The last thing published was some half year ago. I was gone for a while, trying to finish my studies. I was too close to quit, but just couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. That’s when a friend whom I haven’t seen for ages told me “you’ll make it, but you’ll really have to work your ass off this summer.”
I gave up all my hobbies (and of course accidentially got into some new ones) and finished my both masters. I did it. I was happy, but there was a bitter taste of that feeling of time lost. Winter turned into spring, spring into summer, summer into fall. I suddenly had no memory of things that happened in between. I did not feel, I did not see the beauty of the change. I was lost.
Few days ago I was walking down the street and realized that trees have dropped all of the leaves. Looking at the gray misty sky, I felt a soft, colourful, leafy carpet under my feet. I made a deep breath. I could smell winter. And I realized I started to feel myself again.
Sweet potato and pumpkin soup
Ingredients (serves 3 – 4):
- 1 sweet potato (400g aprox.)
- 1 big hokkaido squash
- 2 big shallots
- 500 ml milk
- 150 ml cooking cream
- water or vegetable stock as needed
- salt, pepper
- oil for baking
- 400g oyster mushrooms
- half garlic clove, finely chopped
- 200g tofu (I used ginger carrot tofu from I Like Tofu)
- 100g buckwheat noodles
- fresh parsley
- pink peppercorns
- Preheat oven at 220ºC. Wash, peel and cut sweet potato, squash and shallots. Transfer on a baking tray, sprinkle with salt and oil. Bake until soft (aprox. 40 mins).
- When baked, combine all the vegetables, milk and cream and blend until smooth and creamy. If needed, add some water or vegetable stock (depending on the thickness you prefer). Transfer on stove and heat up by stiring. Add some nutmeg, ground pepper and salt, if needed.
- Meanwhile, cut tofu and mushrooms. Heat some oil in two seperate pans. Stir fry both separately. Add some salt, pepper and chopped garlic to the mushrooms.
- Heat the water and cook the noodles.
- Serve the soup in a bowl, topping it with some noodles, mushrooms and tofu. Sprinkle with pink peppercorns and fres parsley leaves.
I never understood why would anyone put perfectly fresh and sweet blueberries in the pancake batter. That sounded completely irrational. Cooking fresh berries. Right.
I was probably really hungry the last time I went to the store. I came home with almost a kilo of blueberries. So, I decided to make some blueberry pancakes… OMG! When those blueberrues start popping in your mouth it’s like…
From now on I’m having my pancakes with blueberries!
Ingredients (makes aprox 11 – 12 flapjacks):
- 1 big egg
- 20 g rolled oats
- 10 g coconut flour
- 10 g coconut flakes
- 1 Tbsp vanilla protein (optional)*
- 1/2 Tbsp linseed
- 2 Tbsp Perfect Fit (sweetener)*
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 big handful fresh blueberries
- coconut oil for baking
- greek yogurt & fresh blueberries to garnish
* I make my own vanilla protein mix: ground vanilla & 50% rice – 50% pea protein
* I’m using Perfect Fit sweetener as I can’t eat sugar. It replaces 100% sugar and 50% fat (avaliable in Spar and VitaCare)
- Put rolled oats, coconut flour, coconut flakes and linseed in a cofee grinder and mix to get a flour like consistency.
- Transfer to a bowl, add Perfect Fit sweetener and baking powder and mix.
- Add an egg an mix altogether until smooth. Start gradually adding milk – the batter shouldn’t be too liquid. Add fresh blueberries.
- Set aside for 5 – 10 mins.
- Spread some coconut oil over the pan. Use 1 Tbsp of batter for each pancake.
- Serve with greek yogurt and fresh blueberries.
First really warm spring sunny days made me think of summer. It’s approaching so quickly. Two, three months. I’m counting my days by the pages I’ve written. By the books waiting to be read. A morning. An afternoon. A night. Whole day. Day by day. And one month has past. One month after another. Where have they gone?
After today’s four hour Easter breakfast at my grans I’ve been wondering why can’t we just have a normal coffee & cereals breakfast… Too much of everything. Except for bread…
The base. The life. Nothing more. Just people to share it. Braids, easter buns and potica. It’s a part of our tradition. And this year I let the real masters in our family do the thing.
I went for something else. Simple. Savory. The best to be shared with the people you love. Bread.
- 40 g fresh yeast
- 350 g plain flour T500
- 150 g wholegrain spelt flour
- 10 g salt
- 2 eggs
- 120 g butter at room temperature
- 1 tsp honey
- 150 -170 ml milk
- 1 egg for egg wash
- Prepare yeast: crumble the yeast, mix with 50 ml of warm milk and 1 tsp of honey. Let double in size.
- Mix both flours and salt. Add the yeat mixture, beaten eggs, butter and the rest of the milk (depending on the flour you will need more or less of it, so add some 100 ml at first and then you’ll see if it needs more). Mix and work the dough. It takes some 8 – 10 mins. It should be very soft, but not sticky. Form a ball and transfer to a bowl sprinkled with flour. Let rise.
- Divide the dough in three parts if making three different fillings* (check below). Roll out to about 0,5 cm thick into a rectangle. Spread one of the fillings, leaving aprox 2 cm blank on one side of the dough. Roll. Use sharp knife to cut lenghtwise. Open each side facing up and make a braid. Transfer to a baking tray and let rise.
- Meanwhile preheat oven at 220ºC. Before putting the braids into the oven, brush with egg wash. Bake for 10 mins, then turn the tin and bake for another 10 mins. Reduce the heat to 190ºC and bake for aprox another 10 mins.
* this was enough for 3 braids
1. Brie & pecans
- 200 g of brie cut into pieces
- 3 handfuls of roughly crushed pecans
Sprinkle equally over the dough.
2. Black olive pesto
- 250 g pitted black olives
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
Mix everything into a smooth paste using a food processor.
3. Sundried tomatoes & mediterranean herbs
- 200 g sundried tomatoes (from oil, drained)
- 5 small capers
- 2 tbsp dried mediterranean herbs
- 1 big garlic clove
Mix everything into a smooth paste using a food processor.
When things go wrong, just stop and make a babka. She understands. She makes all the bad things go away. And even if it won’t turn out like the prettiest babka in the world, it will still be the best one you had in a million years.
Just go for it!
- 100 g wholegrain spelt flour
- 200 g wheat flour T400 + for dusting
- 1 egg and 2 egg yolks
- 15 g fresh yeast
- 15 ml milk
- 70 g softened butter
- 40 g agave syrup or honey
- ⅓ tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp rum
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 egg for brushing
- 4 Tbsp chia seeds
- 100 g fresh blueberries
- 100 g fresh raspberries
- 150 g blueberry or strawberry jam (I used ISIS sugar free jams)*
* avaliable at Vita Care
- Prepare the yeast: mix 15 ml warm milk, tablespoon of agave or honey and fresh yeast. Let double in size.
- In a big bowl mix both flours and salt.
- In a seperate bowl mix softened butter using a hand mixer. Gradually add egg and yolks, agave syrup, vanilla and rum.
- Add the yeast and the egg mixture to flours and mix with wooden spatula. When the ingredients start to combine, dust te work surface, transfer the dough and start kneading. Knead for 10 – 15 mins. Starch needs some time to soak up. It will be a bit messy at the begining, but when it strats to come together, you should form a compact silky dough ball.
- Cover and let rise until doubled in volume (be careful not to overdo it).
- In the meantime mix chia, fresh berries and jam.
- Transfer the dough to work surface and roll to 0.5 com thick.
- Spread over the fruit mixture.
- Roll and cut lenghtwise. Twist the strands to form a plait.Transfer to a baking tin and let rise.
- Brush with egg wash and bake in preheated oven at 210 °C for 10 mins. Turn the tin around and bake for another 10 mins. After that, lower at 180°C and bake for 10 more minutes.
- Let cool. Or don’t let cool. Eat.
Woop Woop! Happy new year people!
The end of the year’s been really busy. But the more the end is approaching, crazier it gets. And December has been mad. Studying, visiting Astoria vineyards and Italy (more on that soon with some great local recipes!!), sparkling festival in Portorož, Christmas with my family and NY’s with best people ever!
This year started crazy good 🙂
And this year also started with snow… So my promise of making a december giveaway winner’s favourite chocolate recipe came in handy. Chocolate pancakes, coffee and white snowy mornings. Perfect.
Homemade nutella + hazelnut butter
- Heat the oven at 180°C vent. Put the hazelnuts on a baking tray and roast for couple of minutes, until the skins are cracked and darken.
- Take out of the oven. Rub the hazelnuts in between two kitchen cloths. The skins should get off easily. Transfer to a blender and pulse until smooth and liquid.
- Divide the hazelnut butter in two jars. Here you are: you’ve just made a jar of hazelnut butter. Proceed with the other jar to make nutella.
- Melt both chocolates, mix with cocoa powder and add to hazelnut butter. Mix well to combine all ingredients.
Pancakes (makes aprox. 5 – 6 pancakes)
- 15 g buckwheat flour
- 30 g brown wholegrain rice
- 20 g coconut flakes
- 25 – 35 g of any milk
- 9 g butter or coconut oil
- 1 tsp sweetener of your choice (I used Perfect Fit)
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp baking powder
- pinch of salt
- Using a coffee grinder, grind wholegrain rice and coconut flakes. Mix all the dry ingredients. Whisk egg and milk, than mix in. Melt butter and add to the pancake mixture. Let rest in the fridge for 15 mins.
- Meanwhile, take chocolate nutella. Place a sheetof baking paper on a cutting board. Make six nutella discs (1 tsp each) and put into the freezer.
- Take the pancake mixture out of the fridge. If it’s too thick, add some milk. Take the frozen nutella discs out of the freezer.
- Heat the pan to medium, grease with oil and add a tablespoon of pancake mixture. Immediately add a chocolate disc and cover with some more pancake mixture. Repeat with the others.
- Eat right away and if desired, add some hazelnut butter.
Mid-December and I’ve been living on salads for the whole week now. I know, not really seasonal… But it’s probably due to the fact that there is still no snow around here. And also, my body knows very well that there are some difficult days ahead. In terms of holidays and food, of course. I guess, it decided on its own to have a mini detox.
This recipe I picked up a few years ago in some magazine while I was in Canada. Walnuts were obviously caramelised on maple syrup, if anyone’s for an upgrade. Also, a slice of smoked trout or smoked salmon would go nice with it. The trick is, of course, in the dressing. And roasted garlic.
Salad with pear, walnuts and yogurt dressing with roasted garlic
Ingredients (for 4 persons):
Mixed seasonal salad
2 pears (or apples)
2 handfuls of walnuts
3 Tbsp olive oil
4 tsp sweet paprika
2 tsp agave or maple syrup
½ teaspoon salt
200 ml of plain yogurt
50 g grated Parmesan cheese
5 cloves of roasted garlic (we need a whole garlic*)
juice of ½ lemon
salt and pepper
sliced smoked salmon or trout (optional)
* I recommend to do a bigger quantity of roasted garlic, because it doesn’t reallly make sense to heat the oven just for one. Roasted garlic can be used in salad dressings, on crostinis, as a condiment. Keep it in fridge.
- Cut the whole garlic horizontally – all the garlic cloves should have the tops cut off. Place it on a piece of aluminum foil, pour over 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Bent the edges of the aluminium sheet towards the inside. Place it on a baking sheet and bake at 150-160 ° C for about 45 minutes.
- Heat the pan, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. When hot enough, add the walnuts. Fry 1 minute, constantly stirring. Pour over the agave or maple syrup, then add the sweet paprika and salt.
- Prepare the dressing: using a fork mash 5 cloves of roasted garlic, add yogurt, grated parmesan, juice of half a lemon, salt and pepper.
- Cut the pears lengthwise and place on top of the salad. Pour over the yogurt dressing and sprinkle with roasted walnuts.
- You can also add slices of smoked salmon or smoked trout, but that’s an option.
This recipe was made for Spar Slovenija and their magazine Dobro zame.
G I V E A W A Y
This time I got lucky once again to be able to give you some delicious belgian chocolates from Klingele chocolates and some nice bubbles from Astoria Wines!
Wishing you all happy holidays!!
Now go play the game 😉
xoxo / sara
What’s there to be done?
Very easy! Everyone who wants to take part in this giveaway has to do BOTH:
- comment the post by answering: Which is your favourite chocolate dessert?
so what’s on the stake?
I will randomly pick 3 winners that will receive each:
- one of the bottles of wine listed above
- some sweets listed above
AND THERE’S MORE…
I will make the winner’s favourite chocolate dessert in an healthier version! How great is that! 🙂
the giveaway starts NOW!!! and it will end on 24.12.2015 at 17:00 (GMT+1) The winners will be anounced on 25.12.2015.
All the gifts must go! So, go go, go Johnny go!
RULES and CONDITIONS of this G I V E A W A Y
- Everyone can enter the giveaway by liking the Giveaway post on my Facebook page lolita bopa AND commenting the post by answering: Which is your favourite chocolate dessert?
- The gifts will be sent by post. Therefore the posting address MUST BE IN SLOVENIA. Sorry you guys from elsewhere, but wine is involved. However, if you know anyone here, you can use their address and enter the game.
- From all of the qualified contestants I will randomly choose 3 winners who will receive a bottle of wine plus some sweets.
- Facebook nor WordPress have nothing to do with this giveaway. The giveaway is organised by me!
- The giveaway starts 13.12.2015 and ends on 24.12.2015 at 17:00 (GMT+1). The winners will be announced the next day.
- I do not take any legal responsibility whatsoever.
- The personal information collected will be used for this giveaway only.
There are days when you’re just an emotional wreck and the only thing you wish is to stay in bed for the whole weekend. Well, this is what my weekend looked like. It was slept over. And in those rare moments of awakeness, all I was longing for was a good piece of pie. Chocolate pie. So I made the pie. And I didn’t care a bit about taking any proper photos. Sorry. Sometimes it’s just more important to get your hands on that pie.
As I’m about to publish this, all my worries away, I’m guessing this chocolate therapy has really helped. I’m celebrating. Sipping a glass of chilled bubbles. Enjoying the last piece of pie. Smiling. I’m not done with my studies yet, but I just made a huge step forward. Cheers to that!
CHOCOLATE CHESTNUT PIE WITH PEANUT BUTTER AND SPECULOOS CRUST
for the crust:
for the filling
- 4 Tbsp peanut butter
- 300 g chestnut puree
- almond milk
- 1 Tbsp raw cocoa powder
- 5 Tbsp cognac
- 1 Tbsp sweetener (I used sucralose)
- 100 g dark chocolate (60 % min)
- 65 g dark chocolate (60% min)
- 50 g liquid cream or coconut milk
- 1 big Tbsp raw cocoa powder
* By using any vegan cookies and replacing butter for coconut oil, and liquid cream for coconut milk you will get yourself a VEGAN version! 🙂
** You can also use speculoos cookies instead. I used Balance cookies because they are sugar free. And if you replace them with any gluten free cookies, you will have a GLUTEN FREE pie.
- Crumble the cookies in the food processor. Add butter or coconut oil for vegan version. Pulse until well combined then gradually add some almond milk (just to get the dough sticky enough to combine all the ingredients). Place in a pie mold and spread evenly. The best would be using a mold with removable bottom.
- Chestnut chocolate cream: mix chestnut puree or peeled cooked chestnuts, 1tablespoon of cocoa powder, 5 tablespoons of Cognac (at least!), sweetener of your choice and some almond milk into a smooth puree using a food processor. Add as much almond milk as needed to obtain a smooth and solid (not liquid!) cream.
- Melt chocolate over a double boiler and add to chestnut cream. Mix well using a food processor.
- Spread peanut butter over the pie crust. Add chestnut chocolate cream and spread evenly.
- Melt some chocolate and liquid cream or coconut milk plus one big tablespoon of cocoa powder over a double boiler. Add on top of the pie.
- Let cool and place the pie in a fridge overnight.
Fall. In full colours.
I gaze upon the sky.
Bright blue sky. Red, orange and yellow.
That’s what I see. Smiling.
A cold breeze spinning around the fallen leaves.
A reflection on the surface.
Calm. And free.
Far away from this world.
This fall seems different. I’ve never seen it in such beautiful colours. Or maybe I just wasn’t looking… The light, the smells, the last fruits of the nature before the winter, the cosiness and warm, strong, colourful food. Earth. Pumpkins and grapes, reflecting its colors in the sky.
- 500 g spelt flour
- 300 g pumpkin puree
- 2 Tbsp oil
- 20 g fresh yeast
- 50 ml milk
- 1 tsp agave syrup
- 8 g salt
- 10 Tbsp pumpkin seed oil
Focaccia with grapes, mozzarella and rosemary
- 1 mozzarella
- fresh rosemary
Focaccia with sage, feta and pecans
- fresh sage
- 100 g feta
- 2 handfuls of pecans
- Cut pumpkin in bigger pieces. Use hokkaido or butternut. Remove the seeds. Sprinkle with some oil and salt. Bake at 200°C until soften (around 30 – 40 min).
- Let cool the pumpkins. Remove the skins and puree using a hand blender.
- Prepare yeast: mix 20 g fresh yeast, 50 ml warm milk and tablespoon of agave syrup. Let double in volume.
- In a big bowl mix flour and salt. Add yeast and 300 g pumpkin puree. Mix and knead. Gradually mix in 6 Tbsp of pumpkin seed oil. The dough for focaccia should be very soft and not firm. Let rise.
- When doubled in volume, gradually mix in another 4 Tbsp of pumpkin seed oil while kneeding.
- Divide the dough in smaller parts. Add some neutral oil, like sunflower, to the baking sheet. Using your fingertips flatten the dough to aprox 1 cm thick. Testo razdelimo na več manjših kosov. Z oljem namažemo papir za peko ali pekač. Garnish. Let rise.
- Preheat oven to 230°C. Leave in the baking tray so it gets warm. Take it out of the oven and place on focaccias on baking sheets. Bake 10 – 15 min at