Thursday, October 30, 2014

Pumpkin Steel Cut Oatmeal... Perfect breakfast!

Who doesn't love a nice, warm, cooked breakfast on a chilly Autumn morning...?! Well, I definitely do - pity I always have to cook it myself and it can't be delivered hot, straight into my bed (with some strong coffee on the side!) well, maybe one day ;) As it's October - a month of pumpkin as it seems - I also gave into the world wide craze! Last few weeks there's pumpkin almost in everything I bake and cook. Can't complain because of that really - there's something comforting and cheerful at the same time, in that bright orange mush that comes out of the tin (how convenient!). 
I wanted something different this time round, not yet another pumpkin cake, pumpkin bread etc. so I turned to somewhere we all turn when on a "quest" for a new recipe (or sometimes in an act of desperation...) - Internet. And what a result! On one of my favorite sites TheKitchn I came across - Pumpkin steel cut oatmeal (pinhead oats for those living in Ireland or UK), what a brilliant idea! Yes, you might have to get up those few minutes earlier, but it's SO worth it! I've stick to the recipe religiously this time  - something that's rarely happening, unless I'm baking something completely new... - and I don't regret it! This unusual version of "porridge" literally disappeared in minutes! Sweet, spicy (almost "Christmasy"), warm, very creamy consistency and because I've cooked my steel cut oats that little bit longer  - very soft and smooth too. There's no crunch to it, as I wanted it that way, but cook it not as long as me and you'll have a nice bite to it with almost "al dente" oats. The smell while it's simmering away is very intense - cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg it all almost made me start singing "Jingle Bells"... So comforting and "cosy" feeling.
I ate my portion (and I had two, yes NOT one, but two extra helpings) with some Greek yogurt and a little bit of honey drizzled over the top. Please DO try it! It really is that good :)

How to make it...

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Pumpkin bundt cake... and a little celebration...

October, rainy and windy weather, all the brown & yellow leaves, all the pumpkins in the shops! From what I can see all around the Internet Ireland isn't as crazy about its pumpkins as other countries, for example USA. I have to admit that I'm rather disappointed by that... Autumn (or Fall as some call it) is my favourite time of the year. I don't mind all the wind - which brings beautiful smell of dry leaves and sometimes I can sense/smell the ocean in the middle of the town (I have The Atlantic only 3 miles away...). I even like the rain (don't mix with the storms and hurricanes...), I like the freshness of the rain and how it seems to cleanse everything around me. And Autumn brings pumpkins. I discovered their full potential only a year ago - when I finally got some pumpkin puree in the local shop. How I would love to try all those deliciously sounding things you're all on about from Trader Joe's - pumpkin spice chai, pumpkin rolls, pumpkin macaroons, croissants or spiced pumpkin seeds to name a few.... I can't even get pumpkin spice mix here (which thankfully is very easy to make at home!). So with all the pumpkin craze I decided to celebrate with pumpkin!

Celebrate what you might ask... Well, my little blog, Anula's Kitchen is exactly... 6 years old today! :D I can't believe it's been so long... I also can't believe how much it gave me. From simply discovering whole wide world of food, some ingredients and tastes that I probably wouldn't come across normally. From discovering new chefs, cooking techniques. I'm also thankful for making me that little bit more daring and adventurous in the kitchen, for teaching me how not to give up easily (which somehow transferred into other parts of my life too). But one of the most important things, which I value the most - writing Anula's Kitchen for all those years brought some amazing people into my life, people that I wouldn't met otherwise, people that in some cases became my friends and are with me till his day. Most of them I won't probably ever meat in real life, but common passion for food brought us together, even if we're on different continents.

THANK YOU ALL for reading, cooking, baking with me. For words of encouragement and sometimes critique too! I hope you're enjoying Anula's Kitchen, because I'm surely enjoying all that cooking, baking,writing about it and of course don't forget - eating! ;) I hope you'll stay with me for at least another 6 years!

So to celebrate a little pumpkin bundt cake with dark chocolate buttons/drops inside as a little surprise ;) Recipe adapted from "Cake Days" by The Hummingbird Bakery.

How to make it...

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Apple and Calvados pie...

I'm always on a look out for a nice pie crust recipe (when it's so easy to make yourself why would you buy it?!) and nice pie in general - being it sweet or savory, although having a bit of a sweet tooth it's usually the first one ;) This particular recipe caught my eye in the "Fruit" cookbook by Hugh from River Cottage. The crust is quite sweet (not like Nigel's from Pie of plums) but it goes perfectly with my sour apples and Calvados. Yes, crisp, fresh, aromatic, strong but gentle at the same time - Calvados :) Whenever I can smell fresh apples I'm thinking about Calvados, I don't think (I hope so anyway!) that I'm the only one with such thoughts/comparisons ;)

Back to today's pie. Autumn is a perfect time for me to make pies, time when I need warm, full of flavor, pungent, indulging, comforting food. And sweet, fruity pies are my answer to it! The smell of this particular pie being baked - heavenly! I could barely wait for it to cool enough, so I can cut into it! The addition of Calvados and raisins are my own (original Hugh's recipe calls for some almonds in the filing, but I didn't want any in my version). The below pie literally disappeared! I barely noticed and it was all gone. Luckily I was able to treat myself to a big slice, with some Greek yogurt on the side and string coffee.... I really DO hope that you'll make my pie! If you don't have Calvados I think that a little bit of apple cider would work here quite well too ;)
What's your favorite fruity/sweet pie?

How to make it...

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Eggs on toast...

Something quick, easy and most of all tasty. I have an egg on toast very often - but I usually just make a toast, poach an egg and place it on a "bed" of bread, ham, cheese, few slices of salad and few slices of tomatoes. Yes, that's how my egg on toast usually looks like. This time it's a little bit different, but such an obvious way of doing it one might think! Well, I've never made it that way, so it was a first for me. I went all the way to make it oh so pretty, but my egg had a different plan and ruined my presentation a little bit ;) Nicely cut out heart shape was literally unrecognizable when the egg decided to take over... but nothing was left and the cut out piece of bread got a very "posh" when toasted and treated with some butter and raspberry jam and served as a "dessert" after my little brunch.
Egg on toast is so versatile, you can "dress" it up with whatever you fancy - I went simply with some Parmesan and basil, as I wanted it simple, but "sky is the limit" as they say and I'm sure you can find something this very minute in your fridge, that would make a great accompaniment to this fun version of an egg on toast.

Idea and inspiration taken from "Fast" by Neven Maguire.

How to make it...