Sunday, January 19, 2014

Perfect Pizza

Recently the hus and I have taken it upon ourselves to start making pizza. Not just any pizza, either. It's amazing. I'm going to give credit where it's due- I saw the dough recipe on America's Test Kitchen, and they nailed it. Fair warning: this is a make ahead recipe (the dough has to chill out overnight), but it is more than worth the wait.

To make this awesome pizza at home you will need:

a food processor (mine is a 7 cup, but I'd recommend a slightly larger food processor as mine is barely big enough)
food scale (flour is measured in oz, not cups)

16.5 oz bread flour (the flour makes all the difference, sometimes I mix a little bit of whole wheat flour in--about 2-3 ounces. Just make sure your total weight of flour is 16.5 oz)
1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
2 tsp. sugar
1 1/3 cup ice cold water, that's right, ice cold

1 Tablespoon oil (canola is what I use)
2 1/2 tsp kosher salt

Toppings: I use 6-8oz mozzerella cheese per pizza, tomato sauce of your choosing, and any meats or veggies your heart desires!

Start by putting the flour, yeast and sugar into the bowl of your food processor. Put on he lid and while the processor is running, slowly add in the water through the hole in the top until it is all incorporated. Let the dough mix about 30-60 seconds after all the water has been added then turn off the food processor and let the dough rest for 10 minutes.

After those ten minutes, add in the tablespoon of oil and the salt, mix the dough an additional 30 seconds in the processor, then turn out onto a greased (not floured) surface and knead by hand another minute or so. Form a nice ball and place it into a greased bowl. Refrigerate overnight. The dough will slowly rise in the refrigerator and you get a very smooth dough for forming--and a nice chewy New York style crust!

Take the dough out of the refrigerator an hour before you start assembling the pizzas so it can warm up a bit. I generally clean off the counter and separate the dough into two equal balls before I let it warm up ( this can speed up the process a little and I want my pizza ASAP!).

Lucky me, has a husband that worked in pizza places while he was in high school so he is pretty good at tossing our pizzas by hand. If you don't have this talent, you can also just press out the dough with your hands on a lightly floured surface, leave a little extra around the edges for that yummy chewy crust handle we all love :) Our pizzas generally come out about 18-20" in diameter, if you like a little thicker crust you could make a slightly smaller pizza.

Move an oven rack to the top of your oven (about 6 inches from the top) and preheat to 425 degrees. In a perfect world you would have a pizza peel and a pizza stone and be able to cook your pizza directly on the stone. We've done it on a pizza pan, as shown above. It comes out pretty darn delicious either way. Being close to the top of the oven forces the heat that hits the top of the oven (heat rises) to reflect back down onto your pizza. It only takes about 12 minutes for your pizza to fully cook! Make sure not to load it down with too many toppings, the dough is really spectacular and yummy!

Wait about 5 minutes after removing from the oven, slice up and enjoy! We make this almost every week now, with new toppings every time :)

Friday, January 17, 2014

Destash Giveaway! (CLOSED)

Photo via Instagram

Hey everybody! If you follow me on social media, you should already know that I have been making big strides to clean up my craft area. I took a good hard look at the stuff I've been collecting and decided I needed to be really honest about what I was probably not going to end up using any time soon (or at all!). So far, I have a huge grocery sack filled with fabrics, scraps, ribbon, thread, baker's twine, hole punches, etc. that needs a new home.

I decided to share it with you guys as a giveaway (I actually have enough stuff for 2-3 giveaways (I haven't even gone through my paper supply or jewelry stuff yet!). As a result, I am having a giveaway here today! One winner will be selected using the widget on the bottom of this post, the other winners will be selected from my social media fans: simply "like" the destash giveaway post on my facebook page, or retweet about the giveaway on twitter (make sure to tag @craftinomicon so I can find your entry). Update: Congrats to Angie Burrington Wenzel for winning the FB/Twitter follower prize package!

All of the supplies I am giving away are kept in my smoke free, pet free home. Many are in the original packaging. Fabric includes: full yardage, large scraps and fat quarters. There may even be a crafty book or two involved. I am going to be cramming flat rate boxes to the brim! This giveaway is open worldwide, entrants living outside the US will need to be patient as I know these can take awhile to get through customs.

Please allow a moment for the widget to load.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Brie and Radish Crostini

I've been super busy trying to clean up my craft area this new year, so I haven't had a lot of time for posting or cooking (stay tuned for info about a de-stash giveaway I'll be having soon!). As a result, I have been trying to find ways to create easy snacks and dinners without lots of fuss. This Brie and radish crostini is super easy, and goes great as part of a larger meal or is a quick snack!

You will need:

a french baguette (I got one at the grocery store, you can certainly make your own if you're into that)
sliced brie, room temperature
Radishes, sliced

Slice your baguette into fairly thin slices (about 3/4 inch thick or so). Add a slice of brie and a few radish slices to each. Enjoy! If you prefer toasted bread, feel free to pop the sliced baguette into a toaster oven or under the broiler in your conventional oven to lightly toast before adding toppings.

I especially like this because the radishes add a great crunch without adding too much flavor. The hus and I will add stuff like sliced sausage, carrot sticks, or hard boiled eggs to make this more of a meal (we call it "snacky dinner"). It's super quick and easy and you can pre-slice veggies and cheese on your weekend to make this a 5 minute weeknight meal.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Year Goals Tin

Happy New Year everyone! It is that time of the year: when you set those goals to last until 2015 rolls around. If you are like a lot of people, you might set some lofty goal and then fail to reach it each year, but I'm here to give you a crafty little way to make the best of it this year. A cute little tin filled with monthly goals to help you achieve the bigger "resolution".

To make your own goal tin for 2014 you will need:

Colored papers or card stock of your choice
scissors or a small paper cutter
pen or pencil
washi tape
small jar or decorative tin

Start by cutting out your paper strips. I used 12"x12" sheets of cardstock and cut them into 6"x1" strips. I used a different color of paper for each goal area: 1 for blogging goals, one for exercising goals, and one for food goals. You can make as many "mini goals" for each category as you like, but don't overwhelm yourself with more than 12 in any category--you want to be able to achieve them all by December!

Next, write a mini goal for the month onto each paper slip. I really want to try to blog more this year (I find I often don't realize how long it has been between posts because of all the updates I post on facebook or instagram- I want to be more present on my blog this year).

Try to set yourself up for success by not making your goals too specific (instead of "lose 2 pounds each week" make goals like "take a 30 minute walk after dinner 4 times a week"). By setting small goals that can become habits, you set yourself up to succeed in your larger goal!

Close each mini goal with a colorful piece of washi tape. This will help keep you from "cherry picking" your goals each month by keeping those paper slips closed (no peeking!). I also find that by having a bunch of colorful paper slips in your jar, with happy little tape accents you are more likely to notice those goals at the start of each month--and maybe even look forward to each new challenge!

Put all of your paper slips into a jar, and place that jar somewhere you will notice it. You can even set up a reminder at the start of each month so you don't forget to start those new mini goals (if you use Outlook or another program with calendar capabilities it is easy to set reminders up--you can even do them on your smart phone!).

As you can see, I chose a decorative tin for my goals, as it is what I had on hand. I have seen lots of different glass jars, etc. at places like the dollar store though, so get creative on what method best motivates you to keep your mini goals going all year long!