I love being a food blogger! When I started blogging almost 5 yrs ago, I never thought I'd ever be where I am today. I get so excited, when I see how far I've come. Thanks to Facebook, my little blog keeps growing everyday and I've met several groups of really fabulous foodies! About 6 or so months ago, Chris from FoodThoughtsofaChefWannabe invited me to join a group on Facebook, for bloggers. Now let's face it, in any facet of life there is bound to be clicks. People who think they are better than you, who aren't necessarily mean to you, but don't make an effort to include you in really cool and awesome things and groups. Yup, that's the case with bloggers too. So when Chris invited me to join her group, I was surprised! I've always admired how fun and outgoing she's been on Facebook and how every blogger seemed to know her name and truly like her. So I joined the group, only to find a ton of other bloggers who I've admired from afar also in there. Blogs that I loved reading and thought the creators were a super cool bunch. In those 6 months, we've chatted about everything. About our blogs, our families, our worries and triumphs. We've grown into a nice close knit group of friends who support each other through thick and thin. I feel blessed to know such fun and awesome ladies!!
About a month ago, Chris came up with the idea of a local ingredient swap. Each person interested, would find something made locally to their region and send it to one other person. We didn't know who was assigned to whom and we all anxiously awaited our goodies. I was so excited to find out that Amy from Crumbs In My Mustachio had gotten my name, for the swap. She is a fisty Italian woman, who is tons of fun and is witty and hilarious. As weeks went by, Amy eventually thought that the donkey she had sent, has died at the U.S/Canadian boarder, but lo and behold, I received her package. I quickly tore into it and LOVED what I saw. She sent me a package of super awesome Italian Spice Blend, made by Fresno State Gibson Farm Market, in CA. I opened the package and was in heaven, while smelling the wonderful spices. These spices are the real deal, no fillers, just straight up flavour. Packed with sundried tomatoes, basil, parsley, garlic, black pepper and salt, oregano and thyme, this is a ton of goodness in a little packet. I immediately knew what I wanted to make with it. FOCACCIA BREAD!! I knew the spice blend would make the focaccia out of this world and boy, it did!!!
Caprese Focaccia Bread
adapted from The Kitchen Whisperer
1 pkg (2 1/4 tsp) rapid-rising dry yeast
1 1/4 cup warm water (115- 120 degrees)
2 tbl sugar
3 cups bread flour
1 Tbl salt
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tsp Fresno State Italian Spice Blend
2-3 Tbl olive oil
1 ball fresh mozzarella, sliced
tomato slices (I used some beautiful small cocktail tomatoes)
7 leaves fresh basil
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, proof the yeast by combining it with the warm water and sugar. Stir gently to dissolve.Let stand for 5-7 minutes or until foam appears and it bubbles.
Add the oil and flour and mix for 2-3 minutes. Add in the salt and spice blend, and turn the mixer to medium. Mix for 7-8 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic. If it’s sticky, add more flour, as necessary. Remove the dough from mixer, put in a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let double in size (about 45 minutes).
Take a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with a little olive oil. Using a pastry brush, spread the oil over entire pan.
When the dough has doubled, turn it out onto the prepared pan. Stretch it out evenly distributed, making sure it reaches the corners. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let sit for 15-20 minutes; while the oven is preheating to 400 degrees.
Uncover the dough and gently dimple with your fingertips. Drizzle with 2-3 Tbl olive oil. Bake in the middle rack for 15-18 minutes, until almost completely baked.
Increase oven to 450F. Remove from the oven and add a slices of mozzarella and slices of tomato .Season with fresh ground pepper and salt, and bake for 5-8 minutes or until the cheese is just melted. Remove from oven and cut.
This post linked to
Super Saturday Show & Tell
Saturday Show & Tell
One Sharendipity Place
Sweet & Savory Sundays