Last weekend I went to Cologne to spend the weekend with a couple of friends from high school and without going into too many detail I can just say it was marvellous, like each time we meet. Continue reading →
On those occasions my aim is always to make the most out of the time spent together and when I come back I’m usually very happy but very tired as well. I woke up on Friday at four and for the three-hour train journey I packed myself a couple of these carrot cupcakes I baked the day before. To make these cupcakes I took the recipe for the carrot cake from canton Aargau (a region in the north of Switzerland) and more or less divided the quantities by two. I took the recipe from the bettybossi site (recipe in French) and was really pleased of the outcome because this recipe has a refreshing taste and light texture. I will definitely be doing this recipe again; it’s a perfect grab and go treat.
Aargauer Carrot Cupcakes
Recipe for 12 cupcakes
Prep time: 30 min
Cooking time: 20 min
2 large eggs
125 g sugar
1 tbsp. very warm water (but not boiling)
40 g flour
125 g thinly grated carrots
125 g blanched ground almonds
zest of ½ lemon + its juice
1 tsp. baking powder
1 pinch salt
Optional: 1 pinch cinnamon
For the glazing:
150 g icing sugar
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1-1.5 tbsp. water
Heat oven at 180°C.
Separate the egg whites from the yolks in two bowls.
To the bowl with the egg yolk add the sugar and water and whisk for about 5 min or until the texture has become foamy.
Now add the lemon juice and zest, carrots, almonds. Mix the flour and baking powder and combine them to the egg yolks, sugar, carrot and lemon and mix until even.
Whisk the egg whites to a peak and fold it in with the rest of the ingredients until just combined.
Place the paper moulds in the cupcake tin and evenly distribute the mass in the individual portions.
Bake in the lower part of the oven for about 20 minutes. If you insert a toothpick and it comes out dry: they’re ready. Let them rest a few minutes before removing them from their mould and then transfer them to a rack to let them cool completely.
To prepare the glazing mix the sugar, lemon juice and water. The consistence should be thick but a bit runny. Take a cupcake and add about a tsp. of glazing and spread it with the back of a spoon or by tipping it to make the glazing spread over the top.
The festive season is basically here, from here to Christmas we’re booked for dinners basically every weekend day. Tomorrow for example we’re going to a friend’s company dinner. The funny thing is we’re not part of the company but he’s a lawyer and since in the office it’s only him and his secretary, he always bulks up the guest list by multiplying it by five or six times. Although I really like these social events, I know I won’t really be able to stick to my usual vegetarian way (I don’t like to be the fussy guest) and so I aim to enjoy every bit of my meals. One thing I couldn’t live without except from cheese? The super fun and versatile potatoes! It Italian the saying goes: “In cucina la patata è regina.” In English this translates as “In the kitchen the potato is queen.” I totally agree so here is an easy and oh so crispy carrot and potato cakes recipe.
Carrot Potato Cakes
Recipe for 4/ about 16-20 units
Prep time: 20 min.
Cook time: 15-20 min. per batch
400 g potatoes (peeled)
200 g carrots (peeled)
3 tbsp. cream
1 small onion
1/3 tsp. salt and pepper
1 small tbsp. thyme leaves
Vegetable oil or roasting butter
Heat oven at 70°C.
Using a medium holed grater, grate the potatoes and the carrots, and then place them in a clean tea towel and squeeze out most of the moisture.
Finely chop the onion and add it to the potatoes and carrots along with the cream, thyme leaves, salt and pepper and mix all the ingredients together.
Place a non-stick pan on a medium heat and add about 1 tbsp. oil or butter to heat. Take a tablespoon of the grated vegetable mix and place it in the pan, using the back of the spoon to flatten the cake. Cook for about 7-10 minutes per side, until the cakes have browned on both sides. Work in batches and once the cakes are ready, place them in the oven to keep them warm while preparing the rest. The pan I used has a 22-24 cm diameter and I could fit about 5-6 cakes per batch.
Serve as a side dish or as an appetizer, maybe with a yoghurt dip.
Among the dishes I enjoyed eating back when I was in kindergarten was the frittata. Continue reading →
It’s actually the only food I remember they made in that canteen, except for the letter soup served with individually wrapped cream cheese. I remembered and rediscovered the pleasure of eating this dish when I began cooking more seriously about five years ago. I found this baked version on cookieandkate and it’s great because it’s so easy and fuss free that I will surely be making it again and again. Depending on the season and on what veggies I find, it’ll be fun to test all those possible flavour combinations.
Baked Carrot Leek Frittata
150 g carrots peeled and ends cut off
140 g leeks
1 tbsp. butter
60 g grated Gruyere
a generous splash of cream
2 tsp. thyme
Salt and pepper
Heat oven at 200°C.
Julienne the carrots either with a peeler or by using a knife. If using a knife, cut the carrot into about 4-5 cm sections. Slice lengthwise one side of the carrot. Place cut side of carrot down so it doesn’t roll when cutting. Cut carrot into thin slices lengthwise. Stack a few slices on top of each other and slice again lengthwise. You will end up with thin matchsticks. Then julienne the leeks. Again, cut into 4-5 cm sections, divide in half lengthwise and (always lengthwise) thinly slice.
Pace a pan on a medium heat and add the butter, once melted add the vegetables, thyme, salt and pepper and cook for about 5 min, or until just softened. Once done set aside to cool a little.
In a bowl break the eggs and add the cream, the grated cheese, salt and pepper.
Line a baking dish with oven paper and start by placing the vegetables, on top pour the egg mixture. Move the vegetables a little around to make sure the egg is evenly distributed.
Bake for 20-25 min, once the center of the frittata is a little puffed up and bouncy, it’s ready.
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.
A nice mash is something I love, not only because it’s delicious but also because it can be made in advance, it’s easy and it’s a dish you can decline in infinite ways. Continue reading →
When my mother came home for our weekly lunch I served this carrot and potato mash with a salad. It’s something we both really like, and it’s also something we used to make us ladies enjoyed a lunch together while my father was away for work or pleasure. For this mash I used Emmental cheese and added thyme because I think these flavours work particularly well when combined with carrots. Actually this recipe is something I surely make again and I will am looking forward to using it next time I’m making a chicken cottage pie.
Carrot and Potato Mash
Recipe for 4
Prep time: 20-25 min
Cook time: 35-40 min
750 g peeled waxy potatoes
250 g carrots
50 g butter (melted)
1 dl milk
120 g sour cream
120 g Emmental cheese (the stronger the better) grated
1 tbsp. thyme leaves
1 tbsp. ground almonds
1 tbsp. breadcrumbs
Salt and pepper
Heat oven at 200°C.
Cut the potatoes and the carrots into 2-3 cm chunks. Place them in pan, add salted cold water and boil them until they’re soft (about 15-20 min).
Remove the water from the potatoes and carrots and using a masher purée them. Combine the butter, milk, sour cream, 100 g Emmental cheese, thyme leaves and pepper. Mix well and eventually correct taste with salt.
Transfer the mash to an ovenproof dish and on top sprinkle the breadcrumbs, ground almonds and the remaining grated cheese. Place in the oven and cook for 18-20 min. Serve.
Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a nice festive period filled with great and tasty food and hopefully a lot of laughter and joy, too. We left for a short week to Crans-Montana in a search for winter, which we only found up to a certain point (in fact the last day it rained, and we were at 1500 above sea level). Continue reading →
Here in Ticino, the weather feels like spring time and although the temperatures are relatively pleasant, it feels wrong for the season. One week during the festive time of the year is not made for dieting and among the foods that have passed through our mouths are a lot of cheese (melted and non), Argentinian beef, dried meat, crêpes, sweet treats, wine, champagne….
When we came back on Saturday I couldn’t wait to go for lighter and healthier food, which I actually craved. After a good night rest, I wanted to make myself something I enjoy but which is lighter and healthier than what my belly had seen during the previous week, so after my jog I prepared these Quinoa Carrot and Sweet Potato Muffin Tin Frittatas. This easy recipe with its colourful combination tasted great with a salad. I think I could almost hear my body saying “Thank you”.
Quinoa Carrot and Sweet Potato Muffin Tin Frittatas
Recipe for 12 pieces
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 35 min
70 g quinoa
75 g coarsely grated carrots
75 g sweet potatoes
1 small onion
2.3 dl water
2 tsp. olive oil
¼ – ½ tsp. smoked paprika
2 heaped tbsp. chopped parsley
salt and pepper
3 tbsp. milk (or cream)
80 g fresh goat cheese
Cut the sweet potatoes into ½ cm cubes and finely chop the onion.
Add the olive oil and onion to a pan on a medium fire and fry for 4-5 min, until onion is soft. Mix in the grated carrots and cubed sweet potatoes, toss and cook for another couple of minutes before adding the quinoa. Cook for two more minutes stirring often. Add the water and a generous pinch of salt to the pan. Once the water is boiling cook the onion, carrots, sweet potatoes and quinoa for about 12 minutes on a gentle rolling boil (make sure that all the water has evaporated/been absorbed). Stir regularly and once ready remove from fire and leave it to cool almost completely.
Grease a muffin tin with olive oil.
Beat the eggs together with the milk, goat cheese, paprika and salt to taste and parsley (don’t worry if the mix has a few lumps).
Add the quinoa, carrot, sweet potato and onion to the egg mix, stir together and evenly fill the muffin cups.
Cook in the oven for about 16 min at 180°C, until the top looks cooked and dry. Take the muffin tin out of the oven and leave it to set for a few minutes before removing the mini frittatas from their mould (detach them with the help of a pairing knife). Serve.
After a pretty busy weekend where I had visits, I attended the enogastronomic walk and on Sunday I had the summer party organised by my boyfriend’s political party; it’s nice to be back into a more calm routine. Continue reading →
Yesterday I had my weekly lunch with my mother and usually I make something vegetarian since we both like it but this time I wanted to make something a little different and so I came up with these mince chicken skewers and this honeyed carrot salad. With the chicken I paired some Emmentaler cheese that has a relatively sweet taste and its flavour goes well with the chicken meat and the honeyed carrot salad.
Cheesy Chicken Skewers with Honeyed Carrot Salad
Recipe for 4
Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 10-12 min
For the chicken:
600 g chicken minced meat
2 tbsp. breadcrumbs
2 tbsp. thyme leaves
1 tsp. mustard powder
optional: cayenne pepper
4 tbsp. grated Emmentaler cheese
1 large spring onion – only the bulb
salt and pepper
2 tbsp. olive oil
For the carrot salad:
3 tbsp. olive oil
1.5 tbsp. cider vinegar
1 tbsp. runny honey
salt and pepper
1 tbsp chopped parsley
3 grated carrots – not too large ones
1 finely chopped spring onion (white part only)
For the carrot salad, in a bowl combine the olive oil, cider vinegar, honey, salt and pepper. Mix well and add the carrots and parsley. Toss and leave to macerate.
Meanwhile in another bowl mix the minced chicken, breadcrumbs, thyme, mustard powder, grated cheese, salt, pepper and optionally the cayenne pepper. Finely chop the spring onion and add it to the rest of the mix. Blend all together and divide the mass into 8 equal parts. Take one part and with your hands form sausage like shapes; repeat with the rest of the meat. Insert a wooden skewer stick into each “sausage”.
Heat 2 tbsp. olive oil and place the skewers to colour on all sides and allow them to cook through for 10-12 minutes.
Serve the salad with the skewers and some crusty bread.
One thing I really appreciate since having a blog is that, bit by bit, I am recollecting my mother’s recipes which gave such great taste to my childhood. Continue reading →
Last Thursday we got together and made this carrot cake. She arrived home with all the ingredients and while we were having coffee at the kitchen counter I saw she was eager to start. My impression was confirmed when she said:
“So, two more minutes and then let’s bake.”
But then, she is always a little stressed…As a reminder of the ingredients and procedure she took a picture of the carrot cake recipe which is part of an actual cooking encyclopaedia from the 70’s-80’s (there are 18 volumes or so). We moved to the kitchen and while she grated the carrots I prepared the batter. This moment felt like going back in time, when we would bake something or make cookies together. One recipe I used to particularly like was the Cola cake which was a recipe I had gotten from a children’s book. By twelve the cake was out of the oven and I prepared a with spelt salad. We didn’t have dessert but as soon as she left, I have a couple slices of my share of the cake and I was just delicious. The lemon zest gives a fresh taste to the cake and the almonds add to the texture.
Recipe for a cm cake mould
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 45 min
250 g grated carrots
150 g sugar
100 g flour
100 g almonds
Zest of 1 lemon
4 level spoonful raising powder
1 three fingered pinch of salt
Heat oven at 180°C.
Separate the egg whites form the yolks. In a bowl mix the sugar with the yolks. Sift the flour and the raising powder and blend it well with the yolk and sugar and mix.
Whisk the egg withes with the pinch of salt to a peak.
Chop the almonds and add them with the carrots and lemon zest to the batter.
Add the pinch of salt to the egg whites and whisk them to a peak. Gently combine them to the batter; just remember not to over work the mass.
Grease a cake mold with oil and add the batter. Place in the oven for 45 minutes. Check if center is done by inserting a toothpick in the middle. If it comes out dry, remove the cake from the oven and leave it to rest. After 10-15 minutes remove it from the mold and place it on a rack to finish cooling.
Serve with a little icing sugar sprinkled on it or a lemon icing.
I didn’t spend too long in the kitchen for Christmas but today, besides packing my suitcase I decided I would spend a little time cooking something I like. Continue reading →
I went to the usual cupboard where the cookbooks are piled up in lines and after removing three quarters of the collection I found a piece I had totally forgotten about. It’s a book on vegetarian recipes and it comes from a Swiss brand which also makes cookbooks: Betty Bossy. I have already taken a few of their recipes and if you want to know more about it you can visit their site at bettybossy.ch (unfortunately the site is only in either French or German). I took this recipe and adapted it to the season and to my taste.
Rice Medallions with a Sweet and Sour Salad
Recipe for 2
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 25-30 minutes
100 g rice (Arborio or Carnaroli or other risotto rice types)
2.5 dl water
2 small to medium carrots
1,5 tsp honey
1,5 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tbsp oil
1 red chili
6-8 roughly chopped walnuts kernels
40 g sbrinz
1 small bunch herbs (I used parsley, thyme and chives)
1 tbsp oil
Rinse the rice under water and place it in a pan with 2.5 dl water. Bring to a boil and cook on a low fire until done, about 15-17 minutes. Set aside.
Peel the carrots and slice them lengthwise. From those long slices cut long and thin strips. Cut the top and bottom part of the orange. Following the shape of the fruit, remove the skin with a knife. With your knife now cut into the orange to remove the sections.
Thinly chop the chili.
In a bowl mix the honey, vinegar, olive oil, salt and chili. Add to the carrots and orange and leave to macerate for about 30 minutes.
Thinly chop the herbs.
Add the flour to the rice, mix and add the cheese, the egg, the herbs, 1 tbsp olive oil and pepper to taste. Divide into portions and shape into little patties.
Heat oil in a pan and add the medallion to brown on each side, 3-4 minutes per side.
Serve warm with the carrot and orange salad garnished with the walnuts.