Friday, November 22, 2013

Making Progress: New Window Trim

My last update on the girls’ rooms showed them  freshly painted and no longer sporting primary colors.  The new paint was a BIG improvement, but the skinny, 80s wood trim just wasn’t doing it for me.  I knew I wanted something more interesting and way beefier (just like I like my men – oh come on! you know you were thinking it to!).

Although I knew exactly what I wanted to do, it took me a while to actually get started.  I went to a couple of different hardware stores several times with the intention of bringing home a bunch of moulding so I could get started, but every time I went, I’d leave empty-handed and with a fresh case of sticker shock.  Is it just me, or has the price of wood really jumped up in the last few years?!

After the third or fourth trip, I finally bit the bullet and came home with everything I’d need to do the windows and doors in the girls’ rooms and got right to work.  It took me about three hours to do the first room and four to do the second because I spent, at least, an hour repeatedly unjamming my nail gun (thanks to Mr. Neighbor for helping me with one of the more heinous jams).

Several more hours of painting later and here we are, all put back together!

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This is Thing 2’s room.  Both the girls chose the d├ęcor for their rooms (with some input from me – no bright pink carpet, for instance) and I think they did a pretty fabulous job!

Here’s a pretty decent shot of the detail on the window and door trim. (please ignore the missing baseboard trim – it’s coming soon!) 

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The header piece is made up of 7 (!) pieces of trim. I tried assembling the whole header on the ground before putting it up but I could never wait long enough for the glue to dry, so it all fell apart when I put it up anyway. I finally decided it was just best for me to cut all the pieces and dry fit them downstairs, then take them upstairs and install them with my trusty nail gun.

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(Take note of that beautiful door there!  More on that to come!)

I had to get a picture of the lazy kitty, sunning himself in what could be our last bit of sun until Spring!

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Thing 1’s room also got the treatment…

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I like how, even though their rooms are nearly identical and they have many of the same items in them, they arranged and decorated them differently, so they each have their own unique feel.  Thing 1 decided to make herself a reading nook:

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(I like to decorate with cats whenever possible.  It makes your rooms seem so cozy, don't you think?)

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I can’t even tell you how much I love these two rooms now.  There’s not much that makes me happier than seeing white trim popping against a pretty, painted wall.  I tell the girls that these rooms are now the nicest in the house.  Better get to work on my bedroom soon!

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Monday, November 18, 2013

Whole Wheat Pizza and Calzones

This evening,  Thing 1 made us calzones for dinner.  As she read the recipes that I use for dough and pizza sauce, we both noticed how often I said something like, “yeah, but I don’t do it that way”.  After the third or fourth time, we decided that I needed to type up my modified versions of these recipes and put them somewhere accessible.  I told my daughter I’d put them on the blog and dedicate them to her.  So, my girl, here you go.  I look forward to many more evenings of homemade calzones and pizzas!

 

calzone 2

(Please don’t laugh at my pictures.  This is not a food blog for a reason.  I’ll never be able to hold dinner to set up a beautiful shot that makes your mouth water.  It’s good to know your limitations!)

Honey Whole Wheat Pizza Dough

The pizza dough recipe is from here. I didn’t actually change the ingredients, but I changed the steps, since I proof the yeast first.

1 cup warm water (~110 degrees)
1 tablespoon honey
2 1/4 teaspoon yeast
2 cups white whole wheat flour
1/4 wheat germ
1 teaspoon salt

  1. Combine the honey and yeast in the warm water to proof the yeast.  Let sit for about five minutes until yeast is foamy.
  2. Combine flour, wheat germ, and salt in the bowl of your stand mixer.
  3. When the yeast is ready, pour it in with the dry ingredients and mix in your stand mixer with the bread hook. 
  4. Mix until all ingredients are combined and the bowl is clean, then let it knead for a little bit longer.
  5. Let dough sit for about 10 minutes.

 

Papa John’s Pizza Sauce Recipe

Our pizza sauce recipe can be found all over the Internet and is a Papa John’s knock-off. The recipes I found, though, call for 1 can of tomato puree. Since I never, ever have tomato puree in the house, I always fake it with tomato sauce and tomato paste. Except that makes twice as much puree as I need, so I always double the recipe. Here it is, doubled for your cooking ease.

1 can (15 0z) tomato sauce
1 can (6 0z) tomato paste
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon basil
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Combine all ingredients in sauce pan, bring to a boil, then simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

 

Pizza

It’s pizza!  Pretty straight forward…

  1. Prepare pizza dough.
  2. Prepare pizza sauce.
  3. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.
  4. Chop up pizza toppings and grate mozzarella.
  5. Roll out dough into a pizza-ish shape on a pizza pan or cookie sheet.
  6. Pre-bake crust for 5 minutes in hot oven.
  7. Spread pizza sauce on cooked crust, then add mozzarella and your toppings.
  8. Bake pizza for another 5 minutes.
  9. Enjoy!

 

Calzones

A friend served calzones at book group one night.  I loved them so much that I had to have the recipe!  Luckily, they’re almost as easy as pizza.

  1. Prepare pizza dough.
  2. Prepare pizza sauce.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  4. Chop up calzone fillings and grate mozzarella.
  5. Roll out dough into a large rectangle on a pizza pan or cookie sheet (I actually use half of the dough recipe and freeze the other half for next time).
  6. Spread pizza sauce, mozzarella, and your toppings down the center (length-wise) of the rectangle.
  7. Using kitchen scissors, cut slits about 1.5 inches wide down the length of both sides of the rectangle making “tabs” on each side of your fillings (I usually get about 7 on each side).
  8. Pull the tabs across the fillings to the other side at an angle, alternating tabs from each side so you’re creating a lattice-like pattern across the top of your filling.  Fold over the ends so nothing falls out the end.
  9. Bake for 20 minutes.
  10. Enjoy!

calzone 1

(Seriously, don’t make fun!  We were all starving and this was the best I could do!)

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