Monthly Archives: April 2008

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Herb & Asiago Foccacia Bread

I recently discovered that it is not all that hard to make homemade bread. We joined our friends for dinner on Easter and I brought this yummy bread with me to share. It is a bit time consuming but great to make on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

Recipe is derived from a recipe in the Joy of Cooking (only my favourite cooking book ever!)

1package (2 1/4 teaspoons) Active Dry Yeast
1 1/3 cup warm water (should feel hot running out of the tap… but not so hot you can’t put your finger under it)
Add:
3 1/2 to 3 3/4 cups of flour (I split it 1/2 white four & 1/2 whole wheat)
2 TBS Olive oil (I was generous with the Extra Virgin olive oil 🙂
1 TBS spoon Salt
1 TSB herbs of your choice- I used an Italian mix but I think anything you like would work like rosemary, oregano, basil etc.

Now I have a fabulous restaurant grade Kitchen Aid mixer that I use to mix the dough because I’m too wimpy to knead the dough by hand… so here is the the method using a dough hook on a mixer.

Combine in a large mixing bowl the water and yeast and let stand for 5 minutes.

Add the flour, oil, salt and herbs. Mix for 1 minute on low speed to blend all the ingredients together. Knead for 10 minutes on medium speed untill the dough is smooth and elastic. If the dough is not coming together add water 1 TBS at a time. Or if it is too sticky add 1 TBS of Flour at a time until the desired consistency is reached. Transfer the dough to a bowl lightly coated with olive oil. Drizzle oil of the ball of dough. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 1-1 1/2 hours (dough should at least double in size)

Preheat oven to 400 F. Put your pizza (baking) stone in the oven and pre-heat for 45 mins. Punch dough down and roll dough untill it is about 1inch thick. Take out your pizza stone and dust with cornmeal. Place flattened dough on stone. (if you do not have a pizza or baking stone use a baking sheet that has been greased and dusted with cornmeal) Dimple the top of the dough with your fingers and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with herbs and grated Asiago cheese. (if you don’t want cheese you can just sprinkle with corse salt or herbs or leave it plain).

Bake the foccaccia untill golden brown, about 25 min. Remove bread from oven and place on rack to cool or serve hot.

I love eating warm foccaccia bread with olive oil and balsamic Vinager like they serve it in medditeranean restaurants. Or you can slice and make in to sadwiches or panini’s.

Urban Harvest

My DH and I are trying to be healthier and more environmentally concious. We have been exercising more regularyly, driving our hybrid car, compsting etc.

Today I signed us up for a really cool service called Urban Harvest. They are a local company that deliver fresh organic fruits and veggies to your home. They use as many local products as possible and all produce is certified organic.

It will be a convenient way to get quality organic produce. The boxes change weekly and seasonally but always contain a balance of fruits and vegetables. You can customize your box each week from a list of available produce or just go with the pre-set bins.

We are hoping we will eat more fruits and veggie by having them in the house on a regular basis. Also I like the idea of supporting a local company that is environmentally friendly. I will let you know how it goes next week when I get my first bin.

Amira

Fish Bouillabaisse

Yesterday I was asking DH what he wanted for dinner and he said how about some fish? Instantly I was inspired by a little French restaurant in our town called “Bouchons”. They serve amazing French food in a great Bistro style atmosphere. Every time I go there I get the Fish Bouillabaisse and it is amazing. So yesterday I tried to see if I could get something close.

After much internet searching and reviewing recipes I chose this one from Epicurious (one of my favs):
RECIPE

All I can say is AMAZING!!!!!!!

I made a few changes:
1) I used a combination of clam nectar and lobster stock in place of the seafood stock. How can you go wrong with lobster 🙂
2) by accident I bought canned crushed tomatoes instead of whole tomatoes so I used the big can of crushed tomatoes and a small can of diced tomatoes. It gave the broth a very tomato-y taste that I enjoyed but still had the chunk’s of tomatoes that you would get from using whole tomatoes.
3) I used cod, prawns, scallops and mussels.

Then I served generous portions in a bowl with a side plate of fresh rye baguette and herbed butter.

The recipe was suprisingly easy and quick to make. We had come home from a soccer game and I had dinner on the table in approx 30mins.

DH loved it so I guess it was a success… oh and me too.

Note: also makes great leftovers the next day.

Bodum Mug & Roobis Tea

Ok here is my first food post in a long time. Dear Husband got a fancy Bodum travel mug from my aunt and uncle at Christmas. It was oooooo’d and aaaaaaa’d over at the time and has since sat in the back of his collection of travel mugs in the cupboard.

Last night I really needed a cup of the PC Roobis tea (my latest discovery – I remember reading about Roobis tea over at The Dictator Princess) The nifty tin is full of fragrant loose tea.

Now DH does not like my Roobis Tea… and decides he wants Chai tea… this poses a problem as we only have one tea pot. So being the loving wife that I am I offer to make my tea in a mug. So I’m digging around the cupboard and what do I spy but the coveted (since forgotten about) Bodum mug. So I pull it out and take all the lables off and wash it out.

All I can say is it makes the tea taste so much better!

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