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January 23rd

Ready, Set, Weekend with The Garden of Eatin’

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Stop right there….I see you dialing the phone. It’s time to try making your own pizza! Honestly, this is fun to do and trust me, it’s going to taste much better than the cardboard box style you are used to. With a little effort and some simple ingredients there really isn’t anything as good as homemade pizza dough with some cool toppings.GOE 1.22.15 9
But first, let me give you a brief history lesson on Pizza.
It has always been a common belief that Italians invented pizza, but its origin goes back to ancient times in the Middle East. Babylonians, Israelites, Egyptians, Armenians, Greeks and Romans, and other ancient cultures ate flat, unleavened bread cooked in mud ovens.
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So what’s on your pizza? According to the Huffington Post, here is a list that made the top ten:
1. Pepperoni
2. Mushrooms
3. Onions
4. Sausage
5. Bacon
6. Extra cheese
7. Black olives
8. Green peppers
9. Pineapple
10. Spinach
I like to veer away from the norm when I’m being creative with pizza so I jacked up mine with habanero cheese, heirloom tomatoes, mixed greens and feta last weekend.GOE 1.22.15 2GOE 1.22.15 5
Let’s start with the dough. I’m going to share 4 versions to suit your needs.

SPELT DOUGH
2 ¼ cups whole grain spelt flour
1 package active dry yeast
1 cup very warm water – about 130F
1 tbls extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp honey (or agave for a vegan version)
1 tsp granulated sugar
Pinch sea salt
Combine 1 ¼ cups of flour, yeast, sugar and salt in a bowl. Pour in the warm water and olive olive oil. Mix together and let it sit for about 10 minutes to proof. I use my stand mixmaster with the dough hook but you can do this by hand as well. Stir in the remaining cup of flour and work it in until you have a smooth and elastic dough, about 5 minutes. You may need to add a little more flour to get the right consistency. Cover the dough and let it rest for at least 20 minutes while you get your sauce and toppings ready.

WHOLE WHEAT DOUGH
Same recipe as above but substitute whole wheat flour for the spelt and increase the amount of flour to 2 ½ cups.

GLUTEN FREE DOUGH – adapted from Robin Hood Flour:
1 ¾ cups Robin Hood Nutri Flour Blend – Gluten Free
1 package instant quick rise yeast
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp xanthan gum
1 ¼ cups warm water
1 tbls olive oil
Whisk together flour, yeast, sugar, salt and xanthan gum in a stand mixer. In a measuring cup mix water and oil. Turn mixer to low speed and gradually pour water mixture in. Beat on medium for 4 minutes with dough hook. Set aside to let rise and proof, about 30 minutes.

THE GOE’S FAVORITE PIZZA DOUGH
1 package quick rise yeast
1 1/3 cups warm water (about 130F)
3 ½ cups of unbleached all- purpose flour
2 tbls extra virgin olive oil
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tbls granulated sugar
1 tbls honey
In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment, combine the yeast and warm water. Stir it around and let sit for 5 minutes until the yeast is foamy. This stage is called PROOFING the yeast. Add flour, olive oil, salt, honey and sugar. Mix by hand or with the dough hook on low speed for about a minute. Turn the speed to medium low if you are using a dough hook and knead for about 7 minutes. You can do this by hand as well on a floured wooden board with a little elbow grease. If your dough is way too sticky, don’t be afraid to add a little flour. Your dough should be smooth and elastic. Now take your finger and give it a poke (just like the Pillsbury Dough Boy except this dough doesn’t giggle when you touch it). If it bounces back, you are ready to let it rise.GOE 1.22.15 1
Shape the dough into a ball and place it in a large mixing bowl which has been coated lightly with olive oil. Turn the dough around and around in the bowl to coat all sides. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow to rise. Here’s a trick. Preheat your oven to 200F. Stick your dough in the oven. Now turn your oven OFF and keep the door slightly open. This will create a nice and toasty environment for your dough to rise in. You are going to let it rise for about 1 to 2 hours. Close the oven door after the first 30 minutes. The dough should be doubled in size. Now comes the fun part. PUNCH IT DOWN with your fist. Ya…punch it baby. This will release the air in the dough. Divide into two, form into balls and put in two separate bowls, lightly covered for about 15 minutes.GOE 1.22.15 3
Preheat your oven to 400F – If you have a convection oven that’s the perfect temperature, if not, kick up the heat to 425F. Take your dough and press into a pizza pan, baking sheet or onto a pizza stone. I like to coat my pan with salted butter but you can use any oil and even sprinkle it with some cornmeal. Just lightly grease it so the dough doesn’t get too wet from the oil. Once the dough is flattened out, spread on some tomato sauce, sprinkle with shredded cheese and your choice of toppings. Bake for 22 minutes or until nicely browned.GOE 1.22.15 4GOE 1.22.15 13
Note: IF you really don’t want to make your own dough and you are in a rush, pick up a fresh one at your local bakery. I have an amazing Italian Bakery near my office that makes the best dough in the world. Just hang up the phone……I can see you ya know.
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See ya next week!
Debi @thegardenofeatin

categories: Dinner Party, Food, Little Miss Foodie, Pizza, The Garden of Eatin'

January 22nd

Valentine’s Day with Chex…The Snack Table.

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I love a good challenge. So when Little Miss Party approached me about restyling their Halloween Chex Little Miss Party in a Box, of course I couldn’t resist!

The box arrived on my doorstep just as cute as can be. The attention to detail and adorable packaging made it feel like I was opening a present.
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I took an inventory of what I had and decided to focus on three key items to pull together a simple and sweet Valentine’s Day snack table. The other goodies will be saved to for next Halloween.

While planning out what I was going to do for the set-up, I opened up the box of Chocolate Chex and couldn’t get over how good they were just on their own. In fact, handfuls of the cereal kept disappearing each time my two young children would walk by! It was then that I realized, I could serve the Chocolate Chex straight out of the box on the snack table. I mean, it doesn’t get any more hassle free than that!
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I used the chevron favor bags embellished with a gold foil heart sticker to serve the Chex mix. And on the other side of the table, I included the black and white striped cups also embellished with the same gold foil heart sticker. Sticking with my no hassle approach to snacks on the table, I looked to my pantry and decided to add some cereal bars stacked on a cake plate in the center of the table.

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I decided to drape some gold sequin fabric behind the table and thought it could use another element, so I created an “XOXO” banner cut out from the chevron favor bags.
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To make the banner, I blew up the letters “XO” in 550 pt font in Microsoft Word. I printed and cut the letters out and traced them on the favor bags. Then I cut the letters out of the favor bags, punched holes at the top and strung the letters on a strand of jute twine. It was so easy to make and turned out so cute!
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Thanks Little Miss Party and Chex for sending along the box of goodies! I had fun putting together the snack table and my boys had even more fun devouring the treats with their friends!

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This post was written and photographed by our sweet friend Tara Berger of One Stylish Party.

categories: Cocktail party, Cocktails, desserts, Guest Post, Holiday, Holidays, Little Miss Foodie, little miss party, Party, Party Favors, Party Stylists, Sweets, Uncategorized

January 21st

Pretty, Edible Valentine’s

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You may remember last week we set up a pretty gorgeous Valentine’s Day table and invited some friends over for brunch. We had so many desserts we had to save some for another time. Well that time has come…don’t hate me for having friends who can bake. Thank you Clare!
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This particular dessert blew my mind…a vanilla roulade with white chocolate buttercream with hearts baked in. Um…YUM! And so pretty.
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We spelled out LOVE in cookies and filled glass dishes and mason jars with red jelly beans to bring out tons of bright color in our table setting making it look festive for this romantic holiday.
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I had some leftover Coke bottles that I wrapped with satin ribbon and used as a vase for some flowers in the set up.
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And though we created this table with Valentine’s day in mind, no one said you can’t celebrate love all year round. Hugs & Kisses!

All photos were taken by the sweet Karilyn Sanders.

categories: Brunch, desserts, Flowers, Holiday, little miss party, Party Stylists

January 20th

Stamped with homemade love

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You’re either gonna love me or hate me for this idea….
It involves ink and paint. My two biggest enemies when it comes to crafting with my kids. The thought of my kids running around the apartment with ink and/or paint on their hands is a horrifying thought to me.
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Well, big milestone in my life happened last week when I overcame this fear, covered my dining room table with kraft paper and let my kids craft with paint. You’re going to LOVE what we did here…
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We made homemade Valentine’s Day crafts out of potatoes. That’s right, potatoes. And it was SO easy!
Here’s what you need:
1 potato
1-2 small cookie cutters
knife
Paint and/or stamp pad
Paper
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How to make your stamps:
1.) Cut the potato in half
2.) Stick the cookie cutter into the flat surface of the potato
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3.) Cut 1/4″ circle off the potato and peel the piece off around the cookie cutter while it is still stuck into the potato.
4.) Place the potatoes facing down on a paper towel and ensure they are super dry before you start to craft.
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I put a squeeze of paint on a paper plate and let the kids dip the potato stamps into it. They stamped pink construction paper to make homemade cards for everyone in our family. They wrote notes on each after they dried.
They also used a pink stamp pad to mix things up a bit.
If these directions are confusing in any way, just watch this video with Martha Stewart. Happy Crafting!
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categories: Decorating, For Mom..., Little Miss Mommy, Toddler activities

January 19th

Mandy’s Meals & More

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‎What’s better than waking up to delicious mimosas Sunday morning? Maybe some of Auntie Debi’s delectable baked treats. But because she doesn’t live in our house we have to settle for pomegranate mimosas.
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Mandy’s Sunday pomegranate mimosas
Spoonful pomegranate for each glass
Ounce orange juice per glass
Ounce soda water per glass
Squeeze fresh lime
Combine ingredients, stir, and enjoy!
*champagne can absolutely be used instead of soda water
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So many ways to add more to these liquid treats: blueberries, flavored soda water, strawberries, ‎grenadine, lemon, candied ginger, pomegranate juice. The possibilities are seriously endless
xo
-M
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categories: Brunch, Cocktails, Guest Post, Little Miss Foodie

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