Homemade Everyday Pizza

Mmmm.  Hot from the oven.

You know what I mean. It’s Wednesday.  You’re trying to save money so no eating out, the leftovers are looking nasty (even though they’re not) and you’re hangry because you’ve spent the last three hours doing hard labor in the yard.  So what do you do?  Make a pizza!

Whoa, whoa! you’re thinking.  Glenda, we’re hungry and want to eat.  We don’t have the time nor energy.  And I respond with, Surprisingly, yes you do.  I don’t especially like to cook and when I do, I try to make it as quick as possible, unless it’s a Julia Child recipe; then, I plan for that weeks in advance.  I know I ain’t making it out of there under four hours.  So, if this is your approach to dinner, then this recipe will definitely be right up your alley!

Point made.

Recipe ~


1 C.                        warm water

1 pkg.                    active dry yeast OR 2 tsp. active dry yeast

1 tsp.                     sugar

1 tsp.                     salt

2 TBSP.                 oil

2 ¼ C.                   flour

In a medium bowl, dissolve yeast in the warm water.  Sprinkle a scant amount of sugar over the top to help the yeast bloom.  While this is happening, gather together the other ingredients and put in the same bowl.  Stir vigorously with a sturdy spoon 20 times.  If the dough gets too thick, get your hands in there and do some mix/kneading for about half a minute.  Let the dough rest for at LEAST five minutes.

Preheat oven to 425°.

While the dough is resting, make your sauce and prepare your toppings.


8 oz.                       tomato sauce

1 tsp.                       salt

1 ½ TBSP.             fresh oregano OR 2 tsp. dried oregano (I use dried – easier!)

¼ tsp.                     garlic powder

Mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl.  See what I mean?  Easy.

Now that your dough has rested for a bit, shape on a greased 15” pizza round, or pat into a greased 9 x 13” pan.  I like fluting my edges, similar to a pie crust, just so I have a kind of “handle” to hold my pizza in my hands.  Now add the sauce and your desired toppings, pop in the oven for 20 – 25 minutes.


Curvy Girl Patterns and Bold Progress

I was so pleased to see Lion Brand step up their game when they introduced a line of free patterns geared especially for us “Curvy” girls!  Yay!  I must admit that the Cowl Neck Knit Tunic is looking like a high priority on my list.  I would like to make it for the winter 2015/16 season, but I already have so many projects backed up here!  Grrrr.  I’ve included the link here – now go have fun!

And speaking of backed up projects list, I am actually hacking away, successfully, at one that, surprisingly enough, I have never done before; the Christmas list.  Some of you may be thinking “What?  All these years you’ve knit and crochet and have never gifted them before?”  I know, I know.  Every year I think about it, around December 12th.  You see the problem.  But this year, I’m on a mission.  No, I didn’t start in July like I was supposed to, but I have chosen fast, crocheted hats and beanies for the young ‘uns, so this plan should work.  So far, I have punched out two this week and intend to be done with another tonight – woo-hoo!  I found the burger hat online from a talented fiber artist – click here for the pattern!

As almost an afterthought, I wanted to include some pics of my completed Autumn Wrap.  I know I did mention it a few posts earlier, and I have been working on it diligently in the meanwhile.  Not as happy as I thought I would be .  I don’t seem to have a sense of color matching like I should.  :-(  A little caveat for those of you who want to get decent pictures of your work:  don’t let the husband do it!

Free Photoshop Action Bonanza

before and after

You all know how I like to share a good thing when possible.  This is one of them.  I follow Vandelay blog because sometimes their giveaways are just the shiznit.  There are 35 new actions, and the one I used for this image was Strong Matte.  If you’ve followed them on occasion you’ll be thrilled to know that this is a totally new set, though I can’t complain about their older offerings.  Learned all sorts of neat new PS special effects, including glowing lines.  Whoo!

If you like PS actions like I do, you’ll love these.   http://www.vandelaydesign.com/ps-actions/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Vandelay+%28Vandelay+Website+Design%29

That Didn’t Last Long

In my last post, I talked of eating less meat.  At this point, I would like to quote one of my all-time favorite movies,

I never noticed the pumpkins in the background until right now...whoa.

I never noticed the pumpkins in the background until right now…whoa.

The Outlaw Josie Wales, when the character Granny Hawkins, who was sitting in her rocking chair on the porch and sucking on her cob pipe, remarked to wildly overblown stories about our anti-hero while showing off her lovely gums (no teeth – where did Clint Eastwood find these actors?) “All that big talk don’t mean doodly-squat.”

I even had Baked Broccoli With Macaroni and Cheese

I even had Baked Broccoli With Macaroni and Cheese

I had about four or five days where I was good, people.  Good.  I thought, yes, I’m ready.  Now is the time to cut myself back to lean meats when I eat them, about twice a week.

So my actively and unashamedly carnivore daughter tells me of a new deli in Grass Valley that also serves take-away food.  They do organic, vegan, vegetarian, gluten free food options high quality meats and cheeses and…yeah.  You don’t even have to see the pictures to know who fell off their self-imposed semi-vegetarian diet.  Ah.  At least it was for tremendously good meat.  These pictures really don’t do them any justice, and this was just what we bought on the day.

What’s worse, they’re friendly(!).  And they’re busy.  And they’re Italian.  You see what I mean?  They also sell local goodies.  They’ll be there for awhile.  You may also be scratching your head, thinking, Glenda, you said they offer vegetarian options.  Yea, yea, yea.  Hush.  So those of you wishing to cut back on your meat consumption, this is La Gastronomia in Grass Valley, California.  Bwa haha!

Now I have two places I consider superb that are local.  The other restaurant I speak of also deserves its own post, so I’ll get to that later.

Lesson learned?  From failure comes great discovery!

See you in the funny pages.

Moosewood Revisited

Pretty set up.

How many of you remember the 70s and the organic/vegetarian/yoga movement?  No?  Very briefly, these concepts were a direct result of the “tune in, turn on and drop out” mindset from the 60s, but a little more realistic than the naivete that drove so many young idealists to believe the fantastic, plastic Madison Avenue Establishment was going to crumble with non-violent demonstrations (that turned violent when the cops or the National Guard showed up) and mind-expanding LSD.  The experiences garnered during this turbulent time brought about changes as banal as middle of the road music (remember The Carpenters?), as radical as experimental relationship options like open marriages and as big as heightened awareness for the general public about our eating habits.

Which brings me to my eating habits.  One of the things I briefly flirted with at this time was veganism.  I visited some local eateries that specialized in vegan food and experienced my first pita bread sandwich without any meat, cheese or mayonnaise.  I had raw banana-apple juice without and sweeteners.  I became aware that not all was right with the world, including where my food came from.  Mind you, I was already indoctrinated to the idea, and practice, of not eating so much meat because the way I was raised.  Our diet included dairy products, which is called ovo-lacto vegetarianism; however, my mother worked full-time to raise my sister and I, so sometimes frequently, she came home tired and didn’t feel like cooking.  That’s when we were “treated” to McDonald’s and the local greasy spoons and their wonderfully fatty, meaty fare.  Vegetarian drive-thru options after 5:30 pm in Bakersfield in this era were non-existent.  Now, that I think about it, they’re still pretty rare even today.

Anyway, life went on.  I married a meat-eater and together we raised a most serious carnivore.  Over the years, though,  I have had trouble with reconciling my animal love:

with this:

Not exactly appetizing in this form...

Not exactly appetizing in this form…

BTW, National Hamburger Day for 2016 is May 28.

Enter: The Moosewood cookbook I just recently purchased to help me with my nutritional changes.  This book was the seminal vegetarian cookbook of the 70s.  Originally published in 1974 to a local audience in response to the popularity of the Moosewood Restaurant in Ithica, New York, Mollie Katzen, one of the original founding members, handwrote and illustrated this collection of recipes.  Interestingly, none of the cooks were professionally trained as chefs.  They were a bunch of friends who wanted to share their love of vegetarian food.  Funny how these things happen.  As history goes, 10-Speed Press in Berkeley, California got wind of this culinary gem and published it for the rest of the world in 1977, when it became a huge best-seller.

Though I never purchased the book itself, I was affected by it because my sister and mother cooked from it, and it fit with the religious and nutritional beliefs held by our family at the time.  When my daughter bought an original edition on Amazon, we both pored over it for different reasons.  My daughter, Rachel, as mentioned throughout my blog posts, is a trained chef and works as one.  Her passion for food and dedication to learning the many aspects of it is an ongoing process.  Her cookbook library is extensive and includes such favorites as The Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook to the obscure.  Unlike me, when I get a cookbook I’m just looking for the recipes, I’m not going to bother with the methods or the how and why.  She actually learns from them.  Imagine that.

Last night, I made my first adult foray into Moosewood and chose the Mexican Pepper Casserole.  Of course.  It was an easy recipe with, sadly enough, a few minor errors.  The first boo-boo I noticed was the fact that she has you mince 4 – 5 garlic cloves, and doesn’t tell you what to do with them.

Second, the amount of oil that is recommended is not sufficient for the flour she has you add later on.  Since it was dairy based, Rachel had to add about 1/4 cup of cream so I could continue cooking without scorching everything.  I cross checked this version with my daughter’s vintage version and yes, the garlic was supposed to go in with the onions – but I wouldn’t have done that anyway; garlic burns so easily.  I did like that when I pulled the dish out of the oven the eggs in the sour cream mixture had poofed up like a souffle; and like any souffle that I make, it went back down after a few minutes.  After that, I don’t know because Rachel and I were serving it up.

It was quite filling and very meatless.  I didn’t have to worry about how Flossie cow died for this meal.

Mammograms and a Yearly Reprieve

What is it about that yearly exam that makes one think of death as an imminent event in one’s life? True, most of us don’t know when we’re going to die, but there are certain reminders of that fragile state known as “living” and one of them, at least for me, is my annual boob mashing.

Yeah...it is as uncomfortable as it looks.

Yeah…it is as uncomfortable as it looks.

All year long I’m busy living my daily life, taking my health for granted and the illusion that I’ll have it forever.  Working at a doctor’s office, I talk to patients who have all sorts of health concerns, and it always freaks me out when cancer is involved.  Cancer knows no age limits, no general health indicators, no gender or race preference.  I have lost family and friends to cancer and there’s always a story from a friend or acquaintance about some unlikely, for lack of a better word, victim, who has just been diagnosed with this scourge.  At work, there have been patients whose cases have made it difficult for me to maintain composure and all I can think is “Fuck cancer!”

So every year I get checked.  And every year, while waiting for the results, I think to myself, “What if this time…?”  So every time I get the all clear, I feel as if I’ve been given a reprieve from the inevitable.

The point of this post?  Just wondering if I’m the only one who goes through this.  Am I?

The New Project Progress and a Freebie Pattern

A more stylized view of this delicious yarn!

A more stylized view of this delicious yarn!

About 1/3 of the way through my Autumn Wrap and I’m already doubting myself yet again.  I’m

Basket weave!

Basket weave!

not sure I like the color combos.  I adore the colors, but the way I’m putting them together just doesn’t seem to click.  Before I get too rash and throw away what I have done so far – ahem! – I will use all the colors and see how I like it then.  I understand that sometimes you need to have a little faith in your vision.  Maybe I’m jittery because this is the first time I have ever used two yarns at once and made the very simple basketweave pattern?  I don’t know.  We shall persevere.

On a more decidedly upbeat note, I have finally written down the pattern for my cute little baby booby beanie.  Back in December of 2014, I posted a pic of this:

Baby Booby Breastfeeding Beanie - sorry about the alliteration!

Baby Booby Breastfeeding Beanie – sorry about the alliteration!

I promised to post the pattern.  Being that it was December, my crafting life was definitely busy, and this simple little project was put aside.  It’s simple and quick and makes a great gift for the expectant/breastfeeding mother.  I’m sure you could also make this as a gag gift for an adult, but you’ll have to figure that out yourself – LOL!  The instructions are for up to 12 months.  Click on the picture to get the pattern, or go to the Crafting Links under Crochet and find it as Baby Booby Beanie.