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 !

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 !

Creamy Salmon and Rice: quick and delicious lunch !

No one’s serious at seventeen,
When lindens line the promenades

A. Rimbaud
Creamy Salmon and Rice

Ingredients (for 2 servings):
– 180g salmon
– 100ml 33% cream
– 180g Basmati rice
– salt for boiling rice
– 1/2 tbsp olive oil for frying

Serving ingredients:
– 60g Parmesan
– 2-3 scallion sprigs
– 1/2 tsp black pepper

Method:
1 Grate Parmesan into a bowl and put in the fridge
2 Wash and cut scallion into thin rings, put in a separate bowl
3 Boil rice in salted water until ready and keep it warm while cooking salmon
4 Wash salmon and cut into 1-1.5cm cubes
5 Fry salmon for 5 min in olive oil at middle heat, add 33% cream and stew for another 5 min
6 Transfer the rice into the serving bowls and put the salmon over the rice
7 Sprinkle the dish with grated Parmesan, chopped scallion and black pepper
8 Serve !

Simple and Delicious Parsnip-Apple Chocolate Cake with Hazelnuts !

The cup of tea on arrival at a country house is a thing which, as a rule, I particularly enjoy. I like the crackling logs, the shaded lights, the scent of buttered toast, the general atmosphere of leisured cosiness.

P.G. Wodehouse, The Code of the Woosters

Ingredients:
– 125g grated parsnip
– 200g grated apples
– 250g spelt flour (wheat flour is also fine, but spelt flour gives a richer taste)
– 125g full cane sugar
– 1 tsp cinnamon
– 1/2 tsp cardamom
– 1/2 tsp baking soda & 1/2 tsp vinegar
– 4 tbsp cocoa powder
– 50g ground hazelnuts
– 50ml water
– 40ml olive oil
– 1 egg (one can replace the egg by 40ml olive oil for a vegetarian recipe!)

Topping ingredients:
– 2 tablespoons hazelnuts

Method:
1 Preheat the oven to 180C
2 Grate peeled apples and parsnip
3 Add flour+sugar+cinnamon+cardamom+cocoa+ground hazelnuts+water +olive oil+egg: mix all well until smooth
4 Add baking soda & vinegar in the same teaspoon and mix well
5 Transfer the batter in the buttered banana bread form and bake for 45-55 minutes at 180C
6 Decorate the cake with hazelnuts halves and serve with a cup of green tea!

Quick and Simple Gorgonzola and Spinach Pasta !

Keep your face always toward the sunshine – and shadows will fall behind you.

Walt Whitman
Gorgonzola and Spinach Pasta

Ingredients:
– 250g Rigatoni
– 100g Gorgonzola
– 100 ml 33% cream
– 125g spinat
– 1/4 tsp black pepper

Method:

1 Start cooking pasta (2) and making sauce (3) simultaneously 🙂
2 Pasta
2.1 Boil pasta in the salted water al dente
2.2 Drain water
3 Spinach-gorgonzola sauce
3.1 Wash spinach
3.2 Cut gorgonzola in 2cm cubes
3.3 Melt gorgonzola in 33% cream in the frying pan
3.4 Add spinach to gorgonzola-cream sauce and cook for 3-4 minutes
4 Transfer cooked pasta to the sauce: mix well and serve warm !
5 Tired after a long weary week – this warm pasta is what you need 😉

Quick Almond Cookies !

I wish the world were ending tomorrow. Then I could take the next train, arrive at your doorstep in Vienna, and say: “Come with me, Milena. We are going to love each other without scruples or fear or restraint. Because the world is ending tomorrow.”

Franz Kafka
Almond Cookies Recipe

Ingredients (for 20-25 cookies):
– 50g grated almond
– 50g butter
– 75g wheat flour
– 30g cane sugar
– 1 tbsp sour cream
– 1 pinch cinnamon
– 1 pinch salt
– some almond petals for beautifying

Method:

1 Preheat the oven to 190C
2 Mix grated butter with sugar until smooth
3 Add grated almond, flour, cinnamon, salt & sour cream: mix until smooth
4 Fatten 1 tsp dough within the cookie cutter on the baking paper for each cookie. Decorate each cookie with almond petals 🙂
5 Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes at 190C until golden
6 Serve the cookies with a cup of black coffee !

Notes: enjoy the cookies with your morning coffee & your favourite book. My book this morning was The Unconsoled 🙂

Egg Salad with Garlic Toasts: quick and delicious !

Curiosity is insubordination in its purest form.

Vladimir Nabokov

Salad ingredients:
– 4 eggs
– 150g Butterkäse or cheddar
– 1 small red onion
– 1-1.5 tbsp mayonnaise
– a few dill sprigs for serving

Toasts ingredients:
– 2 slices of ciabatta
– 1 garlic clove
– 2 tsp olive oil

Method:
1 Salad

1.1 Hard boil eggs, cool them down in cold water, then peel
1.2 Grate cheese
1.3 Peel and chop red onion
1.3 Combine eggs+grated cheese+chopped onion+mayonnaise: mix well
2 Toasts

2.1 Pre-heat the oven to 180C
2.2 Peel and chop a garlic clove
2.3 Combine olive oil with chopped garlic
2.4 Brush ciabatta pieces with garlic olive oil and bake for 4-5 minutes at 180C
3 Salad & Toasts
3.1 Transfer the eggs salad in the cup and then on the serving plate
3.2 Serve the salad with a few dill sprigs & warm garlic toasts ! Enjoy !

Baked Pears with Feta, Walnuts and Honey !

At Christmas I no more desire a rose
Than wish a snow in May’s new-fangled shows

William Shakespeare

Ingredients (2 servings):
– 2 conference pears
– 50g Feta or Gorgonzola cheese
– 6 walnuts
– a few dill sprigs
– 2 tsp acacia honey

Method:

1 Pre-heat the oven to 180C
2 Wash the pears, half them and de-seed
3 Cut Feta cheese in cubes
4 Put Feta cubes in the de-seeded pears and bake for 5-7 minutes at 180C
5 Serve warm pears with walnuts, dill sprigs and acacia honey.
6 Enjoy and have a great Sunday!

Notes: be careful, this recipe has an aroma of a holiday season 😉

Sweet Potato Puree with Champignons !

But shouldn’t all of us on earth give the best we have to others and offer whatever is in our power?

Hans Christian Anderson, The Complete Fairy Tales

Puree ingredients (2-3 servings):
– 3 sweet potatoes (~1200g in total)
– 100 ml 33% cream
– 1/2 large onion (~75g)
– 1 tsp salt

Fried champignons ingredients:
– 7 champignons (~300g in total)
– 1/2 large onion (~75g)
– 1 tbsp olive oil

Method:

1 Start cooking sweet potato puree (2) and champignons (3) simultaneously, then you will have a delicious lunch just in 30 minutes
2 Sweet potato puree
2.1 Peel sweet potatoes and cut them into 1cm cubes.
2.2 Chop onion
2.3 Put sweet potatoes cubes and onion into a pan: add 300-350ml water
2.4 Boil at medium heat for 15 minutes, add salt 2 minutes before ready
2.5 Remove the pan from the heat (do not drain water!) and pour in 33% cream
2.6 Mash vegetables with cream with an immersive blender until smooth
3 Fried champignons
3.1 Wash champignons and remove remaining dirt with a paper towel and cut out a small slice from their bottoms
3.2 Chop champignons and onion
3.3 Pre-heat a non-sticking skillet with some olive oil
3.4 Stew champignons and onion at medium heat for 10-15 minutes until golden
4 Serve sweet potato puree with champignons on top: decorate with a few leaves of miner lettuce
5 Enjoy the healthy lunch and have a great sunny Sunday !

Warm Pumpkin Salad with Spinach and Feta !

Nostalgia in reverse, the longing for yet another strange land, grew especially strong in spring.

Vladimir Nabokov

Ingredients (2 servings):
– 1 Hokkaido pumpkin (Red kuri squash)
– 125g fresh baby spinach
– 150g Feta cheese
– 35g pine nuts
– salt and black pepper
– 1 tbsp olive oil for frying pumpkin

Dressing ingredients:
– 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Method:
1 Preheat the oven to 180C
2 Wash pumpkin, halve and de-seed it
3 Bake the pumpkin for 30-35 minutes at 200C and let it cool down
4 Peel the pumpkin and cut into 1.5cm cubes
5 Wash baby spinach and let it dry itself
6 Cut feta cheese into 0.5-1cm cubes
7 Fry pumpkin cubes in olive oil for 4-5 minutes at medium heat
8 Put the salad ingredients on the plates as follows:
8.1 Baby spinach
8.2 Warm pumpkin cubes
8.3 Sprinkle with salt and black pepper
8.4 Feta cheese cubes
8.5 Pine nuts
8.6 Sprinkle with balsamic vinegar
9 Enjoy !

Homemade Tarte Flambée with Camembert and Cranberry Jam

Badger hates Society, and invitations, and dinner, and all that sort of thing.

Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows
Tarte Flambée with Camembert and Cranberry Jam

Dough ingredients:
– 220g wheat flour
– 1 egg yolk
– 2 tablespoons olive oil
– 100ml water
– 1 pinch salt

Filling ingredients:
– 150g Camembert
– 200ml sour cream
– 50ml cranberry jam
– a few sprigs of chives
– a pinch of black pepper

Method:
1 Preheat the oven to 220C
2 Mix dough ingredients and knead the dough for 5 minutes
3 Roll out the dough into a 3mm height oval or rectangle
4 Put the dough on the baking paper: bake at 220C for 5-8 minutes without filling
5 Remove the baking tray from the oven, spread the sour cream over it, then put the Camembert slices
6 Bake Tarte-Flambée for another 3 minutes at 220C
7 Spread cranberry jam, chopped chives and black pepper over the Tarte Flambée
8 Serve hot !

Spanish Soup Salmorejo: perfect for hot days !

With a few flowers in my garden, half a dozen pictures and some books, I live without envy.

Lope de Vega
Spanish Soup Salmorejo

Salmorejo ingredients (2 servings):
– 🍅🍅🍅 500g fresh tomatoes 🍅🍅🍅
– 50g-100g ciabatta or baguette crumb (soft part)
– 2 garlic cloves
– 1 tsp salt
– 1/2 tablespoon white wine vinegar
– 50ml olive oil Extra Virgin

Serving ingredients:
– 100g chopped ham
– a few basil leaves

Directions:

1 Wash tomatoes and remove the green middle part
2 Combine in a bowl tomatoes + ciabatta crumb (add 100g crumb for a thick soup and 50g for a light one) + garlic cloves + salt + vinegar + olive oil: mash everything with a food processor or blender until smooth
3 Serve the soup with chopped ham and fresh basil leaves ! Enjoy !

Notes:
1 This soup will not leave you indifferent 😉
2 Tomatoes, olive oil & garlic quality are essential for the taste!
3 Put the soup in the fridge for 1 hour before serving if you prefer to have it cold 🙂

Breakfast French Toasts with Berries and Yogurt !

It was the middle of winter, and the snow-flakes were falling like feathers from the sky, and a queen sat at her window working, and her embroidery-frame was of ebony.

Brothers Grimm
French Toasts with Berries and Yogurt

Ingredients (for 2 servings):
– 6-7 slices of white bread (which makes 12-14 bread triangles)
– 1 egg
– 40g sugar (for soaking toasts) + 1 tablespoon sugar (for frying toasts)
– 200ml milk
– 50ml 33% cream
– 1 teaspoon Vanilla sugar
– 20-50g butter for frying toasts

Serving ingredients (for 2 servings):
– 100g raspberries
– 100g bromberries
– 100g yogurt
– fresh mint leaves

Directions:
1 Whisk an egg with sugar and Vanilla sugar in a large bowl
2 Pour milk and 33% cream to whisked sugar and mix will
3 Slice bread into 1cm thick pieces and half them into triangles
4 Dip bread triangles in the milky mixture both sides for 3 minutes (ideally, use a little dry bread, pain perdu 🥖)
5 Preheat the frying pan, melt some butter and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon sugar
6 Put the bread triangles on the frying pan and fry until golden ~3 minutes each side
7 Serve with fresh berries, yogurt and fresh mint leaves
8 Enjoy with a cup of black coffee and have a great day !

Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero

Odes (Horace)

Summer Raspberry Cake and… The Beatles of course !

But when I get home to you
I find the things that you do
Will make me feel alright

The Beatles
Raspberry cake

Batter Ingredients:
– 190g wheat flour
– 2 eggs
– 4g Vanilla sugar
– 100g sugar
– 100g butter
– 50g sour cream (>=26% fat)
– 175g fresh raspberry
– 1/2 teaspoon baking soda + 1/2 teaspoon vinegar

Cream ingredients

– 400g sour cream (>=26% fat)
– 100g sugar

Cream &decorating ingredients
– 125g fresh raspberry
– a few mint leaves

Directions:

1 Whisk butter with sugar and Vanilla sugar
2 Add eggs+sour cream to butter & sugar and whisk again
3 Mix in flour to butter+eggs+sour cream+sugar+baking soda&vinegar
4 Preheat the oven to 190C
5 Pour the batter into the buttered baking form and add fresh raspberries 🙂
6 Bake 20-25 minutes at 190C (depends on your oven, check with a wooden stick!!)
7 While the cake is being baked, make the cream: slightly whisk sour cream with sugar, then put the cream in the fridge for a while 🙂
8 Let the cake cool down, then pour the cream over the cake and put the baking form in the fridge overnight (best of all, for 14 hours)
9 Serve with fresh raspberries and mint 🙂

Rhubarb Pancakes for a perfect Saturday breakfast !

“Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind.
“Pooh!” he whispered.
“Yes, Piglet?”
“Nothing,” said Piglet, taking Pooh’s paw. “I just wanted to be sure of you.”

A.A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner
Rhubarb Pancakes

Ingredients (for 12-14 pancakes):
– 2 stalks (200g) rhubarb
– 120g flour
– 90g milk
– 50g sugar
– 3g Vanilla sugar (Vanilla sugar adds a wonderful flavour to the taste!)
– 1 egg
– pinch of salt
– 1 tablespoon sunflower oil
– [optional] 1/2 teaspoon baking soda + 1/2 teaspoon vinegar

Method:
1 Peel washed rhubarb and cut it into 20-30mm width pieces
2 Mix well in a bowl flour+milk+sugar+Vanilla sugar+egg+salt+oil and whisk a little bit
3 [Optional] Mix in baking soda & vinegar in the batter if you want to make your pancakes fluffy 😉
4 Carefully mix in rhubarb slices in the batter
5 Preheat a skillet over a medium heat, add some sunflower oil
6 Pour 1 tablespoon of batter onto the skillet for each pancake and cook until golden on both sides (flip pancakes with a spatula, add sunflower oil when needed)
7 Transfer the pancakes onto the paper towels to get rid of extra oil
8 Serve pancakes with sour cream, strawberries or cooked rhubarb and … enjoy !

Hint:
Sour & sweet combination makes these pancakes truly delicious 😉

Paccheri con Salmone !

Show not what has been done, but what can be. How beautiful the world would be if there were a procedure for moving through labyrinths.

Umberto Eco
Paccheri con Salmone Recipe

Ingredients (for 2 servings):
– 180g salmon
– 100ml 33% cream
– 300g durum wheat semolina pasta (ideally, Italian Pasta Superior Semola)
– 3 garlic clothes
– 80g Parmesan
– 1/2 teaspoon salt
– 1/2 teaspoon pepper
– 1/2 tablespoon olive oil for frying

Method:
1 Grate Parmesan into a bowl and put in the fridge for now
2 Cut salmon into 1.5cm cubes
3 Chop garlic into 0.5cm cubes
4 Simultaneously start boiling pasta (5) and cooking salmon (6)
5 Boil pasta in the salty water until ready and drain the water
6 Cook salmon for 5 minutes in olive oil with garlic, then add 33% cream and stew for another 5 minutes
7 Put the pasta in the frying pan with salmon for 1 minute, carefully mix and transfer to the serving plates
8 Sprinkle pasta with grated Parmesan, add black pepper and serve immediately !

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

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 !