Burning Down The Kitchen with Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker while making her Deep Dish Pizza


Hi folks.

For those new to the site Burning Down The Kitchen is a weekly series where I make a recipe that I’ve bookmarked from a fellow blogger. Then I do a fun interview with that blogger so we all get to know them a little better. It was started when I realized I have a ton of bookmarked recipes in my Lunatic Loves These Links series but had not been making them. This seemed like a great way to not only make the recipe but feature the person who originally made it. There are so many talented bloggers out there so it’s nice to showcase their work and delve into their minds a little bit. Find out what makes them tick. Hope you enjoy this weeks edition.


I could not be more thrilled to introduce you all to Kristen. She blogs at Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker. I met Kristen through Foodbuzz which is quite often how many of us meet. Kristen blogs amazing meals at affordable prices which is so helpful in this economy. She turns everyday ingredients into masterpieces that will please your wallet and your family. Her site just got a wonderful facelift and looks incredible.

I had the pleasure of meeting Kristen at the Food Blog Forum conference in Orlando this year. She is just the nicest lady you could ever meet. She brought me Turtle Buns which she had made for a guest post for me. They were so good I may have eaten a dozen of them all by myself. We got to hang out quite a bit during the conference and I got to know her better. She is amazingly patient when people do stupid things like lose their park hopper pass on the morning of the conference. She will take time out of her day to search your room while meeting your family who are all still in p.j.’s and make everyone feel totally comfortable and normal. She will help track down the person who needs to replace said park hopper pass while you try not to panic and keep doing your hair like nothing is wrong. She will help ensure you get a front seat at the conference that’s already started so you have to walk by a hundred people muttering “oh she’s the one who lost her pass this morning”. She will grin at you and make you feel less like a tool for interrupting Todd and Diane Porter of White on Rice Couple (you must hear them speak, they will change your life!) while they are giving their amazing speech. She will walk with you really slowly to lunch cuz you tore up your feet with bad shoes and your heel spur makes you want to cry. She will watch your Coke (bleck) while you try to muster enough courage to speak to other bloggers. She is a caring person, and from what I experienced that weekend I imagine she must be the most patient mother on the planet. I am like a whirlwind when you meet me, chaos ensues and she never lost her cool once with my crazy antics. I cannot thank her enough for not only her patience but her continued friendship. So to lighten the moment she is the shizzle in my fizzle. How’s that?

Ann (Cooking Healthy For Me), myself and Kristen at FBF’s brunch at Whole Foods. Ignore my Alfalfa hair!

Kristen is a seasoned blogger, she has been doing this since 2008. She has some fantastic recipes on her site. Things like Cheese Filled Crumb Coffee Cake, Moroccan Stew, Copycat Costco Chocolate Chip Muffins, Peanut Butter and Jelly Brownie Torte, KFC Eleven Herbs and Spice for Fried Chicken Copycat, Homemade Turtles Candy (OMG!), Chocolate Cherry Pancakes, Butt Ugly Fudge Bars, Adzuki Honey Buns, and Strawberry and Steak Salad. I had actually planned to make her Biscuits which I had bookmarked awhile back but then I remembered I had also bookmarked her Aunt Viola’s Chocolate Cookies. So as I was planning to make those I came across her recipe for Deep Dish Pizza and well, you know me and pizza. So this marks the first time I’ve gotten off the beaten path and done a recipe I had not bookmarked but wish I had. I just couldn’t help myself. I lose all self control when it comes to pizza. Hers looks so ooey and gooey, so thick and perfect. So forgive me folks but sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do. For me it was a case of I gotta make deep dish pizza. So I did. And life was grand. Thanks Kristen! Also thanks to Chickens in the Road which was the inspiration for Kristen’s creation.

Rapidfire Q & A with Kristen from Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker:

1. How did you get started blogging?

In 2008 I discovered blogs.  I started visiting some of the budget friendly and urban homestead blogs.  I began to see blogging as a way of recording some of the recipes and ideas I had to save money.  I didn’t know about the blogging community.  I just planned a site for family to use as a reference.  One thing led to another and before you know it, I had a follower….a complete stranger!  Then people started leaving comments.  I didn’t know enough to reach out to social media.  I didn’t know diddly!  It’s been a seriously long learning process.

2. If you had to describe food blogging to someone who was not sure what it was, how would you describe it to them?

Thanks to pinterest, many regular people are discovering what food blogs are..  It is hard to convey the feeling of community to nonbloggers, though.  When I mention friends I have met online, I get worried looks.  I have too much tact to mention that all of you are a whole lot more real than the veggies grown in Farmville!

3. You make affordable meals that are so delightful, any tips for those on a budget?

Convenience foods are way more expensive than basic ingredients.  Buy in bulk during sales, learn how to store things so they don’t go bad.  Make weekly menus and STICK TO THEM  to save time, headaches and money.

4. How do you balance having 5 kids, a hubby, life stuff and blogging?

I often don’t very well.  Mostly I blog early in the morning, during school and after 8pm.  I take most weekends off.  When the family is home, it’s family time.

5. You were told to go Gluten Free, how has that transition been for you?

I have been GF for a whopping five months now.  I think I spent the first month in mourning.  Then the cook in me took up the challenge.  I have learned so much and have actually not missed much.  Corn pasta is fantastic.  GF pizza on the other hand is not worth the effort.   Thank goodness for Mexican, Indian and Asian food!

6. Do you have a signature dish you make when you have company over?

Tuscan Pork Roast.  Apple Pie in season.  Other than that, you take your risks coming to visit me….I am a blogger after all.  New dishes appear daily.

7. Can you tell us about your memories of your mom and grandmother cooking?

By the time I was born, my grandmother had closed her restaurant and had stopped catering.  However, she had moved on to baking for the local school district.  I remember visiting her at work and having her take me back to the freezers to get me an ice cream cup with a wooden spoon.  Even though Mamie, my grandmother, was a great cook, her repertoire consisted strictly of basic foods.  She never made ethnic food of any kind.  Because we moved all over the country (and world)due to my father being in the military, my mother made it her mission to cook Everything!  She’d go in phases where we ate tons of Italian food, then a few months later, it’d be Asian food.  Even today, she always has a stack of 8-10 cookbooks next to her reading chair.

8. Do you involve your kids in the kitchen often?

Not often enough.  Sometimes, I will have them chop veggies or make a cake mix…something to keep them on track for feeding themselves once they are on their own, but I don’t turn the kitchen over to them.   The four boys are able to make the basics.  My eldest has my blog bookmarked on his android and often makes cookies at friends homes.  My little girl is still too young to cook, but she loves to measure and pour while I bake.

9. Do you have a kitchen disaster story you would like to share with us?

The most recent disaster is one of the reasons I don’t let the kids cook by themselves.  My eldest decided one Sunday afternoon that he would make churros.  He started cooking the dough and my phone rang.  I went to my bedroom to talk to my brother, not realizing that The Musician (the pseudonym by which he is known on my blog) was going to start frying without me.  All of a sudden there are screams coming from the kitchen.  He hadn’t cooked the choux paste enough.  The moisture in the dough was causing it to explode in the hot oil.  I ran to help, he ran away.  I ended up with burns on my hand and feet.  The walls were covered in oil splatters and those darned churros were awful.

10. If I was coming over for dinner what would you whip up for me?

Turtle salad with a turtle inspired mole washed down with turtle shakes.  Turtle rolls for dessert.  It is for you, after all. (editor’s note: I’ll be right over!)

11. Pepsi or Coke?

Bleck, neither, gag, choke.  I don’t drink pop more than once a year and I HATE cola.  Can I have a glass of water, please?

12. Beef, chicken or pork?

Beef with a side of pork and a sprinkling of chicken.  I love meat.

13. Milk or dark chocolate?

Dark.  75% or more.

14. Sweet or savory?

Savory.  Unless you have gluten free pancakes.

15. Ice cream or popsicles?

Ice Cream.

16. Do you use an apron when you cook?

30% of the time I grab the apron hanging on my pantry door.  Most times, though, I am halfway into the job before I remember it and by then, I am already messy.  Luckily man invented stain sticks.

17. If you could be a guest on any cooking show which one would it be and why?

We got rid of cable a few years ago in order to save money.  As much as I loved watching cooking shows, I haven’t missed the distraction.  I have no idea what shows are even on anymore.  How bad is that for a foodie to admit?!

18. When you think of comfort food what comes to mind?

It used to be homemade bread right out of the oven dripping with butter.  Since going gluten free, rice has moved up the list.  I am a carb girl at heart.

19. Do you have any weird food quirks you’d like to share?

No.   I asked the family if they thought I ate anything weird.  Their answers matched: “You eat too healthy, Mom.”  I am taking the stand that that isn’t odd.  Because I am gluten free in a gluten full family, I do eat differently than everyone else.

20. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Is blogging still a large part of the picture?In five years, my third son will be about to graduate from high school, my older two should be killing me with college tuition, I will have one son ready to be a senior and a girl about to enter the emotional veil of puberty.  I think blogging will still be party of my sanity routine.  However, you never know.

Dare Portion of Burning Down The Kitchen:

Each week I ask the featured blogger to participate in dares. This is completely optional and they can do 1 or none. I love when people do more than one. It’s just fun to peek into people’s lives a bit, and their kitchens. Kristen did two of them for me. I wish I had asked to see the inside of her oven because apparently she has a fancy shmancy mat that lines her oven. I had no idea you could even get something like that but it’s definitely getting added to my next Amazon order. Who knew?!

Dare option #1: Show us your kitchen mid cooking/baking mess!

Dare option #2: Show us your grocery haul!

Thank you to Kristen for having some fun with not only the interview but your dares. I love getting a glimpse into the lives of fellow bloggers. Mini-me would totally dig those froot loops, those are her fave.

I chose to make Kristen’s Deep Dish Pizza. It just looked so good. I’ve actually made it two times now. It’s that good. Once I made it in a 9 x 13 pan like hers, and once I did it in a cast iron pan. Both delicious! A gazillion thumbs up. Thumbs up to infinity! I tend to like my cheese a little dark so if you don’t (flipping weirdos!) feel free to shave a couple of minutes off the cook time.

Kristen’s Deep Dish Pizza! I could just swim in all that cheese, mm,mm, good!


My Deep Dish Pizza, done in a cast iron pan! So yummilicious!

Deep Dish Pizza
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A wonderful Deep Dish Pizza recipe.
Recipe type: Pizza, Main, Italian
Serves: Depends how hungry you are!
  • ½ Pizza Dough (store bought or homemade, link to mine below)
  • Olive Oil or Non Stick Spray
  • Sauce- I used a half a (680 ml) can of Hunts Roasted Garlic and Herb Sauce and added 2 tablespoons of sugar to it
  • 250 g Mozzarellissima Cheese, grated
  • ¾ cup Parmesan Cheese, divided
  • 1 package (65 g) of Honey Ham, cut into big pieces
  • ½ stick of Pepperoni (250g size, use half), cut up
  • Canadian Bacon (454 g size, use half), cooked
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Roll out or hand stretch your dough so it's a big bigger than the size of your cast iron pan. You'll want it to come up the sides.
  3. Spray you cast iron pan with non stick spray.
  4. Lay the dough inside and press it up the sides. You can fold it and make it pretty if you like. Poke the bottom a couple of times with a fork.
  5. Place in preheated oven for about 8 to 10 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven.
  7. Carefully (do not burn yourself!) line the bottom with half of your mozzarellissima cheese.
  8. Now add a layer of ham.
  9. Now add a layer of parmesan.
  10. Now add a layer of pepperoni.
  11. Now add another layer of parmesan.
  12. Now add a layer of Canadian bacon.
  13. Now add another layer of parmesan.
  14. Now pour your sauce over top.
  15. Now add the rest of your mozzarellissima cheese.
  16. Place in oven again and cook for about 12 to 15 minutes depending on how you like your cheese.
  17. Remove and let stand for a few minutes.
  18. Cut into slices.
  19. Serve with a big old ooey gooey cheesey smile!


You can find various pizza dough recipes on my blog. I use a bread machine for mine. I have a Killer Spicy Pizza Dough, a Salsarific Pizza Dough, and a plain dough for pizza or panzerotti’s.


Thank you to Kristen for allowing me the pleasure of interviewing her and making one of her recipes. I am ever grateful for your friendship. You rock my world girl!

You can visit Kristen at Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker. Kristen also runs a group called the Improv Cooking Challenge where people are given the challenge of coming up with a recipe given two ingredients to use each month. This is a group I’ve been dying to join myself. Next month is cherries and almonds, so I am totally in. July is corn and butter, hello, now you’re talking the Lunatic’s language. I must get my lazy butt signed up asap. You can also find Kristen on Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook. I vote you stalk her everywhere. She is an amazing cook who dreams up such cool recipes. There’s not a lot of people who can taste something and go home and replicate it. Kristen can and I find that so impressive. I am trying that Costco muffin recipe for mini-me as she loves those things. Thanks again Kristen, for your sense of fun and kind heart. I adore you sistah!

Toodles and smoochies! xx

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  1. says

    Thank you so much for allowing me to burn down your kitchen! So glad you liked the pizza. I was having nightmares that I’d end up on an episode of caketastrophe. Love ya right back!! Really. Now that Anne isn’t blogging, you HAVE to come back next year if FBF goes to Orlando again.

    • Kim Bee says

      It was an honour to have you burn it down, can’t think of anyone I’d rather burn it down with. It was so good Kristen. Honestly totally in love with it. Will be doing it often. Oh hellz to the no, your dishes would never end in “tastrophe”. I am totally coming next year. I think I’ll go no matter where it is. I had so much fun and learned so much. If I could only do one conference a year that would the one for me.

  2. says

    What a fun post!!! I enjoy Kristen’s blog, she definitely shares lots of gorgeous recipes:-) This pizza addict is loving….and drooling over this deep dish pizza:-) I love that it was cooked in a cast iron pan! Hugs, Terra

    • Kim Bee says

      Thanks Terra. I adore Kristen and was so happy to get to meet her and Ann in Florida this year. They are total sweethearts. I am a total pizza fiend, we must eat it 3 times a week. It’s sad really. And mini-me works at a pizza place on top of that. We love pizza here. xx

  3. says

    Kristen sounds lovely and anyone who’ll help you find your parking thingo.. well she’s a keeper. Thanks for the lovely introduction.

    I love pizza but haven’t made a deep dish one for years. It looks terrific!

    • Kim Bee says

      She is so amazing. I adore the lady so much. I mean anyone who helps find your hopper pass has to be a saint.

      Thanks. It is so good. This is something that is going into regular rotation here. Love pizza far too much!

  4. Ann says

    I love, Love, LOVE this! Two of my all-time faves in one spot! How delightful and we had SO much fun in Disney! Hugs to you both (and the pizza looks ah-may-zing!)

    • Kim Bee says

      Thanks Ann. We had so much fun together and I look forward to next year so we can do it again. The pizza was so good.

  5. says

    Oh Kristen!! So fun to read more about her. Thanks Kim! I love that picture of Ann, you, and Kristen. That picture reminds me of a good foodie friendship. :-) Deep dish pizza is my husband’s favorite and we just had it last week at a popular restaurant. I did not know that this is something I can make it at home… I love your photos Kim! It was fun reading about you Kristen!

    • Kim Bee says

      Thanks Nami. We had so much fun together. I wish I lived near these gals. You must try this for your hubby. It’s pretty easy and wicked good. Thanks. The photos were fun, and I was starving so I rushed a bit. Lol.

  6. says

    Great interview Kim, Kristen does have some great recipes on her blog-nice to get to know a little bit more about her. Sigh..I see the picture there, you three are lucky to have some face time together. I have yet to do that with any of my blogger friends. The pizza does look amazing and I do favor them more than the flat NY style pizza. Delicious-you both have a wonderful day!

    • Kim Bee says

      Thanks Tina. I adore Kristen. She is so talented and so nice. I had so much fun meeting these ladies. Disney was such a blast. This was the only time I’ve gotten to meet any bloggers and it was well worth the trip. I’m hoping to meet more this summer.

  7. says

    Oh, I knew Kristen would be as fabulous in person as she is on her blog! Great interview, Kim…and I’m dying to make this pizza!!!

  8. says

    I love Kristen’s blog too. Being on a budget myself, I’ve used her advice a lot. It’s fantastic to be able to learn more about the person behind the writing though. The pizza looks amazing. I never thought to use a skillet to make it.Hmmmmm, you may have figured out dinner for me tonight!

    (I can’t believe she didn’t get the oven dare.)

    • Kim Bee says

      We’ve lived on a strict budget too the last couple of years so it’s always nice to have recipes that don’t cost an arm and a leg. I totally agree, I love getting to know bloggers better. I love my cast iron pan so any excuse to use it right. I was thinking I was getting too predictable but apparently people like that. Lol.

  9. says

    What a fun series, Kim! I already know Kristen, but it was really fun getting to know her even better! Your pizza looks great, Kristen. I tried deep dish pizza a couple of months ago, and it didn’t turn out that great. Definitely trying your recipe next time!

  10. says

    Great interview!! I can’t manage my two kids…I bow to anyone with 5! Great deep dish pizza…. **excuse the drool*** YUM! :)

    PS.. my kitchen is far more of a disaster when I’m mid way through cooking. :)

    • Kim Bee says

      Thanks. Absolutely, it would perfectly. This is a new pizza mozzarella on the market I’ve fallen in love with. But a lot of our pizzas we do with a basic mozzarella. Hope that helps. Let me know how it turns out.

    • Kim Bee says

      It is not greasy at all. It’s perfection. I am so in love with this recipe. I’ll be using this one again for sure. I make pizza a lot so I think I have it down pat. We make it like 3 days a week, plus mini-me works at a pizza place. We are pizza junkies.

  11. says

    I already pinned this as soon as I saw the picture! I have to ask, does cooking it in the cast iron pan give it the taste/texture of the Pan Pizza from Pizza Hut? I hate Pizza Hut but I love that crust!
    And Kristen Is awesome! I always worry about kids whose parents don’t admit to buying the junky cereal, Captain Crunch rules in my house, but only as a treat, My kids get whatever’s on sale.

    • Kim Bee says

      Hey Joan. Thanks so much for pinning it. This recipe was so much fun to make. Yes, it does give it the same texture, although I don’t use cornmeal on my dough. I think they do. But using a well seasoned cast iron pan makes the crust incredible. It’s funny when we go to pizza hut I always order the thin crust. Love their thin crust.

      Kristen is so wonderful. I am so lucky to have met her this year at that conference. She is exactly as she is on the blog. So down to earth and nice. And lol, I hear you. I think if you deny them treats they grow up and it’s all they want. Life is all about balance.


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