Archive for November, 2012

Vegan Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies And A Virtual Baby Shower For Emiko

November 29, 2012 12 Comments

Surprise! Surprise! Emiko! This is for you! An international baby shower party – honoring you – with friends around the world!

Emiko is going to get a wonderful Christmas present this year… she is about to have a baby girl, her first child. I bet she and her husband, Marco are going to have an exciting Christmas! :)

From left to right: Giulia, me and Emiko last year in London at the Food Blogger Connect

I met Emiko last August in London at the Food Blogger Connect conference. Giulia, our mutual friend from Tuscany, introduced us and since then we’ve become friends… long distance friends because we live very far from each other (she in Melbourne, me in Budapest). Luckily we’re very good at organizing so this year we made it happen to meet again, this time in Tuscany, Italy with other wonderful friends: Giulia, Karin and Regula. I love how blogging + social media bring people together!Emiko is a down-to-earth, comely, charming person who writes one of my favourite food blogs. Her writing skills are over the top, I love reading her stories and recipes. I also admire her clean, simple style in photography. All in all, I’m happy to call Emiko my friend.

A month ago we decided to throw a surprise party for Emiko. There have been so many emails going on back and forth, finding out who and what bakes for this baby shower. I’m so happy to be part of this event.

In October Emiko discovered that she has gestational diabetes that’s why I was trying to bake something very low in organic raw cane sugar but nutritious, healthy and yummie. These cookies are vegan, contain rolled oats, whole spelt flour and buckwheat flour that has a slightly nutty flavor. From the home baked pumpkin purée, the walnut and the chocolate chips (70% cocoa content) these cookies are rich and wholesome.

Emiko, I wish you all the best on your new journey that called motherhood. I have no doubts that you will be  a miraculous mommy of your little daughter! “Motherhood is near to divinity. It is the highest, holiest service to be assumed by mankind.” (Howard W. Hunter)

Vegan Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients

- 1 and 1/4 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup whole wheat spelt flour
- 1/4 cup buckwheat flour
- 1/2 cup cane sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 2 tablespoons ground flax seed
- 6 tablespoons water
- 1 cup pumpkin purée (home baked is the best)
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon apple vinegar
- 1 vanilla bean, split and seeded
- 1/2 cup walnut
- 3/4 cup chocolate chips (70% cocoa content)

Method

In a small bowl mix together ground flax seed with water and let it sit for at least 10 minutes. This will form a “flax seed egg” that works as a binder for vegan baking. Although flax seed contains all sorts of healthy components, it owes its healthy reputation primarily to three ingredients: omega-3 essential fatty acids, lignans and fiber.

In a separate mixing bowl, add all dry ingredients: rolled oats, spelt flour, buckwheat flour, salt, cinnamon, baking powder and stir to combine. In another bowl mix together pumpkin purée with coconut oil, apple vinegar, cane sugar and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ones. Next add flax seed egg, walnut and chocolate until the mixture forms a dough.

Preheat the oven to 180C (356F). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Using a cookie or ice-cream scoop, portion out small balls of dough, then flatten the balls slightly with your hands. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. These cookies are crunchy on the outside and chewy inside. Yummie!

Dip the cookies into vegan spicy hot cocoa…

For  more top-notch, yum cake recipes and baby shower wishes for Emiko, visit my magnificent friends’ blogs:
* Regula – Miss Foodwise: Cobnut brandy
* Valeria – Life Love Food: Gingerbread banana muffins
* Karin – Yum and More: Flourless chocolate cake with pears
* Jasmine – Labna: Frollini di riso
* Giulia – Jul’s Kitchen: Sponge cake with custard and chocolate
* Sarka – Cook Your Dream: Savory mini tartlets
* Rosella – Vaniglia Storie Di Cucina: Soft cheesecake

Hot Spicy Cocoa For Cold Winter Nights

November 26, 2012 1 Comment

Hot spicy cocoa for cold winter nights… it sounds great, doesn’t it? This hot cocoa warms up your body and soul with its spiciness. When you sip your drink, read this short story from one of the books of Chicken Soup For the Soul series. At the end not only your body, your soul will be warm too.

Bobbie Probstein: Love Remains

One day, while I was lying on a massage table in a dark, quiet room waiting for an appointment, a wave of longing swept over me. I checked to make sure I was awake and not dreaming, and I saw that I was as far removed from a dreamy state as one could possibly be. Each thought I had was like a drop of water disturbing a still pond, and I marveled at the peacefulness of each passing moment.

Suddenly my mother’s face appeared – my mother, as she had been before Alzheimer’s disease had stripped her of her mind, her humanity, and 50 pounds. Her magnificent silver hair crowned her sweet face. She was so real and so close I felt I could reach out and touch her. I even smelled the fragrance of Joy, her favorite perfume. She seemed to be waiting and did not speak. I said, “Oh, Mother, I’m so sorry that you had to suffer with that horrible disease.” She tipped her head slightly to one side, as though to acknowledge what I had said about her suffering. Then she smiled – a beautiful smile – and said very distinctly, “But all I remember is love.” And she disappeared.

I began to shiver in a room gone suddenly cold, and I knew in my bones that the love we give and receive is all that matters and is all that is remembered. Suffering disappears; love remains. Her words are the most important I have ever heard, and that moment is forever engraved on my heart.

Hot Spicy Cocoa
(Recipe adapted from Babble Food)

Ingredients (serves 2)

- 500 ml almond milk (you can substitute with rice-, oat or soymilk)
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened dark cocoa powder
- 2 tablespons maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2-3 dashes of cayenne pepper
- pinch of salt

Method

In a pan heat almond milk. Sift the cocoa powder (1 tablespoons each) into mugs. Add 1 tablespoons hot almond milk to each mugs, stirring it briskly (clumps melt away). Season the almond milk with salt, cinnamon and cayenne pepper and pour over the cocoa.

Enjoy!

Túrós Pogácsa – Cottage Cheese Scones

November 21, 2012 2 Comments

Pogácsa is a type of savory scone in Hungarian cuisine. Pogácsa is made from either short dough or yeast dough. As with scones and biscuits, eggs and butter are common ingredients, as is milk, cream or sour cream. Many traditional versions exists, with size, shape – the most common is round – and flavor variations in each region.

A dozen different ingredients can be found either in the dough, sprinkled on top before baking, or both: medium-firm fresh cheeses, aged dry hard cheeses, potato, pork crackling (tepertő), cabbage, black pepper, hot or sweet paprika, garlic, red onion, caraway seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds or poppy seeds. Pogácsa is a very popular savoury snack, it also can be eaten for breakfast. It is best to eat warm, fresh from the oven.

I learnt this recipe from my mom. When we baked it together we used Hungarian túró (cottage cheese/quark) but as an alternative you can use dry curd cottage cheese. By the way, they are dangerous! Why? My friend, Giulia put it the right way: “Is it impossibile to stop eating them when you start, right?” Yes, Giulia, you are right! :) To get my recipe visit The Hungarian Girl’s website here.

Roasted Millet Salad With Garlicy Butternut Squash and Tofu

November 19, 2012 4 Comments

Now that we have a tofu tutorial, let’s see a delicious tofu recipe. It is a warm, nutritious grain salad with roasted pumpkin and tofu. It is filling, gives you energy and you can take it for lunch the next day at work.

Millets are major food sources in arid and semiarid regions of the world, and feature in the traditional cuisine of many others. People with coeliac disease can replace certain gluten-containing cereals in their diets with millet. Millets are predominantly starchy. The protein content is comparable to that of wheat and maize. Millets are rich in B vitamins (especially niacin, B6 and folic acid), calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, and zinc.

The idea to roast the millet before cooking comes from one of my new cookbooks, Sprouted Kitchen. It gives an earthy flavour to the dish. I added roasted garlic, butternut squash and tofu to the salad and tossed it with a creamy tahini-lemon-chili sauce. Oh My, yummie!

Roasted Millet Salad With Garlicy Butternut Squash and Tofu

Ingredients (serves 2-3)

- 150 g millet
- 300 g firm tofu
- 350 g butternut squash (or any kind of squash), peeled and cubed
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 4 tablespoons tahini
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon chili flakes
- 2 teaspoons nutritional yeast (optional)
- juice of 1 lemon
- salt, pepper
- coconut or olive oil

Method

Roast the millet in a dry pan for 5 minutes then set aside. Press the unnecessary liquid out of the tofu, then dice into small cubes (about 1 cm * 1 cm, 0.39 inch * 0.39 inch). Peel the butternut squash then dice into the same size like tofu. Preheat the oven to 180C (356F).

Arrange the tofu and butternut squash cubes on a baking sheet, sprinkle with 2 tablespoons coconut oil, season with salt and pepper. Roast for about 10 minutes then sprinkle with the chopped garlic and roast for another 10 minutes or until golden brown. Set aside. Cook the roasted millet in salted water according to package directions. Set aside.

In a small bowl whisk together tahini, soy sauce, lemon juice, chili flakes and nutritional yeast.

In a big bowl toss the millet and roasted squash, tofu togetherand add the tahini sauce.

Enjoy!

What Is Real Food?

November 14, 2012 3 Comments

What is real food? Where does it come from, what does it contain, how do we cook it, who do we share with? The above illustration (text) gives you all the answers. I agree with every word! And you?