Saturday, September 29, 2012

Recent Obsession: Focaccia

Maybe because I have elected to limit my wheat intake, or maybe just because I like bread, lately I have become obsessed with that beautiful Italian bread, Focaccia.  It might just be that it is so ever changing depending on what you have at hand?  Or, maybe, like I said - I just like bread.  Enjoy.

Roasted Tomato & Herbs

Fines Herbs & Lemon Zest

Olive Oil & Garlic

Rosemary, Olive Oil & Parmesan

I like Tyler Florence's recipe for Focaccia - you can make never ending variations of this.  Try it!

Onion and Sage

Fabulous Focaccia

Show: Food 911Episode:


  • 2 teaspoons rapid-rising dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 1/2 to 4 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Cornmeal, for dusting



In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a dough hook, proof the yeast by combining it with the warm water and sugar. Stir gently to dissolve. Let stand 3 minutes until foam appears. Turn mixer on low and slowly add the flour to the bowl. Dissolve salt in 2 tablespoons of water and add it to the mixture. Pour in 1/4 cup olive oil. When the dough starts to come together, increase the speed to medium. Stop the machine periodically to scrape the dough off the hook. Mix until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes, adding flour as necessary.

Turn the dough out onto a work surface and fold over itself a few times. Form the dough into a round and place in an oiled bowl, turn to coat the entire ball with oil so it doesn't form a skin. Cover with plastic wrap or damp towel and let rise over a gas pilot light on the stovetop or other warm place until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.

Coat a sheet pan with a little olive oil and corn meal. Once the dough is doubled and domed, turn it out onto the counter. Roll and stretch the dough out to an oblong shape about 1/2-inch thick. Lay the flattened dough on the pan and cover with plastic wrap. Let rest for 15 minutes.

In the meantime, coat a small saute pan with olive oil, add the onion, and cook over low heat for 15 minutes until the onions caramelize. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Uncover the dough and dimple with your fingertips. Brush the surface with more olive oil and then add caramelized onions, garlic, olives, cheese, salt, pepper, and rosemary. Bake on the bottom rack for 15 to 20 minutes.

Roasted Red Pepper and Chile

Rosemary, Olive Oil and Olive

Friday, September 28, 2012

Box of Awesome: Roast

Each month, my "Box of Awesome" arrives from  I love looking for it. I love it when it comes. I am happy to share this one with you.... coffee. Life breath in the morning. Enjoy.

September 2012 Box of Awesome: ROAST

This month, awkward morning-afters just became a bit smoother. 

AeroPress Coffee Maker, Aerobie
This innovative coffee maker is hailed by experts as one of the best and intuitive ways to brew. The Aeropress uses total bean immersion for uniform flavor extraction. Its gentle air pressure reduces acidity and bitterness, and a micro filter produces grit-free coffee. Easy to make, easier to clean. Experiment to your heart's content to make Americanos, lattes, espresso-like drinks, iced coffee, and more.

Santa Isabel Coffee, 8oz Reserva Exclusiva, Café Integral
Leave the Starbucks to mid-afternoon work breaks. Café Integral is the new kid on the block that's turning heads. Their small-batch Nicaraguan coffee is hand-roasted in NYC. Complex and smooth, these beans were prepared exclusively for Bespoke.

Adjustable Burr Grinder
Freshly ground coffee holds its character and flavor more so than its pre-ground cousin. Common blade grinders create uneven grounds and artificially heat the beans, creating a lifeless and imperfect product. Burr grinders overcome these issues. Adjust to your desired size and create a beautifully consistent grind. 

We leave you with the tools and the knowledge. The conversation is up to you.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Stay Here: Sofitel, NY

This week I stayed for the night at the Sofitel Hotel in NY.  Located on 44th between 5th and 6th, it was not only convenient, but at $409/night, it was not expensive by NY standards for a really large room.  I'd recommend it wholeheartedly.  Check it out.

Lobby restaurant.

Large, comfortable room.

Love lighting and I want this lamp.

Gaby Bar makes great martinis.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Stay Here: NoMad Hotel, NYC

I just got off a whirlwind tour online of the NoMad Hotel in NYC.  I am heading to NY on Monday for a business meeting and plan to check this out.  Very cool space, Very cool rooms.  Very cool prices too!  The description at the website for the location is:

The hotel is located in the heart of the historic NoMad neighborhood (North of Madison Square Park). Bordered by the Flatiron District and Gramercy Park to the South, Chelsea to the West, and Midtown/Times Square to the North, The NoMad Hotel is centrally located to the best the City has to offer. Ideally situated between the East and West sides of the City, the hotel is convenient to most areas, including SoHo, Greenwich Village and the Meatpacking District.


Th best part of the website, aside from the cool design, is the spectacular photography.  All photos following from the website and Courtesy of The NoMad Hotel NYC.  Enjoy.  I will.

The Front Desk

Spectacular Cuisine

Room Detail

Get Used To This

How Suite


The Library



The Neighborhood

The Bar

Saturday, September 8, 2012

New Inspiration: Restoration Hardware

The new Restoration Hardware catalogs arrived today.   I love getting these every season.  I think the RH design aesthetic is wonderful and completely my taste.  I have a RH Grand Scale Roll Arm Sofa in beige linen. Its a great piece.  I snagged these photos today for a little shared inspiration.  All photos from Restoration Hardware.