Memories and healthy recipes for your dinner table.

Tag: holidays

The Day of Epiphany: The Twelfth Day of Christmas

Artwork: Tres Reyes Magos, (Author’s name unavailable) Our daughter was not in the mood to take down the tree and put away the Christmas decorations. I can sympathize with her; I felt the same way. December seemed to rush by like the wind. Next thing […]

Family Togetherness: Story Dice

One night when tucking my son into bed he asked me to tell him a story. The sad part was my mind was blank. I could not come up with anything. I relayed the incident to a friend of mine who comforted me with her […]

August Resolution to Make


Photo: courtesy

It amazes me that a single event can seem so far in the distance and then sneak up on me before I know it. Last Christmas I made a goal to be prepared. Unforeseen circumstances crushed that goal into tiny particles of cosmic dust. Christmas cards never went out and planned gifts were never finished while we all suffered retched illnesses the entire month of December. Each year my sister-n-law Jennifer and I renew our vow to complete all our Christmas shopping by Thanksgiving. Last year I waited to buy presents in hopes of scoring the best deals late into the season. I have learned my lesson. This year I am a repented saint.

Augusts’ resolution to ‘Make’ is nothing profound unlike the previous months have been. My resolution to make is the practical side of me saying “you only have three months before the flurry of the flu, school projects and holidays get in the way.” I have granted myself two months for planning three birthdays, one the week of Christmas. Then there is the making of Halloween costumes and new garb for the Christmas play I have been writing in addition to finishing all the homemade gifts started last November. I cannot wait for my little niece Lilyanna to opens hers. I will say no more since her mommy sometimes reads my posts.

Making does not have to revolve around crafts. You could:
Vow to make a new friend.
Make a decision you have been putting off until that some day.
Make home repairs. If the emergency overflow drain for your air conditioner has been leaking vow to get it fixed…today.
If you continuously miss your best friend’s birthday make a point to remember it.
Make a new recipe once a week.
Make a family plan that lists the goals you want to accomplish as a family. Come up with a family motto to help you achieve those goals.
Make up family traditions.
Make a list of topics to discuss at family dinner each night.
Make family time a priority once a week.
Make cards for someone in need of a warm gesture.
Make up a package for a soldier at war. Or take it to their family to show support.
Make a picnic lunch to share.
Design and make games and treats for a backyard carnival.

There is no procrastinating allowed during the month of August. It is about choosing to take care of business today.

April Website Review: Let’s Explore

Let’s Explore is one of my all time favorite kid sites. There are tons of ideas and links to help your children learn, create and explore. It is ok if you are not crafty there is something for everyone from sewing, gluing, cutting, pretending, cooking, […]

How To Grate Fresh Nutmeg

There are two spices derived from the fruit of the Myristica fragrans tree, nutmeg and mace. The spices were originally derived from the Spice Islands of Indonesia. Mace comes from the red lacy covering of the stone-like seed, while nutmeg is made from the seed […]

Cinnamon Bun Pizza

One of my favorite pizza joints is Zachary’s Pizza located in Berkley, California. It is a well known hidden treasure. They are the home of the traditional Chicago pizza pie. A layer of pizza dough topped with sauce, toppings and cheese. Then, another layer of dough and sauce. The sauce is similar to the Italian family restaurant Buca di Beppo with the the bits of perfectly seasoned chopped tomato.

I have a skillet pizza dough recipe from Cook’s Illustrated and this version from “Every Day” with Rachael Ray. I decided to go with the latter, because it was simple and because of the cinnamon bun pizza recipe. A layer of dough topped with a mixture of brown sugar, cinnamon, currants, pecans, another layer of dough and sugar mixture, all topped with a layer of dough, a brush of butter and a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar. The kids had a blast making it. Adelin and Everett enjoyed getting their fingers sticky from the dough the most. Tastes better the next day. Next time maybe I will have another go at making a Zachary’s Pizza Pie.

When making skillet pizza, keep in mind the total rising time needed. Typical pizza dough rises once, while skillet dough has an additional second rise once assembled in the pan.

Source: Every Day with Rachael Ray
Skillet dough (see recipe below)
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup dried currants
4 tbsp butter, softened
1 tbsp granulated sugar
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tbsp milk
1 1/2 tsp orange juice

Turn the pizza dough out onto a work surface; cut off and reserve one-quarter of the dough, then halve the remaining dough. Press one half evenly unto a greased 9-to 10-inch cast-iron skillet. In a medium bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and salt; toss with the pecans and currants. Sprinkle half of the nut mixture on the dough in the pan, leaving a 1/2-inch border; dot with 1 1/2 tablespoons butter.

Shape the reserved smaller piece of dough into a 9 to 10-inch round and place on top of the filling. Sprinkle with the remaining nut mixture and dot with another 1 1/2 tablespoons butter. Shape the remaining dough into a 10-inch round and place on top, pressing around the edge to seal the layers.

Cover with a kitchen towel and let stand until doubled in size, about 25 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter and brush over the top crust. In a small bowl, combine the granulated sugar and 1/4 tsp cinnamon; sprinkle on top. Cut a few vents in the top crust and bake until golden, about 25 minutes. Let cool in the pan for at least 30 minutes. Stir together the confectioners sugar, milk, orange juice and a pinch of salt, the drizzle on top.

Skillet Dough:
3/4 cup warm water (105-110 degrees)
1 tbsp active dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp olive oil

In a small bowl, stir together the warm water, yeast and sugar. Let stand until foamy, 3 to 5 minutes.
Using a standing mixer, mic the flour and salt at low speed. Mix in the yeast mixture and olive oil until a shaggy dough forms. Change to the dough hook and mix at medium speed until smooth, about 6 minutes.
Transfer the dough to a greased, large mixing bowl, turning to coat; cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Punch down the dough before using.

-For whole wheat dough, use 3/4 cup whole wheat flour and 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour.
-Make pretzels. Roll into ropes. Twist, shape then place on baking sheet. Cover; let stand until double. Brush with egg. Sprinkle with salt. Bake 400 degrees about 20 minutes.
-Peanut butter and Jelly pizza: Place dough in a pan. Microwave peanut butter and jelly. Pour peanut butter over dough and top with jelly. Bake 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

Dia De La Candelaria Day: A Mexican Celebration

January 6th is known as the Christian feast or day of Epiphany. For many it is the day they celebrate Christmas, the day the Magi or Three Wise Men arrived at the manger and presented gifts to the baby Jesus. The Magi leaves gifts on […]

The Simple Home and the Imaginative Child

At the end of the day, the last thing I want to do is clean. I sometimes stare at the horde of toys before me and wonder how my siblings and I ever conquered childhood with such a minimal collection. I began this year on […]

Father’s Day

Father’s day is the official day designated to give dad the recognition he deserves. Every year at our house, the kids make a card fashioned with their hand prints. It is sweet to look at the cards from the past few years to see how much the kids have grown both physically and artistically.

What kid does not love a party? Father’s Day is a perfect excuse to pull out the streamers and balloons. If you are planning to show dad how much you love him through food, we have a few menu suggestions that are kid friendly to make.

Create a tasty meal of German Pancakes and sausage links. If dad is not a breakfast person, Navajo Tacos are great for breakfast, lunch or dinner. End the meal with a special treat of ice cream sundaes.