Sunday, March 20, 2011

On Caring (and Blogging), Part II: Rosemary Flatbread

One of my favorite bloggers had a great post not long ago about the keys to successful blogging, and as we open ICLW week, (that's I Come Leave We for the uninitiated: a commenting love-fest sponsored by Melissa Ford) I think it's worth recapping.  She says that first, you have to "need your space."  I've needed this space from the beginning, even though this blog has been about lots of things: infertility and loss, cooking, yoga, work.  My "about me" blurb is actually quite accurate, even given all of the changes this blog has seen in its short life: "professional, mother, wife, and seeker of balance, wondering 'What is it [I] plan to do with [my] one wild and precious life?'"  Writing has been a way for me to continue to sort these things out.

Then, she says, you also have to write good content, and be an active part of a community.  The "good content" bit is probably questionable (though who doesn't like looking at pictures of chocolate covered strawberries? more about those in a minute ... if you follow my blog, you'll find that I write a lot about food; this is sort of like my virtual kitchen).  And then, there's the community aspect: one of the things I have loved about this journey so far is getting to know other bloggers, commenting and having others comment on my thoughts.  I think blogging is teaching me about empathy.  And maybe that's it; I'm hoping that by writing through my journey, that others will be able to help me along the way, and that maybe what I write will touch someone and help them along theirs.

I've written before about caring, and I've enjoyed the support of the blogging community for a year now, as I've posted about loss, infertility, search for career identity, pregnancy, and birth of my second child just a little over a month ago.  And because I think that community and food go well together, in honor of ICLW, I'd like to share two treats with you that two friends brought (one of which comes with a recipe) us during the past month, when cooking meals has been challenging at best.  The strawberries came courtesy of my friend R. from work who visited the other day; it was wonderful to see her, and talking with her in a setting far from our workplace made me wish that I'd known her better years ago, but also thankful that I know her now.  I've always thought that she is amazing.  Now I have even more reasons to think so.  (And no, not just because she made chocolate covered strawberries, either.)

The second treat is a rosemary flatbread that one of our friends brought with some amazing risotto and a salad, a meal that made our first weeks with a newborn a little bit more sane.  R. said she was looking for a cracker recipe, so I thought it only fitting that I publish this pictures and recipe along with her strawberries.  It will go well with spring salads that may grace your own plates soon.

So welcome to the table, friends.  Let's break bread.  I hope you'll stay for dinner, and for much longer.


Rosemary Flatbread

1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon chopped rosemary plus 2 (6-inch) sprigs
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup olive oil plus more for brushing
Flaky sea salt

Preheat oven to 450°F with a heavy baking sheet on rack in middle.

Stir together flour, chopped rosemary, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Make a well in center, then add water and oil and gradually stir into flour with a wooden spoon until a dough forms. Knead dough gently on a work surface 4 or 5 times.

Divide dough into 3 pieces and roll out 1 piece (keep remaining pieces covered with plastic wrap) on a sheet of parchment paper into a 10-inch round (shape can be rustic; dough should be thin).

Lightly brush top with additional oil and scatter small clusters of rosemary leaves on top, pressing in slightly. Sprinkle with sea salt. Slide round (still on parchment) onto preheated baking sheet and bake until pale golden and browned in spots, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer flatbread (discard parchment) to a rack to cool, then make 2 more rounds (1 at a time) on fresh parchment (do not oil or salt until just before baking). Break into pieces.

Flatbread can be made 2 days ahead and cooled completely, then kept in an airtight container at room temperature.
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  1. Those strawberries look absolutely perfect! Your musings on the blogosphere are interesting. I really love the give and take of blog-reading and -writing. I also love stumbling upon new blogs.

  2. what a lovely post! you have become a really important part of my life and helping me on this journey. Thanks for sharing yours!

  3. mmmmm....strawberries....

    & on a more serious note-- what a nice post! i love your blog-- it's insightful, a fun read & helps me plan my weekly menu! what more could a reader want? ;)

  4. DROOL. Both of those treats look amazing.

    I love this post. I'm so happy to have "met" you :)

  5. I'm sorry, did you say something? I was too busy trying to eat the photos you posted :-p


  6. Seriously, those strawberries look absolutely delicious. I am salivating.

    What a sweet post, Justine. The community in this little blog-world is wonderful, isn't it?

  7. Your treats look delicious. Thank goodness I filled up on chocolate just before reading your post so I'm not all grouchy after seeing such delicious goodness posted there, naked, for everyone to see. :-) Happy IComLeavWe!

  8. Congratulations on your daughter!- you are doing remarkably well to be mummying, cooking and writing. Women are amazing and thank you for your lovely comment xxxxx

  9. I couldn't even focus on the actual post...yummmm strawberries! Those were a must have on the catering menu of my wedding and my "bridal party" table had plates of these on it.

    -Lavonne @ *Our Wish*

  10. Oh oh oh! My favourite thing! Chocolate covered strawberries! Oh! As if that first pic wasn't enough, that giant one in the middle...drrooooool. I'll be right over with the champagne, yes?

    Love the flatbread too. :)

  11. Here from ICLW - as a fairly new blogger, I still wonder sometimes what makes a good blog. Sometimes I feel like I'm boring, or my sense of humor won't translate (or isn't funny). But the points you mentioned seem very accurate. I don't know if I write good content, but I definitely love being a prt of this community, and I think I need it.

  12. I knew I would enjoy following you when I saw the Mary Oliver quote in your bio. And I have. Here is to friendship. Support. Balance.

  13. Stopping by for ICLW. Love the pictures, but enjoyed the content just as much :)

  14. Here from ICLW and wow you made me hungry and crave berries!!!

  15. happy iclw.... i can't believe i have just found your blog... the questions is... where have you been all my life. lavender cupcakes with honey lavender icing!! i think i am in love!!
    congrats on your new addition!!
    i will be following your blog!

  16. Hi Justine,
    Your photos are gorgeous and it's so lovely to read about how friendships and food play out their roles in your life. Thanks for sharing them.

    Lisa (ICLW #112)
    P.S. I spoke about different types of support on the Fertility Focus Telesummit earlier in the week. The people who brought you chocolate covered strawberrries and rosemary flatbread definitely fit into the TLC category! To find out more about the Telesummit and register for the calls, go to

  17. Happy ICLW!

    Thank you for sharing the flat bread recipe-it sounds super yummy!! Will have to try it one day when I feel like getting my bake on!

  18. I have been lurking for a while, pretty much commenting as soon as ICLW rolls into town again, and I must say... I love your blog. I love the way you tell us about your life and weave in these wonderful recipes and drool-worthy photos. It doesn't matter about the following or the content... if it feels good for you - sing it.

    Also... your lavender cookies above, about how they taste like spring... I can just imagine how delicate they taste. Sending you a hug as we grow into a new season.

    Happy ICLW!

    ~Keiko, Hannah Wept, Sarah Laughed, ICLW #23


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