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Saturday, September 29, 2012

Green Tree (cocktail)

A nice weekend afternoon cocktail we've picked up from Saveur
It combines mint, lemon and light golden rum. Enjoy:)

Last year: another kind of bun in the oven (and no cooking for a while) :)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Salată asortată (Romanian Assorted Salad) (raw vegan)

A salad so simple and common in the Romanian households I shouldn't even post it, but since not everyone coming to visit our virtual kitchen is from our country we decided to share it anyway.
It's, of course, full of raw and green power :)
It's not the type of salad to be had on its own, but rather near a meaty or hearty main dish. We like pairing it with things like Truffle potato puree.
Enjoy :)

Last year: nothing except another kind of bun in the oven. :)

Monday, September 24, 2012

Truffle potato puree

The classic combination between potato puree and truffle-flavored oil is such a staple in restaurants in recent years for a very good reason. It's absolutely and simply delicious. As if potatoes - which we know are so good in various combinations or on their own - were only created to provide the perfect base for highlighting that lovely oil. And it's so easy to make you have no excuse not to try it. 
It makes a good side but it's also lovely on its own. We like it on its own, just with some assorted salad.
Enjoy :).

Last year: another kind of bun in the oven (and not a lot of cooking due to the morning sickness that came with it).

Saturday, September 22, 2012

File Marajoara (Brazilian Steak with melted cheese)

This is a delicious way to cook thin beef steaks the Brazilian way: marinated in garlic oil, fried, topped with melted cheese and accompanied by crispy potato slices. We made it in no time and ate it in something like five minute tops. The feel of your cutlery sinking in this special steak and the way it prefigures what the mouth-feel of it will be like is almost like the too-much-talked-about sensation of butterflies-in-your-stomach.
Even I loved it and I'm not even a fan of red meat. Bogdan adored it. Enjoy :)
Recipe source: Saveur

Last year: another kind of bun in the oven and taking a break from cooking :)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Mascarpone marbled brownies

Lovely brownies made with chocolate and almond flour and with a nice creamy dollop of mascarpone right in the middle of the dark chocolate mass. As a bonus, they're easier to make then they look. Enjoy.

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

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Vodka sauce pasta (Penne alla vodka) (Italian-American)

Vodka sauce pasta (or Pasta alla Rusia as it's sometimes called) is a simple and delicious concoction created by the Italian American cuisine sometime around 1970. The idea is simple: adding vodka to a tomato sauce while it cooks leaves you with a smooth sauce that, although it contains no alcohol - it evaporates during cooking - has an "awakened" touch to its flavor. The vodka brings out notes in the taste of tomato that we couldn't otherwise detect so it intermediates a more intense flavor. 
Besides the vodka, the sauce must also contain a bit of cream for a touch of richness. Another trait is that it's almost always done with penne. Enjoy :)

Last year: another kind of bun in the oven :).

Friday, September 14, 2012

Pickled carrots in salt brine with honey and mustard (vegan)

Darlings, autumn is here, which means it's pickling season! :)

First of all, I think you'll all agree with me when I say that vinegar-based pickles are nothing compared with traditional pickles made in salt brine (that actually allows fermentation, not just preserves, which leads to a richer and more complex flavor). Those were the pickles we in Eastern Europe grew up with. And my dad's pickling skills are brilliant, I learned a lot from him. But from his mixed pickled vegetable jars (God, those jars were huge! :P) my favorite bits were always the carrot slices (followed closely by the cauliflower florets) which I prodigiously hunted and fished for :)
So now I like making my own pickles with just carrots (although I must admit putting different kinds of veggies to pickle together in the same jar does give a nice flavor, but the honey and mustard more than compensate for that, not to mention not having to fish through the jar for the occasional carrots which were my main choice). And improving the taste with mustard and honey flavors. The result is lovely, so here's to me being a good girl and sharing it with the world :) Enjoy!
P.S: Laura and Vlad, I hope you liked them ;)

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

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Goat cheese rounds in prosciutto

This is a lovely appetizer (starter) for all the fans of fresh and creamy goat cheese and its specific tanginess. The combination with the slightly fried prosciutto is just wonderful and you get an elegant starter for any guests with only two ingredients and 10 minutes max. :)
Honestly, this is lately our favorite thing and not matter how full I already am, just seeing these images is getting the better of me and an epic appetite for goat cheese with prosciutto is taking over :)

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

Monday, September 10, 2012

Banana American pancakes with agave syrup and almonds

A quick breakfast you'll love. Thick and fluffy American-style pancakes, with mashed banana in the batter, drizzled with agave syrup and sprinkled with almond flakes. Crunchy and soft and not too sweet. Perfect for a sunny morning to get your in a good mood before you go about your business :)

Last year: A different kind of bun in the oven (and no cooking for a while) :)

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Mimosa (French) (cocktail)

With the modern hectic schedule the brunch has gained a lot of ground as an alternative meal option. Comprising breakfast and lunch (hence the name) in an delicious and consistent but snack-based meal, the brunch must also come with Mimosa cocktails as a lovely way to start the day :)
The cocktails (invented in Paris sometime in 1925) are dead-easy to make: just mix champagne with fresh orange juice in equal amounts and serve it in champagne flute glasses. 
P.S: Here, we had them with lovely fresh-baked breakfast croissants with a Gouda cheese crust :)

Last year: another kind of bun in the oven (and no cooking for a while) :)

Friday, September 7, 2012

Breakfast croissants with Gouda cheese crust

Easy to make breakfast croissants for a lovely brunch. There's nothing like the taste of home-made yeast-based dough freshly baked. And when that's topped with a cheese crust things just couldn't get any better. 
As you can see, we had them with a pair of Mimosa cocktails, part of any good brunch :)
Recipe adapted from here

Last year: another kind of bun in the oven (and no cooking for a while). :)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Tomato gratin provencal with garlic butter baguette

Baked tomatoes with cheese and herbs crust. Warm slices of oven-baked baguette generously slathered with herb and garlic butter before baking. Simple and so good.
P.S: Inspired from this dish here. If you like one, you'll surely like the other one too.

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

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Sancocho (Chicken and root soup) (Puerto Rican)

To be honest, this Puerto Rican traditional soup isn't that exotic to us, given the fact that except for the sweet potato it's almost exactly like a good old Romanian chicken soup that everyone in our country ate often. And except the fact that the soup pasta we use is more like broken vermicelli than the longer and thicker spaghetti used here. But the fact that it tasted common to us does not mean it wasn't delicious. We realized how similar to our childhood soup this was the moment we saw the recipe; and it was even more of a reason to make it. We still labeled it as Puerto Rican because we followed the recipe exactly and because our "world kitchen" gallery strives to collect as many ethnic dishes as possible, but all in all it tasted like home to us :). Enjoy.

Recipe source: Saveur.

Last year: another kind of bun in the oven (and taking a break from cooking due to morning sickness).

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Flammkuchen (Tarte flambée) (Alsacian)

This is the most common traditional dish found in restaurants in this area of Germany (close to France) and also a bit deep into France near the border, all over the Alsace region that stretches in both countries.. Obviously, in German it's called Flammkuchen and in French it's called Tarte flambée  We had it both in restaurants around here and in Strassbourg as well. It comes with various toppings, but this is the Alsacian original: with onions and with little bits of shinken-wurfel (or speck wurfel in a more fat version) (bacon cubes) (or lardons in French).
Not very complicated to make, with a dough different from pizza dough (so don't try to cheat using pizza dough) and a delicious result. 
Enjoy :)

Last year: taking a break from cooking due to morning sickness :)

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