Monday, 3 February 2014

CHOCOLATE AND RYE MUFFINS + SAN DIEGO

4 comments:

It's been a while since I last wrote a post. I've been busy; traveling, cooking, spending quality time with friends and most of all, having a great time. Im in California baby, yeah! The weather here is So amazing I can't even believe we are in the middle of  winter, honestly, It couldn't be better.  We are here visiting friends and escaping from the european winter. Im so lucky you know? Just to be here, enjoying  the most amazing sunsets in La Jolla, the best Mexican food (tofu tacos on white corn tortillas with brown rice and black beans?! mmmm), being able to practice Bikram Yoga almost every day, having delicious smoothies and green juices but above all,  having very unique company.

This month I'll be attending some raw food workshops at Matthew Kenney in Santa Monica, I'm really looking forward to it, so I'll keep you posted.

In the meantime I want to share this  chocolate muffins recipe because they are just out of this world. The recipe is from Green Kitchen Stories, I've just adapted it slightly.



Chocolate and rye muffins
Makes 12 large muffins

1 cup of rye flour
1 cup of whole wheat flour
6 tbsp cacao powder
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3 eggs
1 cup coconut milk
2/3 cup agave syrup
2/3 cup coconut oil
100 grs. 75% dark chocolate, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 200 C degrees. Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl. Slightly beat the eggs in a separate bowl, then add the coconut milk, the agave syrup, the coconut oil and half of the chopped chocolate. Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture. Fold everything together until just combined then divide the batter into the muffin tins and sprinkle the rest to the chocolate on top. Bake for about 16 minutes. They are delicious when eaten warm!

Thank you Green Kitchen!


Tuesday, 10 December 2013

PARIS + SEGOVIA PICS

2 comments:

Hi there, I would like to share some pics from my latest travels. I have been in Paris and Segovia, Spain. Both places full of charm in very different ways. Paris, the city of lights, was oh so beautiful like always but this time the Christmas ambience made it a whole new experience. La tour Eiffel had special lighting, the streets where full of garlands, christmas trees,  tourists walking all over the place without minding the cold. Actually the weather was just perfect, the whole trip was, really. I was able to do many things in such a short time. Visit friends and spend quality time, go to knew places, eat in nice restaurants, try the best eclair I ever had, go to one of the finest spice and cheese stores and walk through amazing markets, try freshly picked chanterelles and many other wild mushroom varieties and even visit a monastery. Im so grateful, a trip to Paris is always full of inspiration. If you happen to go you must visit : L'Eclair de Genie (eclair's), L'Epicerie Fine, Cantin (best cheese and butter).
I have been in Segovia too. Its a small village  one hour away from Madrid, famous for its piglet (I think I could pass on that one!, although I did eat it years ago when I was still eating meat).
The landscape over there is breathtaking, quite flat on one side and tall mountains on the other.  Some of them had quite a bit of snow on top of them. This time I didn't feel like going to the village, instead I stayed some kilometers away and enjoyed the natural scenery. Went for long walks and enjoyed good conversations next to warm chimneys. 
These are some of the pictures I took. I hope toy like them. 
Soon I'll be traveling again so maybe I won't be able to write as often as I would like to but I will be back anytime.
Have a nice week. Relax, chill out, breath deeply and love.















Monday, 2 December 2013

PUMPKIN AND CORN SOUP WITH CHIPOTLE PEPPER

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We've been buying pumpkins for a couple of weeks now, they are delicious and So tasty. Last week, my husband created this amazing soup, so comforting for cold nights and so fulfilling. The night he did it, I arrived home quite late, very hungry and cold. The house was warm and inviting and the smell of chipotle pepper and roasted corn made my tummy shiver. He covered my eyes and displayed the pumpkin soup in front of me, I knew there was something special going on. When I opened my eyes I couldn't believe how beautiful the soup looked, served inside the pumpkin with its own lid! I just thought.. my husband rocks, how fortunate I am! What's even better is that the soup tasted absolutely amazing. 
While eating it I told him that I wanted to write a post about it. He was flattered.
So here I am, sharing this recipe full of nourishment and love with you.
A few comments: I used smoked tofu sausages to add some protein, you can totally avoid it or use something else, such as beans or tempeh, or seitan.
If you have to much pumpkin pure, keep it for next day, its delicious on its own.
Make sure you don't overcook the pumpkin as it will become too soft and  fragile in order to hold on the soup.
I used some frozen corn I had kept from the summer crop, feel free to use any type of corn.


Pumpkin and corn soup with chipotle pepper

For 2 persons

Ingredients:

1 pumpkin around 1.4 kgs
3 tbps olive oil
salt and pepper
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 red pepper, cut in small cubes
1 garlic clove, minced
2 smoked tofu sausages  cut into 0.5mm coins
150 grs corn
1 tbsp roughly chopped sage
1 tsp dried marjoram
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2  tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp chipotle chilli powder
250 ml vegetable stock
Directions:

Preheat the oven to 200 C degrees.
Cut a hole on the top of the pumpkin carefully. 
You want to create a lid. 
Then scoop out the seeds and pulp and rub with olive oil 
and salt and pepper.

Place the pumpkin up side down on an oven tray, fill with 1/2 cup of water and cover with tin foil.
Cook in the oven for 45 minutes approximately (this will depend on the size of your pumpkin).
Once its cooked, turn up  the pumpkin  so that it cools quicker.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a medium skillet and sauté the onions, pepper and garlic for a couple of minutes until soft. Add the spices and the herbs. Remove from the pan and without washing the pan, sauté for some minutes de tofu sausages until brown and crispy. Add them to the onion mix. In the same pan cook the corn until slightly burnt to add some smokey flavor.

When the pumpkin is cold enough to handle, scoop the flesh carefully trying to avoid piercing the flesh. 

It will be very soft. In a medium saucepan put the onion mix, the corn and the pumpkin flesh (if its too much, just keep some for the next day). Add the warm vegetable stock and mix thoroughly. Cook for 15 minutes at a low temperature. At this point you could blend the soup or have it chunky, as I did. Taste and adjust seasoning. 

Pour the soup inside the  hollowed pumpkin and cover with the lid.
Serve immediately with a piece for warm bread.




We have entered the last month of the year. How did it happen so fast? Christmas is round the corner and I just can't believe the year is almost over.  As we all know, this is a crazy month, so try to keep it calm between x-mas shopping and preparations. I'll be super busy and looking forward to show you some of the deliciousness I'll be cooking. 
I just came back from Paris, I promise some pictures and recommendations in the days to come.
Have a nice week!



Saturday, 23 November 2013

PANETTONE

2 comments:

Finally the winter has arrived and so the christmas vibe. It' cold and windy, the streets are decorated with thousands of tiny lights, shiny garlands and gigantic christmas trees all over the place. I must admit that I kind of like the winter. I always complain about the cold and the lack of sun,  but its nice to be curled up under a thick alpaca blanket with a cup of tea and why not some fresh baked panettone? For all of you that don't know about Panettone, basically its a traditional sweet bread made in Milan, Italy, around Christmas. 


Oh my,  we've been eating it non stop for the past 10 days. I've been trying different recipes, some not too good, some great. I experienced some frustration, specially with one recipe that turned out overly sweet and hard as a rock. This are complicated recipes that require your attention all day, so imagine the disappointment when things don't turn out as expected? (really, I wanted to cry :() Anyway,  Juan couldn't be happier as he loves them either way ( it makes me feel so good when I see him devouring the bread from the "not so great recipe, it really cheers me up).
The good news is that finally  I ended up with one of the best recipes ever.  I've adapted a recipe from The River Cafe, and the result was a moist, not too sweet, light and full of nuts yeasted bread.
I decided to bake it in mini paper molds, I think is a nice gift idea for X-mas, but you could bake it in a regular cake tin or in one big paper mold.
I really encourage you to do this recipe. Its SO good, I mean it. I've tried many panettones throughout my life, and this is the real stuff. And xmas is round the corner so why not start getting tuned some weeks before?



PANETTONE

For 14 mini molds or a  1 20cm cake

4 tbsp. milk
30 grs. fresh yeast or 1 tbsp dried yeast
400 grs. flour
150 grs sugar
250 grs. butter. softened
2 large eggs
7 large yolks
2 vanilla pods
1 lemon zested
1 orange zested
1 tsp salt
80 grs raisins, soaked in 25ml rum
70 gr. candied orange peel, cut into 0,5 cm sliced
80 grs. sultanas
60 grs. walnuts, coarsely chopped
50 grs. almonds, coarsely chopped
20 grs. flaked almonds

If using one big mold, butter and line both sides of a 20 cm diameter cake tin at least 9 cm deep. Warm the milk and add the yeast, 1 tbsp of flour and 1 tsp por sugar. Mix well and leave in a warm place for about 15 minutes, until frothy.

Put the softened butter and the remaining sugar into a bowl and mix  with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the whole eggs one at a time, continuing to beat, then add the yolks, one at a time. Split open the vanilla pods and scrape out the seeds. Fold these and the grated orange and lemon zest into the mixture.

In a separate bowl sieve the remaing flour, add the salt and stir in the yeast mixture. When fully combined add the butter mixture and mix together until you have a soft dough. 
Place the dough in a food mixer fitted with a dough hook or use the dough hook of your hand mixer (which I did and worked perfectly) and slowly knead for 5-20 minutes. Alternatively, do this on a floured surface by hand. Place the dough in a large mixing bowl that you have fully greased with butter. Cover with a tea towel and leave it to rise, it should double in size in a warm place. This will take at least 1 hour (if you don't have a warm place, turn on the oven for 5 minutes to warm it up, turn it off and leave the dough to rise in there).

Drain the raisins. Put the dough back into the food mixer and knead for 10 minutes. Then slowly add the candied peel, walnuts, almonds, raisins and sultanas. Knead on a low speed until the dough becomes silky and light. Place the dough in the prepared cake tin or  divide the mix evenly and place in the individual molds. Cover with flaked almonds and leave in a warm place to rise and expand to double its original size. This will take 2 hours.

Preheat oven 200 C degrees. Place the cakes on the lower shelf and bake for 10 minutes. Then reduce the heat to 175 C degrees and cook for 10 more minutes or until golden brown. If baking a big bread, cook for 15 minutes at 200 C and lower the oven to 175C and keep cooking for 45 more minutes. Make sure the cake is not getting too brown on top, if so, cover loosely with foil. Its ready when its firm to touch and golden on top and a skewer comes out clean when inserted.
Leave to cool before removing from the tin.
The panettone will keep week in an airtight container for up to 4 weeks. I highly recommend to warm it in the oven for 5 minutes before eating. It will taste delicious.


Hope you like the recipe.
Don't get frustrated if something goes wrong, eventually  it will come right!
Have a nice weekend.
xx