Gingerbread cookies

 Holiday Greetings! Merry Christmas! May this amazing and magical time of the year will be filled with joy and happiness, and sparkle with moments of love and laughter!
 Winter holidays are about spending time with your family, loved ones and close friends. In this lovely season you may find lots of little things to do, simple things which make you truly happy. I love watching ‘winter’ movies, while eating mandarins or some traditional festive salads, or what a pleasure to wrap up in a cozy blanket and sip hot cinnamon tea, reread favourite book and of course baking! This year I haven’t had time as much as I wanted to spend over baking, but I’d like to share with you my recipe of gingerbread cookies. What a winter without cookies, right? And I can’t wait when my little pie will grow up and we will be making festive cookies together!
xmas-moose

Gingerbread cookies

Ingredients
100g butter
100g brown or raw sugar, or mix
1 large egg
4 tbsp/50g molasses
200g or more plain flour
1/2 tsp soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
mixture of ground ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves

Warm butternut squash salad

This delicious warm salad is perfect for cold months. Yes, it is simple but bursting with flavour, and of course it contains the main autumn ingredient – beautiful winter squash! Slightly sweet roasted butternut squash together with salted feta and fresh spinach leaves create nice and tasty salad, perfect in its simplicity.

winter-squash-salad
And don’t forget to sprinkle the salad with raw pumpkin seeds (as I did.. haha)!
Warm butternut squash salad

Warm butternut squash salad

  • Difficulty: very easy
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Slightly adapted from here
Ingredients
1/2 butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1cm-thick slices
1 medium red onion, cut into wedges
1 orange
fresh spinach leaves, as much as you like
100-150g feta or white/Bulgarian cheese
handful of raw pumpkin seeds
Dressing*
juice of 1/2 orange
2-3 tsp white balsamic or champagne vinegar
1 tsp honey mustard
2-3 tbsp EV olive oil
freshly ground sea salt &white pepper, to taste
Method
  1. Arrange butternut squash and onion on a baking tray, drizzle everything with olive oil, plus squash with juice of 1/2 orange. Roast in preheated 180C oven for 25 minutes or until squash is soft.
  2. For the dressing, in a small jar combine all ingredients and shake well. *Adjust to your taste by adding more vinegar or oil.
  3. Arrange spinach on a serving plate, top with warm squash and onion. Sprinkle with feta and pumpkin seeds. Drizzle with dressing.
Enjoy warm salad!

Kulesh

Kulesh – simple thick soup/pottage, that was popular in old times among peasants and Cossacks. It was also called “field pottage or kasha”, as it was often cooked by farmers for their lunch during field works. This pottage consisted mainly of millet and any root vegetables that were available at the moment. Garnished with some onions and salo (salted or cured fat, usually pork one), kulesh was prepared on a fire, that added a nice smoked flavor to the whole dish.
It should be thick enough but if you prefer thinner consistency add more water. Mine was thick and nourishing because of smoked meat (cooked pork belly). Using smoked meat replaces the cooking on an open fire. But feel free to make completely vegetarian version and omit the meat.Kulesh - simple thick soup/pottage
Once I wrote that millet is a healthy grain or seed. And if you still think it’s just for the feeding birds, you’re completely wrong and miss lots of benefits of this lovely grain. It’s a good source of vitamins B, calcium and iron. Here another recipes that I do love and cook at home: sweet breakfast millet porridge and autumn recipe – millet cooked in a pumpkin pot.
So, have you ever cooked millet? What are your favorite recipes?Kulesh

Kulesh

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: very easy
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You can add some cubes of celery root along with other vegetables.
Ingredients
4 medium potatoes, cubed
1 large carrot, cubed
200g millet
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 large onion
150g smoked pork belly
1 bay leaf
fresh chopped parsley and spring onion, optional
S&P to taste
Method
  1. Boil 2l water in a large pan. Add cubed vegetables and some salt. Bring to boil, reduce the heat, cover with a lid and simmer about 15 minutes.
  2. Wash millet throughly under running water. You may also cover millet with some warm water, it helps to cook it faster.
  3. Add millet to the pot along with bay leaf and simmer for 10-15 minutes more or until it’s cooked.
  4. Meanwhile, slice or chop onion, and cut pork belly into thin slices or chop it as you like. Heat the oil in a frying pan and saute onion until it’s soft. Add pork belly and fry for few minutes.
  5. Stir the onion-pork mixture into the soup. Adjust the seasoning.
  6. Pour the soup into serving bowl. Sprinkle with fresh herbs, if desired. Serve with bread.

Enjoy!

Sunday Breakfast 

Good morning, lovely people!

Busy busy busy, that’s how my mornings sound. Morning is time of the day when cooking something complicated or completely from scratch is such a challenge now, moreover I’m usually very hungry, close to starving! So, I need not only a good nourishing meal but it has to be prepared as soon as possible. And here is something to help me – flakes! Not those sweet corn flakes, I’m talking about healthy stuff – oat, rye, wheat and rice flakes.

I add some milk into a bowl of mixed flakes, then allow it to stand for a while (if I’ve got a time), then it goes to the microvawe (bless God the man who created it!), stir, add fresh berries and chopped fruits (I used blackberries and nectarines this time), sprinkle with almond flakes. Adding a pinch of nutmeg or cinnamon makes the morning cereal only better.

Sooooooo simple and full of amazing textures and flavours! Yum! 🙂

Sunday Breakfast: Baked quail eggs

 When it’s not a weekend, sometimes being pressed for time can make hard to prepare anything for breakfast, and I’m not saying about to sit down and enjoy it, and you probably skip it day by day.. I never skip breakfast, and studies show that those who eat breakfast regularly lose weight! So be sure you eat a good and tasty breakfast! Like this protein-based, that starts your metabolism and your energy level will be fired up.
 You only need to put all ingredients together in a baking dish (small-individual or one large to share), crack small&tasty quail eggs in it and bake for few minutes. Meanwhile, you can make a fresh tea or toast some bread. Sunday Breakfast: Baked quail eggs

Baked quail eggs with Gruyère cheese, ham and spinach

  • Difficulty: very easy
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Ingredients
butter, for greasing baking dishes
fresh spinach leaves
cooked ham slices (1 large per person), cut into strips
5 or more quail eggs per person
1-2 tbsp grated Gruyère cheese per person
salt, crushed pink peppercorns to taste
Garnish
extra grated cheese
chopped parsley
cherry tomatoes
bread
Method
  • Preheat oven to 200C.
  • Grease baking dishes with butter.
  • Put in spinach, ham, 1/3 of cheese. Crack eggs, season with salt&pink pepper and sprinkle with some cheese.
  • Bake for 6-10 minutes or until the egg white is set.
  • Sprinkle with parsley, garnish with cheese. Serve immediately with cherry tomatoes and bread.
Enjoy!
Have a lovely and delicious weekend breakfast!

Baked quail eggs with  Gruyère cheese, ham and spinach