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Featured Recipe: 37 Cucumber Recipes to keep you cool in hot Summer

Dark Rye Bread with Oats and Longans

Monday, May 28, 2012 | © 2011 |

The earthy flavour of dark rye, nuttiness of rolled oats, offsetting sweetness of dried longan flesh combine to make a dark brown bread that has rich hearty flavour and a dense chewy texture. Serve, lightly buttered, as a breakfast or as after-school snack.
Dried longans (“dragon eyes”) are high in iron, fiber, and considered to help with insomnia, stomach ache and to improve memory. Many Chinese believe longans can be used as an antidote for poison, and as a blood tonic, to nurture the heart and to add luster and beauty to the skin. You can purchase dried longans in most Asian supermarkets.

Dark Rye Bread with Oats and Longans

adapted from Brot backen - Köstliche Rezepte aus der guten alten Zeit
  • 500 g Dark rye flour (German #1150)
  • 40 g Fresh yeast
  • 1/2 tsp Sugar
  • 500 ml Water, lukewarm
  • 1 tbsp Sea salt
  • 350 g Dried longan flesh
  • 250 g Rolled oats | © 2011 | | © 2011 |

  1. Place dark rye flour in a large mixing bowl and make a well in the center. Crumble the fresh yeast and place them in a bowl together with sugar. Dissolve with 100 ml lukewarm water. Now put the yeast mixture into the flour well. Mix in some flour until it resembles thick porridge. Cover this starter and leave it aside for 30 minutes.
  2. Add in sea salt and the rest of the water. Stir until a pliable dough forms. Turn it out onto a floured work surface. Knead firmly, with floured hands, for 5 minutes. Shape the dough into a ball, covered, and proof at room temperature for about 60 minutes.
  3. Knead the dried longan flesh and rolled oats into the dough. Divide the dough into two portions. Shape them into a baton and boule. Place them on the baking tray lined with parchment paper. Cover and proof for 30 minutes at room temperature.
  4. Place a tray of water at the bottom of oven. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Bake the bread for 1 hour at the lower rack. Cool the bread on a rack. | © 2011 | | © 2011 | | © 2011 |

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Sweet Potato Salad with Baby Spinach and Feta

Thursday, May 24, 2012 | © 2011 |

Nothing tastes fresher, happier and better than a spring salad just picked from your own garden or windowsill. Besides that, salad is a great way to increase your fruit and vegetable consumption.
Baby spinach is amazingly easy to grow, as seeds germinate in cool weather. I started mine outdoors in containers around the mid-April and 3-4 weeks later, they were ready for harvest.
The flavour of this salad sparkles with the subtle depth and bright note of acidity from Balsamic vinegar, its tartness tempered by the natural sweetness of tasty, low-calorie roasted orange sweet potatoes.

  • 700 g Orange sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into slices
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 100 g Baby spinach
  • 1 handful Almonds, toasted and chopped
  • 1 Small red onions, cut into thin wedges
  • 100 g Feta, crumbled
  • 3 tbsp Balsamic
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • 2 tbsp Clear honey
  • 1 tbsp Wholegrain mustard
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Preheat a grill or broiler to medium-high. Place the potato slices, 2 tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper in a bowl. Toss well. Place them in a single layer on a baking sheet, and broil until they are nicely caramelised, 5 minutes on each side. Adjust the oven to the bake setting at the temperature 180C/350F. Cook for 15 minutes until they are fork tender.
  2. Toss baby spinach, toasted almonds, and red onions together and divide the mixture into two serving plates. Top with crumbled feta.
  3. Whisk the balsamic, olive oil, honey and mustard together. Season well. Pile sweet potato slices on top of the salad and drizzle with the dressing. | © 2011 | | © 2011 |

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Whole Wheat Cheese Crackers with Chives and Mustard

Monday, May 21, 2012 | © 2011 |

These delicious crackers are indulgently buttery, cheesy, flaky and practically melt in your mouth. A mix of sharp Cheddar and Grana Padano was used here, but if you can't get enough sharp-tasting cheese, then substitute Grana Padano with vintage Cheddar.

Whole Wheat Cheese Crackers with Chives and Mustard

adapted from Taste
  • 150 g Wholewheat flour
  • 150 g All purpose flour
  • 250 g Chilled butter, cut into smaller pieces
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 60 g Sharp Cheddar, grated
  • 60 g Grana Padano, grated
  • 3 tbsp Fresh chives, chopped
  1. Whisk and sift together the wholewheat flour and all purpose flour in a mixing bowl. Set aside. Line two baking trays with parchment papers.
  2. Beat chopped butter and mustard in a bowl until combined and creamy. Stir in the flour mixture, grated Cheddar, Grana Padano, and chives. Turn onto a lightly floured work surface. Use your hands to bring the dough together.
  3. Divide the dough into two equal portions. Roll out 1 portion onto a lightly floured work surface until about 5mm thick. Use a wave or flower 5cm-diamenter cookie cutter to cut cookies from the dough. Place on the prepared trays. Place them in the fridge for 15 minutes to chill.
  4. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Bake the cookies, swapping trays halfway through cooking, for 18-20 minutes or until golden. Set aside on the trays for 5 minutes to cool before transferring to a wire rack. Repeat with the remaining dough portion. Store the crackers in an airtight container for up to 1 week. | © 2011 | | © 2011 |

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Wholegrain Spelt Bread Rolls

Wednesday, May 16, 2012 | © 2011 |

These bread rolls are made with a mix of ground whole grain spelt and refined spelt flour. Spelt's nutty flavour doesn't just taste good, it has so many other nutritional benefits that are amazingly good for you.
Like wheat flour, it is sold as both refined / white or whole grain flour. Because it has an extremely fragile glutten content, so don’t expect bread that use spelt to rise high.
Spelt has the right combination of nutrients and can help you with Migraine Headaches, lower your risk of Type II Diabetes, Cardiovascular Disease, and help women avoid Gallstones and Breast Cancer. For an in-depth nutritional profile, please visit whfoods.

Wholegrain Spelt Bread Rolls

adapted from Dinkel-Vollkornbrötchen - brotbackforum
  • 400 g Wholegrain spelt, finely ground
  • 320 ml Warm water
  • 1 g Fresh yeast
  • 600 g Refined spelt flour
  • 250 ml Warm water
  • 10 g Sugar
  • 4 g Fresh yeast
  • 18 g Salt
  • 20 ml Olive oil
  1. Combine all the starter ingredients in a mixing bowl and leave it, covered with a plastic film, for 12 hours until bubbly.
  2. Place all the starter, spelt pastry flour, water, sugar and yeast in the mixing bowl of your stand mixer. Mix at slow speed for 2 minutes. Add in salt and olive oil. Once the salt and oil are incorporated with the dough, increase the speed and knead for a 4 further minutes.
  3. Shape the dough into a ball and proof, covered, for about 2 hours, stretching and folding the dough at 45 minutes and 90 minutes.Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface and knead lightly to release the air.
  4. Divide the dough into 18 pieces, each weighs about 90 grams. Shape each portion of dough into an oval or round roll. Place them on the baking trays lined with parchment paper. Cover and and leave to proof for 45-60 minutes.
  5. Brush the surface with water or egg white. Preheat the oven to
  6. Place a roasting pan at the bottom shelf and preheat the oven to 250C/500F. Just before putting the bread into the hot oven, slash the tops in an asterisk with a sharp knife. Bake the bread for 10-13 minutes. Now turn down the oven temperature to 215C/420F and bake a further 12-15 minutes until nicely golden brown and crusty. | © 2011 |

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Honey Peanut Spelt Bars

Saturday, May 12, 2012 | © 2011 | | © 2011 |

A sweet, salty, crunchy bar cookie topped with roasted peanuts. Honey and roasted peanuts, a decadent bliss and a bewitching flavour combination that brings out the best in one other. Irresistible and thoroughly satisfying!

Honey Peanut Spelt Bars

adapted from Fine Cooking
  • 40 g Unsalted toasted peanuts
  • 100 g Granulated sugar
  • 320 g Spelt pastry flour
  • 1/2 tsp Baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp Table salt
  • 150 g Cold butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 Large egg, lightly beaten
  • 120 g Light brown sugar
  • 80 g Unsalted butter
  • 4 tbsp Honey
  • 1/2 tsp Table salt
  • 2 tbsp Evaporated milk, at room temperature
  • 350 g Salted and roasted peanuts
  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9x13-inch baking pan with cooking spray and line the bottom with parchment.
  2. Finely grind peanuts and sugar. Place them in a large mixing bowl together spelt pastry flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk to combine. Cut in the butter and rub with your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the lightly beaten egg and mix just until the dough begins to gather into large clumps.
  3. Using your fingertips, press the dough into the bottom of the prepared pan and about 1 inch up the sides to form a 1/4-inch-thick side crust. Using the tines of a fork, dock the crust evenly all over.
  4. Bake until light golden brown on the edges and the center looks dry, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool the crust on a rack.
  5. At the same time, bring the brown sugar, butter, honey, and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring often. Slowly and carefully add the evaporated milk and return to a boil. Remove from the heat and carefully add the nuts, stirring to coat.
  6. Pour the nut mixture over the crust and spread evenly with a spatula. Tilt the pan to help spread the liquid to the edges and corners. Bake until the topping has just started to bubble slowly in the center, about 20 minutes.
  7. Let cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes and then run a knife around the inside edge of the pan to loosen the crust from the sides. Let the bars cool completely. Cut into 16 bars. The cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 to 5 days. | © 2011 | | © 2011 |

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White Asparagus Salad with Strawberry Vinaigrette

Tuesday, May 08, 2012 | © 2011 | | © 2011 | | © 2011 |

White asparagus is the same species as the green but is grown entirely surrounded by earth which protects the slender stalk from sunlight exposure and thereby keeps it from turning green.
White asparagus has long been considered a delicacy in Europe and is especially popular in Germany. It has a beautiful delicate flavour and tender texture. A white asparagus dinner (very often with Holloandaise or just melted butter) during the "Spargelzeit"- Asparagus Season will make most German jump with joy.
When buying asparagus, make sure the stems are crisp and plump, and the tips are intact and firm, a slight violet tinge is normal, though considered a flaw in Germany. If you don’t intend to cook them right away, wrap them in a damp kitchen towel and store in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator.

  • 500 g White asparagus
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 1 tsp Butter
  • 200 g Strawberries
  • 4 tbsp Blood orange juice
  • 2 tbsp Red wine vinegar
  • 4 tbsp Sunflower oil
  • Salt
  • 1 tsp Green peppercorns, drained and chopped
  • 1 tbsp Fresh coriander leaves, thinly sliced

  1. Peel white asparagus with a sharp vegetable peeler. Trim off touch ends and discard.
  2. Fill a large pan with water halfway. Add the salt, sugar and butter and bring the water to a gentle boil. Place the peeled asparagus lying down in the pan. Turn down heat so that water is just simmering. Cover with the lid. Blanch the white asparagus 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente and drain. Dip them into a large bowl of cold water to stop further cooking.
  3. Rinse and dry the strawberries. Dice half of the strawberries. Blend together the rest of the strawberries, blood orange juice, red wine vinegar, sunflower oil and salt. Mix in diced strawberries, chopped green peppercorns and coriander leaves.
  4. Drain the white asparagus and divide them into two serving plates. Drizzle the strawberry vinaigrette over and let stand for 20 minutes before serving. | © 2011 |

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Smoked Salmon and Lettuce Salad with Orange Cress Dressing

Friday, May 04, 2012 | © 2011 |

This salad recipe is really simple and quick to prepare, combining a mix of salad leaves, smoked salmon and a delicate orange-cress dressing. Works fantastic as either a starter or a light main.

Smoked Salmon and Lettuce Salad with Orange Cress Dressing

adapted from Küchengötter
  • 400 ml Freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tbsp Brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp Walnut or olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly mulled black pepper
  • 1 tsp Hot mustard sauce
  • Some garden cress
  • Red leaf lettuce, torn
  • Arugula leaves
  • Cherry radishes, sliced
  • Garden cress
  • Strawberries, cut into wedges
  • Smoked salmon, cut into strips
  1. Place the freshly squeezed orange juice and brown sugar in a saucepan. Over the medium heat, simmer the mixture until it reduces to 150 ml. Remove from heat and cool to lukewarm.
  2. Drizzle in the walnut oil and whisk until well combined. Season the dressing with sea salt, black pepper, and hot mustard sauce. Garnish with garden cress.
  3. Arrange torn lettuce leaves, arugula, sliced cherry radishes, garden cress, strawberry wedges, smoked salmon strips on a large serving bowl. Serve immediately with prepared salad dressing. | © 2011 |

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