Until about two weeks ago, the last time I ate pizza was when I was in New York City last May for Creative Week with fellow U of O classmates! We ate at a Brooklyn restaurant called Grimaldi’s Pizzeria. If you like thin crust pizza, this is definitely the place! Don’t plan on going there if you’re about to keel over from hunger, however, because there is usually a line outside. Luckily when we went, there was hardly a wait. We sat at a big table, but if you’re a smaller party they have bar seating where you can watch the pizzas and calzones baking away in the oven.
During the same trip, my week-long roommates and I ordered pizza for a lazy girls’ night in. It was surprisingly hard to find a delivery place that was open late, so we were thrilled when we stumbled upon Famous Amadeus Pizza. The delivery was relatively fast, and the deep dish pizza we ordered was sinfully delectable. Cheese for days, I’m telling you.
(After writing that paragraph, I realized the real last time I ate pizza was in July with my internship boss. Oops! Ah well, the paragraph stays!)
Recently, I’v been wanting to possibly reintroduce pizza into my diet, but all the cheese and grease from your average pizza delivery place always left me feeling queasy (that NYC deep dish was special…). I’ve wanted to make homemade pizza for a while, but wasn’t quite sure how to best go about it. I wanted it to be healthy! I’d thought about making cauliflower crust pizza and using my own toppings, but the crust-making part of it always seemed like more work than it was worth. I’ll admit I’ve never tried it, but I will someday. Because of all this, I was more than thrilled when I saw foodie blogger STUFT Mama‘s post about Flatout Bread homemade pizza! Not only did they look delicious, healthy and versatile, but they looked extremely easy. Off to the store I went!
I purchased a pack of Hungry Girl’s Foldit! Flatout Bread, perfect for a single-serving side dish pizza. Following directions from the Flatout Bread site (they have tons of great recipes!), I baked the bread in the oven at 350 for a mere 4 minutes, all the while carefully prepping my toppings.
Basil leaves, 1 piece of marinated artichoke heart, a couple tomato slices chopped up, and 2 TBSP of goat cheese. Mmmm, locally made goat cheese. Once the flatbread bakes for 4 minutes, take it out and pile the toppings on.
The directions I was looking at said to just bake your pizza with toppings for 4 more minutes – I ended up baking mine for about 8. After that, I turned on the broiler and crisp-ified the bread and toppings just a bit. Ohhh yeah.
All done! I ate mine as a side with some turkey and cucumber slices for lunch. Mmmmm. I think the basil was my favorite part! I made this on a Friday a few weeks ago, then the next Friday I made it again. Twice makes it a tradition, right? So today, it once again graced my lunch plate, inspiring this post today. I’m quite happy I’ve decided to venture back into the land of pizza every once and a while.
Another foodie thing! This month, I’m participating in Lindsay of The Lean Green Bean‘s Foodie Penpals program. I’M SO EXCITED. I’ve met both my penals (you have one penpal who is sending you goodies and a different penpal that you send goodies to) via email, and I can’t wait to send off some goodies and receive mine near the end of the month. This is my first time participating in Foodie Penpals. I can already see how it has grown to be such a big program. It’s a fun and easy way to meet fellow food lovers from around the country and to try out new and unique foods. Look forward to a guest post on the blog from my penpal at the end of the month.
Do you like trying new and interesting foods from different places? And what’s your favorite recipe of the moment?
Until next time – this has been Foodie Friday!
After a slight leave of absence, I’m back with a “Whatever Wednesday” post! This Wednesday is all about media!
When people ask you – “What’s your favorite _____?” – do you have an immediate answer? I’ve NEVER been able to shout out a favorite book, movie, band or anything without taking some serious time to think about it. When I was little (
okay, and even now), I was always concerned about what others would think of my favorites. Perhaps that hindered my speedy decision making. But today I shall toss aside that fear! Besides, peoples’ favorites are what make them so interesting! Discovering or remember what your favorite things are can also help reignite an interest or passion. I want to share some current media favorites.
I’m excited to say that I’m pretty sure I have a favorite song. Not just a favorite song of the moment, but a FOREVER favorite song. I realized this while driving to work this morning. Drum roll!
Michael Jackson’s “The Way You Make Me Feel.”
No matter how I’m feeling, this song puts me in a great mood! I workout to it, I sing along with it and I can’t help but tap my feet to it whenever I hear it. It makes me happy, and it has for years! Plus, how can you not love MJ and his stop-a-girl-in-her-tracks voice (cue video!)?! I think those are good enough reasons as any to dub this My Favorite Song!
Okay, now for some current, favorites of the moment. My current favorite gym jam would have to be Korean boyband SHINee’s “Why So Serious?” It has a good beat and you can
lift weights to it dance to it. While member Jonghyun is missing in the video due to an injury, he and his powerful voice are very present in the CD recording.
TV time! My favorite sitcom of the moment would be NBC’s Parks & Recreation. Clever writing combined with a wide range of lovable character personalities, this show is hilarious. It’s not without its tender, touching moments as well. Each character is so distinct! I think everyone who watches will be able to find a character to relate to. I personally adore both Chris Traeger and Tom Haverford. Since this post is all about media, I must mention the episode where Tom is forced to go without technology. The season finale aired last week. Why must sitcom season come to an end?!
But! As sitcom season ends, the summer season of shows begins. And thanks to BBC America‘s Orphan Black, I’ll happily survive the sitcom drought. Orphan Black. Oh. My. Goodness. I’ll admit, when I first saw the previews, I had no intention of watching it. But I decided to give it a shot on a whim – am I ever glad I did! I’m addicted. Seriously addicted. It’s about a troubled woman who discovers that she has clones – not twins – clones! She doesn’t know how many there are or why someone cloned her. I’m excited to say that it’s already been renewed for a 2nd season! Lead actress Tatiana Maslany is incredible. I forget that she is of course playing all of the clones. She portrays each one so distinctly and uniquely, it’s easy to forget. The show airs every Saturday. You won’t regret checking it out!
Lastly, my favorite video game of the moment is Adventure Time for the 3DS.
With the same quirky humor as the television show, the character dialogue always has me giggling. The side-scrolling AND overworld game play style is very reminiscent of Zelda II on the NES. Being a Zelda fan myself, I pretty much squealed with joy when I took Finn and Jake out onto the field for the first time. The game is rather simple, but very fun! I do wish, however, that the player had the ability to write on the map, like in Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass on the 3DS.
Thus concludes this edition of Whatever Wednesday. Maybe you’ll feel inclined to check out one of my favorite songs, shows or games. I hope that you do!
Zipping through the produce section the other day, I was stopped by this nifty in-store display by POM Wonderful.
I’ve never eaten a pomegranate before (does pomegranate yogurt count?) and was very intruiged. They seem to be all the rage as a new super fruit lately, but they look a little intimidating! Very hard outside, super-delicious looking inside. How do you get to the deliciousness?!
I’m obviously not the only person intimidated by this unique fruit. What really drew me in to this display was the little “how to” manual, containing information about pomegranates, how to cut them, and even some recipes. Just like the POM Wonderful website and product designs, this display was very crisp, clean and simple – just the way a natural pomegranate juice and fruit company should be! Very pure. Even with a simple and transparent design, POM Wonderful successfully elevates the pomegranate to a high level of sophistication (see video at the end for a giggle). POM products are often placed with the higher priced juices and health “smoothie” drinks in store as well, evoking a feeling of being a higher class sort of drink.
And while I didn’t take a fancy pomegranate home with me, POM Wonderful captured my curiosity with this display. It interrupted my speedy shopping trip and stopped me for a few minutes. It made me wonder…how DO you open one of these fruits? Next time I’m at the store, I might just throw caution to the wind and try one out. Great job, POM!
Now, grab your finest dinner party attire, some classical music and a sharp knife. Get slicing!
If you haven’t noticed it yet, it’s here. Lurking, sneaking, waiting to pounce on the unsuspecting.
If you haven’t noticed it yet…IT MIGHT BE TOO LATE!
Melodrama aside, the holiday season is here! Sure, it’s only November 2nd, but in the blink of an eye you’ll be making that mad, last-minute dash to the store for wrapping paper, that present you forgot about, or Christmas cookie mix for a potluck. I’ve already seen Christmas in-store displays, slowly appearing.
I stumbled upon this post on Ad Week yesterday, which shares a lovely infographic about the way people shop and interact with stores via multiple digital devices during the holiday shopping
This section of the infographic is my favorite.
Generally, I think I fall into the tiny 17% category of visiting the store first. This is especially true when it comes to clothes. I like to be able to try on an outfit, get a feel for it, then browse the retailer website to see different colors, sizes and other options. If the product is something like a CD or book, I’m more likely to research online and buy online. I guess I’m a category jumper in this poll.
My mom says for her, it’s all about availability and price. She’d rather buy it online for less and wait a week to get it than go to a store just because it’s only 5 minutes away.
Since quite a few people seem to research online, visit the store, then return home to buy online, it seems like it would be beneficial for stores to set up an online ordering station in the store. Of course many clothing stores are happy to order something for you on the spot, but you have to talk to one of the store clerks to set it up. People could also just carry their smart phones and tablets to the store with them, then place the order on their device in the store. If a store could provide a quick and convenient way for people to place an order online as they leave the store, I think customers would definitely use it! It would also need to be more convenient than just whipping out your smart phone and pulling up the company web site.
What category do you fall into?
P.S. At the grocery store today, ALL the Halloween decorations were on sale and the store clerks were hauling out crates of Christmas candy and a few Holiday Barbies. It’s starting!
Welcome to a new activity I’ve decided to try with my blogging – themed days! I’ve dubbed today “Whatever Wednesday,” where I can write about whatever my little heart desires! Up until now, this blog has been dedicated to media and the advertising industry. I recently got advice from someone IN the industry who said it’s okay to write fun, non-ad related posts. It helps to show off your personality. I’m still deciding what other themes to assign to different days – any thoughts?
So! Without further ado…let’s kick off Whatever Wednesday!
Food, food, food. Everyone loves food, right? I know I do! With a passion for making healthy food exciting and tasty, I’ve tried cooking and baking more during this past year than ever before.
I’m always on the look out for new recipes (whether they’re healthy or a little indulgent). It’s all about balance, after all. Enter my best friend! She’s known in her college friend circle for her banana bread. When I learned of this, I was almost offended! Why had I not tasted this? Something had to be done.
On Monday, we decided to have a banana bread baking session! I happened upon some EXTREMELY ripe bananas on Sunday, and knew that Monday banana bread was meant to be.
I first observed the banana bread master as she made her batch. We decided to
improve alter the recipe slightly, tossing in some roasted pecans. We mixed the batter in a Cuisinart, which I had never done before. Apparently it makes the bread more smooth and dense once it’s baked. I cut the sugar in half in my batch as well. Once both our batters were mixed and in the oven, it was time to wait.
We passed the time by emptying out her tea cabinet (she sent some home with me) and learning Irish dance moves. Yes. My family also has a tea cabinet of sorts (okay, it’s more like a corner of our counter where we throw all the tea). I wonder…do all tea drinkers buy more tea than they know what to do with? Hmm, possible insight into tea buyers? Why do we buy so much?! Perhaps this is a topic for a future blog post.
Finally, it was done! The house smelled of wonderful banana. We all then took part in a taste test…or 3.
Now. What’s the one thing that can make homemade banana bread even more amazing? Homemade ALMOND BUTTA. I’m not too picky about nut butters. I always want to try new kinds! Peanut, almond, cashew…oh my! I’ve never tried sunflower seed butter or walnut butter, but believe me – they’re on the list! What’s your favorite nut butter? Since I tend to over-eat nut butters, my new best friend is peanut flour (hello, Protein Plus!). Mix with water, and you’ve got much healthier peanut butter! Less fat, sugar and calories. So much protein! All natural. Another option that is quite tasty is PB2, made by Bell Plantation.
Almond butter has become my staple gift in the last 6 months or so. I made it for everyone on the Oregon Bach Festival staff after I completed my internship with them as well as for my teammates in my final advertising class. It makes me so happy to see everyone enjoying it (and I get to enjoy it too!). I’ll share the recipe at the end of this post, but first…some almond butter food porn. Oh yeaaaaaaaaaah.
Notice the banana bread makes an appearance with the almond butter! Also, I love how roasting the almonds yourself makes the entire house smell delicious. The smell reminds me a bit of popcorn.
My recipe is inspired by Brittany at Eating Bird Food. Love her site! I just altered the recipe slightly.
For one batch, you’ll need:
2 cups raw unroasted almonds
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (heaping. I love cinnamon.)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp raisins
About 4 tsp coconut oil (virgin, unrefined from a health food/nutrition store)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place almonds on a 9×13 baking sheet/cookie sheet and roast for about 14 minutes. If you’re making more than one batch, you can roast 4 cups on one sheet and increase the time a bit. You’ll know they’re done when they smell a bit like popcorn!
2. Once the almonds are done, place all the ingredients (except the coconut oil) into your Cuisinart or food processor and start to pulse/blend. Don’t forget to wear ear plugs if your Cuisinart is loud!
3. After a few minutes, you can start to add in your coconut oil, one teaspoon at a time, blending after each.
4. In my Cuisinart, one batch probably takes about 20 minutes. If you want a chunkier consistency, blend for a shorter amount of time. For more creamy, blend longer.
5. When the consistency is to your liking, scoop it out and enjoy!