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delicious culinary journey

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!!!



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!!!

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