Friday, July 6, 2012

Healthier and Delicious Pizza?

This is a personally recipe for pizza that I use all the time! It's delicious and healthier for you due to the whole wheat flour. I know whole wheat flour can rub people's palettes the wrong way, but I swear you won't even notice that there's any there. I'll even admit that I'm a picker eater and I can't tell that there's any there. Anything that has a funny texture or after taste I'll stay a mile away from, but this recipe is so yummy I have to keep myself from eating it multiple times in one day. So please enjoy :)

Pizza Dough Ingredients:

  • 1 1/3 cups warm water
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 1/4 tsp yeast
I know you must be thinking why whole wheat pastry flour? I choose whole wheat pastry flour since it has been finely ground removing the chance of the pizza dough having a gritty texture. I also like my pizza rolled out super thin and the low gluten content in pastry flour allows me to easily roll out the dough without it shrinking. I also don't let the dough rise mainly because I like thin pizza, but mainly because when someone wants pizza they'd much rather have it now :)

Honestly I usually just throw all of these ingredients into my bread maker and just let that do the work while I get everything set up. A standard mixer will work just as well. 

While you're waiting for the dough to come together set your oven to 475 degrees F, oil up a pan of your choice, flour a surface and rolling pin, and get your toppings. 

Once the dough is done roll it out on a floured counter to your desired size and thickness. Place on the oiled pan and slather on your tomato sauce of choice. Don't put any cheese on yet. It'll burn and the sauce won't cook down to deliciousness. 

Place the pizza in the oven for about 8 minutes or until the edges start to lightly brown. At that point pull it out and put your toppings of choice on. Place back in the oven for 3-5 minutes or until the cheese starts to slightly brown. Pull the pizza out, cut it up, and enjoy. 

For my pizza I decided to put on some basic cheese, fresh basil, and some white truffle oil. YUM! Mine did get a little burnt, but still oh so delicious. So please enjoy! :)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Tour de Fleece and Ravelympics

In the following weeks I'll be "training" myself for the Tour de Fleece and Ravelympics, both of which have been inspired then converted into fiber/yarn games. These events are held on a yarn/fiber base community known as Ravelry. With both of these events they are intended to represent Tour de France and the Olympics. With Tour de Fleece it is intended for those whole spin yarn along side with the Tour de France during June 30th to July 22nd. And the Ravelympics is mainly for just reaching your own goals with either knitting or crocheting from July 27 to August 12. More or less these events are to challenge yourself, just like the events they are based off of.

For Tour de Fleece my main objective is to learn more techniques for spinning yarn. Currently I've been limited to only one basic technique, but I intend to change that. I also might give plying a try, though I do like the look of single plyed yarn trying something new will be great. What I really want to do the most though is to create a super bulky yarn that I can use for the Ravelympics. The orifice on my spinning wheel is only about 1/3 of an inch big, but if I can't do it on my spinning wheel then my drop spindle will have to take the over. And with that yarn I'd love to knit up a massive soft blanket like this. I just can't resist how comfy it looks! Plus I realized it was borderline impossible to find a super bulky single ply yarn, preferably one without acrylic. So maybe it'll be something to consider in the shop. But that's definitely my main goal for this overall. 

And in all of this excitement I'm having a 10% off the shop with the coupon RAVELRY12 at the shop. This applies to everything in the shop so please enjoy! :)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Knitting Small Toys Tips from Tails&Snouts

Have you been knitting for awhile, but have been stuck in a rut of knitting the everyday scarves and hats? For awhile that's where I was. Knitting hat after hat until one day hats became so routine that I threw down my needles and proclaimed "no more hats for me!" So I've decided to compile some of my knitting toys tips.

I can't make the claim that I've been knitting toys forever, but I have been spending a large portion of my time learning new methods of knitting and discovering new items to create. First of all if you're first learning how to knit toys start off with flat knit patterns. This way you're simply knitting back and forth on two needles. Once you get good at flat knits you can begin to think about knitting in rounds, which can be more complicated for people due to the increase in needles as well as the fact that most knit toys are small. Since most knit items are smaller items they usually require smaller needles, I always use size 5 bamboo double pointed needles. Bamboo needles are best in my opinion due to their ability to grip the yarn being used and lower the change that a stitch may slip. When it comes to the yarn it may be a personal preference, but it's best to use worsted yarns with knit toys. personally I enjoy using Lion Brand's superwash cashmerino yarn as well as Paton's bamboo silk yarn. Both being smooth and soft, which is best for a knit toy. Also with knit toys, whether you're knitting in a round or knitting flat, you do not need to block it since the item will later be stuffed. Always when it comes to the point of the stuffing, don't over stuff. If the stitches start to pull away and you can see the stuffing through the yarn then you are most likely over stuffing or using the wrong sized needles or yarn for your cute little toy. If you want a toy to be larger or smaller without adjusting the pattern just increase/decrease the needle and yarn size. Bigger needles with thicker yarn will lead to larger tos, while smaller needles and thinner yarn will lead to smaller toys. after awhile you may be able to figure out how to switch a flat knit to a round knit, like I've done with knitting patterns before. In some cases to create a round knit all that must be done is the joining of the stitches into a round, which may not work in all cases or with all patterns. Just be aware that knitting small toys can get frustrating, you may even have to take it apart and knit it all over again. I've done that countless times. But I have never found more satisfaction in knitting then when I comply a little knit toy.

If you'd like any specific tips and advice feel free to post a comment :)

Saturday, May 12, 2012

How to Dye Yarn

Now that I'm on summer break I finally have time to work on the blog. So I decided it would be a fun idea to give a little how to on dyeing yarn.
What you'll need:

  •     Water
  • Vinegar
  • saran wrap 
  • Acid dyes of your choice
  • yarn to dye
  • plastic cups
  • paint brushes
  • Small bowl that isn't used for food (microwavable) 
  • Large bowl to soak yarn in
  • Gloves (unless you want multicolored hands)
  • Either a table you don't mind getting dyed or an old towel and a large piece of cardboard
  • Mesh bags optional if you want to throw yarn into spin cycle 
First start off by soaking the yarn in a water vinegar mix for about 5-10 minutes. Enough time so that the yarn has absorbed as much of the liquid as it can. If the yarn is not given enough time it will have dry spots where the dye will not be absorbed, leaving white spots. Once the yarn has been soaking for awhile remove from the bowl and allow the excess liquid to drain out of the yarn. 

As the yarn drains set up your area. For me I first laid down my large piece of cardboard then placed my old towel over it. Then placed a large sheet of saran warp to place the yarn on. 

With the yarn placed on top of the saran warp have your acid dye prepared. To prepare the acid dye just place a small amount in the bottom of the plastic cup and add water. Now you can start to dye/paint your yarn, but don't forget your gloves. You can paint your yarn any color or in any pattern you want.  For this yarn I was doing different shades of one color by adding more water to the dye as I painted. Don't forget to paint both sides of the yarn. 

Once you've completed your painting it's time to wrap your yarn. Take both long sides of the saran wrap and fold it on top of the yarn. Next take the short ends and fold those in. 

Next roll the saran wrapped yarn into a roll.

Placed the rolled yarn into the "no food" microwavable bowl and put into the microwave for 1 minute. Once the minute is up let it rest for another minute. Then put the yarn in for 1 more minute. After that take the yarn to the sink and let it rest for a bit. Then carefully, with water running, remove the yarn from the saran wrap. The yarn may be extremely hot so be careful not to get burnt. Once the yarn is out of the saran wrap rise the yarn till the water runs clear. 

Lastly find a place to hang the yarn where it can dry. Once the yarn is finished drying you get to become the proud creator of your own hand dyed yarn. 

I swear acid dyes aren't that scary

I personally love acid dyes, but I hear so many people say that they're terrified of them. I swear that they're not as scary as you think, but if you still feel that way just stick with kool aid dyeing. The reason that so many people find acid dyes so scary, in my mind at least, is due to the fact that acid dyes can not be used in anything that may be used for food or cooking. Which is a valid reason to avoid using them, but there are solutions to this. I actually use either old paint brush when I dye, when are those every going to come in contact with food, or an old crock pot. Typically I either use the crock pot for single color dyeing or to soak the fiber with vinegar in. That's also the reason why it's called acid dye, vinegar is used to set the dye into place. Acid dyes also provide a wide array of different colors where you can have more control over the intensity of the color. While I've found with kool aid dyeing that it produces a more pastel effect, which can be the exact color you had in mind. If you would like to use acid dyes I'd go with Jacquard acid dyes. I've tried a few others where the colors appear nice, but either have a coarse texture or don't produce as intense of a color.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Zoo Borns

Since this winter has been so mild the chances or there being wildlife orphans are low, thankfully. It's also the reason why we've only managed to get 1 foster kitten. (little Bengal from a previous post) Instead I decided to share one of my favorite cute fixes, ZooBorns. It's a website that shows and informs you about all of the newest zoo babies. From the small to the large and the scaled to the furred and all things in between.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Foster Kitten Cuteness

So a few weeks ago we got this cute little girly. Apparently a new Bengal breeder's cat had a litter of kittens who ended up rejecting them. Sadly the one that we received was the only one to survive thus came her name Gracie. Little Gracie had a rough beginning, making us question if she was going to be alright. But she's almost a month old and quite a loud little girl. Not to mention always hungry. After each feeding she transforms into a bowling ball with spots and still she asks for more. I guess she's just trying to make up for her rough start. :)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

New Website

A few months ago I was lucky enough to become a part of a pretty great deal. A new and upcoming online boutique/website host was having the deal that if you sign up you get a free website for life. Yepper, that's right for as long as I live I'll have a fancy pancy website. Now who could argue with that?

Anyways I've been working on it on and off as of lately and have finally gotten most of it done. Here's the link: Supadupa Tails&Snouts Shop

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Dryer Balls

As I was doing my spring cleaning I came across random little bits of wool yarn. None of which contained enough yarn to really knit anything sufficient with. At that time I recalled seeing a "how to" on making dryer balls  so I decided to give it a try. All dryer balls really are are felted wool balls, that's really it and essential oils if you want. I ended up making a few batches of them and decided to keep the funny ones for myself. But dryer balls are rather helpful. With dryer balls your laundry will come out softer and faster than any dryer sheet could do. Dryer balls have been shown to reduce static, make laundry softer, and cut back on dryer time. And less dryer time means less energy used, saving you money. 

New Wild Things

Saturday, April 21, 2012

New Knit Toys

Oops! Can't Say I'm a Writer

Oops! Well I can't say that I'm a writer. I seem to always get distracted when it comes to writing blog posts, or I simply tend to forget. I'll try to be better, I promise. Between my last post and now I've been rather busy. Decided to attend college a year early, which has actually worked pretty well in my favor. So that's where a large amount of my effort has gone into. But since the spring semester is coming to an end, only 2 weeks left YIKES, I can focus more on the shop and blog. If I can remember :)

So I'll post some new items, critter pictures, and maybe a few tips and how to's here too. Ooo and maybe some of my favorite Etsy shops. I simply love buying from Etsy shops, so I'll share some of those as well.

Hope all is well :)