Saturday, January 26, 2013

Onion Rings with Garlic Dill Dip

These onion rings are a perfect appetizer. They can be eaten plain but the garlic dill dip makes them even better. This dip can also be served with crackers, baked potatoes or anything you like.

 Onion Rings

1 large or 2 small onions
1/2 - 1 cup flour
1 cup bread crumbs
1 egg
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp sweet paprika flakes
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
salt, to taste

1) Slice the onions into rings and set aside.
2) In a small bowl, lightly beat the egg and combine it with buttermilk. Set aside.
3) In another bowl, mix together the crumbs, paprika flakes, white pepper, cumin, oregano and salt.
4) Place the flour in another bowl.
5) Take one onion ring, dip into buttermilk mixture, dip in flour, than again in buttermilk and finally in bread crumb mixture. Repeat with remaining onions.
6) Heat the oil in a pot. Fry onions for a few minuter, until nicely browned.

Garlic Dill Dip

200g sour cream
3 tbsp chopped fresh dill
1 tsp garlic powder
1-2 tbsp buttermilk
1 tsp dried basil
pinch white pepper
large pinch salt

Combine all ingredients. Add salt to taste and buttermilk (depending on the consistency you want the dip to be). Serve with onion rings and enjoy!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Strawberry & Banana Oatmeal Bake

Recently I am quite obsessed with healthy food. I'm constantly thinking of ideas to bake something healthier. I started using more applesauce, bananas, honey as natural sweeteners, reduce sugar and butter amounts in my baked goods. Actually I just created a recipe of a totally healthy cake which doesn't contain any butter or oil and just a small amount of sugar and flour. I hope I will post the recipe soon. However, now about this oatmeal bake. It is one of these healthy breakfast which inspired me to bake more and more from oats, honey, berries and fruits. This oatmeal bake has become one of my favourite breakfast. To be honest, I ate it all the same day I made it. Terrible. But it's not that bad as it sounds! Because I definitely consider it guilt-free. What is more, it reminds me of summer so much! I don't remember when I last baked with strawberries. When their smell started coming out of the oven, it really felt like spring is almost here! And really, time will pass so quickly and we will indulge in warm sunshine and summer breeze again. Can't wait!

Strawberry & Banana Oatmeal Bake
1 cup quick cooking oats
1 tbsp brown sugar + 2 tbsp honey (or add a little more if you like it sweeter)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 tbsp grated orange zest
1/4 teaspoon spice (I used cinnamon, cloves, cardamon)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup sliced strawberries
A handful of black currants (optional)
1 cup milk
1 egg
1 tbsp butter, melted
1/2 ripe banana, peeled, cut in slices 
(I also added a handful of black currants)

1) Preheat oven to 190°C. Lightly oil the baking dish.

2) In a large bowl, mix together the oats, sugar, baking powder, orange zest, spice, salt and half the strawberries. In another bowl, whisk together the milk, egg and butter.

3) Add the oat mixture to prepared baking dish. Pour the milk mixture on top and put the remaining strawberries and bananas on everything.

4) Bake 25 to 35 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the milk mixture has set. You may sprinkle some brown sugar on top when almost fully baked and put into the oven for an additional minute. I reccomend serving with maple syrup, honey or any other syrup of choice.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Dulce De Leche Cheesecake

Dulce de leche is probably one of the best things in the world. I remember my mother making waffles with layers of dulce de leche or sweetened condensed milk when I was little. It used to be a perfect dessert for me. But now as I grew up I like to make things more complicated. For example, dulce de leche cheesecake. We all know that condensed milk makes all things better. (Ahh, I mean creamier). So the result was heavenly! The only thing I would change, is that I would use more dulce de leche for the top. 

Dulce de Leche Cheesecake

1 pie crust
500g cream cheese, at room temperature
2,5 tbsp flour
2 large eggs plus 1 large egg yolk
1 cup (350g) dulce de leche
50g dulce de leche (for topping)

1. Prepare the pie crust according to the directions.

2. Preheat the oven to 150°C. Wrap the outside of a 9-inch springform pan with foil.

4. Using a mixer, beat the cream cheese until softened, 2 minutes. Beat in the flour on low speed. Beat in the eggs and egg yolk, 1 at a time, on medium speed. Mix in 1 cup dulce de leche.

5. Pour the batter into the crust. Loosely cover the pan with foil, set in a roasting pan and pour in enough boiling water to reach a depth of 2cm. Bake the cheesecake until set, about 55 minutes*.

6. Transfer the cake to a rack; let rest for 15 minutes. Spread the remaining 50g** dulce de leche over the warm cake.

7. Refrigerate until ready to serve, then remove the springform and slice the cheesecake.

*My cheesecake baked almost 2 hours! I guess it depends on the oven. I was a little bit scared to overbake it but I baked it until the center was just set and the result was good.

**You may use more dulce de leche. I used 50 grams because I only had one can which contained 400g so I only had 50 grams remaining.


Monday, January 07, 2013

Baked Potato Chips with Avocado Garlic Dip

These homemade potato chips are a healthier version of your favourite chips because they're oven baked, not fried. It took time for me to cut them into thin slices because I don't have any magical cutter but it was worth that. Served with avocado dip they are a great appetizer. Really, this avocado dip made all the difference. Isn't it amazing that a dip can be healthy without any mayonnaise or other components and still be so creamy and delicious? Since I tried avocado with pasta, I realized that it can be used in so many ways like sauces and dressings and substitute that unhealthy stuff we are used to eating. Can't wait to try other recipes with avocado!

Avocado Dip
1 medium ripe avocado
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tbsp lemon or lime juice
1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
1 tsp dried or fresh basil
1/4 tsp ground cumin
pinch salt and pepper

Combine all the ingredients and process in your food processor until smooth. Or use a mixer and blend everything.

4 medium potatoes, thinly sliced
1 tsp sweet paprika
2 tbsp olive oil
pinch salt

1) Preheat oven to 190C. Line two baking trays with parchment paper.
2) Mix oil, paprika flakes and salt in a bowl. Add potatoes and toss to cover both sides. Place the potato slices on parchment paper and bake until dark golden brown and crispy. Serve with avocado dip.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Coffee Meringues

Meringues! One of a thousand sweets that I'm in love with. Light, airy and melt in your mouth. And of course, coffee flavoured! I probably have to try putting coffee in everything I bake. These meringues came out as good as I expected. And what I like most, they are super easy to make and such a small amount of ingredients make so much meringues! Sounds good, doesn't it?

3  large egg whites

1/2  tsp  cream of tartar (I used vinegar)

170g/3/4  cup  sugar

1/2  tsp  vanilla

1 1/2  tbsp instant espresso powder

1. In a bowl, with an electric mixer on high speed, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until thick and foamy. Gradually add sugar and continue to beat until mixture holds stiff peaks. Beat in vanilla and espresso powder.

2. Spoon meringue in 3-5cm wide mounds, about 2,5cm apart, onto parchment-lined baking sheets. 

3. Bake in a 93°C preheated oven until meringues are light brown. 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours. Turn off heat and leave meringues in closed oven for 1 hour.

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