Friday, May 29, 2015

Chocolate truffle cookies... by The Hummingbird Bakery

I'm a sucker for chocolate, but who isn't, even from time to time ;) Baking those little truffle cookies was really a "spur of the moment". At that stage I was already in the kitchen for better part of the day (cooking and cleaning afterwards...), but whenever I have a a day off I just can't imagine it without baking something sweet - being it a big cake, cupcakes or small cookies like those. So, taking into consideration that I wanted to bake something quick and easy, after a good look through my numerous cooking books, I settled for chocolate truffle cookies from The Hummingbird Bakery cook book "Home sweet home". The cookies were super easy to make - just make sure you keep the dough in the fridge for minimum 30 minutes before shaping the cookies, or otherwise it will be very sticky and messy business... The only problem  - not enough of them! Next time I'm making them from at least double the batch, as they disappeared immediately. Once they were cool my two little girls ate 5 each, can't say I didn't took part in the eating process either ;)

chocolate truffle cookies

Another Hummingbird Bakery recipe that worked so well! I'm challenging myself a bit - I made a promise to myself to bake through their entire book "Home sweet home". There are numerous recipes that I've always wanted to try and master, as well as few I've never heard about. So, don't be surprised (nor bored) if you see a lot of sweet things popping up on my blog from that particular source. Hope I'll stick with my personal, little challenge/goal and finally bake through an entire cookbook!

Isn't that always the case - we have so many fantastic cookbooks (on many subjects and including cuisines from around the world), but who, HONESTLY, can say that they cooked/baked at least one dish from each of cookbooks that are in his/hers collection...? Anyone?!

hummingbird bakery chocolate cookies

How to make it...

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Meatloaf in tomato sauce...aka the best meatloaf in the world!

I made meatloaf few times already, but... there was always something wrong with it... I mean it was edible, but either too dry and almost crumbly, or falling apart, or too soft and way too moist. I almost gave up on making another meatloaf ever again! But that was then... There's a cookbook, quite new to me, but I'm already in love with it! I've been admiring the author of this book for a long time now, love watching his cooking programs and enjoy reading his books (I can almost hear his voice and lovely accent in my head while I'm reading them :) ). So... putting all my trust in the author and knowing I was never disappointed with the result when following his recipes, I decided to give the dreaded meatloaf one more chance. I thought "if it won't work with Antonio, it won't work at all!".
Carluccio's "Simple cooking" book on the counter, meat in the bowl and ready to work!
How I'm glad that I've made it! THE BEST meatloaf ever! Firm, not too dry not too moist, plenty of flavor and the resulting sauce - perfect with pasta! What's more - I think I might even like it more the second day, sliced, just on its own... Do give it a go! You won't regret it!


"We used to eat this in our house when money was short but we still wanted the taste of meat. My mother had a magical ability to transform minced beef into a succulent meatloaf, which was sliced to accompany a pasta, flavoured with the produced sauce. A complete meal in one!" - Antonio


How to make it...

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Maple & Walnut Streusel Cake...

I'm a sucker for a good cake. I like cakes with different textures - soft, but something crunchy or creamy in them at the same time. This cake ticks all the boxes! It's soft, but has crunchy streusel topping and... crunchy surprise inside ;) It's a combination of different tastes too - cake is a vanilla sponge, soaked with maple syrup, while streusel is cinnamon with chopped walnuts. All that works perfectly together! Perfect with a cup of strong black coffee ^_^ Hope you'll make it - it's really worth it! Just make sure you'll read the recipe carefully all way through, before starting on making the cake.

hummingbird bakery

This recipe comes from The Hummingbird Bakery book "Home Sweet Home". I already made good few cakes and cupcakes from their books and each and every time it was a success. The only change I'm always making is to reduce the amount of sugar. I do have a sweet tooth, but not that sweet! I did it this time round too - especially when I saw that there's a lot of sugar in the streusel and after baking cake is being drizzled generously with maple syrup.

maple and streusel cake

How to make it...

Monday, May 11, 2015

Uova Tonnate... Tuna-stuffed Eggs...

Everyone is probably familiar with famous Deviled Eggs and you can say that this is another take on the subject. I love eggs - they're so versatile and usually so quick to prepare (regardless of the way you choose to cook/bake/fry them). This recipe is by Antonio Carluccio, a man, whose passion for food is almost contagious! I love watching his programs and reading his books (of which I'm a proud owner of two). His recipes are authentic, not over complicated, all ingredients always work well together and what's most important - they're dishes you can attempt, successfully, create in our home kitchen.
Uova Tonnate (Tuna-stuffed Eggs) - are so easy to make and the result is fantastic. Yes, we know that tuna, eggs and mayonnaise will always work well together, but it's the way they're combined, it's they way this simple starter is put together. As they say: "the devil is in the detail" :) When you have a little party next time, guests coming for lunch or dinner, or if you just want to enjoy a nice meal (maybe with a glass of wine on the side) make sure to put Uova Tonnate on your list!

tuna stuffed eggs

"This is another of my favourite antipasti for any occasion. I can’t count the number of times I have surprised guests with this dish, which may be simple but holds plenty of flavour." - Antonio Carluccio.

uova tonnate antonio carluccio

How to make it...

Saturday, May 09, 2015

Rhubarb compote...

Only 3 simple ingredients and such a result. Simple combination of pure water, sugar and fresh fruit. I love rhubarb, I adore its smell, bright pink colour and how well it goes with so many different things - being it sweet or savory. Last week, without any thinking at all, I bough two bunches of rhubarb. Then I went home. I was staring at those green/pink stalks and was thinking "so what now?". Didn't want a pie, or another jam, so I grabbed first book on my bookshelf, which happen to be "Ballymaloe cookery course" and again it didn't disappoint me! :)


Rhubarb compote - something so simple yet so versatile. You're probably thinking immediately about your breakfast, and you're right. What I've already found out is that it's not only brilliant on my morning porridge or mixed through my yogurt, but also great in my drinks (both soft and those spiked ones ;) ). Take advantage of mother nature so - buy some rhubarb and make yourself some sweet, pink, sticky compote!



How to make it...

Saturday, May 02, 2015

Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies...

I got on Instagram only last January and... I'm still killing myself for not getting on it earlier! I knew I'll get to see some great photos, that I get to know people better (the ones that have blogs, are food writers, chefs etc.). I also knew I'll be able to share more of my life with others. I like that about Instagram - it allows you to get to know someone that little bit better. What I discovered also only last week, is that it will allow me to discover new dishes!
Oatmeal cookies - never baked them before, can't remember eating them either ;) but when I saw that delicious photo on Cookbook-Addict account I knew I just had to bake them. She was kind enough to share the recipe with me - and I'll be forever grateful for that! :)
The cookies - where do I start!? Crunchy on the outside, little soft on the inside. Sweet, but not sickly sweet and you can always "shush" your guilt telling yourself it's full of those healthy oats ;)


This is the recipe is from the "Grand Central Baking Book" by Piper Davis and Ellen Jackson.



How to make it...