Monday, November 10, 2014

Robinson Rembembrance

Did you know that Jackie Robinson was a Pasadena local? He grew up there in a house on Pepper Street from 1922 to 1946. I've always had love for Jackie Robinson. In 1947, he shook up the scene in major league baseball by breaking the race barrier when he debuted with the Brooklyn Dodgers. Before that, he was the all-star at my alma mater, UCLA, the university's very first four-sport letter winner in baseball, football, basketball, and track-and-field. He was a man of integrity, and his comittment to equality for all Americans is something that should never be forgotten. 

Earlier this summer, we were in Pasadena visiting hubby's dad. On our way back home, we stopped off at Yummy Cupcakes because we needed a moment of nostalgia and a sweet treat (we ordered our wedding cupcakes from Yummy Cupcakes and thought they only had a shop in Santa Monica). After the desserts were secured, I asked if we could drive by City Hall. If you haven't been before, it's a must-see. The building and surrounding complex is a truly grand and beautiful example of the California Mediterranean architecture style.

While we were in the turnaround driveway, I saw two impressive sculptures to my right. I hopped out of the car to get a closer look, and to my pleasant surprise, the scupltures were of Jackie Robinson, and his older brother Mack, who won the silver medal in the 200-meter race at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. Set in a beautiful spot in Centennial Square, right across from City Hall, it is a place where you could easily sit and enjoy a picnic. 

Make sure to get an up-close look at the portrait heads... Images of their accomplishments in sports, politics, and community service are embedded in Jackie and Mack's hair

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Focaccia Fiend

I love bread. Every iteration of bread is divine in my opinion. Crusty loaves, crispy crackers, all types of pasta. Yet, for all my yearning for and consumption of this heavenly carbohydrate, I've always believed that making bread is difficult. I was wrong. This lovely specimen only took about 10 minutes to pull together (in dough form, with around two 30-minute periods waiting for it to rise). Here's the rub: I can't find the original recipe that I used. Thank goodness that there are heaps of online resources. I have been craving focaccia again recently, and will probably make another one this week. This focaccia recipe is a good starting point from which you can create a delicious bread.

The ingredients and steps are really simple: flour, yeast, water, and salt are mixed together and quickly kneaded to form a dough. Coat the dough with the olive oil and let it rise for a period of time until it doubles in size. Then, stretch the dough to fit an oiled baking sheet, and poke dimples all over the dough using your index finger. Sprinkle your desired toppings (salt, peppper, herbs, onions, vegetables, etc.) on the dough, and drizzle more olive oil into the dimples. Let the dough rise for about another 30 minutes, and then bake it for up to 20 minutes. Crisp, golden deliciousness awaits!