Saturday, January 28, 2012

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

or Cauliflower-Crust Pizza

I've seen this on Pinterest from a few different sources. The one I used was really good: Eat.Drink.Smile. This was the best homemade pizza I've ever made. I even burned the edges and overcooked the cheese. The burned edges weren't good. Haha. But other than that, it was really really good.

Go to the link for the basic recipe. But here are my tips and additions.

First of all, tips:
-I recommend prepping the day/night before and then doing everything else the day you want to eat it. That means, rice the cauliflower and cook all of it (freezing the extra), and either chop your veggies or shred your cheese beforehand.
-Also, I don't have a food processor,  but I do have a Cuisinart Mini Prep/Chopper thing. It worked great, I just had to do the cauliflower in batches. So actually, now that I think about it (ha!), if you have a food processor, you may not have to do it the day before! It'll go a lot faster in a food processor. Yay for you. :)
-And when microwaving it, do it for 4 minutes, stir, then another 3-4 minutes.
-Use parchment paper on your cookie sheet. I don't know if you'd still need to spray that w/ non-stick or not. Normally you wouldn't, but it might help in this case.

Second, my additions:
1-2 tsp pizza sauce  (or any sauce)
8+ pepperonis
3/4-1 c. mozzarella cheese, shredded
4-5 slices of a lg tomato
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1 can mushroom stems & pieces, drained and dried w/ a paper towel (or obviously fresh would be better)
1 Tbsp butter
dash of salt and onion pwd
pesto

-While crust bakes, saute bell pepper in butter for a few minutes. Add mushrooms, salt, and onion pwd. Saute until they get a little brown.
-This order onto crust: sauce, pepperoni, sauteed veggies, tomato slices, cheese. Spread pesto around edge of crust.
-Don't let it burn! :)

write on EV-ER-Y-THING!!

:D I wrote all over a lampshade! It was awesome. And now I want to write on EVERYTHING!!!

Jason has had this white and silver lamp in his room and the idea to do something with it has passed quickly through my mind a few times. But I just decided to do it!

Here's the equipment. I didn't have to a buy a thing! Best project yet.

My practice sheet:

When I was little, my dad used to sing the song "You are my sunshine" to me, so I've always loved it. I've seen it all over Pinterest in various forms and Liz @ Bon Temps Beignet makes some pretty chic subway art with that song. So I've been itching to use it on something.

It took me a few hours (maybe?) broken up over two days. It was really fast. I did the end of it while watching a show, which I knew was probably not a good idea, but did it anyway... And that's when most of my mistakes happened :/. Nothing too big and terrible though. I'm just glad I didn't start writing what I was hearing. You know how that happens sometimes. Someone's talking to you while you're writing and you start writing what they're saying. So I'm glad the lampshade doesn't say anything about food or Robert Irvine. Haha. (Watched Restaurant Impossible.)

The end result!
The very last "love" is in pink. :)


Sooooooooooo not perfect. Not even perfectly IMperfect. But it was so so SO much fun to do. And I love the colors and the song. It makes me smile every time I see it. And makes me start singing the song. Which I don't even mind :).
Love is in black... does it look blue?

Now, what else can I take a Sharpie to...

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Cumin & Honey B.B.B. (a recipe)

That stands for bean & barley burrito.

While I don't know what measurements I used for the seasoning, I do know them for the other ingredients. Someday I'll make this again and I'll measure the seasonings and update this. For now, if any one makes it, you'll just have to "season to taste."

1 c. barley
1 (14.5-oz) can broth, vegetable or chicken (about 2 c.)
1/2 c. water
1/4 tsp salt
1 can La Costena black beans (19.75 oz)
1 tsp cumin
2 Tbsp + 1 tsp honey
dash of cayenne pepper
1 c. freshly shredded cheddar cheese
1 lg. tomato, diced (I like tomatoes that are just slightly green still - mostly red w/ faint green stripes)
lettuce, shredded/torn
cilantro, chopped
flour tortillas

In a large pot, bring broth and water to a boil. Then add salt and barley, stir once, cover, and reduce heat to low. (May also add cumin, garlic, or onion powder or whatever Mexican seasonings you'd like to the cooking barley.) Cook for 45 minutes. After about 30 minutes, start prepping your cheese and veggies. Next, separate beans from their juices and reserve juice. In a blender, puree beans w/ 1/4 c. of reserved juice for 20-30 seconds. You want it to be blended but a little chuncky. Warm beans in a small saucepot over med heat. When barley is done, drain liquid and put barley and beans in a mixing bowl. Add cumin and honey to taste. Stir. (You should be able to taste both - it'll be like a sweet, almost spicy, cumin flavor.) Add salt to taste and a dash of cayenne (and garlic or onion again if you want). Stir. To assemble: *tortilla, bean/barley, cheese, lettuce, tomato, cilantro.

*Warm tortillas are so much better than cold. Warm in microwave (15 sec per side), dry skillet, or wrapped in foil in a warm oven.
**Makes a lot of the bean/barley mixture. At least 1 qt. Use what you need, then freeze the rest.

Sorry I'm not a food photographer :(. Heck, who am I kidding? I'm not even a regular photographer!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

M.L.K. Day & Printable

To honor Martin Luther King Day, Jason & I watched his famous "I Have a Dream" speech. It was moving. He was very inspired to write and say all he did. I am so grateful for his inspiration, his speech, his courage, his legacy. (Go to the above links to see/read what I'm talking about.)

I realized something from watching it, though - I don't think I've EVER seen or listened to his speech before! How could that be?! How did I never watch it in high school?! I feel totally gypped in my education! EVERY kid should be familiar with his speech. There is SOOOO MUCH in there that is amazing! So many amazing analogies and ideas. It should be studied in American History, in English Lit, in Social Studies.

That sparked a desire to make something I could hang in the house so that at least Jason & I will be familiar with some of the GEMS that are in it.

There are lots of gems, but not all of them would fit on an 8x10 piece of paper ... I tried ... so these are just my most favorites ... maybe.

This is possibly my favorite, but it didn't get included:
"Unearned suffering is redemptive."

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Delish Brussels Sprouts

I made Guy Fieri's Bumped-Up Brussel Sprouts during the holidays and they were so tasty.

I heard a prominant food critic say once that people think brussel sprouts either come from God or the devil. And I've heard on Food Network that for them to taste good, you have to get some brown on them. I've also noticed that those FN chefs always pair them with bacon (or something similar). Well, they were right! Browning and bacon are the keys to delicious brussel sprouts.

For his recipe, I used bacon instead of pancetta, dried cranberries instead of currents, and I omitted the raisins and pine nuts (although I think toasted pine nuts would make a good addition).

Monday, January 16, 2012

Stool Boom

**That post title is in honor of my favorite blog Young House Love, who have had a few posts about counter stools with that title. Go check out their awesomeness.

REUPHOLSTERING

While my parents were here, we started a stool reupholstering project. We bought two different fabrics (I don't want them to match too much), one from JoAnn's and one from IKEA.
from JoAnn's
 The above one is a Waverly fabric called "Bedazzled" in the color silver lining. It's a little bit ikat and is a medium-weight home decor woven fabric, off-white w/ slub.

from IKEA
This other one is a heavy-weight home decor fabric (no slub). I can't find it on their website anymore so I don't know what it's called, but they still carry it in the store here.

We bought two packages of high density foam and some batting type fabric to cover up the green color of the foam before the pretty fabric goes on top.
image from joann.com

Lesson 1: Measure before you buy.
I didn't measure the stools before we bought all the stuff. I just had an idea in my head what the seat size was. Alas, my idea was undersized. I have plenty of fabric, but not plenty of foam. I thought I'd be able to get two circles out of each foam package, so I only bought two. And you'd think foam wouldn't be all that expensive, but it's actually not that cheap. For the high density stuff (which is the main reason I'm doing this - the current foam has lost its cushion-iness, so I want to get some better quality foam), it's about $13. If I bought four at $13, that's $52!!! Luckily, my mom suggested I double up on the old foam cushions to create two more better-padded seats.
image from joann.com

Lesson 2: Do your homework, and test things out on a small scale first.
One thing I love about IKEA is that most of their fabric-covered furniture is removable and machine-washable. So I thought about doing what they do and using velcro on the underside of the stool, but I thought there might be an easier way.

So I looked into wipeable fabric. I still have yet to figure out what Jason's highchair fabric is, which is wipeable. And I found a lot of info about "oilcloth" or laminated fabric. (What most people and companies call "oilcloth" these days is actually just vinyl-covered fabric, which you can do yourself or have a company laminate for you.) But I don't like the look of plastic covered fabric. And it cracks over time and gets pokey and scratchy. Oh, and most of the "oilcloth" fabric that you can buy is heinously ugly. (With the exception of some more modern designers' stuff like Amy Butler or Ty Pennington.)
YIKES!!!

Then I found something about real oilcloth and that it can be created using linseed oil. Linseed oil is a coating for natural wood furniture that hasn't been stained and can be found at home improvement stores. Perfect! So I went and bought some at Lowes. FORTUNATELY I tested some scrap pieces of my fabric before tackling the actual cut-out pieces. Linseed oil is fairly yellowy and it worked fine for the dark IKEA fabric, but the Waverly one turned yellow. Scratch that idea.
Can you see where the linseed oil is vs. where it isn't on
each fabric scrap?

So now, I could send my fabric off to a professional company that treats fabric to make it waterproof and stain-proof, but I think I'll just invest in some waterproofing spray from REI.

Lesson 3: Create a solid game plan first.
The next dilemma was that the two fabrics I bought were so very different from each other. And the IKEA one didn't look good with my oil-rubbed-bronze-colored stools. It would be something like this:
The border on this pic simulates the ORB stool color.

So after MUCH deliberation and online fabric scavengering, I decided on these four fabrics:
Much better. They all go together, but don't match.

The top two are Waverly; the left one is called "Couture Kingdom" in pearl and is a little bit ikat. The bottom left is by Annie Selke, called "Links" in slate and it has slub. (Those three images are from joann.com.) The bottom right is from Etsy seller TheNeedleShop and is called "Antique" in taupe.

I just bought the other two online from JoAnn's this morning (which is what spurned me to post this now instead of waiting till the stool project is finished) thanks to a Visa gift card christmas present. And I'm going to wait till next month to buy the Etsy one.

I'm so excited to have "new" pretty, cushion-y stools!!! I can't wait for the fabric to arrive!

And since I did so much fabric hunting, I'll show you my other top picks if I were to go bold and graphic-y and modern instead of pretty and fancy.
The bottom three images are from fabric.com, the top three are from IKEA, TheNeedleShop, and Amazon.
From L to R: IKEA ?, Valori Wells "Wrenly" in wildfield, Amazon ?, Premier Prints "Acres Twill" in harmony green, Ty Pennington "Honeycomb" in grey, & Robert Alan "Kiki" in pinata.

Other decor-weight goodies:

In no particular order, these include Ty Pennington, Suzani, Amy Butler, Annette Tatum, Prince Charming, Duralee, Robert Alan, Swavelle, Richloom, Waverly, Islander, Dorrigan, Premier Prints, Dwell Studios, and World Wide. Most of the images are from fabric.com, some are from joann.com, and a few are from TheNeedleShop.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

2 Yr Stats & Song Explosion

STATS:
Almost 30 lbs - 62.6 percentile
A tad over 36" - 95.7 percentile

So he's tall and averaged weight. And about 15% of kids his age are the same way (BMI).

SONGS:
Lately Jason's been singing a lot. Songs I didn't know he knew. Songs I'm pretty sure I've never taught him. It finally occured to me - nursery!

Bits and pieces of:

- Once There Was a Snowman
- Jingle Bells
- ABC's (I did teach him that one)
- I Am a Child of God (taught him this one too)
- Wheels On the Bus
- Horsey Horsey (and this one, but it's been a while, and it's just now resurfacing in his mind!)
- Itsy Bitsy Spider
- Do Re Mi (from listening to Sound of Music songs on pandora)

OTHER:
Also - it must be some form of shyness that he was born with - he does NOT like other people (other than his mom or dad) to see him cry. He covers his face or turns away! Usually if there are other people around and he's really crying, they'll try to distract him or try to make him feel better, but it just makes things worse. It's kinda sad and weird and interesting. It just started a few months ago. And it's not like I go around crying or covering my face, so it must just be something that humans are born with - not liking others to see us weak and vulnerable.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Year in Review - Cats

"Looks like a problem with the suspension."


sleeping in Jason's toys box

Elvis desperately wanted to join her.

If he were human, he'd be a stealer-of-the-covers.

"Don't take a picture of me! I look terrible!"

"Eh, oh well."
Look at the fat overhang!!

They decided to have a picnic. Aww. :)

Kitten was nowhere to be found . . .

Looks like he's eating something. Nope. Fell asleep.
Good thing there wasn't a bowl of soup right there.

Posing for the cat version of the Sistine Chapel's "The
Creation of Adam"

She really likes to sleep on my shoes.
Really? That can't POSSibly be comfortable.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Jason-isms

1. He loves peanut butter and ketchup more than ... life itself?
Christmas morning

2. He's still eats a lot, but has become pickier (boo): doesn't like the texture of most meat (with the exception of chicken nuggets and hot dogs), won't eat lettuce-y things or skinny/stringy things like matchstick carrots for example (with the exception of string cheese).

3. He now requests "DEE-ssert" "tandy" and "tweats" regularly.
And Opa loved to give him whatever he wanted.

4. He can sing the entire ABC song (only omits "L" I think). But ever since he learned the ending, he skips T-X. So it goes like this towards the end: "Q R S, Y Z.  Now I ABC's. Net time wo seen me." :) So cute. And if I try to insert T U V, he just starts over!


5. He repeats so much of what I say now.

6. He loves when people tell him Happy Birthday (since he just turned 2).

7. He surprised me by singing the Happy Birthday song the day after.

8. He somehow knows what fire is (maybe from birthday candles??) and calls the blanket w/ red swirls on it "fire". :)

9. He can say 1-10, but not usually in order. It usually goes "2, 3, 9", but it's getting a little better. And today he surprised me by saying 14.

10. The morning after Grandma & Grandpa left, when he kept saying "Oma! Opa! Oma! Opa!..." and I told him they were gone, he said in a sad voice, "I LOVE Oma Opa." And the next day when he wanted them again, he commanded me to, "Find Oma Opa." Aww!

11. His favorite toy right now is the car that he can sit in while I push and the plastic drill that works like a real drill. I didn't even know I should include "Mechanic / Carpenter" on the list of what he might be when he grows up. :)
Drill in action
Below: I had to drill through slippery plastic with no pilot holes to put that blasted car together! And see that yellow thing under the basketball hoop? Couldn't get it on b/c of the slippery plastic and crazy angle that they wanted me to drill the screws in. What kills me - they suggest a screw driver for all of it! Seriously?!? That would take some crazy muscle and precision to do w/o a drill. And with the few large holes that were already there, Jason used to stick other toys in. One toy drill bit and his pencil are forever trapped inside the car since I didn't realize they were in there until after. All things considered, I'm pretty proud of my handywork. :)

12. He's really good with the cats. Other than liking to see them run when he screams as high-pitched as he can. lol. Or chasing them just for fun. The other day when Kitten regurgitated some cat food, he said, "Kitty mouth poop". Lol - pretty acurate actually...


13. The garbage truck in action scares him and makes him cry! :( So sad!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Pre-Christmas

I was right *sigh* :(.
It can't be done.
I had to disassemble it and hide it in my room until my parents came. So for about 2 weeks, it didn't feel like Christmas. I was pretty bummed.

But we still did a few Christmas-y things.

Like visit Santa

And play with cousins
video


(extras)
He got a black eye on one of the pews at church!


Scarv-ing

I told my Primary class that I'd make them all scarves and they got to tell me what color they'd like. Well, actually, I made the mistake one day of telling one of the girls that I made the scarf I was wearing. So she asked me to make her one, too. But I couldn't just make one for her because I didn't want the other kids in the class to feel bad if they found out. So I've been busy making scarves in the evening after Jason goes to bed. And here they are: (I have one left to make for JJ, but I'll just post a picture later.)

Each one is slightly different, mostly along the edges.

I love the pattern on the ball of left-over yarn. Kind of fish scale like.
For Megan:
Size N needle w/ regular craft-type yarn.
For Autumn:
size N w/ thicker yarn
For Anne:
For William:
Size J needle
For Neil:
N w/ thicker yarn. "Watch" shape
For Katelyn:
For Kelly: