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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Quick Grilled Pizza

We ♥ grilled pizza. In the past, we've either used my usual pizza dough recipe, a premade crust, or the canned stuff you get in the refrigerator section. All of these work just fine, but when I saw a recipe in Cook's Country for a speedy grilled pizza, I knew I had to try it. Cook's Country recipes are always good. Sometimes I decide they're a little too much work, but they're always good. This recipe proved to be both simple and yummy. And it really is quick. Oh, and the sauce is super good. So fire up your grill and make some pizza.


2 (14.5 ounce) cans diced tomatoes, drained well (I used Kroger, which was okay but I think name-brand would have been better)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons EVOO
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt (I used more, partially because of the Kroger tomatoes, I think, and partially because I put extra salt on everything)


1 cup warm water (it says 110 degrees, I didn't check the temp of the water I used)
1 tablespoon EVOO
1 tablespoon sugar
1 envelope yeast
2 3/4 flour
1/4 cup grated Parmesan (I used shredded)
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella

1. Make sauce. Combine all the ingredients. Set aside. (How easy it that? No cooking. I think it would even be good on pasta.)

2. Prepare dough. Whisk water, EVOO, sugar and yeast measuring cup. Let sit 5 minutes. Pulse flour, Parmesan, and salt in food processor. With the machine running, add the wet stuff until it pulls away from the sides and forms a shaggy dough. Turn onto floured work surface and knead 3 or 4 times until cohesive.

3. Shape pizza. Divide dough into four pieces. Roll out into 9-inch circles. Use floured parchment paper to stack and separate the crusts.

4. Heat grill. I used my electric grill on high. (The magazine has additional instructions that apply to fancier grills with multiple settings. I don't have a fancy grill, so I'm not typing those instructions.)

5. Grill pizza. Brush one side with EVOO. Put this side down on the grill. Grill a few minutes until browned and bubbly. Brush the side that's up with EVOO. Flip the pizza over. Top with sauce and cheese. Grill until it looks done.

Serve with beer. (The recipe doesn't say that, but that's what we did.)

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Friday, June 25, 2010

Temper, temper

Yes, that's a potty chair she's crying into. (And yes, it was clean.)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Teachers' Kid

Ella was playing school with Alex and Ava. Alex asked, "Shouldn't you be teaching your class instead of playing your DS?" Ella replied, "It's my planning period."

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

An Argument for Unstructured Play Time

We spent the day at home today...too hot to play outside, already tired of the swimming pool. I thought the girls might get bored, but they never did. (Knock on wood.) Ella asked for cardboard boxes so she could put on a puppet show for Emilia. Her show seemed to be a mash-up of The Gingerbread Man and the Olivia books. Emilia was supposed to be the audience, but she didn't sit still too well and then she had to get in on the action.

Beauty Shop

Alex, Ava, and Brent went with us to Rolla on Father's Day because Leanne was on her way to a conference in Salina. We ate lunch at Grandma Apple's and then swam at the Rolla pool (which is bigger, warmer, and calmer than the Satanta pool). After we finished swimming, Alex fixed hair in Grandma's beauty shop. We ate Chinese food in Hugoton and headed home.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Little Baby Naughty Pants Returns

Emilia is naughty. As you can tell from her expressions in the pictures above, she's apologetically naughty. She is into everything. She spills entire bags of cheese on the floor; she empties my basket of hair brushes every single day (and yes, I know I should move the basket somewhere she can't reach, but hair brushes are relatively harmless and I'd rather have her emptying a basket of brushes than something else); she can find a marker or pen no matter how hard we try to hide them and then write all over anything she can find--her legs, mail, magazines, the computer monitor. She loves to get the chocolate syrup out of the refrigerator (that's straight chocolate syrup in the cup she's drinking from above). We finally got a lock for the fridge (thanks, Nicole), but the lock works a lot better when you remember to fasten it.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Sissy's got my back...and my blankie

To prevent Ella from spending the summer with her thumb in her mouth (like in this picture from last December), we've instituted a new blankie rule: blankie is allowed only when Ella is sleeping. We didn't have to have a rule during the school year because she doesn't take her blankie to school and doesn't seem to pay much attention to it after school. But this summer, she showed signs of serious blankie and thumb addiction, so we began enforcing the new policy.

This morning Ella came upstairs with her blankie, so Ryan took it from her. I was holding Emilia. Emilia reached over, grabbed the blankie from Ryan, and returned it to Ella. She knows who the blankie belongs to.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Monday, June 14, 2010

Smoky Hill River Festival

Every year we go to the Smoky Hill River Festival in Salina, and every year, I forget to take many pictures. The picture above shows the girls in my mom's nifty new fold-up wagon. We had a great time eating yummy food, making crafts (well, Ella made crafts and we watched), browsing the arts and crafts vendors (including one of my favorites, Ozark Herbals), and listening to music. It was awfully hot, though, and with kids (and all their stuff), the heat seems even more difficult to handle.

Emilia was a very good little traveler. She did very well in the van (except when she spilled chocolate milk all over her car seat on the way home). The only problem is that when she misses a nap, gets off schedule, and gets overly tired, she gets naughty. Very, very, very naughty.

This year I ran in the Festival Fitness Five Saturday morning. I only ran the two mile race instead of the five mile. I had contemplated the five mile but decide to go with the shorter distance, and I am sooooo glad I did. As I got to the festival grounds for the run, it started to sprinkle. By the time I had picked up by bib and T-shirt, it was flat-out pouring. I was soaking wet before the run even started. Luckily, our hotel room had been cold enough that I had put on a jacket while I was getting ready; otherwise, I wouldn't have had a jacket. (It was 77 when I left the hotel, but had dropped to the upper 60s by the time I made it to the festival grounds). I was glad I only had two miles to run in the rain. (I overheard lots of people running the five mile wishing they could switch to the shorter run.) After the race, as I was headed back to the hotel, it started to thunder and I saw some big bolts of lightning. I looked at the clock and realized if I had been running the five mile, I definitely would have still been running, so I was super glad I was done and warm and drinking a latte instead of slogging through five miles.

My clock time for the race was 17:33; my watch said 17:16. (I was pretty far back, so it took me a while to get to the starting line. In retrospect, I should have started more to the front. I passed a lot of people at the beginning.) I think I could have run a little faster, but my socks and shoes were soaking wet, and I also knew I had no chance of placing because there were some pretty serious runners there. I wound up placing sixth in my age group, though, and in the top half of all the finishers, so I think if I had had more confidence, I could have done better. Oh, well. Lesson learned. It was still a fun race!

Sassy Girl

Big sister's shoes and a bag of stale Cheez-its. What else does a girl need?

My Babies

Notice the magic marker all over Emilia's legs. At least it was washable. And for the record, a magic eraser will remove black permanent marker from laminate flooring.

Saturday, June 5, 2010


This week was Vacation Bible School week. Here are the girls in their VBS shirts.

Since our church building is under construction, we had VBS at the Baptist church. It was nice to have three churches (Methodist, Baptist, and Church of God) working together. Unfortunately, we didn't realize that their air conditioning doesn't really work. My rotation (the Bible story) was in an upstairs classroom with teeny tiny windows and no AC at all. It was soooooo hot. I felt really sorry for the other two teachers upstairs with me--they're both pregnant!

The poor kids had the story and video in the hot upstairs classrooms, crafts in a separate un-air conditioned building, and games outside. They only had AC for the opening and closing in the sanctuary. They were really dragging. In fact, when we got home today, Ella's temperature was 103.3. I had to take her to the emergency room. The PA thinks she has a virus and then got overheated on top of it. But with lots of Gatorade and Disney Channel, she seems to be making a nice recovery.