Banana loaf.

Finally my version of the famous banana bread, which appears in every food blog and cooking website! Well, not much to say, just that it is delicious! 🙂


Banana bread
Ingredients: (make 1 loaf)
200gr flour
3 ripe bananas
100gr brown sugar
small glass of milk
pinch of cinnamon
15gr baking soda
chocolate
poppy seeds

Directions:
Preheat the oven at 180°C. Smash the bananas into a bowl and mix with sugar until you get a creamy dough. Mix the flour with baking soda and a pinch of cinnamon, strain the flour as a fountain and pour the banana cream in it. Add milk and stir energetically. Add finally chocolate chips, poppy seeds and stir well. Grease a baking tin, pour the dough into and bake for 35 minutes. Serve.

Interstellar (spoilers follow!)

I just came back from the cinema after watching “Interstellar” and I am still impressed! Do you know the feeling after you watched a very good movie, you walk out the sale and you keep on having the main frames running in your head with the music in the background? That’s me! Christopher Nolan, and I do not want to talk by prejudices, did it again. Amazing images, an increasing plot and philosophy, yet misterious and far from our everyday routines. And the musics, thanks Hans Zimmer! NASA pilot Cooper (M. McConaughey) with dr. Brand (A. Hataway) and fellows is asked to go on a mission to discover if life is possible on another galaxy, where planets and stars are creating another far universe from the life they will leave behind. They will be more than 50 Earth-years in their space basis, try to score whether plan A or B to evolve on the new planet. Love, rage, fear, loneliness, sadness… all the emotions, which not pertain to robots, will arise in the quite sky above, where time is another dimension. I loved the scene when Cooper passes the ipod with nature sounds to his companion, there, up in the silence of their shuttle. And then, when the team is near their goal, the mankind cruelty and selfishness come out, even on the other galaxy. This world is not going to be eternal but… Are we really sure we do have to conquer another planet? Or maybe we can work on saving this one? And be kind to each other? Can’t we stay on this Earth, as Murphy, Cooper’s daughter, tells his father before the mission? But then love, unquantifiable love, suppressed love will save us all. An amazing film. Three hours of pure beauty and adventure, where time just becomes a forth dimension, but where feelings and human bonds keep us on the same boat.

Pasta al forno.

Italy popped up on table last week with this delicious pasta al forno, aka lasagne aka vincisgrassi, as called in my native region (click here for a bit of more info). I have just revisited the original recipe, which includes ragù and besciamella cream, by filling the pasta with courgette and a simple tomato sauce, ending up in a vegetarian version. Unfortunately I didn’t have the time to prepare fresh pasta, but I found a nice ready to use alternative which affected a little bit the finally result. Despite of that, it was a success!

Pasta al forno
Ingredients:
ready to use lasagne-pasta
1 large can peeled tomatoes
1 large onion
1 large carrot
garlic cloves
1 large courgette
grated cheese

Directions:
Prepare the tomato sauce first: chop the onion, grate the carrot and smash the garlic cloves and sear into a pan with olive oil. Add the tomatoes, season with paprika, pepper, basil, chives and salt and let it cook for half an hour on low heat. Preheat the oven at 190°C, grease a rectangular baking tin and start to assemble the lasagna: put one layer of pasta, one layer of tomato sauce, one layer of courgette slices and grated cheese, one layer of pasta…and so on till you fill the tray. Sprinkle a little bit of tomato sauce and grated cheese on top and set in the oven for 40 minutes. Serve warm.

No milk pancakes.

I was on my lunch break few days ago when my boyfriend sent me a photo on my mobile: a bunch of fresh pancakes on a plate with a sprinkle of icing sugar on top. I start drooling! There were looking amazing and surprisingly he didn’t use any milk to prepare them, but just some ripe bananas. I was really looking forward to taste them while sitting at my work, when finally, in the evening, I took a bite and I was delighted! The taste is really nice, not too sweet and perfect for a sunday morning!

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Banana pancakes

Ingredients: (for roughly 8 small pancakes)
2 ripe bananas
2 eggs
3 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 pinch of salt, 2 of cinnamon

Directions:
Peel the bananas and smash them into a bowl. Add the eggs and whisk well. Add the remaining ingredients and mix till you get a creamy texture. Preheat a pan and pour a small quantity of the dough into it, let the pancake cook for 5 minutes on each sides. Serve warm with icing sugar or jam or what your imagination better suggests!

Roasted chicken with potatoes and onions.

It’s pretty chilly and cold in Amsterdam, time to gradually abandon the summery salads and pic-nics to warm up with soups and cook with the help of the dear oven instead. Lately, due to less work shifts and more spare time, I am preparing a lot of delicacies for dinner and cakes for daily breakfast, I have to be honest that I am having a lot of fun yet I am relaxing too.
The other day it was pouring outside, it was literaly raining cats and dogs (don’t be shocked, for us it is just normal dutch weather 😉 )  so I decided to surprise my boyfriend back from work with an appetizing roasted chicken with potatoes and onions. Well, it was simply delicious!

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Roasted chicken with potatoes and onions
Ingredients:
one small chicken or six large chicken legs
four onions
five large potatoes
garlic cloves
olive oil
salt, thyme, paprika, cinnamon

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 190°C. Clean the chicken, taking away fatty flesh and extra skin with the help of a knife. Cut in pieces and marinate with herbs. Chop the onions and the peeled potatoes, reduce them in large pieces. Take a baking tin and grease it with oil, gently arrange the meat with the veggies and season with herbs, mixing with your hands so all the flavours are well incorporated. Add garlic cloves, not peeled. Set in the oven and bake for 45 minutes.

The orange soup.

Since I moved to Amsterdam it happens to see the color orange everywhere, especially on 27th April, and it happens to be one of my favourite colours, besides red. Orange reminds me of autumn, falling leaves, rainy days when the only thing you want to do is cuddling your beloved in front of a film after you spent the whole afternoon baking cookies. Orange gives me a sense of tranquillity, warmth and nostalgic happiness. Feelings that also this easy soup evokes to me…

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Carrot & onion soup
Ingredients : (2 servings)
2 cups of water
2 (very) large carrots
1 large onion
3 cloves of garlic
curcuma, white pepper, paprika, nutmeg

Proceeding:
Wash accurately the carrots and chop them, without peeling. Chop the onion and garlic too.
Toss all the ingredients into a large pot and add a tablespoon of olive oil. Let it cook for 5 minutes. Add one cup of water and let it boil for 15 minutes. Reduce the veggies into a cream with a mixer and add the remaining water. Stir well. Boil for other 5 minutes, add the herbs and serve it.

 http://quasicuoche.blogspot.it/2014/10/1-contest-i-eat-veg.html

Apple cinnamon chocolate bread.

One of my classic treat for the autumn season: the apple cake.
This time, instead of using a rectangular or an oval shaped tin, I’ve baked the cake into a loaf-shaped tin and the result looks amazing; I love how the apple slices are gently incorporated into the dough and how both cinnamom and chocolate give a sweet touch to this extremely simple recipe. Perfect for daily breakfast!

Apple cinnamon bread
Ingredients:280gr flour
15gr baking soda
120gr brown sugar (I have used basterdsuiker)
4 tablespoon apple juice
5 tablespoon milk
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 egg
2 sweet apples, sliced
cinnamon
dark chocolate

Proceeding:
Preheat the oven at 180°C. Mix flour with sugar into a bowl, add baking soda and mix. Pour milk and apple juice, add the egg and mix until you get a soft and well incorporated dough. Add finally some pinches of cinnamon, chopped dark chocolate and half of the apple slices, stir the dough with a spatula and put it into a baking tin suitable for bread. Add the remaining apple slices into the top of the dough with the peel side facing out. Bake for 45 minutes at 180°C. Serve at room temperature.