By Joanna Goddard / 04.25.14
Pinhole Press, the company that makes simple photo gifts, has a new collection of beautiful gift boxes. We made the blue one for my mom, and it features a personalized photo notepad, scented candles and Swiss chocolates. The other boxes have soap, tea and jam. They’re super easy to create, and they would be so much fun to open.
By Erin Phraner / 04.23.14
The key to a successful brunch is a simple menu. This Mother’s Day—whether you’re in charge for making the special meal yourself or you’re looking for an easy recipe dad and the kids can tackle—pare down and focus on one fabulous baked good!
This wow-the-crowd jam roll recipe only calls for 5 ingredients, and it’s ready in fewer than 35 minutes. You see, the best shortcut for making breakfast pastries at home is store-bought dough. My favorite: new seamless crescent dough sheets! They’re one solid roll of dough that you can customize a million different ways. Here I rolled ‘em up with good-quality jam, fresh berries and melted butter—topped with a sprinkle of confectioners’ sugar, you’d never know that the base wasn’t homemade!
Want to show mom how much you really care? Swap in her favorite jam flavor for a personalized treat. You can bake these rolls in a plain 9-inch pie plate but feel free to get fancy with a cute cast-iron skillet or other baking dish of a similar size. Even better: Buy mom a decorative pie plate—love this Poppy Ring Pie Pan from Anthropologie!—bake the rolls in it and wrap it all up as a complete gift for your loving lady.
If you can’t find the seamless dough sheets, no worries! Snag yourself 2 (8-ounce) rolls regular crescent roll dough. On a lightly floured surface, unroll the sheets and press the perforated seems together to make one full rectangle of dough. No matter which dough product you use, make sure you roll the dough up tightly before slicing. Loosey-goosey rolls are difficult to work with—they make a mess and often end up unraveling while you transfer ‘em to the dish.
Looking for a make-ahead tip? Assemble these rolls up to step 4 the night before and store, covered, in the refrigerator over night. Let the rolls come to room temperature for 15 minutes before baking.
Oh! If you’re willing to splurge on an extra ingredient or two, mix a little orange zest and/or raspberry liqueur into the filling. For a quick glaze, whisk 1 cup confectioners’ sugar and 1 to 2 tablespoons buttermilk until smooth. Drizzle that over the still-warm rolls in place of confectioners’ sugar!
5-INGREDIENT JAM ROLLS
SERVES: 6 to 8
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for the pan
1 (6-ounce) container raspberries
2 (8-ounce) flaky dough sheet rolls (such as Pillsbury Crescent Recipe Creations)
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
1. Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Lightly coat a 9-inch pie plate with melted butter; set aside.
2. Stir together the raspberries and jam in a medium bowl, crushing the berries gently into smaller pieces.
3. One sheet at a time, unroll the dough on a lightly floured surface. Spread half of the berry mixture over the center of the dough, leaving a 1-inch border on all sides. Tightly roll up and place on a cutting board, seam-side down. Slice into 1-inch-thick rolls. Arrange, cut-side up, in the prepared plate. Repeat with remaining roll and berry mixture.
4. Bake the rolls 20 to 25 minutes or until puffed and golden. Transfer to a wire rack and cool in the pan 5 minutes. Dust with confectioners’ sugar before serving.
Hot Tip: Serve leftovers for dessert! Reheat in the microwave and serve topped with vanilla ice cream.
We agree – Mom’s the best. But, this Mother’s Day, you can’t blame us for wanting to make you feel special too.
We’ve partnered with BRIKA, the well-known boutique for gifts by talented artisans, to give you the chance to win two gift certificates - $150 to Pinhole Press and $150 to BRIKA. This way, you can buy something for Mom and something for yourself!
Sharing our mutual obsession for unique gifts, BRIKA brings you a curated collection of well-crafted goods from over 200+ artisans and designers from across North America.
We couldn’t resist this polka dot tote (pictured above) from Anna Joyce. Or, if you are looking to put together a great gift, pair their best selling chevron cutting board by Brad Weckesser with a few photo magnets featuring your favorite recipes. BONUS: Save 20% off your first BRIKA purchase with code: PINHOLE20 (valid until April 30th).
Whatever you do, don’t wait any longer and enter the $300 giveaway! Winners will be announced May 1st. UPDATE: Natalie C. was our winner. Thank you to everyone who entered!
By Kristin Appenbrink / 04.16.14
Sharing photos of your kids online is a touchy subject. I’m guessing most parents out there have an opinion one way or the other. While I don’t have kids, I do have friends with kids. And I always make sure I know how they feel about photos of their kids being posted. For example, the mom of one of my favorite toddlers posts photos of her son, but only to her private Instagram account. This means that I don’t post photos of him because my account is public, unless I’ve been given permission for a specific photo.
Whatever you as a parent decide—that it’s okay to post on a private Instagram, but never on Facebook or Twitter or that you’re fine with photos being shared, but never tagged, communicate your decision and your reason to your family and friends. As with most etiquette questions, being direct and honest is the best policy, and you’ll find that most people will comply with your request not to share photos.
Photo faux pas are most likely to occur at birthday parties or school events—times when you might not know the adults involved very well. If you are the host of an event, take the extra time to send an email to the parents after the invite has gone out asking whether or not they are comfortable with photos from the event being posted. Be sure to tell them where you plan to share them—Facebook, Instagram, your blog, etc. This way you’ll avoid uncomfortable emails after the fact. If you’re a guest to an event and especially sensitive about your child’s photos being shared, be sure to email the host in advance as well.
If you do find a photo of your child shared (and tagged!) on social media, the best bet is to simply email the person who posted it and request the photo be removed. If you’re okay with the photo being online, but don’t want it tagged, request that in the email. Most everyone will remove or untag the photos, based on your request. But if you encounter some resistance, explain your reasoning that will help them understand why it’s important to you.
The bottom line: When in doubt wait to post. Send an email asking for permission from the parents, and if you get the okay, share the photo. That’s what the #latergram tag was made for, after all.
What’s your rule about sharing photos of your kids online? Tell me in the comments!
By Bree Hester / 04.14.14
I need to be honest – I love cooking for my family, but not always a huge fan of cooking dinner every night. If your family is anything like my family, then you have a lot going on. School, sports, after school activities, work, all kinds of things that fill up the spaces on our calendars. It can seem like the only way to feed them dinner is to grab something from a drive thru or get take out.
While convenient, these are not the healthiest options. It is a priority for me to feed my family foods that they will eat and that I feel good about feeding them. Instead of having to rely on delivery, I have come up with a few ways to get a healthy dinner on the table every night of the week.
1. I don’t always meal plan, but I always have a plan. What does that even mean? Well, I have a rough idea of what we are going to eat throughout the week, but I am not tied to it. I take inventory in the beginning of the week of what is in my fridge and freezer and plan around that. I fill in as needed, and make changes according to what is going on during the week.
2. I take some time (when I have the time) to get ahead. I like to take an hour or two on the weekend to get organized and prep what I can. I clean the produce, cut chicken into cubes if I am making a stir-fry or pasta dish, cook some brown rice and get ready for the coming week.
3. If I roast one chicken, I always roast two. It is the same exact amount of work, and I get two meals out of it. I will serve a roast chicken one night and then make an entirely different dinner with the other chicken. I do this with as many things that I can. Roast vegetables, turkey breast, meatballs, anything that can be made more than one way. It saves a ton of time.
4. Rethink the idea of dinner. A simple turkey sandwich with some fruit can be a really healthy dinner. A bowl of oatmeal. Toast with avocado and sea salt. Dinner doesn’t have to be elaborate or involved to be called dinner.
5. Keep a few things in the freezer for emergencies (AKA any random Wednesday night). I like to keep some soup, a baked pasta dish, or pizza pockets in the freezer so that I can pull it out, bake it off, and serve dinner with minimal effort on my part.
My BBQ Chicken Pizza Pockets are ideal for a busy weeknight. I throw some whole wheat pizza dough ingredients into my bread maker and it does all of the work for me. I almost always double this, and eat one the day that I make it, and freeze the other half. I shred some chicken, toss in a few extra ingredients and seal them. After baking, cool the pockets completely. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap, then add to a plastic freezer bag. When ready to reheat, either thaw in the fridge in the morning and bake as directed, or bake from frozen adding additional bake time.
This recipe is a springboard, you can fill them with anything you like. A great way to use leftovers, or produce that has seen better days.
BBQ Chicken Pizza Pockets
1 whole wheat pizza dough ball (my favorite recipe below) or 2 lbs. Store bought dough
1 cup your favorite BBQ sauce
2 cups shredded chicken breast
1/2 cup chopped red pepper
1/2 cup sliced green onion
1/4 cup cilantro
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1. Divide the pizza dough into six pieces. Roll out on a floured board.
2. Mix the BBQ sauce and shredded chicken until combined.
3. Add chicken, red pepper, green onion, and cilantro to one half of the pizza dough. Top with cheese.
4. Lay the top half of the dough over and press shut. Twist the dough or press with a fork to create a tight seal.
5. Add the pizza pockets to a foil or parchment lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with extra shredded cheese if you like. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.
Bread Machine Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
1 1/3 cup water
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons honey
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 Tablespoons vital wheat gluten*
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
Add the ingredients in the order listed to a bread machine. Run on the dough cycle.
*Wheat gluten is used to add stretch to the dough that whole wheat flour does not have. *