Curry Pumpkin Soup 

Pumpkin SoupAutumn is all about pumpkin. Pumpkin soup, pumpkin pie, pumpkin puree, pumpkin seeds, pumpkin bread, pumpkin cake, roasted pumpkin etc,etc…
Funny thing, one single vegetable and so many delicious dishes.

I’m not too much into soups, but the combination of pumpkin and curry won my heart.

It’s very simple to prepare, just mix caramelized onions, roasted pumpkin, water, milk and spices and put them to boil.

Give it a blend, and voilà “Pumpkin soup”.

It goes perfectly with a little bit of cream and roasted pumpkin seeds on the top.

Pumpkin Soup

Preparation time : 30 min

Serving size : 4-5 persons  Continue reading

Dark chocolate truffles – the irresistible bite-sized treat

Chocolate Truffles

Truffles are bite size delights that are extremely tempting, and really easy to make. The classic truffles are basically small balls of rolled chocolate ganache. But, that’s really only the beginning. You can make truffles infused with spices, mixed with dried fruit, you can add drops of liquor and plenty other options. Pack them in a nice box, and voila, a great homemade gift is ready.

Truffles are actually surprisingly easy to make, they just require a bit of hands on time and can be a little messy. But who wouldn’t like to get their hands dirty with chocolate :p

Chocolate Truffles

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Reine de Saba – Queen Sheba Cake : A Cake Fit For a Queen

Queen Sheba CakeI love everything about Queen Sheba cake, or as we would call it in French Reine de Saba, its texture, aroma, flavour.

This is a recipe by Julia Child. As she puts it in her own words, “The queen of Sheba is a dark beauty made of chocolate, and almonds, and rum and butter. Let’s go into the kitchen and make the best chocolate cake you’ve ever put in your mouth,” Yeah, it’s that good.” It is a cake decent for a queen, that’s why it is called “Queen of Sheba”.

It is surprisingly easy to make, so don’t lose the chance to prepare it yourself, and make happy your loved ones.

I made few changes to the original recipe.  You may choose to go by my version, or Julia’s, which you may find here, or just follow your instincts and make your own changes.

Time : 1 hour Continue reading

Caramelized pears upside down cake

pear-and-cardamom-upside-down-cake_6Autumn is for baking as summer is for making ice-creams and smoothies. So, let the baking begin 🙂  The first thing I baked this fall is this caramelized pears cake, which has 2 special ingredients that make it taste simply amazing.

The first one is cardamom, which I definitely loveeee 🙂 the second one is the most famous Albanian alcoholic drink, raki. In case you don’t like cardamom you may replace it with cinnamon. And in case you cannot find raki you can replace it with vodka or just leave it out. The cake will still be very nice.

Pears upside down caramelized cake

Time : 1 hour Continue reading

Whole wheat waffles

Whole wheat waffles

Waffles are one of my favorite types of breakfast, especially on the weekend. The ingredients are quite the same with the pancakes ingredients but baking, or should I say waffling makes all the difference.

This is a recipe for whole wheat waffles, because I love the nuttiness and density of whole wheat and because it makes them healthier. You can top them with whatever you want 🙂 unleash your fantasy and enjoy.

Whole wheat wafflesTime : 20 minutes

Serving size :  4 persons Continue reading

Blondies – the heart winner dessert

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Blondies is the ultimate irresistible dessert. I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t like it. Looks like the combination of walnuts with vanilla and white chocolate wins the hearts of all.

I’ve tried several blondies recipes before, but the one from Food52 is the winner. I’ve made very few changes to the original recipe, which better satisfy my taste.

This recipe is ridiculously easy to make, and the results is amazing. The only issue is the high number of calories, but once in a while we all deserve a little treat.

Preparation time : 40 min 

Serving size 16 persons 

Ingredients :

  • 1 & 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup corn-starch
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup toasted chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 180 g butter

* 1 cup – a standart cup of 240 ml

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Directions : Continue reading

Zucchini & ricotta casserole

Zucchini is a very comfortable fruit. Yeah, right , it’s a fruit 🙂 In a culinary context, zucchini is treated as a vegetable; it is usually cooked and presented as a savory dish or accompaniment. Botanically, zucchinis are fruits, a type of botanical berry, being the swollen ovary of the zucchini flower.

I use zucchini to bake desserts, to make soups, salads, risotto, pasta, pastry cream, etc., etc., the options are endless.

One of my favorite dishes made with zucchini is this savory zucchini casserole with zucchini, eggs, ricotta cheese, hard cheese and oatmeal; a simple vegetable dish that highlights the summer flavors and lightness. It makes a great dinner or a perfect side dish to grilled chicken fillet.

Zucchini and ricotta casserol

Time : 1 hour & 20 min Continue reading

Healthy cake with fruits

Processed with VSCO with hb1 presetSeptember is here, school starts in a while and I still get good vibes and the good feelings of a new beginning even though I’ve said good bye to school years ago. One of the things I loved about school were the homemade goodies my mom made to enjoy at school. This fruit cake is a perfect snack to give your children to school. It is full of fruits, has an amazing smell and tastes light and fresh.

I’ve got this recipe from a friend which used to cook it very often back on her student days. The original recipe uses all-purpose flour and butter, while I used partly whole wheat flour and tahini. It requires 1 kg of fruits of your choice, like apples, banana, pears, peaches, plums etc. It almost looks like a fruit salad rather than a cake.

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Ingredients Continue reading

Cocoa pasta with caramelised pears and walnuts

Cocoa pasta with caramelised pears and walnuts

I thought I wasn’t a pasta lover, I mean I liked them a lot, but I wasn’t craving them all the time, or dream about them.  After I tried the fresh made pasta at Luga e Argjendtë, an artisanal pasta shop in Tirana, everything changed. Yes, now I dream about pasta all day. My favorite ones are cocoa pasta.

Cocoa pasta is traditionally just regular pasta enhanced with cocoa powder. When you hear cocoa you probably think of something sweet, but it’s not the case. There isn’t any sugar in it, so it isn’t sweet like you might expect it to be. The flavour of the pasta itself is really interesting. Once it’s cooked it has an intense chocolaty aroma, but the flavour is very subtle.

Cocoa pasta pairs perfectly with caramelised pears and toasted walnuts. Don’t forget a pinch of cinnamon  and nutmeg 🙂 yummyyy

Time : 20 min Continue reading