13 February 2013

What I am Wearing Wednesday

Hey y'all  I am working to start a new series called What I am Wearing Wednesday. You see every night I try and pick out my outfit for the next day but I always find myself saying I have absolutely nothing to wear. Let me warn you though I have a closet full of clothes, and when I say full I mean the bar is a little bent from the weight and my husband had to get a different place to put his clothes.
These facts lead me to believe that I actually do have clothing but lack the imagination to re-imagine my outfits.

That is where my What I am Wearing Wednesday idea came in. I hope to pull one staple piece of clothing from my closet or dresser and show you ( and myself) how it can be transformed into some great outfits. My hope is that you will let me know if these outfits aren't the kind that would make my husband lie to me and tell me that I look great. You know the ones that in the back of his head he keeps thinking I really hope this is just a stage for her and that she will get over it. Yeah I hope to avoid those as much as possible.

I chose one of my favorite pieces in my closet for this week. Its comfortable, versatile and makes you look dressed up even though you are bathed in comfort. It's the jersey dress!
 Now let me explain to you why I love the jersey dress so much. This type of dress is breathable and moves with you. It's not clingy and is washing machine safe which means dog slobber, lunch and mud will come right out and not cost you a bundle for dry cleaning. Did I mention its comfortable? I probably did but really it needs to be re-iterated its like the sweat pants of the corporate world. Best part is you can dress it up or dress it down. Sundress or out on the town doesn't matter it will still look great on you! Accessorize with heels or boots and it changes the whole outfit. But enough about me what is your favorite closet staple that is versatile enough to dress up or down?








 
I'm sure that it doesn't matter to y'all but on a side note I had THE WEIRDEST dream last night. I mean it was weird because I don't usually remember dreams in great detail and this dream had a lot of information that I had no idea that I knew. The dream basically consisted of this. I was in the hallway at the Utah Valley University and Jef (with one f) from the Bachelorette was promoting his new line of drinking water Alien water and my husband had the gumption to go up and ask why his television relationship didn't work out. I was mortified and bright pink from embarrassment in the dream and basically in tears begging him to stop but he just wouldn't. Jef  (with one f) was really nice by the way and said that some times the best things just don't workout no matter how hard you try. Now there is more to that dream but it's a little fuzzy. Can I tell you that the feeling of embarrassment it actually what woke me up? I forgot to set my alarm but got up right on time with bright red cheeks. No lie if you don't believe me just ask Coach he was there when it happened. The best part of this is

1. I have never been to or attended Utah Valley University
2. I haven't watched the Bachelorette since Trista and Ryan's wedding.
3. I have no idea what Jef (with one f) looks like or even if he owns a water business
               a. I looked up Jef (with one f) and found out that he had something to do with People water. 
4. My husband always embarrasses me in public. It's a yearly occurrence so that wasn't weird at all.

My point is I think that I am a  sleep TV watcher. Not just any TV though romance reality TV.
That's all y'all just thought you would like to know.

Love ya-


S

  


































12 February 2013

Overnight Pizza Dough

It has been my belief for quite a while now that if something can be homemade that it in general is better. Better quality, better taste, and better on the keeping the cash in my pocket. Obviously this is a blanket statement and there are plenty of things that store bought it just as good if not better than homemade. However, in my opinion this doesn't apply specifically to pizza dough. Now I have tried pizzas from all of the big chain restaurants some were good and some weren't worth the money that I spent but one thing that I found was that you can't replace a good crust. I mean you can put some of the best ingredients together but if you don't have a good crust its just same old same old.

So I decided to try a new recipe that my sister-in-law gave me. She got it from 101cookbooks.com  its Peter Reinhart's recipe and let me tell you it is good, even when you don't follow all of the directions- which I would never do...unless it was a Sunday night and all I really wanted was pizza. I mean I had dreamed about it on Saturday night. Have I told you that I dream about food? I do its weird but that is a different story for a different day.

Now back to pizza. This recipe is an overnight dough and has minimal ingredients, which is so nice when you are making it by the seat of your pants. Now this dough is better if you follow directions and refrigerate it overnight and then bring it to room temperature before cooking it. Then again,  if you really want to want to eat it and only refrigerate it for 4 hours and allow it to rest for 30 minutes it still turns out pretty darn good.

So good in fact that when you go to take pictures there is literally only once piece left and its a scraggly piece that doesn't look appetizing. No jokes peeps I forgot to take a picture in the very beginning and then all of the sudden poof  it was gone. Now not only was the dough a winner but the toppings were excellent. You see this started out being a 5 cheese pizza but then it grew into somethings marvelous and sauce-less. Yep, no sauce folks and can I tell you that it really didn't need it.

Let's talk toppings. Like I said before this started out being a 5 cheese pizza. With Cream Cheese, Boursin, Parmesan, Romano, and Fresh Mozzarella. Now just leaving it be that would be a good pizza but then I got the idea to add some roasted garlic, sun dried tomatoes, onions, bacon and leeks. So good guys really good. Of course the Hubbs had to put in his two cents as well so we added some shredded chicken.

With all of those topping there was no way that a thicker pizza crust would cook all the way through before the toppings would scorch. I went ahead and pre-cooked my crust with some olive oil, Italian herbs, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. I cooked it for about 10-15 minutes at 450 degrees  depending on how true to temperature your oven is.

I also sauteed all of my toppings individually in just a little bit of olive oil to make sure that they were cooked prior to piling them on the pizza dough. After the dough and toppings are cooked place it back in the oven to make sure that its nice and piping hot when you serve it. Hopefully, you will have the same experience as I did and you are left with one piece and have at least two people who really want it.

Now y'all I would totally post the recipe for you but since it has been published in a book I just didn't feel right posting something with out the authors permission. Gotta give credit where credit is due ya know. Luckily, 101 cookbooks.com did get permission to share it with all of you so please visit her site for excellent and detailed directions for a great pizza dough recipe.

Happy Eating-

-S









11 February 2013

A Perfect Sunday Brunch

This weekend was a lazy just get a little bit done kind of weekend. I started cleaning the "surface" of our house and got quite a bit done before lack of sleep caught up with me and I took a much needed nap. All of that is beside the point that the next day I woke up and had an insatiable hunger for something baked, custardy ( pretty sure I made that word up, please forgive me) and brunchy.

Now if y'all know me, I hate most traditional breakfast foods including but not limited to; pancakes, waffles, muffins and bagels.  Don't get me wrong I'll eat them but I would much rather have meat and potatoes from the night before than fix breakfast food. Imagine my surprise when I first had the craving and tried to go back to sleep to get it out of my head. I tried to convince myself that the left over chicken in the fridge would do just fine for me but alas I couldn't shake it.

I got up, threw on some grubby clothes, pulled my hair in a pony tail and set out to make something that would curb my craving. I couldn't put my finger on it until I ran across this blog post from Foodie Crush. That was it... All I had to see was that Dutch Baby and I was sold. Custardy- check. Baked- check. Brunchy- check. Now grab your cooking buddies and let's get moving.

 Now Heidi over at Foodie Crush  has a great table which helps you to calculate how much of each ingredient you will need depending on the vessel you will be baking it in and how many people you are trying to feed. I used her table measurements for the 3-4 quarts baking vessel. Now there is also a great link in her Dutch Baby link to some Lemon Scented German Pancakes from The Moonlight Baker. Intriguing I thought, Lemon with a custardy baked Dutch Baby, Yes Please! You see I love Lemon and whenever I find Meyer Lemons I snatch them up to make Meyer Lemon Sweet Rolls from the Cheeky Kitchen. They are breathtaking and wonderful. You will need to try them asap or at least put it on your bucket list of things to eat before you die. In fact I have just convinced myself to make them when I go home. Oh my I digress!

On to the recipe y'all- believe me its good and you mix everything in a blender- SCORE!- I also made some blueberry syrup to go with it.

First pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees. Then blend your eggs with the milk. I only had to pulse a few times so don't over mix y'all. Then as my husband says I can't leave well enough alone and had to put my own spin on it. So I added some Vanilla, cinnamon and the zest and juice of 1 Meyer Lemon.

At this point I put the butter in the screaming hot Dutch Baby pan and let it melt in the oven. While the butter is getting nice and melted go ahead and add the flour to your blender and pulse to combine. Then if your ready take your batter and dump it in with the melted butter in your baking dish. Put it in to cook. My oven runs a little cool so I always start a timer for half way through when I should actually take it out just to check on it. So timer for 15 minutes do a jiggle check and then for me at least back in the oven for another 15 -20 minutes.

Now the Hubbs is notorious for finishing off condiments in the fridge/ pantry and then never telling me about it. Sunday was no exception. No syrup. Gah. What to do? Make your own!
 Now I had Mapleine in the cabinet that would have sufficed but when have I ever made something just to suffice. I quickly grabbed some dried blueberries and added 1/2 cup of them to 1/2 c of white sugar and 1/2 cup of water that I had simmering and let them plump. I let it cook for about 5 min and then added a little vanilla and lemon zest for added flavor. I threw it all in the blender and let it blend to a nice dark purple syrup that was wonderfully sweet and went perfectly with the Lemon Dutch Baby.

Do you have any Sunday Brunch favorite recipes? If so I would love to give them a try. Leave a comment or email me!

Happy Brunching

-S




 Recipe for Lemon Vanilla Dutch Baby

(adapted from Heidi at Foodie Crush)

1/3 c Butter
4 Eggs
1 c Milk
1 c All-purpose flour
1 t Vanilla
Zest of 1 Meyer Lemon
Juice of 1 Meyer Lemon


1. Preheat oven to 425 Degrees with Baking Vessel.
2. Blend Eggs Milk, Lemon Juice, Lemon Zest, and Vanilla in short burst just enough to combine.
3. Place butter in the heated baking dish and let melt.
4. While butter is melting, blend in flour to the egg mixture.
5. When butter is melted pour in the batter and let it cook for 20 minutes. Check on it at that point and add more time depending on if the center is still very jiggly.

Vanilla Blueberry Syrup

from the Desperately Happy Housewife

1/2 c Dried Blueberries
1/2 c White Sugar
1/2 c Water
1 t Vanilla
2 t Lemon Zest

1. Place Blueberries, Sugar, and Water in a sauce pan and bring to a light boil for 5 minutes.
2. Add the Vanilla and Lemon zest and continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes.
3. Place blueberry mixture in the blender and blend until it has the consistency of a smooth syrup.

Place on a Dutch Baby, Pancakes or Waffles and fall in love.







08 February 2013

The dreaded corner spice cabinet-

I don't know about y'all but I have certain areas within my home that I detest. I mean I really loathe them. It's not necessarily any one thing about that area but more multiple little things, they are awkwardly shaped, out of the way, and tend to magnetize junk into their every crevasse. They are the bane (don't for one second think the Batman reference escaped me) of my cleaning existence, well that and the oven- the oven....oh eventually it'll get what's coming to it.

That's besides the point however, the corner spice cabinet is what I'm tackling today. I know it seems small and insignificant but really y'all this change has made the BIGGEST difference in my daily life. I like to cook and bake more, cleanup is easier, and the Hubbs is even helping in the kitchen. I know, you say can't be... no one cabinet can make that that big of a difference- I'm not kidding folks it really has and I am so excited to share.

First things first I did my cabinet reorganization all sorts of backwards so I'm going to give you the steps on how I would do them knowing what I know now.

1. Go through all of the spices and other things that seem to accumulate in space. Throw away all of expired spices, if your spices don't have an expiration date my rule of thumb is to get rid of them after a year. You see most spices don't really go bad in the ways we think. Generally, they don't mold or cause you to get food poisoning but they lose their flavor. There are two great spice articles from Cooking Light that you can read here and here.

2. Count the spices that you have decided to keep. Then decide if you want to transfer them into new containers. I decided to because I have OCD tenancies and I like things to match. Little tiny  plastic bottles with behemoth ones make my skin crawl. I chose some cute metal tins and some little glass jars from here. I can't tell you how happy I was with their prices and their product. Everything that I purchased is awesome! -I promise they aren't paying me for my opinion so it's the real deal people-  


You can see the wire basket here.
3. I then went to the dollar store and purchased some baskets. Now with the dollar store you take what you can get and all they had were white wire baskets. So to make them match I picked up some Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint and laid a few coats on them.

4.Once I received the jars and bottles in the mail I went ahead and used some chalkboard spray paint that I had from a previous project and sprayed some regular Joe paper labels. I sprayed them once and them dry then sprayed them again for good measure. I also sprayed the lids of the glass jars twice. This way once a spice is gone I am not dedicated to having to use the same container again. You could also use a permanent marker or label maker to identify each spice.

5. I cleaned all of the jars and bottles with warm soapy water and dried them thoroughly. Then emptied the spices in an labeled them. After that was all done I kept thinking that just stacking the tins wasn't going to help anything and I needed a clever way to display them without taking up precious counter space. I came up with the idea to use a piece of pre-cut sheet metal to attach the tins to with magnets.

6. I measured my cabinet door and Home Depot actually had a piece that fit the dimensions that I needed perfectly. But there was a small problem that I hadn't noticed until after everything was purchased and tags ripped off. The sheet metal wasn't magnetic. Like AT ALL! I haven't ever heard of it happening before but the magnets weren't sticking. So, rather than thinking up a new way to arrange the tins I decided to pick up some more magnets and adhered one to the back of the tin and another to the sheet metal. There ya have it a way to display spices that actually works like I wanted.
There were a few missing since we were cooking when I took this picture.

 7. Once the magnets had been glued on I attached the sheet metal to my cabinet door with some hanging strips. 



8. Now I hate roaming bottles, they get stuck in corners and you have to dig for them. Hence the baskets. All of my spice bottles are arranged by baking or cooking and I can just grab the basket out whenever I need them. 

9. I also had some Lazy Susan's from Ikea that needed to be used so I put one on each of my lower shelves for 360 degrees of access. My top shelf is used for storage as you can see so any additional spices or extra vanilla ends up there ready just in case what I have runs out. 

Hopefully this will help y'all get some good ideas on how to organize your corner cabinets that just don't seem to fit the mold when it comes to functionality. Do you have any great organization ideas? If so shoot me and email or post a comment because I would love to hear about them!


Love, 

-S

07 February 2013

Cleaning plan- Living Spaces

Hey All-

Since my house has been ground zero for the seasonal cleaning movement I thought I might post some beginning steps that we are working on to get everything in order before we really get to the nitty gritty.

1. Divide your home into living spaces.
                This was easy for us since each room that we have is small enough that it is really only used for one or two purposes.
                                  Living Space 1- Living Room
                                  Living Space 2- Kitchen/ Dining Room
                                  Living Space 3- Bedroom
                                  Living Space 4- Office/ Craft Room
                                  Living Space 5- Bathroom
2. Designate a color for each living space. ( This will come in handy if you need choose to use charts)
                                  Living Space 1-Dark Blue
                                  Living Space 2-Red
                                  Living Space 3-Light Blue
                                  Living Space 4-Yellow
                                  Living Space 5-Green

3. Purchase a bin in each color that is small enough to go from room to room.

4. I line the each bin up on my living room wall and start in one space and gather all of the things that don't belong. I then take the items to the designated bin and deposit the items to be put away once I finish my sweep.

5.  One the initial sweep is done then I take each bucket and put them items that have accumulated away.

This is just the sweeping phase of Seasonal cleaning. I have found that its hard to deep clean a space properly when you don't start off with a clean palette. After my sweep I then tackle some weekly needs- Laundry, Dishes,dusting, and vacuuming. You know the basics. In our little home and with me working full time this will usually take me 1-2 nights. I try to reserve 2 Saturdays a month to cleaning when I am trying to clean seasonally. to be honest though if I could work all day on one Saturday without the Hubbs talking me into doing something that isn't productive at all I would only need one Saturday a month, but that's life right. So, I'll let you get your basic sweep going and then we will start the seasonal deep cleaning! 
06 February 2013

I'm a liar and I know it.

Hey y'all-

I told you yesterday that I would give you a how to on the corner cabinet organization that has been going on in the house this week. However, it probably won't happen until tomorrow. You see the Thyme thought it was time to make like a conman and get out. When I say out I mean everywhere in the cabinet no area was safe... so I am in the process of cleaning it up, figuring out what went wrong and then I will take some pics and post because I do think its a great idea just with one or two kinks.

In the mean time I don't know if y'all follow Pantone at all but they recently declared their color of the year. Pantone is a designers site and I use it quite a bit for the designs that I do and for picking colors for my home. It's a great resource to look at new ideas and jump out of your color and design comfort zone. But that's besides the point the color of the year for 2013 is Emerald and I can't tell you how excited I am. Green in general has been my favorite color for years (many of my dishes are lime green... yep I said lime.) So the fact that Emerald has become a new favorite of mine and I try to incorporate it into everything that I do made this years color choice my absolute favorite.

Below are just some of the things that I am completely in love with from the Pantone website--



The first canoeing picture is my favorite. I love the outdoors in fact the Hubbs and I went on our honeymoon to Banff National Park in Canada. It is magnificent and I can't wait to go back but its definitely not the Caribbean. I know I know you are asking why in the word someone would choose a Forrest over beautiful beaches and sun. Simple answer I don't really like the sun. (Audible Gasps). It's true I would much rather have grey skies and cold weather than a nice summers day. That being said I don't hate the sun. I love spring and I enjoy the beach when we go I would just prefer to live in a place like Portland, OR where its rains for half of the year and its just a short drive away from the Hoh National Rain forest. I mean can you blame me when you could hike through this?


I can't think of a more beautiful place. But to each his own I'm pretty sure the Hubbs would rather be here any day of the week. Well y'all start getting excited because some tutorials are coming your way!

-S



04 February 2013

It's a Josh and reminising kind of day.

It's the morning and I'm not gonna lie... I am literally a dead girl walking. It was Super Bowl Sunday yesterday as I am sure you know and we went to a party with some great friends and while the boys were watching the game the girls took time to do some mani's and shellac. Let me tell you there there is nothing like a manicure and / or hair cut to make you feel like you have to amp it up in the style department. So on the way home the Hubbs and I decided that we need to start trying to get back in a good rhythm after staying up to late and sleeping in for far too long. Today was the first official day of starting the day with a workout and I am feeling it folks. The twinges of pain are what are keeping me awake that and the Josh Groban mix that I have playing right now.

But despite that I am really excited to chat at y'all about some of the fun things that have been happening around our place. the corner cabinet re-do has been officially completed and that how to will be coming up tomorrow. Also, I have been busy in the kitchen this weekend prepping for the big game so I have some fun new recipes to share with you ( the best part at least one of them is low calorie) I also have some great tutorials for a baby quilt and how to change your regular pants into some skinnies. If y'all would like to have a tutorial about something in particular give me a shout out and let me know!

For now this tired girl is off to work.

Much Love-

S
01 February 2013

It's winter cleaning time peepe!

That's right I am sure like most of you I have had the dream of expanding Spring cleaning into seasonal cleaning. I think its the insane amount of Hoarders episodes that I have watched but at least it gets me to cleaning and organizing right? ( eww, I literally get the chills when I think about the bugs and larvae on that show now I am going to go run around my building to get the creeps off of me)

Hey, I'm back and out of breath, so I started my winter cleaning when the Hubbs was gone to a work seminar down in Las Vegas...I managed to do half of a cabinet before my crafty brain started to work in overtime. I looked at my corner cabinet where I keep our medications and spices and thought there has got to be a better way to organize this. At the time everything was shoved together, Tylenol next to cumin and curry powder next to lozenges, and to top it off I had spilled a giant canister of dried parsley on the bottom shelf like 6 months ago and still hadn't cleaned it up ( go ahead judge me).

That lead me to think about how much I like to cook and how much easier cooking would be if I could find things easier. I began to work on plans for a door organizing systems using some really cute tins, sheet metal and magnets. So in the mean time while trying to organize one cabinet i managed to make a complete mess of every other corner of my house. The best part- I haven't even completed the cabinet organization yet... but you better believe there will be a tutorial on it. It's going to be really cute and I think very practical in the long run.

In other news, I have been completely obsessed with patterns and sewing lately you see my sister M is pregnant with a little girl. Her first to be exact and the whole family is stoked and completely and furiously crafting for baby Liv. After having two boys I think M is pretty excited to have someone dress in pink and get pedicures with so we are trying to equip her with everything necessary to have an awesome and completely outfitted little girl. I have labeled the event Project Baby Liv. If you have any really cute baby girl ideas post a comment or shoot me an email.

-S


Hey y'all I am Sara otherwise known as the Desperately Happy Housewife. When I am not working I am busy crafting, blogging and re-decorating my house. I channel Lucille Ball and Lauren Graham on a daily basis to get me through the "Oh my gosh I just sewed my finger" moments that often happen. I hope you stay a while and get a chance to see what makes me desperately happy.

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