This recipe is great for those days when you are craving for a delicious cheesecake slice, but are too lazy to turn your oven on and don't want to eat all the calories of a day in one bite.

Yogurt is a great substitute for cream, mayonnaise and other high- fat dairy products. This recipe calls for yogurt instead of cream cheese and sour cream (which are main ingredients in most commonly known cheesecake recipes). Of course we will be using some heavy cream (we couldn't skip all of 'the good stuff'), but we will be reducing at least half of the calories and fat that you'd find in a regular cheesecake (which btw, is delicious and I love).


For the sweet part. I really like the taste of natural yogurt by itself, this is why I didn't use a sweetened one, but you can do it if you want to. The recipe already calls for a little amount of sugar, which you can also substitute with honey (if you're going all the healthy way). But I must say that if you don't like this 'natural- healthy' flavor, the sugar amount in this recipe will definitely be too little for you, and I really recommend that you double it or add as much as you like (or need).


For a more even and finer cookie base, ground your cookies. When you just crumble them, the base comes out lumpy and breaks easily. Melt your butter and press together until the base of your form is completely and evenly coated. 


This recipe calls for  12 grams of gelatin for a firm texture. Personally, I like this cake consistency really creamy, so I reduce it to 9 to 10 grams. The problem with gelatin is, if you use too little then your cake won't set, but if you use too much then it looses creaminess and sometimes you get a strong taste of gelatin (not nice).

On a saucepan bring your milk to a boil, then turn heat off and incorporate your gelatin until completely melted and smooth. You really need to make sure the gelatin is fully incorporated or else your cake won't set and the consistency will be lumpy.

After the milk- gelatin mix is ready, incorporate with the yogurt mixture, just folding it together with a spatula, then pour evenly on top of the cookie base and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or until completely set and firm. At this point your cake will be ready.

For the fig sauce, you'll need around 5 fresh figs. 

I like to peel my figs for a smoother consistency but you can leave the skin on.

Process in your food processor or purify them in your blender. I then take this puree to a small saucepan, add some tablespoons of sugar and cook it until a thicker sauce is formed. Then I finish with some lemon drops to enhance the flavor. 

Decorate with some fresh fig slices on top. And there you go:

Isn't that pretty? 

I hope you enjoy it and give it a try and remember that you don't need chef skills to eat delicious and healthy. Let me know how this recipe worked for you!


NO BAKE YOGURT & FIG CHEESECAKE


Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Refrigeration Time:3 to 4 hours

 For the cookie crust:

250 g.  graham or oat cookies
160 g.  butter

For the filling:

2 cups  natural yogurt
1 1/4 cups  heavy cream
6 tbsp  milk
9 to 10 g.  gelatin (I used gelatin powder)
3 to 4 tbsp  sugar

For the fig sauce:

5  fresh figs
2 tbsp  sugar
1 tsp  lemon juice
*1 or 2 fresh figs more for decoration

Preparation:

1. Ground the cookies until smooth. Melt the butter and incorporate to the cookies. Press with your fingers until covering the base of a cheesecake form. Reserve.
2. Add 2 tbsp of the milk and mix with the gelatin powder. On a saucepan, heat the 4 remaining milk tbsp (about 1/4 cup) until it begins to boil. Turn heat off and incorporate the gelatin mixture. Mix until completely incorporated and no gelatin lumps are left.
3. In a bowl, mix yogurt, heavy cream and sugar. Beat until incorporated and fluffy. Add slowly the milk- gelatin mixture and stir until just incorporated. Pour mixture on top of the cookie crust and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or until firm.
4. Peel the figs and puree them. On a saucepan, heat the puree and add the sugar. Cook for about 5 minutes at medium high or until a thicker consistency is formed. Finish with some lemon drops to enhance the flavor.
5. Pour the sauce on top of the cheesecake and decorate with fresh figs. Enjoy! :)
Hello, I'm back! I know it's been a while since I posted my last recipe, but I haven't been able to cook anything exciting lately. But today things have changed, cause today... I cooked Lasagne!


Oh yes! I know you love Lasagne too, who doesn't? I'm back with a classic recipe that's so simple and easy to make. This is the perfect definition of comfort food and it's great for cold weather.

I have to say I had some problems putting together this recipe cause some pictures of the process got lost, but I'll be as clear as I can with my explanations :)

 Let's start with our pasta. There's always the possibility of using fresh pasta (if you know how to make your own, great for you). I personally don't know (yet) how to make pasta from scratch, so for me there's always two possibilities when it comes to Lasagne: Regular dried pasta or 'Oven Ready' pasta. I usually stick to the regular, even if it's less practical, because I like more the results and consistency I get. But of course, both work pretty fine.


One of the most important components of this recipe is of course the Bolognese sauce. As you know, this is a meat- based sauce, so it's really important to get a good quality ground meat. You can either use beef or lamb cause they're the most flavorful.


And of course, you need some nice and fresh ripe tomatoes. The fresher your ingredients, the more flavorful and juicy your sauce will be. Stay away from dried or canned veggies.


The traditional Bolognese calls for carrots and celery, and I personally think it gives the sauce an amazing flavor. Cut everything finely and cook it with some olive oil until almost tender. Add the ground meat and cook until barely brown. At this point you want to add your pureed tomatoes.


Now, talking about cheese. Let's make something clear: Lasagne is not Lasagne without the creamy ricotta- spinach mix, and of course lots of fresh mozzarella on top. So please don't use the grated cheese you'll put on your pizza (am i being too harsh? Hope not).

It's really hard to find an authentic ricotta cheese, just try to stick to an italian brand.


I usually get Buffalo mozzarella and then slice it myself. I find it fresher and easier to handle.


Of course I don't have to explain you how to put a Lasagne together cause that's too easy! Just remember to start with a sauce layer before you put the first pasta layer. And the most important: The final layer must be cheese (a lot of it).

Cook it for about 30 to 35 minutes at 185ºC or until bubbly and golden brown.


Look at that! Don't you feel like having it for dinner tonight?


I hope you enjoy this recipe and give it a try!



LASAGNE

Preparation Time:  30 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour
Servings: 6 to 8 portions

Ingredients:

230 g.  lasagne noodles (about 12 pieces)
300 g.  buffalo mozzarella cheese (about 2 pieces)
Salt
Ground black pepper

For the bolognese sauce

500 g.  ground meat (beef or lamb)
5 to 6  ripe tomatoes
1/2 cup  tomato paste
2  medium onions
2  garlic cloves
1 to 2  carrots
2  celery stalks
2 cups  chicken or vegetable broth
Salt
Ground black pepper
Oregano

For the ricotta- spinach mix

250 g.  creamy ricotta cheese
1/2 cup  chopped spinach
Salt
Ground black pepper
*The recipe calls for 1 egg, I usually don't use it and the results are still great.

Preparation:

1. Start by boiling your pasta for about 8 minutes. You want it to be tender, but not completely cooked (it'll finish cooking in the oven).
2. For the bolognese sauce, slice the tomatoes and puree them. Cut garlic, onions, carrots and celery stalks into fine pieces. On a hot sauce pan, add olive oil and a bit of butter. Cook sliced vegetables until almost tender. Add the ground meat and cook until it starts to get brown. At this time you want to add your pureed tomatoes, tomato paste, chicken (or vegetable) broth and spices. Cook on medium high for about 20 minutes or until desired consistency.
3. For the ricotta- spinach mix, add finely chopped spinach into the ricotta cheese. Mix well and incorporate the salt and black pepper. The recipe calls for 1 egg, but I personally don't like to add it and the results are still awesome. You decide.
4. For putting the Lasagne together, start by a thin sauce layer, then cover with the first pasta layer, then again a generous sauce layer, then a nice and thick cheese layer, then pasta, then a generous ricotta- spinach layer, sauce, cheese, pasta, ricotta- spinach, pasta... and so on. Just make sure the first layer is sauce and the last one a thick cheese layer (top of the lasagna).
5. Cook for about 30 to 35 minutes at 185ºC or until bubbly and golden brown.
6. Enjoy! :)

 I have a sweet tooth. Chocolate mousse, fruit tarts, parfaits, decadent cookies... if it has sugar, I'm in!  I'm an undeniable sugarholic. My therapy? More chocolate on my ice cream, more syrup on my pancakes :)

Today is 'Cinnamon Rolls Day', that's it. No questions asked. It's cold and a little grey outside and I feel like eating them. Period.


This recipe is not only easy, but it calls for the best cinnamon rolls you've ever had. Soft, goey, full of flavor. You just need a little patience cause it takes its time, but like I always say: it's totally worth it!

I couldn't share as many pictures as I wanted to because they were actually not so good. The light was not so favourable and I had some problems with my camera, but I'll try to be really clear when explaining each step.

Start by preparing your dry yeast. It's important to mix it with the water and allow it to foam. This means that the yeast is activated and ready to use. It takes about 5 to 7 minutes.


Soften your butter and continue adding the rest of the ingredients, slowly. You'll notice the dough will be a little heavy and hard to work with, but that's fine, just make sure it's smooth and everything incorporated. If it gets sticky, you can add a little flour to it, but not too much cause the more flour in the mix, the harder it will get.

Grease a glass or plastic container and rest your dough, covered with plastic wrap. It's really important that the dough lays in a warm place so it rises properly. It'll get about 2 times bigger and it will take about 1 hour.


When the dough is ready, work with dough roller until you reach a smooth kind of rectangle. Something like this:


Mix refined white sugar, brown sugar and cinnamon. This will be the filling for the rolls.

Spread your flattened dough with softened butter, then sprinkle the sugar mix all over it. Leave some space around the edges so that the mix doesn't fall out when rolling. 

Carefully, start rolling your dough from one of the long sides, pressing and trying to get it as tight as possible. Once the roll is formed, cut into 14 to 16 slices.

Place the slices cut side down on a well-greased baking pan and cover with plastic wrap. Let them stand in a warm place for about 1 hour. They'll double in size.

 Once doubled in size, brush them with softened butter and bake at 180ºC for about 30 minutes or until golden brown.

While the rolls cool down a little, start making your buttercream glaze. I'll explain down how to make it step by step. It's really easy and delicious. Make sure to pour the glaze over the rolls while they're still hot so it melts and spreads evenly.

Serve hot and prepare to enjoy the best cinnamon rolls you'll ever eat ;)

CINNAMON ROLLS

Preparation Time: 2 hours
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 14 to 16 rolls

For the Cinnamon Rolls

1 package  dry yeast
1/4 cup  warm water
4 cups  flour
1/4 cup  refined white sugar
1 tsp  salt
3/4 cup  whole milk
1/4 cup  unsalted butter (softened)
1  egg
1 tbsp  vanilla extract

For the Filling

1/3 cup  unsalted butter (softened)
3/4 cup  brown sugar
1/4 cup  refined white sugar
1 to 2 tbsp  ground cinnamon

For the Buttercream Glaze

1/3 cup  cream cheese (softened)
2 tbsp  unsalted butter (softened)
1 1/4 cups  powdered sugar
1 tbsp  vanilla extract
3 to 5 tbsp  warm milk (adjust to the desired consistency)

Preparation:

1. In a small bowl, combine the dry yeast and warm water. Let it foam (activate) for about 5 to 7 minutes.
2. In a deeper bowl, mix the sugar, salt, milk, softened butter, egg and vanilla extract. When smooth, add the activated yeast and start slowly incorporating the flour. Mix for about 5 minutes or until completely incorporated.
3. Using your hands, form a ball with the dough and place it in a greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let it stand in a warm place for about 1 hour. This will allow your dough to double in size.
4. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, white sugar and cinnamon. Reserve.
5. When your dough is ready, roll it out with a dough roller into a rectangle. Spread your softened butter over the top, then sprinkle the sugar mix evenly. Leave some space around the edges so that the mix doesn't fall out when rolling.
6. Start rolling your dough from one of the long sides, pressing and trying to get it as tight as possible. Once the roll is formed, cut into 14 to 16 slices. Place the slices cut side down on a well-greased baking pan and cover with plastic wrap. Let them stand in a warm place for about 1 hour, so they double in size.
7. When ready, spread some softened butter on top of your rolls. Bake at 180ºC for about 30 minutes or until golden brown.
8. In a bowl, mix softened cream cheese, butter, milk and vanilla extract. Start slowly incorporating the powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Make sure to pour the glaze over the rolls while they're still hot so it melts and spreads evenly. 
9. Serve hot and enjoy!













End of September and it's already cold here in Germany. I'm actually a 'cold weather' person, and not because of the snow or the winter clothes, just because I get to eat more of the foods I love :)


This recipe is perfect for a rainy day, when you just want to stay home, cook something fast but savory and a little bit gourmet, why not?

I have to say ginger is what gives this soup its essence and 'spark', of course you have to know that it is a pretty strong and fragrant ingredient, so you need to watch the amount.

Slice finely your garlic, onion and carrots so it's easier to blend them when cooked.

Sweat your vegetables with olive oil until the onion and garlic are translucent.

Add the stock, spices and a bit of butter. Let it cook for about 15 minutes or until carrots are really tender. Turn the heat off and blend with a hand blender until smooth. You can add a couple teaspoons of crème fraîche or heavy cream.


Serve your soup hot and finish with a little bit of crème fraîche and fresh parsley.

I hope you enjoy this easy and delicious recipe and give it a try!


GINGER CARROT SOUP

 Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

800 g.  carrots
4 to 5 cups  chicken or vegetable stock/broth
2 tbsp  fresh ginger (peeled and chopped)
1  medium onion
1-2  garlic cloves
1 tbsp  salted butter
2-4 tbsp  crème fraîche (heavy or sour cream work too)
Salt
Ground black pepper
Cumin 
Curry
Cayenne pepper
More crème fraîche (for decoration)
Fresh parsley (for decoration)

Preparation:

1. Peel the carrots and slice them into fine pieces. Chop the onion, garlic clove and ginger.
2. In a soup pot, heat some olive oil and cook the carrots, onion and garlic (until the onion and garlic are translucent, about 2-3 minutes). 
3. Add the stock, ginger, butter and spices and let it simmer for 15 to 18 minutes or until carrots are really tender.
4. Turn off the heat and with a hand blender puree the ingredients until smooth. Check seasoning and add the cream, stirring until completely incorporated.
5. Serve hot and top with more cream and fresh parsley for decoration.
6. Enjoy! ;)





This recipe was inspired by two of the favorite meals of my husband: Roast beef and Burgers. Oh yes, there's nothing light or healthy about this one, but 'once in a while' didn't hurt nobody.

Well, if you're someone that's kind of a 'meat lover' or live with one, you'll totally understand when I tell you that meat should be the main character of the story, right?


Even though this recipe is really simple, you need to be really careful with the ingredients you buy. I always say: the simpler the recipe is, the better quality the ingredients must be.

Personally, I prefer to eat roast beef inside a sandwich, but this time I wanted to stick completely to my husband's plan, but I must admit the results were GREAT! You can totally replace the burger bun with your bread of preference.

I used small brown onions because these ones are the easiest to get here in Germany, but I think the white onions would go perfect with the dish.


Slice finely the onions and cook them with olive oil until they start turning brown and tender. Make sure to season them with salt and black pepper.


Now, talking about the meat: you need a good quality roast beef. That's it. Try to get it as fresh as possible and stay away from the pre-packed ones.


Make sure you cook the roast beef for a really short time, because we want it extremely tender. It'll take you about 40 to 60 seconds per side. DO NOT OVERCOOK.


Here's my homemade Aioli version. For those ones who don't know, Aioli is like a mayonnaise- based sauce made with garlic, lemon juice and other spices. I'll make sure to post my Aioli recipe soon.


To set your burger, start by spreading some aioli on the bottom bun, add the roast beef and top it with the cheese (I used Provolone). Top with the caramelised onions and a little more of the aioli. I toasted my burger for a few minutes on the pan, just to give it a little crunchiness. 


And how about now? Give it a try and enjoy it with your loved ones!


ULTIMATE ROAST BEEF BURGER

Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 2 burgers

Ingredients:

8 to 10 slices  good quality roast beef
2  burger buns
1  big onion
2  slices provolone cheese
Fresh parsley (finely chopped)
1 tbsp  butter
Salt
Ground black pepper
Aioli or a creamy sauce

Preparation:

1. Start by slicing your onion finely. Cook with olive oil until brown and tender. Season with salt and black pepper. Reserve.
2. On a pan, add the butter and the chopped parsley. Cook the roast beef for no longer that 40 to 60 seconds per side. Turn off the heat and reserve. Make sure the meat it's completely covered with the butter- parsley sauce.
3. On a bottom burger bun, spread some aioli (or creamy sauce of your preference) and add the hot roast beef. Top with the provolone cheese (it'll melt with the heat of the meat) and the caramelised onions. Add a little more of aioli and top with the remaining bun.
4. Enjoy! :)













Hola! I know I've been away for the last 2 months, but I just want to tell you that I'm alive, and no I was not too lazy to cook or write, I just didn't have time...  The reason? México!

I was lucky enough to spend 2 months with my husband, family and friends back in México, in my beautiful hometown, Monterrey. We traveled, relaxed and of course, ate a lot of tacos ;)

I have a lot of recipes that I made and that I'm excited to share with you, I just thought I needed to justify my 'abandonment'. Luckily, I have great pictures to show you, especially of the amazing food that we missed and were able to taste again. I have to say the pictures are not the best focused or have the best quality, but I promise you'll get hungry just by seeing them... I do now.

So obviously, our trip started here, with tacos! We had some fish tacos:


Also homemade ones:


Here's one of my favorite dishes: Enchiladas Suizas. They're like rolled up chicken tacos topped with salsa verde, cream, cheese, refried beans and guacamole on the side. Yum!


My husband got used to waking up with this amazing Chilaquiles, made of course by me. Chilaquiles are really simple, just fried tortillas with beans, homemade salsa, cheese and cream.


We went to a restaurant that I will always recommend to tourists visiting Monterrey. The name is La Catarina and it serves gourmet mexican food. There you can experiment dishes that are made for those brave ones who are not intimidated by unusual ingredients, like chapulines, which are these little insects that are seasoned, cooked and eaten in tacos. Who was the brave one? My husband of course!


We have the freshest Shrimp Aguachile, which is something like a lime-cooked shrimp ceviche with fresh vegetables, peppers and some other delicious seasonings.  


And besides the delicious food, we also got to travel a little...


We went down to the 'Sin city' and spend some time (... and money haha) in the beautiful casinos. We enjoyed the nightlife of the city and had a great time.



And of course, we couldn't leave without experimenting some more of my beautiful México. My husband took me to Los Cabos (How can I not love him, right? haha) which is a dream place to go, especially for couples... Oh my, that's what I call relaxing days.

Look at the beach...




And the Infinity Pool...


And my view from it (Of course with a fresh Coconut as my drink!).


My husband got obsessed with this bird (A.k.a. Tucán haha)


And the beautiful view from our room:


Afterwards we returned to Monterrey just for the last days with the family. We still continued being amazed by the food, of course!



And last but not least, I gotta brag about the great markets that we have in México, and of course the variety of fresh peppers, which I'd love to have here in Germany everyday.




It was a great time with our loved ones, we got to relax, 'charge batteries' and now we're back home feeling pretty awesome to get back to our regular days. I'm excited to have my red kitchen back, lots of recipes to cook and share with you my readers. 

Hope you liked the pictures and maybe I convinced you to go to México on your next vacations ;)


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