Thursday, February 3, 2011

Rosemary Focaccia, Spinach Salad, and Ice Cream Sandwiches...Oh My!

I am sad to follow the roasted lamb recipe with my whole wheat focaccia failure. Well, it wasn't a total failure, but it needed some improvement. There is a reason I own a cookbook dedicated to whole grain baking. It is because it is just not as simple as substituting whole wheat flour in for all purpose flour. I followed a recipe from 330 Vegetarian Recipes for Health, but substituted the all purpose flour directly with whole wheat. The dough just did not rise sufficiently. It was a dense focaccia, let me tell you. Flavourful, but dense.

In Good to the Grain by Kim Boyce, there is a recipe for focaccia bread which uses spelt flour. I would have loved to make this variation but I just didn't have time for the extended rising times required. Maybe that is all my dough needed was more time to rise. The focaccia had great flavour as it was speckled with dried rosemary, minced garlic, and large rocks of sea salt.

The disappointment of the focaccia was definitely made up for by the salad that accompanied the meal. A very simple salad with fresh baby spinach, goat cheese, and walnuts, drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I don't often add nuts to salad but I loved the walnut and goat cheese combination.

Now a dinner like this must finish off with desert. I don't make actual desert very often. Usually just for birthday dinners or a special occasion. But it was Friday, and I roasted a lamb so it was kind of a special occasion. I love ice cream, but there was no way I was making my own. That would be too many cooking "firsts" for one day. So I purchased some mint chocolate chip ice cream. Something in this desert had to be made by myself though so I thought ice cream sandwiches would be appropriate. I wanted it to be an absolutely delicious cookie so I headed over to Annie's Eats, as she has plenty of recipes to choose from. I made Annie's Giant Double Chocolate Cookies, but smaller, for appropriately sized ice cream sandwiches.

These sandwiches were quite tasty. I think next time I would make the cookies thinner since once frozen they were pretty rock hard and difficult to bite into. Regardless, you can't really mess up cookie + ice cream. Especially chocolate cookie + mint chocolate chip ice cream.

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