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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Welcome to Spring????

After getting all excited about my gardening, the budding of trees and the blooming of crocuses, then the foretasted "few flurries" turned into THIS!

As it came down I kept thinking that it would stop soon, but it just kept coming down. The good news is that I designed a new free printable that I will share with everyone tomorrow. And I baked some fresh bread. Nothing like cuddling up in a warm sweater with a piece of fresh buttered warm bread listening to some good music and getting a bunch of things completed on the computer!! So while the weather was less to be desired, the day ended up being quite nice. Always find the silver lining I guess:-)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Homemade Goodness: Making Pizza from Scratch

As I approach my due date I have been particularly frantic about getting a lot of things completed in both the house and in my shop. But I have still been determined to avoid eating out and instead cook at home as much as I can. This week I wanted to share my pizza dough recipe with you. I find that it is one of the best doughs ever, especially when using fresh toppings from the garden! It is quicker than you would imagine and such a great project to do with the family!

I personally love my bread machine. It makes life so much easier and fresher. I rarely ever finish the bread in the machine, but it really cuts down on the elbow grease needed for making your own breads. But you can also do this dough in your stand mixer or even by hand. You may never want to go back to your local pizzaria once you have done this for yourself!

To make a 12" pizza or two 6" pizzas:
5/8 cup of water
1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 cups unbleached white bread flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp rapid-rise yeast

To make 2 12" pizzas or 4 6" pizzas:
1 1/4 cups water
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 cups unbleached white bread flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp granulated sugar
1tsp rapid-rise yeast

Place the water and olive oil first into the bread machine. Sprinkle the flour on top to cover water and oil. Then make three wells in the flour. In one corner place the salt, in the opposite corner place the sugar, and in the middle place the yeast. (I prefer putting the yeast in this way rather than the yeast dispenser on my machine). Program your machine to the dough setting. Check to make sure that everything is mixing and make sure that you may need some more water if the dough looks dry or four if it looks too wet. As Alton Brown says in Good Eats, it's really best to weigh ingredients especially flour. But I never tend to do so myself.

When the dough is ready, pre-heat your oven to 425Degrees. You can roll your dough out on a floured surface to make one big pizza or cut up the dough to make personal pizzas. Put out some bowls with the toppings and have a pizza party! Someone will have to try tossing some dough into the air, it's just more fun that way!

To make life easy, feel free to buy pizza sauce. I still haven't decided on which recipe that I like best for this. But I will probably have one by tomato season. To avoid a soggy crust in the middle spread a little olive oil onto the dough before the sauce.

For toppings you can do anything your heart desires! We had pepperoni, mushrooms, red, green and yellow peppers, spinach, and cheese on hand. I also love taking seasonings like an herb and garlic seasoning mix to sprinkle on top as well as some parmesan cheese onto the crust.

Once you have all of the toppings onto the pizza that you desire, put the pizza in the oven for 15-20 mins or until it has browned and sizzles!! (The larger and thicker you make the pizza crust the more time you will need. The smaller and thinner the crust the less time you would need.)

Then you can enjoy!!!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Posh That Grows: Starting to garden in the Midwest!

If you really want to Poshify your year I really suggest planing your own garden! Even the smallest spaces can have a garden. A few years ago we found out about square foot gardening and raised bed gardening and we have been having an amazing time! There is something so satisfying about growing your own food. Plus you can relax and know exactly where it came from. It becomes addictive. We now have over 110 squares and me being the geek that I am even have my plans all computerized! We have a salad garden, a pepper and tomato garden, a squash garden, a strawberry garden, herb garden, and also plant kale and asparagus! We live in town and are able to do all of this within 110 square feet spread around the backyard. It may seem like a lot, but it really isn't. We live in town and still have plenty of space to run around. This year we will be adding two more boxes along the fence row near the front of the house, a vertical garden (have you ever seen zucchini grow in the air? We will see!) as well as a Yanna garden (since she has become very interested in digging in mommy's garden!)
This weekend's prep work

You two can have a beautiful and productive garden! If you live in apartment or condo with no backyard start a windowsill herb garden. They can be so simple and so great to add to your everyday food. If you just have a small yard there are still some great ways to have beautiful landscaping and making it work for you. There are a number of veggies and fruits that can add great color and texture. Asparagus pops up in the spring to pick and then has some beautiful ferns that are great for cutting with flowers or a great backdrop for some beautiful flowers like black-eyed susans and daisies! You can use strawberries as edging since they stay low and have some beautiful white flowers. Nasturtium have gorgeous flowers and leaves that are great in salads. Chives can grow just about anywhere, you can use both the sprouts and the beautiful purple flowers in cooking. Swiss chard with the colorful stems, colorful salad leaves, cabbage, and kales can all be used as landscaping and later harvested to cook with. As with everything, be CREATIVE! I will be adding pictures throughout the season of the garden and how to build your own raised beds. Plus we will add recipes on what to do with everything. I thought that I would need to plant more than one zucchini plant the first year! Talking about waaay too much zucchini!!

A variety of salad goodies
Be sure to talk to some garden clubs in your area. Some towns have public gardens where you can get your own plot of land to plant on. Plus I love going to http://www.garden-share.com/ there are so many great people on there who will share their ideas and help you with any problems. This may be the first year you ever planted cucumber so where did all of those cucumber beetles come from!? they can help!
and it keeps coming and coming

I will also be creating some great printables devoted to gardening. So look out for those as well!
In the meantime get those peas, green beans, and spinach in the ground!! Spring is finally here!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

May the Luck of the Irish be with You!

Decided to have some fun for St. Patrick's Day!
Once again, where I grew up St. Patrick's Day was quite the big deal. Don't be caught without at least a little bit of green on you or you would be surely pinched!! I have added the Pot-O-Gold basket to my Etsy Shop. This was a fun little project that I think will be fun for all of the parties over the next few days! Also, I have added a new FREE printable to my Fun Projects section of my website! Four Leaf Clover Glasses!! Haha! We have had so much fun with them. We were at the store and my daughter pointed a pair out. "Can I get one pleeaase?", "No sweetie." "Can we make some pleeaasee?" LOL, what can I say, she really knows me! Granted she also called the greeter at the front door a pirate due to having an eye patch...oy!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Posh Uses: Vintage Barbie Museum

A few months ago Ann contacted me asking if I could make the place cards in my shop editable so that she could use them as labels for her Vintage Barbie collection. Never in my wildest dreams did I envision such a magnificent collection! I am so honored to be part of it with the cards! She and her husband has put together a 12,000 square foot building with buildings inside for their collections! They created the different store fronts and have their collections set up as if they were in a store. This is one for television for sure! Be sure to check this out and check in as she shows more of their backyard museum!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Happy Mardi Gras!

Happy Mardi Gras! With my mother being from Trinidad and Tobago, Carnival has been a really fun part of my life! (I would love to post some of the amazing costumes that my mother used to wear back in the day, but I think she may kill me if I did.) Plus, I grew up in Michigan where we had a some of the best celebrations for Fat Tuesday of which we all ate the thousand calorie super fattening doughnut-like globs of deliciousness Packzis!! (pronounced Punch-keys)
So in the the spirit of Mardi Gras, Carnival and Fat Tuesday I am putting up a FREE cupcake wrapper printable on my site and featuring some of the fun Treasuries on Etsy that were Mardi Gras Themed this week! Have a Posh Day!!
Click here for the Fun Free Printable Project!

Treasuries for Mardi Gras!
I was so excited to be part of Etsy Finds Newsletter today for Fat Tuesday!

Pondhopper's March 8
JulieMeyer Mardi Gras Party Down

Trendlightly Mardi Gras Let's Party

VintageNewWorld Laisses les bons temps rouler

ChoochMagooz Viva La Fiesta...Carnivale!

Monday, March 7, 2011

What a Week!

Ever have those weeks where it just seems like everything happens at one time? Last week we had one of those weeks. We started the weekend with a big snow storm and then our party for Yanna. Our cooktop in the kitchen decided to go out in style shooting out sparks and then refusing to turn off. (I guess if I was a cooktop, I would go out that way as well!) So with my father being here for the birthday party he and Dave took the whole thing apart and then found out that all of the parts for it were discontinued. So mama went shopping! Throughout the week we had continuous rain and temperatures in the 40's so our whole area flooded and was put under a state of emergency. This meant a week of detours for my husband and late nights. Only to come home to fresh Wendys!  We turned off the circuit breaker to the kitchen so we became very creative with cooking (ie. eating out). We went to the baby doctor on Wednesday to see if the baby would cooperate and reveal his or herself! Geared with excitement we watched and watched and now our doctor said that she is now 90% sure that we are having a girl (due to not seeing anything right now). The only thing being that two weeks before she was 90% sure that we were having a boy. Sooo....yeah...But hey, we at least know that our official date will be April 14th and the baby is healthy! On top of this, I have had some major pregnancy brain. Losing things, finding my cell in the refrigerator, doing a photoshoot of a bunch of new products for my shop only to find out later that night that I did not have my memory card inside of the camera! I had to laugh at myself quite a bit. This past weekend I woke up with an uncontrollable urge to do some demolition in the kitchen where the new cooktop would be going. So I started to tear apart the countertop to the point of no return. If you have ever met my hubby Dave, nothing upsets him...I mean NOTHING! This however, finally did! Ok, so granted we are expecting a new baby in a month, currently have been building the studio (I have new pictures!!) we had to deal with roofers putting on a new roof throughout winter over a span of 10 weeks (no, we do not live in a mansion) and we are running a shop while looking after our little Yanna. I think this was the final straw. He didn't want me to do too much work with being 8 months pregnant and took over my new project since he knew the cooktop was to be delivered on the 8th! We went out and purchased a new countertop and brought it back to install it together. He had quite a few cuts and bruises when this was all finished (I got by with a broken nail) but it looks great! I will have to take pictures! He is happy now, but I am feel that I owe him a super special dinner on the new cooktop!
What a crazy week! We are all still smiling and having a great time. So far so good with this week! I am in a super productive mood (this time without the destroying urge) so I think that we shall be good! I hope that you are all having a great day and that this week will be great for you!
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