With a full week and weekend I was happy to stay at home on Sunday and dedicate myself to a little cooking. Sunday to me is the no sports day, which means I have more time on my hands. Continue reading →
With time on my hands and a pack of phyllo pastry waiting in the fridge I got down to preparing these veggie filled pockets. The broccoli and mushroom filling is easy to make and to actually put the pockets together, after the first one or two pieces, you’ll easily get the hang of it. I found it trickier to actually describe the procedure than to make it. These savoury treats are easy to hold in your hands and they will work well for an aperitif or a friendly buffet… one of my favourite ways to spend a meal.
Mushroom Broccoli Phyllo Pockets
Recipe for 8 pieces
Prep time: 35-40 min
Cook time: 30-35 min
180 g chestnut mushrooms
1 red onion
260 g broccoli florets roughly chopped
180 g sour cream
6 sheets rectangular phyllo pastry
2 tbsp. olive oil
40 g melted butter
45 g grated cheese (I used parmesan)
Salt and pepper
Slice the mushrooms into ½ cm pieces. Heat 1 tbsp. olive oil in a non-stick pan and add the mushrooms to brown. Make sure the pieces are all on one layer, otherwise do it in more batches. Once done set the mushrooms aside.
Wipe the pan and add the second tbsp. olive oil along with the chopped onion. Cook until soft for 4-5 on a low-medium fire then add the broccoli florets. Season with salt and pepper and cook on a medium fire until the broccoli turn bright green, stirring regularly. Once the greens are done add the mushrooms and the sour cream and cook for another couple of minutes. Correct seasoning if needed and set aside.
Take one sheet of phyllo pastry and brush it with the melted butter. Take a second piece and place it on top. Brush the second piece of phyllo pastry and add a third one on top. Place the three sheets with the width in front of you. With a pair of kitchen scissors cut the layered pastry in half, then cut each piece into half again. While you are working with phyllo pastry make sure the sheets you’re not using are sealed in some aluminium paper so they don’t dry.
Take one of the four strips and place a tbsp. of the prepared vegetables at one of the two extremities, on top sprinkle a tsp. of the grated cheese. Fold the pastry where the filling is by placing an angle towards the other side of the strip (see picture). Now that you have the main shape continue to fold the pastry until the end of the strip. Seal the pastry parcel by brushing a little butter on the last fold. Place fold down on a baking tray lined with oven paper. Repeat with the rest of the strips and repeat the whole operation with the last three sheets of phyllo pastry.
I love vegetarian/vegan burgers and this recipe is something I keep on making over and over, especially when my mother comes over and we don’t know what to eat. Continue reading →
With a few ingredients you’ve got yourself a healthy and filling dish that is easy and quick to prepare. What I also like about burgers is that they are a good source of iron and since my meat intake is relatively limited, this recipe is a good alternative. I prepared this red bean burger and garnished it with what I had at home (tomatoes and salad) although if had had an avocado I would have smashed it with a fork and used it as mayo to smother it all over. The nice thing at least is that I know that in not so long I’ll be having it again and this time I will not forget the avocado.
Red Bean Burger
Recipe for 4
Prep time: 15-20 min
Cook time: 8-10 min
520 g cooked red kidney beans
4 tbsp. chopped coriander
2 garlic cloves
1 small red onion
2 chilli peppers
1 tbsp. rapeseed oil
Garnish to taste with either: tomatoes, salad, smashed avocado, mayonnaise….
Place the beans in a bowl and with the help of a fork or a potato masher mash them.
Crush the garlic with a garlic crusher and finely chop the onion and the red pepper. Add the two ingredients to the bowl along with the coriander and salt to taste.
Mix everything together and form four patties.
Heat the oil in a pan on a medium fire and cook the bean burgers for 4-5 min per side. Once they are nice and brown, garnish your burger according to your taste.
I love it when a new season comes, besides the changes; I love checking out the new seasonal products. A few weeks ago I saw the first asparaguses but I refuse to buy something as fresh as a vegetable that has travelled from another continent. I don’t know when these vegetables were picked and by the time they arrive they have lost so much of their nutritional value. Continue reading →
When I do my groceries I often wonder how many people look at where their vegetables and fruits come from. Well, the asparaguses I found came from Spain, it’s not local but at least the distance isn’t measured in oceans. I was really excited to finally eat them again so I decided to make something quick and which I can eat with my hands. I wanted to combine eggs and asparagus because it’s a combination I love and from there I could have either made a quiche or something like this, or I could make something quicker like a sandwich… or a quesadilla. Finally I went for the quesadilla and here is the result.
Asparagus and Egg Quesadilla
Recipe for 1 unit – for about 4 as an appetizer or for 2 as a meal
Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 10-12 min
160 g asparagus
50 g grated Gruyere cheese
10 g butter
1 heaped tbsp. sour cream
Salt and pepper
2 large flour tortilla
3/4 tbsp. rapeseed oil
Cut the asparagus into about 0.5cm pieces.
On a medium fire, heat the oil and add the chopped asparagus to brown for 5-7 minutes. Once ready set the vegetables aside and wipe the pan with some kitchen paper.
In a small pan break the three eggs and add the butter. Then place it on a low heat blending the ingredients together. Continue to whisk until the eggs are cooked (more or less 5 min). Remove from the fire and add the sour cream with salt and pepper to taste. Then combine the asparagus.
Take one flour tortilla and sprinkle half of the cheese on top, then spread over the egg/asparagus mix, then the remaining cheese and finally top with the second tortilla. Cook 1 min. on each side. Cut the quesadilla into slices and serve.
Last weekend was a very relaxed moment for me and since my fiancé is busy going around for his political campaign, I made myself busy in the kitchen and prepared this lighter hummus made with carrots. I didn’t really have lunch but with a little toasted pita bread I enjoyed it while re-watching a documentary on Henry VIII (I already know so much about the subject but still enjoy hearing about it, history is my drug). It was the second time in my life I was making hummus and the first time (which was a few years ago) was not a satisfying experience. This time on the other hand was much better. I more or less followed the recipe written on the jar of my tahini but for tips on how to proceed I looked up on this site. It’s actually a fun and easy recipe to make and after this test, next time I’ll have guests over, I’ll give it another try, maybe then I’ll use bell peppers or tomatoes…
Recipe for about 8
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time:15 min
350 g peeled carrots
150 g cooked chickpeas
4 tbsp. olive oil (+ extra to serve)
1 tsp. minced garlic
3 tbsp. lemon juice
70 g tahini
(optional: 3 tbsp. chopped coriander leaves)
Cut the carrots in four parts lengthwise and then dice it. Place them in a steamer or a steaming pan and cook them until soft (about 10-15 min). Set them aside.
In a food processor place the tahini and lemon juice and blend for a about a minute. Add the chickpeas and process them for another minute. Repeat with the carrots and olive oil. At this point add the coriander leaves if using them. Place the hummus in a bowl, drizzle a little olive oil on top and serve with pita bread, toasted bread or vegetables.
I don’t know about you but the transition from winter to spring is always a challenge for me. Between mood and energy swings, I never know how the day will turn out. One solution I found to help me was to simplify everything, even my cooking. This is why I made this straightforward chicken and blue cheese salad with celery. Using leftover chicken, I found this recipe to be versatile as I can spread it on a sandwich for a quick lunch or serve it on toasts for an aperitif or eat it the way it is with some green salad. It’s a refreshing recipe, which is ready in no time; it’s creamy but with a crunch coming from the celery.
Chicken & Blue Cheese Salad
Recipe for 4
Prep time: 10-15 min
280 g cooked chicken
140 g celery stalks
100 g mascarpone
100 g Gorgonzola
80 g sour cream
3-4 tbsp. chopped chives
1 tbsp. walnut oil
Either 4 buns or some sliced bread
Cut the chicken into thin strips and finely slice the celery.
In a bowl mix together the mascarpone, Gorgonzola and sour cream. To it, add the chicken celery, walnuts, chives pepper. Mix all together and either use it for an aperitif on some bread or as a flavourful sandwich filling.
I admit I like munching in front of a film, with the fireplace burning and my dog begging for some food. Continue reading →
My fiancé is in regional politics and the campaign is starting so I know that when I’m not accompanying him, I will be enriching my film culture. The good thing is that I will get to watch films in original version 🙂 – In order not to feel too guilty when I treat myself, I try to make lighter and healthier snacks instead of fried chips or salty meats… well, sometimes I succumb to cheese, but I try to limit eating too much of it by using it in smaller quantities. A little of the dairy delight can go a long way and this is what I did for with this recipe. A little cheese for these baked broccoli fries is all that is needed… along with the other ingredients of course.
Recipe for 2-3 people
Prep time: 10-15 min
Cook time: about 8 min
250 g broccoli florets
3 tbsp. breadcrumbs
3 tbsp. finely chopped walnuts
2-3 tbsp. finely grated cheese
¼ – ½ tsp. smoked paprika
1 dl cream
Heat oven at 210°C.
Clean and cut the broccoli florets into bite sized pieces.
In a bowl place the cream; in another bowl place the breadcrumbs, walnuts, grated cheese and smoked paprika.
Take a few pieces of broccoli and soak them in the cream, let excess drip and then coat them with the breadcrumb, walnut mixture. To prevent the dry mixture from getting too soaked I divided the quantity and used them one at the time.
Once they are coated place them on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and cook in the oven for 8-9 min. Serve.
Every place on earth is blessed with typical ingredients and/or dishes. In Switzerland, one thing I’m proud of having access to is our cheese. In such a small country, we have over 450 different types of cheese and this is enough to never get bored about this produce I personally love. Continue reading →
One thing you’ll surely always find in my fridge is alpine cheese. For this recipe I wanted to honour this produce and so I adapted the recipe I found on closetcooking.com. Except for the cream cheese, all that is in this recipe comes from the country of Heidi. Sitting beside the fireplace and with a glass of white wine, my fiancé and I shared this melted cheese wonder. Talking about melted cheese, soon I will post a fondue recipe so stay tuned if you love melted cheese when it’s cold outside!
Melted Swiss Cheeses and Dried Tomato Dip
Recipe for 4 as an appetiser
Prep time: 15-20 min
Cook time: 30-35 min
150 g cream cheese
6-8 dried tomato filets in oil
1 small or ½ onion
50 g Gruyere cheese
30 g Sbrinz (or Parmesan)
30 g Emmental cheese
40 g Sour cream
½ tsp smoked Paprika
(optional 2 tbsp. white wine)
Heat oven at 180°C.
Chop the onion and dice the dried tomatoes. Cook the two ingredients in a pan on a medium fire and cook until the onion has softened, about 4-5 min. Remove from fire and set aside.
Grate all the cheeses and mix them with the sour cream, cream cheese, onion and dried tomatoes, pepper, smoked paprika and optionally the white wine. Place everything in an ovenproof dish and cook for 25-30 min. Serve warm with crostini and/or toasted bread.
In 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 a Mustardy Dip
Recipe for 12 Spring Rolls
Prep time: 30-35 min
Cook time: 18-20 min
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
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.
Last 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
Recipe for 4 as an appetizer
Prep time: 8 min
Cook time: 15 min
22 cm long piece of baguette
300 g cherry tomatoes
1 tsp. dried oregano
Salt and pepper
75 g burrata
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.
It was the first time I really travelled through that country and I enjoyed it so much. We first go to Barcelona and I loved the general vibe of the place with its museums and shops. As always, when I travel with my boyfriend, we walk a lot but this time I sprained my ankle the day before leaving so walking was a little harder than usual but I was determined not to show my pain. The biggest frustration in this merit was that for two weeks I couldn’t even consider the idea of wearing high heels and I had three pairs in my suitcase (plus one I bought over there). While we were in Barcelona we went to Sitges for a day to visit a former roommate of mine from when I was in boarding school as a teenager. I wanted to mention this because it was four years since we saw each other last time and we always have a great time together. Besides the great laughs I also met her adorable son and daughter, which were not there yet last time we met and yes, I felt a little like I was their aunt. From Barcelona we flew to Seville for a couple of days, we walked around and saw the inquisition museum (where the entrance was free but I would rather have paid and gotten something more out of the experience). There we also celebrated my birthday on another rooftop bar right in front of the cathedral where the view was just breath taking. The following day we moved to Cordoba just for one night and in the short time we were there we realized one day was a little short so, we’ll get back there one day or another. Our last two stops were in Granada, where we visited the Alhambra and went shopping a little more for my joy but not so much my boyfriend’s. Finally we reached a place near Marbella where we relaxed for a few days in my mother’s holiday home: sun, drinks and pool. Once we got to our final stage we realized we were really a little tired and we enjoyed the sun and water. I also enjoyed the kitchen because halfway though the holiday I began to miss my cooking sessions. Here are a few pictures from our vacation.
This was our holiday and now, back to today’s recipe I thought of making something easy, friendly and a little different. I had the idea for this recipe trotting in my head for a while so I went for it and it turned out well. For the dough I used this quick pizza dough recipe; the only change I made to it is that I reduced the amount of sugar. Easy and quickly ready this recipe works well as an appetizer or why not served with a salad?
Cheese Stuffed Bread Rolls
Recipe for 8 pieces
Prep time: 20 min (+15 min rest)
Cook time: 15 min
250 g flour (if you can use the “00” type)
1 bag (7gr) dry instant yeast
1 tsp sugar
¼ tsp salt + more to sprinkle on top of the bread rolls
1.5 dl lukewarm water (32-36°C)
2 tbsp finely chopped basil
8 pieces hard goat’s cheese cut into 2 cm cubes – about 100 g
Olive oil to brush the bread rolls
In a bowl combine half of the flour, yeast, sugar and salt. Add the water and start kneading while gradually adding the rest of the flour. Add the chopped basil and knead further to uniformly blend the green into the dough. Cover with a tea towel and leave to rest for 15 min.
Heat oven at 190°C.
Divide the dough into 8 parts. Take one part, lightly flatten it and place a cube of cheese in the middle. Close the dough around the cheese cube and form a ball. Make sure the dough is nicely sealed or the cheese might run out during the cooking process. Repeat with the other seven parts of cheese and dough. Brush the bread rolls with olive oil and sprinkle over some salt on top (use coarse salt if you have it).
Place in the oven and cook for 15 minutes or until nicely browned. Remove from oven and leave to cool for 5 min before serving.