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.

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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.

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

The spicy guacamole.

We had an avocado standing in the fruit-plate for a few days, it became riped between apples and cherries so yesterday night was the perfect time to get it into a mexican guacamole sause.
Guacamole it’s perfect in wraps, tortillas and with raw vegetables as carrots, sellery, peppers and fennel, but also served at barbeques with meat and salads. A little bit of freshness for this summer which is at its door… (Today will be 30°C!)

Guacamole sause
Ingredients: (x 1 medium jar)
one riped avocado
three tablespoons of lemon juice
one tablespoon of capers
one tablespoon of parsley
three teaspoons of olive oil
one teaspoon of kerry, paprika and nutmeg
one big pinch of salt

Proceeding:
Peel the avocado and mash it with a fork into a bowl.
When you get a kind of puree mix, add lemon juice, olive oil and capers.
Stir well and add spices.
Store the guacamole in fridge in a hermetic jar.

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Mango and banana muffins.

Summer is finally arrived in Nederland (except for today that is pretty cloudy outside) and the sun shines from early in the morning untill 11 pm. Sounds amazing!
Long daytime, barbeque smells all around, pop music from little local bars, children playing in the streets and city-centre-squares full of people…
Perfect time also to go for simple and fresh food to feel light and healty!
To load up these summer mornings I prepared those mango and banana muffins which are delicious, believe me! 😉DSCF0752

Mango and banana muffins
Ingredients: (x8)
250gr whole wheat flour
80gr plain flour
80gr brown sugar
half of a mango
two riped bananas
one cup of (roiboos) tea
15gr baking powder
one teaspoon of baking soda
plus: raisins, chocolate chips, cocoa, cinnamon

Proceeding:
Peel the bananas in a bowl and reduce the flesh in a purea.
Add sugar and melt it with a cup of tea.
Add peeled and dice-chopped mango.
Add flour and baking powder little by little, mixing well.
Add a teaspoon of baking soda.
When you get a soft dough transfert it to muffin’s moulds and bake ’em for 25 minutes at 190°C in a previously warmed oven.
Decorate them with your favourite frosting! (Can you suggest me some of ’em,please?)

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Lentil spiced hummus.

This recipe was rounding in my mind for several days.
Yesterday I soaked lentils in water for the entire night and, after I cooked them for 20 minutes in a pan with water, I prepared this delicious and tasty hummus.
I enjoy spreading it on a slice of bread or, even better, on toasted bread!
It’s amazingly fine and healthy 🙂



Lentil spiced hummus

Ingredients: (x 1 large pot)
400gr cooked and cooled large lentils
1 tablespoon of kerry
1 tablespoon of paprika
3 tablespoons of parsley
1 tablespoon of poppy seeds and cumin
4 tablespoons of olive oil

Proceeding:
Cook the lentils, previously soaked in water for one night, in a pan with water for 20 minutes. Let them cool down. Put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix all toghether.
Put hummus in a pot and store in fridge for one week at last.

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Appel Mousse: Mum’s recipe.

Apple mousse is like drug for me: I can probably be diagnostified with apple mousse addiction if it would exist in a DSM manual! Plus the combination of cinnamon, omg, h-e-a-v-e-n-l-y!
A couple of days ago my mother surprised me with a pan full of apple mousse when I got back home and you can imagine my joy!
Here it is my mum’s recipe of apple moes made in dutch way, just to celebrate her and every mother’s day! 🙂 ♥

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Apple Moes
Ingredients:
1kg Jona Gold apples (or you can choose you favourite kind)
100gr brown sugar
100ml water
cinnamon

Proceeding:
Wash and peel the apples, chop them and put them in a large pan.
Add the water and let it cook for 20 minutes covered.
Stir often with a wooden spoon.
When the apples are soft and reduced in a puree, add sugar and cinnamon and cook for another 5 minutes.
Let it cool down and serve at room temperature.
Do not store in fridge, it will be more tasteful. 😉

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Con questa ricetta, partecipo al contest di IPasticcidiLuna sponsorizzato da Fotoregali, per la categoria Dolci.

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Zucchini-courgette, olives and nuts pesto.

A variation of pesto sauce. Another delicious dip to spread on a slice of toasted bread. Here in Netherland they get crazy about pesto in every flavour.
Yummmmm!Immagine
Zucchini-courgette and olives pesto
Ingredients:
one medium-big courgette
a dozen of black olives (italian or turkish ones are better)
a handful of mixed nuts (pinenuts, pumpkin’s seeds, nuts and almonds)
some leaves of fresh basil
one clove of garlic (by taste)
olive oil

Proceeding:
Wash the courgette and chop it in dices.
Put the chopped courgette in a bowl with nuts, olives and garlic and mix with a blender.
Add washed and accurately dried basil leaves and mix again.
As you get a uniform sause, put in a jar and store in fridge covered with olive oil.
Enjoy on a slice of bread and remember not to melt pesto in the jar!

Con questa ricetta, partecipo al contest di IPasticcidiLuna sponsorizzato da Fotoregali, per la categoria Salato.
Immagine

Tonight we make pizza.

Italian homemade pizza in Holland. That’s a dream coming true! 😉
Some days ago I was in the supermarket with my mother and we suddently decided to prepare pizza for dinner: I catched up the chance and put myself in the challenge to make pizza for the first time! Such an amazing success!DSC00493

Homemade pizza
Ingredients: (x 1 large tin)
500gr flour
25gr fresh brewer’s yeast
1 pinch of salt
3 tablespoons of olive oil
water at room temperature

Dressing: (you can choose what you like)
tomato puree
mushrooms
mozzarella-cheese chopped
black olives
onions (chopped and marinated with oil and black pepper)
rosemary
ham or chorizo
sauted vegetables (spinach, artichokes, peppers, leeks…)
basil

Proceeding:
Mix the flour with salt and oil in a bowl.
Melt the fresh yeast with warm water in a glass, it will liquefy. Add it to the flour.
Knead the dough on a working-plan and add water to get a smooth and uniform consistence.
Let it rise covered in a bowl for at least 2 hours on a warm place, far from drafts.
Roll out the dough in a rectangular shape (or round shapes for single pizzas) and put it in a tin, previously oiled. Let it rise again for half an hour covered.
Dress up your pizza as you like: with tomato puree, mozzarella-cheese, vegetables, ham, mushrooms, onions, or just with spices like rosemary or fresh basil on tomato-puree.
Bake the pizza in (previously warmed up) oven at 200°C for 15 or 20 minutes or ’till is nice cooked, it depends on the oven sometimes.
Cut it in pieces and enjoy every single bite!
Pssss: …the day after will be even nicer! 😉

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Pistachio nuts and basil pesto.

I utterly love pesto. Every kind of it.
Radicchio, spinach, rucola, basil, kale, lemon and nuts… just spread on a slice of bread and enjoy every bite of it!
Today I prepared this pistachio nuts and basil pesto which is absolutely stunning. Yes, stunning, because delicious isn’t enough to describe it! 🙂
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Pistachio nuts and basil pesto
Ingredients:
1 large bowl full of fresh basil leaves
80gr pistachio nuts
3 tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons of olive oil

Proceeding:
Wash and dry basil leaves very accurately.
Shell pistachio nuts and put them in the bowl with basil and the rest of ingredients.
Mix all of them with a processor ’till the desired consistency.Put the pesto in a jar and cover with olive oil. Store in fridge.

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Vegetables’ salted strudel.

I prepared this salted strudel for the first time and that’s the result: I hardly managed to take a picture of this creation before it was finished, it was incredibly delicious and tasty, even so simple to make!

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Vegetables’ salted strudel
Ingredients:
for the dough:
250gr (wholewheat) flour
50ml of olive oil
pinches of pepper mix
water

for the filling:
300gr of mushrooms
1 little plant of broccoli
100gr of spinach leaves
sesame seeds
paprika and pepper
Proceeding:
Prepare the dough by mixing the flour, pepper and oil with water in a bowl. Knead untill you get a solid and stiff dough. Let it rest for half an hour. Prepare the filling by washing all the vegetables first. Chop mushrooms and broccoli and sautè them in a pan with a little bit of oil, add spinach leaves and spice with pepper and paprika. Roll out the dough and shape it in a rectangular, fill with the vegetables prepared in the centre and add sesame seeds on top, roll it in and give it the shape of a strudel. Put in a baking tin and bake for 40 minutes  at 180°C. Serve at room temperature.

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Raw carrot spice spread.

House-moving. Working. Settling. Hard times, baby!
And moreover, we haven’t got any cooker and any oven in our new house.
I’m craving for a oven! I’m craving for preparing my delicious cakes and biscuits on my own!

So, my dear followers, we have to manage eating without cooking in some ways and I seized the opportunity to try raw eating.
I prepared this raw spread with carrots, celery and other tasty ingredients… Well, this is so healthy and good tasting! Have a try! Also, is so delightfully orange! And you probably know that orange is the Nederlandse national color 😉 Just preparing for Koninginnendag!

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Raw carrot spiced spread
Ingredients: (x 1 large pot)
1 big carrot (winterwortel in Holland)
2 ribs of celery
3 tablespoons of poppy seeds
1 tablespoon of sesame seeds
1 tablespoon of “Zaanse” mostard
3 vinegar and spices flavoured onions (Amsterdamse uien)

Proceeding:
Wash and peel the carrot and chop it. Do the same process with the celery ribs.
Put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix them, I used my new food processor and it worked so well!
Add more mostard if you want to adjust the consistence of the spread.
Put in a pot and keep in fridge.

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