Michael’s Foccacia Bread and Chicago

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Boy did we have a weekend! I think I am done with tripping or taking any trips right now. I am getting more tired than usual thinking I can run at the same pace I could before I got pregnant.

I am a little more than 26 weeks pregnant and my tummy is definitely showing now and it is feeling a little uncomfortable. Our baby girl is moving and playing punching games with my tummy, startling me from time to time. So crazy exciting!


Saturday we left for Chicago early in the morning with my mother in tow. She is on the last leg of her stay with us and we decided to take her on a side trip to Chi-town since she had never been. We arrived to a smoggy city with no sun in sight. We were happy because we were planning on doing the open-air bus tours and we had no intention of being hot and sweaty all day.


It was an amazing deal going on Chicago Trolley and Bus Tours because we saw a lot of the city, even more than 2 years ago when we took it with Grayline tours. We had 2 hours of cloudy weather until after lunch when the sun came out blazing with its rays of heat.


We saw the new Marilyn Monroe sculpture that was unveiled 3 days ago and we were amazed at the amount of people. What do you think Marilyn would have thought of this sculpture? It is in Chicago until spring of 2012.


Either way, we toured the city for 12 hours straight, arriving at the hotel at midnight. Whew, what a day! My feet developed new blisters and all I could think of was the body pillow I did not bring with me. Meh!


The heat was excrutiating, even the following day. We visited a PCA church in Chicago that also did not have any A/C but only several fans for the huge church. I was glad I was wearing light clothing. We continued touring the rest of the day but I was really tired by early afternoon and was only thinking of my bed. How sad is that? Well, it was for me becasue I realized that I was not superwoman! Go figure.


We left late afternoon hoping to arrive back home in 4 hours but it ended up being 6 hours because we hit traffic like none other because of an accident. Nonetheless, we finally arrived at midnight, took a a shower, cooled down the house in an hour and finally went to bed. How about that for a quick trip?


While I continue compiling my recipes I want to leave you with a new favorite recipe that a friend passed on to me. She has made this foccacia for us several times and I had been meaning to ask her for the recipe. Here I go feeling a little intimidated with bread-making but I decided I was going to make it.

This foccacia is super easy and super delicious! We have had it with Mediterranean and with Italian food and both times it turned out really great. You can put different topping depending on what you have available at home. You can add sliced red onions on top or tomatoes. I just added Italian seasonings and salt. It was yum!

Make sure to consume this within 2 days.

ready to serve
Michael’s Foccacia Bread
adapted from allrecipes.com
yields 12 servings from a 10×15-inch pan
1 tablespoon agave nectar
2 cups warm water
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup diced onion
5 cups all-purpose flour, or as needed
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh chopped rosemary
1/4 cup vegan Parmesan OR freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon kosher salt


Dissolve agave nectar in the warm water in a large bowl, then sprinkle yeast over the top. Let stand for 5 minutes until the yeast softens and begins to foam. Stir in 1 tablespoon of salt, 1 tablespoon olive oil, onions, and 5 cups of flour until the dough comes together. Knead on a well floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 415 degrees F (215 degrees C).
Place dough onto oiled baking sheet, and flatten to cover the whole sheet evenly. Use the tips of your fingers to make indentations all over the dough spaced about 1 inch apart. Drizzle the focaccia with 3 tablespoons olive oil, then sprinkle rosemary, vegan parmesan or Parmesan cheese, and remaining 1 tablespoon of kosher salt over the top. Let rise for 10 minutes
Bake in preheated oven 20 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and slice into 12 large pieces if so desired.

REMINDER: You have until midnight tonight, EST, to enter the Kelapo Coconut Oil Giveaway! Do not forget to enter!

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  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04757033974893707436 Sarah S.

    Hey, that’s my city! Looks like you had fun. I haven’t seen the Monroe sculpture yet, looks awesome.

    I’m totally digging the foccacia!

  • Kristi Ehnis

    I am glad you had a good trip! We missed you on saturday! I noticed that the baby widget is in double digets! Yay!! 100 more days (give or take 14) for me!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11195737115432451006 Amy

    Looks like you had a fun trip Noelle :)! I love all the pics! This foccacia bread sounds absolutely delicious, my mouth is watering from looking at the pics of it!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08873080530639686787 HiHoRosie

    Aw, love the pic of you and your mom. So pretty! And how great to spend some quality time with her. Looks like a fun trip!

    And doesn’t that foccacia bread look tasty?! Yum! I’m bookmarking this one for when I’m feeling brave (I don’t do breads as in make. I just eat.).

  • http://htp/ Monet

    I enjoyed seeing some of your pictures from Chicago. My parents love that city, and they took me there when I was a little girl. It made me think of how much fun you’ll have when your little one comes! Thank you for sharing, sweet friend. I hope you had a great start to your week. Much love!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03266656770558847026 Ann

    Looks like you had fun – but make sure you take it easy! You’re looking great – just glowing (trite, I know – but true). Thanks for a great recipe!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12567296017000909537 Lilly

    I haven’t been to Chicago yet, but it looks like lots of fun. You look great and I hope you continue to feel good.

    The foccacia bread is just too jummie!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04695690277037332534 Kirsten

    Yummy…I made Roasted vegetable Foccacia the other day! :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07479310504056590352 Skylar Wolfe

    Yum, it looks so good! I’m headed up to Chicago next weekend, so I have to be sure to check out the new sculpture