Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Homemade French Bread Pizza

The other day, we got a call from the little store up the street from us that they have a bunch of bread for us. They were going to throw away the leftover bread they use to make their sub sandwiches because it didn't get used.

Last time they gave us bread, I made more Bread Crumbs, Garlic Bread, and Croutons. This time I used most of it to make French bread pizzas for a quick lunch option for Matt and I.

They are so easy to make, it doesn't really need a recipe for them. I made pepperoni pizzas from the first loaf (we had 5 loaves, but I made more garlic bread from 2 of the loaves) and will make sausage and hamburger for the second loaf. Not sure for the last loaf yet.

I can get 6 pizzas out of one loaf of the french bread that I get. I cut the ends off because they are usually really tough after cooking. Then I cut the bread in three parts and cut those parts in half.

Then each part gets covered in your favorite pizza sauce (I use jar sauce that I didn't make, oh the horrors hehe).

Then covered in cheese. This is a pizza blend with a few different kinds of cheese in it.

Finally the toppings of your choice. When I do the sausage and hamburger, I cook up the meats and let them cool before putting them on the pizzas.

Once your pizzas are all made, then put them on a cookie sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Place the whole thing in your freezer for a few hours to freeze up good.

Once they are all frozen, wrap each pizza up individually. I like to use that Press N' Seal stuff for this. Pop them in a freezer bag, label and date and trow back into the freezer. You can also write the cooking temp and time on the bag if you choose. I cook the pizzas it at 350° F for 18-20 minutes.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Strawberries planted

Today my dad and I planted my strawberry plants. I bought them from Burpee this year. I was expecting plants, you know with green leaves and such, but what I got was the runners and just the crowns. My dad said it was fine and showed me how to plant them. They look like they are dead. Hope they actually grow into something. I ordered 25, but got 26. One extra is always nice in case one doesn't make it. I bought Northeaster, which are great for my area up in NH.

They look like those aliens from Sesame Street with all the tentacles. You know, the ones that got yip yip yip.

Love these aliens. I just had to watch all the videos I could find on Youtube with them. hehe

I found a little surprise left from a feathered friend in the container that my parsley was growing in last year. A little wild strawberry! It will stay where it is so it doesn't cross with the others that I bought.

Now if the wind will die down, I can plant the rest of my spring veggies. The gusts we have had for the past two days have been crazy. Nothing has stayed put. I had to bring in my little garden flags so I don't loose them.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Spent the day in Boston today

I grew up and lived 15 minutes outside Boston up until 5 years ago when we moved to NH. One of my cousins was running in the marathon this year (she did as well last year, but was unable to finish), so my dad, son and I went into Boston to cheer her on. We also met up with an uncle and another cousin I haven't seen in a long time, we are talking 18 years give or take.

It was nice to see the heightened security, even if it was very annoying with all the barricades. We kept wanting to get to the Trinity church, (it's right near the finish line), but because of the barricades, the closest we could get was across the street. Tons of cops everywhere too. Again, I loved seeing them. No one was going to mess with Boston today that was for sure.

Dad and I took the T in (subway or tube for those outside New England) and walked all over the place. I knew where I was going (I never drive in Boston, I always walk it), but he kept arguing with me and asking the many police officers around, who tells him the same thing I already did. *sigh* I love him, but damn.

We met my uncle and cousin in a restaurant and got caught up and talked for a long time. Check out the nachos we ordered for a "snack". Don't they just look yummy? They were too.

The mountain of nachos we ordered. They were the "swamped" nachos. It had all sorts of stuff on it like pulled pork, shredded chicken and crab meat. Of course all the normal stuff you find.

Not much left of them. Us adults attacked them, Matt wasn't too hungry, surprisingly. Sorry for the grainy pictures. Taken with my cell phone in a dark restaurant.

My cousin Jenn finished 4 hours after starting. She looked great considering she just ran 26.2 miles, on her day off, for fun. I walked like 10 miles and I feel like I am going to die. LOL. I have some blisters on my feet and just know I won't be moving far from my bed tomorrow.

Here she is all finished. Woot Jenn!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Getting the garden ready

This past week has been beautiful. Yesterday it was in the 80's and windy. Today it is raining and talking maybe snow showers. Only thing growing in the garden right now is the garlic that I planted in the fall to over winter in the ground and the blueberry bushes we planted in October.

I was going to plant the lettuce, snap peas, beets, onions, and herbs this coming week, but it is going to be cold over night (20's) and I do not have row covers, so I will just wait a week.

I moved the homemade trellises we have for our peas and has to redo the netting on one of them. I fell in the garden and grabbed a hold of the netting to stop myself, so it all ripped out.

Our homemade pvc pipe trellises for our peas. I need to remember to cap the ends this year. We had hornet nests in them last year. I put up one store bought netting last year to see how well it held up. Pretty good. I have a ton of twine, so I used that one the second trellis, the one I messed up with my fall. Matt had fun with a sledge hammer on the compost bin in the picture. My dad overfilled it and it broke.

Twine trellis all finished. Took me a bit to put it together, but it works. The one I made last year did wear down a bit on the bottom row, but that last row was very tight. I made it a bit looser this year, so hoping it does not break.

I cleaned up all the straw left over from last year. It revealed some very nice black dirt. Love it! I will reuse what I raked up to help keep the weeds down. Plus it is decomposing, so it will help the dirt.

At the end of the week, Steve is going to till up the garden. Ya I know there is so much out there about no till gardens, but my garden dirt gets super compacted down from all the snow we get every winter. Plus the original soil is clay. We made the garden bigger, so I still have some clay soil in it to mix in with the good compost. There are also chopped up leaves that I sort of mixed in the compost and soil in the fall that are nicely decomposing. Need to mix those in more.

Soil testing and adding needed amendments if needed comes next. Last year we added lime to the garden and it did wonders for it. I have always fertilized the plants, but the lime helped change the ph levels to something the plants liked more.

Oh check out my new "friends" in my garden. I love gnomes. I got the one on the left for mother's day last year or the year before, the one on the right I got for Christmas (Phil from Duck Dynasty). Finally the one in the middle my hubby got me a week or so ago. He saw it at Walmart and knew I would love it. He even had it strapped in the front seat of his truck when he brought it home. I opened the passenger side door and laughed when I saw it. It stands 3 feet tall.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Homemade Garlic Bread

About a week or so ago, the hubby was given 7 loaves of french bread from the store up the street. They were just going to throw them away because they didn't get used that day. They get a new shipment of bread in daily. The hubby happened to be there when they were closing, so we got the bread.

This company is in Massachusetts and we thought we weren't going to be able to get the bread once we moved up to NH. So glad to see that they order the bread in everyday. We love their bread!

Now these aren't aren't the small loaves you get in the grocery store, these are over 2 feet long. I got excited and knew what I was going to be making the next day or two. My homemade garlic bread croutons and bread crumbs.

On to my recipe:

Now I apologize, but I do not measure anything for this. I just know what smells and looks right.

You need garlic, minced or powder. I usually used powder, but have been in a garlic mood, so the minced went into this batch I made.

You also need softened butter, I use Country Crock, Parmesan cheese and dried parsley.

Now put a bunch of the butter in a bowl, add a bunch of garlic powder or a couple tablespoons of the minced. I love garlic, so I used a lot. Mix it up really good. The butter will be easier to stir over time.

Then add in the Parmesan cheese, I probably use about 2 tablespoons or so. Mix it in really well.

Add some parsley. I used the parsley that I grew and dried so I had to crush it. I probably had about 1-2 teaspoons of it. Mix it in well.

Take your french bread, cut it in half length wise. Smother each half in the butter, don't be shy.

These four halves was one loaf of bread. I had to cut it in half width wise then length wise to make sure it fits in my freezer.

Put the two halves back together. I wrap each half in plastic wrap then aluminum foil before putting them in the freezer. Make sure you take off the plastic wrap before you heat them up in the oven.

To heat them up, I set the oven at 350° unwrap, slice and then re-wrap in just the foil. Bake on a baking sheet for about 20-25 minutes or so. If you want a crispier garlic bread, skip the foil and lat out each slice or half whole on the baking sheet and bake.


Friday, April 4, 2014

Herb Rice Pilaf

I was tired of making the boxed rice pilaf because of all the additives in them, not to mention all the salt. So I decided to make my own. Hope you enjoy it!

1/4 cup butter
2 cups uncooked white rice
1/4 cup uncooked orzo pasta
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 basil
4 cups chicken broth

1. In a large skillet, melt the butter and cook the rice and orzo pasta until the pasta starts to brown.

2. Add the herbs and mix well.

3 Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Cover and lower heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Do not lift the lid or stir the rice until done.

4. Fluff rice with a fork and serve. This recipe make a ton of rice.

Next time I am going to add some chopped up spinach to the rice for a little change. Love spinach. Funny thing is I hated it growing up. Maybe it was because of the way it was cooked for me.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Lots of rain this past weekend

I am just happy it has not been snow. We would have been buried if it was. We got like 4+ inches of rain this weekend. Not complaining because it is helping to clear the snow away. It is just making my yard turn into one huge lake. I just hope it doesn't mess up my blueberry bushes we planted in the fall. I hope they grow this year too. Hoping I can get something from them this year, but we should for sure next year.

We have a little stream behind the house and the water is normally really low in it. When I went out there the other day to fill the feeders, it was very low, but you could see the water because the snow melted and nothing has grown up around or in the stream. You can see the water really moving fast too. Normally it just kind of sits there.

So mucky and full of leaves. We plan on cleaning out the part behind our house and line it with bedrocks. Maybe if the landlord likes it, he will pay us to do the whole thing. No one else takes care of it. All the water from our mobile home park goes into this. Every time it rains, the water runs down our side yard and into the backyard to the stream.

The garden beds are swamped as well. Lots of water in them. We got a ton of rain and because the ground is still kind of frozen down deep, the water has no where to go. I just hope it doesn't kill the bulbs that are sprouting.

This was a low part of the yard that just happens to be right next to the raised beds. The garlic is growing nearby, so hoping all the standing water doesn't mess with it. I know the water will go away eventually. Whenever we get a ton of rain at once, this part floods up a bit for a day or so.

It was so nice out today. The next few days are suppose to be just as warm too. I could hear the rice crispy noise the snow makes when it melts when I was out checking out the yard. Next up is to pick up the yard and get ready to start planting in a couple of weeks. I can't wait!

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