Saturday, July 31, 2010

easy bbq chicken pizza


I know that homemade pizza is really nothing new and innovative but every time I make it, I get so excited about how easy it is and how wonderful it is to be able to control the ingredients (like fat, sugar and sodium!!!). Since lots of food is consumed in our house, (honestly my husbands eats for about 5 people and it is hard to cook things that fill him up!) we are always trying to cook things that will be somewhat healthy, fill our (HIS) bellies and taste yummy! BBQ chicken pizza is one of our favorite fun Friday night meals and I thought I would share how darn easy it is to create your own- instead of spending money and consuming enormous amounts of salt- really take a look at the sodium content in pizza!!

Start with making the dough or purchase pre made dough- a number of grocery stores sell pizza dough- even healthy whole wheat dough if you prefer!

½ package (1 ¼ teaspoon dry yeast)
1 cup warm water
1 tablespoon oil
1 tablespoon sugar
2 cups flour

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Stir in 1 tablespoon oil, 1 tablespoon sugar and enough flour to make a
soft dough. Stir for about 20 strokes. Let rest for about 5 minutes.

Roll and stretch the dough to desired size. (Flour the surface if needed.)
Place on a pizza stone or baking sheet. I actually like to use the bottom of my cookie sheet.

Because we like our crust extra crispy, I first bake the dough for about 10 minutes at 350 degrees or until slightly brown.

Remove the crust from the oven and spread your favorite BBQ sauce- I like to use a natural, fat free, gluten free and low sugar sauce but you would never know because it's SO TASTY!

Add diced chicken

and red onions. If I had cilantro I would have added it but I am all out :(

Top with cheese (low fat want if you want to be healthy).

Bake at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes.

Cut up and serve.

This entire pizza was consumed and bellies were full :)


Upcycled Purse Tutorial


Head over the New York Design Shop for a cute upcycled purse tutorial that I created for their DIY blogger challenge! I was sent a whole bunch of fun trimmings and had to come up with some kind of accessory- this purse was made from upcycled khaki pants!!

trimmings 4

Friday, July 30, 2010

shower curtain lunch sack tutorial


It was just brought to my attention that many of the vinyl shower curtains may contain harmful chemicals and icky fumes. I did not know this!!! Where have I been?!? BUT the good news is that many stores sell alternatives at great prices and there are always fabric shower curtains or even fabric.

I will be stopping at my local IKEA and picking up one of their alternatives to vinyl made from PEVA at $3.99 and redoing my lunch sacks ASAP!!

In our house we have made it a goal to save money where we can. One of the easiest ways to cut costs is to make our lunches everyday- well at least make my husband's lunch- I eat lunch at home while painting and sewing- he has to go to work. Every morning I reluctantly roll out of bed at 5:30am with Andy and make him a yummy lunch- he eats a ridiculous amount of food so taking lunch everyday has saved us some money. Up until this point, I packed his lunches in whatever bags we had laying around and finally decided that it was time to create some simple reusable lunch bags. It is truly the simple projects that bring me the most delight in my creative life!

While shopping at Target it struck me that a $3.00 vinyl shower curtain liner would be the perfect material and the perfect price to make a handful of lunch bags. Because it was for my dude, I had to keep it plain and but did you know that there are some REALLY cute shower curtains out there?!

I started by cutting out two squares- one front and one back.

I sewed the sides and the bottom together with a straight stitch.

While the bag is inside out, I folded the corners into triangles and sewed them down with a straight stitch.

The last step is to attach velcro to the bag.

I used sticky back velcro and attached to the top and bottom.

And there you have it! A simple and easy to clean reusable lunch bag (in size XL for huge lunches).

I couldn't resist making a more girly version for myself with lots of leaves sewn with machine stitching.

And now we have nice little collection of lunch bags all ready to be put to use!


Thursday, July 29, 2010

the evolution of an idea

sdma copy

Remember this post about the evolution of an idea? Well, I am going to be sharing more of my own process when it come to seeking inspiration and how to apply it to your own work- with the hope that maybe it will inspire you!

In my creative life, I have found that it really helps for me to get out of the house, it is a MUST to get off the computer and into my surroundings when I look for inspiration- I make time every week to take mini field trips to what I call "my go to places". My "go to places" are about 10 locations within a 10-15 minute walk or drive, they are places that I know I will always find color, texture, design and inspiration. From a park, to the zoo, to the beach, to a construction site, to a flower stand, I alternate visiting my favorite places each week. Recently I spent the day at one of my favorite "go to places" the San Diego Museum of Art. While I cannot afford to visit the museum every week, I try to go once a month.

SDMA sketches
Armed with my sketchbook and camera, I spend time taking in the latest exhibit, sketching quick and simple ideas and taking photos of architecture, doorways, and sculpture- sometimes I even get scolded for taking photos of things that are off limits :)

I am always looking for a spark of an idea, often it is small- like color or a pattern but these little sparks always seem to get my brain going and then a concept develops and evolves.

thank you to my husband who was secretly stalking me with his camera on this day:)

After my recent trip to SDMA, I came home and went through my photos and sketches and I really liked this overhead shot of the fountain that is the middle of the museum lobby.

I played around with VERY simple drawings of the fountain.

And then I decided to use these simple drawing to create a set of mugs.

On one of my supply shopping trips to Michaels I found these little mug and porcelaine marker kits for kids- think mugs intended to have I love you Mommy written on them. They were on sale for $2 so I couldn't resist buying them and knew eventually I would come up with something creative to do with them.

I decided that the fountain inspired drawings would be perfect for the surface of the mugs and though the pens that were included were limited with color and quality, I made the most of what I had!

Here is how it evolved-







Tuesday, July 27, 2010

grilled sweet and savory peaches

I am a sucker for ANYTHING that is sweet and salty so when I saw this recipe I couldn't resist trying it out and putting my own twist on the sweet and savory treat. It is simple, colorful, easy and a SUPER delicious summer treat!




thin slices of pancetta
or if you cannot find sliced pancetta easily (like me), prosciutto will work just fine
Peaches or nectarines- cut into wedges
Salt and pepper
Basil leaves
Olive oil
Balsamic Vinegar

Start by cutting the peaches into wedges.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Wrap each wedge with a basil leaf and a strip of prosciutto.

Once your peaches are all wrapped up, it is time to cook.

The recipe calls for cooking them in a skillet. I decided to use a grill.
Either way will work just fine :)

Grill (or cook all peaches) about 2- 4 minutes on each side OR until the prosciutto is crispy.

Transfer to a plate

and drizzle with balsamic vinegar.
Serve as an appetizer or add to a salad!

I decided to add the peaches to an arugula salad that I topped with blue cheese crumbles and toasted walnuts.

Devour immediately! The peaches are best served a little warm!



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