Spring has finally sprung.

Sunny, 80°, chirping birds, and a dog running through the sprinkler… It doesn’t get much better. Except for dinner, that is.

Even though summer means tomatoes, the sunny skies meant a bit of a tomato salad. Victor got our tomato plants into the ground, today – along with 8 pepper plants – so… in a few months we’ll be making these with our home-grown.

In the meantime, it’s store-bought. I don’t buy a lot of store-bought tomatoes. They’re usually pretty flat-tasting. But now and again I’ll find a couple that seem okay. I know… picky, picky, picky… What can I say?!?

These were actually okay. Combined with fresh mozzarella and basil, and dressed with our stash of Sicilian olive oil and aged balsamic, they passed muster.

For dinner, Victor made focaccia and baked ravioli.


He doctored up a jar of his homemade sauce with a pound of ground beef and made a really meaty ragu. he took jumbo ravioli out of the freezer and placed them in the dish, covered them with sauce, and baked them for about 40 minutes.


And then the focaccia.

Victor makes a basic focaccia with a recipe he originally found in Better Homes and Gardens. He plays with it when he’s of a mind, but the basic works just fine.

Better Homes and Gardens Dough


  • 2-3/4  to 3-1/4 cups  all-purpose flour
  • 1  pkg.  active dry yeast
  • 1/2  tsp.  salt
  • 1  cup  warm water (120 degrees F to 130 degrees F)
  • 2  Tbsp.  cooking oil or olive oil


1. In a large mixing bowl combine 1-1/4 cups of the flour, the yeast, and salt; add warm water and oil. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can.

2.  Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough remaining flour to make a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic (6 to 8 minutes total). Lightly grease a large bowl; place dough in bowl and cover with a damp towel (make sure the towel does not touch the dough). Let dough rise in a warm place until double in size (30 minutes).

3.  Punch dough down. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll into a 16×12-inch rectangle. Place in a greased 16x12x1-inch baking pan.  Let rise 20 minutes.

4. Top with toppings of choice and bake at 375° about 25 minutes.

He brushed it with some thinned sauce and baked it off. Simple perfection.