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TRAVEL LIKE A PRO little luxuries that make all the difference

Between traveling to meet clients, scoping out new locations for Tablemakers, and the occasional weekend get-away, my bags are packed more often then not. Luckily, I love traveling and feel very fortunate to be on the go so often, but it doesn’t come without it’s downsides. While certain things are out of your control (hello cancelled flights, long lines at the airport, or missed connections), I have found that it pays to be a savvy traveler. To me, that means packing multi-purpose pieces (like day to night slacks), always having snacks on hand (goodbye desperate vending machine trips), and bringing a few little luxuries along for the ride (sassy cheetah slippers, anyone?)

pack like a pro via lauren kelp
Whether traveling for work or for pleasure, it’s important to bring a few things along that remind you of home. Look,  traveling can be exhausting so why not plan ahead and give yourself a break. After I land in a new place (if time allows), I throw on my sneakers and hit the hotel gym, or if the weather is nice enough, I go outside for a run.

I shake that airport funk right off, get my blood flowing, and give myself the excuse I needed to order a side of fries with dinner. That night, again, depending on the schedule, I treat myself to a little in-room spa time. I pack a face mask (specifically this one), a travel jar of coffee scrub, maybe a deep conditioning hair treatment, throw on my adorable Birdies and treat myself to a little alone time. This way I am refreshed for a full day of meetings and have a little extra pep in my step.
pack like a pro via lauren kelpOkay, let’s talk about these slippers for a second. Yes, those cheetah ones! Adorable right? They don’t even look like slippers and that is why I love them so much. They are part of the latest collection by Birdies, wildly comfortable, and the absolute best house shoes I have ever owned.

When we have people over, I always prefer if people take their shoes off, and because I love these slippers so much, I have a few extra pairs on hand for girlfriends to slip on when they come over. I rarely wear socks that match, so walking around someone’s house without shoes on makes me feel a little silly, but these slippers are legit cuter than most flats I own…and a lot more comfortable. PLUS, they don’t take up a ton of room in your suitcase, protect your feet from mystery hotel floors, and are just too cute not to pack.Ooh and if you are in the market for a good weekend bag, do yourself the biggest favor and treat yourself to this Chelsea bag by Mark & Graham. Put it on your wish list (Christmas is coming!), treat yourself after that promotion/new job/kick ass life goal accomplished and I promise you won’t regret it. The leather is stunning and it only gets better with age. Plus, it is surprisingly large without being big and bulky. Every girl needs a good travel tote, right?

pack like a pro via lauren kelpSo, quick run through, here are my quick and dirty travel tips to keep you fresh & on your toes, no matter where you are going.

Go for a quick run, walk, or do some yoga after you check in. Get that blood flowing and give your body a little extra boost.

When packing, throw in a fun face mask, body scrub, or other at-home spa treatments. Order room service, binge watch HGTV, and treat yourself to some you time.

Get, bring, and gift these adorable slippers – trust me, they will become your favorite comfy time accessory.

Have a few shades of lipstick and a roll-on perfume stick in your carry-on. There are few things a good shade of lipstick and a power fragrance can’t fix.

pack like a pro via lauren kelpOoh and if you are in the market for a good weekend bag, do yourself the biggest favor and treat yourself to this Chelsea bag by Mark & Graham. Put it on your wish list (Christmas is coming!), treat yourself after that promotion/new job/kick ass life goal accomplished and I promise you won’t regret it. The leather is stunning and it only gets better with age. Plus, it is surprisingly large without being big and bulky. Every girl needs a good travel tote, right?

pack like a pro via lauren kelp


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this post was sponsored by birdies slippers. all opinions are my own & seriously, get these slippers – they are amazing.

NASHVILLE TABLEMAKERS a pop-up dinner in a flower shop

The act of hosting a dinner party is something very near & dear to our hearts here at Lauren Kelp. Our aim is to inspire, help prepare, navigate, and encourage you to be the community maker amongst your friends. To invite people into your home – new friends or old – whip up something easy yet delicious, and make memories around a table, on a porch, or sitting on a picnic blanket in the backyard.

We believe in the magical powers of dinner parties so much, we travel across the country and host pop-up dinners for people doing cool things in their neighborhoods. They could be graphic designers, photographers, shop owners, designers, bakers, even candlestick makers – it really doesn’t matter as long as they love their community & encourage others with their craft. We call these parties, Tablemakers Dinners & to us, they are the culmination of thoughtful entertaining.

In 2015, we traveled to Phoenix, New York, and Sonoma and in 2016 we kicked off our Tablemakers tour in Nashville, Tennessee. We gathered 40 of the cities creatives & movers + shakers invited them to break bread with us in an old historic home turned flower shop. We ate, drank, made new friends, connected with old & got to know people without all the pretense of a “networking event.” No pressure, no fluff, just good old fashion supper club fun.  

Nashville was a special dinner for us, for many reasons, one of them being the relaxed, family-style vibe of the dinner. Heaping plates of ricotta gnocchi, grilled lamb kubideh, and spring onion & potato gratin filled the table, all expertly prepared by our local Chefs – Dan Forberg & Tony Galzin. As people were passing around dishes and re-filling their neighbors glass of wine, it was so fun to imagine all of us hanging out in someone’s living room.

Truthfully, this family-style setup got me really inspired to host more dinner parties in our apartment & with more people! With make ahead-menus, a few big serving plates, and some great bottles of your favorite Kendall-Jackson wine – you’ve just created plans for the rest of your summer. We were so inspired by how fun this gathering was, we put together a little how-to on how to host an unforgettable family-style dinner party. Interested? Of course you are! Hop on over here to get the skinny & prepare to be inspired!

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Well my friends – great wine, good food, and a fun mix of creative people makes for just about the best get-together in my book. Whether you are hosting 4 or 40, remember it doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be honest. 

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VENDORS

Host & Founder: Lauren Kelp 

Co-Host & Graphics Designer: Ashley Cooper

 Co-Host & Wine: Kendall-Jackson 

Photographer: Josh Ulmer 

Food & Menu: Chef Dan Forberg & Chef Tony Galzin

Dessert: Tea-rriffic!

Furniture & Table Decor: 12th Table 

Venue & Florals: FLWR Shop

Table Runner :Hester & Cook

 Candles: Paddywax Candles 

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HONEY & ROSEMARY BAKED BRIE

HONEY & ROSEMARY BAKED BRIE - LAUREN KELPOoh, dear, dear friends, you are in for a treat today. For all of my cheese lovers out there, today’s recipe is for you! We’ve got the most glorious baked brie and it’s basically a cheap & easy lifesaver. It takes no time, is cheap to make, and makes you look like a total pro! Go ahead invite the mother in law over, you just popped a brie in the oven 😉 – xoxo, LK


Oh friends. Constance here. Is anyone out there as excited as I am that the holidays are over? Never before in my life have I uttered that sentence. I almost feel ashamed saying it, but it couldn’t be more true this year! I think it must be a combination of a way too busy holiday season around our house (I literally felt like I couldn’t breathe for a couple of days there!) and an overwhelming sense of excitement about 2016. I can’t quite pinpoint it, but there’s something about this year that has me giddy. I have a feeling 2016 is going to be quite the game changer.

HONEY & ROSEMARY BAKED BRIE - LAUREN KELP

All of this excitement, however, doesn’t come without some sort of reflection. I’ve been thinking a whole lot about the art of entertaining, especially when it comes to the holidays. Confession: I’m 100% certain that that busyness I mentioned earlier had much to do with me spending way too much time in the kitchen trying to impress our guests rather than cooking smarter and spending more time actually enjoying my loved ones. There’s a way to be intentional and make much of your guests, without entirely missing the celebration yourself, and I truly believe that if that’s not happening there’s a big problem.

So to remedy this for future celebrations, I’ve decided to learn from my mistakes this year, and share with you the recipes that truly did work. The ones that are simple and quick, but still communicate to your guests that the dinner you’ve invited them to is a celebration! And you guys, this is the pièce de résistance. Because who doesn’t love brie…

HONEY & ROSEMARY BAKED BRIE - LAUREN KELPINGREDIENTS:

-12 ounce wheel of good brie (a younger brie works best, but ask your cheese monger for a good option)

-honey (the more the better)

-3-4 sprigs of fresh rosemary

HONEY & ROSEMARY BAKED BRIE - LAUREN KELPINSTRUCTIONS:

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

-Remove brie from packaging and place in camembert baker or on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle liberally with honey (we prefer to completely cover the top of the brie, but it’s up to you). Top with fresh rosemary sprigs.

-Bake for 12-14 minutes.

-Remove from oven, and serve with crusty french bread.

HONEY & ROSEMARY BAKED BRIE - LAUREN KELP


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2016 | THE YEAR OF MAGIC

KJW0173Y’all, I have a really good feeling about this year. 2015 had a lot of good lessons in it, and I am thankful for them, but I really feel like 2016 is going to be a lot more fun!

I know it’s corny to say, but I love taking the time to sit down and reflect and create intention around new goals or resolutions. This year has been one for the books. My husband and I moved from Arizona to Chicago, we brought on a bunch of fabulous contributors, took Tablemakers to three cities, and I quit my job at the Marketing firm to pursue LaurenKelp.com full time.

But, like every good journey, there were some bumps in the road and I think those are important to acknowledge and grow from as well. Adjusting to life in Chicago was a bit difficult and it’s a different rhythm then life in the Southwest. There were some growing pains with the business and lots of learning lessons along the way – not all good, but good came out of them.

CITYGUIDE0017So as we are in our first Monday of 2016, it’s only fitting to put these goals and resolutions out into the world and give them legs. Putting them up on site always has helped give my goals and resolutions some sticking power, you know, like writing them on a piece of paper & tacking them above your desk!

Okay, so here we go…

KJW0202NEW YEAR, NEW LOOK

LaurenKelp.com has had several band-aid and bumble-gummed looks over the past few months. It’s been a quick fix here, and a little edit there, as we have grown, but it’s time to give this site some serious TLC and give her a big makeover! That means easier navigation, more content to browse, and lots more festive fun from our gal gang group on contributors.

READ A BOOK A MONTH

G and I challenged each other to shut down work mode around 6pm every night and it was pure magic. I started reading again and I consumed every book in sight. To help keep that momentum, I want to challenge myself to reading a book. Who knows, maybe we will have ourselves a little book club?! Got any good recommendations to kick things off?

MOVE INTO A STUDIO

We are expanding and as much as I love working from our condo, we’ve just outgrown it. It’s time to start looking for a more permanent home for the website, one that will allow us to shoot, entertain, get messy, and has a pro-glitter policy!

NAIL DOWN A PERSONAL AESTHETIC

I know this is cliche, but it’s true! I have no real idea how to dress myself and that has got to change. Things are going to get seriously purged this year as I figure out the general form of a personal aesthetic – got any pro tips?

KJW0310Here is to 2016, babes! It is going to be our year and I cannot wait to see your dreams, passions, and goals take flight. If you feel comfortable, I would love to hear your resolutions & goals so the entire LK gal squad can help encourage and champion you on!

It’s going to be one for the books! xoxo, LK
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DESERT TABLEMAKERS DINNER

TABLEMAKERS0067Tablemakers embodies the belief that entertaining is supposed to be a celebration – a beautiful, wabi-sabi celebration of friendship and community. It is not about making things flawless or Pinterest-perfect, it is about inviting others into your sacred space – your home – and building community. My goal, throughout this whole series, is to inspire you to open your home and grow your community. To organize a happy hour, a lunch, or a dinner party for 12, whatever it is, it doesn’t have to be perfect – it just has to be honest & true.

With that belief in mind, we gathered 30 of Phoenix’s artists, makers, movers, & shakers and threw a dinner party for the books on a ranch in the middle of the desert. There was no agenda, no fuss, just good food, great wine, and even better conversation.

My passion for entertaining is centered around creating a space where everyone feels comfortable to relax, let their hair down, and hang out until the sun comes up. Our hope with these traveling dinner parties is to celebrate the ‘maker’ in all of us & create a community that encourages collaboration & camaraderie rather than competition.

With the backdrop of Tremaine Ranch, we set up long harvest tables (hand made by the owner!) and set an elegant farm inspired place setting (thanks to urbAna) with florals from Posies Floral along the center as a relaxed, unstructured runner. Between the delicious feast from Laurel Morley & the perfectly paired wine from Kendall-Jackson the night was unstoppable. As a fun surprise to our guests, we invited a local favorite dessert truck, Waffle Love, to stop by and treat everyone to the most unbelievable waffles (seriously, they are out of control). TABLEMAKERS0077 TABLEMAKERS0030 TABLEMAKERS0064 TABLEMAKERS0048 copy TABLEMAKERS0007 copy 2 TABLEMAKERS0001 TABLEMAKERS0087 TABLEMAKERS0110 TABLEMAKERS0036 TABLEMAKERS0009


Hostess & Dinner Founder: Lauren Kelp  | Graphic Design & C0-Host: Ashley Cooper | Photography & Co-Host: Constance Higley | Wine : Kendall Jackson | Florals: Posies Floral | Catering : Laurel Morley | Venue: Tremaine Ranch | Candles: Paddywax | Soap: Olivina | Table Decor: urbAna | Waffles: Waffle Love | DJ: Alex Fielding

SUN-DRIED TOMATO & GOAT CHEESE FRITTATA

SUN-DRIED TOMATO & GOAT CHEESE FRITTATA Hello again beautiful people, and welcome to Monday morning! We’re so glad you’re here, and since we realize you may be less than thrilled with the current time and day, we wanted to share a little recipe that may help bring some cheer to the beginning of your work week – the swanky frittata!

I’m currently in the middle of some serious cleaning and purging of everything in our household, and this yearly event always makes me crave the  simple, classic, go-to’s in life. Like the tailored little black dress, the perfectly curated linen closet, the newly arranged and edited book shelf, and the classic and perfected recipes that never grow old. Back to basics is my spring theme, and this frittata is an essential component of our little regimen.

The best part is, it’s basic appeal allows you the freedom to mix things up if you choose! So show us your take on this classic by tagging #LKmakes, and we’ll be featuring our favorites soon!

SUN-DRIED TOMATO & GOAT CHEESE FRITTATA

INGREDIENTS:

-3 teaspoons olive oil

-2 cloves minced garlic

-4 eggs

-1/2 cup milk

-2 ounces goat cheese crumbles

-2 ounces sun-dried tomatoes

-1/4 teaspoon salt

-1 lemon, juiced

-2 large handfuls of arugula

-Fresh cracked pepper

SUN-DRIED TOMATO & GOAT CHEESE FRITTATA

DIRECTIONS:

-Preheat oven to 375.

-In an 8″ cast iron skillet, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil over medium-low heat.

-Add minced garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.

-In a small mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, sun-dried tomatoes, goat cheese, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.

-Add egg mixture to skillet and increase heat to medium. Cook until bottom begins to set, about 5-6 minutes.

-Transfer skillet to oven and continue to cook until edges are slightly brown, about 8-10 minutes.

-While frittata is baking, whisk together 1 teaspoon of olive oil, the juice from one lemon, and fresh cracked pepper. Toss with arugula.

-Remove frittata from oven, let cool slightly, and top with arugula. Serve and enjoy!


SUN-DRIED TOMATO & GOAT CHEESE FRITTATA


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CHOCOLATE FUDGE

CHOCOLATE FUDGE - LAUREN KELP

Hello & Happy Monday, you beautiful birds! It’s chocolate day here at LK HQ and we are busting out a good one – chocolate fudge! It’s pure heaven and it’s perfect to share, gift, or indulge in after a good meal. Thankfully, Foodie Bad Ass Constance Higley brings her A-game and knocks this guy out of the park. Can’t wait to hear what y’all think! – xoxo, LK


Hello friends! Constance here. Remember how we said Mondays were made for chocolate? We weren’t kidding. It’s what we live for…at least on Mondays. I’ve always steered clear from any sort of fudge recipe, thinking it was way out of my league. And the whole tahini thing (see recipe) threw me for a complete loop. But like with anything that may seem scary, once you get started you realize it’s truly easy and so worth it. And any recipe that I can make the day before a dinner party and freeze overnight is 1000 times worth it!

If you love chocolate, dessert, a good time, or a delicious recipe – this little guy is absolutely for you! Check it out and see what I mean…

CHOCOLATE FUDGE - LAUREN KELP

INGREDIENTS:

-1/2 cup pure maple syrup

-3 tablespoons coconut oil

-340g hulled tahini

-2 tablespoons cocoa powder

-3 teaspoons vanilla extract

-sea salt flakes

CHOCOLATE FUDGE - LAUREN KELP

INSTRUCTIONS:

-Line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper.

-Slowly heat the maple syrup and coconut oil until just melted.

-Remove mixture from heat and add the tahini, cocoa powder and vanilla extract.

-Mix together until combined into a smooth, runny paste.

-Transfer mix to prepared 8×8 pan, and top with sea salt flakes.

-Place pan in freezer for at least 4 hours to set.

-Remove from freezer, but into small squares, and serve immediately.

CHOCOLATE FUDGE - LAUREN KELP


constanceRecipe adapted from My Darling Lemon Thyme.

HOMEMADE PASTA SAUCE

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Babe-trons! Lauren here and I am particularly excited for what we have in store for you today! We recently had a new neighbor move in to the condo and it got me thinking – should we bring them something?! My answer is (and will always be) YES! Because moving is rough and everyone loves a good neighbor, plus giving feels good, so why not?!

Here is the tricky part, you want to make a nice gesture, but you don’t know what they like. Luckily, we’ve come up with the fool proof gift for gifting any new neighbor! What does everyone love? Fixings for a homemade meal! Specifically, fixings for a delicious spaghetti dish with homemade pasta sauce!

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INGREDIENTS:

3 lbs. tomatoes, cut into quarters
1/4 cup chopped onion
1-2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1 tsp good olive oil
1 tbsp fresh basil, minced
1 tsp lemon juice

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INSTRUCTIONS:

-In a large sized sauce pot, saute onion and garlic in olive oil until translucent. Add tomatoes and bring to a boil
-Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
-Using a hand blender, puree the tomato mixture.
-Strain the tomato mixture to remove seeds and peel.
-Combine tomato puree and basil in the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until volume is reduced to half. Stir regularly to prevent sticking.
-Add lemon juice
Let cool and pour into a large mason jar. Screw on the lid tight & voila! The most delicious homemade pasta sauce you could ever imagine.

sauce_2Want to see the rest of the gorgeous welcome to the neighborhood basket we put together? Well, you have to pop over to the Kendall-Jackson blog to see the full DIY! No, but for real, it’s really cute and I might be giving them out as Christmas gifts I liked this one so much.

Take a peek and let us know what you think! Made your own? Make sure you share! Tag @laurenkelp and @kjwines to share your gift baskets with us. Who knows, we might move into the house next to you so we can receive one 😉

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This post is sponsored by Kendall-Jackson but all thoughts, opinions, and food obsessions are our own.

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ROASTED SHALLOT & POMEGRANATE FLATBREAD

ROASTED SCALLION FLATBREAD - LAUREN KELP

Happy Monday, babe-trons! Fall is officially here (that’s including you Texas and Arizona) and we couldn’t be happier. Bring on the plethora of hearty comfort food! If you are looking to step up your flatbread game, may we suggest this delicious roasted shallot & pomegranate option. It’s divine and perfectly hearty, but not in a “I can’t button my pants” way. See what we mean below! – xoxo, LK


Hello beautiful people! Constance here. I hope you all had the most wonderful time celebrating this weekend! And you guys–it’s November! It’s finally here. I’m ecstatic.

We’ve been on the search for the perfect fall inspired flatbread recipes, and I have to tell you–this one has my heart. I must confess, I really haven’t spent much time cooking with shallots, and do I regret it? Wholeheartedly. We’ve been using them in almost everything this past month, and I am obsessed. The combination of the roasted shallots, rosemary & pomegranate is oddly nostalgic and makes me so excited for cold weather, warm fires, and some true quality time spent around the table with those I adore.

We always love hearing about your favorite combos! Share your favorite flatbread recipes with us this week by tagging #LKmakes!

ROASTED SCALLION FLATBREAD - LAUREN KELPROASTED SCALLION FLATBREAD - LAUREN KELP

INGREDIENTS FOR DOUGH:

-2 c. whole wheat flour

-1 pkg. or 1 tbsp. active dry yeast

-3/4 tsp. salt

-1 c. warm water

-1 tbsp. olive oil

-1 tsp. honey

 

 

INGREDIENTS FOR FLATBREAD:

-pesto

-1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese

-1/3 cup pomegranate seeds

-1 medium sized shallot, sliced into small fans and roasted with fresh rosemary until slightly crisp

-fresh cracked pepper

ROASTED SCALLION FLATBREAD - LAUREN KELP

INSTRUCTIONS:

-Pour flour into a large mixing bowl.

-Add yeast and salt. Mix well.

-Add water, oil and honey; mix well.

-Cover with a moist cloth and place in a warm spot for 10 minutes to rise.

-Place dough on a lightly floured surface and slowly spread and press the dough into your desired thickness and shape.

-Lightly coat the dough with a thin layer of pesto.

-Top the flatbread with the crumbled goat cheese, pomegranate seeds, shallots & rosemary.

-Bake at 425 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

-Remove flatbread from oven, top with fresh cracked pepper and enjoy.

ROASTED SCALLION FLATBREAD - LAUREN KELP


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ROASTED SHALLOT & POMEGRANATE FLATBREAD

ROASTED SCALLION FLATBREAD - LAUREN KELP

Happy Monday, babe-trons! Fall is officially here (that’s including you Texas and Arizona) and we couldn’t be happier. Bring on the plethora of hearty comfort food! If you are looking to step up your flatbread game, may we suggest this delicious roasted shallot & pomegranate option. It’s divine and perfectly hearty, but not in a “I can’t button my pants” way. See what we mean below! – xoxo, LK


Hello beautiful people! Constance here. I hope you all had the most wonderful time celebrating this weekend! And you guys–it’s November! It’s finally here. I’m ecstatic.

We’ve been on the search for the perfect fall inspired flatbread recipes, and I have to tell you–this one has my heart. I must confess, I really haven’t spent much time cooking with shallots, and do I regret it? Wholeheartedly. We’ve been using them in almost everything this past month, and I am obsessed. The combination of the roasted shallots, rosemary & pomegranate is oddly nostalgic and makes me so excited for cold weather, warm fires, and some true quality time spent around the table with those I adore.

We always love hearing about your favorite combos! Share your favorite flatbread recipes with us this week by tagging #LKmakes!

ROASTED SCALLION FLATBREAD - LAUREN KELPROASTED SCALLION FLATBREAD - LAUREN KELP

INGREDIENTS FOR DOUGH:

-2 c. whole wheat flour

-1 pkg. or 1 tbsp. active dry yeast

-3/4 tsp. salt

-1 c. warm water

-1 tbsp. olive oil

-1 tsp. honey

 

 

INGREDIENTS FOR FLATBREAD:

-pesto

-1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese

-1/3 cup pomegranate seeds

-1 medium sized shallot, sliced into small fans and roasted with fresh rosemary until slightly crisp

-fresh cracked pepper

ROASTED SCALLION FLATBREAD - LAUREN KELP

INSTRUCTIONS:

-Pour flour into a large mixing bowl.

-Add yeast and salt. Mix well.

-Add water, oil and honey; mix well.

-Cover with a moist cloth and place in a warm spot for 10 minutes to rise.

-Place dough on a lightly floured surface and slowly spread and press the dough into your desired thickness and shape.

-Lightly coat the dough with a thin layer of pesto.

-Top the flatbread with the crumbled goat cheese, pomegranate seeds, shallots & rosemary.

-Bake at 425 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

-Remove flatbread from oven, top with fresh cracked pepper and enjoy.

ROASTED SCALLION FLATBREAD - LAUREN KELP


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