Compliments and accolades

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!

12 thoughts on “Compliments and accolades

  1. That bread looks really yummy. If the rest of your meal tasted even slightly as good as that bread looks I’ll bet it was scrumptious!

    Stopping by from SITS. Welcome!!

    Cheers :-)
    – CoconutPalmDesigns

  2. Does the bread slice well for sandwiches? Can it be made in a loaf pan? It seems that the no-knead recipes I have seen make only a rounded loaf.

    In any case, I plan on trying the recipe you posted soon. Thanks for your post!

  3. “Well fed husband” here, how are the possibly related posts even remotely related? Oh well, the meal was just as good as the bread! All of it was great. We’ll have to try make the bread in a pan next time, it’s worth a try.

  4. How do you know people really love your food?

    By my husband constantly failing his physical exam in the Air Force and being placed in the big boy class for the last 4yrs of our marriage. Poor guy can’t put the fork down when served his home cooked meals ;)

    Welcome to SITS =)

    Much Luv,

  5. I love that, when people can’t stop talking about how good something I make is. Doesn’t happen much, but I like to assume it’s because I don’t entertain too often. Heh.

    The bread looks wicked good, I’ve been meaning to try those no knead recipes.

  6. I love to cook for parties, but not so much for everyday. Maybe I’m a little bit of a compliment whore. I love it when I can’t get the appetizers out fast enough. And I’ve talked about catering too. That being said, my least favorite question is ‘so what’s for dinner tonight’. Ugh!

    Funny, huh?

  7. I definitely feel the same as you on occasion, especially since most of the time I am the only one eating my food! Recently I cooked for a charity event and it meant the world to me that people actually liked my food. It was the first time I actually felt like my skills had been verified. If that makes sense.

    The bread looks fantastic! Great post.

  8. stopping by from SITS – will have to stop and see Maria since I am going to put this recipe away for when my rosemary is ready this summer! thanks for sharing it

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