Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas
to all the bloggers and readers!

Mamma Bear,Papa Bear & The Marine

Monday, December 10, 2012

Homemade Pizza in about 30 minutes

When you live out in the woods as far as we do, making homemade pizza is a mustIf you live in town it is also a lot cheaper than delivery and cheaper and better than the frozen.  Get yourself a pizza or bread stone and make one with the kiddo's.  It's a lot easier than you think!

Here's how.  Put your pizza stone in the oven and preheat both to 450 degrees.  While your oven and stone are heating, mix your dough.

Ingredients: (makes two pizza crusts)
1/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 packets of active dry yeast (I use 4 1/2 teaspoons of the bulk) 
2 cups of warm water 
1 teaspoon of salt
5 cups of flour separated
1/3 cup oil
pizza sauce about 1/2 cup
favorite pizza toppings , we use Mozzarella and cheddar cheese, green peppers, onions, mushrooms and pepperoni 

1. In a large bowl mix together the sugar, yeast, warm water, salt and 2 cups of the flour.  This will make a goopy liquid dough.  Stir well and let this rest for 10 minutes.  While your goopy dough is resting, chop up your onions, peppers and mushrooms if using.

2. After the dough has rested, add the oil and the remaining 3 cups of flour and stir or get in there and mix it with your clean hands.  Turn the dough out onto a clean, dry surface that has been dusted with flour.  Knead vigorously for 2 minutes until it forms a springy, elastic dough. 

3. Divide dough into two equal pieces.  If you are not making two pizzas today. Wrap your other dough ball up in plastic wrap and refrigerate.  Use within a few days or make a pizza and freeze for a quick meal when you are pressed for time.

4. Roll your dough with a rolling pin if desired.  I prefer to use my well floured hands and pat out the dough pulling and stretching as needed.  Lift it up from your work area from time to time to make sure it is not sticking.  Add more flour underneath the dough if necessary.   If you get a tear in the dough, just pinch it back together to repair.

5. When your stone and oven has preheated to 450.  Carefully remove the hot stone from the oven and place it as near as possible to your prepared dough.  Lift dough and place dough onto the stone adjusting as needed.  Begin putting together your pizza by first adding 1/4 to 1/2 cup of pizza sauce.  Spread it out over the dough keeping it 1/2 inch to an inch or so away from the edge.

 Grandson and I put on the sauce, a layer of  shredded mozzarella cheese,  chopped green peppers, onions and mushrooms.  

We then added another thin layer of mozzarella and a small amount of cheddar

 Make lots of funny faces while you are making your "Elf Pizza"

 Add your meat on top.  In our grandson's case.... pepperoni.

Lots and...

 lots of pepperoni

 Put your creation into the hot oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until cheese is melted and crust is golden brown.  Ours took 15.

 Remove from oven and let it sit for 5 minutes before slicing.
Serve warm. Swoon. Eat More.  Fall into a pizza coma.

Repeat again tomorrow with the extra dough!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Easy to make Photo Coaster Gift

A set of four doesn't take much time at all to make.  Even the kids can get involved.  Later, I am helping Grandson make a set for his Mom for Christmas.

 You will need (4) 4 x 4 ivory tiles I believe they are called tumbled marble. (Lowes sells them for $3.19 for a bundle of (9) A bottle of Mod Podge and a spray can of Mod Podge sealer. (available at Walmart or craft store)  I get the Matte finish.  I think glossy would show every flaw plus allow a drink to slide off easily.  A small sponge brush or regular small paint brush.  Your chosen photo's cut to about 3 1/2 x 3 1/2.  I printed mine from the computer using card stock paper.

Some thin cork.  I purchased a small roll from the craft store for less than $3.00 and will get over 20 pieces from it.

 Begin by coating the back of the photo with a thin layer of the Mod Podge

 Press your photo down firmly to the front of the tile.  If there are indention's in the tile along the side of the photo, just press the photo down into the indention.  Let this dry about 15 minutes.

 Now brush a layer of the Mod Podge on top of the photo. looks like you are painting on Elmer's Glue!

Let this dry completely. 

 Our humidity is up today so I hurried things along with a blow dryer.

 Didn't take long to dry with the blow dryer.

 When Photo has completely dried .  Give it a light spray with your Mod Podge acrylic spray sealer.  I let mine dry 15 to 20 minutes and sprayed again with a light coat.   Use outside or in a well ventilated area.  Let this dry completely.

 Cut a piece of the cork slightly less than 4 x 4.

 Brush the back of the tile with glue.  I used Elmer's Rubber cement. Brush the back of the cork.

 Then stick the two together pressing firmly.

 Lay on a firm surface and allow for glue to dry.  That's a picture of my Dad before he died doing what he loved to do....deer hunt.

 If you are putting them under a tree for someone, they don't even have to be wrapped.  I cut up an old Christmas Card from last year to hide the real pictures and tied a ribbon around the stack.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Thanksgiving Turkey....the gift that keeps on giving!

For those of you who read my blog, you know we slaughtered our first turkey for Thanksgiving.  It was yummy too!  We ate leftovers for several days, boiled the carcass and canned seven jars of turkey and vegetable soup.

Rather than scald the turkey to remove the feathers, we dry plucked it.  No stinky smell which was a blessing and the feathers came out easier than I thought.  I saved most of the feathers as I had a plan and today I did it!

 I cut most of the brim off of a sun-visor cap.  Purchased a band that looked Indianish from Walmart's fabric department and went to work with the hot glue gun.

I think it turned out quiet cute for our little wild Indian (grandson).

Papa Bear tried it out on one of the Christmas Bears.    I think he liked it.

Amish Poor Man's Steak or We're not dead yet!

Last November I bit the bullet and canned many jars of Amish Poor Man's Steak.  It had a lot of ingredients in the mixture the canning police says not to can.  We have had meals several times during the year from the canned steak with each one as good as the one before.  Last night I opened another jar now over a year old for a quick "Survival Supper"  I have found if I stir in 3 tablespoons of brown gravy mix (bought in bulk at Sams Club) to 1/2 cup of water and add that to the Amish Steak while it is heating up.  It thickens the mushroom soup and makes a nice gravy.  I served it with rice, green beans and sliced potatoes all from our food stash.  It was a good filling meal.   

Make sure you see my post below this one for 100 recipes in a jar, free for your Kindle today.  Not only are they great for gift giving but you can study the ingredients and see what can be safely stored on your shelves already premixed for you.

Homemade Gifts

Free Kindle Book today on Amazon.....
I am going to make some of the goodies in the book for Christmas presents.  Don't wait to download it.  There was a free Amish recipe book the other day and I just went back to post the link and it is now $2.99 so the books don't stay free for long!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Elves, Clowns and Bears..OH MY!

I have been making our Christmas decorations for over 20 years.  Except for the bows, lights, candy canes and the angel on top all on our tree are handmade.

We have cathedral ceilings so we can have a big 9 footer!

It's even prettier at night all lit up.  I just can't take a straight picture!

Here are my elves on their 4 foot ladder.  I made these about 15 years ago. They are scrambling up the tree with a strand of lights, ornaments and a candy cane.

A close up of one of the handsome little guys.  See Kelly and Glock Mom...Tell your little ones my elves are good....they stay put!

 a blown glass ball made by a friend, some snowmen and a string ball.  The string balls are fun to make.  Blow up a small balloon, wrap it with crochet string, paint it with "stiff Stuff" and let dry.  You can leave them plain or decorate as I did here with a gold poinsettia.

for Glock Mom....Send in the clowns....I have several of these in different colors.

Needlepoint from my sister....I don't do needlepoint. 

 Lots of white, gold and silver doves fly among the branches.

We have sleds...

Gingerbread men...

 Grandson made this one from cinnamon dough last week.  He told his Mom, grandma has white hair and wears white sneakers and always has a plant in her hand!  It smells wonderful!  That's a little wooden rocking horse behind my namesake.

 This is one of the dough ornaments that has lasted about 20 years.  There is only a few of these remaining.

 We have bells with pictures of the grand kids....This little baby will be 19 years old next month.  Where does the time go? she's not white headed like me...she has on a santa hat!

 another string ball.  I have them in white, gold, red and silver.

 and we have bears.....

 lots and lots of bears.....

 We started collecting them the year the Marine came home from the hospital.  We have missed a couple of years but have most of them dated since 1996.  The first one from 1995 did not have a date on his foot.

 A Christmas photo of me and Papa Bear about 25 years ago and a little wooden Christmas tree I made.

 A Christmas card holder I made a long time ago...We got our first card today, well maybe I should count Kelly's sweet card as the first she sent with her lovely soap as she did wish us Christmas blessings!  Sorry about the glare.  I so need a new camera.

 Mr and Mrs Frosty.  I made a lot of these for family and friends 10 or so years ago.

 A wooden candy holder I made.  I usually put Hershey Kisses in it but haven't been to the store yet.

 Santa's sleigh and one of his reindeer I made some 15 years ago.

 and a family of deer....all the kids enjoy taking these apart and putting back together.

 My former daughter in law made this nativity for us years ago.  I put it in the corner of the kitchen counter this year.  Daughter has a friend with a two year old who comes to visit and this is about the only thing out that will break.

 I've either got to retire the candy cane angel or sand her down and repaint her.  She's getting a little dingy in her old age.

 Mr and Mrs Claus were made by a friend 30 years ago.  I am still amazed they have not been broken.  The bears in the center are animated and play Christmas carols.  The photo on the right is one of our granddaughters first visit with Santa.

Hope you enjoyed looking at a few of our decorations.  I just love all the colors and sounds of Christmas in our home!

 It's early but Merry Christmas y'all!


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