Garlic Herb Focaccia


Want focaccia?  Right here I’ve got an easy, no-fail recipe.  All you do is mix, rise, stretch and rise again before baking.  Give it a whirl and let me know how it works for you…

Ingredients

DOUGH
  • 2-¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon yeast
  • 2 teaspoons table salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1-¼ cups water
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
TOPPING
  • ¼ cup olive oil (you may not need all of this)
  • coarse salt

Directions

PREPARING THE DOUGH

Preheat your oven to “warm” – anywhere between 150º-200º F – while you proceed with steps 2 – 6.  When preheated, be sure to turn the oven OFF.

Measure both flours, yeast, salt, garlic powder and dried oregano into the bowl of your food processor.  Pulse about 10 times.

In a 2-cup (or larger) measuring cup, pour in water and the 3 Tbsp olive oil.  With machine running, pour in water & oil.  After about 10-15 seconds, all the ingredients are wet and the dough comes together. It is wet and sticky.

Dump mixture into an oven safe bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap.  Let rise for at least an hour in your warm oven.

 PREPARATION FOR BAKING

When your dough has risen, take 2 Tbsp of the TOPPING olive oil and pour onto a rimmed baking sheet that is lined with parchment paper.  Get a bit of this oil on your hands, remove the dough from your bowl and shape into a rough ball.  Coat the dough with the oil on the baking sheet.  With your oily hands, stretch the dough as much as you can.  Then, wash your hands and cover the dough and baking sheet with plastic wrap.

Let dough rest a little while then stretch again.  (The beauty of covering it with the plastic wrap is you don’t have to wash your hands before and after every time you stretch the dough a bit more.)  This may take a while.  Be patient.

When the dough has been stretched as much as your baking sheet will allow, let it rise undisturbed for at least 30 minutes.  Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 450º F.

Before removing plastic wrap, dimple the dough surface with your fingertips. Then, uncover the dough and drizzle as much or as little of the remaining olive oil over the dough.  Sprinkle with coarse salt, to taste.

Bake for 10-15 minutes to desired golden brown color.

Enjoy as an appetizer or meal accompaniment.  (I can’t advise you on what to do with leftovers because we never have any!)

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Corned Beef & Cabbage

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Hello Friend!  Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

A few years ago, I did something outrageous, something radical, something shocking.

I put a corned beef brisket into my slow cooker.

Yes.  And do you know what else I did?

roasted my cabbage.

For years, on March 17th, I would put my corned beef into the largest pot I had, covered it with water, sprinkle in the tiny yet magical packet of seasoning and bring that pot to a boil.  Then, I’d set it to simmer for hours, intending to keep a close eye on it so I could add more water as needed.  More often than not I would forget about it and then I’d have a dried out tip of the iceberg shaped meat sticking out of the water.  What a pitiful sight that is.  Somehow, i got it in my head that maybe I could cook up our St. Patty’s Day corned beef in the slow cooker.  So, I started surfing the web for possible recipes.  They’re all basically the same, but I’ll give you mine anyway.  These days, I plop that hunk of meat into my slow cooker, set it on low and guiltlessly forget all about it until dinner time.  The result?  Moist, flavorful meat…the kind that makes you eat more than you should.

On that same St. Patrick’s Day, I scoured the internet for alternative ways to cook cabbage.  I found this ridiculously easy way to roast cabbage.  Now I am hooked.  My cabbage shall forevermore be roasted!  No more boiled cabbage for me!  My husband informed me that he likes it boiled.  My response?  Okay. (But I’m sticking to my guns on this one.)

Click on these links to my favorite St. Patrick’s Day recipes.

Slow Cooker Corned Beef

Roasted Cabbage

Irish Soda Bread

 

An Irish Blessing

May the road rise up to meet you,

May the wind be always at your back,

May the sun shine warm upon your face,

The rain fall soft upon your fields,

And until we meet again,

May God hold you in the palm of His hand

Slow Cooker Chili & Skillet Cornbread

Hello Friend!  Do you have a slow cooker?  Are you a fan of your slow cooker?  If you aren’t yet a fan of your slow cooker, here’s one recipe that may persuade you to pull out that old beast.

This recipe, like all of my recipes, is a variation on a recipe I found either online or in a cookbook or passed on from a friend.  The original recipe is quite good as is, but I think you will like my variation just as much, if not more.  There are a few things I like about this recipe.

  1. It’s easy!  Mostly you’re just dumping a bunch of cans of beans into your slow cooker.
  2. It makes a lot!  I always get two nights worth of dinners for my family of four plus two or three lunch servings.
  3. It’s low on Weight Watchers PointsPlus program.  Only 4 points for a one cup serving! (It’s herbs, spices and power foods!)

Follow this link to my recipe.

Laura’s Slow Cooker Chili

 

Skillet Cornbread

Now when your main dish has a PointsPlus value of only 4, why not have some cornbread with it?  Follow this link to a quick, easy and tasty cornbread recipe I found on allrecipes.com.  I like to call my cornbread Skillet Cornbread (thanks Fiona!) because my variation on the recipe is to bake it in my cast iron skillet.  Each of the 12 servings this recipe yields have a PointsPlus value of 5.