Thursday, January 31, 2008

Pizza Dough Recipes

Basic Pizza Dough

2 tsp. active dry yeast
1/2 tsp. sugar
1 cup warm water
2 1/2 cups flour ( I use a mix of unbleached white and whole wheat)
1 tsp. salt

Place yeast, sugar and water in a bowl and mix to combine. Set aside in a warm place for 5 minutes, or until bubbles appear on the surface.

Place the flour and salt in a bowl and make a well in the centre. Add the yeast mixture and mix together with well floured hands to form a dough.

Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for 5 - 10 minutes, or until smooth and elastic.

Divide the dough in to two or four portions, two large pizzas, or four smaller ones. Place on a lightly floured surface under a clean damp cloth in a warm place for 30 minutes or until they have doubled in size. I put my dough under an upside down bowl.

The dough is now ready to form into your pan. spread with your favourite toppings and bake at 425 F, for 10 to 12 minutes, or until cooked to your liking.

Thin Crusted Pizza

1 1/2 cups unbleached flour ( or a combination of flours)
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup warm water
2 tsp. active dry yeast
2 tbsp. olive oil

(If you double this recipe to make 2 pizzas, do not double the yeast)

Place the flour and salt in a bowl, stir to mix well, make a well in the center.

Measure the water into a small bowl, sprinkle with the yeast and leave it to soften for 3 to 4 minutes.  Whisk the yeast and water together then whisk in 1 tbsp. of olive oil.

Pour the liquid into the well in the flour, and stir to make a soft sticky dough. Turn onto a floured surface and knead about 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic, and no longer sticky. Try to avoid adding too much flour or it will make a tough dough. Place ball of dough on a lightly floured spot and cover with an upside down bowl. Let rise for about an hour or until it is doubled in bulk.

I used a rolling pin to stretch the dough out thin, or it can be done gently with your fists.  If the dough resists, cover it and let it rest for 5 minutes to allow it to relax.
When the dough is properly stretched it should be about 1/8" thin and the border should be about 1/2" wide.

Top with your favourite toppings and bake in a 450 F oven for 15 minutes, or until baked to your liking.  


Tuesday, January 29, 2008

This Was Our Canadian Inuit Team

With Mark, Kinoje and Cali away camping, I have been thinking about Mark camping in past years when we had all the dogs. They were a magnificent team, real beauties. Hard working fun loving dogs. He must be missing them out there.
I know Tukker is sad to be here with me, but he is too wobbly to walk in to the campsite, poor old bugger. He loves camping.

Front to back, Rupert, Wikey, Cali Coco Bean, Ellesmere, Tukker and Kinoje.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Handwoven Felted Wool Rag Rug!

I have not posted for a few days, self absorbed in my work. So many colours to weave with, hard to do anything but scissor and weave.
Mark and the two younger dogs are out camping, I hope they are toasty warm and dry tonight in the tent. It rained all evening and now it is snowing, big fat wet flakes. Pretty!
I wove this rug today, I am very pleased with the colour and colour interaction, beautiful runner. Colour does make my heart sing! I know I am a little bit corny, but it is who I am.

Close up of colour and texture, so soft and thick and cozy. Great to sink your soles onto.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Handwoven Red Sweaters and Jewels

I have finished my second red rug. This one has variations of colour in it, black and grey mixed with the red. My photography skills do not do justice to the interaction of colour in this rug. Colour on colour, it gets me excited.

A close up showing colour and the soft cushy texture.

Here are two items I have listed in my Etsy shop. Both have hearts of different sorts. 

This gorgeous freshwater pearl, sterling silver, and lampwork heart focal bead (made by Gillianbeads of Etsy) is aptly named Black Cherry Bubble Gum. KritterKnitter also if Etsy named it for me this afternoon.  

Working once again with copper, I made this pair of etched copper earrings.The hearts in this pair of earrings match the hearts in a necklace I listed earlier this week.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Red Wool Rug and Crunchy Wasabi Salmon

This is the first rug I have wove this year. The first rug from my newest bales of sweaters. It is a range of reds and rusts, mostly reds. It is really quite beautiful, if I can say so myself! Gorgeous cushy, so soft underfoot.
A close up of the rug, many shades and variations of red, so soft an thick!

For dinner tonight I cooked a very simple, and easy salmon dish. I served it with blanched snap peas, and brown rice. Here is the recipe!

Crunchy Wasabi Crusted Salmon
(or any kind of fish you would like)

4 (3/4 to 1" thick) skinless salmon fillets (6 oz. each)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsps. wasabi paste (from a tube)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 to 1 1/4 cups panko (Japanese bread crumbs)

Put oven rack in upper third of oven and preheat to 400 F. Line a shallow baking pan with tin foil. Grease lightly.

Pat fillets dry, then arrange in baking pan. Sprinkle salt all over fillets. Stir together wasabi paste and mayonnaise in a bowl, then spread tops of fillets with half of mayonnaise and sprinkle with half of panko. Turn fillets over and spread with remaining mayonnaise, the sprinkle with remaining panko crumbs.

Bake until fish is just cooked through, 12 to 16 minutes, then broil 4 to 6 inches from heat until crumbs on top are golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. 

Serves 4, or two if you are very hungry! Enjoy!!!

A Necklace for Kristi!

My niece is going through a rough patch in her young life. I promised her a necklace similar to one I made my sister for Christmas. I just got the pearls today, Gillian of Gillianbeads was kind enough to make me more of the pink and grey lampwork beads. It really is a pretty necklace.
Pink and grey pearls, hematite, pale pink bicones and pink and grey lampwork beads.
I hope Kristi will love it, I am mailing it to her tomorrow!

I love copper!

I have been playing with some new copper beads and findings. Copper tugs at my heart strings, it is a passion!

Earrings I just listed in my Etsy shop!

I listed this gorgeous copper necklace with a lampwork bead made by Gillianbeads of Etsy. She does beautiful work, I have bought a few of her beads. I will surely be buying more in the future!!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Saturday Morning.

I can't believe it is Saturday already. Mark and I drove Thomas to the airport very early yesterday morning. He is on his way back to Holberg, on Vancouver Island to start the first treeplant contract of the year. It was so nice having him home these past couple of months, I am really going to miss him. I will have to keep myself busy and not dwell on it, he needs to follow his own path. I will follow my own too.
I am going to start weaving today, I have enough sweaters cut up, and laid out. I like to lay the different piles of cut up sweaters through my loom room, so I can play with colour.

I will post a photo of the rug when I am finished with it. It is a challenge for me to weave with all of these red sweaters, I am not really sure if anyone would want an all red rug, I could weave a big one. Red seems to be a popular colour of sweater, according to my bales.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Thursday January 17th

On Tuesday night I received 3 bales of used textile on the Greyhound bus. My supplier from Burlington kindly puts the 75 lb. bales on the bus for me. I live too far away to go myself to pick and choose so I get what I get, a mixed bag of sorts. No choice of colour and hopefully the sweaters are wool. I am getting frustrated with so much superwash wool these days. The wool goes through a chemical process to remove the barbs from the fibres, to make it machine washable. People these days like the convenience, no more hand washing. I am not sure what the process does to the wool, I do know when a superwash sweater is wet it feels like an acrylic sweater, not wool. Not sure if the process changes the insulating properties of wool. 
Superwash wool is my arch enemy these days. It makes for a lot of unusable sweaters, I have bags of them that would not shrink.
I have started to cut up sweaters for my next rug, I would like to add another image but I am not sure how to do that, they just keep going to the top, and then I can't move them around. I would like to be able to place them below my text. I am sure I will learn as I go.

We had a delicious dinner last night, Cajun Sauteed Shrimp. I do love searching and cooking new recipes, so I will include yummy recipes here, to share.

Cajun Sauteed Shrimp

4 servings
10 min. 5 min. prep.

1 1/2 lbs. large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 tsp. paprika
3/4 tsp. dried thyme
3/4 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tbsp. olive oil

1. Combine the first 8 ingredients in a large ziplock bag: seal and shake to coat.
2. Heat oil in a large frying pan, I used cast iron, over medium high heat until hot.
3. Add shrimp: saute 4 to 5 minutes until the shrimp are cooked.

I served them with long grain brown rice cooked in chicken broth and steamed vegetables. I also made the same recipe with cubes of boneless chicken breast, just increase the cooking time. Enjoy!!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Lazy Tuesday afternoon

Actually most days in January are lazy for me, winter is my worst season due to Hashimotos disease. It knocks my energy level for a loop in the winter. I just do what I can.
Mark and Thomas have taken Kinoje and Cali out ice fishing this afternoon. They may go camping tomorrow night, before Thomas leaves for the west coast to start his first plant of the year. I hope they catch some fish to have for dinner. It would be a treat.
This is a photo Thomas took of Kinoje and Cali on the weekend, they are such cuties, Canadian Inuits. Apparently Kinoje took to eating the cattail fluff, he must of thought it was yummy, he is a silly boy.

Monday, January 14, 2008


Blustery cold winter day, snow blowing everywhere. I am not looking forward to going out. 
To my surprise when I looked out the kitchen window this morning, I saw a lake freighter heading east. Brrr!! The shipping season must be almost be at its end.

I am getting ready to list a felted wool rug in my Etsy shop. I wove it before Christmas and just took photos of it outside yesterday. Good thing I did the photos yesterday as everything is once again snow covered out back.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Whoo hoo my first post!!

Wow, I am really doing this, I hope it works alright. 
My old boy Tukker came in this morning to warm his old bones. He is an old sweetie, who likes to think he is a tough old bum. 
Mark and Thomas are taking the younger two dogs, Kinoje and Cali out ice fishing this afternoon. Tukker cannot walk that far so he will stay at home with me. Poor old retired sled dog! Marks team is now down to two, they can carry the load but Mark will have to run behind, and help push up the hills. Good thing Mark has been running the past two years, getting in shape to be a sled dog of sorts.
This blog will be full of all kinds of things. New weaving or jewelry projects.. new recipes, or old faithfuls. I do love cooking!