Making Bread is a Delicious De-stresser

Sometimes I get a little bored of my usual store-bought whole wheat loaf. Since it only takes a few basic ingredients to make bread (water, flour, and yeast), it’s fun to get your hands a little dirty and make some when you’ve got the time. I frequently enjoy kneading and punching the dough until I’m stress-free. Some people use punching bags, I use food – don’t judge me. The only other bread I’ve ever made is Challah (I use this recipe with whole wheat flour), and I wanted to try something a little more savory. I combined two Focaccia recipes and ended up with this delectable rectangle of bread-ly heaven.
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To make your own Italian Herb Focaccia, use this recipe for Basic Rosemary Focaccia Dough but instead of topping the dough with olive oil and fresh rosemary, I used the Herb Olive Oil from this recipe. The only fresh herb I had was basil, but I added a generous amount of dried Italian herb blend to the garlic infused olive oil. Any herb blend with marjoram, thyme, rosemary, sage, oregano, and basil will work!

Here are some photos of the steps in this recipe:

Gathering of supplies
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 Dough!
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Olive oil simmered with garlic and Italian herbs
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After I waited patiently for the dough to rise, this is stretched, “dimpled”, and covered with the herb olive oil
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Shmeared with some hummus, a little culturally confusing but whatever.

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What kind of bread do you like to make? I’d love to hear your suggestions! 

Pasta is Food For the Soul

I absolutely adore pasta. I eat it far too much and am constantly looking for ways to make it interesting. I make pasta at least once a week and have come to love it more since becoming a pescetarian. This is one of my favorite ways to make it – it’s easy, healthy, and most of all, delicious!

Garlic and Vegetable Pasta

Ingredients:
1/2 box of any kind of pasta, I like to use whole wheat or pasta made with vegetables
1 large ripe tomato
any kind of vegetable that you have lying in your fridge, I used about 6 mushrooms
3 or 4 cloves of garlic
olive oil
dried basil
Parmesan cheese
fresh basil leaves for adornment

 Directions: 
1. Cook pasta and prep the ingredients by chopping the garlic, tomatoes, and your choice of vegetables.

2. Place a generous amount of olive oil in a pan on medium heat and add chopped garlic along with a pinch of each: salt, pepper, and dried basil.

3. Add in vegetable of choice and cook for about 3 minutes or until the veggies are a little under-cooked. The add in tomatoes and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes.

4.  Mix the sauce with the cooked pasta, sprinkle some Parmesan cheese and fresh basil on top, and enjoy!