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Friday, January 19, 2024

Chocolate Almond Butter Dates

 These chocolate covered almond butter dates are a very pleasing yet healthy snack, and help you get through a rough morning or a busy afternoon. Best thing: these bites are plant-based and fuel you with loads of plant power! 


Do you remember the video clip going viral, where Nick Kroll stands on stage and tells the audience 'I love snaaaaaaaaaaacks' in that very shrill voice? It's not a statement like 'well guys you know, I love snacks, no, heeeeee loooooves snaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaacks. The time it takes to listen through this sentence, all the sensors are already activated and they tell you, that, well, you too do love snacks a lot. Like really A LOT. Right... we all do, and that's exactly why we could all relate so much to this sentence. Once that fact has been sorted, whether you're alone or watching the show with family and/or friends, you have that one thing in mind which gives you exactly this vibe, right? For me, it's this: chocolate covered almond butter filled dates. 

It only takes one bite, and you're hooked! The ooey gooey shell of the dates, the nutty unctuous texture from the almond butter and the silky smooth chocolate coating let you dive into a healthy candy land you might not have discovered before. While you work through the different layers, your body and mind already ask for more. Believe me when I say, this snack is addictive and a game changer. 


Why you'll love this recipe?
Flavourful fusion: The sweetness of the dates and the tanginess of the nut butter are a perfect match. Rounding it all up with dark chocolate coats these rather opposite flavours
Convenience: If you love sweet snacks this recipe will scratch the itch as it's naturally sweet, and super quick to make. All you'll have to do is melt some chocolate and assemble the ingredients
Healthy option: This snack is packed with natural ingredients. The Medjool dates are high in fibre and a natural sweetener. Almond butter is high in unsaturated fats, which help you stay satiated longer. 
Versatility: You can use whatever nut butters you love best, so this snack never gets boring. You may also add some nuts to add some extra crunch. 

For 12 dates you'll need:
200g dark chocolate
100g almond butter
12 Medjool dates
sea salt

*****

Slice the dates lengthwise and remove the pits. Add one tsp of nut butter to the centre of each date, then place them onto a tray lined with parchment paper. Freeze for 30 minutes to firm up. 

In the meantime, melt the chocolate. Once the dates are ready, dip them into the melted chocolate and sprinkle with sea salt. Place them in the fridge to set, but also keep them there to store.

Enjoy!!!

Are you planning on making this recipe? Or have you already tried it?
Then show me your creations on Instagram: @passionmeetscreativity  I'm looking forward to your comments & suggestions :)

Sunday, December 24, 2023

Eggnog Cinnamon Rolls

 

If you live/ have lived in Luxembourg you know the eggnog drink that appears every year by the end of October / beginning of November in the local supermarkets. I have to admit, when the days get shorter, the temperature drops and the only thing you want to do is snuggle up in your home and enjoy comforting hot or cold drinks Luxlait's Egg Nog has always been one of my favorite. 

Even as a kid I couldn't await the moment when eggnog finally did its reappearance in the shelves, and so I think I can say this is the seasonal product that I've consumed most in my entire life. I cannot recall the number of packs I've drank over the years, but its been loads. Even when I had covid and didn't taste a damn thing, I still kept up the tradition. Obviously it didn't kick as good during these days, but there's something about the texture that also makes it a comforting drink. 

Fast forward to 2021, when I developed another culinary obsession: CINNAMON ROLLS. I've always loved a good cinnamon bun, but I had one in particular that made my taste buds go wild. The ratio of the icing, dough and cinnamon sugar mix was perfect, so I took one home for the next day as well. It was around Christmas time as well, so I had the bun with my beloved eggnog (Yeah I know, in terms of sugar every GP would start yelling at me) and I thought to myself. This is it!! There has to be a Christmas edition for the classic cinnamon roll. What about putting that delicious Luxlait egg nog into the dough and the icing and look what's going to happen. I tell you what happened: the perfect seasonal cinnamon roll was born. 

So I teamed up with Luxlait, the Luxembourgish dairy company which makes my favorite egg nog drink, and told them that I've created the perfect Christmas breakfast item. When to enjoy a good egg nog cinnamon bun? Well, during the jolly season, on Christmas morning and after Christmas with all your leftover egg nog (I know you too stocked up a bit as it's going to disappear real soon!)

For 12 buns you'll need:

Dough
500g flour
2 tsp brown sugar
7g dry yeast
1 pinch salt
150 ml Luxlait egg nog
100g butter
3 eggs

Filling
100g butter
150g brown sugar
100g white sugar
3 tsp cinnamon

Glaze
250 powdered sugar
5 tbsp Luxlait egg nog


Mix 400g flour, brown sugar, salt and yeast in a bowl. Add the eggnog and butter and knead. Now gradually fold in the eggs and the remaining flour. Cover the dough with cling film and leave to rest for an hour. Make sure you don't use a steal bowl, because the dough won't rise that good in there. 

While the dough is resting, melt the butter for the filling. Mix with both types of sugar and cinnamon. Then line a baking tray with baking paper. 

Preheat the oven to 180°.

Once the dough is ready, knead it again and roll out into a rectangle (20x40 cm). Spread the butter mixture on top and then roll up the dough from the long side. Cut the dough into 12 rolls (I used a thread), then place them on the baking tray and cover with cling film again. Let rest for another 30 minutes, then bake for around 30 minutes. 

In the meantime, prepare the glaze by mixing the eggnog and the icing sugar. Pour the glaze over the warm cinnamon rolls. 

Enjoy!!!!

Are you planning on making this recipe? Or have you already tried it?
Then show me your creations on Instagram: @passionmeetscreativity  I'm looking forward to your comments & suggestions :)

Saturday, December 23, 2023

Marillenringe


Marillenringe are a classic. I remember a day back in the nineties, when we stayed in the black forest region with my family over Christmas. We were having our afternoon tea, enjoying some Christmas cookies that I would occasionally dip into my milk. Yes, it’s that long ago! The buttery scent, the crunch of the shortbread cookies and the sweet flavour from the apricot jam, made these little treats real treasures. With every bite, you would dig deeper into this pure bliss, stimulating all your senses. No surprise that everybody had a big smile on their face afterwards. 

Looking back, I think that it was one of the whitest, coldest but also most festive Christmases we’ve ever had together. Nobody was in charge for anything but enjoying our Christmas holidays. Nobody had to buzz around like a busy bee because everything was taken charge of: Dad didn’t have to prepare the Christmas Eve dinner, mom didn’t have to ensure everyone was invited and all the other things were ordered. My grandma didn’t have to stay in the kitchen for hours to prepare lunch on Christmas Day. We could just enjoy everyone’s presence and indulge. 
I actually also do love Christmas at home though. I love helping my family with all things food. That’s why this year I’m in charge with everything nibbles. I already have everything sorted out for the appetisers, and I’m also planning do make few more Marillenringe this week to enjoy with our coffees. Very often, it’s the moment where everyone (especially the hosts) can relax and the real fun of the get togethers begins. 
Best thing: They are really easy to make and keep a long time in a metal box (note to self for next year).


For around 30 cookies you'll need:
400g flour
125g sugar
1 egg yolk
15ml rum
225g apricot jam
250g butter
8g vanilla sugar
1 pinch salt

****

Pour the flour onto the work surface. Make a well in the middle, then add the sugar, salt, vanilla sugar, egg yolk and rum. Spread the butter in flakes over the flour. Knead all the ingredients into a shortcrust pastry. Wrap the dough in cling film and leave to rest in the fridge for 2 hours. 

Preheat the oven to 180°.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let sit several minutes. Remove the cling film, then dust your work surface with flour.  Now roll the dough to a 3-4 mm thickness. Cut out round cookies and rings, then place them to a parchment paper lined baking tray. Bake for 10-15minutes. Here again, watch the cookies, as all ovens work differently. Cookies should be golden and not too dark. Repeat the same process until you've used all your dough. 

To finalise the cookie sandwich, dust ring cookies with icing sugar.

Stir the jam over a medium heat until smooth, spread it on the cookies and place the rings on top. Add some more jam in the middle of the rings. Leave to dry well before storing the cookies in a tin. 

Enjoy!!!

Sunday, December 10, 2023

Festive Baked Apple Trifle

 

When it comes to Christmas desserts, opinions differ A LOT! Some people prefer a good old bûche de Noël, while others long for lighter and more creative creations. If you're one of the latter, I may interest you in a very delicious, seasonal and festive baked apple trifle.

In 2020 I published my Vanillekipferl recipe, and you might remember that restrictions were relatively high back then. You weren't allowed to meet up with many people, and so I happened to have all these Christmas cookies, and no one to enjoy them with (apart from a very few people). 

But situations like these are usually the source of newfound creativity. Had I been able to see more people, I definitely would have given the cookies away, or shared them with friends over coffee. So here I was, in my kitchen, looking for ways to incorporate these vanilla treasures into one of my Christmas desserts, and I have to say, I am very happy with the result. What I love most about this Christmas dessert is that it has its seasonal fruits and the festive note with the white wine cream rounding it up with a classic Christmas cookie. 

For 4 glasses you'll need

1 ½ apple
15g butter
160 ml Chardonnay
140 ml apple juice
20g vanilla sugar
1 tsp cornstarch
110g low-fat quark
100g crème fraîche
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp sugar
140g crushed Vanillekipferl + 4 for decoration 

******

Stir the apple juice and Chardonnay in a bowl. Sweeten with 10g vanilla sugar and whisk in the cornstarch. 

Remove the core from the apples, peel and then cut into small cubes. Melt the butter in a small pan, then add the apples and sauté briefly. Add the apple juice mixture, quickly bring to the boil and then leave to cool.

Stir the quark with the sugar and the remaining vanilla sugar, then add the crème fraîche and mix until you have a smooth cream. Season to taste with the lemon juice and stir again briefly. 

Put 4 Vanillekipferl to one side, crumble the rest into medium-sized pieces. Pour the cookie crumbs into the glass first, then add the quark cream and finally top with the apple compote. Decorate each with a Kipferl. 

Enjoy!!!

Are you planning on making this recipe? Or have you already tried it?
Then show me your creations on Instagram: @passionmeetscreativity  I'm looking forward to your comments & suggestions :)


Saturday, December 2, 2023

Zimsterne


December is always a very busy month, yet also a very delicious one. What I love most about December is that you may be in a rush for many reasons (work, family, friends, volunteering, etc) but there's always room for a sweet moment with Christmas treats. Sure breaks are nice in any given season, but is there anything more comforting than having a break around Christmas time? Seriously, just think about it. Taking a break with a cinnamon star or two in one hand, and a seasonal tea or coffee in the other - daydreaming about the upcoming weeks, about winter, and the snow. 

Well, at least that's how I slide through the advent season. So today's recipe is a German classic: Zimtsterne. Zimtsterne are cinnamon stars with a meringue like icing on top. I have so many lovely memories of Zimsterne moments. When we were little, and my grandparents were still alive, we used to go to the south of Germany or Austria later on during the festive season. So in my childhood we often had white Christmas, with loads of Christmas cookies. But somehow the Zimtsterne were always among my favourite. 

Those of you who follow along for a while, know that my grandpa started baking a lot after retiring. So when I grew older, we baked many Christmas Cookies together. Of course we also made Spitzbuben, Heidesand and Vanillekipferl here and there, but my favourite always were the Zimtsterne. So let me take you on a delicious journey, with cookies crisp on the outside and super soft on the inside, where the flavours of cinnamon and hearty almonds melt together. 


For around 40 cookies you'll need:
250g icing sugar
3 egg whites
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp cinnamon
400g unpeeled ground almonds

****

Preheat the oven to 120° (fan)

In a large bowl, beat the eggs until stiff, then gradually whisk in the icing sugar. Remove two large table spoons of the beaten eggs and set aside for the coating later on. 

Now fold in the vanilla extract, cinnamon and around half the almonds. Add the rest of the almonds, then use your hands to bring together an even dough that is barely sticky. 

Wrap the dough in cling film and leave to rest in the fridge for one hour. 

Put the dough on a surface generously dusted with icing sugar, then roll the dough out to 1/2 cm sickness.

Cut out the stars with a cookie cutters, then place them on a baking tray lined with baking paper, then spread some of the icing you set aside on the cookies. I used a silicon pencil but you can also use a knife or a spoon. Bake for approximately 25 minutes. 

Once the cookies are baked, put them onto a wire rack and let cool. 

Re-roll the excess dough and repeat the process until there's no dough left. 

The cookies remain moist, crispy yet soft if stored in cookie tins with lids for around two weeks. 

Are you planning on testing the recipe? Or have you already tried it?
Then show me your creations on Instagram: @passionmeetscreativity  I'm looking forward to your comments & suggestions :)




Sunday, July 30, 2023

Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies

 

Yet another cookie recipe you might think. But let me invite you to stay a little bit longer on this page and read the story behind this recipe. 

Last fall, I went to see a friend in New York, and the second night of my stay we went to a bbq night at one of her friends'. The French-Puerto Rican couple, who were such great hosts, served great grilled steak and beautiful salads and cheese. You already feel the French summer night vibe here, right? 

Once we finished our meal, the hosts served Levain cookies for dessert. If you ever had cookies from the Levain Bakery, you know how awesome this was. They're undoubtedly the best cookies in the world. It's the perfect ratio of crispness on the outside, and gooeyness on the inside. 

I stayed several days in the city, then continued my trip to the Hamptons, and later on to Boston/ Cambridge to visit another friend. A fews days there, I introduced her to the Levain cookies. We both agreed: best cookies in the world. I was so happy to share this experience with her, as we all know that shared happiness is doubled happiness. This is especially true when it comes to food!

Back home I couldn't stop talking about the fact that I've finally found the best cookie in the world and found a few more fans among friends and colleagues. Some of them walking 15 blocks under pouring rain to bring a decent amount back home, just to enjoy them a little longer than a 5 day trip in NYC.

So what does all this have to do with my recipe, you may ask? Well... actually it's the root of it all. Since last September I've researched so much, compared numerous recipes and asked skilled fellow bakers what they think about my findings in order to create my own delicious recipe of chocolate chip walnut cookies. 

I always aim to recreate my culinary experiences, when it comes to travel recipes. I start with good research, and talk to people from the countries I visited before I start my testing process. For this recipe I stayed longer in the theoretical process than usual, but I am glad I did. It only took me one test run to get to the final recipe. And I am soooo happy with the result. 


For 15 cookies you'll need:
300g good quality dark chocolate chips
225g butter
240g walnuts
300g fine brown sugar
330g flour
2 large eggs
1,5 tsp fine sea salt

*****

In a large bowl, whisk together the butter and sugar. Gradually add the flour, then add the eggs one by one until the dough is well combined and starts sticking to the sides. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then fold in the nuts and chocolate chips. Whisk again until you get an even dough.

Flatten the dough, wrap it in cling film, and refrigerate for an hour. Divide the chilled dough into 15 equal portions (+/- 90g) and roll each of them into a ball. Refrigerate the balls for another 2 hours. 

Preheat the oven to 180° fan & line a sheet pan with parchment paper. 

Place 4 dough balls on the prepared sheet pan and bake for 18 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to let cool a little more. You can either enjoy them still warm or completely cooled down.

Enjoy!!!

Are you planning on making this recipe? Or have you already tried it?
Then show me your creations on Instagram: @passionmeetscreativity  I'm looking forward to your comments & suggestions :)

Thursday, April 6, 2023

Asparagus Quinoa Salad (sponsored)

 
Oftentimes when I am researching delicious flavour combinations of seasonal produce, I am
wondering which wines would be the perfect pairing. Spring is the most challenging season, I find,
because it might still be a bit chilly, yet the vegetables are already spoiling us with their particular
nuances.

For this particular recipe, with the Vinsmoselle Fréijoerswäin (spring wine) I knew I wanted there to
be asparagus and a zesty note from the lemon vinaigrette. This very type of wine is fruity with
aromas of ripe grapes and tangerines. On the palate, it is juicy, fresh with hints of lemon, and vanilla.
I enjoyed doing this taste recall in order to round it all up.


For two portions you’ll need:
180g dry quinoa
1 bunch asparagus
200g peas
50g feta
3 scallions
5 sprigs flat parsley
60g slivered almonds
60ml olive oil
1 lemon (juice & zest)
Salt
Pepper


Start with rinsing the quinoa, then cook it according to the instructions on your package.
While the quinoa is cooking, blanch the peas and asparagus in salted boiling water for just a few
minutes, then place them into ice cold water for them to cool quickly.
Once the quinoa has cooled, combine it with the blanched veggies in a bowl. Slice the scallions, chop
the parlsley and add them to the salad. Now you can also add the almonds and give it a good toss.
Pour over the olive oil & lemon juice, add the lemon zest and stir again. Season with salt and pepper
to your taste and give it a last toss. Crumble the feta and sprinkle it over the salad.
Now the salad is ready to be served.

Enjoy!!!

Are you planning on making this recipe? Or have you already tried it?
Then show me your creations on Instagram: @passionmeetscreativity  I'm looking forward to your comments & suggestions :)



Monday, March 6, 2023

Lemon Almond Cake

 

If there's one thing we should all love about winter, it is the large variety of citrus fruits. Their prime harvest time is between late November and early March. My favourite citrus fruits to use in the kitchen are lemons and blood oranges. They give me that instant summer feeling, and add  a lovely taste of sunshine to all of your dishes. I like adding them to savoury recipes as much as I like them in desserts.

Today's treat is my super moist and fluffy lemon almond cake. I have to admit, it's been ages since I've last made it so I was a little nervous if I still remembered the instructions my granddad gave me decades ago. When my grandma handed me his old cookbooks, I found a note with this very recipe but the 'little extra' was not written on it. I have a great memory, and I hope it stays this way for a while, because part of my recipes that are not yet on the blog, exist only in my head. All jokes aside, if all goes according to plan, the three remaining recipes will appear on the blog until the end of the year. 

So back to the cake, this lemon almond cake is a perfect cake for your afternoon teas or coffee dates with friends. It is gluten and dairy free, but not vegan. So if you have people with dietary restrictions around you, you may still bake them a super delicious treat. 

For one cake you'll need:

225g sugar
225g ground almonds
zest from one lemon
juice from two lemons
4 eggs
salt

****

Preheat the oven to 180°

Separate the egg whites from the yolks. 

In a bowl whisk together the sugar and egg yolks. Add the almond powder, lemon zest and juice. Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt in a separate bowl until stiff, then fold them gently into the almond lemon mixture. 

Butter a springform tin, then add the batter. 

Bake for 45 minutes. When a toothpick comes out clean, the cake is ready.

Leave to cool before unmoulding. 

Enjoy!!!

Are you planning on making this recipe? Or have you already tried it?
Then show me your creations on Instagram: @passionmeetscreativity  I'm looking forward to your comments & suggestions :)


Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Vegan Lentil Bolognese


Are you in the mood for delicious yet healthy comfort food? Then you're in the right place!

During these gloomy winter months, we definitely all need delicious flavourful dishes to warm our souls. When I first researched what I could use as substitute in a vegetarian or vegan version of the classic Italian ragù, I didn't expect to love the lentil option so much. But, as  always I was quite determined to end up with the perfect recipe. And after 2 solid trial runs I had the perfect ratio between proteins & veg, acidity & crunch.  

My lentil bolognese is a very recent recipe I developed, but I can sense that it will be one of my go to pasta recipes from now on. It's better than the store bought sauces, it's nutritious... and let's not forget about the best thing:  you may open a bottle of wine to cook it. One glass for you, and one for the sauce. That's a fair split, right?


For 4 people you'll need:
3 large carrots
1 celery stalk 
500g (cooked) lentils
125g dried tomatoes (I used the ones not soaked in oil)
3 garlic cloves
1 large onion
olive oil
150ml red wine
800g diced tomatoes
2 bay leaves
1 tsp Italian seasoning (marjoram, thyme, rosemary,..)
1 tsp oregano 
Salt & pepper
150ml water

500g Pasta

cheese (vg or dairy) or yeast flakes

****

Roughly chop the vegetables and dried tomatoes, then add them to your food processor. If you don't own one, finely chop all the mentioned ingredients. Make sure not to over-process the vegetables in order to avoid them becoming purée. 

Heat some olive oil (make sure to use enough as there is no meat fat) in a large pot and add the shredded vegetables to brown. Let simmer for a solid 15 minutes while stirring regularly in order to prevent them from burning. 

Then add the red wine and let it cook-off completely. Add the tomatoes and lentils and stir. Now add the Italian seasoning, bay leaves and oregano and stir again. Once all the ingredients combined, reduce to low heat, add the water and let the sauce simmer for around 40 minutes. 

Meanwhile, cook the pasta and keep a cup of the pasta water in order to add to the sauce if necessary. 

Take out the bay leaves and serve the lentil bolognese over the pasta. And for the final touch don't hesitate to top it off with parmesan, nutritional yeast or vegan cheese.  

Enjoy!!!

Are you planning on making this recipe? Or have you already tried it?
Then show me your creations on Instagram: @passionmeetscreativity  I'm looking forward to your comments & suggestions :)

Sunday, December 11, 2022

Heidesand

 

The Passion meets Creativity Christmas bakery is officially open. And I’ll hit off the season with a
recipe that I’ve been wanting to posts for years. However, November and December always being
very busy at work, I hardly managed to post more than two recipes on the blog and one in a local
magazine. I wouldn’t say that this year I had particularly more lead time than last year. I closed the biggest projects, but then I got knocked out by some colds twice in 5 weeks.  But here I am, standing again, ready to bake my way through classics. 

I may love Christmas for many reasons, but the holiday treats are one of the top three. Heidesand is
a classic, and a very easy recipe to make. You don’t need many spices or ingredients. Just juggling with the basics. The interplay of vanilla and lemon zest however, makes that many people on this side of the
world claim it as one of their favourites.

So here we are, a few Christmas carols in the background and loads of flour and butter on the
kitchen counter, ready to pursue our common mission to spoil our loved ones with our delicious holiday
baking. This Heidesand recipe is the first of this year’s Christmas collection. Make sure to drop by for more and
if you like it, feel free to share it with fellow bakers.


For around 25 cookies you'll need
200g butter
75g icing sugar
60g marzipan
zest of 1/2 lemon
270g flour
1 egg yolk
1 cup of sugar

***

In a large bowl mix the soft butter with icing sugar, the marzipan, the vanilla sugar and the lemon zest. Then knead in the flour. Form equal-sized rolls of the dough (approx 5 cm) then wrap them in cling film and leave to rest in the fridge overnight. 

Preheat the oven to 180°. 

First whisk the egg yolk with a fork in a small bowl, then brush the dough sticks with it and then roll in sugar. It is best to spread the sugar evenly on a large plate beforehand. Carefully cut 1/2 cm thick slices then place them on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden. Leave to cool completely before eating them. They keep up to three weeks in a tin can. 

Enjoy!!!

Are you planning on making this recipe? Or have you already tried it?
Then show me your creations on Instagram: @passionmeetscreativity  I'm looking forward to your comments & suggestions :)

Monday, October 17, 2022

Pumpkin Risotto


Autumn has always been one of my favorite seasons. It's still nice outside, but not too warm. There is still a great variety of delicious produce out there and the days are not yet short either. In recent years, the beginning of autumn has also been the closure of my big projects, the moment I evade for a few weeks to take a decent break. Last year I went to Italy, travelling from lake Como to Florence and back to Milano. This year, it took me to the US, visiting two of my friends in Boston and New York City. 

When I came back last Saturday, I felt like I am ready to get back into my kitchen, and cook up all these beautiful recipes I've worked on over the last two years. But before doing so, I decided to share with you a recipe I once cooked for a very creative dinner party. It must have been in autumn 2018, when 4 of my friends and I decided to have a PUMPKIN dinner. So every dish had to include pumpkin. From cocktails, to amuse-bouche, an entrée my pumpkin risotto as a main, and a pumpkin cake as dessert, we put a fabulous pumpkin menu in place. 

Over the years, when I had guests, I've always made this risotto. With experience, I changed it here and there, to finally come up with the final version, which I only cooked last Saturday. Approved by many, I decided that this pumpkin risotto recipe should not evolve endlessly, but should finally appear on this site. 

So here we are. Pumpkin lovers, risotto lovers and food lovers united, put on that apron and make this delicious recipe. 


For 4 portions you'll need:
400g Arborio rice
225g leek
4 garlic cloves
340g pumpkin purée
1000ml vegetable broth
500ml apple cider
250ml dry white wine
2 tbsp maple syrop
4 thick slices bacon
salt
pepper
100g parmesan

****

Bring 1000ml water to a boil and add vegetable stock. Lower heat, then add the cider and let simmer over low heat. To have all the ingredients ready, chop the leek and garlic and grate the parmesan. 

In a large pot, sauté the bacon over medium heat until crispy.  This might take 8-10 minutes. Remove the bacon slices and set aside. Once cooled down, and between stirring the risotto, chop the bacon. 
Add the leeks and sauté until caramelised, then add the garlic and fry until soft. 
Now add the rice, stir, then deglaze with the white wine. Once rice has absorbed all the wine, gradually add the cider-vegetable stock to the rice, one ladle at a time. Repeat until the rice is al-dente, stirring well after each addition. You might not use all the vegetable stock mixture. 

When the risotto is almost ready, mix in the pumpkin purée and the maple syrup. Stir again, then season well with salt and pepper. Because of the maple syrup and pumpkin puree, you may throw in half a teaspoon each and stir again. 

Once the risotto is done, fold in the parmesan, then plate the dishes. Sprinkle the bacon over the risotto and it's ready to serve. According to your taste, you may top the risotto with more parmesan. 

Enjoy!!!

Are you planning on making this recipe? Or have you already tried it?
Then show me your creations on Instagram: @passionmeetscreativity  I'm looking forward to your comments & suggestions :)

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Brownie Cookies

 


I definitely have a sweet tooth, I can't deny this fact. The chances are quite high that when you meet me, you'll find me either looking for a delicious treat or enjoying one. From exquisite French pastry to ordinary candy, there is no category in which I don't have a coup de coeur. 

However, there is one treat, that I definitely fancy A LOT: the good old cookie. And how lucky we are, they come in all shapes and forms. So what makes a good cookie, you ask? Well, for me it is the texture & the flavour what distinguishes a good cookie from an excellent one. 

Last year, one of my colleagues who also loves baking brought brownie cookies to the office. As a brownie fan, I really loved the fact that these cookies were slightly crisp on the outside and super fudgy and gooey on the inside. From the moment I've had one, I obviously wanted more. I thought to myself that I definitely had to try to make these as well. By the time I decided to make them, I couldn't find the recipe my friend told me about. I had forgotten about the name of the website and started doing my own research. I've found so many recipes, many of which seemed way too sweet, or even greasy. Then I had a look at my own brownie recipe and compared it with the ingredients of the many recipes you might find on the World Wide Web. After fiddling around one Sunday afternoon, I came up with this recipe and I can say I am VERY happy about the result.

So hands on your bowls, we're making brownie cookies now! I promise it's a match made in heaven. 



For around 20 cookies you need:
200g dark chocolate
2 medium eggs
80g brown sugar
85g white sugar
30g butter
50g flour
1g baking powder
4g vanilla extract
100g milk chocolate 

****
Preheat the oven to 175°

In a saucepan, melt the chocolate and butter, then set aside to cool for a bit. In a large bowl beat the eggs and sugar until the mixture is very light, then add the chocolate and butter mixture, stirring constantly. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, vanilla extract and baking powder and stir into the egg-chocolate mixture. Fold in 100g chopped chocolate. Place the dough about the size of a tablespoon on a baking tray lined with baking paper, leaving some space between each cookie. Bake at top and bottom heat for 8-10 minutes. Leave to cool completely before enjoying the cookies.

Enjoy!!!

Are you planning on making this recipe? Or have you already tried it?
Then show me your creations on Instagram: @passionmeetscreativity  I'm looking forward to your comments & suggestions :)

Saturday, January 15, 2022

Roasted Red Pepper Walnut Dip

Growing up in Luxembourg, where you have access to real good bread and international foods my love for dips and spreads has grown enormously over the years. I love them with freshly chopped veg, crunchy pizza bread or spread on toast.  Or shall I say especially on toast. The doughy flavours form the bread combined with the charged flavour of a good dip are just a perfect combination. 

It all started when I discovered hummus in Lebanon. I remember my friendly telling his mom that I haven't eaten anything but hummus 'the whole day'. Ive already mentioned this in my hummus post, I know, but this anecdote is just so on point. I love discovering new foods. I've definitely eaten my way through Lebanese cuisine, but when it comes down to it hummus is all I need and actually want. It's so pure.

I think we can all agree that I cannot eat hummus all day every day. That is correct, and if you've been following me for a while, and see the bits and bobs I post on Instagram, you know well that my meals are very diverse and mostly well-balanced. Every now and then, when I don't have plans or duties on Saturday mornings I'll just brunch at home with fresh fruit, granola and various dips and bread. It's a rollercoaster of flavours and textures yet they all have something in common:  they're delicious. But what makes a genuinely good dip? They're always creamy even when sometimes slightly chunky. But in a good way. They contain at least one grain, vegetables a little bit of acidity and good quality olive oil. As Thomas Hümbs from Das grosse Backen would say: es hat die Säure, es hat den Crunch. (literally: it contains the acidity and the crunch it needs) 

For one portion you'll need: 
3 red bell pepper
3 tbsp olive oil + 1 tsp 
130g walnuts
2 small garlic cloves
juice from one lemon
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/3 tsp cayenne pepper
salt to taste


Preheat the oven to 200° 

Cut the bell peppers in half, remove stems, seeds and membranes. Place the peppers on a parchment paper lined baking tray with the cut side down. Rub with 1 tsp of olive oil, then roast for 40 minutes until the skins are very dark and blistered. 

Now transfer the peppers to a bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Wait ten minutes, remove the wrap and let cool a few more minutes before removing the skin. 

Reduce the heat to 160°. Spread the walnuts on another parchment paper lined baking tray and toast for 7 minutes max, as the nuts should not burn. Set aside to cool.

In a food processor blitz the garlic until finely chopped. Add peppers, walnuts, olive oil, spices and lemon juice and blitz until your preferred consistency. Season with salt to taste. Garnish with a few walnut chunks and parsley.

Enjoy!!!




Sunday, January 2, 2022

Hasselback Winter Salad

 

Winter is here and after all the festive indulgence my body was definitely asking for nutritious food again. You probably know that feeling when you're looking at your pantry and every cell of your body screams: enough! I admit, after all the baking it was time that I come up with some savoury and most and for all healthy dishes again. Even though most of you enjoyed the festive baking and seasonal desserts quite a lot, at some point it's also time to adjust the lever. 

The best thing about winter salads is that they're often a combination of fresh and crunchy vegetables and lukewarm grains and carbs. During the cold season it's often difficult to add some color (except the obvious green) to healthy dishes but here we are. Add on: beans are a great source of protein as well. Rounding the whole thing up with my favourite herb adds a little extra flavour to it.


For two bowls you'll need:
2 large potatoes
1 tbsp olive oil
2 rosemary sprigs
65g quinoa
65g rice
1/2 tsp curcuma
2 handful chopped spinach
1/2 cucumber
120g red beans
65g peas
100g feta
2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
1 tsp buddha bowl spice (or a mixture of ground ginger, cumin, coriander, pepper, cayenne pepper)
sea salt


For the dressing:
4 tbsp olive oil
juice of one lemon
1tbsp apple cider vinegar 

*****

Preheat the oven to 180°

Place the potatoes on a chopping board and slice through the potato. Be careful not to cut all the way through. Put the potatoes on a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil. Add the rosemary in between the slices, then season with sea salt. Bake for around 45-50 minutes.

Now cook the quinoa and rice in two different pots. 

Rinse the cucumber and cut into small cubes. Rinse the spinach, then finely chop. Put both greens into a large bowl. add the beens, crumbled feta and peas. Mix then add the quinoa. In a separate bowl add the curcuma to the rice, mix well, then add to the salad. 

For the dressing, first chop the rosemary. In a small bowl whip together all the liquids then add the chopped rosemary. Pour over the salad and mix until it's well coated. 

Dress each bowl with a few tablespoons of salad, then place the hasselback potatoes on top.

Enjoy!!! 

Are you planning on making this recipe? Or have you already tried it?
Then show me your creations on Instagram: @passionmeetscreativity  I'm looking forward to your comments & suggestions :)

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