Rosemary Focaccia BLT

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So this week’s tackling of yeast involved focaccia, and holy crap, it was amazing. Also, incredibly easy. No kneading, no worries. The recipe says you can let it rise in the fridge for anywhere for 8 hours to two days, and due to the way our schedules worked this week, I wound up letting it go for the full two days. In that respect, it’s perfect for serving when you have friends over for dinner, because most of the work is done days before.

My modifications included using half bread flour and half AP flour, since that’s what I had on hand, and I scattered chopped fresh rosemary over the top before baking (a step I highly recommend).

When it was still warm from the oven, I cut myself a piece, layered on some chipotle mayo, lettuce, bacon, and tomato, and then had a moment of silence to celebrate just how perfectly simple a good meal can be.

She recommends eating it all day of, which unless you’re feeding a large group, isn’t possible. I sliced the rest of the bread into individual servings, wrapped it in plastic wrap, placed it in a ziploc bag, and put it in the freezer. I have faith that it will make fantastic toast.

Here is the complete recipe: Saltie’s Focaccia 

Meal Plan: July 20-July 26

Every week we make a meal plan for the week ahead. The plan accounts for 5 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4 snacks, and 5 dinners for the two of us. Lunch ideas are typically a double batch of whatever the recipe calls for. I make the lunches and do other various prep work on Sunday. Nearly all items are purchased from either our local farmers market or Whole Foods. We are currently living in New York City, so things are more expensive than average.

Kitchen meal prep disaster area

Kitchen meal prep disaster area

July 20-July 26

Still enjoying all of  the summer produce.

Did fruit salad in place of our usual apples with lunch, which definitely makes things pricier but so delicious.

Total cost: $155 (had to restock a lot of pantry items. Ouch)

Average cost per meal per person, with snacks tucked into the mix: $5.54

Breakfast

Lunch

Snack

Dinner

Links I Want to Eat: July 18

Trying to enjoy summer while I can. Will not think of winter. Will not think of winter...

Trying to enjoy summer while I can. Will not think of winter. Will not think of winter…

  • Homemade Shake Shack Burgers. You’re welcome
  • I still have a batch of pizza dough, so maybe this version with corn, tomatoes, and shishito peppers will happen soon
  • Focaccia would make an excellent addition to my yeast project, and I can think of so many ways to use it in a week
  • This spicy vegetarian tortilla soup looks delicious and easy.
  • I’m southern, and I love pimento cheese. I want to make this and then make some grilled pimento cheese and tomato sandwiches. Yes.
  • Making my own salmon gravlax isn’t something that has ever crossed my mind, but this recipe shows that it’s so easy to do at home.
  • I love strawberry water, so that’s where most of my strawberry stems are going these days. i might have to save my next batch for some strawberry vinegar though! Cherry pits apparently work well too, so I could easily make strawberry water and cherry vinegar at the same time. Win!
  • Peach cobbler cinnamon rolls. I think that sums it up.

Roasted Vegetable and Hummus Mix It Up Salad

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I kind of think of this salad as the “choose your own adventure” salad. The basic formula can be altered to suit our mood or the season easily, but it’s always delicious. We got the inspiration from this post, and it has quickly become a favorite. I love that each bite can be so different, depending on which of the elements I combine on my fork. Plus, I love how bright and fresh it looks! No sad desk lunch here.

Here’s our basic formula, with our choices this week:

  • One batch of hummus, typically roasted red pepper and paprika hummus
  • 1 batch of roasted chopped vegetables (squash, zucchini, and carrots this round), tossed with olive oil, salt, pepper, and whatever spices you choose (smoked paprika!), roasted at 375 for 20-30 minutes
  • 1 batch of quinoa, cooked using this method, with salt, lemon zest, and dried herbs added before cooking, then tossed well in lemon juice and olive oil after cooking
  • 1 handful of arugula, dressed lightly with lemon juice
  • 1 handful of marinated olives and roasted tomatoes from the Whole Foods olive bar

Feel free to switch things out as much as you’d like! There really is no going wrong here.

 

 

Browned Butter Blueberry Muffins

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The running joke in our house is that once blueberries are in season, a pint of them won’t last a full day before being inhaled. They are, by far, Josh’s favorite fruit, and one of the only ways I can convince him to let me do something with them (besides eating them by the handful) is to tell him that I’m going to make these muffins. That is the power of these muffins.

Honestly, what’s not to love? Fresh blueberries, folded into a not overly sweet batter, laced with nutty browned butter. All very, very good things.

The original recipe calls for a streusel topping as well, but we like them best when they’re simple and unfussy. The batter is thick, and I wind up having to gently mush it into the muffin liners with my fingertips, taking care not to burst the blueberries.

Go find some fresh blueberries (raspberries would work beautifully as well!) and experience them for yourself.

Browned Butter Blueberry Muffins (recipe from Joy the Baker)

  • 7 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries

Put a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Line muffin pan with paper or foil liners

Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Keep an eye on the butter.  Melt and cook down the butter until little brown bits appear in the pan.  The crackling will subside and butter will begin to brown fairly quickly after that.  Keep a close eye.  Remove from heat.

Whisk milk, egg, yolk and vanilla until combined.  Add the brown butter and stir to combine.

Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl  Add milk and butter mixture all at one and stir gently to combine.  Gently but thoroughly fold in the blueberries.

Divide the batter among muffin cups and spread evenly.

Bake until golden and crisp and a wooden pick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 18-20 minutes.  Cool in pan on a rack for 15 minutes then remove from the pan.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

Meal Plan: July 13-July 19

Every week we make a meal plan for the week ahead. The plan accounts for 5 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4 snacks, and 5 dinners for the two of us. Lunch ideas are typically a double batch of whatever the recipe calls for. I make the lunches and do other various prep work on Sunday. Nearly all items are purchased from either our local farmers market or Whole Foods. We are currently living in New York City, so things are more expensive than average.

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July 13- July 19

Summer vegetables are here, so we’re celebrating with an abundance of squash and corn.

Total cost: $129

Average cost per meal per person, with snacks tucked into the mix: $4.61

Breakfast

Lunch

Snack

Dinner

Links I Want To Eat: July 11

Slow roasted tomatoes with garlic oil and rosemary: before and after

Slow roasted tomatoes with garlic oil and rosemary: before and after

  • These sesame chicken wings look so delicious and easy
  • I need someone to make these cocktail snow cones immediately
  • This amazing cookbook (available in a free PDF) is based on the average SNAP (food stamps) benefits. It’s full of healthy, delicious, and extremely affordable meals, and I love it
  • The hardest thing about this list of pies is deciding which one to make first
  • The pie decision becomes even more overwhelming when you consider eating pie for breakfast. If it has fruit, it’s healthy
  • A bruschetta bar would be so perfect for a party. Or a Monday night at home. No judgement
  • I used to make candied bacon with brown sugar and cayenne, and now I really need to try this maple and sriracha version
  • These spicy tuna cakes would be so easy to make on the weekend and reheat through the week for breakfast