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Awesome Things Thursday

In an effort to be more organized with what I’m posting here, I am testing out some “themes” for each day of the (work) week. And for Thursdays, I am thinking of posting my (mostly) regular mish mash of things and links I’m digging. So here’s a little list of what I’m digging, reading listening to, and testing out this week (long story short, it’s pretty much all Design Sponge):

20140731-121914-44354480.jpgA perfect healthy treat or breakfast dish

20140731-122442-44682437.jpg I was literally about to email Grace Bonney proposing a blog post about my hometown of Asheville, but it looks like Macon York beat me to it. Dang

20140731-122809-44889557.jpg Some cute DIY marbled coasters

20140731-122957-44997455.jpg Pretty much everything Jess Lively writes and says is awesome and inspirational. I listen to her podcasts regularly and am totally obsessed with her latest intention tattoo launch.

And speaking of bloggers who I love to listen to via podcast, Grace Bonney of Design Sponge is another one that fits that bill. The podcast I listened to yesterday about turning jealousy into inspiration was, well, inspiring. 

I hope you’re having an inspirational and awesome week, y’all!

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Eat This: Oven Dried Tomatoes

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Although we are growing tomatoes in our container garden and we have been picking them off slowly (and usually devouring them raw with a salad or a la carte over the sink), we haven’t had such a tremendous bounty that we have needed to find ways to use them or preserve them.

Despite this fact, I made a batch of oven-dried tomatoes. I adore the sweetness of the sun-dried ones you can buy from the grocery store, and I even adore the texture. This batch that I made, actually came from a bushel that my parents bought and split with us. When we got them, there were already some that were getting soft, so I thought that this would make the perfect opportunity excuse to try my hand at oven roasting them.

I searched around Pinterest and found this recipe that seemed simple enough – no dehydrator necessary (just what I like!). I modified the recipe a wee bit by adding some of our garden-fresh basil and rosemary. And I have to tell you folks, these were so good that they were literally gone by the end of the night (which is saying something because they took nearly all day to “cook”):

Oven Dried Tomatoes (based upon Cook Like a Champion’s recipe)

  • Tomatoes (I used about 3-4 and they made 2 baking sheets full)
  • Coarse salt
  • Olive oil
  • Fresh herbs of your choice

tomatoes compare

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to lowest temperature possible. (Usually around 170ºF.)
  2. Wash and dry tomatoes, then slice them thinly as possible.
  3. Place on a foiled baking sheet cut side up.
  4. Sprinkle with salt, then drizzle with olive oil.
  5. Place herbs on top of tomatoes.
  6. Bake for 8-12 hours. (This will depend largely on the size of your tomatoes and what temperature you choose to bake them.) The tomatoes should be flexible with curled edges, and no juice should run out when you press on them.
  7. Cool on racks. Once completely cooled, store tomatoes in an airtight container in the pantry or freezer. (Or eat them all in one setting, you know, whichever you prefer).

I still have plenty of tomatoes leftover and plan on making another batch, but this time I will make sure they stick around a bit longer – maybe.

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Bake This: Gluten Free Bread

20140723-143406-52446547.jpg (Sorry about the chunk missing in the middle. Elise and I couldn’t resist!)

Last week, #toddlerelise and I packed our bags and headed over to Mamie’s (Elise’s name for her French grandmother). We always have such a good time there. Mamie’s house is filled with light, fresh food smells and hand crafted activities. It’s such a positive, inspiring and relaxing place to be – the perfect short-drive “getaway” spot.

Mamie used to make this amazing French bread, but for the past couple of years has been on a gluten free kick. She has searched and tested many different recipes and has finally found one that is good enough to make it into their morning petit déjeuner breakfast routine.

I love the bread, as well. It’s no traditional French baguette, by far, but it is the lightest, best tasting GF bread I’ve tasted, so I got the recipe from her and gave it a try. I have modified a few things – some based on Mamie’s suggestion and some because I didn’t have the exact thing on hand. The result? A very good sandwich bread! One that is approved by the whole family, even toddler Elise and Papa Bastien!

Gluten Free Bread

Recipe is based upon a recipe book that Mamie has. Unfortunately, I don’t know the name of the book right now. Check back in soon and I’ll post a link of that book here. Update: The book is called “Gluten-Free: 3 Books in One” and you can find it here.

(GF Flour Blend)
•1 c. Of white rice flour
•1 c. Of sorghum flour
•1 c. Of tapioca flour
•1 c. Of cornstarch
•1 c. Of almond or coconut flour

•3 c. Of GF Flour Blend
•2 packages (1/2 oz. total) of active dry yeast
•2 tsp. of guar gum
•1 tsp. of salt
•1 c. Of warm water
•1/4 c. Of vegetable oil
•2 eggs
•1 tsp. cider vinegar

1. Line 9×5 inch pan with aluminum foil, dull side out. Spray with cooking oil and sprinkle with flour blend.
2. Combine flour blend, yeast, guar gum and salt in bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk water, oil, eggs and vinegar. Beat wet ingredients into dry ingredients with an electric mixer until wet, shiny and smooth. If needed, add water a tablespoonful at a time into mixture.
3. Spoon batter into prepped foil pan. Cover with lightly oiled plastic wrap. Let dough rise for 30 minutes or until it has reached the top of the pan.
4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove plastic wrap and bake in oven for 35-45 min. I baked mine for 35 min and felt that it was a little too doughy, so added an extra 10 min. The bread will make a nice, hollow sound when tapped. Remove bread from pan and let cool.

Enjoy your GF bread with whatever you prefer to put on sliced bread – melted butter, jelly or maybe even some avocado and sliced ham!

Let me know how it works out for you! (Baking and me don’t always get along, if you know what I mean.) It’s gotta be one of the easiest, stress-free breads I’ve made!

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Awesome Things Mish Mash

20140721-150653-54413591.jpg My freaking the flip out face.

I’ve been a little quiet lately, which seems to happen to me when something dramatic or unexpected happens to me. It’s like I try to back away from all the mess and noise and listen to myself – see how I’m feeling inside. Well, I’ve been doing that because there has been another shift in my career and I’m out, yet again, looking for another job. As much as I’ve sworn that I never want to have another interview or have to “sell” myself again, I seem to be preparing myself to do it right this moment.

And as much as I seem to be complaining about this shift, I am actually very grateful for it and ready for a positive change. Everything ended on good, amicable terms, and that’s really all you can ask for.

Now, while I started this post off with what seems to be ranting, I will swoop back around to the original point: some awesome things I’ve collected around the creative blogosphere.

20140721-144746-53266902.jpg Some beautiful looking raspberry buckwheat porridge, that’s right I said porridge.

20140721-145047-53447102.jpg Oh summer, you make me want to make Popsicles over and over again.

20140721-151143-54703216.jpg DIY playtime activities for #toddlerelise

20140721-151421-54861710.jpg Super simple leather earrings