Girls Crayfish Party

‘Hold on to traditions to make amazing memories’

It has been that time of year again for the traditional girl’s crayfish party that we started maybe 3 years ago. The setting is intimate as we are such a small group and we just listen to music, dance on chairs and talk about what’s going on in our lives. The jumbo crayfish always taste as amazing and we indulge in them for many hours. Before crayfish I made a small beetroot starter and it turned out to be a real hit, so I thought I would share the recipe with everyone. The tartare is more like a welcome from the kitchen due to its adorable small size and I can see this being a much-created dish as we approach the holiday season closer to December. Traditionally, we ate some porcini soup for main course along with a pannacotta for dessert. As I’m writing this post, it really feels like summer has come to an end as it is pouring with rain and days are much colder. Slowly it feels like we are transitioning to the autumn season and I’ve even noticed slight changes in the colour of the trees. Candles are on every evening and you just want to snuggle up inside when it’s storming outside. We have one more crayfish party to hold, which we will optimistically have on our new house plot that we purchased this spring. There is an old sauna house (that will be torn down next year), that we painted white, made tables and set up with candles that hopefully will create an adorable setting for our friends.

Beetroot Tartare with Fig & a basil wasabi dressing

Ingredients (serves 4) * For this recipe you also need rubber gloves and a circular cooking mold

Beetroot Tartare

  • 5 ready cooked beetroot
  • 1 granny smith apple

Basil Wasabi Dressing

  • 1 cup basil
  • ½ cup herb flavoured cream cheese
  • ½ garlic clove
  • 1 shallot
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon runny honey
  • 2 teaspoons wasabi
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • Salt/pepper to taste
  • Lemon juice (optional)

Garnish

  • 4 figs
  • Almond flakes
  • Salt/pepper
  • Twigs of thyme

Toasted almond flakes: in a hot dry pan, cook some almonds flakes in a pinch of salt until golden brown.

Directions

For this recipe, I am using pre-cooked beetroots that you can buy from the store that come in a sealed vacuum pack with a little bit of the beet juice inside it. First, I add 5 beetroots into a food processor and pulse them into a paste. Take out the beetroot and place into a bowl. Put some rubber gloves on and take all the beetroot mush into your hand. Squeeze all the juices out. You will have to do this a few times. Then pulse a sour green apple into small pieces in the food processor and mix it together with the beetroot mush. Season with black pepper and salt. Place into a bowl and into the fridge.

Meanwhile make the basil wasabi dressing for the tartare. Gently wash your food processor as you will use it again. Add a handful of basil into the food processor and pulse into small pieces. Add in 1 shallot and ½ garlic and continue pulsing so everything breaks down into small pieces. Then add 1 teaspoon of white wine vinegar, 1 teaspoon of runny organic honey, 2 teaspoons of wasabi paste, 1-2 tablespoon of olive oil and continue to pulse. Add in a pinch of salt and pepper and ½ cup of herb flavored cream cheese. Pulse into a creamy consistency and check for the flavor. If you feel like it is missing something, you can add a squeeze of lemon juice for that extra punch. Place the dressing into a bowl, cover with foil and come back to it when you are ready to serve.

Ready to plate:

Take out 4 small plates and a circular cooking mold to help create the tartar shape. Take out the beetroot bowl from the fridge and put on rubber gloves. Divide the beetroot into 4 sections. Taking the first section of the beetroot into your hand and again squeeze the excess liquids into your sink. With the help of a mold, put the beetroot into it and pat it down onto the center of the plate. Do this to the rest of the plates. Keep in mind that the reason you squeeze out all the excess beetroot liquid is so that the tartar is able to keep a solid circular shape.

Then take a fig and slice it horizontally and vertically from the top (not all the way down however). Then push the fig with the ends of your fingers from its bottom so the meat separates into a beautiful shape. Place 1 fig on top of each tartare. Add a dollop of the wasabi basil dressing on top of the fig and garnish with black pepper and toasted almonds in salt. Also add a few twigs of thyme for a delicate touch.

 

 

 

December 1st: Blackberry Cocktail & Beetroot Tartar

‘It is the anticipation of Christmas what makes it the most magical time’

The first of December is finally here; it is the season for craftiness, late night cooking, and dark candle light evenings that make a home cosy and warm. My hubby and I have watched a few festive films already and soon it’s time for us to go pick up a tree. Allow yourself not to get pulled into a Christmas rush by being one step ahead of your calendar and make sure to enjoy the days leading up to the 24th, as it is the anticipation of it all what makes it the most magical time. Today I wanted to share a cocktail and appetizer recipe that will without a doubt kick this festive season off beautifully. Hopefully it will spark some inspiration for your Christmas table and give you a little holiday spirit.

Winter Blackberry & Rosemary Cocktail

A simple blackberry and rosemary champagne cocktail is a beautiful way to start any winter evening. The deep burgundy is a sophisticated undertone for any December get together, or simply if you are looking for a little way to treat yourself by escaping the ordinary. Working greatly to our advantage, the blackberry syrup can be made ahead of time, which makes it exceptionally handy in terms of preparation. Additionally, you could switch up the blackberry to any berry you like and for instance, use thyme instead of rosemary. The cocktail looks wonderfully elegant in a 20s inspired crystal glass of different styles, to give that much desired vintage champagne boat, with delicate thin-edges.

Cocktail Ingredients

  • 1 cup fresh blackberries
  • ½-1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 twig of rosemary
  • Butter & brown sugar for rimming the edges of the glasses
  • Sparkling wine/champagne
  • Garnish: long rosemary twig with fresh blackberries poked through stem

Directions

In a small saucepan, combine all the ingredients (water, sugar, blackberries, rosemary twig) to make the syrup. Bring to boil and reduce heat and cook for under 10minutes so the blackberries start to mush. Stir occasionally and let the mixture intensify into a red colour. Remove from heat, strain and allow to cool. Once cooled, place the syrup into an airtight maison jar and store in the fridge for up to a few weeks.

Rim each champagne glass with a bit of butter between your fingers. Then place some brown sugar onto a plate and press each glass rim into the sugar so it coats all around.

To make the cocktail; add some blackberry syrup to the glass, some ice and pour over some champagne or sparking wine. Give a little mix. Garnish each glass with a bare rosemary branch (except for the ends for visual impact) and pierce a few fresh berries through it. Allow it to gently rest on top of the glass. Enjoy.

Beetroot Tartar

Beetroot is a fantastic earthy compliment to a winter menu that is rich in flavour and colour. This winter root does not need much to be classic, simply paired as a salad with blue cheese, figs and walnuts is all you need to make it refined. However, a layered beetroot tartar is an exciting dish to serve at a dinner party, as it tastes wonderful. I have made beetroot tartar before (see recipe here) but this version is much different. The filling is basically made from a beetroot puree and cream cheese that has some blackberries and spinach in between. You could defiantly incorporate slices of cured salmon and play around with the dimensions of flavours. For this recipe, I made the beetroot puree from scratch, but I suppose you could store by this as well.

Beetroot puree

  • 5 large roasted beets (place in an oven dish, with oil, salt and pepper and roast in the oven (200c) for an hour until soft)
  • 1 sweet potato roasted (place into same oven dish with beetroots to roast)
  • 2 garlic cloves grated
  • Butter for cooking
  • About 1 dl cream

Directions

Begin by roasting the beetroot and sweet potato. Once ready, peel the skin off and roughly chop into smaller pieces.

In a large saucepan, add a generous dollop of butter and grated garlic. Stir and add in the chopped beetroot and sweet potato. Cook for about 7minutes and add in a splash of cream. This part can be left out if you prefer not to use cream, but it does a lovely taste. Let it gently cook so the cream reduces. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and pulse with a handheld blender into a puree. It does not need to be silky smooth, as it needs to be thick to hold its shape. Place into a bowl and leave it to cool. Refrigerate the puree for an hour before using so it becomes denser.

Tartar ingredients (you need a cooking mould for this)

  • Beetroot puree
  • 1 tub Cream cheese
  • Baby spinach leaves
  • Fresh blackberries
  • Danish style sweet rye bread
  • Garnish: pistachios & fresh blackberries

Directions

Press the tartar mould into the rye bread so it cuts out a circle. Leave the rye bread slice into the bottom of the mould, place on a small plate and start adding layers on top. Add a spoonful of cream cheese on top, then a spoonful of puree. Press the mass down and make sure to keep the layering straight. Add baby spinach, then a mixture of cream cheese and puree together (so it forms a lighter colour), halved blackberries, cream cheese, puree etc. Place the mould into the fridge for a good 3 hours to set. Once ready to plate: take the mould out of the fridge and place onto your serving plate. With a knife, go around the edges of the mould and with the help of your hand, press the mass down while you pull the mould up. It doesn’t matter If the surface looses a bit of shape, you can always fix it after by smoothing it with a knife. Garnish the top with fresh black berries and pistachios. Add a sprinkling of Maldon salt and black pepper.

Summer Beet Hummus Toast

’Sunday toasty treats’

Making your own beetroot hummus may sound like a hassle, but really it is actually quite simple and worth the minimal sunday effort. It not only adds a great addition to your meals but also makes the most glorious spread for your morning toast. Have you got friends coming over for breakfast this morning? Why not surprise them with this concoction instead of the classic eggs Benedict. Not only does it look impressive on a plate, I promise you, it’s delicious!

Basically you toast some sour dough loaf, add a generous spread of beetroot hummus on top and add 7 ½ minute boiled refrigerated eggs on top, that are oozing a bit on the inside. Add pumpkin seeds and chopped basil on top with a sprinkling of freshly ground pepper and Maldon salt. Not only is the toast a reflection of summer’s vibrant colours, but it has a lovely refreshing flavour from the basil and a sweetness from the beetroot that is all rounded with the creamy eggs.

Homemade beetroot hummus recipe from here.

run wild in the woods and let your hair be free

Christmas Beetroot Tartar


‘December 8th & easy beetroot tartar’


Beetroot is a great winter root that makes great festive dishes with its vibrant purple colour and earthy sweet flavour. This tartar is such an easy appetizer full of gorgeous texture from the feta, garlic and pistachio. This starter looks pretty & if you wish to add some protein, it suits a slice of roast beef or gravlax.

Tartar ingredients

  • 4 Boiled Beetroot (peeled & chopped)
  • 1/2 cup rich feta cheese
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon strong dijon
  • 1 teaspoon horseradish paste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 1-2 garlic cloves grated (alter the strength with the amount)
  • Pinch of salt/pepper
  • 1/2 cup pistachios chopped

Garnish: Black pepper, chopped pistachio, chili flakes, parsley

Directions

In a bowl, add the mayonnaise, dijon, lemon juice, olive oil, grated garlic and feta cheese. Mix well into a paste. Chop the cooled, peeled and boiled beets into small pieces and place into a bowl as well. Mix together, add a pinch of salt and black pepper, cover with cling film and refrigerate for about an hour to marinate all the flavours.

Ready to plate: After an hour take out with bowl from the refrigerator and mix in the chopped parsley and pistachio. With the help of a tartar mold press some beetroot into it, to get a little tower. Garnish with more pistachio, chili flakes and chopped parsley.

Sunday Beetroot Crepes

 

‘Magenta hued sunday beetroot crepes’

A relaxing spring sunday on a rainy day, calls for a hit of purple crepes to spruce up the morning. I don’t actually mind the subtle rain showers today, as it’s nice to cozy-up indoors after an activity-filled weekend.  The candles are on, we have fresh blooms in the kitchen and breakfast fullfills of beetroot crepes topped with garlic green peppers, spring greens and a basil yogurt dressing. This easy breakfast can luxuriously divert your morning routine away from the ordinary and makes quite the showcase over brunch. It’s time for another frothy latte, perhaps in bed?

Have an amazing sunday darlings!

For the beet crepes, you need :

  • 1 large cooked beetroot ( I roasted some earlier)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • about 2/3 cup oat milk

Roughly chop (into small pieces) the cooked beetroot into a large bowl. Add the oat milk and eggs and whisk with a hand-held blender into a smooth puree. Now add the flour, cumin, salt and oil whisk together in to a smooth paste. For thinner crepes, you can add a bit of water to make the batter more liquid-like. Allow the batter to sit for about 15 minutes before cooking so it thickens slightly.

To cook the crepes, heat a pan over medium-high heat and rub oil all over the pan Pour about 1 ladle of the batter into the pan and spread it with the end of the ladle to thin out the surface. You can make bigger or smaller crepes depending on the style you are after. To make wraps, I would suggest making large thin crepes, but make sure you have a good non-stick pan for this! Cook for about 1-2 minutes until the surface bubbles and flip over and cook for about 1 minute more.

To top the crepes, you need:

  • spring cabbage
  • spring kale
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise + 1 teaspoon french mustard
  • green peppers (sautéed in a pan with grated garlic, salt, butter for about 10 minutes)
  • ground green pepper/ hemp seeds

In a saucepan, add butter and green peppers and cook over medium heat. Grate in 2 cloves of garlic and cook with the lid on, stirring the peppers once in a while. They will be ready in about 10 minutes. Finely slice the cabbage and kale. In a small bowl, combine the mustard and mayonnaise to create a yellow dressing. Mix together with the cabbage and kale.

To make the green dressing, you need:

  • 3 tablespoons greek yogurt
  • 1/2 ripe avocado
  • 5 large basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • pinch of salt

Blend into a creamy dressing

Ready to plate:

Place the beet crepes on the plate and top with the mustard/mayonnaise cabbage kale. Then add some garlic green peppers and drizzle some green dressing on top in the end. Sprinkle with some ground green pepper/ hemp seeds and enjoy!

Other suggested fillings:

Avocado, quinoa, green beans, hummus, arugula, mixed seeds, roasted veges

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Beetroot & Bougainvillea

A shock of pretty purple bougainvillea is an invitation to spring that seamlessly matches today’s breakfast bowl. The magenta hued smoothie is the quintessential boost of nutrients that we often lack in the early spring days after a cold winter.  This metabolism booster is loaded with vitamin c, fiber and minerals such as potassium and manganese that are good for your bones, liver and kidneys. I’m already dreaming of the bougainvillea courtyards that I will see this summer, hopefully even much sooner as I’m travelling to Venice in under a month! I’m ready to transition to silk pants and light-weight flats and leave my chunky knits hanging in the back of the closet. Now, more than ever I feel like I’m lacking in vitamins and need a constant boost of goodness and a punch of colour to start the day!

Have an amazing weekend darlings!

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Boosting Beetroot smoothie bowl

  • 1 large beet (leave skin on, remove ends, wash well)
  • large chunk of ginger
  • 1 carrot
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 1 banana (to add thickness)
  • 1/2 cup or less oat milk

Garnish: avocado, toasted almond flakes, herbs of choice

Roughly chop all vegetables and blitz into a smooth texture in blender. For a thicker consistency, add less milk or substitute it for quark if you desire an even more thicker bowl.Garnish with avocado, toasted almond flakes and herbs of choice. I used thyme, oregano and lemon balm.

For a beetroot juice, use water instead of milk and leave the banana out. For a zest of freshness, you can add 1/2 an apple instead

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Sunday Beet.

‘If your sunday comes with a pause button and your coffee needs a little date, then this easy beet cake is meant for you!’

Saturdays are for adventures and Sundays are designed for cuddling and recharging your batteries for the upcoming new week. It’s all about creating that cozy feeling and giving time for your soul to catch up with your body. Keep your pajamas on for a little bit longer and make yourself warm cups of tea or cappuccino all day and partake in the simple pleasures. Everyone should incorporate baking into your weekend schedule as it coats the house with a warm atmosphere leaving its sweet aroma drifting behind. This morning I was craving for a healthy treat with my second cappuccino and wanted to make something with beets as I was just pressing juice from them. With a banana bread in mind, I decided to bake something similar but with beets, chia, a bit of cinnamon and honey. I wanted something comforting and semi-sweet but nothing outrageously unhealthy and with that in mind, this little cake was born. A beetroot cake might sound unusual, but the purple delights add great moisture and colour if you’re looking for a healthier cake option. The chia seeds add a sublte texture to the golden middle and the cinammon, vanilla and honey add a comforting blend of spices and flavour. I whipped some matcha cream on top for a little extra goodness, making this quick recipe the perfect loaf cake to whip up to quests when they pop round for a cup of tea!

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Beetroot cake

  1. 2 cups flour
  2. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  3. 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  4. pinch of salt
  5. 1 tablespoon runny honey
  6. 2 bananas
  7. 1/2 cup oat milk
  8. 2 eggs
  9. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  10. 1 tablespoon sunflower oil
  11. 3 beetroot raw roughly chopped & peeled

Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius. Line your baking tray with baking paper. In a blender, add the bananas, oat milk, honey, eggs, roughly chopped beets, oil and vanilla extract and blend into a smooth paste. Transfer into a bowl. Add in the dry ingredients and pour the cake mixture into the cake tin. Place into the oven for about 40 minutes until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the cake. Leave to cool for 10 minutes and then remove from the tin and cool on a wire rack.

To  make the sauce on top, whip together some double cream (about 1 cup), icing sugar (1/2 tablespoon) and matcha powder ( 1 teaspoon) for a velvety result. Garnish with sprigs of thyme.

 

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A few easy Healthy Dishes.

Easy dishes are the best on a regular weekday when you are limited in energy and don’t feel like spending too much time cooking. After a long day, all you want to do is make something that requires little fuss but still have a healthy meal for lunch or dinner that has a proper amount of nutrients in them. Both of these dishes are packed with flavour and spices that taste delicious! With the beetroot rolls, you could make the buckwheat/quinoa beetroot mixture in advance making the dish ready in under five minutes. The garlic and ginger infused soup is all about chopping a few ingredients and letting it simmer gently as the flavours merge together. Both dishes are vegetarian, but you can add any protein to the mix to make it more suitable to your liking. For example, I sometimes add in left over chicken to the soup and fried tofu, pulled pork or salmon to the burrito sushi- rolls.

Healthy Beetroot Rolls

  • 1 cup cooked buckwheat
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 large beetroot
  • 1 shallot
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 sweet potato
  • chili flakes

Filling

  • Baby spinach leaves
  • shiracha mayonnaise
  • grated raw turnips & radish
  • fried egg slices

Begin by making the beetroot pureé. In a medium heated sauce pan, add a bit of olive oil and the chopped beetroot, sweet potato, shallot and garlic. Stir gently for about 10-15 minutes until everything is cooked. Add salt, ground nutmeg and pepper. Add a bit of water to the pan midway of the cooking process, so nothing sticks to the bottom and provides a bit of steam. Once cooked, puree with a hand-held blender into a smooth paste. Check for taste

Mix the beetroot purée with the cooked buckwheat and quinoa and use this as the spread, as you would for “rice” when making sushi rolls. Spread a large scoop of the mixture on one side of the seaweed. Then add some shiracha mayonnaise, grated veggies of choice (I used raw turnips and radish), spinach and fried egg slices.

Wrap the roll into a tight cylinder and cut in half from the middle. Sprinkle with chili flakes and serve with light soy sauce.

Cleansing Spicy Veggie soup

  • 1/2 cup cooked buckwheat
  • 1/2 cup chopped red cabbage
  • 1/2 cup chopped kale
  • handful harriot beans
  • 5 garlic cloves (grated or finely chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons grated ginger
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 zucchini sliced
  • 1 tablespoon soya sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon shiracha sauce

In a medium heated sauce pan, add some sesame oil and the ginger and garlic. Stir gently and then add the chopped vegetable and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the chicken stock, turmeric, soya sauce and shiracha. Let it simmer gentle for about 10 minutes so the flavours intensify and lastly add the cooked buckwheat almost right before serving.

Savory Beetroot Pancakes & Creamy Avocado Dressing

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These gorgeous savory beetroot pancakes are a healthy alternative to regular pancakes served with a creamy avocado dressing to create a special weekend brekkie. The toasted nuts add a salty crunch, while the green dressing adds copious amounts of balanced flavour to the sweet pancakes.

Beetroot pancake Batter (makes about 8)

  • 1 large beet (finely grated)
  • 1 carrot (finely grated)
  • 1 garlic (finely grated)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2-3dl oatmilk
  • 3dl plain flour
  • 1 dl robust oats
  • 1 shallot (finely grated)
  • Salt/ ground pepper

Avocado Kale Dressing

  • 3 leaves of kale
  • 2 avocados
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt
  • Black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon honey

Garnish: Toasted nuts, sliced peaches, herbs of choice, black pepper, hemp seeds

Directions

  1. Make the pancake batter: Finely grate the beet, garlic, carrot, shallot into a large bowl. Mix in the egg, oats, flour and milk. Add in salt and pepper and leave to rest for about 10 minutes.
  2. In a medium hot pan, add a dollop of butter and place of tablespoon or two (depending on the size you want) and press it down with a spatula. Flip over after a few minutes and sprinkle a bit of salt.
  3.  Make the avocado topping: Blend all the ingredients together into a creamy sauce.
  4. Toast a selection of nuts and seeds with a pinch of salt
  5. Stack pancakes on top of each other: add some green dressing on top, toasted nuts/seeds, hemp seeds, black pepper and herbs of choice.

 

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Feel the Beet

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A cleansing healthy beetroot juice, why haven’t I done this earlier??

The benefits of beet juice are enormous and don’t worry if you don’t have a juicer, I used my blender hence the frothy texture. Obviously drink the juice raw to maximise the vitamins and minerals. Beets contain a colour pigment called betalain that happens to be the source of many of the health benefits. it is a powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and helps in the detoxification process. Apparently, beets were traditionally used to heal people. You can make different variations of the juice to make it more sweet or spicy, depending on your liking! I used beets and the green leafy tops,  carrots, celery and ginger. The juice is quite mild in taste so a good kick of ginger really adds a bit of flavour. By adding apple or pineapple, you can make it more sweeter. I’ve noticed that smaller beets are far more sweeter in taste than larger ones, so make sure to use them! If you have the chance, use local organic ones as they take your taste buds to an entire new level I  mean look at the colour of this juice?! Such a deep strong purple and so beautiful against a white background! Beetroot is also a good source of vitamin C and potassium and after my juicing experience, I can’t wait to try a gazpacho out of them!

Ingredients

  • 3 small beetroot
  • 2 leaves from beetroot tops (a little goes a long way)
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 stalk of celery
  • A small chunk of Ginger
  • 1 cup cold water
  • Garnish: basil & parsley

Directions

Begin by peeling the carrots and ginger. The beetroot I used had a very thin skin, so I just removed the ends and washed them with a stiff vegetable brush. The beautiful green beetroot tops are edible, they are very rich in beta-carotene and can be added to the mix. They have a slighty spinach-like taste to them, only stronger and more bitter. The leaves usually have a lot of dirt in them, so make sure you wash it very well. I ended up washing them 4 times! Slice the vegetables and place into your blender and add a cup of water. Blend until smooth and serve with herbs of choice. I’ve noticed basil and parsley add a lovely summer taste to the juice.

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