Tuesday, October 10

Pizza Toasts

When I was working in a little Indian shop back in UK, I learnt how quickly you can create a fantastic snack that resembles a pizza. The little pizzas in the shop were not so nice but using once's own imagination, you can come up with something really tasty.
Now, who would ever say 'no' to a pizza? And having it for breakfast on those chilly October mornings is great!
I chose big round slices of white bread (which normally just waits to be dried for breadcrumbs), drizzled a tiny bit of olive oil onto it and fried it nearly dry in a pan. At the same time, the oven was on high. I spread a spoonful of 100 %pure tomato sauce on the bread , sprinkled mixed herbs, laid torn ham, mozzarella, smoked cheese and baked it in the oven for 5 min. In the meantime, I fried one red onion and together with gree olives put it on top of the ready pizza toasts.
Delicious! And a fantastic start to a morning!

Monday, May 29

Trips in Hungary and Austria

A walk over the bridge from Slovakian twin town 'Sturovo' to Hungarian town 'Esztergom', with 'mighty Danube' flowing underneath.

Up to the Basilica(cathedral)

Left wing



Mighty Danube - with boat trips from Budapest all the way to Vienna.

Hop-over - in Vienna(Belvedere) Posted by Picasa

Feel free to leave comments.

Monday, February 6

I am 1 today!

I have been preparing for this day for a while now and I have nearly missed it!

I have looked back at my first posts, where I see such enthusiasm and excitement that I was coloring the sentences. I am missing it, so I will start it again.

Today is the day when I am going to tell you about how I chose the title for my blog.
Around the same time when I started my blog, one of my friends moved to Prague and I decided to send him a 'welcome to a new home' parcel which included little cakes you can buy here in UK, called - Little Fancies (see the pic). They come in 3 colours and flavours: lemon, strawberry and chocolate, six pieces in a box. You pick a cake according to what flavour you fancy. I thought it was a sweet name for a blog. You can write about your own and other fancy food. I was very proud of it, and so started posting in colour, inspired by these little cakes(and of course, by Clotilde from Chocolate and Zucchini). My writing could be better but we all have different talents. (I try my best)
So I am one today! I hope Little Fancies will interest you and bring you who read it a little sunshine on a rainy day.


Saturday, February 4

Roasted Aubergine soup

It is still chilly out there. I am sitting in the car, waiting for my hubby who decided to take a sun-bed, certainly a good idea, but I have a better one - a bookshop!
Just enough time to look for something to warm my heart. Italian, hm, Casa Moro, definitely on my list, ...oh, look, everybody has been talking about the Falling Cloudberries, it looks a treat... Aah, SOUPS. Bingo! This is exactly what I had in mind for this weather. Little book, every recipe with a picture, a world collection of classic favourites and exotic flavours too. I am so happy, lalalala, eagerly holding up the book in front of the cashier. I pay (pure £5.99) - what a bargain, and run back to the car to catch a glimpse before my hubby jumps in. I slide the book under the seat as I promised no more books for a while... But I have only started! Building.. ! A library!

Roasted Aubergine soup
2 large aubergines (halved, drizzled with olive oil, baked until flesh is soft)
1 onion + 2 garlic cloves - sauteed on a small heat until soft.
Scoop out the aubergine flesh and add to the onion. Sautee a little to get the flavour in.
Add 2 pints of vegetable stock.
Process in a blender.
Decorate with creme fraishe with mint and a little cream and drizzle a swirl on top of the hot soup in a bowl.

I would like to add that this is my favourite at the moment. (with one drop of tabasco)

Tuesday, January 31

'Cullen Skink' or Smoked fish chowder

About a week ago, after few days of frenzic reading of cookbooks' reviews, I settled on my first choice - twins: Leith's Cookery Bible and Leith's Technique's Bible. ( I always do that! I choose something straight-away that I know I like, but give it few days to settle and see whether I find something better. Then I go back to my first choice. I should know better by now and just buy it right-away!)
I quickly ordered them from Amazon whilst they were still in sale and was waiting for my 2-5 days super saver free delivery. (have I gone mad? did I really go for 2-5 days delivery? never again!) On my surprise, it arrived the next day!! I carefully opened the box and pulled out two brand new, shiny thick books, full of useful information and recipes.
The reason I decided on these 2 'bibles' was that I wanted to look at my ingredients in the fridge and then look them up in the book's index to give me a collection of recipes to choose from.
Well, that is exactly what I did to try the books out! I had a smoked haddock, looked it up and the suggestion was 'Cullen Skink' (must admit, it did not sound appetizing from the title) , a simple thick soup with a potato base.
When following the recipe: poaching the cod in milk with (only?) nutmeg spice - sauteeing 2 cubed potatoes with finely chopped onion - pouring the strained milk from the fish onto the potatoes, still cooking -blitzing the cooked potatoes with the milk - adding bite-size fish pieces (free of any bones) to the blitzed soup - pouring the soup into small earthenware dishes - finishing with fresh chopped tomatoes, parsley and ground pepper. I could not imagine how this simple looking soup could be so special. Then, after trying it, I admitted my defeat over my hesitations to keep the books and was fully convinced that the recipes in these books have been, just as the authors say, over 100x tried, tested and only the most liked recipes kept.
As for the name:
'Cullen Skink' - is a thick soup of Scottish origin with smoked haddock, potatoes and other vegetables.
'Chowder' - is a thick soup with fish and/or vegetables but having usually corn in it too.
Read about 'Cullen': http://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/cullen/cullen/

Monday, January 30

White chocolate truffle dream

Over the weekend, I made these lovely truffles.
My new flavour: white chocolate ganache with lemon extract, ginger and a bit of Cointreau came out delicious. All coated in bitter cocoa powder.

Sunday, January 29

Noodle IMBB#22 (Sweet noodles and 4 toppings)

This month has struck me with 3 blogging events that I managed to write up within the last week. This one - IMBB#22 is all about noodles, presented to us by Amy at Cooking with Amy.

I am glad that I can introduce you to few popular dishes of Slovak quisine - noodles with sweet poppyseed topping/sweet breadcrumb topping/sweet cabbage topping/ sweet quark topping and all finished with hot oozing jam.

These meals are usually served as a main course but feel free to use them in smaller portions as a dessert.

Sweet poppyseed topping - is used in a variety of cakes (strudel, little roll crescents, yeasty cakes, etc.). It appears in Slovak, Czech, Hungarian and Austrian quisine as a favourite cake filling. Pour about a cupful of poppyseeds with 2-3 tbsp of icing sugar into a whizzer/grinder and whizz until you see the colour change to a nice poppyseed grey. You can adjust the sweetness by adding more sugar to the grinder and whizz again. Heat a lump of butter and either mix into the noodles together with ground sugary poppyseeds or top the noodles with the poppyseed and then pour butter over it. Top up with hot jam.
(You could also add rum and lemon zest into the poppyseed mixture together with melted butter.)

Sweet breadcrumb topping - whizz fresh white or wholemeal bread in a grinder/mixer until you have nice breadcrumbs. Heat a lump of butter in a pan and add fresh breadcrumbs with some icing sugar. Fry until the mixture is heated through and a bit crispy. Again, either mix into the cooked noodles or top the noodles with the mix and finish with hot jam.

Sweet cabbage topping - shred a white cabbage finely and stir-fry in a pan in a little butter, just so that it coats it. Cover with a lid and steam, occasionally stir, so it does not burn. Cook until soft. Mix into the cooked noodles or top the noodles and finish with creme freshe and crushed walnuts.

Quark topping - 1 tub of quark and 1 egg yolk, icing sugar are mixed together. Then add whipped egg white, fold in. Add lemon zest and a squeeze of lemon. Rasins are optional. Leave to stand if you use rasins, so that they can plump up in the quark.

All these dishes are very traditional and we call them 'rezance' [rhey-zun-tsa](slovak).

If anybody tries them, please let me know whether you liked it or not.

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