From my kitchen to yours

From my kitchen to yours

Saturday, September 12, 2015


So who does not like being in love...
I don't know anyone, who does not like that feeling..
Unless of course it is unrequited, but then..
Life is unpredictable ..
S@/#* Happens !!!

But that's another blog...ha ha ha

So let's get back to being in love..
I love it ..
Totally and truly..
And what I love most ,is that big fat smile, that just does not go away..

In life I feel it's very important for love to be part of your life..
Whether in the form of people, animals or a passion..
It just makes life a better way to live..

There are a few people that I completely love in my life, but I'm not going to give you any names, because I don't want to be politically incorrect , I'm trying to not always put my foot in my mouth..this year ..

Then there is Taz my 16 year old mix-breed doggy-love-muffin,  who is a cross between my Golden retriever Betty-Boo and my Boxer Ninja..



I love him, like totally love him, and I know he has not too much time, because he is really old and has arthritis, and he has to go one day, and he will, till then I will just love him to bits..

Then , the other love of my life is travel, and that is something that I plan to do voraciously, for the rest of my life.
     To go to a new place and find my way around with a map, or just get lost and discover paths, old structures full of history and their food culture is one of my most satiating joys..Oh and of course shopping ha ha ha ...Then there is running that I do, really well, physically and mentally..ha ha ha

And then of course there is food..
That I fell in love with very very organically ,and have discovered so many nuances about myself , and about the art of making "Food Glorious Food" ..
That I realised that it is one of my happy places..

I also realised that sometimes, love is all about timing..
And timing and me , are old friends , that have always missed one another..
And on the occasions that we were able to meet..
It has been totally magical..
I have a lot to thank God for ,and I do..

I think saying Thank-you is the most amazing thing you can do in life, not only because it is a good thing to do , but also because, it acknowledges the kindness and love in the other person...

Ok so ,for starters I'm over the moon, that I'm interning in a Patisserie near my home.
It's called "Petits Plaisirs Patisserie ", and Chef Javed is just the most talented and patient and generous Chef I have met.

Chef Javed

This is the first time , I'm actually working in a kitchen , and I hope to work here for a good amount of time.
I would have liked to go back to school , but that is really not possible anymore, and so my pastry school is going to be this Kitchen.
And I have a really wonderful set of talented pastry Chefs in the making , that I get to work with everyday.
Saachi, Niyati, Chef Ajit, Amit, and Swapnil...
And then there is Chef Javed, who has such a positive , quite, generous way of running his Patisserie, that I feel totally lucky to be part of their everyday craziness in the kitchen.

So today I'm going to share with you something that I have wanted to make since my Friend Shalini, took me to this Bakery somewhere off Jersey, and introduced me to this totally yummy Focaccia..

It was light , totally tasty, had a layer of apples on its crust and was served with a drizzle of a balsamic reduction..
And , it has been haunting me ever since I bit into its yumminess in May.

So last evening after work , all I wanted to do is make this , and eat it ..
So here it is


All purpose flour- 260gm
Yeast - 10 gm
Water - 150 ml..but don't pour all in together.
Olive oil - 4 tbsp
Chili flakes- 1 tsp
Mixed herbs - 1 tbsp
Rock salt - a sprinkle
Apples- 1 ,thickly sliced
Olive oil- 1/2 tbsp
Butter -1 tsp
Cinnamon - a pinch


Mix the yeast into 100 ml of water and keep aside, for 2-3 minutes, then add 11/2 tbsp of oil to the water and yeast mix.
Add the above mixture to the flour and very slowly bring it all together, add the remaining 50 ml water to the flour , and see to it that the dough is not too sticky.
Over turn this mixture on to a little flour and knead it well for about 5-7 minutes.
Leave it to prove, in a bowl , which  you have nicely smeared with the remaining oil.
After about 40 minutes to an hour , it will have doubled in size,(I left my dough in the fridge overnight ) knock it down , add the remaining oil , from the bowl and all the herbs, knead it all into the dough, and shape it in to a nice circle , not more than 5 inches inches in diameter , and leave it to prove again.
Then after 25 minutes when it has proved again, just very gently press it flat with your finger tips.
Now arranged the cooled cooked Apples on to its surface, and sprinkle it with rock salt,  and leave it to prove for another 25 minutes.
Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees and bake the Focaccia for about 18-20 minutes.

Apple topping 
Heat a non stick pan and then add the oil,then the butter and as soon as it sizzles , add the apples to the heated pan and  let it cook for about 3 minutes on either side .
Sprinkle with cinnamon and leave it to cool 

Serve it with some balsamic reduction or just plain olive oil and Balsamic vinegar will also do ..

And so this morning , after I had baked my bread, I most greedily bit into it while it was really hot .

And all the different flavours, just burst into me like a rainbow in the sky..
Yes please have it with a little Balsamic and olive oil emulsification..
The soft herb bread, the sweet apples , the sea salt and the balsamic , together is just a party that you will not want to stop .

You know in life , it takes all kind of experiences to make life well lived.
The bad to appreciate the good, and the Good to get over the bad.
That is the circle of our life and I bet you , that no one single person can escape this.

It takes all kinds of interactions in life to bring out the best in you .
And yes , I do believe that , everything you want does come to you , at the time it is supposed to .
And sometimes it just does not ..
Well at times like that , just go for a run ,cry your heart out..
And get back to getting used to the fact , that life gives you almost everything , but keeps you wanting ..
And if you are able to let go of the wanting ..
You eventually find your place of peace and happiness..eventually ..

Ok in my opinion, things can make you happy for a bit ..
People for a while more..
But ultimately things break ..
And people break up with you ..

Just don't give up on your own little fire that shines so bright ..
There is so much love inside us ..
But it's funny how we are always looking out ..
No one can make you feel loved or make you happy
Unless you yourself are not in peace and a little in love with yourself ..
I'm serious, don't laugh ,I know it sounds weird ..
I'm sure you think I'm cuckoo..
And of course you are right ..
But just think about what I said ..

While I just bite into this really yummy piece of flour ,that has magically transformed itself in a fluffy piece of Focaccia, after it has been , beaten and pounded and had to also go through fire ..
Well that's the way life is ..

Home-made Apple topped Focaccia

I really loved my Focaccia , please do try and bake it, and please do send me photos at my Twitter handle @mariagorettiz..

With much love from "Maria's Kitchen"
See you all again soon , as soon as I fall in love with another incredible morsel of food ..