Friday, July 27, 2012

Simple veggie recipes for the Nine Days

After the fast of Tisha B'Av, Sunday will end up the Nine Days at the end of which the consumption of meat is restricted. Thus, the need to find out healthy and tasty recipes that will make people enjoy Shabbat.
Even I am not a Vegetarian, especially during the summer I enjoy eating without meat because I do not need to work too much the recipes. Peeling some onions and carrots, plus some pepper and champignons, the olive oil and I have good food for a hungry gang. 

My bio chickpea flour, the beginning of a new relationship
As I wanted to try something more sophisticated, I tried my hand with a personal version of this wonderful recipe I've found a couple of weeks ago on Food Wanderings, an impressive professional blog. I replaced the eggplants from the original recipe with zucchini. It was my first encouter with the chckpea flour - yes, I know, I am a beginner in so many respects - and most probably I will continue to use it for more variations of the recipe. I only tried with one single slice of eggplant and maybe I should repeat the recipe once again, with eggplant, but probably later in autumn.

The final result, for zucchini: my works are not always worth an exhibition, but eatable though

Kokosmakronen for the summer

As in many other situations, when I am looking for fast inspiration, Elizabeth Wolf Cohen and her 100 authentic recipes of the Jewish kitchen save my day and my reputation. I can travel from an end to another of the world in a simple kosher way. 

A bit too burned but the same tasty makronen
For a long time, I wanted to try the Kokosmakronen which were recommended as a very simple and good looking recipe. Plus, it is adequate for any crisis budget, as you do not need to spend more than $10 for the ingredients. As in many other situations, I prepared it once and the feed-back was so impressive that almost every other 2 afternoons I am kindly requested to get ready for some fresh makronen. In less than one hour you can serve your impatient ones with a light dessert. 

The ingredients requested for this adventure are:

- 4 egg whites
- 1/4 spoon backing powder
- 250 g. sugar
- 1 table spoon lemon juice
- 1 table spoon vanilla - alternatively, I used almond syrup which is stronger but gives a very particular taste and smell
- 275 desiccated coconut

The step-by-step process includes:

1. The egg whites are beaten, while the sugar is added proportionally until you obtain a creamy combination.
2. Add the backing powder and the vanilla together with the desiccated coconut.
3. Prepare the oven at 150C.
4. Add with a spon the content in the special paper forms. I used the usual paper wrapping for muffins, due to the texture of the paper. The forms should be aprox. 1/4 full.
5. Wait until they grow for 40-45 minutes and get ready to taste the Makronen with a good Turkish coffee - as I do as often as possible.

Bon Appetit!

Apples for children

You know, probably, the old saying, one apple the day...

In many Western countries, the health authorities make efforts to encourage children and their parents to prefer the healthy food. Many are taught in school or encouraged by various attractive packages. On the right side, you can admire the funny plastic wrapping for simple, cheap and tasty apples I found in Germany. You can use it for cakes but also for regular use: one, two, three apples the day...

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Food and writing consulting with Monica Bhide

Monica Bhide has an amazing story of what does it really mean to be a writer: a lot of work and ambition and the perseverance of never considering that you are too good for not learning something new every day. 

She writes on her blog, is very active on social media, writes and teaches regularly food writing classes. Now, she is decided to make a step further by offering mentoring and one on one consulting services. Anyone with a passion for food writing should try to book at least once a meeting with her in person or virtually. If you are passionate about good books about food, you can participate to her very active and interesting Book Club on Facebook

The wonderful Food of Morocco

After I had a look through Paula Wolfert's book on the Food of Morocco, I know why I am so in love with cookbooks: some are so well done that even though you do not know how to open your heater you will still be happy to read this book over and over again. 

Shortly, the book is about how to cook the Food of Morocco and for each recipe you have a step-by-step description of what you should do for a successful meal. But, as cooking is not only gulping the food from a plastic plate, you will have the perfect ambiance for understanding the culture of Moroccan cuisine. The design of the book is very elegant and the pictures presenting various parts of Morocco are more than a hasty lecture of a hungry person. Till the end of the book you will learn how to cook with style and distinction.

If you are curious to see a sample of what the book could offer, you can access the free sneak peak. Isn't it gorgeous? I promise that soon I will do the sweet couscous recipe!

Fresh for the summer

I hope that everyone has at least 25C and a lot of sun. For me, this is usually the time of the year when I relax, while trying to do all the to-do-lists from the last 10 months or so. Besides my big cup of fresh Turkish coffee, I usually eat light salads. 

For today, the choice was addictively simple:


Cherry tomatoes

Olive oil – my latest love story; I can hardly taste a sandwich without one or two drops of this precious oil on my brown bread

Basil whose presence turns my kitchen into a garden of flavors

Sometimes I add some garlic or onion

If you want some refreshing effects, you need to keep the salad two hours in the fridge. It is exactly what you need for this pleasant time of the year.

Bon Appetit!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Quinoa obsession

I accepted very reluctantly quinoa into my life. First, I have the smell of boiling quinoa - of moistured earth - and second, I did not find anything interesting about the taste. The third consideration against eating it would be the way in which the fresh boiled quinoa looks like.  
Influenced about the sophisticated discourses about how important is this quinoa for our lives, I combined in various ways with vegetables but after 2 tries the badge of quinoa will be abandoned until nothing else to cook around and too late for a rapid shopping. 
But nothing lasts forever, not even my antipathy for quinoa.
Last week I tried a very fancy combination of quinoa with agave syrup, cinnamon and bananas and I switched rapidly at the other end of the scale of feelings for quinoa.
The magic potion is not only delicious, but cut my hunger for the first half of the day. Now, I have another reason for impatiently waiting for the morning.

Summer fruit treat

Summer means a lot of fruits and fresh ideas. And, of course, a lot of sweet obsessions.
My obsession no. 1 in the coming days is this sweet combination of: sugar, blueberries, desiccated coconut and strawberries. Usually, I do not like fruits that need sugar and particularly strawberries, but the entire mixture is so delicious that I can hardly survive two days without it. 
This fruit salad is already part of the story of my summer.