You Say Focacia I say Focaccia

Filed Under (Breads) by Lisa on 16-06-2010

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I was recently thinking to myself “its been ages since I have made any bread”. It’s true I don’t know how it happened but somehow I totally went off of bread making. I love making bread, so I am thinking it was probably work that got me off of my bread making spree. Needless to say I am back on the bread baking bandwagon.

This morning I made two loaves of Focaccia bread. Focaccia bread is one of my long lost loves. Years ago when we use to have a bread maker I made this type of bread ALL the time. It really was one of my favorites. However after our bread maker broke I hardly ever ate focaccia bread let alone made it.

This morning I was paging through my favorite vegetarian cook book when I came across a recipe for focaccia bread. I decided today was the day to make it.

Onion Focaccia Bread (adapted from Vegetarian – edited by Valerie Ferguson)

Onion Focaccia
(makes two loaves)

6 cups all purpose flour
½ tsp salt
½ tsp white sugar
1 tbsp quick rise dried yeast
4 tbsp olive oil (plus extra to drizzle on top)
2 cups lukewarm skim milk
2 tbsp dehydrated minced onion
2 tbsp dried parsley
red onions (diced)
green onions (diced)
Chives (diced)
Grated low fat marble cheese

Preheat oven to 170 degrees F (or your lowest oven temperature). Once the oven reaches this temperature turn the oven off. In a large stainless steel bowl add: the flour, sugar, salt. Mix well. Add the yeast and mix thoroughly. Add 4 tbsp oil and the lukewarm milk and knead the for 10 minutes. Cover with plastic warp sprayed in olive oil. Let rise in oven for 30 minutes or until double in size. Remove from oven. Divide dough in half. On two pizza pans roll out each ball of dough until it is flat and pizza shaped. Cover with plastic wrap sprayed in olive oil. Let rise in oven for 20 minutes. Remove from oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Sprinkle desired amount of grated cheese over each bread. Sprinkle on onions, and chives. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil over breads. Bake in preheated oven for about 25 minutes.
Serve warm with a favorite soup, salad or pasta.

Cherry Cheese Cake

Filed Under (Cakes) by Lisa on 13-06-2010

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I love cheesecake. Since we’ve had a lot of cherries in the house recently and some of them were getting a little to soft to eat plain, we decided to make a cheese cake with them (my mom and I). We are both huge fans of cheese cake so, making the cake was a easy decision to make.  I made the cherry pie filling from scratch (to use up the cherries) while my mom worked on the crust and filling. The result: a to die for cheese cake. It was not too sweet, or rich. It was everything a cheesecake should be soft and creamy, sweet, (from the cheery pie filling) with a mildly crunch vanilla wafer crumb crust.

If you are a cheese cake lover you need to make this cake stat! It’s perfect for hot summer days since its served chilled.

Here is the recipe

Cherry Cheese Cake

Cherry Pie Filling (adapted from about.com)
6 cups cherries pits and stems removed
4 tbsp corn starch
1 ½ cups white sugar

Add cherries corn starch and sugar to a large pot. Mix well. On medium heat stir the mixture constantly for 15-20 minutes or until a thick cherry pie filling forms.

Cream Cheese Filling (adapted from Philadelphia cream cheese box)
2 boxes light cream cheese
½ cup sugar
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs

In a large bowl add the: cream cheese, sugar, vanilla extract, and eggs. Beat until smooth.

Vanilla Wafer Crust (adapted from Philadelphia cream cheese box)

1 ½ cups vanilla wafer crumbs
3 tbsp sugar
1/3 cup margarine (melted)

Combine, crumbs, sugar, and melted margarine in a bowl. Mix well. Press into pan )11X7 or desired size). Bake at 350 degrees F for 5 minutes. Cool.

Bake the assembled cheesecake at 350 degrees F for about 40 minutes or until the centre is almost set. Cool. Top with cherry pie filling. Refrigerate 3 hours or overnight before serving. Enjoy.

Oatmeal Banana Muffins

Filed Under (Breakfast, Muffins) by Lisa on 09-06-2010

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If you haven’t guessed by now, muffins are one of my favorite breakfast foods. I love making new varieties and putting new twists on old favorites. This morning I decided to give a new favorite a new twist. Since by berry oatmeal muffins turned out so well, I decided to try making another variety of oatmeal muffins. I turned my typical banana chocolate chip muffin into a yummy oatmeal banana chocolate chip delight.

My banana oatmeal muffins were simple, much less exotic then my berry oatmeal muffins. However taste wise they were very delicious. They were soft and flavorful with hints of rum extract noticeable on a subtle level. The texture of the coconut complemented the texture of the oatmeal perfectly. Of course I added some mini chocolate chips since they go oh so well with banana.

Here is my recipe (adapted from berry oatmeal muffins)

Oatmeal Banana Muffins
*makes 12 medium sized muffins

1 ¾ cups all purpose flour
1 cup oats
1 tbsp baking powder
½ cup white sugar
¼ tsp salt
¼ cup salted butter (melted)
1 cup skim milk
2 medium sized bananas
2 large eggs
¼ cup medium shredded unsweetened coconut
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp rum extract
¼ cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl add the: oats, flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Stir until well mixed. Add the coconut and chocolate chips, and stir to combine. In a blended add the bananas (peeled), skim milk, melted butter, eggs, vanilla extract, and rum extract. Blend until smooth. Add the blender mixture to the flour mixture and stir until smooth. Spoon into muffin tins. Bake for about 20 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted comes out clean. Enjoy.

Berry Oatmeal Muffins

Filed Under (Breakfast, Muffins) by Lisa on 05-06-2010

I love oatmeal. My mom recently made some oatmeal raison cookies that were very yummy. The cookies inspired me to try to make some oatmeal muffins. I had actually never made any muffins with oatmeal in them before (surprising considering how often I bake muffins). I was also thinking about making berry muffins, so I decided to make them into oatmeal berry muffins. I added some mini chocolate chips to the muffins since I love chocolate. They were the perfect addition to these muffins! The tiny size of these chips distribute the chocolate much more evenly then using larger chocolate chips. Regular chips work too though. For the recipe I adapted one of my own berry muffin recipes that didn’t have oatmeal in it.

My muffins were amazing!  They were actually quite fluffy (considering they are oatmeal muffins) which I love! The berry to chocolate ratio was perfect! They are also not too sweet to be eaten for breakfast. They are a major hit (only 4 left and I just made them 3 hours ago, soon to be 3 left). I will be making these again.

Here is my recipe

Berry Oatmeal Muffins (adapted from chocolate chip blueberry muffins)
*makes 12 medium sized muffins

1 ¾ cup all purpose flour
1 cup oats
1 tbsp baking powder
½ cup white sugar
½ tsp salt
¼ cup salted butter (melted)
1 cup skim milk
1 cup mixed berries (I used raspberries, blueberries and blackberries)
2 large eggs (beaten)
¼ cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease muffin tins. In a large bowl add the: flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Mix well. Stir in the berries and chocolate chips. Add the beaten egg, and stir. Add the melted butter and mix well. Add the milk and stir until a smooth batter forms. Spoon into muffin tins. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted comes out clean. Serve warm or cool.

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