Welcome to the Workshop

Welcome to the Workshop

Saturday, March 31, 2012

April Photo A Day

What the heck. Let's have another crack at these photo shenanigans. Shall we?!
Here's April's list...

See you tomorrow with my reflection. Yowsers!

Pizza Pizza!

A few years ago, my lovely friend gave me her pizza dough recipe. It is so incredibly simple and fabulous, I thought I'd share it with y'all. This is what you'll find us eating most Sundays. It's great to get the whole family involved in the kitchen.

Here are the ingredients:

2 tsp (7g) dried yeast
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup warm water
1 1/2 cups (375g) plain flour (pizza or bread flour if you have it)
3 tbsp olive oil

(I usually double the quantities so there's some pizza for lunch the next day. Last weekend we had friends for pizza so I quadrupled the dough, there was heaps and it worked fine.)

Got that? Ok, here we go.
Mix together your warm water, yeast and sugar in a jug. Cover and set it aside (somewhere warm is better but if the yeast is yeasty enough it's ok on the bench) and go do something else for about half an hour to an hour.

 Now the mixture should look like this, frothy and alive!  If it's not doing anything, you're yeast is kaput and you need to start over.

Mix your dry ingredients in a bowl (sifted, if you prefer but I'm usually too lazy) and then add the wet ingredients. Combine them, then turn onto a clean, floured surface.

Give it a bash for a couple of minutes to thoroughly combine and get the yeast going, but you don't need to go nuts.

Make the dough into a nice little ball and place it in an oiled bowl. Cover and leave it be for at least an hour, usually I leave it for the afternoon. Again, a warm spot helps if you have one. This is when I clean up floury mess part one in preparation for floury mess part two.

Your dough should at least double in size. Lots of lovely air holes are a good sign too.

Give it a punch for some drama, then flour your surface again and get back to the kneeding.

This time you can work the dough for a few minutes, get it into a sausage shape and then divide it into chunks. A handful of dough will do one large pizza. Then you can gently press out the dough into whatever shape fits your oven trays. I use a combination of my hands and a rolling pin to flatten it. Certainly haven't gotten the knack of tossing it into the air yet. Plenty of time for that later.

Line your baking trays with either paper or flour, or oil (but that's messier to clean up) and spread out the pizza bases. You can work with them straight away, or leave them to rise a little for half an hour if you prefer a thicker crust.

Insert preferred pizza toppings here.

And into the oven they go! Around 200 Celsius (390-ish F) is a good temp. They are usually cooked somewhere between 12 and 15 minutes, depending upon your oven and your preferences for chewy versus crispy dough. I don't have pizza stone, but so far I haven't felt the need to buy one. This dough comes out just right for us.

Carve it up and munch it down. Just see if you can stop before you've eaten a whole pizza!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Retail Therapy

Well, it's minus 2 and I have a head cold and sore throat.
The cure?

A little retail therapy. Most of my clothes cross over between seasons but I didn't bring any spring/summer shoes with me except for Havaianas. Insert some wedges (yay for hip replacements and finally being able to wear little heels again!), sensible sandals for the school run and a super bright hat (the wasps are going to LOVE me this summer!) and I'm ready. Tomorrow will be 18 degrees which, after today's temperatures, will feel like 25. Spring is certainly on it's way.
Poppet's summer wardrobe is done, though it grieves me that I can no longer buy shoes for her without her presence. Now, if she could just stop growing, I think she's added a couple of inches lately. It's getting expensive!
Hope you're having a nice day, I'm off to gargle some betadine...

Monday, March 26, 2012

Meetings With Remarkable People

So, we're at the playground the other day and there's a family there who'd brought their hula hoops. 
As you do. And yes, as it turns out, they were circus performers. After some initial shyness, the kids sidled up and asked for some pointers. And circus-Mum spent half an hour with them, going through some moves. She was pretty sensational, doing a routine for over 5 minutes without putting the hoop down.
Here are some pics...

 Did I mention that I love this town?
The other day, picking up my green juice, I started chatting with a really nice gal. Oh, and by the way, she's an author of this children's book, which I'd been eye-ing off at the store only the day before. I swiftly went out and bought it. It's a beautiful book with awesome illustrations. Poppet loves it!
Now, I really need to 'bump' into Feist at the supermarket...

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Been Busy

Yes I have! 
If you're wondering where I've been (apart from sojourning about with Poppet on her Spring Break) I've been busy. Today, I complete this huge wholesale order for Planet Kid. A groovy store focusing on local, handmade goodness which is a few blocks from my house (sorry, they don't ship internationally).
There are Tooth Fairies and Superheros and Snugglepops galore.
The good news for my internet customers is that I can focus entirely on Etsy stock from now on...

Phew! I'm even re-developing those calluses on my fingers from the cutting, stitching, stuffing and knitting.
In celebration of the fact that I am finally getting on with it, I'm having a little market night on my facebook page. Market time is 8am Sunday morning in Toronto (which equates to 8pm Sunday night in Perth, WA). Sales will be via ballot, you will have ten minutes to comment 'sold' under the photograph of your preferred Poppet/s and I will draw each purchaser via random org. Payments will be accepted through Paypal.
If you fancy the chance to buy a Bunny (or even a Tooth Fairy) be there or be... somewhere else.

Monday, March 19, 2012


We had a big weekend. Daddy took Friday afternoon off and we took the streetcar downtown to see a stage production of "The Neverending Story" which was fabulous. On the way we did some hopscotch (the neighbour's kids made one that covered half the block!) The next day, we took the streetcar again to see "My Neighbor Totoro" at the Studio Ghibli Film Festival. We grabbed some lunch/dinner on the way back. Discussions were held regarding whether to name it 'Linner' or 'Dunch', but Poppet said 'Lunner' was more appropriate. (you have to take the first two letters of 'lunch' and add that to 'dinner', because that's how 'brunch' is constructed - smartypants!) We came home and spent the afternoon/evening on the deck in the spring sunshine, watching Poppet lark about. We had fresh fruit for 'dinner'.
Sunday was even lazier. 

The weather has turned. Today was around 20 degrees, but felt much warmer. 
Wednesday is meant to be 26! It's a lovely time to be in the city.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Haircuts and Hiccups

Poppet had a haircut today. I like to take her to my salon (I had a trim at the same time) as she thinks it's all very grown up and special. Special prices, no doubt, but they do a great job!

And for some reason today, she's had the hiccups a lot. I can hear her in the bath now, singing and hiccuping in tandem. She's a crack up...


Monday, March 12, 2012

Spring Fever

We had some crazy weather this weekend. Friday saw blizzards and sunshine on rotation, very strange and very cold. Saturday was still around minus 10 and by Sunday it was Spring.
The sun was shining, there was no wind and it was about 14 degrees, which after our winter temperatures seemed like it was very warm indeed. So, we set the deck up and spent most of the day on it. Don't you love our plastic Adirondacks? They were a steal at about $25 each, and are super comfy.

It was good to give the deck a test run before the real season starts (a bit cooler and raining today) and the general consensus was that we love it out there. Not that you can tell from this photo that Poppet took of us...

Poppet played with her new blackboard and drew a lovely picture of mummy.

Possibly more flattering than the photograph, no?
And then she perched in the sun to eat the brunch which her daddy prepared. Great day!

Our tree should be amazing when all the buds bloom. Next, I need to find some pots and decide what to put in them. Time to wrap my head around some Northern Hemisphere gardening...


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