Easiest and the most delicious biscuits

You know that moment when nothing can stop you from getting that snack. Your cravings getting crazy strong and your sweet tooth is screaming for something super delicious!

Italian cuisine has the answer! Rich, flavourful, just amazing!

Biscotti is famous. They are very crisp, some find them really tough cookies, but strong and heavenly coffee instantly melts their heart, and they become soft enough for everyone.

Traditionally with almonds, they are now with all the flavours you can imagine. My favourite is chocolate biscotti with either almonds or pecans.

Ingredients:

  • 280g all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 2-3 medium eggs
  • 50g good quality dark chocolate
  • 135g blanched almonds (you can use also those with skins)
  • 50g chocolate chips
  • Finely grated zest of 1 orange
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Grated nutmeg to taste

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 160°C. Line a baking tray with baking parchment (Dough easily sticks to the surface and can burn).

2. Mix the flour, sugar and baking powder. Add beaten eggs, 1 part of whole amount at a time. Be careful about amount, you might need only 2 eggs, for dough can’t be sticky (melted chocolate will add moisture, don’t worry). Fully incorporate before adding more. I’d suggest kneading by hands, for then flour better takes the moisture from the eggs.

I used ordinary almonds for I had no time to neither get blanched nor blanche by myself.

3. Melt the chocolate in a bowl above the steaming water (bowl can’t touch the water). Then cool until tepid. Chop the almonds, grate the zest of the orange, grate the nutmeg over the dough. Mix in melted chocolate and orange zest. Then add chocolate chips and chopped almonds and vanilla extract. Knead until well combined.

4. Turned the dough out onto a floured surface and knead gently. Then divide in two parts, roll them in around 4cm diameter logs and place them on a baking tray, spacing them at least 5cm apart for they will spread while baking. Bake for 30-35min.

5. Leave the logs to cool for around 10min, then transfer to a cutting board and cut them on the diagonal in 2-3cm thick slices. Place slices back on a tray, cut side up. Bake them another 30-35min until they are dry through to the centre, turning them over halfway through.

Cool completely before serving on a wire rack. What’s good about biscotti, you can store them for weeks, they don’t lose their deliciousness.

PS. Recipe taken from Paul Hollywood’s Bread, published by Bloomsbury

Light and delicious lunch or supper

I love hearty food, but sometimes, just sometimes I really crave something what feels light and fresh. And my latest discovery is poke bowl. It is a new thing where I live, and in the beginning I was pretty sceptical, but as soon as I tried it, I knew it is going to be my treat supper now and then.

My very favourite is with salmon. I love fish, and salmon has this light and delicate flavour, which together with edamame beans, rice, and other ingredients just makes the whole palette so, so amazing!

I’m now looking for recipes I could try myself.

Have you tried this dish? What do you think about it?

Seasonal food

I know it becomes kind of a trend to sound like a good and caring person, who wants to save the world, and not do any harm to nature. I see this tendency going on for a while. But instead of stressing out about it, just breathe in, and remember, what your grandmother put on your plate.

I don’t think we can actually switch back to times around 1900, when all the northerners could only dream about pinapples, bananas, oranges etc. all year around on their table. This is just not going to happen. But what we can do, is to eat MORE of what’s growing around us. Seasonal berries, fruit, vegetables, herbs. Personally I even buy honey just once a year. Yes, later on it is not runny and glossy anymore, yet it is organic and natural. Because as it is a sugar, it is natural for it to build crystals. So with that said, I show you my lunch the other day – Green lentil pasta with chicken – wild chanterelle sauce.

For sauce I cooked chicken thighs cut into bite-size pieces, then cooked roughly chopped mushrooms, then put it all together, seasoned with salt and fresly ground black pepper, added some pasta water after killing the heat, and poured over 2 beaten eggs, to make a creamy sauce (That is the same method for the pasta Carbonara). Ideally I’d add grated hard cheese, but I didn’t have any.

Lavender dreams

I have always dreamed about lavender fields. Walking through the never ending rows of lavender in Provence…

When I was little, I loved everything that smelled nice – all my favourite flowers were those with the most fragrant smell, so it was just naturally that lavender was one of them. Bought soap bars, liquid soap, shower gel, everything with lavender scent.

This time has passed, I’m not obsessed with it anymore, but it still is one of my favourite flowers. And I was always hoping to grow it in my garden someday. As I live in the North, it was not possible for a long time, but as the climate gets milder, slowly lavender comes into Latvian gardens as a keeper.

I’ve heard chefs saying that not all lavender is good for culinary. Well, this year I am going to test that. I have English lavender, which is said to be good enough. The reason why not all of them are usable – they give a bitter taste, same as vanilla. So have to be very careful with it. We will see, how it goes. Updates about this as soon as they are dry and ready to be used!

When you try to take a nice picture 🙄🥰

Harvesting herbs.

Everywhere it takes different time to get new harvest of herbs. Even in such a little country as Latvia it differs from coast to the border which herbs and veggies come in season at what time.

Growing herbs is not quite popular yet, but it definitely starts to conquer the hearts of people who want to change their everyday lives, making them more sustainable, organic and natural. Lucky are those, who have their own garden, property in which they can do what heart desires. But there’s a thing with herbs – you can grow them inside. You don’t even have to grow them from a seed. Now every modern nursery grows herbs for your country garden or urban garden in your kitchen.

That is so easy, requires as little as watering and perfectly once in a week or two feeding them with some minerals. And you get your own fresh herbs for a long, long season, even all year round, if you get UV lamps.

I grow peppermint all year round, same as thyme, sage, oregano, and rosemary. Basil is seasonal, but I grow it in 3-5 pots which gives me so much basil, I can make my own pesto. I don’t have lamps, and I often forget to feed the plants, they are proven to be low maintenance. So if I can grow them, you can as well!

Perfect ranch for your next veggie plate

Now when it gets hotter and hotter (on the northern side of the globe), all we can think of are some vegetables and fruits for a snack, light suppers and brain freezing ice creams.

I always loved veggie plates. My favourite were carrots which go best with that creamy sauce. But let’s be honest, most of us usually just pour some powder in the sour cream and it was it.

I wasn’t common with this sauce before, but guy which I have mentioned already before, Joshua Weissman, posted a quick video recipe on his social media of the Ranch recipe and I saved it right away.

It was amazing. I received lots of good words from people I served it with the veggie plate, and they were happy when I could fill the empty sauce bowl again for the recipe could let me have approx 800ml of sauce. Amazing!

So here is the recipe!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • Couple tbs sour cream
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 4 cloves of garlic (or less if you want it less spicy)
  • Handful of parsley
  • Half bunch of chives
  • Few sprigs of dill (you can use frozen too)

Method 

1. Finely chop the herbs, put in a bowl.

2. Add mayonnaise, buttermilk, mustard, and sour cream.

3. Grate the garlic, add to the bowl.

Mix and serve.

Notes.

I added four cloves of garlic, but it turned out to be way too spicy for my personal taste. Others loved it. But if you don’t want a strong taste, just a note, then add less. I would say 1-2.

 Happy munching! 🙂

Coleslaw

I must admit, I was not a fan of it, when I first tried it. Nothing changed also after second and third time, and I assumed that this salad is just not my thing. Last year I went to Canada, and there I tried it with fish and chips. I was surprised how it, in my opinion, didn’t go well together, I mean flavour palette. Continue reading “Coleslaw”

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