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Posts from ‘January, 2010’

A couple more ideas for pizza dough


I bet you didn't think I could possibly do another post on ideas for using pizza dough, did you? Actually I have two more. I don't make these nearly as often now that the kids are grown and out of the house, but they are both really good.

One thing that you can do with the dough is to make pigs in a blanket. For ten hot dogs I would use about half a batch of the pizza dough. Just cut the dough into ten pieces, roll each piece into a "snake" and then wrap it around the hot dog (make a cut down the length of the hot dog to prevent it from bursting in the oven) and place it seam side down on a baking sheet or stone. Bake at 375 degrees for about 15 mins. or until browned.

picture of Raw Pigs

picture of Baked Pigs

The second idea is for Ham and Broccoli Loaf. For this you will need:

one recipe for pizza dough
2-3 cups cooked broccoli, cooled and chopped into bite sized pieces
2 cups cubed ham
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 Tbsps. melted margarine or butter
1 tsp. poppy seeds

Grease a cookie sheet with sides (jelly roll pan) or spray a pizza stone. Roll out half of the dough to fit the pan or stone. Layer the broccoli, ham, and cheese on this crust. Roll out the remainder of the dough just slightly larger and place on top of the filling. Crimp the edges together like you would a pie. Brush the top with the melted butter and sprinkle with the poppy seeds. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 mins. or until golden brown. This makes about six main dish servings. It reheats well for lunch and is a good way to use up leftover ham and broccoli.

picture of Broccoli Ham Loaf

picture of Raw B H Loaf

picture of Baked B H Loaf

picture of Cut B H Loaf

DD Nora asked if I would post the recipe I have been using for a no-knead (artisanal) pizza dough. Here it is:

Artisan Pizza Dough (makes two crusts)
3 cups bread flour
1/4 cup cornmeal
3/4 Tbsp. yeast
3/4 Tbsp. salt
1/2 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsps. olive oil
1 cup plus 6 Tbsps. very warm tap water

Place all ingredients in a bowl with a lid (I use Tupperware). Stir together thoroughly with a spoon or spatula. At this point you can place it in a warm place for two hours (I put mine in the microwave with the light turned on) or place it directly in the refrigerator. Do not put the lid on tightly -- just rest it on top of the bowl. The two hour rise will help to develop the flavor in the dough, but sometimes it just won't work into the schedule. After the two hour rise refrigerate the dough.

The dough will be ready to use in about 24 hours. It will be stickier than the usual pizza dough. Just coat it will a little flour and be patient as you work with it. The convenience of having this dough in the fridge will be worth a little fussiness. Your finished pizza will look a bit more "free form" and "artisanal". Throw those terms around and your family will be impressed! (Just kidding!) This dough will keep for about a week in the refrigerator, although I think it works better if you don't keep it more than three or four days. Sometimes I just make the crust and pre-bake it and keep it for a couple of days or if I won't be using it for awhile I wrap and freeze it. So, give this a try sometime -- all you have to lose is a little bit of flour.

Becka


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Christmas Sewing Projects


This past year I found some cute gift ideas on various blogs that I read from time to time.

I made some tea wallets for some friends and family members who are tea drinkers. They were fun to make and hopefully will be useful for the recipients. I hadn't made covered buttons in quite a while and found that the little tool that you use to help cover the buttons (it is included with the button forms) has been greatly improved since I last made some. I found this tutorial for the tea wallet.

picture of Tea Wallet

picture of Inside Tea Wallet

I also made some table runners for a few people. I took a class at one of our local fabric stores to learn how to make these, but I was able to find some instructions for the basic technique at this source. These were fun to make and I hope to make myself one for next Christmas!

Here are a couple of pictures of completed table runners:

picture of Sandy's Runner

picture of Susie's Runner

Here's a close up:

picture of Sharon's Runner

I don't always have time to make as many gifts as I did this year, but I started early and enjoyed making them.

How about you, dear readers -- did you make any gifts for Christmas this year? I know of one family where the siblings all make something for each other each year, rather than purchasing something. They have become really creative and learned some new skills over the years.

Becka


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The Henry Ford


While we were in Michigan in December Rob, Mark, Katie and I spent a day at the Henry Ford Museum (which is now just referred to as "The Henry Ford" on the literature they give you.) I had been to Greenfield Village a few years ago when I was up visiting with Megan and her first grade class, but the last time I visited the museum was when Megan was in a stroller.

One thing I noticed that has changed in the quarter century since my last visit is that there are a lot more interactive exhibits now. There seem to be more things that are of interest to children. Katie was a little dismayed to see that they had some of the toys on display she had played with as a little girl!

Here are a few pictures of things that we saw that day:

There was a large special exhibit of things built from Legos, such as this dragon:

picture of Lego Dragon

There was a model of downtown Detroit made from Legos complete with a running train:

picture of HF Lego Train

There were many, many old bicycles, cars, airplanes, and trains, such as this one:

picture of Mark Train

We saw the chair that Lincoln was sitting in when he was shot:

picture of Lincoln's Chair

They also have an Oscar Mayer Wienermobile:

picture of Wienermobile

Here is a boy experiencing what it is like to be a hot dog:

picture of Human Hotdog

You can actually eat a hot dog in the museum but we chose to eat lunch at the Michigan Cafe instead:

picture of Michigan Cafe

We saw many, many other interesting things at the museum. I would definitely encourage you to go if you are ever in the area. It is very well organized and enjoyable.

In my next post I want to show you something I made for Christmas.

Becka


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Fresh Pineapple


Pineapples are on sale this week at Aldi and my friend Sandy gave me one. I got to thinking that perhaps it would be helpful if I would post some pictures of how to cut a pineapple. I can remember being rather intimidated the first few times I tried cutting one. So, here you go:

Step #1: Gather your supplies
a fresh pineapple
cutting board
sturdy knife
flexible knife (a friend who lived in Hawaii for a few years gave me this special pineapple knife. It is really great for cutting pineapples and melons.) You could use any thin-bladed knife, like a boning knife.

picture of Pineapple 1

Step #2: Cut the ends off the pineapple.

picture of Pineapple 2

Step #3: Cut the pineapple into four pieces, cutting from top to bottom.

picture of Pineapple 3

Step #4: Using the flexible knife cut the core (the hard, pithy middle section) out of the pineapple. Note: The edges of the core are good for nibbling!

picture of Pineapple 4

Step #5: Using the flexible knife cut the outer peel off of the pineapple. (If any of the eyes remain you can use the tip of a vegetable peeler to remove them.)

picture of Pineapple 5

Step #6: Cut the pineapple into cubes.

picture of Pineapple 6

Enjoy your delicious pineapple!

Becka


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Almost back to normal


I went back to work last week but Rob has still been home on vacation and keeping busy doing little projects (and some big ones as well) around the house. I've been helping with some of the projects after I get home from work, so my blog has been a bit neglected lately. Hopefully I will be a more faithful blogger now that school is getting started up again.

One thing I have been wanting to blog about is our time up in Michigan. We rented a van and Nora, Mark, and Katie, Rob and I all drove up to Michigan together. The days flew by while we were up there. We were blessed with pretty good weather and clear roads which made the trip more pleasant. There was a large rock slide in NC in the fall that has caused a road closure that added about an hour to our trip each way, but other than that we had clear roads and no ice and not much snow.

While visiting Meg, Jim, and Drew we spent quite a bit of time visiting on the Isle of Sodor (where Thomas the train lives with his many train friends.) Drew had some Thomas trains before Christmas and received many more for Christmas gifts. One of his favorite new additions was Cranky the Crane.

picture of Isle of Sodor

He also received this workbench and tool kit, complete with goggles.

picture of Drew Working

In my next post I will tell about another place we visited in Michigan, The Henry Ford Museum.

Becka


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