the pizzas until the crust has just turned brown and voila, dinner is served! Happy smiles all around.

I like my pizza loaded with as many veggies as I can get. How about you? What are your pizza toppings of choice? Leave a comment and be entered to win a copy of both my April books, Deserving of Luke and Hidden Embers.


Stepping into her Oregon hometown, Paige Matthews remembers why she left. Being the subject of the local rumor mill should be old hat to her. Maybe the reason she's a little touchier this time around is her son. One look at him and there's no doubt Logan Powell is his father. With the past between her and Logan, the gossips have a field day with that.

The grown-up Logan is very appealing, but is he parent material? Paige's top priority is giving her son the family he deserves. Can she and Logan do that? Can they overlook their differences? The attraction simmering between them suggests they might be partway there….

For More about Tracy and her books, check out her website at www.tracywolff.com


  1. I luuuurv me some pizzas - though a little thinner crust! Your post has just made my mouth water!

    I load them with bell peppers, mushrooms, broccoli, olives, corn, celery and sometimes put tomato slices on the top! I also add a bit of garnishing on the top : along with salt / oregano.. I use "garam masala" powder (which is an Indian spice) to give some tangy flavor...

    I love mixing up cheeses..esp cheddar along with the mozzarella!

    Gosh, I have to make it tonight!

    Thanks for the fab reminder and the chance to win your books :)


  2. My favorite topping is : Peaches, Mozzarella & Sage.

    Put some tomato-puree on the bottom, add slices of Mozarella, peaches and sage leaves. Season with pepper and salt. Pop it in the oven as usual, Enjoy!

  3. You go through a lot of work to make a quick meal but it sounds so delicious. We haven't made homemade pizza dough for a long time. Your recipe does sound easy.

    The best recipe we ever found used wraps heated and crisped in the oven for the pizza shell then topped with your choice of stuff. Since there are only two of us it's one wrap each. We use sun dried tomato pesto, pesto, or fruit salsa or salsa as the sauce.

    I think my favorite toppings at the moment are fruit salsa, leftover diced chicken breast and feta cheese.

  4. I agree with Kaelee: "You go through a lot of work to make a quick meal but it sounds so delicious."
    I buy two frozen pepperoni pizzas in a box when they are on sale, and then I heap all sorts of veggies (and, yes, meats) on top, and a little more mozzarella cheese for good measure. My family has diverse tastes, so we put our own veggie preferences on our own sections of the pizzas. I hope that makes sense.
    Thanks for sharing. I don't know how you write all those books, but count me in for reading them!

  5. Wow, now you have my stomach growling, guys. I think it might be pizza night tonight :)

    Laney4, when the boys were young, frozen cheese pizza saved my life!

    Kaelee, fruit salsa on pizza! Yummmmmmm! Can't wait to try it.

    And Jo's Daughter and Ju-- thanks for the amazing sounding recipes. I love peaches and garam masala, so I will totally be trying both of those pizzas out. My middle son is peach-crazy, so he will be over the moon :)

  6. I have very simple pizza tastes, just a thin crust, plenty of gooey cheese, and pineapple, though peaches are now sounding like a very interesting possibility.

  7. Mmmm...homemade pizza is the best! I just made one last week actually. I'm a simple girl, I just like hamburger on my pizza. Thanks for the chance to win your books :)