Saturday, October 31, 2009

give us this day...

our daily bread...
then slather it with an olive, cheese and green onion mixture.
in Jesus name.

i got a new cookbook the other day.
the pioneer woman cooks.

i love her website.
poor jere jae has to hear PW stories all the time.
i'm not gonna lie, everything she makes looks delish.

as i flipped through my new cookbook, i came across a recipe for olive cheese bread.
i decided we must have it for dinner.
i had all the ingredients....except for a loaf of french bread.

pretty important missing ingredient. don't ya think??
(she does mention the mixture can be used as a dip with crackers.)

i could have called jere jae and asked him to pick up a loaf from the grocery store.
but something about having him run to the store for just ONE item bugged me.

i have all of the ingredients for bread, i thought to myself, how hard can it be??
i scanned the internet for french bread recipes.
it was already 4:30pm so i didn't have a lot of time to allow the dough to rise.

so i changed my internet search to FAST french bread recipes.
hee hee.
gotta love google!!
i came across a recipe that seemed to fit my needs.
the rise time for the dough was only 20 minutes!
almost every other recipe required a double rise over a period of 2-3 hours.

was this too good to be true??
just in case it was, i decided to split the recipe in half and make one loaf.
i threw all the ingredients together.
let it rise.
i shaped it in to a loaf.

lookin' good so far.

placed the bread in the oven and anxiously waited.
victory. was. M I N E.

can you hear that??!
angels are singing and trumpets are sounding!!!!

i made french bread.
happy dance in the kitchen.

you would be dancing too.
and you can!
here is the recipe.

Fast French Bread
yields :: 2 loaves
{print recipe}

5 cups unsifted flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon salt
2 packages dry instant yeast
1 tablespoon butter, softened
1 3/4 cups very warm water
vegetable or olive oil
1 egg white
1 tablespoon cold water

1. Oil a sheet pan and sprinkle with cornmeal.

2. In stand mixer with paddle attachment, combine 1 1/2 cups flour, sugar, salt, and yeast. Add butter. Gradually add water to dry ingredients and beat for 2 minutes. Gradually stir in the remaining flour until dough gathers together. (add more or less flour if necessary to reach dough consistency)

3. Replace paddle attachment with hook attachment and work dough on stir for 7 - 8 minutes.
If making by hand, turn dough on to floured board and knead until smooth, 8 to 10 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap or towel and rest dough in warm location** for 20 minutes.

4. Turn dough on to lightly floured work surface and divide dough in two. Roll each half of the dough into long loaf shape, approx. 10x15 inches rectangle and tuck ends underneath. Try to not handle the dough too much.

5. Place dough on to prepared sheet pan. Cut deep diagonal slash marks across top and place dough in preheat 425 degree F oven.

6. Bake 20 to 25 minutes. Combine egg white and water, brush on bread and bake 5 to 10
minutes longer.

**america's test kitchen trick:: i put the dough in a oiled bowl, then i placed the bowl in the oven that i preheated to 200 degrees and immediately turned off.

Source: HEB

now on to the crazy good topping....

Olive Cheese Bread
{print recipe)

1 loaf french or italian bread
1 cup chopped pimento stuffed olives
1 cup chopped black olives
2-3 green onions, chopped
2 cups grated Monterrey Jack Cheese or Cheddar Cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup butter, softened

1. Roughly chop the olives and green onions. Mix with grated cheese, mayonnaise and butter.
2. Slice the bread in half lengthwise and pile half the mixture on top of each half of the loaf.
3. Bake at 325°F for about 25 minutes, until mixture is melted and has started to brown on top. Let cool for a few minutes then cut into slices and serve.
Source: Pioneer Woman
pile that mixture high!!

fresh outta the oven....


happy, hairy hubby.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Weekly Dose!

riley is a hoot.

she makes the cutest faces and has such a personality.
many people ask how i get such great pictures of her.

its a task that's for sure, but she is an adorable subject!
i take about 100 pictures with a point and shoot in the span of about 5 minutes.
i pray there are a few good ones i can actually use.
all the while, i am usually on my back or stomach on the ground angled below the munch as she is crawling around me.

about half way through our mini photo sessions, she usually realizes i am holding a camera a foot from her face.
she likes to point at it.

"hey!! stop talking about me!!"

she is a lot quicker than i give her credit for...she can manage to get her grubby lil fingers on the camera or grab the dangling lens cap if i'm not paying attention.

today she did not care much for her lunch.


this was a 1st for us.
she is such a good eater, it took me by surprise.

however, in her defense she is teething like a mad woman.
munchie has 2 brand new chompers, one on the bottom right and one on the top right.
she had a fever so HOT the other night it was hard to hold her close as she dozed off in my arms.
she was on fye-yah.

she wasn't fussy or drooling any more than i thought she was getting sick.
praise the Lord it was her teeth!

back to the lunch story...
i took her out of her high chair prison and gave her half of an apple.

the girl was in heaven.

"das riiight, i'm a big girl"

this past sunday, grandma and gramps justice came for a visit.

they brought a gift for the little one.
"'re funny mom, get your picture already."

she like to kiss his nose.
but come on, who doesn't??

i hope you have been enjoying our new blog!

if you scroll down past this entry, you will see that i have been entering other post through out the week.
you don't have to wait for the weekly email reminder, please check back a few times a week to see some new stuff.

even better, you can sign up and become a "follower"...sounds scary.

hey. let me know if you try any of the recipes.
i am interested in hearing if you like them.
i have 2-3 more goodies i will post either tomorrow or the next day.

please feel free to leave us a comment.
quite a few of you have been responding to me via email which is wonderful as well.
we love keeping in touch with all of you.

have a blessed week...stay healthy and warm.

the munch and her aspiring photographer

you're welcome

if you love peanut butter, you will be forever grateful to me for sharing this recipe with you.
or maybe not, since you will be addicted to it and you will wonder where half the pan of the stuff went since its only you in the house.

even if you don't care for peanut butter all that much, you will still love this amazing killer peanut butter fudge.
and its ridiculously easy to make.

last night was our annual pumpkin carving contest at our youth group chosen generation.
i wasn't feeling 100%, so the munch and i stayed home.
so bummed.

hopefully everyone enjoyed the goodies i sent along in my absence.

Killer Peanut Butter Fudge
Yields: Approximately 60+ 1 inch square pieces

3 cups white sugar
3/4 cup butter
5 oz. can or 2/3 cup evaporated milk
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1- 7 oz jar marshmallow creme/fluff
1 tsp vanilla

Butter the bottom and sides of a 9 x 13 x 2 inch pan and set aside.
Combine sugar, butter, and evaporated milk in a heavy 2-1/2 quart saucepan. Bring to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Continue boiling over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring constantly to prevent scorching. Remove from heat. Add the peanut butter, stirring until melted. Add marshmallow creme/fluff and vanilla; beat until well blended.

Spread in a buttered pan. Cool at room temperature, then refrigerate. Cut into squares when firm.**

** i recommend 1 inch squares. this fudge is very rich!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Fauxtess to the Mostess

for some reason i have major issues buying, or rather wasting money on junk food.

but i apparently have noooo problem recreating it from scratch in my own kitchen.

jere jae says things to the munch like,
"i can't wait to feed you chocolate and pizza and carl's jr."

hello?? who says that to a one year old??

(a daddy that has watched his baby eat 3-4 cubes of defrosted homemade baby food with tofu for lunch every day since she was 6 months old. daddy isn't one for pureed spinach, sweet potatoes and acorn squash...he doesn't like them in other forms either.)

some things just bring back childhood memories.
like going to the hostess store just outside of spreckels, ca with my grandma and grandpa when we were lil bits.
oh yeah.
those were gooood days.
i can not believe someone actually posted a picture of the store!

i would just stand and stare at the 5 foot tall white wire rack bursting with all sorts of baked goods wrapped in crinkly wax packaging.
i remember almost always getting a lemon fruit pie.
but if it was something chocolaty i was craving,
i would pick hostess cupcakes.

i saw this recipe about a year ago and always wanted to try it.
the curlicues on top were what really caught my attention.

please note that the home made version tastes much different than the original store bought cupcake.

we'll sheez....i would hope so.
mine were fresh out of the oven for pete's sake.
who knows how long one of these bad boys has been sitting on a shelf waiting to be picked over a lemon fruit pie.

here's mine...

it escaped me to take a picture of the creme filling inside the cupcake!!
i know, i know...but trust me, its there.
they were pretty tasty.

Fauxtess Cupcakes
Yield: about 9-11 cupcakes


For the cupcakes:

½ cup plus 2 tbsp. cake flour

1/3 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder

½ tsp. baking powder

¼ tsp. baking soda

1/8 tsp. salt

2 large eggs, separated and at room temperature

1/3 cup canola oil

½ cup plus 2 tbsp. sugar

2 tbsp. water

For the filling:

6 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened

1 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar

¾ cup Marshmallow Fluff

1 ½ tbsp. plus 1 tsp. heavy cream

For the frosting:

¼ cup heavy cream

4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

1 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened


Preheat the oven to 350°. Lightly coat the wells of a muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray, or line with paper liners.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat together egg yolks, canola oil, ½ cup sugar and water until well combined. Add the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.

In a clean medium bowl, beat egg whites at high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and beat until stiff and glossy. Beat one quarter of the egg whites into the batter to lighten the mixture. Add remaining whites and gently fold the mixture together until no streaks remain.

Fill the wells of the prepared muffin tin 1/2 full. Do not use cupcake liners. Bake until the cupcakes spring back when lightly touched in the center, about 13-15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly in pan before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the filling, in a medium bowl beat together the butter, confectioners’ sugar, Marshmallow Fluff and 1 ½ tablespoons of the heavy cream until fluffy. Reserve ½ cup of the mixture – transfer the rest to a pastry bag fitted with a ¼ – inch round tip. Beat the remaining 1 teaspoon of cream into the reserved ½ cup of filling, cover and reserve.

Gently insert the tip of the pastry bag about ½ – inch deep into the top of each cupcake and lightly squeeze in some of the filling. *If you do not have a pastry tip, you can use this technique.

To make the frosting, in a small saucepan heat cream over medium heat until steaming, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat, add the chocolate and let stand for 5 minutes. Add the butter and stir until smooth. Transfer to a small bowl and dip the top of each cupcake to thoroughly coat. Spoon the reserved filling into a pastry bag fitted with a very small plain tip and pipe curlicues across the center of each cupcake. Refrigerate the cupcakes for 10 minutes to set the frosting.

Sources: Annie's Eats, Baking Bites

Sunday, October 25, 2009

deep dish love.

we don't have cable.
pbs is our friend.
i looooove the show america's test kitchen.

these fine people set out to find the best kitchen gadgets, food products and recipes around.
they will literally test a recipe a 100 different ways over a period of weeks and months until its perfected.
everything i have ventured to make from the show has been no less then spectacular.

if there were one food jere jae could eat every. single. night. of his life it would be pizza.
i don't let him, but he would.
he so would.
he don't care where it comes from, as long as it resembles a round disk with meat and cheese on it.
i on the other hand like my pizza to be homemade and full of flavor.
i have been trying to find a recipe that will be a justice family go-to.
enter america's test kitchen recipe for pepperoni pan pizza.


this deep dish pie will make you forget what day of the week it is...
and then you'll take the delivery guy's phone number off speed dial.
it is such a simple process.
please make it.
come on over and i will hold your hand as we make it together.
that's how bad i want you to try this recipe.

don't let things with yeast scare you.

Pepperoni Pan Pizza from America's Test Kitchen
Makes two 9-inch pizzas serving 4 to 6
{print recipe}

1/2 cup olive oil
3/4 cup skim milk plus 2 additional tablespoons, warmed to 110 degrees
2 teaspoons sugar
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour , plus extra for counter
1 package instant yeast (2 1/4 tsp.)
1 teaspoon kosher salt or 1/2 teaspoon table salt

(3.5-ounce) package sliced pepperoni
1 1/3 cups tomato sauce
3 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

1. To make the dough: Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 200 degrees. When oven reaches 200 degrees, turn it off. Lightly grease large bowl with cooking spray. Coat each of two 9-inch cake pans with 3 tablespoons oil.

2. Mix milk, sugar, and remaining 2 tablespoons oil in measuring cup. Mix flour, yeast, and salt in standing mixer fitted with dough hook. Turn machine to low and slowly add milk mixture. After dough comes together, increase speed to medium-low and mix until dough is shiny and smooth, about 5 minutes.* Turn dough onto lightly floured counter, gently shape into ball, and place in greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in warm oven until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.

3. To shape and top the dough: Transfer dough to lightly floured counter, divide in half, and lightly roll each half into ball. Working with 1 dough ball at a time, roll and shape dough into 9 1/2-inch round and press into oiled pan. Cover with plastic wrap and set in warm spot (not in oven) until puffy and slightly risen, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, heat oven to 400 degrees.

4. While dough rises, put half of pepperoni in single layer on microwave-safe plate lined with 2 paper towels. Cover with 2 more paper towels and microwave on high for 30 seconds. Discard towels and set pepperoni aside; repeat with new paper towels and remaining pepperoni.**

5. Remove plastic wrap from dough. Ladle 2/3 cup sauce on each round, leaving 1/2-inch border around edges. Sprinkle each with 1 1/2 cups cheese and top with pepperoni. Bake until cheese is melted and pepperoni is browning around edges, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven; let pizzas rest in pans for 1 minute. Using spatula, transfer pizzas to cutting board and cut each into 8 wedges. Serve.

Pizza Dough without a Mixer

In step 2, mix the flour, yeast, and salt together in a large bowl. Make a well in the flour, then pour the milk mixture into the well. Using a wooden spoon, stir until the dough becomes shaggy and difficult to stir. Turn out onto a heavily floured work surface and knead, incorporating any shaggy scraps. Knead until the dough is smooth, about 10 minutes. Shape into a ball and proceed as directed.

*If the dough doesn't pull together, add a tablespoon of warm water. Continue until the dough pulls together, this can happen based on the weather and the humidity in your kitchen.

**This step will render out excess fat from the pepperoni, soaking into the paper towel, instead of your pizza. Genius!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

little one.

i took this picture almost a year ago.

where does the time go?

Friday, October 23, 2009

welcome to my blog.

ha. this is gonna be fun.

so i have decided to begin posting here instead of sending out a weekly email.
my event/party planning business is really taking off!
Praise the Lord.

in an effort to combine my two worlds, family and par-tays....
i have determined it will be more beneficial and time efficient to direct everyone to one location.
the name of the blog is for the sake of my event business.
it also feels like it goes hand in hand with all that is happening with my busy lil family.

makes sense...right??

all sorts of things will be discussed here.
you will see updates of the Munch, pictures of my events, things i like and diy projects.

you should also note that its audience participation time people.
your job will be to leave comments for us!!

here goes it...

first things first.

child labor.
i am not opposed to it.

the Munch has figured out how to turn on and then START our washer dryer. is an LG all in one washer dryer.

its almost 2010 people.
how have you not heard of this??
it washes and then dries the clothes in the same unit.
we should have flying cars by least i have one of these.

she loves pushing the buttons.
they blink so she thinks it is her big toy.

"cold wash, right mommy?"

love those baby feet....

"wait, lets talk about other kids my age have to do chores??"

girl...did you put detergent AND fabric softener in there??

now if only she knew how to fold and put away clothes...

this past monday was a treat!
we had a wonderful date night.
dinner and a movie while the munch hung out with our fabulous babysitters, kristine and lizzy.
thanks again girls.

we saw where the wild things are.
one of my all time fave books when i was little.
it is so neat to now read this classic to my own daughter.

i really liked the movie.
it was as if the book just came to life.
pretty amazing feat considering the short story its based on.

just to let you know in case you haven't seen it, even though its based off a children's book,
it is more appropriate for kids age 7 and older.

out of all of the book on the shelf, guess which one she always ends up pulling out...

i'll eat you up, i love you so my lil munchie.

isn't she just the cutest thing!!?

well....i hope you don't mind the change in format.
i know so many of you love and look forward to the weekly dose.

please bear with me as i learn to do this!

have a blessed week and let me know what you think of this thang.

The Munch and her Mama


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