It´s been six years since my family and I last hopped on our Tabbert trailer together for a roadtrip. In 2014 we ventured to Bulgaria and Greece, and had one of the best family vacations ever. So when the pandemic hit and travelling abroad was put on hold for a while, a trip to Romania already sounded like bliss. So when my mom suggested we take advantage of me being home and do another trip together with our 30 something year old trailer, I was totally in. Because my parents are awesome and super flexible, they let me draft the itinerary. And so I chose to head north, to the infamously beautiful Maramures area. On our way there, I pinned some objectives, let some room for improv and what came out was one week of reconnecting with nature, breathing fresh air, swimming in clean lakes and walking up and down green (and soon turning brown) mountains. Here´s where we went, what we loved most, what disappointed us, what we learned and how much it all cost.
This #homemadeMonday brings you a rather unusual pasta dish for me, in the sense that I am not a big fan of two out of its main three ingredients, but if you mix them all together I love it. The two culprits are spinach and ricotta. I personally find ricotta an embarrassment to all other cheeses and the only green I hate more than spinach must be arugula. And yet… mixing them together, along with some cherry tomatoes, roasted pine nuts and truffle oil, and adding them to the right pasta sort, it just works! It´s perhaps one of the simplest recipes I´ve shared here, but has an outstanding outcome.
This month´s #guestchefseries is brought by you by my wonderful and immensely talented DJ friend, Violeta. Vio is visiting from Berlin for a couple of days and next to bringing me my favourite German tea, she brought with her lots of good music and delicious recipe ideas. This #homemadeMonday I´ll tell you all about her coconut and curry udon soup. I feel it´s a great addition to the blog as my soups are usually quite basic and this one feels super exotic! And while I basically just watched her cook, while I was sipping on my wine, I can´t wait to try to make it myself and fill our house with the smell of coconut milk and curry!
I should perhaps start this #homemadeMonday recipe with a confession: I am one of those insane people that likes pineapple on my pizza. I mean, I don´t love it, but I don´t mind it either. What I do love though, is fruit in my salad. And while I rarely post salad articles on the blog, when I made this salad, I felt I really wanted to share it with you all. A little bit of unsolicited context for when I first made this salad: I was reading Marissa Peer´s book Perfect Weight Forever, and was working on bettering my food habits by not associating heavy comfort food with feeling better when I was down. I instead decided to stick to eating well and healthy when I was feeling sad and not try to fix these moments with fast food. So I made this salad and it was so delicious that I swore never again to order a way too greasy cheeseburger to stop me from crying. Here´s the super simple recipe:
This year I hosted the second edition of my annual Halloween party and humbleness aside, I really perfected my spooky snacks aesthetic. Last year the focus was on candy and drinks, and while there were plenty (not to say too many) drinks this year too, there were some cool dishes that I thought I´d share with you for this #homemadeMonday – maybe you want to do them yourself next year! Read on for a complication of dishes I prepared for the scariest night of an already terrifying 2020. Here goes.
Last month, as I was searching my bookshelves for books to read in October, I cheerfully realised I don´t have that many unread books hanging around anymore. This year´s system – of choosing monthly themes for my #monthlybookclub seems to have enabled me to choose books from my library that were long waiting to be picked up. And so, I am happy that soon I´ll be able to buy new books without the underlying guilt of having a huge to read shelf at home. For the month of October I ended up picking books without a particular theme, instead just ending up with a small pile of “new” books – books by contemporary writers. Here´s what I thought of them.
Took me long enough, but this month´s #guestchefseries comes from my one and only mom. I´ve been waiting to post my mom´s magic polenta recipe for over a month now. During my trip to Romania last month I asked her to make it several times and thereby fell in love all over again with this dish that so thoroughly influenced my childhood. If you didn´t know that already, polenta is an instrumental part of our culture as Romanian. It´s a humble, yet versatile dish , that despite its simplicity not many youngsters dare to make. And so I thought I´d share my mom´s recipe of what we in my family call “gâscã” or “goose” – polenta with sour cream and cheese. Easy as a #homemadeMonday morning. Note: my mom likes to make it extra creamy so it looks almost like a soup. I personally think that´s one of her secrets. Bonus: pictures of Didi, our basset hound eyeing the deliciousness.
Chestnut season is here and normally that would mean running up and down Lisbon streets chasing for the cart with the perfectly roasted dozen. But we´re in a pandemic, and that means 1. I´m staying at home much more and 2. I´m cooking much more. So I got my hands on 2kg of chestnuts – one kilo fresh and one kilo frozen, and set myself to find some Pinterest inspiration. And I can´t quite believe I am saying this – but Pinterest disappointed. The horror, right? There seem to be super few chestnuts recipe besides the traditional roasted ones out there. And so I chose to experiment for myself. There´s a breakfast hash recipe @mihai.gateste keeps making and I always thought those tastes go well together. I decided to keep the egg out, not peel, nor cut the potatoes, add the chestnuts and bake it exclusively. That´s how this chestnut and chorizo casserole got born. I find it the perfect blend of flavours, it´s super easy to make – needs minimal prep – and is great for a dinner party – *wink* *wink* to the friends who are invited for my Halloween party in two weeks. So keep on reading to read more about this autumn-y #homemadeMonday.
This #homemadeMonday is somewhat special to me, as it marks 101 days without fast food. Not that I am a big fast food fan, but a girls´d gotta have a double cheeseburger every now and then, am I right? Well not for 101 days she hasn´t. 101 days ago I embarked on a journey of eating healthier, working out more and being more mindful about my body. They´ve gone by in a jiffy, I have to say. What hasn´t gone by though is my love for burgers. And so I thought the best way to celebrate this achievement was by giving the homemade burger a try. From scratch. Two reasons this burger is special: 1. I made the buns. Read that again – I MADE THE BUNS. I love cooking but man, do I suck at baking. And so I followed @anchacheregi´s burger buns recipe to the core and I am sooo happy with the result. I am adding it here, but the credit is all her´s. 2. I followed Chris Morocco´s tips for how to get the best umami flavour out of onion instead of bacon – and they´re sheer genius. So keep on reading to learn how to make the best homemade burger.
A recipe that might seem a bit too exotic and out of place amongst my prune and pumpkin full Instagram feed – this pineapple and cottage cheese breakfast toast does not feel very autumny, but it is de-li-ci-ous AND it doubles as a dessert. I confess I had to do quite a bit of research to understand what pairs well with pineapple, and I will definitely try some other combinations, but this one turned out quite nice so I´ll be doing it again soon enough. The recipe is one of the simplest I´ve ever posted, but then again we rarely have much time before breakfast so I am sure you´ll all appreciate the brevity implied. Here goes this week´s #homemadeMonday.