Monday, March 14, 2016

Happy Pi Day!

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My day job is all about science and of course I'm going to celebrate Pi Day (and if you consider that 3.14159 rounds to 3.1416, then hooray! Today is 3/14/16).

My good friend introduced me to Pizza Limone and a tasty pizza pie made with prosciutto and blackberry. I already know I like ham and pineapple (and pepperoni and pineapple)-and I like this one even more!
 I made the dough using the 60-minute bread dough recipe this morning before work and left it in the fridge. After work, I divided it into 3 balls and made 3 "pi"s. For the first pie I used olive oil as the sauce. The second pizza I used bottled marinara sauce. The last pizza I made with some pepperoni and pineapple. My favorite was the olive oil one, with the super-thin crust.
 I baked it at 475 on my pre-heated pizza stone for about 8 minutes (keep an eye on it if the crust is really thin). Dust the bottom of the crust and the baking pan with cornmeal to prevent sticking. I didn't have any fresh basil, but it would be delicious to put on after you take the pizza out of the oven.

2 1/4 c. flour
3/4 T. instant yeast
3/4 T. salt
1 1/2 T. vegetable oil
1 c. hot water
Cornmeal for dusting under the crust

Mix all the dry ingredients together in the KitchenAid, then add the liquid. Mix it up still it forms a wet, sticky dough. Let it rise on the counter for about 45 minute (or like me, in the fridge for 8 hours).

Toppings 1 oz Prosciutto per pizza
Olive oil and garlic (or marinara sauce)

Mozzarella cheese Blackberries (tossed with a bit of sugar)

Monday, March 7, 2016

Magical T-Shirt Makeover

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I love Disney-especially princesses, so I'm not sure why it took me so long to see the Cinderella remake last year.  Anyway, I finally got around to seeing it and loved it (ah, that ballgown!)  It was then that I discovered that Kohl's and the LC Conrad clothing line had some Cinderella inspired clothes--but it was too late to find anything but a few clearance items at my store. I really wanted this adorable graphic t-shirt, but there were none to be had. So, I took it as an opportunity to break out the Silhouette cutter and re-learn how to use it, and try heat transfer vinyl.

Inspiration T-shirt
Inspiration T-shirt from Kohls
I chose Ballerina Script.  I bought a 100% cotton tee (the vinyl works on poly/cotton too) and shiny gold Siser EasyWeed heat transfer vinyl.

Decide on the size of the graphic, pick your font (you can use a picture too) and type it up in Silhouette software.  Get it sized the way you like and then use the Mirror feature to reverse your graphic (super important, otherwise your letters will be backwards when you go to iron it on).

Set up your vinyl in the cutter. I set the cut settings for a blue blade (because that is what I have), speed 5 and depth of 24.  I did a test cut with depth 20 and it wasn't quite right and 22 seemed ok--but 24 worked just perfectly.  I used Expressions Vinyl's info sheet to figure out settings.

The vinyl has a clear transfer sheet over the finished face of the vinyl.  On my shiny gold, the back was a less shiny silver color.  I loaded the vinyl gold side down, then let the machine do its job.

Gold side down

Silver side was the back

You'll have to pull away or weed the unwanted vinyl.  Weed slowly, especially if you choose a text or design with lots of curves or small pieces.  You'll probably want a weeding tool (looks like a dental pick) to get at the small bits inside letters.  It took me about 30 minutes to weed the design.

I don't have a big heat press, just my regular Rowenta iron.  The Wool setting is supposed to be around 300 degrees.  The vinyl manufacturer recommends 305-320 for proper adhesion.  I used a laser thermometer to check the temperature of the iron surface (about 315 when I pushed the dial a smidge past "wool").  I pressed down hard for 15 seconds on each section.  My ironing board does not have a padded cover, so I just used the board--but video tutorials I watched suggested using a hard table or board under the iron.  Spend plenty of time with a ruler planning the placement of your decal.  Iron out your shirt before you adhere the vinyl--also make sure there are no fuzzies, specks, hairs etc... on the shirt. 

 I used a teflon sheet between my vinyl and the iron, but I hear parchment paper works too.