1/15/16

Easy Pizza with Lemon & Goat Cheese


Okay, so I have a new favorite lunch.  I don't have this very often, but being that I live in a tiny, beautiful, cotton-farming, Mexican-food-loving town, sometimes I want something different, out of the ordinary, and even a little gourmet.  Okay...I want something a LOT gourmet, but I'll settle for a little.  

We don't even have a decent sandwich shop here, for crying out loud!  (...I know.  Don't you feel bad for me?!  It's a rough life but somehow I manage.)  



Speaking of gourmet, right?!  I mean...boxed pizza.  But hey - don't knock it 'till you try it.  Trust me.


3 pieces of this stuff (1/3 of the pizza) is 360 calories, so 1 1/2 pieces is only 180 calories!!  Not bad for a low-cal lunch option.  You can slice the pieces yourself, of course, so just be careful and make sure you have people over to share with.....otherwise you'll do what I do and wonder where on EARTH the whole thing went.  oy.  


All you need is some shredded greens, the healthier the better.  (And "iceburg lettuce" doesn't count.  It's lame.  You'll need something that involves baby spinach and arugula.)  Parmesean cheese, crumbled goat cheese, and some lemon to squeeze.  That's it! Oh, and get a pizza or two.  I like this particular brand, but get your favorite thin crust variety.

And about goat cheese......it's SO GOOD!!!!!!  If you haven't joined the goat cheese camp, you should at least give it a try.  If you genuinely despise it, well, I won't judge, but seriously.....   This would be a great way to ease on in to the goat cheese camp without fully commiting.  You could sprinkle a little bite with some crumbled goat cheese and see if you really want to live the rest of your life without it.  But I am leaning towards the idea that you will like it.  Just open your mind, open your pallette, and let the flavors work for you!  




Let the pizza cool off a bit and then just pile it all on there and squeeze that lemon on top!  
I like to start with the goat cheese because it gets all melty on top of the hot pizza and creates a little barrier so the greens don't wilt as quickly.  They will wilt if you add them too quickly to the hot pizza.



Enjoy!  

Have a happy day!!!  
(and let me know if you try and like this! )
-Abby



9/17/15

Tieks. I love them.

 {gasp!!!}  Look what came in the mail today!  

It's NEVER too early to start thinking about Christmas, so add these to your list!  (Technically, we only have 10 more Saturdays before Christmas....eeek!!!)

I've read and studied and tried to figure out what the Tieks hype was all about and decided that I had enough proof to go ahead and see for myself.  They're not cheap-o shoes, you definitely pay more for them than your standard flats, but you often get what you pay for and from the reviews I've seen, these shoes are amazing.  Here is their website.  I am not getting any kind of benefits from posting this - I just want to share my joy with all of you!!


Check out their packaging!  How precious is that?!  I love it that a company will make you feel pampered.  Yes, the shoes are pricey, but you feel like you're being taken care of, too.  



...and a hand-written note.  Seriously.  I love it.



They give you a couple of convenient goodies to go with the shoes. 



My pick - Cardinal Red!  They go with just about everything I wear, they add a spalsh and pop of color to my feet, and they are OH SO COMFY!!!  The Tieks website has photos of every shoe color in various outfits so you can decide if you really like a color or not - and they've got a RAINBOW of colors!  For a color freak like me, it's truly like a candy store!!!  

 These shoes are immediately comfortable - no "breaking in" for these soft, buttery, leather beauties.  It's too bad they don't come in half sizes because I'm a true 7.5, but a 7 would have been too snug, so I will enjoy my 8's.  



I'm a FIRM believer in treating yourself if it's possible...and this definitely qualifies as an excellent, worth-it, splurgy treat.  Your feet will LOVE you!  




Have a Happy Day!!!
-Abby

8/27/15

Grandma's Chewy Iced Oatmeal Cookies

Baking Day at my house yesterday!  Woohoo.  

If you're an oatmeal cookie lover, then you're going to REALLY love these!  They're soft, chewy, and so very comforting for some odd reason.  The icing absolutely makes these cookies incredible.  And if you stop for a moment to enjoy these cookies, you will be transported to a simpler, slower place in time, which is a welcome indulgence in our fast-paced world. (and they will make your house smell heavenly.) 

 PLUS,  it's school-lunch-packing time and if you're going to give your kiddies a little treat, give them something GOOD.  None of that prepackaged garbage...good quality ingredients inside something homemade is SO much better for them. 



Oat flour is one of my all time favorites!!  



This recipe makes a soft batter, which in turn makes these cookies soft and chewy!



Just like Grandma used to make.  Wait a second... I don't remember my grandmother ever baking cookies.  Weird, I know....but she would definitely LOVE these.  {She was a serious oat lover.}



GRANDMA'S CHEWY ICED OATMEAL COOKIES

(double the recipe if you're using a large cookie scoop)  Yield: about 2 1/2 dozen standard scoop cookies.

1 1/2 c. old fashioned oats  (use quick oats if you don't have a food processor)
2 c. unbleached, all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. fresh ground nutmeg
1 c. butter, softened
3/4 c. granulated sugar
3/4 c. light-brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla

Icing:
2 c. powdered sugar
3 T. milk
(whisk until combined completely)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Put oats in a food processor and pulse until mostly ground, 15-20 seconds at least.

In a large mixer with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars until soft and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.  Add eggs, mixing until combined.  Stir in vanilla.  With mixer on low speed, slowly add dry ingredients, scrape the bowl as you go, and mix until just combined.  Let the dough rest for about 10 minutes while you wash up.

Using a standard, medium-sized cookie scoop (about 2 T.), drop cookies onto a baking sheet, leaving plenty of space in between for spreading.  (on a sheet pan, I usually scoop 4 rows of 3.  If you're using a large scoop, do 3 rows of 2.)

Bake for 10-11 minutes or until edges start to turn a light golden brown color.  If you like a crispier cookie, leave them in a minute longer or so.  Allow cookies to cool on the pan for a few minutes before transfering them to a wire rack to cool completely.

With completely cooled cookies on a wire rack with parchment paper underneath, or with cookies sitting on parchment paper, drizzle icing and allow it to set.  **(your favorite little ones would LOVE this job!)**  Store in airtight container.

And try not to eat the whole batch yourself....because...FIBER....



Enjoy!  And have a Happy Day!  





8/18/15

Bootie problems...


Remember these?!  Made them about 5 1/2 years ago when I was expecting my baby girl.  
{hold me}......why does time creep by slowly and then BAM! it's gone? 


Well, for some reason, the link I posted way back in 2010 (can you believe that we're saying "way back in 2010" ?? I mean...seriously, it was 5 years ago but it seems like yesterday) ...anyhoo, the link wasn't working so here is an updated link for those of you who want a super easy baby project:



That little FACE!!!  I miss squeezing that baby.  For the brief milliseconds that she let me squeeze her.    She....was.....hard.....  But adorable. 




Have a HAPPY day!!  





8/15/15

Raspberry White Chocolate Scones


What's not to love about Pinterest, right?!  I mean, seriously, what did we DO before Pinterest?!  We had to buy cookbooks (which I still still absolutely adore) but we were so lost out there on our own...stranded in the darkness... thank GOODNESS for Pinterest is all I can say.   And thanks to Pinterest, I found the cutest food blog, Little Dairy on the Prairie, which is loaded full of recipes and other fun things.  

Being that we LOVE breakfast at my house, I saw this recipe and knew we had to try it.  Of course, it was a huge hit, the whole family loved it, and paired with some eggs or a protein source, it made a fun addition to a busy school morning breakfast!  I made it the night before, super quick & easy, and for me it tasted better the next day warmed up a little.  

It's part biscuit, part cake, super moist, and SO incredibly delicious!  

original recipe here






Raspberry White Chocolate Scones
(I doubled the original recipe so that I would have leftovers, so this version is DOUBLED already)


Scones:
4 c. unbleached all-purpose flower
1/2 c. granulated sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. salt
12 Tbsp. butter, diced 
1 c. half and half (plus a little more if you need)
2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 c. fresh raspberries
1 c. Ghirardelli's white chocolate chips (they just taste so much better than most)
coarse sugar for sprinkling on top

Glaze:
2 c. powdered sugar
about 3 Tbsp. canned milk (or whatever milk you have, whipping cream would work, too)
dash salt

Wash raspberries and set in a single layer on a plate or sheet.  Freeze while preparing the rest of the recipe.  Keep butter in the fridge until needed, as well.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a food processor, add flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Pulse until combined.  Add butter and pulse until pea sized crumbs start to form.  Add half and half and vanilla.  Pulse only until the dough starts to come together.  Add extra half and half if mixture is too crumbly.

Remove dough onto a piece of parchment paper.  Gently incorporate the raspberries and chocolate chips into the dough without handing it too much.  It's okay if the dough gets a little sticky from the moisture in the berries.  Just press everything in together gently until it's evenly distributed.  

Place the dough onto the baking sheet lined with parchment paper, form into a round disk, about an inch thick.  Sprinkle the coarse sugar all over and cut dough into 16 wedges.  

Bake for 20-25 minutes.  Make the glaze by combining all ingredients until you reach the desired consistency you want.  For thick glaze, add less milk; for thinner glaze, add more milk.  If you get it too thin, just at some more powdered sugar.  I have found that my favorite glazes ever are made with heavy cream, but these scones are rich enough without it, so it's up to you on what you would like.

Glaze the scones when they are warm but not too hot.  










6/16/15

Every 6 months...


I think I'm on the every-6-months posting schedule.  I'm okay with that.  I don't have much time and when I do, there's nothing to post!  HAHA.   From my beginning days of blogging, my life has evolved into taking part in a few basic human tasks:  I cook, I clean, I take pictures, and I crochet.  Oh, and I read books and eat.  Can't forget about those!  I'm super good at eating.

So when I'm not cooking, cleaning, or eating (reading doesn't count because I can listen to a book and do all aforementioned activities), I have found that crochet is the easiest, cleanest activity for me.  {I despise cleaning up a project...}

These particular blankets are for one of my favorite friends, Lisa.  Her story is here if you want to read it - what a marvelous opportunity for us to serve our community.



This little confetti blanket is my favorite out of this batch, I think! 


I also found a Youtube video and taught myself to make Hexi's!  Being the bee lover that I am, it only makes sense that I make a hex blanket.  I'm super excited to see how it turns out.  I'm not too sure about the darker orange color - so I'll try out a bunch of different colors until I get it just right.  And now....only 98 more hexi's to go!  woohoo.

Have a happy day, everyone!!!
--Abby

12/2/14

Overwhelmed....

So I'm thinking that maybe I bit off more than I can chew.  Anybody else do that?!! 
I also make it a point to simplify when I'm feeling overwhelmed - or unbalanced.  When there is too much of something taking over my life (in my case, I have too many projects awaiting my time), I simplify and let things go.  My Love Nugget had knee reconstruction surgery in November and since then, I have fallen behind in everything.  So it's time to simplify, let some things go, and take one thing at a time.

So that's what I'm doing!  

My Craft-Along projects are at a standstill - but if you made any, I'd LOVE to see them.  
Feel free to post your photos HERE on our Craft-Along Flickr Page!!!



I will finish my hoops and get them up on the wall for the final photo - I just LOVE these!!  :)


And I can't help this new addiction - it's the Christmas Sampler from The Frosted Pumpkin and I'm way, way behind - so I've got a lot of catching up to do!  Stitching on this fine-weave linen is harder than I expected, but I think I've got it figured out now and I really want to finish this before Christmas.

Happy Crafting, everyone!!! 


11/5/14

Craft-Along Hoops...2 out of 3


Two down....one more to go!  
I can't leave anything alone, either - I needed snow for my snowman and Cute Verlynne suggested jingle bells and I {gasped} because, YES, these needed jingle bells.  Naturally.  I love putting 3-dimensional elements onto stitchery, so this is exciting for me.

Below is an illustration of the stitches I used.  Everything is mostly done in a backstitch, using 3 strands of DMC floss in a dark charcoal gray.  (#3799)

If you need a stitch guide, I made one a while back with the birth of my beloved advent tree!
Um...so that snowdrift...looks like a blind, drunk person did that in the dark, but the reality is that it WAS done in the dark, though I'm not very blind and I don't drink.  :/   However, I kind of like that it looks imperfect, so I'm going to leave it alone.  Sometimes imperfection is perfect!  :)

I also don't LOVE my snowman nose...I got a little artsy with turning it into a carrot and it doesn't look like I want it to...but I'm leaving it alone, as well.  

11/3/14

Christmas Craft-Along - Hoops



Okay, so since we're all crafting along together, here is what you have to do to start the hoops:

1.)  Measure your linen fabric & cut it to size, giving yourself plenty of space around the hoop.  My hoops are 8" around and I did the whole eyeball measure, snip, and tear technique.

If you're going to make a set of these, you might as well make two sets and give one away!  :)



2.)  Gather bits, pieces, and scraps of fabrics that you want to use.  I found all of mine at Wal-Mart, so my options were limited, but I ended up with colors that will work.



3.)  Iron-on Heat & Bond - DOUBLE SIDED.  You're going to want a paper lining on one side so you can iron one part onto your colored fabric and be able to iron the pieces onto your linen to secure them before stitching.



 4.)  Making my pattern pieces.  (Links to downloadable PDFs below)
If you don't like my pattern pieces, feel free to freehand your own - it's super easy.  Trace your hoop to get your dimensions and draw away, leaving yourself 2-3 inches on the edges to secure underneath the hoop when you're done.


 Now I'm going to trace my pieces onto the paper side of my Heat & Bond, cut them out, and iron them onto my linen.  Then I'll be ready to stitch them down and they'll be pretty much done!  

Make sure to print these on cardstock so they're easy to cut out and trace with.  

Hoops Pattern Page 1
Hoops Pattern Page 2


Make sure to trace your patterns IN REVERSE (right sides together).  If not, no worries, your images will just be mirrored to what mine are, which is totally fine.

When you're done tracing and cutting, make sure to remove the paper backing before you place them onto the linen.


So this is how I configured my pieces onto the fabric.  I set the ring down in the center and built inside of it, ensuring I have enough on the outer edges like I need.


Once I got the pieces exactly where I needed them to be, I moved the hoop and pressed everything down.  


Here is how the cutout images should be positioned: {sorry--didn't have time to edit these pics}
Notice that there is enough extra applique fabric beyond the borders of the hoop.






Have a Happy Day!!  And Happy Crafting! 
Let me know if you have any problems with the PDF patterns!!

-Abby


10/31/14

Not Ready Yet!!

Sorry!!  For the Craft-Along, I just won't be ready until Monday or Tuesday.  My Love Nugget had the week off and we've been out and about, getting things done, and playing out in the desert with some good friends.  We found a NEW friend, though.  {yikes}  Can you see it?!

 He's beautiful/frightening/creepy!!!  {Not sure if it's a he or she...didn't get close enough to check. Something about "poison" and "lock-jaw" kept me at a safe distance!}



 Happy Halloween!!!
--Abby