Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Autumn Time

Eden has been begging me to get out the fall decorations. I finally acquiesced.
Eden's Scarecrow

Eden's Witch

I made this last night. I have to say, I love it! Comparable wreaths at the HobLob were between $80-120. I made this for less than $20. It took about two hours. The first hour was just cutting the leaves and flowers off their stems. The second hour was hot gluing. I think it looks so pretty on my green door.

Dollar Store lanterns.

This guy was on the outside of our door last year but he kept getting blown away so he gets to stay inside this year.

Eden's decorations from last year.

The mantel. This year we have some dragonfly lights. We like dragonflies, they remind us of Phil.


I made these pumpkins two years ago (in AL) out of old Phil shirts (even the leaves). We like them.

More art by Eden.

Eden made these creepy critters on Sunday.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Thin Crust Pizza Dough

This is a knock-off of the California Pizza Kitchen recipe (with a few of my alterations, of course).

It is THE pizza dough for margarita pizza (still addicted, so yum!).

Yield: enough dough for one large pizza.
Time: prep time is about 20 minutes but total time is 3 hours(ish).


  • 1 t active dry yeast
  • 1 C warm water (less if you live somewhere other than a desert)
  • 1 C all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 C wheat flour (my addition)
  • 1 t sugar
  • 1 t salt
  • 2 t olive oil
  1. Brew yeast in the warm water (not too warm or it will kill your yeast) until it is bubbly and frothy. I have it in my brain that yeast brews better in glass but I don't know if that is really the case. 
  2. In your stand mixer (e.g. KitchenAid), add the flours, sugar, salt, and olive oil. Use a slotted wooden spoon to mix this all together.
  3. Slowly add your yeast mixture while the mixer is on low (you can use either the bread hook or paddle attachments).
  4. Once the dry is no longer dry, turn your mixer to medium and mix for 1-2 minutes. If you mix too long, it will cause too much glutton and your dough will be too elastic to spread out on your pizza pan.
  5. Remove your dough-ball from the bowl and spray the bowl with oil. Replace the dough, cover with either plastic wrap or a wet rag.
  6. Let your dough rise for approximately 2-3 hours.
  7. Punch the dough down, form into a ball and then use a pastry roller to shape onto your pizza pan/stone. You want this thin. It will cook into a nice, crunchy thin crust.
  8. Top and bake as directed with your pizza recipe. If you don't really have a recipe and you are just putting toppings on and want to cook it, try 450-475 for 10-12 minutes.
(note: although this is a thin crust recipe, it works fine as a thicker crust too so you could do a medium thick crust with these same instructions.)


Monday, September 12, 2011

A is for Africa

Today we started our Mommy-n-Me preschool again. I get to teach this week and it was so fun to prepare. I had the letter "A" today and chose to teach about Africa.

We looked at lots of pictures of African children and discussed diversity. We looked at a book of African animals and another about African folk art. We had some really fun learning projects. Here are some pictures:

This is one of the African drums. It is made with two disposable cups glued base to base. Masking tape is used for the "animal skins" at the tops. Mod podge and tissue paper were applied (ahead of time) and then the kids painted them and added the beads.
"Cave drawings" (using sandpaper)

a pyramid made from the letter "A"

They cut the bananas, dipped them in the egg wash and bread crumbs,  and then watched me fry and bake them. Then they ate them. We got to discuss kitchen sanitation and safety as well as learning to cut (bananas are great for this because they cut easily with a table knife).

Safari animal memory game (color, cut out and play!)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

What's for Dinner - Margarita Pizza

Really Simple Margarita Pizza

  • 1 Thin Bagle
  • 1/2 t Olive Oil 
  • 1 small Roma Tomato (sliced)
  • 4-6 sprigs of fresh Basil
  • 2 slices of Fresh Mozzarella (get the good kind that is still moist - it is totally worth it!)
  • some thinly sliced Purple Onion
  • Salt and Pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 450
  2. Sprinkle the Olive Oil on the Bagle slices (one top, one bottom).
  3. Arrange the Tomato, Basil, Mozzarella, and Onion on top.
  4. Shake some salt and pepper on top.
  5. Place pizzas in the preheated oven for approximately 10 minutes.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Calories:  273
Carbs: 30
Fat: 15
Protein: 15