Daylight savings time is usually the cue for me to become a grinch and hibernate for the rest of the year. However, this year, with it being my last holiday season in San Diego, I’m feeling a bit more festive, and a lot more nostalgic.
I told The Hubs that my goal over the next 12 weeks is to enjoy every second I have left in San Diego. In my perfect world, that would be a summer filled with bike rides, warm sunshine, and pool parties, but since it’s November, I’ll have to settle for a fun filled holiday season.
The saddest part for me about moving, is leaving my friends and their kids. Because of this, I want to every second we spend together over the next few months to be perfect and meaningful. I mean, that’s easy right? I’ve even started concocting new “occasions” to lure everyone to hang out with me more frequently.
Happy hour Wednesday anyone?
The Hubs was pretty cool about me buying ridiculously frivolous holiday decor at Michael’s today. I didn’t even have to explain that this reindeer shaped marquee light was essential in making sure that this was the most unforgettable Christmas ever.
Anyway, now that I have that marquee light, and the wooden, star-shaped tree topper of my dreams, I’m focusing my attention on the next element of perfecting a holiday……..food.
Holiday food can be tricky. It’s got to be festive and special, but it can’t be too complicated or you’ll wind up spending all your time in the kitchen and none of the time smothering your guests with well-intended trips down memory lane.
We’re here to make memories that do not involve baking times or dishwasher loading!
I’ve got two words for you; Crock. Pot.
That’s right. If you didn’t know already, you can make anything and everything in your crock pot. It’s a great way to keep valuable oven real estate open during the major holidays, and it’s also an awesome set-it-and-forget-it tool that allows you to have more free to time spend with your loved ones.
From soups, to drinks to baking, tis the season to bust out that crock pot.
I’m starting my season of super cheer and unforgettable memories with this olive oil and herb crock pot bread. I used OMAGGIO Limited Reserve Extra Virgin Olive Oil because it adds that touch of specialness, and baked the whole loaf in my crock pot while I cleaned and decorated and lit pine scented candles.
Bread is a great item to make for the holidays. Not only is it insanely versatile, but it’s something that is actually really easy to make
Here’s 10 reasons bread is the ultimate holiday essential:
- Sandwiches: there’s bound to be leftovers that require sandwich making.
- Stuffing (Dressing?): whatever you call it, it’s a holiday staple.
- Appetizers: Dip it, spread it, top it with anything.
- Soups: In most places it’s cold and people love to eat soup. Pour it in a bread bowl.
- Brunch: Toast. French toast. Breakfast casseroles. No brunch is complete without a bread item.
- Sopping up gravy: How else do you clean your plate?
- Hangover cure: Carbs pave the path to normalcy when you’ve had too much liquid cheer.
- Breadcrumbs: Green bean casserole and mac and cheese need a topping
- Croutons: There’s always that one guy that brings salad.
- Taste testing: Nothing beats a warm piece of bread as a vehicle for testing everything bubbling on the stove.
In fact, I think I’m going to give up my annual cookie gifting to all my neighbors this year, and replace it with loaves of fresh baked bread.
Since we’re still just warming up for the big leagues (i.e. Thanksgiving), we’re easing into our holiday season simply by enjoying this Olive Oil and Herb Loaf dipped in OMAGGIO Limited Reserve Extra Virgin Olive Oil and balsamic vinegar with a sprinkling of red pepper flakes. When you taste the difference of a superior authentic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, you realize that often the simplest flavors are the best.
OMAGGIO Limited Reserve Extra Virgin Olive Oil also comes in the most beautiful bottle which makes a great hostess gift. Keep that in mind as you attend holiday parties all season long.
This holiday season remember two things: Crock Pot everything, and always show up with bread. You can’t lose.
- 1 packet dry active yeast (2¼ teaspoons)
- 1¼ cups warm water
- 3½ cups all purpose flour
- ⅓ cup fresh herbs, finely chopped. I used basil, garlic chives and dill.
- 3 tablespoons OMAGGIO Limited Reserve Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- In a large bowl stir together warm water and yeast. Allow to sit for 10 minutes until foamy.
- Add flour, fresh herbs (reserving 1 tablespoon), 3 tablespoons OMAGGIO Limited Reserve Extra Virgin Olive Oil, sugar and salt.
- Work dough, kneading slightly until you can form dough into a ball. Place in a greased bowl, cover and allow to rise in a warm place for 1 hour.
- Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface, and allow to rest for another 20 minutes.
- Prepare your crock pot by lining the inside with parchment paper. Heat to high heat and add dough.
- Brush with more olive oil and sprinkle with remaining herbs.
- Cover the crock pot with paper towels before replacing the lid in order to prevent condensation from dripping on the bread.
- Bake for 2 and a half hours until cooked through. Loaf will be light colored.
- Allow to cool slightly before slicing.
This post was sponsored by OMAGGIO® and I was compensated to write it. Regardless, what I have written reflects my own opinion and experience. I hope you find it useful