Category Archives: Uncategorized

Fraîche!

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I am currently in the process of setting up my self-hosted blog so I hope that my old blog posts are still here and available for you to see in a couple of hours.

Other than researching about self-hosting I have also been doing a little work for Uni and of course have been busy in the kitchen. It’s my last week at home before I fly back to England for the Spring term and I want to spend as much time as possible of the remaining 168 hours at home in the kitchen. The recipe I’ll share with you today is nothing fancy, but a great and healthy side dish that you can easily whip up in addition to almost any meal!

Creamy Cauliflower

You will need:

  • 1 head of cauliflower, cut or broken into florets
  • 2-3 tbsp. crème fraîche or Greek Yoghurt
  • salt and pepper
  1. In a big pot bring water to boil. Add a little salt. Add the cauliflower florets and cook until tender.
  2. When the cauliflower is cooked, drain it, ensuring to leave a little bit of the water in the pot.
  3. Pour the drained cauliflower back into the pot and heat up on medium heat.
  4. Add crème fraîche or greek yoghurt and season with salt and pepper, wait another minute or two and serve as a delicious side dish.

We had it with an adapted version of Gina’s Chicken Rollatini, which was fantastic!

Quick. Easy. Healthy!

Have a good start to the week!

Memories.

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I often tell my family that I don’t feel my age. Not that I’m that old yet, but sometimes I just don’t feel like I’m almost 22. Other times however, the times when I think about my childhood in Indonesia,  it seems like I must be almost 100 years old and it’s been forever ago since we’ve lived there because I can barely remember the amazing time we had.

My time in Indonesia was definitely one of the best times in my life so far and the few memories that I still have of that time are of some of the most important days in my life that I spend with my family and my two best friends, one was from England, the other from Australia. I spent day after day with my friends and have learned so much from them. Examples: My English friend taught me to drink milk or chocolate milk with my dinner (something that I did too excessive I think because today I rarely ever drink pure milk just like that!). From my Australian friend I learned about some of the most wonderful and most delicious cakes ever. We used to spend hours in the kitchen, licking cookie batter and decorating butter cookies and on special occasions we made these…

… Lamingtons are sponge cakes coated in chocolate icing and desiccated coconut. If you ask me they are one of the most delicious cakes on earth! And I’m sure you will agree!

Lamingtons

makes 16-20 cakes

For the sponge cake you will need:

  • 75g self-raising flour
  • 75g plain flour
  • 70g corn flour
  • 6 eggs
  • 215 g caster sugar

For the icing you will need (recipe from Family Circle: Little Aussie Cookbook):

  • 4 cups icing sugar
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 30g butter, melted
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 3 cups desiccated coconut
  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C and brush a square cake tin with butter or oil.
  2. Sift flours and corn flour together into a large bowl. Add eggs and  sugar and mix everything until the ingredients are well incorporated.
  3. Pour mixture into the cake tin and bake for about 35 minutes.
  4. For great results, trim crusts from sides of the cake. Cut the cake into 16-20 even squares.
  5. For the icing, sift together icing sugar and cocoa. Combine with butter and milk in heatproof bowl.
  6. Stand the bowl over a pot with simmering water, stirring the icing until it is smooth.
  7. Using two for forks or skewers, roll a piece of cake in chocolate icing, allow excess icing to drop off and then roll in coconut. Repeat with the rest of the cakes.

 

Hope you like these as much as I do. For extra good results, prepare the cake the day before coating it with icing. Trust me, it works wonders!

Happy New Year

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I hope everyone had a great last night of 2011 and a fun first 2012 morning celebrating the New Year!

I spent the night at home with my family, which was the perfect way to celebrate the end of a great year.

For the new year I wish you all a lot of happiness and health and I can’t wait to share new recipes and eats with you all!

Speak to you soon!

Mangiare per vivere e non vivere per mangiare

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Translation: Eat to live and not live to eat.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. I love Italian Food. There’s something about the flavors of the foods, the intensity of the herbs and the color palette on your plate that makes your food taste better than anything you’ve ever had. I’m not talking about pizza or pasta (even though I love them both), but the way people living in Mediterranean countries use vegetables and fruits and incorporate them into their meals really fascinates me. The Mediterranean Diet is  said to be one of the healthiest for a reason and I love how people living in Mediterranean countries really savor their food and come together to eat as a family, well at least that’s what I hear!

I chose to start off this post with a Italian proverb because I feel it really defines what eating is about. Many people forget that there is a limit to the amount of food our body needs, yet don’t listen to their bodies and keep eating.

But back to the food:

Some of my favorite Mediterranean-inspired recipes are undoubtedly:

  • Insalata Caprese
  • Ratatouille
  • Tiramisu (does that count?)
  • Tomato-Basil Salad (recipe below)

I hope that in the future I will be able to share and explore many more recipes but for now, here’s the recipe for my Tomato-Basil Salad. This salad will taste great with (almost) anything. I had it today with some leftover Pumpkin Pasta that I had yesterday.

Tomato-Basil Salad

You will need:

  • Tomatoes
  • Basil (fresh is best, but dried will also do)
  • Salt
  • Olive oil
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Pumpkin Seed Oil
  1. Cut the tomatoes, either into small cubes or thin slices, whichever you prefer.
  2. Pick a couple of leaves of basil off the plant and cut them into small pieces. If you are using dried basil add a couple of teaspoons.
  3. Add olive oil, and balsamic vinegar. The amounts depend on the amount of tomatoes you are using. I also add  pumpkin seed oil to my salad. This may not be available everywhere as it’s an Austrian (that’s where I come from) culinary specialty  and I only have it here (UK) with me because I always buy a couple of bottles when I fly home.

 

Hope you enjoy the recipe!

Off to London

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A quick post before I’m off to London. This is one of this week’s dinners. I had some leftover Oven-Roasted Butternut Squash and decided to incorporate it into a “Stir-Fry”. The base for the stir-fry was quinoa, which I really like because it’s a good source of plant protein. To that I just added a whole lot of vegetables.

A bed of Italian mixed salad topped with stir-fry, which included broccoli, mushrooms, tomatoes and oven-roasted butternut squash.

Hope everyone has a lovely weekend. I know I will!

Avocado-Mango Salsa Wrap

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I forgot to blog about the wrap earlier in the week. I had them a couple of days ago after coming home from the gym. I love coming home with a clear idea of what I’ll be having for lunch/ dinner. I had made Avocado-Mango Salsa the day before and had some leftover so I thought, why not throw it in a wrap for a quick lunch.  As you can tell from the picture the mango was really ripe and juicy, which made the salsa quite sweet. But that’s the great thing about mixing sweet elements into a conventional product like salsa, the food will never taste the same. Sometimes the mango will be quite dominant, whereas other times the avocado might be the key ingredient.

Avocado-Mango Salsa

I used half an avocado and a lot of mango but you can increase/ decrease the amounts your using.

All you need is:

  • Avocado
  • Mango
  • Tomatoes (I used cherry tomatoes)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Herbs (I used an Italian herb mix)
  • Lemon/ Lime (if you prefer the salsa to be a little juicier)

Cut the avocado and mango into small dice. If you are using cherry tomatoes, quarter them (if you are using bigger tomatoes dice them also). Throw everything in a bowl. Add lime/ lemon juice and add herbs. Season with salt and pepper.

I had my salsa in a wrap but it tastes great with almost anything: tortilla chips, fish, chicken or as a salad topping!

“Let Food be thy Medicine…

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…and Medicine be the Food” (Hippocrates)

During one of my nutrition lectures today my professor mentioned the importance of Hippocrates, who is considered the Father of Western Medicine on nutrition today. He showed us different pictures of “real” foods in comparison to refined food and once again stressed the significance of whole foods.

One of the picture comparisons was rice: brown rice (which did not have its bran or germ removed) vs. white rice. For anyone interested, milling will not necessarily change the amount of calories that the grain contains, but through the milling process a lot of vitamins and minerals are lost. My tip: always try to eat whole grains!

The lecture today was yet again another good reminder why healthy eating is so essential for a healthy life. All those years ago Hippocrates was right. Food really is our medicine and we should therefore be careful of what we fill our bodies with.

Another good thing about the lecture was that I did not have to do a lot of thinking about what to have for dinner: naturally I was going to have rice, whole grain rice that is!

I cooked the brown rice in some vegetable broth and added about a handful of kale towards the end.

On the side I added a mixed salad with avocado, sprinkled with some walnuts.

Lunch wasn’t as spectacular, but I’ll still share a picture. Once again I had whole-wheat, seeded toast with chilli hummus, cheddar cheese, kale and tomatoes. Apple on the side.