Summer time – time for early breakfasts in the balcony: yoghurt, blueberries, toasted oats and almonds !

I think it is all a matter of love; the more you love a memory the stronger and stranger it becomes

V. Nabokov

Ingredients (for 2 persons):
– 400ml natural yoghurt
– 400g fresh blueberries
– 100g oats
– 40g chopped almonds

Directions:
1 Toast oats and chopped almonds ~2-4 minutes until golden at medium heat (no oil, no butter)
2 Sprinkle washed blueberries over the yoghurt
3 Sprinkle warm toasted oats and almonds over the yoghurt
4 Enjoy and have a great day !

Notes: it was 6 AM in the morning and the day seemed to be starting wonderfully

Simple Quiche with Salmon and Spinach !

There is not a particle of life which does not bear poetry within it

Gustav Flaubert
Quiche with Salmon and Spinach

Dough ingredients:
– 220g flour
– 100g butter
– 1/2 cup water
– 1/2 tsp salt

Filling ingredients:
– 200g fresh salmon
– 250g spinach
– 250-280g 10% sour cream
– 2 eggs
– 50g cheese
– black pepper

Method:
1 Filling
1.1 Wash spinach and pre-cook it for 15 minutes, then drain extra water
1.2 Chop salmon and pre-cook it for 5-10 minutes in water, drain extra water
1.3 Whisk sour cream and eggs together in a separate bowl
1.4 Grate cheese in a separate bowl
2 Dough
2.1 Mix flour, grater butter, salt and water: knead the dough
2.2 Pre-heat the oven to 200C
2.3 Roll out dough to 32cm round
2.4 Put rolled out dough into 32cm buttered baking form
2.5 Make in the dough small holes for airing
2.6 Pre-bake for 10 minutes at 200C
3 Quiche
3.1 Spread the pre-cooked salmon & spinach onto the pre-baked dough base
3.2 Pour sour-cream-eggs mixture over the salmon & spinach
3.3 Sprinkle uniformly the grated cheese and black pepper over the filling
3.4 Bake the quiche for 25-30 minutes at 200C until golden
3.5 Enjoy and have a great Sunday!

Plaice fillet with Homemade Remoulade

The one way of tolerating existence is to lose oneself in literature as in a perpetual orgy.

Gustav Flaubert
Plaice fillet with Homemade Remoulade

Fish & potato Ingredients (2 servings):
– 225g plaice fillet
– 9 medium potatoes

Batter ingredients:
– 1 egg
– 75g breadcrumbs
– pinch of salt

Remoulade ingredients:
– 2 hard-boiled eggs
– 1 fresh cucumber
– 1/2 red onion
– 4 tbsp olive oil
– 1tsp Dijon mustard
– 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
– 3-4 tsp sour cream
– 1 tbsp chopped parsley
– salt & pepper

Serving ingredients:
– 1 tbsp chopped parsley
– 1/2 tbsp olive oil

Method:

1 Remoulade
1.1 Chop onion, parsley and cucumber
1.2 Hard-boil and chop eggs
1.3 Mix well all remoulade ingredients and put it in the fridge for 10 minutes
2 Potatoes
2.1 Peel and boil potato
2.2 Mix boiled potato with chopped parsley and olive oil: ready for serving!
3 Plaice fillet
3.1 Whisk an egg in a plate
3.2 Put bread crumbles in a separate plate and mix with salt
3.3 Preheat some olive oil in the skillet
3.4 Dry plaice fillet with a paper towel
3.5 Toss plaice fillet first in eggs, then in bread crumbles, then put on the skillet
3,6 Fry plaice fillet for 3-5 minutes each side until golden at medium heat
4 Serve!

Turkey with Apricots, Tomatoes and Cinnamon in Moldovan Style !

O, soare balcanic, revărsat peste văile şi dealurile moldave, o, acele iubiriscurte, scînteietoare, istovitoare, cît de mult aduceţi voi în scurta noastră trecere pe acest pămînt, şi cît de mult luaţi cu voi pentru a nu le mai întoarce niciodată…

Ion Druță, Frunze de dor
Turkey with Apricots, Tomato and Cinnamon in Moldovan Style

Ingredients (4 servings):
– 750g turkey breast
– 12 apricots
– 6 tomatoes
– 2 red onions
– 1 tsp paprika
– 0.5 tsp cinnamon
– 1 tsp sugar
– 1 tsp vinegar
– 0.5 cup water
– 2 tbsp water
– 250g golden millet

Method:
1 Cut turkey in 1-2cm cubes
2 Peel and chop onion
3 Wash and slice tomatoes and apricots
3 Preheat two skillets and melt 1 tbsp butter in each: put turkey cubes on one skillet and chopped onion on another, cook for 5 minutes
4 Add to onion: chopped tomatoes, sugar, paprika and cinnamon – stew for 5 minutes at medium heat slightly stirring
5 Add to turkey: onion-tomatoes-spices mixture – stew for 10 minutes at medium heat
6 Add to turkey & Co: apricot slices, vinegar, water and salt: stew for 10 minutes at medium heat – done!
7 Serve turkey with cooked golden millet and enjoy!

Strawberry Crumble Cake for a perfect day start !

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?

William Shakespeare
Strawberry Crumble Cake

Dough ingredients:
– 200g flour
– 125g butter
– 1tbsp sugar
– 1 packet (8g) Vanilla sugar
– 1 egg
– 1/2tsp baking soda + 1/2tsp vinegar

Filling ingredients:
– 500g very fresh strawberries
– 1.5tbsp sugar

Method:

1 Dough
1.1 Combine flour, sugar, vanilla sugar and add chopped butter: mix to crumbles
1.2 Add baking soda & vinegar in the same teaspoon tothe flour-sugar-butter mixture and mix
1.3 Add a small egg and knead the dough
2 Filling
2.1 Wash, dry with a towel and slightly chop strawberries
2.2 Add sugar to strawberries and mix
3 Cake
3.1 Preheat the oven to 190C
3.2 Separate the dough into 2 equal parts
3.3 Put the first part of the dough into 18cm diameter buttered baking form and flatten
3.4 Distribute the strawberry filling over the dough equally
3.5 Grate the remaining part of dough over the filling 🙂
3.6 Bake 30-35 minutes at 190C
3.7 Put the cake in the fridge overnight
3.8 Enjoy the cake in the morning with a cup of strong black coffee ! It would be a great start of a day, believe me 😉

Spanish Potatoes Omelette with Red-Bell-Pepper-Tomatoes Sauce!

One should as a rule respect public opinion in so far as is necessary to avoid starvation and to keep out of prison, but anything that goes beyond this is voluntary submission to an unnecessary tyranny, and is likely to interfere with happiness in all kinds of ways.

Bertrand Russell, The Conquest of Happiness
Spanish potatoes omelette with paprika sauce

Omelette ingredients (2 large servings):
– 4 eggs
– 1 onion
– 500g new potatoes
– 30-40g butter for frying
– salt and back pepper
– fresh chopped chives for serving

Red-Bell-Pepper-Tomatoes Sauce (4 servings – also for morning toasts ;)):

– 250g cherry tomatoes
– 2 red bell peppers
– 60g cashew nuts
– 50g bread crumbs
– 3 garlic cloves
– salt and paprika
– 1tbsp olive oil

Method:

1 Sauce
1.1 Wash red bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, cashew nuts
1.2 Deseed red bell pepper
1.2 Halve cherries tomatoes, roughly cut red belle peppers and put them in the baking form
1.3 Sprinkle the vegetables with olive oil and salt
1.4 Bake for 10 minutes at 190C
1.5 Combine baked vegetables, peeled garlic cloves, cashew nuts, paprika, bread crumbs: mash in the blender until smooth
1.6 Let the sauce cool down in the fridge for at least 30 minutes
2 Omelette
2.1 Peel 1 onion and slice into pieces
2.2 Melt butter in the skillet and then fry onion until caramelised, set aside
2.3 Wash, peel and boil new potatoes for 10-15 minutes
2.4 Omelette batter: whisk 4 eggs with salt and pepper, add cut boiled potatoes & caramelised onion
2.5 Melt butter in the skillet and pour the omelette batter into it: fry at medium heat for 8 minutes
2.6 Flip the omelette with the pan if you are brave 😉 I am not brave, I put it on the plate and then returned to the skillet another side 🙂 Cook for another 2-3 minutes – ready!
3 Serve omelette with cold red-bell-pepper-tomato sauce and chopped chives!

Notes: this red-bell-pepper-tomato sauce goes perfect on a piece of white bread along with a morning coffee & morning movie 😉

Tagliatelle with Gorgonzola sauce for a quick and delicious working lunch !

It is not down on any map; true places never are.

Herman Melville, Moby-Dick or, the Whale
Tagliatelle with Gorgonzola sauce and cherry tomatoes

Ingredients (2 servings):
– 250g Tagliatelle
– 200ml 33% cream
– 200g Gorgonzola
– 250g cherry tomatoes

Method:

1 Boil Tagliatelle in salted water Al Dente and drain the water
2 Cut Gorgonzola in 2cm cubes
3 Pour 33% cream in the skillet and add gorgonzola cubes
4 Cook at medium heat gorgonzola in cream until it is melted
5 Add Tagliatelle and halved cherry tomatoes to gorgonzola sauce and cook for another minute
6 Serve and enjoy your day ! 🙂

Homemade Flatbread with Potatoes and Feta !

It is not true that people stop pursuing dreams because they grow old, they grow old because they stop pursuing dreams.

Gabriel García Márquez
Homemade Flatbread with Potatoes and Feta

Dough ingredients:
– 300g all-purpose flour
– 1 tbsp sugar
– 20g fresh yeast
– 150ml warm water
– 1 tsp salt

Filling ingredients:
– 400g new potatoes (weight unpeeled)
– 150g Feta cheese
– 1/2 tsp black pepper

Serving/baking ingredients:
– 1 tbsp olive oil for brushing the flatbreads before baking
– chopped tomatoes for serving

Method:

1 Dough
1.1 Crush yeast into warm (30-35C) water, add 1 tbsp sugar: mix well until sugar an yeast are dissolved and leave the mixture for 15 minutes
1.2 Add flour and salt: knead the dough and leave it under cloth for 30 minutes (make the filling meanwhile)
2 Filling
2.1 Peel potatoes and boil until ready: drain extra water
2.2 Combine potatoes with feta and black pepper: mash until smooth
3 Flatbread
3.1 Preheat the oven to 200C
3.2 Separate the dough into 4 equal parts: roll out each part into 16-20cm round
3.3 Put 1-2tbsp filling in the middle of each round
3.4 Lift up ends of each round to the centre and seal them tight with the fingers. Then gently flatten into 15cm round.
3.5 Brush each flatbread both sides with olive oil and put on the baking paper
3.6 Bake for 15-20 minutes at 200C until golden and serve warm!
4 Enjoy with a cup of coffee and a good company 😉

Spring Salad with Chicken, Prunes, Walnuts and Cucumbers !

No one’s serious at seventeen 
When lindens line the promenade.

Arthur Rimbaud
Chicken Salad with Prunes, Walnuts and Cucumbers

Ingredients (4 servings):
– 300g chicken breasts
– 2 eggs
– 3 cucumbers
– 70g walnuts
– 14 prunes
– 2 tbsp mayonnaise
– 1/2 tsp salt

Method:

1 Boil chicken breasts until ready and chop
2 Boil eggs until ready and chop
3 Wash and chop cucumbers, prunes and walnuts
4 Combine chicken, eggs, cucumbers, prunes, walnuts and season with salt & mayonnaise: serve !

My first Kaiserschmarrn !

I cannot say whether things will get better if we change; what I can say is they must change if they are to get better.

Georg Christoph Lichtenberg
Kaiserschmarrn with applesauce

Batter ingredients:
– 360ml milk
– 130g flour
– 3-4 tbsp sugar
– 4 eggs
– 1 pinch of salt
– 50g butter for frying

Applesauce ingredients:
– 4 apples
– 100ml water
– 2 tbsp lemon juice
– 1/2 tsp cinnamon
– 8g Vanilla sugar
– 1 tbsp sugar

Method:

1 Applesauce:
1.1 Wash, peel and cut apples
1.2 Put into the skillet 4 apples, 100ml water, 2 tbsp lemon juice, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 8g vanilla sugar, 1tbsp sugar: boil until apples are soft ~10 minutes
1.3 Mash the apples with a blender until smooth
2 Kaiserschmarrn
2.1 Whisk 4 egg whites with a pinch of salt for 4-5 minutes
2.2 Combine 130g flour, 3 tbsp sugar, 4 yolks, 360ml milk and mix until smooth
2.3 Combine egg whites with the rest of dough and carefully mix
2.4 Preheat the skillet with 50g butter
2.5 Pour the batter on the skillet and cook for 7-8 minutes at medium heat
2.6 Carefully flip the batter – do not worry, it will not be perfect anyway 🙂
2.7 Separate flipped part into 2x3cm pieces with forks and cook for another 3-4 minutes
2.8 Serve Kaiserschmarrn with powdered sugar and applesauce !

Simple and Healthy Lunch: Asparagus, Salmon and Mustard Sauce !

Blossom by blossom the spring begins.

Algernon Charles Swinburne

Ingredients (2 servings):
– 500g white asparagus
– 200g salmon

Mustard sauce ingredients:
– 1 tsp Dijon mustard
– 2 boiled eggs (or 2 boiled eggs)
– 3 tsp mayonnaise
– 2 tbsp lemon juice
– 2 tsp olive oil

Serving ingredients:
– fresh parsley

Method:

1 Mustard sauce: combine sauce ingredients and mix
2 Asparagus with salmon
2.1 Wash and peel white asparagus
2.2 Boil asparagus in the pan with salmon for 14 minutes in salted water
3 Serve boiled asparagus and salmon with mustard sauce and chopped fresh parsley !

Home-made Flatbread with Tomatoes, Zucchini, Rucola and Pine Nuts !

With life as short as a half taken breath, don’t plant anything but love.

Rumi
Home-made Flatbread with Tomatoes, Zucchini, Rucola and Pine Nuts

Dough ingredients:
– 300g all-purpose flour
– 1 tbsp sugar
– 20g fresh yeast
– 150ml warm water
– 1 tsp salt

Filling ingredients:
– 1 cup dried tomatoes
– 250g mozzarella
– 1/2 medium zucchini
– 50g rucola
– 50g pine nuts
– 50g grated Grana Padano
– 2 tbsps olive oil
– salt & pepper if dried tomatoes are unsalted

Serving/baking ingredients:
– 1 tbsp olive oil for brushing the flatbreads before baking
– fresh dill for serving

Method:

1 Dough
1.1 Crush yeast into warm (30-35C) water, add 1 tbsp sugar: mix well until sugar an yeast are dissolved and leave the mixture for 15 minutes
1.2 Add flour and salt: knead the dough and leave it under cloth for 30 minutes (make the filling meanwhile)
2 Filling
2.1 Make tomato pesto: mash in the blender dried tomatoes, pine nuts, olive oil, parmesan (add salt and pepper if dried tomatoes are not spiced)
2.2 Wash and slice 1/2 zucchini
2.3 Wash rucola and let it dry
2.4 Slice mozarella
3 Flatbread
3.1 Preheat the oven to 210C
3.2 Separate the dough into 4 equal parts: roll out each part into 16-20cm round
3.3 Put in the middle of each round: tomato pesto, zucchini, mozzarella, rucola
3.4 Lift up ends of each round to the centre and seal them tight with the fingers. Then gently flatten into 15cm round.
3.5 Brush each flatbread two sides with olive oil and put on the baking paper
3.6 Bake for 15-20 minutes at 200C until golden: let them cool down and serve with a fresh dill
4 Enjoy with a cup of coffee and a good company 😉

Warm rice salad with mushrooms and green peas: quick and healthy lunch!

If it rubs off, it means I’m in love

Ray Bradbury
Warm rice salad with mushrooms and green peas

Ingredients (2 servings):
– 120g boiled basmati rice
– 400-600g unpeeled green peas
– 10-12 medium button mushrooms
– 1 tbsp olive oil
– 1-2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
– salt and pepper
– dill for serving

Method:
1 Boil basmati rice until ready and drain water
2 Peel and wash green peas
3 Peel and wash (remove dirt with a paper towel) button mushrooms , then slice them
4 Wash and chop dill
5 Preheat the skillet with 1 tbsp olive oil and add sliced mushrooms and green peas: cook for 10 minutes, constantly stirring
6 Add to vegetables: boiled rice, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper: cook for another 5 minutes
7 Serve with chopped dill and enjoy!

Tarte Flambée with Smoked Salmon and Zucchini !

Time has fallen asleep in the afternoon sunchine

Ray Bradbury
Tarte Flambée with Smoked Salmon and Zucchini

Dough ingredients:
– 220g wheat flour
– 1 egg yolk
– 2 tbsp olive oil
– 100ml warm water
– 1/2 tsp salt

Filling ingredients:
– 200g sour cream
– 1 small red onion
– 1 small zucchini
– 200g smoked salmon
– chopped dill for serving

Directions:

1 Preheat the oven to 220C
2 Mix dough ingredients and knead the dough for 5 minutes
3 Roll out the dough into an oval 3-4mm height
4 Put the dough on the baking paper and bake at 220C for 8 min without a filling
5 Meanwhile chop onion, slice zucchini into rounds and slice salmon into stripes
6 Remove the baking tray from the oven, spread the sour cream over the dough, then add chopped onion, zucchini and salmon slices
7 Bake Tarte Flambée for another 10 minutes at 220C
8 Serve with chopped dill! 🙂

Quick and Delicious Pasta for a working lunch !

I don’t feel particularly proud of myself. But when I walk alone in the woods or lie in the meadows, all is well.

Franz Kafka
Pasta with champignons

Ingredients (2 servings):
– 250g spaghetti
– 10-12 button mushrooms
– 1/2 bunch of parsley
– 50g grated Grana Padano
– 1tbsp olive oil
– 1tsp salt

Method:

1 Mushrooms
1.1 Remove dirt from mushrooms with a wet paper towel, then slice the mushrooms finely
1.2 Wash and chop parsley
1.3 Fry champignons for 3-4 minutes in olive oil, then add parsley and fry for another 3-4 minutes constantly stirring
2 Spaghetti
2.1 Boil spaghetti al dente in salted water, drain water
2.2 Combine spaghetti with mushrooms & parsley & grated Grana Padano: mix well
2.3 Serve and enjoy quick and delicious lunch !

Braided Easter Bread

“I don’t see much sense in that,” said Rabbit.
“No,” said Pooh humbly, “there isn’t. But there was going to be when I began it. It’s just that something happened to it along the way.” 

A.A. Milne
Braided Easter Bread

Dough ingredients:
– 450g all purpose flour
– 200ml 33% cream
– 20g fresh yeast
– 2 eggs and 1 egg white
– 60g sugar
– 8g Vanilla sugar
– 1 dash of salt
– 4g lemon zest
– 250g raisins

Beautifying ingredients:
– 1 egg yolk
– 1 tbsp milk
– 20g almond petals

Method:

1 Dough
1.1 Pre-heat the 33% cream to 30-34C in a saucepan
1.2 Add to warm 33% cream: crushed fresh yeast and 2 tbsp sugar. Whisk until smooth and let it stay for 15 minutes covered with the cloth
1.3 Add to cream & yeast: 2 eggs and 1 egg white, sugar and Vanilla sugar, salt, lemon zest: whisk until smooth
1.4 Gradually add flour and raisins: knead a dough. Let dough stay in a warm place covered with a cloth for 30 minutes to let it raise 🙂
2 Braided bread
2.1 Separate raised dough into 5 equal parts, then form a 40cm long sausages out of each piece
2.2 Join all the sausages at top firmly with fingers, then braid them taking the left most and putting in the middle, then right most and putting it in the middle: repeat until you braid all the length through 🙂

2.3 Join the sausages in the end firmly.
2.4 Whisk an egg yolk with 1 tbsp milk and brush well the bread-to-be
2.5 Sprinkle the bread-to-be with almond petals
2.6 Let the bread raise for another 15 minutes (no cover now) and meanwhile pre-heat the oven to 180C
2.7 Bake the bread for 25 minutes on the baking paper at 180C
3 Let the bread cool down and serve with butter. Enjoy and Happy Easter!

Bunny cookies with almond !

The Duchess! The Duchess! Oh my dear paws! Oh my fur and whiskers! She’ll get me executed, as sure as ferrets are ferrets!

Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
Bunny cookies with almond

Ingredients (14-18 bunnies):
– 110g all-purpose flour
– 50g butter
– 40-50g sugar
– 50g chopped almond
– 1 small egg
– several chocolate buttons for baking

Method:

1 Pre-heat the oven to 190C
2 Chop almond to 0.2-0.5cm pieces (I used pre-chopped 1cm x 0.3cm almond stripes from the shop) – do not chop too finely to make super-crusty cookies 😉
3 Mix flour, sugar and grated butter until smooth
4 Add an egg and chopped almonds: mix well
5 Roll out the dough to 0.5cm width, cut the cookies with a bunny cookie cutter, put the cookies on the baking paper. Put chocolate buttons – bunnies eyes
6 Bake the cookies for 15 min at 190C
7 Serve with a cup of black coffee and have a wonderful and sunny weekend !

Simple Butter Cookies with Chopped Almond !

“But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.
“Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”
“How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.
“You must be,” said the Cat, “or you wouldn’t have come here.”

Lewis Carroll

Ingredients:
– 110g all-purpose flour
– 50g butter
– 40-50g sugar
– 50g chopped almond
– 1 small egg

Method:

1 Pre-heat the oven to 190C
2 Chop almond to 0.2-0.5cm pieces (I used pre-chopped 1cm x 0.3cm almond stripes from the shop) – this is important to chop almonds not too finely to make crusty cookies 🙂
3 Mix flour, sugar and grated butter until smooth
4 Add an egg and chopped almonds: mix well
5 Form cookies out of the dough and put on the baking paper: bake 15 min at 190C
6 Serve with a cup of black coffee and have a wonderful Sunday !

Cabbage Rolls with Minced Beef: tasty and healthy lunch

…nothing could be more pleasant than to live in solitude, enjoy the spectacle of nature, and occasionally read some book…

Nikolai Gogol

Ingredients (for 12 cabbage rolls):
– 1 pointed head cabbage (it is more tender for this recipe than white cabbage)
– 4oog minced beef
– 120g rice
– 1 red onion
– 250g mashed tomatoes (tomato passata) 🍅
– 1.5 tsp salt
– 0.5 tsp black pepper
– 200g sour cream for serving

Directions:

1 Boil rice until ready
2 Carefully separate cabbage leaves and boil them for 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a plate to cool down
3 Chop onion
4 Mix minced beef with boiled rice, chopped onion, salt and black pepper
5 Put 1-2 tbsp beef mixture on one cabbage leave and pack into a roll 🙂
6 Put cabbage rolls side to side in the saucepan and cover with water 1-2 cm above, then add mashed tomatoes: I cooked in 2 saucepans with 125g mashed tomatoes in each
7 Boil cabbage rolls for 30-35 minutes covered with a lid
8 Serve cabbage rolls with cooking broth, sour cream and chopped parsley!

Pancakes with Apple Rings or Racuchy z jabłkami !

Spring was moving in the air above and in the earth below and around him, penetrating even his dark and lowly little house with its spirit of divine discontent and longing.

Kenneth Grahame
Racuchy z jabłkami

Ingredients (for 20 pancakes):
– 2 eggs
– 1 cup (200ml) milk
– 250g flour
– 1/2 tsp baking soda + 1/2 tsp vinegar
– 8g Vanilla sugar
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 4 apples
– sunflower oil for frying
– powdered sugar or jam or honey for serving

Directions:

1 Apples
1.1 Wash apples and remove the apples core carefully with a knife: first from the top, then from the bottom and then the remaining hard parts in the middle keeping the apple unbroken
1.2 Cut apples in 0.8-1cm width rings
2 Batter
2.1 Whisk eggs with milk, then add flour & sugar & salt: mix well until smooth
2.2 Add baking soda and vinegar in the same teaspoon to the batter and mix
3 Pancakes
3.1 Preheat two skillets with sunflower oil: it’s quicker to cook with 2 skillets!
3.2 For each pancake soak the apple ring well in a batter and put on the skillet: fry each side until golden for 2-3 minutes
3.3 Since there is little sugar in the pancakes, serve them with powdered sugar or honey or marmalade!
4 Enjoy!