31 July 2015

Goals Update

Well, there goes July.  It passed too quickly - mostly because I was dreading the start of August.  Kyle will be spending the month in IN / MI, so I have to figure out how to survive on my own again.
So here's a quick rundown of the July goals:
  • Put the windows back in the bus! We got three out of four done.  The last one just will. not. fit. It either needs extra persuasion...or we need to find a new window. 
  • VW Drag Night + camping.  We went to drag night! We went camping!
  • A visit from a Minnesotan!  We had such a great time, even if the visit was short!
  • High Country Bus Festival.  We camped in the mountains of NC for a couple nights - what a beautiful location.
  • I aimed for drawing ten comic panels again. I didn't quite make it.  July was really busy work-wise, so I didn't have a lot of energy for side projects.  However, the panels that did get done look good - I think I'm really getting into this!
Here's what's on the docket for August:
  • Digitize two comic panels.
  • Pick up Kyle's shift at the taphouse - while he's gone, I'm going to be serving up local brews once a week.
  • Do some fun shopping.  I've got weddings and babies to find gifts for!
  • Take a vacation.  A whirlwind trip to Michigan this month is just what I need right now.
  • Get ready for a garage sale. We need to downsize!  
  • Technically, elderberries are ready.  I'm not sure I can tackle that project alone, but I'm still putting it on the list.
Over the 4th of July we were invited to a barbecue.  I swear it was the best barbecue I have ever tasted in my life.  The setting was gorgeous as well.
We painted the bus interior.  I love the color so much.  So bright and shiny!
There was a VW car show in Summerville to kick off Drag Night.  Snoopy brought his beautiful 21-window.  *swoon*
There was another car show at the drag strip - so many vochos!
Kyle was in charge of the camera and he got some pretty great shots!
I spent a night learning how to pour beer with Kyle.  It's harder than it looks!  There are nine different types of glasses and each beer needs to be put in the correct glass.
High Country Bus Festival is in the mountains in NC, right on a river, with a high ridge separating the two sections of the campground.  So beautiful.
On Sunday morning it started pouring rain, so we took shelter under a rock ledge along the ridge.  A rock with a view.
The area under the rock ledge was the favorite hangout, and at night the rock wall would be lined with tea lights, giving it a surreal feeling.
These days, I spend all my time in the office or inside at home because it's too hot to work outside, so spending a weekend in the woods felt so good.  Yay camping!

24 July 2015

Ridiculously Easy Pizza Crust

I'm more of a buy-a-frozen-pizza-and-pile-it-high-with-toppings-(mostly-veggies) type of person.  Dough from scratch?  That sounds like SO MUCH WORK.  Mostly waiting (aka planning ahead).  Mixing, kneading, waiting for it to rise.  People there's got to be a better way.
Don't worry, I've got your back.  There's a much easier way.  It involves no waiting, kneading, or general dinner mayhem.  It starts with yeast, sugar, and warm water.  Let it sit for a few minutes.  Chop some veggies.
Mix that with some flour.  Add in some salt and olive oil.  Let it sit for five minutes.  Yeah, that's it - just five minutes.  Don't even pretend like you're done chopping veggies yet, get back to it!
I sprinkled some cornmeal on our pizza stone to give it that authentic pizza crust thing that pizza places do.  I didn't know where the pizza peel was.  It happens when you move a lot.  This recipe is good for one giant thick-crusted pizza, or two thin-crust pizzas.  Dealer's choice.
Top with all the toppings.  Back in college we used to make epic pizza that was pretty much a mountain of toppings.  I've scaled this one back a bit, but you can take this anywhere from a margherita to a supreme - this crust is robust enough to handle it.
Cheese has a very basic function here: hold all the toppings together. You can do it, cheese.  I believe in you.
Bake for 15-20 minutes.  So this is roughly half an hour from start to finish.
Easy Pizza Crust (recipe from here)
Makes 1 large or 2 medium pizzas
  • 1 package of dry yeast (0.25 oz)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 c. warm water
  • 2.5 c all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt 
  • Cornmeal
1.  Preheat the oven to 450°F.
2.  Mix the yeast, sugar and water.  Let stand for 5 minutes.
3.  In a mixing bowl, combine the yeast mixture and flour.  Add the salt and olive oil.  Stir until combined.  Let stand for 5 minutes.
4.  Form the dough into the pizza shape of your choice on a peel dusted with cornmeal.  Transfer to a fancy baking stone (I'm sure a normal pizza pan would be a fine substitute).  Top with your toppings of choice, then bake for 15-20 minutes.
Never eat frozen pizza again (just kidding, sometimes I need an effortless dinner and that's okay).