Wednesday, February 10, 2010


It's official! I have spoiled my dinner! This is the greatest recipe if you are looking for amazingly EASY, DELICIOUS, and pretty quick Artisan Crusty Bread.... if you make it for guests they will think you have been working on it for the last 36 hours. Just dust your nose with some flour as the doorbell rings.

A good friend of mind (K.M. from Arizona) shared this recipe from the New York Times entitled~


I will also include my favorite dipping sauce that is lot like the one from Carrabba's. I highly recommend this recipe and I warn you, if you make it-- it could spoil your dinner.

1. In a large plastic bowl, mix 1 1/2 T yeast and 1 1/2 T kosher salt into 3 cups pretty hot water. Stir in 6 1/2 Cup flour, mixing until there are no dry patches. Cover with some loose plastic wrap that has been sprayed with some Pam.

2. Let it be for 2-5 hours. (I let my dough sit in a warm sunny window)Now go have your children fan you and feed you peeled grapes.

3. After the 2-5 hours bake or refrigerate. I usually bake 1/2 of the dough and put the other half in the fridge for later (will last for up to 2 weeks.) Cut off half of dough with a serrated knife. Turn the dough in hands to lightly stretch the surface, creating a smooth top and a pretty lumpy bottom. Put dough on parchment paper that has been sprinkled with cornmeal and either spray or rub your dough and let rest/rise for 40 min.

4. Preheat oven to 450 degrees and place your dutch oven (minus the lid) in there to preheat for 20 min. I place my dutch oven on the bottom rack and remove other rack from oven.

5. For a finishing touch dust dough with flour and slash the top. Now lift your parchment paper carefully and open oven and place in dutch oven. Put lid on and bake for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove the lid and finish cooking. When my bread comes out, I brush it with EVOO.


Divine Dipping Blend

1 T Fresh Basil & Parsley
1 T Minced Garlic
1 t Dried Thyme & Oregano
1 t Freshly ground Black Pepper
1/2 t Freshly ground Sea Salt OR Kosher Salt
1/4 t Crushed Red Pepper

1/2 t Olive Oil
1/8 t Fresh Lemon Juice

Combine all ingredients in food processor except Olive Oil & Lemon Juice
After processed add oil & lemon juice. Give it a good stir. Makes about 1/4 cup.

**Note: This can be done in a coffee grinder. I don't have one so I my Kitchen Aid Food Processor worked nicely.

**PS-- I didn't have fresh basil today but I had fresh parsley.... I substituted 1 t of dried basil instead. I also didn't have fresh lemon juice so I used concentrate.... it always turns out wonderful.

I put a quarter- a silver dollar amount on a nice white plate and cover in Olive oil. My son and I added balsamic vinegar to half the plate and it is like a firework show going off in your mouth..... yummy moist chewy bread with all those flavors.... mmmmmm


About Parchment Paper--

Parchment paper, also known as baking parchment paper, is a cellulose-based paper that is used as a disposable non-stick surface intended for use in baking.

A common use is to eliminate the need to grease sheet pans and the like, allowing very rapid turn-around of batches of baked goods. Parchment paper is also used to cook en papillote, a technique where food is steamed or cooked within closed pouches made from parchment paper. Parchment paper can be used in most applications that call for wax paper as a non-stick surface. The reverse is not true, as wax paper will cause smoke in the oven.

(Thanks wikipedia for that wonderful definition) We are all little more educated on this helpful baking aid which I highly recommend.

Thursday, January 28, 2010


While washing dishes tonight with my favorite Caldrea dish soap, I started to think. I have a lot of roles in my life right now. Not the kind of rolls that I like to bake. I have a good recipe for that.... but I am a wife, a mom, a daughter, sister, friend. I am a happy person, a business owner, I like rooibos chai (see below) and very soft things. As my sink full of suds was sitting in front of me, I was thinking about my jewelry website and how I can utilize SEO to my benefit, my pre-schooler's sack lunch day at school tomorrow and about the homemade mushroom new potato Alfredo sauce I am about to whip up for my hubby.... at the same time, I have my little toddler helping me wash the counter. It hit me hard, that of all the roles that make me up, it's that of being mommy. Each day brings something new but one thing is for sure, I Am A Happy Mommy.

Herbal Rooibos Chai recipe:

I keep this in a jar in my cupboard and put 2 heaping spoonfuls in a cup of hot Rooibos:

1 Cup Non-fat dry milk
3/4 Cup Dry non dairy creamer
1 Cup Dry non dairy creamer french vanilla
2 Cups white sugar
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground clove
1 teaspoon ground cardamon

Mix all ingredients well and store in an ball mason jar.

*some of these spices can get spendy if you buy them at a regular grocery store. Most health food stores sell them loose for much cheaper. My favorite places to buy loose herbs is Market Spice at the Pikes Place Market ( and Sunny Farms in Sequim, WA and to buy online ( is good too.

About Rooibos:

Pronounced "roy-boss" and means "red bush" in Afrikaans. Studies have shown this tea is comparable to green tea in the amounts of polyphenols it contains. It shows anti-mutagenic, anti-carcinogenic, anti-inflammatory and anti-viral activity.

Rooibos is totally pure and natural. It contains no colorants or preservatives.

Rooibos helps delay the aging process! The aging of our bodies is caused by toxic compounds called free radicals which are produced as a by-product of normal cell function. These free radicals attack our healthy cells. Over our lifetime this damage contributes to aging and our immune system weakens. Recently, Japanese scientists have found that Rooibos tea contains a mimic of the enzyme Super Oxide Dismutase (S.O.D.), an antioxidant which attacks the free radicals and limits their damaging effects.

Rooibos is becoming more popular in Western countries particularly among health-conscious consumers, due to its high level of antioxidants such as aspalathin [5] and nothofagin, its lack of caffeine, and its low tannin levels compared to fully oxidized black tea or unoxidized green tea leaves.[citation needed] Rooibos also contains a number of phenolic compounds, including flavanols, flavones, flavanones, and dihydrochalcones.[6]

Rooibos is purported to assist with nervous tension, allergies and digestive problems.[7]

Traditional medicinal uses of rooibos in South Africa include alleviating infantile colic, allergies, asthma and dermatological problems.[8][

See more interesting health benefits of rooibos at ( and