Friday, September 30, 2005

Euro Blogging by Post comes from Valisa!

Ah! I really dont know where to start this from! It has arrived and its here and its beautiful!! First of all I would like to thank you Valisa for what you sent and how you sent it. I have to say it feels like Christmas has arrived today, just much better than Christmas!
I always think that cooking for someone or giving food to someone is infact an act of love and that is how I felt today, loved by someone I didnt even know the exsistence before and really made my day!
But lets see what's inside :
- volkoren koek. Dutch classic for breakfast good with eat or just plain.
- another Dutch classic Valisa says. chocolate and fruit flavour, can be eaten with bread or use on sweets. (hmmm ideas..!)
- a packet of mie konde noodles!
- little brownies with walnuts and almond that Valisa made with her own hands and a box of chocolate and almonds shortbread! (Already tasted as well and delicious too!)
- chrysanthemum chinese tea (which I never heard of it before, looks very interesting!)
- Dutch cumin cheese (Oh god! never had this one either, I have got an idea for tonight already :-)
- home made apple chutney! (cant wait to try this one)
- and last but not least, a lovely chinese cute little box of beauty powder. Very similar to borotalco, at least it smells like so and its not for eating! :D , though it looks lovely and Lisa spotted my asian addiction as well. I am styding japanese and soon I will be able to read whats written on the cute box too ;-)
- mixed Dutch sweets.
Well as you can see its all good. I will talk about the ingredients more as I try to figure out what to make out of them !

Thanks again to Andrew for this lovely idea and for the coordination.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Fagottino with Provolone cheese

provolone cheese dolce, fillo pastry, honey, walnuts, leek to tie, butter

Brush the fillo pastry with melted butter. Put a bit of provolone cheese in the middle of each. Make a little bag and close it with leek. Bake at 200 C (390 F) for 4 to 5 minutes until the cheese melts and the little fagottino gets brown. Decorate with honey and walnuts and serve hot or the cheese will become hard and it wont be as soft as it should.

This is good eaten as an appetizer or after an important main course.

Monday, September 26, 2005

And my parcel goes to...

Nathalie from Cabbage and Kings!
At the very last minute Andrew kindly managed to "squeeze" me in the Euro Blogging by Post. My parcel is in the post already travelling to Nathalie but I am not revealing any of the content. Surprise!
Hope she will like it. I am a bit nervous as I dont know Nathalie but I hope to have guessed some of the ingredients! We shall wait and see ;-) Meanwhile I will wait for mine to arrive !

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Coconut and Pistachio Muffins

300gr flour, 400ml soya milk, 150ml vegetable or olive oil, 100gr sugar, 20gr Ener-g (or 1 egg), 1 grated lemon rind , 50gr desiccated coconut, 50gr chopped pistachio nuts

Pre heat the oven at 180 C (350 F). In a bowl mix flour, sugar, ener-g, lemon rind, coconut and pistachio nuts previously chopped.
Mix well then add oil and slowly the milk until smooth.
Pour into muffin containers or your favourite pan and cook for 45 minutes. Let it cool and sprinkle with caster sugar.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Lemon and poppy blue seeds cakes

180gr flour, 1 Tbsp baking powderd, 60gr Ener-g (equal 3 eggs), 170gr sugar, 150ml vegetable or olive oil, 250ml water, 2 bio lemon, 1 Tbsp poppy blue seeds, 1 pinch salt

Pre heat the oven at 180 C (350 F). Wash the lemons and grate the skin. Squeeze the lemons and put the juice aside. In a bowl mix all dry ingredients. Flour, baking powder, Ener-g, sugar, grated lemon and poppy seeds.
Mix well and then add oil, juice of lemons and water. If the mixture is too dry, add some more water until you get it smooth.
Mix well and then pour the mixture into muffin containers without filling them too much (approx. 2 Tbsp each) so that they dont grow big during the baking. Bake for 45 minutes let it cool and sprinkle with fine caster sugar.

If you decide to use eggs, do not add water.

this must be the best lemon cakes i have ever had. If you like the taste of lemon this will surprise you! Especially if you use organic lemons.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Fusilli with wild fennel, pine nuts, tuna and capers

Ingredients for 2
: 300gr fusilli, 1 tuna can in oil or water, 1 little bunch of wild fennel, 50gr pine nuts, 1 Tbsp capers, 1 garlic clove, 1 small onion, half glass dry white wine, dried or fresh hot cilly, oil, salt

Wash the fennel and boil it in salty water for about 4 minutes. Drain it and chop it finely. Keep the water aside as it will be used later.
Chop onion and garlic and fry gently in a saucepan with a couple of Tbsp of oil. Add the fennel, capers and pine nuts. Let it cook for a few minutes then add the tuna and the white wine. Let it evaporate by turning the gas mark a bit higher. Add a bit of salt, dried chilly and a bit of water. Let it cook for about 5 minutes.
Cook your pasta in the same water you cooked the fennel in. Drain and add it to the sauce to mix it well with it. Serve immediately and Buon appetito!

Note: for a Vegan/Vegetarian version, just remove the tuna ;)

Monday, September 12, 2005

Hazelnuts and Walnuts Muffins

300gr flour, 200gr sugar, 6 Tbsp unsweetneed cocoa powder, 2 Tbsp baking powder, 40gr chopped hazelnuts, 40gr chopped walnuts, 1 pich salt, 500ml water, 190ml vegetable or olive oil, 2 Tbsp rice vinegar, 2 tsp vanilla extract

Pre heat the oven at 180 C (350 F). Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl first (flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, salt, hazelnuts and nuts finely chopped with a mixer). Add then the oil, vinegar, vanilla and water. Mix all well together until smooth.
Pour the mixture into muffing containers and bake for 40/45 minutes.

*Inspired by the Bakingsheet

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Bananas and hazelnuts cake with raspberry cream

Ingredients for the cake:
2 bananas, 40gr chocolate cips, 40gr hazelnuts, 180gr flour, 1 tbsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 120ml vegetable oil, 120gr sugar, 40gr Ener-g (or 2 eggs), 1 tsp vanilla extract, 240ml soya or rice milk
Ingredients for the raspberry cream: 150gr tofu, 100gr sugar, 100gr raspberry, soya or rice milk as needed.

Pre heat the oven at 180 C, 350 F. Chop the hazelnuts with a mixer and blen d the bananas with a fork or with the mixer until smooth.
In a bowl mix all dry ingredients. Hazelnuts, flour, baking powder, nutmeg, cinnamon, Ener-g, sugar. In another bowl mix the banans with the oil and vanilla and mix this with the dry ingredients. Add milk and blend all ingredients together. Finally add the chocolate cips and stir.
Pour into a grased baking pan for 45, 50 minutes and serve with raspberry cream. To make the raspberry cream simply blend all the ingredients together in a mixer and add milk as needed to reach the desired consistency. It should infact be like a cream and taste delicious :-)

keep the cream refrigerated until you have to serve it.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Tofu and walnuts Ravioli

Ingredients for the dough:
300gr flour, 60gr Ener-g (equal 3 eggs)
Ingredients for the filling: 150gr tofu, 50gr walnuts, 15 basil leaves, 10 mint leaves, olive oil, salt

Drain the tofu from its own water, put it in a bowl and smash it with a fork. Crash the walnuts with a mixer along with mint and basil and add this to the tofu. Adjust with salt and let it rest while you prepare the dough. Mix the flour and Ener-g. Add enough water and work the dough until it becomes soft and elastic. Let it rest for 30 minutes. Have your pasta machine ready to get a few sheets of thin pasta. Use number 5 on your machine.

Cut approximately 8cm squares from the sheets and put about 1 tsp of filling in each. Fold them in a triangle and push well the borders in order to avoid the filling to slip out while cooking. Have a big saucepan ready with boiling salty water. Add the ravioli and let it cook counting 3 minutes from when the water starts boiling again.

Dress it with a simple tomato sauce made by frying a bit of garlic in oil and canned tomatoes. Garnish with fresh mint and serve immediately.

Note: the heart has come out there absolutely by chance, but it must mean something! :)

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Pumpkin preserve

The garden is full of yellow pumpkins and soon it will be as well of red ones. Preserving its a useful way to not waste vegetables or fruit and enjoy them during winter time...

Ingredients: 1kg pumpkin flesh, 1 pinch ground cinnamon, half tsp chopped ginger, 1 pinch powdered cloves, 1 pinch grated nutmeg, 6 tbsp lemon juice, 1kg jam sugar

Cut the pumpkin flesh into cubes and pass through a mincer using the finest disk. Stew the minced pumpkin in a pan with a small amount of water if necessary and cook for about 10 minutes. Stir then the cinnamon, ginger, powdered cloves, nutmeg and lemon juice.
Sprinkle in the jam sugar and bring everything to the boil, stirring continuously. Boil for 5 minutes or until it has reached the consistency you like.
Fill the sterilized jars and seal straighaway turning the jars upside down until completely cold.
Store in a dark and cool place and put in the fridge after opening.

this preserve goes well with game dishes.

Coffee pastries

200gr white flour, 110ml vegetable oil, 40gr sugar, 1 tsp soluble decaf coffee, 40gr Ener-g (equal 2 eggs), 1 tbsp baking powder, fine powdered sugar for decoration

In a bowl mix sugar and Ener-g with 80ml of water. Work the mixture with a fork until it becomes soft and creamy without lumps. Add coffee, flour, baking powder and oil. Work again until you it gets soft and homogeneous. Take two spoons and a put a bit of the compost in one of it. Help yourself with the other spoon, working the compost to create a drop-shaped pastry. Repeat until you get the right shape. No hurry, it just takes a bit of practice and time. Arrange the drops on a oven tray covered with oven paper or slightly oiled. Cook in a pre heated oven for 15 minutes at 180 C. (350F)Leave it to cool and decorate them with fine powdered sugar. You will get about 12 pastries that will be eaten in about 12 seconds!

Shark and Sea Spinach salad

4 shark's steaks, mixed lettuce leaves, some cherry tomatoes, sea spinach, 1 garlic clove, salt, pepper, oil

Sea spinach are very much similar to the normal spinach but a bit bitter and more salty. They can be found especially near the sea side. I have them in the garden which is infact very close to the sea. Shark is typically available frozen as steaks and fillets.
A simple way to cook it then is to cut the steaks into cubes and roast them with a little bit of oil and crushed garlic. Let it cook at least for 5 minutes until brown.
In the meantime prepare the salad with the cherry tomatoes, add oil and a pinch of salt. In a non-sticky pan, cook the sea spinach with a tiny bit of water until soft and tender, but do not overcook them. They should result crispy.
Lay the salad on a plate, add the shark on top and sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper. Distribute the sea spinach beside and there you have it.