Monday, April 30, 2012

Sunday Breakfast Pizza

I love the ease of having pizza for a meal.   It's something everybody loves, it's relatively easy, fairly inexpensive, can be dressed up or down, eaten hot, enjoyed cold or reheated quickly and easily.  What's not to like?

I spend a few hours every month or so in the kitchen making pizza dough to freeze.  When I want to make a pizza I just pull out some dough, let it thaw, roll it out and that easily I have a pizza crust.  The dough thaws very quickly so you can take it out in the evening and still have pizza the same night with just an hours notice.   Or you can take it out the day before and let it thaw in the fridge.   

  • Sunday Breakfast Pizza

pizza dough
2 -3 eggs 
1/4 cup milk
ounces shredded cheddar cheese
ounces shredded mozzerella cheese
6 - 8 ounces cooked sausage crumbled 
herbes de provence or dried basil and thyme (optional)
Parsley for garnish (optional)


  1. Preheat your oven to 400
    Roll out your pizza dough to about 1/4" thickness.  I have a pizza stone in my oven so at this point I put the dough on a pizza board that already has cornmeal on it to help it slide onto the stone.  If you do not have a stone you can just put the dough in a pizza pan or a cookie sheet.
    Make sure you have a little bit of a lip on the edge of your dough to keep the egg mix on it.  I make little dimples to help hold the egg as well.  Beat your eggs with the milk and pour this into the dough.   I use a spatula to cover the dough with it except the edge.   
    Mix the cheddar and mozzerella cheeses together.   Sprinkle evenly over the egg mix. 
    Next add your crumbled sausage  
    Finally sprinkle with herbes de provence and a bit of fresh parsley if you have it on hand
    Put in oven and let cook until your crust is done to your likeness.  Mine generally takes about 12 minutes.

Homemade Croutons

I love good croutons.  A while back my girl and I went to dinner at a restaurant, a rare occurrence anymore.   Both our meals included a trip to the salad bar.  As I looked over the offerings I could tell just by looking the croutons would be good and boy were they ever.   After finishing my salad I made the comment that I would come back again just for those croutons, they were that good.    

I have tried many store brands over the years and find most to be rather bland, offering up not much more than a bit of a crunch to whatever I am adding them to.   So I decided to try to duplicate the ones I  had at dinner out.  I've been making our own bread so with that as a base it would be an inexpensive way to dress up salads, soups and use as a savory snack.

I knew the ones I had were probably not baked but fried.  I had seen a friend make some that way once and decided to give that a go.  Hers were absolutely delicious too.

I let 2 baguettes dry out for a few days on the counter.   Cut them into appropriate sized pieces.  Where the baguette was too hard I popped it into the microwave for 25 seconds to soften it enough to cut up.

I heated up some olive oil to medium high in the cast iron fry pan and then added enough bread to cover the bottom of the pan a single layer deep.  I sprinkled heavily with dried basil, thyme, garlic and salt.  I turned them a bunch to cover all sides with oil and herbs and then let them sit to brown a minute without turning.  They brown quickly.   After browning as best I could on all sides I put that batch in a bowl and made another until all the bread was gone.   I was very heavy handed with the seasonings.

They came out deliciously.   I used them on a plain tomato soup that night.   I had left them on the counter in a bowl but because neither of us can pass without grabbing a couple I've bagged them in put them in the cupboard.     It's nice to have something on hand that can make something ordinary like tomato soup become something you crave.

My next batch is going to be seasoned with herbs de provence to go with homemade cream of broccoli  or cream of celery soup.   Yum.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Paper Anyone?

An Upcycled Lamp covered in pieces of handmade paper.

My name is Elizabeth and I am addicted to paper.   Yes, it's true.  I absolutely love scrapbook papers, handmade papers and interesting gift wrapping papers.  I love them all.  There is just so much you can do with paper and it's relatively inexpensive.  

I purchased this lamp at Goodwill for $1.60.   It was originally shiny brass and it was just the rounded upper portion.  Where the arrow is was the bottom. I needed a small lamp for my bedside table but wanted it more stable so I added an upside down terra cotta plant saucer to it to give it much needed stability using some gorilla glue.

Once the glue was dried I used the Golden High Solid gel to fill in the gap but you could just use caulk or whatever you have around. Next, I smeared the whole thing with regular gel matte and then painted it with beige acrylic paint from the  the craft section of Walmart.   I always have some on hand for small art projects.   When the paint was dried I took some handmade paper and torn it up.  I sprayed it lightly with water and just started placing it.  I used a few different papers.  One had some pieces of dried flowers in it but you can't see it in the photo's.   Very pretty though.   Then I punched some doodles out of an old book I bought for .25 at the library.  I will use it to make an altered book album for pictures eventually but the printed words on the punched flowers and doodles adds interest.  I had a bunch of tiny green stones for jewelery making and I added a few of those too.   I used some decoupage paste and put a thin layer of that all over it and let it dry.   If you don't have decoupage paste you can use gesso, gel medium or modge podge.   All of those can be bought at Michaels or JoAnn's or probably even Walmart.  While it was drying I cut some ribbon, doubled it and glued it to the front top of the shade, added a button and voila...I have a staple bedside lamp that is uniquely mine.

Steno pad covered with scraps of pretty paper

I am addicted to lists as well as papers.  I use inexpensive steno pads and cover them with scraps of paper, add an embellishment and some ribbon and I have something I enjoy making lists in.

Scrappy Walls!

This picture came from the above blog but I love it!  I don't know what was used here but scrapbook papers, old wallpaper books, handmade papers etc. would all work great.  

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Jalapeno Cheese Bread

I love cheesy jalapeno bread.   I have it with my morning coffee, as a snack during the day or occasionally with a mexican meal instead of tortilla's. 

Yield 2 Loaves

  • 2 cups warm water
  • tablespoons olive oil
  • cups bread flour or all purpose flour
  • teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • tablespoon active dry yeast or 2 pkt of instant
  • 2 1/2 cups of cheddar cheese shredded
  • 2  finely diced  jalapeno peppers (I used bottled this time)
  • cornmeal for baking sheet
  • egg white, slightly beaten




  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
    Add warm water, sugar and yeast together in a small bowl.   Let sit till foamy - about 5 min.
    Take 1/2  tbsp of olive oil and coat the inside of a larger bowl. I also coat my dough hook when I use my Kitchen Aid mixer  to mix.   Put the yeast mix in the larger bowl.  Add the oil and salt to the yeast mix.  Slowly add  5  1/2  cups of flour to it.
    When thoroughly mixed dust a cutting board or your counter with a bit of flour and empty the contents of the bowl onto it to work the dough using the last 1/2 cup  of flour to make a firm dough.  Can use more if needed.  Knead it until it's  smooth. 
    You can either cover the dough with a clean dishcloth and let it rise on the board or counter  or put it back into a covered  bowl to let it rise.  I use a bowl  so I can put it in a place that is warm.   Let it rise till it has doubled in size.   
    When it has doubled put it back on a floured board and punch down.  Knead again to get all the gas bubbles out. 
    Sprinkle cornflour or cornmeal onto a baking sheet  ( I use parchment paper on a cookie sheet with cornmeal on it) 
    Roll or stretch dough into a long piece.   Sprinkle the cheese to cover retaining a small amount for the top.  Do the same with the peppers. 
    Starting at one end roll up.   When all rolled cut it in the middle to make 2 loaves.I use a serrated bread knife to do this.  Place the loaves on the pan cut side up.  
    Cover and let rise for 25 more minutes.
  2. It should be doubled again by this time.
  3. Brush all over with the beaten egg white.  Sprinkle with remaining cheese and peppers. 
  4. Bake 25 minutes to 35 minutes, until hollow sounding when tapped on bottom.
  5. Cool.

The recipe was originally for Italian bread and I just adapted it.  I'm sure if you have 
a favorite bread recipe you could use that instead.   The loaf behind the Cheesy Jalapeno 
loaves was the original recipe.   I just formed it differently, added black poppy seeds,  sesame 
seeds and chopped dried onions to make it into Everything Bread.   


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