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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Carrot and clementine cake with carrot-ginger marmalade, honey-cream cheese frosting and balsamic glaze

This was a treat. But a light and healthy treat, full of fibers, very little fat and sugar and so on (it even uses wholewheat flour!). I'm very proud of my creation here. Let me detail it for you :D : the two sponges are carrot cake with clementine juice and saffron, between them is a thin layer of our awesome carrot-ginger and caramel marmalade, a cream cheese-honey mixture; on top there's more of the honey cream cheese frosting, fresh clementines and a red balsamic glaze. Who could resist the temptation when even health objections are out of place in this case :) ?
Not too complicated to make. Enjoy :) And have a Happy New Year! :)

Last year: Aubergine and spicy chicken with mascarpone pasta

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Simple bundt cake with raisins (Romanian guguluf)

This is an easy and basic "chec" recipe (sweet bread very often made in Romanian homes). When it's done in a bundt pan, resulting in what Germans call a gugelhupf, the Romanians call it a guguluf :). We like having slices of it with warm milk for breakfast. It's not too sweet, not too dry and keeps well for 2-3 days, even uncovered and at room temperature. Have fun :)

Last year: Pasta alla carbonara and Ginger-lemon chicken breast with honey-spicy vegetable sautee

Monday, December 26, 2011

Salată de crudități în piersici din compot (Raw winter salad in preserved peaches) (Romanian)

Merry Christmas everyone! We thought this is a good time to give you a peek into something more traditional for us Romanians in wintertime. Enjoy your winter holidays in whatever tradition you're keeping them! :)

The raw winter roots salad is a delicious and easy staple in Romanian houses, traditionally made in a season when other fresh salad ingredients besides roots are hard to come by. It has become a go-to food for almost all households and a detail of many home-related nostalgia of Romanians everywhere. This is a less common, but still Romanian way to serve this salad: by filling peach halves from a peach compote with it. It may sound weird, but it's a delicious combination. 

Last year: Smoked salmon on lemon-herb butter toast

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Simple tortellini soup

Christmas is almost here so we'll take a break from posting for a while. This year, my parents are visiting us instead of the other way around, and for the first time I get to be the host and cook lots of delicious things for them, most of them quite different from our usual Holiday tradition. Of course the mentioned delicacies will find their way on the blog eventually (in the following weeks / months)... but until then, we wish you all a Merry Christmas and leave you in the company of a warm soup perfect for this time of the year. :)

This is a hearty-tasting (although light) and warming soup perfect as a cold weather comfort-food. We're fans of filled pasta in almost every form and this rich-tasting broth full of veggies (carrot, parsley root, fresh mushrooms etc) and herbs seems one of the best fitted frames for the tortellini. 
Serve it with some grated Parmesan on top if you'd like, but it's delicious enough without it too. 

Last year: Simple blackberry-almond breakfast treat and Italian orrecchiete with Parmesan cream, bell peppers and olives.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Breakfast braided bread with cheese and ham filling

I like making the dough for this awesomely delicious bread quite often (at least once a week), then get creative with it. The braided breakfast bread is the thing we most often do with it, but not the only one. As you'll see, it's a very versatile bread which can be made in various shapes and with various sweet or savory fillings and toppings (like our tapenade bread rolls or mini Nutela and walnut pies). 
In this version, the bread can be put in the oven when you wake up so you can enjoy it warm 30 minutes later. It's a fluffy-crunchy blast with the melted cheese and ham filling. For us, an ideal breakfast.
First adapted from here

Last year: Avocado halves stuffed with salted cheese and tomatoes and Mexican nachos with mixed dips (salsa, guacamole, aioli and cheese fondue).

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Vanillekipferln (Vanilla crescents) (Austrian)

Around here (Germany and Austria) whenever the holiday season approaches, people go crazy with the plaetzchen (little Christmas cookies) mania. These little biscuit-like vanilla-scented half-moons, originally made in Vienna, are among the most popular and common such sweet bite-sized cookies. 
Don't know how it is around where you might be from, but here and back home (in Romania), the Christmas spirit is already very active around the streets :). Our main gift (a baby girl) will arrive a few weeks later than Christmas though, but we're more enthusiastic as ever as the term approaches :D. 
Enjoy your plaetzchen with warm milk and wait for Santa! Be good! :)

P.S: We're also featuring this recipe in the Sweet Romania December challenge. Tis' the season!

Last year: Spicy turkey fillet in tomato-coriander sauce and Buttery penne with smoked salmon.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Bulgur pilaf with garlic

This is very simple and almost not worth posting, but just in case someone wonders exactly how to make the go-to side-dishes that we use with the more complicated mains we present here, here's one :).
It tastes slightly crunchier than a normal rice pilaf, has more fibers and goes well with spicy and saucy or creamy mains. Ready in 20 minutes.
The last time we made this we had it along some delicious sweet and sour sticky wings :)

Last year: Lebkuchen (German gingerbread cookies) and Ragout with tarragon and white wine sauce (German)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Rustic pie (galette) with olives, wild mushrooms and red onion (vegan)

I wanted to make a pie that looked rustic enough (without using a pie shape), something that could easily be baked in a traditional oven, using a vegan dough and vegan filling ingredients. Something about humbleness and austerity and the old ways when treats were indeed only for holidays pushed me to it and I'm quite charmed by the result. As for Bogdan, he said it was the best thing we ever ate that didn't have meat in it. Coming from him, it's a lot :)
P.S: The dough is really ideal as a crunchy pizza base as well, so if you're into vegan stuff don't hesitate to try it.

Last year: Moldavian (and Romanian) "Tochitura" (with polenta).

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Classic Pavlova (New Zealand and Australia)

Today is Miriam's birthday! :) Have a slice of cake on us!

The Pavlova is the national dessert of New Zealand (also very popular in Australia) and it was first created and made in honor of the Russian ballet dancer Anna Pavlova, after one of her tours (1926) in the two countries. Considering it's so easy to make, it's very popular and frequently home-served in both New Zealand and Australia.
The base of the cake is a crunchy-outside and soft-inside meringue, topped with vanilla whipped cream and fresh fruit. Very airy and poetic :). Like a fluffy fairy fruit cloud.

Last year: Light and colorful field salad and Drink of the Gods (Gottergetrank)

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Farfalle with cheddar cream, green apple and red onion

This is a pasta dish we like to make when we're too lazy to cook anything else. The combination between the cheddar cream (a classic pasta topping), the red onion and the sour green apple pieces is something we've created together and we're quite proud of. It may sound a bit strange, but it goes together very, very well. Try it once and you'll want more :)
P.S: Laziness is also the reason the final pic is with the whole pot of pasta.. because we ate right from it :).

Last year: German mustard cream pork chops with Apple and leeks winter salad

Friday, December 9, 2011

Turkey fillet with chestnuts

This was a hearty-tasting (although light) main dish screaming of fall through every flavor hint it contained :). We had some chestnuts on our hands that needed to accompany something and pairing them with roast turkey and a nice delicious sauce seemed the best idea. Definitely re-doable and worth sharing with you guys, so here it is. Enjoy.

Last year: French onion soup with oregano, toast and emmentaler

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Quesadillas with cheddar, bacon and cherry tomatoes (Mexican)

If you ever had quesadillas in Mexican restaurants you know there's so simple but yet to die for. What could be yummier than a warm crispy tortilla glued together by melted cheese and, in this case, bacon? Serve it with a fresh topping (like tomatoes), fresh salad leaves and a good sauce (like garlic mayo or guacamole) and go straight to heaven. 
This type of snack is basically delicious anyway you make it, but to make sure it's an authentic quesadilla it must be made from a tortilla half-way flipped over and filled, not by two tortillas stacked on top of the other and with the filling sandwiched between them, because that would be a "sincronizada", considered a completely different kind of dish in Mexico. 
Back to the point: it's super easy to make (if you have wheat tortillas on hand, home-made or store-bought), ready in under 10 minutes, quite addictive and quite healthy. What are you waiting for :) ?

Last year: Cheese-stuffed mushrooms and cheese fusilli with herbs and aioli and Swedish-style salmon with vegetables and white sauce.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Classic chocolate cream pie (American) + 1 year blog anniversary!

Dear friends, on the 2nd of December (that is, yesterday) was our 1 year blogging anniversary. It's been a joyride and we're glad to have met all of you. We learned a lot about cooking and about food photography :P and we're confident things will just get better and better. Here's to you guys and have a slice of creamy chocolaty goodness :)

Now to get to the pie itself:
This is a very common dessert in American households, the type of pie you would expect every USA grandma to make on a weekly basis. The chocolate cream pie is back in the trends in the last few years and the revival has brought lots of posh-ed up versions of it, but here we made it in its most classic form, the one which a lot of people living there grew up with. 
It's supercreamy and delicious and not such a big deal to make as it would seem: basically a crumbled biscuit base topped with a generous layer of chocolate-flavored milk pudding. The slices are then served with some whipped cream and grated chocolate. Delicious. Enjoy :)

Last year: Complete-meal salad with basil and Simple-fried bananas with cinnamon and honey

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