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

Stacked Pear Salad

Monday, August 31, 2020

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This simple salad has a perfect mix of bitter peppery arugula, creamy, pungent blue cheese and crunchy walnuts dressed in a sweet tangy vinaigrette and nestled in layers of juicy, sweet Conference pears. The star of this Autumn salad is a whole pear that's been sliced and stacked - a fun way to make salads more exciting and tempting. Devour this salad as a light meal or serve it alongside grilled steak or fatty salmon.

  • 2 Conference pears, ripe yet firm
  • 1/2 Lime, juiced
  • 100 g Arugula leaves
  • 80 g Walnut halves, toasted
  • 100 g Gorgonzola, cut into smaller triangles or crumbled
  • 3 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Walnut oil
  • 1 tbsp White balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp Maple syrup
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove Garlic, finely minced
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  1. Slice each pear horizontally into 4-5 slices depending on the size, retaining the core and stem. Toss the pears with freshly squeeze lime juice to keep them from browning.
  2. In a bowl or glass jar, mix together olive oil, walnut oil, vinegar, maple syrup / honey, Dijon mustard and minced garlic. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Place arugula, toasted walnuts and blue cheese in a salad bowl. Drizzle some prepared dressing over and gently toss to coat.
  4. Assemble the pears on individual plates, with the arugula salad in between each slice. Drizzle a bit of vinaigrette over the pear and serve. | © 2020 | | © 2020 | | © 2020 |

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Spicy Baked Chicken Quarters

Friday, August 28, 2020

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The chicken uses a spice rub of cayenne pepper, cumin, garlic powder, dried thyme, smoked paprika, smoked salt and pepper. They are simple to make and packed with flavour! I prefer using bone-in, skin-on chicken, as they retain moisture and don't dry out in the oven plus the skin gets extra crispy as it bakes. As a matter of fact, I ate all the skin first from 4 quarters after baking...they are just the best. I guess I will have to do a few more rounds of burpees and starjumps to burn the fat off.

  • 4 / 1.2 kg Chicken leg quarters, bone-in, skin-on
  • 2-3 Onions, sliced, optional
  • 60 ml Olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Dried thyme
  • 2 tsp Cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp Cumin powder
  • 1 tsp Smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp Smoked salt (or regular)
  • 1/2 tsp Smoked black pepper (or regular)
  • Parsley or chives, finely chopped for garnish
  1. Preheat oven to 190C/375F. Line a baking dish with aluminum foil.
  2. Wipe the chicken quarters with paper towels and place them onto the baking dish.
  3. In a bowl, whisk together all the ingredients for the rub.
  4. Pour the paste over the chicken quarters and, using your hands, rub it well into the chicken pieces, on all sides. Place the onion slices around the chicken if using.
  5. Bake the chicken quarters until cooked through and juices run clear, about 50 minutes. Remove from oven, garnish with fresh herbs, and serve immediately. | © 2020 | | © 2020 | | © 2020 |

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Zucchini Soup with Scallion and Mascarpone

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

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Zucchini contains very few calories and have a high water content and significant amout of vitamin C and potassium, which is the key to controlling blood pressure and helps to keep our muscles working properly.
This delicious zucchini soup recipe is the perfect use for the abundant summer squash in your garden or from the farmer market, and a little mascarpone makes it thick and luscious while scallion adds depth and sweetness to the soup too. It can be eaten hot or cold.

  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • 2 Scallions, white part, coarsely chopped
  • 1 Garlic clove, sliced
  • 3 (about 450 g) Zucchini, sliced thinly
  • 350 ml Vegetable stock
  • 80 g Mascarpone, plus a little extra to serve
  • 2 Scallions, green part, coarsely chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • A few mint leaves, chopped
  • Lemon zest (optional) to serve
  • Soft boiled eggs (optional) to serve
  • Sprouts (optional) to serve
  1. Heat the olive oil in a pan over a medium heat and cook the scallion white part with a pinch of salt for 5 minutes until softened but not coloured. Add the garlic and cook gently for a few minutes then tip in the sliced zucchini and cook gently for 10-15 minutes.
  2. Pour in the vegetable stock and bring to the boil for a few minutes. Use a stick blender to process the soup until completely smooth, then stir in the mascarpone and green part of scallions. Puree again and season.
  3. Spoon into bowls and top with more mascarpone or soft boiled egg or sprout and mint leaves, and some lemon zest, if you like. | © 2020 | | © 2020 | | © 2020 |

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Tomato and Peach Salad With Whipped Goat Cheese

Sunday, August 23, 2020

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Sweet ripe peaches and tomatoes team up with creamy whipped goat cheese in this bright colourful summer salad tossed with a simple vinaigrette. It's sweet and savoury, creamy and fruity, works great as a starter, a side or a light summer meal. If you want to make it more filling, add some beans, lentils or crunchy garlic croutons.

  • 2 tbsp Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Sherry vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Whole-grain Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp Lime juice
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • 1/2 Small red onion, very thinly sliced
  • 150 g Chavroux mild soft goat cheese
  • 2 tbsp Heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp Lime zest
  • Roma tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • 2 Ripe firm peaches, halved, pitted and cut into wedges
  • 1 Handful of basil, chopped
  1. In a large bowl, whisk the olive oil, vinegar, Dijon mustard and lime juice. Season generously with salt and pepper, stir in the red onion and set aside.
  2. Whip goat cheese in a mixing bowl until creamy. Add the heavy cream and lime zest and whip just until fluffy, about 1 minute, scraping the bowl as needed. Season to taste with salt.
  3. Spread the whipped goat cheese on a large serving platter or in shallow bowl, distributing it evenly using the back of a spoon. Add the tomato wedges, peach wedges and chopped basil to the dressing and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Place on top of the whipped goat cheese and serve immediately. | © 2020 | | © 2020 |

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Bacon Gugelhupf with Hazelnuts and Rosemary

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

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The combination of toatsed hazelnuts, smoky bacon and woody aromatic rosemary gives this savory "cake/bread" a sophisticated flavour. The cake may look complicated but it's easier than you think. It's highly adaptable, very delicious and perfect to serve with a seasonal salad for a pleasant lunch. If you don't have a bundt pan, then use muffin tin or loaf pan.

  • 100 g Hazelnuts (or any other nuts)
  • 100 g Bacon bits (or ham)
  • 1 tsp Rosemary leaves, chopped (thyme is great too)
  • 300 g Refined spelt flour (or plain flour)
  • 1 tsp Baking powder
  • 1 package / 7 g Active dried yeast
  • 1/3 tsp Black lava salt
  • 1 tsp Honey (or maple syrup)
  • 350 ml Sparkling water, at room-temperature
  1. Coarsely chop the hazelnuts. Place them in a dry heavy skillet. Stir often over medium heat until golden brown and aromatic. Cook the bacon bits in a small pan until crisp. Drain bacon bits on paper towels. Mix together hazelnuts, reserving one tablespoon for the bundt pan, bacon bits and chopped rosemary. Set aside.
  2. Grease a 24-26cm bundt cake pan with butter and sprinkle the reserved chopped hazelnuts all over.
  3. Whisk together spelt flour, baking powder, and dried yeast in a mixing bowl. In another mixing bowl or jar, stir together the salt, honey and sparkling water. Add to the flour mixture. Use a hand mixer to beat everything together. Fold the nut-bacon mixture into the batter until just incorporated. The finished batter is thick but still pourable.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan. Cover with a plastic film and leave it at a warm place for 30 minutes.
  5. Place a baking tray with boiling water at the bottom of the oven and preheat to 200C/400F. Bake the bread in the middle of hot oven for 30-35 minutes until golden brown. Remove and set aside for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely. | © 2020 | | © 2020 |

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Watermelon Caprese Skewers with Basil Vinaigrette

Monday, August 17, 2020

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Traditional Caprese salad is made with sweet ripe tomatoes and originates from the Isle of Capri, Italy. This is a fun twist on the traditional Caprese salad using watermelon instead of tomatoes. It is super easy to put together and makes an easy last-minute appetizer.

Basil Vinaigrette
  • 1 Mini watermelon
  • 20 Bocconcini
  • 50 g Parma ham
  • Basil leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 Shallot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 bunch Basil leaves
  • 1 Garlic clove
  • 1/2 Green chilli pepper, deseeded
  • 70 ml Olive oil
  • 2 tbsp White balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp Sea salt
  1. Place all the ingredients for the vinaigrette in a blender and give them a quick whiz until the mixture is smooth. Chill until ready for use.
  2. Cut the watermelon into 3 inch rounds and use a melon baller to scoop out as many balls as possible.
  3. Thread watermelon balls, bocconcini, Parma ham and basil leaves onto 10 skewers. (or 6 skewers and serve the rest in a bowl). Season with salt and pepper. Serve, drizzle with prepared basil vinaigrette. | © 2020 | | © 2020 | | © 2020 | | © 2020 |

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