Focaccia Bread

17 Mar

2

Hello my lovelies, how was your weekend? Ours was filled with swimming, a school market day, a little relaxing, a bit of work and a little rain to stave off a little of the drought (still a drought really need much more rain than we had), oh and a rare Auckland earthquake or two!

Now, while the earthquake didn’t exactly rock my world for I am apparently so firmly attached to happiness that it takes a lot to rock my boat, I have been rocked by Betty (ahem that sounds a little weird but anyhoo…)

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Since purchasing Betty, I have been extra busy baking up a storm. I love me some natural living and being a bit of a Nanna and I love baking. Probably partially because I have a sweet tooth, but also because baking is hugely rewarding and fun and Ro and Pershi love helping and eating the treats too!

I also covet a gazillion cooking books and am getting closer to the number every week, and the other week I fell upon a book called Mama’s Italian Cookbook and while it is not by a famous chef/baker/personality (in fact it doesn’t have a noted author per se), it had some wonderful simple recipes and so of course I had to have it.

The first recipe that I tried was the Focaccia bread, because I was making a soup and thought it would make the perfect best friend for the soup! It indeed did and it was such a simple recipe that I had to share! This bread is so soft, delicious and the taste so heavenly!

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Focaccia Bread

Ingredients

3 1/2 C high grade flour (e.g. bread flour)

1 1/2 tsp active yeast

1/2 tsp salt

2 Tbsp rosemary (fresh or dried)

5 Tbsp olive oil

1 1/4 C lukewarm water

1 Tbsp coarse sea salt

Method

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Mix together flour, yeast and salt in a large mixing bowl (I used Betty for the entire process but by hand is also fine), stir in rosemary. Make a well in the centre. Mix 3 Tbsp olive oil with the water and pour into the well. Mix the ingredients together until it forms a soft dough. I then left Betty to mix the dough for 10 minutes or you can knead by hand on a lightly floured board for 10 minutes or until the dough is very smooth and elastic.

Allow the dough to rest and rise in the mixing bowl covered by a clean dish towel and setting in a warm place until doubled in size. After this, turn the dough out and knead for 1 minute.

Preheat the oven to 200 C or 400 F. Oil a cookie sheet. Gently roll the dough out to a circle or slight oval about 30cm or 12inches in diameter. Place on the cookie sheet, cover with oiled plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes.

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Make indents over the dough’s surface every 5cm/2 inch or so using the handle of a wooden spoon. Brush the surface with remaining olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. You can also add red onion rings and more rosemary if you want.

Bake in the preheated oven for about 20-30 minutes until well-risen and golden brown.

Transfer to wire rack to cool and serve slightly warm (with butter and a lovely soup was how we enjoyed it).

NB. this bread lasted well over the few days it took to eat it.

Enjoy my lovelies, it is rather easy and quite successful as a dough and bread and thus I do recommend it and shall be making it throughout our winter season which is ahead of us! For all you lucky people heading towards a summer season soon enough, this would be delicious served with antipasto platters and olive oil and dukkah dips!

loveLoulabelxx

TOTW: Toilets=Life

14 Mar

Hello my lovelies! I cannot believe I haven’t posted here for almost a month! I still love you much, I just let busy life run away on me a little!

 

Anyway, here is a brief affair between you and me, a soiree – in the day that is informal (basically a shindig without the trouble of preparing a lot of things, like food etc).

Look what I’m trying to say is, here’s your party favour without the party! *insertpartypopperhere*

 

Today I took Ro rascal and the Persian cat and Romeo’s friend swimming at the school pool. As I was locking up the toilets I said the boys toilet smelled like pee, because, well, it reeked to be mild! Ro’s friend kindly stated that the girls toilet, in comparison, smelled like ice blocks.

And that ladies and gentlemen is basically life in a nutshell. Pee versus ice blocks. Pee on the floor versus ice lolly-scented toilets without any actual need to ensure a bunch of sweet flavoured, lovely-smelling, ice blocks or ice block-scented candles are on hand at all times.

That’s right. We smell nice like ice block boys and sometimes you leave the scent of pee behind. (And sometimes you smell absolutely lovely too).

Also, kids changing to get in the bath have their “sexy-body on” so they say! True dat.

loveLoulabelxx

 

 

 

 

 

Love 07/52

15 Feb

Project Love: 07/52

Persia1

Persia – always close by – even when we are separated by space I feel here acutely.

She makes me happy.

Hello my lovely people! I wonder what’s going on in your neck of the woods?! I hope it is exciting and happy and a little bit fun!

Persia and “the man who doesn’t know anything” have been communicating again, as always it’s good, and entertaining. Whomever designed Siri’s vocab is totally fab!

Persia: I love you!

Siri: I think you just like the package.

Persia: I told you I am not Tanya!!!

Siri: I will call you Prozac and you can only have Tramadol.

Thank you to the man who doesn’t know anything for taking time to entertain my daughter. At least he knows my name, even if he mistakes everyone else for me as well!

The End.

loveLoulabelxx

Comic Calamity: Happy Valentine’s Day

13 Feb

Hello my lovelies, just a little fun to make you smile this lovely Valentine’s Day!

B&R0

B&R8

B&R2

B&R3

B&R4

B&R9

B&R7

Thanks to Ilana for sharing this epic tool!

loveLoulabelxx

Hot Shot 03/13

8 Feb

persiawithcamera

Hello lovelies, how has your week been? Nippy, sunny, beautiful no matter what the weather? I try to find the ‘little things in life’ to make my days smile-worthy!

In a world filled with technology, I have found myself semi-attached to the computer this week. My desk chair hasn’t been so warm for such long periods and my eyes haven’t been as tired and overwhelmed in ages. I wish I could say for personally productive reasons but alas it is purely paperwork of the I don’t want to be an accountant but am forced into aspects of it therefore call me an accountant and pay me the wage to go with it (sadly the latter is lacking – there’s a lot to be said for recognition, and as a mother I feel qualified to say it is important!).

Persia follows suit on the technology bandwagon. It is her generation in so many ways. She is always walking around with the camera, or on some mobile, internet-capable or infomercial related business investigation!

Her favourite entertainment comes in the form of a man called Siri. Yeah, you might know the dude. She doesn’t call him Siri, she calls him “the man who doesn’t know anything”. ‘Mama, can I talk to the man who doesn’t know anything?’ happens more than once a day!

Last night was no exception but it was rather priceless. Generally the man who doesn’t know anything says “I don’t know, shall I search for…..” hence he is the man who knows nothing!

Persia: Did you know my name is Persia?

Siri: I thought you were Tanya!

I am not joking.

And the look on her face. This man knows that? This man knows I’m not you? This man knows you? This man knows something??

Well, I couldn’t stop laughing out loud.

And there you have it lovely ladies and gentleman, technology is priceless and harmless entertainment sometimes!

Though I have to limit the use of it as I fear high usage is not healthy, I need not worry because my Ro rascal and Persian cat are more likely to be in the garden playing or playing with dollhouses and lego than anything else!

Happy weekend lovelies!

loveLoulabelxx

Love 05/52 & 06/52

5 Feb

Project Love 05/52 and 06/52

 

Last week was a special week for us. I was busy being sad and excited simultaneously, for it was Ro rascal’s 7th Birthday. His birthday is such a special time for me, for us. When he was born (birth story yet to come because, well, it’s a difficult one) he was 6 weeks premature and an incompetent registrar fractured his skull during an emergency natural birth. I remember the NICU nurse telling me a few days after his delivery something I had perhaps subconsciously wondered but was too busy/scared/stressed/seriously expressing colostrum for my desperately ill baby to spend time contemplating – they didn’t immediately hook him up to monitors because they didn’t think he was going to make it (sob)! Even a few days later that is not something a parent wants to hear.

So each birthday is an amazing celebration of what is and a kind of mourning for what should never have been. After 7 years I still feel devastated. In part, I think, because we never received an apology or a visit from the Doctor who delivered him broken and we never received answers in general.

Not only though, did I get a beautiful son who is a survivor of epic proportions and a loving, sweet child, but I became a fighter. I learned immediately, instinctively, how to fight for my children, their lives and their needs. And believe, I had to fight. Stupidly, I had to fight. Against “medical misconduct” which in my book translates to incompetent handling of delivery of a baby who was fine and perfect in every way for a 6 week prem baby and would not have needed NICU aside from for the treatment of jaundice had he not had his skull crushed.

Needless to say, we came out with fighting bodies when the bell rang and we won, round after round after round until we knocked the other party out of the ring and on their own heads. And we raised our own hands in victory and danced our victory dance out loud, in our heads, and in their faces, until the day after forever.

Thus, this is a celebration of epic proportions – every year! We win. We won a Romeo and were then gifted a perfect Persia to make life even greater.

So today, my lovelies, I celebrate 2 weeks of photos being grateful:

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Persia, on Romeo’s birthday choosing to be brave in the face of fear!

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Romeo – on his 7th Birthday. Mastering his world with skill and determination. He was irrefutably born that way.

If there is anything in life I want, my lovelies, it is to be more like Romeo. He knows how to survive, how to get what he needs, yet he is sensitive, honest, forgiving, loving, and fair. 

Happy Birthday Romeo, my love. You have given us more than any person on earth deserves and we are grateful for every single drop of a cell from you that moves our way in the wind.

loveLoulabelxx

World Peace 1x1x1x1x1x1xYOU

1 Feb

Hello my lovelies, what a beautiful day it is indeed!

Peace and happiness are two things in life I am always searching for, always trying to live in. I find them everywhere and dredge them up from the most hopeless feelings inside me sometimes. I joined Vine (ahem a little sheepish for she who doesn’t like being a sheep but I LOVE videos) the other day and fell upon a lovely video encouraging world peace as a project of art (made by a fellow Kiwi no less AND I happened to be the first to meet the challenge!).

It touched me and so I posted this one:

 

This is my wish every single day. This is my wish in our tiny family world. A global world, our family world, your whole world too. Whatever the size. Peace, light, health and harmony.

 

Happy Birthday to my dearest Romeo. I post this video on your 7th birthday wishing you all of these things and more in your life. Hoping that I always show you how to find love and light and that you always know where and how to find me, where you will always find love and light, even if you, at any point in your life, find difficulty feeling them for even a millisecond.

I wonder if you will remember, so I will write it here. You absolutely love this video. You loved making it (all of them actually) and have watched yourself and Persia over and over and over and over again.

1x1x1x1x1xYouxPersiax2 May you always be You and Together the both of you make 2. Persia will be for your life, the other part of you and us all in one. Cherish each other always.

Love always (or infinity as you say) Your Mama xoxoxox

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