2.22.2017

What's Cooking Wednesday: Simple, Homemade Pizza

Making homemade pizza is delicious and so easy; I typically always have the ingredients on hand because of those two reasons. If I'm not prepared to make dinner, I'll fall back on pizza. I made a one Sunday evening and I received an unexpected compliment from Christopher. He told me it was the best pizza he'd ever had. I've made this pizza before - many times, actually - so I was a bit perplexed by the comment, but I accepted it nonetheless. I did tweak a couple things with the pizza and I think those actually made the difference.

We are big fans of thin crust and simple ingredients. So my ingredient list is short, but packs some yummy, perfectly harmonized flavors. Putting together a pizza is an incredibly easy task, but I'll go through the steps and share a few thoughts.

INGREDIENTS:
thin pizza crust
pizza sauce
freshly shredded mozzarella
pepperoni
banana peppers
fresh basil
cooking stone

STEPS:
01. Roll out your dough to an even thickness. The past couple times I've made pizza, I've cut the rectangle shape into a circle - just so it would fit nicely onto the stone. If you don't want to through any of the dough away, just lay it out on a cookie sheet instead.



02. Cook the dough to almost completely done. The directions for the dough I used called for 8 minutes at 400 degrees.

03. When I pulled the dough out, instead of immediately putting the sauce, cheese, and toppings on I let it sit for a couple minutes. I can't be sure, but I feel like this helps in keeping a crispy crust throughout the pizza. I've made pizza before where the center is soft and saturated with the sauce - and I'm just not a fan.

04. Then begin to dress up and top your pie! Something I've learned - a thin layer of sauce is enough! When I first began to make pizzas, I would load it up with sauce. I tried to get an even layer across the whole thing and I'd use over half the jar. Don't. I can now get three uses out of those small jars.

I also highly recommend grating your own cheese. I haven't bought grated cheese in a couple years. I always buy blocks of cheese and grate or slice it myself. I just feel like it's more fresh and melts so much better!

So put on a thin layer of sauce, cover the sauce with freshly grated mozzarella, and then top with a couple of your favorite toppings. We keep it simple with pepperoni and fresh basil. I also add banana peppers to my side - I like the strong flavor with a slight bite.



05. Pop the pizza back into the oven to finish cooking the dough and melt the cheese.

06. When the pizza comes out, finish it off with some extra basil, slice it up, and dive in with your favorite red wine.



I'm curious to hear how many of you make your own pizza and what you like to put on it? Let me know! I'm always open to trying new things in the kitchen.










2.15.2017

Resolutions for 2017



I'm baaackkkkkk.

Yeah, we are already well into February. Yeah I've been absent from my blog for months (er, years) only checking in here and there. Sorry about that. Interestingly enough, one of my resolutions this year is to get back into blogging. So here I am. Hi.

On a serious note, I started my first blog back in 2004. That was a huge year - Britney was married twice, Justin exposed Janet's boobie, Facebook launched, and I started my very first blog. On Xanga. If you know about Xanga, you're the real deal. The point is - I've been blogging for a while now; it truly is something I love doing. So it's on my list of resolutions for this year.

I actually never make resolutions. Mostly because I know it's all kind of moot to me. I can say what I want to do. Romanticize about eating well, getting the perfect body (ha, whatever that is!), getting organized, trying new recipes, being happy… of course we all want those things. I've just kind of always thought, why resolute to do these things at the beginning of each year? Why not every year, all year long we strive for these goals. Then another year passes on and I'm another five pounds heavier, my house is less organized than the year prior, and I've only made it out of the state to "travel" three times. Not exciting or inspiring.

I never make resolutions. They are in the back of my mind. But nothing really changes.

So this year I thought, maybe if I actually make resolutions, I will see some changes. Maybe if I write them down and share them with the world, something will happen. So here's to making resolutions!



2017 Resolutions:


001 // Drink more water
Seriously. Sometimes I wonder how I'm even still alive. Most days, the only water I drink is the water I used to make four cups of coffee. I need to drink more water.

002 // Work on better posture
I can slouch with the best of them. I actually just had to readjust myself in my chair because writing this reminded me I need to work on it. And I'm guessing after I write a couple more resolutions, I will be slouching again. Has anyone every tried one of those braces for posture? Or the vibrating device that let's you know you're slouching. I may need to invest in one.

003 // Take better care of myself
If you're a mom, and especially if you're a stay at home mom, taking care of yourself is on the back burner. From the time my feet hit the floor in the morning to the time I lay down at night, I'm dealing with a toddler and an infant - which leaves about two seconds in the day for myself. Sometimes I can't even recall the last time I brushed my teeth - let alone, took a shower. Those things are for the weekend, right?

004 // Start back blogging
Here we are - doing just that! Yay!

005 // Manage my time better for my business
Oh yeah, I have my own business now. I started back in September 2015, about a week before I found out I was pregnant with a big ole surprise baby. I have some posts lined up to share more about how I got started and what my business is all about.

006 // Declutter and minimize the things in my home
I started reading The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up - I'm only about half way through, but I'm already pumped about getting started on my home. Realistically, according to the author, it should take about six months. I'm shooting for two. Or three. Overachiever, I know.

007 // Cook more, eat out less
Having dinner made each night when you're a stay at home mom sounds a-whole-heck-of-a-lot easier than it actually is. Seriously, some days I blink and it's already getting dark outside. It's just so easy to have my husband pick something up on the way home. So this is going to take a bit of planning on my part, but it's something that I know I can do if I take the time to actually do it.

008 // Lose the extra weight and tone up
I'm probably within 10 pounds of being my pre-baby weight. My weight fluctuates on any given day, but I've dropped the, uh, 50lbs, I gained while pregnant with Allsion. Yeah, 50. I couldn't tell you how I lost that weight. It probably has something to do with the fact that I was running around the house chasing a baby just learning to walk, nursing the other, and rarely had time to eat. Not the best weight-loss plan, but I guess it worked.



I have a few other endeavors I'd like to conquer in 2017, but the eight resolutions above are what I am focused on for now. What are your resolutions for this year?


7.12.2016

Berry Picking

Yes, it's true. We've really made our rounds getting some fresh fruit. Last week we were at the Peach Park, and over the weekend we picked blueberries. Mom and I did the majority of the picking - Sadie Ann just grabbed whatever was within reach, and Allie slept. We did walk away with a gallon of blueberries! I've already made blueberry jelly and blueberry lemon scones - both delicious. We still have over half a gallon left so looks like round two of jelly and scones will be going down tomorrow. 












7.08.2016

A Visit to the Peach Park

Thursday afternoon mom and I loaded up the girls and headed up the interstate to the Peach Park. I've lived about 20 minutes from the park for six years and finally went up there. I should have done this a lot sooner. These peaches are insanely good. Take all my money kind of good. There's nothing like a sweet, juicy peach in the middle of summer. 

This Peach Park reminds me of an apple orchard that we visit in the NC mountains. It's simple and perfect and all the products are on point. The main produce is peaches, but there are also other locally grown fruits and veggies. Mom and I could not walk away without a basket full of tomatoes and squash. There are also canned goods like peach jam and peach salsa. Connected to the park was also a restaurant. We enjoyed the free smells of homemade barbecue and peach ice cream. It required quite a bit of strong-will to not stuff our faces (I'm trying really hard to lose some baby weight), but we were successful. However, we did decide that when we head up to Birmingham in the next week or so we would most definitely be stopping to try out the peach ice cream. I'll keep you all updated on how ah-mazing it is when we stop back by there. 






Sadie Ann was completely exhausted by the time we got there. She had swimming lessons and they drain every bit of energy she has. She could barely hold her bottle. Allie, on the other hand, was wide awake and taking in all the sights. 



Mom and I have spent the morning making peach butter and canning it for the winter time. I can only image how delicious some homemade biscuits and homemade peach butter will be around the holidays! 


6.27.2016

Sadie Ann // 18 Months Old

Watching your babies grow up is a curious thing. At every age and stage I think to myself, I love this age, I wish she wouldn't grow up. I'm particularly loving 18 months. 
Sadie Ann is constantly learning. 
She looks, listens, observes, and takes in everything. 
She imitates words, sounds, and intonations. 
She uses signs and {mostly} follows directions. 
She loves exploring new things. 

This girl loves life. 

She says dada, kay-kay for Katie, and nana for mama. 
She loves going outside and playing in the grass or with leafs off of the tree. 
She's warming up to her sister - she gives her kisses, plays with her feet, and gives her her paci. 
Sadie Ann is a wonderful eater - some of her favorite foods are avocado, banana, 
canned beets, butter beans, sharp cheddar, and tomatoes. 
Her crawl is lightening fast. 
She is able to stand and balance for several minutes at a time. 
She's taking a couple steps and it's just a matter of time before she is running around our home. 
She loves riding her bike and helping bake sweet treats.  
She loves saying her prayers and shouting Amen! 
She feels all genres of music deep in her soul and lets her body show it - this girls loves dancing! 

Her personality, happiness, and love for life make every single day and joy just to be in her presence. I'm so fortunate to have such a blessing and a miracle in my life everyday. 

This 1 pound, 6 ounces 11.5 inch baby is now 17 pounds, 3 ounces and 28.5 inches long!

Happy 18 months, big girl!