Bread and Oil


Sometimes you just buy the expensive imported olive oil.  I understand.  It happens.  Especially when there is a cool tasting bar and they let you try out all the different kinds and one is just buttery and delicious.  It happens. But then, you know you can’t just use this olive oil any old way.  It needs to be shown it’s special.

Yesterday we went to Annapolis, Maryland in all the Memorial Day crowds.  I always like Annapolis; I so want to have a boat someday.  And, being us, we mostly went for the many wonderful food and spice shops.  I bought an amazing imported olive oil from Portugal. Then we went home and I made a quick homemade bread.

My mother’s version of this bread we call round flat garlic bread.  It also makes a great pizza crust.  My version is almost identical though I increase the yeast amount and add in some olive oil.

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No recipie this week because I am finishing up the Defiant Requiem Fellowship for Holocaust Education through the arts and humanities in Prague this week.  I fly home tomorrow but in the mean time I have some pretty pictures!


Spiced Red Wine Chocolate Cake


Tuesday was my birthday.  I am still not in possession of the largest appetite in the world so I skipped the traditional cake and ice cream Tuesday night.

But my husband is taking his mother out for Mother’s Day this weekend and I figured, since we will have family visiting from out of town, I might as well make myself the cake I would have made on Tuesday.  Since there will be people to share it with.

Though once I tried this cake I was a little less sold on the sharing idea.  It is delicious!  Fudgey, rich, moist, chocolatey and spiced heaven on a fork.  The mascarpone whipped cream topping is completely optional; the cake would be fantastic with just some powdered sugar dusted on top, but I really enjoyed the clean cool sweet of the topping with the chocolatey spice of the cake.

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Beef Stroganoff


This recipe was written originally for another site but not used. I only have one picture but the recipe (and the idea of the fried potatoes) is too good to not share here! 

Beef Stroganoff

In the United States we eat our beef stroganoff over egg noodles, while in China it is most commonly served over white rice. Originally in Russian however, beef stroganoff is eaten over fried potatoes.


2/3 pound beef sirloin, cut into thin strips

3 tbsp butter

½ medium onion, sliced thinly

Salt and pepper

½ tsp fresh dill

2 tbsp flour

2 cups beef stock, reduced to 1 cup

1/3 cup sour cream

Fresh dill for garnish


2-3 medium potatoes


½ cup canola oil


Slice the potatoes into French fry-like strips and soak them in cold water for 1-2 hours.

Pour the beef stock into a saucepan and let it cook down to about 1 cup.

While the stock is reducing, melt 1 tbsp of butter in a large skillet. Fry the onions just until they are soft. Add in the beef slices. Cook the onions and beef about 5 min stirring regularly then remove the onions and beef to a plate and keep warm.

Return the skillet to the heat and melt the remaining 2 tbsp of butter. Add in the flour and stir constantly, cooking for 1-2 minutes. Slowly stir in the beef stock, whisking constantly. Add in the dill and bring the mixture to a low simmer. Remove the skillet from the heat and whisk in the sour cream. Set aside.

Drain the potatoes and pat them dry with paper towels. Heat approximately ½ cup of canola oil in a skillet and, working in batches so not to over-crowd the pan, fry the potatoes until brown. Place the potatoes on a paper towel lined plate to drain before sprinkling with salt.

Return the beef and onions to the pan with the sauce and bring back to a simmer.

Serve the stroganoff over the fried potatoes and garnish with fresh dill.