I haven’t been hiding out for the past two month, I swear.  I just haven’t had much blogging time and energy.  As the winter was winding down (OH MY GOSH AM I HAPPY IT FINALLY DID) I was out of things to post about.

Weather complaining?  Nah.

New recipes?  Not much in the way of successful ones.

Sewing projects completed?  A couple, but gifts for potential readers.  So, no.

Awesome photos of my kids?  Not as many taken as I’d have liked.

Dogs?  They’re all good and happy it is spring too.

So, I’ve just decided to chalk it up to a hiatus and get back at it.  I’ve got a few new recipes to try in my menu-planning pipeline as well as a few things I have tried (but need to fine-tune) that will be up and running soon.

Happy Spring!

100 More Books

Several years ago, I started a 100 Book List for each girl in the hopes that they’d spend more time reading if they had a list to track their progress and a reward (of their choosing) waiting upon completion.  Actually, Marielle was little enough when this began that her books were books that were read to her.   There aren’t any rules to these lists, other than the books can only appear on them once.  And, school books aren’t on there as they aren’t really “extra” reading.  Meredith completed 100 last week and I’m posting it here just as a reference.  Feel free to skip past if you’re not interested in what a 5th grader reads in her spare time!

Boy, must be nice to get rewards for reading in your spare time…other than the reward of the reading itself.

1.  Charlie’s Choice

2.  Saving Sky

3.  Henry and the Paper Route

4.  Henry and Ribsy

5.  Rarity and the Curious Case of Charity

6.  I am Not Going to Get Up Today!

7.  The Perfect Pet

8.  Red Wolves

9.  Abandoned!

10.  Double Trouble

11.  The Guide Dog Mystery

12.  The Mystery of the Mixed-up Zoo

13.  The Dog Show Mystery

14.  Tug of Love

15.  Tuff’s Luck

16.  The Great Escape

17.  Perfect Puppy

18.  The Sea Dog

19.  A Winter’s Tale

20.  Best of Friends

21.  King of the Castle

22.  Posh Pup

23.  The Puppy Project

24.  Superdog!

25.  Sherlock’s Home

26.  Forever Sam

27.  Milly’s Triumph

28.  Snow Dog

29.  Boomerang Boo

30.  Willow’s Woods

31.  Dognapped!

32.  Exploring the World of Wolves

33.  Applejack and the Honest to Goodness Switcheroo

34.  Puppy Power!

35.  Fox in the Forest

36.  Two’s Company

37.  A New Beginning

38.  Muddy Paws

39.  Cloud Capers

40.  Party Dreams

41.  Homeward Bound

42.  A Forest Charm

43.  Twirling Tails

44.  School of Mischief

45.  The Puppy Express

46.  Classroom Princess

47.  Spellbound at School

48.  Snowy Wishes

49.  Barney’s Rescue

50.  Orphan Puppy

51.  Lost and Found

52.  Top Dog

53.  Stars and Stripes

54.  Twilight and the Crystal Heart Spell

55.  An Anteater Named Arthur

56.  Sunshine Shimmers

57.  Ready, Set, Dogs!

58.  Teacher’s Pets

59.  Husky Hero

60.  Trick or Treat

61.  Little Star

62.  Murphy’s Mystery

63.  Jake’s Progress

64.  The Perfect Secret

65.  Jingle Belle

66.  Sheepdog in the Snow

67.  Felicity Learns a Lesson

68.  Felicity’s Surprise

69.  Happy Birthday Felicity!

70.  Felicity Saves the Day

71.  Changes for Felicity

72.  Sarah, Plain and Tall

73.  Meet Molly an American Girl

74.  Sew Zoey on Pins and Needles

75.  Meet Felicity an American Girl

76.  Sew Zoey Ready to Wear

77.  Sew Zoey Stitches and Stones

78.  Look to the North, a Wolf Pup Diary

79.  Sew Zoey Cute as a Button

80.  The Pup Who Cried Wolf

81.  Sew Zoey Knot too Shabby!

82.  Sew Zoey Swatch Out!

83.  Happy Times in Noisy Village

84.  Lady Margaret’s Ghost

85.  Changes for Molly

86.  Sew Zoey Lights, Camera, Fashion!

87.  Sew Zoey A Change of Lace

88.  Cupcake Diaries – Katie, Batter up!

89.  Cupcake Diaries – Mia’s Bakers Dozen

90.  Meet Julie

91. Julie Tells her Story

92.  Meet Samantha

93.  Samantha Learns a Lesson

94.  Cupcake Diaries – Katie Sprinkle and Surprises!

95.  Cupcake Diaries – Alexis the Icing on the Cupcake

96.  Cupcake Diaries – Katie and the Cupcake War

97.  Cupcake Diaries – Mia’s Boiling Point

98.  Cupcake Diaries – Katie’s New Recipes

99.  Cupcake Diaries – Mia a Matter of Taste

100.  Animal Icons – Armadillos

Whew.  That is a lot of puppies and cupcakes.  Appropriate, since the “prize” she chose was for me to kick in $40 (the prize value she was allotted) toward a professional dog grooming table.  Yep, that’s right.  She is footing the bill for the remainder with her birthday money.  Hey, if she wants to practice some wannabe dog grooming/fur styling, we’ve got 3 clients ready!


I’m so very overdue for a post.  I’ve such a long list of things to add to this here blog, but finding the time to do it and trying to organize that lengthy list on here in the form of a post (or posts) just hasn’t happened.  Gotta start somewhere.

My favorite (pizza, but really, the possibilities are endless) dough is a good place.

I love to bake.  This shouldn’t come as a surprise.  I’m always looking through cookbooks, new and vintage, and trying to come up with ideas.  My entire purpose for being Pinterest has been cooking and baking related.  I’m sharing today the best all round dough that I’ve been able to come up with for my bread maker.

Side note – this is a recipe that I’ve tested time and time again.  Many of the dough recipes I’ve tried (either from the cookbooks, Pinterest or the manual that came with the machine) haven’t done as well as I’d hoped.  Some are very dry and almost crumbly.  Some are too small.  Some are too difficult to stretch out (I don’t roll pizza dough).  This one has been fine tuned, y’all.  It is definitely a keeper.

(Pizza/Calzone/Stromboli)  Dough

1 1/2 c. warm water

1/3 c. vegetable oil

1/3 c. honey (I use raw, but whatever you’ve got is fine!)

1 1/2 t. salt

4 c. bread flour

1 scant Tablespoon yeast

Add all of these ingredients IN THIS ORDER to your bread machine pan.  Set to DOUGH cycle.

Wait for the magic to happen.  Mine takes 90 minutes.

When it is finished, remove it to a lightly oiled board and let it rest for a few minutes.


This will make 2 traditional crust pizzas.   Or a big calzone or many small calzones.  Or dessert pizza.  Or breadsticks.  Whatever you’d like, really.

Some examples…

Pizza and Calzone Dough

The dough is divided up to make 12 calzones.  These are single-serve size.  I usually fill them with anything that would go on a pizza….mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, tomato sauce…..barbeque chicken, corn, cheddar….buffalo chicken, celery, cheddar….

calzone fillingI use my hands and stretch the dough into a somewhat circular shape, mound the filling up in the middle, fold over and press (VERY IMPORTANT) to seal, slice a small steam-escape slit in the top, and bake!

calzone filledOnce they’re all filled and folded and SEALED, I pop them into a 450 degree oven for about 12 minutes (+/- depending on size) and they’re ready!

Calzone finishedThese are also perfect for a make-ahead meal or for sending in a lunchbox.

I cool them completely.  Wrap them in plastic wrap and pop them into a freezer bag if you’re planning to reheat them in the microwave.  Or, if you’re old-fashioned like me, wrap them in foil and pop them into a freezer bag.  They can go from the freezer (still in the foil) into a preheated (toaster or otherwise) oven at 350 for about 20 minutes or until warmed through.

Mike’s taken a few to work and he says that they microwave (from his cold lunchbox) unwrapped but covered with a paper towel for about 60 seconds.  I can’t verify times as I don’t have one!  Microwaves are all different, as well as your method/style/amount of filling these, so just use a bit of trial and error here.

This also makes amazing pizza…

chicken pizza and dessert pizza….

peach pie pizza close up…yum!  Try it!  Enjoy!


The girls noticed this when they were eating a snack days ago and I decided it was too cute not to post!

Marielle says, “Mama?  What is C-H-O-L-E-S-T-E-R-O-L?”

Me: “um, a substance found in food, but also that your body produces…”

(interrupting, thankfully) Marielle:  “It says OMG!!!”



And, our cheese says LOL!!  :-)  (I’m sure that is for Land O’ Lakes, but still, it is pretty funny!)


Just because I had the fabric and because I couldn’t look at my never-ending quilt for one more minute, I decided to take a little break from it and whip up a dozen Christmas napkins.   A festive table is in our future tonight!

Christmas Napkins


(in your best Annie voice….)

The cone will come off, TOMORROW!


Naturally, Apollo will be elated!  We will all be grateful to have less clanking into the doorways, our shins, our table and chairs, the other dogs and whatever else it has collided with in the past 9 days.  The vet said 10 days with it and we’ve not had it off at all.

Apollo is looking forward to a nice, long ear scratching session just as soon as he can get to them!


Apollo cone 12-5-14


Yesterday was Thanksgiving and we had a lovely visit to my parents’ house.  Even though I forgot the majority of our dessert in the fridge (which made me mad enough to burst into tears), we had an abundance of food and good company.   I’m also feeling thankful for… – having visited with all 4 (yes, 4) of my grandparents in the past week.  I realize just having 4 grandparents makes me pretty lucky.  Let alone 4 I can visit with on a somewhat regular basis. – learning that my littlest girl loves to cross stitch and wants to work on it whenever the mood (and good lighting) strikes! mhg cross stitching – learning that my buttermilk bread recipe will make excellent French toast if it accidentally gets put back into the storage bag (completely wide open/not tied at all) and then into the breadbox and forgotten for a few days. french toast– having an adorable golden boy with crimped puppy ear fur. apollo crimped ear– almost being done with the tying phase of the massive quilt for our bed that I’ve undertaken.  And having a cute helper while I do it. quilt with apollo 11-2014 2 quilt with apollo 11-2014Seriously.  So worth the fifty-gazillion lint roller sheets he’ll cause me to need. – last, but certainly not least, for figuring out that the greatest way to keep chocolate warm and dip-able while making candy (that will be sitting in the fridge while they’re supposed to be on a platter for Thanksgiving!  doh!) is by melting the chocolate in a ceramic bowl that’s placed in a crockpot 1/2 full of water and then turned on high.  It was perfect and genius.  Can’t believe I messed with the double boiler all those times before… It also makes for a fun, just before bedtime, dessert when you get to dip marshmallows (and maybe your finger) into the bowl afterward. chocolate dipping