Rosemary Focaccia

Rosemary Focaccia

Focaccia has always been one of my favorite types of bread.  I remember, probably 12 years ago making focaccia for the first time.  I had this big plan to make fancy sandwiches out of the bread on a weekend.  Amazingly enough the bread turned out, and I loved the sandwiches.  My husband and I were engaged at the time, so I think I had even more to prove.  I had to impress him!  Well, I use a different recipe now, but this bread is requested often.

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Rosemary Olive Oil Crackers

Rosemary Olive Oil Crackers

I told you yesterday I needed to get in the kitchen and take some pictures of my food.  Well, that is just what I did!  I went crazy in the kitchen yesterday!  One thing I made was these crackers, and they were amazing.  Completely addicting.  They are crispy and so full of flavor, for just a few ingredients.  Crackers have to be one of the easiest things to make, but one of the most impressive.  You tell someone you made crackers, and they are floored.  But if you actually look at the recipe, you see just how easy they are.  I think these took 25 minutes from when I hit print on the recipe, until I was eating them.  These were a great afternoon snack for when my 6 year old came home.  He is slightly cracker obsessed :)

I love making something you can buy in the store at home.  It always tastes so much better, and you know what you are eating.  These crackers have 6 ingredients (not including water), but if you look at the back of a box, the list of ingredients are endless.  Trust me, these are so quick and easy.  Set them out with some cheese and you have an appetizer tray no one will be able to resist.

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Focaccia with Onion and Rosemary

A friend of mine let me borrow her Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day book. This book is great!  Who doesn’t love fresh baked bread?  I mean really, what isn’t to love?  It is pretty much perfect.  The recipes in this book are really easy.  You start with a base recipe.  You spend about 5 minutes preparing that recipe.  Then you let it rise and fall over a couple of hours.  After that, you put it in the fridge until you are ready to make your bread.  It lasts for almost 2 weeks in the fridge!  The base recipe makes 4 pounds of dough (or 4 loaves of bread).  It could easily be halved. 

So far I have made 1 batch and used all 4 pounds.  All of the recipes have been wonderful!  This Focaccia was exactly how I think Focaccia should be.  Light, airy, full of flavor.  And Really, there was so little effort in making it.  I have made Focaccia before, and I remember it being lots of work!  Not this one!

Focaccia with Onion and Rosemary
Recipe from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day
Printable Recipe 

1 pound dough (recipe to follow)
1/4 medium white onion, thinly sliced
2 Tbls Olive Oil, plus 1 tsp or drizzling
3/4 tsp dried rosemary
Coarse salt and fresh ground pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Line or grease a cookie sheet with a little olive oil.  You could use a baking stone instead.

Dust the surface of the refrigerated dough with flour and cut off 1 pound of dough.  Dust the piece with more flour.  Shape into ball, but stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides.  Flatten into a 1/2 in to 3/4 in thick round.  Place the round on your baking sheet.

Saute the onion slices in 2 Tbls olive oil, until softened, but not browned.  Place onions over the top of the dough.  Do not over crowd the dough, you will have left over onions.  Sprinkle with rosemary, salt and pepper.  Finish with a light drizzle of olive oil.

Allow the dough to rest and rise for 20 minutes.  Place in oven, and bake for about 25 minutes, depending on thickness.  The crust will be medium brown.  Cut and serve warm!

Olive Oil Dough
2 3/4 cups luke warm water
2 packets yeast
1 1/2 Tbls Kosher Salt
1 Tbls Sugar
1/4 cup Olive Oil
6 1/2 cups all purpose flour

Mix yeast, salt, sugar and olive oil with the water in a  large bowl that has a lid (not airtight).  I used my mixing bowl, and just fit with plastic wrap. 

Mix in the flour using the dough hook on your mixer.  Do not knead, stop when all the flour is mixed in.

Cover and allow to rest at room temperature until dough rises and collapses approx 2 hours. 

The dough can be used right a way, or refrigerate in lidded container for up to 12 days.  It is easier to handle when the dough is cold. 

Creamy Penne with Sausage

I saw this recipe on That Skinny Chick can Bake awhile ago.  I was immediately sold!  I had tomatoes and rosemary in my garden, and this was the perfect thing to use them in.  Well, I couldn’t wait for my tomatoes – they just aren’t turning red!  So I used canned tomatoes, and it awesome! As I told you the other day, I am cleaning my kitchen.  That doesn’t just include getting rid of magazines and glasses that that were my parents, and haven’t been used in 10 years.  That means my freezer and pantry as well.  So I had tomatoes that had been in the pantry forever, I have box upon box of pasta, and I had heavy cream from making this ice cream, that needed to get used.  So I was set! 

I wanted to lighten the recipe up just a tad – so I used turkey sausage, and cut back on the cream and cheese.  If you can’t find Italian Turkey Sausage you can use just plain turkey sausage and add Italian seasoning while cooking.  I was out of onion, so I didn’t use that part.  I will leave it in the recipe though, because normally I would have put it in!

My 6 year old absolutely LOVED this!  He was skeptical at first, took his first bite….immediately I heard “mmmm”!  I just started laughing, and he didn’t get it.  He had no idea he vocally told me he liked it.  He told me he wanted me to dare him to eat leftovers the next day (he hates leftovers), but this he ate.  So thanks Liz for a great recipe!

Creamy Penne with Sausage
From That Skinny Chick Can Bake
Printable Recipe

1 small onion, diced
Drizzle Olive Oil
4 Links Italian Turkey Sausage, casings removed
1 Tbls fresh rosemary
2 bay leaves
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 can Diced Italian Tomatoes
1 pound Penne
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese

Cook Pasta according to the package directions. 

Saute the onion in the olive oil until soft.  Add the sausage.  Brown for a few minutes.  Add rosemary, bay leaves, and crushed red pepper.  Add the tomatoes.  Cook until bubbly and hot. 

Add the cooked pasta, cream and cheese to the tomatoes.  Toss until well combined.  Serve with additional cheese if desired.