When the girl returned, some hours later, she carried a tray, with a cup of fragrant tea steaming on it; and a plate piled up with very hot buttered toast, cut thick, very brown on both sides, with the butter running through the holes in great golden drops, like honey from the honeycomb. The smell of that buttered toast simply talked to Toad, and with no uncertain voice; talked of warm kitchens, of breakfasts on bright frosty mornings, of cosy parlour firesides on winter evenings, when one’s ramble was over and slippered feet were propped on the fender, of the purring of contented cats, and the twitter of sleepy canaries.
Noi leggeveamo un giorno per diletto Di Lancialotto, come amor lo strinse; Soli eravamo e senza alcun sospetto Per più fiate gli occhi ci sospinse Quella lettura, e scolorocci il viso; Ma solo un punto fu quel che ci vinse.
Filling ingredients: – 2 eggs – 50g sugar – 200g cottage cheese (or ricotta as in original Italian recipe!) – 1 tablespoon orange zest (or lemon zest as in original Italian recipe!) – 1 pinch salt
Method: 1 Knead the dough from dough ingredients and put it in the bowl to the fridge for 1 hour 2 Make a yellow mixture: whisk egg yolks with sugar for 3 minutes, then add orange zest and cottage cheese and mix all well 3 Make a white mixture: whisk egg whites with salt for 5 minutes 4 Join yellow and white mixtures and gently mix 5 Preheat the oven to 180C 6 Cut out a 10x10cm piece from a white paper 7 Roll out the dough to be a 20x30cm rectangular 8 Using 10x10cm paper square, cut out 6 squares from our dough 9 Put the dough squares in the 6 buttered muffin form baking cups 10 Add the filling to the middle of each dough squares 11 Join the four angles of each square in the middle of each pie 12 Bake the pies at 180C for 30 minutes and at 160C for 10 minutes 13 Cool the pies down for 30 minutes 14 Serve with powdered sugar and enjoy with a cup of green tea !
Notes: – Soffioni Abruzzesi = Dandelion of Abruzzo from Italian. These cakes are especially popular in the region of Abruzzo during Easter holiday 🙂
Listen: I am ideally happy. My happiness is a kind of challenge. As I wander along the streets and the squares and the paths by the canal, absently sensing the lips of dampness through my worn soles, I carry proudly my ineffable happiness. The centuries will roll by, and schoolboys will yawn over the history of our upheavals; everything will pass, but my happiness, dear, my happiness will remain, in the moist reflection of a street lamp, in the cautious bend of stone steps that descend into the canal’s black waters, in the smiles of a dancing couple, in everything with which God so generously surrounds human loneliness.
Vladimir Nabokov, Selected Letters, 1940-1977
Ingredients: – 125g peeled grated parsnip – 200g peeled grated apples – 250g wheat or spelt (spelt flour is tastier for this recipe!) flour – 125g full cane sugar – 1 teaspoon cinnamon – 1/2 teaspoon cardamom – 1/2 teaspoon baking soda with 1/2 teaspoon vinegar – 4 tablespoons cocoa – 50g ground hazelnuts – 50ml water – 40 ml olive oil – 1 egg
Topping ingredients: – 2 tablespoons hazelnuts
Hint: Parsnip-cocoa combination gives a really dense and delicious taste: try the cupcakes yourself, the recipe is super-easy !
Method: 1 Preheat an oven to 180C 2 Wash, peel and grate apples and parsnip to a large bowl 3 Add to the grated guys: flour, sugar, cinnamon, cardamom, cocoa, ground hazelnuts, water, olive oil and egg: mix them well 4 Add to the bowl baking soda with vinegar and mix well 5 Put the dough in the buttered muffin form and bake cupcakes for 50 minutes at 180C 6 After 30 minutes of baking add 3 halves of hazelnut to the top of each cupcake 7 Serve cupcakes with a cup of green tea and have a great Sunday !
“…Absorbed in the new scents, the sounds, and the sunlight…”
― Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows
Absorbed in the new scents, the sounds, and the sunlight…
― Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows
Dough ingredients: – 1 cup (1cup=250ml) wheat flour – 1/4 cup warm water – 3 tbsp olive oil – 1/2 tsp salt
Filling ingredients: – 200g fresh baby spinach – 1 small onion – 1/4 cup walnuts – 3 tbsp lemon juice – 2 tsp olive oil – 1/2 tsp salt – 1/4 tsp pepper
Method: 1 Preheat the oven at 220C 2 Combine flour+salt+warm water in a bowl: knead a dough for 3-5 minutes 3 Make a filling: combine finely chopped spinach + onion + walnuts + oil + salt +pepper 4 Divide dough into 8 equal pieces and form balls out of them 5 Roll out each ball into a 8-10cm diameter circle: put 2 teaspoons of a filling in the middle of each circle 6 Lift up ends of each circle to the center to form with your fingers rhombuses-like Fatayers, like on the photo 😉 7 Put the Fatayers on a baking paper: bake for 15 minutes at 220C 8 Serve with a vegetable soup or black coffee !
“La parole humaine est comme un chaudron fêlé où nous battons des mélodies à faire danser les ours, quand on voudrait attendrir les étoiles”
– Gustav Flaubert
Soup ingredients (for 2 large servings): – 600g parsnips – 250g potatoes – 1 small onion – 200ml milk or 33% cream – 1 tsp salt Beetroot chips ingredients: – 1 large beetroot
Method: 1 Let’s first make beetroot chips: 1.1 Preheat the oven to 160C 1.2 Peel one beet root and cut 1mm width slices of it 1.3 Put beet root slices on a baking paper and bake them 30 minutes at 180C 2 Peel vegetables for soup, cut them at ~2cm cubes and boil 15 minutes in salty water 3 Leave 100-200ml vegetable broth with vegetables, add milk/cream and puree vegetables with milk/cream in a blender 4 Garnish the soup with root beet chips and black pepper 5 Enjoy !
Tradition: one Varenik called “Happy” is made with a filling different from others (sweet if others are salty and salty if others are sweet). According to the tradition, the one who finds in his/her plate the “Happy Varenik” and eats it will be happy in love!
Vareniki filling ingredients (for 2 servings): – 200g cottage cheese (you can also use Feta for salty Vareniki) – 2 tablespoons sugar (for sweet Vareniki) / 1 teaspoon salt (for salty Vareniki) – 1 small egg
Serving ingredients (for 2 persons): – 200g sour cream – 50g raspberry jam (only for sweet Vareniki) – 10g orange zest (only for sweet Vareniki)
Method: 1 Add olive oil in the middle of flour heap and mix oil with flour 2 Stir in boiled water into the oily flour and knead the dough 3 Let the dough rest for 15 minutes 4 Mix filling ingredients (if you use cottage cheese, try to remove extra liquid from it) 5 Roll out the dough to ~2mm and make round circles out of it with a cup or a glass 5.1 repeat 5 with the rest dough until no dough is left 🙂 6 Put 0.5-1 teaspoon of filling in the middle of each circle 7 Fold the circles half in half and lock the ends of circles tightly with finger tips (I did it twice through the whole length), see result below
8 Carefully put Vareniki into boiling water, boil for 4-5 minutes and serve !
Method: 1 Separate egg whites from egg yolks 2 Beat the whites until strong peaks, gradually adding sugar 3 Add cocoa to the beaten whites and carefully mix with a spatula 4 Put the cocoa-eggs-sugar mixture on a baking (~30x20cm) form with a baking paper and flatten the dough a bit 5 Bake the cake 20 minutes at 165C, remove it from oven, wait 5 minutes and then carefully remove the baking paper 🙂 6 Beat cream with powdered sugar until strong peaks and put whipped cream on the cake and flatten. 7 Roll off the cake quickly but carefully 8 Put the rolled cake to the fridge for at least 1 hour 9 Cut the rolled cake into portions with a sharp knife. Serve with red berries ! 10 Enjoy, it is really delicious 😉
Method: 1 Preheat the oven to 180C 2 Mix dough ingredients (soda+vinegar are added at the last step and are mixed with other ingredients) and knead the dough 3 Split the dough into 2 equal pieces to form 2 boats 4 Put the formed boats on baking paper and bake 20 minutes at 180C in the oven (without filling) 5 While boats are being baked, cut spinach and boil it in a pan with some water for 2 minutes, then remove excessive water 6 mix yogurt+spinach+grated-garlic+grated-cheese in a bowl 7 take the boats from the oven (after 20 minutes baking) and 7.1 put the mixture from 5 into both boats 7.2 put 1 egg over the mixture from 5 in each of the boats 8 bake the filled boats another 10-15 minutes 9 Serve with fresh baby spinach !
Patsuk opened his mouth, stared at the vareniki, and opened his mouth wider still. At that moment, a varenik jumped out of the bowl, splashed into the cream, flipped over and leapt straight up into his mouth. Patsuk opened his mouth again, and another varenik went through the same performance. The only trouble he took was to munch it up and swallow it.
Nikolai Gogol, Christmas Eve
Vareniki dough ingredients: – 260g wheat flour – 130ml water – 30ml olive oil – 1/2 tsp salt
Vareniki filling ingredients: – 250g potato – 1 large onion – 1/2 tsp salt
Method: 1 Add olive oil in the middle of flour heap and mix 2 Stir in boiled water into the oily flour 3 Let the dough rest for 15 minutes 4 Peel potatoes, cut into ~2x2x2cm pieces, boil for 20 minutes, and make a potatoes puree with one teaspoon salt 5 Fry chopped onion till gold and add to potatoes-puree 6 Boil whole peeled beet roots in 1l salted water for 20 minutes, remove the beet roots from the broth 7 Roll out the dough to ~2mm and make round circles out of it with a cup or a glass 7.1 repeat 7 with the rest dough until no dough is left 🙂 8 Put 1 teaspoon of potatoes-puree with onion in the middle of each circle 9 Fold the circles half in half and lock the ends of circles tightly with finger tips (I usually do it twice through the whole length) 10 Carefully put Vareniki into boiling salted water, boil for 4-5 minutes 11 Serve Vareniki in the beetroot broth with a vinegar (1 teaspoon vinegar per serving) 12 Enjoy Vareniki avec Bortsch comme a la table du Bon Roi Stanislas !
Method: 1 Wash aubergine, dry it and cut into 1cm width strips 2 Bake aubergine strips on a backing paper for 20 minutes at 180C 3 Mix in a bowl chopped garlic+chopped walnuts+cheese+chopped parsley+salt+pepper 4 Put a teaspoon of walnuts-cheese-etc. mixture on each aubergine strip and roll it [optionally in sesame] 5 Serve with cherry tomatoes and fresh parsley !