Garden Veggies

Garden Veggies
Made into tile for my stove backsplash

Portland Rose Garden

Portland Rose Garden
Mike and my 2 youngest sons Ian and Leif

Grandson Michael's Birthday 2014 throwing water balloons

Grandson Michael's Birthday 2014 throwing water balloons
With son Beau, Grandson Luke and his mom Jennifer


I cut this out of a wedding line. I must take more pictures of her.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


I wanted some bread for this weeks District meeting .   I took some elements of my  Crusty Bread   to make into a focaccia bread since my oven space and temperature is limited and I don't have a pot.  The boys will eat anything so I wasn't worried about a disaster.  I am now making it twice a week for the 2 big meals I cook. I recently revamped this to make a larger loaf.

Put 2 1/2 C. warm water in a large bowl.  Add 1 slightly rounded teaspoon dry yeast.  Stir in 2 C. unbleached flour, 1 1/2 T. oil and 1 1/2 T. sugar and 2 tsp. salt. Stir until smooth. Then stir in 3 more cups of flour until well blended. Put a plate on the bowl and let it sit on the counter.   You can bake it anytime the next day.   If you didn't remember and want to make it today use warm water and  turn the oven to 350 for 1 minute (turn off) then sit your covered bowl in the warm oven for 4-6 hours before baking. 

This is my oven.  It actually gets to 400 degrees with convection and is quite roomy.  I set it up in my little washroom next to my kitchen, which has outdoor exposure in cinder block holes .  I think that will be good when the summer comes.  I won't need to be baking in the kitchen.  I am trying to think of positive reasons to like my portable oven.

When ready to bake pour it into a  well greased cookie sheet. (sprinkle a little cornmeal if you want to make sure it doesn't stick) My pan is about 13 inches square Pour the dough right into the pan and spread it carefully to fill the pan, but if your pan is large just let it spread itself while rising. Warm your oven again for 1 minute and let it sit there for 25 minutes while you make the butter.

Melt 4 T. butter with 1 tsp. garlic powder, stir in 1 tsp. each dry leaf oregano and dry leaf basil. (optional)  Spread carefully onto the top of the dough, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and bake for about 15 minutes at 400 degrees until golden brown. I cool it a little and cut it up with kitchen shears to 16 pieces.  I have also made it with about 1/3 C. white sugar mixed with 1/2 C. brown sugar and 1 tsp. cinnamon. 

The bread is chewy and crusty.  I have made it many times and everyone likes it.  Fresh out of the oven it is awesome! but great even the next day. I think you could use Italian herbs or no herbs, cheese or no. This is quick, faster than the bread in the pot.  It will be something I make forever.   It makes a great sandwich

Cooking on the Canary Islands if you are interested:  No chocolate chips.  Some things I can find at a large market 40 miles away but not much here like powdered sugar, baking powder, soda, yeast, corn tortillas, corn chips in a large bags and soft brown sugar is a struggle.  They have it in large dry crystals that don't melt in cookies.  I finally found 1 1/2 cup packages at an English market that is close...very expensive but oh so worth it.  No crushed pineapple, vanilla is a hunt and Parmesan cheese is yet to be found but the restaurants have it so I think I should be able to get it somewhere.   Shopping is exhausting and since I am not comfortable driving around the many roundabouts here with a stick shift and hills Mike has to take me everywhere, so we are doing EVERYTHING together and he hates shopping.

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Unknown said...

enrisaWow, Charmaine. In a country where baking at least is not so much. Guess you will have to cook vegetables for the next year and a half. But the bread ad lib looks great! I bet you will get to using that stick shift before your time is up. If you have something special coming up, I could send it. Maybe someone coming from the mainland could also fill a baking order. Now I see why boxes from home are so much fun. Dawn

Mama Linda said...

Charmaine--those dry crystals can be melted down with a little water and they become like a molasses that you can add to your white sugar (1-2 Tb./cup of white sugar). It can be added with the liquid ingredients.

Alicia said...

I am wondering if you could spread out the original recipe as well on a cookie sheet and make a thin crusty bread. Is that possible? I know Rosalie just baked it on her stone and she says it turned out great. Sometimes I have a little left when I cook my bread in my smaller ceramic pan and put it in a small loaf pan and it is not crusty but still very good. Just wondering.