All My Heartbeats

When does MY vacation start?

By August 22, 2015 General, Just Because..., Kid Tips
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Hi guys!  Just wanted to write a quick something to see if I’m the only one out here that finds family vacations to be more work than vacation.  I almost feel bad even asking this question.  I really don’t want to be one of those people who complain about their vacations when other don’t even get to take them, but this is what I’m feeling.  Plus, I’m not so much complaining as I am blabbing and venting.

I just returned from a week up at the family lake house in Chautauqua, NY.  My mother and step-father have been there for most of the summer and with everything I have going on here in Pittsburgh with the move, I haven’t been able to get up there all summer.  Since school starts in a few days, I felt like this was out last chance to get up there for a substantial amount of time.   Now, I feel like I am waiting for school to start so I can have my alone time back to recover from this past week.  Don’t get me wrong, I love being up there and I love being outside and watching the kids have fun.  It’s just stressful.  Packing for three Heartbeats and our very old dog is a job.  Making sure our house, which is on the market, needs to be in ‘ready to show’ condition before leave.  Organizing care for the cats is tricky too, especially when one is sick.  Then driving the three hours up listening to the kids complain that their devices need charged or they feel car sick after 10 minutes.  We finally arrive and it’s time to unload the car, put sheets on four beds and get to the store to buy groceries for the week.

It’s now time to have fun.  Oh shit, it’s raining.  Well, now what.  I just did all of that and drove three hours so the kids can watch TV in NY instead of  PA.

We get a break in the weather and my oldest Heartbeat wants to go fishing.  Sounds good.  I go out to the back yard to catch some worms.  I have no problem doing this and I am pretty good at it.  I get us the biggest fattest worms and we walk down to the dock.  Oh my God, I completely lost my courage for hooking a worm.  I can pull those suckers out of the ground, but I can’t rip them up and hook them anymore.  I’m going soft.  I called my mother to come down and help.  Yes, I’m embarrassed.  She comes down and it turns into a whole family affair.

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 The two younger heartbeats want to fish too.  Everyone is plucking fish out of the water now.  My youngest, the animal lover, just so happens to catch all the fish that swallow the hook and die.  She is heartbroken and I have to comfort her.  Is it Happy Hour yet?  no?  Is it, at least, past noon?  Damnit!!!

We actually ended up having a great day.  My son and I kayaked about two miles, up current, while my mother took the girls in the boat to our favorite swimming spot.  I was so proud of him (and myself).  We meat them there and swam for a few hours.  Now is it happy hour time yet?

We got back to the house and the kids decided not to listen at all.  Bathing suits in a heap on the floor and all of them fighting with each other for no reason except trying to piss each other off.  NOW it’s happy hour!!  I ignore (as much as I can) their fighting and retreat with vodka to to front porch to watch the hundreds of hummingbirds.

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Mom decides to build a fire and the kids agree.  My step-father has this cool fire tunnel thing he does.  We wait for two hours while he tries to build the fire after it had rained that morning.  He finally gets it and the kids have lost interest.   He does the fire tunnel anyway.   Kids decide to go to bed instead.  ugh

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The next day is beautiful!!  We spend all day on the boat….blowing up floatable toys, throwing balls in the water, getting lunch together and breaking up fights over whose turn it is for what toy.  All I want to do is fall asleep on a raft and work on my summer sun.  Nope….kids fighting again.  Back to the house we go to finish the day on the docks.

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Last day, time to clean and vacuum the whole house, strip the beds, wash all the sheets and towels,  pack it all up, put it in the car and drive three hours home.

At the end of it all, I feel more exhausted after vacation than I did before we left.  Was it worth it?   Absolutely!!  The kids had fun, I enjoyed spending time with my mother, and we made memories.  Next vacation will include a babysitter, a beach, a drink, the sun and headphones!!!  All For My Heartbeat

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Losing Our Furry Friends

By August 22, 2015 About Me, General, Just Because...
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It’s such a difficult time when you watch your best friend coming to the end of their short happy life.  I mean, I’ve thought about it before.  Many times to be honest.  It’s one of those items on the “Cons” side of list when you’re making the decision to get a pet.  You know you will probably outlive them.   You know it won’t be easy and you know it will hurt…a lot.  But we still do it because of those wet noses, furry ears, and unconditional love.  They mean the world to us and then we are forced to say goodbye.

I’ve lost two pets in my life and I’m facing another one soon.  My first dog, Braciole, passed away in 2001 after a great 14 years! I was 10 years old when my parents brought him home.  Mr H and I were just dating at this time of his passing.  I fell in love with Mr H the day before Braciole passed.  We weren’t living together or anything that serious yet.  He came over the day before we were scheduled to take Braciole in.  He asked if he could Braciole to the park one last time.  He knew I had to go to work but he did this anyway.  I fell in love with him that day. Then I remember hurting for days.  It sucked.  I had never experienced hurt like that.  Euthanasia is an odd concept to find a feeling for.  Braciole was always so good at hiding pain, but the Vets all said he had no quality of life left.  I felt guilty and sad all in one.  I hated it.

Five years ago, our 12 year old healthy cat, Buddy, passed away very suddenly.  He was just fine at 5pm and by 9pm I was signing the papers for his euthanasia.  It was so unexpected and hurt like crazy. This was different though.   There was no guilt, just pain.  There was something else too.  I had three little heartybeats aged 7, 5 and 3 that were all in love with their Buddy Cat.  How do I help them grieve?  They are barely old enough to really feel grief, but they will still need our guidance.  I was  very honest with them.  I told them what happened and how it was ok for them us cry.  I answered their questions and let them mourn in their way.  It was even very hard on our 5 year old dog, Mack.  He cried and looked everywhere for Buddy for days.  He would scratch at the door to the basement where Buddy’s food and litter were.  It was hard to see him mourn his friend.

These days are heading into the worst to come.  Mack is now 11 years old.  He has been an integral part of this family.   He is very commonly referred to as the greatest dog to ever live.  Unfortunately, he is cancer stricken and arthritic now.  He gets slower every day and watching him gives me such a confusing feeling.  I’m happy he is still here, but worried that he, like Braciole, is hiding his pain too well.  To add to it all, we are in the process of moving to DC.  Nothing in the house is normal right now and I fear it is stressing him out.  Of everything I have going on right now with the heartbeats starting school, us moving, Mr. H living in DC already, and trying to sell my house, this is the most stressful.  I fear for us all and I fear for Mack.  I don’t want him to suffer.  That’s all I care about.  He CAN’T suffer.  So many questions  I need to have answers to;  What to do if he collapses suddenly or deteriorates rapidly?  Do I take him somewhere and let him pass away in a cold smelly vet’s office?  Do I find a vet to come to the house so he can pass away in his bed surrounded by all he knows and loves?  Do we have him cremated or bury him?  Do we let the kids stay with him while he goes or do we shield them from it? What happens is Mr H isn’t home when it happens?  He weighs 90 lbs.  I can’t carry him.  I’m just so scared.  I don’t want to lose my dog.  He’s definitely one of my dear Heartbeats.

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Mrs. H Goes to Washington!!

By August 18, 2015 About Me, General, Just Because...
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 We’re moving to Washington, DC!  ALL NINE HEARTBEATS!!  

This all happened so quickly for me!  We went to Florida for vacation over spring break.  While we were there, my husband, who had been shooting his resume around to see if a better opportunity was available, got the call.  “Hello, Mr. H.  We would like to offer you the position with this much more money and these amazing benefits.  Here’s a bonus for you too!  When can you start?” Ummmmmmm…..like I said, we were on vacation!  He comes down to the pool to find me four margaritas in!  He’s tells me the news and I really don’t remember if he said anything after that.  All I’m thinking is “Shit just got real”.  We collected our stuff, oh….the kids too….and went upstairs to discuss this revelation.  This is a 200 mile move with three kids and four animals.  Is it worth it?  I moved A LOT when I was growing up.  Always to different states.  It’s difficult!  This is going to be hard!  Let’s do it!  We accepted the offer and made another (dozen) margarita!!

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Now, vacation is over and it’s time to get it done!  WAIT!!!!  It gets better!  Mr. H has been told they need him in three weeks!  I’m sorry. What?  I have three kids in school, a house that is nowhere near ready to sell, three heartbeats still in school, a great dog that is in his last bit of life and my wine rack is empty!!!!!!  Commence Beast Mode!!!  I don’t know how my bi-polar brain has managed to not crumble.  My beast mode for the past 4 months has included;

1.  Getting three kids out of school and organizing fun summer activities (just kidding.  I have too much to do to organize anything beyond a nap.  Kids…go out and play).

2.  Tear down, plaster and paint a bathroom wall and ceiling.

3.  Organize and shelf paper the linen closet.

4.  Take down and change out two sconces in the bathroom.

5.  Stain the bathroom vanity a much darker shade.

6.  Replace hardware in bathroom vanity.

7.  Fix a giant hole in the girls’ bedroom wall.

8.  Paint the entire office.

9.  Paint the entire master bedroom.

10.  Touch-up paint all the trim and baseboards in the whole house.

11.  Organize and hold a garage sale after a week of going through everything in the basement and packing it all up.

12.  Re-seal basement walls.

13. Power wash basement walls and floors.

14.  Power wash all walkways and concrete surrounding the house.

15.  Sand and paint all kitchen cabinets.

16. Replace kitchen counters.

17. Paint entire kitchen.

18.  Replace all cabinet hardware.

19.  Replace light in kitchen.

20.  Change out all light switches and outlets in kitchen.

21.  Mulch and landscape outdoor areas.

22.  Pack and stage the entire house.

23.  Get the house listed.

Ok…now give me a minute to get really hammered and forget my name for a minute.

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I’m back.  All of this was supposed to take me a month (in fantasy land).  It took two months.  I had Mr. H home on the weekends to help, but he was usually so tired from working all week and driving back and forth that we rarely completed all I wanted in the 36 hours he was home and awake.  Plus, he needed to be with the kids, period.  I’m not complaining about this.  I can’t imagine being away from my kids 5.5 days a week for months on end……..hahahahahahahahahahaha…..who am I kidding……I fantasize about it all day long!!!   Mrs. H needs a vacation!!!!

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Back to what I was saying, I did have help along the way.   My mother, aka Mrs. It’s Never Clean Enough, came several days to help clean out the basement and get me started on the right track to getting shit done.  This was huge.

My in laws took my kids several times to get them out (of my hair) and about several times!!!

My best friend in the world and her contractor husband drove 700 miles to come help me for an entire weekend!!!!  This was our turning point when it all came together.  My Best is one of those people that sees a goal and just gets it.  She came in like a frickin train and was all over it!!!  She and her husband completely purchased and installed a new fence.  Mulched and landscaped (better than I had) the whole property.  Helped pack the basement.  Helped seal the walls in the basement and replace a light fixture down there too.  THEN, my best decided to randomly clean out my kitchen and dining room and pack it up.  This is what a real friend does!!!  I needed help and she came and killed it.  700 miles people!!!

I didn’t use any professional help during this chaos.  We have two residences to pay for until we can get this house sold.

So, this brings us to now.  It’s been four months since Mr. H left for Washington.  The house has been on  the market for almost two months now.  No offers.  School starts in a week and I don’t even remember summer happening.   I’ve become an expert wine drinker though.  So, I have that going for me.

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Ahhhh…the things I do for All My Heartbeats!!

 

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Easy Cheesy Quesadilla!!

By August 15, 2015 General, Yummy
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      If it’s cheesy, they will come!!!  It’s so true with most kids!  Make it handheld, make it cheesy and put butter on it and you are guaranteed, at least, a few minutes of silence while they eat!  I’d just about do anything for a little silence these days….or wine….I like wine.  :)

Quesadillas are fun for all.  They are quick, easy, and yummy!

Easy Cheesy Queesadillas

Flour or whole wheat tortillas, large

Monterey Jack, Colby Jack, Cheddar, White Cheddar, Queso, shredded (choose any cheese or combination)

Butter

Green Chili Enchilada Sauce, I like mild for the kids but do as you want

Rotisserie Chicken, cooked and shredded

Sour Cream, optional

Guacamole, optional

Shredded Lettuce, optional

Diced Tomato, optional

Salsa, optional

Lay out tortillas and spread light amount of cheese (half the amount you plan on using in one quesadilla, about 1/8-1/4c) on half of your tortilla.

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Spread 1/4c shredded chicken over the cheese and top with approx 2T of green chili sauce.

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Add another 1/8-1/4c shredded cheese and fold quesadilla in half.  Lightly butter the top of the quesadilla.

Add 1T of butter to a large  skillet and melt over medium heat.  Spread the butter around the pan to grease the cooking surface.

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Add two quesadillas at a time,  buttered side up!

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Always make sure that your pan isn’t getting too hot.  After 2 minutes, check your quesadilla and flip is it’s a nice golden brown! Oops, i waited too long!!

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After flipping, cook another minute or so until the other side is golden.  Remove from the pan and repeat the process with as many quesadilla as you like.  Let the quesadilla rest for at least two minutes before cutting to ensure the cheese stays in!!!  We never want to lose any precious cheese!!!!!!

Cut the quesadilla, add toppings, and Enjoy!

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For All My Heartbeats!!

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Going Global!

By August 13, 2015 About Me, Just Because...

 

Anyone interested can now easily follow my blog on Bloglovin.com!  Such an easy way to keep track of the blogs you love and get updates when I post something new and exciting!!!

 

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Device Dilemma!!

By August 12, 2015 General, Just Because..., Kid Tips
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       Video games, iPads, phones and kids is such a hot topic in the “Who can be the best Mom on the internet” society right now.  How much time a day do they get? Will my kids be dumb if I let them play all day?  When can they play Call of Duty or GTA? Should they be allowed to play those games EVER?  Is some sicko going to try to prey on one of my Heartbeats?   Are they ready for a phone? I can go on and on.  I think I’ve come to the conclusion that, like many other parenting topics, there is no right or wrong answer.  What works for some families may not work so well for others.  Here’s what works for All My Heartbeats.  They are 13, 10, and 8 years old.  They get 1-2 hours a day of total electronics (tv, netflix, computer, ect…) fun.  Sometimes they get more depending on what I am doing, what they have done to earn it or several other variables.  Even weather and illness play into it.  1-2 hours is more of a guideline.  I think I can be lackadaisical with the rules for a few reasons.  First and foremost, I know my children and I know what they are doing when they are on the internet and messaging and playing games. Yes, I spy on their devices.  Not every second, but enough to really know what’s going on in their lives… if they are using good common sense, making wise decisions and not being preyed upon.  They know I do this and allow it because I control whether or not they get to have these little handheld addictions.

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Secondly, I know that they are exceeding at or working toward major goals, so why can’t they have a lazy day, here and there, to veg on their devices?  I do it.  OMG do I do it.  I do a lot of business using my phone.  I wrote half this blog on my phone!!!  I Facebook and Pinterest …blah blah blah.  They see me doing it.  They’ve also heard me say the words “do as I say, not as I do” MANY times! haha  I encourage them to go outside and play, go the the library (two blocks from us) for activities, read a book, play a board game, CLEAN UP, all sorts of things.  They are healthy, well mannered and very loved.  I think we all just live a much faster lifestyle in this day and age than I did growing up in the 80’s and 90’s.  Internet made us all faster.  I think these kids are just trying so hard to beat this generation of “one uppers” that they are packing all of these activities into a few hours when it would have taken our slower generation all day.  Then they go on these devices and learn about all new things that make being a child fun and cool these days.  They are here… then there ….then over yonder….it’s hard to keep up with all they great things kids have access to.  So, I guess it comes down to this…. Let them explore, it may not be in the outdoors everyday, but they are internet exploring  and learning about everything they find an interest in and having a blast doing it!!  And just remember, devices can keep your house quiet long enough to enjoy a glass of wine with another grown-up!!

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Perfect Carbonara!!!

By August 11, 2015 Yummy
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I grew up with all sorts of cooking styles.  Lots of Italian influence!!!  My Grandmother taught me how to make “The Family Sauce” when I was four or five and I’m pretty sure it was the first recipe I memorized.  I mean, I think I knew how to make it before I even knew how to hard boil an egg.  I’ve learned so many different styles of cooking throughout the years.  I’ve picked up little secrets here and there.  And just like any cook, most of my recipes have been tweeked, poked, prodded, burned, flipped and cursed at before they became the tasty bit of Heaven they are today.  This is a good one that I developed over the years.

Carbonara was traditionally a poor man’s early breakfast meal.  Eggs, cream, bacon and pasta!!  I’ve seen so many variations and I still add or omit certain ingredients when I’m feeling feisty!  Here it is.  I hope you enjoy!!

Pasta Carbonara (Serves 4-6)

1 lb bucatini (I like the bucatini because it has a hole that sucks up all the sauce  into the noodle, like a straw.  Long Fusilli or any pasta you love can be used)

8 large egg yolks

2.5c heavy cream

4-6 oz Pancetta, chopped up (all depend on how much you want)

Zest of one lemon

3 garlic cloves, minced or finely chopped

1c fresh grated parmesan-reggiano (please use the real stuff and not the pre-grated “shaker” stuff)

1/4c fresh basil, finely chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

1 rotisserie chicken, shredded (optional)

1 med sweet onion, caramelized (optional), if you are using these, and don’t have them already caramelized, just remember that they take a good 45 minutes to make.  Here is a good link for a DIY Caramelized Onion

I always start with filling my medium stock pot with water and putting it on the stove.  It takes a while to come to a rolling boil and I hate being ready to cook pasta and having to wait.  I just hate waiting, period…haha

In a large saute pan cook the pancetta  over medium heat for 4 minutes.  Stirring frequently

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After the four minutes, toss in your garlic and give it a stir.  Continue cooking for another 4 minutes until the pancetta is to your liking.

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Spoon all of the pancetta/garlic onto a few layered paper towels to drain and set aside.

By this time, your water should be boiling.  Make sure to season your water with a good handful of salt before adding your pasta.  I use either sea salt or kosher to season water.  I’m not a fan of iodized salt (table salt) and I don’t keep it in my pantry.  Add your pound of pasta and cook to the package specifications.

In a large mixing bowl, add egg yolks, heavy cream, grated parmesan-reggiano, and basil and whisk until combined. (I might have forgotten to add the basil before I took this pic, oops!!)

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At this point, if you are using the shredded chicken and/or the caramelized onion, put them in a large saute pan and cook them on medium low just until warm, maybe 2-3 minutes.  Add pancetta/garlic mixture, drained pasta and egg yolk/cream/cheese all together to the saute pan.

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Here’s where it gets a little tricky.

The burner temp needs to stay on low to medium low or the eggs are going to scramble.  You do not want this to happen!!!  It’s easy to prevent though.  After you pour everything into the pan, using tongs or a pasta fork, gently fold the pasta over and over in the sauce.  Don’t stop!!  The sauce, at first, will seem very watery.  It will thicken after a few minutes.  It doesn’t take long, maybe 3-4 minutes.  After it has thickened to your liking, remove from heat and add 2/3 of the lemon zest  Toss the pasta to combine.  Sprinkle remaining zest over the top and enjoy!!!

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This is a great dish for warm or cold weather!  I make it all the time….for All My Heartbeats.

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When the moon hits your eye, like a big pizza pie… that’s Amore!

By August 8, 2015 Life Hacks, Yummy
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I Love Pizza!!!  I could probably eat every meal in pizza form.  I’m not the only one in my house, though.  I think we are all on board with this idea!  Although the idea of only spending $20-30 dollars on a meal that will feed 5 (a few of us eat enough for two though), I started making my own dough!  I’ve experimenting with different techniques and ingredients to come up with the best dough.  I have also figured out how to use my stand mixer to make it easier.  Here is my recipe….I hope you enjoy!

Perfect Pizza                              Yields two 14-16 inch pizzas

3.5-4.5 c. all purpose or wheat flour (bread flour for a chewier crust)

1 1/2 c. hot water (between 100-110 degrees)

1 packet active dry yeast ( 1 1/4 tsp.)

1 T sugar (white or raw) or honey

1 tsp salt (I use sea salt, but any will do)

4 T extra virgin olive oil

corn meal for dusting pan or stone

Start by putting sugar or honey into the main bowl of your stand mixer or a large bowl.

Pour in hot water and give a very quick stir to dissolve sugar/honey.

Sprinkle yeast onto water.  Do not stir.

Let water mixture sit for approx 5 minutes.

After five minutes, foam (similar to beer foam) will have formed on the top.

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Add salt and 2T olive oil to water/yeast and stir.

Add 1 1/2c flour and stir.

Add flour a 1/4c at a time until stirring becomes difficult.

Place dough hook attachment in stand mixer and continue adding flour a 1/4c at a time on the “stir” or lowest setting until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl.

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Make sure your stand mixer is locked in place and turn up the setting to the “2” or second lowest setting.

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Set a timer for 9 minutes and let the mixer do the kneading for you.

After the dough as finished, remove the dough from the mixer and place onto a lightly floured surface.  Dust top with a little more flour and knead for about 30 seconds.

In a clean large bowl, add 1T olive oil and grease the bowl using a paper towel or your clean hands to smear the oil. Place dough ball into the bowl.

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Add 1T olive oil to top of dough and gently rub over dough.

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Cover bowl with a clean cloth and allow it to sit in a warm dry spot for 90 minutes.

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If using oven, after 90 min, preheat to 475 degrees. If using a different method, skip this step and continue reading.

Remove towel and punch down the dough.

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Take a knife and slice dough in half.

Remove each half from bowl.  DO NOT KNEAD DOUGH AGAIN….the oil will not let it come together and the dough will be hard to work with.

Sprinkle cornmeal onto two pizza pans or baking sheets and place dough ball in the middle of each.

Either using your hands or a rolling pin, mold dough into a pizza shape.  Each ball will yield a 14-16 inch pizza.

Top pizza with your choice of sauce and cheeses.

Bake on lowest two racks for approx 15-20 min

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If using a pizza stone in oven, preheat stones in oven and transfer rolled out pizza dough to hot stone (be careful) before putting toppings on.  Bake for 15 minutes or until cheese has melted.

If using pizza stone on grill, do not preheat the stone!!!!  Roll out dough on cold stone dusted with cornmeal and place on preheated (medium setting) grill.  Lightly brush the edges of the dough where the “crust” is.  Place topping on dough while on the grill.  Close lid to grill.  If you have a gadget to keep lid open slightly, use it to keep lid open about an three inches.   Check pizza frequently.  If the crust looks done, but the cheese isn’t melted, turn off the grill and close the lid completely.  Cheese will melt.

If grilling pizza directly on grill grates, brush olive oil on grates BEFORE turning on grill. Heat grill on LOW.  Place pizza dough directly on preheated oiled grates. This can be tricky.  Best method I have found, is to have dough rolled out on a very well floured pizza pan or baking sheet and slowly sliding onto the grill.  Brush the “crust” edge of the dough very lightly with olive oil.  Immediately top pizza with all toppings. Close lid halfway and keep an eye on it.  If the crust is done before the cheese is melted, turn off the grill and close the lid all the way.

This is the pizza my family loves and I make often….for All My Heartbeats!

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Let there be cake!!!!

By August 6, 2015 Just Because..., Kid Tips, Life Hacks, Yummy
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I’ve always had a thought in the back of my head that today could be the last.  I’m pretty confident that others have this thought too, at least I hope it’s not just me.  It’s a fear that I won’t see my children grow up and that they won’t remember me.  I love listening to friends’ stories about the things their parents always did for them, places they took annual trips to, collections their parents started for them…..you know what I mean…….’Our mother always made cookies for us on our first day of school’ type stuff.  Growing up, I never really had anything like that in my family. I was an only child and my parents did the best they could to entertain me.  We went to Florida for Xmas almost every year to see my grandparents…that was about it.  Vacations here and there, but nothing traditional.  Always very random.  I always enjoyed them though.  Anyway, I digress….This post is about the things I want my kids to remember. I want them to tell people things like “My mother always did {this} for me” and “Every year, my mother would take me {here}”.  I actually had a hard time thinking of things I did for them besides feeding, cleaning, washing, shopping, teaching, driving, medicating, molding, grooming, organizing, entertaining, tickling, wiping, nursing…..you know….EVERYTHING.  Then my husband pointed it out.  It may not sound like much, but I make my kids a personalized birthday cake every year.  I can cook, but I am not a baker.  Some of these cakes have turned out just wrong, but the kids always love them!!

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I admit, I have gotten much better over the years…

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I didn’t say great, just better…

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Some took a loooooong time…

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others were an experiment gone right!!!

pokeballcake

All in all, the kids look forward to their special cake every year!  I may not make them perfect, but they are made with a ton of love….for All My Heartbeats!!

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I think I’ll start a blog!!

By August 6, 2015 About Me, General, Just Because...
Typing

Well….hello there!!  Thanks for stopping by!  Yes, I decided to join the throngs of dedicated blog writers.  Why? I guess the answer is simple……why not!!  I love sharing my life, my ideas, my recipes and life hacks, my advice and even my adventures.  I’ve done a lot in my 37 years and I’ve overcome and learned even more.

I think I’m supposed to start with the “About Me”, right?  Here I go….

I am a married mother to three very amazing, yet very different children.  My oldest is my fiery red-headed son.  He is almost 13 (oh my God) and he is ALL OVER THE PLACE.  I’m sure you will read all about him in many hysterical future posts.  He keeps me on my toes, for sure!!

My middle child is my little mini-me.  If I had a nickle for every time someone told us that we looked alike, we would have college paid for.  She amazes us everyday.  She is 10 going on 30.  This girl just gets it!  She knows we are her best resource for learning about life.  It’s amazing.

My youngest is Beanie.  She is 8 years old and I believe she is a human Muppet.  She is super sweet and innocent.  She has the kindest heart I have ever seen in a human.  She LOVES animals and will probably drown in her stuffed animal collection in the near future. We have spoiled her rotten and we are now trying to fight our way out of it.

I’m also an animal lover myself. We have a 10 year old boxer named Mack.  He is, hands down, the greatest dog to ever live.  He is very old for a boxer and he is running on borrowed time…..just like the rest of us.  We also have two cats…Pauline and Albert (named after my husband’s grandparents).  They are a brother and sister team that we rescued at two weeks old (yes, two weeks) along with their other three siblings who we adopted out to loving homes. Having a husband who is, shall we say, not a cat lover has presented some challenges.  But, he loves me and puts up with them because of it.  We also have a four year old hermit crab named, Crabby.  He is a serial killer and annoying.  He kills any other crab we put into the terrarium and then dances on top of the dead crab with a war dance.  I imagine if he were a native, he would have scalped them.

Now, my husband.   We have been married for almost 12 years.  To say it has been a roller coaster is an understatement.   We definitely held on for dear life.  We are so in love now that it’s almost unheard of in our generation.  We fought for our marriage and we are winning.  I’m a very lucky woman.  He is supportive and dedicated to our family.   He’s really hot too!!

What about me?  Well, I’m a little bit of everything.  I’m a believer in love and karma.  I LOVE to cook healthy and yummy and can’t wait to share some amazing recipes and ideas with you.  I’m Bi-polar and very outspoken about it.   I run my own business from the comfort of my laptop at home so I can stay here with my beautiful family…….All My Heartbeats!!!!

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