Monday, March 23, 2015

So Much Accomplished, In so Little Time!

Angie's got her groove back.  I had no idea that I had an infection as there was very little pain involved.  There was one time I let a sinus infection go, thinking it would heal itself, and I paid a big price for it.  So when there was a little pain on the right side of my face, the previous ordeal flashed before my eyes and off to the physician I went.

I've been busy re organizing and spring cleaning.  The spice cupboard is now in order as is the pantry.  The refrigerator is sparkling clean and organized and dried food jars are lined up military style.

I call this the spice cupboard, but it also contains baking ingredients
and items.

I purchased a Food Saver cap to seal my jars of dried foods.  I couldn't get that thing to work for anything.  I tried and tried, then got smart and looked at the comments others made about the item.  Many people were having the same problem.  Then the answer was there from a commenter.  Place an upside down lid in the cap then place the lid you want to seal over the jar.  Bingo.  It seems there is a bit of air space in the cap that was preventing the lids from sealing.  The commenter's suggestion came at just the right time as I was ready to spew some rather un-lady like words.

With all of the spring decorations out and a clean house, I got a thought.  I'd like to try to make some Italian bread.  (By hand, not in the bread machine), but I wasn't sure if I had a recipe.  In just purchased a cookbook by Lida Matticchio, 'Lidia's Commonsense Italian Cooking.  To my surprise there was no recipe for Italian bread.  There was one for Focaccia bread.  That will have to do.

The Kitchen Aid came out and the recipe was read a number of times before action was taken.  Flour, yeast, (with a teaspoon of sugar to activate it) salt, and olive oil was all the ingredients called for.   The wetting agent was warm water.  I four minutes the dough was formed with the assistance of the mixer and the dough hook.  The only work I had to do was put the ingredients in a bowl and knead the dough for a few seconds on a floured surface to form a ball.  The dough is currently rising in a cold oven with the light on.

The dough before the first rise.  It doubled in 15 minutes instead of the 30
minutes suggested in the cook book.  It always pays to keep an eye on
what's brewing.

The mess I made for the dough to be kneaded a few times.

After it rises it needs to be punched down.  That's just a way of saying to gently push out the air bubbles the yeast created.  I use to literally punch the dough.  I wouldn't suggest that avenue.  Another short rise and the dough needs dents formed on the top using a finger.  Into the oven and a coat of olive oil after ten minutes and the most gorgeous bread is mine to admire.  Before I can admire it, the topping of olive oil, parm cheese and parsley is spread on top when it's just out of the oven.

Baked and ready to eat.

Tonight's dinner.  Created by my own two hands!  LOL

I made cream of mushroom soup yesterday which will be my dinner tonight with a slice of warm bread.  Holy taoly, life doesn't get any better than this!


  1. A well-known Italian bread is CIABATTA. You will surely find recipes for this speciality on Youtube.
    It is even sold in many bakeries here in Germany.

    1. I adore ciabatta bread. It's on my list of things to explore. A have a friend who covets this bread. Maybe it my experiment works out I can send some to her. What do you think? Good idea?

  2. Hello! I saw your comment on the Down to Earth blog and it was good see another retiree that shared my views on life. I see I also have a current sinus infection in common with you also. Ha! Beautiful bread and your soup looks wonderful!

    1. Don't you just love Down to Earth? Like minds support each other. Who ever would have thought a sinus infection could beat you down so quietly. I was beginning to think I was getting lazy! I hope you feel better soon. I have to say that mushroom soup was fantastic and good to the last drop. Of course, I used the bread to gather up the last drop! Stay safe.