Sunday, January 19, 2014

January- what else is there to say...

I heard on the News January 6th (a Monday) is the most depressing day of the year.  I think the whole month of January is depressing...

Ralph and Justin were busy this season.  They were invited to be in the Nov./Dec./Jan. issue of  Art Doll Quarterly magazine.  They spent 3 months in beautiful Laguna Hills, CA soaking up the sunshine while waiting to be photographed. 

Now that they're celebrities they were asked what's next.  Their reply was they are waiting for Spring to splash around the lily pads!  Watch for them they'll be in the spotlight again soon! 

So Ralph and Justin arrived home just in time for the real cold weather.  Fortunately or unfortunately, a snow day occurred during our holiday break.  That was dangerous.  I always promise to make pizza if we get snowed in.  Sometimes I keep my promise, sometimes I forget.  Because of the timing I remembered.  I made the first dough in the Cuisinart and then handed the reins over to Kristen.  When she takes over I relax and enjoy the evening.  AND it's a long evening when you make this much pizza!  

What a combination-pizza and beer!  So I froze a few mugs and settled in for the evening.  It was soo much fun!!

Here's our favorite pizza recipe.

We always make the pizza dough in the food processor.  Then when we're all done making all the dough we want we make the pizza sauce right in the food processor.  We use a few cans of crushed tomatoes, parsley, oregano, olive oil, fresh basil and pepper.  Swirl that together in the food processor and have the toppings ready.  One of my favorite pizzas is thinly sliced tomatoes with fresh basil and a sprinkle of grated cheese.  Many moons ago when Chris and I were dating we went into New York City every chance we got.  We always went to our favorite little restaurant in Little Italy which sadly closed this Fall.  Our appetizer would always be a small pizza with fresh tomato, fresh basil, grated cheese and oil cured black olives.  It was to die for.  Whenever we make pizza that is a must and we make it exactly the same way. 

One tip for trying to get dough to rise in the cold weather.  No matter how warm a house is the dough can be funny.  I found this year the dough just didn't want to rise quickly.  We helped speed up the process by preheating the oven and putting the dough in oiled bowls with clean dishtowels over them.  The bowls sat under the warming light on the hood of the oven for a while and we finally got a good rise out of them.

 One of the highlights of our summer vacation to Maine a few years ago was a stop at the Shipyard Brewery.  It was so much fun.  After the tour you can stand at the bar and taste all the beer!  I loved the blueberry, apricot/peach and SMASHED PUMPKIN not to be confused with their regular pumpkin beer.  This beer is addicting!  All you need is whipped cream and you're in Heaven.  It is rich and you can kind of taste the pumpkin and a bit of cinnamon.  We brought home 4 bottles and I waited until the following Memorial Day to serve them at our picnic.  This year I found them at the package store and bought 8.  I'm saving 4 for Memorial Day!  It's only out between August and October so stock up! Oh, the shop at the Shipyard Brewery is pretty cool too.  I brought home beer soap which I put on my bar shelves.

This was one more memorable fun family night around the holidays.  Dad got Lord of the Rings Monopoly for Christmas.  We had a lot of laughs just playing a game together.

This photo won't go sideways so I'm leaving it in and showing it to you anyway!

OK, the fun's over!  Back to work, back to dieting, back to the gym.  It was fun while it lasted!!!  The next time we have another snow day I'm forgetting about it again!!!

Keep Warm!  See you Soon!!

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