There’s Nothing Like Comfort Food

Baked ziti is truly wonderful, made with homemade spaghetti sauce, high quality cheese, and good ground meat.  I think the homemade sauce really makes the difference for me.  It’s one of hubby’s favorites in the winter, and judging by both the quantity and speed at which Sunita inhaled it, I’m guessing it’s hers too.  The foccacia bread is also a favorite at our house (see below for bread machine recipe).  I have been known to polish off a 9×13 pan in less than two days (WITH HELP).  I have found that garlic for breakfast (or before) really makes me a favorite for intimate conversation the rest of the day as well.  I have also been looking for a really good Caesar salad dressing.  Hubby loves Caesar salad and as of yet we haven’t found THE ONE. So I tried two very different recipes.  Neither was perfect, but the more traditional recipe was a bigger hit. Throw in some home-made garlic croutons, and the meal is complete!

Focaccia Bread with Garlic Cheese Topping

Dough Ingredients:

1 cup Water (80°F/27°F)

1/3 cup Olive Oil

2 tsp. Sugar

1-1/2 tsp. Salt

3 cups Bread Flour

1 tsp. Dried Italian Seasoning

2 tsp. Active Dry Yeast

Topping Ingredients:

1/4 cup Olive Oil

1-1/2 tsp. Dried Oregano

1/4 cup Garlic, finely minced

1/3 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated

1/4 tsp. Salt


1. Prepare the focaccia dough in the bread machine. (Makes a 1.5 LB loaf on the “Pizza Dough Cycle”)

2. With oiled hands, evenly press dough into a greased 9×13 pan. Using your fingertips, make indentations in the dough.

3. Cover, let rise in a warm place for 20 minutes. While the dough is rising, select the topping and prepare.

4. In a skillet, heat oil. Stir in oregano and garlic. Immediately remove from heat.

5. Spoon topping mixture evenly over dough. Sprinkle with remaining ingredients.

6. Bake at 400°F for 20 minutes or until golden brown.