,,One of the delights of life is eating with friends, second to that is talking about eating.
And, for an unsurpassed double whammy, there is talking about eating while you are eating with friends. ,,
-Laurie Colwin

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Water + !

It is very important to drink enough water to stay hydrated in the hot summer days, so here I share with you some great flavored water recipe ideas, to add a twist to your water. Dropping a lemon wedge in water is a common way to add flavor, but you should try another kind of citrus mixed up with a few mint leaves. You can also get creative and mix together some fresh fruits cubes with herbs and ice cubes. Or add a few fresh slices of cucumber to mineral water for a refreshing drink. Or try some slices of fresh ginger in a glass of water to make a drink that’s not only invigorating, but it's also a natural cure for an upset stomach.
This home made flavoured water is the version of what might be poured at a spa or a fine restaurant, where slices of cucumber or citrus are added to the water cans. The fruit and herbs flavors will permeate the water to offer you a special taste experience. This drinks are pure refreshment with flavor of the fruits and herbs but with no sugar or heaviness.
If you don’t like the taste of plain flavoured water from your supermarket, these are a nice alternative. It’s very easy, healthy, inexpensive, and looks beautiful.
Here are few ideas, but basically you can use any fruit you love in any combination.
Sassy Water is a popular drink that reduce your cravings for sweet food and stimulates your digestive system in healthy ways. The recipe is quick, easy and simple. Other web sites say Sassy Water has an energizing effect somewhat similar to caffeine. The ginger is the key; it has natural energy enhancers.
- 2 liter of water
- 20 mint leaves
- 1/2 cucumber thinly sliced
- 1 spoon of sliced ginger
- 2 lemon thinly sliced
- 2-3 spoons of honey ( I use agave sirup)- optional
Add all the ingredients to the water.
Put the water in the refrigerator and let it get cold. Overnight is recommended.
Water made with dry goji berries and lime.
Frozen fruits water.
Lemon, basil and honey.
Orange, tarragon and pine sirup.
Let's drink! Pin It Now!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Modern Romanian cuisine - (1)

What is Modern Romanian cuisine? I want to believe that there are a few chefs out there who do actually have a meaning of that and they will try to improve with passion the classic Romanian cuisine. For me modern cuisine must use high-quality local ingredients, preparing them in ways which combine traditional Romanian recipes with modern innovations. Also, modern approaches for me mean using cooking implements like food processors and maybe reducing the amount of fat, salt or sugar in dishes. I love as well to add extra ingredients for a final touch, to bring the dish to a different level. Romanian cuisine is a diverse blend of different dishes from several traditions with which it has come into contact, but it also maintains its own character. It has been greatly influenced by Ottoman cuisine while it also includes influences from the other cuisines such as Germans, Russians, Serbians and Hungarians. I love this cuisine that I grew up with.
Today, if you visit any Romanian supermarket you will see the multicultural influence in Romanian food. Today, the cuisine of Romania blends two types of cooking styles: a traditional one, which is used for everyday living in all Romanians houses and the Romanian cuisine that gathers influences from the Western civilizations and is used mainly in restaurants. .
The fast-food industry is developing quickly as well. The fast-food that is consumed in Romania has bad effects on people’s health. Romania is now among the first countries, in the heart disease top, and obesity also becomes a common health problem. Another factor that leads to bad health is represented by the high use of pork fat and pork meat in the preparation of the traditional dishes. In order to remediate these problems, we need to develop new preparation methods, based on the same ingredients with a healthy twist. Pork is the preferred meat, but chicken, beef, lamb, and fish are also popular.
There are many ways to categorize the style of Romanian cuisine but the most important I think is a classification based on regions of the country. Every region has its own fantastic distinct culinary traditions.
I will not speak here about the food from these regions but I'll try to share with you the most popular recipes that I think they deserve to be mentioned in my little story. The one of the most popular dish in Romanian cuisine is Sarmale.
Sarmale is a dish of cabbage, vine leaves or rhubarb leaves ( thanks to PENE, a friend of us, I just found out these are toxic, so I woudn't recommend anyone using them, even if I ate them when I was a child and I'm still here. I haven't eaten them in a very long time, but I remembered them and so I mentioned them in the post) rolled around a filling usually based on minced meat. Minced meat, rice, onions and salt, pepper and fresh thyme are mixed together and then rolled into large plant leaves, which may be cabbage (fresh or pickled), vine leaf (fresh or pickled) or rhubarbs leaves.
The combination is then boiled or cooked in the oven for several hours. While specific recipes vary across the regions, it is uniformly recognized that the best cooking method is slow cooking in large clay pots. Sarmale is one of the staple meals for festive occasions like Christmas, New Year, Easter, birthdays, etc. Also, I remember that my grandmother was making Sarmale without meat, where the meat was substituted with mushrooms and mince vegetables.
Unlike other European cultures, in Romania we use sour cabbage as opposed to fresh cabbage. At the end of the autumn, families traditionally prepare their own sour cabbage by pickling in salted water with thyme and horseradish (as whole cabbage, or as individual leaves, but not shredded) for sarmale-making.
Another kind of Sarmale are those rolled in (grape) vine leaves. Sarmale is normally a heavy dish and is usually eaten during winter. Traditionally, they are served along with mamaliga (polenta) or potatoes, sour cream and fresh chili. Here I will present you some of my Sarmale in new modern way that I made here in Estonia for different occasions and it has been a success every time.
Here I made ''Sarmale'' with  minced wild board, served with polenta cooked in goat milk, red pepper caviar and sour cream.
 Oven baked ''Sarmale'' with tomato sauce and sour cream served on soft polenta.
 Sarmale with deer meat served with white truffle polenta, chili hair and spicy fillo pastry. 
No meat - Sarmale with mushroom and brown rice, served with polenta, piri-piri chili and beetroot sour cream. 

Traditional Sarmale made in wine leaves served with polenta, smoked home made tomato sauce and parmesan. 
To be continued.... Pin It Now!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


I love chimichurri for that blend of spicy, herbs, and olive oil that makes my mouth water.Chimichurri is a traditional Argentinean herb sauce that I had it for the first time at a restaurant in Dublin. A small ramekin of chimichurri sauce was served with my grilled steak and I loved it..The recipe varies from chef to chef, but the basics are olive oil, parsley, oregano, red wine vinegar, garlic and red pepper flakes and served with grilled steak.
The chimichurri sauce is great as a marinade or topping for fish, steak, pork and for roasted or grilled vegetables.To make a basic Chimichurri sauce you need fresh parsley, fresh oregano, crushed red pepper, olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic and seasoning.
100gr fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
100gr fresh oregano leaves
4 cloves garlic
2 spoons chopped red pepper
2 spoons red wine vinegar
100ml extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and black pepper to taste.
Finely chop the herbs, pepper and the garlic.Add the herbs, garlic, red pepper flakes into a bowl. Pour in the red wine vinegar, olive oil and seasoning.Taste and add more salt if needed.You can use it right away or refrigerate up to 2 weeks …the acid from the vinegar keeps the herbs green and fresh.Instead of red wine vinegar, you can use raspberry vinegar or lemon juice. You can make chimichurri with different herbs to suit different meats. For example, I add dill or coriander for fish or mint and thyme for lamb roast or grill chops. As well I used to add different fruits to this sauce to match different grills or vegetables.
 Here I made chimichurriwith coriander and pomegranate to serve with poaced salmon and brocoli.
 Here I made Chimichurri with horserradish to be serve with....
 medalion of venison and grill vegetables....or
 fillet of Angus beef  and roast vegetables.
Enjoy. Pin It Now!

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