Rich flavours and deeply satisfying
What a crazy week! You know the type:
starts with a small operation and then ends with a 12 hour work day. And then ( ’cause you have made it through all that) you kind of go out for dinner and cocktails… a few times
….but then Sunday morning arrives, all quiet and calm….
That is when you realize you are in need of pancakes; warm, fragrant, comforting pancakes ….piled up high!
So I went straight for my newest favourite. These pancakes are not the white, fluffy, unsubstantial sort. Instead they have density, flavour and body. Rye- and buckwheat flour for depth and pear for sweetness.
The trick is to not fry them too fast; allow them the time to cook through. This is a little harder than with you regular whit- flour pancakes so my tip would be to add frozen blueberries for your first batches until you get the hang of it.
A plus: you can make the batter a day ahead – just make a double, add baking-powder and blueberries the next day and cook up a second lot.
(a variation on the recipe found on the blog post from ‘Alena Kogotkova‘)
100g rye flour
1 tbsp stevia (or sugar)
5g baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
200 – 270ml almond milk (or regular milk)
3-4 pears, ripe but firm
a few tbsp of frozen blueberries (optional)
- Combine the dry ingredients: the rye- and buckwheat flour, stevia, baking powder and salt.
- In a separate bowl lightly whisk the egg and add milk. (Start with only some of the milk. How much you need will depend on how juicy you pears are).
- Grate the pears (you can leave the skin on). Make sure you catch all the juices.
- Mix the grated pear into the egg mixture and then stir into the dry ingredients. You are looking for a relatively thick batter that will hold its shape when you make small pancakes; add milk if necessary.
- Fold in the frozen blueberries.
- Heat frying pan and fry small pancakes. Do not turn the heat to high; these will cook through slower than pancakes made of white flour.
Tips & Variations
- the original recipe adds 1.5 tbsp melted butter to the batter
- You can replace either flour with whole wheat flour, but then my suggestion would be to add theblueberries as the pancakes turn out denser
- if you halve the recipe, still use one egg, just reduce amount of milk
- Maple syrup
- Some heated (frozen) blueberries
Enjoy gravlax with ease
Why are we so ready to believe that great results require great effort?
We live in a culture that tells us that to achieve anything worthwhile, we have to work hard, to struggle and to fight. But I am beginning to feel that quite the opposite is true. There is no proof that struggle leads us to success. Actually the focus on battling through life seems to undermine any goals of peace and happiness.
The key seems to be to look at life through different eyes; to let go of fear and strife, and to replace them with effortless and creative living.
So with this in mind, this post is not just a recipe for wonderfully tasty cured salmon, but my proof that effortless living is the secret to joy
For this dish you need to do nothing more than wrap some fish in salt, sugar and dill. Let some days pass (they will do that all on their own) and then enjoy the experience of a beautifully, clean tasting, tender piece of cured salmon.
(And just to prove that ease and adventure go together hand in hand, see “tips and variations” below for a truly wild way of making gravlax.)
400g fresh salmon skin on
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
a large bunch of dill
- Rinse the salmon and pat dry with kitchen paper.
- Place a double layer of cling film on your counter top. Place half the dill on the cling film.
- Combine salt and sugar. And rub all over the fish.
- Place fish on cling film and dill. Top with remaining dill.
- Wrap fish tightly in cling film and place into a (zip lock) bag.
- Put the parcel in a Tupperware container or oven dish.
- Place a plate or chopping board on the fish and weigh it down with heavy objects. (Or completely forget about this step as I sometimes seem to do.)
- Keep the salmon in the fridge for 3-5 days. It is best to turn the fish once a day to ensure even curing.
- Unwrap the fish and discard the dill.
- Rinse, pat dry and remove the skin.
- Cutting against the grain, serve in thin slices.
- The cured fish keeps for at least one week in the refrigerator.
Tips & Variations
Consider some of the following
- add a little crushed black pepper to the salt and sugar
- drizzle the fish with a tablespoon of vodka or aquavit
- Add lemon zest
Adventurous Gravad Lax
A friend of mine shared his way of making Gravlax with me. It is so much more exciting & wild than my “domesticated” recipe. Unfortunately it is a true winter recipe that requires frost. So although winter is hardly gone I am already looking forward to its return to try this myself.
- Rub the salmon generously with Cognac (he uses Osborne)
- Wrap the fish in aluminum foil and then in cling film.
- Bury the fish in the garden about 40cm deep (this is where the name originates from: gravad lax.)
- Dig up three weeks later and enjoy.
Thank you GdB for this amazing recipe!
These muffins make a fabulously healthy snack
It was on a cold and dismal day that I came across this recipe. I wanted to curl up on the couch with a good book, a hot cup of tea and something sweet. Books and tea I have plenty, but sweets I really never have in the house. So I started looking for a little treat that was both healthy and could be made without having to head into the cold outdoors for ingredients.
This muffin was a fabulous find: the recipe could not be simpler. It is incredibly tasty and ever so good for you. Did you know that oats have been found to improve the immune system and lower bad cholesterol amongst other things.
Make plenty ( I would double the portion) and keep the rest in the fridge for a quick breakfast on-the-go.
(found on the blog ‘my baking heart’)
Makes about 6 muffins
90g (1 cup) oats
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 ripe banana
1 small egg
60ml (1/3 cup) rice milk (alternatively almond or soy)
1/3 tsp vanilla extract
20ml (1/9 cup) agave nectar
50g (1/4 cup) blueberries (no need to defrost if frozen)
- Preheat oven to 175C (350 degrees).
- In a bowl combine oats, baking powder, oats.
- In a second bowl mash the banana with a fork.
- Whisk in the egg.
- Add almond milk, vanilla and agave.
- Add the oats to the banana and mix until just combined.
- Carefully fold in the blueberries.
- Scoop into a 6 whole silicon muffin tray (alternatively place cupcake liners in a regular muffin tin).
- Bake about 20 minutes or until the muffins are golden brown and set.
Healthy comfort food for cold mornings
Winter slowly seems to be on its way out: one day you are skidding and sliding in the snow, the next the promise of spring is in the air. At the same time mornings are still crisp and chilly.
On a weekday I just have a hot cup of coffee, wrap up warm and brace myself. But in the weekend I treat myself to a heartwarming breakfast. This fragrant bake comes together in minutes and bubbles away in the oven whilst you have a hot, leisurely shower.
Soft quinoa, berries bursting with juice and the gentle crunch of nuts. This dish tastes so luxurious and is ever so for you: Blueberries are the stars of antioxidant foods and quinoa is one of the most protein- and fiber rich ‘grains’ around.
(slightly altered from the recipe on the blog ‘Greatist‘)
170g (1 cup) quinoa (uncooked)
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice (DE, NL: piment)
500ml (2 cups) rice milk (or regular semi-skim milk)
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tsp stevia powder (alternatively add another 2 tbsp maple syrup)
150-250g frozen blueberries
1 apple (or pear)
10-20g and pumpkin seeds and whole, peeled hazelnuts (or other nuts, either whole or chopped)
Oil or butter for greasing oven dish
- Preheat oven to 175C (350F).
- Lightly grease an oven dish (about 20x20cm / 8×8 inch).
- In a bowl stir together uncooked quinoa with the cinnamon, allspice and stevia. Spread into the oven dish.
- Peel apple and cut into 1,5 cm cubes. Scatter on top of quinoa together with the berries and nuts.
- In the bowl, you used for the quinoa, beat the eggs. Then add milk and maple syrup.
- Pour liquid over the quinoa.
- Bake for about 1 hour. Start checking once in a while after about 40 minutes. You are looking for a slightly crunchy, golden base and top with a soft center.
- Serve warm.
Healthy whole wheat muffins that make for a great lunch on the go
Such a great moment: sitting there with your bags all packed, ready to head to a different country; even if it is only for a short few days.
Next to food, travelling is one of my great joys – it is so exiting to explore, discover and experience (maybe because most traveling involves foodie adventures).
Because I want to enjoy each journey as much as possible, I do not like starting my trips with horrible road side lunches or awful airplane sandwiches. One of my favourite foods to take on the road are these flavour packed muffins. They are healthy, can be prepared a day in advance and they just make the perfect tasty hand-held snack.
Unfortunately I have no idea where I found this recipe. Such a shame as I would like to tell whoever came up with it that I like it so much that this muffin is now part of my go-to snacks.
115g (1 1/4 cup) whole wheat flour
15g (1/8 cup) sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper*
1/4 tsp salt
85ml (3/8 cup) milk (or unsweetened non-dairy drink)
55ml (1/4 cup) vegetable oil (I used a mild olive oil)
1 large egg
a handful of spinach leaves
1/2 a roast red capsicum/ bell pepper**
50g (3/8 cup) feta cheese
- Preheat oven to 190C (375F).
- In a bowl mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, cayenne and salt.
- In a separate bowl whisk together egg, milk and oil.
- Add dry ingredients to the wet and fold together gently.
- Remove stems from the spinach and thinly slice.
- Chop capsicum roughly.
- Gently fold the spinach, capsicum and crumbled feta cheese under the dough.
- Line a muffin tin with 6 muffin liners.
- Divide dough amongst the cups.
- Bake for 20 minutes until golden and a skewer comes out dry.
- Allow to cool.
- The muffins can be refrigerated overnight.
Tips & Variations
* the spiciness of the cayenne add a wonderful punch to these muffins. Do not omit. At a push the cayenne could be replaced with chili powder
** you can use roast peppers from a jar. I tend to roast larger amounts myself and keep them in the freezer.
How to roast a capsicum:
- Cut the capsicum in half, flatten them, place skin side-up on aluminum foil.
- Place directly under a hot grill (broiler) until the skin is black.
- Remove from the oven and wrap the foil tightly around the capsicum. Leave until cool enough to handle.
- Peel off the skins.
- You can freeze the peppers you are not using: lay them individually on a chopping board and place in the freezer until hard.
- Wrap the individual slices in clingfilm and then place into a (zip-lock) freezer bag.
- Store in the freezer. They take very little time to defrost