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Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Pumpkin Fettuccine Alfredo



Pumpkin Alfredo. 
What was once an unknown pasta sauce has become one of my favourite autumn flavour combinations. Fresh garlic, chopped parsley and the creaminess of the cheesy pumpkin sauce make this seasonal twist of the classic Alfredo a real crowd pleaser. I don't often make pasta recipes, but when I do, I really want to make sure it takes you to a flavourful journey. 

Whether you're dishing this pasta up for a dinner party with friends, or have them with your family on a cozy week night; in any case, they will love it and ask for more. You don't have to be a pumpkin addict to like it, you just have to appreciate comfort food. And let's be honest, with the gloomy atmosphere and the rainy skies, who doesn't appreciate creative comfort food.  



For 2 portions you need:
250g fresh pasta
100g butter
4 garlic cloves
225g pumpkin puree 
200ml cream
50-75g freshly grated parmesan
2 tsp freshly chopped parsley
salt 
pepper



In a large saucepan bring water to a boil over high heat. Add a teaspoon of salt, then add the pasta. Cook until the pasta is al dente (fresh pasta usually takes 2-3 minutes). Keep 150-200ml of pasta water for the sauce. 

In a large frying pan melt butter over medium heat. Stir in the garlic and fry for about a minute. Add the cream, then the pumpkin puree and stir until you get a creamy sauce. Now grate in the parmesan. Season with salt and pepper. Continue staring until the sauce is heated and the cheese completely melted. If the sauce is not creamy enough, pour in some of the pasta water until it has the desired consistency. Finally add pasta and cook over medium heat until the pasta is well coated. This may take 2-3 minutes.

Divide pasta into 2 bowls and garnish with freshly chopped parsley.

Enjoy!!!!

*****

You can find more delicious autumn recipes on my fellow food bloggers' websites:

Kleines Kuliversum made Gebackener Camembert mit gerösteten Trauben (DE)
Mypickedfood made Hähnchen Wintzr Art (DE)
Liebe mit Biss made Risotto-Chorizo-Kürbis (DE)
Spiffing Ideas made Flammkuchen mit Apfel, flambierten Zwiebeln und Walnüssen (DE)



    Thursday, September 26, 2019

    Pumpkin Bread




    Pump(kin) it up!

    Yup! Fall is here, and hereby all its beautiful flavours! I wanted to make something with pumpkin, because I love this vegetable so much. No later than yesterday I made a poll on Instagram where you asked for a pumpkin cake. Now you will have to bake loads of them, because of the outcome I did not cook my pumpkin Alfredo recipe today. But that's part of the social media game right? Of course I have my blog calendar with different posts planned weeks ahead, but every now and then I want to listen to you, my readers and followers, and meet your wishes.

    The first pumpkin bread I had was at my pumpkin feast two years ago. This was a real fun night. We met with some friends and everyone had to bring something with pumpkin. From finger food to dessert, everything contained pumpkin. It was magic! We're still looking for a new theme this year, but the recipes from two years ago will not be forgotten so quickly



    For one cake you need:
    240g butter
    240g flour
    240g brown sugar
    400g pumpkin purée 
    2 eggs
    2 tsp baking soda
    1 tsp salt
    1 tsp cinnamon
    1tsp nutmeg
    1 tsp 
    ground cloves

    For the frosting you need:
    120g butter
    100g icing sugar
    150g cream cheese
    optional: 1 tsp cardamom 
    20g candied pumpkin seeds



    Preheat the oven to 180° (top and bottom heat)

    Melt the butter in a saucepan until slightly brown. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, the spices and baking powder. In another bowl mix the sugar, melted butter and pumpkin purée until well combined. Throw in the eggs one by one while constantly stirring. Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin-butter mixture and stir until you get an even dough. 

    Pour the batter in a buttered loaf tin and bake for one hour. Check on the cake with a skewer; when it comes out clean, the cake is ready. 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 stir until any lumps have disappeared. If you like cardamom, add it to the mixture and stir again. Put the icing into the fridge to set a little before decorating the cake.

    Once the cake is done, let cool. Afterwards spread the frosting on the cake and decorate with the candied pumpkin seeds.

    Enjoy!!!

    Sunday, September 1, 2019

    Mirabelle Almond Cake



    Stone fruit season is slowly transitioning from sweet and juicy peaches or nectarines to the joy of mirabelle and damson plums. This is one of my one shot recipes, where I just had the idea of combining mirabelle plums and almonds, and it turned exactly out how I had imagined it. The slightly acid yet sweet mirabelles perfectly match with the almonds. It's definitely not the last time I made this cake. 

    Mirabelles are local fruits and I was especially looking forward to their arrival this year. It's very funny because for a very very long time I did not eat any these lovely little fruits. Somehow I just dismissed them from my pre-autumn fruit list. Last year, one of my friends gave me a jar of very delicious mirabelle jam that she made with the fruit from her garden. So that was the time I decided there should be more recipes with mirabelles on my blog. So be ready for more to come! 


    For one cake you need:
    200g ground almonds
    100g flour
    1,5 ts baking powder
    160g butter
    160g sugar
    2 eggs
    280-300g mirabelles


    Preheat the oven to 180°

    In one bowl whisk together the butter and sugar until well combined and fluffy. Add the eggs one by one until you get an even mixture. In another bowl mix all the dry ingredients then add them to the batter. Mix again until you get a smooth batter.

    Pit the mirabelle, cut them in half. Pour the batter into a buttered cake tin, then place the plums on top. Bake for 40 minutes, cover the cake with baking paper if necessary and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes. 

    Enjoy!!!


    Sunday, July 28, 2019

    Grilled Peach Ricotta Crostini


    Stone fruit season is at full swing and and the best thing is that you can have peaches, apricots, plums  and nectarines until early autumn. This crostini screams summer vibes and BBQ season with friends and is the perfect appetiser until the fire gets going. Trust me, once you've tried this recipe, you'll be making these crostini for every occasion. It's a real crowd pleaser and the flavours of juicy peaches, sweet honey, creamy honey and fresh thyme on a crunchy crostini are just perfect. 

    I've had these buddies in mind for quite some time and today was the big day. I love crostini and toasts A LOT and I'm always eager to try new combinations. The tart and sweet alternation with a creamy layer in between combines seasonal flavours at its best. So what are you waiting for? Head to your closest farmers market and get all you need. 



    For 8 crostini you'll need:
    8 slices of ciabatta bread
    250g ricotta
    1 lemon
    2 peaches
    good quality olive oil
    2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
    2 tbsp honey



    Preheat your grill to high heat.

    In a medium bowl stir together the ricotta, juice of one lemon and the thyme. Place the bread on a plate and drizzle  with olive oil on both sides of each slice until well covered. Now place the bread on the grill and grill each side for about 2 to 3 minutes. Once they're done set aside and let cool. 

    Wash the peaches, slice them and put on the grill for around 2 minutes each side. Once they're done, let cool on a plate. 

    Spread the ricotta mixture over the bread and top with peaches. Top the crostini with a few more thyme leaves, then drizzle with honey.

    Enjoy!!!!


    Tuesday, May 7, 2019

    Banana Raspberry Parfaits


    Breakfast. The most important meal of the day, yet unfortunately the one I take the least time for. I know it's not ideal, and most of all not very healthy. On weekends however, I really love taking all my time in the morning. Getting up, preparing breakfast, or a sort of home cooked brunch and watching my favourite series. The main reason of my current rhythm is that I prefer to sleep longer instead of sitting half tired half stressed in the kitchen. When I take the time to prepare wholesome meals, I really love to enjoy them and taste every inch of the plate (or jar in this case)

    These banana raspberry cups are inspired from a breakfast I once had at a local coffee shop. But obviously I adjusted it to my taste, and amended the fruit-yoghurt-muesli ratio. The more banana the better. Do you agree on that one? What I love about breakfast parfaits is that you can easily make them ahead and take them to work, or have them as a fruity item on your next brunch buffet. 



    For 2 parfaits you'll need:
    2 bananas
    4 tbsp muesli/granola
    250g raspberries
    250g yoghurt

    ****

    In a saucepan cook the raspberries over middle heat (keep a few to decorate). Stir regularly until they have softened and remove from heat, then let cool. Meanwhile, blend the bananas until very creamy. Pour into the jars to form the ground layer. Add 2 tbsp of muesli or granola to each jar. Add half of the yoghurt to each jar as well. Add some raspberries on top of each jar.

    Enjoy!!!


    Saturday, April 13, 2019

    Asparagus Quiche




    The asparagus season is at full swing and Easter is just around the corner. It's no surprise so many delicious green recipes are coming my way. How do you spend Easter? Going to a restaurant or hosting a brunch at home? If the latter applies to your traditions, I have the perfect recipe for you. That goes without saying that savoury tarts are always a crowd pleaser for these occasions. I love brunch and I love to prepare brunch. Setting the buffet and selecting the recipes you want to prepare sparks so much joy. Arranging the selection, being careful what flavours you combine. It's simple magic. 

    For this recipe my hardest choice was whether I am going to make tartlets or a large quiche. You can see the result in this blogpost. Either way is a good choice, it just depends on how you want to serve it. A good thing about this recipe is, that it's not only a delicious brunch recipe, but you can also enjoy it as weekdays dinner or quick and easy lunches with a good salad. I hope you enjoy the recipe as much as I did.  




    For one quiche you need:
    200g flour
    110g butter
    5 eggs
    20ml water
    3g salt
    1 pinch of fleur de sel 
    pepper
    125g grated cheese
    300 ml heavy cream 
    1 pinch of nutmeg



    Start making the dough by cutting the butter into cubes. Whisk together the flour, the salt, the butter until you get an even dough. Make a well in the centre, now add the egg to it and start to knead gently with your fingers. Finally add the water to obtain a smooth quiche base. Shape the dough into a ball and wrap it in cling film. Put into the fridge for about 1 hour. 

    Preheat the oven to 180°

    Grease a a tart tin (if round 26cm). Roll out the dough on a floured surface until and lift it into the tin with a rolling tin. Prick the bottom several times with a fork, cover it with baking paper, weigh down with baking beans and cook blind for 15 minutes. 

    In the meantime prepare the filling. Cut the ends of the asparagus and cook them for 10 minutes. Beat the remaining eggs, add the liquid cream, the cheese and the nutmeg. 

    Distribute the asparagus over the dough, then pour the filling over them. Bake for 30 minutes.

    Enjoy!!!

    ******

    If you're looking for more Easter brunch recipes please check out the ones of my fellow bloggers:

    My picked food made Korean vegetable pancakes
    Kleines Kuliversum made radish pots with wild garlic
    Fredke and friends made champagne cake
    Spiffing Ideas made ham, cheese and fig pie
    Liebe mit Biss made eggplant kuku



    Tuesday, April 2, 2019

    Red Wine Pasta with Feta and Basil (sponsored)



    When I am approached to develop recipes for collaborations, I always try to make simple dishes, yet use unusual techniques so it has a clear added value for all parties. For this very occasion, notably a wine faire, I asked myself if there was no possibility to infuse pasta the way you infuse risotto. After doing quite some research and reading about other bloggers' experiences I decided to go for the boozy pasta. I love wine, especially red wine, a major reason I threw in a whole bottle from Bordeaux. You might ask yourself why I opted for greek cheese on an Italian dish, wondering moreover why I didn't go for any creamy ricotta or mozzarella. Well here's the answer:  the creamy pasta needed some strong counter-taste. Could you name any other white cheese who'd do the trick?
    When cooking with wine, people's opinions tend to diverge tend. As I am not a fan of using the cheapest wine (except if we're talking about one or two table spoons), I chose the real good stuff. Please don't get me wrong, I am not telling you to pop your most expensive bottles! But once you'll test the recipe, you'll exactly understand what I am talking about. 


    For two people you'll need:
    250g pasta
    1 bottle red wine
    3 garlic cloves
    4 tbsp pine nuts
    125g feta
    2 handful chopped basil
    4 tbsp olive oil
    salt, pepper


    First chop the garlic cloves. In a large saucepan cook the garlic over medium heat until it starts to brown (3-4 minutes). Add the red wine and bring to a boil. Add the pasta, a pinch of salt, then reduce heat to a rapid simmer. Cook the pasta until the wine is completely absorbed. Don't forget to stir occasionally to make sure the pasta is well covered in wine. 

     Meanwhile crumble the feta and chop the basil.  Once everything is ready, divide pasta between two plates. Sprinkle with basil, feta and pine nuts and serve.

    Enjoy!!! 

    Sunday, March 17, 2019

    Spinach Salad with Mango Vinaigrette


    Looking at this dish one might notice that I am totally looking forward to spring. February spoilt us with mild temperatures, but then, the weather got back to gloomy and rainy winter moments. I  absolutely love hearty dishes , especially when baked with loads of cheese, but at some point you just want to switch to juicy fresh produce. 

    Luckily I had a break from all this gloom and went to Costa Rica end of January. We had loads of typical flavours and some inspired this colourful bowl. So my usual bell pepper carrot salad has transformed into a tropical delight. I have to admit that I had to get used to limes in savoury dishes at first, as for me they're THE ingredient that defines mojitos. Now that I'm a fan, I like to replace lemons by limes quite often. So if you're curious what tropical flavours are hidden in my salad, read on and try the recipe. 


    For 4 servings you'll need:
    1 red bell pepper
    1 orange bell pepper
    1 yellow bell pepper
    2 cucumbers
    4 handful spinach
    2 handful coriander 
    2 mangoes
    4 carrots
    4 tbsp chives
    450g black beans (canned)
    4 tbsp olive oil
    3 limes
    2 small onions
    4 avocados
    salt & pepper

    ******

    Rinse the bell peppers and cucumbers then cut them into little cubes. Peel the carrots and cut as well. Chop the chives and coriander and add the herbs to the vegetables. Now add the spinach as well as the black beans to the mix. Stir until all the ingredients are well mixed.
    Peel the mango, press the lime juice and chop the onions into medium-sized chunks. Add everything to a food processor and mix. Divide the salad mix onto four plates, then drizzle the mango vinaigrette over each plate. Cut the avocado and place on top of each salad. Season with salt and pepper ate serve.

    Enjoy!!!



    Sunday, February 24, 2019

    Blood Orange Rosemary Cake


    The thing with cakes is, that every time you try/develop a new recipe that turns out well,  you think it's the best cake you've ever baked. What might seem illogical, is totally normal in the quest of baking high quality cakes every single time you switch on your oven. The texture of this recipe was so silky, I had three pieces in only one day - a thing that I usually don't do. 

    Even though I'm more a chocolate cake kind of person, I must say that with the right fruit-spice ratio, I'm very curious to discover new combinations. When I first saw a recipe of lemon and rosemary cake I was very suspicious these two could match. During my travels, I was once served a lemon-thyme and a lemon-lavender treats, and I was very positively surprised. From that moment on, I was eager to create a recipe with a similar effect on its tasters. 


    For one cake you need:
    7 blood oranges
    225g butter
    200g sugar + 2 tbsp
    3 eggs
    2 large rosemary sprigs 
    300g flour
    2 tsp baking powder
    2 tbsp sour cream 
    150g icing sugar


    Preheat the oven to 180°

    In a large bowl whisk together butter and sugar until they're very well combined and fluffy. Filet 2 blood oranges (make sure that all the white parts of the orange cut off), chop the rosemary, then add everything to the sugar butter mix. Bring in the eggs one by one and beat until you get a smooth batter. Now you can also add the flour and baking powder.

    Butter a bundt cake mold and add the dough. Bake the cake for around 50 minutes.  

    While the cake is baking, prepare the blood orange syrup. In a saucepan bring the juice of 4 blood oranges to a boil, add the two table spoons of sugar, stir for about 3 minutes then reduce heat. Stir regularly until the syrup has reduced one third of its mass. Let cool until the cake is ready.

    As soon as the cake is ready, let cool a few minutes until turning it on a wire rack. Now poke a few holes into the warm cake and pour the blood orange syrup over the cake. Make sure to put a bowl under the wire rack and repeat at least twice. Let the cake cool completely

    In another bowl, gently beat the sour cream until creamy. Add 2 table spoons blood orange juice and 100g of icing sugar. Mix then add more icing sugar until the mixture gets real creamy. Now cover the cake with the icing and cool in the fridge for 20 minutes.

    Enjoy!!!!



    Tuesday, January 1, 2019

    Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Sage Butter


    I did it! I finally managed to prepare the perfect sweet potato gnocchi. Whereas normal gnocchi are much easier to make, the sweet potato gnocchi are quite a challenge. I remember, when I first tried a recipe with my friends. We were standing in the kitchen for hours, not getting that dough into the right consistence to finally bring them to a boil and eat. Either the dough was to sticky oder not moist enough at all. Juggling with flour and water almost ruined the flavour. Because at some point, one could barely taste the sweet potato. 

    For this recipe, I was also standing in the kitchen for a few hours. This time I prepared myself a little differently and hat flour and mashed sweet potato at each hand to find the perfect ratio and finally find  THE recipe for sweet potato gnocchi. It definitely is a balancing act but I am very very happy with the result. 


    For 4 portions you'll need:
    500g sweet potatoes
    2 eggs
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp nutmeg
    360g flour
    5 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
    200g butter
    5 tbsp olive oil
    7 sage leaves (sliced)
    150g rucola


    Preheat the oven to 220°

    Cut the sweet potatoes in half. Then put them onto a baking tray lined with baking paper cut side down. Roast for about 30 to 40 minutes (depending on the size of your sweet potatoes). When the sweet potatoes are tender, take them out of the oven and cool for 10 minutes. Once cool enough to handle peel of the skin and place them into a bowl. Mash the potatoes until there are no chunks left. Stir in the egg. salt and nutmeg, then mix again until you get an even mixture. Now add the flour and stir everything together until well combined. 

    Dusk a work surface with some additional flour. Place the dough on it and knead very gently. If needed, you should add more flour. Be careful, it should still be moist but not sticky. Divide the dough into 6 portions. If necessary, dust with more flour. Now you can roll each portion into a long 1cm wide log. Cut it into 2 cm pillows. To shape the gnocchi, I chose to lightly press them with a fork, then pressing them back into a rectangular with my thumb and index finger. Repeat with the remaining dough.

    Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil over a medium heat. Drop 20 gnocchi and wait until they float up to the surface. Wait 1 more minute, then fish them out of the water with a slotted spoon. While the gnocchi are cooking, you can prepare the sauce. Place a large frying pan over a medium heat as well and melt half of the butter with half the oil. When the butter is melted, add the chopped garlic and sage. Pour in 4 tablespoons of the gnocchi water, cover with a lid and cook for 2 minutes. Add the rucola, cover again, and cook once more for 2 minutes. Finally add half of the gnocchi to the pan and toss to coat. Repeat the process with the second half of the ingredients. 

    Serve the gnocchi immediately. Cheese lovers may sprinkle their portion with some grated parmesan. 

    Enjoy!!!



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