The “I will become a baker” challenge

Have you guys seen that movie Julie & Julia where a girl starts her blog by each day following the recipes by Julia Child?

I’ve always wanted to do the same but I don’t have the discipline to ever follow recipes, and timewise it can sometimes be very hard having to be stuck to a cookbook, with some recipes being extremely long etc.  There is an exception to this rule of mine. Baking… 89% of time I can follow a baking recipe. Mostly because as we all know baking is as much science as intuition and that little magic touch.

In Sweden we have many great bakers but lately there is one exceptional STAR…Roy Fares, and luckily last time I was home I bought both of his cookbooks. So the challenge. Cook all of the recipes in “United States of Cakes” and “Sweet spots of New York” by Roy Fares. This might take months who knows, maybe even years, but I will make it.

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I have cheated and already made Raspberry Blondies and a Snickers Cheesecake that I guess I will have to make again. I will still try to post other recipes but this will be my overall challenge.

What do I hope to get out of this: Learn new recipes, techniques and overall skill.
What I think will be the biggest challenge: Gaining too much weight 😛

 

So here it goes…

 

 

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The thoughts about what is to come 

October is a big month down here, Octoberfest dominates the first weeks and the end of October equals a wedding in South Africa and three weeks in Cape Town with my boyfriend… oh and I guess the biggest thing: we are moving in together. 
At the same time that I move in, my boyfriends friend is moving down and staying with us for a while. Both of them are really in to training and how to optimize your training by eating so they’ve decided to try a more plant based diet for a while and I guess I will tag along for the ride. 
I tried to be vegan for a week some time ago and came up with some great recipes that I could use then but something that I really have a hard time without… milk and dairy products in general I can’t stop… even after watching “what the health”…

Of course there are great replacements but It takes some getting used to and I’m not there yet… he he…

So if you 5 of my readers have any good recommendations of plant based recipes or just recipes in general that I should try leave them in the comments! I’m always in the search for new yummy things to try! 

The creamy chicken and fresh Zucchini salad 

My boyfriends parents have a garden where they grow all kinds of yummy veggies and as he was there a week ago he brought some home with him.
For this easy dinner we used the tomatoes and the beans in the chicken and the zucchini for a fresh salad.

Ingredients
Olive oil
Two chicken thighs with skin on
Sundried tomatoes in oil
Garlic
Onion
Chili
Cream
Veggie stock
Parmesan Zucchini
Lemon
Lime
Salt, pepper, cayenne

Start by frying the chicken on a pan with a little bit of olive oil until the skin gets a crisp and nice color all around. Season with salt, pepper and cayenne. (This takes ca.5 mins depending on the heat of the pan and the size of the chicken) Then place the chicken in a oven form and set to the side.
Chop your onions, garlic, chili and sundried tomatoes. Fry these in the pan you used to make the chicken. When it starts getting soft and smelly (smelly in the good sense of the word) add some veggie stock and the cream and bring it up to a simmer. Season with italian herbs, salt, pepper and if you like it a bit on the spicy side some more cayenne. Grate some Parmesan cheese and add this to the sauce, when the cheese has started to melt you can poor the sauce over the chicken and place it into the oven at around 180 degrees for ca 15 mins.
While the chicken is in the oven get your zucchini into thin “pasta” shaped size. There are some great machines for this, but also without a machine getting them cut into julienne is not that hard? But in my case quite time consuming.
When the zucchini has been cut season with lemon juice, lime cest, olive oil, salt and pepper add some Parmesan cheese on the top before serving.
When 13 mins have passed add tomatoes some fresh basil and some green beans. Put it back into the oven for 2-3 mins.

 

This was a great dish, but both me and my boyfriend are skeptical to chicken thighs so next time we do this we will make it with the breast.

The Easy Bolognese

You know those days where you just long for that easy yet simply delicious Bolognese?  (hahah, I just noticed that I missed an “O” there in my pic…oh well…) I have those days quite often.

Bolognese can be done in a million different ways with a million different levels of difficulty. For this one I chose a very simple way of doing it.

Ingredients
300 gr of minced meat
1 onion
1 garlic clove
1 medium sized carrot
1 small chili (optional)
A splash of red wine
Tomato sauce
A tablespoon of tomato puree
salt, pepper, cayenne pepper and Italian herb mix

Start of by chopping all of the ingredients that need to be chopped. Garlic, chili and onions I chopped finely while the carrot I sliced in “moon”-shaped sliced and left them sort of big. I like the crunch that the carrots give in this easy bolognese.

When everything is chopped, heat your pan up to a medium-high heat and use a little bit of olive oil on the pan. When the oil is warm, start by frying the onion, garlic and chili until soft. Add the minced meat and fry until it has gotten a nice brown colour. If there is an excess of oil remove it with a spoon at this point. Add the tablespoon of tomato puree and salt , cayenne pepper and pepper. To release the flavours add a bit of red wine and the tomato sauce turn down the heat and let the meatsauce simmer. I like my carrots crispy so I add them after the meat sauce has simmered for a little bit but if you like them soft add them before adding the wine and the tomato sauce.

When the meatsauce has started to simmer on a low heat boil your pasta. Before rinsing the pasta add the italian herb mix (oregano, basil etc) to the meat for a finishing touch.


Serve and enjoy.

The “I miss Sweden” Lunch

This is one of absolute favorite things to have for lunch. It’s a take on a Swedish classic – toastskagen. Unfortunately shrimps are quite expensive down here in Munich but every once in a while we all deserve some shrimps!

100g of shrimp (already boiled)
1 boiled egg
half a red onion (or just a very small one)
mayonaise
lemon
salt, pepper
lettuce

 

Start by finely chopping the red onion and cutting the tomatoes to small pieces. When you buy the shrimp they usually come in this “lake” (pronounced lah-Kay) you need rinse them and then squeeze some lemon juice on top, mix with mayo and the finely cut red onion. Season with salt and pepper and if needed a little bit more of lemon juice.

We usually serve this on toast but as I do not really like the toast bread down here, so I usually just pick my favorite bread and toast it a bit in the oven.

Assemble by putting some lettuce on your toast/bread then put the mayo/shrimp mix on top. Add some cut tomatoes on the top and the boiled egg. I prefer the egg to be soft boiled but not too runny. But really that is more up to you. 

Smaklig måltid 

The Chickpea Curry

This is probably one of my favorite things to make. It’s a Indian recipe that I found some years ago and it’s always a hit when I make it.
The best part is that you can always do small variations to it to make it a bit different from time to time.
This time for example I used mushrooms and forgot the ginger but still super yummy.

2 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
1 onion (finely chopped)
Small piece of ginger (finely chopped)
1 chili  (finely chopped)
400g of chickpeas
1 can Coconut milk
Spinach
Coctail tomatoes 🍅
1 big tea spoon Red curry paste
Salt, cayenne, black pepper

Start by frying the finely chopped veggies in some olive oil until soft. I usually always fry them with a little bit of salt and pepper. Add the rinsed and washed canned chickpeas and fry together with the curry paste. It will smell heavenly.
nce it has fried for a minute or two add the coconut milk and taste. (It might need a little bit more of red curry paste.) Let it slowly get up to a simmer and while it’s doing that chop the tomatoes and wash the spinach.
Once the curry has simmered for 5-7 mins add the spinach and stir to make sure they get all soft and nice. Add the tomatoes. Taste seasoning.

I serve it with normal rice, once I made it with chapati bread.. also super nice but with rice it’s a bit more filling.

chickpeas

About me

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My name is Valeria, originally from Stockholm (Sweden) but with parents from Peru, I now live in Munich (Germany). I love cooking, eating and learning about food.

Food has always been a big deal in my life. My mom is a chef and she always made sure we would try everything once before we were allowed to say that we didn’t like something. My mom taught me that a 15 min meal both taste and look delicious as well as being healthy.

My father also came with some life lessons… his motto “everything in moderation” (a motto he doesn’t always follow when it comes to food) taught me that it is OK to eat cakes, carbs and candy if I balance it well with exercise and other healthy meals…and don’t overeat.

So this food blog will give you a peek into my kitchen. Fast and healthy recipes mixed with the sweet stuff, the delicious cakes and the creamy pastas…everything in moderation…

When my inspiration runs low, I will venture into food challenges, because what better way to learn more about food than to try new recipes?
I will challenge myself to follow a certain diet or cookbook and in that way get inspired.

If you love spicy food, getting inspiration from kitchens like the peruvian, italian and sometimes south east asian, this is the place for you!

 

Welcome to my Kitchen