Tag Archives: bake

Garlicky Focaccia Bread

Although in the past I have been intimidated and scared of yeast,  I think I am completely over it.  After a couple of trials and some winning recipes (whole wheat pizza, wheat bread, peasant bread, whole wheat pitas, mostly whole wheat bread, and dinner rolls) I’m definitely feeling confident.  So don’t be afraid and make some bread from scratch today!

Focaccia is not my go-to bread, but when I saw a recipe posted by A Couple Cooks, it looked so delicious!  I had to make it right away.  This dough was great, and I can’t wait to make different variations- adding eggplant, onions, or topping it off with some meat.

I ended up cutting it up into smaller pieces, this way we could eat some with a salad, or with morning eggs.  Otherwise, use this when making a sandwich or when you just need a snack.

I hope the heat wave has ended for everyone so you all can turn on your ovens this week to make this.  Definitely something great- and I’d love to hear what other variations are out there that everyone enjoys!

Garlicky Focaccia Bread
Adapted from: A Couple Cooks

2 cups warm water
2 tsp dry yeast
2 cups of all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup olive oil + more for bowl and drizzling
1 tsp honey
8 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs (mixture of thyme and oregano)
1 tbsp sea salt

In a stand mixer bowl mix together the warm water and yeast.  Allow it to stand for a couple of at least 10 minutes.  Then add in 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, salt, olive oil and honey.  Using a dough hook, mix the ingredients together.  On a low speed, mix the dough for about 10 minutes.  Every couple of minutes add in the remaining all-purpose flour (1/2 cup).  At the end it should turn into a ball.

Place the ball of dough into an oiled bowl.  Cover with a towel, and leave it for at least 1 1/2 hours or until it doubles in size.

Spray a 9×13′ baking dish with cooking oil.  Preheat the oven to 475ºF.

Punch down the dough into the bowl, and knead it for another 2-3 minutes.  Then spread the dough into the baking dish.  Allow it to rise for another 30 minutes.

Once the dough is ready, drizzle 1 tbsp of olive oil over the top of the bread.  Then sprinkle the garlic, herbs and sea salt on top.  With a finger, make small indentations into the dough- about 1/2 inch thick and about 1/2 inch apart.

Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned.


Mexican Tortilla Cassarole

My weeks either feel slow as a turtle, where I can feel every minute and second on the clock.  It’s terrible!  When Friday rolls around, you breathe a sign of relief!

Other weeks fly by and I don’t feel like I’ve had time to catch my breath.  The time goes by and I don’t know where it went or what I spent doing it.  I often think my coworker feels like this- she has an adorable little boy, a full time job, she commutes and still goes to school.  How does she do it all?

This is one of those recipes which is perfect for her, or for anyone with an upcoming hectic week.  It can be made over the weekend, and then baked right before a Tuesday night dinner.  Or just bake it on Sunday night and enjoy it for lunch throughout the week.

There are only so many tacos or enchiladas we can eat, so I like to mix it up a bit with various dishes.  I liked the idea of a baked dish with layers of Mexican flavors.  And don’t worry, it can be adapted to your favorite veggies.

Mexican Tortilla Cassarole
Adapted from: Vegetarian Times (Jan/Feb 2012 issue)
6 Servings

6 10-inch tortillas
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 jalapeños, chopped (optional)
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 15oz can of diced tomatoes (or 2 cups chopped fresh)
2 zucchini, diced
1 cup corn
2 cups black beans (or 15 oz can, rinsed & drained)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 cups cheese, shredded (your choice: Monterey Jack, pepper jack, Mexican)

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.  Place tortillas on a cookie sheet, and bake them for about 3 minutes on each side, or until they are lightly brown.  I ended up using 2 cookie sheets, or you can do them in batches.

Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat.  Add the onion and sauté for about 5 minutes, or until the onion is translucent.  Then add the garlic and jalapeños.  Cook for another 2 minutes.  Stir in the chili powder and cumin, cook the ingredients for another minute.  Then add the tomatoes, zucchini, corn and black beans.  Cook for about 5 minutes, when the zucchini becomes tender.  Finally, sprinkle in salt and pepper while mixing before turning off the heat.

Coat a 12′ baking dish with cooking spray.  Set 2 tortillas on the bottom (mine overlapped a bit).  Spread about 1/2 the bean-veggie mixture onto the tortillas.  Then, sprinkle a 1/3 of the cheese.  Then do another round of tortillas, bean-veggie mixture and cheese.  Finally, cover the top with 2 more tortillas.  Sprinkle the rest of the cheese on the top.

Bake the Mexican Tortilla Lasagna for about 30-45 minutes, the cheese should be bubbly on top.  Let it stand about 10 minutes before cutting and serving.