Saturday, January 17, 2015

My cousin Rick's homemade Pizza

Rick's Homemade Pizza

There is nothing better than a homemade pizza with all fresh ingredients.  Making your own sausage blend is easy with the right ingredients.  Precooking the sausage, and sauteing the sweet mini peppers in advance so all is ready to add the toppings after the dough is ready.  Here are the recipes for each stage of the pizza assembly. You can start with the dough and as it is raising you can prepare the other ingredients. Additionally you can cut the pineapple earlier as well as the olives and shred the cheese. Just cover tightly and refrigerate until needed. 
  • Homemade Italian Sausage 
  • Freshly Grated 5 cheese blend
  • Grated Fresh Mozzarella Cheese
  • Garlic Olive Oil Sauce
  • Homemade Pizza Dough recipe

Shredded Cheeses:
Shred or grate several cheeses such as  Mozzarella, Cheddar, Colby, Parmesan, Monterey Jack and Provolone.

Garlic Olive Oil Sauce:

Saute chopped garlic and add olive oil to brush on the crust of the pizza before you add the toppings.  This is an alternative to a tomato based sauce.  Use as much garlic as your family likes. You can strain the garlic if you do not want the garlic on your crust and leave it in for those who want the garlic pieces.

Homemade Sausage:

1 teaspoons black pepper
 2 teaspoons dried parsley
 1.5 teaspoons Italian seasoning
 1 teaspoons garlic powder 
1/8 teaspoons red pepper
 3/4 teaspoons crushed anise seed
 1/2 teaspoons paprika 
1 teaspoons minced onion 
2 teaspoons sea salt (optional )

Combine ingredients and cook until sausage is no longer pink. 

Homemade Pizza Dough:

1 3/4 cups flour 
2 Tablespoon olive oil 
1/2 teaspoon sea salt. 
Combine and set aside.

One .25 oz. pkg active dry yeast 
3/4 cup 110 degree water 
1/2 teaspoon sugar 

Dissolve yeast and sugar in water in a small bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Add to flour mixture, beat until dough forms a ball.
Place in a small bowl greased with olive oil, cover and let rise for 1 hour until double in size. This will make one large pizza. You can double or triple the recipe as needed.  Rick makes four batches. You can use a cookie cutter and make mini pizza's.

Knead dough until smooth and elastic about 2-4 minutes and roll out on a floured surface. Add the garlic olive oil sauce and add your favorite toppings!

Bake @ 450 for 10-15 minutes until dough is cooked.


                          Prepare the mushrooms

                       Saute the Mushrooms

 Sauteed mushrooms

Cut up the mini peppers

Saute the peppers
                 Sweet mini peppers sauteed
                Saute garlic for the Olive oil sauce

Dough Preparation:
 Dough ingredients - yeast, water and sugar
   Add oil and the yeast mixture to the flour mixture and mix with the dough hook
               Let the dough raise

 Prepare and mix the sausage:
        Saute the sausage with the spices

                          Sausage cooked

Cut up toppings:

              Whole medium pitted olives
                            Cut up the olives

Fresh pineapple

                         Cut up pineapple
                     5 Cheese blend shredded

Shred the Mozzarella cheese

Add toppings to each individual Pizza
                                 Pizza ready to cook

                      Pizza cooking in the oven on a pizza stone

                                     Pizzas are done!


Fresh Sausage

Pineapple and Pepperoni

Sausage and olives

Combinations of everything

Ready to eat!

So good to have all fresh ingredients on your own individually made pizza!

My cousin Rick is a great cook! He and his wife both work and live in Santa Clara County, California. They have two daughters and two granddaughters. 

Friday, January 16, 2015

Cathy Hodgson's Videos

These 10 short video's of Cathy Hodgson's poems. Cathy says: "I just released a poetry book and that is why I started my YouTube, to post videos of some of my poems in a video form!"

You can see these 10 videos at YouTube Cathy Hodgson Videos 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Olivia Kent Poetry Video

The video is a bit blurry, however Olivia sends us a wonderful emotional performance reading to us her poems.

Melvina Germain Video

Melvina Germain reads to us her poems.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The very weak tea mishap today

                           My new tea cup and holder

So I guess I was not very much awake this am when I went to make my tea!

I drink herb tea and I make it in a thermos pitcher that holds one and a half quarts or just over a liter. So I go to pour out into the new 'Starbucks' type plastic cups Melissa got me for Christmas. I say to myself, "My, that tea looks so pale, I guess I did not let it steep long enough."
The cup is brick red so it is hard for me to see the colors as I am legally blind. Upon further inspection I see that it is just hot water no tea in it.... LOL  I failed to add the tea!!!

I love the new tea cups with the tops. It keeps my tea hot and also if I knock it over it does not spill so fast!  The green holder is made of soft spongy material and helps to stabilize the cup besides keeping the tea hot.

Thermos Pitcher

Both have been a nice help to my morning tea. With that thermos holding about 48 ounces, it fills this cup at least three times.

I have been drinking herb tea forever and the last two years I have branched out from just the Chamomile and mint for 30 years.  I had been using cinnamon tea from Celestial Seasonings and plain peppermint tea for three years. Now we are using more varieties that my daughter has been buying for me.
Cran-aid Tea

One new one she found this month is a local tea from Sebastopol given to me by my granddaughter. It is called "Traditional Medicinal."   It is called Cran-Aid.  It contains Cranberry, Ursi leaf, Marshmallow root, Cleavers herb, with the addition of some basics.
Cinnamon Apple Spice Tea
The Celestial Seasonings Cinnamon Apple Spice has cinnamon, hibiscus, chamomile, chicory, orange, and carob.
I usually use one of the cinnamon apple spice, one mint and one other in the thermos. We are using filtered water that we filter with one of those Brita Pitchers.
Brita Water Filter
I heat the water in an electric kettle. All these for health and safety for me! Health for the whole house.
Ginger Snappish Tea

We also got another new tea from Bigelow called Ginger Snappish.  It has Lemongrass, lemon peel, ginger and a few other things.
Bengal Spice Tea

The newest one by Celestial Seasonings is Bengal Spice. It has Cinnamon, roast chicory, roasted carob, vanilla, ginger, cloves, nutmeg and cardamom.

I like the flavors and I only use Almond milk and nothing else in my herb tea.
Hamilton Beach Electric Kettle

Teas light as herb teas count as water consumed. I have the whole thermos throughout the day.
Later I will have 20 ounces of filtered water with a tablespoon of lemon juice and two packets of Stevia natural sweetener. I use the bottled lemon juice from Costco. I know it is not organic or without additives and preservatives. Since I only use 2 to 4 tablespoons a day, I feel that it is not horrible.  We all do the best we can to get as much natural as we can otherwise.


Melissa has been working hard at presenting as many vegetarian dishes for us as possible.

We have started the vegetable and fruit mixed smoothies this last few years. We like to have it every day if we can in the future. We had only been having them in the summer in the past. So she got the large attachment for the “Bullet” mixer so that can make enough for the three of us.
  So those are our goals this year to incorporate more fresh fruits and vegetables that are raw.  I want to try the fresh ginger in the smoothie as well.

As soon as we get going again I will add the recipes to the recipe section of my blog here.

My little Owl

This owl was made my my granddaughter's BF. I wanted to add the photo to the Christmas hand made gifts I recieved post. I forgot to add it. He uses several kinds of modeling clay and colors. He is so talented. It is only 2 inches tall! Note the wire feet! It is just so cute!!!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Homemade gifts that I got

Christmas 2014
Christmas gifts were awesome this year as I got several homemade gifts. It is awesome to get homemade gifts as I give homemade gifts that I made!

My Granddaughter who you can see on a post below, made me a lap quilt! This was her first quilt and the first time she used a sewing machine.
The quilt which is a little smaller than crib size was two pieces of fleece tied with the strips that were cut on the edges.
The one side has an added quilted top which was mostly hand sewn. She used the sewing machine to sew the edges of it to the top fleece piece before tying the two fleece pieces.  I think she did an awesome job.

A surprise addition was the little heart in the center. It was from a piece of the quilt I made for her when she was first born 19 years ago!
All the cloth pieces are a butterfly pattern because she knows I love butterflies! I love the way she added the words I hear you in ribbons! She is very artistic!

Gingerbread clay ornaments

So I had asked her to help me make Gingerbread clay ornaments as a surprise for my daughter.

She and her boyfriend made these:

The bell with the mouth was painted by my Granddaughters boyfriend. He is quite a good artist as well.  I painted that candy cane, the white star and the Holly leaf on the end. 

I found a great easy recipe for the clay and they mixed up the ingredients, rolled out the clay and used the cookie cutters we both bought. They baked them and when my daughter went out several times they got the paints out and the three of us painted each ornament.  I must say their artwork is very superior!

Here is the formula for the clay I found at Pinterest.

Gingerbread Clay Ornaments
  • 4 cups of white flour
  • 1 cup table salt
  • 1/4 cup ground cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons of ground nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons of ground cloves
  • 1 1/2 cups of warm water
Mix dough, you can put less spices according to your desires. Roll out the dough and cut shapes with cookie cutters.  If you want a hole to add a string for hanging use a small tube like a straw to make a hole.  Bake 200 degrees for one hour. The ornaments will shrink to half the size.  Dry and decorate any way you want. The kids used acrylics. I used some glitter on a few of mine. After they are dry you can coat them with Mod Podge. We made our own with half school glue and water mixed.

Knitted Potato chip scarves

My oldest daughter knits and she and my other daughter picked out two kinds of the special "potato chip yarn."  
Here are the two knitted scarves:
                       A Turquoise color yarn from WalMart

A multi colored with chenille edging

The scarf yarn brand is Yarn Bee.  The type is Velvet Chrysalis.  She got it from Hobby Lobby. She says that the photo online looks lighter for the chenille than it looks without the bright lights. It normally looks darker in normal light indoors. 

Photo with flash to show colors

I see that different people call it different things. Besides potato chip scarf they call it ruffle, ribbon and infinity scarves.
Whatever you want to call it, I love it. I love the way it looks when you have it hanging down. It is so soft!

Crochet or finger woven instructions:

Here is a great video that has step by step instructions oh how to use this kind of yarn that is like a mesh.  It is not so difficult that a child can do it especially the three finger method shown at the end of the video. This is also a good project for visually impaired persons like myself to use the last three finger method.

Knitting instructions step by step photos and words:

Here is a great tutorial on how to knit with this type of yarn to make a ruffle scarf. 

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Update on my Mom

Photo of my Mom on the left and Me January 2015

Many of you asked how my Mom is doing these days. My Mom fell in July of 2014 and had injured her spine causing stress fracture. 
She also had issues and needed a blood transfusion. She had a steady weight loss for awhile of 23 pounds. She was pretty much bed ridden for many months. 
Now in January 2015 she is doing much better and getting around in a wheelchair. 
She still has to have help getting in and out of bed. She has a monitor on her wheelchair and bed. 
Her skin looks so much better now. Here is a close up of her with a fleece quilt that my daughter and I made for her. She is still living at a Rehab facility in her hometown in Northern California.
Mom will be 85 in April 2015.