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132 items found for "traditional with a twist"

  • Rotkohl

    As mentioned in Day 57 of The Challenge Rotkohl, literally red cabbage, is a stewed cabbage dish traditionally eaten in Germany and German-speaking Switzerland alongside sausages or other meat. You can get them ready made in tins, or you can make it yourself, pretty easily too. This batch came out particularly well, but the key, really, is time. I got this ready early in the day, before lunch, and stashed it in my Wonderbag slow cooker for the rest of the day until dinner, thus giving it plenty of time to stew. I also added a couple of first-time innovations which worked out scrumptiously. Ingredients: 1 half of a red cabbage, chopped 2 apples, chopped 1 c raisins 2 tsp orange peel 1/4-1/2 nutmeg, freshly grated 1 c apple cider vinegar 1 c apple juice Pepper 1) Place all ingredients in a heavy-bottomed pot. Bring to a simmer and stew covered at low temperature for at least 45 minutes (the longer the better). A slow cooker works wonders, but you can do it over the stove if need be. I love this dish! It works as a side for all sorts of meals, it is dead simple, and so so satisfying! Please try this! EDIT: I tried this again recently and made it with dried grapefruit peel instead or orange. It worked well, but there was a little more bitterness. A pinch of salt sorted that out though! Certainly an alternative to bear in mind!

  • Tomato Tart

    As mentioned in Day 47 of The Challenge Our basil plant was starting to suffer from the cooler weather, and our tomatoes were ripening, so the stars aligned as it were for a tomato tart. Or agriculture on my balcony did in any case. I had been wanting to have a tomato tart for a while and so seized the opportunity and am delighted that I did! Ingredients: Crust: (you can use a store bought crust if you want, but this is also very quick and easy, I promise! It is better if you have a half hour to let it chill before rolling it out, but it still works if you don't) 3/4 c flour 1/2 c cold butter, cut into pieces pinch of salt 1/4 (approximate) water 6 large tomatoes, sliced a handful of fresh basil leaves 1 ball of mozzarella, sliced 1 tbsp olive oil 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar Salt and pepper to taste 1) To make crust, mix flour and salt. Cut in pieces of butter and mix together with fingertips until it forms a crumb like texture. Add water and mix with a fork, then knead into a soft dough. 2) Wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. 3) Roll out the pastry and line a pie dish with it. Layer sliced tomatoes in the pie dish (Careful not to drizzle in the juice at the same time or your pie will be soggy!) and then place mozzarella slices over the top and drizzle over olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Tuck in basil leaves, and season. 4) Bake at 180°C for 30-35 minutes until the mozzarella browns slightly. Tasty and fresh yet warm for a cool, sunny autumn day. Absolutely loved this, and it went down well with Hubby and Little One too!

  • Pear Sorbet

    Last night at dinner, à propos of nothing whatsoever, Little Bit declared amusingly that he wanted to make pear sorbet... with spices, maybe...and squeeze in some lemon. So today, that is what we did, although at the last minute, he decided against spices. What better occupation for a snowy day, with the thermometer at -10°C all day, than making a frozen dessert? I must add though, that having received a new ice cream maker for Christmas (the 30-year-old one from my parents finally gave up the ghost), I was not opposed to this idea. Below are two variations on the method, one with an ice cream maker, and one without. Ingredients: 2 c of pear, chopped up 3/4 c water 3/4 c light brown sugar juice of 1 lemon 1) Bring water and sugar to a boil, then reduce heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved to create a simple syrup, then set aside to cool. 2) Blend pear, lemon juice and syrup until smooth. Taste test. 3) Set aside in fridge until cool, then pour into ice cream maker as per instructions. OR: 2) Place pear chunks in freezer, spread on a tray in a single layer, until frozen. 3) Blend frozen pear, lemon juice and simple syrup. Taste test and place in freezer. I had wanted to make this with either maple sugar instead of the brown sugar or a dash of maple syrup but discovered that I was out of maple sugar, and the only maple syrup in the house was bourbon flavoured, so I gave that a miss. On the whole though, I was very happy with both the sorbet and the ice cream maker. The sorbet was nice and simple. Most importantly though, the instigator of this whole thing was happy with it. Definitely a keeper! We tried it on its own, then also as a Sundae (on Saturday) with toasted almonds, warm chocolate sauce and whipped cream. Oh the decadence! I might still try another version with some cinnamon and maybe a little of something else, or an elderflower and pear sorbet, but that is for another day. For now, there is very tasty sorbet to eat.

  • Ginger Snaps

    Ginger snaps are on of the traditional Christmas cookies that I grew up with.

  • Mulled Mead

    Over a year ago, I made mead. It came out a little rougher than I had hoped, but much better than I had feared. I decided at that point to leave it to age to see whether it would improve, and planned also to try mulling it in the winter. For some reason, I never got around to mulling it last winter before finding out that I was expecting a Littler Bit, and therefore no longer drinking boozy things. It was therefore only now, with a Littler Bit happily swaddled in her Moses basket, that my sister, hubby and I decided to try mulling the remaining mead from a year ago. And how glad I am that we did! Don't worry if you haven't tried brewing your own, store-bought mead will work too, so don't let that stop you. Ingredients: 6 c mead 1 tbsp maple sugar 1 tbsp honey 1 tbsp dried orange peel 1 cinnamon stick 6 cloves 1) Place all ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, and cook for about a half hour or longer to allow spiced to infuse. Drink hot. We very much enjoyed this. So much so in fact, that we are brewing a new batch of mead in order to have some for mulling purposes at Christmas. We did discover that leaving the mulled mead overnight, it was even better on day 2. I may even mull it a day or so early next time.

  • Banana Bread

    This is rather traditional, but it is always worth having a good recipe.

  • Onion Tart

    As mentioned in Day 84 of The Challenge This is one of my favourite tarts (and for any of you who've been paying attention, I make a lot of tarts). The first time I made it was just before we were going to go away on a trip for a week, so I made mini tartlets and brought them with us so as not to have the onions rot while we were away. Sitting on our (very short) flight all I could smell was the onion wafting down from the over-head compartment... Maybe not my most socially conscious move ever, but by then it was too late. Anyway, they made for a really tasty picnic lunch on our adventures and I've been making this tart, in normal or mini form, ever since. Feel free to omit the tomato or bacon, add spinach, cut the cumin and replace it with some nutmeg or add cheese. All of these options work! Ingredients: 1 pie crust (for pie crust recipe, see here) Half a dozen onions, sliced 100g bacon, sliced 2 tbsp butter 1/4 c flour (scant) 2 eggs 100ml milk 200ml cream (I don't always use cream, sometimes I do it with just milk) 1/2 - 1 tbsp cumin 1 tomato, sliced salt and pepper to taste 1) Line a pie dish with the crust and poke with a fork. 2) Melt butter in a frying pan and fry the bacon with the onions until they are translucent. 3) Mix flour, eggs, milk, cream and cumin. 4) Spread onions and bacon on the pie base. Pour the egg and milk mix evenly over the onions. Place tomatoes on top. Salt and pepper to taste. 5) Bake at 190°C for 25-30 minutes. Serve hot or cold, as a main or a side. It holds its own either way, and I love it! Great finger food for little bit too!

  • Baked Ziti

    As mentioned in Day 67 of The Challenge This was a pre-night shift dinner for me by my husband and went over very well with all of us, including Little One who has started making definite preferences known. It is a bit of a multi-step process, but so worth it! Warm and filling, it is the ultimate comfort food. Ingredients: 2 eggs 500 g of ziti, penne or other tubular pasta 1 head of garlic, crushed 2 tbsp olive oil 2 tins (800g) tomatoes 2 c (800g) of cottage cheese 600g mozzarella, shredded 1 c milk 1 tsp sugar 2 tsp basil 2 tsp oregano 3/4 tsp cornstarch 1/2 c red cooking wine Salt and pepper to taste 1) Heat olive oil with garlic in a heavy bottomed sauce pan, allowing the garlic to infuse gently. Add tomatoes and wine and bring to a simmer. Add basil and oregano. 2) Once the sauce has thickened, add the sugar. 3) Beat eggs, and add cottage cheese and half the mozzarella to them, whisking again. 4) Cook pasta 3/4 of the way there - it still must have some bite to it as it will continue cooking in the oven! Put in a casserole dish and set aside. 5) In a saucepan, combine cornstarch and milk, stirring and heating slowly until they thicken, then remove from the heat. 6) Add the cottage cheese mixture and 1 c of tomato sauce to the milk mix. Add this resulting triple mix to the pasta and stir well to coat all of those little tubes in gooey goodness. 7) Mix remaining tomato sauce with the pasta gooey-ness, and stir in the mozzarella to melt through. 8) Bake at 180°C for 45 minutes until the top is golden (and has a few crispy bits as these are amazing!) So tasty, and almost better as leftovers. I definitely recommend this. Hubby's been promising/threatening to make this for years, and never having even heard of this until he mentioned it, I had no idea what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised, to say the least, and (after the challenge) this will be making it into regular rotation!

  • Home-Made Yogurt

    This one is half cheese journey and half recipe. I was asked for it by a colleague though, so here it is. Yogurt making is not massively new to me. I have done it a few times, and have enjoyed trying out different starter yogurts and seeing the effect different ones have on the final yogurt. It is very easy to do an the result is satisfying. If the yogurt is not as thick as you'd like, simply strain it. Then you have yogurt as well as whey to use. The key to this as far as I am concerned, is to use a good quality milk. Mine was quite thick, with an almost flan-like consistency, but we strained it a little anyway. Ingredients: 2 l milk 3/4 - 1 c yogurt with active cultures 1) Place milk in a saucepan and heat over medium until it is warm but not too hot. You should be able to dip your pinky finger in and leave it for a count of 10 without being uncomfortable. 2) Add the yogurt to the milk and stir. Cover the saucepan and place in a warm spot to ripen over night or longer. A spot in the sun, by the fire or by a radiator are great. I usually put mine in my Wonderbag cloth oven as it maintains the temperature over a long period without using any energy and without risk. 3) Strain as needed. I particularly like home-made yogurt for dishes like borani where the flavour of the yogurt itself is key. Depending on the starter yogurt used the end-yogurt may be more acidic or sweeter. Play around with it and figure out which you like best!

  • Cinnamon and Sahlep Macarons

    Having decided a while back to start experimenting with using sahlep, I started playing around with different flavour combinations and potential recipes in which to try it out (like my Sahlep Pancakes, or my Sahlep Custard). A particularly good flavour to match with sahlep, in my opinion, is cinnamon, so while I do have other flavour combinations in mind to try, many of my ideas pair up sahlep and cinnamon. I am not sure where the idea of trying macarons came from, but it has been kind of present in the back of my mind for months. Sahlep is a hot drink made from ground orchid tubers in warm milk, often with cinnamon too. It has been drunk since Roman times at least, and Paracelsus even wrote about it, considering it to be a strong aphrodisiac. I have no knowledge of any such properties but have always really enjoyed it as a special treat. Today it is still drunk across Turkey and Greece. Sometimes it comes in the form of pure orchid root, and sometimes it is mixed with powdered milk. It is the latter variety that I am able to find here. I tried a first iteration of this recipe with my sister when she was visiting after Littler Bit's birth, and we were delighted with it. The recipe seemed good, but our macarons fell down on execution. It was her first-ever try at making macarons and my second, so seeing as they are notoriously difficult, I don't feel too bad about it. They were tasty but came out flat and gooey inside, and had to be scraped from the silicone baking mat. We figured we had either over-beaten the egg whites or under-baked the cookies. In that first iteration, I also trialled using a small amount of cooled sahlep cooked in milk in the buttercream filling to give the sahlep flavour, but found that the filling was too goopy and didn't come out right. For this next trial, therefore, I tried making sahlep butter ahead of time, allowing it to cool, then softening it to make the buttercream filling. This time, while my execution is still not perfect, it is getting better, and the finished product is not too far off the mark, and oh so good! Recipe Cook time: 1.5 hours -- Portions: 20 cookies -- Difficulty: Medium/hard Ingredients: For the cookie portion: 3 egg whites a pinch of salt 1 c ground almonds - blitz finer if need be. Must be very fine! 1/2 c maple or light brown sugar 2 - 2 1/2 tsp (generous!) of cinnamon For the buttercream filling: 1/3c butter 2 1/2 tsp sahlep 1/3 c maple powdered sugar (or you can use light brown sugar, but blitz it so the granules don't crunch!) 1) For the buttercream filling, melt the butter over low heat in a small saucepan. Stir in the sahlep and cook for a few minutes, stirring to incorporate. Cool completely and set aside. 2) Place egg whites and salt in a very clean, dry bowl. Whisk until you achieve a thick foam - just shy of soft peaks. Add the maple or brown sugar and beat until you achieved a thick, stiff consistency. 3) In a separate bowl, sift the powdered sugar, ground almonds, and cinnamon. Fold into egg whites. 4) Pipe in circles 2.5 - 4 cm in diameter onto baking paper, and place on a double baking sheet. Bake at 160°C for 8-10 minutes, then allow to cool completely on a wire rack. 5) In the meantime, back to the buttercream. Cream sugar into sahlep butter. Spread or pipe on one-half of the macarons, and then sandwich with a second one. Enjoy! I am very pleased with these! I wasn't at all sure how the sahlep butter would go, and I am very pleased with how it worked out. I have never used sahlep raw and so wasn't sure how it would go if I just added it cold (although apparently it can be consumed raw and is used as an ingredient in things like ice cream which aren't cooked - by the by, that is an excellent idea. Sahlep ice cream!). I do think that the sahlep flavour was a little strong in the final butter ( I thought the opposite was more likely to be the case), so I would reduce it to 1 1/2 to 2 tsp of sahlep for the butter next time. I would also increase the cinnamon content a little, maybe to a full (generous) tbsp rather than sticking with tsp measures. Aside from that though, I am very happy! The larger ones collapsed a little at the end of baking, and I am not sure why. My technique still needs some practice. They still weren't flat though, or too gooey in the centre, so I am not going to quibble. They could just have been a little taller and firmer. They also had a little border... I have seen quite different cooking times in other recipes, from 7 to 25 minutes, so I'm not sure if maybe I should be leaving them in for longer. Maybe my batter wasn't firm enough? Hard to tell. I was just so wary of over-beating like last time... More experimentation and trial are still necessary in this particular domain! Little Bit and Hubby definitely didn't mind. They very happily dug in and hoovered up a bunch before supper. ("Mama, I want a macaron. I am going to steal one. Not waiting until it's cool!" on repeat from a certain someone....) The base recipe for this, before much alteration, came from Michel Roux's Eggs. It is, surprisingly for being centred on one simple ingredient, an excellent cookbook. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

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