Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Cranberry + Cinnamon Brie en Croute

This has been the holiday season of baked brie! I made this for Thanksgiving, two Christmas parties and on Christmas day. It has become a cocktail hour favorite for our family holidays because it is just so unbelievably GOOD. A simple wheel or wedge of brie gets dressed up with sweet, sugary cranberries and wrapped up in puff pastry. I have made this with both a wheel and a wedge and I have to say, I prefer the end result of the wedge- it's much meltier. 

Cranberries, brown sugar and cinnamon are my fillers of choice, but you can branch out in any direction you like! Fig preserves would be delicious and I have also had this with an apricot and walnut topper, too. I served my baked brie with french bread crostini and honeycrisp apple slices. The apple slices were the best!

If you are looking for something to add to your New Year's celebrations tonight or tomorrow, I promise this will be a favorite. 

Happy New Year's Eve to all!

Cranberry + Cinnamon Brie en Croute

1 wedge of brie
1 sheet puff pastry
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 Tbsp. butter, melted
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1 egg, lightly beaten

Defrost puff pastry for 15-20 minutes and unfold. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

On a baking sheet, lay puff pastry flat. Place brie on top of puff pastry. 

In a small bowl, mix cranberries, butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. Spoon cranberry mixture on top of brie. Fold puff pastry over the wedge, making sure there are no holes or air pockets. Brush with egg wash.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until pastry is browned, puffed and brie is nicely melted.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merriest Christmas!

From our family to yours, wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! 

Card by Tiny Prints
Photo by Jim Trice

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Banana Spice Greek Yogurt Muffins

I'm having a moment with these muffins and this recipe is too good and easy not to share. I know I have said this a million times over, but I love having healthy muffins on hand. These make the perfect addition to breakfast or a great snack to take on the go. They are also good for pre or post workout! 

The batter is mixed in a food processor, making it super smooth, which is a nice deviation from our usual muffins. Adding in pumpkin pie spice give them a nice festive flavor and mini chocolate chips make for a sweet add in! I also love to use dried blueberries, and have skipped the pumpkin pie spice for lemon zest instead. So tasty! 

Banana Spice Greek Yogurt Muffins
makes 12 muffins

1 cup plain 2% Greek yogurt
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 ripe bananas
2 eggs
2 cups organic oats
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1.5 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare muffin tins with liners and spray with coconut oil or other cooking spray of your choice. 

Combine all ingredients in a food processor, except for the chocolate chips. Pulse until smooth. Fold in chocolate chips and pour batter evenly, about 3/4 full, in muffin cups. Bake for 15-20 minutes. 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Salt Dough Ornaments

We spent Tuesday morning with some of our mini friends this week on a mission to do some Christmas crafting. We had an ambitious list, but the little ones were having so much fun playing with the salt dough, that we just stuck to that. 

These toddlers crack me up! They were all so excited to pour in the flour and stir the dough. Poor Will...he kept yelling "pizza!" as helped make the dough. If only I could have gotten a picture of his face when he tasted the salty ornament dough!

We were able to get everyone's tiny handprint and a few cookie cut outs. Once mine finish air drying a bit more, I'm going to spray paint them gold and write the year on the back. This is such a fun activity to do with your littles and would even make cute stocking stuffer gifts for grandparents!

Salt Dough

4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup iodized salt

In a large bowl, pour flour and salt. Add water slowly, until you get your desired dough consistency.

With a paper towel, rub cookie sheets with a little vegetable oil and sprinkle with flour. Roll out dough onto the sheets and cut using cookie cutters. To make the handprint ornaments, we used a mug to cut out a circle in the dough. Place the tiny one's hand in the center and press down.

Use a drinking straw to punch a hole in the ornaments before baking. 

Bake for one hour on the lowest temperature setting that your oven will allow. (most likely 150-170 degrees) Continue to air dry for at least 24 hours.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Clam Pie

Clam pie exists in a realm of pizza that I never knew existed and considering my love of creatures of the sea, I can't believe I've never travelled there before. While out of town a few weeks ago, Mark and I were enlightened by this delightfully different pizza topping combo and we promptly recreated it. In the spirit of Pizza Friday, and in the spirit of giving, I'm sharing this recipe with you today!

If seafood isn't your thing, this pizza probably isn't for you, but dare I say seafood haters might be surprised at their first bite. Broccoli may seem like the odd man out in this toppings bunch but I assure you, it works with the clams in all of the right ways. This may have a permanent position on our Friday night pizza line up. 

Don't knock it until you try it. 

Clam Pie

1 can minced clams 
4-5 cloves fresh garlic, minced
Broccoli crown, finely chopped
Olive oil
Shredded mozzarella cheese
Grated pecorino romano cheese

Preheat oven and pizza stone to 500 degrees.

In a small saute pan, add 2-3 Tablespoons of olive oil. Add garlic and saute until soft and fragrant on medium heat, about 3-5 minutes. 

Pour garlic and olive oil mixture into a medium bowl with the clams and broccoli. Season with salt and pepper. 

Sprinkle a thin layer of mozzarella cheese on the pizza dough. Spread clam mixture evenly on top. Sprinkle another thin layer of mozzarella on top, followed by a thin layer of grated pecorino romano cheese. Bake for 8 minutes. 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Chatbooks, I Love You

Instagram is my favorite social media platform and it's really the only place that I post pictures these days. But what is the point of posting daily snapshots and memories if you don't ever get them printed!? Don't let your pictures sit in the clouds forever. There is something so special about tangible memory books to look through for years to come. 

I recently came across Chatbooks via an Instagram post from someone I follow, and I am hooked! I simply downloaded the free app on my phone, synced my Instagram account Chatbooks automatically compiled several books full of my entire Instagram history- including captions. I went through and deleted the ones I didn't want and ended up with seven 60-page books filled with moments that make me smile. Each book was $6, which is an excellent value! My books arrived in less than a week and they are all so cute. The quality is great and I can't wait to keep adding to my collection. I'm trying my hardest not to overgram, but with this easy method of printing and binding, it's so hard not to Instagram ALL THE THINGS. 

Chatbooks also offers features to create custom books and hashtag books. Additionally, you can invite others to a book and collaborate together. I'm loving everything about this app. 

Use this code below to get your first Instagram Chatbook free! 

NOTE: This post is NOT sponsored. I just love Chatbooks so much and wanted to share!