Saturday, February 28, 2009

Leek Gratin

My boss is a farmer on his free time. With the beautiful leeks he almost gave me as a present (they were so cheap!) I've made this gratin. You can serve it as a starter with rice other cous-cous or as a main dish, since it also has ham and cheese. I invite to try it.

Leek Gratin
6 servings
Adaptaded from Menie Familia und Ich

  • 1.800 gr. leeks
  • So many ham slices as leeks you have
  • 1 green pepper and 1 red pepper, cut up into pieces
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 big can tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon herbes de Provence
  • 200 gr. gouda cheese, grated
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  1. Wash your leeks well. I like to slices them along to really wash all the dirt away. Cook them in boiling water for 5 min. in batchs. So that the leeks woudn't loose their form, I tied them. Let them drain.
  2. Lets make the sauec. Put about 5 tablespoons oil in a deep skillet. Sautée your onions. Onces transparent, add chopped peppers. After about five min, add canned tomatoes. Let cook over medium heat for 10 min. Add garlic, herbes and salt and pepper to taste. Let shimmer still about 10 min on the stove. Put the sauce on an oven form you want to use.
  3. Turn your oven on at 200ºC.
  4. Cut each ham slice in half. Roll each leek with a ham slice. Put your leeks lightly on the sauce.
  5. Sprinkel with grated cheese.
  6. Bake for 20 to 25 min. You can grill it for a moment at the end, if you like.
  7. Serve with rice or cous-cous.
Keep reading...

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Brown Sugar Stars

These little stars are to die for. They are crunchy but they melt in your mouth. They just sweet enough. After eating one you want another one, and then another, and then another...

Brown sugar Stars
La Cuisine de Madame Cugnac

  • 300 gr. flour
  • 200 gr. butter, soft
  • 100 gr. raw ground almonds
  • 150 gr. light brown sugar
  • 14 gr. vanille sugar (two sachets)
  • 1 egg for brushing (optional)
  1. In a bowl, cream sugar and butter.
  2. Add flour and almond meal to the butter cream. Form a ball with the dough.
  3. Divide your dough in two.
  4. Flour generously the kitchen counter and roll one half of the dough. Let rest in the fridge for 20 min.
  5. Line some baking sheets with vegetable paper.
  6. Take the dough out of the fridge and cut out stars in different sizes. Put them on the baking sheet. Repeat withe the other half of the dough.
  7. Brush them with the beaten egg. (This is optional, I didn't do it).
  8. Bake in a preheated oven at 150º C for 25 - 30 min.
  9. Let cool on a kitchen rack.
Keep reading...

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Mardi Gras Crêpes

This year we didn't desguise ourselves but we went to the cinema: A chihuahua in Beverlly Hills. a terrible film. Do not watch it.

When we were back, we celebrated carnaval eating some crepes for dinner.

You can simply eat them with some powdered sugar, with nutella, with sweetened condensed milk, with chocolate balls topping, with everything mixed, with confiture... even savory. Very important, they must be warm.
Our recipe, as usual, adapted from Simone Ortega.

About 20 small ones

  • 250 gr. flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon cognac
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 cup milk (maybe you'll need more)
  • powdered sugar for dusting
  1. Mix dry ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Add rest of the ingredients and stir until you have a smoth batter. The consistency of the batter should be like custard. If it is thicker, add more milk.
  3. Cover the bowl with a clean cloth and let rest for at least one hour. (I didn't).
  4. Spread the bottom of a small skillet (14 cm diameter) with a little bit of oil. Put on the stove and let get hot. Add then a small quantity of batter and spread it very quickly to cover the whole skillet bottom. When the batter begins to dry, flip it over. Let brown some seconds and take it out on a plate.
  5. If you want to serve them sweet, dust with some powdered sugar.
Keep reading...

Friday, February 20, 2009

Carrot cupcakes

When I was living in Brazil, an australian friend of mine F., brought this cake to our drawing class. Those were the days! I had so much free time that I had to fill it up with courses and coffee reunions. First I had to overcome my fear of trying new things. Also I suspect of all toppings. Luckily I won and I tried the cake. It was an awesome expirience: I loved it. This time I decided to make cupcakes, for a change, you simply has to reduce the baking time.

Carrot Cake
De F.


  • 1 full cup grated carrots
  • 200 gr. crushed pineapple (about three slices from a big can)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 5 tablespoons sunflower oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Cream cheese topping:
  • 3 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanille extract
  1. In a bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and sugar.
  2. Add eggs and oil. Stir to combine.
  3. Add crushed pineapple and grated carrots. Now the chopped walnuts.Stir.
  4. Turn your oven on at 180ºC.
  5. Line a rectangular cake pan or muffin pan (16).
  6. Pour the batter in your pan and bake for 35 - 40 min. (25-30 if you're making cupcakes).
  7. While the cake is in the oven, we make the topping: mix all ingredients until you have a smooth batter. Set aside.
  8. When the cake is cold, spread the topping on it.
Keep reading...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Lemon Cookies

I'm a tiny bit fed up with chocolate. I'm feeling like lemon: cookies, pie, mousse, cream, whatever.

So, after some investigation work over my cook books, I chose these cookies. Of course, they are lemon cookies.

Lemon Cookies
Adapted from 1.080 recetas de cocina, Simone Ortega

  • 1 cup sauer cream (put a splash vinegar or lemon juice and leave for 5 min.)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/3 cups flour
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • zest of a lemon
  • 1 heapin teaspoon baking powder
  • 100 gr. powderer sugar
  • juice of a lemon
  1. In a bowl, mix sauer cream with sugar, lemon zest and egg.
  2. Mix flour and baking powder in another bowl.
  3. Add flour to first mixture.
  4. Preheat your oven at 180º C
  5. Put teaspoons on the lined oven sheets, leave enough espace in between, they spread quite a bit.
  6. Bake them for 15 min.
  7. Make the glaze: mix lemon juice with powdered sugar.
  8. Brush cookies with the glaze once they are cold. Let them get dry.
Keep reading...

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Pancakes for breakfast

Last weekend children # 1 and #3 made freakfast for us. It took them awhile because apart from the dayly delights they offered us freshly pressed orange juice and, surprise!: pancakes. One of our favorite breakfasts. Here, in Spain, we eat them for coffee time, but in the USA they eat them for breakfast. I like them so much, I could eat them at all times... I made it just in time to take some snapshots of "the making of the pancakes".

Flipping pancakes in the air is not as easy as you might think. Here we have punk #3 in his first attempt:
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¡Oops! Almost nobody has seen that. We'll keep on trying.

Let's take a look at the older sister. We want to learn from her. Vamos a observar a la hermana mayor. Aprender de su arte. What a skill! You could almost think she can do it with her eyes shut.

GIF animations generator

A weekend later it seems this is turning into a habit. Could it be true? I don't have to ever make freakfast again during the weekends? Wonderful! Again pancakes for breakfast this Sunday. This time arround punk #2 and #3 were the cooks. It's true that experience makes the master. You can see they have improved themselves. What's more, they planned it better. They made the batter the night before. Everything went faster. Of course I still have to lend a hand, but I think we are going in the right direction.

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Punk #2 makes an effort to make everything right the first time. This animation is rather small, but I think you can still see the concentration on his face.

GIF animations generator

4 servings

  • 2 cups flour + 2 heaping tablespoons
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 eggs, large
  • 300 ml. milk
  1. In a big bolw, melt butter in the microwave.
  2. Add eggs and combine.
  3. Add rest of ingredients and mix until you have a dick, smooth batter.
  4. Put a skillet on the stove over medium heat.
  5. Grease your skillet only for your first pancake. I deep a papernapkin in a little bit of oil and bush the bottom of the skillet with it.
  6. Pour some batter on the skillet, when it's hot. When the surface of the pancake begins to dry and make bubbles, flip it. Let cook still some seconds and take it out onto a plate. Repeat until you have no dough left.
Serve hot. Spread generously butter on your pancake and pour pure maple syrum. There's not better way to start your day.
Keep reading...

Monday, February 9, 2009

White Chocolate and Sour Cream Cake

Many, many years ago, when a had regular contact with people that shared a love for cooking with me, I was able to copy quite a number of interesting recipes from different cooking magazines that would fall into my hands. I put them aside and only now I'm trying them. Better late than never!

I don't usually like white chocolate. I find it much too sweet. Sauer cream neutralizes this and makes the cake very spongy. Um! How quick it was gone!

White Chocolate and Sour Cream cake

  • 170 gr. white chocolate
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1/3 cup caster sugar
  • 1 cup sour cream (mix whipping cream with a tablespoon vinegar)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower oil
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  1. Grease generously and flour your cake pan.
  2. Melt white chocolate (2 min. at 850 in the microwaveoven). Set aside.
  3. In a bowl, mix flour, baking powder, sugars, eggs, sour cream and oil. Stir just enough to make a smooth batter.
  4. Preheat your oven at 180ºC.
  5. Pour the batter in the cake pan and bake it for about 45 min.
  6. Let rest about 15 min. before you take it out of the pan.
  7. Dust with confectioners sugar.
Keep reading...

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Pasta with lentils and smoke salmon

As I said, it's snowing. I rise to the occasion making one of my childrens' favorite. It's a different way to eat lentils: with nuddles and fish...The recipe comes out one of my dearests german magazines, Meine Familie und Ich, which my mother-in-law gives me every time we meet.

Nuddles with lentils and smoked salmon

Serves four


  • 1 onion, medium, minced
  • 75 gr. lentils
  • 500 ml. vegetable stock (instant)
  • 150 gr. smoked salmon
  • 400 gr. pasta, for example farfallel
  • 300 gr. whipping cream
  • 2 egg yolks
  • juice of a half lemon
  • olive oil
  • salt, freshly ground pepper, dill and nutmeg


  1. Soak in water the lentils a couple of hours before you cook them.
  2. In a deep pan, satée half the onions with some olive oil. When it's glassy, add the drained lentils and the vegetable stock. Cook over low heat for about half an hour. When lentils are tender, strain them.
  3. Meanwhile, cut the smoked salmon in fine stripes and cook your pasta following the package's directions.Set aside.
  4. In a small pan, sauté rest of onions with two olive oil tablespoons. When they are glassy, add whipping cream and cook over low heat for about ten minutes. Season with lemon juice, pepper, salt and nutmeg.
  5. In a bowl, mix egg yolks with some cream. Stir. Add to the whipping cream sauce. Remove from heat.
  6. Add lentils to the sauce and season with dill.
  7. Serve pasta with cream sauce and sprinkle with salmon stripes.
Keep reading...

Tomato and avocado Salad

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It's snowing outside, big time...Tennis lessons have been canceled. I do love tennis, but boy, am I glad... I get to stay the whole morning at home!

I make the most of it staying in my kitchen and cooking a whole meal. As starter a tomato - avocado salad. Simple, quick, delicious. To succeed, you simply need first quality ingredients: raff tomatos, ripe avocado, extra virgin olive oil and vinegar. We have vinegar scented with walnuts, excellent! Soon it will be gone. Fortunately we are going for skiing in France this year and we will be able to restock our pantry.
Keep reading...

Friday, February 6, 2009

Tart Tatin

A couple of years ago I tried to make this cake and it was a disaster. I don't understand what possible went wrong, since the process is pretty easy, but it was like that. This time around I didn't have much time so I chose frozen puff pastry, but you can also use pie dough.

Anyway, here I present you this tart. I is a light, fruity and nice dessert for a family reunion.

Tart Tatin
For a 22 cm cake pan
8 servings

  • 1 kg. apples
  • 150 gr. butter
  • 125 gr. caster sugar
  • 1 frozen sheet puff pastry or a pie crust recipe
  1. Defrost puff pastry in the fridge. Roll it and put it on a parchment paper, cover and reserve in the fridge.
  2. Combine butter and sugar in the cake pan you are going to use and put it directly on the stove until you have a golden caramel.
  3. Meanwhile, peel and core the apples. Cut each apple in four pieces.
  4. When you have your caramel, arrange apple pieces tightly in the pan over the caramel with the convex side face-down and let simer over low heat for 30 minutes more or less.
  5. Put the puff pastry sheet on the apples. Tuck well the sides in the pan, as though you wanted to make your bed. Pinch it several times with a fork.
  6. Pre - heat oven at 200ºC . Bake for 35 - 40 min., until the dough is nice and golden.
  7. Let it rest in the pan for a couple of minutes. Reverse it on a cake plate and serve warm.
Keep reading...

Monday, February 2, 2009

Gluten Free Cookies

I was going to bake some oatmeal cookies, which are my best half favorites (I think). Thanks to Cookie Madness I've found this recipe and they are to die for. Its main ingredients are oat flour, chocolate, hazelnut and almond flour. With these, nothing could go wrong. They are crunchy due to the nuts, moist because of the chocolate that melts in your mouth. The original version can be found here.

Gluten Free Cookies
Found at Cookie Madness

  • 115 gr. butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup sugar*
  • 1 egg, large
  • 1 teaspoon vanille extract
  • 1 1/2 cups oat flour
  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted
  • 1/2 cup almonds, blanched, toasted and salted
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips (we don't have them here, so I put chocolate chunks)
  1. Ground hazelnuts and almonds with a tablespoon sugar. I do this with my blender.
  2. Ground rolled oats, I use an electric coffee grinder.
  3. Cream sugars and butter. Add egg and vanille extract. Stir until well combined.
  4. Add oat and nut flour and baking powder. Now the chocolate chunks. Stir to combine everything.
  5. Line two baking sheets. Distribute teaspoons of dough on them. Bake them at 180º C for 10 min. or until golden in a preheated oven.
  6. Let them cool on a rack.
* Now that I come to think about it, I think I didn't add the caster sugar. I've been kind of distracted lately.... Well, the cookies are delicious and I have now another excuse to repeat them.

Apart from my attention, I've mislaid my appetite. I believe for the first time in my life I'm not hungry at all times. Have I finally grown up?
Keep reading...

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Jamie Oliver's Lemon Pudding

I love Jamie Oliver's cooking. He is super dynamic and has a fantastic technique. You can always learn something from him.

A while ago, I watch him make this recipe on TV and it looked delicious. Unfortunately, I catched him too late to get the ingredients, I had no time to copy them. The thing is I found it in one of the books I gave my little bro for his birthday so, here it is:

Lovely Lemon Curdy Pud
Adapted from Jamie Oliver
Four servings

  • 55 gr butter
  • 115 gr. sugar
  • juice and zest of one lemon
  • 2 large eggs, separated whites and yolks
  • 55 gr. flour
  • 1 tespoon baking powder
  • 285 ml. whole milk
  1. Cream butter, sugar and lemon zest ina bowl.
  2. Add egg yolks, flour with baking powder and beat in, then add milk and three tablespoons lemon juice. Mix well.
  3. Whisk egg whites until stiff in another bowl, then add the rest of the mixture.
  4. Don't over-mix it, you don't want the air to come out ot the egg whites.
  5. Grease a deep baking pan. Pour the mixture in.
  6. Bake in a water bath at 200ºC for 40 min. (next time I will cut back on time to make it even jucier).
Keep reading...