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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Tirokafteri (Feta cheese spread) (Greek and Northern Macedonian)

Tirokafteri is a typical meze dish / cheese spread in Greece and Macedonia. It's great with warm toasted pita bread or on flat-breads of any kind. Easy to make on the spot or even in advance for a house party. Enjoy :)
Recipe sources: Saveur and Cooking Mediterranean Way.

Last year: Cherry brownie cake.
Two years ago: Obazda and Gouda pumpernickel party rounds.
Three years ago: Turkey steaks in pink champagne sauce.
Four years ago: Spicy shrimp and wild rice soup (Chinese).

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Thé à la menthe Tunisien (Tunisian mint tea) (vegan)

A tea just as important to the cultural background and daily life habits from Tunisia as its counterpart is in Morocco. It's sweeter than the teas you might be accustomed to, but it's deeply flavored and delicious. Delicious and refreshing both in the mid of winter or in summer. Enjoy.
Recipe source: here.

Last year: Ispanak Salatasi (Turkish baby spinach salad).
Two years ago: Papanași (Romanian ricotta-based sweet fritters).
Three years ago: Pizza with goat cheese, caramelized onions and raspberry sauce.
Four years ago: Spicy shrimp and wild rice soup (Chinese).

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Salade de Pois Chiches (Jewish/Tunisian chickpea salad) (vegan)

A light and spicy chickpea salad, ready in no time and meant to accompany main courses or to be part of  multiple course feast. Traditionally served during the Sukkot celebrations, it's great to be featured as part of any North-African or Jewish themed meal / party / cook-out. 
Ready in less than 5 minutes, delicious and great for nibbling or snacking as well (especially when you're too lazy to cook anything else).
Recipe source: Saveur.

Last year: Spinach, soy and apple smoothie (raw vegan).
Two years agoKohlrabi carpaccio with prosciutto crudo and Parmesan (raw).
Three years ago: Smoked trout spread on hot buttered toast.
Four years ago: Spicy shrimp and wild rice soup (Chinese).

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Bacon, corn, pea and red bean hash

A nice hash recipe containing more of your five-a-day: peas, kidney beans, corn, fresh scallions, bacon to flavor it all up and a fried egg to top it all. To me this is a good example of a consistent meal with plenty of protein and fiber and nutrients to last you for a good number of working hours. Enjoy. :)

Last year: Gorgonzola and mushroom pizza with wholemeal crust.
Two years ago: Kirmizi Mercimek Çorbasi (Turkish red lentil soup) (vegan).
Three years ago: Mauve rice with bell peppers, carrots, olives and pine nuts (vegan).
Four years ago: Spicy shrimp and wild rice soup (Chinese).

Monday, June 22, 2015

Nutted cream cheese sandwich (American)

A nice breakfast or snack you can find in some American bistros and bakeries. First of all, you need to have some loaf cake on your hands that contains nuts (like banana bread or mango bread). Personally, I recommend the mango bread for this kind of snack. Then, you spread cream cheese on a couple of slices and you top with an extra serving of crushed walnuts. The result is a mildly sweet, crunchy and creamy bite of anything you could want from a breakfast. :)
Recipe source: Saveur.

Last year: Whole wheat thin pizza crust (vegan).
Two years: Sauteed cod with pea cream (Italian).
Three years ago: Pepitoritas (Mexican cajeta and pumpkin seed crescents).
Four years ago: Straciatella cream pie (Italian).

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Mango bread (American)

Another kind of sweet loaf cake from the American kitchens, made with a basic fruit (this time, mango) and nuts, just like the banana bread you probably already know. Personally, I think I like this one a bit better - it tastes a bit more spicy-tropical, with mango puree and mango chunks and coconut flakes and walnuts scattered throughout the batter. What makes me love the mango flavor even more (I'm talking about real mango, not the fake stuff you can buy in juice bottles) is its subtle pine-like flavor. If you focus a little, it even smells a bit like a Christmas tree. Yum :)
As to the bread, I also liked how well it lasted at room temperature - after 3 days, it was still moist on the inside and crunchy on the outside and it still made the loveliest breakfast. You can have it either by itself, or in a Nutted cream cheese sandwich :). Anyway, enjoy.
Recipe source: Saveur

Last year: Owsianka (Belarusian/Polish/Russian/Ukranian oatmeal breakfast).
Two years ago: Sangria (Spanish) (vegan).
Three years ago: Cajeta (Goat milk caramel) (Mexican).
Four years ago: Straciatella cream pie (Italian).

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Buck's fizz (cocktail) (British) (vegan)

A Buck's Fizz is a champagne and orange juice combination used to drive away hangovers (supposedly), as an excuse to start drinking earlier in the morning, or just as a delicious way to start your day with a brunch in style :).
It was invented in 1921 at a London bar called "Buck's club", earlier than the French Mimosa, and containing more orange juice then its French counterpart (this one has only a third champagne, while a Mimosa is half champagne). It's now popular either as part of a brunch or at weddings, as a less alcoholic alternative to champagne for children. 
I personally like it more than "dry" champagne, as the latter tends to be too fizzy and sparkly for my taste (I don't even enjoy sparkling mineral water or any kind of carbonated juices). 
Anyway, you'll have it and whatever the occasion, you'll find a sweet, mild and pleasant drink. Enjoy.

Last year: Minestrone (Italian vegetable soup).
Two years ago: Raspberry and marshmallow cake.
Three years ago: Conchiglioni giganti con ricotta e limone (Italian).
Four years ago: Straciatella cream pie (Italian)

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Spinach, goat cheese and kalamata olives pasta (Greek-style)

I don't know the Greek name for this dish, but the ingredient combination used to make such pasta meals are very usual in Greek home kitchens. The pasta is tossed with lemony chopped spinach and herbs, with slightly cooked cherry tomato wedges and kalamata (natural) olives. All this yummy and bright stuff is then served with fresh and soft goat cheese (the Greek brands are the best match for this dish, obviously). It comes together in less than 20 minutes and you will want more after finishing it. :)

Last year: Horta me Avga Tiganita (Wild greens with fried egg) (Greek).
Two years ago: Orange pasta with eggplant and carrots (vegan).
Three years ago: Cauliflower and soy croutons cream soup (vegan).
Four years ago: Straciatella cream pie (Italian).

Friday, June 12, 2015

Red lentil, chickpea and chili soup (vegan)

A light and easy to make vegetarian soup, made a bit more consistent by the addition of lentils and chickpeas. With a strong aromatic base from cumin seeds (which as you may know from other recipes, match the chickpeas and tomatoes very well) and gently fried red onion. And, of course, why leave it there when you can have it with a kick? Add red chilies as well :D. 
All in all, it's a no-fuss, easy to cook comfort food. Enjoy!
Recipe source: here.

Last year: Soufflé au citron (Quark and lemon souffle) (French).
Two years ago: Moroccan potato salad (vegan).
Three years ago: Simple tomato gratin (Gratin Provencal).
Four years ago: Stuffed baked avocados (Middle Eastern).

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Japchae (Korean fried noodles) (vegan)

A simple and quick dish of stir-fried glass noodles and thin veggie strips. It's very often served in Korean meals as a side dish, though it can very well be encountered as a main as well. 
Japchae is a kingly dish :). It was created for a Korean king early in the 17th century and that king was so pleased with it that he rewarded the creator with a high office in return. But by far the loveliest thing about it is the fact that it's so easy and fast to make and that you can incorporate some seasonal vegetables in the basic recipe any time you want. Just stir fry them in some sesame oil, add soy sauce and glass noodles, give them another stir and it's done. Sprinkle some sesame seeds and thinly sliced chili on top and you can start digging in. :)
To me - especially since I really have a soft spot for glass noodles - this is the laziest and most delicious comfort food. I hope you'll enjoy as well.

Last year: Roasted white onions with breadcrumb crust (vegan).
Two years ago: Three color pizza with basil, mozzarella, cherry tomatoes and avocado.
Three years ago: Violet flame (cocktail).
Four years ago: Stuffed baked avocados (Middle Eastern).

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Courgette, pea and pesto soup (vegan)

Simple to make, green and light and unmistakably delicious. It also contains white beans for extra heartiness, bit if I would have put that also in the title, then it would have been too long :).
Recipe adapted just a bit from here.

Last year: Pui cu smântână (Romanian chicken and cream) (My mom's recipe).
Two years ago: Creamy coconut milk rice (vegan).
Three years ago: Tagliatelle with tuna, lemon, rucola and pine seeds.
Four years ago: Stuffed baked avocados (Middle Eastern).

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Cous cous au beurre (Algerian/Jewish)

This is a traditional Jewish recipe from Algeria (and possibly other countries of Maghreb as well) that brings back many childhood memories for people who grew up there. It's both a dish associated with children and also with the holiday of Purim. It's also ridiculously simple and fast to make and quite delicious. Enjoy.
Recipe source: here and here.

Last year: Nasi Goreng (Indonesian fried rice).
Two years ago: Prosciutto-wrapped turkey fillets with early summer salad.
Three years ago: Ganse Schmaltz Back-Kartoffeln (German goose fat baked potatoes).
Four years ago: Stuffed baked avocados (Middle Eastern).

Monday, June 1, 2015

Sour cherry muffins with black and white chocolate chunks

A nice idea for Children's Day :).
Delicious, warm muffins with sour cherries and chocolate chunks (definitely decadent and melty and just naughty). And as if that wasn't enough to get you to try one, the chocolate is both black and white (and in generous quantities, too!). Double the chocolate, double the colors, double the fun. Enjoy.
Recipe source: here.

Last year: Poppyseed, honey and strawberry glaze Bundt cake.
Two years ago: Elder flower and vanilla syrup (vegan).
Three years ago: Raw walnut-cocoa truffles with honey and cinnamon (raw vegan).
Four years ago: Stuffed baked avocados (Middle Eastern).

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