yogurt cake with dark chocolate

You can not control the temptation of licking the batter every time you whisk it.  I have baked it for my daughter’s birth day and it was finished in 10 minutes, even before every guest has arrived. I remember I have made a really simple glaze with icing sugar. A friend gave me this recipe, who I thank so much, of course I have adjusted some things to my desire.

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It can be a quick go to sponge cake for get together, birthday, etc. It will serve at least 8, with leftovers for breakfast. It’s barely sweet and it’s perfectly acceptable as a breakfast. You can serve the cake warm or at room temperature dusted with simply icing sugar or cacao powder. You can serve the cake warm or at room temperature dusted with simply icing sugar or cacao powder.

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yield – 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs(separated )
  • 200g(7/8 cups) sugar
  • 125g/ 1 and 1/2 cups Greek yogurt
  • 112 ml/  1/2 cup sunflower oil
  • 50g/0,22cups dark chocolate in powder (70%)
  • 100g ( 1 and 1/3cups) all purpose flour
  • 150g (2/3cups) cornstarch
  • 16g (1/8cups) 1 tablespoon backing powder with vanilla (but if it is only backing powder add 1 teaspoon vanilla)
  • pinch of salt

procedure

  1. preheat oven at 180C/ 350F
  2. Spray a 20cm/8″ round tin with oil and line with baking/parchment paper and set aside
  3. add the sugar in the yolk and mix well with an electric mixer till creamy white
  4. whisk in the vegetable oil and the yogurt
  5. now it is time to add the dark chocolate and incorporate well
  6. then mix together the flour and baking powder
  7. using sift add the flour a few at a time and mix making sure there is no lumps
  8. mount the egg white, with a pinch of salt, until stiff and add in the mixture using spatula ( useful tip: make sure to mix from the bottom to the top gently)
  9. Pour the batter into the cake pan and bake for 35 minutes. When a tester/toothpick comes out clean, transfer the cake to a cooling rack and let it cool for 10 minutes before removing it from the pan. ENJOY

Oven Baked Spaghetti and Meatballs

Spaghetti and Meatballs is a perfect family friendly meal. It is baked topped with lots of cheese, until hot, bubbly, and melted gooey! I have made half of my Spaghetti and Meatball with out any kind of cheese because my beloved husband prefers his portion with out it. so I made it half white and half red. cool right!

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A simple casserole made with layers of pasta, tomato sauce, cheese, spice and of course meatballs. Yammy.

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The reason I mix the pasta with the sauce is because the starch released from the pasta creates a sauce that is silkier and clings better to the pasta than cooking the sauce and pasta separately.

This is the right way to mix a pasta and its sauce(any kind of sauce). Almost every pasta dish should be finished off by tossing the almost-cooked pasta in the sauce with a splash of pasta water. Doing this thickens the pasta sauce and it clings to every strand of pasta so you don’t end up with a pool of pasta sauce at the bottom of the bowl.

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It can also be a really good leftover for the coming day. you just have to put it in a micro wave and heat it up.

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yield   4 -5 servings

Ingredients

Tomato sauce

  • 2 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 garlic minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilly powder/ chilly pepper
  • 700ml/1.4lb tomato sauce
  • pinch of salt and black pepper

Meatballs

  • 1/2 medium red onion
  • 1/2 medium celery(with out the string)
  • 400g/ 1lb ground beef
  • 1 egg beaten
  • herbs (a mixture of 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme and 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano )
  • 1 teaspoon of soy sauce
  • a pinch of nutmeg
  • bread crumbs(enough to make the meat a little bit dry )
  • a little bit of oil to sauté the onion and celery
  • a little bit of oil to cook the meatballs

Pasta

  • 300g/ 11oz spaghetti
  • boiling water
  • salt for the water
  • 2 large eggs for latter use

Garnish

  • chopped chives
  • grated mozzarella cheese as needed
  • grated Parmesan as needed

Procedure

  1. heat the oven to 150C/302F
  2. oil your 21/2 quarts or 9 inch square baking dish
  3. lets start from the sauce because it is gonna take 30minutes to cook and it has to reduce by half
  4. so heat the oil in a pot on a medium heat add the garlic and the chilly powder, after 2seconds.Add the tomato sauce put on the cover and turn the heat to low, stir every now and then
  5. boil the water for the pasta. When boiled cook to packet instruction( useful tip: always put away some of the cooking water you never know when it will come in handy)
  6. now the meatballs, sauté the onion and the celery till soft
  7. in a big bowl put in the meat, the egg, all the herbs, the soy sauce, the nutmeg,the sautéed onion and  the bread crumbs mix well
  8. Shape into 8 dozen small meatballs 1 to 1 1/2 inches in diameter
  9. cook all in a pan with a little bit of oil till golden brown
  10. it is time to salt and pepper the tomato sauce
  11. at this point I like to add the cooked meatballs in the tomato sauce, with a little bit of cooking water, so that they will flavor each other(5 – 7minutes)
  12. then add the pasta in the pot mix well and verse in to the baking dish that you previously prepared
  13. now pour the two eggs that I have mentioned above on the pasta and pock the pasta with a fork that way the eggs will fall trough
  14. cook for 20 – 30 minutes or till golden brown
  15. sprinkle with some chives and ENJOY.

Beef and Vegetable Soup

To day is rainy here in Trento, so I decided to make a soup. A really good soup that can fill you up and warm you inside. My mother used to make this soup for the family.But I have made some changes cause there are some ingredients that my daughter doesn’t like. so you can add and leave some ingredients if you want to.

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If you want to make it in advance and refrigerate or make a larger portion and consume for coming days (up to three days) it is possible. But I suggest that you don’t mix the pasta with the soup because it will absorb all the liquid and becomes mushy. so cook the pasta for the day that you intend to use the soup. May be the soup tends to get thicker, in this case, heat up a broth and add.

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It is also very important selecting a suitable pasta,  the thinner the soup, the smaller the pasta.  For broths and light soups, select from a large assortment of tiny shapes.

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For the croûtons simply take a day or two old bread cut it in medium squares, on a pan with a little bit of butter/ olive oil toast it till golden brown. It is crunchy. We also eat this as a snack in my home.

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yield  4 -5 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 fresh garlic minced (1 teaspoon dried garlic)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger grated (1 teaspoon dried ginger)
  • 1 medium red onion chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili pepper
  • 250g/ 1/2lb minced ground beef
  • 50ml/0.2cups dry white wine
  • 1 medium carat cleaned and cut in small squares
  • 2 medium potatoes cleaned and cut in small squares
  • 1 litter (4 cups) vegetable broth
  • 20g/0.7oz pastina
  • 300g/ 11oz small drayed pasta
  • salt

Garnish

  • chilly (spicy) oil
  • rosemary
  • croûtons
  • fresh grated Parmesan cheese

Procedure

  1. first thing is first boil the vegetable broth
  2. heat the oil in a pot on a medium high and the garlic and ginger and cook till you smell the onion ( useful tip:do not burn the garlic or else it will be bitter)
  3. add the onion and cook till soft about 5 minutes ( useful tip:if it tends to burn add a little bit of broth and cover the pot) then add the chilly pepper and go for another 2 minutes
  4. add the beef and cook till it finishes its liquid, breaking it up as you go, until no longer pink – 3 minutes
  5. add the wine increase heat to high and let the alcohol evaporate, 5 seconds, and remain the sweet test of the wine decrease the heat
  6. add the carat and half of the broth cover the pot and cook till nearly soft about 10 minutes
  7. add potatoes cook another 5 minutes  add the rest of the broth
  8. now add the pastina and the pasta cook for 8-9 minutes the past should be just about cooked. The pasta should  be cooked – tender but firm.
  9. taste and adjust salt. put in a bowl, drizzle chilly oil, grate the cheese, spread some croûtons and ENJOY

Mini Burger

This mini burger is our Saturday lunch. Almost every Saturday. It is succulent, crunchy and gooooood. Noting more to say…………

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If you do not want to add the egg it is okay. But you have to reduce on the quantity of the bread crumbs because we put it to absorb some of the moist from the egg.

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yield- 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 8 burger bread
  • 400g/1lb red meat
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1/2 celery with out the strings
  • a mixture of 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme and 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 egg
  • 30g/0,066ib bread crumbs
  • melting cheese of your choice
  • 8 lettuce leaves
  • 8 slices of tomatoes
  • 16 slices of fresh cucumber
  • salt
  • extra virgin olive oil

Procedure

  1. cut the red onion and celery in small pieces and put in a blender and blend well
  2. heat a non stick pan with a little bit of oil and cook the onion and the celery till transparent and soft
  3. season with salt and set aside
  4. put the meat in a bowl, beat the egg in a separate bowl and add to meat
  5. add the cooked onion, the dried herbs, some salt and mix well
  6. then add the bread crumbs and mix well (if the meat is sticky on your palms add more bread crumb)
  7. take a hand full (about 70g/0.15lb) for each mini burger make a ball and flatten it between the palms of your hands
  8. heat a big non stick pan with a bit of oil on a medium heat
  9. cook the burgers for 5 minutes on each side and after you put on the cheese for another 2 minutes
  10. cut the burger bread and assemble first lettuces then tomatoes then cucumber after that the burger fill free to add ketchup or mayonnaise as you please. ENJOY

Vermicelli with mixture of vegetables

Just look at this testy dish. Very easy to make, healthy, quick and inviting. I took the idea from  Vietnamese Vermicelli Recipe and add my twist to it. It is still spicy but not hot so it is kind of adopted to kids and also adults who prefer otherwise.

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If you are not in favor of red onion you can always substitute with yellow onion but it is going to change the taste. Because the strong pinch that the red onion gives just does not exist in the yellow one it kind of has a softer test. I also prefer the red onion being caramelize and use on a burger or on top of  bruschetta.

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If you really think about it you can also use only the delicious vegetables as a side dish with meat or fish. Just do not forget to sprinkle the sesame because it will give the dish the extra flavor and good look.

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yield- 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 garlic pilled and chopped
  • 1/2 of medium red onion cut in long stripes
  • 3 medium carrot cut in a long and thin stripes
  • 1 medium celery cut in a long and thin stripes
  • 2 medium zucchini cut in a long and thin stripes
  • 2 teaspoons curry
  • sesame
  • pinch of salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • extra virgin olive oil

For the pasta

  • 400g of vermicelli pasta
  • salt
  • boiling water for the pasta

Procedure

  1. heat a large pot with a little bit of extra virgin olive oil.
  2. put in the garlic when you smell the wonderful odor put in the onion and sauté for 5 minutes till transparent and soft.
  3. add the carrot and cook for 5 minutes(if it tends to burn add a little water and cover the pot ).
  4. then add the celery and cook for another 5 minutes.
  5. then add the zucchini and cook for another 7 – 10 minutes.
  6. add the curry and mix well
  7. add salt and pepper
  8. while the vegetables are cooking put in the pasta and cook according to packets instruction.
  9. when cooked drain well but always keep a little bit of pasta water in case the pasta dries out
  10. put the pasta in the pot with the vegetables and toss well. If dried add the pasta water.
  11. serve sprinkled with sesame and a drizzle of the finest extra virgin olive oil. ENJOY.

 

Fusilli with roasted beet pesto

Beets are one of my families favorite vegetable.  It’s sweet and earthy flavor can easily make it any once choice for a side dish, salad, healthy drink, sauce and so on.

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Preparing the red beets pesto is not difficult, just tossing every ingredient i have mentioned below in to a mixer and blending them will give us the desired result.

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Tossing the pasta with the pesto is also an important step, it let’s the pasta acquires its gorgeous red color.Its intense color and the equilibrated test that it gets from the rocket salad and the other ingredients will make it an ideal lunch or dinner for kids.

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Yield – 4 servings

Ingredients

For the roasted beet pesto

  • 6 medium roasted red beets
  • 1/2 cup/ 113g almonds chopped
  • 1 minced garlic / 1 teaspoon garlic oil
  • 6 leaves rocket salad
  • 1/2 cup/ 113g Parmesan
  • 1/2 cup/ 119ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • pinch of salt
  • pepper
  • cooking water

For the pasta

  • 400g fusilli pasta
  • salt
  • handful chopped almond
  • some rocket salad leaves

procedure

  1. put the roasted beets in a mixer or blender with the almond, garlic, the rocket salad and blend very well.
  2. then add the Parmesan and start puring the oil slowly while blending and continue till obtaining a homogeneous mixture.
  3. for the final step put in pinch of salt and lemon juice then blend a bit more.
  4. if the pesto is dense we can pour a little bit of the cooking water later when worming it on a pan.
  5. now set aside the pesto and cook the pasta in a pot of salted water. Cook al dente about 2-3 minutes less than the recommended cooking time this later helps not to over cook the pasta.
  6. In the meantime transferred the beet pesto in a large pan and toss the pasta until well coated with the sauce.
  7. Spoon pasta on a plate. Garnish with some rocket salad, chopped almond, dash of freshly grounded pepper and drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil and serve immediately. ENJOY.

 

Red tart with lemon cream filling

This red tart is a joy to the eye, the palate and gives you the desire to eat just a little bit more. Very lemony-flavored with a crust that crumbles all over the plate but dares you to finish every bit of it.

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we are going to prepare the dough from the beginning, step by step so that in case we want to make a red velvety cookie on Christmas eve, we can go ahead and use our very dough.

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Ingredients

For the red tart

    • 7/8 cup/200g chilled and chopped butter
    • 3/4 cup/150g sugar
    • 2 yolks and 1 whole egg
    • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • pinch of salt
    • 10g red food coloring
    • 400g flour + some for dusting

For the filling

  • 200 ml water
  • 1/8 cup/30g butter
  • 1/8 cup/30g corn starch
  • 1 egg
  • 7/8 cup/200g sugar
  • 1 table spoon lemon zest
  • the juice of one lemon

procedure

  1. Preheat oven to 180c/350F.
  2. Spray a 20cm/8″ round tin with oil and line with baking/parchment paper. This is done.
  3. Now we are going to start from the red tart, mix the butter and the sugar in a big bowl.
  4. add the eggs well beaten with the vanilla, lemon zest, pinch of salt and baking powder.
  5. add the food coloring a little bit at a time and mix well.
  6. now add the flour, again a bit at a time and mix well till it is a dough.
  7. Then roll in a film and put in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  8. now let’s prepare the lemon cream first dissolve the corn starch in the amount of water mentioned above.
  9. then  in a pot add all the ingredients together and mix well with an egg beater.
  10. cook on a medium heat  stirring every now and then till it is a little bit dense.
  11. Now take it out and put the pot in a cold water so that it stops cooking and let it cool down.
  12. when the dough run its course,cut 1/3 of it for the upper crust, roll the rest out on the counter with a little bit of flour 1/2 an inch thick.
  13. put it in the pan make sure the boards are a little bit higher.Fill in the lemon cream.Make the strip on top and put in the oven for 30minutes.
  14. Rest for 10 minutes before lifting out of the pan. Allow to cool before cutting and enjoy.