Tag Archives: natural

It’s been so long…

It’s been very long time since my last blog – almost a year… I feel like I forgot how to use this site. I just got very busy with my baking, and what even worse – got obsessed with it!  I know, when is something happening to you, there is always somebody else in this same situation too. You are never alone. So, I am curious, is there anybody else who are obsessed with baking in my readers? I hope that somebody will read this post anyway, even though the post itself about really nothing important.

I just think, that when you are you doing something it has to be from your heart, not just because you have to do that. That’s when it becomes your passion. And people always feel that. Yesterday I had very good time watching movie  JULIE &JULIA about Julia Child. Meryl  Streep and Amy Adams were both great in the movie. And you can see how they both are obsessed with cooking! And what is funny to – with writing also! Good example for me. Maybe I will restart my blogging again, will see.

  • So, that was it. Have a great week ahead and always follow your true passion!tort1
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Dessert for Monday

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Happy Easter my blogger friends!!! I haven’t publish long time and decided to start doing that again.

I want to share with you my favorite recipe for Eclairs, or Choux Pastry. It is very yummy pastry which you can made with different fillings (vanilla custard, buttercream, whipped cream etc). For many of you it seems complicated but if you give a try (ok, maybe several tries) you will be rewarded with very yummy result. And most important – you will do it yourself and you will make it with fresh and natural ingredients!

What you will need:

90 gram (3 ounces) unsalted butter
3/4 cup water
1 cup all purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
4 eggs

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. On a parchment paper sift your flour. In a small pot combine together water, butter, salt and sugar.Bring to a boil on a medium-high heat. When butter is completely melted take from the heat and dump sifted flour at once. Start stirring with wooden spoon until everything is incorporated.

Return pot on the stove and continue stirring on a medium heat about 1-2 minutes. Dough will start looking like a ball and walls of the pot will be covered with thin film. It is time to take from the heat.

Next step can be made with a stand mixer or with manual one. Either way, first you have to start mixing on low speed for 2-3 minutes to cool down a dough little bit. Otherwise eggs will be cooked in a very hot dough, right? Then start adding eggs, one on a time. After each addition you have to mix properly until each egg is totally incorporated in a dough. After the last one the dough should start making ribbons and look shiny.

Now it is time to put on a baking sheet. Cover heavy duty baking sheet with parchment paper and secure edges with a dab of dough to keep paper on place. Fill pastry bag with still warm dough with #5 tip. Pipe mounds in your prefered size (1 1/2 inch or smaller ones for a bite size eclairs) about 2 inch apart from each other. Bake for 10-15 minutes (with conventional oven it is usually 12 minutes) until they puffed and start looking gold. Then reduce heat to 350 degree and bake for another 10-12 minutes. You have to keep eye on them all the time especially if you trying first time. After that turn your oven off but keep eclairs in the oven for additional 8-10 minutes to let them dry completely.

Remove and let them cool on the cooling rack. You can start filling them after they are completely cool.

I hope the recipe and encouragement will help somebody to try. And what about you? What is your favorite recipe?eclair2

Eggplant Salad with Mayo and Yogurt Dressing

Hi everybody!

Sometimes you just want to make something new, different. Here in North America, eggplants are not that popular, but back home, in Armenia they are essential part of the diet and we have lots of good recipes for making eggplants.  For those who had not read my previous post, here is the link The Eggplant Story. That was the prelude story for the recipe which I will share with you in this post.

First off all, here is a list what you need:

  1. 3-4 eggplants (Chinese or baby eggplants (5-6, in this case) are better than big ones).
  2. Any of your favorite vegetable oil for frying, I am using Sunflower oil.
  3. 2 gloves of garlic
  4. Mayonnaise and plain yogurt – about 1 cup total, 50/50 each (you also can use just mayo)
  5. Dill (2-3 strings)
  6. Walnuts (the more, the yummier)
  7. Salt, black pepper to taste

Wash your vegetables, and partially peel them as shown on the picture. Some people don’t like the taste of skin, but I think that leaving some of it on adds some texture to the dish. So it is totally up to you, leave it or no.

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When your eggplants are ready, put them in a bowl and add salt. Cover and leave for 10-15 minutes. This way a little bitterness of eggplants will wash out. Put your pan on medium-high your, add oil and wait little bit for the oil get hot (but not so hot). Start adding eggplant pieces, squeezing them first, to let juices go. At this stage, you have to be very careful, because the oil is very hot and you can easily burn yourself. Keep for 3-4 minutes each side until golden-brown.

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Next step is preparing your dressing. Chop your dill very fine, walnuts you can chop medium size, so that you can still feel their crunchiness in the salad. Garlic you can put in a squeezer or chop also by hand. Mix together yogurt and mayonnaise in a separate bowl, add a pinch of black pepper and rest (dill, walnuts and garlic).

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As you noticed I didn’t add any salt in this point, because mayo is salty and we put salt in the beginning. After everything is done you can try and see, if salad needs additional salt.

Cover your fried eggplants with the dressing and give it a good stir, trying not to break the pieces. Cover and let stand at least 30 minutes, to absorb all the flavors.

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How easy was that? And when you serve this salad with the dinner, your friends will think you spent whole day, making this sophisticating and yummy antipasto.

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If you like this recipe and interested in more eggplants recipes, let me know. I will be happy to share with you.

Bon appetite!

Nune

Healthy Eating is a Matter of Personal Choice

Today in the store I noticed a cake stand and decided to look at the labels of some of the cakes there. List of ingredients took up almost the entire side of the package. It means that instead of real cake you are eating just chemical components… In that case it is no surprise that sooner or later in life we end up with so many health issues. In order to offer to the consumer cake for that low price the big chain stores are offering, they have to use those ingredients.

In my case I only use whole products that you can actually pronounce – eggs, sugar, butter, real cocoa (best quality), chocolate, cream, real vanilla, flour etc.

Because I believe that people should have access to cakes free of chemicals.

Feel free to also visit my Facebook page.

Thanks for reading,

Nune

Summer in Your Fridge

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I love buying vegetables and fruits. It reminds me of how we used to buy them always fresh back home in Armenia, before we moved to Canada. Everything back then was available only fresh, never frozen and the market was always beautiful.

Of course here it’s a different story, but I am trying to stay true to my traditions and in general I buy only fresh when it is possible. But I always face the same problem –can’t keep my greens (parsley, cilantro, dill) fresh long enough. Now I want to share with you a very simple way to always have fresh greens in your fridge.

1. First of all, when buying them, always choose the healthier and freshest one. Once you bring them home, it’s better to wash them the same day. Thoroughly wash the bunch, cut the ends and let drain for a little bit.

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2. Chop the herbs very finely and put them in the ice-cube tray with a spoon. When all of it is full, pour water over to fill the empty space. Put the trays in the freezer. When it’s completely frozen you can transfer them into a plastic bag and make another batch. You can use herb ice-cubes in everything, in soups or main dishes even.

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There is an easier way of doing this – just put the finely chopped herbs in a plastic jar, without adding any water and put it in the freezer. When you need to use some of it, just scoop a little bit with a spoon.

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No more money wasted! You will have fresh herbs for months.

Enjoy!

The Essential Part of the Day – Your Bread

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Bread is one of the oldest prepared foods. The reason why I like to bake bread is that it allows me to choose the ingredient that go

in it. Otherwise there are so many chemicals and preservatives in a store bought bread, you can’t imagine.

 In this post I will share with you a recipe, which I love to make. This recipe is very easy and the reward is outstanding!

This is Jamie Oliver’s Basic Bread Recipe

What you need:

1 kg of flour

625 ml warm water

21 gr of dry yeast

2 tbsp. of sugar

2 tbsp. of sea salt

Put flour in a big bowl and make a well in a center. Water should be warmer than body temperature, and you can easily use tap water. Pour half of the amount of water in a well, add yeast, sugar and salt. Carefully start mixing everything with a fork.

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Gradually mix more flour from sides adding rest of water. Mix until dough is elastic and not sticking to your hands.

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Dust a big bowl with flour and put your dough in it. Cover with plastic wrap, tea towel and put in a plastic bag.

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 Put in a warm place for about 1 hour (or less), until dough will double in a size.  Open and knead a little, and cover again. Let rest for another30-50 minute.

After your dough is ready, knead again, give a shape you want, put on a baking sheet until your oven is ready.

I usually glaze my bread with egg wash and sprinkle with coarse sea salt and sesame seeds, but it’s not really necessary. It is totally up to you.

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Bake in a hot oven (380 F) for about 40 minutes. Take from the oven, put on a cooling rack, and let rest.

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Bon Appetite!

ilivingwell

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