Sunday, August 13, 2017

P-I-Z-Z-A!

A while back {like, a year and a half ago} I posted about homemade pizza dough, but never had the pizza I made to go along with it! Don't worry, I'm getting better at remembering to take pictures while I cook! 

Today's a treat, because I have not one, not two, but 3 different pizzas made using this DELICIOUS dough. Although, only 1 of them is detailed. The others are pictures I managed to take after pulling them out of the oven on family pizza night.


If you haven't yet, head over to my pizza dough post and check out the recipe. You can find it here.


The first delicious pizza I have is my all time favorite! Tomato Basil with alfredo sauce. Of course, in Busy Bre fashion, I have yet to photograph my alfredo recipe. I'll have to remember that for next time. Maybe next weekend!

Any who, this pizza recipe is SO EASY! You can make the alfredo sauce from scratch like I do, or just buy a jar of your favorite {not as fun, but less expensive!}

Alfredo Sauce:
1 stick butter
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup shredded parmesan
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper (more or less to taste)

1. Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat. Make sure to stir so butter does not burn.
2. Whisk in heavy cream until butter and cream are mixed together.
3. Sprinkle in parmesan cheese until melted
4. Add white pepper to taste

That's it! Super easy sauce recipe, right? If it's too cheesy for you, add a half a cup more heavy cream. You can use black pepper, but I like an all white sauce.


The best part about my tomato basil pizza is that I get my tomato and basil from my garden! The only topping I have to buy are mozzarella balls.


After you've rolled out your dough {which you can do with a wine bottle if you don't have a rolling pin}, brush olive oil  across the top of the dough. {You can never go wrong with extra virgin, but for a little added flavor, toss some olive oil in a pan with a teaspoon or 2 of minced garlic and let it simmer for about 10 minutes, yum!} Once your crust is oiled, pop it in the oven in 450 for 5-10 minutes. Just keep an eye on it for your desired crunchiness. But keep in mind, your pizza will be going back in the oven to melt your cheese.


See those cracks in my crust? Never fails I have to slit open some dough bubbles during baking. Tastes just as good! Now you're ready to sauce and cheese this puppy! While your saucing and cheesing, turn the oven down just a hair to 375.


I like to let my mozzarella melt before I add the other toppings. This goes in the oven at 375 until that cheesy goodness it melted, which is about 6 minutes. While the cheese it melting down, you can start slicing your tomato.


Now it's time for the toppings! Scatter the tomato and basil over your pizza and add more mozzarella if needed. I put 2 more balls on there. The cheesier the better! Place it back in the 375 oven for a few more minutes and ...


 Voila! Munchie time! While this should last me 2 meals, I can usually eat the whole thing in one sitting. At least it has veggies!


If you're a meat eater, or just want more of a variety, change up your sauce {jarred pizza sauce works} and topping to make the ultimate pie!






What are some of your favorite pizza toppings? Comment below and let me know!

Happy cooking!

Here's The Tea ...

This post may get a little TMI for some of you ... so that's your heads up!

TLDR: Get you some bee balm and brew you some Oswego Tea!

I have always had the WORST menstrual cramps. I'm talking, need to be in the bendiest positions for most of the day with a heating pad and hot toddy menstrual cramps. Lucky me, it's genetic and most of the women on my dad's side of the family have this same problem. Now, I'm not as bad as my Grandmother was. I'm still able to function at work, although it's definitely a challenge and my kids can always tell that I'm sluggish and in pain throughout the first day or 2. But recently, I haven't had these debilitating abdominal pains and I swear by what I'm doing!

If you know me, you know that a about a year ago I got really into gardening. I usually had some sort of succulent or plant that I knew I couldn't kill, but then I upgrade! I have a PLETHORA of plants (well, plethora by tiny apartment standards anyway) in my little "roof garden" as I like to call it.

EDIT: Since moving back to the Dallas area and living with my parents until the school year starts, I have more than a roof garden! It's pretty confined to a plant stand, but it's still an improvement! And, I don't have to crawl out of a window and scale the roof to get to my green babies.




One of my new garden additions this year was bee balm. I was trying to think of some little plants that I could buy for myself, but also use at school for the kids to practice watering and saw this on one of the shelves at Walmart. It said that it would attract bees, which, as you know is ideal for gardening. So I grabbed it.

It wasn't until a couple month later when I was reading the label in depth while at Lowe's Home Improvement that I paid attention to the Oswego tea part of the tag. I have been trying to find tea plants to grow for the better part of a year so I could brew my own mixture at home! And here I had a tea plant without knowing it!

I gathered some of the leaves (after making sure I wouldn't die from random plant consumption) and some other herbs from the garden. I bruised my bee balm and spearmint, mixed it with some lavender and a little bit of lime basil flowers, and steeped my herbs in some hot water for about 5 minutes. Now, full disclosure, the first time I made it, the fragrance from the bee balm was so full that I only put a few leaves in thinking it would be way too overpowering. It was off-putting at first, but I became accustomed to the strong fragrance and taste.

About a week later, I started my period. The only difference this time was I didn't have the painful cramps that I normally do. I figured I was just getting older and they were finally starting to subside, so I brushed it off. That is, until I started reading the benefits of  bee balm, or Oswego, tea. And y'all, there are SO many! Here are some that I have found:

  • reduces fever
  • reduces inflammation
  • reduces muscle spasm
  • muscle pain relief
  • relieves flatulence
  • diuretic
  • digestive aid
  • calming effects (intensified with chamomile or other relaxing herbs)
  • menstrual pain relief
Those are just the ones that stood out the most to me. My back still bothers me from my herniated discs, but I can sit in a chair longer without feeling like I'm going to be ripped into pieces. Cramping, however, has reduced DRASTICALLY! My plant hasn't started blooming yet, so I've just been using the leaves, but I have strongly considered getting a more mature plant so I can use the petal (just the petals!) for making tea.

The one caution I have seen is DO NOT USE IF YOU ARE PREGNANT! Otherwise, this has been a life saver for me! I love it! Click below to download my recipe for Oswego tea. It's super simple and you can add your own herbs and flavor it how you want!




Ingredients:
Bee Balm Leaves (or petals if blossoming)
Lavender
Spearmint 
Juice of half a lime (optional)
Infuser or Tea Bags

*use herbs to your liking

Left clockwise: Bee balm leaves, lime, infuser, lime basil blossoms

Dried lavender


Bruise your herbs and place them into your infuser or tea bags. I LOVE my Healthy Steps Tea Infuser that I grabbed in the grocery store. {You can grab on here on Amazon}



 It has this nifty little plunger on the top that lets me really smush those leaves and herbs releasing all the awesome flavor.



Depending on the mood I'm in, some lime juice to top off my cuppa is perfect!




The only thing left to do after that is enjoy!






Downloadable recipe soon to come!

Happy brewing!

Monday, July 31, 2017

Back to School!

August is just around the corner, so you know what that means ... time for Back to School sales!





For 2 days only on TeachersPayTeachers, enjoy 20% off EVERYTHING in my store, PLUS and extra 5% off when you use promo code: BTS2017 at check out! Now is the PERFECT time to get all of those resources you've been adding to your wish list and holding out on.


Visit my store by clicking here, or in my drop down menu by clicking on My Products and then TPT. Remember, it's only August 1st and 2nd!


Happy teaching!


Thursday, July 20, 2017

My Crazy Summer!


Hello all! I haven't had my typical teacher summer this year. That is to say, I haven't really had off  this summer to work on too many teacher things! I moved back to Dallas at the end of May {Memorial Weekend to be exact}, and after taking 2 trips to gather my classroom and household items ... because I was given the wrong sized moving truck - I was able to enjoy about a week and a half off before starting work at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children for the summer. When I was in middle school, I was a junior volunteer {candy stripper} and in high school, I was a Human Resources summer intern. It's definitely one of the best places to be! Teachers, take your kids here on a field trip! Get a tour of the hospital, have a picnic outside and play in Alan Shivers Park, get some of the best popcorn you've ever had, make a day out of it!

Related image

Anywho, today I got an exciting update! I have been anxiously waiting to hear the subject that I will be teaching this upcoming school year and am pleased {and EXCITED} to announce that I will be teaching 3rd grade Math and Science this year in the district I grew up in! This is going to be a BIG jump from what I am used to, but I can't wait to dive in! If you have any tips or tricks, let me know! I'm a problem solver by nature, but boy is it always nice to hear other ideas!

I'd love to hear about your crazy summer! Drop a comment below and let me know how it went!


Happy in-service{sorta}!

Friday, June 9, 2017

Teacher Planner

I know, I know, it's June and officially summer time for most of us teachers! No one is trying to think about school for the next 2 months. BUT, if you're like me, then you want to spend a little time planning and organizing for next year while you don't have to worry about meetings, parents and assessing. That's why I was so excited when I got my reminder email yesterday from Malia at Playdough to Plato. She JUST uploaded the new 20117 - 2018 teacher planner! And if that wasn't exciting enough ... it's free! 

I used her lesson plan book template last year and loved it! It's brightly colored (which anyone who knows me will know suits me to a t!), editable and has just about every checklist you could think of. Did I also mention that it's free??

Now I will admit, it took some getting used to to be able to break away from the computer for everything. On days when I just didn't have time to turn the computer on or didn't have an iPad charged to use while walking around, this planner was a life saver! With 11 classes of 32-42 and sometimes 50, I need to be able to jot down which groups students were in, who was working on what and keep track of a lot of different activities and areas. Perfect. Tool.

Click the picture below to head on over to Playdough to Plato and get your free teacher planner for 2017 - 2018! 


I like to use this planner in a binder and in conjunction with my adorable Blue Sky planner (I get mine at Target, but you can peruse all of their different planners here). I find it best to place some of the pages in plastic sleeves and use a Vis-a-Vis wet erase marker so write on it. That way, I can reuse a lot of the pages without having to worry about wasting so much paper! It's also helpful if I need to make notes about what did and did not work for certain lessons.




As soon as I have my things unpacked, I'll upload some pictures of my planner!

Happy Planning!

Free STEM Lesson Plans!



AFTERNOON UPDATE:  I did find, after all, that as an educator, you are able to set up a free Microsoft Educators account with your school email. This would have been good to know a year and a half ago so I could've saved some money each month! Lesson learned ... research more than you think you are.
Image result for microsoft educators
Microsoft Office for Educators

Monday, March 13, 2017

This week at Ulta!

Its a HOT BUY thing | Grab these. Tell your friends. Now through March 18.


Ok, so my "weekly" Ulta post didn't quite work out like I wanted it to. Hey, it's hard to get things done when you don't have internet at home! Well, I'm back this week with a new set of Ulta goodies! Besides, they said tell my friends ...


URBAN DECAY | Smoked Palette 58 Percent Off, NOW $20, Makeup Setting Sprays and Complexion Prep Sprays 40 Percent Off, NOW $10-19

I haven't bought Urban Decay eye shadow since high school because it's so expensive and as a makeup addict I would be in way more debt than I already am. With that being said, right now the Smoked Palette is 58% off right now!!! 10 shades, liner AND primer potion in a case!!! Get it. Get it now!

TARTE | Double Duty Beauty Empowered Hybrid Gel Foundation 30 Percent Off, NOW $27

ANASTASIA | Beauty Express NOW $27, Bold Brow Kit NOW $25

BAREMINERALS | Perfecting Face Brush 50 Percent Off, NOW $14

SMASHBOX | Jumbo Photo Finish Primer NOW $24.50, online only

This is another makeup goodie I haven't gotten in a while. Again, not because it's horrible, but because I would like to eat throughout the month. I don't like buying online, but this is completely worth it! Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer is one of my favs! The fact that it's 50% off probably means it won't last get. Go grab it fast!

L'OREAL | All Lip 40 Percent Off

REVLON  | Entire Brand 40 Percent Off

EXUVIANCE | CoverBlend Skin Caring Foundation SPF 20 25 Percent Off, NOW $28.50

STRIVECTIN | Best Sellers Starter Trio 40 Percent Off, NOW $21

You've got until this Saturday, March 18th to grab all these lovely makeup goodies from 25% - 58% off! Don't forget to use your $3.50 off of $15 coupon in the store and online! Click here to get yours!

Happy shopping!

Spinach Pesto

I cannot WAIT for it to warm back up so I can have my fresh, fragrant basil in my kitchen. It's been way too long without homemade margherita pizza and homemade pesto! To get me through my basil dry spell I tried using other green herbs and veggies. The first trial pesto recipe I tried was using parsley.


Grilled chicken and penne with parsley pesto


Pros: 
Parsley is ALWAYS at the grocery store
- A bunch was rather inexpensive
- It's so pretty!

Cons:
- I had to add quite a bit of seasoning to get some kind of flavor
- Less leaves, more stems

It wasn't horrible, but lacked any real flavor. I even tried to spruce it up with some Italian seasoning and dried basil I keep on my seasoning wall. {Yes, I have a seasoning wall. No, it is not NEAR as pretty as I want it to be. Ah, the joys of renting.}


Trial recipe #2: spinach pesto. I tweaked this recipe a little from my parsley recipe, and it wasn't half bad. Let me apologize before hand for the pictures. This is what happens when you have VERY limited counter space in the kitchen. I do what I can.



Here's what you'll need:


baby spinach, garlic, parmesan, lemon juice, pine nuts, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste
Y'all, I'm almost out of my olive oil I bought in Italy last summer. I may cry.


I started off by toasting my pine nuts in the oven. {With my lack of kitchen space, I always find it easier to line my bake-ware with foil for easier clean up.} Toast the pine nuts for about 6 or 7 minutes on 375℉. I can't even tell you how good the house smelled while these were toasting in the oven. I went 7 minutes ... but probably could have taken them out a minute before I did.


While the pine nuts were toasting, I got my spinach washed and tried to free up some more space on the counter top. When they were ready, I added the pine nuts and 3 cups of spinach into my Ninja Chopper. 


It doesn't take long for this bad girl {my appliances are all girls because they work so hard 😉} to get the pine nuts and spinach blended together. Once those two are mixed pretty well, I add my garlic, Parmesan and lemon juice. I like to wait and add my salt and pepper at the very end. Sometimes, I don't even need them.




Gradually add olive oil in between pulses to the spinach mixture. Be sure to add it slowly, you may not need the whole amount. A couple more spins in the Ninja and presto! There's my pesto! 


I won't lie, it wasn't as good as the basil pesto I'm used to making, but it wasn't bad. I finished it off 3 1/2 meals! I like to pair my peso with chicken and shrimp, but all I have right now is chicken. Lemme tell ya, it was delicious! So delicious, in fact, that I forgot to take a picture of my dinner before I started chowin' down. My roasted veggies {I'll make a post on them soon, but they're suuuuuper easy} were the perfect side item for my chicken covered pesto.




Click the button below to download and print this recipe! {The downloaded file contains the full page and 4x6 color and B&W recipe files}


Looking for more recipes? Check out some of my other posts of snacks, appetizers and meals!