Friday, July 31, 2009


I think I've mentioned before that Zoe Bug is a horse fanatic.

Well, Peanut Head and I are, apparently, dumber than a box of rocks because we sent her to Horse Camp this week. Yeah. For her birthday last month, we thought it would be a great idea to put her in Horse Camp and nip this crazy infatuation right in the bud.

Yeah, we were secretly hoping that she would get up on a horse and freak out and never want to go back again. Because she's such a Delicate Flower and easily alarmed and discombobulated.

Yeah, well that. It backfired on us.

But then you probably could have told us that, right? Oh geez, she's even crazier about horses now, and instead of being grateful for the experience, she's walking around the house tripping over her bottom lip and crying a river of crocodile tears because we won't get her a horse.

In our defense, we got her these nifty boots. Aren't they great?

Apparently not great enough.

Zoe informed us that "At Parkwood there are lots of horses for sale that we could buy."

And when you look at the fine print in the brochure it informs us that we can also, after we spend probably thousands of dollars to buy a horse, board it there for the low, low monthly price of $560. And that includes two lessons per week!


We're so excited.

Whatever. That's practically a mortgage, Girlfriend. We ain't buying you no horse.

EV-ah. Get a job Girlie Girl.

Seriously, at Horse Camp they have to do the yucky stuff too. Like bathe the horses and poop scoop. And you come home smelling like a horse. No lie.

You would think the ginormous poop piles alone would deter a girl. They don't.

So I was talking to another mom at Parkwood and I asked her "So, I notice that there are no boys around here. Is that typical?"

She chuckled and said "Yep, you don't have to worry about boys here. This keeps them away from the boys."

Oh Goodie.

This mom I was talking to has two girls taking lessons twice a week at Parkwood. And they have two horses at Parkwood. Hmmmm.

I can't even imagine. I told Zoe Bug that if we ever win the lottery, and we don't even play the lottery because we're reasonably good at math and and we just can't seem to shake our Probability Skillz long enough to buy a ticket, well then, maybe then we could buy her a horse and board it at Parkwood.

More than likely though, some fine day we'll be able to move out into the country where we can board our own horse on our own land. And instead of taking lessons from people who clearly know what they're doing, we'll learn how to ride the poor horse in our own little School of Hard Knocks and Crap I Fell Off Again, I Better Not Do That Anymore.

At least I think that's how it'll work. We'll probably read a lot of books about it too. I mean we don't want to hurt a poor innocent horse.

But for now we sure as heck cannot afford the whole Boarding/Lessons bit.

So, except for an occasional horse back riding treat here and there, Zoe Bug is going to have to be satisfied with her imagination and her 8,567 plastic horses.

Which we're also getting pretty tired of. I don't really know how it happened (Aunt Marcia and Mattie Cake and the rest of the blasted family), but when Zoe has every single horse in her arsenal out, there is no room to walk. Anywhere. 

Which, in itself can be sort of fun.

"Oh no, Godzilla is on the rampage again and LOOK! There's the Baby Jesus riding a Pterodactyl and HE'S GOING TO BUZZ THE BARN AGAIN! Watch out HORSES!"

Zoe is never amused.

And I'm thinking we might need to call PETA. Those cramped stalls don't look like they're up to code. And there are Giant Iguanas stalking the perimeter.

Eek! And a . . . 


Little Pony.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Cherries on Girlies

Aunt Marcia sent these cute little cherry dresses to the girlies around Easter time. They looooooove them. 

Today I had Zoe's birthday portraits taken (I know, a little late) and I had Brandee take some pictures of the girls together too. Of course they had to wear these sweet little dresses.

Too bad they weren't smiling in any of the cherry dress pictures. Why do kids do that? Zoe was actually glaring at me in the beginning, the little monster.

Before the appointment, I took the girls over to my friend, GaeLyn's house, so her daughter could do the girls' hair. Teenagers know hair much better than I. I tend to be at least a decade behind current fashion trends.

Thanks Morgan, I love what you did with their hair.

Poor Zoe got my hair texture. We need product.

We don't know where Stinkerbell here came from. She tosses her head from side to side, and every hair falls into place like a L'Oreal commercial. It's disgusting.

Then she walks away like a truck driver.

My girls . . . they're such delicate flowers.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Recipe Card Dividers & Binder Cover

Today I finished a project that I've been obsessing about for awhile now. I had already been mulling it over when Erin contacted me and asked me if I was ever going to post digi recipe card dividers for my recipe cards. There's nothing like a little peer pressure to get my butt moving.

My dilemma was how to create the dividers themselves. The set that I originally made for myself took for-EVER and I didn't want to have to go through that process again. I had used chipboard, which had to be covered with scrapbook paper, then the digi divider, then it had to be Modge Podged to within an inch of its life. And then the scrapbook paper still peeled off. Grrr.

It wasn't going to be a helpful solution to anyone, so I had to come up with something else. And I did, and I'm giddy with excitement to finally be able to share it with you today. But before you get your hopes up, it's nothing extraordinary, it's just something that works and doesn't take blinking forever to do.

Come on, let me show you.

First I typed up my divider tab labels in MS Word and printed them out. The font I used was Edwardian Script ITC at 36 pt. I chose this particular paper because a) it wasn't white, and b) I already had it.

I made divider tabs for you in this post, if you don't want to make your own.

The next thing I did, is cut card stock into 6" x 8-1/2" pieces. The card stock is the backing for the divider cards.

Next, I carefully cut out divider tabs. Each tab was 3" long x 3/4" deep, cut on the 8-1/2" x 11" side of the card stock piece. Cutting out the middle tab was the most difficult. I cut in 2-3/4" from each side. See, I saved you from having to do some basic math. It doesn't happen around here very often because I prefer the eyeball method.

After I cut all the tabs, I carefully wiggled my corner rounder onto the tabs and rounded them. I did this on the top corners of the divider cards too, at least when I remembered.

Then I cut out my labels and affixed them to the tabs with a little Tape Runner.

Then I took my 5x7 digi divider card and stuck it on with Tape Runner too.

Repeat. Again and again and again, until you're done.

Before I go on, I have to show you my new BFF. It's my new laminator. I've always been a laminating fool, it must be the teacher in me, but I had no idea these things were so cheap. I picked this one up at Sam's Club for around $30. Of course you could probably spend an arm and a leg on thermal laminating pouches. Theoretically.

But I love it! By the way, I blame Janae for this purchase. She's such a bad influence.

Back to the divider cards. After all the cards are made, I put them in laminating pouches and laminated all of them. And a bunch of my recipe cards too.

Until 3:00 a.m. It was sooooo much fun.

See, it's magic.

The last step is to trim the laminating plastic away. I only trimmed it from the top, about 3/8" away from the edge of the cardstock in order to keep it from peeling apart.

As I mentioned I did a bunch of recipe cards too. I didn't do them all because I ran out of laminating pouches. Oopsie. I mean theoretically I could have run out of laminating pouches had I kept going. But I didn't. I stopped. Ahem.

Ta-Da! I'm loving this method over the page protectors. Now I don't have to worry about the recipe cards sliding out of the page protectors. And they're just plain pretty now.

So, if you want to make your own recipe card dividers, I've posted all my digi dividers below. Just make sure you click on each image before saving it to your desktop and uploading to your photo processing place. That way you'll get the highest resolution possible. If you forget to do that, they'll look like crap and you'll hate them. So just be sure you do that, okay? I don't want anyone getting mad at me.

UPDATE: Since I first did this post, I've added some divider cards and divider labels. You can find those at the following links:

Here's a binder cover if you want to put your recipes in a little half size binder. This method is perfect if you're going to use the half-size page protectors.

And here's a binder spine. Just cut the width to fit your binder spine after you print it.

Good luck!

UPDATE: Erin, the lovely blogger who peer pressured me into doing this post, shared another alternative to laminating. She ordered some heavy duty 5x7 photo/postcard protectors here. Also, she made a cute clipboard to hold her recipe card in use. Go here to check that out.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Pizza on the Grill--Fresh or Frozen

First of all, I'm terribly sorry, but this is one of the few recipes of mine that requires two cards. Just glue them back to back and pretend it's only one, okay?

Before I start talking about this recipe though, I'm going to show you the fast, easy way to do pizza on the grill.

It's this. Frozen pizza. Did you know that you can cook frozen pizza on the grill? Yep, you can. And if you're anything like me, you try to do all your cooking on the grill during the summer.

Unless you live in Texas. Maybe then you don't want to be outside. Heck, you could probably cook outside in Texas without a grill. Toss your food on some concrete and cook it right up. Yum.

Anyway, here's my Wolfgang Puck frozen pizza. The only trick, really, to cooking pizza on the grill is to cook it on low and keep the lid on. And if you have a higher shelf on your grill, even better.

And if you don't have a gas grill and you're using charcoal, may the force be with you because you have no control.

Almost ready.

I can't wait.

I overcooked this one a tinsy little bit, but then I like my crust crispy.

Now that I've shown you the easy way to do pizza on the grill, I'm going to show you my all-time favorite recipe for pizza on the grill. It's a recipe that I got from Bon Appetit many, many years ago, and it is by far our favorite summer dinner.

I posted the recipe last summer, but I'm posting it again and I've updated it a little. But, I mostly want to give you some tips for doing the crust, so that's really why I'm reposting it. 

Before rolling out the crusts, get a cookie sheet ready with a layer of wax paper covered with flour. I do this so Peanut Head doesn't freak out about the crusts sticking together when he's trying to get them on the grill.

He's easily discombobulated.

Now, I use this fancy little Pampered Chef Baker's Roller and Pastry Mat. It just makes clean-up a little easier, and I like to use the measuring lines as encouragement for a more round shape. I've never actually made a perfectly round pizza crust, but it's a goal and someday I will have a round crust.

Or not.

Here's my dough, infused with fresh Rosemary sprigs from Peanut Head's herb garden. Love that man. Anyway, as you can see, I punched the dough down so that's why it looks so deflated. 

Then I fluffed it up a bit by kneading it with a little flour. Next I formed it into a circle-like shape and cut it into eight wedges. Each of these wedges will be a pizza round.

See what I mean about the wanna be perfect circle?

Now remember, I'm trying to keep Peanut Head from having an embolism, so between every two crusts, I put another sheet of wax paper with a generous amount of flour.

When all your dough is rolled out, place two to four dough rounds on the grill at a time, depending on how big your grill is. To start, cook them on medium heat for about three minutes, until the top of the dough puffs and the underside is crisp and golden brown. Then, and pay attention here, grill the other side for only 30 seconds to one minute, just until it's no longer soft. This side will be going back on the grill once you put the toppings on, so you don't want to overdo it.

See, golden brown. As you take the crusts off the grill, put them on the baking sheet with the well-grilled side up. When you start putting the toppings on, they'll go on the well-grilled side.

Now, from this point on, you can really put anything you want on your pizza, but I highly recommend you give my suggested toppings a try, and especially the vinaigrette. I know, I know, it sounds weird, but trust me, it is so delicious that your eyes will roll back in your head and angels will sing when you take the first bite. I promise.

Here's my pizza on the grill. You let everyone build their own because some people are dang picky. Dang picky. But the basic idea with this recipe is to start with mozzarella because it's the glue that's going to hold your toppings on.

There is no tomato sauce on this pizza. That's for sissies. This pizza deserves something better, and that's where the vinaigrette comes in, but not until the end.

After the mozzarella you can put whatever else you want on, but I implore you, finish the pizza off with goat cheese and then the vinaigrette. Don't be hatin' the goat cheese. It's a tad bit salty, and some of y'all picky eaters out there like to give it the hairy eyeball, but I'm telling you, it gets all melty and there is nothing like it on the planet. Trust me.

I know I keep saying trust me and you might think that sounds a little suspicious, but would I lead you astray when it comes to food? Would I? No, I would not.

Now, don't be shy about using the vinaigrette either. Once you get all the toppings on, pretend your pizza is on fire and you have to douse it with the vinaigrette. Trust me.

Now turn the grill down to low and put the pizza back on and close the lid. Let the dough cook through and the cheese get all melty. It'll take around 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the temperature your toppings start out at. Don't be afraid to take a peek now and then.

Ta-Da! And something else, you don't need to serve anything else with this pizza because it is very filling. You'll even have to undo the top button on your shorts. Trust me.