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

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

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

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 !

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

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

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

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

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 !

– 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

– 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

Parsnip-cocoa combination gives a really dense and delicious taste: try the cupcakes yourself, the recipe is super-easy !

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

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

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)

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

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

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

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

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 !

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

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

– 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

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 !

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