Author / Geri

Mains

Beef Stew & Celeriac Pure

Stew comes in many forms and flavours – combination of vegetables and meat, beer and mustard, red wine, white wine, in a casserole, in the oven, on the stove … But whatever shape or form, its depth of flavor and richness of taste, makes it irresistibly ever present, always welcome winter dish at our home.

This is a classic family favourite. Slow cooked beef stew with red wine and honey, served with delicious and healthy celeriac pure.

Ingredients

For the Beef Stew
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 1kg beef stew meat, cut into small pieces
  • 2 carrots
  • 300ml red wine
  • 100ml water
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 2 strings of thyme
  • 1 vegetable bullion
  • 3 tbsp clear honey
  • 3 tbsp of plain flour
  • Parsley for decoration
For the Celeriac Pure
  • 1 big celery root, peeled and cubed
  • 1/2 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 8 whole cloves garlic, peeled
  • Chicken broth (or stock) to cover (2-3 cups)
  • 1 large Russet potato, peeled and cubed
  • Salt, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (softened), plus more for topping if desired
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Chopped fresh celery leaves or parsley, for garnish

 

Method

1. For the Beef: Heat 2 tbsp of the olive oil in a deep pan and add the chopped onion. Let the onions crisp until golden and take them out of the pan put them in a plate.

2. In a plastic bag, mix the beef stew meat together with the salt, pepper and the flour until all the dry ingredients have been well absorbed and are sticking to the meat. Pour the remaining olive oil into the pan and let it heat up. Put the beef stew in the pan and let it be sealed until nicely brown.

3. Add the onion and the carrots (roughly chopped into circles) and mix together with the stew. Pour over them the wine and the water and add the thyme and the bay leaf. Let the stew simmer for at least one hour mixing regularly not letting the mixture stick to the bottom.

4. When the stew mixture has thickened and the meat is ready, add the bullion and the honey, flavoring the stew to your taste.

5. For the Celeriac Pure: Combine celery root, onion, garlic and chicken broth/stock in a medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to medium-low.  Simmer for 20 minutes or until celery root is very tender.

6. Meanwhile, cook the potato in a separate saucepan in salted water until tender.

7. When celery root is fully cooked, drain off excess chicken broth/stock (reserve for another use if desired), leaving about 1/4 cup broth/stock in the saucepan with vegetables.  Add the butter and cream.  Puree with an immersion blender until smooth.

8. Drain the potato.  Push through a potato ricer into the puree and gently fold it into the puree.  Season to taste with salt and black pepper.

9. Garnish with chopped fresh celery leaves or parsley and extra butter if desired.

Goes well with: Rice, mashed potatoes, croquettes.

 

Lifestyle

15 Great Wedding Ideas

Congratulations! He has finally popped the question and you have said “Yes”. Opening a new chapter in life deserves a stunning celebration. Whether a small and intimate family affair or a grand and opulent event, nothing matters more than embracing yourself and reflecting your style, dreams and aspirations into an unforgettable moment of happiness the echoes of which will last for generations. Starting with plenty of ideas or nothing at all this bridal guide will inspire you and make a wedding plan seem fun and easy.

1. Be inspired – create your dream wedding Pinterest board

A picture speaks a thousand words. Imagine having access to the most amazing wedding celebration pictures in the world and be able to select and form your dream wedding vision with nothing but a click. This is the power of creating your own dream wedding Pinterest board. It can stir the imagination and help envisage what might be possible for your own wedding day. Using Pinterest as a guideline, can help communicate your vision not only with your partner, but with all affected parties along the way – your family, your florist, you hair stylist, your wedding catering agency, etc.

2. Agree on a Wedding Budget Figure

Having good agreements with your partner could make the wedding planning experience as seamless and enjoyable as the wedding day itself. Within the joy of making dreams come true, one could easily be swayed with astronomical expenses, with the excitement and the conviction that it is worth it. To keep a realising view, it helps to agree early in the process on a budget ceiling and a compromising buffer, keeping constantly in mind what is really at stake – the wedding day on its own or the married life to follow?

3. Narrow down the wedding dress styles you may wish to try

It is easy to imagine that we walk in a wedding dress shop and after a few exciting trials we walk out with our dream wedding dress in hand. If you are lucky, this might be you, but if you might wish to avoid endless appointments and confusions, starting with a body figure wedding dress style analysis might be an insightful option. Narrowing down your selection styles to a few (A-Line or Mermaid, for example) and start browsing your options.

4. Don’t Forget the Groom

The question “What will I wear?” is equally important for her as for him. It might be tempting for a bride to imagine that selecting all the groom might require for the wedding day is infinitely easier and less complex than selecting a wedding gown. Paying attention to his needs is an equal sign of love and care. Helping the groom select his outfit(s) as early as possible might help him relax and be as agreeable and supportive for the bride in all wedding preparations.

5. Choose the Wedding Party Venue

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6. Choose Wedding Theme & Colour Setting

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7. Send Wedding Invitations

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View my Pinterest Board & Get More Wedding Inspirations

8. Sweet Table & a Wedding Cake

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9. Pre-taste your Wedding Reception Menu

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10. Make it fun for the little ones

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11. Make your own table seating cards

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12. Feel Free to Break Tradition

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13. Design your own table floral display

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14. Be open for surprises

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15. Enjoy the party, but even more enjoy each other

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Супи и Салати

Супа по Тайлански с Кокосово Мляко и Пиле

Ние сме едно семейство, което определено знае как да се наслаждава на вкусните ястия. През последните няколко години, селекцията ни на ваканционни дестинации започна леко да се променя, добавяйки “fine cuisine” или “финна кухня” като неимоверно важен критерий за това къде ще прекараме дългоочакваните и щастливи летни дни.

Насладата на вкусни блюда за щастие, не нещо резервирано само за лятните ваканции а удоволствие, на което обичаме да се радваме ежедневно търсейки често вдъхновение в кулнарната ни библиотека.

Кулинарните книги, подарени тази Коледа, отварят светогледа ни към Азиатската кухня. Разлиствайки страницитете, вече опитахме известните Тайлански рибени палачинки и зелено къри със зеленчуци, влюбвайки се неимоверно в уханната Тайланската кухня – лека, добре балансирана и пълна с божествени аромати, но най-вече бърза и лесна за приготвяне.

Тази супа с кокосово мляко и пиле се приготвя за по-малко от половин час и предлага едно леко и здравословно ястие пълно с топлина и нежни, ефирни аромати.

Необходими съставки

  • 500 мл Кокосово мляко
  • 800 мл Вода
  • 3 см Корен от Галангал  (може да се замести с корен от джинджифил)
  • 2 Стръка Лимонена трева
  • 4 Ликонови листа
  • 1 кубче пилешки бульон
  • 1 сл палмова захар (може да се замести с кафява захар)
  • 2 сл Рибен Сос
  • 1 Стино нарязан малък лук
  • 300 г Пилешко филе
  • 150 г Стридни Гъби
  • 1 сл сок от зелен лимон (лайм)
  • Листа от свеж кориандър
  • 1 червено чили

Начин на приготвяне

1. В дълбока тенджера смесете заедно кокосовото мляко и водата. Поставете я на умерен огън докато течностите започнат леко да врят.
2. Добавете настърганият корен от галангал, срязаните на половина стръкове лимонента трева и лимонените листа. Оставете всички подправки за поврът за 3. около 10 минути, давайки възмойност на ароматите да се комбинират заедно.
4. Извадете от съпата стръковете лимонента трева и лимонените листа.
5. Добавете пилешкоят бульон, палмовата захар и рибеният сос.
6. Нарежете лука на ситно и го прибавете към супата.
7. Нарежете пилешкото филе на ситно и го прибавете към супата. Оставете го да се свари за около 5 минутки.
8. Нарежете лютата чушка чили на ситно и я прибавете към супата.
9. Нарежете гъбите на ситно и ги прибавете към супата. Оставете супата да врки за около 5 минутки.
10. Преди сервиране нарежете на ситно свеж кориандър и го прибавете към супата.

Soups & Salads

Tom Ka Kai Thai Coconut Chicken Soup

We are a family of foodies. Unashamed, our summer time holiday destination selection has began to change adding “fine cuisine” as a top criteria. Bathing or taste buds in a sumptious tasty experience is not something solely received for vacations. Every Christmas and birthday celebration has become an occasion for new delightful cookbooks to enter into our family collection with the hope, that not before too long, we will be discovering new amazing family favourite dishes.

This Christmas season cookbook gifts have opened our world to Asia. We have already tried Thai fish pancakes and Thai green curry falling deeper and deeper into the Thai cuisine – light, well balanced and full of flavour, but most of all so quick and easy to make.

This coconut milk chicken soup takes less than half and hour to make, yet it offers real celebration of healthty light meal full of warmth and tender, fragrant flavour.

Ingredients

  • 500 ml Coconut milk
  • 800 ml Water
  • 3 cm Fresh Galanga root (grated)
  • 2 Stalks Lemongrass
  • 4 Lemon leaves
  • 1 Chicken boullion cube
  • 1 tbsp palm sugar (or brown sugar)
  • 2 tbsp Fish Sauce
  • 1 Shallot
  • 300 g chicken filet
  • 150 g oyster mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • handful of fresh coriander leaves
  • 1 red chilli

Method

1. In a deep cooking pot mix together the coconut milk and the water, letting them gently simmer over a medium heat.
2. Add the grated galanga, lemongrass stalks and the lemon leaves and leave them to boil for 10 minutes until the flavours are infused.
3. Take the lemongrass and the lemon leaves out.
4. Add the chicken bouillon, the palm sugar and the fish sauce.
5. Slice the shallot into thin cubes and add to the soup. Cut the chicken filet into small cubes and add to the soup. Boil for 5 minutes.
6. Cut the red chilli pepper into small pieces and add to the soup.
7. Cut the oyster mushrooms into thin slices and add to the soup. Let it boil for 5 more minutes.
8. Garnish the soup with a handful of freshly chopped coriander leaves.

Desserts

Chocolate Cheesecake Swirl Bundt Cake

Chocolate cake is already delicious but what about combining it with vanilla cheese cake? Hmm… the combination is divine… Several days ago, I have promised to bring a cake at the office. The options of what to prepare are always more then enough, but for this particular occasion I have been considering as much the flavour as the logistic transportation practical side. As a result, this delicious chocolate cheesecake swirl bundt cake has emerged delighting all the senses.

Preparing the cake was easy and simple. Keeping it away from my family has been a real struggle and temptation, something to remember and avoid in the future whenever I can. Why did I not even consider to prepare two cakes instead of one? With the cake intact and graciously arriving at the office in one piece it made me happy to see the joy it brought to my colleagues and that even before noon not a single slice was left.

Ingredients

Cream Cheese Filling
  • 6oz cream cheese, softened (from 8-oz package)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Gold Medal™ all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Vanilla
Cake
  • 1 1 box Betty Crocker™ SuperMoist™ dark chocolate cake mix
  • 1/4 cup Gold Medal™ all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
Topping
  • 2 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 Vanilla
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons milk
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
  • Coffee Chocolate beans

Method

1. Heat oven to 325°F. Grease and flour 12-cup bundt cake pan, or spray with baking spray with flour. In small bowl, beat 6 oz cream cheese with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth and fluffy. Beat in granulated sugar, vanilla, 1 tablespoon flour and 1 egg until smooth; set aside.

2. In large bowl, beat cake mix, 1/4 cup flour, the water, oil and 2 eggs with electric mixer on medium speed 2 minutes; stir in 1/2 cup chocolate chips. Pour into pan.

3. Spoon cream cheese filling over batter, keeping it away from edge of pan. Run table knife through batter in large zigzag pattern once around pan.

4. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Turn pan upside down onto cooling rack; remove pan. Cool completely, about 1 hour.

5. In small bowl, beat 2 oz cream cheese and 2 teaspoons milk using whisk. Beat in powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth. If too thick, add additional milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, until desired consistency. Spoon icing over cake.

6. In small microwavable bowl, microwave whipping cream uncovered on High 30 seconds or until cream just beings to simmer. Add 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips; stir until smooth. Place in small resealable food-storage plastic bag. Cut off small corner of bag; drizzle over white icing. Decorate with coffee chocolate beans.

Soups & Salads

Spring Salad

Late spring and all the senses and rejoicing with the coming summer. We long for walks on the beach, summer night dancing parties, abandons of delicious fruits and salads. This simple late spring dish has all the hopes of the days to come. Beetroot and carrot, meet fresh salad leaves and herbs, kissed by fresh raspberries, melting goat cheese and contrasting walnuts all gently coming together with a Raspberry Dressing Sauce.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup raspberries
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons white sugar
  • handful of fresh raspberries
  • mixed salad (rocket, young spinach leaves, baby leaf lettuce)
  • Walnuts
  • Goat cheese
  • Carrots
  • Red beetroot
  • Fresh herbs (mint leaves, basil leaves, lemon balm leaves)

Method

1. Raspberry Dressing PreparationIn a blender, combine the 1 cup yogurt, 1/2 cup raspberries, 1tbsp vinegar and 2tsp sugar. Blend until smooth and refrigerate until chilled.

2. Salad Decoration: Wash the salad mix leaves, dry and place in a serving dish. Peal a carrot and slice into thin stripes. Cut a read beetroot and slice it into thin stripes. Arrange both over the salad leaves. Sprinkle fresh herbs like basil, mint and lemon balm leaves to add some extra flavour. Slice soft goat cheese disks into halves and arrange on top of the salad. Add walnuts cut into small pieces. Scatter fresh ripe raspberries and top with the raspberry dressing.

Desserts

Speculoos Cake

It is mid September and the summer days start to whisper of the coming autumn. We cuddle lovingly at home with a cup of tea, glowing candles, warm blanket and a book close by. Home sweet home. Our travelling business agendas keep us far from home and when the weekend comes being home is a joy and celebration. We treasure these simple moments in many ways. Sharing hours among the mundane taking care and the things that bring delight. Sometimes it is a walk in the woods, sometimes it is delicious dinner, sometimes a favourite cake. Speculoos are traditional cookies offered all year round, but especially around St. Nicolas on the 6th of December in Belgium. A couple of years ago a Belgian company transformed this delicious flavour into a paste, that nowadays can be easily found in every store all over the world – called Speculoos Paste or Cookie Butter. This is the main ingredient our weekend cake today – delicious and spicy, soft and flavoursome Speculoos Cake.

 

Ingredients

  • 250g self-raizing flour
  • 220g butter
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 2 vanillas
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 tbsp of Speculoos Paste
  • 4 Speculoos cookies

 

Method

1. Soften the butter.

2. Whisk the softened butter, the sugar and the vanilla. Gradually, one by one, add the eggs continuously whisking. Whisk in the flour adding a little bit at a time. Add four table spoons of Speculoos paste and whisk again until smooth.

4. Grease and flour a backing dish. Poor over the cake mixture. Smooth evenly. Brake four speculoos cookies in half and dip each cookie half in the cake mixture.

5. Bake in the oven for 50 minutes on 175C. When ready, take the cake out of the oven and let it rest for 2min in the form, then take it and turn it upside down on a plate. Serve warm with a spoon of vanilla ice cream, or cold.

Десерти

Торта Банофи

Едно скорошно пътуване до Германия обогати семейната ни библиотека с още една кулинарна книга за рецепти със зашеметяващo смайващ ефект. Този път летвата на предизвикателството се издига още по-нависоко чрез страниците на една от известните Германски сладкари Ноеми Строук и книгата й “Готвене с “wow’ ефект“.

“Wow”-ефeкт ще търсим тогава… Разлиствайки примамливо изглеждащите страници, аз целенасочено оставям любимият да направи крайният избор, за това коя торта да приготвим в къщи, тъй като да си призная за мен всяка една изглежда повече от невероятна. Той си избира Торта Банофи и предизвикателството към мен е вече поставено.

В оригиналната рецепта се изисква първо да се изпече тънак блат за торта, но ние се спираме на алтернативно решение и приготвяме основа от типични холандски бисквити казващи се спекулос, също както при направата на чийзкейк. Комбинацията от вкусове която се получава накрая между бисквитките спекулос, банан и карамел, лекият маскарпоне и сметана крем е просто главозайващо неповторима. Семпла, елегантна, лека и толкова лесна и бърза за приготвяне… изискан “wow”-ефект си имаме наистина.

Необходими продукти

  • 200г Бисквитки Спекулос
  • 100г краве масло
  • 50г солено краве масло
  • 125г кристална захар
  • 190г течна сладкарска сметана
  • щипка морска сол
  • 2 банана
  • 300г течна сладкарска сметана
  • 50г маскарпоне
  • едно пакетче ванилия Др. Йоткер (8г)
  • 30г пудра захар
  • Шоколадови стърготини
  • Карамелизирани лешници
  • Изсушени листа от метличина
  • 2чл какао

Начин на приготвяне

1. Приготвяне на основата на тортата: Блендирайте бисквитките докато станат на финни трохи. Разтопете 100г краве масло. Смесете маслото и бисквитените трохи докато се образува лепкава смес. Поставете готварска хартия за печене на дъното на тортена форма. Пресирайте бисквитената смес на дъното на тортената форма докато се получи гладък плосък диск. Поставете я в хладилника за около половин час за да се стегне.

2. Приготвяне на карамела: Поставете 125г кристална захар в дълбок съд с дебела основа. Нагрейте съда на средна температура и оставете захарта да се разтопи (не бъркайте захарта защото карамела ще се кристализира). Междувременно в микровълнова печка стоплете сметаната. Щом карамела започне да получава кехлибарен отенък и всичката захар се е разтопила малко по малко започнете да добавяте течната сметана (важно е да не наливате всичката сметата на веднъж, защото добавяйки двете течности всичко ще започне да се надига). Прибавете сметаната на три или четири пъти като бърката непрекъснато. Нарежете соленото краве масло на пърчета. Прибавете маслото едно пърче по едно към карамела като разбърквате непрекъснато и карамела започне да се сгъстрява. Щом цялото количество краве масло е прибасено премахнете карамела от огъня и го оставете на стайна температура да се охлади напълно. Веднъж изстинал, прибавете щипка морска сол към карамела и го разбъркайте.

3. Приготвене на крема: В студена стъклена купа прибавете 300г студена течна сметана, 50г маскарпоне и ванилия. Използвайки миксер разбъркайте сметаната първоначално на ниска скорост, щом започне сметаната леко да се сгъстява прибавете пудрата захар и започнете да бъркате на висока скорост докато сметаната се сгъсти напълно.

4. Сглобяване на тортата: Извадете бисквитената основа от хладилника. Премахнете ринга на тортената форма. Нарежете два банана на кръгове и ги подредете върху бисквитената основа. Покрийте бананите с тънак слой карамел. Използвайки фуния, шприцовайте крема от сметана и маскарпоне и го поръсете отгоре с какао. Декорирайте тортата с шоколадови стърготини, карамелизирани лешници и изсушени листа метличина.

Desserts

Banoffee Cake

A recent trip to Germany has expanded my culinary horizons adding one more show-stopping cake recipe book to our library. This time, the challenge has been set even higher, embracing the hidden secrets shared by a renown German fine patisserie chef Noemie Strouk in her culinary book “Baking with a wow-effect“.

Wow-effect it is… Browsing through the tempting looking pages I leave my husband to make the final choice of what he might wish for me to prepare, as honestly speaking any single cake looks absolutely more then fine to me. His choice is a Banoffee cake and the challenge is on.

The original recipe requires first to bake a cookie base for the cake, but considering an alternative version we decide to make the base from speculoos cookies in a similar way as preparing a cheese cake. The flavour combination between the speculoos cookies the banana and the caramel with the light and fluffy mascarpone cream topping ends as being absolutely sublime. Simple, elegant, light and so easy and quick to prepare… fine dinning “wow” it really is.

Ingredients

  • 200g Speculoos cookies
  • 100g butter
  • 50g salty butter
  • 125g crystal sugar
  • 190g cream
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 bananas
  • 300g cream
  • 50g mascarpone
  • Vanilla sugar Dr. Oetker (8g)
  • 30g powder sugar
  • Chocolate curls
  • Hazelnut bresilienne
  • Dry cornflower petals
  • 2tsp cacaco powder

Method

1. Prepare the speculoos cake base: Blend the speculoos cookies into a fine dust. Melt 100g butter. Mix the butter and the cookie dust together into a sticky mess. Place baking paper on the base of a 22cm cake form. Press the cookie and butter mixture into a flat disk in the cake form and let it chill for half an hour in the refrigerator.

2. Prepare the caramel: Place 125g crystal sugar in a pot with a thick bottom. Place it over medium fire and let the sugar caramelise (do not touch). Once the caramel starts to get a golden colour and all the sugar has dissolved add a little bit from the cream (do not poor all the liquid at once as it will start to rise). Add 190g cream in three or four times stirring continuously. Cut the salty butter into pieces. Add the butter to the caramel one piece at time stirring continuously until the caramel start to thicken. Once all the butter has been added set aside and let it cool completely on room temperature. Once cooled add a pinch of salt and stir the caramel.

3. For the cream topping: In a cool glass bowl add together the cold 300g cream, 50g mascarpone and vanilla sugar. Mix together with a mixer initially on slow speed until the cream starts to thicken then on high speed. Add the powder sugar and mix until thick.

4. To assemble the cake: Take the cake form out of the fridge. Open the ring and let only the cookie base remain. Cut two bananas into rings and arrange them on top of the speculoos cookie cake base. Drizzle over caramel. Using a piping bag, pipe the mascarpone cream on top of the cake. Dust caoaco powder on top and decorate with chocolate curls, hazelnut bresilienne and dried cornflower petals.