Another adventure in hiking……
This is a fantastic gem tucked away in Siloam Springs, Arkansas. All cups of coffee and tea are individually brewed to each custom order. It’s a unique shop that perfectly blends old and modern, sleek and hipster. The upper floor has a small stage for band performances, and a vinyl shop. Pour Jons also offers more unique choices, such as Turkish coffee (pictured at the bottom), which I ordered and thoroughly enjoyed in the tradition of my ancestors. If you are ever in the area, you must visit this place.
This rustic tart looks gorgeous, but is so simple to make! I used Guy Fieri’s recipe (except I used granulated sugar instead of turbinado because what middle class citizen buys a special kind of sugar for one recipe?) As far as the pears go, Bosc pears are my favorite. This dessert is a crowd pleaser at dinner parties.
WORTH IT. (serve with vanilla ice cream)
My sister and brother-in-law now live in the charming town of Siloam Springs in Arkansas. They work at John Brown University in this lovely little community. For me, a new place equals tons of photography opportunities, and you’ll be seeing some of the results in the weeks to come.
John Brown University
My little sister, Maria, and I. I miss her so greatly, and this was a perfect, much-needed week.
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
This was one of my favorite things to snack on while living in Italy. This bread is rustic, hearty, and flavorful. If it seems labor intensive, be assured it is not nearly as labor intensive as most homemade breads.
1 1/2 C warm water
1 package active dry yeast
1 tsp granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 3/4 C all-purpose flour
5 TB extra-virgin olive oil
Desired toppings: Kosher or sea salt, dried oregano, dried rosemary, red pepper flakes, drained olives (chopped), drained sun-dried tomatoes (chopped), etc.
In a large bowl, combine 1/2 C warm water, yeast and sugar; stir to dissolve. Let stand about 5 minutes. Add remaining 1 C warm water, 2 TB oil, salt, and flour, then stir to combine. Turn dough onto floured surface & knead about 7 minutes (kneading feels like it takes forever, but this step is so important and does make a difference in your foccacia’s texture!). Dough should be soft; do not add more flour. Shape dough into a ball; place in a greased, large bowl, turning dough once to grease the top. Cover with plastic wrap (I also through a dish towel over that) and let stand in warm place for 1 hour.
Dough should be doubled in volume! Then, and this is my favorite part, punch that dough right in the center. Lightly oil a 15.5″ by 10.5″ (inches) jelly roll pan. Pat dough into the pan, then cover again and let the dough rise in a warm place for 45 minutes.
With fingertips, make deep indentations about 1 inch apart over the entire surface of the dough, almost to the bottom of the pan. Drizzle with remaining 3 TB olive oil. Cover loosely with plastic wrap; let it rise in warm place for 45 minutes. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Then, add your desired toppings! I always do salt, dried rosemary, and sometimes dried oregano, because that method is extremely popular with my guinea pigs, it’s how I ate foccacia in Italy, and why mess with a great thing?
Bake foccacia on lowest oven rack until the bottom is crusty and top is lightly browned, about 18 minutes. Transfer foccacia to a wire rack to cool, but not completely. Then grab a glass of wine and enjoy this bit of comforting fabulousness.
I made these luscious little gems a while ago, and they were very popular. You should try making them because they are delicious, easy, and friendly to all ages. I picked up the recipe here. I wrapped a bunch of them individually in plastic wrap, nestled them in a box of tissue paper, and they shipped really well to a couple of my favorite undergrads. Whoopie pies are versatile and also great for holidays.