Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sprucing up the bathroom

This is a picture from our "guest bathroom." We got this shower curtain (right of photo) for the bathroom but had nothing else in there. So I decided it needed something (preferably something cheap). I got the idea from my sister-in-law, Hayley. She made something like this for her room, only I made my individual squares smaller and did a completely different color scheme/style. All this wall arrangement requires are nine 6X6 inch squares of styrofoam, your choice of scrapbook paper, and ribbon to go around the outside edge. We were stoked when we found the dot paper that practically looks exactly like our shower curtain. This was a very fun project that would be fun to do in a child's room, or even in a living/family room. It definitely made our bathroom a little more friendly.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Spicy BBQ Chicken Pizza

This was my first time making a pizza with a real crust. I usually use pita bread or ready-made crusts because I don't have the time. Although, I must confess that I used my breadmaker for this dough. So I guess I still haven't made the real thing.
The pizza was a success! When I say it was a success I mean that I really liked it and Landon really liked it. When it comes to pizza, Landon usually sticks to cheese and pepperoni. Not only did this pizza have BBQ sauce, it also had chicken, onion, red onion, yellow bell pepper, and fresh tomatoes. It was a novel experience for him and he really enjoyed it. He suggested it was a great "cold day" meal because it was nice and warm and the BBQ sauce was a little spicy.
Here is the recipe.

Half-Wheat Pizza Crust Dough (in breadmaker)
  • 1 cup water (80 degrees)
  • 2 Tbs. oil
  • 1 Tbs. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/4 c. whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/4 c. bread flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Quick-rise yeast (I use saf-instant)
  1. This recipe makes one thick crust or two thins crusts. Place dough on lightly floured surface and roll out (or toss, if you are brave) into desired shape (circle, rectangle, heart, etc.). Place on baking surface, I recommend a pizza stone. Generously prick dough with a fork.
  2. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes or until edges of crust begin to turn a light golden brown. Remove, add toppings and return to oven to bake an additional 15-20 minutes.
  • your favorite BBQ sauce (I used Sunflower Market's Spicy BBQ Sauce)
  • chicken- shredded
  • cheese (I used shredded mozzarella)
  • any veggie toppings you like! I used yellow and red onions, yellow bell pepper, and tomatoes
  1. Mix chicken in BBQ sauce and spread over pizza crust, leaving a one inch border. Top with cheese and other toppings of your choice.
  2. ENJOY!
Ratings (scale of 0 to 10)
Landon: 8.0
Katherine: 8.0

Sunday, November 9, 2008

I'll sing my praise to Borah High!

I really enjoyed my high school experience. I participated in cross country, choir, honor society, and was a faithful Borah sports fan (aka: Rowdie). Because of these, I collected quite a few Borah shirts that would have been difficult to part with. Instead of throwing them away, I made a quilt out of them because you can always use more quilts.

Out of all the t-shirt squares, this one wins first prize.

This is the back of my cross country shirt from 2002 (my junior year). It was drawn by Steven Waggoner. It is the classic scene from Lion King, only the lion is wearing running shoes and all of our rival mascots are bowing in submission.
This was a very fun project that allows me to be sentimental without being a pack rat.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut squash soup is perfect for a chilly fall day. When I originally served this meal, I did so in my everyday yellow dishes. I did not take a picture that day because it looked terrible (they were the same color). So this picture is from the day I had the leftovers for lunch.
For the finished product, I combined a couple of recipes. The main recipe came from my sister-in-law, Tonja. I did not follow Tonja's recipe exactly because it said to cut the squash into 1 inch pieces and then boil it. I did not have the time or energy to cut the tough hull, so I roasted it. The cumin gives this soup a very nice flavor. Here is the recipe!

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
  • 1 large butternut squash- 2 lbs.
  • olive oil cooking spray
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbs. cumin
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • dash of cayenne pepper
  • dash of chili powder
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 can fat free evaporated milk
  • 1 Liter fat-free, reduced sodium chicken broth
  • Parmesan cheese (just a sprinkle)
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut squash in half lengthwise, scoop out seeds. Spray all sides of squash with cooking spray. Place cut side down on a non-stick baking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes.
  3. While squash is roasting, add oil to a large soup pot. Saute onions for 5-6 minutes or until they are clear and golden.
  4. Add cumin, cayenne, chili powder, pepper, salt, and chicken broth. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. Remove squash from oven and scoop out squash meat into soup pot; discard skins.
  6. Add evaporated milk and simmer for 20-30 minutes until thickened. Stir occasionally.
  7. Working in batches, puree soup in a blender until smooth.
  8. Serve in soup bowls (but not yellow soup bowls). Sprinkle with fresh parmesan cheese.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Garden Pesto Pasta

This pasta dish of my mom's is one of my favorite recipes of all time. For the past eight years or so, this dish has been my request for my birthday meal. I love pasta, and this dish blows traditional spaghetti sauce out of the water. I like meatless spaghetti sauce, but pesto is just spectacular. This particular pesto sauce uses parsley, but I'm sure fresh basil would be great too. I like to serve it with a strawberry and spinach salad, and bread to dip in olive oil. This recipe also works well for a green themed dinner for St. Patrick's Day (especially if you can feel your arteries start to clog while eating corned beef)!
Here is the recipe!

Garden Pesto Pasta

2 cups fresh parsley
1 tsp. each dried basil, oregano, marjoram, and salt (I never use marjoram because I don't have it)
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 clove garlic, crushed (I usually use more)
1/3 cup olive oil

Cook half a pound of spaghetti or linguine (go for whole wheat, you can do it!), drain. Add pesto sauce and toss. Top with parmesan cheese and pine nuts. You can also serve it with grilled chicken on top.

Tip: I make the pesto sauce with the whole bunch of parsley (about double or so) and then adjust the rest of the ingredients. This way, you can freeze the extra pesto for a quick meal later and you don't have to feel bad about wasting the fresh parsley.