Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Tortilla de patatas

I could be cooking cakes, cookies or desserts everyday, but that’s not possible because someone has to eat it…and it’s not very healthy!  So today…typical Spanish, but not sweet.
The Spanish omelet is known everywhere, or at least I like to think that hehe. It’s good both for main course with salad or some bread or as a starter with some wine.  I hope you enjoy this recipe, I am sure you will have a good time eating it.

Olive oil
5 big potatoes
1-2 onions
4 eggs

1.     Peel and chop the potatoes. Put in a big pan with about 1 cm of olive oil and fry for 30 min aprox. Add salt. The maximum  heating in my kitchen is 9, for this 30min I use number 6.
2.     . Peel and chop the onion. Put with the potatoes and fry for 20 minutes more. Add some more salt.
3.       Put the maximum heating for 3-5 minutes once the onion is cooked. Try to remove all the olive oil you can.
4.      Beat the eggs (I usually add a bit of milk or cream). Add salt. Mix with the fried potatoes and onion.
5.      Put in a smaller pan (the smaller the pan the thicker the omelette). Maximum heating. Wait for about 4 minutes and turn the omelette using a plate (cover the pan with the plate turn the pan over, now you have the omelet in the plate, put it in the pan again but on the other side). Cook for 5 minutes more.
6.       Remove from heating. In my opinion the Spanish omelette is better if you do it about 5 hours before eating.

      Be careful, times are not exact, it will depend on how you chop the potatoes, the oil, the type of potato... so you should be in the kitchen checking how it is going and moving the potatoes to avoid they stick to the pan. Bon profit!!

Thursday, 10 November 2011


Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday to mee..... hehe yes, today is my birthday and that is the perfect excuse to make a cake! We are only two at home so, I don't know how are we going to finish it but we will think of something!
I've never been a fan of cheesecakes but when I found this recipe in "corazon de almíbar", a very interesting blog, I knew I would like it mainly because it's done with mascarpone, a very tasty cheese I love.
As always I recomend you to make this recipe, it's really easy and the result is amazing.

Ingredients (22cm d springform pan)
200gr cookies (I used oatmeal cookies)
80gr Melted butter (I used 50gr)
300gr Philadelphia (I used light ..but I don't think it makes any difference)
250gr Mascarpone
200gr Sour cream
150gr Sugar
4 Eggs
Some vanilla sugar
Berry jam

1. Crush the cookies and mix with the melted butter.
2. Line a springform pan with baking paper. Put the cookies in the pan as you see in the picture. Press with the back of a spoon so it's compressed.
3. Mix the Philadelphia with the mascarpone. Add the Sour cream and mix. Add the sugar while you are still mixing.
4. Add the eggs one by one, don't add the second one until the first one is totally mixed. Add the vanilla sugar.
5. Pour the mixture into the springform pan.
6. Bake the cheesecake in a water bath. (1-2 cm water). Preheated oven 180ºC for 50min. Then turn off the oven and wait 15 minutes more. Remove from the oven and when is cold enough put into the fridge overnight.
7. Spread the jam over the cake. I've used Sandalfour jam, but if you prefer a little more acidic you can use Hartley's fruit filling which is also more liquid so it's easyer to spred.

IMPORTANT: before puting the sprinform pan into the water bath you have to put foil around to avoid that the water goes into the pan.

Bon profit!!!!

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Winter lentils

Last week was crazy but now I'm here again with a very energetic and comforting soup. This weekend has been very cold and wet so yesterday I decided to cook this winter lentils but...imagine my surprise when this morning I woke up and realized the sun was shining and the temperatures had risen to 17ºC. Anyway I have eaten this for lunch and it was great!! I strongly recomend you to try this recipe, it only has advantages: it's cheap, tasty quick and easy!

Ingredients (serves 8)
500gr lentils
3 carrots
1 onion
1 potato
1 tomato
1/2 leek
2 bay leaves
2 cloves of garlic
"Chorizo" (or some bacon, black pudding...)
Olive oil

1. Put the lentils to soak for 2-3 hours ,warm water. (this step is not necessary if you use pardina lentils)
2. Heat some oil in the pressure cooker and  stir-fry the sliced vegetables (not the potato) for 5-10 min.
3. Add the lentils, sliced potato, bay, garlic and the pork. The pork is not essential, actually if you are trying to take care of your health don't use it, it will taste great anyway. Fry for 2 more minutes.
4.Add water and salt (1 and 1/2 tablespoon approx) until you cover the lentils and about 1.5 cm more. (If you like it more like a soup add a bit more, if you prefer drier lentils a bit less).
5. Close the pressure cooker. Wait until it makes that typical sound and reduce the heating from max to half. Wait for 10 to 15 minutes and remove from heat. Wait until you can open, and once you can check if you like the result, if you want it more cooked, heat without covering for 10 minutes more...but it shouldn't be necessary.

If you don't have a pressure cooker the only difference is that you will have to cook for 60 minutes approx. I normally use pardina lentils (the small dark ones I show in the picture), if you use any other you will have to cook for a bit longer. If you have home made tomato sauce add two tablespoons at step 2. Bon profit!!

Interesting to know about lentils...

1. Originated in India and eaten by humans for more than 10.000 years.
2. High level of vegetal proteins.
3. High level of fiber.
4. High level of carbohydrates (energy).
5. Combined with rice give a perfect combination of amino acids, vitamins and micronutrients.
6. Low level of lipids (fat).
7. Satiating effect.
8. Good against fluid retention.
9. As they provide folate (turned into folic acid) lentils are good to prevent depression and moodiness.
10. Not good for those with uric acid problems.

Thursday, 27 October 2011


Panellets are typical from Catalonia for the 31st of October and 1st of November. Each year when I was a kid my mum and I cooked panellets for family and lots of friends; I remember that the first time I stayed up late was because I was doing hundrets of panellets with her (yes, hundrets!! more than 300).
This is a very special recipe for me and I hope you try it because I'm sure you will like it. You will need about 2-3h to do 80-100 panellets, but it's really easy and if you have kids they can help you!

Ingredients (80-100 panellets)
1kg ground almonds
750 gr sugar (icing sugar is better, but not essential)
2 medium potatoes
Grated lemon and orange peel (1 lemon and 1/2 orange)
Pine nuts
Crushed almonds
Grated coconut
Candied cherries
2 Eggs

1. Mix the ground almonds with the sugar as in picture 1.
2. Boil the potatoes, wait until they are cold peel and make a pure using a fork.
3. Mix the potatoes with the gound almonds and sugar until you have a dough like in picture 2. Don't knead more than necessary because it would become brittle.
4. Do the shapes you see in picture 3 (or in the one above) with your hands.
5. Beat the eggs. Soak the shapes with the beaten eggs and decorate with the pine nuts, crushed almonds and coconuts. (You will need to press a bit)
6. For the ones with candied cherries paint them with the beaten eggs and put one candied cherrie in the middle.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Almond cookies

Hello to all of you! Finally I can use the kitchen, and that means...I'm back!! Today...cookies again!! but this time almond cookies! I had never done this recipe before mainly because I decided the ingredients and quantities just 5 minutes before starting but the outcome is pretty good, actually... I can't stop eating! (which is not that good...).
If you have a kneading machine is going to be easier/faster, but if not don't worry! I don't have any so I used a spatula and my hands (is relaxing to knead the dough with your hands!)


1 egg (room temperature)
150gr icing sugar
150gr butter (room temperature)
370gr flour
40-50gr ground almonds
Vanilla sugar
Some chopped almonds


1. Cream together the butter and sugar. It's important to have the butter at room temperature because it will be much easier to beat.(I did this and the following step with a spatula)
2. Add the beaten egg, the ground almonds and some vanilla sugar. Mix until it gets smooth.
3. Add the flour slowly while you knead (here is when hands come into play for those without kneading maxine).
4.Put half of the dough on a baking paper and the other half on another one (if not it's too big!). Cover each half with another piece of baking paper* and expand until is half cm thick.
5. Leave for 2h in the fridge.
6. Remove one of the baking papers and cut the cookies with the shape you prefer.
7. Put some chopped almonds and some vanilla sugar on the top of each cookie. Bake 180º for 10-15 minutes (is better if you are there checking because all ovens are different).
*I read thit trick in a blog called "el rincón de Bea", and it's really useful for not messing with the dough.

For a different presentation you can use a shape like mine and put a toothpick in the cookie (as if  it was a lollipop) before baking, it looks like a flower. Bon profit!!

Monday, 17 October 2011

Where does cinnamon come from?

It’s Monday again and finally, in Spain, temperatures are the normal ones for this time of year. I have to say this is my favorite season of the year. I love seeing the different colors of the trees, the walks I used to take on cold but sunny Sundays, the smell of roasted chestnuts on the streets... Something I really feel like cooking these days is anything with cinnamon: custard, cookies, pastries, even meatballs with cinnamon!
Today I was going to make custard with cinnamon… but this morning I've discovered that I won’t be able to use the kitchen for a few days… so I've decided to do something different! I am going to explain where cinnamon comes from!

Cinnamon is tree bark (cinnamomum verum) that has gone through a manufacturing process. When the bark is removed it curls into the characteristic shape of cinnamon sticks.  Generally it comes from Asia, mainly from Sri Lanka, but nowadays it is also cultivated in other countries such as Brasil.
In the year 2500 (BC) the Chinese already knew the cinnamon which was more valued than gold and the ancient Egyptians used it for embalming and for spells. It was on the 1500 that the Portuguese brought the cinnamon to Europe.
It’s said that cinnamon use improves the assimilation of food and prevents fermentation in the digestive tract among other medical applications, so now you don’t need any other excuse to eat cinnamon cakes than is good for your health.
Although I won’t cook it today I've done it in the past so I know it works well, so I will leave here the recipe for the cinnamon custard, just in case any of you decide to try!

0.5L milk
20gr corn flour
2 egg yolks (3 if they are small)
50gr sugar
Cinnamon branch
Lemon peel
Some ground cinnamon

1. Put 400mL of milk in a pot with the cinnamon branch and the lemon peel. Heat until it boils and then put away from heating.
2. Dissolve the corn flour in the other 100mL of cold milk and mix with the sugar and egg yolks.
3. Mix this with the flavored milk and heat over low heat until you get the texture you like. It is important that you try to avoid boiling because the egg yolk is very delicate and could ruin the custard. 
4. Put it in individual bowls and sprinkle some ground cinnamon. If you prefer to eat it cold, just put in the fridge for about two hours and sprinkle the cinnamon before serving.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Halloween cookies

Halloween is coming and I thought it would be the perfect time to try a new recipe! I had never decorated cookies with royal icing before so the result is not the best ever but next time I will do it better! This recipe is easy but quite long... so you will need to be patient, the best part is the last one, at least I had a great time decorating the cookies! I've done ghosts, mummies and spider webs, but you can do any shape you want to (pumpkins, cats...)!

160gr Butter
77gr Icing sugar
200gr flour and some more
1 small egg
3 teaspoon of vanilla sugar
3 teaspoon of crushed almonds
cookie cutters

Royal icing
2 egg whites
500gr Icing sugar
1 Teaspoon of lemon juice
1 Teaspoon of food glycerin (optional)

1. Put the butter in the microwave until looks like cream. Mix it with the sugar.
2. Add the egg, vanilla sugar and crushed almonds. Crushed almonds are optional...but will give a great flavor. If you want you can use more vanilla sugar and crushed almonds (I did) but 3 teaspoons should be enough.
3. Gradually add the 200gr  flour, knead for a couple of minutes and put the dough in the refrigerator for two hours.
4. After two hours the dough should be quite hard. Knead a little more and expand it on a floured surface using a pastry roll. This dough is very sticky so use al the flour you need for your hands, surface and pastry  roll.
5. Cut the shapes.
6. Bake 190ºC about 10-15 min.
Royal icing
1. Beat the egg whites mixed with the teaspoon of lemon juece to soft peaks. Add the icing sugar and mix.
2. When you have a soft mix add the glycerin. Glycerin will make the icing brighter and will take longer to harden. I didnt' use it because I couldn't find both the coloring and the glycerin.
3. Separate the icing into as many containers as different colors you want. Add the coloring (some drops) and mix. Put the different icings into different pastry bags.
4. Using different nozzels decorate the cookies. For example for the ghosts first paint all the cookie with the white icing and when it's still liquid paint the eyes and mouth. You can help yourself with toothpicks for the small details.
IMPORTANT: put the icing that you will not use immediately in closed containers to prevent drying.

As I could not find coloring I used chocolate instead of black color. The best nozzels for details are the smaller ones. If you don't have pastry bags or nozzels use a bag frozen and make a small hole in the corner as I did. For the shape if you don't have specifically halloween shapes you can cut with a knife the shape you want or you can use cutters you already have (a bear for example) and modify it to look like ghost, mummies... Bon profit!!

In this webpage you will find good ideas for different shapes and you will see how good they look with coloring, glycerin and... made by someone with more experience than me!

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

White asparagus cake

This is another easy recipe that can be cooked both for a normal day or to surprise friends at a special dinner, it all depends on the presentation. I personally prefear to eat it cold, but it can be served hot too, and always accompanied by shredded lettuce, a little mayonnaise, cocktail sauce, vinaigrette.... or anything else you can think of!

Ingredients (serves 4)
3 big eggs
500 gr white asparagus (canned)
170gr crème fraîche (if you can't find it you can use greek yogurt, liquid cream or philadelphia)
Black pepper
Baking paper

1. Remove the liquid and dry the asparagus as much as possible, you can use paper towels.
2. Cut the asparagus. Reserve some tips.
3. Mix all the ingredients in a blender.
4. Pour into a mold lined with baking paper.
5. Bake for 30 min 170ºC. Then insert a toothpick or a knife into the center of the cake, if it comes out clean (maybe with a few crumbs adhering) the cake is done; if it's not just bake for a few more minutes.

If you use extra light philadelphia you will have a totally diet recipe, but, in my experience, the best results come with crème fraîche. The one in the picture I did it with a mix of light philadelphia and greek yogurt. I hope you enjoy it!!! Bon profit!

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Tuna turnovers or Empanadillas!

I don't really know if turnover is the same as empanadilla... but is the best translation I've found. Empanadillas are very typical in Spain and I'm sure you will like this recipe. This ones are stuffed with tuna but you can use whatever you want: vegetables, minced beef... This time I've done a little cheating and I've used pre-cooked pastry, but I will tell you the complete recipe because if you have time is quite easy and it tastes better!

Ingredients  (about 25 turnovers)
100gr olive oil
150gr water
350gr flour
salt teaspoon
400gr canned tuna
2 boiled and eggs
Tomato sauce (best if homemade!! with onion, olive oil, red pepper...)
Green olives
Some capers

1. Put all the pastry ingredients in a bowl and knead. If it's too sticky just add a little more flour.
2. Expand it with a pastry roller until it's about 3mm thick and cut into round slices.
3. Chop the boiled eggs and the green olives, dry the tuna and mix all the stuffing ingredients.
4. Put a bit of stuffing in the middle of each wafer and close. Use a fork to seal the end of each turnover.
5. Put them into  pre-heated oven for 15 minutes 170ºC... or until you see they look as in the first picture. They will look nicer if you paint them with beaten egg before putting them into the oven...but I think it's not necessary.

Normally turnovers are fried... but this way you avoid lots of fat. If you don't feel like cooking the pastry and you don't find it done in the supermarket you can use puff pastry. If you use puff pastry you will have to do small holes with the fork before baking and turn them over after 5-6 minutes in the oven. Bon profit!

Monday, 10 October 2011

White asparagus soup

This is a very tasty soup that you can take both cold or hot, as you prefer. It's also a good recipe for the ones that are trying to loose weight, just don't add butter and you will have a light starter that everyone will like. This is the soup used as a sauce in Marc's way lasagna.

400gr skimmed milk
400gr canned asparagus + liquid
30gr butter
1 tablespoon corn flour
Black pepper and nutmeg

1. Put the butter in a pot and when it's melted add the flour. Cook for 1 minute.
2. Heat the milk, cut the asparagus and add both to the pot. Add the liquid from the canned asparagus and the spices too.
3. Boil (simmer) for 8-10 minutes.
4. Blend it all until smooth.

If you are doing the light version don't follow step 1, just add the flour with all the other ingredients. To serve you can decorate with a sprig of fresh parsley or a few asparagus tips. I hope you enjoy it! Bon profit!

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Healthy vegetable soup

1 onion
1/2 potato
1 leek
4 carrots
4 parsnip
some parsley
some pasta ( I use macaroni)

1. Chop the vegetables
2. Put them all the in the pot and add water and salt. Let it boil for 1h 15min. and add the pasta. Let it boil for 10 minutes more.

That's all!!! you have a tasty and healthy soup perfect for dinner now that summer seems so far. As you can see this is a really easy recipe, you can cook it on the weekend and keep it in the fridge for some days. I usually add a chicken or vegetables stock cube, but it's not really necessary. Bon profit!

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Marc's way lasagna

Marc had a really good idea last week and today I bring it to you.This lasagna is not the tipical one, there is no pasta and there is no bechamel but trust me, you will like it!!! The best part of it is that is perfect for those who are on diet! Instead of pasta we use courgette sheets, and instead of bechamel white asparagus cream. Today we cooked it for lunch and I must say it was really really good!!! I hope you like it!

2 big courgettes
750gr minced beef
4 tomatoes
some light grated cheese
1 onion
white asparagus cream

1. Wash the courgettes, slice off top and bottom tips, and cut the courgette in halfs. Slice thin layers and boil them for 3 minutes.
2. For the tomatoe sauce: Peel the tomatoes and chop, do the same with the onion an put both in a saucepan. Add halfspoon of sugar and halfspoon of salt, some oregano and cook for 20 minutes.
3. After those 20 minutes cook the minced beef with the tomato sauce, you can add any vegetable you want to, for example we added chopped courgettes and carrots.
4. Cover the bottom of a baking dish with the courgette slices. Now cover the courgettes with the minceed beef, some asparagus soup, and again with courgettes.
5. Pour the remaining asparagus soup and cover with cheese. Bake 5 or 10 minutes.

You can do the asparagus soup yourself or just buy it ready to cook (like knor soups and so), next week I will publish this soup recipe. I hope you like this special lasagna! Bon profit!

Friday, 16 September 2011

Three chocolates cake

Today I post the perfect cake for chocolate lovers! It's quite long doing it but is worth and it's not difficult at all. I hope you decide to do it, you will surprise all, family friends.


250gr dark chocolate
250gr milk chocolate
250gr white chocolate
600mL milk
600mL cream
3 sachets of curd
For the crust: (amount depends on how thick you want it)
Some butter

1. First of all we will make the crust. We crush the biscuits and mix it with the sliced butter. We spread the dough in the sprinform pan and try to make it as flat as possible. Then we put it into the oven for a few minutes, until it's crispy. 2. We put in a saucepan the dark chocolate, 200mL of milk and the same of cream we heat and once the chocolate is melted one sachet of curd. We heat it for 7 minutes aprox at 90ºC ( just don't let it boil) and we pour this mix on the crust.Wait five minutes before starting the next layer mixture.
3. We do the same with the milk chocolate (is better to clean the saucepan, because if not this mixture will look darker than what we expect). Take a look at the picture I show later, you should pour the chocolate layers that way so that you don't break the one poured before.
4. Just do the same but with the white chocolate.
5. Put the cake in the fridge until next day and decorate it as you wish!! You can sprinkle grated chocolate or cocoa powder usig a patterned template.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do!! you can add sugar to each layer if you are very greedy, but I think it's sweet enough this way! ... Bon profit!!

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Light courgette soup

It's starting to get cold and there is nothing better than a hot bowl of soup for warming up when you get home. Today I've done a light courgette soup, so if you are trying to lose some weight you may be interested in this tasty and easy recipe.

Ingredients (2-3 portions)
2 courgettes
1/2 potato
1/2 onion
1 leek (the white part)
50gr Celery approx
2 teaspoon philadelphia extra light

1. Wash the courgettes, slice off top and bottom tips and cut the courgettes into slices. If you want you can peel the courgette, it's said that it might be a bit bitter, but I don't really notice that.
2. Peel and slice the potatoe, wash and slice the celery and the leek.
3. Heat the wather and add all the vegetables. Let it boil for 25 minutes.
4. Put all the vegetables with just some of the boiling whater in the blender. You can add more whater (or skimmed milk) if you want it more liquid.
5. Finally you add the cheese and mix a bit more.

For a not so light soup just put the sliced leek and onion into a bit of heated olive oil and cook for five minutes,then follow as in the light version. You can also use a  whole potatoe and mozzarella cheese instead of extra light cheese.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Chocolate Bomb

Here is one of my favourites desserts....the chocolate Bomb! This is the perfect choice if you want to impress your guests, it's easy to do, you can make it when you have time and keep it in the freezer and the most most important reason... everybody loves it! You can serve it as you wish, but a good option is vanilla icecream. For the picture I used icing sugar.

250gr dark chocolate
150gr sugar
200gr butter (better if it's not salty)
6 eggs
120gr flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Muffin ramekins

1. First of all we whip egg whites into stiff peaks with the sugar.  That will be easyer if the eggs are not cold from the fridge.
2. In another bowl we beat the yolks until we can se a bit of foam.
3. Make sure the chocolate is chopped into uniform pieces. Put it in a microwave-safe bowl with the butter and heat it for 1 or 2 minutes. It is prefereable to melt the chocolate on a low power setting to avoid burnint it. Stir the chocolate every 30 seconds so that all is equaly heated.
4. Mix the chocolate with the egg yolks and add the flour and the cinnamon.
5. Finally mix it with the egg whites and stir the mixture with a rubber spatula.
6. Pour the dough into the muffin ramekins filling them about 6/8 of the way to the top. For me the bests ones are the ones I show you in the picture. I usually place baking paper in the ramekin before pouring the mixture, this way is much more easy to remove the cake and to clean the ramekin.

If you are planning to eat the bomb another day now is when you put it in the freezer!

7. Preheat the oven 200ºC and down to 180º when you put the ramekins in. Leave them for at least 12 minutes (15 if they come directly from the freezer).

Each oven is different so, what you should do is try with one of the bombs which is the best time for yours. Be careful because if you leave them too much in the oven you will have normal muffins...which are ok but not what we are looking for. I hope you like it.
Bon profit!!