Brunsli – Swiss Chocolate Cookies

Brunsli - Swiss Chocolate Cookies
I don’t know about you but I love organising dinner parties. I get so excited when I can plan, prepare, cook, decorate, welcome the guests and entertain them. Continue reading

This Saturday, after a long time I’m hosting my fiancé’s birthday party at my home. The guest list is getting longer by the minute and honestly I don’t really know where to place everyone since I’m afraid the table will be too small for the number of guests. I have a couple of days to figure this out.

Talking about parties, soon the festive season will start and a thing I like to do is to spread the love with a few sweet treats like these “Basler Brunsli”. It’s the first time I’ve made them, usually I would taste the store bought ones and I can gladly say that these are so much better than the commercial ones. These traditional Swiss cookies, besides being gluten-free, have a great chocolaty taste without being dry. Now that I have tried these, I will never go back to the store bought ones. For this easy recipe I went around the Internet and saw that the ratios are basically everywhere the same. In my version of the recipe (which I adapted from the site: famillesuisse.ch ), I added a little cocoa powder and a little salt.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL WHO CELEBRATE IT! 😀

Brunsli - Swiss Chocolate Cookies

 

Brunsli – Swiss Chocolate Cookies

 

Recipe for about 30-35 pieces (depending on the cookie cutter size)

Prep time: 30 min (+ 6-12 hours resting time)

Cooking time: 5 min

 

Ingredients:

250 g ground almonds

200 g sugar (I used brown sugar)

1 tbsp. cocoa powder

100 g dark chocolate (85% cocoa beans)

2 egg whites

½ tsp. salt

1 pinch cinnamon powder

 

Recipe

In a bowl mix the ground almonds, sugar, cocoa powder, salt and cinnamon.

In another bowl whisk the egg whites to a peak (optionally add a pinch of salt).

Gently blend the egg whites with the content of the first bowl.

Fill a third bowl with warm water (not boiling) and place the chocolate to soften for 3-4 min (it’s important not to stir). After the time has passed, remove the water and add the chocolate to the rest of the ingredients and gently fold the chocolate in.

Roll out the dough until it’s about 1 cm thick. To do this place the dough between to pieces of waxed paper, the situation will be less sticky and easier to work with.

Using the cookie cutter of your choice, start cutting out the shapes. To make the removal of the dough easier, dip the cookie cutter into a little sugar. When there is no more room to cut any more cookies, gather the dough and roll it out once more. Repeat until the dough is finished.

Place the cookies on a baking tray lined with waxed paper and let them dry between 6 hours to a whole night.

Heat the oven to 250 and bake for 5 min. Remove from the oven and let them cool on a rack.

Beetroot Pesto

Beetroot Pesto I always keep cooked beetroots in my fridge. They always end up being useful in one way or another. Continue reading

Last Friday I wanted to avoid staying too long outside in the cold, so I stayed home and cooked with whatever I had left at home. When I opened the fridge I saw the beetroots and I still had a little goat cheese left; that’s when I decided to give this pesto a try. I made the pesto in the morning and had it with some pasta in the evening. Besides the colour, which I find absolutely beautiful, I really enjoyed this recipe; it was a change from the traditional pesto recipe.

Beetroot Pesto Beetroot Pesto

 

Beetroot Pesto

 

Prep time: 5 min

 

Ingredients

90 g cooked beetroots

35 g dry roasted walnuts

1 tbsp. chopped onions

1 tbsp. chopped parsley

Rock salt and pepper

50 g finely grated hard goat cheese

1.2 dl olive oil

 

Recipe

Cut the beetroot(s) into chunks.

In a food processor place the beetroots, walnuts, chopped onions parsley, salt and pepper. Process the ingredients and rectify taste with salt and pepper if needed.

Add the cheese and the olive oil and mix all together.

Serve with pasta, on crostini and why not with some beef?

 

 

Rolled Lasagne with Radicchio Walnuts and Sbrinz Cheese

Rolled Lasagne with Radicchio Walnuts and Cheese (Sbrinz) Sometimes life is funny. Continue reading

The evening I said “Yes! Yes!” to my future husband’s marriage proposal, I absolutely didn’t think about how things would naturally evolve; I guess neither did he. We haven’t got a date yet, but his father has already told all his brothers, aunts and uncles and cousins we’re getting married. He has also already gone to search for a possible venue and, he told me about it a couple of times already. My mother, on her side, has already gone to two bridal dress shops: on her own. I think it’s absolutely adorable what they’re doing and it makes me smile to see that they’re almost more stressed than we are.

This recipe is adapted from one of the first cookbooks I bought myself over ten years ago when I lived in Geneva. I guess that’s why it has personal value. The book is called “Cuisinez entre copains” (“Cook among friends” in English) and it’s from Sabine Sälazer and Sebastian Dickhaut. I like the appearance of these pasta “treats”. I serve the either as an appetizer or as a side dish.

Rolled Lasagne with Radicchio Walnuts and Cheese (Sbrinz)

Rolled Lasagne with Radicchio Walnuts and Cheese (Sbrinz)

Rolled Lasagne with Radicchio Walnuts and Sbrinz Cheese

 

Recipe for 24 pieces

Prep time: 25 min

Cook time: 25 min

 

Ingredients

6 lasagne sheets

360g radicchio leaves

60g grated Sbrinz or Parmesan (+ 5-10g extra to sprinkle on top)

2 tbsp. lemon juice

2 tbsp. finely chopped walnuts

40 g sour cream

1 tbsp. olive oil

Salt and pepper

(optional: finely chopped parsley)

 

Recipe

Heat oven at 190°C.

Chop the radicchio leaves into 1 cm pieces.

On a medium fire, heat 1 tbsp. olive oil in a pan and add the chopped radicchio, salt and pepper to taste and cook for 4-5 min. Add the sour cream, toss, cook for another 1-2 minutes and remove from heat. Add the walnuts, toss and set aside.

Place the lasagne sheets in pan with boiling water and immerse the pasta sheets to cook for 5 min.

Line a baking tray with wax paper. On a chopping board, place one lasagne sheet lengthwise. Spread 1/6 of the wilted radicchio with sour cream and walnuts on the pasta sheet. Leave a couple centimetres uncovered, as this will be the outer side of the rolled lasagne. Sprinkle 10g of the grated cheese on top and roll the pasta sheet. Cut the roll into 4 parts and place it on the baking tray. Repeat with the rest of the lasagne sheets.

Once all is rolled, drizzle a little olive oil on top and sprinkle the remaining grated cheese on top. Cook in the oven for 18-20 min. Optionally sprinkle the parsley on top and serve.

Cheese Spinach Mushroom Soufflé Omelette

Cheese Spinach and Mushroom Soufflé OmeletteIf you were to walk around Canton Ticino recently you would see a large amount of people wearing around with rain boots. Continue reading

The Lake Maggiore has been out of its usual borders since last week and last Saturday was also my first time moving around the town walking on those temporary boardwalks. I admit I found it exciting to see it for the first time because although this is something that happens every few years, I never had a chance to see it since I was either too small and was in school or later, I was away for my studies. It’s humbling to see what little man can do in such circumstances. Fortunately the situation has already been worse than this. Here are a few pictures I wanted to share regarding the past and present floods the region went through. Fortunately from today on, THE SUN IS BACK!

Here are a few pictures I found (the last two are mine, the rest I found on the Internet) of the town of Locarno flooded by water in past and more recent times.

Photo accreditations:

baobab.elet.polimi.it

http://www.ist-en.supsi.ch

liberatv.ch

 

 

Cheese Spinach Mushrooms Soufflé Omelette (Recipe adapted from suissegarantie.ch)

Recipe for 2

Prep time: 10 min

Cook time: 15 min

 

Ingredients

3 eggs

3 tbsp cream

70 g cooked spinach (excess moisture removed)

1 small onion

4-5 chestnut mushrooms

40-50 g Swiss cheese thinly sliced (I used Gruyere)

Nutmeg

Salt and pepper

1 ½ tbsp. butter

 

Recipe:

Finely chop the spinach and the onion and slice the mushrooms.

In a pan melt ½ a tbsp. butter and add the onion to soften for 4-5 min, then add the sliced mushrooms to brown on both sides for another 7-8 min. Once done, remove from the pan and set aside.

Separate the eggs and place the yolks and the whites in two separate bowls. Whisk the egg whites to a peak. Beat the egg yolks until they become frothy, then add the chopped spinach, a little nutmeg and salt and pepper. Take the whisked egg whites and gently fold the into the seasoned yolks.

On a low-medium fire, melt 1 tbsp. butter in the pan you used for the mushrooms and add the egg mix. Cook for 6-7 min then add the mushrooms on top along with the cheese. Cover and cook for another 4-5 min. Serve.

St. Gallen Convent Jam Pie

St. Gallen Convent Jam PieThe nice thing with baking is that it leaves you spare time while the oven does the work. Lately, time is something I need since I’m going through some struggle with my blog. Continue reading

I know people haven’t been able to comment on my posts (by the way, thanks for notifying me) but I still don’t really know what is going wrong. Besides this, I’m also trying to solve other computer related problems. Now I can honestly acknowledge the extent of my ignorance on the technical part of blogging and it’s frustrating. So now, I’ll get down and try to learn more about the subject. The good thing though is that I have this pie (from canton St. Gallen) to pull my spirits up when frustration gets too intense 😉 This Convent Jam Pie is a little like the Linzer Torte but I find it not to be as dry and I love what the addition of cocoa does to its flavour. Recipe adapted from the book La Suisse Gourmande. By the way, thanks to John from From The Bartolini Kitchens who, with his Crostata recipe, inspired me to make this pie.

 

St. Gallen Convent Jam Pie

 

Recipe for a 24 cm diameter pie tart

Prep time: 15 min (+ 30 min resting time)

Cook time: 45 min

 

Ingredients

150 g butter

100 g sugar

100 g ground almonds

300 g flour

20 g cocoa powder

10 baking powder

1 egg (separated)

0.6 dl milk

200 g jam (the recipe called for currant jam but I used cherry, any other flavour would work)

Icing sugar (optional)

 

Recipe

In a bowl, cream the butter and sugar together.

Add the ground almonds, raising powder, cocoa, cinnamon, flour, milk and the egg white. Quickly work the dough with all of the ingredients until its consistence detaches itself from the bowl. Cover and let it rest in the fridge for 30 min.

Meanwhile grease a 24 cm round cake mould.

With your hands, spread ¾ of the dough over the bottom of the cake mould. Spread the jam over it leaving a little margin over the edge.

Roll out the remaining dough and cut strip that you will place on top of the pie in a criss-cross manner.

Beat the egg yolk and brush the surface of the cake dough with it.

Place in the oven and cook for 45 min. Remove from oven and cool before serving. Optionally sprinkle icing sugar on top.

 

Chicken Sauerkraut Spring Rolls with a Mustardy Dip

Chicken Sauerkraut Springrolls with Mustardy Dip 11.2In the past couple of weeks we’ve had maybe a couple of days of sun and frankly I’m starting to go a little crazy, fortunately I can spend some time in the kitchen and this helps pulling my spirits up. Continue reading

Last week, during one of my lunches with my mother, we made these spring rolls. I was lucky to be able to do this with her since a couple days later she came down with pneumonia. Fortunately she isn’t in the hospital and now she’s on the track of recovery. We had a nice moment together and enjoyed the result of our work.

I adapted this recipe from, once again, Betty Bossi’s Swiss Cookbook. The original recipe called for cheese instead of chicken and the dip was a combination of crème fraiche and the premade sweet chilli sauce. So, except for the idea, I went ahead .did it according to my taste and was really satisfied with the result. It takes a little time to prepare these spring rolls but it’s a fun activity and I loved the taste.

Chicken Sauerkraut Spring rolls with Mustardy Dip

 

Chicken Sauerkraut Spring Rolls with a Mustardy Dip

 

Recipe for 12 Spring Rolls

Prep time: 30-35 min

Cook time: 18-20 min

 

Ingredients

For the spring rolls:

240 g chicken breast(s)

250 g cooked sauerkraut

4 sheets filo pasty

50-60 g melted butter

1 tbsp. rapeseed oil

salt and pepper

For the dip:

100 g sour cream

2 tsp. mustard

1 tsp. honey

2 tbsp. chopped spring onions

 

Recipe

Cut the chicken into thin strips and season with salt and pepper. Heat one tbsp. rapeseed oil and add the chicken to brown for 4-5 min. Once done remove from the pan and set aside.

Heat oven at 200°C.

Take the sauerkraut place it in a tea towel, fold it and press out excess moisture.

Take one sheet of filo pastry and brush it with butter, take a second sheet of filo pastry and place it on top of the first one so that they stick together. Cut the double filo sheets in half lengthwise and then divide each half into three equal parts.

Take one of the cut pieces of filo pastry; add about one tbsp. of the chicken strips and one tbsp. of the sauerkraut. Take two opposing corners and fold them towards the centre. Take the corner that is nearest to you and fold that too; now roll the spring roll towards the last corner. Place the spring roll (join side down) on a baking tray lined with wax paper. Repeat with the rest of the other filo pastry squares. Restart the procedure with the second set of filo pastry.

Quite generously brush the spring rolls with melted butter and cook in the oven for about 15 min.

Meanwhile prepare the dip by mixing all the ingredients together. Serve with the spring rolls still warm from the oven.

Tomato Burrata Toasts

Tomato Burrata ToastsLast weekend, after a night out with my fiancé and a friend I slept at his place and on Sunday he brought me back home and we hung around a little together. Continue reading

Lately, our discussions are a lot about our wedding: who knows it, their reactions, the guests, and the possible venues… The thing is that we have two hard heads and I can see there will be debates ahead regarding just about every single detail. While we talked and joked I began feeling a little hungry and remembered I had some burrata in the fridge. The thought was enough to make me crave for it. I thought of making a quick aperitif for the both of us and so I put this pizza inspired recipe together in almost no time.

Tomato Burrata Toasts

 

Tomato Burrata Toasts

 

Recipe for 4 as an appetizer

Prep time: 8 min

Cook time: 15 min

 

 

Ingredients:

22 cm long piece of baguette

300 g cherry tomatoes

1 tsp. dried oregano

Salt and pepper

Olive oil

75 g burrata

 

Recipe

Heat oven at 220°C.

Chop the onion into 2 cm pieces and make sure the layers are divided.

In an ovenproof dish place the cherry tomatoes, the onion, and the dried oregano, salt and pepper. Add one tbsp. olive oil, toss and place in the oven for 15 min.

Meanwhile cut the baguette into two lengthwise and brush it with olive oil. After the tomatoes have cooked for about 10 min, place the baguettes in the oven too and cook until nicely toasted.

Remove the bread from the oven and set it aside. Take the tomatoes and roughly mash them with a fork.

Take one bread half and spread half of the tomatoes over it, repeat with the other piece of bread. Cut the burrata into pieces and add it on top of the tomatoes. Cut each toasted piece of bread into four pieces and serve.

 

 

 

Cheese and Onion Potato Cakes

Cheese and Onion Potato Cakes Today, after over a year and a half of cutting my hair by myself, I went to the hairdresser. Even if I compare the hairdresser to the dentist, I have to admit I needed it. The moment ended up not being that bad but since we chatted and time went by fast. What also went by too quickly was my once in a while perfectly blow-dried hair. Next time I shall have more clement weather. Once I got home, I was so hungry Continue reading

but I felt like having something comforting so with a salad, I had these cakes made with the leftover potatoes I had from the yesterday. These cake are so easy to make and it’s also a good way to use leftover potatoes.

Recipe adapted form: Betty Bossy’s Cheesy Potato Cakes ( from: The Swiss Cookbook )

Cheese and Onion Potato Cakes

 

 

Cheese and Onion Potato Cakes

 

Recipe for 12 cakes

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 20 min

 

Ingredients

500 g boiled and peeled potatoes

150 g grated Swiss cheese

2 eggs

2 onions (not too large)

Nutmeg

salt and pepper

 

Recipe

Heat oven at 200°C.

Roughly grate the onion and using a clean tea towel press out excess moisture. Grate the potatoes and place them in a bowl with the onion, add the cheese, the eggs, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Mix all together well.

Line a baking tray with parchment paper.

Shape 12 equal sized cakes and place them on the baking tray. Cook in the oven for about 20 min.