Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

They're Back But Not Exactly Better Than Ever

So, last year, just when blackberry season was getting underway the electric company came out and sprayed anything and everything around the electrical poles and under the lines. It killed all the blackberry bushes that were across the road which meant I had to find my blackberries elsewhere. I was afraid the berries were done for and they wouldn't grow back this year but back in May I started seeing those familiar white blossoms again. And although the extreme heat and the lack of rain have them looking a little peaked I managed to gather enough for one of my favorite desserts, blackberry creme brulee. Mmmmmm.

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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Homemade Pizza Dough

I don't like seafood. It's a texture thing. My husband doesn't like tomatoes but strangely enough he loves tomato products--salsa, tomato sauce, ketchup and even sun-dried tomatoes. Go figure. Big pup, my pickiest eater, doesn't like much of anything. Except pasta. Little pup likes to eat most things. Except pasta. But the one thing that we can all agree on for dinner is pizza. Everyone likes pizza. And I love this recipe for pizza dough from the July '09 issue of Cooking Light. Inside it's soft and chewy and the outside is crispy and crunchy and the crust is perfect for dipping in ranch dressing or garlic butter.

Homemade Pizza Dough (from Cooking Light)

1 package active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1 1/4 cups cold water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
5 1/2 cups unbleached bread flour, divided
cooking spray

1. Dissolve yeast in 1 cup warm water in a small bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Combine 1 1/4 cups cold water, oil, sugar, and salt in a small bowl; stir with a whisk.

2. Weigh or lightly spoon 5 1/4 cups flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, yeast mixture, and cold water mixture in bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Mix on low 8 minutes or until dough begins to form. Let rest 2 minutes; mix on low 6 minutes or until dough is smooth. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 2 minutes); add enough of the remaining 1/4 cup flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel sticky).

3. Divide the dough in half, and place each portion in a large zip-top bag coated with cooking spray. Seal and chill overnight or up to 2 days. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour before using.

Note: You can freeze the dough in heavy-duty, freezer-safe zip-top plastic bags for up to 2 months; thaw dough overnight in the refrigerator.

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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Shrinking Clothes or Growing Boys?

I know the last day of school was 3 weeks ago but I'm just now posting my first day/last day pics. I'm so not on the ball this time around. As a matter of fact, I missed taking a picture of the boys on the morning of their last day so I made them pretend that they were going to school the next afternoon. They were not thrilled. But I was! I love comparing the pictures and seeing how much they've grown in just one school year. Big pup moved from velcro to shoelaces and Little pup, 2 years younger, is almost the same size as his big brother. Wow. These boys. They're growing up.

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Monday, June 21, 2010

That's Strange Part V

I've been on quite a hiatus. I haven't posted in over 3 weeks--one of my dogs escaped the backyard and I haven't been able to find him. The whole incident really knocked the wind out of my sails but I'm ready to join the blogging world again. I've decided to ease back into it with the final part of The Strange Question Meme.

41. Do you love anyone? Yes. Very much so.

42. Do any of your friends have children? Yep.

43. What do you usually do during the day? It varies but it sometimes feels like I live in the kitchen.

44. Do you hate anyone that you know right now? No. I don't "hate" people but there's one or two I dislike very much. Snakes, on the other hand, HATE!

45. Do you use the word hello daily? Yes, as in, hello boo-boo or hello sweetheart.

46. What color is your car? My van is gray--I think--it's been so long since I've seen it. It's been at the shop for over 2 weeks and I'm so tired of driving my husband's old truck around town.

47. What size wedding ring do you wear? Seven.

48. Are you thinking about someone right now? A babysitter. I've got 2 wild monkeys climbing on me and my desk.

49. Have you ever been to Six Flags? Yes, when I was a kid but I don't remember anything about it. I'm guessing it was a tense and stressful trip, though, because most of our family vacations were that way growing up.

50. How did you get your worst scar? When I was a newborn I had pyloric stenosis surgery which resulted in a 3 inch vertical scar on my right side. And then there's my c-section scar from when my youngest son was born but that's, ahem, hidden.

Part I
Part II
Part III
Part IV

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