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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Focaccia Bread

I don't know where this recipe originally came from - if anyone recognizes it feel free to let me know!

Mix together:
  • 1 tsp. white sugar
  • 1 cup water (warm but not too hot)
  • 1 Tbsp active dry yeast
  • Let the yeast poof, then add 2 Tbsp olive oil
Combine dry ingredients:
  • 2 3/4 cup white flour
  • 1 tsp each of salt, garlic powder, oregano, thyme
  • 1/2 tsp basil
  • 1 pinch ground black pepper
Mix the dry and wet ingredients together.  Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface.  Place in a large oiled bowl, cover with damp cloth and let it rise for about 20 minutes.

Punch the dough down, pat into a flat rectangle about 1/2 inch thick.  Top with oil, parmesan/mozzarella, or various veggies, herbs, and other cheeses.  This is your chance to get creative!  You can go "basic" with rosemary and sea salt, then eat it with oil and balsamic vinegar, or jazz it up with banana peppers and asiago cheese.  I like to poke the dough all over with my finger so that the finished bread has dimples in it.

Bake at 450 degrees F for 15-20 minutes. Thoroughly enjoy it with balsamic vinegar / olive oil or other dips.  Happy eating!

Apple Muffins

I have a box of apples ripening on my counter so I made these the other day. My husband (who as a rule is not sentimental) says he remembers this was the first thing I ever baked for him.  Aww. I'll take what I can get.  No idea what the recipe is from - I will credit my mom and Grandma.  These are the perfect autumn treat when the fireplace is going and it hasn't stopped raining in three weeks.

They don't rise much so if I want regular-to-large-sized-muffins I will actually pour this entire recipe into half of a muffin tin. So if you want 12 large muffins, I would double it. And I put lots of apple because it's yummy.  They are satisfying, so consider it nearly a meal.

Mix dry ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon (or a bit more)
  • Fold in 1-2 cups (peeled) diced apple

Mix wet ingredients separately:

  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup veg oil
Mix wet ingredients briefly into dry until just mixed and pour into greased muffin tins. Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes, 24 minutes if making large ones. Test with a toothpick. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Mixed Berry Whole Wheat Muffins

These muffins are healthy!  Yay!  This recipe is from, found here.  I recommend checking out her pictures, because I can't do these muffins justice.

I cut down the sugar even a tiny bit more and have found that it's best when using a very flavourful fruit for the puree - if using strawberries as suggested, make sure they're small and fresh... I wouldn't recommend frozen large ones that come in a package because they make the muffins a bit bland.  I also wouldn't recommend pureeing a blueberry and blackberry mix... because though the muffins will still taste great, they will look black and burnt!  My favourite rendition uses a tart applesauce, made in the crock pot from my in-laws' apples.

Mix together:

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup white flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
In another bowl, mix:
  • 1 1/2 cups pureed strawberries (from about 16 oz strawberries) --> or applesauce
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp melted butter or margarine
Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ones, then add 1 cup of berries and fold them in. I recommend raspberries and blackberries - blueberries work too but I prefer the more tart taste of the others. 

Bake at 325 degrees for about 25 minutes - toothpick test. Mini-muffin bake time can be shortened by a couple minutes.  Enjoy!