Pizza Scrolls

Confession – I don’t actually like being in the kitchen. I love food, particularly home made food, I just detest the cooking and cleaning part.
So when I do cook, it’s usually something easy, quick, simple, and generally more than one serving per person. (Left-overs are super important in a busy house which is lacking in enthused cooks.)

Last Friday was the AFL Preliminary Final between North Melbourne and Sydney. Hubby and Jai are North supporters, and I just love footy, so it was to be a great night. It had put me in a fairly chipper mood (which is rare these days) and I found myself keen to make something tasty to snack on during the game. Our fridge was unusually well stocked, as was the freezer, and the provisions for some pizza scrolls were available so that’s what I went with.

I like this kind of cooking, the spontaneous kind, because I’m motivated and excited about it, so it makes it more enjoyable and I feel great afterwards too. When Jai (now 10) was a toddler I’d make these every fortnight, freezing them in small batches to thaw and enjoy every day or so. But now, with three girls under four to keep happy, I don’t always have the energy or ability to do extra things on a whim. Sometimes I can’t even do important things! It’s just so much easier to keep out of the kitchen and avoid making a mess that needs to be cleaned up, because it can all become too exhausting some days. So when I find things particularly enjoyable, and doable, it makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something big for the day and lifts my mood.
It was really lovely to let the girls watch and help too. They’ll pull a chair up to the bench where I’m working and chatter away while I try to keep their roaming fingers away from my knife.

All it took was an hour, maybe an hour and a half in total, to whip up these tasty snacks and clean up afterwards. You can use so many different filler ingredients too, almost anything you like. In fact, this basic concept is all over Pinterest, using so many different ingredients. The possibilities are endless.

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This is my favorite way, mostly because I’ve often got these ingredients on hand for when the motivation arises:
Puff Pastry
Tomato Paste
Capsicum (finely diced)
Cheese (finely grated)
Bacon (finely diced)

I thaw the pastry on the bench for 15 – 20 minutes. Spread a dollop of tomato paste all over it, and top with the bacon, capsicum, and cheese. When rolling them up, it’s important to get a nice tight roll, and seal the edge by removing the filling from the last bit as you roll it, and pressing the pastry together as the roll finishes. Then I’ll cut slices approximately 2cm thick, and place on a tray (greased with oil spray) at least a centimeter apart so they don’t stick together. They’ll cook nicely in the oven at 170deg celsius for approximately 15 minutes, or until they look nice and tasty. I leave them in the tray for five minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool further.
They taste excellent warm, and are even quite tasty as a cold lunchbox snack.

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Well, even though I went to bed at quarter time and North ended up getting thrashed, the boys enjoyed a few pizza scrolls each, and they were enjoyed by all the following day as a car snack while we took a drive up to the Dandenongs.

All in all, a winning recipe that I’m certain use a lot!

Jac xx

I’ve invented a game changer…

I think I may invent an invention… I shall call it the “NagMaster2000”.

It will have eight buttons, each of which will have a different recording:

#1 “Get your finger out of your nose.”

#2 “Stop patting the baby.”

#3 “Do not sit on your sister’s head.”

#4 “Bath water is not for drinking.”

#5 “No, we don’t eat chalk.”

#6 “Give it back to her. If you’re looking for yours it’s in your other hand.”

#7 “Draw on the paper, not your face.”

and I can’t forget:
#8 “Come back here and let me put your pants on.”

Because honestly, my throat hurts from the agonising repetition of these very phrases (plus about three dozen more) … and I’ve got another thousand years of this parenting gig to go.

If I survive long enough, I’ll release a ‘teenager’ edition. It will include phrases such as
“You are so not wearing that to church.”
“Don’t give me that look.”
and everyone’s favorite,
“Do you think I was born yesterday?”

What would you have recorded on your NagMaster? Jac xx

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Tilly

Ok, so it has taken me a looooong time to get around to this – my brain is not firing like it used to (a newborn, toddler, threenager, and schoolboy will do that to you), and I’ll begin by apologising in advance for any strange inconsistencies, mistakes, weirdness, and general loopiness that is bound to pop up. Again, blame the baby brain.

So we are all here today to see how my ‘Tilly’ is made. First, there are couple of things that are important to know about Tilly’s story.
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I had only read and made one Amigurumi pattern before Tilly was created. She is the product of some pretty random tinkerings – not expert crochet pattern making. So to anyone reading this who knows a fair bit about crochet patterns and such, please ignore anything that is not typical of crochet or Amigurumi or whatever. I make to attempt to look like some fancy professional, I’m just fuddy duddy ol’ me.
Also, I want to point out that I had been doing the double crochet stitch incorrectly for years. Oops, very embarrassing. But I’m over it. So, seeing as I didn’t actually realise this until after I had designed Tilly, you’ll have to use my weird made up stitch in order for the pattern to work. I’ll explain it, don’t worry, it’s not complicated, just not the proper stitch.

So here goes!

What you’ll need:

Some polyfill
Some lovely 8ply yarn (I used 100% wool)
3mm crochet hook
Wool needle for sewing
Thin pink ribbon bow
Black embroidery thread
Stitch marker
Scissors
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* My daft double crochet stitch (Lets call it ddc) is made by only pulling the yarn through one loop on the hook instead of both, and then pulling another loop through both loops on the hook to finish.
So you’ll insert hook into stitch, catch yarn, draw it through the stitch (you’ll have two loops on the hook now) yarn round hook, draw through ONE loop on hook, yarn round hook again and draw through both loops on hook.
Yep, that’s how I thought a dc was done. And that’s how Tilly was made so please bear with me!
**I start each body part by making a magic ring. If you have never made one before, check out Youtube for a tutorial.
***Some pieces are made up in joined rounds, others are continuous spiral rounds. The joined rounds require you to join the last st to the first stitch by slip stitching into the second chain that you began the round with. For continuous rounds you don’t join at the end: you simply work the first stitch of the next round into the first of the last round. Use your stitch marker to mark the beginning of a round.
****Chain 2 at the beginning of a round counts as a ddc/stitch.

The Head:
{work in continuous rounds}
RND 1- make a magic ring and work 6ddc. Pull ring tightly closed. [6ddc]
RND 2- (2ddc in next st, 1 ddc in next st) 3 times. [9ddc]
RND 3- 1 ddc in next 9 sts. [9ddc]
RND 4- (2ddc in next st, 1ddc in next 2sts] 3 times. [12ddc]
RND 5- (2ddc in next st, 1ddc in next 3sts) 3 times. [15ddc]
RND 6- (2ddc in next st, 1ddc in next 4sts) 3 times [18ddc]
RND 7- ddc in next 18sts. [18ddc]
RND 8- (ddc in next st, ddc next 2sts together) 6 times [12ddc] Start stuffing with some polyfill.
RND 9- (ddc next 2sts together) six times [6ddc]
RND 10- (ddc next 2sts together) 3 times and tie off.

The Body:
{work in continuous rounds}
RND 1- make magic circle and 6ddc into ring. Pull tight.
RND 2- (2ddc in next st) 6 times [12ddc]
RND 3&4- 1ddc in next 12sts [12ddc]
RND 5- (1ddc in next st, 2ddc in next st) 6 times. [18ddc]
RND 6- 1ddc in next 18 sts. [18ddc]
RND 7- (1ddc in next 2sts, 2ddc in next st) 6 times. [24ddc]
RND 8 to 12- 1ddc in next 24sts. [24ddc] Tie off leaving long tail for sewing. Stuff with polyfill.

The tail:
— Work 3ddc into a magic ring. Pull tight.
— 1ddc in each st in continuous rounds until tail measures approximately 8cm in length. Tie off leaving long tail of year for sewing.

The arms (make 2):
— Work 4ddc into magic ring. Pull tight.
— 1ddc in each st working in continuous rounds until approximately 3.5cm in length. Tie off leaving long tail of yarn for sewing.

The ears (make 2):
RND 1- work 10ddc into magic circle. Join.
RND 2- ch 2, 1ddc in same st, 2ddc in next 9sts join. [20ddc]
RND 3- ch 2, 1ddc in next 17sts, skip 2sts, join. [18ddc] Tie off, leaving long tail of yarn for sewing.

The bottom:
— work first 2 rounds for ear, tie off leaving long tail for sewing.
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And so basically, you just sew everything on! It’s pretty straight forward I think, and once everything is joined nicely don’t forget to thread the loose ends in.
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Then, I make her a sweet little face using the embroidery thread. I am a pretty terrible hand sewer so there wasn’t much point showing you this step. I like the closed eyes look, but you could do anything you like really. I’ve been imagining a soft pink tip on her nose (using the wool needle and pink yarn) and even some teeny tiny itty bitty glasses to sit on her nose!
You can tie a sweet pink ribbon on her ear, or perhaps you would like to get super creative and make her a tiny hat. Maybe even a teeny scarf?

Either way, I sure hope this post makes enough sense so Tilly’s can be born all across the globe! Before you do get crackin’ though, please promise me that you’ll remember to give me pattern credit if you decide to show off your Tilly, particularly if selling. It’s just really nice :)

Eeeeek I can’t believe I am posting this now, I hope it’s not just a giant embarrassment! Please let me know if I need to change anything! And enjoy!

Much love, Jac xx