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Oblande

21 Jun

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Oblande is a Serbian dessert consisting of layers of wafer and walnut filling. Thank you to Ankica for sharing her recipe with me. Here’s how what you will need and how to make it.

  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • sheets of waffers, 5 sheets, (approximate) dimensions 8 inches by 12 inches
  • Petite Beurre crackers (8 to 10), ground finely
  • vanilla extract, 1 tsp
  • walnuts, 1cup, ground finely
  • milk, 3/4 cup
  • sugar, 1 1/2 cup
  • unsalted butter, 1 cup

1. In a bowl combine the walnuts and petite beurre. Set aside until this mixture is needed.

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Walnuts and petite beurre mixture.

2. In a pot on high heat, melt the butter with the sugar, milk and vanilla extract. Bring to a boil, being careful to keep a close watch on this heating liquid mixture as it can burn very quickly. Stir constantly.

3. Once this mixture has reached a boil, remove from heat. Then add the walnut/petit beurre mixture from 1, as well as the eggs. Stir continuously for about 5 to 6 minutes. The mixture should thicken and have a porridge consistency. If it’s too watery add a bit more grounded petite beurre. If it’s too thick, add a bit more milk.

4. It’s now time to assemble your oblande. Line a baking sheet to contain any mess created from assembling. Place one waffer sheet on the baking sheet. If your waffer sheet has two different patterns on each side, put the side with “grooves” facing up so that the walnut filling holds in place better. Place a thin layer of filling on the wafer. Repeat until you finish with the last waffer sheet. Put the last layer of filling on the top waffer exposed like in the picture below.

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Layers of waffer and walnut filling. These waffer sheets have a smooth side and a “grooved” side. The groovy side will contain the walnut filling better.

5. Cover the top layer with some parchment and then place some heavy items on top of it. This will help the oblande set. Keep the heavy items on top for about 6 hours.

6. Remove the heavy objects, and then refridgerate several hours before cutting. This will make the oblande much easier to cut.

Enjoy!

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Garlic Pasta

17 Nov
Bowtie pasta mixed with garlic and olive oil, garnished with freshly grated kefalotyri cheese.

Bowtie pasta mixed with garlic and olive oil, garnished with freshly grated kefalotyri cheese.

My apologies for the long absence in new postings. School has been very busy. But here’s a very simple and delicious recipe for garlic lovers!

  • 10 to 15 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 450 g pasta, cooked according to the package’s directions (before draining the pasta, save 1/4 cup of the pasta water)
  • (optional) 2 cups of kefalotyri cheese, coarsely grated

1. In a large pan, cook the garlic with olive oil for approximately 10 minutes on medium heat.

2. Once the garlic is cooked, add in the drained pasta and pasta water. Combine well.

3. Serve, and if desired, sprinkle each serving with a generous amount of kefalotyri cheese.

Minced garlic gently cooking in olive oil.

Minced garlic gently cooking in olive oil.

Bowtie pasta with garlic and olive oil.

Bowtie pasta with garlic and olive oil.

Mushroom and Rice Soup

7 Jul
Mushroom and rice soup garnished with parmesan cheese.

Mushroom and rice soup garnished with parmesan cheese.

This recipe provides approximately four servings.

  • 1lb cremini mushrooms, finely chopped
  • about 5 dried shitake mushrooms, soaked with 2 cups of water for several hours until soft. Once ready, squeeze out any liquids (but save all the liquids) and then finely chop the mushrooms.
  • 1/3 cup rice (I used brown rice, but red or wild rice would also be ideal).
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsps unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsps honey or maple syrup
  • 2 cups broth (I used chicken broth but vegetable or beef is fine, too; or even water)
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 sprigs green onion, chopped
  • a few tsps freshly grated parmesan cheese

1. Heat a large deep pot on high. Once hot, add butter, oil, onions and garlic. Turn down to a medium heat. Cook until onions are soft (approximately 5 minutes).

Mushrooms, onion and garlic sauting.

Mushrooms, onion and garlic sauteing.

2. Add the cremini and shitake mushrooms. Sprinkle a little salt as this will help the mushrooms soften faster.

Soup (with no milk, yet) coming to a boil.

Soup (with no milk, yet) coming to a boil.

3. Once the mushrooms are soft add in bay leaves, honey/maple syrup, broth, liquid from the shitake mushrooms, rice and approximately 1 cup of water.

4. Allow soup to come to a boil, then turn down to a simmering heat.

Soup (no milk added yet) after one hour. It has become a warm taupe colour.

Soup (no milk added yet) after one hour. It has become a warm taupe colour.

5. Cover and simmer until rice is super soft (approximately 1 hour). After 1 hour, the soup will have turned a warm taupe colour.

6. Add in milk and green onions. Once the soup begins to boil, it’s ready.

After the milk is added and the soup has come to a boil, it's ready to be eaten. Enjoy.

After the milk is added and the soup has come to a boil, it’s ready to be eaten. Enjoy.

7. Dish into separate bowls. Garnish with grated parmesan cheese and serve.

Colourful Quinoa Salad

23 Jun
Salad with quinoa, cucumber, tomato, carrots and green onion.

Salad with quinoa, cucumber, tomato, carrots and green onion.

  • 1 cup quinoa, cook as instructed
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup english cucumber, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1 small tomato, finely chopped
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Uncooked quinoa.

Uncooked quinoa.

Finely chopped english cucumber, tomatoes and green onions; and a carrot.

Finely chopped english cucumber, tomatoes and green onions; and a carrot.

1. For a warm salad, combine all the ingredients immediately after the quinoa is finished cooking. Enjoy!

2. For a cold salad, allow the quinoa to cool before combining all the ingredients and chill for at least an 1 hour in the fridge.

Cheddar Meatloaf Meatballs

13 May
Meatloaf meatballs with homemade ketchup style sauce.

Cheddar meatloaf meatballs with homemade ketchup style sauce.

Sauce*

  • 6 oz can of tomate paste
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 water
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce

*This sauce is quite similar to homemade ketchup.

1. In a small pot, add all the sauce ingredients. Combine.

2. Place pot on a burner and gently stir until sauce begins to bubble.

3. Once the sauce begins to bubble, turn down to the lowest heat and simmer covered for 20 minutes.

4. While the sauce simmers, make the cheddar meatloaf meatballs.

Meatloaf formed into meatballs.

Meatloaf with cheddar formed into meatballs.

Meatloaf meatballs (makes approximately 20):

  • 1 lb of extra lean ground beef
  • 1 small onion, peeled and grated
  • 1 slice of bread softened with milk
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 cup of diced cheddar cheese
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp each of basil and/or oregano
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground pepper

1. In a mixing bowl, thoroughly combine all the meatloaf ingredients.

2. Form mixture into one inch diameter balls and place  meatloaf meatballs onto a lined baking sheet. (Alternatively, make into one meatloaf round and adjust baking time appropriately.)

Meatloaf meatballs with homemade ketchup style sauce.

Meatloaf meatballs with homemade ketchup style sauce.

3. Place a scoop of sauce onto each meatball.

4. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes at  375º in a preheated oven. Serve while hot.

TIP: Turn any left over meatloaf meatballs into a meatball sub.

This reciped is inspired from Chef Michael’s Kitchen.

Chicken Salad Rolls

29 Apr
Freshly made salad rolls with chicken, basil, carrots and cucumbers.

Freshly made salad rolls with chicken, basil, carrots and cucumbers.

Salad rolls are traditionally served cool and hence ideal for summer time. They are also light, refreshing and healthy.

  • rice paper, about 15 sheets
  • (rice) vermicelli noodles, boiled as instructed and then thoroughly rinsed with cold water, drain well
  • 1lb ground chicken*
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • a few tbsps soy sauce
  • 1 tbsps honey
  • 2 tbsps oil
  • one small onion, finely chopped
  • one carrot, cut into match sticks
  • cucumber (same amount as carrots), cut into match sticks
  • juice of half a lime
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • a few fresh basil leaves

*Instead of chicken, try grilled shrimp or thinly sliced bbq beef or pork. For a vegetarian style salad roll, visit Frugal Feeding.

Rice paper.

Rice paper.

1. In a bowl, combine carrots, cucumber and lime juice. Add a sprinkle of sea salt. Allow mixture to marinate for 15 to 20 minutes.

Cucumbers and carrots with lime juice and sea salt.

Cucumbers and carrots with lime juice and sea salt.

2. In a wok on high heat, add in oil, garlic and onions. Cook until onions are soft, then add in chicken.

3. Use a wooden spoon to break up the ground chicken as much as possible. If chicken appears dry, add a splash of water.

4. When the chicken is almost done, season with honey, ground pepper and soy.

5. Choose a shallow dish with sides that is  large enough to fit the rice paper. (A pie plate works nicely.)

6. Fill dish halfway with hot water.  TIP: have a kettle of just boiled water ready on the side and once the water in the dish begins to cool, top up with more kettle water.

7. Gently place one rice paper sheet into water. The rice paper will soften in a few seconds. Once this is achieved, remove from the water and onto a plate or cutting board.

Rice paper with vermicelli noodles.

Rice paper with vermicelli noodles.

Rice paper with vermicelli, chicken, carrots and cucumbers.

Rice paper with vermicelli, chicken, basil, carrots and cucumbers.

8. Add a small handful of vermicelli noodles, a scoop of the ground chicken and a few of the marinated carrots and cucumber. Place the filling a little off center.

9. Tear a few pieces of basil leave and add to the filling.

Rolling the rice rolls.

Rolling the rice rolls.

10. Begin by rolling the portion of the rice paper nearest the filling. Roll about halfway and then fold the sides inward towards the center. Finish rolling. The rice paper is naturally sticky so it will seal itself.

11.  The first salad roll is finished. Repeat steps 7 to 9 to make the remaining rolls.

12. Chill salad rolls in the fridge before serving. Store in an airtight contain so that the rice paper does not dry out.

Assembling the salad rolls is very simple but a little time consuming. This task may be fun for kids.

Homemade Ketchup

22 Apr
Homemade ketchup stored in a pickling jar.

Homemade ketchup stored in a pickling jar.

The following recipe makes approximately 1.5 cups of ketchup.

  • 6 oz tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar (add another tablespoon of sugar if you prefer sweeter ketchup)
Ketchup mixture simmering in a sauce pan.

Ketchup mixture simmering in a sauce pan.

1. Add all the ingredients to a sauce pan.

2. Place sauce pan on burner and combine well.

3. Allow the mixure to begin boiling.

4. Once mixture is boiling, turn down heat so that the sauce is simmering.

5. Allow the sauce to simmer for approximately 20 minutes. Stir often.

6. Remove from burner and allow ketchup to completely cool before storing in a air tight container. Refrigerate.

Roasted potato wedges with homemade ketchup.

Roasted potato wedges with homemade ketchup.