Friday, July 15, 2011

Fridays, Feasting With Friends- Featuring Rebecca DiLiberto

"One of the delights of life is eating with friends, second to that is talking about eating. And, for an unsurpassed double whammy, there is talking about eating while you are eating with friends."
~Laurie Colwin 'Home Cooking'

Rebecca DiLiberto
"my favorite race picture of brandon and I before the CLE ten miler"

Rebecca is the blogger behind the local Cleveland blog Peace, Love and Bagels "Adventures of a self proclaimed foodie running a pr in the marathon of life".  Her blog is a fun glimpse into the happenings of her busy life.  Along with all sorts of running stuff- marathons, training, etc. (I so, so admire all you out there that call running a fun hobby!)  She also shares lots of awesome recipes- ever want to make your own yogurt? Or how about kombucha?!  (I have to admit I never even knew what this stuff was until reading her post, and now I am dying to make my own!)  I just love all of the wonderful, healthy food her blog has to offer.  So fun!

I met Becca at a recent OBA gathering, and it was immediately evident what a kind soul she is.  It is such fun meeting other local writers!  If you are an Ohio Blogger and haven't yet joined the Ohio Blogging Association, be sure to sign up right away!  There are Local Chapters all over the state so you are sure to find one near where you live.  It is a great place to be inspired for new material, learn new tips and tricks, and of course meet other bloggers that live near you!

Thanks Becca for the wonderful interview and a fantastic recipe!  I am a regular bread baker, so it was especially exciting getting one I hadn't tried before!  I'm totally baking it this weekend!  So without further adu, I give you Rebecca DiLiberto...

What is your favorite thing to cook?
In the winter, bean "chili con beer" in the slow cooker. Since I found out about making chili with beer, I don't do it any other way. It adds some incredible depth to the chili's flavor! In the summertime, I love to make grilled pizza. I usually come home from work, start the crust and go on with my afternoon activities. By the time I'm finished, my crust has risen and is ready to be magically morphed into a pizza!

How about your least favorite thing to cook?
I can't even think of anything, because if I don't want to make it...I just won't! That's actually why I initially stopped eating meat, because I was just too lazy to cook it.

What is your favorite local restaurant and what is one you are dying to try out?
To be honest, I don't eat out very often. I am big on going out for brunch though, and I just went to the Inn on Coventry and also Tommy's (in Coventry) and really enjoyed a delicious late morning breakfast at both places. I am dying (and I mean, dying) to check out Root Cafe in Lakewood.

Music and food go together so beautifully. You are hosting a dinner party, what would be on your playlist?
Xavier Rudd, Jason Mraz and ALO. Oh, and let's not forget Zac Brown Band. Oh, and Dave Matthews. I love music, there is really too much to narrow down. I'd probably plug in my iPod and just let it shuffle. Here's a little know fact: my favorite band of all time is Blink 182 (please don't make fun of me!)

What would you choose to be your last meal on earth?
Absolutely anything that Heidi Swanson dreams up. I own two of her cookbooks, have tried many of her recipes and have NEVER been disappointed by them. They've always been show stoppers! If you haven't heard of her, or tried any of her recipes I strongly suggest you stop by her blog, 101 Cookbooks or buy one of her cookbooks. Seriously. Go!

What are you currently reading?
I'm in the middle of two books right now; The Count of Monte Cristo and a book called Time, Sex and Power. It's an incredibly interesting scientific exploration into how women came to have almost complete control over the evolution of humans. If you're up for some learning, definitely grab it.

What is your favorite Kitchen Gadget?
I don't know if this can be considered a "gadget" but my cast iron pot (with a cast iron top that can become a skillet). I do just about everything with it, including baking bread. Coming in at a close second place would be my pizza stone. I never cook pizza without it.

Do you have a signature go-to dish?
Probably veggie stir-fry. I've made it for several dinner parties and it's great because it's quick and easy to make in large quantities. I usually serve my stir-fry with soba noodles, for that extra asian

What is your favorite thing about the Cleveland area?
Honestly, I don't think I can narrow down a favorite. The metroparks are amazing, I love that there is a national park and farmlands not 40 minutes from the city. I think Cleveland has a LOT of potential to really grow and I cannot wait to see it all happen. Last but not least, I think the people here are really special. I know a lot of people have a very negative view of this area, but I really want to help turn that "idea" around.

Do you have a favorite meal from your childhood and do you cook it today?
I remember going to this deli solely for the purpose of eating a black and white cookie. To this day, they're hands down my favorite. Unfortunately I haven't had the energy to find a good recipe and make them myself yet. If anyone has a recipe, I would love to try it though!

Top 3 Movies of all time?
I usually don't like to commit to a favorite movie, because what if a new one comes out that becomes my favorite? (Call it fear of committment or indecisiveness, but I like to think I'm just being dynamic). Currently, my favorite movie is Despicable Me "I said a dart gun, not a fart gun!!"

What was your happiest moment in life?
That's easy. The minute that I met Brandon, there was a very distinct feeling that I knew we were meant to be together...that was at the Dave Matthews concert at Blossom last year (exactly one year ago, actually.) It became a pivotal moment in my life because I knew that I was about to make big changes in order to really start living my life. I don't think I ever really believed in "love at first sight" until it happened to me, but it's a real phenomenon! Haha, I know that sounds absolutely cheesy. I'm okay with saying totally cheesy things when it comes to our relationship, because they're 100% true.

Where do you do your grocery shopping?
The farmer's market as much as possible. Otherwise Earth Fare, Whole Foods and Giant Eagle. One of my goals for the year was to minimize my reliance on grocery stores and really truly begin to eat seasonally. That's much easier said than done, but I think I've taken some great steps to reach that goal.

What is your favorite guilty pleasure when it comes to food?
Copious amounts popcorn. Seriously, I can eat a jumbo bag of popcorn from the movie theater in less than one movie. Generally I pop my own in my air popper rather than microwaved popcorn (which wouldn't be nearly enough for me!)

Can you tell me about what you are most proud of?
Moving by myself to a state where I knew virtually no one and creating a wonderful, happy life for myself! It took some time to get comfortable here in Ohio, but I have been able to really embrace life here and I love it!

Do you have Culinary Resolutions that you would like to accomplish this year?
Now that I brought it up earlier, I really want to make black and white cookies! I always like to try new cooking techniques, so my goal is usually to find a few new techniques to try and include in my cooking arsenal.

One word that best describes you is: Happy!
"(this picture) is from the Brad Paisley concert last year that got so rainy there was no possible way to stay we just rolled with it :) probably my favorite picture EVER."

And now can you share a favorite recipe?
Ok, I'm choosing this recipe because I absolutely LOVE making my own bread, but I kind of suck at doing it the traditional way. We stopped buying store bought bread a while ago because this bread always comes out so good! There is nothing better than fresh made toast for breakfast in the morning, or to make a sandwich out of. The best part kneading!! It's easy and all it requires is about 10 minutes of prep and a little advance planning (since you have to make it the night before).

Crusty No Knead Bread
3 cups wheat flour (or a mixture of wheat and spelt, or really any mixture you want that equals 3 cups)
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon yeast
1 1/2 cups water
any seasonings (see below)

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, salt, any mix-ins and yeast. Add water and mix until a shaggy mixture forms. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for 12 - 18 hours. Overnight works great. Heat oven to 450 degrees. When the oven has reached 450 degrees place a cast iron pot with a lid in the oven and heat the pot for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, pour dough onto a heavily floured surface and shape into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and let set while the pot is heating. Remove hot pot from the oven and drop in the dough. Cover and return to oven for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes remove the lid and bake an additional 15 minutes. Remove bread from oven and place on a cooling rack to cool.

Seasoning ideas: Fresh rosemary and lemon zest, Pepper jack cheese, Jalapeno cheddar, Raisin walnut cinnamon, Pumpkin sunflower seed poppy seed, Sharp cheddar, Rosemary lemon Gruyere, Lemon thyme Asiago, Asiago, Mixed herb with rosemary, chives and thyme...there are infinite ways to season this bread, just have fun with it!


  1. Amie, thanks for havin' me stop by :) You're so wonderful! Thank you!

  2. really mouth watering, want to taste some!

  3. I've been making this one- I didn't know you had this recipe too! Soooo easy!



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