Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Butternut Squash Risotto

My baby signed "more" today. Why you ask? She wanted more Butternut Squash Risotto.

The extra dishes and hour of prep and stirring were well worth it.

Last night, the Good Apple and I were watching Alton Brown's episode about rice.  He constructed this recipe while featuring the in's and out's of risotto. We watched it...twice, then we started talking. What would WE add? Which veggie? Which spices? Garlic? Of course. When would we eat it?

As the hour approached for GA to leave work today, I sent him a text. "Stop by store for Arborio and white wine?" His response, "yes". Done deal.

While making the masterpiece, we juggled kid duties back and forth. He felt this urge to keep taking the Dutch Oven off the heat. Ugh. Time for me to jump back in and... Put. It. Back. On. The. Heat.  "But Alton says...". Scoot over sweetheart, this is my recipe now. Said with a smile. Really. He can do his version someday, just not today.

This is a 3-pot-meal. One for the broth, one for the butternut squash, and one for the risotto itself. In addition, it is the frequent stirring that gives risotto it's creamy consistency that brought every family member back for more. This is not a dish where you can pop the ingredients into a pot and walk away for an hour. Watch it. Stir it. When the bottom gives you a little sizzley pop sound, it is time to add more broth.

Healthy. Affordable. Fills the belly. Perfection. Risotto. A new family fall favorite. More please.

Butternut Squash Risotto
Adapted from Alton Brown's recipe as seen on Good Eats.

8 cups organic chicken broth
1 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
5 cloves of garlic, crushed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups Arborio rice
12 ounces organic butternut squash, cut into 1/2" cubes
1 cup grated Parmesan

In a medium saucepan with a lid, pour 7 cups of chicken broth and keep it simmering.

In a small pot, combine butternut squash and remaining cup of chicken broth over medium heat until, squash is just tender then remove from the heat. Do not overcook or it will become mushy when mixed with the arborio rice.

In a large 3 to 4-quart heavy saucepan or Dutch oven,  melt the butter over medium heat.
Add the onions, basil and a pinch of salt and sweat until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the rice and stir. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until the grains are translucent around the edges. Do not allow the grains or the onions to brown. Add garlic.

Reduce the heat to low. Add 1 cup of wine and some of your simmering chicken stock just to cover the top of the rice. Stir often with a wooden spoon or silicon spatula, until the liquid is completely absorbed into rice. Once absorbed, add enough broth just to cover the rice and continue stirring. Continue this process until you have used all of the broth. It will take approximately 45 minutes for all of the liquid to be absorbed. After the last addition of liquid has been mostly absorbed, add the butternut squash and broth and stir until risotto is creamy. Remove from the heat and stir in the Parmesan. Taste and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper until you taste perfection.

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Territorial Seed catalogs will be coming at the end of December!!! I am starting to build my seed list.

Have you started planning your garden yet? What new items would you like to add this year?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sharing Sunday: mamawolfe

One of the many reasons I have come to love Voiceboks is meeting fellow mamas like Jennifer Wolfe.  She is an 8th grade teacher, just like me, so I HAD to love her right off the bat. Teachers of tweens and teens are a special breed of people and we get each other. I knew I would be a follower of her blog when I read this post. I have been hooked ever since.

Enjoy her photographic tour of her hometown and PLEASE make sure you stop by her site, Mama Wolfe, to tell her how much you love her! Leave a comment at the bottom for me about which of her posts is YOUR favorite. I find myself wandering all through her site, reading about her stories of her kids, both at home and at school and I long, a little, for my teaching days. 

Thank you Jennifer for hopping on over here to Mental Chew and sharing your wonderful gift with us!


Take A Walk With Me: Davis, California 
by Jennifer Wolfe

Spend a weekend in Davis and you won't be disappointed. A small university town located in between the Pacific Ocean and the Sierras, Davis is a magical place to live. Come take a Saturday morning walk with me and I'll show you what I mean! 
Starting near my house, it's an easy walk to campus. Living in a university town means there's always something interesting going on. The University of California, Davis, adds about 33,000 students to our town each year. First started in 1905 as an offshoot of U.C. Berkeley, Davis has become well known for its strong academic programs. In fact, it's the third largest public university in California!
Davis is known for being a beautiful place to live. I love walking under these huge walnut trees on my way to campus. The campus itself is 5,300 acres, making it the largest of all the University of California campuses. 
The Egghead sculptures, by Robert Arneson, are scattered all over campus. This is one of my favorites-it sits in front of the library. 
My dog Cola and I spend hours walking along tranquil Putah Creek which runs right through the campus. There is amazing wildlife to see- rabbits, ducks, birds, turtles, and even an occasional peacock keep us busy! 
Sometimes it's nice just so sit and watch the world go by. 
Most times of the day and night the arboretum is full of walkers, joggers, and students studying wildlife or tending the many international plant species growing along the creek. 
All the plant diversity creates beautiful pockets of color that change with the seasons. 
Moving off campus towards downtown we find Central Park , currently home to a peaceful Occupy Davis camp. Central Park is our version of London 's Speakers Corner and Berkeley 's People's Park, and there's always something interesting going on there. 
One of the most popular attractions in Central Park is our Farmer's Market. Open Saturday mornings and Wednesday nights, residents are able to take advantage of living in the fertile Central Valley of California. Davis is one of the most bike friendly cities in the US-many people take advantage of our superb bike paths and commute to work, school, and for pleasure. 
 Davis is a very welcoming city-unless you're trying to bring your pet into the market!

Fresh organic produce, delicious prepared food, artisans and live music ensure that young and old will all have a great time at the market. 
Don't you think you'd like to take a trip and come to visit? I know you'll enjoy discovering everything our great town has to offer-there's so much more to see! Please visit my blog, mamawolfe, to read more! Stop by http://mamawolfe-living.blogspot.com and check it out!

Save 20% on Linen colored Le Creuset pieces from Williams-Sonoma. Limited time only!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Week of Thanks: Saturday - mama bloggers

There are days when the Good Apple comes home and a room in the house is completely rearranged, or better yet, rearranged to the point that I could move the furniture while herding the kids. Then he helps me move a bed, or a dresser, a sofa...something, and it is complete, and I exhale that breath in me that needed a little change. I am like that. Piece of mind comes when the uncharted road trip begins.

Blogging has been my release with that need, to some extent. Creating new graphics, widget placement, adjusting photos, experimenting with photography, cooking or gardening tricks, learning how to code HTML and implementing a new idea...when time permits. Can you see the problem emerging here? A blog should fill a niche. Mine is vast.

And there is heartbreak. There are days when I publish a post where I love my photos and I think I have a fairly interesting storyline to accompany them and then, at day's end, there are 15 hits. Gut punch.

Why am I doing this?

I ask myself this frequently. Creative release. Sense of accomplishment. Potential income (HA!). A time capsule of experiences. New relationships.

Hold the phone! New relationships?

Yes, this is the most unexpected outcome from blogging. Through "This Moment" from SouleMama and the incredible network of ladies at Voice Boks, I have met women who are talented, inspiring, supportive, creative, intelligent and expressive. They have made me laugh, cry, cheer, reflect and given me challenges...good challenges. Who knew?

On those days, the gut punch days, it never fails that one of these women reaches out and shares some kind words, some constructive criticism or a personal story and I am so glad I wrote that post for her.

To all of the women who have changed my life this year with their words and photos, their stories and shared histories, thank you and to all of you, I promise to work to make Mental Chew a place worth stopping by.

Stop on by.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Menu 2011

=~=Thanksgiving Menu=~=
  • Brined and BBQd Turkey
  • Stuffing - Pepperidge Farms Stuffing with Celery and Onion
  • Roasted Green Beans with Garlic
  • Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
  • Roasted Sweet Potatoes
  • Spinach Salad - Spinach, Feta, Honey Pecans, Red Onion and Dried Cherries. Brianna's Vinaigrette Dressing.
  • Sourdough Dinner Rolls
  • Cranberry Orange Sauce with Port
  • Pumpkin Pie
Happy Thanksgiving and celebrate being together this holiday.

Week of Thanks: Wednesday

Today I am thankful for Figgy and Baxter.

Two summers ago we lost our family dog, Farley. He was The Good Apple's first kid and a wonderful companion. The Little Man was only 3 and so his memories with Farley are scattered. He remembers crawling up is his yellow, otter-like fur and snuggling with him. Those are good memories to keep at the surface.

Since then, he hasn't had that same joyful, comforting experience with a dog and has really become quite apprehensive around our friends' dogs.

Today it warmed my heart when these two pups brought him back around. My mother-in-law and sister-in-law each have one of the sweetest dogs and they are exactly what was needed to break the fear spell.

Thank you Figgy and Baxter for your gentle and loving ways.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Traveling with Kids

I chuckle when I think about how my perspective of "normal" and "safe" have changed since my two littles have joined in on my adventures.

First priority is to keep these babes happy.

Food: squeezable organic apple sauce, Graham crackers, raisins, water, juice boxes (in flight special treat for our household), dried cherries and, of course, the always necessary O's. We ate a yogurt just before boarding. Oh yes, and there are the super special only when flying treats of gum and peanut M&Ms. Ok, food...check.

Necessities: diapers, wipes, blanket to change on, extra shirt for mom, extra clothes for the babe...check.

Entertainment: 3 Hot Wheels cars, new mini markers, coloring book, drawing pad, blank stickers to color, iPad with headphones and new Sesame Street downloaded (in emergencies, haven't had to pull out electronics yet) plus some crazy "fill the time" apps, some funny teeth, glasses and a red nose to put on if things get tense or need a change of pace and a kaleidoscope...check.

What I did not foresee was that our seat would be reassigned and we would be split up. Little Man and the Good Apple up front, Little Miss and I just behind...in the middle. On one side we had a doting, lovable, patient and accommodating grandma...the other a hypochondriac. Seriously. Face mask on panicking when the Lil Miss touched her leg. I was horrified for the anxiety we were probably causing her. The woman by my husband was not open to switching seats. Ok.

We have learned to roll with the punches and I think that is part of travel survival. Little Miss was passed back and forth which meant I had time to just relax and write a post. Ahhhhh.

Overall, regardless of what you have packed, having an attitude of just going with the flow eases the stress of travel and can bring unexpected surprises. When I travelled with students "go with the flow" was always our motto and now I found it even more important when traveling with my own family. Now breathe deep and reflect on how some things never change and also, how they are different.

Happy Holiday Travels!

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Monday, November 21, 2011

Week of Thanks: Tuesday

Today is my favorite day of this week.

A little over two years ago, I was told that we were lucky to have one healthy child and that he would be our one and only. A year ago today, I had Lil Miss.

Her birth was scheduled since there were complications during her brother's birth and we live on an island that is accessible only by air or water. My sweet friend was due 2 days before me and had her sweet bundle a week early. The weather was turning to high winds and snow and I was not going to get stuck on the island, so we left three days early. She waited, but it was so nice to be near the hospital.

Her birth was textbook easy and it all felt so surreal that she was a part of our lives. I had talked myself out of our second child for so long that even the nine months of pregnancy had not prepared me for her presence in our lives.

But now she is here and she is spunky, oh so spunky, and she makes us laugh and smile and cry (the happy kind). She makes me shine inside in a way I didn't know was possible.

Lil Miss, I am so glad you are a part of our family and I am so thankful that your sassy little spirit didn't listen to those doctors. There are big designs for someone with this much drive and I can't wait to see where the road takes you. Happy Birthday KMC. We love you.

Week of Thanks: Monday

Today I am grateful for the relationship between the Little Man and Little Miss. She adores him and he would do anything for her. In the morning when she wakes, his name is the first thing she says...always. When he wakes up, he runs in to give her "morning lovin's". They are beginning to have their sibling moments, but I am going to embrace each time she runs over to check on her brother if he is crying and she gently pats him on the head and back. I am going to embrace each time he runs into our room and cheerfully sings, "Good morning my pretty little flower" or "Good morning our sweetest bit of sunshine." I am going to embrace when they dance together and when he gets her belly laughing like no one else can. I am going to embrace when he wants to teach her something new and then cheers out loud and proud for her when she learns a new skill. I know this will change, but for now, I will embrace it.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Week of Thanks: Sunday

Today I am thankful that my daughter has a daddy who makes her laugh and who she responds to like no one else. She is a fairly serious Little Miss and she means business...and then Daddy comes along. He has been gone the last two days and we reunited tonight. She wouldn't go to bed without him by her side. I love that.

Sunday Sharing: Fun with Leaves featuring Hurrayic

~~Featured Blogger~~
When I saw this post on hurrayic, I immediately emailed Ellen to see if she would be interested in a guest post. I think these are just brilliant and we are heading out tomorrow to gather leaves that we will use to create fun images later in the week. Take some time to enjoy the photos, recipes and more on her beautiful blog.

Fun with Leaves 
by Ellen Crandall
As mentioned yesterday, we had a very full weekend so when Monday morning arrived I brought out the glue, paper, paintbrushes and leaves we had pressed several weeks ago.

We needed something creative that also offered immediate results.
I have had this book sitting on my shelf for over ten several years now, and rather than pull it out and think, "oh, that would be nice to do...someday..." and replace it in its spot as I have done for the past ten plus several years, we finally put it to good use as inspiration.
So my kids set to work and roughly 45 minutes later, we had a...
a swooping swift...

a dog who looks like he's dancing...

a rather ferocious looking reptile...

 and a mischevious mouse!

All of them loved this and would like to make more...

Definitely a good way to start out the week.

Here's another site that shows some very neat leaf animals by the author.

Friday, November 18, 2011

{this moment}: Party Girl

A Friday ritual. A few photos - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. Inspired by SouleMama.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

No More Picky Eaters

Back before I started this blog. Back before when my garden was tulips and daffodils, sage and lavender. Back when I started feeding my Little Man solids, the Good Apple and I made some decisions about our family and what we would be eating and how.

When I was pregnant, we cut out high fructose syrup and white flour. Then we went organic.

When it was time for the Little Man to eat, we decided he would eat what we eat and that we would eat well. We knew variety was the key and getting him to at least try foods. We are working on this with the Little Miss and it is much more challenging, but we are still holding our ground.

Planting the garden has helped a ton with the vegetable consumption of the Little Man, but it has turned him into a bit of a produce snob. Who wants frozen peas when you have snap peas off the vine as a snack in the summer?

While chatting with a group of parents recently, some were commenting how their kids would eat anything with Ranch or ketchup and other said theirs would eat only 4-6 things and they were frustrated with meals. I get that. We have our "standards" but that doesn't mean it is always easy or that the Little Man always has a smile on while digging into my latest creation.

Timing is EVERYTHING. I opened my email last night after I had put the kids to bed and there was an email from Elizabeth Pantley, the bestselling author of The "No-Cry" Solution Book Series. She was offering a special blogger contest to kick off the release of her newest book, "The No-Cry Picky Eater Solution - Gentle Ways to Encourage Your Child to Eat--and Eat Healthy." I want it all ready, actually, I REALLY could have used it last night. When it comes to crazy kid situations, I am always bouncing ideas off of my fellow mamas and consulting parenting books. This is a good set.

The book is filled with information, tips and solutions and it includes a chapter of recipes by many well-known family cookbook authors with fun recipes such as Pink Potatoes and Lord of the Apple Rings!

The winner gets a set of cookbooks and TWO sets of the "No-Cry Solution" series to keep or give away. I would give both away...to YOU!!!
The No-Cry Picky Eater Solution
The No-Cry Sleep Solution
The No-Cry Discipline Solution
The No-Cry Nap Solution
The No-Cry Potty Training Solution
The No-Cry Separation Anxiety Solution
The No-Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers & Preschoolers
In addition I would add in:
The Petit Appetit Cookbook by Lisa Barnes

The way I will choose the winner, if I win (fingers crossed for ya) is by randomly choosing someone who leaves a comment below about why they think they have picky kids or maybe you don't! Give us your best helpful hint.

Here are some excerpts from her book. I know you will be hooked!

“If your child is a picky eater, keep the correct goal in mind. The objective is NOT to make your child eat more food…but to be sure that food choices are healthy ones.”

"It can be hard - almost impossible sometimes -to change your child's rigidly held eating habits. Instead of trying to overhaul every meal and snack at once, begin by making a few small changes, one at a time, toward a more nutritious diet. Pick just a few items to start with. Once these become routine, then change another couple of items. If you follow this process, you'll find that within a year you will have improved your child's overall diet significantly; and likely affected his lifelong eating habits."

"What's in your kitchen? A typical home contains plenty of healthy food, along with an assortment of snacks, desserts, and less healthy fare. An adult can sift through all this and decide what's best to eat, picking healthy options and judiciously choosing the right time for and amount of junk food and desserts.Children, however, will naturally be drawn to the tastiest option, with no guilt over the resulting choice. They will open the refrigerator or pantry and pick the most appetizing thing they see.
How can you help your child make better choices? The best way is to put the healthy foods where they can be seen easily and allow your child to choose between the nutritious options in view. Place desserts and junk foods on high shelves or in opaque containers. This way you can dole out the treats when and where you feel they're appropriate."

"Health officials call soda liquid candy. It’s easy to see why: there is no nutritional value in soda and a twelve ounce can contains 9 to 12 teaspoons of sugar. A 20 ounce bottle contains 16 to 18 teaspoons of sugar! Having just one soft drink a day can increase a child’s risk for obesity by 60%."

"Make family dinnertime a routine because your children who eat with their parents will eat healthier overall, have better social skills, be less likely to abuse alcohol and drugs later in life, and stay closer to you emotionally throughout childhood, and perhaps beyond. Family mealtime does not have to be formal, structured, or complicated to reap great rewards. A night when you eat sandwiches around the table while chatting about anything under the sun counts just as much as those more formal dinners.There are four things that shouldn't be brought to the dinner table: lectures, reprimands, rigid expectations, and demands for specific conversation.The key to success for the family dinner idea is regularity-four to five times a week or more. Families that make a practice of dining together in a relaxed, pleasant atmosphere reap the most benefits."


Don't forget to leave a comment about your picky or non-picky eaters!!

(I am not being paid to deliver this post, however, I do stand getting two sets of the books to give to my readers along with some cookbooks I will most likely pass on to my readers as well. - I know as soon as the Good Apple sees a stack of cookbooks for the already jam packed cookbook shelf there will be a *discussion*.) The winner will be chosen at random on November 30th, 2011.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Soup's On: Julia Child's Potato Leek Soup Spun

The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you've got to have a what-the-hell attitude.” ~Julia Child
She is a classic, without a doubt. Julia Child brought the home kitchen to a new level with her love of cooking, her personal flare and her cookbooks.

Last winter, as a homage to Ms. Child, I made her famous Potato Leek Soup, Potage Parmentier. I was expecting a hefty grocery list as I was searching for the recipe and then I read: potatoes, leeks, water, salt, cream (or butter) and parsley. Huh? This puzzled me. I had heard marvelous things about this soup. "All you need is a loaf of bread to go with it." "Perfect cold night soup."

I get it. There is something you do in the preparation of the soup, right? That has to be it.

Wait. What? There are only three steps?!? EPIPHANY.

Let the ingredients sing for themselves and they will. I made it. We loved it. It was that simple.

Being me, I wanted to give it a little spin. Just a little though. It was so good as it was. First, I changed it to chicken broth instead of water and as a result, cut the salt in half. When serving I added a dollop of sour cream and a light sprinkling of Parmesan. If I had chives, I would have added them and it would have been perfection. For the kiddos, I added the dollop of sour cream, the sprinkle of Parmesan and then I scattered about 20 of Annie's Cheddar Bunnies to frolick around the bowl. My sweet ones will do anything for Cheddar Bunnies.

For the kiddos
Here is my discovery and where you should make the call based on how daring your family is with what you serve them. When you are slicing the leeks, definitely use the white parts, if your family will dig into a bowl of green soup, head into the tender parts of the green. The flavor is fabulous.

If you are on a budget, this soup with a homemade loaf of French bread and a simple green salad will fill the tummies 'round your table and allow you to splurge on another night's meal.

Affordable. Filling. Flavorful. How can you beat it?

The best way to execute French cooking is to get good and loaded and whack the hell out of a chicken. Bon appétit.

Atta girl Julia.
Potato Leek Soup

1 lb potatoes, peeled and diced
3 cups leeks, thinly sliced, use the tender greens if you have a willing audience
4 cups chicken stock
2 cups water
1/2 tablespoon salt
4 tablespoons whipping cream

Optional Toppings:
Sour cream
Grated Parmesan
Cheddar Bunnies

1) Simmer potatoes, leeks, broth, water and salt together, partially covered, 40-50 minutes.
2) Use immersion blender to purée soup. If you use a standing blender, blend in multiple batches.
3) Off heat and just before serving, stir in cream. Pour into a tureen or soup bowls and decorate with the optional toppings.

And of course, one final Julia-ism...

If you're afraid of butter, use cream.”

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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sharing Sunday: Icing & Crumbs

Since I began blogging. I have become part of an inspiring community of blogging women. Oh ok, and a couple of guys out there too!!  During conversations with friends I would find myself saying, "Oh on this blog there is......" quite a bit. As a person, I have always been about celebrating someone else's joy with them. When a friend has an achievement, I feel such a deep sense of pride for them.

With that in mind, I am going to start "Sharing Sundays". The idea is to share some of the amazing blogs I have been lucky enough to frequent over the past months / years. With that I wanted to start with Icing & Crumbs

Kristina is incredibly humble. She is a recipe machine. A GOOD recipe machine and a great writer. Although I have never talked to her, I can hear her through her writing. We reached out to each other and found that we had a lot in common beyond being island moms.

Born and bred in Australia (as well as several years spent living in the mid-west of the US), she now lives on the beautiful island of O'ahu, Hawaii. She is a mother to two beautiful children. She loves to cook and eat healthy foods, and she started blogging in hopes of passing these loves onto her young children. Lucky kids. 

Here are a few of my favorite recipes, but when you explore her blog, don't stop at the recipes. There is so much more!

And now we are lucky enough to have a post from her!! Thank you Kristina for joining us here.

Sweet Memories
by Kristina Hoy

I have wonderful memories of my mother’s desserts growing up… especially those made when we had dinner with friends. Never plain or ordinary, her dishes were rich, full of flavour, and presented with an artistry usually seen among professional cooks. There is one dessert I remember particularly well – constructed in a manner similar to the savoury version, this sweet pizza was simple to make and looked amazing – the round biscuit crust, made from crushed cookies, was topped with a layer of cheesecake-like mixture, and then decorated with slices of fresh, colourful fruit, their brightness glowing through the brush of thin glaze.

My children love dessert… small bowls of ice-cream decorated with sprinkles or little chocolate chips; soft vanilla cupcakes topped with fluffy pink icing; tiny squares of brownies, their dark, fudgy crumbs smearing little fingers and lips as they are quickly eaten up… Ideally, I’d like for my children to have desserts that are always healthy (most nights dessert consists of just a small bowl of yoghurt and some fruit), but I am constantly drawn to the sweet dishes first made by my mother… Wanting to make a healthier version of her fruit pizza, I set to work in the kitchen today…

Little Fruit Pizzas
You need:
For the base-
240g of plain flour
1 teaspoon of finely grated lemon zest
120g of butter
3-5 tablespoons of cold water (enough to bind, but not leave the dough sticky)
½ cup of jam (warmed)

For the topping-
1 cup of ricotta cheese
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of honey
fresh fruit

You do:
To make the base, place the flour and lemon zest in a mixing bowl and, using your fingers, rub the butter through until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Slowly add the water and mix until the dough forms a smooth (but not sticky) ball. Shape the dough into a disc, cover in clear wrap, and refrigerate for about 20 minutes.

Pre-heat the oven to 220 degrees Celsius (420 F). When the dough is ready, roll it out until it is a couple of mm thick, and using a large cookie cutter, cut into the desired shapes. Place the shapes on a lined tray and top with the warmed jam. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the edges have just started to turn golden.
Remove the tray from the oven and allow to cool completely.
To make the topping, place the ricotta, cinnamon and honey in a small bowl and stir until evenly combined. Spread a layer of this onto each cooled base and top with pieces of fresh fruit.

These little fruity pizzas are so easy and so much fun to make with the kids! They can help mix and roll the dough, cut the shapes out and put the toppings on. It doesn’t matter what type of jam you use – we used apricot and blackberry, but any will do. We used mostly fresh fruit (watermelon, rockmelon (cantaloupe) and kiwi-fruit), as well as some dried blueberries – the combination is up to your imagination! If you don’t want to make all the pizzas at once, any left over uncooked dough or ricotta mixture can be kept covered in the fridge for a couple of days. The recipe above makes 10-12 small pizzas (depending on the size of the cookie cutter).

“Memory is a way of holding onto the things you love,
the things you are, the things you never want to lose.”

(The Wonder Years)

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Friday, November 11, 2011

{this moment}: Friends Frolick in Fall Foliage

A Friday ritual. A few photos - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. Inspired by SouleMama. 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Reshoot and Vote

You know how you love going to Tastespotting and Foodgawker and looking at their recipes and the pictures. I do too and now I want to be part of the experience. I am trying to kick up my photography and just when I think I have it, I still don't get one submitted.

I did take pics for my friend at Flour Arrangements and her "Glazed Over" post did get accepted with one of my photos. Yeah SUZANNE!!

Now I want one of mine. I thought I might have a chance with the Browned Butter Apple Bread photos, but nope. So I am open to constructive criticism and I need your opinion on these photos.

I REALLY love this recipe: Savory Slowcooker Pot Roast. We make it. It is delicious. People outside of my family like it. It is just that pot roast is a difficult photo subject. Nobody wants to stare at a slab of meat. Although, I am embarrassed to say, that IS what I submitted.

Please look at the photos below, choose one if you feel it is worthy of submission and if you don't PLEASE tell me to try something else. I will. I am learning.

So here they go.








OPTION H: It is time to make some Pot Roast again and here are my suggestions: _________________
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