Recipe Round-up – what’s on my “to be made and gobbled up” list

Hello!

Happy Tuesday!!

So, my friend Lena over at Lean Lena does a Tasty Tuesday linkup party on her blog.

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It’s about darned time I joined in! 🙂

(And, it’s about time you headed over there to check it out! Who knows what sort of yumminess you’ll find? Like Cheesecake Cupcakes. Ahem, need I say more? I’ll wait.) 😉

I’ve seen some pretty amazing recipes come into my in-box these past few weeks and I want to share the ones that are on my “to be made and gobbled up” list. Maybe you’ll put them on your “to make” list, too! 🙂

First things first.

This.

Caprese-Salad-Focaccia-with-Crunchy-Roasted-Chickpeas-8

Photo credit: Kylie at immaeatthat.com

Kylie at Yeah….Imma Eat That made this AMAZING Caprese Salad Focaccia with Crunchy Roasted Chickpeas.

Ya’ll know how I feel about the chickpea.

While we’re at it, Kylie also made dessert!

Peanut-Butter-Cookie-Chia-Seed-Banana-Pudding-4

Photo credit: Kylie at immaeatthat.com

Peanut Butter Cookie Chia Seed Banana Pudding.

She totally had me at peanut butter cookie.

Lexi over at Lexi’s Clean Kitchen has been whipping up some pretty amazing stuff, too.

Are you into cherries? Omigosh, I ❤ cherries!

Cherry pie, cherry cobbler, cherries straight from the bag…..

*sidenote – fresh cherries make the best driving snack. Trust me. I’m an expert.

Lexi took it a step further.

NYStripSaladCherrySalsa4

photo credit: Lexi at lexiscleankitchen.com

Steak Salad with Cherry Salsa.

Genius!!!

I’m so totally going to eat that.

And, while we’re on the subject of cherries…..

Double-Crust-Cherry-Crisp-Crisp-topping-on-both-the-bottom-and-the-top

photo credit: Erin at http://www.thelawstudentswife.com

Erin at The Law Student’s Wife shared this to-die-for recipe for Double Crust Cherry Crisp.

Brilliant!

I may need to buy more cherries.

Finally, chocolate. And peanut butter. In a brownie.

Peanut-Butter-Buckeye-Brownies

photo credit: Katie at chocolatecoveredkatie.com

I die.

Katie made Chocolate Peanut Butter Buckeye Brownies

and she made them HEALTHY!

She’s a girl after my own heart. 🙂

Talk to me: What new recipes have you found that are on your “to make” list?

Savannah: a brief recap and I met Arian Foster!!!

Hello, hello!

Holy cow, what a weekend!

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I’m got back from FitBloggin’ yesterday afternoon and, even though I had stopped driving, my brain still wanted to go 70 mph.

I learned so much stuff! I have so many ideas!

Honestly, I’m a little overwhelmed by it all!

It’ll probably take me a full week to sort out all my thoughts and review all the notes I took before I can really recap it.

The drive to Savannah took me about 7 hours and was actually pretty decent.

Except for South Carolina. What’s up with that, anyway?

I’m sure South Carolina is a lovely state. I mean, people go there for beaches and stuff, right? No one would go to an ugly beach, right?

They even have really fancy “hey, you’re entering South Carolina” signs.

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But, honestly, that 200 mile stretch of I-95 was just plain old ugly and boring.

I thought maybe it was just the fact that I first drove through it after lunch and it was warm and I was just tired.

Nope, sucked equally on the way back and I was driving through it in the morning.

The best part of South Carolina? (besides leaving it…..)

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This sign:

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Coosawhat?!

Bahhahahahahahahahaha!

Anyway, at FitBloggin, I finally met up with Lena!!!!

She’s totally awesome and I love that we’ve become friends through blogging! 🙂

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We had a great time, both inside at the sessions and outside checking out Savannah. We had some time built in to the day where we could get out and explore and eat, etc.

It was a nice break and Savannah didn’t disappoint.

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view from the hotel. Uh-May-Zing.

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Savannah is FULL of squares and parks. Just gorgeous!

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Could have spent HOURS checking out all the beautiful buildings.

Most definitely had to stop and get some pralines. It’s a MUST when you’re in the south. 🙂

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Pralines! I couldn’t decide which one to get so I got both. Duh.

These riverboats were pretty much right outside our hotel. They had restaurants on board and did dinner cruises.

Yeah, I get seasick so I just enjoyed looking at them from solid ground. 🙂

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Riverboats

Apparently, Savannah is a HUGE shipping port. I had no idea! These container ships went by quite regularly and, as you can tell, they are stacked super high! These things are massive!

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container ship

There were many different brands there and brand ambassadors giving away free samples. Pretty sure I’m set for a while. 🙂

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Oh, and I totally got to meet Arian Foster.

lemme take a selfie

lemme take a selfie

He was really awesome and I had a nice talk with him about his diet and health choices (he went vegan for a while) and how it affected him and his training. Of course, the whole time I’m totally freaking out in my head because, yeah, I’m just standing there chatting with ARIAN FOSTER!!!!!

Thanks for snapping the photo, Lena!!! :)

Thanks for snapping the photo, Lena!!! 🙂

So, after all that excitement and a 7 hour drive, I was pretty wiped out when I got home yesterday.

I had track work on my calendar for this morning but I decided I needed to sleep in instead.

I mean, FitBloggin’ is no joke – early rise, late to bed, and go, go, go all day long.

I needed the break!

Except, my brain didn’t agree.

So, I did what runners do when their brain won’t turn off – I squeezed in a few miles before work. 🙂

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Now comes the fun part – making sense of it all and deciding what I want to do with everything I learned.

FUN!

Talk to me: Have you ever been to Savannah? Have you ever been to South Carolina? Why is it so blah (at least on I95)??

– jennifer

The best sandwich bread in the history of the world

Hi there!

Happy-Tuesday2

So, I’ve been making my own bread lately in an effort to save some money and make sure we aren’t eating any funky stuff.

Seriously, those breads that you buy at the store aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.

They seem like they should be good, all healthy and cracked wheat and nuts and seeds and all.

However.

Some really weird stuff allowed in there.

Look it up but consider yourself warned.

Blech

source

You should just trust me and bake your own.

Besides, there’s something calming and fabulous about making your own bread.

Now, I know what you’re thinking.

Really, I do!

It’s a gift, actually.

You’re thinking that baking bread takes ALL DAY.

aint-nobody-got-time-for-that

Um, I got your back. 🙂

You’re looking at about a 2 hour time investment.

That’s all.

For freshly baked bread.

From your own oven.

loaf pan

The smell of bread baking can fill more than just a house – it can fill your soul.

I mean, just think about the times you’ve walked past a bakery, whether it be in a grocery store or out on a quaint main street, and smelled freshly baked bread.

It’s like heaven!

You know your nose tipped up and wanted to follow those amazing wafting odors like your feet were floating just above the ground and had a mind of their own.

WoodieFollowingGoodSmell

Ahhhh….

So, when I recreated a recipe (of course, I recreated it.  This is ME we’re talking about here!) that received a hearty stamp of approval, I’ve been sticking with it. Haven’t bought a loaf of bread in a couple of months, actually. 🙂

This bread is PERFECT for sandwiches of all kinds!

sliced

Or, you could just toast up a slice and slather it with some peanut butter.

pb toast

So. Amazing.

And so much better than anything you’ll find wrapped in plastic with a date stamped on it.

I promise. 🙂

Om nom nom!

The Best Sandwich Bread
makes 1 loaf

2 – 2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour (I use King Arthur for both)
2 tablespoons toasted wheat germ
1 tablespoon chia seeds
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup warm milk (about 110 degrees) (I use 1% but you can use what you have)
1/3 cup warm water (about 110 degrees)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 tablespoons raw honey
1 envelope (about 2 1/4 teaspoons) instant yeast

1. Adjust an oven rack to the lowest position and heat the oven to 200 degrees. Once the oven temperature reaches 200 degrees, maintain the heat for 10 minutes, then turn off the oven.

2. Mix 2 cups unbleached flour, 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour, wheat germ, chia seeds, and salt in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the dough hook. Mix the milk, water, butter, honey, and yeast in a 4-cup liquid measuring cup. Turn the mixer on to low and slowly add the liquid to the flour mixture. When the dough comes together, increase the speed to medium and mix unit the dough is smooth and satiny, stopping the machine two or three times to scrape dough from the hook, if necessary, about 10 minutes. If, after 5 minutes of kneading, the dough is still sticking to the sides of the bowl, add the remaining flour, 1 tablespoon at a time and up to 1/4 cup total, until the dough is no longer sticky. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead to form a smooth, round ball, about 15 seconds.

3. Place the dough in a very lightly oiled large bowl, rubbing the dough around the bowl to coat lightly. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the warmed oven until the dough doubles in size, 40 to 50 minutes.

4. Gently pat the dough into an 8-inch square that measures 1-inch thick. Starting front the side farthest away from you, roll the dough firmly into a cylinder, pressing with your fingers to make sure the dough sticks to itself. Turn the dough seam-side up and pinch it closed. Place the dough seam-side down in a greased 9 x 5-inch loaf pan and press it gently so it touches all sides of the pan. Cover pan with plastic wrap and set aside until the dough almost doubles, 20 to 30 minutes.

5. Keep one oven rack at the lowest position and place the other at the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil and pour into an empty baking pan. Place on bottom rack of oven and set the loaf pan on the middle rack. Bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted at an angle from the short end just above the pan rim into the center of the loaf reads 195 degrees, about 40 to 50 minutes. Remove the bread from the pan, transfer to a wire rack and cool to room temperature.

full loaf

6. Enjoy!

*Recipe adapted from Cook’s Illustrated

Talk to me – What’s your favorite sandwich? Do you pile it high like a Dagwood or do you believe in “less is more?”

– jennifer