So there I was trying to tell myself that I really didn’t need a snack while thinking about what I could make with the mini pretzels sitting in my pantry. I bought them because they were really little and I can’t resist cute things. The debate in my head with myself and myself came down to salty or sweet. The other challenge was the lack of ingredients I had to work with. I swung open the fridge doors and did what my children have done for years….stood there and stared. The thing about standing in front of your fridge not knowing what the hell you’re looking at is comparable to staring up at the sky looking for Uranus. So here’s what I found on my very sparse shelves… plain yogurt and blueberry yogurt. I knew I could figure this out and here’s what transpired next, which if I do say so myself, turned out to be pretty spectacular.
Blueberry & Vanilla Yogurt Covered Pretzels
1 bag miniature pretzels
2 cups low fat yogurt – I used 1 cup each of vanilla & blueberry
5 cups confectioners sugar
Preheat oven to 250°F. In two separate bowls, mix 2 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar into each flavored yogurt by hand. Dip the pretzels, one at a time into the frosting then place them on the wire cooling rack. By the way, like my tongs? They belonged to a lovely older gentleman who had a whoop load of amazing vintage wares he no longer needed. I promised him that his treasures would go to good use. Back to the pretzels…place a baking sheet under the wire rack to catch the excess frosting that will drip from the pretzels. Once all pretzels are coated, turn your oven off and place the wire rack and baking sheet in, leaving the oven door slightly open. The excess heat will help the frosting dry without leaving the pretzels soggy & gross.
Allow frosting to harden for 3-4 hrs, remove from oven, and store pretzels in an airtight container for up to 3 days or how ever long they will last in your house….mine are gone within the hour.
Just as a side note, I was truly honored to have these “last three ingredients in my house pretzels” featured on @FoodandWine‘s Instagram Feed. Needless to say I will never be the same again and maybe that’s a good thing.
See ya next week!
Whether it’s Valentine’s Day morning or just a regular old Sunday, this easy breakfast barely needs a recipe.
I simply paired peach jam and laughing cow cheese.
Choose a grainy bread and toast like a grilled cheese! Seriously that’s it I swear.
So many pairings possible here…
Goat cheese and blackberry jam
Brie and strawberry jam
Sharp aged cheddar and apple butter
Havarti cheese and raspberry jam
Really anything sweet and cheesy will work
Enjoy the rest of your week!
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.
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.
So what’s on your pizza? According to the Huffington Post, here is a list that made the top ten:
6. Extra cheese
7. Black olives
8. Green peppers
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.
Let’s start with the dough. I’m going to share 4 versions to suit your needs.
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.
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.
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.
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.
See ya next week!
Is there anyone out there who is as nuts as I am about Valentine’s Day? I know it’s a pretty corny, mushy holiday but come on….the hearts??
I LOVE HEARTS. There I said it and now you know. I don’t need to wait for an occasion to buy anything that looks like a heart but I usually refrain from making heart shaped foods until V Day. As you know, I already have a problem with overdoing the ombré thing so I try to control myself with this particular shape. Wait…I forgot about the time when I used my heart shaped cookie cutter to make watermelon this past Summer. It doesn’t count.
Red Velvet Cake has to be one of my favorites. The color is outta control and the taste is amazing, especially when married with a fluffy cream cheese icing. The only issue with all that red velvetness is this….most recipes require a bucket load of food coloring. Usually around a tablespoon and sometimes more! That’s a heck of a lot and just in case you didn’t know, food coloring is full of yucky chemicals and has been linked to a bunch of nasty things that could happen to your body. So what do you do? Try to stay as natural as possible while still getting the same effect for this gorgeous cake. What’s red in our food groups? How bout’ a beet? They are “red carpet” stunning with just the right amount of natural color. Better yet, beets are full of nutrients and are very healthy for you. Now, I’m not trying to pull the wool over your eyes with this cake…..it’s still cake but I tweeked the ingredients to make it acceptable in my book.
MY HEART IS “BEETING” FOR THIS CAKE
2 1/2 cups cake and pastry flour (use this type of flour…it will lighten the cake)
1/4 cup canola oil
3/4 cup cocoa powder (don’t use Dutch processed… I like Ghirardelli)
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsps baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup unsalted butter, room temp
1 tbls vanilla extract
2 ½ cups granulated sugar
4 extra large eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup low fat buttermilk (you can use almond, rice or soy for non-dairy)
1 cup beet puree (*recipe below) – about 6 small beets ½ cup + 2 tablespoons orange juice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 9” cake pans or a fun heart shaped pan like I used…you will just have to adjust the baking time to 20 – 25 minutes.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, salt and baking powder.
In another medium bowl, whisk together the milk, beet puree, orange juice and oil.
In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream together the butter, sugar, and vanilla. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add a third of the liquid ingredients, followed by a third of the dry ingredients, alternating wet and dry and mixing well after each addition.
Pour into your prepared pans and bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean and the tops bounce back when you touch them. Let cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then remove from pans and cool completely on a wire rack before frosting with yogurt cream cheese icing.
Wash the beets and wrap in aluminum foil.
Place the foil-wrapped beets on a baking sheet to catch any drips, and bake in a 400F degree oven for 40-60 minutes, or until a fork easily pierces their flesh.
Remove from oven and let cool. The skins should easily peel off. Chop the beets and puree them well in blender or food processor.
Greek Yogurt Frosting:
One 8-ounce package reduced-fat cream cheese
1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup reduced-fat Greek yogurt
Whip and go.
Happy Pre Valentines Day!
We are cranking up the red and pink over here at LMP. It’s time to prepare for the most romantic day of the year. Whether you’re in a relationship or not, Valentine’s Day is an excuse to tell those special people in your life that you love them.
And what better way to do so then with something sweet to eat? We asked our friend Clare of Clarelicious to come up with some decadent eats inspired by Valentine’s Day for us. She ran away with this one…
Between the vintage card cookies and mini cakes I didn’t know which way to turn first.
But then there it was…love at first sight between myself and the XO chocolate sandwich cookies.
Don’t be a fool in love I told myself when I quickly moved on to the brownie, strawberry and marshmallow kabobs that were drizzled all over with chocolate.
And how about these heart shaped nutella tarts topped with raspberries? Oh, hello!
I was pretty much set right over the edge after biting into one of these…nutella pop tarts. I mean what? SO GOOD!! She made raspberry poptarts too! Clare!
We didn’t know where to begin with the styling of all these goodies. We were most excited about plating on our new and gorgeous cake stand from our friends over at Layla Grayce. A cake stand so pretty and perfect for valentine’s day…and one that I will use over and over for brunches, showers, gathering with friends…such a show stopper.
Aside from the ultimate sugar high, we had a pretty fabulous playdate with our dear friends. Click on over to Mommy Shorts to see Project Playdate for Valentine’s Day. Great ideas for homemade gifts and crafts for family, friends and teachers!
PS – Clare made so many desserts we felt it was only fair to save some for another post…so stay tuned! Cookies bigger then our head…and more coming soon!
All of the pretty photos above were taken by Karilyn Sanders.