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Friday, November 21, 2014

Pizza party!

This was a lovely, simple dinner DH and I had the other night.  I love homemade pizza.  Too bad the weather was so cold lately.  When I make this in the summer, I have also grilled it on the BBQ - it adds a lovely smoky taste, and a great way of cooking without heating up the house too much if it is really warm out.

I make the base from a no-knead bread base, enough to make two - 1 lb loaves.  Mix the dough, let it sit and rise for at least a couple of hours. I have also added some spices and herbs in the past at the mixing stage, when making pizza, but this was left plain.  Then spread it out, with extra flour to prevent sticking, onto two trays lined with parchment paper.  Letting it sit to rest periodically allows you to spread the dough out more, for about half an hour or so before baking the final pizzas.

I then brushed the edges with a bit of olive oil.  Again, if you want, you can add a bit of flavouring at this point, like some garlic, or parmasan, or a flavoured oil.  I spread some pizza sauce and herbs on, then layered some sliced roasted peppers, sauteed onions, sauteed sausage, some red wine salami, and a sprinkling of a cheese mix (leftover TexMex in this case).  Then bake in the center of a preheated oven, at 425 for about 20-25 minutes, or until the crust is golden and the toppings are cooked.

Delish!  You can do classic pizza toppings.  But another favourite I have done is with a bechemal sauce, with sauteed peppers and onions, with sliced pieces of steak, and cheese - Philly Cheese Steak pizza.   It's also a great way to use up leftovers, or make up a quick supper with leftover bits in the fridge - if you have a half onion, some leftover sandwich meat, a bit of this or that...

No Knead Bread base - enough to make 2 loaves/2 pizzas

1 1/2 cups warm water
2 1/4 tsp quick rise yeast
2 1/4 tsp kosher salt
3 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup gluten flour
extra flour, set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, with cover, add the water, and mix the yeast and salt in.  Mix well to dissolve.  Add the flour and stir/mix until you have blended the flour in well.  It will likely be a rather loose and sticky batter.  That is fine, you can add a bit of flour and mix it in gently if it seems too sticky.  Cover loosely and let it sit at room temperature for at least a couple of hours.  You will see it rise.  When ready to roll out into a pizza, sprinkle the dough with flour, and split in half by hand. Spread out by hand, sprinkling with flour to prevent sticking.  Let sit and spread out more after letting dough sit for 5 minutes, if you find it springing back too much.  Preheat oven to 425F, and then make up your pizza.  I added some extra herbs and spices to a store bought pizza sauce, and spread about 2-3 tbsp on base.  Then I spread some of the toppings on, added a light sprinkle of cheese, before adding the rest of the toppings, and another light sprinkle of cheese.  Bake for 20-25 minutes until edges are golden, the toppings cooked through, the cheese melted and bubbling.  Let sit for a few minutes, before cutting.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Oh Christmas tree...

I was thinking of using the water stamping method for the background of a tag, and to move away from my usual use of blues, so I came up with this one.  I took a vanilla coloured card stock and die cut the tags.  After that, I inked the surface entirely with various reds - Distress inks in Festive Berries and Fired Brick I think.  After that all dried, I took the background stamp and spritzed it with water lightly - using a moist wipe to remove excess moisture if needed.  Then I stamped the moistened stamp across the inked surface.  If done right, it bleaches off the ink and leaves the impression behind.  I used a heat tool to dry it fully.

After the surface dried and flattened, I swiped the front with an embossing buddy, and stamped the tree with Perfect Medium before embossing in gold powder.  After that cooled, I added some little translucent pearls to add some ornament details.

I added a dark gray hole reinforcement at the top and some twine.  On the back, I stamped the sentiment.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Poinsettia love...

I saw a felt poinsettia brooch on the Sizzix blog recently and thought it was cute and would make a cute ornament.  I had a large piece of thick red felt leftover from another project last year, so I took that and die cut the poinsettia out of a Tim Holtz Bigz die.  I liked the patterning of the petals and felt that it did not the shaping as was detailed in the blog post, and that the felt may be too thick to do it successfully anyways.

I took some Glue and Seal, in matte, and lightly brushed that onto the petals and pressed some clear glass glitter onto the glue, and set that off to the side to dry.

While they were drying, I took vintage sheet music, inked that up with a bit of distress ink, and glued it with matte gel medium onto some cardboard.  I let that dry and die cut medium circles from it.  I then inked the edges a bit more.

After everything dried, I cut some gauze ribbon out.  I used a glue gun, and glued the ribbon, in a loop, leaving some tails trailing down, and then glued the layers of petals over top.  I added points to the ribbon tails and heated them to prevent fraying and to hold the points.  I also took some Liquid Pearls and added the center detail onto the poinsettia.

I love how it turned out - the back of the circle can be used to write a sentiment for a tag, but it could also be used afterwards as an ornament.  I may make more in the future for myself/family, as an ornament, and put either a picture on the back or something else.