Friday, May 18, 2012

Orange Lemonade

Uff, I haven’t published anything for some time ... and not because of lack of recipes, but time! Today I bring you something quick, easy and refreshing. Ideal for the coming hot days.

The other day, my kids wanted to drink something else (to water) with their meal, so I made orange lemonade for them.

When I was a kid I had a book and I remember this recipe (or something similar) being there. I normally have a terrible memory, but for some reason, I remember this... so I decided to put it here.


4 oranges
2 lemons
4 tablespoons of sugar
A sprig of mint (optional)
½ litre of water
Ice cubes

Squeeze the fruit.
Add remaining ingredients and mix well.

Saturday, April 28, 2012


My husband, as any good Briton, loves marmalade. And the bitterer it is, the better, which is something I still don’t fully understand… But if he is happy with his super bitter marmalade, here I am willing to harvest the entire crop from the promenade’s trees.

Here is the recipe. I got it from an English cookery book and it is called “Busy woman’s marmalade”. I don’t want to even imagine how the recipe would be for “Woman with a lot of free time marmalade”.


8 seville oranges
1 juicy orange
1 juicy lemon
1 litre of water
1.5 kg of sugar

Squeeze out juice from all the fruit. Put pips in a jug with some water. This will provide pectin that will thicken the marmalade.

Put the halved fruit cases through a mincer using finest blades.

Put the minced fruit into the juice and water and leave to soak until the next day.

Then turn soaked fruit, juice and water into a pot adding the strained water from the pips. 

Bring to boil and boil gently until peel is soft when pinched between finger and thumb.

Add sugar and boil rapidly until marmalade sets when tested. To do this, take a teaspoonful of marmalade on to a cold plate. Allow to cool. The surface should set and wrinkle when pushed with the finger.

Allow to cool a little but pot while still warm into sterilised jars. Fill jars to the very top, close with the lid and place upside down until they have completely cool down.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Apple tart

I first tried this tart at my neighbour’s and I found it delicious. I think it's a recipe from one of the Thermomix’s books, but you do not need to have one to make it. The most laborious part is to prepare the apples and this must be done by hand.

This tart is bound to be a success!


6 (or more) Golden or Pippin apples
2 egg yolks
1 egg
150 g of white sugar
130 g unsalted butter
1 Tbsp. of brandy
170 g flour
1 sachet of baking powder
1 pinch of salt
1 lemon
Ground cinnamon and brown sugar (for topping)

Peel, remove the core and cut the apples into quarters. Finely slice the outside of each quarter without separating them. Sprinkle some lemon juice to prevent browning.

Mix the eggs, sugar, butter and brandy. Then add to this mixture the flour with the baking powder and salt.

Put the mixture in a baking mould. It should be large enough so that it spreads into a not too thick layer. Cover as much as possible with the apple quarters, exposing the slices. Sprinkle generously with a mixture of brown sugar and cinnamon.

Bake at 180 degrees C for 45 minutes or until the cake is completely done.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Green Asparagus Soup

Certainly, this is one of my favourite soups. I had to wait for a few months until I could find local green asparagus.

This soup is made with bread and almonds, what makes it quite filling. With this soup and not much more you have a proper lunch. You have to try it.

Instead of asparagus, you can also make this soup with monkfish or shrimp, clams and any fish and you get a delicious fish soup.


1 bunch of green asparagus
8 or 10 peeled raw almonds
1 slice of bread
2 cloves of garlic
1 onion
2 tomatoes, peeled
Olive oil
A sprig of parsley
Ground cumin
Ground black pepper
Yellow food colouring

In a pot put plenty of water and some salt and cook the asparagus, rinsed and chopped.

Meanwhile, fry until golden the almonds, garlic and bread in a frying pan with a good splash of oil. As they are ready, take them out and put them in the mixer. In the remaining oil fry the onion and tomatoes cut into chunks. Add the parsley at the last minute to prevent burning. Pour this chunky sauce into the mixer (along with almonds, bread and garlic), add water and liquidise thoroughly.

Pour this mixture into the boiling water with the asparagus. Add ground cumin and ground pepper to taste. You can also add some yellow colouring to make it look even more appetizing. Let it boil for 5 minutes and ready.

It goes very well accompanied by croutons and chopped hard boiled egg.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Homemade white bread

My adventures as a home baker started many months ago. I live in the outskirts of a town and do not have a nearby bakery where I could go walking, and to be honest I don’t feel like driving just to buy bread. Normally, I buy bread at the supermarket and freeze it, but half the time is burned or undercooked. On the other hand, my kids do not like the industrial sandwich bread. Result: I started making bread myself.

I did not have any kneading machine so I had to do all the work by hand. Something very comforting to the first two or three times, but since I don’t have much spare time, I soon got bored of my baking-hobby (in addition, hand kneading is very tiring!).

And that was it, until a couple of months ago when I got a bread machine; one of those they sell in Lidl. You just have to put the ingredients into the container, press the program and it does everything by itself! You do not have to worry about rising time or about not burning the bread in the oven. Fantastic!

Since then I make bread almost every week. This is the basic recipe for white bread. It is based on one included in the book "Pan" by Xavier Barriga, I just add some olive oil.

WHITE BREAD (for 750 g bread)

500 g flour (I use all-purpose flour)
2 teaspoons salt
300 ml of water
5 g of fresh yeast
1 tablespoon olive oil

  • Using a bread machine

The procedure is very simple. Put all ingredients in the container, starting with the liquids. Chose program 1 (Normal) that lasts 3 hours, weight 750g, medium roast (or more you like it). When the bread is ready, remove from the container and put it in a rack to cool.

  • Mixing by hand

Put all ingredients except the yeast and water in a bowl. Add the water slowly while mix by hand.

When the dough has absorbed all the water take it out of the bowl and put it on a floured surface. Stretch and fold the dough over itself several times until the dough acquires a smooth appearance. It's time to put the yeast and a little water in the center of the dough and continue kneading until fully incorporated. Form a ball with the dough and put it in a bowl covered with a damp cloth in a warm place until doubles its volume.

Then, shape the bread. For example, you can make baguettes, or put the dough into a rectangular mold. Cover with a damp cloth and let the dough ferment, i.e. doubles its volume again.

Preheat oven to 230 degrees C and placed inside a small saucepan with wet rags (this will generate steam during the baking and it will help to form the crust).

With a sharp knife, make a couple of cuts in the bread and put it in the oven. Lower the temperature to 200 degrees C. Cook the bread until it is ready (the time depends on the shape and size of the bread). To find out if it's cooked inside, when tapping the bottom of the bread it should sound hollow.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Chicken breast stuffed with ham

Uff, I am so busy at the moment! I made this recipe some time ago and I haven’t have time to publish it until now.

This way of preparing chicken is ideal for children. My mother made it for us and now I make it for my children! As you see, it's a traditional recipe. :-)

Perhaps the most difficult part is to prepare the chicken breast to be filled in, but once you get that it is really easy.


1 boneless chicken breast
Several slices of ham (Parma or serrano)
3 or 4 cloves of garlic
1 bay leaf
Thyme (or mixture of herbs de Provence)
White wine
Olive oil
Black pepper
White sewing thread

The first thing is to open the chicken breast. The idea is to open it to resemble a large filet. To do this, with a sharp knife make a cut along the center of the breast without reaching the end (i.e., without dividing the breast in two) from here cut each half extending it outwards, as if you were unrolling each half. It doesn't matter if it tears in some parts, you can overlay the torn parts so that no gaps are left. Once you get a flat chicken breast, cover it with slices of ham and some black pepper (you can also add garlic powder if you like more garlic flavour).

Roll up the breast with the ham, leaving the ham inside. Roll the sewing thread around the chicken roll so that it doesn’t open while cooking it and add salt to taste.

In a deep saucepan put a good splash of olive oil and when hot put the chicken roll to brown. If the pan is not nonstick, I recommend you to move the roll constantly until browned on all sides. Add the garlic cloves (just with a cut), bay leaf, thyme and peppercorns. When the garlic is browned add a glass of white wine and water until the roll is nearly covered. Cover the pot and let cook over medium heat until the liquid has evaporated and has become a sauce.

Take the roll out of the pot and when it is not too hot remove the thread. Cut it into slices and serve with the sauce that was left after cooking.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Courgette soup

A basic recipe in the kitchen; because it's easy, quick to prepare and very healthy! And if you do not like courgettes, you can always replace it with another vegetable such as broccoli.


2 courgettes
1 medium size onion (or leek)
1 medium size potato
1 clove of garlic
Olive oil
Salt and ground black pepper

Peel and roughly cut the onion and garlic and put them to fry with some oil in a pot. Make sure they do not burn.

Peel and cut the courgettes and potatoes and add to the pot.

Add water to cover and let cook over medium heat and covered with a lid. When the vegetables are tender liquidize everything in a blender. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve.

You can serve with a drizzle of olive oil and a few croutons or small cubes of serrano ham.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


Hummus is a paste made from cooked chickpeas and tahini, originally from Arab countries. My Iraqi friend Ban told me this recipe over ten years ago... (Time flies!). Today it is a well known dish everywhere.

Ban always served it accompanied by Arabic bread (I use pita bread instead) and a tabbouleh made ​​with parsley, which I'll show another time.

You can boil the chickpeas yourself or use them from a jar, which it is very handy.

For those who do not know, the tahini is a sesame seed paste. You can buy it in health food stores or specialized stores.


1 jar of cooked chickpeas
1 garlic
2 tablespoons of tahini
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
Ground cumin
Ground black pepper

Rinse the chickpeas well to remove the liquid in which they are preserved (you don’t have to do this if you cooked the chickpeas yourself, of course).

Put all the ingredients in the bowl of a blender and grind it all. If it is too thick you can add some water, more oil or lemon juice, as you prefer.

Serve in a shallow dish with a drizzle of olive oil. You can also sprinkle with paprika.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Yellow potatoes side-dish

These potatoes are ideal as side-dish, I always serve them with grilled fish.

This recipe is from my aunt Mari and to be honest, I don’t know what she calls them. At home we call them “Yellow potatoes” for obvious reasons.

I usually use normal potatoes peeled and diced, but for a special occasion try using salad potatoes, the result is even better.


3 Potatoes
Several cloves of garlic
1 or 2 bay leaves
Olive oil
White wine
Black pepper

Peel the potatoes and cut into medium dice. In a pan with a splash of olive oil put the garlic (unpeeled and with a cut) and the bay leaves. Sauté everything for a few minutes.

Then add a good splash of white wine, some turmeric (mostly for color), salt and pepper. Add water until potatoes are covered and cook over medium heat covered with a lid. Stir occasionally and cook until tender. By then, the liquid must have completely evaporated (except the oil, of course).

Friday, March 2, 2012

Tuna pie

Perfect for birthday parties or any other event where you have guests and you are going to prepare some snacks.

Buying ready-made puff pastry, the only time consuming task is to prepare the ratatouille (and even this, you can buy it canned ready-made).


2 sheets of puff pastry
2 boiled eggs
2 small cans of tuna
Beaten egg or milk (to paint the pastry)
And for the ratatouille:
2 onions
3 Italian green peppers
2 cloves of garlic
1 zucchini
4 or 5 ripe tomatoes
Olive oil

In a pan with some oil sauté the onion, pepper and garlic (everything finely chopped). You can add some salt at this point to help cooking the vegetables. When the onion begins to turn transparent, add the zucchini, cut into small cubes. Continue to sauté, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.

Peel and cut the tomatoes and add to the vegetables. Let everything cook until tomatoes turn into sauce. Add more salt if needed. If the result is slightly acidic, you can also add some sugar.

When the tomato mixture has cooled assemble the pie.

Place a sheet of puff pastry on the baking sheet on top of parchment paper. Prick the pastry with a fork over the entire surface to prevent it from rising when you bake it. Distribute the ratatouille on the pastry, leaving a 1 cm margin all around. Add the chopped hard boiled eggs and flaked tuna. Cover with the second sheet of pastry and seal the edges by pressing the pastry with your fingers or a fork. Prick the top pastry with a fork and make two small cuts so that the steam generated inside when baking can escape. Paint with beaten egg or milk and bake at 220 degrees C until the pastry is golden brown.