Archive for the ‘Recipes/crafts’ Category

Day 5: The Homemade Touch

So I am about to really put myself out there and get very, very brave.

One of the things that I love MOST about the homes I see and love is when their home feels “handmade”. There is something so special to me about a home that has touches that you can’t buy at Pier One. Here are a few examples of homes I love:

Soule Mama
Sew Liberated

Each of  these homes has a wonderful, personal feel to it. One of the things I really don’t like about my house is that there isn’t very much handmade. Of course, in the case of AshleyAnn, much of her homemade comes from vintage store finds! I think that this is a perfectly acceptable way to get handmade into your home 🙂

picture credit

One of the things I have recently began to dream of is making a quilt for my oldest little. The days are turning cold here, and I am having trouble finding blankets that are the right size and warmth. So I am challenging myself this month to pull out my sewing machine and make her a simple quilt. And by simple, I mean it won’t look anything like the one pictured above. Ha!
Whew! I am nervous 🙂 And excited.

I have been looking online & plan to purchase a quilt kit soon. A quilt kit (for those who don’t know) is a kit where so much of the hard work has been done for you. You receive all your material precut and ironed, and it will often come with all additional supplies needed. Do any of you have suggestions where I can find a simple & cute quilt kit?

So here I am, stating my intentions to sew a quilt during my 31 Days of Making a Home.

I am so brave.
~ Melissa

Click here to see a list of all previous 31 Days of Making a Home posts


Snowy Day Link Roundup

We are in the midst of another snowy day in the midwest.
The darling Dr. took an overnight bag to the hospital today, here’s hoping he has a quiet call night gets lots of sleep!

Here are a few things I have enjoyed reading recently. Thought I would pass them along!

A Valentine’s Day Project on Design*Sponge

Chocolate Valentine’s Day Cookies by The Pioneer Woman

Super cute pillows by AshleyAnnPhotography

A fun fabric giveaway! by Smashed Peas and Carrots

Early Morning Memories by GirlTalk

How to {make} Love by A Holy Experience

I hope you enjoy perusing!

Enjoying each day,
~ Melissa

The best pizza you will ever eat: yes, it’s grilled

Recently, we’ve been eating a lot of this:

Hmmm…that picture is fuzzy.
One day I will shoot with a Nikon D90. In the meantime, enjoy fuzziness!

Back to our regularly scheduled programing.

We’ve eaten this 3 times this past week. Don’t worry, recipes will be at the end of this post 🙂

This pizza is AMAZING.
Why, you ask?

Imagine this:
Homemade dough
Homemade sauce

‘Nuff said.

Are you salivating yet?
Is that a gross question?

Here’s the low-down.

The pizza dough & sauce are compliments of Martha Stewart’s magazine “Everyday Food”

I was skeptical at first, but it’s delicious.

First, start off the dough by letting sugar, water and yeast sit together for 5 minutes until it gets foamy.

That doesn’t look like dough, but it will.

Whisk in oil and salt. Stir in flour with a spoon.

That, my friends, is what we call an “action shot”

Turn out the dough and knead for 2 minutes

Place the dough in a well-oiled bowl and then let it sit for 45 minutes until it gets all big. Then, you get to punch it down – woot! That’s my favorite part.

Let it rise another 30, then take it out and split into 4 even(ish) balls of dough.

They should sit for 15 minutes, and then you can roll them out to oval pizza shapes.

While the dough is rising, you can assemble the pizza sauce, which is a-mazing.

Here’s what you will need:

Please ignore the fact that I didn’t mince my own garlic or grow my own oregano.
No one is perfect.

Take some olive oil in a pan, and gently saute the garlic for a minute or two. Add red pepper flakes. Add canned whole tomatoes.

Add salt and pepper, and let it simmer a while. While you are stirring, continue to smash the whole tomatoes until they turn into a nice mush. Wearing an apron to avoid flying tomato insides is advisable.

When it’s nice and thick, it’s done.

Also while the dough is rising, take some time to chop your toppings. You can do whatever you want, but here’s what we had:

Pizza sauce, feta, onions, various colored peppers, mozzarella, tomatoes, ham, corn, pineapple, basil, oregano, and pepper.

Once all of this is done & assembled, take the pizza dough you have rolled out to the grill.

This is the point where I thought it might get sketchy. Dough on a grill??
Fear not.

Make sure you oil up both the grill and the pizza dough well.

Then put the oiled side of the dough onto the oiled grill. It takes about 2-3 minutes for one side to cook.
Flip and cook the other side.

Now it’s starting to look delicious!

Take the baked dough and put on desired toppings. Make sure you don’t overload the pizza as this isn’t exactly “deep dish”

Once toppings are topped, put the pizza back on the grill, cover and let cook until the cheese is melted.

You will notice that one side of the grill has the coals and the other doesn’t. The coal side is for baking, the non-coal side for warming up the toppings.

However, if you are like us and have a small grill, then it won’t be a perfect science of where the pizza’s go, or that the lid stays on the whole time after the completed pizzas are back.

Don’t worry, it’s more of an art. Mostly you just need someone with grill skills and a willingness to say “Yup, that looks perfect”

All the better if he’s good-looking and married to you.
Hi, good-looking.

Finally, after a cruel 3 to 5 more minutes on the grill, your pizza’s are done! Take them off, cut them up and serve them with a salad or fruit or just more pizza.

Eat up!

And, this is the MOST IMPORTANT PART…..please share it with dear friends.
Food + friends = happy, healthy hearts

But don’t feed any to him, even if he wants it.

What about you? Any amazing recipes you’ve had lately? Feel free to drop me a line or post a link!

Enjoying the journey + pizza 🙂
~ Melissa


Here’s the recipes for you guys.
Try it out, I PROMISE you won’t regret it.

Pizza dough (from Everyday Food)
makes 4 10-inch pizzas (each pizza feeds apx. 1 person)

1 tsp sugar
2 1/2 tsp yeast (or 1 packet)
2 tsp olive oil (+ more for grilling)
salt & pepper
2 1/4 cups all-purpose or bread flour (+ more for work surface)

1. Pour 1 cup warm water into a medium bowl; add sugar and sprinkle with yeast. Let stand until foamy, 5 minutes.

2. Whisk oil and 1 tsp salt into yeast mixture. Add flour and stir with wooden spoon until liquid is incorporated (dough will appear dry). Turn out onto a floured work surface. Knead until dough comes together in an elastic ball, 2 minutes. Transfer to an oiled medium bowl, brush lightly with oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap; set in a warm, draft-free place until dough has doubled, 45 minutes. Punch down and cover; let rise another 30 minutes

3. Turn dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide into 4 equal pieces (To store, refrigerate dough pieces, cover, up to 2 days or freeze up to 1 month). Let rest 15 minutes before using.

4. On a lightly floured work surface, stretch or roll out into a 10-in long oval or other desired shape. Brush one side with oil (can add salt & pepper).

5. Using your hands, place dough, oiled side down, onto the grill directly over heat source (be sure to oil the grill as well!). Brush dough with oil and cook until under-side is lightly charred and bubbles form all over the top, 1 to 2 minutes. With tongs, flip dough and cook until lightly charred, 1 to 2 minutes.

6. Top with desired toppings, place on cooler side of grill. Cover grill. Cook until cheese melts and toppings are heated through, 2 to 5 minutes.

Pizza Sauce
(enough for 4 pizzas)

3 Tbs. olive oil
2 cloves minced garlic
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
1 28 oz can of whole tomatoes
salt and pepper
1 tsp. fresh minced oregano

In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil and add garlic. Cook until fragrant. Add pepper lakes and tomatoes, breaking them up as you go. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a rapid simmer. Cook, stirring often, until sauce thickens, about 15 minutes. Stir in oregano leaves.

To store, refrigerate up to 4 days or freeze up to 1 month.