Archive for ‘Recipe of the Month’

2018, February 16

Recipe of the Month: Pickled cucumber sauce

My mom used to make this Pickled Cucumbers Sauce recipe when I was a kid. It wasn’t really a favorite of mine, because it was green. Logical, right?

I think it was such a repeated dish in our home mainly because in Winter it’s very easy to get bored of what you can eat on the side of meat dishes. Pickled cucumbers were cheap, and we also used to have a veggie garden at my grandparent’s house so we made our own pickles. Especially in Romania, where on the one hand, she grew up in the communist regime and pickled cucumbers were something they were able to find easily, so it was easy to learn how to cook it. On the other hand, even when I was a child, imported goods for having veggies like tomatoes in Winter was only just starting to become a thing.

Of course we can nowadays find mostly anything we want in any time of the year, but something just struck me and I asked mom for this recipe because ever since I started cooking myself, I have definitely discovered previous dislikes have turned into very yummy dishes if I cook them. It’s really interesting how life pans out, isn’t it?

Pickled Cucumber Sauce

5-6 medium sized pickled cucumbers
2 tbsp flour
salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder to taste

Grate the pickled cucumbers.
In a pan add some olive oil and the flour stirring until it’s all combined and not lumpy.

Add the grated cucumbers into the pan and season to taste with the salt, pepper, paprika and garlic powder. When combined, pour chicken stock over it until the cucumbers are fully covered.
(If you don’t have chicken stock, you can also add a chicken stock cube into a glass of water to substitute. I usually do this since I prefer to boil my own chicken stock and I don’t always have it at the ready in the freezer.)

Boil the mixture for about 20 minutes until it turns into a sauce. Keep an eye on the consistency and if needed, add more chicken stock or water.

Serve with basically any type of grilled meat. I usually have it on the side to fried meatballs.

Bon appétit! ;)

2018, January 12

Recipe of the Month: Broccoli & Chicken Lasagna

I wanted to try making homemade lasagna for about a year and a half now. The ingredients have been bought, the time slot allocated for cooking. Then, I ended up making some kind of stew instead. The box of lasagne was still there when I did a big cupboard clean-out two weeks ago.
I decided to just give it a go. However, I wanted something lighter, so I didn’t follow a traditional recipe.

Broccoli and Chicken Lasagna

one box of lasagne
500 ml milk
100 g flour
100 g butter
450 g broccoli
400 g chicken breast
150 g Parmesan cheese
seasonings to taste – salt, pepper, garlic powder, allspice, paprika

Melt the butter in a skillet, add the flour and slowly stir in the warmed milk. When it get to a medium-thick consistency (basically a Béchamel sauce), stir in the Parmesan.

Cut the chicken breast and the broccoli into small cubes. Start with cooking the chicken first in a skillet adding the seasonings to taste – I used salt, pepper, garlic powder, allspice, and paprika. I also added a splash of white wine. When the chicken is almost done, add the broccoli and cook until they’re both done.

Place a pot of water to boil and when it’s done you can start assembling the lasagna. Place each lasagne separately into the boiling water and leave it for about a minute. You will be doing this all the while you’re assembling the lasagna itself.

In a buttered baking tin spread one layer of sauce, place on top of it a layer of lasagne to cover the bottom of the tin, spread a layer of sauce on the lasagne and then a layer of broccoli with chicken. Place another layer of lasagne, then continue the same way building up and repeating the layers (sauce, lasagne, broccoli and chicken) until all the ingredients are gone.

Place in a preheated over at 180C for about 20 minutes. Serve hot from the oven.

Bon appétit! ;)

2017, September 22

Recipe of the Month: Easy three-ingredient Chia Pudding

I’ve mentioned before, that Chia pudding quickly became a favorite after trying out new recipes. It is still in the running, five months later.

Now, I don’t want to fill this space with a ton of recipes everyone has already heard about because you can in fact find more than plenty of Chia pudding recipes if you Google search it, or check out Pinterest. Instead, I’ll share with you my humble idea, of which there are few recipes on the internet as far as I could tell (I only found them after specifically typing in the search terms).

Easy three-ingredient Chia Pudding

3 tbsp Chia seeds
1 cup Chocolate Coconut milk (or which ever kind of milk you like best)
1 tbsp jam/preserve of your choice

Combine all the ingredients in a jar. Cover the jar with a lid and give it a vigorous shake. Let it chill for about an hour, then return to the jar and shake it up so the seeds aren’t clumping. Leave it in the fridge overnight.

The Chia seeds will expand and turn into a pudding about the consistency of applesauce, or a creamy tapioca pudding. I love this because Chia seeds have no flavor so the pudding will taste like whatever liquid and mix-ins you’re using.

Both simple, and chocolate Coconut milk taste delicious in this recipe.
So far, I’ve tried making this with Strawberry, Blueberry, Eglantine and Plum jams (my favorite was the Blueberry). I am really liking this idea since I am using up the jam in my pantry which has sat there for way too long, and also, there’s no need to add any other sweetener since the jam is already sweet.

Serve cold with sliced fruit, sprinkles or nuts over the top.

Bon appétit! ;)

2017, July 21

Recipe of the Month: Red Pepper and Baked Egg Galettes

My mind hasn’t been too preoccupied with cooking and baking lately, and when it was, I stuck to my go-to easy recipes. A couple of weeks ago however, I tried a new recipe.
It is this one, Red Pepper and Baked Egg Galettes, slightly adapted from over at, and it came out absolutely delicious! I can’t wait to try out Sue’s other recipe, Mushroom and Egg Breakfast Pastries, too. After tasting this first one, I’m positive it’ll be just as amazing.
My only regret is that I forgot to take pictures with my camera instead of my phone… but you can still see they look yummy.

Red Pepper and Baked Egg Galettes

2 large or 4 small red bell peppers
2 small onions (red or white)
fresh sprigs of thyme
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
6 Tbsp olive oil
handful fresh parsley
handful cilantro
1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
1 egg, beaten, for brushing the pastry
cream cheese (or thin slices of Feta)
4 large fresh eggs
salt and fresh cracked pepper

Leave puff pastry to thaw. Set oven to 400F.
Cut the bell peppers into 1/2 inch strips, cut the onions in half, and then into 1/2 inch wedges, remove the leaves of the thyme. Chop the parsley and the cilantro.
Mix together the pepper, onions, thyme and spices in a bowl. Add the olive oil and toss well so that everything is coated with the oil and spices.
I skipped this step, but optionally, spread these on a baking sheet and roast for about 30 minutes, stirring and rearranging the veggies a few times so they don’t burn.
Sprinkle the veggies with half the fresh herbs and set aside.

Turn the oven up to 425. Roll out the pastry on a floured surface until it reaches a 12×12 inch square. Cut into four 6 inch squares. Transfer to parchment or silpat lined baking sheets.
Take a dull knife and score a little 1/4 inch frame around each square of pastry. Don’t cut all the way through. Prick the inside of the squares all over with the tines of a fork. Place it back in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Remove the pastry from the fridge and brush all over with a beaten egg. Spread the inside of each square with cream cheese, or a thin slice of Feta (the latter is my favorite option).
Top each with some of the veggie mixture, spread it out evenly, leaving the borders free, and leaving a shallow depression in the center for the egg, which will go in later.

Bake for about 10 minutes until rising and starting to brown.
Remove and carefully crack an egg into the center of each galette.
Place the sheet back into the oven for about 10 minutes, until the egg is set.

Sprinkle with salt, pepper and the remaining herbs, and eat right away.

Bon appétit! ;)

2017, February 17

Recipe of the Month: Chili with a hint of Carne

While still on holiday in the first week of January, aside from catching up with doing laundry, I started cleaning out the fridge and pantry with the purpose of using up everything that was more or less about to go off.
I made tuna salad with left-over veggies, oven-baked Falafel since I found chickpeas and wanted to try the recipe, diced some red peppers and thinly sliced a leek popping them in the freezer for some future stir fry I’ll be making, and cut up some overripe bananas to freeze for smoothies.

I also found a can of white beans in tomato sauce, and thought about later going out and buying ground meat to cook Chili. Most Chili recipes I’ve seen, require the same amount of beans and meat. However, that is not something I’d eat, so I always cook the dish for my boyfriend alone.
Given I was in cleaning-mode and rummaged more through the freezer, I found some left-over meat paddies I’ve thrown in there from the previous week when we’ve made homemade cheese burgers, and I decided to only use those in the recipe and see what comes out of it. Well, the finished dish tasted wonderful, so that is how Chili with a hint of Carne was born.


Chili with a hint of Carne

pinch of salt
pinch of black pepper
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 vegetable cube
1 beef cube
2-3 garlic cloves
1 tsp oregano
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium red onion
100-150 grams ground beef meat
1 can white beans in tomato sauce (415 grams)

Add the olive oil, the seasonings, the vegetable and beef cubes (I used Knorr), together with the diced onion and minced garlic into a pan, and saute them until the onion is translucent.

Stir in the meat, and let it cook through, stirring every once in a while to that the meat doesn’t stick to your pan.

Once the meat is cooked, add in the can of beans, and cook for another ten to fifteen minutes (depends on the beans, so check the instructions on the can), until all the flavors come together.

When it was done, I added some of it into small jars to serve over pasta as you would a sauce, and into the rest of it, I stirred some steamed rice. Both versions tasted great!

Bon appétit! ;)

2016, December 16

Recipe of the Month: Panettone sheet cake

From what Wikipedia tells me, Panettone is a type of sweet bread loaf originally from and one of the symbols of the city of Milan, usually prepared and enjoyed for Christmas and New Year in Italy. It has a cupola shape, which extends from a cylindrical base and is usually about 12–15 cm high for a Panettone weighing 1 kg.

My recipe is definitely not the above described Panettone, but a toned-down, sheet cake version of it by the same name. I got the recipe from a friend in Paris.


Panettone sheet cake

2,5-3 mugs sugar
4 mugs flour
10 g baking powder
10 g vanilla sugar
4 eggs
1 mug oil or melted butter
1 mug yogurt

Stir together the sugar, flour, baking powder, vanilla sugar, oil and the egg’s yolks.
Beat the egg whites and the yogurt together with a mixer, and then combine with the other ingredients.

Line a baking sheet with baking paper, pour the mixture into it and add thinly sliced dried fruits, chocolate shavings or crushed hazelnuts, pecans, peanuts, etc. on top.

Bake for about 25-35 minutes on medium heat.

Serve with coffee, tea or a glass of warm milk. It’s the perfect sweet treat during sweater weather.

Bon appétit! ;)


2016, November 18

Recipe of the Month: Chicken Paprikash

I have only now made this delicious Hungarian stew for the first time since my boyfriend and I are together. After tasting it, having lunch and asking for seconds, too, he asked why I’ve never cooked this before. Truthfully? I haven’t thought about it.

My grandmother used to make Chicken Paprikash in a different variation which I don’t really like, and my mom used to make the below version with basically any part of the chicken, except chicken breast. Mostly because in my country, chicken breast is more expensive than thighs, legs or wings (let me know if it’s different where you live), so chicken breast wasn’t always an option.
In my honest opinion, the different parts of chicken do taste differently, and now I prefer chicken breast. But until recently, I haven’t thought of trying this particular recipe with it. I am so happy my mom suggested it though, the recipe is absolutely perfect this way!



Chicken Paprikash (Csirke Paprikás)

1 chicken breast
olive oil
salt, black pepper (to taste)
2-3 teaspoons sweet Paprika spice
2 teaspoons fresh parsley
2 bulbs of garlic (about 20-25 cloves)
2-4 tablespoons flour (depending how thick you want the sauce)
2 tablespoons sour cream
0,8 liter water

Start by cutting up your chicken breast into small pieces.
Add a little olive oil into a larger pot, add in the chicken, and season to taste with the salt, black pepper and the sweet Paprika (I only used one teaspoon of Paprika since I don’t like it that much, but it was enough for giving the dish a nice taste). Stir until the chicken turns white all over, then cover with the water and leave to simmer.

After the chicken is cooked, remove it onto a plate from the chicken stock and set it aside.

Into a glass add the flour, the sour cream, and a few tablespoons of the still-hot chicken stock (because if you add cold sour cream to a hot liquid it will curdle), then mix it as well as possible to avoid the flour forming lumps. Strain this mixture into the chicken broth on low heat, stir well and let it thicken to a sauce.
Once thickened, add the chicken pieces back and some parsley to taste. Stir a few more times, then turn off the stove and you’re done.

The traditional Chicken Paprikash is served with Nokedli (dumpling-like boiled egg noodles), which I dislike. So instead, I serve my version of this Hungarian recipe with rice, mashed potatoes or bread. Feel free to have sauerkraut or pickles with it.

Usually, I make double the amount of sauce for this recipe. After the chicken is eaten with as much sauce as everyone wants, I make some macaroni or penne pasta and use some of the Paprikash sauce on that. I love it!

PS: I usually wash fresh parsley, place it in small plastic baggies and store them in the freezer. Other greens as well, such as basil, oregano, dill, etc. After frozen, they’re really simple to cut into really thin stripes, when cooking. They’re perfect for having “fresh” greens instead of dried over the Winter as they taste way better.

Bon appétit! ;)

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