Give-me-that-recipe apple muffins

IMAG2579_1It’s weekend and I am home with my little one. Our usual routine has started by waking up at 6.30, having breakfast, cleaning up the after breakfast mess, changing into some clean clothes, me trying to do some stretches (appreciated by the little one and the cat. and by appreciated I mean, getting on top of me whenever they can)  and then Seppe really wants to help me with things. That is when I decided that we are going to make these uber-delicious apple muffins. The result for this recipe  is always great and you will want to make them again.

To make 24 muffins you’ll need

  • muffin pan
  • muffin paper liners
  • oven
  • 250g flour
  • 200g white sugar (if you want them to be less sweet, use brown sugar)
  • 115g melted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 3g baking powder and salt
  • 2g baking soda
  • a pinch of cinnamon (max 2g i’d say)
  • a bit of vanilla extract
  • 4 sweet apples, peeled, cored and grated (grating is important to have the muffins moist and equally distributed).
If you have a little helper, task of preparing the muffin pan(s) is for them!

If you have a little helper, task of preparing the muffin pan(s) is for them!

Proceed

  1. Prepare all the ingredients, line the muffin pan with the paper liners, heat the oven to 190 degrees C.
  2. In a medium bowl mix together flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon.
  3. In a larger bowl mix together sugar, butter and eggs until smooth.
  4. Combine ingredients from both bowls, then add vanilla and apples.
  5. Distribute the mixture in the muffin pan (I use the ice-cream scoop, really good for keeping it clean and having the same measurement for each muffin) and in the oven it goes.
  6. After 20 minutes it should be ready. To check if that’s true, put a toothpick in the middle of a muffin. If it comes out clean, it’s ready.
  7. I know this step is not easy but you will need to rest the muffins for 5-10 minutes before eating. But after that: enjoy and share with your friends!

Latvian rye bread truffle

IMAG2179There are so many recipes out there that I have tried yet never have I gone back to the roots with desserts. Latvian rye bread truffle is one of the most popular desserts that I don’t think I have ever tried but as I recently came into a possession of a rye-bread, I thought it is time to change that.

For those of you who are dessert savvy, probably your result will be much more like a truffle, but, hey, this is my first attempt and in the end it is the taste that counts a bit more than the appearance. And it did score well with the Belgian family on the taste side, so a better presentation is left for the next time 🙂

What would you need if you’d ever like to make this (for 4 people). N.B. amount of ingredients is approximative, I just added, tasted and added more if needed.

  • rye-bread (I used 7 slices)
  • 4 tbsp brown sugar
  • a dash of vanilla
  • a dash of cinnamon
  • 10 tbsp of frozen fruit
  • 200ml double cream
  • 2tbsp white sugar
  • 4 tbsp powder sugar

Making-of

  1. Put the rye-bread in a food processor and grind it to a breadcrumb consistency. then toast it on a pan with brown sugar, vanilla and cinnamon until crunchy (taste the deliciousness from time to time and add some more ingredients if necessary). Put aside and let it cool
  2. Whip the cream with powder sugar
  3. Put the frozen fruit in a pan together with white sugar and heat until a bit of liquid starts coming out (approx 5min)
  4. Now, the real truffle specialists would make several layers: bread, berries, whipped cream, i just did 1 of each (I know, I know, I shouldn’t probably be calling it a truffle) and topped it off with some more of those breadcrumbs
  5. Leave the dessert in a fridge for at least 3 hours (so it can soak up all the juice) before serving.

I was surprised that the result turned out so familiar in a sort. The taste reminded me a bit of tiramisu. But then again, no… it tasted like Latvia.

Frozen banana dessert

IMG_3675

I know what I’m having for breakfast tomorrow 🙂

This looks like an ice-cream, tastes like one but isn’t one. Confused? Don’t be. Just freeze some bananas, blend them with honey and add some fruit of your choice for an extremely delicious dessert. It is THIS simple!!!

“Raid your fridge” breakfast

Ready in no time with almost no effort

Ready in no time with almost no effort

Sunday morning. Oh, how I love lazy Sunday mornings. Sipping your coffee slowly. Waking up slowly. Having a delicious breakfast bite with no hustle to make it. This is a perfect recipe for that. And so easily variable depending on what you have in the fridge.

After raiding my fridge I found

  • 1 zucchini, got it grated, seasoned with salt and pepper, olive oil and lemon juice
  • turkey cold cuts, sliced them to match the grated texture of zucchini
  • eggs
  • 9 cherry tomatoes

Not a lot now is it? But isn’t it?

  • take ramekins and sort the ingredients: zucchini, cold cuts, tomatoes, season with salt and pepper and put an egg on the top
  • bake in the preheated oven (180 C degrees) for 8 minutes. If you want your eggs well done, add 2 minutes and then enjoy.

IMG_3586Now, how easy is that??? And imagine you can replace basically everything in this recipe with whatever you have left for a vegetarian, cheesy or really meaty version…

Coconut milk pancakes with fruit compote and oat crumble

Attention: hard to stop eating these pancakes!

Attention: hard to stop eating these pancakes!

I never really like making pancakes, because they make so much mess in the kitchen and then they are gone in a second. Then again, this is one of the very few recipes that I have memorized from my childhood, and that must mean something 🙂 ( I suppose this is a classical recipe where children were allowed to get involved). I can still repeat it: 1 egg, 1 glass of flour, 1 glass of milk, salt and sugar. That’s basically it. Those were pancakes I made as a child; this is my grown-up version 🙂

Ingredients for 2 (made 6 pancakes)

For the pancakes For the compote For the crumble
equal amounts of flour and coconut milk/cream (I used 1 glass of each) 2 figs, cut in 4 pieces, oats
1 egg 1 apple, peeled, cored and cubed brown sugar
bit of salt 1 pear: the same as apple
a bit more of brown sugar slice of butter (I am using lactose free)
vegetable oil for frying a bit of sugar

Step-by- step

It's exactly as it looks: using 3 pans at the same time :)

It’s exactly as it looks: using 3 pans at the same time 🙂

  1. First you need to prepare all your ingredients (as in measure, peel, cut etc)
  2. Mix together pancake batter, taste it and adjust the seasoning if needed (I wanted to add more sugar).
  3. Heat up 2 pans and when they are hot, add to one vegetable oil, to other: butter.
  4. In the pan with butter let apple and pear simmer with some sugar (you can use different fruit if you want. obviously 🙂
  5. Meanwhile on the other hot pan, using the ladle, spoon the batter and bake the pancakes one by one, putting them afterwards in a soup plate, covered with another soup plate (or any other solutions of your preference to keep the pancakes warm)
  6. When you see that the pancake batter is coming to an end (I had made 4 pancakes and had 2 more to go), put in a dry pan oats and sugar on a low heat (I left it there for 5 min, stirring from time to time) and  add the figs in the fruit compote pan.
  7. Now assemble all the ingredients as you want (wrap them, stack them, eat them separately) and enjoy your lick-your-fingers-delicious breakfast!

Curry for those who are in a hurry

There are so many things that change when you become a parent. One of the most impressive ones though is how much time you suddenly DON’T have… I tend to think of myself as someone who is well organized, but suddenly I found myself looking at the piles of laundry, dishwasher that hasn’t been emptied for 3 days and I couldn’t remember the last time I had cooked a meal.

Of course, one could argue that in a long run none of these things really matter, but somehow they matter to me. Now. I can’t be peaceful if all of my orderly neat life suddenly has changed into a chaotic run from room to room trying to at least clean up a little bit of the mess that comes from nowhere .

It took me a couple of months (OK, this is a lie. It took me more than just a couple of months.) to readjust all my system (yes, I have one build in my head) and make a new one. What I am doing now is either planning things more carefully or cheating time (to have some more time). Like this recipe. Ready in no time and delicious as in “give me another spoon of that” delicious. And spares you those precious minutes you cherish so much.

Oh yes, I know that real curry is not served with bread, but it was so great when absorbed with all the delicious curry.

Oh yes, I know that real curry is not served with bread, but it was so great when absorbed with all the delicious curry. And I didn’t have to make any rice (win-win)

Ingredients (for 1)

  • 10 prawns, peel and devein them (I had some frozen ones)
  • squeeze of lemon juice
  • drizzle of olive or sesame oil (if you like the taste)
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled, minced
  • 1 shallot, sliced,
  • 1cm of ginger, peeled, grated
  • 2 carrots, peeled, sliced
  • some frozen veggies (always good to have those ones in freezer for quick recipes)
  • 1 small pack of coconut milk (250ml i think it was)
  • spices: salt, pepper, pinch of sugar, soy sauce,
  • 0.3mm of chilli paste

Step-by-step:

  • drizzle the prawns with lemon juice and leave them to marinate while you are making the rest
  • heat the oil, add garlic, shallot and ginger and stir for 1-2 minutes, then add carrots and a bit of water to cook them (approx 3-5 min)
  • add the frozen veggies (I had a mix of potatoes, small carrots and beans) and stir-fry for 5 min, then add the coconut milk and spices +chili paste; stir for a minute or 2
  • add the shrimp and cook until they have turned pink (normally will take you max 5 minutes) and
  • ENJOY!

So there you go, a bowl of deliciousness in approximately 20 minutes!

Warm quinoa shrimp salad

Easy, fresh and delicious. If you are a busy cook, this is a recipe for you!

Easy, fresh and delicious. If you are a busy cook, this is a recipe for you!

I find that lots of times the best food in my kitchen is born when I just look at what I have home and decide how to put the ingredients together. This is an extremely easy recipe that I made for a lunch with a friend (I dare to say that this would be a crowd pleaser), it can be prepared in advance and can be served warm or cold. Warning: you will want more of this 🙂

What I found and used for this recipe (for 2)

  • 50g of quinoa
  • half a cucumber, peeled, sliced
  • 10 cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • 2 sticks of celery, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, deseeded, diced
  • 20g of pine nuts
  • handful of coriander leaves
  • leftover of my home made pesto
  • 12 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • bit of olive oil
  • salt, pepper

Step-by-step approach

  1. Cook quinoa according to the packet instructions (you’ll need approximately 15min). I added veggie stock cube to the water for some extra taste.
  2. While quinoa is cooking, cut all your veggies and put in a bowl.
  3. In a pan roast pine nuts until they are golden brown. That takes about 5min. Add to the bowl with veggies.
  4. After that in the same pan add olive oil, shrimp and pesto. Cook until shrimp are pink and curly. And to your taste of course. Add to the veggies.
  5. Drain quinoa, add it to your other ingredients, drizzle with some olive oil, add salt and pepper to taste and serve!