Lemon and pistachio soft cake.

Lovely readers, I have to share this amazing cake with you 🙂 I wanted to try something new and fresh for the springtime and here I am with a combo lemon + pistachio nuts! This cake it’s simple, soft and really fresh… Perfect for breakfast or a nice spring dessert.

Lemon and pistachio cake 

 

Ingredients:

250gr flour

2 lemons

One handful pistachio nuts

2 tablespoon coconut butter

180gr brown sugar

One glass of milk

15gr baking soda

Some raisins

White chocholate

Directions:

Preheat the oven at 180C. Mix the sugar with the peeled pistachio nuts, the lemon zest and lemon juice. Add raisins if you prefer. Add milk and coconut butter. Stir well till everything is well mixed. Toss the flour into the bowl and stir, add baking soda and mix from the bottom to the top. Set in the oven for 40 minutes. Smelt some white chocholate and spread it on top of this lovely cake before enjoying it!

Bulgur salad.

I am writing this post while I am eating this delicious salad just prepared. Easy, perfect for the coming summer, with a taste of Mediterrean sea… This dish is a success (despite of my picture 😉 )

 

Bulgur salad

Ingredients:

200gr bulgur

one red pepper

cherry tomatoes

black olives

one carrot

one small onion

homemade pesto

fresh mint

pistachio nuts and almonds

Directions:

Cook the bulgur in boiling water for 15 minutes. Chop the veggies and toss them in a large bowl, add olives and smashed nuts. Rinse the bulgur and let it cool down for 10 minutes, set in the bowl. Add some tablespoons of pesto and fresh mint, mix well and be delighted! You can add avocado slices and hard boiled eggs if you like.

Back to my roots.

This cake has a unique ingredient, a special liquor barely unknown in other areas than my region in Italy. It was brought to me by a dear friend of mine who asked me to prepare this lovely cake for her. 





Ciambellone all’anice

Ingredients:

300gr plain flour

1 egg

180gr brown sugar

1 cup of milk

1 lemon peel

15gr baking powder

1 small glass Varnelli – anis liquor

Directions:

Preheat the oven at 180C. Mix the flour with the baking powder and a pinch of salt. Whisk the egg with the sugar in a bowl, add milk and grates lemon peel. Toss the wet ingredients into the bowl with flour. Add the liquor and mix well. Set the dough in a ring-shaped tin and bake for 35 minutes. Serve at room temperature with icing sugar. 

Fresh chicken salad

I prepared this delicious and fresh salad during the Christmas days to let our body rest from all the sweet chocolate and over buttery foods that were in front of our noses. You can prepare it either in the summer for a delighting picnic in a park or at the beach 🙂

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Fresh chicken salad
Ingredients :
One chicken breast
Mix of lettuce and trevigiana
Rucola
One small apple
One large carrot
Black olives
Oil, balsamic vinegar
Salt, pepper, nutmeg, sesame seeds

Directions:
Prepare the dressing by mixing oil, vinegar and the herbs, stir well to get an emulsion. Toss the salad and the rucola in a large bowl, add grated carrot, olives and chopped apple. Cut the chicken breast in slices, season it with a mix of mediterranean herbs and sauté in a pan. Add the chicken slices to the salad and pour the emulsion on top. Mix and serve. To have an extra healthy salad add a slices of avocado and crunched nuts.

Tiramisú and happy new year.

Hi everyone, happy 2015 to you, who keeps reading my lately lazy blog 😉 🙂 Hope you had a lovely Christmas and lot of fun on new year’s eve!
I came back with plenty of recipes which I would love to share with you guys and I will begin with a dessert, the other way around! Enjoy!


Tiramisú
Ingredients:
500ml cream
cocoa powder
savoiardi – ladyfingers
espresso coffee
dark chocolate chips

Directions:
Prepare 3 large cups of espresso coffee (I used my beloved italian Moka) and set aside. Prepare the filling by whipping the cream, add sugar if needed and 4 tablespoons of cocoa powder. Take the biscuits and soak one by one in coffee, layer a large tin with them. Fill the tin with alternate layers of biscuits and cream till the edge. Sprinkle pure chocolate chips on the last layer of cream and set the tiramisú in the fridge for at least 5 hours. It will taste better if prepared one evening before serving.

Banana, apple and cookies.

Yesterday we were celebrating Sinterklaas here in the Netherlands and our cupboard was filled with pepernoten, tiny little spiced biscuits, so I decided to add them to this weird cake. Lekker!! 😋

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Banana, apple and pepernoten cake
Ingredients:
two riped bananas
one small apple
100gr brown sugar
3 tablespoon coconut butter
one glass of yoghurt
180gr flour
15gr baking soda
one large handful of pepernoten
cinnamon, lemon zest

Directions:
Preheat the oven at 180C. Smash the bananas in a bowl, add sugar and coconut butter. Reduce it in a puree and add yoghurt, cinnamon and lemon zest. Gradually add the flour mixed with baking soda, stir well. Crunch the pepernoten and toss them into the dough, set the mixture in a tin, add apple slices on the surface and bake it for 40 minutes.

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.

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.

The power of ginger.

I love cooking with spices and natural ingredients and since I discovered the benefits and the simplicity of preparing drinks and food with ginger, I am not abandoning it anymore. In my fridge there is always a fresh root of ginger plus in my cabinet I never miss plenty of herbs and spices in little cans and bottles. I think this is a tradition of my family, to always prefer spices and herbs instead of salt and artificial seasonings and I am more than glad about it!
Talking about ginger, last week I had a strong pain in my abdomen and I felt like exploding, so I decided to follow a simple recipe for a hot drink based on this root. In 20 minutes I was able to prepare and taste this special and relieving drink, which helped me to kick out my pain and warm me up before going to bed. It worked!
Ginger is good for your stomach, it relieves nausea and motion sickness, it is good for mentrual discomfort and it boosts your blood circulation by helping your arteries, it reduces infiammations and fights colds, it warms you up and kicks up your energy. If you want to read more : http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=72


Ginger tea
Ingredients:
4cm of a fresh ginger root
5 glasses of fresh water
juice of half a lemon
honey

Proceeding:
Put water into a pot with minced ginger root. Cook on moderate heat and let it boil for 5 minutes, add lemon juice and take the pot out from the fire. Add honey if you want to give a sweet taste to the tea. Drink it hot and enjoy the benefits of this amazing beverage.

Beans’ hummus cream.

Here I am, finally!
It’s a very very very busy period for me now, between work, friends, discovering the city and unfortunatly no time for cooking 😦
Actually I didn’t post anything neither for my birthday on the 17th of august, well, I had a very great time with my friends in Amsterdam and I have beautiful memories about my 23rd, but no home baked cake this year!

Here it is a fast and super healthy recipe, a cream to spread on crackers and toasted bread for appetizer or for snack. Enjoy!

Beans’s hummus
Ingredients:
a can of beans (kapucijner)
juice of half a lemon
paprika, curry, pepper and curcuma
coriander
two or more table spoons of olive oil

Proceeding:
Wash the beans with fresh and cold water, or cook them if you have dry beans.
Put all the ingredients in a bowl, spicing as taste.
Mix untill you get a soft but consistent cream.
Store in a jar and keep in fridge.

Coffee sorbet.

Last week we reached 33°C here in the Netherlands thus it was the perfect time to prepare an homemade sorbet. I have never had an icecream machine, so I follow my creativity and try to make a sorbet only with the aid of my freezer and a fork. This is my successful result: a perfect refreshing sorbet with an italian espresso coffee taste. Simply delicious!

Coffee sorbet
Ingredients: (x 8 people)
750ml water
120gr brown sugar
1 moka of coffee

Proceeding:
Make a moka of espresso coffee.
Put the water in a large pan with sugar and make a light syrup by boiling it on light heat.
Add coffee to the syrup, stir well and let it cool down.
Put the liquid in a plastic box and put it in freezer.
After one hour and a half take it outside the freezer and break all the ice crystals with a fork, melting and mixing from the bottom to the top.
Do the same proceeding every 40 minutes for three or four times.
After one day or one night the sorbet is ready.
Take it out of the freezer 15 minutes before serving.

Con questa ricetta dolce partecipo a Get an Aid in the Kitchen del blog Cucina di Barbara