With Valentine´s Day just around the door, I thought of sharing this festive cheesecake with pecan nuts and caramel topping that my beautiful and extremely talented sister baked for me and some guests for our last New Year’s Eve party. You can find the Romanian recipe on her and her friends Sabina´s Instagram page at @povestiaromate, or keep reading for the English version. Whether you’re baking it for or with someone you love, or just doing it for yourself, I am sure you’ll love it as much as I did. And with that the #guestchefseries kicks off another season.
I´ve been meaning to promote this latest salad recipe I came up with as a winter salad, but who am I kidding? This one will work as well in summer and any season, really. It’s the oranges that give me a winter feeling, along with the fact that due to the cooked salmon it’s a warm-ish salad. But the oranges can just as well take your mind to a summer in Tuscany, and give you all the sunny vibes we so direly miss this gloomy winter. Whenever you decide to make it though, I assure you that you’ll love it, as it is such a perfect blend of flavours – the buttery flavoured salmon (Ras el Hanout is my absolute favourite spice blend for salmon), the sweet and slightly sour orange, the mild yet buttery textured avocado, the nutty, kokumi parmesan, the fresh mint, and finally the complex sweet balsamic vinegar. It’s taken me quite a few iterations to get to this level of perfection, and now I am ready to share it with you.
As you might have seen on my Instagram, I have now officially entered the cookie frenzy period. Five days into December, and I am on batch number three. The twist? I´m switching it up and started experimenting with new flavours. So for this #homemadeMonday, I´m bringing you this super easy coconut cookie recipe that thanks to its dash of orange, will fill your house with a Christmas smell. These cookies are much fluffier and less flat than my traditional Christmas cookies and as they do not take chocolate, they´re lower in calories. Not that anyone´s counting anyway.
This #homemadeMonday is for both the ones of you that don´t like tomato soup (and need a twist to the tangy tomato taste), and for the ones of you who love tomato soup (and want to try it in a different shape and form). I, for one, love the taste of tomatoes, but as I was trying to rescue some that were going bad in my fridge, I just felt that they alone would not make for a great soup. So I researched the topic a bit on Pinterest and got this idea to add white beans to the tomatoes. Long story short, I loved the result, I feel the beans were just what was missing to make the whole thing creamier and add a bit of starchy, buttery taste. And am here to share the whole thing with you.
What do you do when life gives you too many limes and too little cachaça? You improvise and upon a failed trial, you end up with these delicious key lime & blueberry Oreo cups. Needless to say, this looked very different in my head. I first tried to make a tart out of this, but left the base for too long in the freezer and by the time it started defrosting, the cream also started melting. So in a desperate attempt, I improvised. I blended some Oreos yet again, sprinkled them in a glass, and topped them with the rescued cream. They were de-lish! And they held marvellously for a couple of days in the fridge!
After about a year of waiting in my pantry, the can of lentils I had stored away finally met its purpose in a delicious lentil, avocado and cress salad. It´s essentially this green salad but since I don´t like arugula, it´s with cress. On top of that I replaced the sunflower seeds with sesame seeds and topped it off with some vinaigrette sauce which I felt went wonderfully with it. Whether you prefer the above version or mine, I do hope you try one of them, they´re truly scrumptious.
In my efforts to cook as little as possible during the week (at least for breakfast and lunch), I came up with these fluffy breakfast egg muffins and I have to say I am really proud of myself. They´re super easy to make, require few ingredients and give you the opportunity to rescue any soon overdue produce from your fridge. Aaaaand they´ll be the solution for your breakfasts from Monday to Friday! Now you can literally use any veggies and meats you want for them, I´ll just give you the ingredients I used last time, but please, be creative!
When you´re not great at baking, you gotta get creative. So you grab a jam (I chose apricot) from the adorable care package @dealurileUilei sent you, find yourself the easiest cake base recipe (inspired by Anca Cheregi´s cheesecake) and you end up with an apricot jam and cream cheese cake ready in no time, and devoured in even less time (what´s less than no time?). Curious? Keep reading this week´s #homemadeMonday.
Inspired by Ottolenghi´s courgette, pea and basil soup, this #homemadeMonday recipe is a soup just perfect for the incoming autumn (yes, I refer to it as incoming as I still spend my weekends at the beach for the time being and am in denial). While Ottolenghi´s recipe contains double the basil of mine, I added a few teaspoons of pesto to enhance the taste, a green onion to give it a punch and I topped it up with some truffle oil. Oh, and I changed the proportions quite a bit. Keep reading for my interpretation of what is possibly one of my favourite green soups of all time (in case you, reader are Portuguese – don´t worry, caldo verde is up in the top too).
Cakes and pies – my nemesis. I love them (albeit I am generally I crave salty stuff more), but I generally suck at making them. The dough won´t rise, the cream will be too liquid-y, something´s bound to always go wrong. Unless. Unless we´re talking about my grandma´s strawberry cake which is suuuuuper easy to make, or Esther´s wonderfully simple nut cake, which is even easier. I´m not quite sure of the origin of this one, I just copied it from one of Nonna´s handwritten notes, with her insisting it´s actually her niece Esther´s recipe and not hers. I upgraded it with a simple chocolate cream, and voilá one of the easiest #guestchefseries editions ever.