Friday, 14 November 2014

Rice, Salad, Aubergine Pilaf

Even though the weather is quite cold now and we need to wrap up warm, I still fancy fresh and colourful food. The recipe I want to share with you today is a version of the classic pilau rice with extra bits added, to achieve more colourful and wholesome dish. It is filled with baked aubergine cubes, sweet apricots, nuts, spinach, avocado, mint, three different types of rice and lentils. The flavour combination is awesome, and its packed fool of goodness. I have cooked rice and green lentils together to save time and simplify the recipe. 

Friday, 7 November 2014

Les Moules Marinières

I just spend severals days in « Bretagne » and I love the seafood, especially mussels, or as the French call them, “moules”. Mussels steamed in white wine and served in a sauce made from the cooking liquid with shallots is a classic French way of preparing mussels, « moules mariniere ». This is one of the easiest and loveliest ways to eat them. It is wonderful for an appetizer or a light lunch, and excellent with a glass of white wine and some crusty bread.

Saturday, 1 November 2014

The Kiwai and it's health assets

First time I came across this tiny green fruit was at my local greengrocer. I did not even notice it as it is not the most appealing fruit, but he recommended it to me and let me try. I thought it was delicious. I have never heard of this fruit so I did some research.  Here I want to share with you what I found out.
The KIWAI is an ancestor of Kiwi. In English its called Hardy Kiwi and its also referred to as Siberian Kiwi. It also grows in Korea, Japan and Nothern China. It is approximately the size of a grape, very similar to kiwi in appearance and taste. It can be slightly sweeter.

It has been grown and collected from wild in Asia but only recently found it's way to the Western world. The fruit is very rich in vitamin C, also has a high amount of Vitamin E and Potassium. Its also high in fiber and rich in Folic acid.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014


Autumn is in full swing and even though we had such lovely weather so far, the days are getting colder and the nights are longer. This calls for comfort cooking. The kind of cooking that takes long, but its worth the wait. I'm talking stews, casseroles and hearty soups.
My flatmate overheard me that I wished for a pressure cooker. She kindly bought me one for my birthday last year. It has been sitting on the shelf ever since as I was too scared to use it. I don't have much experience with it, only the horror stories how it explodes! Also I remember that my mum used it a lot and produced most delicious meals in it.  I gave it a go and cooked this amazingly tasty beef ragu. It was supposed to be from beef shin but since i didn't find this cut last minute, I used braising steak which worked well too.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Informal summer dinner

This year we were lucky and got to enjoy warm summer full of sunshine. Even though I still had to go to work, evenings seemed longer and I just didn't want to waste them. Often I invited friends for dinner, just impromptu, no fuss, no hassle. Many times we enjoyed it on the balcony, or when it was few more of us, we sat around the table. This was one of those evenings. The wine was flowing and everyone was happy. The dinner I prepared was fairly simple, light and fresh, mostly inspired by Italian flavours. 

Monday, 8 September 2014


I would like to share a recipe for another tart. You must all think that all I bake is tarts. Which is true, but i do cook other things too. This one is just a quick post, I guess to end the summer on a high. There is a bit of work involved, but the results are worth it. The recipe is from Aran Goyoaga, the creator of Cannelle et Vanille blog. I recently ordered her book and I'm enjoying it immensely. All Arans recipes are gluten free, including this tart, but the one I made was with classic sweet crust pastry. I guess I was cooking for a different crowd...

Thursday, 7 August 2014


Summer is in the full swing and we have been enjoying all the wonderful produce available. This is the time of the year I wish I had a garden. Or allotment, somewhere close enough. To grow my own peas and radish and blackcurrants. But most of all, the seasonal tomatoes which are more flavoursome, sweet and tangy. All different kinds are available from the markets at the moments. Like a colourful painting you can smell and eat.
My mother came to spend some time with me an my sister. I wanted to cook something nice for her. She is a big fan of healthy food, so something fresh and light came to my mind.

I found this recipe on another blog. I was a bit worried that the tomatoes might be a bit too sweet. But it was wonderful. The crust is from wholewheat flour mixed with butter and cheese. The filling has a touch of honey and spring onions. My mum asked for fish so I bought some cod and quickly panfried it. It was flaky and soft. I also made a salad from everything I found in the fridge. Fennel, carrots, radishes and some rocket. We both enjoyed our dinner on the balcony. The warm weather is very unstable in London, I'm trying to enjoy every moment. It was lovely to have her around. In the morning, to say thank you I guess, she cleaned the kitchen before I even woke up.

Saturday, 26 July 2014


This dish is very dear to my heart. When I go home to Slovakia, this is the dish I ask my mum to cook for me as a welcome home meal. It is traditionaly a summer dish, because peppers used to be a summer food. Everything is more seasonal in Slovakia. We have a different type of peppers, which I have not seen anywhere else so far. They are pale green colour with thiner flesh and they can be very spicy, or not. Its a russian roulette. Normally it can be established by smell. I always take a few back to England with me.

Because these peppers are not available in Uk, I've chosen these little baby peppers. The skin is not as thick so they will cook through in the sauce. They are stuffed with a mixture of mince pork and rice. Any leftover mixture is rolled into meatballs, slightly bigger then the Italian version. Some recipes use uncooked rice, I've tried it but the rice didn't quite cook inside the peppers and it was a bit crunchy. My mums recipe uses cooked rice and this worked very well .
Everything is cooked in rich tomato sauce. The sauce picks up the flavour of the peppers and the meat cooking in it. This gives it an irresistible flavour.

Friday, 4 July 2014

Chorizo, Potato, French Bean

Recently I didn't have much inspiration to cook. I spent most of my time baking macarons and then Im too tired to spend any more time in the kitchen. Hence the posts were a bit sparse.
In summer I always want to eat light. Make the most of the fresh vegetables. Most of the times I just chop everything in a big bowl. Everything I find. My mother was quite surprised with some combinations during my recent trip to slovakia. But she did enjoy it and so did I.

But today I want to talk about Chorizo. I think its my favourite spanish food. Along with Padron peppers which are so hard to find in London.

I buy the cooking chorizo. It releases all the spices and juice when cooked adding incredible flavour to the dish. It comes in a small pack of 9 mini sausages. But if you are not able to find this, use what you can.
This dish is simple, quick and very tasty. And there are leftovers too, sometimes.
All you need is a pack of new potatoes, pack of french green beans and a pack of cooking chorizo.

Boil, fry and eat.

Friday, 30 May 2014


Breakfast are very important to me. I am not able to do anything else before I eat. And most of the time I eat cereals for breakfast, I particularly like granola. I have been planning to make my own for a while but I guess I was a little lazy. Recently I found a great recipe that allows me to experiment a little. Add a nut or leave out the fruit. So I can make exactly what I love and I know exactly whats in it. I add more of things that I should be eating but don't particularly enjoy on it's own, such as pumpkin seeds. They are full of zinc and great for healthy nails and hair...or so my mum always used to say.

The preparation is fairly quick and the baking time is 40-50 minutes. I have managed to make one before I went to work. I don't think I will be buying granola ever again. It really does taste amazing, fresh, crunchy and not too sweet.
I normally eat it with yoghurt and fresh fruit such as blueberries, sliced apples, or other berries in season and recently I've been enjoying sessional rhubarb which I stew with a bit of honey. Just delicious. It is equally as nice with almond milk. Not to mention that its gluten free and full of goodness.

If you're a fan of healthy morning cereals like me, I urge you to give it a go. I bet you will be hooked.
Just follow this easy recipe.

Friday, 23 May 2014


Whether fresh or frozen, cooking "langoustines" (Nephrops norvegicus) should be performed with the greatest care. What makes the difference is the attention to detail in the composition of the court bouillon, which will be used to cook our delicate shellfish. Then the cooking time will be a major element for the full success of the preparation of our graceful ladies, which can also be found under the name of Norwaigan lobster.

Friday, 25 April 2014

No time to cook? Grilled ricotta and courgette salad

Spring is such a wonderful season. After long months of brown and beige food it's very refreshing to see some colour on the store shelves again. And with produce that is local, not exported from south america or Spain. In Spring, everything is small but full of flavour. Here I want to share a vibrant, simple plate of food just perfect for this season.
There is not much to say about this salad – it is as charmingly simple and straightforward as it appears . I'm sure you could replicate it even without the recipe. I have come across this dish while on a trip in Australia and i was bold over by its simplicity, yet exciting taste. Its fresh and light, the perfect lunch for a warm day. You can substitute the apricots for different fruit, figs for example or use different nuts, almonds will work nicely here.
To make this salad you will need some fresh ricotta, rocket leaves, nuts, olive oil, apricots,  baby courgettes, salt and pepper. 

Put a little bit of olive oil on the pan and fry the ricotta until golden. Cut baby courgettes in half lengthways and add them to the pan and cook until lightly brown and soft. Then put some rocket leaves on the plate, place the grilled ricotta in the middle. If you wish you can place the ricotta on a slice of toasted bread. Put the baby courgettes and nuts on the top of your ricotta. Garnish the salad with some fresh sliced apricot or figs. Taste and season with olive oil, salt and pepper. 
Lets start this season in a healthy way. 

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

"Du Pain et Des Idées"

«Du Pain et des Idées» is Paris’ prettiest bakery of traditional handcraft located near Canal St. Martin. The bakery dates back to 1889 and was re-envisioned by former fashion industry executive Christophe Vasseur in 2002.

All of the breads and pastries are made the most traditional way (here, a baguette is made in seven hours) and with the best ingredients (only fresh, seasonal fruit is used for the pastries.)

This bakery is full of flavours, a little wonderland full of exciting products. The star however is their signature bread "Pain des amis", with a thick caramelised crust, aerated middle and slightly nutty flavour. Christophe recommends to eat it with a good slice of ham, a Pata Negra or a piece of Bellota. Alain Ducasse serves this bread in his restaurant at the Plaza Athénée.

You should also taste the «Brioche Mouna», a traditional North African speciality. It's a butter brioche with orange blossom. Its so fragrant, its possible to smell it before you even walk inside. It is delicious with just a smear of salted butter.

Sunday, 23 March 2014


Macarons a true French classic, so well know around the world, a little luxury we can enjoy ever so often. The first time i tried them i was hooked. Of course there are flavours I prefer to others, for example pistachio and Salted caramel. I would never choose Rose or Licorice, but they are all incredibly popular. Laduree are the market leaders, Pierre Herme is more experimental, but many bakeries are making macarons. I always wanted to be able to bake my own. The first time I tried it was a catastrophy. They looked like a colourful flat biscuits that stuck to the baking sheet. I was very disappointed and demotivated and it took another few years before I tried again.

Practice makes perfect, as the saying goes and after few times I had some positive results. My colleague was organising a Hen night at the beginning of march and she mentioned to me she wanted to get some macarons from Laduree. I offered to make some for her. It was an exciting challenge. And I had to make them all Lactose free, which isn't easy as the non dairy product don't have the same rich taste. In the trial I made Lemon and raspberry, but eventually we decided to make pistachio and salted macarons. I enjoy the process of making them. It takes time and I am always improving my skills.

Sunday, 2 March 2014


Recently, while Barbora was visiting in Paris, we paid a visit to very special little Cafe/Restaurant. Thank you my deer was set up by 2 Slovak girls and they specialise in Gluten free cuisine. The Cafe is relatively new, but already enjoying success from locals, but also diners searching for delicious gluten free alternatives. Everything is made from scratch on the premises to ensure no trace of Gluten is found. They perfected a recipe for bread which is delicious, but also variety of cakes and pastries. They offer brunch and lunch menu daily, but they also serve fine coffee and fresh juices. Menu is seasonal with focus on fresh local produce.

Thursday, 13 February 2014


Recently Barbora has visited Kat in Paris. We had so many plans in terms of the blog, places we wanted to visit like cafes, patisseries and markets, but we also wanted to cook something together. While we were at a fishmonger on Rue du Nil, we spotted a very attractive looking piece of fish. It was Bonito fillet. Its from the tuna family but smaller. As Kat is more experienced in Japanese cooking, we chose a delicious recipe with rice and seaweed.

The rice is cooked, then cooled and mixed with the ginger, black sesame seeds and sushi vinegar. We sliced the Bonito and marinaded in soy sauce with sake for 15 mins or so. Then just assemble, cut roasted roasted nori on top and its ready. So simple yet its healthy and very tasty. Barbora has never tried raw fish before, but she was very impressed. If you can't find Bonito fillet use tuna steaks instead, just cut them a bit smaller. All the other ingredients are available from japanese supermarket, even some health stores sell basic sauces and sushi rice. Try whole foods market in London, for example.

Friday, 31 January 2014


10 Belles is a lovely cafe in Paris by the Canal St.Martin. It is a small place with 5 little tables which is very charming. There is also a mezanine with few more tables. Service is cheerful and the coffee is the best in Paris. Coffee is their speciality, with blends from Nicaragua or Salvador. It is always freshly ground just for your cup! The cafe has a british feel with a modern interior.

 They offer a choice of breakfast which includes homemade granola, scones with jam or tartines. Menu changes daily, with seasonal produce in mind. Lunch usualy consist of salad, sandwich and a soup. The choice is not big, but everything looks tempting and tastes great!

Home made beef ravioli

I got a pasta machine for christmas! I always wanted one, thank you santa... Few days ago I finaly had the time to play with it. I was a bit worried that the pasta might be too hard, but i was very pleased with the result. And it was such a good fun. I filled the parcels with minced beef flavoured with Parmesan and a touch of chorizo sausage which added lovely hint of spice. I had a bit too much of it so I made some meatballs from the rest. I will be experimenting with pasta in near future so I'm sure more posts will be based on this easy delicious meal. I would like to try authentic Italian recipes that have not been modified in uk or us. If you do know some please let me know.

I love how simple it is to make the dough. Just flour, egg and salt. Something I always have at home. Just knead as long as you can and allow to stand for 30 minutes to relax the gluten. Otherwise your pasta will be like a concrete. You can add spinach or rocket to make it green, beetroot to make it red or use chestnut flour instead. The choice of filling is also wide, but 3 I came across the most. Spinach and ricotta, pumpkin filling or meet filling.

This time I made a lovely rich tomato sauce, as I thought it would compliment the beef. But sage butter would be also wonderful. Lots of pasta dishes are region specific as most things in Italy are. When I talk to Italians about their food, they are often shocked about our ideas of Italian food. The combinations we choose and so on. But I guess there is nothing wrong with making a dish your own as long as you enjoy it.

For the recipe follow the read more link. Bon apetit

Thursday, 16 January 2014


Are you ready to start your New Year the healthy way? You don’t have the time to cook? Try this quick, healthy recipe.

Not only is Vietnam a beautiful country, it’s also home of one of the best tasting cuisines in the world. Fresh herbs, spices and sea food are just some of the ingredients which make Vietnamese cuisine so good. One of my favourite dishes is a prawn and noodle salad. This juicy salad is a perfect antidote against all Christmas treats you may have indulged in.

Don’t foget to add a bergamote lime. It is a small yellow lemon that looks like a classic lemon but it is much more fragrant. It would be cross between a bitter orange and a lime.

Place noodles in a heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water. Stand for 10 minutes until tender , drain. Toss the noodles with the prawns, onion, coriander, snow peas, spinach leaves, soy sesame oil and lemon.

Monday, 13 January 2014


Some of my friends have been asking for healthy recipes to start new years detox regime. So I took a pancake recipe and swapped some ingredients to make it less guilty pleasure and more healthy boost. I ended up with this delicious fluffy, cinnamony pancakes with apples. I used just honey to drizzle over the top and the fruit. You could also use Agave syrup, which is now available in most supermarkets. If you want to go even more healthy, opt for sugar free almond or oat milk and instead of sugar just mix in two tablespoons of honey.

Check the recipe below to treat yourself to healthy but luscious breakfast. Let your imagination run free with the toppings. Natural yogurt, chopped nuts or any fruit you love.  I could only eat six of those as the wholemeal is much more filling, higher in fibre and tastes of nuts.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Marbled chocolate brownie cake

Over the holidays my mum made this cake while I was visiting Slovakia.  It looked so irresistible I just have to share it with you. You can make it in square  tin or round one as we did which looks lovely. Make it as a treat for Sunday or for any celebrations. It will serve 8-10 people as it is very rich. Serve with fresh fruit of  your choice, berries work really well.

Its a very easy recipe, but the results are deliciously indulgent. Just follow the instructions below!

Friday, 3 January 2014

Christmas baking round two

Every year I make these honey biscuits before christmas which we then decorate with my niece and nephew. Its now our little tradition. They are soft and fragrant from spices. I guess they are similar to gingerbread, only there is no ginger. In Slovakia, you will find beautifully decorated ones, but watch out, we are getting better at it!!!

The rest of the confection consist of coconut meringues which my grandmother used to make and we called it kisses. That was long before the meringue girls...
I also made jammy dodgers, which are filled with strawberry jam. The round balls are not baked, its a mix of nuts, raisins and rum, bit of cocoa which is chilled overnight and then rolled and coated in coconut powder. 

For the honey biscuits, the dough has to stand in the fridge for 24 hours before i cut the shapes with various cookie cutters I collected over the years. They are cooked only for 8-10minutes, otherwise they would become hard. Brush them with beaten egg when they come out of the oven. Keep in a box or a container with a tiny piece of bread to extract the excess moisture.