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Friday, July 31, 2015

Migas (Scrambled eggs with bread and chorizo) (Spanish)

Migas is one of the most iconic dishes of rural Spain. Bread has a central role in all Spanish cuisine, and bread-based dishes are a go-to especially in the rural areas where making the most out of little was a delicious art. You can read a fascinatingly detailed article about Spanish types of bread and their use here, and Migas is the perfect dish to start cooking if you want a taste of it yourself. 
It's made with slightly old bread, fried in a pan together with eggs, chorizo, olive oil and a sprinkle of chili flakes. It's just the right amount of fiery and robust and it's ready in as little as 10 minutes from deciding you're hungry to having it in a plate in front of you. :)
Recipe source: Saveur.

Last year: Paprika mackerel with olive and orange salsa.
Two years ago: Spuma di Ricotta al Cafee (Ricotta and Coffee Mousse) (Italian).
Three years ago: Herb-mustard-beer pancakes with cottage cheese and bacon.
Four years ago: Baby making and no cooking :).

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Espaguetis con atún y alcaparras (Spaghetti with tuna and capers) (Spanish)

A classic pasta recipe very popular in Spanish kitchens, quick to throw together and absolutely wonderful to enjoy. Give it a try whenever you want a quick lunch. 

Last year: Goat feta bits in pesto and walnut crust.
Two years ago: Chili cheese nachos (Nachos con queso) (Mexican).
Three years ago: Fruit chaat (Indian fruit salad) (raw vegan).
Four years ago: Baby making and no cooking :).

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Smoked salmon quesadillas with three-color cherry tomatoes

I wanted some smoked salmon quesadillas for a long time, but all the recipes I could find online had the salmon folded inside the quesadillas, which didn't tickle my fancy because that would cook the fish at least a little, and take away part of its charm (by my book).
This recipe was the closest I could find to the combination of flavors I had in mind, but still not what I wanted. Therefore I said to myself - well, to hell with recipes - and went on and made the quesadillas of my dreams exactly how I pictured them :).
So here's a great recipe for quesadillas with smoked salmon on top.
Enjoy :)

Last year: Whole wheat goji berry pancakes.
Two years ago: Chicken scallopini (Italian).
Three years ago: Fruit chaat (Indian fruit salad) (raw vegan).
Four years ago: Baby making and no cooking :)

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Ciulama de pui cu ciuperci (Romanian chicken and mushroom roux)

This is a traditional Romanian stew-like dish, featuring chicken, or mushrooms, or both (like here) in a white sauce (based on roux). It's a bit heavy and hearty but utterly delicious. This is my mom's recipe, so it's the real deal, you can trust it to be as authentic as possible :).
When this is done with chicken, it's called "Ciulama de pui", and if it's the vegetarian mushroom version, it's called "Ciulama de ciuperci". Traditionally, it's served with mămăligă (Romanian polenta; you can find instructions on how to make it here).
All in all, it's quite delicious and way easier to make than it sounds (roux, yikes, I know). Enjoy.

Last year: Toasted bread with za'atar and olive oil (vegan).
Two years ago: Mini filled paprikas (raw vegan).
Three years ago: Beer lemonade (Radler) with strawberries (vegan).
Four years ago: Baby making and no cooking :).

Monday, July 20, 2015

Gogoşi (Romanian doughnuts)

"Gogoşi" are basic Romanian doughnuts easy to find in almost every grandma's kitchen from our country. They can be either simple or filled with various jams, and their dough is always yeast-raised. They are fried in vegetable oil, on the stove or even in the oven sometimes, drained on paper towels and then generously dusted with powder sugar. If you decide to try them, you're in for a fluffy, fluffy treat. A treat from the deepest childhood of most Romanians. Sort of like a fairytale snack. :) Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from here.

Last year: Salade au chevre chaud (Warm goat cheese salad) (French).
Two years ago: Sun-dried tomato and cauliflower dip (raw vegan).
Three years ago: Green lasagna with aubergine and zucchini.
Four years ago: baby making and no cooking. :)

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Kopi Jahe (Indonesian coffee with ginger) (vegan)

The ginger coffee they serve in Indonesia is an interesting thing to try, especially if you've already tried ginger in tea and liked it. I usually accept spices in tea easier, but I enjoyed this coffee as well. Try it and decide for yourself. Anyway, if you plan on cooking some Indonesian meals, it would be a shame not to pair them with a drink that matches the cultural background :).
Recipe source: Saveur.

Last year: Chia oatmeal breakfast with fruit (no cook).
Two years ago: Căpșune cu smântână (Simple Strawberries and Cream) (Romanian).
Three years ago: Chicken, olive and preserved lemons tagine (Moroccan).
Four years ago: baby making and no cooking. :)

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Macaronia me Loukanika ke Tiri (Sausage and cheese pasta) (Greek)

Fast to make, hearty and delicious. With fresh Greek herbs (oregano), blue cheese (Gorgonzola), white wine and thin slices of Greek sausage. This is one of the recipes I'd make over and over - and the boys I shared it with (Bogdan and Mădălin) loved it too. :)
Recipe source: Saveur

Last year: Pizza Pescara (Italian-American).
Two years ago: Nigella's Exceptional Salmon.
Three years ago: Chicken, olives and preserved lemons tagine (Moroccan).
Four years ago: Baby making and no cooking. :)

Monday, July 13, 2015

Pasta with broccoli, peanuts and lemon (vegan)

A simple, clean and bright tasting vegan pasta dish. The addition of lemon and peanuts make it taste both fresh and hearty. It's easy and fast to throw together and really delicious. If you're not used to a vegan diet, try this dish and you won't miss the cheese that usually goes into pastas. 
I don't campaign for a regular vegan diet, but I do think anyone should try to have a vegan day once a week for detox purposes (unless their doctor advises otherwise, of course). So, if the idea of a vegan Monday or something sounds pretty good but you don't know where to start and you're afraid that you'll just be too hungry all day, this might be a good starting point. Try it :)
P.S: Although it uses some Italian ingredients and regular European-style pasta and not noodles, the final flavors you feel are kind of Chinese. The mix is really interesting and delicious :).
P.P.S: It's a mobile phone-taken picture at a time when I didn't have my camera with me. 

Last year: Strawberry lassi (Indian).
Two years ago: Zucchini and turkey soup with pesto.
Three years ago: Baked tomato-stuffed peppers with thyme (vegan).
Four years ago: baby making and no cooking :).

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Classic British scones

The lovely scones without which English tea could't be imagined. Cut in two while still warm, spread with clotted cream and jam and sandwiched right back together. 

Lovely, lovely and so very proper. Pinkies up! :)
Recipe source(s): mainly here and here.

Last year: Akuri, Parsi-style (Indian scrambled eggs).
Two years ago: Prosciutto e melone (Italian prosciutto and melon wrap).
Three years ago: Dark chocolate and red wine cake.
Four years ago: baby making and no cooking :).

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

French-style grilled cheese (with baguette and Brie)

Glorious grilled cheese! I (as any other sane person on the planet) love a well-made grilled cheese sandwich, and if it's given a French spin, then all for the better. All you need is a baguette and some flavorful Brie cheese to get the magic going for yourself.

Last year: Clafoutis Limousin (Black cherry clafoutis) (French).
Two years ago: Creamy banana, walnut and mascarpone cake.
Three years ago: Dark chocolate and red wine cake.
Four years ago: baby making and no cooking. :)

Monday, July 6, 2015

Golden Colcannon pie (Irish)

The lovely staple of Irish homes, Colcannon, but made into a round pie with egg and breadcrumbs and baked until golden and renewed (this is an effective way of using left-over Colcannon to make it yummy again). Serve warm, as a side or on its own. Enjoy :)
Note: the way we made it here was from scratch, without using up left-over mash. If you already have some Colcannon on your hands, just mix it with egg and dust with breadcrumbs and bake it (skip the part shown below where we make it firsthand). 
Recipe source: here.

Last year: New potatoes and radish salad with creamy poppy seed dressing.
Two years ago: Grapefruit-mint cooler (raw vegan).
Three years ago: Vanilla extract.
Four years ago: Baby making and no cooking. :)

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Cous cous with macadamia nuts and apples (vegan)

A nice and light cous cous main or side, with delicious flavoring touches: apples, macadamia nuts, parsley, mint, lemon and virgin olive oil. It was truly delicious and fast to throw together. Enjoy.
Recipe adapted from here (I left out the dried cranberries/raisins, I really don't like them in salads, only in baked goods and perhaps tagines or stews).

Last year: Patates Çorbasi (Turkish potato soup).
Two years ago: Yakisoba with shiitake and sesame oil (Japanese).
Three years ago: Insalata Caprese (Italian).
Four years ago: baby making, no cooking.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Sardines with crisp paprika crumbs on rye bruschetti

This is one of the best and most flavorful bruschetti I've ever had. They're basically small slices of rye bread (for extra heartiness), fried in olive oil, topped with high-quality sardines, olives, and crispy paprika breadcrumbs for a lovely flavor addition. This is all ready in no time and it's a good ace up your sleeve whenever you want to impress guests (or just treat yourself), but don't have much time.
Recipe adapted from here.

Last year: Nachos with queso blanco dip (Mexican).
Two years ago: Butter and scotch shrimps with creamy lemon pasta.
Three years ago: Quiche Lorraine (French).
Four years ago: No cooking :).

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