Saturday Apples Pleasures !

The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.

W.B. Yeats
Apple Pies Recipe

Dough ingredients:
– 1 cup (1 cup = 250ml) flour
– 150g cottage cheese
– 80g sugar
– 5 tablespoons olive oil
– 1 egg
– 1 pinch salt
– 1/2 teaspoon butter for buttering the muffin form

Filling ingredients:
– 2 small apples finely sliced

Beautifying ingredients:
– 1 egg yolk

Method:
1 Knead the dough from dough ingredients and let it rest for 30 minutes in the fridge (cover it with a plate)
2 Preheat the oven to 200C
3 Divide the dough into 2 equal parts
4 Cut out a 10x10cm square of a white paper
5 Roll off the first piece of dough to be a 20x30cm rectangular
6 Using the 10x10cm paper square, cut out 6 squares from the dough
7 Repeat 5 and 6 for the second piece of dough
8 Put the 12 dough squares in the 12 buttered muffin form baking cups
9 Finely slice the apples and put them beautifully in the middle of each bag
10 Whisk a yolk in a glass and yolk all apple-bag-edges
11 Bake 25-30 minutes at 200C
12 Enjoy the Apple-Bags some Saturday morning with a cup of black coffee on a balcony when sun is shining, when cherry trees are blossoming and everything will be well!

My first rye bread !

He had only just had break fast, but he thought a cake or two and a drink of something would do him good

J.R.R. Tolkien, Hobbit
Rye Bread Recipe

Ingredients (small portion like on photo):
– 115g rye flour
– 120g wheat flour
– 155ml water
– 7g salt
– 5g sourdough

Method (27 hours):
1 Knead a dough from all the ingredients in a bowl, put under a damp cloth. The dough is ready when it can be easily removed from the edges of the bowl.
2 Leave the dough in the bowl covered with the damp cloth for 24 hours. Stretch and fold the dough every 6-8 hours
3 After 24 hours stretch and fold the dough one last time, then carefully shape the ball out of it
4 Roll the dough ball in the flour and put it into another well-floured bowl
5 Preheat the oven to 250C
6 Put the bread in the oven in the baking pan with a lid (without a lid, the bread gets too crusty) and bake in three steps
6.1 with a lid for 10 minutes at 250C
6.2 with a lid for 30 minutes at 230C
6.3 without a lid for 10 minutes at 230C
7 Take the bread out of the oven and let it cool before you cut it

Easter Mini-Cakes (Russian style) !

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

Dough ingredients (4 servings):
– 350g flour
– 300ml Kefir
– 1 teaspoon baking soda
– 100g butter
– 130g sugar
– 1 egg yolk
– 3g Vanilla sugar
– 80g raisins
– lemon zest (1 lemon)
– 20g candied orange peel

Icing ingredients:
– 1 egg white
– 1 teaspoon lemon juice
– 1 tablespoon sugar
– 10g grated pistachio
– 20g candied orange peel

Method:
1 Preheat the oven to 180C
2 Wash the raisins and let them dry
3 Mix in the 1st bowl Kefir with baking soda, leave it rest for 5 minutes
4 Mix finely in the 2nd bowl butter, lemon zest, sugar and flour
5 Add Kefir from the 1st bowl and an egg yolk in the 2nd bowl, mix finely
6 Add candied oranges and raisins in the 2d bowl
7 Put the dough in the buttered muffin cup forms till ~1/2 height
8 Bake 25-30 minutes at 180C and let the cakes cool for 20 minutes
9 Icing: whip for 5 minutes an egg white with sugar & lemon juice
10 Put the icing immediately after whipping on top of the cakes with a teaspoon & decorate with candied orange peel mixed with grated pistachio
11 Let the egg whites dry overnight (or you can put the cakes already with an icing in the oven for 5-10 minutes at 100C to fix the whites)
12 Enjoy and Happy Easter !

Mini Pavlova Vanilla-Strawberry Cakes: the first attempt !

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

Haruki Murakami
Pavlova Recipe

Ingredients (2 servings):
– 2 egg whites
– 2 tbs sugar for meringues
– 1 tsp sugar for whipped cream
– 3g vanilla sugar
– 100ml 33% cream
– 6 large strawberries

Method:
1 Start making Pavlova cakes in the evening to have them ready next morning 🙂
2 Preheat the oven to 200C (reduce it to 100C when putting the meringues to bake)
3 Whisk egg whites with sugar & vanilla sugar for 5-10 minutes until strong peaks
4 Put the whisked egg whites on a parchment paper on drawn circles: build the edge slightly with some depression in the middle
5 Put our meringues-to-be in the oven and bake for 1.5 hour at 100C. Do not open the oven and leave the meringues to rest there overnight
6 In the morning whip the 33% cream with sugar
7 Put the the whipped cream on the meringues. Decorate with sliced fresh strawberries and enjoy !

Chocolate cookies for a perfect coffee-break !

Now, Watson, there is cocoa ready in the next room. I must beg you to hurry, for we have a great day before us.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Chocolate cookies

Ingredients (4 servings):
– 1 cup (1cup = 250ml) wholegrain flour
– 100g butter
– 1/4 cup sugar
– 1/4 cup cocoa
– 30g orange zest

Method:
1 Preheat the oven to 180C
2 Dough: mix flour, butter, sugar and cocoa
3 Form cookies from the dough & put them on a baking parchment
4 Decorate the cookies with orange zest
5 Bake for 25 minutes at 180C and enjoy with a cup of strong black coffee 😉

Leek-potato soup

It was an ideal spring day, a light blue sky, flecked with little fleecy white clouds drifting across from west to east.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Leek-Potato Soup Recipe

Ingredients (2 servings):

  • 350g leek
  • 350g potatoes
  • 400ml chicken broth or water
  • 2 tbsp 33% cream
  • 1 tsp salt
  • [optional] 1 sweet potato for serving

Method:

  1. Cut potatoes and leek ~1cm pieces
  2. Boil potatoes and leek for 10 minutes in salty water or chicken broth
  3. Add 33% cream to the soup, transfer to the blender, puree until smooth
  4. Garnish with baked sweet potatoes pieces and serve

Sandwich au Roquefort !

Curiouser and curiouser!’ cried Alice (she was so much surprised, that for the moment she quite forgot how to speak good English)

Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
Sandwich au Roquefort Recette

Ingredients (for 2 servings):
– 100g du fromage de Roquefort
– 6 prunes
– 2 large slices of rye bread
– 1 small onion
– 1 tbsp olive oil
– 1 tsp vinegar

Method:
1 Spread the cheese on the rye bread slices with a knife
2 Cut an onion into thin half rings and soak them in olive oil with vinegar for 5 minutes
3 Put the onion half rings over the cheese
4 Put the chopped prunes slices over the onion half rings
5 Serve with a vegetable soup !

Grapefruit Vanilla-Mascarpone dessert !

All this he saw, for one moment breathless and intense, vivid on the morning sky; and still, as he looked, he lived; and still, as he lived, he wondered.

Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows
Grapefruit-Mascarpone Dessert Recipe

Ingredients (2 servings):
– 2 grapefruits
– 200g Mascarpone
– 50ml 33% cream
– 2 tbsp sugar
– 4g Vanilla sugar
– 6 Savoiardi biscuits

Method:
1 Crumble Savoiardi biscuits in a bowl
2 Make Mascarpone cream: mix Mascarpone + 33% cream + sugar
3 Peel grapefruits & remove membranes: cut each grapefruit slice in 3 pieces
4 Arrange in the glass the following layers:
4.1 Savoiardi crumble/ Mascarpone cream/ grapefruit pieces
4.2 Repeat 4.1 until the glass is full with the colorful layers, then serve !

Red Bell Pepper Soup with Pistachio !

As for the ball, it is quite a settled thing; and as soon as Nicholls has made white soup enough, I shall send round my cards.

Jane Austen, Pride & Prejudice
Red Bell Pepper Soup Recipe

Ingredients (2 servings):
– 2 large red bell peppers
– 6 baby potatoes
– 1 small onion
– optional: 60ml 33% cream
– 400ml water or chicken broth
– 0.5 tsp salt
– 25g green unsalted raw pistachios
– green onions for serving

Method:
1 Roughly chop peeled potato, de-seeded bell peppers & onion
2 Finely grate pistachios
3 Boil potato in a broth for 5 minutes
4 Add bell peppers & onion, simmer for another 10 minutes
5 Add (optional!) 33% cream to the soup-to-be, transfer to the blender, puree until smooth
6 Garnish with chopped green onions & grated pistachios

Monday morning orange and cocoa meringues !

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
orange and cocoa meringues

Ingredients (for 14 meringues):
– 2 egg whites
– 2.5 tablespoons sugar
– 4g vanilla sugar
– 1 teaspoon cocoa
– 2g orange zest

Method:
1 Preheat the oven to 200C (reduce it to 100C when putting meringues to bake)
2 Whisk egg whites with sugar and vanilla sugar for 5-10 minutes until strong peaks
3 Add orange zest and carefully mix it in, then separate whisked whites mixture into 2 halves and add cocoa only to one to give them different color !
4 Now start putting whisked whites on a parchment paper in small portions. I used a cookie cutter to give them a nice shape. Well, it takes time, but with a help of 2 teaspoons one can manage it perfectly 😉
5 Put our meringues-to-be in the oven and bake for 1.5 hour at 100C
6 Do not open the oven! At best, leave the meringues rest there overnight (-:
7 Enjoy it with a cup of strong black coffee some nice and sunny Monday morning !

Rye-bread tuna sandwiches !

Ce fut le temps sous de clairs ciels…

Paul Verlaine
Rye-bread tuna sandwiches

Ingredients (2 servings):
– 130g canned tuna fish
– 120g Almette or another soft creamy cheese
– 1/2 chopped onion
– 1/2 finely chopped dill bunch
– 1 teaspoon lemon juice
– 1 teaspoon mayonnaise
– pinch of salt & a bit of black pepper
– 6-8 triangle slices of rye bread
– one sprig of green onions for serving

Method:
1 Prepare tuna mixture = tuna fish + cheese + chopped onion + chopped dill + mayonnaise + lemon juice + salt + pepper
2 Cut rye bread into triangle slices and toast them if you prefer them toasted 😉
3 Put the tuna mixture on the slices, enjoy it and have a great Sunday !

Avocado sandwiches for a rainy morning

Do not be angry with the rain; it simply does not know how to fall upwards

Vladimir Nabokov
Avocado Sandwiches Recipe

Ingredients (for 2 servings):
– 2 ripe avocados
– 6 slices of rye bread (it is really tastier with rye bread)
– 125g cream cheese (e.g., Almette)
– 4 sprigs of green onions
– 2 tsp of lemon juice
– 1/3 tsp salt
– 1/4 tsp black pepper

Method:
1 Mash avocado pulp in a bowl with salt, pepper, lemon juice and cream cheese
2 Prepare 6 triangle slices of rye bread and toast them
3 Put the avocado mixture on the toasts
4 Serve with chopped green onions and enjoy !

Homemade Tiramisu !

I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
In secret, between the shadow and the soul.

Pablo Neruda, 100 Love Sonets
Homemade Tiramisu

Ingredients (2-4 servings):
– 250g Mascarpone
– 100ml 33% cream
– 2 tablespoons sugar
– 10-14 Savoiardi biscuits
– 150ml strong black coffee
– 1 tablespoon cocoa for serving

Method:
1 Make Mascarpone cream: mix Mascarpone with sugar & 33% cream: don’t make it too liquid ! 🙂
2 Brew a really strong black coffee !
3 Pour brewed coffee in a plate and let it cool down
4 Now put in the glasses layer by layer (you might use less or more Savoiardi biscuits depending on how high Mascarpone layers you would like to have):
4.1 Savoiardi biscuits dipped each side for 1 second in a coffee-plate
4.2 Mascarpone cream, return to 4.1 if the glass is not full yet 😉
5 Decorate with cocoa on top
6 Put Tiramisu in a fridge overnight
7 Enjoy Tiramisu with a nice old-style black&white movie !

Creamy sweet potato soup: simple and healthy lunch !

It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.

― Charles Dickens, Great Expectations
Sweet potato soup

Ingredients (for 2 servings):
– 2 large sweet potatoes
– 1 onion
– 400ml water or chicken broth
– 60ml cream 33%
– 10 leaves fresh baby spinach for serving
– 30g almond petals for serving
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 1/2 tsp pepper

Method:
1 Cut sweet potatoes into ~2x2x2cm pieces
2 Cut onion into ~0.5×0.5×0.5cm pieces
3 Boil sweet potatoes in chicken broth for 10 minutes (add as much chicken broth as required to cover the sweet potatoes pieces)
4 Add onion to the broth and boil for another 5 minutes, then remove the saucepan from the oven
5 Blender the soup, add salt and pepper
6 Stir in cream and serve with fresh baby spinach, almond petals and black pepper !

Shakshouka for breakfast or a perfect start of Saturday morning !

Alice laughed. ‘There’s no use trying,’ she said. ‘One can’t believe impossible things.’
I daresay you haven’t had much practice,’ said the Queen. ‘When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.

– Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
Shakshouka

Ingredients (for 2 servings):
– 1 onion
– 1/2 large or 1 small red paprika
– 3 garlic cloves
– 200 g tomato sauce with 100% tomatoes, no salt (either homemade or store-bought)
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 1 teaspoon sugar
– 1 teaspoon vinegar
– 4 eggs
– 1 tablespoon olive oil
– a bunch of fresh chives for serving !

Method:
1 Cut onion and paprika into small (~0.5cm) pieces and chop garlic
2 Preheat frying pan with olive oil for 0.5-1 minute
3 Put onion and paprika on the frying pan and stew for 5 minutes at medium heat
4 Add chopped garlic to onion and paprika and stew for another 1 minute
5 Add tomato sauce to other vegetables in the frying pan and stew for another 5 minutes, slightly stirring the mixture
6 Add sugar, salt and vinegar to the frying pan an mix well
7 Carefully pour eggs into the vegetables mixture: make it symmetric, it looks nice 😉
8 Let the eggs cook in the frying pan for about 10-15 minutes until the whites are firm
9 Serve Shakshouka with a pita or a piece of rye bread and enjoy it some Sunday morning !

Goat cheese cranberry sandwiches with walnuts for the perfect weekend !

Les paroles d’amour, qui sont toujours les mêmes, prennent le goût des lèvres dont elles sortent.

– Guy de Maupassant
Goat Cheese Cranberry Sandwiches

Ingredients (for 2 servings):
– 4 slices of whole grain rye bread (it’s way tastier with rye bread than with wheat one !)
– 100g soft goat cheese
– 25g dried cranberries
– 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
– 20g miner’s lettuce for serving

Method:
1 Put soft goat cheese on the rye bread slices
2 Put dried cranberries and chopped walnuts over the goat cheese
3 Serve with miner’s lettuce and enjoy it some Sunday morning when spring is about to come and everything is about to change … and with a nice book 😉

Avocado whole grain toasts with miner’s lettuce !

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.

― Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows
Avocado whole grain toasts

Ingredients (for 2 servings):
– 4 slices wholegrain bread
– 2 large avocados
– 50 g miner’s lettuce
– salt and pepper
– 1/2 tablespoon olive oil for frying eggs

Method:
1 Mash avocado with salt and pepper and put on toasts from whole grain bread
2 Cook eggs on olive oil and put on the toasts over avocado puree
3 Serve with fresh miner’s lettuce and enjoy !

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 !