Monday, September 5, 2016

Week 2 - Goal Driven
Writing out our goals...
I would say I am a Type A personality. I am very passionate and with that passion comes some major planning to achieve my goals. The issue with this type of personality is that the passion can be very short lived. I want it now and I will succeed now. Patience is not my virtue. Plans, plans and more plans. Success takes patience which can be unfortunate for my personality.

So here are my goals for the week. No judgement here folks, you have to start somewhere and small works for me. 
1. Patience with myself and others
2. Focus - I mean really dig deep and just stick to one project/plan and follow through

Scott spent last week with some Italian chefs from Tuscany who were in town visiting. They spent the week creating recipes and going to "work" dinners (I was not included - chime the violin) in an effort to build relationships and learn more about the Italian food and culture. Scott could have just checked in with me since I am the Italian/Sicilian one and live with him but that would have been way to easy and cost effective. Also, I have never lived in Italy or even been to Italy but that is between you and me. I was able to meet the Italian chefs their last day in town and it was a really amazing experience. Growing up surrounded by Italians is one of my fondest childhood memories but now most of us have moved away as we've grown up and started our own families.  It is amazing the difference in culture that you can clearly feel. To sum it up, what these chefs reminded me of in terms of the feel of the culture was respect, love, family and genuine interest in people vs. the hustle and bustle of business.

So to end this how about an attainable goal this week that you have to be intentional with. The good news is that you do get to eat it. This is an authentic focaccia/pizza dough from the Campania region of Italy.


Authentic Pizza Dough from Naples Italy
4 Cups 00 flour (if you can find it - if not use bread flour)
1.75 Cups slightly warmed water
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 packet dry active yeast (2 teaspoons)

Mix all the dry ingredients in a mixer with dough hook, slowly add the warmed water and olive oil and scrape down sides as necessary. Beat on low speed for 10 -15 minutes until the dough just starts to come away from the side of the bowl.

Add more flour or water a tablespoon at a time until the dough comes together and pulls away from the bowl.

Once the dough has come together remove it from the mixer and place on a lightly floured cutting board or workspace. Knead the dough and form into a big ball. In a stainless steel or glass bowl add 1-2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Place the ball of dough in the bowl and move it around to cover it with olive oil. Cover with a towel and refrigerate for 24 hours to allow dough to rest/cure.

When ready to use, remove the dough from the refrigerator and keep covered with the bowl and allow to sit at room temperature an proof for 2 hours prior to baking. When ready to bake, punch down the dough and cut into baseball size dough balls and roll it out into focaccia shape. Bake on stone or sheet pan for 10-15 min until edges are puffy and starting to get color at 500 degrees.

Brush dough with extra virgin oil oil and herbs if wanted. Can serve as is with salt and olive oil or add pizza toppings and throw it back in the oven. 

P.S. Not hard to do but it is a labor of love. Conquer pizza dough - check this as a goal achieved. Then you can make this for your Italian Nonna.