sâmbătă, 31 decembrie 2011

miercuri, 28 decembrie 2011

The Page Turner

What can you comment about this?
Absolutely nothing...

luni, 26 decembrie 2011

Pizza pinwheel puffs

375g pack ready rolled puff pastry, thawed if frozen, 6 tbsp ready made pasta sauce (not too chunky), 100g wafer thin ham, 100g mature cheddar, grated, 1 egg, beaten, 1 tsp dried oregano or mixed herbs

Preheat oven to fan 180C/conventional 200C/gas 6.
Unroll the pastry onto a lightly floured surface and roll it out to 40 x 32cm. Spread a layer of pasta sauce over it, leaving a 1cm border around the edges. Arrange the ham evenly on top, then scatter the grated cheese over. Starting at one of the short ends, roll the pastry up as tightly as possible.
Chill in the fridge for 10 minutes or so.
Take a very sharp knife and cut the roll into 12 equal slices, laying them flat on 2 non-stick baking trays as you go. Brush each pinwheel lightly with beaten egg and sprinkle over the herbs.
Bake for 12-15 minutes until puffed and golden.
Leave to stand for 5-10 minutes before serving.

duminică, 25 decembrie 2011

Merry Christmas!!!

Merry Christmas everyone :D

miercuri, 14 decembrie 2011

duminică, 4 decembrie 2011

sâmbătă, 3 decembrie 2011

Creamy chicken, ham & leek pie

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, poached with a stock cube, 250 ml cooking liquid, 75 g butter, 2 slender leeks, trimmed and sliced, 2 garlic cloves, crushed, 50 g plain flour, 200 ml milk, 2-3 tbs white wine, 150 ml double cream, 150 g thickly carved ham, cut into 2 cm chunks, salt, peper, 1 shortcrust pastry

Melt 25 g of the butter in a large non-stick saucepan over a low heat. Stir in the leeks and fry gently for 2 mins, stirring occasionally until softened. Add the garlic and cook for 1 min more, then tip everything into a bowl.
Return the pan to the heat and add the remaining butter. Stir in the flour as soon as the butter has melted and cook for 30 secs, stirring constantly. Add the milk, a little at a time, stirring well. Gradually add the cooking liquid and the wine, then stir until the sauce is smooth and thick. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 3 minutes. While stirring season to taste, then remove from heat and stir in the cream.
Add the chicken, leeks and ham to the sauce and pour in a pie dish.
Roll the pastry out and cover the pie dish and trim off the excess. Using a sharp knife cut a small hole in the middle of the pasty (this allows the steam to escape while the pie cooks).
Preheat the oven to 220C. Beat the egg yolks and brush over the pastry. Place the pies in the oven and cook for about 45 minutes.

vineri, 25 noiembrie 2011

Ice Age - A Mammoth Christmas

Getting ready for Christmas ;))

joi, 17 noiembrie 2011

Cottage pie

Since coming from London I'm into British food... so here it is: Cottage Pie thanks to BBC Good Foods

3 tbsp olive oil, 1¼ kg beef mince, 2 onions, finely chopped, 3 carrots, chopped, 3 celery sticks, chopped, 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped, 3 tbsp plain flour, 1 tbsp tomato purée, large glass red wine (optional), 850ml beef stock, 4 tbsp Worcestershire sauce, few thyme sprigs, 2 bay leaves
For the Mash: 1.8kg potatoes, chopped, 225ml milk, 25g butter, 200g strong cheddar, grated, freshly grated nutmeg

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large saucepan and fry the mince until browned - you may need to do this in batches. Set aside as it browns. Put the rest of the oil into the pan, add the vegetables and cook on a gentle heat until soft, about 20 mins. Add the garlic, flour and tomato purée, increase the heat and cook for a few mins, then return the beef to the pan. Pour over the wine, if using, and boil to reduce it slightly before adding the stock, Worcestershire sauce and herbs. Bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 45 mins. By this time the gravy should be thick and coating the meat. Check after about 30 mins - if a lot of liquid remains, increase the heat slightly to reduce the gravy a little. Season well, then discard the bay leaves and thyme stalks.
Meanwhile, make the mash. In a large saucepan, cover the potatoes in salted cold water, bring to the boil and simmer until tender. Drain well, then allow to steam-dry for a few mins. Mash well with the milk, butter, and three-quarters of the cheese, then season with the nutmeg and some salt and pepper.
Spoon meat into 2 ovenproof dishes. Pipe or spoon on the mash to cover. Sprinkle on the remaining cheese. If eating straight away, heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7 and cook for 25-30 mins, or until the topping is golden.

luni, 14 noiembrie 2011

Michael Buble - Santa Claus is coming to town

Hey, hey, it's Christmas time again :D

joi, 10 noiembrie 2011

Ragout fin Chasseur

Here is a German recipe from Maggi, really tasty and easy to make.

400 g chicken breast, 200 g mushrooms, 1 tbs lemon juice, 2 tbs butter, 300 ml water, 1 sachet Maggi fix & frisch Rahm Geschnetzeltes, 4 tbs cream, 1 tbs Worcester sauce, 1 tbs chopped parsley, 4 puff pastry disks

Preheat the oven to 200 ° C. Wash the chicken breast fillets, pat dry and cut them into cubes and season them with nutmeg. Clean the mushrooms, cut them into quarters and drizzle them with lemon juice.
Brown the meat in butter, add the mushrooms and sauté. Pour in water, add the Maggi Fix, bring to a boil and cook about 2 minutes. Stir in the cream. Season with Worcester sauce.
Put the puff pastry disks in the oven for about 10 minutes and them fill them with the stew filling. Serve garnished with parsley.

sâmbătă, 5 noiembrie 2011

Lightly spiced carrot soup

1 tbsp vegetable oil, 1 onion, finely chopped, 1 garlic clove, chopped, knob of fresh root ginger, grated, 1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped, 1 tsp mild curry powder, plus extra, 1kg carrots, trimmed and sliced, 2 lemongrass stalks, bashed, 2 strips orange zest, 400g can coconut milk, 700ml vegetable stock

Heat the oil in a large pan with a lid. Tip in the onion, garlic, ginger and chilli, then cook for 3-5 mins until soft. Stir in the curry powder, followed by the carrots, lemongrass and zest, then cover and cook over a low heat for 10 mins more.
Give the coconut milk can a shake, then pour most of it into the pan along with the vegetable stock. Bring to the boil, then turn down and simmer for 15 mins until the carrots are really soft. Remove the lemongrass and orange zest, then use a stick blender or food processor to whizz until smooth. Ladle into bowls and top with a swirl of reserved coconut milk and an extra sprinkling of curry powder, if you like.

marți, 25 octombrie 2011

Linguine with mushroom, prosciutto and garlic cream sauce

400g fresh linguine, 3 garlic cloves, chopped, olive oil, 6 slices prosciutto, chopped, 500g chestnut mushrooms, trimmed and sliced, 250ml white wine, 300ml double cream, 50g Parmesan, grated, 3 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large deep frying pan. Add the garlic and mushrooms and a big pinch of salt. Cook for 5 minutes on a fairly high heat, stirring often. Add the prosciutto and cook for another couple of minutes. Pour in the white wine and then let reduce by half, it should take about 5 minutes. Add the cream and reduce a little. Remove from the heat, add half the cheese and all of the parsley.
Cook the pasta following the pack instructions. Drain then add the pasta to the mushroom pan and toss everything together. Serve with the rest of the cheese.

joi, 20 octombrie 2011

Pancetta & cheddar tart with thyme & paprika pastry

As always, a big thank you to Good Foods UK

150ml full-fat milk, 3 eggs, 250ml double cream, 200g pancetta or bacon lardons, 100g button mushrooms, sliced, 100g mature cheddar, grated
For the thyme & paprika pastry: 200g plain flour, plus extra for dusting, ½ tsp smoked paprika, ¾ tsp thyme leaves, 100g butter, chilled and finely diced

Heat the oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5.
Sift the flour and smoked paprika with a pinch of salt. Grind the thyme in a pestle and mortar to release the flavour then stir into the flour mix. Add the diced butter to the flour and rub together lightly with the tips of your fingers until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add 2-3 tbsp water gradually bringing everything together to make a dough. Form into a disc then wrap in clingfilm and rest in the fridge for 20 minutes.
Dust your work surface with flour then roll out the pastry into a rough circle, turning every now and again to keep the circular shape. Use the tin (a 24cm (3-4cm deep) tart tin) as a guide to check you have rolled the pastry big enough. Ideally you want a little bit of overlap to prevent shrinkage. Lift up the pastry onto your rolling pin then carefully unfold onto the tin. Ease the pastry carefully into the tin. Use the side of your little finger to make sure the pastry is pushed into the corners and flutes of the tin. Cut a circle of greaseproof paper big enough to line the tart case then scrunch the paper up to make it pliable. Line the tin with this then fill with ceramic baking beans or dried beans. Bake for 20 minutes then take out the beans and paper and cook for another 5 minutes or until the base has dried out. Turn down the oven to 150C/fan 130C/gas 2.
Trim the overhanging edges of the pastry with a small serrated knife while still warm. Whisk the milk, eggs and double cream. Fry the pancetta and mushrooms in a non-stick pan until both are slightly golden. Stir them into the egg mix while still hot then mix in the cheese. Pour the mix into the baked tart case. Cook for 40 minutes until just set. Cool a little in the tin and serve warm.

marți, 18 octombrie 2011

Coldplay - Paradise

The newest video from Coldplay... can't wait for their new album and who knows, maybe a concert in Bucharest next year?

miercuri, 12 octombrie 2011

Pasta with cream champignons

250 g Penne Rigate, 200 g mushrooms, 1 zucchini, 1 small onion, 20 g butter, 1/4 l water, 1 sachet MAGGI fix & fresh cream mushrooms, 100 g gorgonzola, 1 bunch parsley

In a saucepan, cook the pasta as directed on the package. Clean and slice the mushrooms. Wash and clean the zucchini, halve it lengthwise and cut into slices. Peel the onion and cut it into cubes.
Heat the butter
in a saucepan. Sauté onion in it. Add the vegetables and sauté for 10 minutes.

Pour in water, add the Maggi Mix, bring to a boil. Add the cheese, and blend it until it has melted.
Add the drained pasta, season to taste, chop finely the parsley and sprinkle over the plate.

luni, 10 octombrie 2011

Malt Chocolate Cheesecake

It was my niece's birthday today so I decided to make a special cake for her. And because I don't know how to use her oven I made one without fire (or almost without).
It's easy to make and very, very tasty :D
Thanks as always to Good Foods UK for the recipe, I made a slight modification, I added also dark chocolate for a 3 layer cake:

200g malted milk biscuits, crushed to crumbs, 100g salted butter, melted, 5 tbsp caster sugar, 2 x 300g tubs full fat soft cheese like Philadelphia, 300ml pot double cream, 200g white chocolate, melted, 200g bar dark chocolate, melted, 200g bar milk chocolate, melted, 2 tbsp malt or Horlicks powder, 37g bag white Maltesers

Line base and sides of a deep, 22-23cm loose-bottomed round tin with baking parchment. Mix the biscuits, melted butter and 2 tbsp of the sugar, then press into base. Chill while you make the filling.
Divide cream cheese and cream evenly between 3 bowls. Add the white chocolate to one, the dark chocolate to another and the milk chocolate, malt and remaining 3 tbsp sugar to the last. Beat each with an electric whisk until smooth.
Spread the milk chocolate mixture evenly in the tin. Wipe round the edge to give a smooth edge. Spoon the white chocolate mix over the top and gently smooth. Spread the dark chocolate over the top, decorate with Maltesers and chill for at least 5 hrs until firm.

duminică, 9 octombrie 2011

Contrex - Ma Contrexperience

A commercial with an unexpected ending ;))

sâmbătă, 8 octombrie 2011

Peach tiramisu

1 can (425 ml) peaches in syrup, 4 eggs, 100 gr sugar, 500 gr mascarpone, 5 cl peach schnapps, 1 pack sponge fingers, 2 tablespoons cocoa powder

Drain the peaches, collect the syrup. Puree the peaches, separate the eggs. Beat the egg yolks with sugar until you obtain a fluffy cream. Add the peach puree and the mascarpone.
Mix the peach syrup with the schnapps and douse the sponge fingers in this mix. In a square form put a layer of sponge fingers, a layer of cream, another layer of sponge fingers and the rest of the cream. Sprinkle with cocoa powder and put it in the fridge for 3 hours.

joi, 6 octombrie 2011

marți, 4 octombrie 2011

Pancakes filled Italian style

150 g flour, 2 eggs, 250 ml milk, salt, 2 tablespoons oil, 2 tomatoes, 150 g (5 pieces) champignons, 1 leek, 250 g minced meat, 200 ml water, 50 ml cream, 1 sachet Maggi Tortellini Tomate Basilikum, 50 g grated cheese

Make a pancake mix with the flour, eggs, milk and salt and leave it to rest for 10 minutes. Fry the pancakes in a nonstick pan.
Wash the tomatoes and cut into small cubes, clean the mushrooms and slice them, wash the leek and cut into rings.
Sauté the meat in hot oil, add the leek and fry with the champignons. Pour in cream and water, add the Maggi mix and bring to a boil.
Let it cool for 5 minutes, spread on the pancakes, sprinkle with diced tomatoes and cheese, roll the pancakes and put them in the oven for another 10 minutes. Serve with a salad.

duminică, 2 octombrie 2011

Creamy chicken stew with mustard

300 g chicken breast fillets, 2 shallots, 2 tablespoons sunflower oil, 150 ml water, 50 ml creme fraiche, 50 ml white wines, 6 tablespoons MAGGI poultry sauce, 1 tablespoon mustard, 2 tablespoons chives

Wash the meat and cut it into cubes. Chop the onions into small cubes. Heat the oil and beown the meat, add the onions and saute till the onions become translucent. Add the water, cream and wine and the poutry sauce. Let it boil for 5 minutes, add the mustard and season to taste. Sprinkle the chives on top and serve with rice or potatoes.

vineri, 30 septembrie 2011

Chocolate chunk pecan cookies

Another recipe from Good Foods BBC :D

200g dark chocolate, broken into squares, 100g butter, chopped, 50g light muscovado sugar, 85g golden caster sugar, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1 egg, beaten, 100g whole pecans, 100g plain flour, 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Melt 85g chocolate in the microwave on High for 1 min or over a pan of simmering water. Beat in the butter, sugars, vanilla and egg until smooth, then stir in three-quarters of both the nuts and remaining chocolate, then the flour and bicarbonate of soda.
Heap 12 spoonfuls, spaced apart, on 2 baking sheets (don't spread the mixture), then poke in the reserved nuts and chocolate. Bake for 12 mins until firm, then leave to cool on the sheets. Can be stored in a tin for up to 3 days.

joi, 29 septembrie 2011

miercuri, 28 septembrie 2011

Celery soup with blue cheese

30 gr of butter, 1 head of celery, 2 onions, 2 spoons of flour, 1.2 litre of vegetable broth, 75 gr blue of cheese (spicy Gorgonzola, Stilton, Roquefort), black pepper, chives, salt

Peel, wash and cut into small cubes the celery and the onions. In a wide pan melt the butter, add the celery and onions and cook for about 4 minutes. When the onions are translucent, add the flour and cook for another minute. Pour the broth little by little and mix well, let it simmer for 30 minutes, until the celery is soft. Crumble the cheese, add it to the soup, season it with salt and pepper, put in in the blender and mix well. Serve sprinkled with chives and eat it with croutons.

luni, 26 septembrie 2011

Egg-free cheese & bacon quiche

For the pastry: 225g plain flour, 100g butter, 25g Parmesan, grated, pinch of cayenne pepper
For the filling: 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 large onion, finely sliced, 200g chopped smoked streaky bacon, 2 tbsp egg replacer, 2 tsp plain flour, 300ml double cream, 4 tbsp milk, 85g mature cheddar, grated

Either by hand or in a food processor, mix the flour, butter, cheese and pepper with enough cold water to combine, then knead lightly until smooth. Roll out the pastry and line a 23cm loose-bottomed tart tin. Cover with cling film and chill for 30 min. Any leftover pastry can be frozen for up to 1 month.
Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Remove cling film, line with greaseproof paper, fill with baking beans and bake for 15 min until the sides are crisp. Remove beans and paper, then return pastry to the oven and cook for another 5-10 min until lightly golden. Cool.
To make the filling, heat oil in a pan. Cook the onion until soft and the bacon until browned. Scatter over the pastry base, discarding excess fat, followed by half the cheese. Whisk the egg-free substitute, flour, cream and milk together and pour into case. Scatter remaining cheese on top.
Lower the oven to 150C/130C fan/ gas 2 and bake the quiche for 35-40 min, or until the filling is set and the top brown. Stand for 10 min before removing from the tin.

Thanks Good Food BBC ;) You can replace the egg replacer with 2 eggs if you want a normal quiche...

marți, 13 septembrie 2011

joi, 8 septembrie 2011

Courgette, potato & cheddar soup

500g potatoes, unpeeled and roughly chopped, 2 vegetable stock cubes, 1kg courgettes, roughly chopped, bunch spring onion, sliced - save 1 for serving, if eating straight away 100g extra-mature cheddar or vegetarian alternative, grated, plus a little extra to serve, good grating fresh nutmeg, plus extra to serve

Put the potatoes in a large pan with just enough water to cover them and crumble in the stock cubes. Bring to the boil, then cover and cook for 5 mins. Add the courgettes, put the lid back on and cook for 5 mins more. Throw in the spring onions, cover and cook for a final 5 mins.
Take off the heat, then stir in the cheese and season with the nutmeg, salt and pepper.
Whizz to a thick soup, adding more hot water until you get the consistency you like.
Serve scattered with extra grated cheddar, spring onions and nutmeg or pepper. Or cool and freeze in freezer bags or containers with good lids for up to 3 months.

luni, 5 septembrie 2011

Ryan Sheridan - Stand up tall

Saw him in March as opening act for The Script...
He's pretty good, isn't he ;)

marți, 23 august 2011

Nutella & Raisins Ice cream

I just bought an ice cream machine after reading this verry verry tasty recipe ;)
If you want more delicious recipes visit Laura Adamache http://www.lauraadamache.ro/ on her blog and you won't regret it ;)

350 gr nutella, 1 tablespoon honey, 40gr sugar, 10 gr corn starch, 460 gr milk, 200 gr cream, 100 gr raisins, brandy

Dissolve the cornstarch in milk, add the sugar and bring to boil. Let it simmer for 5 minutes, stirring continuously. Remove from the heat, add the honey and nutella and mix it well.
Let the mix cool completely. Beat the cream not to stiffly and add it to the nutella cream.
Leave it for 30
minutes in the fridge, add the raisins soaked in brandy and then put it in the ice cream machine for around 30 minutes.
If you want it more firmly, you can put it afterwards for 30 minutes in the freezer.

miercuri, 17 august 2011

Snow Patrol - Called out in the dark

I totally loove this video, it's soo funny, and the music is GREAT :D

sâmbătă, 13 august 2011

Mozzarella Tomatoes Sandwich

Home alone and nothing to eat...
or not ;)
Simple, easy and taaasty

1 ciabatta bread, 1 tablespoon pesto, rocket leaves, 3-4 mozzarella slices, 3-4 slices tomato, 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

Cut the bread in half. Spread the pesto on the bread, place the rocket leaves on top and some slices of cheese and tomatoes. Add salt and pepper and pour over a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar. Place the other bread half over, press gently and cut in half.

vineri, 12 august 2011

Gym Class Heroes feat Adam Levine - Stereo Hearts

Adam Levine from Maroon 5 in a new presentation ;)
I heard this song once and I totally fell in love with it...

sâmbătă, 6 august 2011

STA Travel Australia - Learn

This is the last part...

vineri, 5 august 2011

STA Travel Australia - Move

This is the second part

joi, 4 august 2011

STA Travel Australia - Eat

Now this is a video I would have loved to make ;))

miercuri, 3 august 2011

Mexican Enchiladas with Cheese

Here is a very easy to make recipe, thanks to Delia Smith http://www.deliaonline.com/

For the salsa: 1 x 14 oz (400 g) tin chopped tomatoes, 1 medium green chilli (the fat, squat variety that isn't too fiery), 1 medium red onion, peeled and finely chopped, 2 heaped tablespoons chopped fresh coriander leaves, plus a little extra, to garnish, juice 1 lime, salt and freshly milled black pepper
For the enchiladas: 4 large flour tortillas 4 oz (110 g), Wensleydale, grated 5 oz (150 g), mozzarella, grated - a block of mozzarella is best for this, 7 fl oz (200 ml) half-fat creme fraiche
You will also need an ovenproof baking dish measuring 9 inches (23 cm) square and 2 inches (5 cm) deep, lightly oiled, and a frying pan.

Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 180°C. Begin by making the salsa: first tip the tomatoes into a sieve over a bowl to let the excess liquid drain away. Next, remove the stalk from the chilli, cut it in half, remove and discard the seeds, chop the flesh very finely and place it in a bowl. Then add half the chopped onion, the drained tomatoes, chopped coriander leaves and lime juice, and season well with salt and pepper. Now give everything a thorough mixing. Meanwhile, mix the 2 cheeses together in a bowl.
Next, put the frying pan over a high flame to pre-heat and, when it's hot, dry-fry each of the tortillas for 6 seconds on each side. Place 1 tortilla on a flat surface and spread a tablespoon of salsa over it, but not quite to the edges, sprinkle over a heaped tablespoon of the cheese mixture, then follow this with a tablespoon of the creme fraiche. Then roll the tortilla up and place it in the baking dish with the sealed side down. Repeat this with the others, then spread the remaining creme fraiche on top of the tortillas in the dish and sprinkle the rest of the salsa over the top, followed by the remaining cheeses and red onion.
Now place the dish on a high shelf of the oven for 25-30 minutes, garnish with the extra coriander and serve absolutely immediately - if you keep them waiting they can become a bit soggy.