To celebrate this season of giving and sharing, I’m passing along an old favorite. May your holiday and New Year be filled with health, happiness, good cheer and everything you find meaningful. xo, Alisa
This recipe was inspired by one from olive oil expert Lidia Colavita. You can make a meal around the bread by offering it as an accompaniment to bean soup.
2 cups warm water (105°F; to 115°F;)
2 teaspoons dry yeast
4 1/2 cups (about) all purpose flour
2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
24 black or green brine-cured olives (such as Kalamata or Greek),
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried
Place 2 cups warm water in large bowl. Sprinkle dry yeast over; stir with fork. Let stand until yeast dissolves, about 10 minutes.Add 4 1/4 cups flour and salt to yeast mixture and stir to blend well (dough will be sticky). Knead dough on floured surface until smooth and elastic, adding more flour by tablespoonfuls if dough is sticky, about 10 minutes. Form dough into ball. Oil large bowl; add dough, turning to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in warm area until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours. Punch down dough; knead into ball and return to same bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in warm area until doubled, about 45 minutes or less
Coat 15×10-inch baking sheet with 1 tablespoon oil. Punch down dough. Transfer to prepared sheet. Using fingertips, press out dough to 13×10-inch rectangle. Let dough rest 10 minutes. Drizzle 2 tablespoons oil over dough. Sprinkle olives and chopped rosemary evenly over. Let dough rise uncovered in warm area until puffy, about 25 minutes.
Preheat oven to 475°F. Press fingertips all over dough, forming indentations. Bake bread until brown and crusty, about 20 minutes. Serve bread warm or at room temperature.
If you’re like me, the concept of “family” is complicated. The family we’re born into may be less than ideal, incorporating fraught relationships with parents or siblings. Even in families with a relatively healthy dynamic, there’s often a tendency to act or be treated as if we are eternally eight years old.
As we get older, our definition of family expands and changes. Lines blur as our children become friends, close friends become more like siblings, and siblings may become strangers.
Since Thanksgiving is a holiday that’s typically associated with family, let’s celebrate ALL our families, not just our biological ones:
Circumstantial: The family we join through marriage or re-marriage
Work: After all, we probably spend at least as much time with our “work family” as we do at home
Friends: Who else could we bitch to about everything — including our families?!
Support System: Our family of stylists, massage therapists, manicurists etc., with whom we share stories and confidences
Our church, synagogue, mosque or other religious affiliation
This is one of my favorite recipes for dessert, whether you’re hosting or bringing something to the feast. Almond flour and Whey Low make it healthier.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone — however (and with whomever) you spend it!
Double Chocolate Almond Flour Brownies
1/2 cup unsalted butter (I use 4 tablespoons (¼ c) butter + ¼ c canola oil)
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (substitute bittersweet if you prefer less sweetness)
1 cup almond flour
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup sugar (I use 1/3 c brown + 1/3 c white for less sweetness)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Optional: ¼ teaspoon espresso powder
Preheat the oven to 350º and butter an 8”x8” pan.
Place the butter and chocolate chips in the top of a double boiler or a large glass bowl set over a pot of gently boiling water. Whisk together until the butter and chocolate are melted and well combined. Set aside and let cool for five minutes.
In a large bowl, mix the almond flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar and vanilla.
Add the cooled chocolate and butter mixture to the egg/sugar mixture. Whisk to combine and then mix into the dry ingredients until everything is well blended.
Pour the batter into the baking pan and bake for 25 minutes or until tester comes out clean with a few crumbs clinging to it.