Italian pastry Soffioni: easy and delicious !

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.

– Dante
Soffioni

Dough ingredients:
– 150g wheat flour
– 1 egg
– 40g sugar
– 25g olive oil
– 1 pinch salt

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 🙂

Parsnip cupcakes with hazelnuts: delicious start of a Sunday morning !

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
Parsnip Cupcakes

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 !

Spinach Fatayer !

“…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
Spinach Fatayer

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 !

Creamy parsnip soup with beetroot chips !

“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

Parsnip Soup Recipe

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 !

Happy Vareniki with cottage cheese

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 with cottage cheese

Vareniki dough ingredients (for 2 servings):
– 260g wheat flour
– 130ml water
– 30ml olive oil
– 1/2 tsp salt

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

Vareniki with cottage cheese recipe

8 Carefully put Vareniki into boiling water, boil for 4-5 minutes and serve !

Vareniki with cottage cheese recipe

Light Bûche de Noël

One thing was certain, that the white kitten had had nothing to do with it – it was the black kitten’s fault entirely.

Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
Bûche de Noël

Ingredients:
– 140g eggs whites
– 140g sugar
– 10g cocoa
– 150ml cream 33%
– 10g powdered sugar

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 😉

Avocado breakfast is always a great idea !

You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep Spring from coming.

Pablo Neruda
Avocado Toasts

Ingredients (for 2 servings):
– 3 small avocado
– 150g cream cheese (e.g., Almette cheese)
– multigrain bread (at best, home-made but in any case multigrain!)
– 6 cherry tomatoes
– parsley/dill for serving
– 1 tsp salt

Method:
1 Mash avocado pulp, cheese, black pepper and salt
2 Butter avocado-cheese mixture on multigrain bread
3 Decorate with parsley and cherry tomatoes

Adjarian Khachapuri

Не пой, красавица, при мне
Ты песен Грузии печальной:
Напоминают мне оне
Другую жизнь и берег дальный.

А.С. Пушкин
Adjarian Khachapuri Recipe

Dough ingredients:
– 250g cottage cheese
– 100g wheat flour (looks better with 50g wheat+50g rye flour, but tastier with wheat flour only :-))
– 1 egg
– 1/2 teaspoon salt
– 1/2 teaspoon soda + 1/2 teaspoon vinegar

Filling ingredients:
– 2 teaspoon yogurt
– 3 garlic cloves
– 200g fresh baby-spinach
– 30g cheese

Extra filling ingredients:
– 2 eggs

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 !

Russian Napoleon cake

The fresh smell of coffee soon wafted through the apartment, the smell that separates night from day.

Haruki Murakami

Hmm… Why is it called “Napoleon”? Because it is complex, multilevel and exceptionally tasty !

Method:
1 to be served with coffee
2 details are to be added soon, besides

A picture is worth a thousand words.
Napoléon Bonaparte

Vareniki avec Bortsch: comme a la table du Bon Roi Stanislas

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

“Bortsch” ingredients:
– 3 large beet roots
– 1 tsp vinegar

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 !

Aubergine rolls with walnuts

Далече от брегов Невы,
Теперь я вижу пред собою
Кавказа гордые главы.
Над их вершинами крутыми,
На скате каменных стремнин,
Питаюсь чувствами немыми
И чудной прелестью картин
Природы дикой и угрюмой;

А.С. Пушкин
Aubergine Rolls with Walnuts Recipe

Ingredients:
– 1 aubergine
– 3 garlic cloves
– 50g walnuts
– 200g fresh cream cheese
– [optional] 40g sesam for serving
– 1 bunch parsley
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 1/3 tsp black pepper

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 !