Saturday, March 31, 2012

Summer Morning Smoothy/Летний Утренний Смузи

Warmth and a lot of sun is coming quickly here in Turkey. So I switched to summer mode already some time ago. This is my usual summer time all-in-one breakfast. Here is my portion of morning coffee, protein (yogurt and nuts) and fruit. Healthy and delicious!

1 large banana (or two for eating with a spoon)
4-5 heaping tbs. light Greek yogurt
1,5t.s. coffee powder
vanilla extract
small handful (about 5) walnuts or other- but softer types of nuts work best (like cashews or pecans)

Blend them all together and enjoy at breakfast, lunch or any time. Sometimes I replace nuts with rolled oats and here is the recipe or let's say, variation.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Vanilla Marshmallows/ Ванильный Маршмеллоу

I made somebody really happy recently:) One of my Valerie's favourites- marshmallows! And home made! Tender, airy sweets with lovely vanilla taste.
So here is a recipe in easy steps.

Recipe taken from here with small changes

25g powder gelatin
pinch of salt
125ml water
125ml water
app.2x200ml cups sugar
100ml honey
2 egg whites

some vanilla powdered sugar

1.In a bowl of a blender dissolve gelatine in 125ml water and let it stand, while you ...
2. ...combine another 125ml water, salt, 2 cups sugar and honey in a pan and cook it on low for about 10 minutes, stir from time to time.
3. Beat egg whites and vanilla extract until soft peaks.
4. Add hot syrup to gelatine and beat until thick and white- 6 minutes approximately.
5. Fold egg whites into this white mixture and stir to combine.
6. Grease 20x30cm form and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Transfer the mixture into form and sprinkle with powdered sugar on top.
7. Refrigerate for several hours.
Before serving, cut with a sharp knife into (50) cubes.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Peanut Butter Cherry Jelly Cups/Арахисовые Стаканчики с Вишневым Желе

It's a cross between cookie and muffin. Delicious mini treats that take minimum time to prepare. I used here home made peanut butter, so it took extra couple of minutes longer:)

200ml peanut butter
app.180ml chilled butter or margarine (I used light margarine)
pinch of salt (if your peanut butter contains no salt)
200ml sugar
2 eggs
50ml milk
1 cup AP flour
1,5 cups WW flour
10g baking powder

app.150ml cherry or other type jelly

Mix butters, salt, vanilla and sugar, add eggs, baking powder and flours. Blend well. Divide the dough into 2 parts, roll each part into log and wrap in plastic. Chill in refrigerator overnight or for several hours. You could also freeze it and use later in a week.

Preheat oven to 175C. Cut the log into (12) parts. Roll a little each of the 12 pieces and put into small muffin tins. Press each cookie a bit. Bake for 15-17 minutes. Let them cool completely. Make holes in each muffin using apple corer and fill with chilled, but still pourable jelly. Set in the fridge for an hour or so before serving.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Rocket, Ricotta and Olives Salad/ Салат с Руколой, Рикоттой и Оливками

Simple, yet delicious light salad. You could use salty cottage cheese instead of ricotta too, making it even lighter. Great source of vitamins and protein in a tasty form:)

mixture of rocket and red leaf lettuce
100g ricotta cheese, crumbled
1 large fresh tomato or roasted
handful pitted black olives
olive oil
lemon juice

Well, there is not much description, actually, just combine everything together and enjoy! Makes great brunch and it's quite filling too.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Creamy Walnut Sauce Pasta/Паста с Ореховым Соусом

Very tasty nutty-creamy-cosy pasta, though without cream in it. Some extra protein is always welcomed:) The recipe belongs to Nigella Lawson, I made only small changes.

I took tortiglioni, though flat pasta was recommended
olive oil
2 garlic cloves
black pepper
small handful toasted walnuts
1 thinly sliced bread soaked in
app.50ml milk

Cook pasta. Reserve some of the water.
Place walnuts (reserve several for garnishing) , soaked in milk bread, garlic, oregano in blender and pulse until creamy. Add olive oil and some of the reserved pasta water. Toss pasta in sauce and serve with nuts and parmesan.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Lighter Chicken Parmigiano/Курица Пармиджанo (облегченная)

Tasty chicken with cheese and tomato sauce, contains a little less calories.

2 chicken breasts (cut horizontally in halves)
olive oil
black pepper

4 thin slices of light mozzarella
grated parmigiano

half of onion
2 tomatoes
2garlic cloves
1 red bell pepper
tomato paste
1t.s. paprika flakes
1t.s. sugar
some water or stock
olive oil
pitted black olives

Prepare simple tomato sauce using ingredients from the third table or use your favourite tomato sauce. Cook until it gets thicker, about 40 minutes.
Pound pieces of chicken to make them thinner. Heat olive oil, season chicken and fry from both sides until golden, about 4-5 minutes from both sides.
Preheat oven to 250C. Pour some of the sauce into baking dish, place chicken pieces on top and put small pieces of mozzarella on each. Sprinkle with parmesan and pour the rest of the sauce over.
Bake in the over uncovered until bubbly, around 15 minutes.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Coconut Banana Oatmeal/Бананово-Кокосовая Овсянка

Creamy, fragrant (diary free) oatmeal to start your day. It's quick, healthy and taste almost like dessert!:)
I recently discovered coconut butter for myself, with all the health benefits and it's role in weight loss!? Well, so far I am liking it.

350ml light coconut milk
100g rolled oats (in measuring cup)
little pinch of salt
1 large banana
1tb.s. rum or rum essence
1tb.s. coconut butter
10g vanilla powdered sugar

Bring to boil milk, oats, vanilla, sliced banana and salt. Cook on low for 3 minutes, stirring several times. Add rum and coconut butter and transfer to a plate to serve...with extra banana?:)

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Ideas for the Easter table/ Идеи для Пасхального Стола

Being a good tradition already:) I'm going to review some of the recipes from this blog, suitable for the Easter.
Easter is my favourite holiday- it's spring, flowers, sun and warmth. And the more important reason, by all means, is Resurrection of the Lord, new life. And what is Easter for you? What do you normally cook on this holiday?

Как уже хорошая традиция:) вот мой обзор подходящих, как мне кажется, рецептов из этого блога на Пасху.
Пасха- мой любимый праздник- весна, цветы, тепло и солнечно... а самая главная причина, это Воскресение Господа, новая жизнь. А чем является Пасха для Вас? Что Вы обычно готовите на этот праздник?

Here are 10:
Вот 10:


My first choice would be Pastiera di Grano, a good family cake. It's large enough to feed a crowd, actually!
Моим первым выбором станет Пастиера, хороший семейный пирог. Он достаточно большой, накормит целый квартал:)










I have to stop now...:)
I hope I got somebody interested in making one (or more!) or these or gave an idea to prepare something of your own. Happy Easter!

Теперь должна притормозить:)
Надеюсь, я заинтересовала Вас и Вам захочется сделать один (или больше) из этих рецептов или же пробудила Ваше воображение сотворить что-то свое. Счастливой Пасхи!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Facebook Page

Hello friends!

Today I decided to try to create Facebook Cooking Easy page for everyone to share recipes, comments, questions, pictures...I think extra communication is always good, right?
Join me, if you think the same!:)


Здравствуйте, друзья!

Сегодня я решила попробовать составить страничку на Facebook, которая называется Cooking Easy, чтобы делиться рецептами, впечатлениями, вопросами, фотографиями...вообщем, мне кажется, чем больше способов общения, тем лучше, да?
Присоединяйтесь, если Вы тоже так думаете!:)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Raspberry Mint Green Tea/Малиново-Мятный Зеленый Чай

This is a health boost drink! Plus, very fragrant! Exactly what is needed for the spring time, when not much energy is left after long winter.
This one keeps me away from starchy cosy snacks, that I got used to during winter time. I just take a glass of this tea and forget for a while that I wanted another muesli bar or fifth slice of bread...
Can be served warm or cold -  depending on the weather:)

1 litre boiling water
400g frozen raspberries
vanilla bourbon
sugar to taste (I try not to put any, can be added already into a cup, if needed)
2 green tea bags
some mint leaves
lemon (optional, but good to add, if preparing this drink with sugar)

Prepare tea by adding tea bags into hot water (3-5 minutes). In the meantime on low heat boil raspberries with sugar, vanilla and 2-3tb.s. water. Simmer for about 5 minutes.
Sieve raspberry syrup. Pour the syrup into prepared tea, add mint leaves. Serve with lemon on the side, if desired.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Baked Orange Yogurt with Pistachio Candy Floss/Запеченый Апельсиновый Йогурт с Фисташковой Сахарной Ватой

Tender, airy and light dessert. Just with a few ingredients and little time it will be waiting to be eaten.
Baked yogurt can be a nice and healthy breakfast if on it's own and if decorated- pretty dessert:) Just on time for the Easter table. It's basically baked form of morning smoothy!

app.700ml drained Greek yogurt (just about 2 hours is enough)*
*Crème fraîche can be taken instead for more calories
2 mashed bananas
zest of 0,5 orange
1tb.s. potato/corn starch
sugar to taste (candy floss was sweet enough to skip sugar part from yogurt completely)

for garnishing:
orange slices
pistachio nuts
Turkish pistachio candy floss (Pişmaniye)

Mix drained yogurt with bananas, zest and vanilla and blend all well. Preheat oven to 160C. Grease (silicone muffin forms -6 large ones) forms and divide yogurt between them. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Take them out carefully and put them into fridge for a couple of hours (overnight in my case). Before serving, run with a knife around edges and carefully flip the forms over. Decorate with floss, orange and nuts. 

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Dutch Apple Pancakes/Голландские Блины с Яблоком

Beautiful recipe. Actually not very easy to find anywhere online as people mostly buy those packaged ready to make mixes.
Tender, soft, easy to eat more than one pancakes with apples, just the right pancakes, really.
Living abroad now I sometimes think back of living in the Netherlands and of those visits to lovely pannenkoekhuis cafes after long walk in the park or on the beach (they are among the best beaches in the world! Endless dunes and long and broad white sandy coast line- perfect, especially for children and dogs:) and order one of these (they can be really large in size!). Apple pancakes are my favourites- they are good as breakfast or a dessert. Serve them with vanilla or cinnamon powdered sugar or apple sauce.

For 10 thin pancakes:

2 eggs
pinch of salt
2tb.s. sugar
2tb.s. vegetable oil
500ml milk
200g flour
thinly and evenly sliced apples (core removed)

Mix eggs with salt sugar and oil, pour milk, sift flour and whisk so that there are no lumps. The batter will be thin.
Heat frying pan, put some oil or butter on it, lower the heat and pour some batter onto the pan, add sliced apples on top and fry until the edges are golden flip and fry for 1 minute more or so.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Cinnamon-Apple Healthy Rolls/Корично-Яблочные Полезные Булочки

Absolutely IN LOVE with this breakfast recipe. Soft, fragrant bake with a lot of apples and crunchy tops. It' s healthy too: made with whole wheat flour, without yeast and also without eggs, just enough amount of sugar over apples with cinnamon (tastes a bit like scone).

2 cups WW flour
10g baking powder
3tb.s. sugar
3 full tb.s. light margarine (or butter)
pinch of salt
100ml milk/maybe non diary milk will also work
50ml apple juice

2 medium apples, grated
2-3tb.s. sugar (to taste)
2tb.s. lemon juice
zest of 0,5 lemon
some milk

Preheat oven to 200C. Sift flour, baking powder, salt and sugar together, Add margarine, vanilla and mix everything with a fork. Add milk and then apple juice. The dough will be very easy to work with. Roll it into 0,5-1cm thick layer, sprinkle with enough cinnamon and sugar, grated apples, lemon juice and zest and roll.
Grease round baking dish, cut the roll into app.3cm thick slices and arrange them on the dish. Sprinkle with milk (about 30-50ml) and just a bit of sugar. Bake around 20 minutes.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Honey Quince with Crispy Oats/Медовая Айва с Хрустящим Овсом

I love quince. Unfortunately this fruit is underestimated somehow by many. I enjoyed it in any form- baked with nuts, in a pie, as a dessert cream, in form of spread over toasted bread or even in ice cream! Today it's just a bit different. I combined it with favourite oats! It's not crumble, just a thin crispy layer of them over soft and fragrant fruit. Great for breakfast, as healthy dessert or a snack.

3 quinces, cut into 4 wedges each (alternative would be pears with less baking time)
3tb.s. butter/light margarine
8tb.s. runny honey
4tb.s. lemon juice
6tb.s. rolled oat flakes

Preheat oven to 200C. Cut quinces, remove pits and place in greased baking form. Cover them with foil and bake for 35 minutes covered.
In the meantime, in frying pan heat remaining margarine, add lemon juice and oats with honey and heat through, stirring. Take quinces out, remove foil. Divide oats mixture over the tops of fruit, sprinkle with cinnamon and vanilla and bake for 15 more minutes uncovered.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Hachee- Dutch Beef Stew/Жаркое в Голландском Стиле

This dish is one of many variations of hearty stews with thick gravy, that are traditional in the Netherlands. Before real spring weather arrives this would be a good way to warm up and relax at the lunch time. Another similar Dutch fragrant stew is here.

For this fragrant, simple and satisfying dish you'll need:

app.700g beef escalopes
2-3 large (red) onions
4 cloves
3 bay leaves
50g butter
500ml beef stock
3 tb.s. red wine vinegar
1 tb.s. apple sauce
1x1cm thick slice of ontbijtkoek (dutch spiced breakfast cake) to thicken the gravy*
*can be substituted by adding 1,5tb.s. flour with a pinch of cinnamon, dry ginger and nutmeg and 1t.s. flower       honey

In a deep and heavy pan heat butter and add pieces of meat. Fry for about 10 minutes, then add sliced onions and cook for another 5 minutes. Add spices, vinegar and apple sauce and pour stock. Lower the heat and cook covered for about 2 hours (adding some water if needed).
At the end add crushed slice of cake)alternatively just flour to thicken) and serve with creamy potato mash and apple sauce.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Chocolate and Milk Cake/Шоколадно-Молочный Торт

I mentioned before that my daughter loves chocolate, chocolate cakes, Kinder Milk Slice and everything that has chocolate in it. To make her happy I was determined to bake at home something to her taste. Well, I must say thit cake was very much appreciated! Of course, it is no light dessert, so I just make sure she eats it with plenty of fruit.

Cake is very simple to prepare, but usually the  most delicious things are really simple:) Airy and springy cake with smooth, not overly sweet, creamy vanilla layer and covered with crispy chocolate on top.

Chocolate Sponge Cake. Original recipe here.

3 eggs +1 yolk
135g sugar
20ml honey
1g salt
32ml vegetable oil
21g cocoa powder
106g flour
1/4t.s. baking powder
20ml milk

Whisk yolk and eggs with sugar until thickened. Heat oil and cocoa in microwave. Add milk to the oil mixture and combine with egg mixture. Pour honey. Sift flour with baking powder and carefully stir.
Preheat oven to 170C. Grease 20cm springform. Pour the batter into it and bake for 35 minutes.
Let it cool.

Vanilla Custard

200ml milk
2 egg yolks
1-2tb.s. flour
2-3tb.s. sugar
vanilla (make sure there is enough of it, as chocolate taste is going to be strong)
250ml whipped cream
15g gelatine

Prepare custard by heating milk, mixing yolks with flour and a splash of cold milk. Combine yolk mixture with hot milk, whisking all the time. Add vanilla. When still hot, add gelatine and mix well (better to use hand blender to make sure there are no lumps). Fold in whipped cream. Let it cool in the fridge for 10-15 minutes.

Cut the cake into 2 parts. Cover one part with cream and place another cake on top.

Heat 250-300g dark chocolate, add a small splash of milk and 1tb.s. honey to thin it out. Cover the cake on top and sides. Chill in the fridge before serving.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Pasta Salad with Lemon zest and Pistachio /Салат с Пастой, Лимонной цедрой и Фисташками

Fresh and light spring salad. Bright colours, simple, yet very tasty and fragrant. I am using whole wheat pasta.

cooked pasta (here fusilli) (could be good way to dispose leftover pasta)
zest of 1/3 lemon
thinly sliced red pepper (half)
handful toasted pistachios
grated sharp sheep cheese
olive oil
lemon juice

Mix all ingredients in a salad bowl, sprinkle with nuts and cheese and pour dressing over, made from olive oil and lemon juice.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Frozen Blackberry-Coconut Yogurt /Мороженый Йогурт с Ежевикой и Кокосом

No ice cream maker is required to create this light dessert with very pleasant combination of flavours.

350ml drained Greek yogurt
1x25g light vanilla pudding
500ml full fat milk (required for pudding)
40ml Malibu (coconut rum)
450g frozen blackberries

Prepare pudding according to the package instructions (using 500ml milk).  Add coconut rum into it and let it cool.
Blend frozen berries, add yogurt and pudding and pulse several times. Freeze for several hours (break ice crystals once halfway (using hand blender). Best served the same day, if later, before serving let it stand in the fridge for an hour or so.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Banana Strawberry Cake/Бананово-Клубничный Торт

Relatively light cake for the spring time. This idea came to me looking at last year Coconut and Lime Cake. Since we just don't like creamy desserts that much I decided to frost the cake with Italian Meringue. The meringue recipe was found long ago on gourmettraveller.com.au and since then it never let me down.

The cake is relatively low fat, so it's a good idea to moisten it even more with rum or anything else (just sweet syrup?) to your taste.

Cake recipe (taken from delish.com) with small changes

1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 large egg whites
150g sugar
3 ripe bananas (mashed)
app.120ml liquid yogurt
1 1/2cup AP flour
1cup WW flour
pinch of salt
10g baking powder
1t.s. lemon juice

Oven 190C. Line 20cm round spring form (or two) with baking paper.
Separately combine dry and wet ingredients and carefully mix them together. Divide the dough into 2 parts. Transfer one part into form, level it and bake for 20 minutes. Take it out to the wire rack and repeat with another part of dough.
Trim the edges of the cakes and peel the tops a bit. Sprinkle with rum (I took just a splash, but would be much better with more) both cakes.

Strawberry curd

70g mashed strawberries (using blender)
50g sugar
50g butter
3 egg yolks
1tb.s. gelatine

Heat au bain de marie strawberry mash, sugar, yolks and butter, constantly whisking, until thickens.  Take off from heat and stir in gelatine. Cover with a plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30-40 minutes.

Italian meringue

Beat 3 egg whites until they form picks. Heat 60ml water with 180g sugar, stirring, for about 5 minutes. Now pour syrup into egg whites, add vanilla and continue whisking for 5 more minutes.

Now assemble the cake. Spread the curd between two cakes and cover with meringue frosting.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Grilled Champignons with Olives/Шампиньоны Гриль с Оливками

Tasty, very easy, healthy and quickly. We enjoyed these mushrooms simply with rucola and some olive oil with black pepper. Full of flavours starter!

large champignons (I had about 400g)
olive oil
black pepper
1 medium sized onion
2 gloves garlic
2t.s. dry thyme
splash of balsamic vinegar
7-8 black olives
some grated sharp sheep cheese

Preheat oven to 200C. Remove stems from mushrooms, cut them. Slice onion and garlic and fry on olive oil, add mushroom stems, thyme and black pepper. Cook about 7-10 minutes until a bit browned, add a splash of balsamic vinegar.

In the meantime place mushroom caps on oiled baking form and brush with some olive oil on top. Bake for 10-15 minutes. Take them out, pour some of the juice out, if there is too much, spread stuffing over the mushroom caps, sprinkle with a bit of cheese and chopped olives. Place under grill for about 5 minutes.


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