Friday, November 30, 2012

Foodie Pen Pal

As I was looking at something on Pinterest last month I stumbled
across a blog called The Lean Green Bean.
On it she started a program called "Foodie Pen Pals."
 Every month you are paired up with another person and you send them $15 worth of goodies.
It can be homemade or store bought.
And at the end of the month you blog about the box you received.
Pretty simple huh?

So for this month I sent my box over to Jen at Jen's Best Life.  
She wrote up a really sweet post on the box I sent, which you can see here.

I received my box from Libby at BlondUnderwater.

It's so exciting on the day the package shows up on your doorstep!
I couldn't wait to rip into it and find out what she picked out for me.

In her note Libby described what she included as very "So Cal," since she lives in LA.
The first think I had to try was the Kale Krunch since it was the most unique thing. It was actually pretty good!
I think it would even be good sprinkled on top of a soup for a light crunch.

She also included a raspberry bar, some lentil soup, and some really dark chocolate.
But I have to say my absolute favorite was the granola, it was filled with dried strawberries and chunks of dark chocolate. (It was Livs favorite too!)

So if you're interested in participating head on over to Lindsay's site at The Lean Green Bean!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Garlic Slathered Stretch Bread

I made this bread this past weekend and it was a huge hit!
My brother Broc proclaimed it the best garlic bread he's ever had!
It does take some time to rise but it's worth it.
You could probably use a store bought crust and just use the topping if you wanted.

Garlic Slathered Stretch Bread
Adapted from A Passion for Baking

2 cups warm water (100 - 110 degrees)
1 3/4 tsp rapid rise yeast
1 3/4 tsp salt
4 tsp sugar
4 cups bread flour

Garlic Slather Topping
6 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup mayonnaise
1 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp dried Italian seasoning
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and drizzle with olive oil.

In a mixing bowl hand whisk water and yeast together and let stand 3 minutes to dissolve yeast. Then whisk in salt, sugar and most of the flour to make a soft dough. Knead with dough hood on lowest speed for 5 to 8 minutes, adding more flour as necessary until dough is resilient but not tough. Remove dough hook and spray dough with nonstick cooking spray. Cover bowl with plastic and let dough rise 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Turn out dough onto a floured work surface and gently deflate. Cover dough loosely with plastic wrap while you make the topping. Using a mortar and pestle smash the garlic and salt together to make a fine paste. Remove to a bowl and add the mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, and olive oil.

Divide dough in half and stretch each into a long oval on baking sheet. Divide topping evenly between the 2 pieces of dough and spread with the back of a spoon. Top each with the mozzarella cheese. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake until nicely golden brown about 20-25 minutes.

Catch up

I honestly feel like this year is flying by.
Yesterday I checked to see when the last time I had put a post on here and it was October 4th!
So this one is just going to be some highlights of what has been going on around here.

  • Liv got some cowboy boots from her great grandpa pop. Which she proceeded
    wear every day for a week straight it seemed like.

  • Kellen is up to 7 teeth now! He has been pulling up for the past month and
    is now starting to let go and just stand by himself.
  • Some fun days at the park.

  • Liv and I went and got our hair cut. This was the second time she has
    ever got it trimmed. And when I say she got it cut, she has probably had
    a total of a half inch cut off in her whole 2 1/2 years of life.

  • While getting her haircut they put bright red lip gloss on her. She loved it!
  • My birthday was in the middle of October. Liv loved blowing the candles out
    and her favorite thing to say for about 3 weeks was "Happy Birthday TO YOU!"

  • We've had lots of picnics in the playroom. Mainly eating "cake and carrots."
  • I've been trying to meal plan for the week. It's hard to come up with new things to eat, but Pinterest has been very helpful :)
  • The night before Halloween Liv and I made pumpkin and ghost cookies.

  • Halloween was fun. Liv was Little Red Riding Hood, and Kellen was the Big
    Bad Wolf, or as Liv would say a "good wolf."

Mom and Kellen

  • Kellen is starting to take one long nap in the middle of the day. For the past week
    I have got them both to go down for naps at the same time and its been wonderful!
  • We've taken some nightly Kubota rides.

  • We went to my parents house and Liv loved playing on the mulch piles. Kellen
    enjoyed riding on my mom's shoulders.

  • I'm loving looking through my pictures after Liv plays with my phone. She's
    getting pretty good about taking pictures and actually getting a subject in the frame.

  • Joe and I's anniversary was last week. We ended up trying a new Italian restaurant.
    The food was fabulous and I can't wait to go back!
  • Last night Joe's sister came and spent the night with us. Liv was really excited for "Rachie"
    to stay. We had a great dinner that included some yummy garlic bread, which I'm going to try
    and get posted on here sometime this week.

    So there is a short recap of our last couple of weeks!