Tag Archives: food and recipes

The little tiny Holiday cookies

Christmas and New Year are definitely my favourite holidays. Hustle and bustle time. Snowing outside, everybody is in rush, searching presents and gifts for the loved ones. Unfortunately in the UAE I can’t feel such wonderful emotions in full, but I can bring the festive mood and flavours to my home by baking some winter treats.

 These little cookies are so rich in chocolate, that could give little more warmth for the family tea-time. Adding some spices-cloves, cinnamon or cardamom and a small hazelnut or pistachio inside is also great! 😉

And if you pack them in a little Xmas box – it might be amazing gift for a friend.

I’m pretty sure that better to double the amount of the ingredients, so you don’t need to cook it twice! Cookies-2

Ingredients:

1 egg

50g/2 Tbsps sugar

60g dark chocolate (60-70% cacao)

100g/4-5 tbsp flour

1 Tbsp butter

Icing sugar – to cover the cookies

Method

Melt the chocolate and butter together in a bowl under the simmering water, gently stir.

Whisk the egg and sugar together in another bowl until light and fluffy.

Carefully fold in the chocolate mixture, then add the flour and combine.

Scoop the cookie batter with a teaspoon, shape small balls and roll them in plate with icing sugar.

Place on a baking tray and bake for 9-10 minutes in a preheated oven 180C/360F.

Enjoy the holiday! 😀

Cookies-1

Apple pie with semolina

There are so many things I love about autumn!
Chose a day in our rush-life-time and stop! Stop and look around! You could see many bright colors, that golden fall has brought for you. Browny-orange and fiery red leaves are falling from trees. Gloomy and gray sky. Breeze in! Cooling and lightly burning air. 
 
What an amazing day to bake a warm apple pie! 🙂
Apple pie_1 
Ingredients:
 
Apples (pink lady) 3
Cottage cheese 100-150g (1/2-2/3 cups)
A handful of raisins, optionally
Butter 50-70g (4-5 Tbsp), melted
Semolina 150g (1 cup)
Flour 2Tbsp
Egg 1
Sugar 100g (1/2cup), I used brown  
Cinnamon 1/2 tsp, optionally
Baking soda 1tsp
Bread crumbs or crushed nuts (hazelnuts, almonds) 1-2Tbsp, optionally
 
I forget to put soda in the pie mixture sometimes, so don’t worry if you’ve done the same, the pie will be nice and tasty anyway! 😉
Using fine semolina makes the pie more fluffy, however, I used that time coarse-grained and the pie was none the worse.;)
Feel free to change a quantity of the ingredients to suit your own taste.
 
Method:
 
Slice the apples, sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon.  
Meanwhile, combine cottage cheese and egg. Add semolina, flour, soda and melted butter, mix.
Add apples, raisins and carefully combine.
Butter the baking pan, sprinkle some bread crumbles or crushed nuts, add the apple mixture.
Bake until golden color for 30-40 minutes. 200C/400F
 
Enjoy!!! 😀
 Apple pie_2
 

Russian kasha

 Kasha means porridge. One Russian proverb says “Bread and Porridge is our food”. A pot with a porridge and bread were the main food on a table many years back. A large varieties of cereals are produced in Russia, but the popular and loved one has been the buckweat.
 According to old Russian tradition, during the wedding a bridegroom and a bride had to cook a porridge together. If they could cooked a good, tasty porridge that meant they could get on with each other. A porridge was cooked for many occasions like a wedding or Christmas feast, birth or funeral repast. Sometimes a feast was called ‘kasha’. Every hostess had a personal recipe of porridge, which she kept in a secret. 
 
 In Russian cuisine a porridge is divided into 3 groups by it’s consistency: liquid (eaten as a soup), oozy (usually for children) and crumbly (the tastiest one). The consistency depends on a quantity of water or milk, in which porridge was cooked. Pumpkin_millet

Millet porridge with butter or lard added was the common meal for Russian labors, who had worked in fields. It’s can be eaten sweet (with sugar, honey, dried fruits) or savoury (with onion, garlic, mushrooms), as a main dish or garnish.
 Moreover, millet is rich in calcium, B vitamins, iron, potassium, and contain no gluten.

  
We need:

  • pumpkin
  • millet – 1 cup
  • water – 1/2 cup
  • milk – 1 cup
  • a knob of butter
  • few dried apricots
  • raisins
  • sugar – 1Tbsp
  • a pinch of salt
Take a pumpkin. 
Cut the lid and set aside. Clean all seeds out.
Put a knob of butter on the pumpkin bottom.
Wash millet thoroughly under running tab water. Mix with raisins and sliced dried apricots. 
Put the cereal mixture in the pumpkin. Add a pinch of salt and some sugar to taste. Pour the milk and water, cover with the lid.
Bake for 1-2 hours.
Open the lid. 
Tasty millet porridge in pumpkin pot is ready!
Serve with honey.
Pumpkin_millet-2 
P.S. For 1 cup millet take 1 cup milk+1/2 cup water. Sub millet with rice.
 
P.P.S. Don’t throw away seeds. Sprinkle over some sea salt and smoked paprika. Add olive oil and bake on a baking paper along with the pumpkin.

Stuffed capsicums. Russian recipe.

First of all, guys, have you seen Jamie Oliver’s live foodtube show yesterday? I’m a huge fan of him, he is so inspiring person! It started 12:30am Dubai time and today has been working day. I’ve honestly tried to watch it, but after half an hour I fell asleep:) Going to watch it today.

There are a large variety of fillings that are used for stuffed capsicums worldwide.

The most widely known in Russia is ground pork with rice. However, the concept has mutated to suit up-to-date needs, and peppers are filled with couscous, wild rice, cheese and etc.

Peppers_3

You need around 60-70g of the filling per capsicum.
 
8-10 medium-sized capsicums
500g ground pork/beef or 250g pork+250g beef (I used beef)
100-150g rice, short-grain preferably 
2 carrots, shredded
1 big onion, finely chopped
200g sour cream
100g tomato paste
200-400ml lukewarm water, I prefer veg stock
sunflower or olive oil for frying
salt, black pepper
small bunch of dill or parsley, chopped (optionally)

 

Wash the rice thoroughly, cook in 100ml of water until semi-done (around 7-8 minutes).

In a small pan over medium heat, fry carrots and onions until tender and they’ve get golden color.

Meanwhile, wash capsicums, cut the tops off each pepper and remove seeds. If peppers do not stand up straight, slice a little (!) off the bottom of the pepper to level it out.

Peppers_1Peppers_2Mix meat, cooked rice and 1/2 of veggies together (if you don’t like onion and carrot in filling, escape this step). Add salt, black pepper to taste. Fill the capsicums tightly and place in a baking dish.

In a bowl combine sour cream, tomato paste and the remaining 1/2 veggies together.

Pour the sauce in a large deep dish. Place the stuffed capsicums in.

Pour the stock or water slightly below the brim of the capsicums.

Close the dish with a lid, bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer on a lower-medium heat for 35-45 minutes.

Serve with the sauce, in which peppers were cooked, or sour cream.

Sprinkle over some fresh dill or parsley.

Peppers_4

Yummy! 🙂

Meatless or not Monday

It’s supposed to be Meatless Monday inspired by a recipe of veggie lasagne I came across here.

However, I found few strips of bacon in a fridge and had to use it. 😀
Below the adapted version of wonderful, yummy and cheesy lasagne! 
It’s a pretty flexible recipe and adding more vegetables would be tasty (peas or zucchini). I love chunky pieces of cottage cheese (also it’s a good source of Calcium!), but you can sub it with ricotta. 
Veg lasagna-2

Ingredients (serves 4):
6 sheets dried lasagna
300g cottage cheese
3-4 strips of smoked beef bacon, cut into medium pieces (escape it for veg option)
100g mozzarella cheese
50g pecorino cheese (or parmesan)
1 can*400g chopped tomatoes
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
10-15 basil leaves, chopped
100g spinach leaves, chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled
150-200ml vegetable or beef stock 
1tsp muscovado sugar (or any)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
 
 
Let’s cook it!
  • Heat a pan, fry bacon for 1 minute. Add garlic, onion, celery and fry until softened (during the process the garlic gives out the nice flavor, so at the end just take it out). Add the tomatoes, sugar and stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10-12 minutes. Add basil leaves. Season to taste with salt, pepper.
  • Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F.
  • Meanwhile, in warm water soak the lasagna sheets for 8-10 minutes.
  • Spread few spoons of the tomato sauce and chopped spinach in the base of greased gratin dish. Top with 3 sheets of lasagna then spread over half of the sauce and half of the cottage cheese.
  • Repeat layers. Spread over grated cheeses.
  • Bake for 30-40 mins until the top is golden. 

Serve with green salad and a glass of white wine. 😉

Veg lasagna-1