Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Pizza dough

I'm using my Kitchen Aid mixer pizza recipe.

2 1/2- 3 1/2 cups of flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 package dry active yeast
1 tablespoon cornmeal

Add yeast to warm water, let it activate. Add salt, olive oil,  2 1/2 cups flour. Turn mixer on to speed 2 for two minutes.

add more flour if needed 1/2 cup at a time. Mix until  dough clings to hook and cleans the sides of the bowl. Place dough in greased bowl, turning the grease top of the dough upward. Let it rise in a warm place for 1 hour.

Brush 14inch pizza pan with oil and sprinkle with cornmeal. Press dough across bottom of the pan. I rolled the dough out onto the pan itself.

Then I rolled the crust inward, placed a plate in the middle and sprayed it with butter flavored cooking oil. I know that sounds weird, but I heard that it is one of the secrets to Pizza Hut pizza crusts.

After I sprayed the crust, I removed the plate and sprinkled garlic and Parmesan cheese (I think on my next attempt I'm going to add oregano or basil, or both. Add favorite toppings and cook.

Pre heat oven to 450 degrees for 15-20 minutes
This pizza was much better than my first attempt. I think the hole pizza pan helped. My next attempt with add more flavors to the sauce ( I used Ragu pizza sauce and it tastes pretty bland.)

Sunday, February 26, 2012

My Pintrest Challenge

I am challenging myself to make as many things from Pintrest that I can in one year. These can be: Food, crafts, etc...For those of you that do not know what Pintrest is, it is a new website out that people can share their ideas on. You pin the things you are interested onto your designated boards and hopefully you make them.

I have pinned almost 1,000 things so far and am still searching. I'm hoping I won't run into too many problems. Starting last night (February 25th, 2012)  My family and I started last night with Kettle Corn. It was amazing.

Check out my blog specifically designed for this challenge at:
My Pintrest Challenge

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Home made Bread

Basic White Bread (see below for wheat version)

What you'll need (yields 2 loaves)
1/2 cup  low-fat milk
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons of salt
3 tablespoons of butter
2 packets of yeast
1 1/2 cup warm water (about 105-115 degrees)
5-6 cups of flour

heat water to 105-115 degrees. add yeast packets and sugar (to activate the yeast)... If it isn't foamy, try tapping a knife at the bottom to bring the foam to the surface. If it doesn't rise- you killed the yeast. It is extremely sensitive.

combine all ingredients together. mix until smooth.

Let your dough rise in a greased bowl for 1 hour or until doubled in size.


On a floured surface roll dough out to a rectangle shape

roll up (like a jelly roll) pinching in the edges.

Place in greased loaf pan...either my pan is small or I rolled mine out too far. hahah oh well.

Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes of until golden brown.  Once out of the oven, immediately turn bread onto wire rack and let cool.

Whole grain version

1 cup plus 1 tablespoon brown sugar, divided
2 cups warm water (105-115 degrees)
2 packets of dry yeast
5-6 cups whole wheat flour
2/4 cup powdered milk
2 teaspoons of salt
1/3 cup oil.

dissolve 1 tablespoon brown sugar in warm bowl, add yeast.
place 4 cups of flour, powdered milk, 1/3 cup of brown sugar, and salt in mixer. gradually add yeast and brown sugar mixture., add oil to flour mix and mix for about 1 1/2 minutes. add remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time. Knead flour the rest of the way if needed.

Place in greased bowl and let rise for an hour or until doubled in size.

punch dough down. roll out (as seen in pictures above) Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes of until golden brown.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Fixing American Girl Doll hair

So my daughters love their American Girl dolls. My youngest especially loves Elizabeth Cole's hair. Sadly that means that it's not tied back like I would prefer so it gets tangled very easily.

You'll need: a spray bottle with water and the American girl brush (maybe once every other month I like to spray their hair with a little leave in conditioner. (any spray version will do-be sure to only do this once in a while.)

Spray doll while upside down. This makes it so that you do not get the body wet.

depending on how much hair your doll has, separate it into small sections (Elizabeth Cole is separated into 6 sections) Brush gently starting at the bottom.

Half way done.


Check out a few hairstyle  ideas here:
AG Hair styles

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Chocolate covered Cheesecake pops

Chocolate covered cheesecake pops 
(better known as, "sin on a stick" at the Renaissance Faire-yes I am a geek at heart :)  ) Great for Valentines day, parties where you want smaller snacks or desserts.

What you'll need:
Store bought cheesecake or make your own
lollipop sticks
Chocolate covered candy melts


Start by cutting small triangle shapes out of your cheesecake (yes.. I had already had a piece. YOU try working with cheesecake and not sampling...)

carefully break the graham cracker crust off and roll the cheesecake piece in your hands (don't be rough with it- it will get mushy)
break the graham cracker into smaller pieces and roll it around in the cheesecake
add sticks and freeze over night. TIP: Wash your hands between second one (to the left) did not roll as nicely as my first... but honestly: It's cheesecake.. if you're going to be picky you don't get any!


melt candy melts in either microwave of double broiler (today I tried microwave)

pull cheesecake pops out of freezer and coat generously with chocolate

let it dry (I used a cheese grater)

Optional: melt a new color of candy melt and decorate:

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Valentines Day Decorations

I'm not really a sucker for Valentines day. However after having two kids I decided that it was just something fun to do with them and it makes then excited.

A lot of this was bought at Target after everything went on clearance or in the dollar section of Target.

For the Hearts all over out kitchen we simple took white, pink and red construction paper and drew (or traced) a heart onto it, cut them out and taped them throughout the house. The lights were bought on clearance and the Love block was bought for $2.50 (Thanks mom!)

Regular White table cloth, table runner, plates and mats bought from Target. The candles were bought by my husband when we were dating.

XO XO Garland. Bought for $1. You could make this same thing with lightweight cardboard, ribbon, loose glitter, glue and a small hole punch.

*Trace the letters you want onto the cardboard, cut them out.
* cover with glue
*sprinkle generously with glitter, shake off extra
*let it dry
*punch small hole in corners and string through ribbon

Valentines Day for someone Special

My Husband did this for me when we were still dating. It was out first Valentines day (way back in 2005). I really wanted a puppy and he knew that my mom would kill him. So he went out and bought an inflatable one (that I still have to this day) He filled my room with balloons- one for each day we had been together.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Teacher Gift

Teacher Magnet

Great gift for Teacher appreciation week, Christmas or end of the year gift.

What you'll need:

A cross stitch (learn to cross-stitch here)
4 colored Popsicle sticks
a thin piece of cardboard (from a mac and cheese box)
magnet (found at craft stores
Hot glue gun

After your cross-stitch is made, and you've cut your piece of cardboard to fit it, glue it down.

Next fold in the pieces of the cloth to fit the cardboard

Then glue on all four  Popsicle sticks

add a magnet to the back

Ta da!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

100th day of school idea

It feels like just yesterday I was sending my oldest daughter to her first day of Kindergarten. Now it's her 100th day of 1st grade. Her teacher asked each student to bring in 100 of something if they could. Here are a couple of ideas:

A collage of 100

You can use 100 pieces of colored paper like Hannah and I did, or you can find 100 M&M's, Raisins, pennies, etc..
The print out is found here

* Take 100 Lego blocks and build something out of it.
* Take 100 nails and nail them into a board.

Classroom activities:
*How many kids can do:
100 jumping jacks?
Jump rope 100 times?
estimate what 100 feet looks like?

*We are making a picture of ourselves to show what we think we would look like when we are 100. (picture later)

*Get other classes involved to make 100 students.

*Find 100 ways to say Hello in other languages

*Find 100 ways to make the earth a better place

*Who can find something in the classroom that we have 100 of?? (pencils? eraser tops? books?)

*String 100 pieces of cereal (Cheerios, Fruit Loops, etc...) to make a necklace with 100 things on it.

*Make a place mat with 10 circles  on it, each with the number 10 drawn on. (Should look like a rectangle with 10 circles)

You can use this to count by 10's to make: Trail mix or other snacks with 10 items in it. (The point is to count by 10's to reach 100).

Here are some other websites also:
100th day glasses
100th day glasses