Friday finds

These are my first Friday web finds for the new 2016 and I’d like to start with this amazing thing Martin sent me yesterday.

He described it like “Airbnb for dogs” and he was quite right. It’s a pet sitters platform for Ireland where you can find pet sitters in your neighborhood, review their profiles and availability, you can contact them, reserve and pay online. It looks super useful and I’d give anything to have something like that in Bulgaria, considering how often I travel.

You can see the site here: www.pawshake.ie

The other thing I found are the release dates for all the upcoming Star Wars movies. Maybe I should stop with the Star Wars related posts but the hype from me viewing The Force Awakens hasn’t died out yet, so I guess you’d have to bare with me ūüôā

Check them out here: http://moviepilot.com/posts/3713121?utm_source=fb-stream-post&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=these-5-upcoming-star-wars-movies-make-a-galaxy-far-far-away-seem-pretty-damn-close

My¬†last find is this great fitness site by Strahil Ivanov, where you can read all about dieting, exercises, sport and health. I love that he explains the medical reasons behind his statements and he provides all kinds of tips why you should or shouldn’t do something.

You can see it here: http://fitbg.net/

 

 

 

Friday finds

One more week is gone and it’s time share what the I’ve found on and off the Internet that is worth sharing.

First stop is this the amazing London based artist Sarah from House of Ismay, who makes brooches from the pages of worn out books, damaged maps and unwanted scraps of MDF and wood.

Check it out here: http://www.houseofismay.com/

My other find is this great looking recipe for a no-bake chocolate cake, which I’d like to try ASAP, so I hope I’ll share my take on it next week:

And the last one is a cool band named Para Planner that me and my friend happened to watch on Halloween. For those of you that don’t live in Bulgaria, too sad ’cause you’ll only be able to see them on youtube. For those of you that are lucky, you can check them in Sofia, I think they have roughly one performance a week.

Here is their youtube channel :

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbjGofGKACt_D4i_-Sx4ilA

And here is one of my favorites:

Chilli con carne

image

There are many different recipes of this simple, spicy and filling dish. I’ve tried a few of them and, as I usually like to do, came up with a mash of them that suits my taste. Hope you like it too.

First I chopped the onion and the garlic and added them to the preheated olive oil in the large pan. I cooked them for 5 minutes, then added the cumin, hot chilli, salt and pepper. After that I added the meat and broke it up to small lumps and cooked until the mince was golden-brown. Then it was time for the beans, tomatoes and tomato puree. The whole thing needs to boil and be stirred regularly for the next 20 minutes. I found that the chilli is better if it’s left to stand for 10 minutes before serving. You can serve it with sour cream, rice or just plain. This time I made a nice green salad.

Ingredients:

image

350 gr minced meat
200 gr red beans
200 gr white beans in spicy tomato sauce
400 gr chopped tomatoes
200 gr tomato puree
1 onion
4 garlic cloves
1 tblsp olive oil
1 tblsp hot chilli
1 tsp cumin
salt
pepper

Sunday cooking: frittata with cherry tomatoes and cheese

Yesterday I was watching Fine living and there was this super easy and delicious looking frittata recipe that I couldn’t way to try. It was with asparagus and cheese but I changed it to my taste.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Here is the recipe:

Preheat the olive oil in a large pan and add the onion. In the meantime crack the eggs in a large bowl, add the cheese and the milk and season with salt and pepper. Whisk until you get a homogeneous mixture and pour it in the pan. After 2-3 minutes add the tomatoes and wait till you see the eggs bubbling at the edges of the pan. Remove from the stove and insert in the oven. Cook for 15 minutes and you’re ready. I threw in a toast and banana and it made the perfect Sunday breakfast.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Ingredients:

  • 6 eggs
  • 50 gr yellow¬†cheese
  • 50 gr¬†Parmesan
  • salt
  • pepper
  • olive oil
  • 1/4¬†red onion
  • 250 gr cherry tomatoes

Book review: The hundred-foot journey

Lately I’ve been reading lots of thrillers, so I needed something fun and relaxing. So this feel-good culinary escapade was an appropriate choice. I highly recommend it if you want to indulge in a greatly written love story¬†dedicated to food.

201405-orig-summer-book-to-movie-1-949x1356

Hassan Haji, the second of a a family of six from Mumbai, knows from an early age that his destiny lies in the food arena. In this simultaneously comic and touching¬†tale, we trace Hasssan’s culinary development from the roadside restaurant for servicemen established by his grandparents to the prominence¬†of the world of haute cuisine and the much sought after Michelin stars.

Morais’ exploration of Hassan Haji’s climb¬†in the world of haute cuisine also engages the themes of longing, homesickness, family legacy, and the losses and sacrifices that come with success.

This is a pleasant¬†story¬†filled¬†with a diversity¬†of vibrant¬†characters, from Hassan’s larger than life, candid¬†father who contrasts sharply with the polished, refined¬†Madame Mallory, protector¬†of classic French haute cuisine. You can hear, smell and taste the tenor¬†of the Indian and French kitchens -I would strongly advise you to eat before reading!

If you love traveling and indulging in fine foods, you will certainly enjoy this book.

I cannot wait to watch the movie based on this charming book, starring Helen Mirren, Om Puri, and Manish Daya.

Fettuccine quattro formaggi

Italian is one of my favorite cuisines: it’s simple, natural and super tasty. And I can eat pizza and pasta almost everyday…too bad my hips disagree with the idea. However, I still like to indulge in different Italian recipes to saturate my love for Italian food. This not that special but all mine recipe has become hit not only with me but with my friends. If you decide to try it I hope you like it.


DSCN3103

I had fettuccine but you can use whatever pasta you like. I filled a large pot with water and added some salt. When the water started boiling, I added the pasta and turned the heat down. In about 15 min the fettuccine were ready, so I put them in a strainer, ran some cold water, drained them and returned them in the pot. I always add some butter that gives the pasta extra flavor.

While the pasta was cooking, I heated up some olive oil in a large skillet, cut the onion and garlic and put them in the skillet. When they were braised, I added the tomatoes, some salt and pepper and started to stir. When the sauce started to boil, I added the different types of cheese and continued to stir. I used some cheese that I bought in Amsterdam but I think any type of cheese will work.¬†At the end¬†I added some basil and oregano, so their scent and flavour would be fresh. I used basil leaves for decoration and that’s all.

Ingredients

DSCN3093

  • Pasta – I used Fettucine
  • Rook natural cheese
  • Aged Gouda
  • Port Salut
  • Grated Parmesan
  • 1 onion
  • 1 garlic bulb
  • salt
  • pepper
  • oregano
  • basil

Tuesday roasted pork steaks with vegetables

I’ve been super busy with work this last week and finaly I have time to post my latest cooking atempt. It’s my first try with pork steaks and they were divine. Not that I’m bragging ūüôā

They took more time than I’m used to when I’m cooking, but they were totaly worth it.¬†

Fisrt I seasoned the staeks with soy sauce, honey, mustard, freshly cracked pepper, salt, barbeque sauce and garlic and left them in the fridge for 2,5 hours to marinate. After that I peeled the potatoes and carrots and cut them in big pieces. I sliced the mushrooms, the onion and the garlic. Then I spred some oil on a large pan and put the vegetables and the steaks in it. I poured in water and beer, covered it with tin foil and put it in a preheated to 180C oven.

Image

I checked it every 20 minutes and turned the meat to make sure it will be evenly roasted. After 1h 40min the meat and the vegetables were cooked very well so I removed the foil to get a good browning of the meat and left it for 20 more minutes.

Image

And that was it Р2 hours and 4 delicious steaks. Bon apetit! 

Image

 

Ingredients

  • 4 pork steaks (700gr)
  • 3 big potatoes
  • 2 carrots
  • 4 medium mushrooms
  • 1 small onion
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • soy sauce
  • Heinz barbeque sauce
  • cracked pepper
  • salt
  • olive oil
  • 300ml water
  • 100ml beer
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp mustard
  • dry garlic

Chicken with vegetable mix

It’s one of my own recipes. It’s nothing intricate or super special but it’s very tasty and, as most of the times, the key is in the spices.

I cut the fillets to small bites and season them with soy sauce, white, red and black cracked pepper and salt. Then I cook them on a skillet with melted butter for about 15 min. I turn them often so they’re evenly cooked.

 

Image Then it’s time for the veggies. I tend to get a cooled so-called Mexican mix – peas, corn, red peppers and carrots. I leave it out of the fridge while I’m making the chicken and it’s ready for cooking when I’m done. I melt butter on a large skillet, put in the veggie mix, add soy sauce, salt,¬†white, red and black cracked pepper and sugar. I stir for 10 min and that’s it. Easy and yummy.

ImageIngredients

  • Image400-500gr chicken fillet
  • 400gr vegetable mix
  • 10gr butter
  • 30ml soy sauce
  • 3-4 tablespoons sugar
  • white, red and black cracked pepper
  • salt

 

Cup – cake

I was very skeptical about this recipe but it turned out great. It’s super easy, fast and very delicious.

Image

Ingredients
5 Tablespoons flour
5 Tablespoons sugar
2 Tablespoons cocoa (unsweetened)
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
Dash of salt
1/2 teaspoon vinegar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
4 1/2 Tablespoons water
You just have to mix the ingredients with a spoon in the order they are listed above. You can do that in a bowl and then transfer the mixture in a cup or be as lazy as me and do the mixing right in the cup. Then you put it in the microwave for 1,5-2 min (depending on your microwave) without covering it. Check the cake with a toothpick to make sure it comes out clean.  You can top with whatever you like Рwhipped cream, powdered sugar, frosting or chocolate chips.
Image

Bonjour Mr. French Toast

There is a Bulgarian version of the french toast and I’ve always done that. It’s just bread and eggs but it’s yummy as hell. However, I decided it’s time to try these and they came up pretty great too.

I started with melting some butter in a large skillet. Then I beat an egg, a pinch of sugar, cinnamon and some milk in a plate.

ImageI placed the bread slices, one at a time, into the plate, letting the slices soak up the mixture for a few seconds, then carefully turned them to coat the other side. I put the slices on the skillet, heating slowly until the bottom became golden brown, then turned them to brown the other side.

ImageImageBecause the lack of maple syrup I served them with a cup of coffee and homemade raspberry jam.

ImageIngredients:

Image

  • 5 bread slices
  • 1 egg
  • 20ml milk
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 20gr butter
  • jam, maple syrup or whatever you like ūüôā