Friday, June 17

Cookbook MEME

Cookbook MEME Posted by Hello

Have been tagged for the above Cookbook MEME (explained by Lyn at Les Culinaria)by Ana from Pumpkin Pie Bungalow.

I have been reading through few blogs and their owners' cookbook possessions and must say that I envy them. I would LOVE to own THOUSANDS of cookbooks. But unfortunately, the life has given me only a modest allowance - several cookbooks and 2 food magazine subscriptions. Most of my cookbooks I have recieved as presents as people knew how hooked I was (and still am) on cookbooks. I actually bought only about 4.
There are several things I am going to go mad with shopping on when we finish renovating our house and One of those things will be cookbooks. Can't wait!

Anyway, here are my answers:
1. Total number of (cook/food) books I’ve owned:
About 20.
2. Last (cook/food) book(s) I bought:
In fact, I have recieved it free via my 'Delicious' food magazine subscription. It is Jill Dupleix's 'Very simple food'. The one I bought myself before that - 'The Essential Guide to Cake Decorating' ( in my artistic period of rich fruit cakes, marzipan and royal icings ...)
3. Last (cook/food) book I read:
The above Jill Dupleix 'Very simple food'. - several interesting ideas, although I wouldn't say it is for me. I found it a bit, I don't know, possibly more suitable for people with less creativity, needing to spruce up their parties, quick suppers and desserts.
4. Five (cook) books that mean a lot to me:
Ok. Into this category I am adding cookbooks which in fact, represent different stages in my cooking life:
1/ my grandma's very, very old cake book with a bookcover covered with a sort of beige material and a nice old-fashioned cake picture print on top of it. I used to watch my grandma make cakes and read out the recipes for ther whilst she was making them. (when I was about 7-8)
2/a fantastic big picture cookbook with an alphabetical food terms encyclopedia on its page margins which I recieved as a present from my first au-pair family here in England. (I was 19)
3/ Chinese cooking - another book I have recieved as a presie from their neighbours. I was extremely surprised, shocked and excited about it. It was my first summer when I tried Indian and Chinese quisine and of course, loved it. Getting a book which told me how to make these delicious meals and to make them back in my country was great! (I was 19)
4/Breads; Muffins; Biscuits - by the Australian Women's Weekly Cookbooks editor.(when I was 22)
5/Jamie Oliver's book - speeded up my cooking and traditional style. Moved my food preparation and ideas into more of an improvisation then following recipes.
Now, recipes are there more or less for inspiration. The rest is pure jazz.
5. Which 5 people would you most like to see fill this out in their blog?
Ok, this is going to be harder as there are many of you tagged already, but here we go:(if you are not tagged already too)
Aude at Epice et Compagnie
Rowena at Rubber Slippers in Italy
Marco at Superfuji

Tuesday, June 14

Peach 'Danish' (pastry)

Peach danish

This has to be my ever-favourite quickie dessert. I got the idea from Nicky and Oliver's recipe over at Delicious Days and I can't stop making them.
It is super fast and the pastry is soooo hmmm.

I have put canned peaches on top and the pastry beautifully rises around. I also added few pecan nuts (love them roasted).

out of the oven Posted by Hello
Sprinkled with icing sugar and cocoa powder. (maybe a bit weird but I like it that way)

Sunday, June 12

English summer BBQ


I absolutely fell in love with BBQ since I have first tried it here in England. It feels like a special treat. Friends are invited, drinks are poured, music in the background and sun is shining- ideal Sunday afternoon. (in slovakia, we cook soups over an open fire in a hanging metal bowl or sausages, bread, onions on sticks - very simple).
Now, I will pause a little with that sun. The sun is a required pre-requisite to any British BBQ. As soon as it is out, we push our BBQ trollies out, baste the meat in a quick marinade, cut and prick the sausages and of course, light the brickets. Then, we enjoy the smoke and smell of the bbq and wait for the feast to be ready to eat.
But how about having 'a barbie' when it is just going to rain and finding a cozy spot under cover where we can sneak in and enjoy it no matter what the weather is like. Now that's what I call, BBQ fan. I must admit it is even more exciting, it's like you are doing something you are not supposed to do and it feels great!
As far as the ready products in the shops are concerned, I again and again like to make my own and from the scratch if possible.
So, the marinades(all made with olive oil)
- red wine, onion, honey and mint - with beef sirloin
- lime, thyme, honey, mustard - with chicken
- orange, thyme, brown sugar - with salmon

Unmissable BBQ food - Beef burgers(beef, egg, onion, herbs, salt, pepper, little flour for binding)
- sausages - bought
- potato salad Nicoise with 'creme fresh' (new potatoes, black olives, green beans, hard-boiled eggs, spring onions)
- chicken kebabs (with bell peppers, onions)
- garlic pitta breads (lighter version of garlic bread)
- chutneys and relishes
I am sure the list could go on, but these are my essentials for a quick outdoor lunch.

and me Posted by Hello

Thursday, June 9

Croissant for soda bread

Croissant for raisin soda bread Posted by Hello

It doesn't quite have that sophisticated sound as 'croissant', however, soda bread is my new healthier breakfast option. It has no yeast and is low-fat and tastes beautiful when toasted. Especially soda bread jewelled with rasins and with apricot jam on the side.
It comes from Ireland where it is usually eaten freshly baked for breakfast or tea. It is also called 'quick bread' as it goes off quickly and therefore is baked fresh every day. Originally, it is baked in a pot (round shape) over a fire and it uses bicarbonate of soda and buttermilk(sour milk) as a raising agent.
Here is a lovely web site featuring nice pics of different soda breads, although not purely Irish. Americans like to flavour their soda bread and offer a good selection, nearly like their muffins.

Raisin Soda Bread recipe:
1lb/ 1/2kg/ 4 cups plain flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp sugar (optional)
1pt/ 1/2 lr/ 2 cups buttermilk or sour milk
1/2 cup of sultanas

Sieve the dry ingredients into a large bowl. Scoop up handfuls and allow to drop back into the bowl to aerate the mixture. Add enough buttermilk to make a soft dough. Now work quickly as the buttermilk and soda are already reacting. Knead the dough lightly - too much handling will toughen it, while too little means it won't rise properly.
Form a round loaf about as thick as your fist. Place it on a lightly-floured baking sheet and cut a cross in the top with a floured knife. Put at once to bake near the top of a pre-heated oven, gas mark 8, 450°F, 230°C, for 30-45 minutes. When baked, the loaf will sound hollow when rapped on the bottom with your knuckles. Wrap immediately in a clean tea-towel to stop the crust hardening too much.

This recipe is from

Monday, June 6

Heavenly coffee

Heavenly coffee Posted by Hello

Even though June for many people is a start of the hot summer season calling for ice-creams, ice-drinks, chilled gateaus and panna cottas, to me, good strong espresso brings that chilling summer feeling of lazy days, holidays and enjoying the sun.
Withing the last few years(coming on to 30!), I developed an icredible taste for coffee. I am lucky to share this with my hubbie too. We will try coffees from different regions and compare the tastes. It is incredible how they can differ - from smooth to lemony or very strong roast tastes.
Every Friday, we go for a soya cappuccino to Starbucks and they always have free samples on offer. So, we don't feel ashamed and take one.
After all, we did find our favourite and found several good excuses to buy few packs (one for us, another two as birthday presents which travelled back to Europe).

to be continued..

Bell peppers

bell peppers

So, I am finally back and with full steam too. I have been working like mad for a month in a bakery/supermarket next to my own business and have been missing the food blog world. I finished the bakery episode and am bringing this lovely recipe which I wanted to try for sooo long for a refreshing start.

The filling:
cooked rice
sauteed minced pork, mushrooms, red onion and
chopped peppers
fresh lemon thyme, parsley
salt, pepper

Posted by Hello

Cut the top of the peppers off evenly as you will need them to cover the filled peppers when baking.
Discard the seeds and fill the peppers with the pork and rice filling, put the cut pepper cover back on and bake in the oven until the peppers are completely soft.

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