Monday, May 19, 2008

Pizza Margherita

I have been experimenting with making homemade pizza lately (finding good pizza here is kind of hard). I think I finally settled on a pizza dough recipe. It's flavorful, thin but not crackery, and easy to make. Here is the dough recipe and an idea on what to do with it.

Honey & Wine Pizza Dough
(serves 2-3 people)

In a mixing bowl combine:
  • 3/4 cups warm water
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1 1/2 tsp active yeast
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
Allow yeast to foam (about 5 minutes) before stirring in:
  • 3 cups flour

Turn on to floured board and knead 2 minutes. Place in oiled bowl, cover, and allow to double (about 1 hour). Punch down and allow to rest 15 minutes. Divide in 2. Roll out into 8-10" rounds.

Pizza Margherita
(makes two small pizzas)

In a small bowl combine:
  • 3-4 Roma Tomatoes (or any good ripe tomatoes)--diced
  • 2 cloves garlic--minced
  • 3 Tbs Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cracked pepper
Allow to marinate for at least 1 hour (while dough is rising). Spread tomato mixture evenly on the pizza dough rounds. Sprinkle with:
  • fresh chopped basil
Bake at 475 for 6 minutes then top with:
  • shredded mozzarella cheese
Return to oven and finish baking, about 4 minutes. Top with fresh basil and serve immediately.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Six Random Things

Christianne tagged me for a fun meme that calls for me to disclose 6 random things about myself. Here goes:

1. I was 17-years-old when I got chickenpox. All I can say is that it was absolutely miserable. I came down with it right as Christmas break began (my Junior year of HS) and spent the entire vacation ill. . . plus the first 2 weeks of school in January.

2. I have only broken one bone. It was Christmas day my sophomore year of college. My little sister got roller blades for Christmas and wanted me to roller blade with her. She roller bladed while I stood on the driveway, too cold to skate. Somehow or other, I lost my balance (not too hard when you're wearing roller blades and standing on an incline) and fell backward. The end result was several hours in the urgent care center and a hairline fracture to my right arm. Not a very heroic story.

3. I've been skydiving. (with Jessica and her now-husband, Ben) It was cool, but once was enough.

4. I was a pizza delivery girl one summer in college. The tips are great, but my car smelled like stale pizza for the next 6 months.

5. I have most of Dr. Seuess' Green Eggs and Ham memorized. . . in Spanish. I was on a mission to learn Spanish a few years back and reading Huevos Verdes con Jamon aloud (complete with Spanish accented character voices) was one of my favorite ways to practice. "Yo soy Juan. . . yo soy Juan Ramon. Ese Juan Ramon, Ese Juan Ramon. No me gusta nada ese Juan Ramon."

6. I've always been a bit quirky when it comes to time saving and efficiency. For example. . . when I was in elementary school (3rd grade or so), I used to lay in bed awake and wait until my mom checked on me. After I was sure she thought I was asleep (which looking back, she probably knew I wasn't) I would quietly get up, get dressed for school and make my bed. Then I would sleep on top of my made bed in my school clothes, ready for the next day. In my 3rd-grade mind, this was a great way to save time in the morning. Weird, I know. =) Don't worry, I don't do that any more.

Now it's my turn to tag. . . my six random picks are Jessica C., Jessica B., Elizabeth, Yvette, Kay Ann and my Mom.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Two Great Two-Player Games

I don't know if any of you have run into the same dilemma that Josh and I have: most of our favorite board games become absolute drudgery to play with only two players (which poses a significant problem for us since most of our friends live on another continent). Thankfully, Josh and I have discovered two great two-player games that have kept us entertained on many an evening when either the weather, our budget or our sleeping boy has kept us confined to the dining room table.

Solution 1: Lost Cities
This easy-to-learn-easy-to-play game has been a favorite of ours for 3 years now. On average, I would say we pull this game out at least 4-5 times a month. The great thing about this game is you can play as many rounds as you want so if 15-minutes is all you have, you can still play, but if you want to kill an two hours, you can get some good competition going. We like this game so much that two Christmases ago, we gave it to just about every game-loving couple we know (and based on their feedback, it is as popular with them as it is with us)

Solution 2: Catan Card Game
Despite the similar name, this game is completely different than Settlers of Catan (which is one of those favorite-group-games-turned-two-player-drudgery). Josh bought me Catan Card Game for my birthday a few weeks ago, so it is a recent discover but it's already a favorite. Unlike Lost Cities, this game requires at least 90 minutes. However, the time will fly by because this game is full of strategy, competition and good old fashioned sabotage.

So, here is the deal. . . for about 50 bucks you can take your date out on ONE fast food dinner & a mediocre movie date-- OR-- you can buy these two awesome games and have an UNLIMITED fun. =) For those math lovers out there, the answer is obvious: 1 <

If you have any you have any other favorite two-player board/card games, let me know. I imagine we'll be spending even more evenings at home once Kid#2 arrives.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Cartoon Caleb

If I were in Josh's computer class, I would think his latest assignment, cartoonizing a face, was the coolest thing ever. Here is the sample Josh created for his tutorial. Pretty fun, eh?

Spoiled Rotten

I think I can officially say that I am spoiled rotten. As if a trip to India from Josh wasn't proof enough, my mom and best friend, Yvette, constructed an elaborate surprise birthday party for me. . . via satellite (to read more about this one-of-a-kind birthday party, jump over to my mom's blog)! I was thoroughly surprised (and even a bit emotional, though I'll blame that on the pregnancy) when they turned the web-cam on to a room full of friends and family who had gathered back in California to wish my happy birthday and eat fresh strawberries in my honor.

Thanks, Mom and Yvette, for all your hard work and crazy scheming. Thanks, Josh, for all the work you put in here to keep this a secret, decorate our house and deliver the cake. Thanks Rick, John, Lucy, Grandma, Grandpa, Dan, Jessica, Tom, Kate, Dustin, Sarah, Brenton, Eric, Sharon, Jordan, Luke, Heather, Rebecca, Nathan, Mallory, Paige, Joe, Gabby, Jeremy, Jaedyn, Macy, and Brady (and anyone else I forgot to mention) for making my birthday extra special.

Monday, May 05, 2008

The Big Three-O

The goof in the crazy mask and the "It's my 30th Birthday" shirt is me.
And, yes, that's the real Taj Mahal.

For more pictures and info about how we spent my birthday weekend, visit our Singapore blog

Sunday, May 04, 2008

These are a few of my favorite things. . .

In keeping with a tradition I started in college, every year on (or in this case, near) my birthday, I like to jot down a list of things that capture my life at that moment--the number of things corresponding with the number of years. Here is this year's list:

(Disclaimer: the list is random and definitely NOT comprehensive!)

Rebecca's Favorite 30
1. Listening to the squeal of excitement and the motorcycle sound effects that Caleb invariably makes when Josh comes through the front door after being gone at work all day.
2. 7:30 PM (Caleb's bedtime)
3. Playing Lost Cities with Josh in the evenings
4. Traveling
5. Ceyenne Pepper
6. Chair Time
7. Little hello kicks from Baby #2
8. Comfortable walking shoes
9. Bloglines
10. Blooies' Mushroom Bacon Burger (the best burger in Singapore)
11. Gmail
12. The mini-mart in our condo
13. Truth for Life podcast
14. Board books
15. Letters or packages from CA =)
16. Cheese (a long-time favorite made even more beloved due to the scarcity here!)
17. Tomato soup and grilled cheese
18. Seeing the bus I need come into sight, just as I arrive to the bus stop.
19. Homemade Pizza Margherita (recipe soon to follow)
20. Saturday adventures with Josh and Caleb around Singapore
21. Listening to Caleb and Josh sing Jesus Loves Me together before bed.
22. Seeing monkeys out our window
23. Deciphering Caleb's toddler talk
24. Finding my toothbrush ready and waiting for me
25. Cards and notes from Josh
26. Clean sheets that smell like Bounce
27. Saturday morning breakfasts
28. Lemonade
29. Friends who come all the way across the world to visit us
30. Skype

And the winner is. . .

I don't know how much Yvette paid each of you to abstain from entering the Spicy Food Recipe Contest, but however much it was, it worked! She was my only contestant, which greatly increased her odds of winning.

Congratulations, Yvette. You were selected at random (or not so random) to win the Spicy Side of Singapore Gift Package! Your prize will be arriving in a few weeks. =)