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delicious culinary journey

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Cauliflower Pasta (sponsored)


There we go.. winter is slowly approaching. Even though, and just in time for the opening of the Christmas markets here in Luxembourg, temperatures rise back to 16°. So mulled wine might not be an option... not yet at least. Facing the cold season just before it arrives is always a good idea, as you can mentally prepare and check out which recipes to prepare. 

As you might have noticed over the years, I am not a big fan op soups. You won't here me order a soup ever. And you will even less se me cooking some at home. As long as my teeth are working fine, I will not consider soup a decent meal. You might ask yourself how I heat myself up during the cold days? Well... I boil up some tea and have a normal meal. It's as simple as that. So what does all that soup talk have to do with this lunch huh? Well, when I was preparing the sauce, I was thinking that it might also be a great soup actually. The strong flavours of the vegetables are melting as one with the pasta. All creamy and silky it was a great pleasure to find out what the result would be. 


For 2 servings you need
300g pasta
120g freshly chopped spinach
1/2 head cauliflower 
2 cloves garlic (minced)
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp olive oil
150 ml almond milk
salt & pepper

All the ingredients for this recipe can be purchased on the Auchan Drive website.


Cook the pasta. Meanwhile chop the spinach and set aside. Once the pasta is done transfer it to a large bowl and mix with the spinach. Then bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add the cauliflower with a pinch of salt and simmer until it's all tender. Drain the cauliflower and throw it into a blender. Now add the milk, garlic, lemon juice and the olive oil and mix until you get a creamy sauce. 

Finally pour the sauce into the pot you boiled the cauliflower in and cook over low heat. Add the spinach pasta and stir until everything is well combined. 

Enjoy!!!!



Thursday, October 26, 2017

Hazelnut Tea Cakes (sponsored)


Autumn baking I am back! 

When you cross your neighbours in the elevator and they see you packed with baking ingredients and they say 'Oh are you finally baking again? I've missed the smell of freshly baked goods'. Well dear neighbour, if you're reading this, I may tell you that Christmas is in less than 2 months and there will be loads of cookies and treats. So watch out!

Summer was truly busy and I know I did not spoil you with many recipes. All my friends decided to get married, so I was travelling from Luxembourg to the Netherlands to Serbia to finally end the Wedding Season in Zürich. There was definitely not enough time for me to test and develop new recipes. Now my wallet is empty and I decided to stay home for a while. So be prepared, I will pass my weekends in the kitchen again. This week I had a revival of my childhood memory:  hazelnut cakes. At the time, this cake was a true winner at kids birthday parties. 

Several years later, when I was not a kid anymore, I tried to bake the recipe on my own. Not concentrated at all, I transformed this rather dry Luxembourgish classic into a moist teacake. So how did I do this? Basically I added too much butter to the batter, I didn't want to throw away some small amount of milk that would have been left behind in my fridge and I forgot to buy vanilla sugar and hereby opted for freshly ground vanilla. 


For 8 tea cakes you need:
125g butter
200g sugar
6 eggs
125g ground roasted hazelnuts
2 tbsp rum
135 ml milk
2 tsp vanilla extract or 1 fresh vanilla bean
125g flour
1 tsp baking powder

All the ingredients for this recipe can be purchased on the Auchan Drive Website


Preheat the oven to 180°

In a bowl, whisk together the butter and sugar until well combined. Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites and add them to the batter. Then add the ground hazelnuts and mix until you get an even dough. Add the sugar and baking powder, then de milk. Now add the rum and the vanilla bean, then the flour. When the batter is almost ready, whisk the egg whites in a separate bowl until firm. Stir in the beaten egg whites and the dough is ready. 

Pour the batter into the little tea cake pans and bake for 25 to 30 minutes.

Enjoy!!!!


Sunday, October 1, 2017

Mango Curry (sponsored)


When I got interested in plant-based nutrition several years ago, this was the first recipe I developed to integrate in my daily cooking routine. I am not a vegan, and I do not plan becoming one, but I am very interested in what nutriments you can get from different ingredients. When I did a lot of research I found loads of different recipes, and this is when the plant-based cooking adventure started. 

I was done with al l the varieties of ratatouille normal cookbooks would suggest, so I got deeper into the topic. I observed that over the last years, some of my friends were interested in the same topics, and this is how we exchanged on the topic. We exchanged combinations, ingredients etc. Today, I possess a lot of plant-based cookbooks, and I try many different recipes on a regular basis. The best thing about is that you cannot really screw up recipes. And with different herbs and grains, you can transform basic recipes very quickly. 

I cooked this very recipe the first time I hosted a vegan dinner party, for people that were actually not vegan. They all really loved it, and even today, two years later, when I mention the recipe, they still remember how delicious it was. 

For 4 bowls you need:
2 teaspoons coconut oil
1 chopped onion
1 zucchini
1 yellow bell pepper
280g green beans
3 minced garlic cloves
2 tsp minced fresh ginger
2tbsp red curry paste
500 ml coconut milk
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 ripe mango
1 tbsp lime juice

All the ingredients for this recipes can be purchased on the Aucnan Drive website. 

****

In a large soup pot hear the oil over a medium heat. Chop the onion, add it to the pot and sauté until lightly golden.  Now add the green beans, the zucchini and bell pepper and cook the vegetables until they start to become tender. Add the garlic, ginger and curry paste and stir until well combined. Finally pour in the soy sauce and coconut milk and turn everything to a gentle simmer.

Once the pot is simmering, add the mango. Reduce the heat and cook this al together until the mango almost falls apart. Now turn off the heat, add some lime juice and stir once again. Now you can serve the mango curry. 

In my opinion it tastes best with brown rice. 

Enjoy!!!!


Thursday, August 17, 2017

Carrot Cake (sponsored)


The first carrot cake I ate was in a little bagel store in Aix-en-Provence. My friend convinced me that I really really really had to try it. At first I was just like.. carrots? In a CAKE? No way, I had a salad for lunch I thought. She wouldn't stop insisting until I tried at least a piece of her cake. As a surprise, I was convinced by its delicious flavours at the first bite. 

Afterwards I tried a hundred pieces of carrot cake in many different countries and none had that exact taste of the first piece I've ever tried. One of my favourite still is the one from Konrad, a little coffee place in Luxembourg City. It's delicious indeed. But I obviously wanted to have my own recipe. I've tried several but was never really satisfied. Even when developing this recipe, my oven didn't collaborate at first. So it was a little too moist. I've adapted it once again and now came out with a perfect version. If you like carrot cake, you'll definitely enjoy this recipe. Even my not-so-much-fan-of-carrot-cake colleagues approved the recipe. That's quite a feedback I guess.




For one cake you need:
225g flour
165g sugar
125 ml sunflower oil
3 eggs
1 tsp cinnamon
350g carrots
50g chopped walnuts
160g tinned pineapple 

For the icing you need:
50g butter
125g cream cheese
400g icing sugar
Extra: marzipan carrots

All the ingredients can be purchased on the Auchan Drive website. 


Preheat the oven to 180°

Whisk together the oil, eggs, flour, sugar and cinnamon until well combined. Add the carrots, the walnuts and the mashed pineapple. 

Pour the dough into a round cake tin and bake for around 1 hour (or depending on your oven, until a skewer comes out clean). Meanwhile prepare the icing. Cut the butter into little cubes, then whisk together with the cream cheese. Once you get an even mixture, slowly add the icing sugar and my until any lumps have disappeared. Put the icing into the fridge to set a little bit.

Now your cake should be ready as well. Let it cool for 20 minutes before turning it onto a wire rack. Let the cake cool completely before you spread the icing over the top!

Enjoy!!!!





Friday, July 21, 2017

Watermelon Feta Salad (sponsored)


Today I want to share with you one of my favourite summer salad recipes. I have noticed that some famous feta brands are also advertising the combo of watermelon and feta. It is really really tasty and the two ingredients are a perfect match. To add another extra flavors to this, I opted for cucumber and mint leaves as well. 

The inspiration for this recipe however comes from my first trip to NYC. I remember just after a Broadway show we strolled around to grab some food. Eventually, we ended up in this really cute and hip restaurant, where you could find interesting food combinations from starters to dessert. And this is how I got inspired. They served cucumber feta mint salad, and the waiter told me that if I wanted to add some sweetness, I could add watermelon. That’s what I did and the outcome is this beauty. 

My summer salad is a winner at every BBQ party, so if you want to impress your friends, go for this one. If you don’t like feta, you can still opt for mozzarella or any hard white cheese.



Ingredients:
1 small watermelon
1 large cucumber
100g Feta
5 mint leaves

All the ingredients for the recipe can be purchased on the Auchan Drive website


Peel the cucumbers, then dice them. Cut the watermelon into 1 cm thick slices, and then dice them as well. Combine both ingredients in a large salad bowl. Chop the mint leaves and add them to the salad. Crumble the feta and top the cucumber-watermelon mixture with it. Drizzle some olive oil on the salad and it’s ready to be served.

Enjoy!!!




Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Zucchini Feta Cake (sponsored)


I've just come back from my Chile trip and have to cope with these extremely high temperatures here in Luxembourg. More than 30° for a whole week. Well but let's consider the positive aspect of all this. Long summer nights call for picnics or aperitivos; occasions for which I love baking my savoury cakes. This one is definitely one of my favourites. It's so moist yet not compact, I am really glad the feta and zucchini harmonise so well. Even carnivores don't mind the fact that it's a 100% veggie. 

Today I had this lovely cake for lunch with a big green salad. So it's really up to you when to enjoy it. The most important thing with these recipes is that you choose good quality products. The olive oil for instance is a major component in the flavour composition. One might think, well..., it's being baked anyways, but still, a good extra virgin olive oil contributes to a very pleasing outcome. 


For one loaf you need:
255g flour
1 pack baking powder
1 pinch of sea salt
2 eggs
150 ml extra virgin olive oil
185g courgettes
125g feta
zest of half a lemon

All the ingredients for the recipe can be purchased on the Auchan Drive website!


Preheat the oven to 180°

In a large bowl whisk together all the dry ingredients. Grate the zucchini and set aside. In another bowl mix the eggs and the olive oil until well combined. Add the zucchini and the crumbled feta. Now add the lemon zest and mix until you get an even mixture. Then add the dry ingredients, mix again for about half a minute. 

Pour the batter into a cake pan and bake for around 50-60 minutes. 

Enjoy!!!



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