Saturday, September 18, 2010

Hello, Ugly Chair

Hi there. Face it, you are one ugly chair. Your are orange, old and ripping. I don't get the wheels just on the front and you have somebody else's butt print.

Yep, there's the ripping I was talking about.

Your back is in shreds, true.

But you are surprisingly comfy.

I think I will give you a much-needed makeover and stick you in the corner of my master bedroom. Welcome to your new home ugly chair!!

Has anyone seen the show Hoarders? Well, that's my in-laws basement. We really wanted a cool chair for the corner of our master bedroom. We can't drop $400 on something like that, so we decided to go "shopping" in my in-laws scary dive of a basement. We found this antique chair, from a great-grandma who died years ago. Do you think it has potential? It's so comfy, I love how large the seat is.

This is my new fall project! Do you think I can make it look somewhat like this?

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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Homemade Pizza

Mmmm, homemade pizza. It's so delicious, easy to make, and I always have the items on hand to whip up something yummy. The best dough to use is my Best Ever Bread Dough. Stick with me while I share some tips on making the best pizzas and freezing the dough.

If you have a baking stone from pampered chef it really makes the bottom come out perfect. A large cookie sheet works great too, it just doesn't get as crispy. When you're making homemade pizza with my dough, always cook the dough partially first, then add your toppings and finish baking. This ensures your dough is cooked through and keeps your toppings (like chicken) from drying out.

Preheat your oven to 400*. Roll out the dough on your pan. Take a fork and poke several holes across the crust. Can you see the pokes in my picture? Bake for 10 minutes. While it's cooking, time to start chopping your toppings! Assemble your pizza and bake for 5-7 minutes more until the cheese is melted and the crust is crispy.

I love a classic pizza with tomato sauce, cheese, pepperoni, olives and green pepper. Here are some of our favorite varieties:

BBQ Chicken Pizza: BBQ sauce spread over the crust, cheddar cheese, chicken and red onion.

Garlic Chicken Pizza: Ranch spread over the dough, cheese, spinach, tomatoes, chicken, red onion and minced garlic.

Bacon is always good, you can't go wrong with mushrooms and sausage. I've even done ground beef with yellow onion and tomato. Don't forget the ham and pineapple! You could do all veggies, meat lovers or go crazy and add some spam. I love to use up leftover veggies on pizza, zucchini included. What are your favorite toppings?

Want to have pizza crusts in your freezer for a fast meal? If you roll out your dough and cook the crust for 10 minutes like I described above you can freeze it. Simply let it cool, wrap it securely in plastic or foil and freeze. To cook, I preheat my oven to 400*, layer the toppings right on the frozen crust and cook for 8-10 minutes. Since the dough is halfway cooked, it thaws and gets crispy right in the oven. I like to make half-size crusts and freeze them in bags for quick lunches. Yummier, healthier and cheaper than those crusts in a can huh?

My Best Ever Bread Dough recipe makes 2 large cookie sheet pizzas or 4 thin crust pizzas. I usually half the recipe for our pizza dinner. You could always make the whole thing and make breadsticks for the side, or double and put several crusts in the freezer. Easy!

Also, the picture at the very top I used whole wheat flour. I used 1 cup white flour and 3 cups whole wheat. It turned out great!

Any pizza or dough questions please ask. I made this 4 times last month for dinner, with the variety of pizza nobody cared:)

Want to mix it up a little? Use the same dough and make calzones, check out my photo tutorial here.

Linking up with Family Food Fridays

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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Baked Ziti (with freezer directions)

First off, I am finally getting around to posting this recipe for my friend Kari. (Why for some reason do I have so many friends named Kari anyway? This is my Provo Kari!) I've made this like 4 times since I discovered the recipe and it is so delicious fresh or from frozen. Above is my pan ready to go in the freezer, below you will see the piping hot pile of delicious pasta. My favorite Baked Ziti recipe comes from Freeze Happy, click for the original, below has my changes. It's easier than lasagna, fancier than spaghetti and you can load this baby up with vegetables!

Note: This recipe makes either 1 large 9x13 pan or 2 8x8 dishes. I always bake one 8x8, and then assemble and freeze the other for later. You can easily double or triple and fill your freezer. Yum!

Husband Rating: 5 stars

8 oz. ground beef
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup diced onions
1/4 cup diced mushrooms
1/4 cup diced green pepper
3 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1 lb box of ziti (or rigatoni) noodles
8 oz. cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1 egg
6 green onions
1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese

Cook noodles according to package directions, do not overcook or they'll be mushy when you freeze. In a skillet over medium heat cook ground beef until no longer pink. Add in minced garlic, diced onions, mushrooms and green pepper. Stir in spaghetti sauce, cook and stir for 4-5 minutes. In a mixing bowl stir together cream cheese, sour cream, egg, parmesan cheese and diced green onions until smooth. In your baking dish layer noodles across the bottom, spread white cream cheese layer over the top, then pour red sauce over the top. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Bake at 350* for 20 minutes covered, and 10 minutes uncovered.

To freeze, cover with foil, label, date and freeze. Use within 3 months. If you want to thaw your ziti, put it in the fridge the night before and bake at 350* for 20 minutes covered and 10 minutes uncovered. If the ziti is frozen, bake at 350* for 50 minutes covered and 30 minutes uncovered.

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Monday, September 13, 2010

Apron Fever

I've been sewing like crazy for several weeks now. This weekend was my biggest boutique and boy was it fun:) I sold lots of aprons, handed out lots of cards and met lots of people. I tried to take pictures of everything and here is a little taste. Thanks Utah for having such beautiful weather!

This is my newest apron style. I love the fabric, a little bit Americana and so adorable. It's called Lady Liberty, my favorite part is the little tie on the strap. It needed a little oomph, and yes, it's removable.

I couldn't have a booth without my most popular apron - lemon squeeze. I used a different fabric for the sash this time, love it. This was my first item that sold, no surprise.

I also whipped up a matching lemon squeeze in size small for a little girl. Too precious!

This is another new fabric that I couldn't resist. I love it paired with a soothing blue, I'm calling it Cinnamon Blue. I think a red sash would also look stunning with this fabric. The flower is stitched on and adds that extra little bit of cuteness.

Of course it sold, and I already miss it a little:)

This style, my Rocker Chic apron, continues to be popular. It's pretty edgy and fun. I also sold it in little girls for some mommy and me kitchen fun.

I designed a new apron for all us crafters, it was so handy to be wearing while managing a booth. The deep pockets are perfect for pens, scissors, business cards and goldfish crackers for the little ones. I love the extra long sash and the rick rack. Don't worry, I made extras:)

I didn't get pictures of all my little girlie aprons, but here is a little sample. These cutie pie red polka dots with a sweetheart neckline - cute!

I also switched up my pattern a bit and decided to sell these classic aprons. You know, the above aprons are cute cotton, but they are hostess aprons, or for light cooking. You wouldn't actually make chili or clean out a chicken in one right? I decided we need some functional aprons more on the cute side - enter the classic apron. This fabric is a sturdy-heavy duty fabric that will withstand your constant washing and splatters from chili and spaghetti. Don't be afraid to cook in these, they can handle it. The zebra is fun, the pink is perfect and I love them.

I do need to make a hot pink flower for the top though right? Some people mentioned they just weren't quite girly enough. I'm going to add something, but I'm thinking a huge flower would be perfect.

In yellow, and below in a fun hot pink flower print.

Phew. That's what I've been up to. I didn't sell all my stash, so if you are interested in a particular apron feel free to email me and I will list them for sale after I get my house cleaned, lol.

Which one is your favorite?

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