A Brit, a Yank and a Kitchen

Friday, October 29

Olive Focaccia

This is a bread I've been baking for years, and it is absolutely epic. Doesnt even need butter, but if you're feeling particularly decadent, go for it and dip a chunk of that bad boy in some seasoned olive oil or slather on that butter. You won't die, I promise... not right now anyways!

So here ya go.... the ULTRA SEKRIT RECIPE!

3 cups bread flour
1tsp salt
1 sachet yeast
2 T olive oil
9 oz warm water
a whole mess of Kalamata olives, pitted and halved

(for topping)
More friggin olives
2 T olive oil
Sea salt
Thyme or rosemary or whatever


Sieve the flour into a mixing bowl and stir in salt followed by the yeast. Pour in the olive oil and water and mix it all together to form a dough.

Turn out the dough on a floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes.

Place the dough in an olive oil greased bowl and cover for about 1.5 hours until it has doubled in size. Knock back the dough by kneading it again for a minute or 2.

Knead half the olives (the ones you wont be using for topping) into the dough. Drop some in, fold it over, drop some more in, fold it over, rinse, repeat... you get the idea.

Divide the dough into quarters and then shape them into rounds. Place them onto a nonstick or greased cookie sheet and push little dimples into the tops with your fingers. Drizzle oil all over the tops then sprinkle with salt and herbs. Stick the remaining olives wherever you think they look nice, I usually stick'em in those dimples, they seem to stay put there.

Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until they are golden.

Transfer to a wire rack and let them cool.... This step doesnt usually work too well for me and I play hot potato while trying to tear a chunk off to munch down while its still burning hot!

They only last a couple of days so eat'em quick or give them to people you like. :)

Monday, October 18

Masoor Dal & Raita

So we've decided to cut out mass produced meats from our diet.

Yup... me... Queen Carnivore of the World... is reducing meat from her diet.

Not because I buy into the evangelical preachings of PETA, or because I believe ZOMG animal fats are POISON (I'm pretty sure the human race would have died out long ago if that were the case). My reasons are simply because the meat "industry" is destroying part of our human culture (farming), and killing off entire species and replacing them with quite unnatural meat producing science projects. Creatures that are treated just like that, a product, an invention. I just want to do my part to help support those farmers who are literally fighting the fight to keep some quite ancient traditions, and breeds, alive.

We had for the most part already cut out big industry beef by purchasing our beef from Peter at Running River Ranch... but I was still buying tyson chicken and mystery pork.

So as of last week, our meals have been mostly veggies bought at our local produce market (that specializes in local organic produce), as well as fish bought from our fish market, which also sources all of its fish from local fishermen. Thank you Florida waters!

And for the occassional treat, I've been seeking out local farmers who raise and pasture feed heritage breeds, such as the beef bacon I scored at the farmers market. Still trying to find a source for chicken however. In any case, besides fish, meat will be a rare, maybe weekly event on our table.

All of this brings us to last nights dinner, which will probably become a staple as Dave is a huge curry fan! So flavorful and so filling. I've decided there is something mentally wrong with people who don't like Indian food!! ;)

Masoor Dal

  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 1 half large onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ginger root, minced
  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato puree
  • 2 cup peas


  1. Wash the lentils in cold water until the water runs clear, put the lentils in a pot with water to cover and simmer covered until lentils tender - approx 30 minutes.
  2. While the lentils are cooking: In a saucepan, saute the onions and garlic in vegetable oil.
  3. While the onions are cooking, combine the curry paste, curry powder, turmeric, cumin, chili powder, salt, sugar, and ginger in a mixing bowl. Mix well. When the onions are cooked, add the curry mixture to the onions and cook over a high heat stirring constantly for 1 to 2 minutes.
  4. Stir in the tomato puree and reduce heat, allow the curry base to simmer until the lentils are ready.
  5. Drain the lentils and mix them and the peas into curry base and serve immediately.

Cucumber and Tomato Raita

This recipe is ridiculous easy... you pretty much don't even need a recipe.

I use greek yogurt, about a cup, dice up about a quarter of a cucumber and a quarter of a tomato
and blend it into the yogurt, adding a bit of water until its a consistency I like.

You can mix all sorts of stuff into a raita for different flavors, cilantro, cumin, even fruit. It is usually served to help soften the blow of the spicy curry. ;)

Saturday, October 16

Farm Fresh Breakfast

This mornings breakfast! I scored big time at the farmers market! Found a local farmer who has pasture raised cattle and sells all sorts of grass fed beef -Deep Roots Meats. I also found someone selling raw dairy and fresh eggs. So for breakfast was bread I baked this morning with raw butter smeared all over, farm fresh eggs, and beef bacon! Who'da thunk! Beef bacon! Nice alternative for folks who can't eat pork! And it was gooood.

Beef bacon comes from the belly, or "navel", of the cow, just like pork bacon does. :) It was salt cured... really awesome.. at first you get the salt and fat and it seems like bacon, then you're suddenly hit with this intense beef flavor. Its like steak & eggs meets bacon & eggs! Epic breakfast for sure.