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Featured Recipe: 35 Recipes to make the most of Asparagus Season

Mango and Vanilla Ice Cream Trifles

Friday, December 30, 2011 | © 2011 | | © 2011 |

Trifle, a lovely and very British dessert dish, is usually made from vanilla custard, fruit, cake and whipped cream, very similar to parfait. These ingredients are usually arranged into layers in the trifle bowl.
A traditional English trifle uses stale sponge or pound cake, which may be soaked in alcohol, like sherry or port wine. Over time, many variations on the original recipe have been created. Nuts or layers of whipped cream may be added for variety. The flavour of the custard may also be changed to complement the flavour of the cake.
Here is my leftover tribute to this English dessert with its multiple layers in glass. Dip your spoon into this sweet delight to end your New Year’s celebration with these individual delicious trifles.

  • 500 ml Vanilla ice cream, softened
  • 200 g Cream cheese, softened
  • 250 g Mango puree
  • 10 Spekulatius cookies, crumbled
  • 200 g Whipped cream
  • Physalis fruit
  1. In a large mixing bowl using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add the softened vanilla ice cream and beat until thoroughly combined.
  2. First arrange the half of the cookie crumbs over the bottoms of glasses. Next spoon on the mango puree, to just cover the cookie crumbs. Lastly cover the puree with cream mixture and then repeat the layers once more.
  3. Pipe the whipped cream on top and garnish with a physalis. Chill in the fridge until ready to serve. | © 2011 | | © 2011 |

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Potato and Whole Grain Spelt Pancakes

Sunday, December 25, 2011 | © 2011 | | © 2011 |

There’s nothing like good old fashioned potato pancakes as a side dish. It’s an awesome way to use up leftover mashed potatoes. You can serve these potato pancakes with meat patties, or simply enjoy them as breakfast.

May I take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy and blessed Christmas and success and health for the New Year 2012!

So wünsche ich Euch von Herzen ein frohes und gesegnetes Weihnachtsfest und viel Erfolg und Gesundheit für das Neue Jahr 2012!

  • 200 g Potatoes
  • 75 g Whole grain spelt flour
  • 1 tsp Baking powder
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Egg yolk
  • 100 ml Milk
  • Salt and white pepper
  • 3-4 tbsp Butter
  1. Thoroughly clean the potatoes and place them in a medium sized pot. Cover with cold water and bring to a boil. Add in about 1 teaspoon of salt. Cook, uncovered, until potatoes are tender all the way through, about 20 minutes.
  2. Drain potatoes and let cool slightly. Peel the potato and push potatoes through a ricer into a large bowl or mash with a large fork thoroughly. Add in spelt flour and baking powder, then add in whole egg and egg yolk. Gradually pour in milk, stirring well to make a smooth batter. Season the batter with salt and pepper.
  3. Place 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. When the butter turns a light amber, drop about 1 1/2 tablespoons of the batter in the skillet. You should be able to cook 3 pancakes at a time, allowing enough space between them so they have a nice round shape.
  4. Cook about 2 minutes on the first side, flip them over and cook about 1 minute longer. Remove from the pan, and keep warm. Continue adding butter to the pan and frying the rest of the batter. Serve the pancakes warm as a side with ground meat patties. | © 2011 | | © 2011 |

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Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic, Honey, and Walnuts

Wednesday, December 21, 2011 | © 2011 | | © 2011 |

Roasting is an easy cooking method that enhances the flavour of this hearty winter vegetables. Browned and crisp, those Brussels sprouts are roasted with a mixture of balsamic vinegar, olive oil and honey, then tossed with chopped walnuts and pomegranate pearls. While this humble and versatile side dish easy enough for weeknight meals, it's also good for the dinner parties.

  • 700 g Brussels sprouts, trimmed
  • 1 Shallots, sliced
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • 2-3 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tbsp Honey
  • 2-3 sprig Thyme
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp Walnuts, roasted and chopped
  • 1 tbsp Pomegranate pearls
  1. Preheat oven to 200C400F. Remove the outer leaves from Brussels sprouts and trim the stems. Cut the sprouts in half. Slice the shallots and place them in a roasting pan together with Brussels sprout halves.
  2. Combine olive oil, Balsamic vinegar and honey in a small bowl. Toss the Brussels with Balsamic mixture and thyme sprigs. Season with salt and black pepper.
  3. Roast, tossing twice during cooking, until the Brussels sprouts are tender and lightly browned, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven. Add in chopped roasted walnuts and pomegranate pearls. Serve immediately. | © 2011 | | © 2011 |

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Whole Grain Bulgur Salad with Mango and Walnut

Saturday, December 17, 2011 | © 2011 | | © 2011 |

Bulgur, or Bhulghur, is made by soaking and cooking the whole wheat kernel, drying it and then removing part of the bran and cracking into small pieces, which are sorted into different grain sizes: fine, medium and coarse. Whole grain coarse bulgur has the coarse bulgur size while it is darker in colour and has twice more fiber compared to regular bulgur. Bulgur will absorb twice its volume in water and can be used as a substitute for almost any rice dish. Bulgur is sometimes confused with cracked wheat, which is crushed wheat grain that has not been parboiled.
Bulgur has a mildly nutty and roasted flavour and can be used in baked goods, casseroles, stuffing, soups, salads. It is a good source of protein, iron, magnesium, and B vitamins. It is packed with fiber and contains very little fat. This is a very simple and delicious bulgur salad that's quick to put together and consists primarily of whole grain bulgur, mangoes and walnuts. | © 2011 |
  • 130 g Whole grain coarse bulgur
  • 500 ml Water
  • 1 tbsp Onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove Garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp Spring onions, finely sliced
  • 250 g Mango, diced
  • 1 handful Walnuts, roasted and coarsely chopped
  • 1 tbsp Avocado oil
  • Salt Sea salt & freshly mulled black pepper to taste
  1. Rinse the bulgur. Bring water to a boil, add in bulgur. Return to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for about 20 minutes until soft, but not mushy.
  2. Drain and transfer the bulgur into a large bowl. Stir in the chopped onion, minced garlic, spring onion slices, diced mango, chopped walnuts and avocado oil. Toss well. Season with salt and freshly mulled black pepper. Serve warm and chilled. | © 2011 | | © 2011 | | © 2011 |

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Marzipan Ravioli

Tuesday, December 13, 2011 | © 2011 | | © 2011 |

If you're looking for a way to add some fun to your holiday cookie platter or a delightful idea to share at a cookie swap, these little marzipan filled ravioli cookies are perfect for you. Feel free to substitute with your favourite fillings, like Nutella, cream cheese.

Marzipan Ravioli

adapted from Lecker
  • 225 g All purpose flour
  • 70 g Powdered sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 125 g Butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 100 g Marzipan, cut into small pieces
  • 2 tbsp Almond, chopped
  • 1 tsp Orange liqueur
  • 1 Egg yolk
  • 1 tbsp Milk
  • 25 g White chocolate (optional)
  • 25 g Dark chocolate (optional)
  1. Sift the flour, 50 grams of sugar, and salt into a mixing bowl. Add in butter, egg and vanilla extract. Mix with your fingertips until combined. Wrap the dough with a plastic film and chill for 1 hour.
  2. Place the marzipan pieces, remaining powdered sugar, chopped almonds and orange liquor in another bowl. Stir until all well combined.
  3. Remove the cookie dough from the fridge and place on a lightly floured work surface. Roll out thinly and cut into 50 squares, 2 inches by 2 inches. Mix the egg yolk and milk in a small bowl. Preheat the oven to 190C/375F.
  4. Brush half of the squares with egg wash. Place about a teaspoon marzipan filling in the center. Top with the remaining cookie squares, enclosing the filling, and crimp edges with a fork. Bake for about 15-20 minutes until lightly golden. Melt the chocolates separately and drizzle over the tops of cookie raviolis. | © 2011 | | © 2011 | | © 2011 |

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Chocolate Peanut Crumble Cookies

Monday, December 05, 2011 | © 2011 | | © 2011 |

A classic and divine combination of chocolate and peanuts. These buttery cookies simply melt in the mouth. Drizzle across the cookie top with some melted white chocolate if you are feeling sugar high and decadent.

Chocolate Peanut Crumble Cookies

adapted from Delicious
  • 30 g Unsalted butter
  • 40 g All purpose flour
  • 30 g Caster sugar
  • 60 g Unsalted peanuts, half roughly chopped
  • 115 g Unsalted butter
  • 115 g Caster sugar
  • 20 g Smooth peanut butter
  • 1 Large egg
  • 160 g All purpose flour
  • 20 g Dutch cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp Baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp Baking soda
  • 100 g 70% Semisweet chocolate, chopped
  1. Preheat the oven to 190C/375F and line two baking trays with parchment paper. Make the topping. In a large mixing bowl, rub the butter into the flour and sugar with your fingertips, until a soft, crumbly dough is formed. Add the chopped and whole peanuts, then set aside.
  2. Prepare the cookie dough by creaming cream the sugar, butter and peanut butter in a separate mixing bowl. Add the egg and beat again. Sift in the flour, cocoa, and baking powder and add the chopped chocolate. Mix well to form a soft dough.
  3. Roll the mixture into 20 small balls and divide between the baking trays, spacing well apart. Press each cookie down and top with a little crumble mix. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the crumble topping is golden, then remove from the oven and leave for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. | © 2011 | | © 2011 |

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Crostini with Scrambled Eggs, Avocado and Smoked Salmon

Friday, December 02, 2011 | © 2011 | | © 2011 |

Rich, salty smoked salmon and smooth, creamy avocado have given this classic light egg scramble dish a sophisticated touch and star appeal. These crostini can be a terrific Christmas appetizer when you need to bring something to a holiday dinner or if you are throwing one at home. A sublime flavour combination that’s perfect for entertaining any crowd.

  • 3 Large eggs
  • 1 tbsp Sour cream
  • 1 tbsp Fresh chives or green scallions, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 20 g Canola
  • 1/2 Avocado, diced
  • 1/2 tbsp Lemon juice
  • 4 slice Smoked salmon
  • 3-4 English muffins or wholewheat or pumpernickel bread, toasted
  1. Break the eggs in a large bowl, add in sour cream, chives and seasoning. Whisk to blend everything together. Heat oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Pour the egg mixture into the pan and cook until just barely set, 2-3 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, toast bread. Put avocado into a bowl, mash with a fork, and season with lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Spread mashed avocado over each slice of toast. Spoon eggs over avocado. Drape salmon slices over eggs. Garnish, if desired, with chives. | © 2011 | | © 2011 |

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Thai Style Salmon Fritters

Tuesday, November 29, 2011 | © 2011 | | © 2011 |

A perfect party starter, these salmon fritters are coated with batter and deep fried until crisp and golden brown. They are best eaten fresh out of the oil while they're still hot and crisp.
I have substituted a few ingredients as I don't happen to have them on hand. Please do visit I Just Love My Apron for the authentic and original recipe.

  • 2 Eggs
  • 150 ml Whole milk
  • 1/2 tbsp Fish sauce
  • 1/2 Lime, juiced
  • 150 g All purpose flour
  • 2 tsp Baking powder
  • 1 tsp White pepper
  • 1 tbsp Red curry powder
  • 1/2 tbsp Lime zest
  • 1 cup Frozen green peas, thawed and drained
  • 1 tin /225 g Alaska redhead wild sockeye, drained and flaked
  • 250 g Fresh salmon, sliced
  • Oil for frying
  • Some fresh celery leaves
  • Salt and Cayenne pepper for dusting
  1. Beat eggs, milk, fish sauce and lime juice in a mixing bowl until everything is incorporated. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, white pepper, red curry powder and lime zest.
  2. Add the flour mixture into the egg mixture. Stir until just incorporated. Add in drained green peas, tinned and fresh salmons to the batter. Stir until well combined.
  3. Add oil to a saucepan and heat it up to 190C/375F. Line a baking tray with paper. Preheat your oven to 100C/210F.
  4. Drop by tablespoon into hot deep oil. Don't overcrowd. Once they are nicely brown, remove from the pan and keep warm in the oven and repeat the process until you have finished the batter.
  5. Sprinkle the fried fritters with salt and cayenne pepper. Use same oil to fry fresh celery leaves until crispy. Place the fritters on a platter and top with celery leaves. Serve salmon fritters hot accompanied with preferred yogurt dressing. | © 2011 | | © 2011 |

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Cinnamon Spelt Ring aka Estonian Bread Kringel

Saturday, November 26, 2011 | © 2011 | | © 2011 | | © 2011 |

This cinnamon bread, also knows as “Bread Kringel”, has been baked for hundreds of years in Estonia, for holidays, birthdays celebrations and special occasions. It originated in Germany and is basically a sweet enriched bread that’s twisted into the shape of a pretzel or a simple ring.
Recipe inspired by Chocolateoblivion

  • 125 ml Milk, lukewarm
  • 1 Egg yolk, small
  • 30 g Walnut oil
  • 1 tbsp Maple syrup
  • 100 g Wholegrain spelt flour
  • 200 g Spelt flour
  • 7 g Instant dried yeast
  • 50 g Butter, melted and cooled
  • 3 tbsp Sugar
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon powder
  • 2 tbsp Slivered almond, optional
  • Powdered sugar, optional
  1. Place milk, egg yolk, walnut oil and maple syrup in the pan of your bread machine. Add in flours and the dried yeast. Select the “Dough” cycle, and press “Start”.
  2. Mix together the cooled butter, sugar and cinnamon powder in a bowl. When the “Dough” cycle is finished, transfer the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead it briefly.
  3. Divide the dough in half. Using a rolling pin, roll each out into a 1cm thick rectangle. Spread the 1/3 cinnamon butter mixture evenly over the dough, leaving a 1cm border. Roll dough up, starting lengthwise to form a Swiss roll. Seal edges well by pinching close and slice it in half lengthwise, leaving 5cm intact.
  4. Turn each half cut-side up and carefully plait the halves together, keep the cut-side up to expose the filling. Join both ends to form a round wreath and transfer to a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
  5. Brush the bread top with the remaining cinnamon mixture. Scatter the silvered almonds over if used. Preheat the oven to 190C/375F. Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Dust with powdered sugar if desired. | © 2011 | | © 2011 | | © 2011 |

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Poppy Thumbprints with Lemon Curd

Tuesday, November 22, 2011 | © 2011 | | © 2011 |

Those buttery cookies, which are rolled in poppy seeds and filled with homemade lemon curd or with your favourite jam., are perfect for the holidays. You can replace poppy seeds with finely chopped nuts or coconut shreds. Thoroughly delicious and a welcome addition to any cookie tray.

Lemon CurdCookie
  • 2 Eggs
  • 130 g Caster sugar
  • 65 g Butter
  • Juice and zest of 2 lemons
  • 280 g All purpose flour
  • 1 tsp Freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1/5 tsp Salt
  • 200 g Unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 60 g Granulated white sugar
  • 1 Large egg yolk
  • 1 tsp Lemon extract
  • 50 g Poppy seeds
  1. Whisk the eggs and sugar in a saucepan until smooth, then place pan over a low heat. Add the butter, lemon juice and zest and whisk continuously until thickened. Strain through a sieve into a sterilised jar. Lemon curd keeps, covered, in the fridge for 2 weeks.
  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and lemon zest. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy with a hand mixer. Add egg yolk and lemon extract. Beat until combined. Sift the flour mixture into the creamed butter mixture and mix until the dough starts to come together. Dump on a floured board and roll together into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Line a large baking tray with parchment paper. Roll the dough into 1-inch balls and lightly roll it in poppy seeds. Place on the prepared baking tray and press a light indentation into the top of each with your finger. Drop 1/2 teaspoon of lemon curd into each indentation. Bake for 15-18 minutes until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool. | © 2011 | | © 2011 | | © 2011 |

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Reginette with Radicchio and Hazelnut Cream Sauce

Friday, November 18, 2011 | © 2011 | | © 2011 |

A really simple pasta dish with crunchy bitter radicchio, that’s balanced by the rich, earthy taste of roasted hazelnuts and luscious, fresh cream. Some chopped roasted nuts would be a nice addition sprinkled on top. Serve with some garlic bread for a complete meal.

Reginette with Radicchio and Hazelnut Cream Sauce

Inspire by Robyn Cooks and All Recipes
  • 100 g Reginette
  • 1 Radicchio, rinsed and sliced
  • 40 g Ground hazelnuts, toasted
  • 30 g Butter
  • 120 ml Low-fat cream
  • 1 tsp Brandy
  • Salt and freshly mulled black pepper
  1. Cook the reginette in in a large saucepan of rapidly boiling salted water until al dente, about 9 minutes.
  2. In the meantime, toast the ground hazelnut in a small skillet over medium-high heat for a couple of minutes, stirring constantly. Lower heat, then add the butter, stir until melted, then add the cream and brandy. Stir to combine, and cook until thickened, 5 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
  3. To serve, pile some radicchio into the bottom of a rimmed soup bowl, then top with reginette. Spoon the sauce over the top. Serve immediately. | © 2011 | | © 2011 |
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