Friday, April 8, 2011

Focacchia Bread

Oh Baby, to quote Anne Burrell of Food Network Fame.

Now. Let me start by saying I am not a big fan of hers, but happened to catch the show the other day because I was trying to have some "downtime" for myself.

She was making this bread, and she made it look SO EASY. So...I'd been dreaming about making bread. I mean, I have a Kitchen Aid. I have a dough hook. I have flour. I can do this, right?

So, today was the day. I knew I'd be around the house long enough from start to finish to make it. I am so very glad I tried.

Using ALL Aldi ingredients (including the yeast which I bought when they had it at the store earlier this year - it's seasonal for them, so it might not be there right now - this is the only ingredient you may need to buy at a regular store). I used Grandma's Best Flour, Sebree Salt, Carlini Olive Oil, Baker's Corner sugar and yeast. Wow.

This recipe is just as easy as it looked, maybe even easier. I highly recommend giving it a try.

The only adjustment I made was instead of sprinkling with salt on top I sprinkled with Stonehill Pizza & Pasta Grinder. Another good Aldi addition.

I hope you try it, and I hope you enjoy it. Me? I'm looking forward to dinner tonight where I get to have some more with Meatballs & Sauce (from Aldi of course!).

Anne Burrell's Focaccia Bread

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Potato Onion Cheddar Soup

I've been soooo busy lately, I'd like to say I've been cooking, but I haven't! Nothing new, anyway. Same old same old. And using a lot of convenience foods in pretty normal recipes.

Hubby got called out of town suddenly. And I miss him. :( But when he's out of town I'm relieved of cooking duties and we "fend" for our dinners.

Tonight, I was sorely in need of a comfort food, so I threw together this soup. It turned out soo sooo yummy, and filled a need in me.

Potato & Onion Soup

4 medium Red Bliss Potatoes, peeled & large diced(about $.80 worth of the $2.69 bag)
1/2 White Onion, quartered & separated (.25 - from the mixed 3 onion pack for $1.69)
2 stalks Celery, large dice (.10)
2 Carrots, large dice(.10)
1 32 oz carton Fit & Active Chicken Broth
2 Garlic cloves, smashed & skins removed
8 oz Friendly Farms NY Sharp Cheddar (1.69), shredded
1 Cup Milk
Salt & Pepper
Tuscan Garden Real Bacon Bits (1.49)

In a large soup pot bring Chicken Broth, potatoes, onions, celery, carrot and garlic to a boil. Reduce to simmer and cook, covered, on low heat until the vegetables are soft. Add Salt & pepper to taste. Using an immersion blender, or a regular blender, blend until very smooth. Return to pot (if using a regular blender). Over low heat, stir in milk. Slowly add and stir in the shredded cheese.

Top with Bacon Bits before serving.