Saturday, October 31, 2009

New Day, New Contest!

I entered another blogging contest,

Its the French's Cook-Off 2009!.

I love broccoli and cheddar bites, or spinach and artichoke bites (frozen foods, vegetarian of course, lol!) the dip suggestions on the back were too mayonnaise'y (yes, its a word in my own personal dictionary thankyouverymuch) so I improvised my own. Adjust for your own little tastebuds preferences, and enjoy!

2 tbsp horseradish mustard
1-2 tsp mayonnaise
1 tsp fresh minced garlic (I've used powder or dried but its not as good)
1 tsp lemon juice

Combine all ingredients, taste-test it, and get to dippin. Smiley Faces

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Calmer Times

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA oh I crack myself up! Hey, calm usually goes hand in hand with normal, right? And normal is soooo completely overrated, so calm must be like totally beyond good. And I'll stick with that belief cause then I can continue to remain in the chaotic pandemonium that is our lives and be completely ignorant to any other way of life.

This week brings change-more metaphoric than anything. Not tangeable change, at least not yet; but change that has a level of enormity that my mind just can't seem to grasp. Okay so there's lots of things that can do that to me--why do the boys not know they miss the toilet? why does a certain 11 year old think entering preteen years allows screaming fits of mood swings that dwarf the toddler tantrums? why does the adult child not remember she's still a child-or remember she's an adult, whichever I'd prefer in any given moment? Okay, so as I often have done on my blog I digress. Which is why I've not blogged for some time because my mind is all over the place. I SWEAR I just heard a bunch of chuckles and "like that's anything new?" Be nice please, I'm very sensitive these days. Which actually does take me back to what I was talking about. The change arriving this week. No, not that change. Its just a formality really, I know that. Yet thinking ahead to saying to someone "I'm Div.....", ugh-see? I can't even type it. The kids are handling it all much better than I am. They have accepted it as it is and moved forward; have I mentioned how amazing my kids are? Oh wait I think I am contradicting myself cause I did mention some unflattering things just a few sentences ago. But maybe I wasn't talking about my kids, so there! Or maybe its part of what makes them normal kids. But normal is overrated. I said that, too, didn't I. YIKES! I'm going to stop typing now. Cause I know I'm pretty confused at this point and I'm the one typing it all. Questions? Um...ask someone who knows me to answer cause I'll digress. lol.


First is the pizza dough recipe, from The website has loads of tips and hints. It really is incredible and just as described: sweet and chewy inside and slightly crispy outside. I didn't use semolina flour but plan on using it next time--I can't imagine it tasting even better! Also, I used my bread machine. If you do, just put ingredients into the bread pan as your machine manufacturer recommends.

1 1/2 cups very warm water
2 teaspoons yeast
2 teaspoons sugar
16 ounces (about 2 3/4 cups) bread flour
3 1/2 ounces (1/2 cup) semolina flour
1 teaspoon salt

you will also need:
a food processor
about a tablespoon of olive oil
a large bowl

Instructions: Makes 2 Medium Pizzas, Each Serving 2-3 People

Using your food processor, you can make a perfect pizza dough in under 5 minutes with hardly any mess to your kitchen. Of course, you could also mix the dough in a heavy duty stand mixer, in a bread machine, or by hand (although the latter would be serious workout).

Place very warm water, yeast and sugar in food processor and pulse once or twice to mix. While most recipes will tell you to use lukewarm water when making yeast dough, I find that by the time you take hot water, put it into a measuring cup and then into a food processor, it has cooled significantly. I always use water that is almost too hot to the touch, and have always had great luck with this dough. Let sit while you measure out the dry ingredients.

After 2-3 minutes you will see small bubbles forming in the liquid in the food processor, which indicates that your yeast is working. Dump in the dry ingredients and turn on the food processor. The machine will go all the work, including the kneading. After about a minute the dough should form into a ball going around in your food processor. Open the machine and take a look. If you think the dough is too wet, you can add a bit a flour, but know that too wet is better than too dry, and the dough will loose some of its stickiness as it rises.

Place about a tablespoon of olive oil in a large bowl. Take the dough out of the food processor (putting a little olive oil on your hands will keep it from sticking) and form it into a ball. Place in the bowl and turn to lightly coat with the olive oil. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let dough rise in a warm, draft free place for about an hour or until doubled in size, before rolling out and baking. For a crust with a perfect pizzeria taste and texture, I recommend baking on a pizza stone in a very hot oven (500 - 550°F for about 10 -12 minutes.

Make Ahead
Make several pizza doughs ahead and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days (the dough develops an even better flavor this way). let rise once, punch down, and store on a zipper tops gallon bag in fridge until ready to use. Let dough come to room temperature before proceeding. You also let the dough rise and freeze it for future use. Thaw for a couple of days in the fridge or for about 4-6 hours on the counter. Bring to room temperature before proceeding.

The next recipe is from "Frozen Assets" by Debra Taylor-Hough, its "Debi's Million Dollar Chocolate Chip Cookies" and they are YUMMMY.

2 cups butter
2 cups sugar
2 cups brown sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp salt
2 tsps baking powder
2 tsps baking soda
4 cups flour
5 cups blended oatmeal*
24 ounces chocolate chips
1 8-ounce chocolate bar (grated)
3 cups chopped walnuts (optional, I didn't use them)
*First, measure oatmeal. Then blend into a fine powder in a mill or blender. (I used my blender first, then food processor--the processor worked WAY better.)

Cream together butter and both sugars. Add eggs and vanilla. Sift together and then stir in salt, baking powder, baking soda and flour. Stir in blended oats. Mix in chips, grated chocolate bar and nuts. Roll into balls, and place two inches apart on cookie sheet. Bake at 10 minutes at 375 degrees.

I didn't roll them, I used a cookie scoop, same effect I think. Also, bit tip from me--make sure you use a BIG bowl and a POWERFUL mixer. Cause otherwise you might have dough flying out of your too small bowl or your mixer might burn out. I'm just sayin'