Pizzas on the Grill!

In honor of Memorial Day weekends spent grilling on the deck, I present to you one of my all-time favorite recipes! This is for an easy homemade pizza crust that you cook completely on the grill! How fun is that for a party?

I can't tell you how many times I have used this recipe. The best part is that all you have to do is chop the pizza toppings and toss them into some bowls. Then everyone can make their own pizza and you have very little to do at your own party. Score!

This recipe makes about six personal-size pizzas. Here's what you will need for ingredients:

2 T. honey
1 cup warm water (105-110 degrees, the hottest tap water)
1 envelope yeast (7 grams, 1/4 oz.)
2 t. salt
2 T. olive oil
2-3 cups whole wheat or white flour

Dissolve honey in warm water. Add the yeast and allow it to start bubbling. Add salt and olive oil. Progressively mix in the flour, starting with 2 cups and adding more as you go. (I do not add the full 3 cups, it's usually more like 2-2 1/2). Knead the dough, using a bit more of the flour to keep from sticking. It should look smooth and feel resilient.

Here is my dough right after I put the ingredients together:

Smear some olive oil in a bowl and coat the ball of dough so that it can stay moist. Cover with a damp towel and allow to rise for a few hours.

Here is my ball of dough after a few hours:

When you are ready to cook, divide the dough into six small balls and just use some flour on a rolling pin to roll them out. Also sprinkle the counter with flour to keep it from sticking. A helpful three-year-old is really crucial at this point:

Heat your grill and scrape it so it's nice and smooth. Do not add the toppings yet! Lay each mini-pizza on the grill over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, just until the bottoms are starting to brown on one side. Remove from the grill and allow people to put their toppings on the already-grilled side. Below, you can see one of our pizzas with the toppings applied, but before it has been fully cooked through.

Put the pizzas back on the grill (raw dough side down) for another 2-3 minutes, until the toppings are melted and the bottom is browned. Here is one of our creations, about to come off the grill:

This is such a fun way to have a party and to involve the guests in the cooking (especially your husband!). Every time we've done this with friends, people have raved about it.

Give it a try sometime. And have a great Memorial Day weekend!


I Got Fakies!

Fake plants, that is. Why, what did you think I meant? :)

After showing you my summer flowers a few days ago, it occurred to me that some of you may be--like me--gardening deficient. So I thought I would show you how I get a lot of green into my home, with minimal risk.

I am a big proponent of having something green and "living" in every room. But in certain areas, they would either be hard to water, or perhaps not ideal for a living plant to flourish. So here's a smattering of how I mix up the two in my home.


Perhaps some of these photos will give you ideas how to bring more "green" into your home, be it real or fake!


Got Summer?

Well, I spent my weekend planting flowers, and it finally looks like summer around here!

Gotta say, though, that bets are being taken on how long these beautiful plants will stay alive.

In the meantime, I am loving my purple and green color combination!

And do you even believe those hydrangeas? They're real! They look so lovely that everyone assumes they are fakies. Can't say I blame them. Most people know of my gardening woes.


Check back with me in a few weeks to see if these babies are still alive and kickin'!


Supermarket Hydrangeas

Wish I could tell you that I have hydrangeas in my yard. In fact, I wish I had the guts to show you how pathetic my backyard looks right now! Colorado is not kind to those of us who already have "the black thumb." We rely on sprinkler systems and a lack of hailstorms to keep things green around here. It's not good for people like me.

Anyway, it's lucky that my local supermarket sells flowers. I recently bought a bouquet of three hydrangeas and decided to spread the love throughout my house.

In my kitchen:

My family room:

And our bedroom:

See, this way I can pretend I live on a beautiful country estate where the smell of hydrangeas wafts onto my front porch and through my open French doors. Of course, in this fantasy, my house is clean, my kids sit quietly reading Charles Dickens, my personal chef prepares dinner, and I sit peacefully with my hydrangeas sipping a glass of wine.



Unique Herbal Iced Tea

Happy Monday!

I found a great recipe for iced tea that I wanted to share. Don't know about you, but regular old iced tea doesn't do much for me. So when I came across this recipe by the Barefoot Contessa, I immediately adapted it to my own tastes. And you all know how I feel about the Barefoot Contessa. (She's my BFF, though she doesn't know it.)

Here is her original recipe:

4 Celestial Seasonings Lemon Zinger tea bags
4 Celestial Seasonings Red Zinger tea bags
4 cups pure apple juice

Steep the 8 tea bags in 4 cups of boiling water for about 10 minutes. Discard the tea bags. Combine the tea with the apple juice and refrigerate until cold. Serve over ice.

However, I wanted something that would still be sweet, but not have all the sugar and calories from the apple juice. And then I couldn't find the Red Zinger tea bags, so I had to improvise. Here's what I did instead:

4 Celestial Seasonings Lemon Zinger tea bags
4 Celestial Seasonings Cranberry Apple Zinger tea bags
4 cups Ocean Spray Diet Cranberry juice

Steep the 8 tea bags in 4 cups of boiling water for about 10 minutes. Discard the tea bags. Combine the tea with the cranberry juice and refrigerate until cold. Serve over ice.

This can just sit in the fridge for drinking every day, but is also fun to serve at a ladies' lunch or baby shower. Now that warm weather is actually here in Colorado, I might actually crave this instead of hot cocoa!



Why I Keep Shopping Secondhand

I must admit, the winter is long for a Goodwill shopper like me! For the past few months, I've been striking out big time when I shop secondhand. Slim pickings at the shops, no garage sales to behold, even Craig's List has been sad in Denver.

However...I don't know if it's spring fever or what, but lately my luck has been changing. Yippee! Maybe people are just in the mood to purge all their junk? Garage sale season is kicking in, after all! Whatever it is, the lesson is clear: sometimes things look bleak, but keep going. You never know what you're going to find!

A few weeks ago this theory panned out, big time! I went to Goodwill and got this little gem:

I gave it my own special treatment of paint and stain, and now it looks like this:

On the same trip, I ran into a great rug. Now, I usually don't go for rugs and other fabrics at the Goodwill, but this one was perfect! My guest room used to have this (nice, but a little too yellow) jute rug:

I found this (less yellow) sisal rug, same size, softer underfoot. In perfect shape!

Lesson learned? Keep shopping! Just when you think you'll strike out again, you might hit a home run! See you out there this weekend? :)


Today's Creative Blog: I Love It!

Have you ever visited Today's Creative Blog? It is an absolutely fantastic place to find so many crafty ideas out there. I found it early in my blogging days and whenever I need a homey-type inspiration, that's where I go!

Just mentioning it because I was recently featured as a Flashback. Whoopee! I just love being connected to all you creative peeps.

More soon. It's snowing here in Colorado. Yep, you heard me right. So I am holed up in the house with my kiddos and who knows what might result from that!


Mother's Day Wrap Up

Hi everyone! Did you have a good weekend?

However you celebrated Mother's Day, I hope it was a good one. I got to spend mine with my two favorite little people. See them below? We went to brunch and had a great day! But does anyone know how to get a three-year-old to smile at the camera?

And my favorite big person (aka husband Brent) took great care of me on Mother's Day. Check out my new gift!
It's this adorable purse kind of thing from Lucky Brand. The straps are long enough that it can cross over my chest instead of the usual juggling-Henry-on-one-arm-and-slugging-my-purse-around-on-the-other-arm routine. I highly recommend it if you are in the market for a fancy new way to drag around your junk.

I'll see you later this week...I promise I'll get back to the regularly scheduled house stuff!


Burlap Candle Cover

Have I ever told you about my obsession with Yankee Candle? Specifically their Spiced Pumpkin scent. I burn it practically year-round! Problem is, the orange doesn't really, you know, go with my decor. And a girl's gotta think about her color scheme.

I had some extra burlap lying around, and a glue gun. I wrapped the burlap around the glass, then folded over a seam and ironed it to stay in place (I took it off the candle first!). Then I just used the glue gun to seal it up, and trimmed the top with some scissors. (Make sure if you do this that you trim the burlap low enough so that it won't catch fire when you light the candle!)

The candle cover was cute, but I thought it needed something more. So, I printed out some numbers in a cute font (Modern No. 20 in case you're wondering!) and used this technique to trace it onto the burlap.

Then I used a black fabric paint pen to trace the letters and numbers.

I loved the effect so much, I made a second one for the guest room. The covers fit tightly around the candles, but not so tightly that I can't take them off and on as I change candles. Yay for cute, easy and cheap!


Fun With Burlap!

If you've been into a Pottery Barn store lately, you've probably seen their cute greenery. I love how the bases of the pots are wrapped in burlap. Here's an example of what I'm talking about (from their holiday line).

image from potterybarn.com

I'm sure you've seen this idea all over blogland, so here's just one more reason to get inspired! I took some leftover burlap and literally just wound it around a pot, then tied it with some twine.

The hardest part was cleaning all the burlap scraps off my floor. Seriously!

While I had the burlap out, I came up with another use for it. Check it out below! (And I'll be back soon to show you how I did it.)

See you in a few days!