tag: indie pretty

Fresh Pizza on the Grill

July 25, 2011

Posted by in cooking ideas


This is one of the tastiest meals my husband and I have ever made on the grill. He’s the grill master, and I the preparer. What’s great about this recipe is that it doesn’t require a lot of time, so it’s perfect for entertaining. You can of course customize the toppings to your liking – I enjoyed the mix of sweet peppers, salty capers, and tangy onions and feta cheese in this recipe.


for the dough

1/4 tsp yeast

1/3 cup warm water

1 cup flour

1/4 tsp salt

Pizza toppings

6 ounces pesto (homemade or from a jar)

6 ounces tomato sauce

12 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese

1/2 cup feta

jarred capers

1 red bell pepper

1/2 a medium onion

2 cloves garlic

parmesan cheese

olive oil

crushed red pepper flakes (optional)



Get your grill pretty much as hot as you can get it; begin preparations for the pizza

For the dough

Mix the yeast and warm water; let set for 10 minutes. Combine flour and salt, and add water/yeast mixture; mix well. Once the dough starts to form a ball, move it to a floured surface and knead until the dough is stretchy and forms a smooth ball.


Split the dough, and flatten into a disc about 1/4 thick. Brush or spray the dough with olive oil. I layered our dough discs between parchment paper, so they were easier to take out to the grill.

To make the sauce, mix together the pesto and tomato sauce; set aside.

Place the onion half and two halves of bell pepper directly on the grill for 5-10 minutes. Remove from grill and slice. Mince garlic, and set all toppings aside.

Cooking the pizza

When the grill is about as hot as you can get it, place your pizza dough on the grate. The dough should firm and puff up quickly. After about five minutes, flip the dough, top with sauce, toppings, and cheese, and grill for 5-10 minutes the the lid on.

This pizza is best with a crunchy crust, so don’t be shy about slightly over-cooking! Top with parmesan cheese and crushed red pepper flakes.

ashley paul indie pretty project Out to find ways to make life simpler, Ashley is tackling life one DIY project at a time. Learning as she goes, she also spends her days writing Indie Pretty Projects and creating for her Etsy shop.

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Green Tea Frappe Recipe

June 14, 2011

Posted by in cooking ideas

One of my favorite frozen drinks is the green tea frappe. A very interesting taste experience, green tea frappes feature the slight bitterness of green tea, complimented by the sweetness of milk and cream. Blended with ice, this drink is a cool treat for warm weather.

In coffee houses, green tea frappes are almost always made with matcha green tea, which is a powdered form of green tea leaves. My recipe does not use matcha powder, but rather, a more traditional method for blending lattes into frappes. For this reason, this recipe will not produce the signature green color of matcha powder – the frozen drink will be tea-colored.


brewed green tea

3 additional green tea bags

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup water

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup crushed ice cubes

1/2 cup milk*

optional whipped cream topping

1/2 cup whipping cream

2 tablespoons sugar

* milk can be switched for any other milk substitute, such as soy or rice milk.


Begin with the green tea-infused simple syrup. Heat sugar and water in small sauce pan, stirring often. Bring to a boil, and add vanilla. Let boil for about 30 seconds, and remove from heat. Immediately drop in 3 green tea bags, and let tea bags steep in syrup until syrup as cooled completely; remove tea bags.

Next, brew a cup of green tea – I made mine extra-strength, with two tea bags. Let tea cool completely.

Crush ice in a blender until it is fine enough to be consumed with a straw. Fill a cup with crushed ice. Pour in 1/2 cup green tea, 1/2 cup milk, and 1/4 cup of green tea syrup; stir. Experiment and adjust with more or less tea, milk, or syrup to get the flavor that you enjoy.

Directions for whipped cream

Combine whipping cream and sugar in a bowl; beat with a hand-mixer on high for 3 minutes or until cream is thick and fluffy. Spoon whipped cream on top of green tea frappe.

ashley paul indie pretty project Out to find ways to make life simpler, Ashley is tackling life one DIY project at a time. Learning as she goes, she also spends her days writing Indie Pretty Projects and creating for her Etsy shop.

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diy lantern One of my favorite parts of Spring and Summer is being outside in the evenings, chatting with family as the sun goes down. Having a little lantern on the table is nice for both atmosphere and keeping the conversation going. A really fun and practical way to make such a lantern is to use materials you probably already have at home.

I always like to reuse glass jars when I can – they’re so durable, it’s a shame to let them go to waste. Additionally, I had kraft wrapping paper left over from a package I had just ordered – I like to reuse packaging whenever possible as well.

Ready to make a little lantern? You will need:

– A glass jar

– kraft paper

– wax paper

– a craft knife

– a pencil

– scotch or double-sided tape

– a small candle


First, cut a strip of wax paper to cover the front half of the jar, and tape the sides down. Wax paper will provide a frosted, glowing effect through the cut out.

Next, measure how big to cut your kraft paper so that it wraps all the way around the jar; cut the paper to size. Next, draw your design in pencil on the kraft paper.

Using a craft knife, cut along your drawing, creating a silhouette in the paper.

Tape the kraft paper down with scotch or double-sided tape.

Insert a small candle, light, and you’re done!

So easy and this lantern can be used all summer long. You can even make a new silhouette design for each gathering, or make multiple lanterns with different designs, and group them together. The result of these sweet lanterns at dusk is both charming and cozy.

ashley paul indie pretty project Out to find ways to make life simpler, Ashley is tackling life one DIY project at a time. Learning as she goes, she also spends her days writing Indie Pretty Projects and creating for her Etsy shop.


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DIY Upcycled Gift Bows

April 18, 2011

As a paper crafter, I have so many left over paper scraps that I try to find a purpose for every piece. Gift wrap bows are one of my favorite ways to upcycle paper – it can be anything from scraps, to newspaper, to magazine pages and food packaging. Here are three ideas for saving would-be trash and making something beautiful out of it:

1. Spiral roses

Take a pretty page from an already-read magazine. With sharp scissors, cut a spiral shape into the page: use almost a full page for larger roses, and a quarter-page for smaller roses.

Next, tightly coil the paper spiral, and tape it together at the bottom. Use double-sided tape, or roll tape into itself, adhere to the bottom of the rose, and stick onto a present.

2. Classic gift bows

Using newspaper, magazine pages, scrapbooking paper, or hand-stamped paper (like mine), cut out 10 strips of paper – each strip 1/2″ wide, and lengths as follows: three 8″ strips; three 6″ strips; three 4″ strips; one 1.5″ inch strip. Loop each end of each strip in towards the middle, making a figure-eight, and stapling shut. For the smallest piece, make a simple loop and staple or tape shut.

Group the figure-eights by size, and staple the layers together. Next, glue the single round piece into the smallest star, the small star into the medium star, and the medium star into the largest star. Place a piece of double-stick tape onto the bottom, and attach to a wrapped gift. Beautiful!

3. Starburst gift bows

This one is probably my favorite. Simple take a colorful magazine page, and cut in half lengthwise. Cut this half page into fringe, about 1/8″ wide, and stopping about 1/2″ before the end of the page, for a nice base.

Roll the fringed magazine page in on itself; tape shut with scotch tape. Use your fingers to pull the fringe outward, all around. Tape a small piece of paper to the bottom of the bow, and double-stick tape the bow to a gift.

And that’s all there is to it! Three unique ways to save trees – and look good doing it.

ashley paul indie pretty project Out to find ways to make life simpler, Ashley is tackling life one DIY project at a time. Learning as she goes, she also spends her days writing Indie Pretty Projects and creating for her Etsy shop.

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DIY: Easy-As-Pie Crust

March 28, 2011

Posted by in cooking ideas

Making homemade pie crust is a daunting task to a lot of people – I know, because I was one of those people. It wasn’t something that I thought much about, until I received this little quote in an email forward about aprons:

“Remember: Grandma used to set her hot baked apple pies on the window sill to cool.  Her granddaughters set theirs on the window sill to thaw.”

Ouch! True? Probably, but unnecessary? I think so. The modern generation of women are capable of anything, and that includes making our own pie crust. The fact is that I have never made my own pie crust before, but honestly, I don’t make pies. Still, it would nice to know how to make it when the occasion calls for pie, so here is my first attempt at pie crust making. Spoiler: it just might have turned out better than my own grandma’s!

Adapted from Martha Stewart, Food.com and Hillbilly Housewife.


2 sticks of unsalted butter*

1 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

2 1/2 cups flour

4 tablespoons of ice water

* If you are looking for vegan alternatives, try these recipes from SavvyVegetarian.com and  About.com, (which use vegan margarine in place of butter) and use the same production and assembly techniques outlined here.

Combine flour, salt, and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Cut sticks of butter into chunks and add to dry ingredients, squeezing butter into the mixture by hand. Continue to mix thoroughly until a crumbly mix has formed.

Add three to four tablespoons of ice water to dough. Three tablespoons was enough for me – you can use more than four if your dough is especially dry. Continue to knead dough until fully soft. Roll dough into a ball, cut in half, and press into two flat discs.

Wrap discs in plastic wrap to prevent sticking, and refrigerate for one hour. In the meantime, prepare your filling mixture – I used a homemade blueberry pie filling. After one hour, remove dough from refrigerator and roll flat (1/8″ or so thin) between two sheets of floured wax paper. This trick allowed me roll the dough very flat without the dough sticking to my rolling pin and tearing.

When dough is flattened nicely, lay the dough over your pie pan, gently pressing it into the sides and bottom. Cut excess dough of the edges of the pie with kitchen shears, leaving about an inch to fold over and pinch into the outer crust.

Since this recipe is for two pie crusts, you can use the second for the top crust of the pie. I decided to give the lattice effect a try, and it was so fun! You just cut the second rolled crust into strips about 3/4″ thick. If it looks confusing, check out this photo tutorial on About.com.

For my first time baking a pie, I was pretty pleased with the end results – I believe my grandma would have approved, too.

ashley paul indie pretty project Out to find ways to make life simpler, Ashley is tackling life one DIY project at a time. Learning as she goes, she also spends her days writing Indie Pretty Projects and creating for her Etsy shop.


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Posted by in handmade

Since Spring is just around the corner, it seems right to try out a frozen drink. Building off the Vanilla Bean Latte recipe is the Vanilla Frappuccino – a deliciously frozen blend of coffee, ice, and sweetness. Serves two.


2 cups crushed ice

1/2 cup milk

1/4 cup vanilla syrup

6 oz chilled espresso for a bold flavor, or 1 cup chilled, double-strength coffee


I find it helps to crush the ice in a blender, first. Next, add the milk, vanilla syrup, and coffee. Blend on low speed just until it’s thoroughly mixed. Pour into two glasses, and top off with whipped cream, if you wish!

Want to try different flavors? Instead of milk, use 1/2 cup vanilla or chocolate silk (soy milk). For plain, coffee flavor with sweetness, switch the vanilla syrup for 1/4 cup of granulated sugar.

cofee with indie pretty projects

ashley paul indie pretty project Ashley has been coffee-crazy since college when her husband bought her an espresso machine for Christmas. Armed with a pot of dark roast, she spends her days writing Indie Pretty Projects and creating for her self-titledEtsy shop.

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