13.10.14

carrot cake




Ingredients:

2 cups plain flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tbsp cinnamon
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
4 eggs
1 1/4 cup oil
3 cups carrots, grated
3/4 cup walnuts, finely chopped
1/2 tsp salt
drop of vanilla essence

cheese frosting
8 oz cream cheese
4 oz butter
2 cups powdered sugar

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 180 C. 

Sift the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.

Place the oil and sugars into a bowl and beat for a couple of minutes. Add eggs, one by one, and vanilla, and beat until well incorporated. 

Add the dry ingredients, half a cup at the time, and mix on slow speed. Don’t overmix it.

Fold in the walnuts and carrots using a wooden spoon.

Bake in a oiled and floured bundt cake mold for 40 min - 1 hr, until done (check with a toothpick, when no batter sticks to it, it’s cooked through.

Leave in the mold for 15 minutes, then invert onto the plate.

To make cheese frosting, beat cheese and butter until smooth and fluffy. Add the sugar slowly, beating on low speed, until the frosting is smooth and silky. Decorate the cake once it cools down completely. Bon appetit!

12.10.14

Vegetarian Chilli


1 smaller butternut squash
2-3 large carrots (purple carrots if you have)
4 medium onions
2 garlic cloves
1 stick of celery + leaves
5-6 smaller mixed peppers (thin walled pointy ones, if using bell peppers 2 will probably do)
1 can black beans
400 ml passata
1 tsp ground cumin
3/4 tsp ground coriander
1/3 tsp cinnamon
sprinkle cayenne
salt and ground black pepper
1 square dark chocolate with chilli
squeeze of 1/4 lime
handful fresh coriander

serve with:
tortillas
guacamole
shredded cheddar 
shredded lettuce
sour cream
margaritas

Finely chop the onion, garlic and celery in a food processor. Sauté in 2 tbsp olive oil until translucent. 

Add carrots and peppers, sauté for a couple of minutes.

Add the spices, squash and beans. Stir until aromatic. 

Add passata and water to cover. Season with salt and pepper.
Simmer on low heat for about 35 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so, until the sauce is reduces and all the vegetables soft. don’t overcook the squash. It needs to be fork-tender but still in one piece.

Stir in the chocolate, melt, then add lime and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Stir in chopped coriander right before serving.


Serve with rice or tacos/tortillas and all the trimmings!



27.1.14

wall clock

Today's the first day that feels like a new season. I find January to be a bit of a depressed and deflated continuation of December, while what I look for in my new year is a sense of fresh new beginnings, awakening and inflated sense of purpose.

It's all creativity and moving on on our end, settling into a new place (and space) and tiding up business in the old. Also, the last of the family visits will be over this coming weekend. I love to see everybody, but when you have  a full month and a half of that, and all the holiday celebrations, you run out of ideas what to cook.

I just bought a wall clock before New Year, only to discover they do wall clocks now on Society6. Damn. I really liked this one:


It's one of the first photos I took with my first dSLR camera I think in 2007. It's one of those photos that turned out absolutely perfect, and today, because of its abstract nature, makes the best merchandise. It's nice to look back now on the collection of art I've made over the past few years. It all happened spontaneously and I'm glad it did.

Here's a few others, I'm really happy with them:



22.12.13

peanut butter shortbread

This year I got the best Christmas present ever - a move to the seaside! I am blissfully happy in our new house with a huge garden full of apple and cherry trees, that reminds me of my grandpa's village in South Serbia. So quaint and peaceful, you can smell the ocean which is less then a mile away.

It's amazing what you can achieve once you know what it is you need and want, and after ten years of being stuck in a place that was doing us no favours, we finally focused and the results followed incredibly quickly. I owe this knowledge to Eileen, a wonderful teacher and a mentor, whom I met in April this year.

I'm so sore all over from moving and packing and unpacking that I briefly contemplated getting a takeaway on Christmas, but decided to make an effort and put together some holiday food. Nothing much, but over the next few days I'll post a few quick and easy party recipes, starting with an incredibly tasty cookie recipe courtesy of Rachel Allen.

PEANUT BUTTER SHORTBREAD


300 g flour
200 g crunchy peanut butter
200 g light muscovado sugar
150 g butter
1 tsp vanilla extract

You can put all the ingredients into a food processor if you have it, and blitz until it all comes together. Alternatively, beat the butter and sugar with electric mixer until creamy. Add vanilla and peanut butter and mix some more. Sift the flour and add it gradually, mixing only until the ingredients are combined into a ball.

This dough is a bit crumbly, so roll it out to about 5 mm thickness, between two sheets of cling film. I used snowflake cookie cutters, but use any you want, or simply bake and cut into squared later.

Place cut out cookies onto a parchment paper, pierce with a fork and bake at 180 C for 8 minutes.

As soon as out of the oven, sprinkle the cookies with some sugar. Once cool, transfer onto the wire rack and allow to harden.


Make sure dog doesn't eat them all!


(Sugar on the whiskas is a definite give away!)

Store in cookie tins, with baking sheet between the cookie layers in order to keep them fresh, and enjoy throughout the holidays. Bon appetite!

14.11.13

mac media

I recently bought a dark burgundy lipstick, for the first time since the 1990s. In the '90s, I used to wear it a lot, together with platinum blonde hair and a lot of black. I kept the black, it's my favourite fashion colour, but dark lipstick went together with the old millennium. Same can be said for intense red.

While I'm not yet ready for full on red during the day, this deep burgundy seems easy to wear. I only have a Halloween costume picture, with really dark lips sans the witches' hat, but it looks really lovely just lightly dabbed on for the 'bitten' lip look.


31.10.13

halloween magic

Some of my own Halloween-inspired art. I hope you enjoy and have an awesome night :)

'halloween'

'silver shadow'

'stars'

'the communion'

'glitter'

'bloodline'

16.10.13

haloumi lentils

Every week, I receive a box of organic fruit and veg from an awesome shop Abel & Cole. With the delivery, they always include a little pamphlet with some innovative, usually vegetarian and vegan, recipes you can make from your produce. Every single recipe I tried so far was nothing short of sensational, and this time I had to share.

The taste of this dish is indescribable. Sweet, salty, slightly acidic piece of heaven on a plate, it is so much more than a sum of its parts, you must try it. I think it would go brilliantly with any chicken, lamb or salmon, but we had it with a deconstructed guacamole (2 tomatoes, 2 avocados, 1 small red onion, salt, pepper, lemon juice and a dash of olive oil).

Haloumi Lentils

Ingredients:
a few splashes olive oil
1 large onion finely chopped
1 carrot, finely diced
3 garlic cloves, chopped
200 g green speckled or puy lentils
1 bay leaf
sea salt and black pepper
100 ml red wine (or water or stock)
300 ml stock (or water) plus more to add until lentils are fully cooked
1-2 tbsp mustard (I used 1 tbsp grainy Dijon mustard)
a good splash of balsamic
a bunch of chard (or any green leafy veg, I used spring greens)
150 g Halloumi
a handful of chopped parsley
1 lemon juice and zest

Add a splash of olive oil to lidded pot. Cook the onion, carrot and garlic till softened. Fold the lentils and bay leaf through. Season well. Let it sizzle for a moment. Pour in the wine. Allow it to bubble up for a bit. Pour in stock or water. Lower heat, cover and cook for 40 minutes or until tender.

Taste. Add some balsamic and a little mustard. Adjust seasoning if necessary.

Finely chop the greens. Carve the leaves from the stem, stack the leaves, roll them up and slice thinly. Then chop the slivers a bit more.

Fold your greens through the lentils. Remove from heat and set aside.

Thinly slice halloumi, then cut into small cubes. Fry in a little olive oil until golden. Scatter over lentils. Finish with parsley, lemon juice and zest. Bon appetite!

13.10.13

my dark star

I can't stop listening to this, the entire album 'Give You the Ghost'. It's incredible.



7.10.13

sour cherry strudel

Sour cherries are my favourite fruit. Not necessarily for eating, but as addition to cakes, deserts, smoothies and the like. Also, sour cherry juice is a little piece of heaven, that contains so much melatonin, it'll help you fall asleep if you are having trouble in that department.

In Yugoslavia, where I am from, we used to have a cherry tree in our garden. A massive old tree whose branches would swell up with ripe fruit and droop so much, they would touch the ground. I used to pick them with my grandparents, then take all the pips out (end up with fuchsia hands for days) and freeze portions to use during winter.

Well, there are no sour cherries in the UK. It's been 10 years since I last tasted this delicious dessert, so you can imagine my joy when I found an online shop that stocks them in frozen form AND is willing to deliver! Already pitted and everything!! I was in heaven.

Two days later, this little delicacy was already on our table, and with no trouble at all, we ate it in a couple of days. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. Almost :D



Ingredients

500 g filo pastry
1.2 kg sour cherries (pitted, washed and defrosted if frozen)
fine semolina (several large serving tablespoons)

topping (using 250 ml cup)
3 large eggs
1 cup canola oil
1 cup yoghurt
1 generous cup sugar
10 g baking powder
splash of vanilla essence

First, make the topping by mixing eggs with sugar and then adding all the other ingredients.

Using 4 sheets of thin filo pastry per strudel, spread first three sheets with a few spoonfuls of the mixture, placing one on top of another, and top the fourth sheet with cherries and a serving tablespoon full of fine semolina, sprinkled on top of the fruit. Roll into a strudel and tuck the edges in so the fruit doesn't fall out. Place in the lightly oiled baking tray and repeat the process until you have five strudels, and quite a bit of mixture left.

Pout the remaining mixture over the cake, make sure it goes to all the crevices and in between, and leave to soak for half an hour.

Bake the strudel at 180 C for 35 minutes, or until golden.

Serve plain or sprinkled with icing sugar. Bon appetit!