Friday, April 30, 2010

One of my favorite foods

Is pizza. I like the basics...pepperoni, canadian bacon. I like more advanced varieties...hawaiian, taco, barbeque. I like the specialties...pesto chicken, margherita.

I really like pizza. But, homemade pizza was just okay until recently.

I decided to try a whole wheat crust. It actually is very good. We have been having pizza on it for the past 6 months. It is a good thickness. It is pretty simple. And it is very tasty.

But last night, I made the best. Homemade. Pizza. EVER. I tried a new dough - and it was perfection. I put just the right toppings on - and it was delicious.

But lets back-up just a bit, I have been research what makes a great homemade pizza. And here are the few tips that I have learned.

#1 - Your oven must be very hot. I'd say somewhere between 400 and 500, but I personally had it on 450 last night.

#2 - Cook all ingredients first. We have chicken on our pizza a lot all the time. So, grill the chicken up ahead of time.

#3 - I baked one pizza on a stone, already heated and one on a plain, flat cookie sheet. They both turned out equally yummy.

#4 - Cook your pizza for 10-12 minutes. That is all it should take if your oven is hot enough, which it should be (see #1).

#5 - Be creative with your pizza. Put whatever you like on it. Last night, I used pesto as the sauce (which  makes an amazing pizza), added mozzarella and parmesan cheeses, topped with grilled chicken, pine nuts, parsley, and red pepper. The flavors melded together just right.

By the way, the pizza I make has a relatively thin crust. I'm sure different advice would apply if you are into thick, bread-like crusts.

So since I have found the homemade pizza recipe of the century that we will probably make every week for the rest of our lives and a recipe that I feel comfortable making for family and friends, I thought I should share it with you. Although, I can't take credit for it. I was told about it from a friend, who actually got it from a cookbook, which I went out and bought.

Here you go:
2 tsp dry yeast
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp lukewarm water
2 cups unbleached bread flour (I just used regular flour)
2 Tbsp EVOO
1/2 tsp salt

In a bowl, combine the years, 1/4 cup of the water, and 1/4 cup of the flour. Let it stand until it bubbles up, a minimum of 30 minutes or up to 1 hour.

Add the remaining 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp water, the remaining 1 3/4 cups flour, the EVOO, and the salt. Mix the dough thouroughly. Turn it out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth, elastic, and a bit tacky to the touch, 7-8 minutes.

Place the dough in an oiled bowl and turn to cover it with the oil (I just used cooking spray). Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, 1-1 1/2 hours. (Or let this dough rise in the fridge overnight. The next day bring to room temperature and proceed.)

Punch down the dough. On a floured surface, divide into 2 pieces and form into round balls. Roll into a 9-inch circle, about 1/4-inch thick. Bake in a HOT oven for 8-12 minutes.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Check it out!

Remember this pot of dirt?

Yesterday I found this little guys poking out!

Little baby garlic chives! Aren't they cute?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


THIS is my free pound of bold coffee. Please tell me you participated in the bold-a-week deal at Starbucks! If not, you sure missed out. It was worth it for me, since I am at Starbucks at least once a week anyways. So, why not earn a free pound of coffee? My choice was this organic shade grown Mexican coffee. Can't wait to try it!

THIS is the fabric of the dress that Hubs bought for me. He left me was gone for 5 whole days and he brought me home a very cute dress and sweater. I know. He's awesome!

THIS is Pups, who is feeling much better. This is what he does when he thinks I have been neglecting him, he is bored, and he wants someone to play with him.

THESE are my new running shoes that I bought on sale at the same time that I bought...

THESE. My $110 shoes for which I only paid $10. Not only a fabulous deal, but also a super cute pair of shoes.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The only good thing

There was only one good thing about Richard being gone:

It took less time to make the bed.

Suffice it to say, I'm so glad you're home!!!!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Absolutely No Desire

There are a lot of wifely duties that I want to learn. There are a lot of things I would like to improve upon. I'd like to learn to cook well. I'd love to find ways to organize better and clean better. Eating healthy is up there on my priorities. And learning how to wisely spend our budget. Studying my Bible better and reaching out to women more. Oh, and decorating skills for our home. Planting flowers and vegetables and someday learning how to raise children. These are wifely skills that I really and truly have a desire to develop.

There is one skill, however, that I have never had a desire to cultivate, learn, develop, or honestly even watch.


I would rather put time and effort into anything besides sewing. I have friends that make wonderfully cute things with their sewing skills. But, I honestly have not the smallest inclination of trying it. Not. Even. A Button. Oh, and by sewing, I mean any type of crafty project using material, thread, needles, etc.

Really, I don't think I have the knack for crafty stuff anyways. I cannot visualize the final result. The closest I have EVER gotten to sewing was when I made a fleece blanket. I bought 2 pieces of fleece and tied the ends closed - walah!

So, when Hubs's suit coat needed a button re-sewn, I cringed. I have about 8 tiny spools of thread and a package of needles stored in a plastic grocery sack somewhere in my linen closet. I've sewn a few buttons on, but not with any instruction, rhyme, or reason. In our almost-4 years of marriage, Hubs has needed a button sewn on a pair of shorts...which I never did. He also wanted me to patch a hole in a pair of shorts...I never did that either.

I cannot neglect the suit-coat button, though. And I know it bugs Hubs that I have put it off for the past month. Honestly, I'd rather pay $5, even $10 for someone else to do it. But, since I have put it off this long, I must bite the bullet and learn.

I have a video from u-tube. I bought thread that matches the rest of the buttons. Wish me luck!

By the way, do any of you have one area of wife-dom that you don't have a desire to learn or improve upon?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Usually my pups is happy. He has more energy that we know what to do with. He loves to play, chew his bones, be outside, and he gets super excited when we come home.

Since Sunday, however, my pups has been sad. I came home from church to find not 1, but 2, piles of vomit. Ransom got out of his crate only to vomit 2 more times. When we came home from evening church, he had vomited, yup, 2 more times.

Something was wrong.

Since then, Pups has not eaten his food. Not one tiny morsel. Not even when I put peanut butter all over it.

Something was definitely wrong.

So, I called the vet this morning. They asked me to bring him in and leave him so that they could fit him in between other appointments (I don't think you can do that with actual children).

Now I totally told myself I would never be one of those parents that can't stand to leave their children, but after this episode,  I am second-guessing myself.

When Pups realized what was happening - that I was leaving - he flipped. He pulled and pulled trying to get away from them and come with me. He furiously moved his paws, scraping against the slick linoleum to follow me. I know if he could have spoken, he would have been yelling, "I'll eat! I'll eat! Just take me home and I promise I'll eat!"

But I left, with my heart wrenching. Only to come back 7 hours later and find out there is nothing. wrong. with. him. WHAT? I mean, I guess that is good news, but seriously? My Labrador retriever doesn't eat for 2 days and there is nothing wrong? This is the dog that ate batteries. An entire library book. And a wii condom. This is the dog who likes banana peels. And, gag me, poop at the dog park.

But we were sent home with a prescription diet and stomach pills.

We walk in the door. I head straight to the bathroom. When I emerge, this is what I see:

Somebody likes my spearmint plant. He lifted it by its leaves out of its pot and began eating it.

PS - He still won't eat his food.

Monday, April 19, 2010


After a stop at Starbucks this morning, my friend and I took off to the greenhouse. She has a nice big garden to stock with vegetables and herbs. And I, after such great success with my indoor herb garden last year, was out to start a new, bigger indoor herb garden.

Note: my blog is not, nor has it ever claimed to be, a photo blog. Therefore, I did not feel the need to go retake my pictures after I realized they were blurry and not-in-focus.

Last year, if you'll remember, I only had one planter (the front one). Obviously, I have stepped it up a little. Why? Because I love cooking with fresh herbs! They add a tremendous amount of flavor to veggies, sauces, and any other dish! The cashier actually asked, "Are you going to cook with all these herbs?" Why else would I buy them???

First, I have 2 basil plants. Basil will be used for pesto, caprese salads, and tabbouleh - all great summer dishes! Last year my basil was out of control, so if you ever need any I'm sure I will have some to spare.

Actually, the oregano is an herb I wasn't planning to plant. I don't use it all that often, but I will put it in pasta sauces and on pizza.

Next is the flat-leaf or Italian parsley. I use this is lots of dishes, including tabouleh. It has a great flavor. My parsley also went crazy last year, so I'll share!

I really wanted garlic chives, but in plant-form they only had onion. I think these will go well on baked potatoes, but not really sure what else. Any suggestions?

Next are 2 coriander plants - aka cilantro! This is my favorite. I just learned today that the leaves of a coriander plant are what we call cilantro; the seeds are what we use when we say, "coriander." Anyway, this will be used in our homemade indian dish, among other things. It's hard to not love this herb!

Finally, we have spearmint - another all-time favorite. It will also go into tabouleh (notice a theme) and into iced tea. Plus, I may just go smell it every once in a while. I put this one in a pot of its own since my last spearmint plant grew into an insane bush. Hopefully, I will use it more this time!

I really did want garlic chives. So, I bought seeds. I have no idea how to plant them, so I just scattered them in this pot. I'll keep you updated on what happens...if anything!

When I think of my childhood summers, I think of fresh vegetables - mainly cucumbers and tomatoes. I loved going out to the garden and eating cherry tomatoes off the plant. So, I got one cherry tomato plant for outside. This variety is actually an orange tomato and is super sweet. It is more like dessert than veggie. It is going to be hard to wait until for them to grow!

I'm so exited to watch my plants grow. I'm even more excited to use them!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Happy Tax Day

(Yes, I am aware of the horrible quality of photo.)

At 9pm on April 14, Hubs and I began completing our federal income taxes. They just needed a few adjustments and our taxes were filed by 10pm.

By 12:05am on April 15, Hubs and I filed our Nebraska taxes - that was after spending 1.5 hours attempting to figure out the forms on our own, only to get back on Turbo Tax and pay double the normal cost to file them online. (Yes, I am aware that you can file your NE taxes online for free, however that is only for full year residents.)

By 12:45 am on April 15, Hubs and I had completed our Kansas taxes, by hand, and came up with the same amount as Turbo Tax. They will be mailed today. The form from Kansas was much more understandable. Nebraska's form's wording was vague and confusing on the part where you adjust because of income earned in another state.

Never have I waited to do my taxes on the night before. Really, we usually have them done in February. Never will I wait to do them the night before again. And if I could convince Hubs, never would I do our taxes again.

The result of our income taxes is completely different than I was expecting, but we have confidence are pretty sure that we did them correctly. Since this has consumed our life for the week, I am ready to drop them in the mail and be done.


In other stuff, Ransom has been trying to play the system. Every time we leave, he goes to his kennel and gets a treat. Lately, he has been going and just standing in his kennel for no reason - we aren't leaving, sometimes we are even just sitting on the couch. He goes in there, stands for minutes and stares at his treat box. I guess he figures that is a sure way to get a snack. WRONG! Of course, I don't reward him for not doing anything. But it is quite funny to see how his mind is conditioned.

Thursday, April 8, 2010


Every once in a while I just have to have one of these posts. Every once in a while, or maybe even everyday, I just need to brag about my Hubs.

Lately, I've scheduled Hubs and I solid. We've had little time to stay at home and relax. We've had an even smaller amount of time hanging out with each other. And, as I look at our calendar for the next month...I see that it does get better, but not exactly free.

So, I want to tell Hubs that I love him, and here is why:

1. I love you because you take care of me and you work hard to do so. You love what you do and you strive to do it as best you can.

2. I love you because you deal with me. You come and fix it when I cry for some crazy absolutely no reason and you grin-and-bear it when I have neglected the laundry, or cleaning the shower, or fill-in-the-blank.

3. I love you because you strive to learn about God and you want me to do the same. You go to the Bible for the authority on life and I. Love. That. Not only do you want to learn about God, but you love God. What else could I really ask for?

4. I love you because you don't see your future without me. Seriously, you can't imagine living life without me and that one thing makes me feel completely cherished.

5. I love you when you are goofy - seriously, he is. When we are having fun together, I can hardly think of anything else but you. My favorite times together are when we are doing stuff together - whether going to Lowe's or working out.

6. I love that you push me. Coming around that final corner of that race on Saturday and seeing you there to cheer me on was EXACTLY what I needed. Knowing that you are proud of me and having you by my side cheering me on is amazing.

So, when you are in Orlando or I am in Kansas City; when you are at work and I am at home, remember these things. Because they are just itty bitty snippets of how much I love you.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Old times

Last night was a flashback. Hubs and I went out to some old friend's house for dinner. Or, in Kansas lingo, "we went to the country to shoot guns."

They are the type of friends that you can always talk to. There are never awkward pauses. There is catching-up; there is reminiscing. There is lots of laughter; and you feel free to share true feelings, too. They are really the first people I remember meeting when we I moved to Kansas 15 years ago.

Oh, you want more info about the "shooting guns" part. Since our friends live in the country, we have some fun shooting at targets. Hubs was able to bring out his gun and clean it; it hadn't been shot in over 10 years. I headed out to join in on the fun, but what had started out as a 90 degree day turned into a 45 degree evening. It wasn't worth being cold.

It was like old times being out at their house and we all had a blast! In a world that changes by the minute, it is nice to know some things never change.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter!

There was no ham. No painted eggs (although I LOVE doing that). No big family gathering. There was no chocolate bunnies. None of that annoying plastic "grass."

There was sunshine and warmth. There were songs about Christ's resurrection. There was friends and family. There was a lot of food. There was one of the best sermons I have ever heard.

Hubs and I spent the day with friends, my brother, a basset hound pup and Ransom. We sat in the sun. We talked. We played wii. And really, we just relaxed.

Never before on Easter have I pondered Christ's death and resurrection as I have this year. Since Wednesday evening, we have been going to a Bible Conference with Dr. Doug Bookman who is really an expert on the details of Jesus' life. He has particularly been going through the Passion week and my eyes have been opened to so much and my heart has been stirred. Never before has Christ's life been explained to me in this way. This morning he culminated the last week of study into Christ's death and resurrection and I could hardly stay in my seat and contain myself over what I was hearing. So much fit together in my mind that I just wanted to praise God for our Savior.

Happy Easter! Death is defeated. Jesus is risen. He is risen indeed.

Amen and amen.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Two Years + One Day

(Hubs and I after finishing the Easter Sun Run 2010)

Two years and one day ago, I wrote my first blog post. It was about my goal to complete a 3K race with some friends. At that time the 1.8 miles was a big hurdle to overcome. Two years and one day later I have completed my first 10K race.

I have been blogging about our uninteresting life, telling stories, venting, and posting random stuff for two years in 491posts. It's fun. It's therapy. It's a hobby.

I looked back over some of the topics of my posts. I've posted about shoes, vacation, adventure, and Hubs. Life, dentistry, coffee and food have also been on the list. You've been there when I discovered watching DVDs on my laptop, when I thought Hubs was being killed outside our apartment, and when you found out what happens when 3 dentists get together. You've probably laughed when I woke up to my shoe on my pillow or when I wrote a letter to Kansas.

Then, I went back and looked at the posts that YOU really liked because you actually commented. You enjoyed spending 5 minutes in my brain and you were so sweet to congratulate me when my braces came off. I tricked you in the post about our news and you hopefully took my female advice in this post. Some of you were probably shocked when you found out Hubs has the better hair, or when I fainted with excitement, or when we woke up to a catastrophe, or even when Hubs found an intruder in our home. I found out what level of Husker Fan you are in this post.

I still love to blog, although it is not the addiction it once was. I still love to read other's blogs. I really still love to read comments on my blog, though over the last two years, I know your lives have changed, too.

Thank you for reading for these 2 years. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, your advice, and your excitement. I will keep blogging for the time being and I hope you'll keep reading.