Friday, September 07, 2007

the baby kitties are so cute!!!

They will be ready for adoption in a few weeks! :)

In other news: My sister has a wedding this weekend, and wedding craziness has commenced. We do plan on running the shop as much as possible this weekend, but, we will be closing early on Saturday.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Best. Bread. EVER.

I made this bread last night and I'm so impressed with myself. ENJOY!

Sage and Shallot Foccaccia bread

1 cup warm water
1 1/2 tsp. dry yeast
2 tsp. sugar
2 tbsp. good olive oil
2 tsp. salt
about 12 shallots, roughly chopped
3 tbsp. chopped fresh sage leaves (or 3 tsp. dried crushed sage leaves)
1/2 cup grated asiago cheese
1 tbsp. freshly ground black pepper
3 1/2 cups flour (I used a mixture of white and wheat)

Combine water, yeast, and sugar into a large bowl, and let sit while you grate the cheese and chop the shallots, grate the cheese, and chop the sage.

Add oil, salt, shallots, sage, pepper, cheese and 1 cup flour to the yeast mixture, and stir until completely blended. Gradually add the rest of the flour until dough gathers into a ball. Knead for 4 or 5 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic.

Coat dough with olive oil, and let rise until double. Punch down, then place on a greased cookie sheet or pizza pan - pat dough down into whatever shape you like, as long as it's about 1/2 inch thick. Let rise again, for about half an hour or 45 minutes.

Dimple the dough very deelpy with your fingers. Sprinkle the top of the bread with coarse sea salt. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.


Sunday, September 02, 2007

It's that time of the last few days, I've noticed that the sunlight has taken on a particular golden hue, that signifies that fall is coming. That light kicks me into some sort of super-harvester mode, and I start stocking up for winter (am I part squirrel or bear, do you think? :) ). I've made a few gallons of herbal vinegar for personal use, and to give as holiday gifts. This particular batch is just a mixed herb blend: I used fresh savory, thyme, parsley, dill, basil, sage, oregano, and a few hot peppers! Let it sit for 2 weeks, then strained it out and packaged it in these cute little bottles I found on clearance - and added a small sprig of fresh herb to each. Aren't they lovely? You should all be doing this too, folks - makes wonderful holiday gifts. :)

We grew african blue basil this year too - just a few plants. I haven't ever grown that basil before, and i'm entranced by it's beauty and interesting scent. A member of the des moines herbs study group told me last week that it makes her most favorite of all herbal vinegars! So I will be making some of that, for sure. I'll let you know how it is....