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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!!!



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!!






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