Cheese and spinach soufflé

cheese and spinach soufflé

cheese and spinach soufflé

Boy, am I glad Candida is back!!! The pressure has been taken off me at long last…;-)

This is definitely not a vegan recipe as it has cheese, milk and eggs in it, but hey! the days of cooking vegan are over for the time being. I’ve made this soufflé at least three times, combining various recipes from different sources. I can honestly say it has worked every single time. It has puffed right up and was cooked to perfection. Really quite spectacular!  People are scared of souffles and think they are ever so difficult to make but I beg to differ and would like to reassure you. I reckon that provided you get the right balance of ingredients, souffles are not more complicated than any other dish. Last time I made it I divided the mixture into 8 small ramekins instead of making a big one. That was also successful. So here it is. Follow the recipe and have a go. You”ll see for yourself how easy it is. Of course do bear in mind that souffles have to be eaten straight out of the oven or they will collapse so you need to get the timing right.  If you do I guarantee you will impress your friends! 😉 Continue reading ‘Cheese and spinach soufflé’

Crostata lavanda e frangipane profumata all’arancia

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D’accordo, il frangipane è territorio di Lucina. Ce ne sono di ricettine frangipane nel nostro sito! Ecco la mia allora. Mi sono ispirata a una vecchia ricetta di Colazione da Jo, cambiandola secondo le mie esigenze e usando questa variante di pasta frolla leggera, con metà dose di burro che io amo molto e mettendoci la mia amata lavanda..

Ecco fatto! Continue reading ‘Crostata lavanda e frangipane profumata all’arancia’

Avocado, sedano rapa e barbabietola con maionese alla senape

fullsizeoutput_27bbEccomi qui, ci sono ancora, sto emergendo dal sottosuolo dostoevskijano! E non posso rimanere indietro a Lucina e non postare qualche ricetta salutare. Questa è venuta fuori dalla cassetta della verdura che mi arriva ogni settimana. Che fare di piccoli sedani rapa e due minuscole barbabietoline che crescono in questi giorni nei campi brianzoli? Accostarli a un avocado per distruggere in un lampo il benefico effetto del chilometro zero? Ecco qua, la regina delle contraddizioni. Pro et contra! Mi sono ispirata a una ricetta del Cucchiaio d’argento che ho modificato a mio gusto. La prossima volta però la rifarò con la maionese normale. A Luigi piace di più. Continue reading ‘Avocado, sedano rapa e barbabietola con maionese alla senape’

Vegan chocolate and banana tea loaf

banana and chocolate tea lof

banana and chocolate tea lof

One of my main guests over the Christmas hols was my eldest son, ex vegetarian recently turned vegan. ARGHHHH! I have got to say , much as I respect vegans, they aren’t the easiest people to cater for. Plus, although a vegetarian myself, I simply love eggs and dairy products ( I couldn’t live without my beloved parmigiano) and use them a lot in my everyday cooking. So I sheepishly asked him whether as a Christmas present he might entertain the idea of reverting back to vegetarianism  for a few days (just to make my life easier?), but the answer was NO (“nice try, mum!!”). That left me with one of 2 choices: cooking separate meals or going vegan for the duration of his stay. I plumped for the second option as I didn’t fancy cooking two different dishes at every meal. I am not that much of a masochist.  Vegan we temporarily became then and you’ll be pleased to hear I survived the eggs and dairy embargo relatively unscathed (not sure about my intestines, but that’s a different story and one you won’t want to hear). Continue reading ‘Vegan chocolate and banana tea loaf’

Lemon biscuits (light)

lemon biscuits

lemon biscuits

Well hello hello hello! Yes, I am back and sorry if I haven’t been able to write for MONTHS! Work got in the way, as well as my newly found hobby: mosaics. I’ve spent loads of my free hours making mosaic stuff, a lot of it for Christmas, leaving me hardly any time to be creative in the kitchen. But I have no excuses now. The recipe I’m sharing with you today is something I wasn’t sure at first. Biscuits usually contain much higher quantities of butter. This is what makes them lovely and rich. But I wanted something with less calories hence I gave these ones a go. I’ve got to say I like them a lot, after the initial “I’m not sure about these”. They are not too sweet and are light and crunchy. Ideal to have with a cup of tea or coffee, without feeling too guilty. I particularly love their lemony flavour, always a favourite of mine. Next time I might add a bit of semolina for some extra crunch. Continue reading ‘Lemon biscuits (light)’

Braised Cauliflower and Puy Lentil Tabouleh

braised cauliflower and puy lentils tabouleh

braised cauliflower and puy lentil tabouleh

Calling all vegetarians and vegans out there. This is an AMAZING tabouleh which I have made twice already in the last couple of weeks. Packed full of wholesome ingredients and really bursting with flavour. I know it might sound like a bit of a faff, by looking at all the ingredients, but it is so much worth it. Don’t be scared and have a go. You won’t regret it. It comes from the vegan recipe book Peace and Parsnips  by Lee Watson. I will have to check out his other recipes, considering how good this one is. If you want to cook something healthy today or vary your salads repertoire look no further. Continue reading ‘Braised Cauliflower and Puy Lentil Tabouleh’

Gnocchi di patate

gnocchi di patate

gnocchi di patate

These little potato dumplings are a classic in Italian cuisine. You cook them by dropping into a pan of salted, boiling water. Then when they raise to the surface (which means they are ready) you drain them and dress them with any sauce you like. I made a cream and gorgonzola sauce, tossed the gnocchi in it and then blasted them under a hot grill to achieve an au gratin effect. You can buy these ready made in supermarkets (and by the way, English people never know how to pronounce the word right) but they are not a patch on the homemade variety, which are light and fluffy. I used the recipe from the “Cucchiaio d’argento” recipe book. It worked really well. I still remember the first time I made gnocchi many many years ago when I ended up with a mixture that resembled wallpaper paste. It ended up in the bin, of course. But not these little babies which I will make again for sure as they were gorgeous! Continue reading ‘Gnocchi di patate’

Focaccia genovese

focaccia genovese

focaccia genovese

I LOVE focaccia, me! For the people who don’t know what it is: it’s a flat bread made with LOADS of olive oil which originates from the Liguria region in Italy. When I was a child I used to go there for my holidays and basically overdosed on this bread. Oh my word! It was utterly delicious! I have never tasted one as nice ever since. There are different types out there, as it is often the case. You can make it plain, add olives, onions, tomatoes, rosemary…your choice. I have tried and tried to make one, using different recipes, flours, sour dough, you name it. HOWEVER I have never been 100% satisfied with the results. Until yesterday, that is,  when I finally made one I was happy with: nice and soft on the inside, lovely and crunchy on the outside. I know now where I have gone wrong all this time. I was basically trying to use a bread recipe and adapt it. WRONG! The focaccia dough is much wetter then bread’s. Also you are better off using 00 type of flour (I ordered mine on Amazon, in the end). I mainly used the recipe from the website Giallo zafferano, albeit I adapted it slightly. Continue reading ‘Focaccia genovese’

Granola

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I have been meaning to make my own granola for absolutely AGES. In case you don’t know what it granola is a mixture of toasted rolled oats with the addition of seeds, nuts and dried fruit. It’s very healthy and it tastes delicious sprinkled on yoghurt. I knew it would be a straightforward affair but I kept putting it off. No more! I finally made a big batch of it. Yippee! And the home made variety is so much nicer (and cheaper) than the bought one. I put lots of nuts and seeds in mine as that’s how I like it. On the other hand I refrained from adding dried fruit or dessicated coconut, which you find in some recipes. There are many variations out there. I kind of combined several recipes I saw on the net to produce something simple but wholesome. Enjoy!! Continue reading ‘Granola’

Chocolate and raspberry brownies

chocolate and raspberry brownies

chocolate and raspberry brownies

Welcome back to me! Sorry for the silence but I have been gallivanting around the world…well, Italy in truth, AND Berlin. Wonderful city! While I was in Italy visiting my family we had a reunion where each person had to bring something to share for lunch. I decided to bake these brownies at my dad’s house -which is where I was staying (hence no picture of Tomik the cat )- as my contribution. My Italian family wasn’t familiar with brownies so I happily introduced them to these calorie laden treats for the chocoholics, much to their delight. Brownies originally come from  the States and there are many versions of them out there. I chose this one with raspberries as I think the chocolate/raspberry combo is a winning combination. Candi knows that as she had blogged in the past a Swedish cake which is rather similar (click here ). The recipe comes from the BBC online website. My only change was to shed 100 gr of sugar off the original recipe. By the way, the picture doesn’t do it justice. I should have shown you what they look like inside: lovely and gooey. Oh well! Trust me though: you will impress your friends if you make them a batch of these! :-) Continue reading ‘Chocolate and raspberry brownies’