A touch of summer. Radish salad.

I know! It’s autumn out there.. and most of you would like to see hearty, meaty dishes with lots of roasted vegetables.. When I think “autumn and hearty” I always imagine stew and potatoes! Or that’s because I love potatoes! :D You know, in Russian potato is ‘kartoshka’, and we consume it a lot. But today’s hero is a fresh salad!Radish salad with goat cheese, black salt and sesame seeds

 The temperature in Dubai slowly but steady going down.. I was pretending again that it’s kinda autumn while did my shopping, and was looking for pumpkin and beets, when stumble upon beautiful radishes! They literally told me – buy us and eat with sour cream! :D Certainly, I had to buy them! Beautiful radishes

I love simple salads, when you can cut cucumbers and radishes, dress it with sour cream or olive oil, season with sea salt, and that’s it! This salad is one of such variations, but with a small twist – pungent goat cheese, fancy black salt and crunchy sesame seeds! Oh, they work super here! The salad looks so bright and cheerful, that I bet you want it right now! ;) I hope you can get fresh radishes and make it.. Otherwise, welcome to the UAE, the country of eternal sun!

Ingredients for one person
Radishes 5-6, as many as you like
Cucumber 1
Cherry tomatoes 4-5
Goat cheese 1-2 Tbsp
Coriander or parsley 2-3 Tbsp, chopped
Chives 1 Tbsp, chopped
Sesame seeds 1-2 tsp, roasted
Walnuts 1 Tbsp, roasted and chopped
Black salt and pepper, to taste
Extra virgin olive oil 1 Tbsp
Balsamic vinegar or cream 1 tsp
Method
Thinly slice radishes and cucumbers. Cut tomatoes into haves. Put all vegetables in a serving bowl, add all remaining ingredients.
Enjoy!
Radish salad

Spiced Cake with plums and streusel

 What could be better than a moist and sweet cake that takes minutes to put together? I always like to explore different butter cake recipes; I’ve tried to use different types of flour, with milk or yogurt.. Actually, most of the recipes turned out good. But for the seasonal autumn recipe, I decided to add spices and crunchy streusel to make it more rich. Spiced plum cake with streusel toppingThe cake is warmly spiced, plus ripe plums make it more soft. It is so delicious and yet so easy. Perfect as a midday treat! It’s also good and tasty on the next day, in case if you got any leftovers, though it never lasts long. :) It goes really well with a dollop of mascarpone. You can sprinkle the cake with icing sugar, or pour over a maple syrup, but for me the cake has enough sweetness.Aromatic Plum cake

Spiced Cake with plums and streusel

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 50-60mins
  • Difficulty: easy
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IngredientsSpiced cake with plums
7-10 plums, firm but ripe, pitted and cut into fourths or sixths
110g butter, at room temperature
70g brown sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
100g plain flour
20g cornflour
50g almond powder (or finely chopped walnuts)
1/2 tsp baking powder
a pinch of salt
1/2-1/3 tsp cardamom, finely ground
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg, finely ground
1/6 tsp cloves, finely ground
60g yogurt (I used lowfat, but full fat is ok too)
Streusel
40g wholewheat flour or fine oats
15g butter, soft
20g demerara or raw sugar
1-2 Tbsp walnuts or pistachios, roughly chopped
For serving
mascarpone or whipped cream
maple syrup, if desired
Method
  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Grease a 18cm cake tin (you can use 10-15cm cake tin also, the cake will be higher).
  2. Cream butter and brown sugar until pale and fluffy. Mix in eggs one at a time (don’t over-beat, just stir to combine).
  3. Mix together flours, almond powder, salt and all spices. Add to the egg mixture a little bit at a time. Finally add yogurt.
  4. Spoon mixture into the cake tin. Individually place plums at an angle to make rings, using gentle pressure to push them slightly into batter. Leave about 2cm between each plum.
  5. For the streusel, mix the butter into flour. Add sugar, nuts and combine until it resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over the cake.
  6. Bake for 55-60 minutes. Once baked remover from the oven and allow to cool 10 minutes before serving.
  7. Slice and serve with a dollop of mascarpone or whipped cream. If it’s not enough sweet, pour over the cake maple syrup.
Enjoy the cake with a nice cup of hot tea!

Cake with plums and spices

Moroccan-inspired Dinner. Roast chicken with chickpea stuffing and sauteed okra.

 When was the last time you had a proper Sunday dinner {or Friday dinner in Arabic countries}? Do you plan it ahead or make it spontaneously? I suggest you to plan the dinner this time. Find the recipe you haven’t tried yet (or try mine) and which doesn’t require much time to be cooked, do the shopping a day ahead. And probably in the weekend you can allow yourself the luxury of feasting on the company of those you love the most.
 I love to spend a weekend afternoon in the kitchen preparing dinner surrounded by the wonderful aromas! Last weekend I was browsing through the photographs from the trip to Morocco, and inspired by all those bright, ancient and beautiful scenes, I decided to prepare the dinner in Arabic style. :)
 This roasted chicken recipe is a terrific option for dinner if you are looking for scrumptious, healthy and something easy to cook! The richness of garlic, the fire of harissa paste and the aroma of lemon make the dish comforting and that the whole family will love!
 So get cooking! ;)
Arabic-spiced Chicken

Roast Arabic-spiced Chicken

Roast Arabic-spiced Chicken
Ingredients
1*1.3-1.5 kg chicken,corn fed, free range
Salt, pepper to taste
2Tbsp butter, at room temperature
1 tsp thyme leaves, fresh or dried
Rub:
1/2 lemon, juice and zest
3-4 tsp harissa paste
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp ginger powder
5 allspice berries, ground
1 Tbsp olive oil
+2 Tbsp zaatar
Stuffing:
200g chickpeas, cooked or from tin
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 small chilli, finely chopped
1/2 lemon
olive oil
Method
Rinse the chicken and pat it dry. Coat it inside and out with salt and pepper.
Gently separate the skin from the flesh with your fingers and insert butter and thyme under the skin.
Mix ingredients for the rub to make a marinade. Rub all over the chicken, cover and refrigerate for 1-3 hours.
Take the chicken out of the fridge 30 minutes before cook. Sprinkle with zaatar.
For the filling, in a bowl mix chickpeas, garlic, chilli and a dash of olive oil. Stuff the chicken and place the half of the lemon at the entrance.
Truss the chicken and place in the roasting pan (breast-side up).
Roast in preheated 210C oven for 40 minutes, then down the heat to 180C and roast 30-40 minutes more, or until the juices run clear.
Remove from the oven and rest for 10 minutes before carving.
Extract the lemon from the cavity of the chicken and spoon the filling in a serving bowl. Squeeze the juice from the lemon, season with salt and pepper, mash chickpeas with a spoon a little bit. Drizzle with olive oil.

Sauteed Okra

Okra
Ingredients
400-500g fresh okra, cut into pieces
400g/1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 garlic, chopped
2 tsp dark muscovado or brown sugar
2-3 Tbsp lemon juice
fresh coriander, chopped
salt, pepper to taste
olive oil
Method
Heat the oil in a large pan on medium heat, add onion and saute until soft.
Add garlic, okra and cook for 5 minutes.
Add tomatoes, lemon juice, sugar, season with salt and pepper.
Cover and leave to cook for 10 minutes more.
Turn off the heat, sprinkle with coriander.
Serve alongside the roast chicken and chickpeas.
Enjoy the food!

Whirls with poached figs, nuts and spices

The arrival of autumn brings with it the longing to bake more pies, cook rich and hearty dishes, like stews and endless cakes. Spices are an ideal way to add extra aroma to everyday dishes. Add a depth of flavour to your favorite bake and spice up cookies with sweet cinnamon, aromatic nutmeg or mildly-sweet allspice!
 The aroma of these gorgeous cookies tells you that autumn season is in the air! Fill your home and heart with wonderful fragrance and warmth!
First, I poached dried figs in cognac and sugar, and only then I chopped them and add to the cookie dough. You can substitute alcohol with water. Store figs with liquid in the fridge. You can serve such figs over the yogurt or cereal, alongside cakes and pancakes, or even add to the roasted chicken or pork.
Whirls with poached figs

Whirls with poached figs, nuts and spices

Ingredients

Poached dried figs
150g dried figs, remove stems
100ml water
1 Tbsp brown sugar (or more, depends on your taste)
100ml cognac or brendy

Whirls/Cookies dough. Yield 8 pieces approx.

4 medium poached figs, finely chopped
20g mix of walnuts and hazelnuts, chopped
75g butter, room temperature
3Tbsp brown sugar
1 egg, at room temperature
3 Tbsp sour cream
180g plain flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
2 all spice berries, finely ground
1/3 tsp ground cinnamon
a good pinch of freshly grated nutmeg or 1/4 tsp powder
a pinch of salt
Instruction
Poached dried figs
  • In a small saucepan add water and figs, bring to boil on medium-high heat. Add sugar and cognac. Figs should be lightly covered in a liquid, if it’s not enough add more hot water.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until figs are tender. Turn figs once or twice so each side is poached evenly. Let it cool, then transfer to a small jar. Keep in the fridge until ready to use.

Whirls/Cookies dough

  • In a mixing bowl beat butter with sugar until pale. Add egg and gently mix. Then add sour cream and combine.
  • Combine flour with baking powder, salt and spices. Add it along with nuts and figs to the cookie dough.
  • Mix a soft dough. Cover, let rest in the fridge for 10 minutes.
  • Tear 2 small balls from the dough. On a lightly floured surface roll out each piece into rope-shape (I made the length 25cm each), spin around each other and join the ends.
  • Line the baking tray with baking paper. Bake in preheated 200C/400F oven for 20 minutes. Let it cool a bit for 5-10 minutes.
  • Sprinkle with icing sugar, if desired. Serve warm or cold with a glass of milk.
Enjoy!
milkandbun.com

I’m bringing these delicious and beautiful cookies to all lovely guests at Fiesta Friday party! Let’s eat, drink and have fun!

Midweek Raspberry Dessert

I made this dessert less than for 15 minutes! Needless to say, it’s a perfect treat for busy days. Don’t know about you, but I need something sweet after the main course! :D I really miss pies or danishes, if I don’t eat them at least once a week. Exactly the same situation was yesterday – the pantry was full of my fav dark chocolate, but I wanted a pie or cake!
 I’m a huge fan of Jamie Oliver and even consider him as my virtual mentor! :) Might you’ve seen food-videos with him and another young guy – Donal Skehan; they both provide inspirational ideas and recipes. I love raspberries! So, I chose this recipe, but adapted it, and made chocolate crust. And wow! Tartlets tasted soooo good! Reach chocolate crust along with tender berry filling gave the brilliant result! Yum!
 Choco-berry tart
Ingredients for two 11cm/4inch baking tins
85g plain flour
30g cocoa powder
30g fine sugar
60g butter, cold and cubed
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 Tbsp ice cold water
120g raspberries
50-60g strawberries, cut
130-150ml creme fraiche
1 tsp icing sugar
Method

In a bowl or food processor combine the flour, cocoa and baking powder, sugar and butter until it forms a dough.
Press the dough with your fingertips into baking tins. Put in a fridge for 30 minutes.
Mix together berries, creme fraiche and icing sugar; then spread over the dough.
Bake in preheated 210C/410F oven for 15 minutes. Then lower the heat to 150C/300F and bake for 20 minutes more.

Enjoy!