Thursday, May 30, 2013

Squash Blossom Cheese Bread

I'll be honest. I originally meant for this "cheese bread" to be more pizza-esque, but sometimes recipes just don't turn out as planned. Regardless, I'm happy with how it tastes so why not share it? I suppose if you wanted to make it more like pizza you could add a sauce (I highly recommend the sauce I used in this pizza recipe) and roll the dough to be much thinner. If you like the idea of cheese bread (and really, who doesn't?) then read on!

  • 1 3/4 to 2 1/4 cups flour (you'll see why there's a range of measurements here soon)
  • 1 packet Fleischmann's pizza yeast (you don't have to wait for the dough to rise with this yeast)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup very warm water
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil plus more for topping
  • 6-8 squash blossoms
  • parmesan cheese (about 1/2 a cup)
  • mozzarella cheese (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine 1 cup of the flour, the entire packet of yeast, sugar and salt in a mixing bowl. Add the water and the oil and mix for about a minute.

Slowly add more flour until a soft dough ball is formed. I added about another cup. At this point, I used my dough hook (for the very first time) to knead the dough for a couple of minutes. If you don't have one, go ahead and knead the dough ball for about 4 minutes on a floured surface.

Roll the dough as thin as you like. Mine was about 1/4 inch thick. Transfer it to a greased baking sheet.

Now it's time for the toppings! Wash the squash blossoms and cut them in half.

Grate the parmesan and mozzarella.

Add the chopped garlic to a little olive oil (I used about 2-3 tablespoons).

Spread the olive oil and garlic on top of the dough. Add both cheeses, the blossoms, and then a little more cheese. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Bake until golden brown (about 15-20 minutes). Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013


Anticipating: Moving out of this apartment. I've been here for about 7 months and can't stand it anymore. It's small, dark and loud. I'm a grandma. I fall asleep early(ish) and wake up at 4AM for work. That schedule and the bar down the street just don't mix. Luckily, I'm leaving in three weeks! My co-worker is moving and I'm taking her place. It's bigger and it's upstairs with lots of windows and sunlight. I CAN'T WAIT. I'll definitely post photos once I'm all moved in.

Watching: Arrested Development season 4. Just started watching Girls (finally). I'm also almost completely caught up on Parenthood. As far as reality TV goes, I'm done with my trashy reality binge (for now) and sticking to MasterChef and maybe The American Baking Competition... unless Jeff Foxworthy drives me crazy. Then I'm out.

Listening to: Breezeblocks by Alt-J on repeat. We saw them at Coachella and they were one of my favorites. If you haven't already, check out that music video. It's a trip. Other artists I'm listening to a lot these days include... Shovels & Rope, Sleigh Bells, and The Allman Brothers.

Trying to keep up on: My 365 project. I'm almost halfway done!

Excited about: Going to Disneyland in July. I live 20 minutes away and haven't been in, get this, 12 YEARS. How crazy is that?

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Simple Chicken and Dumplings

I love chicken and dumplings. My grandma grew up in Georgia so she was an expert when it came to Southern cooking. She's definitely the reason why I love things like chicken and dumplings, biscuits and gravy, grits, etc. Now, I must admit, this recipe (found here) is nothing like hers (she made her dumplings from scratch) but it's one of my personal favorites because it's quick and easy. 

  • 1 and 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 cup frozen peas and carrots
  • 1 cup cooked chicken breast, shredded into big chunks
  • 1 can of creamy chicken mushroom soup
  • 1 cup Bisquick mix
  • 1/3 cup milk

Heat 1 1/2 cups milk, the peas and carrots, chicken and soup in a saucepan until it boils, stirring frequently.

Combine Bisquick mix and 1/3 cup milk until dough forms.

Drop spoonfuls of the dough onto the chicken mixture. Cook over low heat, uncovered for 10 minutes. Cover and cook for another 10 minutes. Keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn't boil over.

Add a little salt and pepper and enjoy!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Long Beach Antique Market

Once a year my dad rents a spot at the Long Beach Antique Swap Meet. I usually go with him to help but haven't actually brought items to sell until this year. It was a lot of fun! We packed the truck on Saturday and woke up at 3AM yesterday to get in line. The swap meet opens at 5:30 for the early birds. I walked around and took a few photos with my phone to share with you guys. How cool is that orange lamp in the first photo?

Below is a look at our spot. Some of the Please Note paper goods even made an appearance!

If you're in the Los Angeles area, I highly recommend checking out this swap meet. It's the third Sunday of every month. Try to go early before it gets too hot, but if you can't beat the heat, they sell ice cold beer at the concession stand. You can't beat that!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Words of Wisdom

This quote, by Anthony J. D'Angelo, has always been one of my favorites. I probably think about it at least once a week. So... I made this recently for the hell of it and just realized I never shared it with you guys. Feel free to pin it if you like it!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Thumbprint Cookies

As a kid I was convinced that fruit and dessert should remain separate. Now that I'm older, I'm beginning to appreciate the combination. Needless to say, this was my first time baking thumbprint cookies because I've never been a huge fan. Not only is this recipe (found here) simple, but the cookies are delicious, especially right out of the oven.

  • 2 sticks (1 cup) butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • your favorite jam (I used boysenberry)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cream the vanilla into the butter.

Add the powdered sugar and then the flour. Mix until smooth dough forms. I wanted to make some of the cookies chocolate so I added 1 tablespoon of dark cocoa powder to half of the dough.

Roll the dough into one inch balls. Place the balls on a cookie sheet about two inches apart. Press your thumb into the center of each cookie. Make sure that you don't press all the way through.

Spoon a little jam into each thumbprint but don't let them overflow.

Bake on the highest rack of your oven for 12-15 minutes or until just slightly brown. Enjoy!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Cuckoo Clock Makeover

A while back I found this little plastic cuckoo clock at an estate sale. I've been meaning to paint it since then and today I finally got around to it. My current favorite color is yellow so I decided to go with that.  I love how it turned out!

I put some tape over the little bird and my dad had the idea of covering the circular clock part with a spray can lid. It fit perfectly!

Now... time to find some open wall space.