Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Rosemary Tomato Bread

My plan this fall is to make different foods I can freeze that can be used for meals throughout the winter. One of those things is dough; pizza dough, bread dough, etc. I am in the process of searching for a really good whole wheat pizza dough. The recipe I'm posting here I've used before and I 'like' it but I don't 'love' it. I want to be in love with my pizza dough…well, not literally.


1 teaspoon white sugar
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
4 cups petite diced tomatoes (drained)
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon ground pepper
1 teaspoon garlic salt


In a large bowl dissolve the sugar in the warm water then sprinkle the dry yeast over the top. Let it sit for 10 minutes. Once the 10 minutes are up stir in the olive oil, salt and 1 cup of the diced tomatoes.*

In a separate bowl combine the 2 cups of whole wheat flour and 1 cup of the all-purpose flour. You’ll save the remaining half cup for when you are kneading the dough. Mix in the rosemary and stir well.

Pour the flour mixture into the yeast mixture and stir until the dough comes together. Put the dough on a floured surface using the remaining 1/2 cup of flour. Knead the dough until all the flour has been absorbed, about 10 minutes.

Put the dough in an oiled bowl and turn it so the entire ball of dough is lightly covered with oil. Cover it with a towel and let it stand in a warm place for one hour. It should double in size.

After one hour, place the dough on a lightly floured surface. For thin crust, divide dough in half. For thick crust leave it whole. Compress the dough into a tight ball and put back in oiled bowl. Cover with towel and let sit for 45 minutes.

Oil an 18 x 13 inch baking sheet and spread the dough out evenly to the edges of the pan. If you’re doing the thin crust, use a smaller baking sheet because it will be really thin otherwise.

Pour the remaining 3 cups of drained diced tomatoes on the bread. Spread them evenly and push them lightly into the dough. Sprinkle evenly with Parmesan cheese, pepper and garlic salt.

Preheat oven to 400 F. Once preheated, bake for 15-20 minutes depending on the thickness of the crust. The crust should be a golden brown on the edges. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Now slice and serve! Yum!

Rosemary Tomato Bread

*I had 2 whole tomatoes that I needed to use up. I thinly sliced them and broiled them (see top photo) in the oven for about ten minutes on parchment paper. Once they cooled I roughly chopped them and added them to the dough mixture. You can do the same if you are so inclined but the diced tomatoes work just as well.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Black Bean Soup

I know it's totally not the season for savory soups. I actually made this back in January. Yes January! I was on a blog hiatus for a few months and I baked and cooked my heart out but I was apparently too lazy to blog about anything. I made this specific recipe for a group blog that I never posted to...and I feel terrible. So here I am 7 months later... This isn't a recipe I made up so I'm not going to post the actual recipe but here is a link to the original. It was really good. Time consuming but good. With any recipe I find that I usually feel the need to do something to kinda make it my own. With this one I kept the recipe the same but I seasoned tortillas, cut them in strips and baked them for garnish. It added great texture to the soup! I was quite happy.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Lingonberry Apple Mojito

To me, nothing says summer like drinking an ice cold mojito and enjoying the sunshine. Mojitos are a great combination of fresh mint, lime and rum. They are tasty! Yum yum! I made a lingonberry apple mojito last weekend but I didn't use actual lingonberries or apples. I replaced the traditional club soda with a carbonated lingonberry apple juice that I got at Ikea. The flavors really complimented the mint and lime.

I'm very particular when it comes to making mojitos which I rightfully deserve since I've made so many. I've actually acquired the title: Pro Mojito Maker Extraordinaire. So watch out! Ha! Now, I don't do it in the traditional way by muddling the lime, mint and sugar. I am not a fan of pulp in anything that I drink so I squeeze fresh lime juice and strain it into the mojito. Follow these easy directions and enjoy this tasty drink:


8 freshly picked mint leaves
2 ounces of simple syrup (recipe for simple syrup below)*
2 ounces of light rum
The juice from 1 and a half limes (strained)
4 ounces of Lingonberry Apple Juice (or regular club soda)


In a tall glass place mint leaves on the bottom. Pour 2 ounces of simple syrup in the glass. With a muddler, smash mint leaves just a little to release their minty fragrance. Pour in 2 ounces of rum, the juice from 1 and a half limes and 4 ounces of lingonberry apple juice or club soda. Mix well and add ice. Garnish with a sprig of mint leaves. Now sit back, relax and enjoy a nice refreshing mojito.

* To make simple syrup just follow these simple directions:

In a medium saucepan combine 1 cup of white sugar and 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil, stirring, until sugar has dissolved. Allow to cool.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Garlic Rosemary Potatoes

I think one of my favorite combinations is garlic, rosemary and olive oil. They taste great on roasted potatoes. This recipe is nothing fancy, just something Rob and I threw together the other night that I thought I’d post. I bought two large Idaho baking potatoes (This is really good with red potatoes too) and mixed them with the following:


4 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoon chopped rosemary leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper


Clean potatoes then cut each potato in eight equal slices. Combine above ingredients and toss with the potatoes to evenly coat. Bake in a small pan (uncovered) at 375F for 1 hour. Obviously if you use more potatoes just add more of the above ingredients to your desired taste. When I use red potatoes I add a few tablespoons of butter (yum!) and some parsley too. Either way it's delicious!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

And we make it up as we go along...

Today is 'Tori Amos Day' on Facebook. A lot of Tori fans change their profile picture to a photo of Tori and celebrate the brilliance that is her. I chose this as my photo:

It's the cover of the limited edition single for Caught a Lite Sneeze. It's always been one of my favorite songs and I love the serenity of this picture. Coincidentally, it was one year ago yesterday that I had seen her at the Chicago Theatre. It's always so exciting to see her live, I just can't put it into words. Nor can I even begin to explain how much her music has influenced, affected, helped and inspired me. There's no one like Tori. Her music is truly magical. Today, this song has been in my head:

“Twilight held us in her palm as we walked along…”

Happy Tori Day!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

City Porch Garden

I love living in a big city. There are so many amenities and everything you can think of is right outside your door. The one thing I wish I had was a big garden. I've always wanted a garden with rows and rows of herbs and veggies and even a huge patch of wildflowers...I love wildflower patches! Rob and I have lived in the same apartment for 3 years. We have a modest size porch in the back but we don't get very much sunlight. It is enough though to have some small pots and baskets with a few herbs. This guy is the watcher of the porch garden:

Wormy the Water Sensor

He 'knows' when a plant needs to be watered. He turns dark brown then screams, "WATER ME!" Just kidding about the screaming. I don't really need a little worm to tell when to water because I know when to water but he was so cute I had to buy him when I saw him at Home Depot. Hi Wormy!

This is our big basil bush that almost didn't survive the cold days of spring:

Now it's huge and full of delicious basil leaves. This next picture is one of two basket that hang off the side of our porch. This one has oregano and rosemary, both of which are thriving.

Oregano and Rosemary

The next picture is parsley, not that you can even tell. We planted it around Easter and this is what it looks like now:
Pathetic Parsley

I can't figure out what went wrong. We kept it in our front window the first couple months so it would get a lot of sun. But I guess it wasn't enough. Then there's the mint. It's growing like crazy-as mint usually does-but it's growing like a vine:

Vine-like Mint

We've successfully grown mint in big pots before but never in a hanging basket. maybe that's why it's growing like a vine? Either way, the mint taste great in a mojito.


Monday, August 2, 2010

Strawberry Brown Butter Bettys

Recently my friend Bianca came over for a baking night. It's always fun to bake with friends. She found a recipe from SmittenKitchen.com that involved strawberries so I was all about it. And might I add, I LOVE this site. Her recipes are great and I love her photographs. Please go check it out! Here is the recipe we made. Turned out deelish. Here are some photo highlights from the evening courtesy of Bianca:

Wonder Bread is wonderful

chop chop!

Fresh strawberries

Action shot