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Monthly Archives: October 2011

Sometimes it’s difficult to make choices. Especially when your choice involves two good options. Forget about endless wondering and doubting and simply mix the best of both. The recipe for this “Arrabiciana” is most likely breaking too many rules in the art of Italian cooking to ever make it into any cookbook, but that doesn’t make it any less tasty.

Spiciness of chili peppers (All’Arrabiata) and saltiness of bacon (All’Amatriciana) combine pretty nicely. But the real secret to this dish is cheese. Leftovers of several varieties, by preference. Parmezan, cream cheese, goat cheese, chester … this recipe is the perfect clean-up for your fridge.

Sauce “All’Arrabiciana”: 200g smoked bacon, 1 small can of tomato concentrate, 40g butter, 30g flower, 300ml milk, chili peppers (fresh or dried), any kind of cheese leftover.

Fry the bacon in some butter.

Melt the remaining portion of butter (about 30g) and use the flower to make a roux. Add milk gradually while stirring until you get a liquid structure. Make it a bit more liquid than you would like the sauce to be, because it will get thicker again when adding the cheese later on.

Add the tomato concentrate. If you are a big fan of tomatoes (as I am) you can add another small can of tomato concentrate, or alternatively add some tomato salsa or ketchup. Be careful with the latter though, as ketchup can easily make your sauce too sweet.

Add pieces of cheese one by one and keep stirring until all is melted. Season with chili peppers to your liking and some Mediterranean herb mix if you wish. Normally salt won’t be necessary, the bacon will add enough saltiness to the dish.

Add the bacon and leave to simmer a few more minutes. Add more milk (alternatively water) if the cheese has made the texture of the sauce too thick.

Serve with any kind of pasta.

Bon appétit!

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A dozen of freshly baked cupcakes, sugar in every color of the rainbow and good company make up the perfect recipe for a relaxing day off from work. With a glorious word of thank you to my friend Rochelle for passing on her cupcake-skills to me. As of today, I can finally say I am no longer a cupcake-virgin.

cupcakes ( 24 pieces): 250g butter, 250g self-raising flower, 250g sugar, 4 eggs, juice of 1/2 lemon, zest of 1 lemon.

Before you start, make sure the butter and the eggs are at room temperature, and pre-heat your oven to 175°C.

Whisk the butter and gradually stir in the sugar. Then gradually add the eggs while keeping up the stirring.

Sift the flower and gradually add. And don’t forget the stirring. Also add lemon juice and zest.

Fill cupcake baking cups for 3/4. Place in 175°C oven for 20-25 minutes. You’ll know they are done when you stick in a tooth-pick and it comes out clean.

Let out your inner child and start decorating.

With the last days of summer – and oh was I happy with that wonderful late summer weather – it was the perfect timing to enjoy some more goodness of lemon. Having brewed my own limoncello for the very first time, I am turning slightly nuts on finding new ways how to process it in any possible recipe. Lemon sorbet turned out to be one of the obvious solutions. I could have this sorbet at any moment of the day, yes, even breakfast. Here’s the recipe to a fresh start of the day!

Lemon sorbet: fresh mint leaves, 1 cup of fresh lemon juice, 2 cups of water, 1/2 cup of limoncello, 125g of mascarpone, lemon zest to decorate.

Bring the water and limoncello to boil and dissolve the sugar. Remove from heat, add fresh mint leaves and leave to cool. Sift to remove the mint leaves.

Stir in the mascarpone and put in an ice cream maker for about 20 minutes. After this time, your sorbet will still be very liquid, at least mine was, I guess the alcohol level of the limoncello took away some of the freezing power of my ice cream maker. Although it could also very well be the quality of the machine, since I bought it for as a promotion in a supermarket.

Put in a closed box and place in the freezer overnight.

Decorate with some lemon zest before serving.