Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Skillet Focaccia - one hour

I was in the mood for homemade bread last night to go with my homemade garden fresh tomato sauce.  It was one of those days that I got to be home and in my kitchen...just how I like it!  I had just picked a ton of tomatoes from my garden so I committed myself to making sauce and then thought, well what else could I make?  Bread!!  I had remembered seeing this one hour recipe and using the cast iron skillet made it sound all the more appealing.  I LOVE my cast iron skillet...LOVE IT!  If you don't have one, I suggest getting on Amazon right now, ordering a 10-inch skillet with a lid.  I promise you will fall in love with it too, from baking brownies, to frying up crispy potatoes, or my favorite...bacon!  Anyway, now that I know I can make bread in it, I am a happy baker :)

Honestly, I think this recipe took less than an hour start to finish.  It was so easy I would recommend anyone who is afraid of homemade bread to start with this recipe.  I made a couple slight changes to the recipe, but nothing big.  The recipe came from HERE and she has step-by-step pictures too .

Skillet Focaccia Bread - One Hour

  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil or canola oil
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning, or a little chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 tsp. coarse salt
1.  Place water and sugar in bowl of a stand mixer.  Stir until sugar has dissolved. 
2 Add yeast, stir and let sit about 5 minutes or until bubbly.
3. Turn mixer on low and add 1 cup flour and salt.  Mix until combined.
4.  Add olive oil and mix well.
5.  Gradually add as much of the second cup of flour as needed, mixing until dough pulls away from the edges of the bowl.  You most likely will only use about 3/4 cup of the flour.  Save the rest of the flour for rolling.
6.  Pre-heat oven to 220 degrees then turn oven off (leaving door closed).
7. Grease 10-inch cast iron skillet (I used a little softened butter)
8. Place dough on floured surface and using the leftover flour, fold a few times until it becomes soft and not sticky anymore.  Shape into a ball.
9.  Roll dough out to the size of the skillet.
10. Place in skillet and stretch up about 1/2 inch up sides.  Cover with a kitchen towel and place in oven for 20 minutes. 
11.  Take skillet out of oven and preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Make indentations in the dough with your thumb.  
12.  Mix the olive oil, seasoning and salt together in small bowl.  
13.  Brush the dough with half of the oil mixture and place in preheated oven to bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown on top.  Brush with remaining olive oil and let cool until safe to touch.  Slice and serve warm!  

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Strawberries and Cream Scones

Man this blog is such a dusty site these days!  Life is full in our neck of the woods and blogging has definitely taken a back seat.  Oh well, I'm happy when I can get on here and write, because it inspires me to get back sooner!  I found this recipe for scones last year and have already made them a lot!
The last time I made them I used boysenberries instead of strawberries and they were SO GOOD!  Definitely a versatile scone recipe, so feel free to play around with fruit or even some chocolate chips...I love a good chocolate chip scone.

I found this recipe HERE and although she calls them Strawberry Shortcake Scones, I played with the name because the main ingredients are Strawberries and Cream...so it only seemed fitting :)
I doubled the recipe which is why in my pictures I have 2 baking sheets of scones!

Strawberries and Cream Scones {makes 12 scones}


  • 2 Cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 T. baking powder
  • 3 T. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 5 T. chilled salted butter, cut into 1/4 inch cubes (freeze butter for 30 min. and it's easier to cut)
  • 2 small baskets of strawberries, hullled and quartered 
  • 3/4 cup cream or half & half 
  • 3 Cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 cream or half & half
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line large baking sheet with parchment; set aside. 
(*To freeze scones see note below)
In a mixing bowl, or food processor, combine the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.  Add butter and cut in with fork, or pulse with food processor until mixture resembles crumbs.  Be sure not to over mix as you don't want the butter to soften.  Toss in strawberries and coat lightly with mixture.  Add cream and fold together gently until mixture just begins to come together.  

Turn dough onto floured surface and gently pat together into a 1-inch thick rectangle.  Using a sharp knife, cut dough into six squares then cut the squarers on the diagonal to make 12 scones.  They don't have to look perfect, because they will taste amazing!!

Place scones on prepared baking sheet and bake for 16-18 minutes or until scones are slightly golden on top.  Place a cooling rack on top of a sheet of parchment or foil.  Once scones are finished, place them on the cooling rack for about 10 minutes.  They don't have to be completely cool before glazing.  
To make the glaze, whisk together the sifted powdered sugar, cream and vanilla.  If the glaze is too thick you can add just a little more cream OR if it's too thin, just add a little more powdered sugar to find the right consistency.  

To glaze, take a large tablespoon and drizzle glaze over each scone, OR you may take each scone and dip the top of the scone into the glaze and return it to the cooling rack to set.  The parchment or foil will catch the drips.  The glaze will set when scones have cooled.  
Serve the scones warm or at room temp.  ENJOY!

*If you want to make the scones the day before, just make the 
dough, cut into shape and place on parchment lined baking sheet.  Place foil on top of scones and put in freezer.  Remove from freezer just before baking and bake for about 18-20 min. or until golden on top.  

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Mexican Chicken Bowls

WELL....It's good to be back!  Not that I've really been anywhere, just MIA when it comes to blogging!  I actually think it was a good thing to take a break.  I feel like I have a little more time and energy to devote to some new recipes and almost a renewed excitement for cooking!!  After all of the holidays, baking cookies, eating cookies, and big heavy dinners, I'm ready to lighten things up a bit but without skimping on taste!!  I'm going to try my best to put out some legit healthy & tasty recipes :)
I may add the occasional sweet treat, but hey, everything in moderation right?!?!

This dish was way too easy to prepare and honestly everyone in my family loved it!  I guess you could call it a deconstructed burrito, but I almost enjoyed it better than a burrito.  Give it a try!

MEXICAN CHICKEN BOWL - (recipe adapted from HERE )

INGREDIENTS: (Makes about 4-5 bowls)

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • chili powder, paprika & garlic salt to season chicken
  • 1 jar (16 oz) salsa, your favorite kind!
  • 4 cups cooked brown rice...I used 2 bags of Trader Joes Frozen Organic Brown Rice
  • 1-2 cups frozen corn, heated
  • 1 can black beans, heated & drained
  • shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 avocados, mashed with fresh lemon juice, garlic powder & sea salt to taste
  • sour cream, optional
  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place chicken breasts in a baking dish and season with some chili powder, paprika and garlic salt.  Pour the jar of salsa on top of chicken breasts, cover tightly with foil and bake in oven for 1 hour.  Turn oven off and leave the chicken in the oven for another hour (or longer).  The chicken will shred very easily this way. (You can alternately do the chicken in your crockpot, on high for 4 hours or low for 7 hours). I like the oven method the best :)
Leave the chicken in the baking dish when you shred it so it so you can mix it with the salsa that's left in the dish...you will want the chicken to be a little saucy!
Once the chicken is shredded, start prepping all of the other ingredients.  When I don't have time or ingredients to make guacamole, I do more of a "avocado mash", which is avocados, lemon juice, garlic powder and sea salt.  Mash it all together and it's a perfect condiment to any mexican dish!!
To assemble the bowl, place about 3/4 to 1 cup of the rice on the bottom of the bowl, a couple spoonfuls of chicken (with some of the salsa) on top, a scoop of black beans, some shredded cheese, the last but not least the mashed avocado and sour cream if you like.
I gobbled up the first bowl then went back for a little extra chicken and black beans!  If you have some tortilla chips, you can definitely serve those on the side for scooping! 


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