Monday, April 20, 2015

Onion and Roasted Red Pepper Pizza

It should come as no surprise that I love pizza.  Lots of gooey cheese, crispy bacon, or pepperoni, sometimes fruit or roasted veggies... YUM!  The main reason why I have only posted one other pizza here, is because my pizza's are usually not pretty enough to photograph.  I make my own dough, so typically they end up in a less than perfect circle (I always get impatient, and they usually turn out looking like an amoeba).  So these photos are a triumph, because I actually LOVE pizza and we have it often.  

Onion and Roasted Red Pepper Pizza 

2 Red Bell Peppers (alternatively, you can buy roasted red pepper in a jar from the store)
1/4 cup chopped onions
1 cup of shredded Mozzarella Cheese (if you are like me, you might want more like 2 cups)
2 Tbs butter
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp dried basil
3 oz of cream cheese
3/4 - 1 cup milk
1/4 cup parmesan, shredded
salt and pepper to taste

Roasted red peppers:
technique from Tori Avey
Put two whole bell peppers on a cookie sheet lined with foil in an oven preheated to 400° for 20 minutes, flipping them over with tongs 10 minutes in.  Pull them out when they are turning black on the outside, and put them in a brown paper bag for about 10 minutes.  Peel the outer layer off, and pull out the seeds and top.  Slice into smallish pieces.

Caramelized Onions:  
Put 1 Tbs of olive oil, or butter in a frying pan.  Add chopped onions, and stir regularly for 15 minutes until onions are translucent and soft.  

Cream Cheese and Herbs White Sauce:
modified from Mel's Kitchen Cafe
Melt the butter in a frying pan over medium heat.  Add the garlic and basil and stir for 20 seconds or so.  Add the cream cheese and with a rubber spatula, cut it into chunks and alternate stirring and smushing the cream cheese until it is smooth.  Add the milk a little at a time once the cream cheese is incorporated.  You are looking for a thick consistency.  Then add the parmesan and salt and pepper.  Stir until cheese is melted and sauce is pretty thick.  

Roll out the pizza dough on a baking mat or parchment paper that has been sprinkled with cornmeal.  Spread on some sauce, sprinkle liberally with cheese.  Top with onions and red pepper.  Sprinkle cracked pepper over the top for an extra lovely finish.  Cook in the oven at 450° for 8-10 minutes until the edges begin to brown.   Happy cooking!  

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Friday, April 17, 2015

Friday's Favorites: Fox Edition

Why are babies so wonderful?  I am so obsessed with my sweet baby!  More and more everyday.  I thank God everyday for giving me such a sweet, innocent and loving baby.  Happy Friday everyone!  I hope you get to enjoy a weekend full of the people you love!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Minimalist Living: Converting a closet into a bedroom (part 1)

When we moved to Austin in the summer of 2011, we rented a small 1-bedroom apartment (about 700 square feet).  I didn't think too much about living in such a small space at the time, and expected us to move into a 2-bedroom once we had a baby. When we found out that we were expecting last year, I immediately thought we would move when our lease renewed in March of this year, and we talked about it occasionally, and that seemed to be the plan.  

Then, about two months before Fox was born, we were talking about how we were going to fit him in our apartment until March, when our lease ended, and somehow the idea of staying in our 1-bedroom came up. I am not even sure why it came up, but it stuck fast in our minds and we couldn't let it go.  We talked the idea to death for about 2 weeks, and then decided to move forward with it.  

We had several reasons for doing this: 

1.  Cost - obviously rent is less for a 1-bedroom apartment.  Also, it costs less to heat and cool a smaller space.  

2.  Adam loves tiny houses, and the idea of living very intentionally.  Everything has a place, and you purchase specific pieces to fill the space you have and make it work, even if that place is small.  

3.  I wanted to see if it would work.  (honestly, I wanted to see if we could actually live like this and not go completely crazy)

4.  We love the apartment that we currently live in.  Our balcony overlooks a beautiful little green space.  There is lots of parking in our part of the complex, we are close enough to walk to the trash compactor, the pool and the mailbox, and when we moved in to our apartment, they had just replaced the carpet and repainted the walls, so it looked brand new.  It may not look quite as new now, but we have taken good care of the carpet and walls, and I worry that if we moved into another apartment, it would have dirty carpet, or less than lovely walls.  

So, all that being said, here is a little tour of our new 'closet' outside of the 'closet bedroom' that Fox sleeps in:  

Monday, April 13, 2015

Sweet Potato Hand Pies

Pasties and hand pies give me such happy thoughts.  Small and warm, they fit right in your hand and they are filled with vegetable/meat goodness.  Plus, they remind me of drizzling London days, and pasty shops at the London Tube entrances. This recipe was made spontaneously, because I hadn't gone grocery shopping, and had to use what I had on hand, but I am really glad I ended up making them, because they were very good!  Simple, wholesome and tasty.

Sweet Potato Hand Pies:
by Landen

Crust: (from Annie's Eats)
1 1/4 cup flour
1 Tbs sugar
1/2 tsp salt
8 Tbs butter
3 Tbs water

1 peeled, cooked sweet potato, hollowed out (cooked mine in the microwave and then scooped out the soft middle with a spoon).
1/2 cup fresh or thawed, frozen green beens cut into 1" segments
1/2 tsp dried sage
salt and pepper to taste

Make the crust first.  Take flour, sugar and salt and mix together in a stand mixer (or you can mix it in a medium sized bowl).  Cut the butter into small 1/2" cubes and put into the stand mixer.  Blend until you have a decently fine powdered mixture.  If you don't have a stand mixer, use two forks or a pastry blender.  Once you have a fine powder, add 1 Tbs of water at a time until you have a smooth dough.  Wrap the dough in plastic, or put in a tupperware and put it in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Put the cooked sweet potato middle in a medium sized bowl with the green beans, sage, salt and pepper.  Mix together, mashing the sweet potato.

Roll the crust out on a flour-dusted counter to 1/8" thick or so, and with a biscuit cutter or a drinking glass, cut out as many circles as you can get out of the dough.  Place in each circle about 1 Tbs of the sweet potato mixture, fold the dough in half to complete encompass the mixture, and with a fork, smoosh the edges of the dough together to seal it.  Then poke the fork through the top of the handpie to let out steam in the oven.

Cook for 20 minutes in an oven preheated to 350°F, or until the edges of the dough are turning a golden brown.  Let cool for 5 minutes or so and then serve.  They are also delicious warmed again the next day.  Enjoy!

If you have questions or comments regarding this recipe please feel free to email me at 
measureandwhisk[at]gmail[dot]com, or comment below! 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Fox: Three Months Old

A few fun things about our little Fox these days: 

- He is very smiley these days, especially when he wakes up, and usually right before bed.  I love the huge grin that I get most mornings when I go to get him from his crib.

- He loves it when I sing to him.  Some of his favorites include "The Wheels on the Bus" and "Old MacDonald."  Ironically, during "The Wheels on the Bus," he always smiles when I get to the part about the babies crying on the bus.  We went to a music time yesterday with some friends, and I chose "The Wheels on the Bus" for everyone to sing, knowing he likes that one.  Up to that point, he had been very serious, and quiet, just taking in all the noise and color, but as soon as we started singing, he broke into a big smile!  

- He loves sucking on his fists (perhaps you already know that from this instagram post) and it is very loud and so funny!  

- He likes to sit up (with help) and loves sitting on our laps so he can look around.

- The night of his three-month old birthday, he woke us up at 3:30AM making all kinds of grunts and we heard a regular thudding noise.  Adam went to go check on him to see what he was doing, and to make sure he was okay.  After a moment,  Adam stuck his head around the door and asked me if I had put him in his crib upside down (with his feet at the top of the crib).  I said, "No, definitely not." Apparently Fox somehow managed to flip himself around, and he had been thumping the foot of his crib with his arm... Crazy kid!  He has never been this mobile while I have been watching him.  

During this set of photos, it was really dark in our apartment, and he looked so sad when I propped him up against the pillows, so I opted to go with a few other photos from that day, that don't look like his regular monthly photos.  Hopefully next month his monthly birthday will fall on a beautiful, sunny day!   

hat: old navy// shirt: gap via garage sale// pants: gift
(He has worn a hat in all his other photos, so I had to include one in this set.)  

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