Monthly Archives: May 2012

Lemony Fettuccine with Shrimps and Spinach

I enjoyed this fresh, light summer variation of a pasta meal for the first time at my friend Tammy’s house. She is a great cook and loves healthy meals. So this recipe had to be with whole wheat pasta which is a great combination with the other ingredients such as spinach, lemon, shrimps and olive oil.

Ingredients 

  • 375 g whole wheat fettuccine (or spaghetti)
  • juice and rind of one lemon
  • 2 tbsp. chopped parsley
  • 300-400g shrimps and/or scallops
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 1 bunch of spinach, washed, stems cut off
  • more olive oil
  • fresh pepper
  • grated Parmesan cheese
  • julienne-d lemon rind
Preparation
While cooking the pasta start the pasta sauce in small sauce pan. Heat olive oil and saute the shallots. Add the shrimps, the parsley, the lemon juice and the rind as well as 2 tbsp. of the water from the pasta. Drain the pasta once it is al dente and return it to the pot. Add the spinach and stir until the spinach leaves start to wither. Then pour the pasta sauce over top, add Parmesan and more olive oil, season with fresh ground pepper and mix everything together.
Sprinkle with some more Parmesan and julienne-d lemon rind for an attractive presentation.

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Filed under pasta, summer

Rosemary Flatbread

The bbq season is here and some fresh herbs start to grow in my garden. Yesterday was the perfect day to try this flatbread inspired by Martha Stewart as a side for steak and corn from the grill. It was extremely yummy. I made the pizza dough from scratch but did not let it rise as I usually would do.

Ingredients (makes 6-7 flat breads)

for the dough:

  • 500g flour (I used half whole wheat, half regular flour)
  • 2.5 tsp quick rise yeast
  • salt, sugar
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup lukewarm water.
for the topping:
  •  3 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil, (more for drizzling)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp. coarse salt, (more for sprinkling)
  • cornmeal
  • 3 tsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary

Preparation

Mix all dry ingredients for the dough, then add the olive oil and the water (as much as needed) and knead everything for a couple of minutes.

Heat butter and olive oil for the topping in a saucepan, add salt and garlic and cook, but do not brown the garlic.

Sprinkle baking sheets with cornmeal.

Divide the dough into 6-7 portions and roll it out as you would do for a pizza. Brush with the butter-oil-garlic mixture and sprinkle with rosemary.

Bake for 15 min. at 400˚F. When the bread comes out of the oven drizzle some olive oil over top and sprinkle with coarse salt.

A little sprig of rosemary on each bread looks quite decorative.

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Filed under baking, bread, side dish, summer

Chocolate Muffins with a Surprise

A dozen of these chocolate muffins is gone very quickly at our house, everyone loves them. One bite into the dark ball reveals the surprise: a white vanilla cream cheese filling.

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 4 tbsp. dutch processed cacao powder
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1.5 cups buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar

For the filling:

  • 1/2 cup cream cheese
  • vanilla flavouring
  • 1.5 tbsp. sugar

Preparation

Mix together all the ingredients for the filling and set aside.

Prepare the batter for the muffins.

Line the muffins pan with baking cups and fill the bottom of each cup with two tablespoons of the batter. Add one heaped teaspoon of the filling and top with batter.

Bake at 180˚C for 20-25 min.

After the muffins had cooled off a bit, I poured chocolate glaze over top and added some sprinkles for decoration.

I would like to try some variations of this recipe like adding shredded coconuts to the filling or using a different flavouring or even preparing a white batter and adding a filling with cream cheese and jam. What are your ideas?

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Filed under baking, easy, muffins

Home-Made Vinaigrettes – Ready to Go

What I  learned from my old friends Klaus and Dorle who were both busy teachers and were rising a family with four young children at the time is that it is efficient and saves time to prepare in advance. They used to always have a bottle of home made Balsamic vinaigrette dressing ready to go in their kitchen. I adopted this habit and added a bottle of my own raspberry vinaigrette.

If you want to do the same or if you want to prepare a nice present from your kitchen for a friend just  prepare the dressing, then download and print one of the labels and glue it onto an empty vinegar bottle.

Both vinaigrettes go well with a toss of leaf lettuce with fruit, nuts and cheese.

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Filed under all seasons, basic, easy, inexpensive, vinaigrette

Cappuccino Cheesecake Squares

Inspired by a recipe on the lid of an Astro Yogurt I made these super- easy cheesecake squares for dessert last Sunday.

Ingredients

  • 200g amaretti crumbles
  • 125 g melted butter
  • 2 packages softened cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 1/2 sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup strong coffee
  • 2 tsp. corn starch
  • cocoa powder for decoration

Preparation

Knead crumbles and butter together and press into a greased 8×8 inch baking pan. Mix all the other ingredients and pour over top. Bake for 30 min. at 325°F. Let cool off in the oven, just open the door, then chill for a couple of hours.

Be creative with your decorations! I simply dusted the squares with cocoa powder.

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Filed under baking, dessert, easy