Sunday, January 31, 2010

Super Easy Key Lime Pie Cheesecake

So, I'm going to call this frugal...because back in the day when we used to all go to William's Coffee Pub, this dessert was my favorite to $5-6 a slice! Oh, have been young and willing to spend that. Well, this entire recipe costs less than that!

I found this recipe in FIRST magazine, and then simplified it further. SUPER SUPER easy!! I promise you.

Here's what you'll need:

Graham Deep Dish Pie Crust (premade, or make your own)
1 box Jello Lime gelatin
1 pkg of Cream Cheese, room temp
1 tbsp lime juice
Cool whip (approx one container), thawed

First, dissolve the jello with 2/3 cup boiling water. Let it cool off a bit.
In a blender or food processor, puree the cream cheese, jello and lime juice for 1 min.
Fold in 2 cups of the cool whip (if the container yields any leftovers, you can use it to pipe on decorations at the end).
Pour into your pie shell and chill 2 hours or until set. Decorate with extra cool whip if you have it!

NOTE: If you want to DOUBLE this recipe (to serve 10-12 peeps), you can do so by making your own crust (approx 1 1/4 cups of graham crumbs, 1/2 cup sugar, and 1/4 cup of melted butter) and putting it into a spring form pan, instead of a prepared pie shell. You can also use crumbled donut holes for the crust/base!

Let me know if you make it and how you like it!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Homemade Pizza Dough

Rarely does a facebook status inspire me to cook something up, but today my sister's status read about homemade pizza dough...and well, off I went to cook up some of my own. I found a recipe online by a fellow blogger who had been testing doughs for weeks. So I trusted in her expertise on the issue and made myself some homemade dough!

Now I will share with you...

-1 pkg (2 1/2 tsp) dry active yeast
-1 1/3 cups warm water
-3 1/2-3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
-1 tbsp olive oil
-1 tbsp salt (optional)
-1 tbsp sugar (optional-add if you like a puffier crust)
-cornmeal (or flour)
*Substitute 1 cup of multigrain flour if you like!

Combine yeast & flour into your mixing bowl and let stand for 5-10 mins until yeast is dissolved and is foaming (this shows you your yeast is "active" and not expired).

Mix in the rest of your ingredients. Mix until it's holding together. The dough should be smooth & elastic, not sticky...if it is, add a bit more flour.
*Note: when I made mine, I had to substitute in some cake & pastry flour, so my dough wasn't all that elastic, but still turned out fine...not sure if this would have happened otherwise

In a separate bowl, lightly grease with some olive oil and transfer your dough into it. Turn it over so that both sides of your dough are coated in a light coat of the oil.

Cover your dough with plastic wrap (or a cleaned, floured dish towel) and let it rise in a WARM place.

*I preheated my oven for a minute, then shut it off and put my dough in!

Let rise for about 90 minutes, or until you see it's about doubled in size.
Punch your dough down (my FAVOURITE part!).

Divide as needed:
ONE HALF: thin crust pizza
TWO HALVES: small pizzas
WHOLE DOUGH: large pizza (thicker crust).

After dividing your dough, roll in to ball(s) and let it rest for about 10 mins before rolling out. This is a good time to preheat your oven to 450F.

To roll out, lightly flour a surface and work out your dough into the shape you'd like. "Decorate" it with toppings, and dust your cooking surface (pizza stone, cookie sheet etc...)with corn meal or flour and place pizza onto your cooking surface.
*to help your pizza toppings from making your dough soggy, brush the dough with a bit of olive oil first

Depending on the thickness of your dough, cook for about 12 minutes, give or take. Broil for a couple of those minutes to crisp up cheese!

-Pasta sauce (plain)
-Shredded marble cheese
-sliced tomatoes
-rosemary & basil (this MAKES it!)
sooooo amazing. highly recommended!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

DIY Owl Hat!

This post is purely to give props to my Mama who made this amazing little Owl hat for my nephew. My sister is a HUGE owl fan, and so my mom made this hat for her son!

What you need:
-A hat/toque (any colour works, this one was chocolate brown)
-Felt in White, Orange, Black
-Thick wool thread
-Threading needle (for thick thread)
-Tacky Glue (to glue on the whites of the eyes)

How to stitch:
This part is really up to you. The bottom border is completely optional, and the rest is just a simple stiching to hold on the felt. Have fun, play around and make different designs or faces for your creature (whatever that may be, an owl, a bird, a monkey perhaps?)

Kudos to my Mom, we all loved this idea! And since felt and thread are cheap, your only real cost will come with whatever toque you buy! Frugal indeed.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

My latest love...the butter crock!

So I have to give full props to my Mom for introducing me to this fabulous product. I've been envying her butter crock for months, and finally just took the plunge myself into this new world of keeping butter.

A butter crock (aka butter keeper) is a simple product designed to keep butter longer. WEEKS longer. It works by filling the base with water, then filling the lid with butter. The water creates a seal on the butter, and it can stay out on your counter without going bad, all while staying spreadable. GENIUS! It can seriously save you some $$$ by not putting butter to waste.

They range in price from about $8-$15. I'll admit, I wanted a certain style and paid the $15 for it. It's sitting out on my it's gotta look right! I've seen that Presidents Choice has come out with their own version as well, for $9.99.

Highly recommended product.

Monday, January 11, 2010

No-sew baby blanket!

For my nephew's first birthday, I wanted to do something special...something perhaps homemade? I thought of doing a blanket but without a sewing machine went to look at my local Fabricland for some fleece to do a tied blanket.

It's as simple as this: Buy two types of fleece that match/coordinate (I bought one metre of each). Then cut them to equal size (and however big you'd like your blanket to be). Then cut 1"x3-4" strips along the edges, and tie them.

TIP: try cutting about 10 strips at a time and then tying them. This helps you not get the fabrics out of sync, and if one fleece stretches out, you can cut off any excess before doing the final 4th side of the blanket.

FRUGAL TIP: watch for deals at your fabric supplier. On this particular blanket, the fleece was on for $6/metre for solids and $8/metre for prints (bringing my blanket to around $15 with tax). The regular prices for a metre were regularily $15-25.


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