You know Ginny is stressed when…

February 20th, 2009

She finds herself pounding out her stress on bread! This semester has reached that point. I have so much work to do that I am not quite sure when exactly it is going to be done… but I keep working…

I have some good news. I have a summer job! I am very excited about it.  I love history and art. I also love law especially the legal research, the analytical reasoning and the daily interaction with clients. When I went to law school, I was hoping to find the intersection between these interests. This summer I will be interning at one of the museums here in Chicago learning the ins and outs of museum law. I can’t wait!

In the blogging world, you develop friendships with other bloggers. One particular blogger has really made an impression on my life. She is so sweet and thoughtful. She always unnecessarily apologizes when it has been awhile since I have heard from her. Lately, she has also been under a ton of stress. Although I know she couldn’t eat this bread, I would like to dedicate it to her. This is for Veggie Girl!  (when I get my friend’s excellent vegan chocolate chip cookie recipe, I will really dedicate something to you…if I could just track down that recipe)

I made this bread with some leftover pesto and goat cheese.  I would like to send it over to Bayleaf’s Bread Mania Event.  It was quick and delicious!

Pesto-Goat Cheese Swirl Bread
(adapted from Betty Crocker)

3 cups flour
1 1/2 tablespoon sugar
1/2 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 package quick active dry yeast
1 1/8 warm water
2-3 tablespoons of pesto
3 ounces of goat cheese, crumbled

1. Dissolve the yeast in the water with the sugar and salt. Make sure the mixture is bubbling so as to assure that you did not kill the yeast.
2. Mix in the flour and olive oil.
3. Mix in enough flour to make dough easy to handle.
4. Knead dough for about 10 min.
5. Place in a greased bowl. Cover and let rise for 40-60 minutes or until double.
6. Grease a loaf pan.
7. Punch down the dough and roll it into a square. Spread with the pesto and sprinkle with the goat cheese. Starting at one end, roll up the dough and place into the loaf pan.
8. Cover and let rise for 35-50 minutes.
9. Heat oven to 425. Bake 25-30 minutes.

Argentina: Part II

January 31st, 2009

While in Argentina, J and I visited with his family, who live in the suburbs of Buenos Aires.  I had a fabulous time.  Everyone I met was so open, welcoming and friendly.  I do not speak Spanish but J would sit next to me and translate.  I found that with my knowledge of Italian, I understood a lot and was able to communicate rather well.  Granted I did leave them with the impression that I was quiet…

Being at his grandmother’s house was very relaxing.  Again it felt familar, although it was very new.  One of my favorite memories of our trip is sitting around drinking mate with his grandmother.  Mate is a type of tea.  People get together and pass around the mate.  It is a very intimate and special experience.  I wish I had taken more pictures of everything…

J and his uncle have the same birthday so they threw a party for the two of them. The food was excellent. J’s uncle roasted two pigs, which were served with salads, matambre and chipas!  For dessert we had ice cream and cake.  I recommend trying lemon ice cream with champagne.  We were up until 3am singing Argentine songs.   What an amazing experience!
Chipas are like yummy cheese puffs.  I am addicted to them.  I made a huge batch and probably ate half of them myself.  In Argentina, they have mixes where you just had water and eggs.  Here is a recipe that I was given.  I have not tried it here yet, so watch the cooking time.

1 lb. of yuka flour (can find at Latino grocery stores)
2 eggs
1 1/2 cup grated Fontina cheese, grated
150 grams of butter
milk to wet the dough

Mix it all together and roll into balls. Bake at 350 for 20 min.  Half way through flip them over so they are evenly browned.

Feta-Shallot-Tomato-Rosemary Quick and Easy Focaccia!!!

November 24th, 2008

Yesterday morning, when I saw Rebecca’s Focaccia with Caramelized Onions, Goat Cheese and Rosemary, I knew exactly what I wanted. I really didn’t have the time to knead bread dough but I found this no-knead recipe over at Amber’s Delectable Delights. A few short hours later, I was pacing back and forth in front of the oven waiting for my focaccia to be ready. I topped it with feta, shallots and grape tomatoes. It is excellent!

Feta-Shallot-Tomato-Rosemary Quick and Easy Focaccia
(adapted from here)

1 1/2 cups warm water
3 tablespoons olive oil (plus additional for drizzling)
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
3 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour
1 tablespoon instant yeast
2 teaspoons dried rosemary
1 cup grape tomatoes, sliced
1 shallot, sliced
1 cup feta, crumbled

1. Lightly grease a 9″ x 13″ pan, and drizzle 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil in the bottom.
2. Dissolve the yeast into the water until it is bubbly.
3. Add the salt, olive oil and flour and beat until sticky but incorporated.
4. Scoop the sticky batter into the prepared pan, cover the pan, and let it rise at room temperature for 60 minutes, till it’s become puffy. (I let it rise for about 3 hours and it worked well).
5. While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 375°F.
6. Gently poke the dough all over with your index finger.
7. Drizzle it lightly with olive oil, and sprinkle with the rest of the ingredients.
8. Bake the bread till it’s golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes.
9. Remove it from the oven, wait 5 minutes, then turn it out of the pan onto a rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.