Friday, September 30, 2011

Gluten-free pizza bites

I love mini foods, bite-size appetizers, anything that alludes to having some sort of portion control. Plus, they are usually cuter versions of their larger counterparts.  So when Udi's Gluten Free Foods contacted me to create a unique recipe using one of their products, I immediately thought of something that would work well on an appetizer table.

These gluten-free pizza bites evolved a bit after I realized the grocery store I was shopping at didn't carry Udi's gluten-free pizza crust. I had my heart set on pizza, mostly because I have been craving it the past few days and also because my cart already contained fresh mozzarella, basil and a can of tomatoes.

I thought to myself, can I still make pizza but just use bread instead? And then I remembered my mom always made english muffin pizzas when I was growing up, so would bread be much different?

Turns out, bread is a great substitute for pizza crust. And now this recipe is one that can be made with the ingredients that can likely be found in your pantry. Easy!

I usually don't eat gluten-free, but I know plenty of people who do and it's nice that gluten-free products like Udi's can be easily obtained at major grocery stores. I found this bread at my local Rainbow.

Gluten-free pizza bites

Ingredients

Udi's gluten-free bread
1 28 oz can whole peeled tomatoes
2 tablespoons of olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
8 oz ball of fresh mozzarella, sliced
Container of cherry tomatoes, sliced thinly
3-4 basil leaves, chiffonade or thinly sliced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Pepper to taste

Preparation

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Toast 4-8 slices (depending on how many mini pizzas you would like to make) of Udi's gluten free bread. If desired, cut into circular shapes using a biscuit cutter or cookie cutter.

To make the sauce, in a medium saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high. Add 3 minced garlic cloves; stirring for about 2 minutes. Add 1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes, dried basil and can of whole peeled tomatoes, breaking them up as stir. Season with salt and ground pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook for about 15 minutes, until the sauce is thickened.

Place the toasted bread on top of a baking sheet. Top each piece of bread with a small spoonful of pizza sauce, add a few small pieces of fresh mozzarella and 3-4 slices of cherry tomatoes. 

Bake for about 5 minutes (just until cheese is melted), carefully monitoring so the bread doesn't burn and cheese doesn't begin to brown.  Remove from oven and top with basil. 

Disclaimer: Udi's Gluten-Free Foods contacted me to create a recipe. They compensated me for the cost of ingredients.  All the opinions and the recipe are my own.

Gorgeous kid's party inspiration

First I want to thank everyone for your comments and congratulations on my baby news.  You made sharing the news even more exciting with your sweet support!

We're going to wrap up this week with this gorgeous inspiration shoot sent by Azar of Principle Planner.   You all know how much I've been craving sweets and I basically want to attack this table, despite how pretty it is!

As told by Azar:

I wanted to create a design that would be easy to pull together and beautiful to look at. Makes me really want to sit at the kids table! The chalkboard tabletop allows for the little guests at any event to let loose and really have fun. We created a perfect balance between elegant and plain old fun. The hand drawn service plates, swag cans and delicious sweet table all add lovable details to this edgy design.









Photo credits: Rebecca Wood photography
Flowers: Stemz
Design + Styling: Principal Planner {Azar Jazestani Events}
Dessert Table: Sucre by Principal Planner {Azar Jazestani Events}
Designed for Petite Fete

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Mini pizzas

{Photo credit: Green Kitchen Stories}

Udi's Gluten Free Foods has reached out to me and asked that I create a unique recipe using one of their products.  I'm definitely up for the challenge and know it's about time to get back into the kitchen.

On Sunday my honey and I will be hanging out on the couch, he'll be watching the Vikes game and I'll be working on a client presentation.  I figure we'll need some good food to fuel us through the day.  I'm thinking small bites, game-day type food. 

My plan is to make a few different mini gluten free pizza bites, using Udi's gluten free pizza crust.  I may get more creative than that but pizza is sounding really good to me right now...so we'll see.

I'll have the post up within the next couple days so stay tuned.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Baby news!

{Photo credit: Onto Baby}

I am pregnant.  16 weeks actually.  Last night I decided I am finally ready to make the big announcement.  My friends have all been wondering why I haven't made the news Facebook/blog official.  I guess I was waiting until another dr. appt (which I had yesterday) to hear the beautiful sound of the baby's heartbeat. This was actually the third time Erik and I have heard the heartbeat and we've seen baby L during two ultrasounds.  I'm a worrier.  But now I'm finally feeling like...yes, there is definitely a baby in there since my belly is getting rounder and the pounds on the scale are increasing.

I am so excited, happy, thrilled, hormonal...all those crazy emotions first time mommas feel.  A few things I've learned about my pregnant self over the past few months.

  • Cooking/baking has been low on the priority list. I haven't had a huge appetite lately and I'm sure you've noticed that the blog has majorly lacked in this area.  
  • When I do have an appetite I crave sweets.  Big time.  Remember the couple weeks in a row I obsessed over pie and donuts?  Well, now you know why.  Some people say craving sweets means I'm having a girl.  We'll know in four weeks!
  • Weddings are a whole new experience now (being sober).  Instead of enjoying cocktails I eat cake, lots of cake.  And dancing at 11pm is a bit awkward.  I am definitely not as cool as I once thought.  
Eat Drink Pretty is not going to turn into a mom blog.  But I will continue to blog about my life and events taking place within it.  So that probably means baby/mom/belly mentions will become more frequent.  But I promise not to give weekly updates on how much weight I've gained and I'll certainly spare you on pictures of my growing belly!  

Monday, September 26, 2011

Wedding season!

The weekend was BUSY! Erik and I are were in our good friend's wedding (I've only mentioned Libby and Biffer about a thousand times on the blog so far...). Erik was the best man and I was the matron of honor.

The wedding was amazing. Perfect weather. A gorgeous, happy bride. A sweet, sentimental groom. Families thrilled to be joining together. Friends that were over-served and dancing the night away.

Here are just a few quick photos of the wonderful day.  I'll do a full post when Libby gets her professional photos!

I love weddings :)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Real party: a pink vintage train party

This is the first real party post in a long time and it was definitely worth the wait.  Huge thanks to Stacie of Stacie Hawley photography for submitting this gorgeous, sweet birthday party.  Her little girl couldn't be cuter (seriously!) and what I love most about this party is its uniqueness.  All around perfection. 

As told by Stacie:

Turning three this year my daughter, Sophie, came up with her own birthday theme – pink train party.

We had wood trains (adorned with a simple paper heart), train whistles, grey and white paper straws, polka dot tea cups, a fabric bunting (my first all-by-myself sewing project) which hung from the ceiling like flags at a train station, ribbons streaming with sparkly buttons (looking like train wheels) and pretty pink vintage roses in pink glass vases. My sister, Cami, made all the darling printables! Swoone. I know my words will never do it justice so check out the pics for the full effect!

For refreshment, we enjoyed a few of the birthday girl’s favorites - train sandwiches (pb and j’s cut using a train cookie cutter), cheese, strawberries and kit kats (rail road tracks). Sophie also has a new found love for pink lemonade, so we served some up in pink polka dot tea cups, complete with floating raspberries. Finally, to top it all off, we had cupcakes swirled with pink buttercream adorned with a railroad printable! I think I ate about ten. Yum.

We played chugga chugga choo choo (our form of duck duck goose), read a darling train book, taught the girls how to use their train whistle (you’re welcome parents), and learned “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad.” Then of course, for our main event, we had a massive (covered the whole floor in our bonus room) train track set up with lots of trains for the girls to play with. They loved it!

As a final touch to our party, each girl received a cute, personalized little canvas bag with their train whistle inside.

My favorite part though were Sophie’s birthday pictures!! We got her jumping on the bed, laughing and giggling, playing with trains, and of course just having fun! We printed them out with some darling chunky frames and hung them around the room!





























Wow, she's stunning!!!!  Happy birthday Sophie, it looked like a very fabulous party!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Chili and cornbread muffins

{Photo credits: Martha Stewart}

I got home at a decent time yesterday evening all prepped and ready to make chili and these mini cornbread pudding muffins.  I cut up vegetables and got the ground beef browning (actually Erik did that part).  Once the chili was simmering I starting gathering the ingredients for the cornbread.  Um...I was out of corn meal.  Massive fail. 

Well we did have chili and it was delicious.  Luckily we had some oven bake biscuits to (sort of) make up for the lack of cornbread muffins. If you want to be more prepared than I was, check out the recipes below and don't forget the corn meal!!

30 minute chili
Mini cornbread pudding muffins 

You may have noticed a lack of food posts with my own food photos.  Not only have I slacked off big time in the kitchen, my camera has sort of been in semi-retirement.  My weekends have been so busy I barely have time to bake and then when I do, I'm too tired or lazy to stage a food photo shoot.  Once wedding season is over I promise to get back into the kitchen and back to practicing my food photography.  I do miss it, after all.

Last night was the perfect evening for chili; a bit gloomy with a chill starting to fill the air.  My honey and I relaxed all evening and watched TV.  It was lazy and awesome.  

Monday, September 19, 2011

Apples

{Photo credits: Martha Stewart}

I was supposed to be productive in the kitchen yesterday and bake an apple pie.  Did I? No.  Instead I sat on the couch and worked a bit and watched like 47 episodes of Law and Order: SVU.  I couldn't help it, the day was super gloomy and rainy and I just couldn't get motivated.  You have these days, too, right?

So instead, I browsed Martha Stewart's website and drooled over all the recipes I wish I was ambitious enough to bake.  Perhaps next weekend?

Apple pie cider
Apple pie with a cheddar crust
Deep dish apple pie
Spiced apple pie
Cider cocktail
Apple butter hand pies

Friday, September 16, 2011

Date night!

{Photo credits: Martha Stewart}

This evening is date night for my honey and I. I've been craving pizza all week so we are going out for pizza and then to see a movie.

I love date nights on Fridays...it means a fun dinner with the hubby and no pressure to stay up late. I am seriously so lame on Fridays and LOVE being in bed by 10pm!!!

What is your favorite date night with your honey?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Pumpkin recipe round-up

I love anything and everything pumpkin...pumpkin soup, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin spice lattes, etc. So when the temperature dipped into the 30's on Wednesday night (BRRRRR) in Minnesota my thoughts turn to all things fall and pumpkin is at the top of that list.

I realized I have no shortage of pumpkin recipes on my blog so I thought I'd do a pumpkin recipe round-up.

Pumpkin muffins with cream cheese frosting
Pumpkin turnovers
Pumpkin spice latte
Pumpkin soup with sage and gruyere croutons
Pumpkin whoopie pies

I know you love pumpkin just as much as I do. Do you have a favorite pumpkin recipe to share? Send my way, eatdrinkpretty{at}gmail{dot}com.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Real party: a tea party baby shower

Huge thanks to my aunt Chris and sister Katie for all the help in hosting the tea party baby shower for my sister-in-law Nikki.  She is having a baby girl in November and is just about the cutest pregnant gal you've ever seen.  My mom, aunt, sister and I planned the shower and wanted to keep it small and intimate.  Nikki loves tea so we decided on a simple tea party theme with lots of flowers, vintage tea cups, pretty fabrics and lots of great food.

Unfortunately, my mom wasn't feeling well the day of the shower and couldn't make it.  We were bummed and missed her so much but just wanted her to rest so she feels better.

Are you ready for tons of photos? Here goes...
I re-used a floral fabric bunting I made a couple years ago and hung it from the tent.
We had a drink table with iced tea and four different kinds of hot tea.  We served the iced tea in mason jars.
We purchased flowers from the farmers market and put them in mason jars tied with ribbon.  I created a menu card using ribbon, lace and a diaper pin.
We set up a light lunch with tea sandwiches, fruit, scones, mini quiche and donuts. 
We had caprese tea sandwiches which are not traditional tea sandwiches, but were awesome.  Very easy to make; two slices of roma tomato, a thing slice of fresh mozzarella, a couple basil leaves, balsamic vinegar, olive oil and foccacia bread. 
We had cucumber tea sandwiches on pumpernickle bread with boursin.
The third tea sandwich was made with radishes, white bread and cream cheese. I could eat a hundred of these. 

We had two different kinds of mini scones; blueberry and raspberry with white chocolate. 
Mini quiche!  Super cute and yummy.
Mini donuts for those of us with a sweet tooth.
Farmers market flowers in small mason jars.  The cute tea kettle onesie was purchased on Etsy.
These pretty tea cups are antique I borrowed from my friend Melanie.  They are so pretty.


We had a marble cake to add to the sweets. 


Delicious and pretty macarons. They go really well with tea!






On the left is my brother's girlfriend and Nikki and that's me on the right (wearing a Shabby Apple dress).
I told you she was cute!  I can't wait to meet my niece!