Make Your Own Italian Seasoning Blend

I made a lovely focaccia on Friday from a recipe that was a little more involved than I usually use but I was blown away by how good it is. I found the recipe for Roasted Garlic and Rosemary Focaccia on the Mediterranean Dish website. My only change was to make it in a cast iron skillet. That made it rise beautifully and came out of the oven full of flavor and so very, very good.

Once I had the focaccia, I wanted to make sandwiches with it. What could be better than a meatball focaccia hero? I’ve got pint jars of sauce that Michelle canned for me from tomatoes from her brother. I just needed to flavor it and that was when I realized I was out of Italian seasoning. I make a fairly traditional version (minus the marjoram which I never have) that mixes up quickly.

Italian Seasoning

1 tablespoon dried basil
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 ½ teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried rosemary

Place all the herbs in a bowl and mix well. Store in an airtight jar.

To make the sauce, I added a tablespoon of the Italian seasoning and two garlic cloves to two cups of tomato sauce and simmered for ten minutes. I added a pinch of salt and it was ready to slather on the focaccia with a couple of meatballs and a slice or two of provolone cheese.

So good!


Adultifying Chocolate Coconut Macaroons

I love macaroons and have done a version before (recipe for Chocolate Coconut Pecan Joys here) but I wanted to do one with a little kick. I tried plain rum but the flavor was too mild. The spiced plus the addition of dark chocolate was much, much better.

Lovely coconut flavor and not too sweet.

Chocolate Rum Coconut Macaroons

1 large egg
1 large egg white
1 tablespoon spiced rum (I used Old New Orleans Cajun Spice Rum)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ½ cups sweetened flake coconut
4 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (I used Ghirardelli Bittersweet Baking Bar)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.

Lightly whisk the egg and egg white in a medium bowl until frothy. Whisk in the rum and vanilla. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the coconut. Take about 2 tablespoons of the mixture and squeeze it between your hands (like making a snowball). Place on the baking sheet, leaving some space in between each one. Bake until the edges are golden and crispy, about 10 minutes. Cool.

Melt chocolate in double boiler. Dip tips of macaroon in the chocolate or, if feeling artistic, drizzle the chocolate over macaroons with slotted spoon. If you’re feeling generous, do both!

Store in an airtight container.