I think in life we all desire to be complimented or receive approval for our deeds. If not from parents, maybe from a sibling, a friend, a boss, a spouse, a child…the list is endless. As a cook or chef (which I am not), one really wants to know if others think your food is good. If you work in a restaurant you would know by the customers if the food is good. Business will grow and profits will increase. But what if you just love to cook at home and serve wonderful food to family and friends? How do you know people really love your food?
I’m warning you now, this is more of a “thoughts of the Italian mama” kind of post rather than a recipe, although there will be one at the end, so I hope you stick around. Humor me, ok? I know my family loves my food. I know I made a mean pot of chili since I won a cook-off two years in a row. My siblings even told me my food is good and when they didn’t like something. Family will be honest, if nothing else. Sometimes that hurts, other times it’s good to know. I think my food is good.
But what about friends? Why do I have trouble believing them? I mean- really deep down believing they enjoyed my food? What is it about me that I can’t just relax and just trust they are telling me the truth? I bet I am not alone in these feelings. Well that is all changing now.
Last night we had some friends over for dinner. This was the first time they came over, first time they had my cooking. Was I nervous? A bit, but only because I really wanted them to enjoy being here and enjoy the food. They loved it all! They raved and ranted about it. They said it again this morning at church how good it was and how much fun they had at our home. We truly had a great time around the table, which is what I desired. We laughed, ate great food, drank great homemade wine, and we were all too full to even touch the dessert they brought. I think I actually believe it now when I am complimented on my food.
I posted last about baking bread and I finally made a real loaf of Italian bread, not just focaccia. It was good, not great, but that is ok. I know how and where to start and will keep trying until I think it’s great. But then yesterday, I was very excited to try another bread recipe-Rosemary Peasant bread from Marie at Make and Takes. This is a no knead recipe, which I have been hearing a lot about lately, and it really worked. What could be simpler? The bread was out of this world great! It has flavors that tempt you to devour the entire loaf in one sitting. The six of us devoured both loaves in the following picture.
See those rosemary leaves? So fragrant and so tasty. Add a little kosher salt and you have a wonderful pairing of flavors. This is great for dipping in olive oil. Just sayin’.
Rosemary Bread Recipe
By Marie at Make and Takes-(she is the “I” in the directions except where noted)
- 1 packet dry yeast (or 2 1/2 tsp)
- 2 c. warm water
- 1 T. sugar
- 2 tsp salt
- 4 c. flour
- 1-2 tsp. fresh Rosemary plus more for topping
- Olive Oil, Corn meal, Melted butter and salt (IMC- used Olive oil)
Dissolve yeast in the warm water and sugar. (I like to buy yeast in a large package and then store it in a plastic container and keep in the freezer. It lasts forever. OR if you don’t make bread that often, just buy the yeast packets.) Add flour, salt, and 1-2 tsp Rosemary and stir until blended, do not Knead!! Cover and let rise for 1 hour or until double in size. If you have a Bosch Mixer, I keep the dough right in there with the top lid on, it’s nice and moist in there. Or simply keep it in the mixer bowl and cover with a moist cloth to raise.
Remove dough. It will be sticky. I like to put shortening or oil on my hands for taking out the dough and shaping it. I think it works better than flour hands. Place it in 2 rounds on a cookie sheet lightly coated in oil and sprinkled with corn meal. OR you can place it on your silicone baking mat with no oil. Cover with a towel or greased plastic wrap. Then let it rise another hour. Brush each round with melted butter(IMC- used olive oil) and lightly sprinkle with more Rosemary and salt, . Bake @ 425 for 10 minutes, then reduce temp to 375 for 15 minutes more.
Cool slightly, then cut into nice size bits or rip it apart and dip in a bowl of olive oil. This bread can’t be beat! It is soooo delicious and a really easy bread recipe. If you’ve never made bread before, Rosemary Bread is a great one to start with. In the South, bakers should add 1 and 1/4 cups extra flour to make it turn out just right.
Please visit Marie and leave her a comment if you are going to try this bread. I want to give credit to where it’s due so remember this is not my recipe. This was as easy as it sounds. If I can do it, you can!