Italian Rustic Bread

I have been using the 00 flour for our pizzas. I found a recipe to make a bread too.  Here it is!

Rustic Italian Bread
(Compliments Tastefullife.com)

Ingredients

1 cup warm water
3 cups Farina Tipo 00 Flour (you can use All Purpose Flour or Bread Flour)
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons of active dry yeast
1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil

Note: Preheat your oven to 375 degrees

1. In a bowl add 1 cup of warm water and dry active yeast and let it stand until creamy (about 5 minutes).  I add the flour  (If you weigh your flour, typically; 5 ounces = 1 cup all purpose flour), sugar, and salt into standing mixer bowl.  Then add the water/yeast to dry ingredients.  Mix 3-5 minutes with dough hook.

2. After mixing, whether in the stand up mixer or by hand; take the ball of dough and gently mold it into a smooth ball.

3. Put the dough back into the bowl and cover with a kitchen towel and let it rise. (I dampen the kitchen towel)  This could take anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour. It all depends on the temperature in the house and the humidity. (I let it rise an hour)

4. Once it rises take a little more flour and pat it down and roll it into a ball again.

5. {OPTIONAL} Put the dough back into the bowl and let it rise 1 more time. When you let the bread rise twice it really makes for a better bread but if you are short on time then don’t worry about it. (I have done it both ways and the bread comes out great either way)

6. After you are done with all the rising you will take the dough and put it on the parchment paper that is on a baking tray. The dough should be elongated and oval-shaped, with tapered and rounded (not pointed) ends.

7. Take about 1 tablespoon of olive oil and coat the dough with it. This will make it nice and crunchy on the outside.

8. After you rub it down with olive oil you can sprinkle a bit of sea salt or sesame seeds on top.(I do not top it with anything.)

9.  Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes.  It is a smaller loaf of bread but a perfect size for all.  And it is simple and delicious!!

Friday Pizza Night – Happy Birthday to ME!

Friday was my birthday.  I am not telling you my age since that is a woman’s perogative! 😉  I came home to a table full of colorful bags and tissue paper.  The colors alone put a smile on my face.  The kids did a great job with my favorite things; Bath and Body Works and my addiction to colorful bowls and plates.  My husband got home a little after I walked in the door.  He gave me a gift bag and to my surprise (or not) was…

Yeah, a side mirror for my van.  I think I bust a mirror every other year on this vehicle.  I told Kent I guess I am getting old. 😦  He said it is because I always am doing two things at one time.  I guess that was his way of saying pay attention!  Honestly though, I am pretty bad at backing up.  However, I did just turn on John Legend and was enjoying his tune checking my lip gloss and backing up.  So, this time he may be right.  Don’t tell him though!!

He also got me another iPod.  Yep, I lost my iPod when I was coming home from Denver.  I had it on the flight from Denver to Minneapolis.  Somehow after I listened to Amy Winehouse and set it in my purse, that iPod got up and walked away.  I think this is my…4th iPod.  I lose things too.  Believe me it is not an age thing, it is a Dawn thing.  🙂

If you got this far on this posting congratulations.  My life is really not that exciting.  I just wanted to let you know we had our usual Friday night with pizzas and ribs.  Our different pizza was meatloaf, meatball pizza.  We all enjoyed this one.  I made meatloaf the night before which was quite tasty and made some of those into little meatballs.  We thinly sliced those meatballs and put them on the pizza using pizza sauce and mozzarella. (I need to get a little more creative with cheese toppings.)  Sorry no pictures of that this time.

I guess I wanted to blog about my birthday this time.  My most special gift is in my life every, single day.  I see them happy, sad, angry, goofy, serious and larger than life.  Bottomline; all I need is their presence.  Best thing in life are the SIMPLE things and yes…that cake was DELICIOUS!

Denver Trip

I went to Denver to see Scott (brother that cracks me up) and Kathleen (fabulous sister in law).  I went by myself; no hubby, no kids, no Scrappy…just me.  We had a blast.  So much fun and it was a great break.  I absolutely love my life but it is always nice to get away (and then come home).  😉  We did quite a bit in the 3 full days I was visiting.  The first night we went to a top 10 rated Italian restaurant in Boulder.  The details of that most awesome evening will be posted at a later date.

Tonight I want to share with you a really fun Friday we  had at Teller Street Gallery & Studio.  This studio is located in Wheat Ridge.  They have “Painting and Vino” classes.  David was our art teacher for this evening.  This is pretty much what the title reflects; you paint and drink wine.  This evening made me realize I actually could be creative.  (I am going to get myself a canvas and some acrylic paint!)  David was a great teacher and artist. ( Scott and Kathleen bought one of his paintings for their new home.)  Painting was very relaxing and a lot of fun.  The wine was nice but the company and the painting was what I enjoyed most.

You start by checking out the picture you are going to paint that evening;    I thought there is NO WAY I was going to be able to paint that picture.  Impossible!   I was so nervous when we first got there and I saw the painting.  To get started they give you a 16×20 canvas, brushes and some acrylic paints on a paper plate.  Then I really got jittery!

This is how we began;  then this;  keep going;   one more time;  .   I thought you would like to see the progression.  After the color blocks I stopped taking pics because I had to concentrate!  At this point I thought I would give up.  I didn’t think I could make it look any better than the color blocks.  I went for another glass of wine and picked up that paint brush.  Scott and Kathleen had done a class like this before so they had one up on me.  😉

Here are all of our paintings; Scott looking like his crazy self (paintings in this order from left to right, Scott, mine and Kathleen’s)  and then Kathleen and Scott with David and owner. 

As I flew back home I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with my painting.  Martin is the painter in our family.  Almost every room in our home has Martin’s paintings hanging, including my beautiful kitchen wall and my sky wall in our family room.  Well, this weekend Martin’s paintings were taken to Milwaukee for his first gallery showing.  His paintings will be at My Dwelling, 316 N. Milwaukee St. (third ward)  for “Gallery Night”.  Many art galleries in the third ward will be open to the public. If you live in Milwaukee, visit Martin, October 19th, 5pm-9pm.

Back to me.  🙂  Now my walls are bare!  I thought while my walls are naked I would hang my painting in my favorite room… the kitchen!

 Now this was Simple and the wine was Delicious.  Ciao!!

Pumpkin Bread (kind of like Starbucks)

I got my daily call from Martin at work early this week. ( I have to admit I look forward to those phone calls.) This time he was raving about the Starbucks Pumpkin Bread he got that morning.  He told me I just had to come visit him during my lunch hour to check it out.  He wanted me to taste it so I could make it at home over the weekend.  He knew I couldn’t resist a challenge and once again got me to pop over to his work for a quick “HI!” during my lunch hour.  I don’t think I saw that pumpkin bread though. 😉  I had to investigate that on my own.  On Friday morning I left for work a little earlier, went to Starbucks, grabbed a Venti Red Eye and checked out that pumpkin bread.  I also went online and checked out different recipes.  Here is my version of Starbucks Pumpkin Bread;

Pumpkin Bread
(variation of  this recipe)

1 ½ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ginger
¼ teaspoon cloves
¼ teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon salt
4 eggs
1 cup sugar
¼ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup pumpkin puree
¾ cup canola oil
¼ cup chopped pumpkin seeds (I toasted the pumpkin seeds in a frying pan.)  Doesn’t take long and adds a nice crunch! 😉

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray loaf pan with Pam.
  2. Beat the eggs, sugars and vanilla together (by hand, electric mixer or stand up mixer). Add the pumpkin and the oil and mix well.
  3. Add the dry ingredients and mix well. Pour into prepared loaf pan and sprinkle with pumpkin seeds. (You do not need to add the pumpkin seeds.  I did because they are on Starbucks Pumpkin Bread.)
  4. Bake 60 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. (Mine took the 60 minutes)
  5. Let cool in pan 10 minutes, and then turn onto cooling rack to cool completely.
  6. Slice and enjoy with your Starbucks coffee!

Myself and Kyle have tasted it so far.  We both liked it but thought it could use a little more spice.  Next time I will up the spices a little.  Martin lives in his own place so he has not taste tested it for an opinion yet.  I will pop it in his car tonight before I run in to see him and his band play at a local bar.  I would say this would be a very Simple and Delicious evening snack!  ENJOY!!

Apple Pizza

Wow, it has been a while hasn’t it?!  We are still having our pizza nights but I have been doing your typical pizzas. Since nothing exciting I have been delaying posting.  Last week I decided to try Apple Pizza.  Since apples are in season I thought it would be worth trying as a pizza for our Friday night.  I made this pizza twice.  Once at home for our Pizza Friday and again when I visited Scott and Kathleen in Denver.  The one I made in Green Bay everyone enjoyed and it was eaten over the weekend.  However, I think the one I made in Denver was tastier than the first.  I will try that again this Friday and see what the Pizza Friday crew thinks. 😉

Pizza Friday Apple Pizza

4-6 medium apples (peeled and sliced thinly)
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 Tablespoons flour

Mix all of the above together and set aside.

Streusel Topping

1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup oats
1/4 cup cold butter

Mix in food processor until crumbly.

Start by brushing dough with melted  butter.
Add sliced apples 
Top sliced apples with streusel   
Bake at 425 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

The apple pizza I did in Denver was a little different (by the way my visit with Scott and Kathleen in Denver was fabulous!  More details soon!!) .   Here goes;

Apple Topping

1/4 cup butter
5 medium apples, peeled and sliced thinly
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Place sugar, flour and cinnamon in a medium saucepan and mix together.  Add the apples and butter and mix over medium heat until bubbly.  (this will take about 5 minutes. Be patient.)  Continue to stir the apple mixture until apples are tender, about 5 minutes.

Streusel topping same as above however I used white sugar in place of brown sugar in Denver.

Instead of using butter to start topping the pizza I used a cream cheese topping; 4 ounces cream cheese, 1 Tablespoon sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon mixed together.  Started with the cream cheese mixture, added apples, the topped with streusel.  Bake at 425 degrees for 15-20 minutes.  This was more like apple crisp on top of a pizza dough.  I enjoyed this apple pizza more than the first one.  I guess we will have to see what the Pizza Friday crew thinks this coming Friday.  I say give these pizzas a try.  They really are simple and delicious!