Thursday, March 31, 2011

Individual Florentine Frying-Pan Pizza

A big thank you to all of you who took the time to leave such sweet and caring comments on the loss of my friend.  It means so much to be part of such a caring and supportive group of people. Your caring support is what got me back in the kitchen today.

My friend Brenda, of Brenda's Canadian Kitchen, and I started a new venture where we pick one recipe from Rachel Ray's newest book, Look + Cook, per month.  Last month was our first month and I chose Rachel's Pimento Mac 'n' Cheese, which was delicious.  This month was Brenda's pick and she chose this super fun and delicious Individual Florentine Frying-Pan Pizza.  (You can see Brenda's post on this recipe by clicking HERE.)

The very idea of baking pizza in a frying pan is a unique and fun idea.  I didn't have the 6" frying pan that Rachel called for in the recipe so I used my 10" cast iron skillet.  The biggest perk in using the frying pan was that you essentially end up with a deep-dish style pizza.  I love that! Rachel's recipe calls for a Florentine-style pizza filling and it was delicious, but you could easily fill the pizza dough with any topping/filling of your choice.
Individual Florentine Frying-Pan Pizza
Adapted from Rachel Ray's Look + Cook
Serves 3-4 easily

3 Tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, sliced
salt and pepper
2 Tablespoons butter
2 garlic cloves, grated or minced
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/2 cup milk
Freshly grated nutmeg
1 (10-ounce) box frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry in a clean kitchen towel
1 pound store-bought pizza dough, quartered
1 cup shredded Italian Fontina or Provolone cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, a handful

Preheat the oven to 425F.  Heat a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat with 2 tablespoons of the EVOO.  Add the mushrooms and saute until golden brown.  Season them with salt and pepper, then remove to a plate.  Lower the heat to medium-low, then add the butter to the pan and melt.  Add the garlic and stir for 1 minute, then sprinkle the flour into the pan and whisk for a minute.  Whisk in the milk and season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.

Add drained defrosted spinach into the mushrooms and sauce.  Remove from the heat.
Roll out 1/4 pound of pizza dough to form a round large enough to cover the bottom and sides of a 6-inch skillet.  Wrap and freeze the unused pizza dough in 1/4-pound individual portions.  Heads up: If your skillet handle isn't oven-safe, wrap the handle a couple of times with aluminum foil.  Drizzle the remaining tablespoon of EVOO into the skillet and coat the sides with a pastry brush.  Lay the dough into the skillet, pressing gently as you work the dough up the sides so it reaches the edge of the skillet.  Fill the dough with the mushroom and spinach mixture and top with Fontina or Provolone and the Parmigiano cheeses.  Pop in the oven and bake for 35-45 minutes, until the edges and bottom of the crust are golden brown.
Notes/Results:  I am a fool for creamed spinach so I really loved the filling in this pizza which consisted of creamed spinach, sliced mushrooms, and lots of cheese - yum!  Also, I really wondered whether or not the pizza dough would crisp up due to all the filling, but it was perfectly crisp and delicious.  Once the pizza cooled I slipped it out of the frying pan and onto a cutting board and noticed that it looked just like a deep-dish pizza- very nice.  I can honestly say that I love this method of baking a pizza in my cast iron skillet and will try it again for sure.  

I do have a few notes to share.  As mentioned above, I didn't have the 6" frying pan called for so I used a 10" cast iron skillet with great results.  Also, the recipe calls for frozen pizza dough.  I couldn't find any frozen pizza dough anywhere and didn't feel like making any from scratch so I used Pillsbury's refrigerated pizza crust.  The refrigerated pizza crust works in a pinch, but I do think this recipe warrants either making your own pizza dough or buying a good quality pizza dough.  Also, Rachel calls this an individual pizza and says that it serves one, but the pizza is very sizable and will easily serve 3 or 4. 
April's Look + Cook recipe is Sirloin Burgers with Garlic-Black Pepper-Parmesan Sauce & Roasted Tomatoes with Basil & Balsamic Drizzle.

I'm also linking this post to Deborah's Saturdays with Rachel Ray over at Taste and Tell

Thanks again for all of your sweet and caring comments!  I'm hoping to get back in the game and catch up on all my comments in the next few days.

Sneak peek or peek a boo for Sew and Tell Friday!

Yesterday was rough, not gonna lie, but I had to have something to show for Sew and Tell Friday :o) The Heather Ross quilt was not going to be completed with sick little man working overtime giving me more laundry.

I remembered I had some of these left over from the p.s. i quilt quilt a long and had an idea ...


Can you tell I watched TOO much TV yesterday.

This is what I had on hand. I just cannot get enough of Katie Jump Rope. It is colorful and fun and makes me happy...really happy when I look at it. These are 2.5 in width of fabric cuts.

The groups together for the quilt I made.

This is my UFO quilt top that I will be getting to someday when I decide how to quilt it. Sometimes I think that is the hardest decision when quilting...HOW!?! I do not take many chances and do a lot of straight lines but they always seem to turn out nicely when complete. Any thoughts on this quilt would be helpful and very welcome :o)

Back to this project, I had this left over from the  above mentioned quilt. Aren't they just too happy!

Adam was right across from me giving me the okay to sew. He actually slept through the quilting which is amazing since it is very loud. Poor guy :o( He felt so poorly he was out of focus.

This is the part Katy liked. She wanted me to just have this be the final project but only if I added some green...or blue. She is so funny. This is the back but do not look too closely since I am still learning how to free motion and having almost NO sleep for the past two days did not help either.

Well, that is the sneak peek :o) Any guesses as to what I made ?

Kim :o)

The Paper Players Challenges

I have so many challenges that I like to play, that I been ignoring other challenges.  But one particular challenge kept calling my name because I loved the participant cards that I was seeing.  I finally went over and checked them out - and it's a wonderful place!!

The blog is The Paper Players.  Their monthly schedule of challenges is:
Week One: Theme Challenge
Week Two: Colour Challenge
Week Three: Clean and Simple Challenge
Week Four: Sketch Challenge
Week Five: Anything Goes
I like the variety of challenges, but what I really like are the design team cards and the participant cards - they are totally my style!!  I read their entire blog because I kept finding cards to CASE and other fun ideas!  So even if you are not a challenge player - you can get great ideas from this site.
This week's challenge is a sketch and here is my card:

I was playing at a friend's house yesterday and pulled out this Stampin' Up set called Happiness Shared.  I had never noticed it in the catalog.  It's a sweet image, but I really didn't know it was there.  I always laugh at myself when a new catalog comes out because a chunk of my order always includes stamps that were actually in the old catalog.  For one reason or the other, I never noticed them, but the new catalog has them placed differently or has great samples - and now they pop out at me. 

This next card is an example of finding fun ideas on this challenge site.  A winner from their most recent clean and simple challenge included a very unique use of a border punch that I have used on this card:

It's so easy to do and I love that woven look. You can find instructions for this technique at Linda's Stampin Loft
FYI: I am NOT good at random.  I tried a number of times to place the flowers on this card randomly but still looking clean and balanced.  I could not do it.  So I browsed my files to get ideas.  The "random" placement of these flowers is a CASE from a card by Kay at Stamping to Share.
Happiness Shared:
  • Stamps: Stampin' Up Happiness Shared, Teeny Tiny Wishes
  • Ink: Staz-on Black, Stampin' Up Pink Pirouette, Pretty in Pink, Pear Pizzazz and Old Olive
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Crumb Cake, Blushing Bride CS and dsp, Black
  • Accessories: Stampin' Up Oval and Scalloped Oval punches, Martha Stewart border punch
Celebrate You:
  • Stamps: Stampin' Up Awash with Flowers, Papertrey sentiment from Take 3 Summer
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Regal Rose, Peach Parfait, Rose Red, So Saffron, Wild Wasabi
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Regal Rose, dsp scrap unknown
  • Accessories: Stampin' Up Rose Grosgrain, border punch, gems

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Welcome to a Wandering Wednesday...

Well Hi there...I'm just sitting here waiting for my hair to dry and thought...uh's Wednesday and I haven't wandered in a goes...I have to hurry though, it is late and I have to get up for work...We had our first Race Executive meeting tonight and as usual we went to Bahama Breeze afterward. Great time with Great company! Things are changing...they always do...more on that at another time...some new members, some not returning...some phasing out...I will lead my first survivor committee meeting of the year next to top last year...and what will this year's theme be??? Any ideas would be appreciated!

Found a new show last night...I think it is called Body of Truth with Dana Delaney... excellent show! Found an old one too...Castle...watched it for the first time...another excellent show!

My trip went very well...Very inspiring...Very pink...Pictures will be posted at another time...there will be a pink Elvis!

I'd love to wander around my mind some more but I really have to get to bed... So Until next time...
Stay Pink!

Chasing Butterflies...

Today's card is just a basic following of the sketch challenge at SplitCoast stampers.  I didn't do anything fun or unique because I wanted this darling stamp to be the star!

This stamp comes from a cute set by There She Goes.  I actually got it because of a darling image that shows a big pudgy bear lounged out in a hammock.  I'm thinking there is Father's Day potential here - big belly, napping - at least it works in my house!  (Sorry, honey, just want to see if you are still reading my blog!)

If you are interested in the double-bow and other tips and tools about bows, check out this post.

  • Stamps: There She Goes Back in 10
  • Ink: Memento Rich Cocoa, copics
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Barely Banana, Chocolate Chip, Spring Flowers dsp
  • Accessories: Stampin' Up Cream Grosgrain, EK Success border punch

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I'll Be Back Soon

Last week I lost a very dear childhood friend and it has been weighing very heavily on me.  I should be back in a couple days.

All systems stop when there is a sick little one in the house and that includes sewing.

Poor dear sweet Adam.  He had a bad case of the YUCK yesterday! He is still somewhat off today but feeling much better thank goodness. Nothing is worse than a sick child. 

He is a very responsible boy and wanted to monitor his own stats.

Mom and Dad looked over him all day long and into the night. If you know us in person you will be laughing out loud right about this portrayal acted out by the Fisher Price people!

I was able to get the quilt sandwich together yesterday morning and started quilting during his nap that he very much needed. All the doors were open to air out the fumes from the spray basting. Please pay no attention to my two-toned walls, I am in the process of working up the courage to get up on scaffolding to finish the foyer. The color will be that of the section under the rail when I get up the nerve!

This one makes me dream of summer and going to the beach with well kids!!!!!

It is a beautiful morning and Adam is resting on the sofa so I think I will do some more work on his quilt and maybe I will be done by Friday’s Sew And Tell :o)

Have a wonderful and well day!
Kim :o)

Investment of a Lifetime

Lynn and I were asked to speak at the "Investment of a Lifetime" breakfast and fundraiser for Family Support and Treatment Center on Saturday morning. We shared a bit of our experience with Ella and how the agency has benefited us. I love what Lynn shared:
All children who come to Family Support and Treatment Center have their own stories to tell. Their stories are not happy. They are stories of neglect, physical and sexual abuse and other unspeakable trauma. These little ones need to tell their stories so they can heal. Without healing, these stories become the storyline of their lives. Most adults do not know how to understand these stories. The staff at FSTC does. They listen to the stories of pain, horror and shame; they do not turn away in shock, but give the child love, compassion and safety, and guide them to change their stories.
This is what has happened with Ella. Through the efforts of Jessica and Erin, Ella’s story is changing. Pain and fear have been replaced with peace, comfort and safety. Kim and I know that Ella’s early years will not be her destiny. Because of FSTC, her early years will be but one chapter of her life, followed by many chapters of peace and happiness. Ella’s story will have a happy ending.
We were told we could bring Ella to introduce her, but decided that wouldn't be a good idea. She doesn't do mornings and she only eats Grape Nuts for breakfast. :) But I did put together a slide show to introduce Elles to everyone and share a few of our "thousand small moments."

tinkerbell photos by Tracie Ruffner | temple photos by Tracy Wagstaff

Click on photo or here to see the slide show. (The photos are grainy shown here, but not in real life. Not sure why that happens.)

Some of our great friends joined us.

Yes, Jen always acts that way. She's our special friend! :P Amy Hanson is next to Lynn, then Debbie Hanson, Jen Ostler, RuthAnn Roberts, Sharlene Richards (you can't see her) and Jenn Strauss. We have such great friends who are willing to support us on a Saturday morning. Thank you, again!

Oh, there's Sharlene with Jenn.

Stuart Harper is the coordinator at FSTC.

Carrie did a wonderful job with the event.

Rachelle is our "personal parenting coach." She's awesome!

Erin (Ella's therapist--and ours :))--wasn't able to attend. We missed her.

The entire staff at Family Support and Treatment Center is amazing! They provide services for children and families who have experienced abuse, trauma and/or neglect. They are the most experienced and exceptional agency for play therapy, and also have a respite and crisis nursery. They provide in-home respite care, prevention training to schools and the community, parenting classes and in-home parenting sessions. Besides donations, there are also plenty of service opportunities available. They are an incredible resource for families and have been instrumental in helping Ella heal and in providing us with the tools to help her heal. If you're looking for a worthwhile cause to support, this is it!

I {heart} sketches (and colors)

My card for today is a combination of the sweet and gentle color choices for the Splitcoast Color Challenge and the monthly sketch from i{heart]2stamp

I am loving the double-bow look - check out this post for five tips and tools to help make bows - including a fun tool to easily create these double bows!

  • Stamps: Stampin' Up Asian Artistry
  • Inks: Stampin' Up markers in Celery and Marina
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Marina, Celery dsp (last year's dsp), Green Tea dsp
  • Accessories: Stampin' Up Embossing folder, border punch and Marina taffeta
  • Challenges: Splitcoast Color Challenge and i{heart}sketches (links above)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Cut Up Your Sentiment

Today's Splitcoast Clean and Simple challenge is to cut up the sentiment. 

Because the sentiment was in pieces, I thought it would coordinate best with something else in "pieces" as in the three cut-out balloons.  I looked through current color challenges and found one with the most festive colors.  Then to keep it clean and simple, I just added some simple embossing.

  • Stamps: Stampin' Up Party This Way
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Pumpkin, Marina, Olive
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Pumpkin, Crumb Cake
  • Accessories: Quickutz Label Embossing Folder, Crochet thread
  • Challenges: Splitcoast Clean and Simple and Color Throwdown

Finishing up an unfinished quilt.

Awhile back I started a Heather Ross Quilt along started by Sara at I had to finish some other projects so it was started very very late. The quilt I had chosen was the wonky block but when I made it it did not feel right somehow to me, I needed to make it my own.

I added some solid frames around the squares.

Then put the rest of the block together.

I had everything ready to go and then thought I would make the larger block wonky too :o) I used my omnigrid square to help so I could easily off center the square  and get the effect I liked.


So, I cut a pile of them.

I learned about this great tool in January while doing the  postage stamp quilt a long on The quilt a long was great but this tool is amazing!!!!! It is a Shape Cut rotary tool and helps out so much.

It looks like this and you can find it at your local Joann's. Wait for a sale or use a 50% off coupon that they always have online.

You simply line it up and see the ends? They are for your rotary blade to fit right in and straight cut all the way down. Makes fast work of just about all projects!!!! 
You end up with perfect cuts every time.

Using these as sashing, I had my photo of the block layout next to my sewing machine to make sure I did not place them incorrectly.

And this is how it turned out.

I will be hopefully making the sandwich today and starting the quilting.

Kim :o)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

you two..

I am slowing scrapping the gorgeous photos from our photo shoot in January from labelle photographics. This was one of my fav's the boys together on the bike. Yummy Jillibean soup here. My little bit of Whimsy birdie and I think I have almost worn out my fiskers cloud punch!

And mark your calenders....

Till next time...