Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Mid-Week Motivation

Sometimes, in the middle week, it's nice to get a little inspiration to carry oneself through the rest of the week. I thought it would be good to have a weekly post where everyone can share what they are working on or have recently completed for their family or themselves; or given as a gift.

This week, I made Tomato-Herb Focaccia.  The recipe is from the February/March 2011 issue of Taste of Home magazine.  Taste of Home is a great magazine because the majority of recipes have ingredients that typically would be in your kitchen.  There are not a lot of unusual or speciality ingredients which makes it easy when you want to try a new recipe.

Tomato-Herb Focaccia

Note about the picture:  The cheese isn't as browned as I would prefer it, but Olivia (who is 8 years old) doesn't like the cheese to be too dark otherwise she thinks it is "burnt cheese" and won't eat it.  The left side has cheese and the right side doesn't so Sophia can eat it (she has a dairy allergy).

Here's the recipe:

Tomato-Herb Focaccia


1 package (1/4 ounce) yeast
1 cup warm water
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon each dried oregano, thyme, and rosemary, crushed
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
dash pepper
2 to 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced
1/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese


In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water.  add 1 tablespoon oil, salt, sugar, garlic powder, herbs, pepper, and 1 1/2 cups flour.  Beat until smooth.  Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough (dough will be sticky).

Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes.  Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top.  Cover and let rise in a warm plce until doubled, about 1 hour. 

Punch dough down.  Cover and let rest for ten minutes.  Shape into a 13" x 9" rectangle; place on a greased baking sheet.  Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.  With fingertips, make several dimples over top of dough.

Brush dough with remaining oil; arrange tomatoes over the top.  Sprinkle with cheeses.  Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove to a wire rack.


I made some changes to the recipe since I didn't have all the ingredients.  Instead of garlic powder, I used garlic flakes.  Instead of the oregano, thyme, rosemary, and basil I used a pizza seasoning with has a variety of herbs and spices. 

Half of the focaccia is dairy-free - it doesn't have the mozzarella or Parmesan cheeses.  The other half does have the cheeses.  In this way, everyone can eat the bread.

I served it with a homemade version of Papa John's pizza sauce.  Again, I used a base recipe and then modified it based on what I had on hand as well as the taste.

Everyone liked the bread.  The only suggestion was that Sophia said the tomatoes could be left off the next time it is made.  I'd agree...unless they are ones we grow here during the summer that are much more flavorful than the ones in the store. 

Using fresh basil, rosemary, and tomatoes from the garden would give this bread a completely different flavor.  Something to look forward to...having the vegetable, fruit, and herb gardens again this summer!

I find it inspiring to see what other are creating and or have created for their families or themelves. So, I invite you to put a link below to something you've been working on or just completed for yourself, your family, or that you gave as a gift. (Please don't link simply to your Etsy shop or show a product that you're selling. The focus should be on your creativity that is for your personal use or for a gift.)

It can be a:
- handiwork project - maybe something quilted, felted, embroidered...whatever your speciality
- recipe
- poem or short story
- homemade natural product - soap , bath salts, or laundry detergent
- item you made for your pets or livestock
- new bird feeder or recipe for suet
- tutorial
- photograph
- anything's up to you!

Share your Mid-Week Motivation with the world! Or...with others who will read this post. Put an image onto your blog, and write a little bit. When you're all finished, link back to this post (simply copy the address at the top of your screen and paste it into your blog post). Come back here to this post, and add your link to the photo list below!

“Infinitely more important than sharing one's material wealth
is sharing the wealth of ourselves ~
our time and energy,
our passion and commitment,
and, above all, our love.”
~ William E. Simon

Note: If you'd like to include the image of the purple and blue window star to show you're participating in Mid-Week Motivation, simply right-click on the image on the side of the blog and save the picture to your computer. You can insert it right into your posting.

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