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Sunday, December 30, 2018

Chili and three chocolate chunk cookies

These easy-to-make cookies contain lots of cocoa and chili and white pepper powders in their base dough, and are then studded with three types of chocolate, broken into generous chunks: white chocolate, dark chocolate, and dark chili chocolate. The result, as you might already foresee, is a spicy and chocolicious crunchy mess, just perfect to enjoy with tea or coffee. :)
Besides all the wonderful flavors, the texture of these cookies is as close to perfection as they get: crunchy exterior and edges, with a slightly soft and chewy center. Delicious both hot from the oven, and cold the next day(s). Try them as soon as possible :)
Recipe adapted from here.

Last year: nothing
Two years ago: nothing
Three years ago: nothing
Four years ago: Birchermuesli complet (Swiss-German).
Five years ago: Banana cheesecake with candied cherries.
Six years ago: Tiramisu (Italian).
Seven years ago: Carrot and clementine cake with carrot-ginger marmalade, honey-cream cheese frosting and balsamic glaze.
Eight years ago: Eggplant and spicy chicken bits with mascarpone pasta.

Friday, December 28, 2018

Apple and cinnamon butter pancakes

Fluffy American-style pancakes with some cinnamon butter caramel apple bites scattered through the batter. Drizzled with honey and extra cinnamon right before serving. They can be thrown together in about 15-20 minutes and they'll make you think twice about skipping breakfast in the future. :)

Last year: nothing
Two years ago: nothing
Three years ago: nothing
Four years ago: Muesli (Swiss-German).
Five years ago: Crab starters with guacamole and black sesame.
Six years ago: Pumpernikel rounds with beef ham, mustard and cornichons.
Seven years ago: Simple bundt cake with raisins (Romanian guguluf).
Eight years ago: Pasta alla carbonara (Italian) and Ginger-lemon chicken breast with honey-spicy vegetable sautee.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Pirincli Yesil Mercimek Salatasi (Turkish lentil and rice salad) (vegan)

This lovely Turkish salad can work both as a side dish and as a main. Frankly, it's so good on its own that I'd gladly have this anytime of the day. It's one of my go-to's when looking for a fast comfort food. 
Recipe source: here.

Last year: nothing
Two years ago: nothing
Three years ago: nothing
Four years ago: Brændende kærlighed ("Burning love") (Danish).
Five years ago: Gorgonzola and white wine potato gratin
Six years ago: Prosciutto, chile and onion pizza.
Seven years ago: Raw winter salad in preserved peaches (Romanian).
Eight years ago: Smoked salmon on lemon-herb butter toast.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Kimchi-jjigae (Korean kimchi stew)

I cooked this earlier this month in one of the loveliest evenings ever:). The dish is one of the most delicious ways of exploring Korean cuisine in every spoonful. It tastes hot, sour and umami at the same time. It comes together easily and once you put everything in the cast iron pot, you don't need to stir, just take it off the heat once it's done and serve it. 
Recipe source: the awesome Maangchi.

Last year: nothing
Two years ago: nothing
Three years ago: nothing
Four years ago: Risalamande (Danish rice pudding with whipped cream and almonds).
Five years ago: Baked cod in tomato, bean and olive sauce.
Six years ago: Fennel, onion and Gouda quiche.
Seven years ago: Simple tortellini soup.
Eight years ago: Simple blackberry-almond treat and Italian orrecchiette with Parmesan cream, bell pepper and olives.

Friday, December 21, 2018

Gnocchi con pomodoro (Gnocchi in tomato sauce) (Italian)

Comforting soft gnocchi in the go-to Italian pasta sauce. Not as simple to make as regular pasta, but taking the extra time to make the gnocchi and the sauce from scratch is undoubtedly rewarding when you start digging in them. :) 
Recipe source(s): here and here.

Last year: nothing
Two years ago: nothing
Three years ago: nothing
Four years ago: Risengrød / Risgrynsgröt (Danish and Swedish rice pudding).
Five years ago: Dates filled with mascarpone and almonds (raw).
Six years ago: The Easterner (cocktail).
Seven years ago: Breakfast braided bread with cheese and ham filling.
Eight years ago: Avocado halves stuffed with salty cheese and tomatoes and Mexican nachos with four mixed dips (salsa, guacamole, garlic sauce, cheese fondue).

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Galletas de Nata (Christmas cookies) (Central and South American / Spanish / Portuguese)

These little and dainty cookies are eaten all throughout the Spanish-influenced world for Christmas especially, their name meaning precisely that ('Christmas cookies'). Grandmas and mothers all over the Spanish speaking world are preparing these Latin cookies whenever the winter holiday season approaches. I love their subtle spice and delicious buttery consistency, and they're also useful as a go-to cookie dough recipe for various extra additions and fillings: bits of nuts, dried fruit, chocolate morsels and so on. 
Try these Spanish Christmas cookies for yourselves and see just how delicious they are. As a note, they tend to be a little more soft and crumbly than other cookie recipes, so maybe they're not the ideal cookies to be used for cookie sandwiches and similar confections. 
Recipe source: here.

Last year: nothing
Two years ago: nothing
Three years ago: nothing
Four years ago: Porkkanalaatikko (Carrot casserole for Christmas) (Finnish).
Five years ago: Răcituri de pui (Romanian chicken and garlic aspic).
Six years ago: Amaretto chocolate truffles.
Seven years ago: Vanillekipferln (Austrian vanilla crescent cookies).
Eight years ago: Spicy turkey fillet in coriander-tomato sauce and Butter and smoked salmon pasta.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Cubed Halloumi, cucumber and za'atar salad

This was a personal creation I'm particularly proud of. Since halloumi cheese lends itself so easily to frying, I though cubing it beforehand will not get it to break up into a mush as a regular cheese would behave in the pan. Also, generously sprinkling it with za'atar was something I was planning, and the results definitely did not disappoint. And since it was planned to be a salad, pairing it with cucumbers for a little fresh note (but without much flavor, so it wouldn't cover up the halloumi and spices) was the way to go. All this goes wonderfully with a pita bread to serve over (as you may observe from the above picture). Enjoy :)

Last year: nothing
Two years ago: nothing
Three years ago: nothing
Four years ago: Ostabrauð (Hot Icelandic Cheese Bread).
Five years ago: Sărmăluțe în viță de vie (Romanian stuffed grape leaves).
Six years ago: Wood ear mushroom salad (Chinese) (raw vegan).
Seven years ago: Bulgur pilaf with garlic.
Eight years ago: Lebkuchen (German gingerbread) and Ragout with tarragon and white wine sauce (German).

Friday, December 14, 2018

Simple courgette fritters (pancakes)

A lovely idea if you're into courgettes and into making nice veggie meals and snacks out of fresh stuff. :). A batch of lovely courgette fritters like these is ready in no time, it tastes light and green and it's even more wonderful when served with sweet chili sauce (as we did above).

(For a more complicated version with a Greek ethnic background, do consider my recipe for Kolokitho Keftedes or zucchini and feta cheese fritters).
Recipe adapted from: here.

Last year: nothing
Two years ago: nothing
Three years ago: nothing
Four years ago: Lussebullar (Lussekatter) (Swedish Lucia breads).
Five years ago: Ciorbă de burtă falsă (Romanian shiitake and chantarellus mushroom soup).
Six years ago: Crispy duck with five spices (Chinese).
Seven years ago: Tapenade, wild mushroom and red onion galette (vegan).
Eight years ago: Romanian and Moldavian "Tochitură" with polenta.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Banana cream pie (Southern USA)

One of the classic Southern grandma-style pies I'm mad about. It's quite easy to make, it just requires a bit of attention and an hour or so. The delicate flaky shortcrust is filled with a vanilla cream mixed with chopped bananas, then decorated with banana slices, then topped with some whipped cream for the final touch. It's impossible not to love this. Enjoy :)

Last year: nothing
Two years ago: nothing
Three years ago: nothing
Four years ago: Brownie cake with cream cheese frosting and pomegranate tree.
Five years ago: Le fondant au chocolat (French chocolate cake).
Six years ago: Upside down pineapple cake (American).
Seven years ago: Classic Pavlova (Australia and New Zealand).
Eight years ago: Light and colorful field salad and Gottergetränk (Drink of the gods) (German hot chocolate drink).

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Breakfast bun with spinach and egg

The classic combination of spinach (here lightly sauteed with olive oil and garlic), soft-fried eggs and a toasted bun. This is to me one of the few examples of an ideal breakfast. As a bonus, combining eggs with greens (especially spinach) is a nutritional super-combo (releasing the calcium and vitamin D which you wouldn't get if you ate them separately). Enjoy :).

Last year: nothing
Two years ago: nothing
Three years ago: nothing
Four years ago: Glühwein (German and Austrian mulled wine) (vegan).
Five years ago: White Russian (cocktail).
Six years ago: Chicken, rice and caraway soup (Asian-style).
Seven years ago: Farfalle with cheddar cream, green apple and red onion.
Eight years ago: German mustard cream pork chops and German apple and leek winter salad.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Dill dip (dill sauce)

The dill creamy dip is a classic match for chicken and fish dishes that need a little extra herbal kick and it's also great on its own, just with pieces of veggies or tortilla chips (like here) to dunk in it. You could also try it as a salad dressing, as a nice variation for tzatziki or yogurt sauce etc. 
It's such a staple I'm sure most of you are having it in one form or another, but here's a really good recipe for it in case you needed one.

Last year: nothing
Two years ago: nothing
Three years ago: nothing
Four years ago: Pytti panna (Scandinavian hash) (Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, Danish).
Five years ago: Köttbullar med Potatismos (Swedish meatballs with mashed potatoes).
Six years ago: Onion-Gouda-bacon fritters.
Seven years ago: Turkey fillet with chestnuts.
Eight years ago: French onion soup with oregano, toast and emmentaler.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Cappuccino (Italian)

This is the main reason I got myself a milk foamer. :)
The Cappuccino is a coffee and milk drink with a very rich history and known variations; which I'll not reproduce here (follow the link if you're thirsty for details). Pretty easy to make if you have a milk foamer, this drink is the ideal canvas for personalizing with your favorite spices, syrups, decorations, details etc. :) And it's a lovely way to start the day. 

Last year: nothing
Two years ago: nothing
Three years ago: nothing
Four years ago: Baked aubergines with mozzarella and garlic-pomegranate-mint sauce.
Five years ago: Pasta Arabbiata (Angry penne) (Italian)(vegan).
Six years ago: Grilled turkey breast with avocado-feta salsa.
Seven years ago: Quesadillas with cheddar, bacon and cherry tomatoes (Mexican).
Eight years ago: Cheese-stuffed mushrooms and cheese fussili with herbs and aioli; and Swedish-style salmon with vegetables and white sauce.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Date puree cake with caramel glaze + 8 year blog anniversary

So, I'm back after a long while of not posting anything. Life got in the way, although I didn't stop the cooking and the experimenting, I stopped making time for posting everything here. But now I've rediscovered my passion of exploring food and various cuisines, and I feel like taking this up again. Let the journey continue, and thanks to the friends who still check this from time to time. :)

There are two reasons you should make this cake. The practical one is that nobody really likes dried up dates that are no longer moist. Instead of eating them and not enjoying the experience (thus making it not worth the calories) or worse throwing them away, this kind of cake transforms aged dried-up dates into a smooth puree and a lovely, moist and sweet cake.
The second reason is that the cake itself is spectacular. The date base is also infused with spices and rum and some faint chocolate hint, while the top is a show-stopper roasted almonds (they bake together with the cake) and creamy caramel sauce. Don't just make this to save the dates. Make it because it's fabulous :).
Recipe adapted from here.

Last year: nothing
Two years ago: nothing
Three years ago: nothing
Four years ago: nothing
Five years ago: Peanut butter marbled brownies + 3 year blog anniversary.
Six years ago: Cocoa macarons with chocolate cream cheese filling + 2 year blog anniversary.
Seven years ago: Classic chocolate cream pie (American) + 1 year blog anniversary.
Eight years ago: Complete meal salad with basil and Simple fried bananas with cinnamon and honey (Central and South American)
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