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Mac&Cheese recipe

Publié le par Charly C.

Towards the end of the month of November we decided to have some Mac and Cheese, but like the real deal. And yes, there is a non-real version too. So I asked A to search for the recipe as I never made this and I tend to just whip some dishes up, with no recipe and the result is not always good, as you can imagine. 

One of the things I need to improve is my willingness to follow recipes and the presentation. Sometimes I'm also under the impression the taste is not the one I imagine it to be. Since we have no reference point, we just have to think the food tastes good. However, the good news is that I plan on cooking more in 2019, even if I won't share everything I cook.

Enough babbling, on with the recipe! 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 250 g macaroni;
  • 125 g (real) butter;
  • 150 g cheese - we used a local cheese called "telemea" 
  • some salt 
  • some ground black pepper
Mac&Cheese recipeMac&Cheese recipeMac&Cheese recipe

METHOD

Boil water with some salt, and add the pasta. Let it boil according the instructions on the package - usually some 10 minutes. 

Dice the butter and shred the cheese. This way, the butter will melt faster. 
When the time is up, drain the water, add the butter and the cheese and mix.

mac and cheese

Let everything in the pot, on the fire for 2 extra minutes, then turn off the fire. 

When the time is up, add the black pepper on top. You can eat it right away, but better wait some 5 to 10 minutes so it will cool down a bit, with a lid on top. 

mac&cheese recipe

Let me tell you that this was the best pasta I had in a very long time. This is why I decided to share this recipe with all of you. Also, if you never tried Mac and Cheese before, this is a great chance to try it out. I know some folks prefer to make recipes that have been cooked by others before, and that were successful. 

Mac&Cheese recipe

Earlier I mentioned I used the cheese telemea. It's a Romanian cheese similar to feta, if I'm not mistaken. You're better off learning more about it from its Wiki page. It's usually salty or very salty, though less salty varieties have been made too. Nowadays, most telemea cheese on the market is made of cows milk, probably because it's easier to come by. 

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Oriental salad - Romanian version

Publié le par Charly C.

I haven't posted a recipe in a very long time, i believe. I think it's time I shared something - a salad this time! It's easy to make, pretty good for the upcoming holidays, delicious in my opinion, and is also vegan friendly! 

Well, ok, what I'll share is not vegan friendly because I used eggs, BUT keep the eggs out and you can safely enjoy it! If you're wondering why I had to specify this is a Romanian version of the salad, is because Google showed me a different type of salad when I searched for the name of this dish. 

I'm not exactly sure what's the story behind this salad, all I know is that it's pretty easy to make, and that it's never enough. 

Oriental salad - Romanian version

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 kg potatoes
  • 200 g black olives (for color; use seedless ones)
  • 200 g pickles
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 2 eggs (you can skip them for a vegan salad)
  • aromatic herbs  - parsley (fresh or dry), dill (i skipped it)
  • some salt and ground black pepper
  • oil and vinegar

This is the list of ingredients for a basic salad I found on a Romanian website. I know some people add more stuff in this salad. One of the most common ingredients is sliced onion, but you must know we don't eat it. Other ingredients I noticed were shredded cabbage, raw cucumbers (along the pickled ones), and pickled beet, and the salad becomes a bit pinkish. 

Do not add any type of meat in this salad, because then you'll make something else. 

Oriental salad - Romanian versionOriental salad - Romanian version

METHOD

Start by peeling and dicing the potatoes. Then throw them in a pot with water, and place on medium heat. Don't forget to add some salt - I used some pink salt, not that it really matters, but we were curious. I boiled the potatoes for some 30 minutes, but I don't think I had 1 kg.

The next step is to slice or dice the rest of the ingredients, including the olives and eggs. Don't forget about the other ingredients you want to add. 

Next, when the potatoes are done, rinse them with some cold water, and mix them with the ingredients. Of course,don't forget to add oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, and the herbs. 

Oriental salad - Romanian version

Look at those vibrant colors! This salad is eaten usually by itself or sometimes maybe with steak or chicken. There's no need for bread when eating this dish. You might need to eat other dishes before or after it to feel completely full. 

I hope you like it if you make it!

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

 

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Roasting eggplant - vegan friendly!

Publié le par Charly C.

I have to post this, because for the first time I managed to roast eggplant in a way that worked, is healthy, and I actually enjoyed eating. Oh, and yea! It's vegan friendly

So i had these eggplants [aubergines] about to go bad. So wondered what to do with them. Roasting them sounded really good. Here is how I did it!

Roasting eggplant - vegan friendly!

Ingredients:

  • eggplants [as many as you like]
  • condiments [i used black pepper, basil, and thyme]
  • some salt
  • some cooking oil [unflavored is best]

I first washed and peeled the eggplants. Then I sliced them as evenly as i could - i'm really bad at this task. Their thickness was about 1cm - i didn't measure.

I realized that using a long-bladed knife helped a lot with this task. 

Roasting eggplant - vegan friendly!Roasting eggplant - vegan friendly!

I used the brush usually useful when baking, to lightly spread some oil on my baking pan. 

I realized that the baking pan is quite important - I had some non-stick types, but they burned by foods as they were too thin, and the non-stick coating peeled. 

The pan i used this time is thicker and rather shiny, but I can't tell what type it is, or what it's made of. All i know is that i can scrub it quite a lot and it won't peel. It's not really enamel either, or at least i don't think it is enamel. 

Roasting eggplant - vegan friendly!

After I sliced the eggplants, and after i had lightly oiled the pan, I placed as many slices of eggplant as i could in the pan. I then tried to smudge a bit of oil on each slice, and sprinkled with salt and the condiments, and then i put the pan in the preheated oven. 

I let the slices stay for some 25 to 30 minutes, and then i flipped them over. I proceeded to still let them cook for some 15-20 minutes. 

Unlike with the non-stick pans, the slices did NOT stick to this pan - they did stick to the non-stick ones when i tried the recipe before. I have no idea how it happened. All i know is that i got rid of the so called non-stick ones, but mostly because they started peeling.

Roasting eggplant - vegan friendly!

I cook with gas, hence fire, and this may be a reason for my previous attempts at roasting to turn into failures. Vegetables turned mushy, or burned. I guess this baking pan is specially made for cooking and roasting with gas. 

Bottom line is that if your roasts are not like the expectation, try to change your pan - it might just do the trick.

(c) Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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yummy zucchini patties

Publié le par Charly C.

So yesterday we received some zucchini and their season seems to have started. I'm not entirely sure about that. In any case, "A" really likes patties made of zucchini, and for good reason: they're pretty light, despite being fried, as there's no meat in them. They're also pretty good, if you have a good recipe. 

While there's no meat in the recipe, you need some eggs or some other agent that can successfully replace the eggs. The egg is meant to help the patty stay in one piece, to enhance the taste, and there was another reason i forgot. So this is not a vegan recipe, but a vegetarian one. 

Read below the pics for ingredients and instructions!

You'll also need a grater/shredder, 2 bigger bowls and a smaller one, perhaps a sieve as well. 

1 big zucchini and an extra random piece, a big carrot, some salt. make sure you have more zucchini than you have carrots, if their size are different.oh, and you guessed it: no weighing in this recipe.

1 big zucchini and an extra random piece, a big carrot, some salt. make sure you have more zucchini than you have carrots, if their size are different.oh, and you guessed it: no weighing in this recipe.

shred the zucchini and the carrot togethershred the zucchini and the carrot together

shred the zucchini and the carrot together

squeeze out the juice. I did this twice.

squeeze out the juice. I did this twice.

mix with the eggs, season with some salt, black pepper, other herbs you like and other flavorings. NO SUGAR! also add some flour. it should look similar to this.mix with the eggs, season with some salt, black pepper, other herbs you like and other flavorings. NO SUGAR! also add some flour. it should look similar to this.

mix with the eggs, season with some salt, black pepper, other herbs you like and other flavorings. NO SUGAR! also add some flour. it should look similar to this.

time to fry in a bit of oil [about a spoon?]. Make sure they're evenly done on both sides. you can put as much as you want in a patty, but make sure to flatten it.

time to fry in a bit of oil [about a spoon?]. Make sure they're evenly done on both sides. you can put as much as you want in a patty, but make sure to flatten it.

yummy zucchini patties

You can now enjoy! Best served cold. I had 15 patties in total, but I ate one before taking a picture of all of them. "A" said they were really good :)

Bon Appétit~~~~

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Watermelon granita

Publié le par Charly C.

Hello World~~~

This is a recipe perfect for a hot summer day - Watermelon granita! The recipe is not mine, I tried it and it's delicious! :)

  • Difficulty: easy!
  • Price: depending on how much the watermelon costs.
  • Servings: 4 people
  • Preparation time: 10 minutes
  • Cooking time: no cooking involved!
  • Refrigeration time: 3 hours in the freezer

 

Watermelon granita
Ingredients: 
  • 800 grams of chopped watermelon. I had a double quantity.
  • 3 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 120 grams of icing sugar - I used 300 grams of caster sugar. Too much!
Method:

 

 

dice the melon and remove its seeds

dice the melon and remove its seeds

mash together the ingredients with a mixer, or a blender

mash together the ingredients with a mixer, or a blender

Pour in a  rather shallow bowl and freeze for at least 3 hours.

Scratch the granita every hour with a fork. -oops, I actually didn't do this.

Pour in some large glasses with a small mint leaf, and serve. I also didn't do this step. Mostly because I don't have mint leaves. 

Watermelon granita

Well, we drank it on the spot. it was crazy sweet. You might want to cut down on the sugar.

Bon appétit !

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

Notes: The recipe first appeared here [still my blog] But I found it on a French forum. The pictures are mine though. 

 

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Making meatballs

Publié le par Charly C.

Actually, I was torn about posting this recipe. About 2 months ago or so I decided to give up meat from my diet. Or to eat as little of it as possible. I'm by no means a vegan, but I guess a vegetarian? I will occasionally eat meat, especially if it's given to me but I won't go out of my way to buy it. 

I have both ethical and religious reasons for this choice. However, I had the recipe in the making for quite some time now, and I wanted to post some fresh material. Pictures are old as well - 2015 old. 

hmm.. yea....

hmm.. yea....

I must say I love meatballs: fried meat, fat, flavor..? I mean, what's not to like, right? Sadly, I can't even eat minced meat, let alone fried stuff. 

Well, health related issues aside, today I want to tell you how you can prepare meatballs as well. Trust me: it's so easy, but you might have to make your hands dirty. I only dislike the frying process.

INGREDIENTS:

  • some 500 grams of minced pork meat. You can use pork and beef, chicken, or almost any type of meat I suppose.
  • 1 egg [2 if you have almost 1 kg /2 lbs of meat]
  • salt, pepper
  • some all purpose flour

METHOD:

mix everything together, until it looks similar to thismix everything together, until it looks similar to this

mix everything together, until it looks similar to this

Take small amounts, turn into balls or random shapes, and fry on both sides until they become brown

Take small amounts, turn into balls or random shapes, and fry on both sides until they become brown

they should look similar to this.

they should look similar to this.

Make sure there is no pink left on the inside of the meatball. You can do this by making it more flat - which is what I do, or by splitting one open to check the color change. 

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Making French toast

Publié le par Charly C.

Hello World!

French toast is (or at least used to be) quite the popular dessert over here. I remember I watched a video last year in which the creator made them, so I suddenly started craving some. 

As you can see, I made this dessert last year in September, but I never got around to post the recipe. I think it's time to share this with the world. (and then go out to buy some milk to make another batch, haha)

Follow the pictures for ingredients and instructions ;)

In a larger bowl mix 2 eggs and half cup milk. Add 1-2 spoons of sugar if you want it more sweet.

In a larger bowl mix 2 eggs and half cup milk. Add 1-2 spoons of sugar if you want it more sweet.

On a plate mix together some sugar, cinnamon, and other spices you like.

On a plate mix together some sugar, cinnamon, and other spices you like.

Soak slices of bread in the milk mixture.

Soak slices of bread in the milk mixture.

Fry the soaked bread on a skillet that was just a bit greased. I used cooking oil, but they recommend melting some butter.

Fry the soaked bread on a skillet that was just a bit greased. I used cooking oil, but they recommend melting some butter.

Cook the bread on each side until they reach a light brown color. Then run through the sugar mixture.

Cook the bread on each side until they reach a light brown color. Then run through the sugar mixture.

You can now serve, hot or cold. You can serve with jam, syrup, honey depending on how sweet you want your dessert.

As you can see from my pictures, you can use any shape of bread, but it's best if it's white. 

I used real milk with a low fat content. While I think it's ok to replace it with soy or other type of milk, I haven't tried it. 

I recommend this as breakfast or as a quick afternoon snack, if you're at home. 1 serving shouldn't exceed 2 slices, and here I had maybe 8 slices of bread (but not all were shown). 

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raw carrot salad - vegan friendly

Publié le par Charly C.

raw carrot salad - vegan friendlyraw carrot salad - vegan friendly

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 or 2 large carrots, or maybe 2 to 4 smaller ones
  • some vinegar
  • some salt
  • some oil – the default cooking oil here is made from sunflower seeds. I remember using olive oil once, but it was too heavy and the taste was not the one I was used to.

For instructions, read below the images. ;) 

I used a pretty big carrot.

I used a pretty big carrot.

peel and wash the carrot(s)

peel and wash the carrot(s)

Shred the carrots. Julienne works nicely too.Shred the carrots. Julienne works nicely too.

Shred the carrots. Julienne works nicely too.

season with salt, add oil, add vinegar, in no particular order, and mix.season with salt, add oil, add vinegar, in no particular order, and mix.season with salt, add oil, add vinegar, in no particular order, and mix.

season with salt, add oil, add vinegar, in no particular order, and mix.

NOTES

  • You can add a green (or more sour) apple as well.
  • You can also add shredded raw white cabbage.
  • You can use mayonnaise instead of salt, oil, and vinegar. [not vegan anymore, and heavier]
  • I don’t think the apple and mayonnaise go well together, but you can try if you are that curious.

This salad is perfect throughout the year. I can’t say I like it more plain than I like it with mayonnaise, but the one with apples is my least favorite. I usually feel bloated after having this one. It tastes pretty nice by itself.

Bon Apetit~~

in between stages.

in between stages.

DISCLAIMER: I'm not vegan, but this doesn't mean I eat meat all the time. Yes, I used the tag [hoping] for more exposure, but I think it's connected or relevant. 

This salad can be enjoyed by those who follow a vegan diet or lifestyle as well. 

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

 

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End of the year updates and a recipe

Publié le par Charly C.

Wow, hello to whoever checks this out!

What are my updates? Firstly I hope my "cooking block" will stop and that I'll be able to share more stuff here. Well I do have a few recipes to share, and I can't wait to do so because I feel some of you did wonder if I'll ever post anything here or not.

Another update is that now I have an online identity, as you can see - points to the "author's name" and I hope that one day [in the next 5 years?] I will have a book published under this name.

It's a pen-name but I feel it represents me well [I feel no connection to my ID name, sorry parents]. The book I want to publish will be a collection of short stories - horror and fictional? is that what they're called? - that I'm yet to write. :P

not my picture :(

not my picture :(

I think you want the recipe more than anything, right? I wish there was a spoiler function for the other part.

marble poundcake with poppy seeds

End of the year updates and a recipe

This recipe is rather good for Christmas [or New Years] dinner [or lunch], so it came just in time. I have to warn you that I didn't follow any recipe this time, so you can refer to this one for specific instructions and more pictures.

I will however tell you the [approximate] quantities:

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 full table spoons of yoghurt [I used one with 1.5% fat content. Can be replaced with any fat percentage yoghurt, and even better, sour milk. ;) ]
  • 300 grams sugar [measured]
  • regular cooking oil [1 table spoon? I didn't measure it]
  • 10 grams of baking powder [most of baking powder in Romania comes in packets of 10 grams]
  • some orange essence [just because I didn't have vanilla essence. I didn't measure how much I used]
  • all purpose flour [not measured; enough to give the right consistency to the dough]
  • poppy seeds [I didn't measure, maybe 10 grams? a teaspoon? It's a very popular ingredient in Romania.]
  • cocoa powder, unsweetened [maybe 2 teaspoons?]
METHOD:

Preheat the oven. This is a step you can't skip, especially when cooking with gas.

This time, unlike other times, I just poured everything together in the bowl - except the flour, cocoa, and the poppy seeds. I mixed for some 20 seconds. I looked at the hour on my wrist watch for this one. ;)

Then I added in the poppy and the flour and mixed well. I prepared my round tray - maybe some 25 cm in diameter? and poured most of the dough in it. I saved maybe some 4 or 5 spoons in the bowl and added the cocoa powder.

End of the year updates and a recipe

I added the cocoa dough on top, trying to make some design - but you can't really see it since I didn't take pictures this time. I baked the cake for 45 minutes - 35 to 40 minutes would have been enough, but last times it was still underbaked [undocumented times] and I didn't want that to happen again.

When it finished baking, I just covered it in vanilla sugar and sliced it as you can see.When it finished baking, I just covered it in vanilla sugar and sliced it as you can see.When it finished baking, I just covered it in vanilla sugar and sliced it as you can see.

When it finished baking, I just covered it in vanilla sugar and sliced it as you can see.

I had my first try this morning, and I was pleasantly surprised and inspired to write this entry. YAY!

The coffee is from Japan, from the brand AGF Blendy. I have a Japanese friend and he kindly send me some Japanese coffee. I can barely read some hiragana and katakana... And although I started to learn some Chinese, it's definitely NOT enough to read the instructions. LOL

End of the year updates and a recipe

What can I say? This coffee was more bitter than life but really good :) The sachet in the cup was packed in the envelope I'm holding, and it smelled really good when I opened it. I added milk [off camera] to be able to drink it and also be sure I won't get shaky.

End of the year updates and a recipe

I hope you'll be able to try this recipe out.

I wish you Happy Holidays and lots of health in the upcoming year!

© Charly Cross 2013 – present. all rights reserved.

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Poundcake with oranges

Publié le par Charly C.

My friend had this recipe for a cake made with natural orange juice and orange slices on top. The recipe is in Romanian, and I will try my best to translate it for you. Because you should try it the next time you want something different.

The recipe was recently found at the bottom of a drawer - it was being kept VERY safe as you can tell [aka we had no idea where it was]. I was cleaning that closet and the recipe resurfaced. yay! I don't have much to say at this point, so let's see what this cake is all about!

Poundcake with oranges

INGREDIENTS

 For the batter:

  • 175 grams [real] butter
  • 175 grams [caster] sugar
  • 2 eggs [beaten]
  • 225 grams all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 oranges [peel and juice] - see below
Poundcake with orangesPoundcake with oranges
  • 175 grams almonds [grounded] - I substituted with some almond essence
  • a pinch of salt

For the syrup:

  • 9 oranges
  • 100 grams [caster] sugar
  • 150 ml water

METHOD

Making the batter:

[disclaimer] the recipe said to mix all the ingredients at once. i didn't do that, because i know the consistency differs depending on how you mix them. so i will tell you how i mixed my ingredients. please use a mixer, and not a hand beater like i did [the cake turned out fine, just look at the pictures, but i don't think the ingredients ere mixed as they should have been.

1. Preheat the oven, prepare your baking tray, and make sure to have your butter at room temperature - it ill work faster this way.

2. Beat your butter and sugar together until you have a creamy looking mixture. My hand beater didn't manage to get the right consistency, luckily this didn't matter much in the end.

3. Add your beaten eggs, salt, baking powder, and orange juice and mix. Mine looked like this:

Poundcake with oranges

4. Add your flour, orange peel, and almonds and mix. This is what I had in my bowl at the end:

Poundcake with orangesPoundcake with oranges

5. Throw in the oven on medium heat till it's well done. Mine took about 40 minutes. I use a gas stove and oven, and this means I cook and bake with fire. I have 8 heat settings, from 1 [lowest] to 8 [highest] - I can make pizza on settings 6 to 7. I usually cook [in the oven] using the setting 3 or 2, even 1 - I feel the heat is too strong at 3. I baked this cake at setting 2.

Making the syrup!

1. Use a small pot. Place the sugar, water and the juice from 6 oranges in it, and on a small fire [low heat].

2. Mix until the sugar dissolves.

Poundcake with oranges

3. Leave it on the fire for 10-15 min, WITHOUT stirring. When it's done, you'll have less juice [syrup] left in the pot.

Assembling!
  • Peel your remaining 3 oranges and slice them.
  • Place your cake on something to cool down, for some 10 min. [I left mine in the tray, you'll see why]
  • Take a fork and pierce the surface of the cake a few times, in different places.
  • Pour your syrup over the cake [if the cake is in the tray, this step is less messy]
  • Place your orange slices on top of the cake.
Now, you can devour it! :DNow, you can devour it! :DNow, you can devour it! :D

Now, you can devour it! :D

Check out this close up!

Check out this close up!

My friend can testify this was moist, flavored, and out of ordinary delicious! Much better than any other cake I baked before. I must admit, this time I too liked the texture - I'm picky in this regard.

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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