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Saturday, July 21, 2012

Herb-mustard-beer pancakes with cottage cheese and bacon

American style pancakes, savory and fluffy. With beer in the batter, next to sweet grainy mustard and herbs.
Creamy and chunky cottage cheese spread, again with herbs, grainy mustard and more beer. On top of the pancakes and dripping a bit over their edges.
A crispy fried thin smoked bacon slice on top. 
You bite it. It's crunchy and then soft and dripping and then chewy all in one. The flavors are harmonious and perfect. It's rustic and delicious. You want more.
Enjoy :)

Recipe inspired by here

Last year: no cooking due to another kind of bun in the oven.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Fruit chaat (Indian fruit salad) (raw vegan)

This chaat (Indian side-dish) is not necessarily a dessert, although it can very well work as one if you want it too. Just think of it as regular vegetable salad if you want it as a side to a warm curry, or as a spicier version of fruit salad if you want it as dessert (but put it in a fancy ice-cream cup in that case, to help with the dessert-thinking). :)
Anyway you want to have it, it's definitely an interesting ethnic food experiment. 
Recipe taken from Manjula

Last year: only another kind of bun in the oven and no cooking due to nausea :)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Beer lemonade (Radler) with strawberries (vegan)

This is sort of a cocktail (because it contains something alcoholic) but at the same time I would hesitate to call it that because of how little alcohol it actually contains. It resembles a juice more, but with some of the earthy and malty sweetness specific to beer without any of its bitterness (which generally puts me off, which is why I'm not a fan of beer when it's by itself). 
Another reason I wanted to share this with you is that maybe not everyone is familiar with the beer and lemonade combination (in equal parts) which the Germans call Radler. Trust me, it's brilliantly refreshing.
And if you want it to scream "summer!" too, all that needs to be added are some strawberry slices on the edge of the cup. :)
All in all, it's a pretty and tasty way to pleasantly surprise someone (wink) :).

Last year: no cooking because of another kind of bun in the oven :)

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Green lasagna with aubergine and zucchini

I made this when we were home visiting my parents. Mira stayed in her baby car seat comfortably and watched us the whole time. I kept thinking how I can hardly wait for her to be able to eat lasagna (among other things) so I can make some for her. (Gees, I've turned into such a mom! I guess it was to be expected). 
We're very big fans of the aubergine-zucchini combination, especially with tomato sauce, olive oil and other Italian-style combinations (like in our Linguine alla matriciana with zuccini or our Aubergine and zucchini pizza  or even Ratatoullie :) and so on). Those of you familiar with how well these things go together will know what I'm talking about. 
So, the next logical step in this Odyssey was, obviously, lasagna. And we found that green lasagna (made with spinach) was the perfect match for this filling. With lovely mozzarella cheese and garlic and thyme and a glorious bechamel  sauce, warm and soft and just wonderful. 
P.S: That's my tomcat, Perseus, sitting on the chair in my parents' kitchen. 

Last year: nothing cooked due to morning sickness while another kind of bun in the oven was slowly being prepared :).

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Djaj Mqualli (Chicken, olive and preserved lemons tagine) (Moroccan)

This is probably the most common dish (or at least the most common tagine, which is almost the same thing) in the Moroccan cuisine. And once you taste it you'll understand why it's made so often. I know I sing praises to everything you see around here, but this has seriously become my favorite dish. No, not one of my faves, bu my absolute fave. Meaning that, while I also enjoy numerous other dishes, of course, if I would be forced to eat only one thing everyday for the rest of my days but could choose what, I would choose this. No exaggeration.
So finally, if you were wondering what to do with those preserved lemons from way back, here it is. The awesomeness of Moroccan cuisine. 
Recipe source: Crazy mother cooker and Saveur.

Last year: another kind of bun in the oven (and no cooking due to morning sickness). :)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Baked tomato stuffed peppers with thyme (vegan)

These are a nice way to enjoy Mediterranean-inspired flavors in a lightest dish. Meant to be served with good quality red balsamic vinegar and toasted bread (herb butter baguette in our case, but feel free to serve it with plain toasted bread if you want to keep it vegan).
Recipe adapted from here

Last year: Another kind of bun in the oven (and no cooking due to continuous morning sickness) :).

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Dark chocolate and red wine cake

The name says it all. Dark chocolate. Red wine. In a cake that highlights both. Pam-pam.

This cake was truly the ultimate thing if you're the type that likes intense things like dark chocolate and red wine. Like us :). Its texture was fluffy and fudge-like at the same time, the red wine flavor was still there (you could taste it after the baking as well); it was topped with some orange slices poached in a dark chocolate and red wine thick sauce, and a little bowl of the said sauce was also available for more pouring on each slice of cake. 

All this didn't come with the usual prices: a ton of calories or a lot of time spent in the kitchen. It's really lighter than most similar cakes (not that there really are any similar cakes out there - trust me, none compare) and way easier to make than you would expect.
For us it was the perfect end to a relaxed pizza afternoon with friends coming over. :) 
I know this is often said about cakes and I usually roll my eyes when I hear it, but this is actually a voluptuous cake with a sensual, velvet-like texture and taste. 
Recipe slightly adapted from my lovely friends from Kiss the Cook.

Last year: A different kind of bun in the oven (and no cooking due to continuous morning sickness). :)

Friday, July 6, 2012

Vanilla extract

Every-time you see "vanilla extract" listed as an ingredient in our recipes, know that it's very easy (and about 50 times cheaper) to make your own right at home. And here's how. :)

Last year: A different kind of bun in the oven (and no cooking due to continuous morning sickness).

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Insalata Caprese (Italian)

The traditional trio in the color of the Italian flag that go so well together in almost anything: mozarella, tomatoes and basil. :)
We've made it before assembled on skewers but this here is the real deal, traditional to the island of Capri. (More info on this traditional dish here).
It can be both a salad and a starter and it's one of our most loved salads. Enjoy :)

Last year: a different kind of bun in the oven (and no cooking due to continuous morning sickness). :)

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Quiche Lorraine (French)

The most famous and historical savory French tart of all. The mother of all quiches. Filled with lovely cheese, bacon cubes and gently fried onions in a savory shortcrust pastry shell. The most delicious indulgence one could get.

Another nice feat of this quiche, besides its sinfully delicious taste, is the fact that it stays good after even two days as if it was just made. :)

Last year: A different kind of bun in the oven (and no cooking due to continuous morning sickness). :)

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