Thursday, August 21, 2014

"The Godfather" Spaghetti Sauce for 20 Guys

Two things happened, almost at the same time.  We watched "The Godfather."  Being a foodie, my mouth dropped when there was an Italian spaghetti sauce recipe!  I made hubby review the DVD to get the recipe for the spaghetti sauce that was taught to Michael Corleone.

Coincidentally, the tomatoes of a really nice man in my pool class got ripe.  He only gives them out when they are ripe.  I missed class, and he kindly brought me all but 2 of the tomatoes below!

So... I think I need to make a batch of the "The Godfather" Spaghetti Sauce for 20 Guys."

A Tomato Bonanza!

Clemenza makes spaghetti and meatballs in "The Godfather."     video

First, I watched a video on how to peel tomatoes.  Otherwise, the skin would come off in cooking and make a messy sauce.  Yaay for YouTube!  How to Peel a Tomato

Before putting the tomatoes, cut an "X" in the top and bottom of the tomato, to make peeling easier.  Put the tomatoes in ice water after cooking to stop the cooking of the tomato

I chopped up the peeled tomatoes with a potato masher.  Then I chopped up some garlic.

Clemenza's recipe calls for adding sausage and meatballs.  I made a change, and added vegan sausage.  Really tasty.

The sausage was sliced and sauteed in olive oil.

After the garlic and sausage were sauteed, I added the tomatoes, salt, pepper, and tomato paste.

We enjoyed two wonderful dinners.  I listened to some Italian music on YouTube, while we ate dinner.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

"Clear out the Fridge" Roasted Vegetable Focaccica

This month's Avid Baker's Challenge is the Roasted Vegetable Focaccia recipe by King Arthur Flour.  The recipe calls for a dough that uses a starter.

I call this focaccia "Clear out the Fridge"  because it uses up a lot of things I had in the fridge.  I made this recipe on a Monday, the day before we go grocery shopping so we would have room for fresh foods. 

Tuesday is senior discount day at Kroger.  They give seniors 60+ (hubby is over 60, LOL) a 5% discount on groceries.  Needless to say, there isn't a handicapped parking space available, and the store is packed!  I know a lot of people who avoid the store on Tuesdays, but we love the discount.  Since there is tax on food here, it helps to pay the sales tax.  It's actually a party atmosphere, with people running into each other.

Here's my version of the recipe:

Roasted Vegetable Focaccia

Hands-on time:
Baking time:

Yield:two quarter sheets or one large sheet of focaccia, about 8 to 10 servings


  • 1/2 cup cool water
  • 1/16 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour


  • all of the starter (above)
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm lowfat milk; amount depends on humidity
  • 2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


  • 1-2 zucchini
  • 1/2 yellow squash
  • 1/2 sweet onion
  • 1/3 cup sundried tomato, softened in 1/3 cup warm water
  • 2 Japanese eggplant (from farmers market)
  •  olive oil
  • 1-2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 seeded jalapeno
  • grated Parmesan cheese
  • kosher salt
  • garlic

Recent purchase from farmer's market.  The leftover was used as foccaccia toppings.

Japanese eggplant is much milder than regular eggplant.  Also, it is much easier to slice!  You slice it just like you would zucchini.  In fact, I was quoted in the Charlotte WFAE blog on how easy it is to use it. .

Quarter sheet pans--half the size of my baking sheet!

I got 2 quarter sheet pans over a year ago.  I had planned to use them for making holiday fudge.  Unfortunately, I broke my ankle and didn't do any holiday baking.

I thought focaccia would be a great way to use the pans.  Instead of making one big one, I could make two smaller ones and freeze one!  My hubby is on soft foods due to dental surgery, so I would freeze one for when he could enjoy it.

I made the focaccia over 2 days, because the starter needed 14 hours before adding it to the dough.  It would have been a lot easier if I had done it over 3 days.
Making the starter, late afternoon

Nice rise.  I think this was the starter

The focaccia, shaped and ready to rise.  It's getting late for dinner, though.  I put them in the oven, with the light on, to hasten the rise.

Out of the oven!  Time for dinner!!!

I put vegetable oil on the pans, instead of spray, because I didn't want them to stain!

I enjoyed the first pan, although I baked it a little long.  It was crispy.  Still, it was delicous!

Be sure to check out the full recipe, and directions, on the King Arthur Flour Site:

and enjoy the other focaccia postings from the Avid Baker's Challenge at

Thanks for stopping by!