Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Pizza Crust

This has been updated on 6/3/2011.
This recipe has gone through many sources and changes over the last 17 years. I have a versions of this from 1994 and the recipe here is one that came off a website and now I can not find which one it was, however the recipe is so close to the original one that I had that I can not give anyone credit for it and I don't take credit for it myself. However, it is a really good pizza dough!
Makes 2 crusts.

Put one package (2 1/4 teaspoons) yeast in 1/4 Cup warm water with 1 teaspoon honey and let rise.

Sift 2 1/2 Cups all purpose flour into mixing bowl and mix in 1 teaspoon of salt.

Mix in yeast mixture, 3/4 cup warm water, 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil and mix together well. Add more flour if dough is too sticky. Remember, some stickiness is okay. Turn dough out on a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 to 15 minutes. During this time think about all the difficulties and crabby people that you have had to deal with.
In a lightly greased bowl place the ball of dough and cover with a clean cloth. Let the dough rise for about 45 minutes.
Turn dough out on your kneading board again and divide in half. Reform each part into 2 new balls (during this time think about all the wonderful things in your life) and cover and let rise for 15 to 20 more minutes..

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Spread dough on lightly greased baking sheets and put on the toppings.
Pepperoni pizzas cooks faster because the oil in the meat gets hot faster and speeds the cooking. Leaner meats will take longer to cook.
Set your timer for 10 minutes and check the bottom edges. You can slide the pizza off the baking sheet to crisp up the crust a little more for 1 to 2 minutes before you take it out of the oven.

Thank you for stopping by.
Curl up with a slice of pizza and enjoy the evening and the compliments!
Dee Dee


My garden has been neglected for the past couple of years due to an injury and now I am faced with more pain in trying to clean it up.

So I decided to use some of those nasty thistles for a treat.
You will need work gloves and some of those thorns will go through leather so be prepared to suffer a little.

I used a combat knife to chop the thistle and remove most of the outer thorns. I am at war with these weeds so the combat knife just felt appropriate.

You need to peel as much of the fibrous outer skin off that you can leaving the tender and soft inside core.

This is very much like celery and can be eaten raw or cooked in a stew.

All in all, this was not an enjoyable task. I found that I did not get enough of the fiber off when I cleaned it. The taste is very close to celery and when mixed with ranch salad dressing it was good. But it was a lot of squeeze for the juice.

Thistle is something that I would add to a wild stew to add fiber to the diet. In a survival situation or just when you don't have much money for groceries, this can help you stretch your pantry supplies.

I really have to say at this point that I am glad I planted asparagus though. I picked some tonight and had a plate of steamed asparagus with salt and butter.
Now THAT was cozy!

Thank you for stopping by.
Dee Dee

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Marinade Recipe for Chicken Breasts

Tonight my husband's band was over so I made food samples (experiments) for them.
I made beef kabobs with the recipe that I posted earlier and I also made my own marinade for chicken that I wanted to get feedback on.

One 11 oz can of Mandarin Oranges with the juice.
4 Tablespoons of Brown Sugar
4 Tablespoons of Soy Sauce
1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil
Dash of salt to taste
1/2 teaspoon French Tarragon

Put these ingredients in a bowl and mix with an egg beater.

I mixed the marinade up yesterday and let it sit in the fridge overnight. The smell and taste told me that this would not be good for beef so this morning I put a frozen skinless chicken breast in the marinade bowl and let it defrost like that.

I placed it on a rack on a baking pan and basted with more of the marinade.
every 15 minutes while baking I would spoon more marinade over it. I cook it until the meat thermometer reached 170 degrees F.
Take out of the oven and let sit for 10 minutes before slicing.

I will tell you that if it wasn't good I would not have posted the recipe but I have asked the band to visit here and leave comments so you don't have to take my word for it.
One thing I would have done differently is buy fresh chicken. The chicken I got was as tough as an old stew hen. Had it not been for the marinade it would not have been very easy to eat.

I haven't decided what sides would be best with this, but since I had made kabobs with different things I did not need to worry about a full course plan.

I spent the entire day cooking and later I will be sharing another recipe with you.
Thank you for stopping by!
Dee Dee

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Kitchen Grease Fire

Tonight I had a kitchen grease fire. I guess some people would have been scared by it but I had learned ahead of time how to deal with it thanks to some people that shared a video of it from a survivalist group I am on.

I was heating oil for a stir fry and watching the Preakness race at the same time. My husband came into the kitchen and said "This is smoking!" and as I said "Just a minute" the oil ignited. He then said "Fire!" and I missed the end of the race.

I walked into the kitchen to find the pan full of flames and all of the smoke alarms started blaring.
I looked at the pan and walked to the sink. My husband must have thought I was crazy for being so calm. I grabbed a dish towel and got it wet, then I walked to the stove and carefully put the wet towel over the pan and the flames when out.
My stir fry pan died but the rest of us were spared. The moral here is DO NOT leave your stove on unattended.
The last picture is the towel I used to put the fire out. The black spots you see are grease. What you don't see is the small holes in the cloth from the heat stress.
It took at least 2 hours to air out the house so it wasn't so smoky and I had to do that during a thunder storm. I can still smell the burned oil. Tonight was a challenge.

I ended up using a skillet to make my stir fry. With the stove I have I don't think it makes much of a difference anyways.

The other ways to put a grease fire out is smothering with a lid (which I don't have a lid large enough for this pan) or baking soda (which would have taken longer to use).
Also, turn off the fuel source when dealing with a fire like this.
We were lucky here. Very lucky. I could have lost so much more than a stir fry pan.
NEVER EVER pour water on a grease fire, it will explode and take your whole house! A wise man learns from other people's mistakes. I made a mistake, please learn from it.

Be safe and be cozy!
Thanks for stopping by.
Dee Dee

Glass Stove Top Cleaning

It's something I really don't enjoy doing, but letting it go too long gets even harder to clean. Those glass top cook stove messes. I really don't like this stove. In all honesty I would switch it up for gas or wood any day, or even an electric coil stove. I guess this just shows how some newer technology isn't always better.
For some recipes, this kind of stove is the last thing you should be using and you can not use a canner and a few other things on it. The heating is not consistent and the "burners" don't last. I had this stove under 2 years when the front burner fried out. So I don't recommend this type of stove, but if you have one I think I can help you with the cleaning of it.

I use plain baking soda and a soft rag. The rag here is old flannel. I wet the surface down and pour the baking soda on. This was more than I needed and the excess went to cleaning the sink. It takes a little bit of elbow grease (arm strength, for you young ones that don't know old terms) and if there are really hard spots I use a plastic scraper (the pink thing) to scrape off the thicker cooked on stuff. Between the two I got this burner cleaned in less than 10 minutes. Be careful not to scrub too hard or you will lose some of the finish. But then again the finish will probably last longer than the stove anyways.
After you get the grime off rinse your rag in warm water, wipe off the stove and then dry it with a dry towel.

Days like this make me want a wood burning cook stove even more.
I also had a kitchen fire tonight so I am a little upset with my stove as well as myself.

I hope you find this information helpful.
Cleaning makes cozy.
Thank you for stopping by.
Dee Dee

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Sculpey Clay

I did a post on this which was lost during the blogger outage so I am re-posting what I can remember of it

I sculpted this using Sculpey Clay. It is a clay that you can harden in your oven.
I used mostly my hands to form it and some parts I used tooth picks and nail manicure sticks.
When it was finished I used a white acrylic paint to protect it.

For my muse I used my youngest daughter. I am probably the reason why she can't sleep when people are staring at her and to make matters worse, I used to set all of her stuffed animals up so that their eyes were made to look straight at her. This helped me to get her up in the mornings for school. I would say, "All of your animals are looking at you waiting for you to get up."
It really got to her. Now instead of sleeping with 40 of them that end up staring at her there is only one.

Under baking, Sculpey clay will not harden and over baking it will make it discolor and turn brittle, maybe even cracking it, so pay attention to the thickness and time when baking.
I plan on mounting this on wood and making it a wall hanging. It isn't very practical, but these little things can help make a house a home when love is added into the mix.

Be cozy my friends!
Create that cozy!

Thank you for stopping by!
Dee Dee

Sunday, May 15, 2011

One Man's Junk...

Ends Up at My House.

If I see free stuff at the end of someone's driveway I am drawn to it like my lips to a wine glass.
Today brought an interesting score!

I found this pure wool sweater which I can not decide on whether I should reuse the yarn for socks or felt it for sewing mittens or boot liners. The sweater would be nice to keep as is but the sleeves are too short so this is a recycling project.
Give me your ideas to consider and I will post on that as it comes together!

Next was this shelf which is real wood. It needs a good cleaning and a few touch ups, maybe a new coat of varnish and it is good to go.

Then we grabbed this chair. I have plans for this one. My husband says it needs to be cleaned up a bit, and oh it will be, but when I looked at it the first thing that came into my mind was 'catcher's mitt'. I would like to get some tan leather and reupholster it and make a little round, white pillow with red stitches to make it look like a baseball.
Can't you just see it?
Batter Up!
...and yes, it is cozy!

Thank you for stopping by!
Dee Dee

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Marinade Recipe for Kabobs

Tonight was 'experiment for company night' so I thought why not make Kabobs?

I started out making the marinade. This is my own recipe and the only reason I have it now is because my sister-in-law wrote it down as I went along, so thank you Carrie.

2/3 Cup Pineapple Juice
1 teaspoon Liquid Smoke (nice by not needed if grilling)
1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1 teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Crushed Garlic Clove
1/2 teaspoon Salt
a Sprinkling of Cayenne Red Pepper to taste.

Mix well and put in fridge until all meat is cubed. Put the meat in the marinade and put in fridge until all the other foods are prepared.
I tried this with both pork and beef and beef is the winner on this one.

The other foods on the Kabobs are
whole mushrooms
parboiled potatoes chunks
parboiled zucchini chunks
onion wedges
pineapple chunks

You can add or minus for what you like.
I first wrapped some of the non-marinaded meat in bacon (this is what the picture above is) and cooked that.
It wasn't too bad.
Then I cooked the marinaded meat without bacon. I tried the pork first and felt that the flavor was improved, but when I tried the beef I knew that it was a match. Really delicious food.
I brushed the Kabobs with melted butter and baked them in the oven (it was raining here today so no go on the grill) at 450 degrees F until the meat felt medium rare.
This was also the first time we have had zucchini. Nice addition to the meal. One kabob is plenty served with a tossed salad and a glass of Sweet Red wine, but be warned-if there are extras they most likely won't be serving fridge time.

This night has made me happy that I bought those stainless steel skewers at a garage sale, 12 for a dollar and kept them all these years. They will be used again soon.

The photo was taken before they were cooked. The after cooking photos are hard to get as this food sends my family into a feeding frenzy and I figure I had better get in there too before it was all gone.
I do have some meat left over in the marinade to see how it will taste in an overnight marinade. I will post how that goes in the comment section tomorrow.

I will be working on this marinade in the future to see if I can make it even better. If you try this please give me your feed back. If you have suggestions I would be more than happy to hear them. We are in this together!

Thank you for stopping by. I hope you enjoyed this. Get cozy!
Dee Dee

Friday, May 13, 2011

GOOD Tools!

My life has been a journey and not all of that path has been cozy.
Sometimes our own little realities bring us to a fork in the road and we must choose which path will be in our own best interest. I stopped for a moment at one of those forks and thought long and hard. How do I escape? Could I walk out that door with nothing and survive? I didn't think it was possible, but yet it had to be. People had been living with very little at the beginning of time and they kept going.
I needed to learn how to keep going.
So learn I did.
I bought a basic wilderness survival video and memorized it. Then I went to the library and read everything I could get my hands on regarding survival. I bought more survival videos and books. I secretly practiced what I had learned. Then I thought, "how can I make surviving a little more comfortable?" I had more learning to do.

I learned more knitting and crocheting stitches, how to make cordage, how to join wood for framing and furniture, to make a thatched roof, to make cooking utensils. Everything I could find on basic living skills, I tried to learn and memorize.

Knowledge is the most important tool you can have and with that, yes I can survive with just a knife, or less.

The first picture is what I always carry on me. A good folding knife, a magnesium fire starter and a flashlight.

The next picture is a mini kit, which I keep close by me in a water tight case to grab and go fast! It holds a whistle, mini flashlight, small fishing kit, knife sharpener, fire starter and a mini Swiss pocket knife.

The 3rd picture is some of what I carry in my GOOD (Get Out Of Dodge) AKA BOB (Bug Out Bag).
Snare wire, mini tools, fishing tackle, fixed blade knife, compass, pocket chain saw, sewing needles, small brass safety pins, hand drill (which can be used to start a friction fire), tri-fold shovel and work gloves. I forgot to show my safety glasses. I would love to add to this list of tools and I will as I can.

What I can tell you, with what I have and know, is that I will never have to go to a "shelter" that the government has set up and that's okay because they would never allow me in with my gear, and I could leave my home at a moments notice and I would be just fine.

I also keep some knitting needles and crochet hooks in my big bag as well because as clothing wears out, I'd like to be able to make more. This here would be a really nice and fairly complete set and it is very portable.

I really wish I had a set like that!

Knowledge is power, learn what you can now, and know that a man or a woman can survive on their own.

Thank you for stopping by, please feel free to comment or leave questions.
Dee Dee

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Alfredo Pizza Recipe from Home Storage.

If you are looking for another recipe for getting your pantry rotated or for what other things you can add to it for variety, here is one for you.
You can also use fresh ingredients as well.

I make my own pizza crust from scratch which results in a fabulous restaurant quality pizza.
I rehydrate the freeze-dried ingredients while the dough is rising.

After the dough is rolled out I pour the Alfredo sauce on the dough as I would regular sauce.

This is very important if you don't like mushy pizza.
I then put the shrimp on, the spinach, the mozzarella cheese and then the mushrooms in that order.
This is pretty easy to make and as far as how much of each you use, as a rule of thumb I use equal portions, like one cup of each. It depends on how big your pizza is. You can omit the mushrooms, add onions in a smaller portion (like a 1/4 Cup), and you can also use chicken in place of the shrimp.

The canned Alfredo is convenient to store and has a shelf life 2 years out.
The Dehydrated Mushrooms are really awesome, to add most flavor to them, saute them in butter until slightly brown. This will also help to pull some of the excess water out.
If you like a stronger garlic flavor a little bit of minced garlic will go a long way.
The Dehydrated Cheese really does melt as it is cooked.
Bake as instructed by the dough recipe. Mine was 450 degrees F for 10 to 16 minutes.

If the power is out you can bake on the grill using a few bricks on the grate, put your pizza on that and cover the grill, or you can use one of these Camp Ovens like I have.
There are other ways to bake outdoors as well so research for your area, but NEVER use wet rocks or bricks. They can explode. Baking on a wood fire adds a flavor like you wouldn't believe to breads!

I wish I could show you a picture of the pizza but there was nothing left by the time I got to it.

I know that this strays a bit from yarn but that is bound to happen with me. I would like to thank Emergency Essentials and Provident Pantry for their Freeze-Dried foods!

Thank you for stopping by. Any questions or comments are welcome!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Baby Hat from Scrap Yarn

For this I used Lion Brand Yarn, Watercolors.
The color is #344 Water Lily.
It is 65% acrylic and 35% Merino Wool.
It is thick and soft and very nice to work with.

This is a crocheted hat for an infant that I made from left over yarn that I had left over from a neck muffler that I knitted, which some call a cowel. The cowel is a straight knit pattern to the needed length to measure loosely around the neck and then ends joined. Very easy to make and nice beginner project.

I did not follow a pattern for the hat or the flower on it. I just worked it until it was what I wanted. I am sorry I did not write down what I did as I worked so I could give you the pattern. If you are really interested in a pattern for this, leave me a comment and I will figure and count it out and post it.
The little flower, that is much like a flat daffodil, was also something I made up as I went along.
From the neck muffler to the baby hat this yarn was great to work with.
With a wool content I would think that it would be a very warm piece and yet it is soft and not at all scratchy like one finds in most commercial wool yarns.

This hat is a new born to 6 month size. It took a very small amount of yarn and is perfect for that small little scrap ball of left over yarn.

Thank you for stopping by.
Dee Dee

I have been have some technical difficulties with my computer so I haven't been able to post everything that I have been working on. Once I get this corrected I will have much more to post, and I apologize if I do not get back to you soon with a response.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Getting knotty

I had not been much of a fan of Macrame when I was younger until I found this pattern in an old booklet. This will be a hanging table. I had given up on this for a few years because I could not find a piece of round glass for it for cheap. Then, last year, one of my neighbors put out a round glass piece next to the street with a free sign.
You all know that I just love free things so my husband grabbed it. It's a perfect fit and motivation to finish the job!

I had a lot of fun with the first part of this project. The hard part will be getting all the ropes to connect to the bottom circle evenly so I will have a level table. I still have to trim up and melt the loose ropes and untwist and brush out the bottom ropes under the table rim.

Macrame is a great thing to learn. You can make hammocks, hammock chairs, tables, lawn chairs and more. I am going to use this skill to make a new net for my fishing net, which broke. Big fish? Huge! I almost named it Moby Dick, it was that big! And I was just try to net some minnows.