Wednesday, September 29, 2010

100% Whole Wheat Pizza!

Here in Northern CA, we are having a heat wave.  I actually think we are at the end of it, but I haven't turned my oven on for a week, because I don't want it to heat my house.  But, before the heat, I started making pizza every Friday night.  My husband is a little bit of a health food junkie and has been asking me if I could make a whole wheat pizza dough.  I've tried a couple of recipes, but most of them are dry and tasteless.

This one is so tasty, and for a girl who loves pizza dough (the white kind) this one is really good.

Now, I do have a secret ingredient for making this whole wheat pizza dough tasty.  White Whole Wheat Flour.  It's tasty and healthy.  Trader Joe's makes a good one, but I'm sure you can find it at most major supermarkets.

White WW flour comes from white spring wheat instead of red wheat.  You can read more about it here.

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough

2 3/4 cup whole wheat flour - sifted!!!

1 envelope dry active yeast

1 1/4 tsp kosher salt

2 generous tablespoons olive oil

2 generous tablespoons honey

Mix yeast with 1 cup hot water.  Let the yeast activate - approximately 15 minutes.  While yeast is activating, combine 1 cup flour and kosher salt.  Add yeast, olive oil, and honey.  Add flour one cup at a time and if needed  add a tablespoon until dough is springy and smooth.  Place dough in greased container, turn once to coat the top and cover with plastic wrap.  Let rise until tripled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hrs.

Cook on a pizza stone for 15 minutes at 450 degrees.

If you are going to make the pizza dough, you have to try this sauce.  I bought a jar of pizza sauce, and it can't touch this sauce.  It's easy, tangy, and simply delicious!!

Tasty Tomato Pizza Sauce

1 can  (28 ounces) plum tomatoes

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tsp dried basil

1 tsp dried oregano

fresh ground pepper, to taste

Using a blender or food processor, puree tomatoes.  In saucepan sauté garlic in olive oil briefly.  Add tomatoes.  Bring to boil, reduce heat to low, cook uncovered for 15 minutes.  Add herbs and pepper and cook for 5 more minutes.  **This recipe makes enough for a large pizza or two medium pizzas.  It also freezes nicely.**

You can add any toppings you like.  Our favorite is this sausage.  I remove it from the casing and brown it.

We also add black olives, fresh tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and Parmesan cheese on top.

Hopefully our heat wave will be long gone by Friday, so I can get back to my weekly pizza night.  My mouth is watering just thinking about this pizza!!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

For a wee little one

On Sunday night I was on a mission to sew.  I felt like I hadn't sewn in a couple of days, and I just wanted to be behind my machine.  While I'm sure I could/should have sewn something other than what I did, I really wanted to try to make a onesie dress.  I'm not pregnant, but darn if this dress doesn't make me wish I were!  (Dear Italian, doesn't this dress make you want a baby?  Love, Your Greek Goddess)

I was originally going to put a fabric flower on the top where the appliqued cupcake is.  I pretty much almost cried with frustration last night when the fabric flower wasn't working and I had to pick it off with the seam ripper and it tore the onesie a little.  I was slightly devastated.  In the end, it is okay.  The flower would have been cuter, but who doesn't love cupcakes??

I agree with Annee that the onesie dress should have the bottom snaps attached.  I kept the snaps and added a ruffle to the bum.

I think every little baby girl should have a ruffled bum.  Mine isn't perfect, but this dress was more just an experiment. I think my ruffles could have been a little wider and a little straighter.  Thank goodness I bought a whole pack of onesies to help me perfect this look.

Nothing too fancy tonight.  Tomorrow night I'll post my delicious 100% whole wheat pizza recipe with homemade red sauce.  Both recipes are easy and the thought of them make my mouth water.  I figured you might need the recipes for this weekend, so you can be just like me and make homemade pizza every Friday.  

Night night!!

Friday, September 24, 2010

A week gone by.

A week ago today, I got super inspired to sew up outfits for church on Sunday.  I had some fabric that was inspiring me to want to sew.  It's from an older Valorie Wells line that I've actually had for quite sometime.  I think it was the coolness of the colors that was making me want to sew with it.  Have you heard?  We're having a late summer heat wave.  It's been in the 90's all week long.  You don't have to feel sorry for me, I have lovely air conditioning.  But these cool colors were like a cold drink of water for my eyes!

 I went back to the Olive & S Ice Cream dress that I've made once before.  It needed to make it again.  Since I knew I needed to make two outfits in two days, I needed to do things quickly.  I opted out of the little "v" indent in the neckline and pockets.  It was a small time saver, but I think I enjoyed my extra half-an-hour of life. 

Next up was a "Miss Kristine" skirt.  This is another pattern I bought back in February for the 5th birthday extravaganza.  Again, I've only made it once, so I was interested to try it again.

My favorite feature of the skirt is the elasticized back of the skirt, and the flat front.  But I do not like how the skirt attaches to the waist band.  I want to find a better way to do this.  I guess it means I am not done with this pattern.  This time I opted not to make the skirt double layered.  Jane loves her birthday skirt and actually wears it quit a bit, but it's a pretty heavy skirt with the two layers of fabric.  I really like this version, but I'm thinking the third one might do the trick!

The girls looked darling on Sunday, but there is no pictures to prove my point.  Life is sometimes too busy for pictures!  I hope you can believe me...

Next up was the need for a cute little baby present.  I was so excited to get to test out a tutorial from the Homemade by Jill blog. 

The skirt is so miniature, it's hard to believe it will fit a real person.  But miniture is oh so fun to sew!  I couldn't resist adding a touch of ruffle to the onsie, which I think finished off the outfit nicely.

I love the tutorial, it turned out darling.  But I did have to sweat a bit when attaching the waistband to the skirt.  That was the hardest part.  I still wonder if I did it correctly.

After all that productivity, my sewing room basically looked like this for the rest of the week.  I would walk past the door, and feel too tired to even walk in!  My girls discovered the space and started coloring old moving boxes and started playing out there.  I was too tired to protest about that too.  I decided I shouldn't be selfish if that place inspires their creativity too, surely there is a way we can share it. 

While they were busy adding to the mess outside, I was in the kitchen making them the most delicious after-school-snack.  Chex Muddy Buddies!  Have you had them?  You definitely should make some, right now!  Here's the RECIPE.  

That wraps up my week.  I've since cleaned up the sewing room with high hopes of sneaking out there for a few hours tonight.  Wish me luck!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

How to Hem Your Jeans

Several months ago our favorite baby sitter, Hailey, called with a simple request.

"I just got two new pairs of jeans.  Can I pay you to hem them for me?"

Sounds simple enough, right?  Well it totally made me nervous, and I told Hailey that I didn't know how to hem jeans.  I mean what if I messed up.  Hailey had a great deal of faith in my skills though, and when I told her I didn't think I could do it she came back with, "You can sew all sorts of dresses and skirts, but you can't hem jeans???"  She had a point.  I told her I'd give it a try.

I got Hailey's jeans hemmed, and I've hemmed a couple pairs since.  I'm NOT a trained seamstress AT ALL, but this is my method that has served me well.  I hope it can help you too!

Here we go:


iron/ironing board
sewing gauge
and most importantly
thread to match the color of the stitches in your jeans**

**This is one of the most important supplies.  Here's a picture of the thread I chose.

Not a perfect match, but pretty close.

Step 1 - Put your jeans on and figure out the length you want them to be.

Now when I'm figuring out the length I only care about the length of my jeans in the back.  I only use one pin as you see above.  **Remember to wear the tallest shoes you have that you plan to wear with your jeans.**

Step 2 - Measure and Iron.  Using your sewing gauge, measure the excess length in your jeans.  See picture below.

Using this measurement, work your way around the jean leg and iron up your hem.

Make sure that you make a very strong press.  I'm sure that isn't the right term, but I hope you know what I mean.  Remember I'm not a trained seamstress.  If you want to double check to make sure that you have the right length for your jeans, now would be the time.  Just put your jeans back on with your shoes and make sure you are happy with the length.

Step 3 - Cut.  Unfold your jean leg that you just ironed up.  See picture below.

See the pressed hem?  Now comes the cutting.  Measure 1 1/4 inches AWAY from your creased/pressed hem.  Then cut. DO NOT CUT ON THE CREASED HEM.  (I may have done this on George's $4 jeans from Target, and I may have gone to Target that very night at like 10 p.m. to buy another pair of $4 jeans to correct my mistake.)

Step 4 - More ironing.  Next your going to fold your cut edge into the ironed crease.

And press it.

Then fold it over it up one more time, and press again.  Make sure you make a very permanent press in this hem.  It will make sewing much easier.

Step 5 - Sew.  After all the ironing is done, sew around the new hem.  I hemmed the Italian's jeans, and right before I started sewing them he started asking me if I had the right kind of needle on my sewing machine to sew jean material.  I'm sure there is a special needle you could use, but I just use my regular needle that is always on my machine.  BUT, I manually turn my sewing machine needle through the sides of the pants.

You're done!  It's that easy.  Pretty failsafe if you ask me!

Now put on your jeans because you are done!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Little Bo Peep

WOW, is all I have to say about our last giveaway!  Who knew so many of your wanted scraps, and who knew so many of you knew about MOM!

After seeing the adorable pictures of Jane and Ruby in their Little Bo Peep Skirt, I just knew that Grace needed one too.  I think I've said it before, but Anna Maria Horner's Seams to Me book is one of my favorite sewing books.  It includes a couple patterns for little girls (the Little Bo Peep Skirt is one), a couple aprons, some home decor patterns, some bags, and much more.  I highly recommend it!  In my small but ever growing collection of sewing books, this is the one book where I feel like I've learned the most about putting colors together, new sewing techniques, tricks for hiding seams if you don't have a serger, and just in general I feel like my sewing skills have grown after following several of Anna Maria's patterns.  I *heart* Anna!!

The Little Bo Peep Skirt was wildly successful!  

I will not lie I had a hard time with the fabrics.  

There are seven fabrics in total on this skirt, and finding the perfect ones seemed to be really hard for me this time.  All but two are Anna Maria Horner fabrics.  

In the end all the stress over fabrics was worth it, because Grace loved her new skirt.  She's been telling me certain dresses and skirts I've made for her weren't fancy enough.  You know when you're 4 fancy is everything.  So, this skirt with all it's ruffles was just what my fancy little 4 year old desired!

Poor George.  Some times I think he feels a little left out.  I've been contemplating whether or not I should buy this pattern and start making him some dress shirts.  At the very least I should hem his pants.

Speaking of hemming pants, I will have a VERY EASY tutorial some time this week for a FAIL SAFE way of hemming jeans.  It's very exciting.  Hope you're as excited about it as I am!

Also, coming soon, I have the recipe for my yummy delicious whole wheat pizza with homemade pizza sauce. Both are super easy, and Friday night is now a regular homemade pizza night here at Made on Maple West Coast.  Maybe my recipes will help make homemade pizza a regular on your family's dinner menu!

For now I'm signing off.  Good night and here's to a great week!

Friday, September 17, 2010

That was totally fun!


With the help of here are our two random winners...
2 Random Numbers* 40 55

* This table of 2 random numbers was produced according to the following specifications: Numbers were randomly selected from within the range of 1 to 61. Duplicate numbers were not allowed.

#40 was:

Lisa and Mike Marion said...
I am usually lucky when it comes to winning stuff!!!
Liz said...
Great giveaway, I love scraps!

Monday, September 13, 2010

I've got some scraps...

And I want YOU to win some!  Read on!

Sew, what do you do when the scrap bin is full?

You get a plastic bag and sit it right next to the bin, of course!

But when the plastic overflow bag, is, ahem, over-flowing, it is maybe time to address a concern that you might possibly never get to use all of your precious scraps! 

But what can be done?  There are some choice pieces of fabric in here!  Nevertheless, I am only one seamstress.  Despite my very best effort to go through and use all of the pink pieces to create a beautiful little quilt:

And then to send a hearty collection of blue pieces off to Liz:

Which she promptly turned into this most gorgeous "picket fence" pillow.

To add to her already impressive collection of custom pillows, almost all enhanced/made from scraps!


I still have TOO many scraps.  Do you want to make fun projects full of all different kinds of fabric? 

Like the Tuesday Morning pillow, a la Stitch Magazine...

Or a pair of Anna Maria Horner's Little Bo Peep skirts, that are almost entirely made from scraps?

Or maybe you saw all of Sew, Mama, Sew's ideas on scrap busting

But you don't have quite the scrap collection that I have accumulated after two years of the most desirable access to designer fabrics?!  (Thank you Korea, I love you.) 

Well then it's simple, let me mail YOU some scraps!  


I have so many, I will mail 2 (TWO) people scraps!  

In addition to the scraps, and because we love our readers so much,  a full-yard of one of our favorite Anna Maria fabrics will find it's way into the scrap bag too!

Okay, here's how it will work:

*For one entry and one chance to win, just leave a comment!

*For two chances to win SCRAPS and ONE YARD of my favorite Anna Maria Horner fabric, then link our giveaway on your blog or Facebook page.  Then come back and leave a separate comment letting us know you did so with a link back to it.

*Anyone who has an address can enter.

*The contest will go until Thursday at midnight PST.  Don't miss out!!

Easy enough, right???  I'll pick two lucky winners Friday morning and announce the winners by Friday afternoon!

What a happy way to celebrate 100 blog posts of sewing fun, and 15 years full of friendship and love!  Good luck and happy sewing!! 

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Winner!

****Please read all the way to the bottom of this post EVEN if you are NOT the winner.  We have another surprise for YOU!****

Thank you to all that participated in our first MOM giveaway.  We loved reading all of your comments.  I wish I had 2 yards of Rainy Days and Mondays for all of you!  But, alas, I do not, so I used my little ones to help me pick a winner at random.  Oh, and just so you know, I took Annee's name out of the drawing.  I'm pretty sure she has her own yardage of Rainy Days and Mondays.

Grace and George helped fold and put all the numbers in a bowl.

Grace pulled one number out after we tossed them all around.  Please note that George AND the Italian were all watching.  This was a very exciting day for us!!

And the winner is...


She said, "I love reading your blog, Liz! I made a banner just like yours, only blue, that says "celebrate." Isn't it great to have friends like Annee?"

Yes it is great having friends like Annee, and friends like you too!  I met Sarah 8 years ago when I first moved to California.  We've both married and had children since then, and I had no idea she knew I had a sewing blog!  I love that MOM has helped me connect with new bloggy friends and well as stay in touch with old ones!

Sarah, please email at with your address, and I'll get your fabric out in the mail tomorrow!  Or just let me know if you'd like a Lazy Day Skirt or Sweet Little Dress.  You decide!

Now Annee and I have had several board meetings over the past week, and we've decided that since there are two contributors on MOM, then we need to have 2 giveaways to mark the special achievement of getting to 100 posts.

Sew, if you didn't win, COME BACK TUESDAY MORNING!!!  There will be another great giveaway.

Happy sewing to you all, and thank you again for coming and visiting Made on Maple!  

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

We made it to our 100th post AND our FIRST GIVEAWAY!!

Don't hate me for how awesome my hair looks.

**Sorry for the long winded post, but I was feeling rather sentimental tonight and felt like sharing my thoughts.  I promise there is a giveaway waiting at the end of this!!!!

Almost 15 years ago to the day, I met Annee Zackrison (now Annee Earnest).  We were both freshman at the BYU, and both trying to figure out college and being away from home and all the freedom that came with our new lives.  We ate ice cream, went to classes and did Abs of Steel almost every night our Freshman year.  Then we were roommates our Sophomore and Junior year, and then Annee found Darin and we had to split up.  I believe she got the Christmas tree stand, and I got the ironing board.  We split the silverware 50/50 and my family used my half of the utensils to eat their dinner with tonight!  I was at her wedding in LA when she got married at 20, and she was at mine 7 years later.  In fact, she was by my side as I planned my wedding in Utah while living in CA.  She helped me make the oh so important decisions - what cake to eat and what flowers to hold.  She's visited me in every city I've lived since college including my house here on Maple Avenue and the namesake of our blog, and I've made to it all but 2 of hers.  (How I managed to get to South Korea but not Germany is something we've discussed and laughed about.  Life is crazy!)  We're friends, but I call her my Sew Sister, because she's the closest thing to a sister I've ever had.

I remember when I found out Annee was moving to S. Korea.  It was toward the end of August 2007, and the Italian and I were vacationing with his family in Hawaii.  I was in my first trimester with my son George, and I had bad morning sickness and was overly emotional about pretty much everything.  While I was at the airport on my way home from Hawaii I got an email from Annee letting me know she would be moving to Korea for 2 years, and I started crying.  How could this be.  How could she go so far away.

Little did I know that Annee's move to S. Korea would provide me with the greatest opportunity of my life to develop a talent I never knew I had.  You see lots of designer fabrics are manufactured in S. Korea.  Annee discovered a store called Happy Quilt which is truly the happiest place on Earth if you like to sew.  We started a fabric exchange, and kept track of everything we mailed to each other on The Tab.  Annee needed basic supplies from JoAnn's for sewing, and on occasion I'd get other requests for items that were hard to come by in S. Korea.  Things like ceramic dishes from Ikea!!  (5 huge boxes and a small forest/newspapers helped me safely mail more dishes than I can remember to Asia!  And not ONE dish broke I might add.)  Annee always offered to send me a check for the things I sent her from the Motherland, but I always declined.  All I ever wanted was fabric.

For the last 2 years, I've been working on perfected my sewing talent with my ever growing supply of beautiful fabrics.  The Italian asked me just last week how many things I've sewn for Grace.  I really have no answer to that other then A LOT!!  Annee and I've created 100 blog posts on MOM, but we only started this blog 5 month before she left S. Korea.  There were about 18 months worth of sewing projects that are only recorded in our emails sent back and forth to each other with time stamps always in the early a.m. hours.

We've sewn and shared projects like this one...

A new patchwork skirt for Grace with a matching flower shirt.  

I have no idea how many things I've sewn for Grace, but I can tell you she doesn't have enough yet.  Not as far as I'm concerned!!  The skirt pattern is from  the Stitch magazine last spring, and all the fabrics are from Riley Blake's fabric lines Rainy Days and Mondays and Summer Song.

Sew to celebrate all the good times we've had over the past 15 years, and especially the last two and all the sewing madness, I have something for you!!!  *You* being any one and every one who's stopped by Made on Maple and has validate our insatiable need to stay up late to sew, make, and create things.  We love our followers!!  Sew for you tonight, I have 2 whole yards of this lovely novelty print I purchases in S. Korea.

It's from Riley Blake's fabric line Rainy Days and Mondays.  A line of fabric designed by two sisters and BYU grads.

The winner will receive ALL 2 YARDS!!!  Now I know some of our readers don't sew or don't have time to, but we want everyone to feel like they could still enter and win something.  Sooo, If you don't own a sewing machine or yours is taking up space in storage, I'm willing to use the fabric and sew either a Lazy Day Skirt OR a Sweet Little Dress just for YOU.  Maybe you have a little girl yourself or maybe you need a baby gift or birthday present or maybe you want to surprise a friend.  What ever your circumstances, just enter the contest and YOU could be the winner!!!

Here's how it will work:

*Just leave a comment!  For fun maybe you can let us know what you'll do with the 2 yards of fabric or who you will give the Lazy Day Skirt or Sweet Little Dress to.
*Any one with an address is welcome to enter.
*The giveaway will be open until Saturday, September 11th until midnight PST.
*One winner will be picked at random and will receive either 2 yards of fabric or a Lazy Day Skirt or a Sweet Little Dress.

There you have it!  A walk down memory lane and a big thanks for coming and enjoying this space with Annee and Me!

Good Night and Good Luck!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

View "B"

I finally got it done, Liz!  View "B" of the Jump Rope dress pattern.  I thought I might try to have 2 versions of the Jump Rope dress by today, Sunday.  But somewhere around Friday that started seeming unrealistic.  And when there was a front placket mishap late on Saturday night, the vision was flushed down the toilet. 

But let's not dwell on what was lost (moment of silence for the missing second dress).  Let's focus on what we got, a darling View "B" dress for church today.  Lovely! 

My one small achievement with it all was, I think, the addition of the ruffle:

(I basted the ruffle to the front of the dress wrong side of ruffle, to right side of dress, in the step before you sew the plackets to the front of the dress.  It is not tricky at all, but does add a bit of bulk to the placket  You have to be okay with that before you go-for-it.  A bit of bulk is a small price to pay for ruffle in my opinion!)

This was a little trim I picked up on my last trip to Seoul.  For that it is precious to me, and the dress will always be a treasure.  I have a bit more of it.  I'm not sure if I'll be able to ever "use" it, because then it will all be gone. 

Ruby, all on her own thought you would enjoy a picture of the sleeve.  "Get a picture of the sleeve mom, it's cute too",  were her words exactly.  Thank you Ruby, the sleeve is cute! 

So there you have it.  My re-cap on the Oliver & S Jump Rope Dress, View "B". 

Somehow on Thursday night as I was putting Jane to bed, there was a bit of drama, I can't remember why.  Somehow I thought it would calm her to know that if she would drop the drama, that I could possibly find time to make her a new skirt to wear to school in the morning.  I wish I could remember why I offered that solution?  Thursday was a late night.

But Friday morning made it worth it:

A simple pleated skirt from the One Yard Wonders book.  Easily finished this one in about an hour.  The hardest part was figured out if I should go for the orange ric-rac or stick with the possibly more preferred pink.  I went with the orange, and then imagine how happy I was to remember that I had the orange tee already in the draw in their room, just waiting for an owl to be put on it!  What late-night luck...

... and early morning happiness. 

And who isn't  proud when they send not one, but TWO little girls off to kindergarten in outfits made by MOM?! 

And there you have it, one post closer to the big 100!!
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