Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Homemade Panettone

Santa Claus is coming to town!!! This year we got the similar size Christmas tree (which means the star barely fit on it because it is almost all the way up the ceiling ;) The girls (and mama) enjoyed pulling the ornaments out of the boxes and yelling out loud:" This is my favorite! I love this one!" etc. This year, since the girls are bigger and could do much of the tree decoration by themselves-other than putting the star on top :)  I had some extra time which I used for some  Holiday time in the kitchen :) I always wanted to make Panettone: for two reasons -one: I love to eat them and two: they mean Christmas season is here. I even candied my own lemon peel for it!
They turned out fine. I think the recipe I used is very good recipe for homemade Panettone. The only fun thing I did (that I maybe should not have done) is: I made my own molds with parchment paper. They did not hold the best - so my advice is to invest money and time in buying those. Another even more fun thing I did which, I think, compromised the end result are the two wooden sticks you use to hang the panettone up side down to cool. I did not invest in those either (I used chopsticks that were too short :) Hey, it is all about having a good time!  That being said- I loved my panettone and enjoyed it with a tea so much that I will be probably making them again during this holiday season with store purchased molds etc :)

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2016 to you all!

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Whole Pumpkin Pie Soup

It is Halloween again. We did not have that holiday as kids. Still so much fun for the kids and so much memories. I was lucky  to live it with my fairies, princesses, owls, seahorse, dancers, ladybugs, butterflies :)
However, this time of year in US always meant one thing to me: all the colors of nature, food and of course cooking. Pumpkins!!! I love them- the shape, the colors, to eat them, pumpkin seeds then persimmons, pomegranates, apples, apple cider etc.
This recipe for pumpkin soup inside of whole pumpkin was something I always wanted to make on Halloween night but the kids were too small for it to happen I guess. I made it this year and I am glad I did. It turned out great and much better then your regular pumpkin soup in a pot.

The best part was: I did not miss a minute (ok maybe ten minutes because  I had to come back home and open the lid of the pumpkin to add  goat cheese to it) of trick or treating with my owl and flamneco dancer and we had the yummiest pumpkin soup that came out of the oven it its WHOLE glory when we came back.


I did not change anything in this recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/whole-pumpkin-pie-soup-recipe.html
Because this is great Alton Brown and all his recipes should not be changed for a reason!

Enjoy and happy trick-or -treating ;)


PS.I love sharing my pictures even though they are far from great quality photos ;) I know Miki would disagree with this.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Apple roses




What do apples remind you of? They remind me of fall and winter. We have relatives in the countryside who would bring us loads of all kinds of apples at the end of summer. My parents would layer them in the wooden baskets and we would have them throughout the winter. Mom would make apple pies, fruit compote with apples, pears, prunes and other dried fruit that was available to us in winter. We had so many apples that we would give them to our neighbours as well. My childhood friend, who lived next door, would later complain to me that his mom always made apple pies and only apple pikes during those cold fall and winter days. Yes, complain, because we kids, spoiled by the abundance of fresh fruit and all kinds of summery cakes, didn't like the monotony of apple pies in winter. He would say: "My mom made apple pie today (referring to the kind of apple pie that we generally make in Serbia with phyllo dough), yesterday she made lazy apple pie (the one that is made with cookie kind of batter and a layer of grated apples in the middle) and the day before she made pie with lazy apples (making fun and sarcastically calling the same pie with different made-up name). In Serbian: "Пита, Пита лења, лења пита... :)
" Things were different when my Mom made baked apples. She used a very special kind of apples for baking, ones that she said only grew in the place where she was born. Those apples are bitter if eaten fresh (to me at least, not to her :)) and have very thick skin (кожаре). Once baked, they were the sweetest of all apples! She would remove the cores and place them in the baking pan (or on cookie sheet), then fill the middle of the apples with overflowing brown sugar (sometimes she would add ground walnuts, similar to the Bosnian dessert called "tufahije"). The whole house would smell and the caramelly crust would form at the bottom of the pan that we would rush to peel and have while it was still stretchy and warm. Those baked apples, with soft flesh and the thick skin so chewy, remained to day my most favorite kind and baked apples my among favorite comforting desserts in winter. I haven't yet found those kinds of apples here in the USA, but am still searching. I would add a bit of butter and a few drops of lemon nowadays when I make baked apples. 
Apples also remind me of New York winters and apple pie that my landlord used to make. I will post THE recipe later, it is called "Mr. Rod's famous apple pie" :) 
I also have to mention "Nena's apple tart", because I know she will be reading this post :), and I wanted to remind her to post the recipe that she promised! :) 
In addition to NY of course, "big apple" always reminded me of the song we recited as kids from the big book of poems written for children by Jovan Jovanovic Zmaj: "Juca sa velikom jabukom".
I can go on and on... but the point is that apples never reminded me of roses, until now! I saw this video that is becoming viral online. Perhaps you've already seen it, there are now few versions and I wouldn't know which one is original, unfortunately, but according to the number of most youtube views perhaps this one is: 

My favourite Chef John has his own version, too: 

Here is my version: 


video

In addition to being very tasty, they make for an excellent photographing objects. 






Kitchen notes: 
  • 3 minutes of cooking the apples in the microwave (as suggested in the original video) wasn't enough. Perhaps we should have done that first and then leave apple slices to soak for a while in the warm water. We were very excited and wanted to start rolling, so we cooked them for few more minutes, then had to wait for them to cool down a bit to be able to handle. 
  • We put more apricot jam and it was sticky to get the roses out of the pan. Next time I'll use buttered and sugared ramekins, as per Chef John's suggestion
  • I've used leftover water in which the apples were cooked to make compote, just added a few prunes and leftover apple slices. Delicious! :) 

Have fun,
m



Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Breakfast for champions... and fighting jetlag

You come back home after vacation and there is nothing in the fridge... Then you wake-up in the middle of the night, starving... and you start eating Plazma that you've brought back with you on the plane. Then you try to sleep some more... before you get up feeling even more hungry... How nice would it be if there was a breakfast ready and waiting for you. Well, it can be done! All you need to do is take two minutes before you go to sleep the night before to mix these ingredients in a jar and leave them to work their magic in the fridge overnight. Voila! The breakfast is ready by itself :)



2 servings

Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup rolled-oats
  • 1 cup milk (I prefer to use vanilla soy milk here, as I always keep a carton in the pantry) 
  • 1/2 cup dried goji berries
  • 2 Tbsp coconut sugar
  • 2 Tbsp flax seeds
  • 2 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds

Enjoy,
m

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Poor man's chestnut cake: castagnaccio

Last fall, I've found out that EXPO 2015 will be hosted in Milano. It started in May and it will be open throught October. Perfect reason to visit Milano again this year! While I was combing through the food directory, just like hunting for treasure (treasure map is here), planning and imagining going from one pavilion to the next (each participating country has its own pavilion), this cake with chestnuts particularly stole my attention and I had to make it!
This cake has a very nutty, earthy like taste. You may need to get adjusted to it, but once you do you'll love it!





Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Baked Cauliflower Gnocchi

I love gnocchi and cauliflower. So, I thought to combine the two. I started searching for the recipes and while I got inspired by some of them (http://www.reclaimingprovincial.com/2013/01/15/garlic-cauliflower-gnocchi-with-brussels-sprout-leaves-lemon-zest/) I did not find quite what I was looking for. It was time to COOK and try my luck! So I came up with this recipe which turned out pretty good! My goal was to find a recipe that uses close to none flour and more cauliflower, hence I decided to bake these instead of boiling them.

Ingredients:
1 medium cauliflower head (blanched and processed in a food processor until fine)
1/2-3/4 cup flour (whole wheat works just fine here)
2 eggs
3/4-1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt
white pepper
 
Mix everything up in a bowl to form a paste. Shape gnocchi (use more flour if you need). Place gnocchi on a pan lined with a parchment paper just in case and bake in a preheated oven(425F) for 20 minutes or so. Then flip the gnocchi over and bake another 20 minute or until they are golden in color.
Serve with you favorite sauce or a side dish.

Enjoy!

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Flourless bread: Apple, seed and nut bread by Rachel Khoo

To continue the series after meatless stew, we proceed with flourless bread.
This bread is made of nuts and seeds. It can be paired with a savory meal, and also eaten as a dessert with fruit jam. It is best toasted, just imagine eating toasted nuts! I've sliced the remaining portion and put it in the freezer. When I was in need of a hearty snack before the excercise or early dinner when I'm rushing to my evening yoga class after work, I would toast it and eat with almond butter on top with a bit of rasperry jam which is my favorite!



Sunday, March 29, 2015

Moroccan meatless stew with chickpeas and chard

I am trying to reduce the amount of meat in my diet, especially red meat. This vegetarian stew made with chickpeas and chard was very tasty and rich in protein. It can be made during weekend in one big batch with leftovers for lunch/dinner on Monday.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Cod Burger

On those days when you crave a burger but want a healthier version of it - this is it!

Ingredients
1 large cod fillet, skinless and boneless, diced
3 garlic cloves,finely chopped
3 green onions,chopped 
2 tbsp parsley, chopped
1egg 
1/3 cup bread crumbs
 Burger buns
1 pinch salt
1 pinch black pepper    


In a food processor, blend the cod. 
In a bowl, mix garlic,parsley,green onion,eggs,breadcrumbs and fish. Season with salt and pepper.

Put the patties onto a tray and refrigerate until needed. When you are ready to cook, preheat your oven to 390F.
Heat two tablespoons of olive oil and fry the patties for 2 minutes on each side or until golden.
Transfer the patties onto a baking tray and cook for 4 minutes in oven.

Serve on a bun with a salad of your choice! I served mine with cabbage, kale and carrot slaw.

PS. Kids love this!

Enjoy!


     

Friday, March 20, 2015

Asparagus Mint Slaw

This is a wonderful spring salad. Tastes great and looks pretty too! I pared mine with the prune puree meatballs and it was a great fresh complement to it.
Here is the recipe:
http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Asparagus-Mint-Slaw

Meatballs with dried plum puree

This may not be your ultimate spring recipe unless,like me, you are looking for the recipes to help clean your pantry and use all the dried fruit before new season comes in. Needless to say this is extraordinary tasty!


Here is the recipe: 

http://www.californiadriedplums.org/recipes/california-dried-plums-swedish-meatballs


Enjoy!


Monday, February 9, 2015

5 min dinner idea: creamy pasta with smoked salmon



This is literally a dinner idea that you can realize in 5min from fridge to table, and it is so delicious that I wanted to share right away :)

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Carrot-cardamom soup

Perfect soup for a rainy Sunday evening. Introduces the warmth of cardamom throughout the house... :)

Here is the receipe: http://ruhlman.com/2014/04/paleo-carrot-cardamom-soup/

Enjoy!


Sunday, January 18, 2015

Walnut Halfmoons

Walnuts are my favorite nuts! If I am not eating them raw with oranges I love to bake using walnuts.This recipe is from my little Greek cook book: "The book of Greek cooking "by Lesley Mackley.