Thursday, May 28, 2009


Last night, after I made a batch of no-knead pizza dough (recipe at the end of the post), I sent out a tweet looking for topping inspiration. I would pick a winner, make their pizza, and post about it here on my blog. I have dubbed the creation tonight my first Tweetzza!

Thank you all for the great suggestions!! Can I get a drumroll please??


The winning suggestion was Angie's creation!

@oikology101 My fave is artichoke, chicken, and garlic...with the garlic clove and artichoke hearts cut into chunks and scattered around mmm

Angie blogs at Homemaker Chronicles. You can follow her on Twitter here. I met Angie during an iHeartFaces Twitter party. She takes gorgeous photos and has a beautiful family! Please go say hi and congratulate her on a SCRUMPTIOUS TWEETZZA!!!

I peeled and chopped four cloves of garlic, cut the breast and thigh off the rotisserie chicken and chopped it into bite size pieces, and drained and chopped two jars of artichokes into slightly smaller pieces.

I knew I wanted to cook the garlic before I put it on the pizza. Given more time, I would have roasted it. But tonight, I just gave it a quick saute.

I did add one ingredient to her creation--mushrooms. I figured as long as I was going to saute the garlic for a quick second, that I might as well add mushrooms!

Oh, wait! I added a second ingredient (because you know me--I can never leave well enough alone). Fresh Basil! Mostly because I had it and because it's delicious!

In addition, I used 1/2 cup of prepared pizza sauce, 1/2 cup of mozzarella (go light on the cheese to save calories), and a tablespoon of real parmiggiano reggiano grated on the microplane.

So what do you think of my first Tweetza??

The pizza dough recipe was given to me by my friend, Jessica, and I've made just a few modifications. It is super delicious and so EASY!! You just mix it up, let it sit, and that's it! It doesn't have a single bit of fat in it and gives you a big puffy and chewy crust. The recipe makes two pizzas, so you can make a huge pizza for dinner and make another one an entire week later!

You MUST let this dough sit (total time needed to develop is at least 10 hours). The reason it doesn't need any kneading is because the glutens have TIME to develop! Because it can sit up to a week, you can make it and wait a few days to make your pizza(s). I promise that you'll want to have this in your fridge at all times!

No-knead Pizza Crust

1 1/2 Tbs granulated yeast (or 1-1/2 packets)
1 1/2 Tbs kosher salt
1 tsp Italian seasoning
3 Cups Lukewarm Water (NOT HOT)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
6 1/2 cups unsifted, unbleached, all-purpose white flour
Cornmeal for the pizza stone or cookie sheet.
Your choice of toppings (pizza sauce, cheese, pepperoni etc.)

In a large plastic bowl with a fitted lid (at least 18 cup capacity--I use my 4.3 litre Tupperware Impressions bowl), mix salt, yeast, and Italian seasoning. Add water and minced garlic; stir. With a stiff spoon, incorporate the flour into the water mixture until well combined.

Place the lid over the bowl, but do not seal (some of the gasses need to escape or the container could burst). Leave out on counter for two hours or until at least doubled. Seal bowl and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.

When you are ready to make your pizza, preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Spray the baking stone or cookie sheet with cooking spray then sprinkle with cornmeal. Your pizza will stick big time if you skip this step.

Sprinkle flour on top of the dough, while it's still in the bowl. Rub your hands with flour to prevent sticking. Take out half of the dough for one pizza. Use a serrated knife if necessary. Put the remaining dough into the refrigerator (covered with the lid). You can keep this for another seven days if you can wait that long to eat more of this delicious pizza!

Drop the dough into a bowl of flour to coat both sides, shaking off the extra. To form the dough ball, roll the dough down and under itself, with a tucking motion. Turn and repeat two or three more times, until you achieve a nice round mound of dough.

Roll or stretch out the dough almost to the edges of the large baking stone or cookie sheet. If your dough resists rolling, let it rest for about 5 minutes and try again. I use my fingers and gently press the dough out to the edges of the cookie sheet.

Spread sauce on pizza. Top with your desired toppings and bake at 450 degrees. Set your timer for 10 minutes and check your pizza. I use the large Pampered Chef baking stone. It took 23 minutes on the bottom rack to cook the pizza to perfection this evening. If you are not using a stone, you will most likely need to place your pizza up higher to avoid burning the bottom of the crust.

Yields two pizza doughs, eight HUGE pieces each. Crust only--3 WW points per piece. To reduce the topping calories, bump up the amount of sauce, use less cheese, and do mostly vegetables and a little (or no) meat. Turkey pepperoni is actually pretty good and only adds a few points to the entire pizza.

Come on! You know you want a bite!!!!

Chicken Pot, Chicken Pot, Chicken Pot Pie

Do any of you remember Slow Donnie from Just Shoot Me? Truly, one of the best plot lines on a show--EVER! You can go here to get a refresher--or a HUGE laugh!

Here's a little snippet and what I think of every time I think of Chicken Pot Pie (just click on it--it's FOUR seconds long):

When I started Weight Watchers back in November, I thought I'd need to swear off all comfort food in order to lose the weight (I'm 32.6 lbs lighter today than I was when I started). What I've discovered is that it's easy to make good food. You just have to make different choices and adjust your way of cooking.

By not making a true "pie," you save yourself TONS of calories and fat and you still get all the great taste of a pot pie, complete with flaky pie crust!

Lusciously Lowercal Chicken Pot Pie

1 15 oz package refrigerated pie dough (such as Pillsbury)
Cooking spray
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 lb chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
2 1/2 cups frozen mixed vegetables
2 cups mushrooms, sliced
2 10 1/2 oz cans condensed reduced-fat, reduced-sodium cream of chicken soup

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Cut 6 4-inch circles out of dough. Place the circles on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Lightly coat dough with cooking spray and sprinkle evenly with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Pierce top of dough with a fork. Bake dough for 8 minutes or until lightly browned.

Combine flour, poultry seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper in a zip-top plastic bag; add chicken. Seal bag, and toss to coat. Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add chicken mixture; cook 5 minutes, browning on all sides. Stir in chicken broth, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Stir in vegetables, mushrooms, and soup and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes. Spoon 1 cup chicken mixture into bowls; top each serving with 1 piecrust.

Yields 6 Potpies. 7 WW points per pie*

*I am obviously not Weight Watchers endorsed and all points values are estimates. So if you want to sue me because I don't have points values EXACT, you will be wasting your time because I am poor.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

New Camera, New Hair

Those of you who follow me on Twitter already have heard these two pieces of news. Those of you who don't--why wait for blog posts full of nonsense, when you can have little bits and pieces of nonsense from me ALL DAY???

1. I found a brand new Canon EOS Rebel XT with an 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 lens on clearance at Wal-Mart for $299. Can you say MEGA-SCORE???? I'm going to sell my Powershot SX10IS and should be able to recoup nearly all the money we spent on it!

2. I got bored on Saturday and decided to go platinum blonde. Wow! What a process! I've done two bleachings and a light blonde toner and I'm still not done yet. If I have any hair left and my scalp isn't one big scab when I reach the true platinum shade I want, it will be a miracle.

What do you think??

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Milk Mustache

I am submitting this photo into the Blurb Book photo contest. I am granting I ♥ Faces permission to use my photo in a printed version of a book for commercial use and possibly advertising of a photo book on both the Blurb and I ♥ Faces web sites.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Growing Like Crazy!

Remember my little seedling pots I posted three weeks ago?

Here's the parsley on 4/27.

Here's the parsley today.

Here's the basil on 4/27.

Here's the basil today.

Here's the first picture of Midget on this blog.

Here's Midget today.

It's a miracle I haven't killed any of them. Especially Miss Sassypants, who seems to have developed a MAJOR attitude all of a sudden! Fun times ahead, right??

Thursday, May 14, 2009

I'm in a Rhubarb State of Mind...

My awesome Sister-in-law gave us four rhubarb roots to plant in our yard! I grew up eating lots and LOTS of rhubarb, as my grandma grew tons of it and both of my parents loved it. The hubby's Mom also has a GIGANTIC section of rhubarb in her garden (it's seriously huge--trust me, it's enormous), which is where my Sis-in-law got her roots from. These little plants will be huge in a few years!

Doesn't this scream "Feed Me Seymour!?!"

She also pulled some stalks off her plants and gave us a gallon ziploc stuffed full of rhubarb. Of course, I had to make some rhubarb sauce! I love eating it on Angel Food Cake. For any of you who've never eaten rhubarb, WHY IN SAM-HELLLLLLS NOT?? It is deliciously tart and is fantastic in quick breads and pairs especially well with goat cheese! Oh lordy lordy. It's so good!

Sugar Free Rhubarb Sauce

6 c rhubarb, diced
1/4 c water
1 .3 oz sugar-free raspberry gelatin (you could use strawberry, but I prefer raspberry)
1-1 1/2 c splenda

Place rhubarb and water in 2 qt saucepan. It will nearly fill the pan, but will break down quickly. Bring to a boil over high heat. Stir and turn heat down to medium-low and cover. Stir occasionally, simmering for 10-15 minutes until rhubarb has broken down. Turn heat down to low, add gelatin and 1 c splenda. Mix thoroughly and add remaining sugar to taste. Remove from heat and serve warm or cold.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Roll Out the Red Carpet...

This week's guest judge at
is Ree Drummond a.k.a. The Pioneer Woman!! Not only can this woman cook, she is a fantastic photographer, writer, and gorgeous to boot!

I hate you. Okay, not really. But sort of...

Welcome, Ms. Drummond, to Oikology 101!! See how polite I am? I'll let you give me permission to call you Ree and then we'll be BFF's forever, okay??

So even though I have no chance of even placing, here's a rundown of why I will not win and why I might win (if by some miracle crappy photos win).

Reasons why I won't win:
1. I have no idea how to use my camera and it's a P&S. That's sad...
2. I got super lucky and inherited Photoshop 7.0 from my hubby's work, but I have no idea how to use it. I'm plodding through and trying to figure it out, but it's a MASSIVE undertaking!
3. All of my artistic talent lies in my voice. I can barely draw a circle and make it recognizeable, let alone put together beautifully composed photos.
4. When Midget laughs, her entire body spasms (wonder where she gets that from *whistle whistle*) and it is EXTREMELY difficult to get a picture of her!

Reasons why I might win:
1. My rapier wit and wicked sarcasm.
2. Midget is extremely charming and has the most fabulous personality!
3. Did I mention my rapier wit and wicked sarcasm?
4. All professional photographers, amateur photographers, hobbyist photographers, and enthusiast photographers experience internet outages and are unable to post their photos.

Yes, weak reasons to win, especially because I doubt Ms. Drummond will have time to read all eleventy billion links on iHeartFaces and will therefore have no opportunity to experience my wit or sarcasm. Although, she does seem to have superhuman skills, so I guess it's possible!

So, without further ado, Pioneer Woman--meet Midget!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Isn't it Ridiculous...

that I was finally able to put a ponytail (and a sorry one at that) in Midget's hair? She'll be two years old in four months and still barely has any hair! As you can see, she wasn't thrilled about looking like she was Alfalfa from The Little Rascals.

Remember this?? Yes, that is our new tv behind the bratster. I hate to say I told you so, but...

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A Short Story

Midget's Godbrother, just sitting and minding his own business.

But then along comes Midget.

"Hmmmm... He looks like he's missing something."


"Seriously??? This stinks."

Midget in a Hat!

Here's a short story featuring Midget and a hat.

This is an old picture, but I love the joy on Midget's face!

For more kids in hats, go visit