Sunday, October 28, 2012

Purple rain...

by Karolina, 28th October 2012

"Autumn had come, giving not a damn for the inconvenience it caused"- these words by Andrey Kurkov say it all...

The short days have come bringing the chill with it. Beautiful Indian summer is over and rainy, grey time had taken over :(

To fight cold weather blues I made these...

Purple madeleines with a hint of lavender.

As a base I used Dorie Greenspan's recipe for madeleines. After all if you learn, learn from the best!

However I was making violet madeleines, so I infused the butter with little bit of dried lavender and for the colour I used a few drops of coloring. I didn't want to have just one plain colour. So I added tiny drop of colouring when the dough was already in the madeleine pan and then swirled it using wooden stick. Like this I got pretty purple swirls.

I'm really happy with the result. I got nice fluffy madeleines with hint of lavender which reminded me of summer and quite quirky look :) Together with nice cup of tea made be forget the weather outside - so definitely reccomended.

And how do you like my madeleines?
What is your way to beat autumn blues? I'd love to hear from you!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Fig fling

by Karolina, 21st October 2012

What would be Autumn without its seasonal fruits and veggies?
Apples, plums, pears, pumpkins - they make grey clouds and chilly weather more bearable  and comfortable.

But my favourite of all is beautiful fig.

With amazing colours of purple and violet and lovely sweet taste, it's one of my most loved fruits.

And today, I'd like to show you classic, no fail combination of fig and goat cheese.

This quick and easy recipe makes a lovely starter.

All you need is:

- figs (as many as people at your table)
- goat cheese
- balsamic vinegar
- a few pistachios
- salt and pepper

How to?

- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C
- Cut the figs across and open them slightly to make cavity for cheese
- Crush or cut goat cheese and insert into the fig's cavity
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper and pistachios
- Pour a little bit of balsamic vinegar on top
- Put into the oven for about 10-15 minutes (when the cheese is nice and melting it's ready)
- Serve immediately

This dish is a yummy combination of sweet & salty, smooth and crunchy.
Give it a try! You won't regret it!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Apricot forks

by Karolina, 14th October 2012

Sorry for longer silence here on the blog...I'm guilty of catching some holidays :)
While I'll tell you more about it some other a little, quick appetizer.

Taking advantage of last apricots this season, I made a quick and easy appetizer which is tasty and good looking at the same time.

Forks with apricot, goat cheese and bacon.
I really love the combination of fruits and meat - in this case smoky bacon. Goat cheese adds a bit of tangy, salty taste to it, which goes perfectly with smooth sweetness of apricots.
You can use as well peaches instead of apricots and Parma ham instead of bacon.

 It really is as easy as it sounds...

All you need to do is:

1. Prepare the goat cheese (preferably softer one) - add pepper (little bit of salt if needed) and form little balls
2. Roll the balls of cheese in bacon
3. Fork the rolled cheese
4. Grill quickly the apricot quarters
5. Fork the apricots
6. Serve - I served it with small salad, a few more apricots, walnuts
7. Gently sprinkle with balsamic vinegar and honey

This looks really lovely on the individual serving plates but I'm sure it will be stunning on one big serving dish as well.

All of it takes not more than 15 minutes to prepare.
So, go on - give it a try and let me know how you like it!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Speedy Hostess 3 or Cheese Platter Decalogue

by Karolina, 5th October 2012

Really speedy post today...It's been really crazy and busy week...Uffffff.........
And the best part- we decided for last minute holidays. Yay! We're leaving tomorrow. So actually I should be packing right now...but I'm an "almost" good blogger and I'll write a few words before leaving for a week.

So, I thought that Speedy Hostess post would be perfect for speedy post :)

Today, one of my "to go" entertaining tools. Good, old....Cheese platter!

Couldn't really be quicker, right?
But there are a few things you should remember when preparing a cheese plate.

So here's my...

Cheese Platter Decalogue:

1. Have at least 3-4  different cheeses to offer
2. Vary the cheese by type of milk (cow,sheep,goat)
3. Have a variety of tastes - from smooth and silky to pungent (OK, not too pungent because you have to live in your home afterwards)
4. Offer different cheese textures - hard cheese & softer ones
5. Remember that eyes are eating first - think about different shapes and colours of cheese
6. Try local or unusual cheeses (makes a nice twist and a good conversation starter, in case you've run out of subjects after mains ;))
7. Don't forget about additional items for your platter - fruits, nuts etc.
8. Good bread is a MUST.
9. Try something new - like honey or quince membrillo with your cheese
10. Let the wine flow!

How is your cheese platter? Did I forget about some important rule?

Let me know!

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