BRAND NEW RECIPES
Let’s Make Every Day Delicious
“I have bought vegetables for you.” Says my dearest one and I imagine making a salad. I look into the kitchen and to my surprise all that I see is one leek and a few carrots. What can you cook with leeks, a tomato can, carrots and a potato? A carrot soup, of cause!
- 1 Leek
- 2 Carrots
- 1 Big potato
- 1 Can of tomatoes (250g)
- Ground pepper
- Pinch of salt
- Pinch of sugar
- Knob of butter
- 1 Vegetable stock cube
- 500ml water
- Thyme leaves
1. Cut the leek into small circles. Melt the butter in a pot at a medium heat and add the leeks. Let them sweat for at least 5 minutes.
2. Cut the potato and the carrots into small pieces and add them together with the can of tomatoes and the water into the pot. Mix well and leave to simmer for at least half an hour.
3. Once all the vegetables have softened, blend them together forming a smooth, thick liquid.
4. Season the soup with a vegetable stock cube, salt, pepper and sugar.
5. Garnish with sprinkles of cream and fresh thyme leaves.
American pancakes are something quite recent in out family life.
Last year, while waiting to board the EuroStar train from London to Brussels we have bought some from M&S, and since then they have started to join frequently our weekend breakfast menu.
I have found so many recipes on the Internet, but I must admit, the flavour was always not quite right.
We love Vanilla, and it became only natural that it should be added in the recipe. We love a delicate balance between sweet and salty flavour, so a pinch of salt and a little bit of sugar seemed only fair to be added to our home adjusted recipe.
Serves well with: blueberry jam, maple syrup, golden syrup.
- 200g self-raising flour
- 300ml milk
- 1 egg
- 150g suger
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 Vanilla
- Pinch of salt
- Knob of butter
- Sunflower oil or a little butter for cooking
1. Mix the sugar, the vanilla and the egg together. Gradually add the milk to the mixture.
2. Mix together the flour, baking powder and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and whisk in the milk and egg mixture to make a thick smooth batter. Beat in the melted butter.
3. Heat a teaspoon of oil or small knob of butter in a large non-stick frying pan. Drop a large tablespoonful of the batter per pancake into the pan to make pancakes about 7.5cm across. Make three or four pancakes at a time. Cook for about 3 minutes over a medium heat until small bubbles appear on the surface of each pancake, then turn and cook another 2-3 minutes until golden.
Spring is a special season. Its tender freshness carries all the promises of a new beginning. The light, the first green leaves, the first delicate flowers, the first bird songs, all reach out to the summer celebrating the new life, the new day, the new season. Yet, while all creation longs for the coming spring, winter lingers in releasing its commanding grip and for a while we enjoy the two. Spring gently pulls the sleeves of our winter jackets and whispers in youthful cheerfulness “I am here”, while Winter proudly walks on the earth with her hand tugged underneath one of our arms whispering “I will never leave you”. And we smile at one and we bow to the other, walking together with the two, thankful for their beautify and presence in our lives.
This mushroom tagliatelle dish is a celebration of the crossing over from winter to spring. The depth and the earthiness of the mushrooms and the comforting richness of the pork, contrasted with the delicate flavour of the fresh thyme leafs tastes like the blissful caress of two kisses, one from winter and one from spring, both placed at the same time on each cheek.
- 10g cooking butter
- 250g chesnut mushrooms (cut into pieces)
- 250g speck
- a handful of fresh thyme
- Pinch of salt
- Pinch of black pepper
- 150g cream cheese (like Philadelphia, for example)
- 50g cream
1. Heat plenty of water adding a pintch of salt and a few droplets of olive oil. Once the water is boling add the tagliatelle and let them boil. Usually, depending on the description on the package, they should be ready between 12-15 minutes.
2. On a medium heat, melt the butter in a pan and add the muchtooms. Let them soften for 5-6 minutes and when ready take them out, preserving all the liquid the mushrooms have released and set them aside in a separate dish.
3. In the same pan add the speck and let it gradually become golden brown. Should any fat be released, take it out of the pan. Whinin 6-10 minutes the speck should be ready. Add the mushrooms together with their liquid in the pan together with the speck and mix well. Add the cream cheese and the fresh cream until a smoth sauce has been formed absorbing all the flavours. Season with salt and pepper and add the fresh thyme leafs.
4. Ones the tagliatelle has boild, drain the water and add the tagliatelle to the pan containing the muchroom, speck and cream sauce. Season each plate with addtional fresh thyme leaves.
French toast for breakfast on Sunday morning.
This is such a nice alternative for pancakes, especially when there are a few days old left over slices of bread.
My family adores these toasts drizzled over with brown sugar, but powder sugar, any type of fruit jam could be an equally tasty alternative as well.
- 4 Slices of white bread (a few days old)
- 1 Vanilla suger
- 20 ml milk
- 2 Eggs
- 10g Butter
1. Beat the eggs, milk and vanilla together until they form a foamy consistency.
2. Melt the butter in a hot pan.
3. Dip both sides of each slice of bread in the egg mixture and put it in the bettered pan.
4. Bake until crispy golden.
5. Serve with dusted cinnamon or powder sugar.
Crusty underneath, soft and flavorsome in-between and bitty and cheesy on top – that’s a Sunday lunch.
Baking pearls, make an incredible difference in baking crusty pastry or quiches. Yes, it maybe a luxury, but I enjoy using them in making the perfect base for sweet and salty pastries.
- 350g puff pastry
- 1 leek
- 200g ham
- 2 eggs
- 250g cream
- pinch of salt
- 100g rasped cheese
- 1 tbsp plain flour
1. Take the puff pastry out of the fridge, roll it out and let it rest for 20 minutes.
2. Pre-heat the oven to 200°C. Carefully take the pastry and lay it together with the baking paper underneath over into the baking form. If possible cover the base of the pastry with baking pearls to keep the pastry down from raising. Before putting the baking pearls over the pastry, cut a round disk of baking paper in the size of the base of the pastry form. Put the paper on top of the pastry and add the pearls. In this way, when the pastry bottom is baked, you can easily take away the baking paper disk and the pearls. Put the pastry into the oven and let it bake for 15 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, cut the leek into small pieces and let it soften in a pan over medium heat for no more then 10 minutes. Cut the ham into small pieces and when the leek has softened mixed the two together.
4. Whisk the two eggs, the cream and the flour into a smooth mixture and season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
5. Once the pastry has firmed take it our of the oven and remove the baking pearls. Pour the leek and ham mixture over the pastry, scatter randomly half of the rasped cheese, pour the egg mixture and cover generously with the remaining rasped cheese. Put the quiche back into the oven and let it bake for additional 20 minutes until golden.
There is something so sweet and nostalgic looking at the Victorian Valentine cards. I can see the anticipation, I can see the longing and the shy expression of affection, peeping though the frozen doors of etiquette to offer the unmistakable “I love you”.
Thankfully, nowadays we are liberated from such formal restrictions. Yet, I wonder, why are so many people so shy in saying their “I do”s?
Whether we are extravagant with exuberant bouquets of red roses, delicious gourmet dinners or little signs of affection like home made coconut pink cookie hearts, all that really matters is our hearts reaching the other’s with this unspeakably beautiful mystery called Love.
For the Royal Icing
- 1 medium free-range egg white
- 225g powder sugar
For the Cookies
- 100g unsalted butter, room temperature
- 300g plain flour
- 200g icing sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 packages vanilla sugar essence Dr. Oetker
- Pinch of salt
- 10 drops of red food colouring
- 100g coco powder
- 1 tsp backing powder
- 3 tbsp clear honey
1. Cream the butter, caster sugar and vanilla together in a bowl until light and fluffy. Mix the eggs with the honey, and sift the flour with the baking powder and a pinch of salt in separate bowls. Add the flour and enough of the honey and egg mixture to the creamed mixture to make a soft dough. If it seems a little sticky, mix in a little more flour, but don’t let the dough get too stiff and dry. Add to the mixture the food colouring.
2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, divide into 2 and knead each piece briefly until smooth. Shape into flat discs, wrap in cling film and chill for 30 minutes.
3. Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan160°C/gas 4. Using 1 piece of dough at a time, roll out on a lightly floured surface to 5mm thick. Cut out hearts, using a floured cutter, and lift onto baking sheets lined with baking paper. Re-knead and roll the trimmings to make more biscuits.
4. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until lightly golden around the edges. Carefully lift onto a wire rack and leave to cool.
5. For the decoration, put the egg white into a bowl and stir with a wooden spoon to break it up a little. Sift in the pouder sugar and mix to give a slightly stiff but still pipeable mixture. Spoon the mixture into a small nylon or baking paper piping bag fitted with a number 3 or number 4 plain nozzle. Pipe heart designs around the edge of the cookies and dip them into the coconut mixture. Leave to set.