Let me take you to a
delicious culinary journey

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!!!



Friday, May 26, 2017

Raspberry Rolls (sponsored)


The berry season is ON!
 How are you celebrating the comeback of these fruits? I have tried several new recipes and am now sharing with you one of my favourites. I transformed a winter classic (cinnamon rolls) into a fruity summer roll. I came across the combination of yeast dough and berries when I tasted a new pastry at my local bakery. 

I am quite proud that my brioche-like dough succeeded at the first try. I used fresh yeast, as I never really manage to work with dry yeast. The roll is buttery enough to be a good brioche, but not too greasy. The yeasty note is just as present as it shall be. So I have to admit I am quite proud about the results. It's nice to see that after several years of baking, I have developed a sense for proportions to create my own recipes from scratch. 


For around 10 rolls you need:
400g all purpose flour
100g sugar
1 tsp freshly ground vanilla or 1 package vanilla sugar
42g fresh yeast
300g raspberry jam
125 ml milk
125g fresh raspberries
150g butter
150g icing sugar
4 eggs
sea salt


Preheat  the oven to 180°.

Whisk together all the dry ingredients except the sugar. Heat the milk in a saucepan until lukewarm. In a separate bowl mix the butter and eggs until well combined. Mix the yeast and sugar until completely liquid. Then add the butter egg mixture and the dry ingredients. Once well combined knit with your hands. Cover in kling film and let it left to stand for at least 50 minutes.

Once the dough is ready, roll it out. Mix the raspberry jam and raspberries until you get an even mixture. Spread the raspberry jam on the dough and start rolling from the short sides. Cut the big roll into small pieces and place in a buttered rectangular baking tin. (30 x 24 cm) .

Bake the rolls for 50 minutes until golden brown.

Let cool a little before taking the rolls out of the baking tin. Juice the orange, add the icing sugar until you get a sticky icing. Drizzle over the rolls. Let them now cool completely before you serve them.

Enjoy!!!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Pistachio Brownies (sponsored)


When I think of brownies, a hundred memories flash back to my mind. The best one is my 19th birthday. This year, literally every friend who offered me a gift added a tray of brownies to it. Some baked them by themselves, others asked their moms to do so. Sometimes the latter even had to do research to find out what brownies actually are. You can imagine that after this date I had a serious overdose. Understandable, right? Even the biggest chocoholic cannot cope with more than 10 trays of brownies. My family and friends loved my though because for more than a week, we had brownies EVERY SINGLE DAY!


But what makes brownies so special. Why wouldn't one go for a simple chocolate cake? What I love most about brownies is the chewy gooey fudgy texture on the inside and the crunchy crust on the outside. I tested this recipe three times to find the perfect balance between cacao and chocolate. What I can say is that I've come across the perfect balance. My friends and colleagues tested them, and all camps approved without blinking an eye. That's when you know you did everything right. 


For 12 brownies you need:
250g butter
200g flour
280g good quality chocolate
4 eggs
250g sugar
65g cacao powder
200g roasted pistachios

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


Preheat the oven to 150°

Melt the butter and chocolate over a double boiler. Meanwhile, whisk the eggs and sugar up for 5 minutes until well combined. Pour in the melted chocolate-butter mixture and mix again. Add the flour and cacao, then finally the pistachios. 

Pour the batter into a buttered brownie tin and bake for 30-35 minutes. 

Enjoy!!!!




Friday, March 31, 2017

Strawberry Tiramiu (sponsored)


Spring has finally arrived and with it a variety of seasonal produce. Apples and beets had to say goodbye and leave the stage for a variety of colourful fruits and veggies. It's a real pleasure to stroll around the local green markets and check out if the strawberries and rhubarb are as ripe as they should be.

With the time change, the days are longer. Nature spoils us with beautiful sceneries and smells of blooming flowers. To celebrate the season I gave my traditional Tiramisu recipe a seasonal twist. After the x-massy version with Speculoos, I now opted for the traditional recipe with a very berry extra. 


The Tiramisu recipe is my very first recipe I owned as a kid. I remember that one afternoon I went to see my neighbour who was preparing Tiramisu for her guests in the evening. I remember that it was the first time I heard about this dessert, and had absolutely no clue what to expect from it. Very carefully I dipped the ladyfingers into the coffee and lined them up into the glass dish. As indicated in the recipe we spread half of the mascarpone mixture over them. Then we repeated layers until done. 

As my neighbour saw how passionate I was about preparing the dessert she suggested that we make a little bowl for me as well. I was so happy and obviously agreed immediately. Before leaving her place, she wrote my down the recipe, which I treated as a precious gift ever since. I think I was 8 years old when we made this Tiramisu. Today I am 32 and I still have the original piece of paper. Even though I am digitalising the recipe right now, I will always keep my first recipe of my still growing collection. 


For about 4 cups you'll need:

500g mascarpone
4 egg yolks
100g sugar
250 ladyfingers
3 tsp Amaretto 
1 cup coffee

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


In a large bowl whisk together the sugar and the egg yolks until well combined. Beat in the mascarpone until you get an even creme. Pour in the Amaretto and mix again. 

Prepare one cup of coffee and let cool down a little bit. Hull and finely dice the strawberries. Leave one for each glass aside as decoration. 

Now dip one side of each ladyfinger in the coffee and line the bottom of dessert cups. Pour 3-4 tbsp of mascarpone creme evenly on top. Add a few tbsp of strawberries, then cover them with some more mascarpone creme. Repeat the process for each layer and finish off with a with a layer of mascarpone creme. 

Now slice the remaining strawberries to decorate the dessert cups. Crush one ladyfinger and sprinkle the crumbs on each cup. 

Enjoy!!!



Friday, March 17, 2017

Salmon Burger


Hands up who doesn't like a big flavourful burger? Hell yes! I thought so...! Burgers are pretty difficult to resist, aren't they? But from experience I can tell that a good burger is not only about the taste of the patty but also about the quality and the combination of the extras and condiments. 

I've been to quite a lot of burger restaurants over the last few years, and I can tell that all the best burgers spoilt my taste buds with genius combinations. Honey, chilli mango chutney or pineapple slices; to only name a few of the ingredients that really made a difference. 


Last year at the Christmas Market I had roasted salmon in a sandwich for the first time in my life. As far as I remember this is a typical Scandinavian recipe. I really liked the combination of warm and juicy salmon and a white honey mustard sauce on bread. Convinced at the first bite, I decided to develop a salmon burger recipe.  

For this recipe, I chose to include a healthy amount of spiciness, which I achieved through the wasabi mayonnaise, the onions and the arugula salad. In addition I wanted to round these flavours up and went for the avocado. Even though it might seem to lack taste next to all the other flavours, I must tell that it actually was a great decision. 


For 1 burger you'll need:
2 burger bun
2 handfull arugula salad
1 red onion
2 salmon filets
1/4 cucumber
3 tbsp mayonnaise
1/2 tsp wasabi
1/2 avocado
butter


Preheat the oven to 180°

Place the salmon filets into a buttered baking tin and roast for 20-25 minutes. 

Meanwhile, whisk together the mayonnaise and the wasabi to prepare your sauce. Then slice the cucumber and the onion. Peel the avocado and slice it lengthwise. 

Once the salmon filets are done, assemble the burgers with buns, salmon, wasabi mayonnaise, avocado, cucumber and red onion slices. 

Enjoy!!!



Sunday, February 19, 2017

Aparagus and pea bagel (sponsored)


This green bagel is a rollercoaster of spring tastes. 

I was so surprised when first testing the recipe. I am really trying to respect the seasons on the blog. But sometimes you just can't handle your appetite for certain ingredients and then I am also making exceptions. Though spring is just around the corner and I was looking to develop a seasonal hit. The recipe includes asparagus and green peas, whose season will start in a bit. 

So what makes this bagel so amazing? Well.. let me tell you. It's the layer of mint and cashew pesto, which is the first layer and gives the whole recipe a lot of freshness. Then the smashed peas add a little sweetness and the asparagus some extra crunch. The scrambled feta rounds the whole thing up and ensures a smooth transition of tastes. 


For two bagel halves you'll need:

1 bagel
75g green peas
1tbsp olive oil
50g feta
12 thin asparagus spears
25g mint leaves
75g feta
50g cashew nuts
50ml lemon juice
60ml olive oil

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


Place the mint, feta, cashews, lemon juice, salt and pepper into a food processor. Blend for a minute, if necessary scrape dow sides. Now add the olive oil and blend again until well-combined. 

In a large frying pan heat some olive oil on a medium-high heat. Add the asparagus spears and sauté for around 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. While the asparagus are cooling down toast the bagels and cook the peas. 

Now you can prepare the bagel halves. Spread 2 tablespoons of pesto onto each half. Then evenly spread the smashed peas on the bagels. Now place the lukewarm asparagus spears on top of the bagel. 

Crumble the feta and sprinkle on both bagel halves. Season pepper.

Enjoy!!!

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Cashew Ginger Energy Balls


Having a busy life can be very challenging at times, especially when it comes to healthy nutrition. Between work, fitness goals, blogging and social life there is unfortunately not always a lot of time for decent grocery shopping or meal prepping. 

As today is a calm day and I decided to do a little inventory of my pantry and my whole food shelf. I have got loads of grains and seeds, which I should integrate more often into my daily meals. So as there were left some cashews and Medjool dates, I decided to make some energy bars or balls. From my last cocktail night there were still some limes left, which I decided to use to add a little freshness to my energy balls. 


All the goodness from Medjool dates, cashew nuts, chia seeds and ginger is united in this recipe. They give you a real boost on busy days and also occur to be a perfect pre-workout snack. 

Usually  when I am working, I start getting tired around 7 o'clock and sometimes tend to skip the gym. But when I eat a pair of my homemade energy bites, I feel really energised and my motivation to hit the gym increases considerably. Ok, I guess when my coach reads this, he will ask me to produce another 1000 balls to get my butt to the gym a little more often. But there's little chance he reads this blog post anyways. 


For around 18 energy balls you'll need:

150g cashew nuts
50g pumpkin seeds
240g Medjool dates
juice of one lime
2 tsp ground ginger


Place the cashews, pumpkin and chia seeds into a food processor and pulse several times until the nuts and seeds are crushed. Add the dates, blend, then add the lime juice and ground ginger. Blend again until the mixture become nice and sticky.

Roll the mix into equally sized balls. In order for the balls to set well, place then into the freezer for about an hour. Then put them into an airtight container and store in the fridge. 

Enjoy!!






Saturday, February 11, 2017

Cranberry Pistachio Sausage Rolls


Game day, Christmas, Summer Party, Movie Night… to only name a few occasions for which you can prepare these little bad boys. 

For the last Christmas Eve I was in charge of the aperitivo. I was trying to make something really tasty which wouldn't fill people up too much, as the food prepared by my dad was heaven. At the supermarkets you can find loads of little canapés that are usually made out of puff pastry. So indeed, I wanted to prepare something that includes puff pastry as well. 

I heard that the British had this famous little thing called sausage roll. Not too much of a fan of a purely meaty canapé, especially as most of them are made out of really greasy meat, I was trying something on my own. I've seen canapés with nuts or with dried fruits, so I thought I would just bring all of the not meaty flavorful elements together. And I have to say, my family just loved it!!!


For around 80 sausage rolls you'll need:
6 sheets puff pastry
1 read onion
2 garlic cloves
550g lean minced pork
2 Grany Smith apples (grated)
50g pistachios
50g dried cranberries
2 tbsp wholegrain mustard
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley
1 egg
1 tbsp milk
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp sesame seeds
salt & pepper


Preheat the oven to 180°

Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan before you add the onion and a pinch of salt. Sauté for around 5 minutes. Then add the garlic and continue for another 5 minutes. Remove the frying pan and let completely cool.

In a large bowl mix the pork meat, pistachios, cranberries, grated apple, vinegar and parley as well as the onion until well-combined. Season with salt and a generous amount of black pepper and mix again. 

Cut each pastry sheet into three roughly 8cm large and 5 cm wide strips. In a small bowl, combine the milk and egg with a fork.  Align the rectangles in a row and place 1tsp of stuffing on one side of each of them. Roll up to enclose the filling, then brush some egg mixture along the side to seal. Repeat until all the stuffing is used up.

Place the mini sausage rolls onto a tray lined with baking paper. Coat each sausage roll generously with the remaining egg mixture and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Bake the sausage rolls for 30-40 minutes depending on your oven until golden brown and crispy. When ready, take them out of the oven and serve hot. 




Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Homemade Mini Pizzas (sponsored)


Say it with pizza or not at all! 

They say that human taste evolves over the years. When hearing that sentence, I usually think of more sophisticated things than pizza. I never really liked pizza. I found it a bit boring and when going to Italian restaurants I usually chose some fancy pasta recipes. But 2016 was the year when my taste buds suddenly changed their sense of taste and I actually started to like pizza. So what did the switch result from? Difficult to say… but…one of my colleagues seems to be a little pizza addict. Over the year, she was regularly talking about that famous place in the eastern part of Luxembourg where she would enjoy the best pizza of the Grand Duchy. When hearing her talk about pizza all the time, I thought come on, give it a try. And bam! I liked it. So I went from 1 pizza when having no choice every couple of years,  to 3-4 pizzas in only one. 


Obviously now I realized what I have missed out on all these years. So I faced the challenge to develop my own recipe and I have to admit that I'm very happy about the result. I was looking for a spicy and a herbal juicy version, that's why I came up with the two recipes hereunder.

As you may see, for the upcoming love birds festivities I made little pizza hearts. Well yes… say it with pizza! I'm not much of a fan of the commercial offers in stores for Valentine's day, but preparing some cheesy (ha! yes loads of cheese please!) treats for diner is totally OK. 


For around 10 mini pizzas you need:

dough
150g flour
a large pinch of sea salt
1 tsp good quality olive oil
100ml lukewarm water
2tbsp cold water
12g fresh yeast

***

topping
100g tomato sauce
a handful of cherry tomatoes
75g grated mozzarella
5 basil leaves
olive oil
100g spicy chorizo
120g black olives

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


Preheat the oven to 200°

Pour the lukewarm water into a small glass. Add the yeast and stir vigorously until you can no longer discern the yeast.

In the bowl of a stand mixer with the dough hook attached, mix the flour, salt, olive oil, yeast water as well as the two tbsp cold water on low. Turn the speed up to med-low and mix for about 5 minutes until the dough forms into a ball. Once done, knead the dough firmly with your hands for ten seconds, then wrap it into a damp towel and put it in a warm ware to let it double in size about one hour.

Unroll pizza dough and cut out heart shapes until the dough is used up. You can also use a heart-shaped pancake ring.  Then place the dough hearts on a baking sheet. Fill center with tomato sauce. Top with chorizo & chopped olives or halved cherry tomatoes and chopped basil. Finally add the grated mozzarella on all of the pizzas.

Bake for around 15 minutes until the crust gets golden brown.

Enjoy!!!

Monday, January 30, 2017

Chocolate Hazelnut Spread


My homemade Nutella is the first recipe of the year and I have the feeling that it will be one of my favorites. To some this seems to be a bold statement as it is only the first of the year, but I have to say that I am really happy with the result. Well.. somehow, this might also be linked to the fact that I am quite obsessed with nut butters lately. Does anyone else share the same addiction? I never thought one could crave nut butters, but hey, at least it's a not so unhealthy treat if you prepare it in the right way. This cleaner version of the Italian processed spread has all the goodness of hazelnuts in it. 


Since I have my food processor I am making all kinds of nut butters on a regular basis. You will find some other non chocolaty versions on the blog soon! But back to this homemade chocolate hazelnut spread. It all started when I was checking out some recipes on the Internet yet many of the homemade versions still had loads of sugar in it (which I didn't like). So I started checking out for healthier recipes. The funny part of the current recipe is that I was stumbling upon a recipe from a U.S. website using American cups as measurement and I was mistaken it for real cups. The result was completely different from what it should have been, but I'm so happy about my own version now that I didn't try the original one. 


For two pots you'll need:

400g hazelnuts
170ml maple syrup
150ml water
3tbsp raw cocoa powder
optional: pinch of ground vanilla


Preheat the oven to 180°

Place the hazelnuts on a baking tray and bake for about 10 minutes. Take them out of the oven and let cool down a few minutes. 

Once cool, place them into a food processor and blend for around 10 minutes until you obtain a smooth nut butter. Then add the maple syrup and the cacao powder and blend again. Now you can slowly pour in the water until the chocolate hazelnut spread become really creamy and smooth. 

Optional: Once the hazelnut spread is all smooth stir in the ground vanilla.

Enjoy!!!! 




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