Sunday, September 24, 2017

gjelina | garlic confit

If you love garlic this recipe is for you. Also, if for any reason you find that raw garlic is to strong for you then you have to try garlic confit. It's good for toast, pastas, pizzas, hummus, veggies, everything. Plus, while it baths in olive oil in the oven you will experience the most amazing smell, like the one from best restaurants. Trust me, this garlic confit is a must. 
Sourdough bread slices and this.. my fave and very addictive!

Gjelina Restaurant Cookbook | Garlic Confit

2 cups (480 ml) extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
8 heads garlic, cloves separated and peeled
12 fresh thyme sprigs
3 bay leaves, bruised
Preheat the oven to 180°C

In a medium baking dish, combine the olive oil, garlic, thyme, and bay leaves. The garlic should be completely covered by about 2.5 cm of oil. Bake until the garlic cloves are soft, fragrant, and lightly browned but still hold their shape, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 months, completely covered with olive oil to prevent air from reaching them.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

summer beets

It used to be granddads garden. Now my father grows vegetables, mainly onions and salad for spring season and tomatoes, always tomatoes, as all of us in a family are addicts and instead of blood homemade tomato juice is running trough our veins. Here and there plum trees, one pear tree and two apple trees. Stars of this modest garden of ours are sour cherries, two beautiful, medium in high cherry trees, jewels of the garden.
This year I got involved in seeding and growing process. I needed badly something that will distract me from my daily routine, a temporary occupation that keeps mind clean and body tired, a game where servant falls asleep right after sunset. The idea was to grow lots of herbs, flowers and different sorts of vegetables. I drew a specific plan for seeding and had bag of seeds, leek, zucchini, carrot, basil, chives, green beans, chard, beets, onion, garlic, chamomile, pumpkin, sage, parsnip, marigold, nasturtium, cucumber, lavender, wild peas..
I imagined greens all around, buzzing bees collecting nectar from blooming flowers, us picking romano beans. I am laughing now. Weather was tricky and cruel so far for this year, freezing in spring, stormy winds, few ice storms, caterpillar season and drought. I guess we are lucky to have anything, especially without irrigation system and protection
August has come to an end and garden looks like it's late fall, burned, and this scenery is present since July. Tomatoes, beets and chard survived, surprisingly, onions were great, as they escaped drought season, and lavender joyfully sunbaths. Caterpillars ate all plum and apple leaves. Some fruits are still hanging from the leafless branches but no one dares picking them up causing caterpillar rain.  
As said already beets are bit a surprise for this year, and they are rather small but very sweet and it takes only half an hour to cook them trough, if you are not planning using them fresh. Color is dark, purple. I don’t mind having differently colored beets but my hurt goes to purple ones, and these are packed with their well known ‘hard-to-define’ earthy flavor.  They are many, many ways to use beets, but below you can find few ideas of how to use cooked beets and one of them is by far my favorite.

Beetroot hummus
about 400g cooked beets
can of chickpeas (400g, drained 240g)
2 cloves of garlic
one tsp tahini paste
juice of 1/2 lemon
one tsp cold water
salt to taste

Place all the ingredients in a food processor and mix until smooth, until you get hummus like paste. Taste and add more lemon juice and salt if needed. The color is out of this world and so is the taste!

Serving options: tortilla wrap filled with pink beetroot humus, avocado, goat cheese, fresh basil and thyme.

 Pink pasta for two
100g of pasta flour
100g semolina

Making pasta dough: mix cooked beets (just one half) with few drops of cold water, just enough to be able to drain purple liquid trough the sieve. Use this liquid to form pasta dough. Once the dough is formed, cover with plastic wrap and leave to rest for half an hour before start roiling it.

Serving options: cook pasta in vegetable broth with some leftover parmesan rind and serve with egg yolk.

Blueberries and beet smoothie
one frozen banana (about 100g)
180g fresh blueberries
20g cooked beets
100ml almond milk

Place everything in a blender and pulse at intervals until you get a smooth consistency. 

Stay tuned for finding out how to preserve garlic best way.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017


Woo Hoo!! It's here... #popsicleweek

It's hot and sweaty outside, just perfect weather for Popsicle Week!
And as promised, not missing it this year, no way Pedro :)

Three years ago when I discovered great Billy from Wit and Vinegar I signed up for this awesome virtual party but didn't like my pops.  I didn't have prop molds and didn't like how they turned out. Silly me :D If you ask me now, they turned out totally ok and they were super yummy and refreshing. See foryourself
Within time I got perfect molds from a friend that lives in the States and raspberry-banana pops turned out just perfect. You can find them here Guess no luck for me that time, as I totally missed the dates.. man I was sad, totally crushed.

This year is not easy in many ways. I am still struggling with many things, but one step at the time. Party time always! So guys, hit the buffet!! Hundreds of colorful, tasteful, playful ice pops and all of them at one place!! Great recipes from great foodblogers from all over the globe!!
Follow the popsicle week page and enjoy!!!

Move over scoops, it's POPSICLE WEEK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I still don’t know how to surf, but I know how to make popsicles.

Blueberries and Coconut Pops 
3 cups blueberries
1 cup coconut milk
7tbsp elderflower cordial 

Place blueberries and elderflower cordial in a blender and mix for a minute or so until smooth. Pass blueberry mixture through a sieve with the help of the back of the spoon. Add coconut milk and sieved blueberry mixture back in a blender and mix just for few seconds. Pour the mixture into pop molds and leave it for few hours or overnight in freezer. 
Sprinkle them up for extra texture and sweetness!

Saturday, June 17, 2017

code: sss w/ pp

45°15′N 19°51′E
June 17, only few more stands selling fresh strawberries at the market. Once again, I will make vibrant salty strawberry sauce with pink peppercorns. It is an opportunity not to be missed! Believe me, or even better just make for yourself. It takes only 15 minutes all together.
I saw the recipe for this sauce while scrolling down insta profile @withfoodandlove few weeks ago. And you know what, OMG it is GREAT with everything.

Salty Strawberry Sauce with Pink Peppercorns
4 cups strawberries, sliced, quartered
1 cup water
1 teaspoon pink himalayan salt (as I didn’t have this on hand I used good quality coarse sea salt)
1 teaspoon pink peppercorns, crushed
2 tablespoons honey

In a medium sized pan (sauce pot) bring the strawberries, water, salt and pepper to a rapid boil. Reduce to a strong simmer and cook until most of the water has evaporated and the berries have become soft. Stir and smash the berries with the spoon occasionally. This will take about 10 minutes. Turn the heat off and add in the honey. Stir to combine.

The sauce can be served hot or cold

Thursday, January 5, 2017

winter solstice/entrance of the minor cold

Land awakens and blooms with life and activity before returning to slumber.

Based on an ancient lunar calendar Japanese year is divided in 72 microseasons, each of them offering a 'poetic journey' through the year. Today is January 5 and that means it’s the end of winter solstice and “Wheat sprouts under snow” microseason, and beginning of minor cold “The water dropwort flourishes” microseason, season that lasts approximately from January 6 – 10.

Not knowing in advance that kumquat is a seasonal fruit of  “Wheat sprouts under snow” microseason, I produced few jars of compote made with this smallest of the citrus fruits. What I love the most about kumquat is the skin, edible, golden, sweet-tasting skin. Like any other fruit it’s not possible to keep it fresh for a longer time and making compote is a way of preserving it. 

Recipe for this light sweet delight is adopted from Diana Yen, food stylist and caterer from Brooklyn and can be found on page 88 of The Kinfolk Table, book of recipes for small gatherings. 

Kumquat Compote
200g sugar
240ml water
455g kumquats, well washed, halved or quartered, and seeded
2 star anise pods
2 cardamom pods
about 1.28 cm slices of fresh ginger  

In a heavy saucepan stir together water and sugar and brig the mixture to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Add kumquats and spices (star anise, ginger and cardamom) and let simmer for about 30 minutes on medium heat or until mixture is thickened and jamlike. Place the compote to one big jar or few small jars (240ml) with fitting lids and store in cold dark place. 

My New Year was simple and days that followed were dusted with light snow. The remains of white cover balance these shorter days, few hours of sunlight. I am lucky to have few days off and fortune to spent hours in kitchen. 
With this easy to make golden jars filled with slightly acidic and bittersweet citrus flesh be ready to celebrate passed days with just simple click of the lid. Well stored is always ready for any kind of celebration.

Eat well and be happy in your lives! 
Happy New Year!