3 Spring Smoothies

It’s been a while since I’ve shared some of my smoothie recipes. I drink a smoothie almost every day, but I rarely take pictures of them. Although I do share them on Instagram, I usually post more about dishes and less about drinks. I thought about flavours and I made these 3 Spring Smoothies, fresh and delicious.

3 Spring Smoothie recipe

I thought about smoothie recipes and I came up with these three: Matcha & Apple; Carrot & Orange and Spinach & Banana. All the smoothies have bananas, as we like them a lot. I think almost all of our smoothies have a banana in them. Because it would have been too much to make 6 smoothies for the two of us, I made one of each and we shared. The ingredients for each smoothie are twice than what I’ve used.

Surprisingly, both my husband and I liked the carrot one, even though we don’t like carrots on their own. This means I will add carrots in our smoothies at least once a week. Because I used a lot of frozen carrots, banana and natural juice, it counts as 3 portions of fruit/veggies towards your 5-a-day. I would say that is impressive, in only a big glass of smoothie.
The Matcha and apple smoothie looks a bit strange, the lovely colour of the matcha became more like a military colour, most likely because it has banana in it. It was fab, I will add matcha more often to my smoothies. The Spinach and banana smoothie is the only one with milk in it, the other two are vegan. Of course it can be made vegan by changing the milk with water (it will also have less calories, if that is a concern) or with a vegan milk.

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Polenta chips

I only recently started to make polenta chips and I find them very nice. Polenta chips are naturally gluten free and low in calories. For two servings I used only 80g of cornmeal, this means that a side dish of fried polenta chips will have a little over 200 calories. The only downside of making polenta chips is the waiting time for the polenta to set, a few hours in the fridge. The polenta can be made in the evening and left in the fridge for the following day.

I know that some people don’t make the difference between polenta and cornmeal, but it’s quite simple. The flour is called cornmeal and it can be fine, medium and coarse. Polenta is the porridge-like dish. Cornmeal can be used for so many other recipes, like for potato wedges, Bok Choi with tofu and cornbread-cupcakes.

 Polenta chips

Ingredients for 2 servings:
– 80g cornmeal
– 110g cold water
– 350g hot water
– salt
– white pepper
– 2 spoons of oil for shallow frying
– herbs

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Potato wedges

I love potato wedges and I don’t exaggerate when I’m saying this. The soft smooth texture inside, covered by a crunchy layer on the outside is so appealing for me. I’ve tried different ways to make potato wedges and finally I’ve discovered the best one. I want to share the recipe with you.
I made this recipe a few times before writing this post. Let’s say that I was aiming for consistent results and not an excuse to have potato wedges 3-4 times in a row. Using the same amount of ingredients, you can make 4 side dishes or 2 mains. We had the potatoes as mains, with some grated cheese on top.

Potato wedges

For this recipe I’ve used fine cornmeal because it was the one that I had at home. I imagine the other two types of cornmeal: medium and coarse will give extra crunchiness. Keep that in mind if you are buying the cornmeal specifically for this recipe.

Ingredients for 4 side-dishes:
– 750g potatoes
– 1 heaped spoon of cornmeal
– 1 tsp paprika
– salt
– white pepper
– 3 spoons of oil

Pre heat the oven at 200 C or 180 C fan.

Wash and cut the potatoes in big slices, pat them dry if they are too wet. In a bag, pour the oil, the spices and the cornmeal. Seal the bag and shake it until all the ingredients are incorporated. It should take less than a minute. Open the bag and toss in all the potatoes. Seal the bag and start shaking it until all the sides of the potatoes are coated with the oily mixture.

Place the potatoes in a baking tray or use a frying pan as I did. Bake the potatoes for around 45 minutes. Shake the tray or stir with a spoon twice, so they don’t catch the bottom of the pan.

Take the potato wedges out of the oven and enjoy them.

Potato wedges

Because they are baked they are a healthier option, relatively low in fat and very easy to make too. Do you like Potato wedges?

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Breakfast in bed for Mother’s Day

I had a long thought about the best ideas for breakfast in bed for Mother’s Day after being asked by Blinds Hut. It’s not as easy as I thought it would. It has to be something simple, that takes only a short time to make, but it’s also delicious and looks amazing. I had a chat with my mother, I asked her what she would like, not surprisingly, she agreed with me that scones and boozy cupcakes are a good choice.

 Breakfast in bed for Mother's Day

If you make huge portions, like I did, you can share it and that is an even better idea.

Some of the things I’ve prepared can be made in advance, like the garlic butter. Even the cupcakes can be made the day before. If not, start with them, so they have time to cool before pipping the buttercream on top.

 Breakfast in bed for Mother's Day

Ingredients for 6 scones:
– 225g white self-raising flour
– 35g butter at room temperature
– 1 egg
– 110 ml milk
– 1 tsp baking powder
– 1 tsp Black sesame seeds, plus more to sprinkle on top
– salt
– dried basil
– 1 slice of cheese, I used Gouda

Start by heating the oven at 200C or 180C fan.
Mix the dry components by hand with the butter until it resembles bread crumbs. In a separate bowl, beat the egg with the milk. Pour most of the egg mixture over the dry ingredients and start mixing. Tip it onto a floured worktop. Make sure you are not kneading the dough too much. Flatten the dough with a rolling pin or with your hands. Cut the scones with a cookie cutter and place them on a tray lined with baking paper. Brush the remaining egg mixture on top. Bake the scones for 10 minutes.

Take them out of the oven, put pieces of Gouda on top and sprinkle sesame seeds over. Put them back in the oven and bake the scones for another 3-5 minutes. Take them out of the oven and leave them to cool on a cooling rack.

 Breakfast in bed for Mother's Day

The scones will have a beautiful texture and they will go great with olives and the garlic butter.

 Breakfast in bed for Mother's Day

Ingredients for the garlic butter hearts:
– unsalted butter
– salt
– garlic powder
– dried basil

Boil water in the kettle and put it in a shallow bowl or plastic tupperware, like the one for sandwiches. Put a ceramic bowl over it with the butter. Stir so the butter starts melting.
If you use salted butter, don’t add more salt, as it will be too salty. Add the salt, garlic powder and basil to your taste and stir. When the butter is almost melted, take the bowl out and pour the butter in the moulds. Put the moulds in the fridge and it will set in 30 minutes to 1 hour.
10 minutes before serving, take the butter hearts out of the moulds and put them on the serving plates.

 Breakfast in bed for Mother's Day

Ingredients for 6 cupcakes:
– 115g plain white flour
– 60g demerara sugar
– 1 tsp and a half of cocoa powder
– 120 ml milk
– 1 egg
– 4 spoons of oil
– 6 alcohol chocolates, frozen
– 1/2 tsp of baking powder
For the buttercream:
– 125g unsalted butter, soften
– 125g
– 125g icing sugar
– 1/2 tsp vanilla paste
For decor:
– sugar hearts

Pre-heat the oven at 200C or 180C fan.

Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl. In another bowl beat the egg with the milk and the oil. Pour the egg mixture onto the dry ingredients and incorporate it. For a small amount, like for these 6 cupcakes, it’s very easy to make the batter by hand.

Spoon in the batter into the oiled cupcake cases. To make sure they hold their shape, put the cases onto a cupcake tray. Place a chocolate on top of each cupcake without pushing it inside. Put the baking tray in the oven immediately. The chocolates will start to melt if you leave them for a long time outside. Bake the cupcakes for 15 to 20 minutes. When they are baked, take them out of the oven and leave them to cool for a couple of minutes. Then let them to cool on a wire rack.

Make the buttercream by mixing the butter with the icing sugar and the mascarpone. Add the vanilla paste and mix until the buttercream has its lovely texture. Make sure the cupcakes are cold or they will melt the buttercream. Pipe using a pipping bag the buttercream on top of the cupcakes. Decorate with the sugar hearts and leave them in the fridge until you want to serve them.

 Breakfast in bed for Mother's Day

Even if they were in the fridge, the chocolate in the middle is still soft. I loved them. I might do something similar for Easter, too good not to.

Do you plan to prepare breakfast in bed for your mother on Mother’s Day? Let me know your thoughts.

Post in collaboration with Blinds Hut.

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Soda bread with sundried tomatoes

I like denser bread and I didn’t have time for yeasted bread, so soda bread with sundried tomatoes and wholemeal flour was the obvious choice. I love soda bread, since I baked it at home for the first time last year. I had a bag of organic and local wholemeal flour that was grinded in an old Victorian mill still in use today.

Soda bread with sundried tomatoes

Ingredients for a big loaf:
– 720g plain wholemeal flour
– 600ml buttermilk
– 2 spoons of olive oil
– 8 pieces of sundried tomatoes, cut in slices
– 1 tsp sea salt
– 1 tsp and a quarter of bicarbonate of soda

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Papanasi

This is the first time I share my recipe for Papanasi, a Romanian dessert consisting of cheese doughnuts, sour cream and lots of preserve. My husband and I love this dessert and it’s something we used to have as children.

 Papanasi recipe

I don’t add any sugar in the doughnuts because I love pouring a lot of preserve on top, if you prefer a sweeter version of the doughnuts, add sugar. They will have a slightly darker colour. For Papanasi, I used soft cheese and this is the best option that I tried so far. When it comes to preserve, I would recommend cherry preserve, with the fruits intact and syrup. It’s better for this dessert than regular jam.

Papanasi

Their texture is aerated, as you can see in this picture. It’s a delight to eat.

Ingredients for 4 servings:
– 75g plain white flour
– 75g plain wholemeal flour
– 250g light soft cheese
– 2 eggs
– 1/2 tsp baking powder
– 1 tsp vanilla paste
– oil for frying
– extra flour for dusting
– sour cream
– cherry preserve

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Pizza with potato bread base

My husband loves pizza, so last time I baked potato bread, I made a little more and baked a pizza too.

Pizza with potato bread base

This time I made the pizza with canned cherry tomatoes, olives, mushrooms, cheese and green pepper. I think the cherry tomatoes were very good and it looked so much better than having tomato cubes. It wasn’t a lot of moisture from the tomatoes and I could use them as they were, without having to prepare them, as I have to with raw tomatoes.

Pizza with potato bread base

Ingredients for the base:
– 100g wholemeal strong flour
– 100g white strong flour
– 100g mashed potatoes
– 125ml lukewarm water
– 4g fast-action yeast
– salt
– 3-4 spoons of cornmeal

Ingredients for the toppings:
– 1 can of cherry tomatoes
– 50g tomato paste
– 100g cheddar
– 200g mushrooms
– 1 spoon of oil
– a few bits of green pepper
– 10 green olives
– 1 tsp chilli oil
– garlic powder
– oregano
– basil

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