63. Baking Bootcamp – Apple Pie Biscuits

It’s officially fall! That means bakers are gonna bake, bake, bake, bake, bake…

I stumbled upon Joy the Baker through Instagram about a week ago (I think I saw this person, who I follow, like one of Joy’s beautiful photos. Ah, roads of the internet!). I was browsing her site when I saw that she and King Arthur Flour were teaming up to do a Baking Bootcamp. How do you participate in the bootcamp? Simple! Bake these fall-icious, tasty apple pie biscuits. Snap a photo (or 2 or 7). Share it on Instagram with the #bakingbootcamp hashtag, and follow both Joy and King Arthur Flour. You’ll be entered to win a year’s supply of flour AND a Baking Essentials box full of amazing kitchen tools and gadgets. Plus, you’re going to wind up with some out-of-this-word apple pie biscuits. You can’t loose, really.

Oozing with apple-cinnamon goodness!

Oozing with apple-cinnamon goodness!

Joy’s easy-to-make biscuits looked delicious, so I gave them a go last weekend. My teen brother was having some friends over, so I knew the house would be full of hungry boys!

Since I didn’t have my own King Arthur Self-Rising Flour, I just made my own! Joy explained how to make both regular self-rising flour and gluten-free self-rising flour. How great is she?! Did I mention my little foodie heart nearly burst when I saw Joy got to hang out and bake with one of my favorite Food Network Stars? Also, every blog/recipe post is like a work of art! Beautiful imagery and clever words to match. It’ll leave you drooling on your keyboard! Joy sneaks in other tidbits that aren’t all food-related into her posts, making her blog feel well-rounded, yet still focused on baking. I feel like that’s a major struggle when I blog, so I’ll definitely be looking to her posts for inspiration! 🙂

But back to the flour. I mixed it up the night before so I’d be all set to get baking in the morning.

Flour  Flour Mixture

Bright and early the next morning, I got to baking! Check out Joy’s post for step-by-step pictures and directions.

Apple Slices

Apples: CHOPPED!

Melting butter

Channeling Ree Drummond with this butter action.

photo 3

photo 1(1)

Placing the apples, being powered by Legend of Zelda

Collage

This recipe made 12 small biscuits. All VANISHED by the end of the morning. I munched on mine with some delish Fage greek yogurt, which complimented the cinnamon and slight sweetness of these tasty treats.

The above collage is what I shared on my Instagram to enter the Baking Bootcamp contest. Both Joy and King Arthur Flour liked my photos, and King Arthur Flour even left some comments! I just love seeing brands interacting with their fans through social media. It builds an instant connection!

A huge thanks to Joy the Baker and King Arthur Flour for holding such a cool bootcamp. It brings bakers together in a fun way, and teaches everyone how to create something new and delicious. Some of my coworkers even saw my posts and now want to try this out over the weekend.

Wanna participate? You have until October 11th! I’ll be watching the #bakingbootcamp hashtag for fellow bakers’ creations. I’m already looking forward to the next Baking Bootcamp! Maybe something Thanksgiving or Christmas-themed?

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57. Foodie Friday – Pizza!

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.

DSC_0131During 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.

We’ve got:

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.

Topped!
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.

Crispy
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.

Bites!

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!


51. Whatever Wednesday – Baking Edition!

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!

Whateverrr…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!