Aside from poor Jill (my family’s 12-year-old lab/collie mix) hiding behind lamp poles to escape the crazy puppy who just wants to play (I can’t make up something like that), and Rachel getting caught in a small fence in our backyard and letting out the most pathetic crying noise you’ve ever heard (she seems fine now), my weekend trip to Roanoke was overall quite successful. A shopping trip with Katie G. means I have a few more outfits in my closet, and our family shared a wonderful meal with Sarah’s family at Rockfish Food & Wine on Grandin.
But perhaps the best part was getting to cook bread, soup and cake with my mom.
When we get together these days, our kitchen is put to good use. She teaches me things (weighing flour on a kitchen scale is faster and more accurate), we get to work on our cookbook challenge together, and most important–we both get someone to share our delicious food with. And my poor dad has a never-ending sink full of dishes that he diligently washes.
We got back on track with our Tuesdays with Dorie project over the weekend, baking both the focaccia and the boca negra (chocolate cake). We’ve been behind on posting some of the recipes, because we just haven’t been thrilled with the outcome (no thank you, gingerbread) because they can’t compare to our favorites (like blueberry nectarine pie &French strawberry cake, why is it not spring and summer yet!). Both of these weekend’s recipes could certainly be added to that A+ list!
Since the focaccia recipe yielded three balls of dough, my parents and I shared one loaf for lunch (eating the entire thing, obviously), and then we each baked a loaf the next night, once I was back in Fredericksburg.
After sitting in the trunk of my car for three hours, and having more than the 24 hours of refrigerator time, my second ball of dough produced a much bubblier, softer crumb. Not slashing the dough led to a really huge bubble rising up in the center. Look at that thing!
My entire dinner Monday consisted of a good-sized chunk of this focaccia and canned bruschetta I made last summer. Talk about yum. If only there had been some good cheese in my fridge!
I’d never made focaccia before, and loved the flavors of the herbs on top with a sprinkling of salt. Depending on the rise time, the texture of the dough was crispier (shorter) or chewier (longer). Both were equally good, and not like the super soft focaccia you’d pick up at the grocery store. (I found this LA Times story about focaccia that’s more like a deep dish pizza; we’ll try it next time.)
Find the recipe here and the rest of the bloggers’ reactions here! In two weeks, I’ll share the boozy boca negra we shared with family friends during the Super Bowl. The cake and accompanying white chocolate bourbon cream were outrageous.