Broccoli cream soup

Autumn is the time for different types of cabbage, and broccoli is like the queen among them, being extremely nutritious, healthy, and full of vitamins. However, broccoli has a strong aroma that not everyone loves, and here comes this soup. Being pleasantly creamy, thick, and served with garlic croutons, this American-style soup is a very simple and tasty way to enjoy this vegetable – or to fall in love with it. So, catch the moment!

You’ll need:
1 big onion, peeled and diced
30 ml oil
30 g butter
50 g flour
1 l chicken or vegetable broth, or water
2 average-sized broccolis, roughly cut (together with stems)
250 ml cream, 20-30%
A pinch of sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
For garlic croutons:
1 loaf wheat bread
50 ml oil
50 ml melted butter
1 tsp garlic powder (or granulated garlic)
1 tsp salt

Preparation:
1. Pre-heat oven to 180 o C.
2. Roughly chop the bread (approx. 1 cm from every side).
3. Mix oil and melted butter and pour 1/3 of this mixture over the chopped bread. Add garlic powder and mix thoroughly. Pour another 1/3 of the mixture over the bread and mix thoroughly. Repeat once more.
4. Spread the chopped bread evenly over the baking tray and bake for 10-15 min until begins to brown.
5. Mix thoroughly and bake for 5 more min.
6. Take the croutons out of the oven and immediately season with salt. Mix them, and let them cool down on the tray.
7. Meanwhile, warm the oil and butter in a 3-liter pot.
8. Add onion, sugar, and salt, and stir-fry until the onion completely softens.
9. Add flour and stir-fry until begins to brown.
10. Add broth or water and bring it to a boil.
11. Add broccoli, salt to taste, and cook it on medium heat until softens. Be careful not to overcook it!
12. When the broccoli is easy to pierce with a knife, blend everything until homogeneity with a hand blender.
13. Add cream and thoroughly mix everything. Bring the soup to a boil once more and turn off the fire. Taste the soup and add salt or water (broth) if needed.
14. For even creamier consistency, pass the soup through a sieve.
15. Serve hot with garlic croutons and black pepper.

Bon appetite!

Pear cake with almonds

Autumn is gradually but inexorably claiming its rights, and more often than not we are dreaming about something hot, homey, and heart-warming. In one of these moods, this spicy autumn cake will meet your every heart’s desire! Juicy pears, fragrant fried almonds, spicy cinnamon, and heartwarming rum with make your heart melt with the feeling of tender sun rays on your face. Soft and moist, this cake is so rich in texture that it tastes really exquisite, and its deep mouthwatering aroma will make you forget all the troubles! Cook, enjoy, and may the inspiration never leave you!

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Cauliflower soup with parsley

As you may have noticed, I generally dislike soups, which are usually too bland for me; that’s why I prefer cream soups with distinct, bold, and appealing tastes. This soup, – although it’s not a cream soup, – is definitely delectable; with garlic, cream, and parsley adding slight but undeniably appetizing accents to otherwise mild (too mild) cauliflower and carrot. Moreover, it’s a true weekday soup, when there is not much free time and still less desire to cook something exquisite. Fragrant, homey, and easy-to-cook – that’s all you need to know about this soup. So, if you’re in search of cooking inspiration and, meanwhile, want something simple and hearty – try this one!

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Fitness Bolognese

Each of us has probably tried some diet, but can you imagine something ‘fitness’ and dietetic being truly delicious, juicy, and aromatic? When you hear the word ‘dietetic’, do you also imagine something bland and quite tasteless? Don’t worry, this dish will definitely turn your opinion of fitness dishes upside down! Just imagine: juicy marrow noodles with minced meat, covered with
tomato-garlic sauce, and seasoned with basil and cheese, mmm… That’s unbelievably tasty! Don’t miss this dish while marrows are still in the markets!

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Baked plums with yogurt

Desserts are coming back! These are the last days of plum season, so today I offer you to catch this last train and prepare an exquisite, healthy, easy-to-cook, and astonishingly looking dessert: baked plums with yogurt and nuts. It was designed to surprise: hot spicy plums, cold Greek yogurt, and crunchy nutty topping create a mesmerizing symphony of tastes and textures, with cinnamon warming your autumn heart and low calories count making you happier and happier when you realize that you can enjoy it as much as you’d like! Moreover, you can cook all the parts of the dessert beforehand and only warm the plums before serving. So, treat yourself, amaze your guests, and cook, cook, cook!

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Salmon baked with dill and potatoes

Salmon is considered to be an exquisite and upper-class delicious fish, and it’s important to cook it well. This baked dish is just ideal: creamy potatoes, soft baked onions and nourishing fresh fish accented with dill and lemon – an ideal rustic dinner when all you want is hearty mouth-watering home food, but not meat. Properly served it can as well make for a celebratory dinner. You must try it!

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Rice with baked vegetables

Have you ever tried to bake rice? This baked rice is just wonderful for cool autumn months; it combines the freshness and juiciness of baked vegetables with the earthy, warm aroma of spices to make something perfectly hearty and heartening. Besides, it’s a real fitness recipe – very low on calories and light for digestion. And as a bonus, it’s extremely easy to cook – just put everything in the oven and relax. It even doesn’t require any salad – the abundance of baked vegetables does its a bit. So, give it a try!

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Vegetable tart

Summer-autumn season is rich not only in fruit but also vegetables. Hence, today I offer you to try this really incredible vegetable tart (or quiche) that includes all the summer vegetables: courgettes, aubergine, bell pepper and onion. It combines soft baked vegetables balanced by creamy cheese-egg mixture and wraps them in a crunchy cottage cheese basis, mmm…! And seasoned with fragrant basil the pie becomes exquisite indeed! Upgrade your dinner!

You’ll need:
200 g cottage cheese
200 g chilled butter, diced
300 g flour
1 tsp salt
For filling:
200 g Feta cheese
2 eggs
2 garlic cloves, peeled
2 tbsp sour cream
1 small aubergine, peeled, sliced
½ zucchini or courgette, sliced
1 bell pepper
1 onion, peeled, cut into 8 parts
30 g hard cheese, grated
2 branches of basil, only leaves
Salt to taste

Springform baking tin 24-26 cm
Preparation:
1. Put all the ingredients for the dough in a food processor and blend until lumps appear. If you don’t have a food processor, roughly grate butter and put it in the fridge for an hour. Then, mix all the dry ingredients, add the butter and pulverize the mixture with your hands.
2. Press the lumps together to make a ball, wrap it in cling film and put it in the fridge for 1-2 hours.
3. Put sliced aubergine and courgette in a bowl, salt them generously and let them rest for 10 min. Then, rinse the vegetables in cold water and dry them with paper towel.
4. Pour some oil in a big frying pan and put it on high heat. Slightly fry the aubergine and courgette both sides (only until they begin to brown!). Do the same with slices of onion.
5. Pre-heat oven to 190 o C.
6. Roll the dough out thinly and put it in the baking tin. Prick the bottom all over with a fork.
7. Put the parchment paper in the baking tin, and then put the beans or ceramic beads inside. Put the base in the oven and bake it for 10 min.
8. Put the bell pepper next to the tin in the oven and bake it simultaneously until slightly softened (15-25 min).
9. Meanwhile, put Feta cheese, eggs, sour cream, and garlic in a food processor and blend until homogeneity.
10. Take the tin out of the oven and remove the parchment paper and ceramic beads.
11. Take the bell pepper out of the oven as well and cover it with a lid or foil for 5 min. After this time, peel the pepper and cut it into strips.
12. Pour the cheese mixture onto the base, and spread the onions, aubergine and courgette evenly inside. Spread the strips of pepper atop everything and sprinkle the pie with hard cheese.
13. Bake until the tart turns golden brown, 25-35 min, depending on your oven.
14. Take the tart out of the oven and sprinkle it with basil. Serve immediately!

Bon appetite!

Hamantaschen

These Jewish biscuits were my variant of celebrating of the Transfiguration of Our Lord when traditionally we’re supposed to eat lots of poppy seeds and fruit. They have it all: crunchy shortcrust base, creamy apple, and fragrant poppy fillings, and funny shape. They taste like August: still summer, but with a hint of autumn in the air; and sprinkled with honey… mmm. These biscuits very easy to make, probably the easiest I’ve ever cooked, – and to eat (bet that
you’ll lose control of how many you ate)! So, give them a try!

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Apricot cheesecake

The season of apricots is coming to the end, so I hope you’re already ready to try apricots in something more interesting than just eating them fresh. This sunny apricot-cheese pie is exactly what you need: with lots of fragrant juicy sweet-sour apricots and soft cottage cheese it tastes like Indian summer in the village: so cozy, warm, and nostalgic. It’s so tender and succulent that it’s almost pudding; and it’s perfectly dietetic. It’s very easy to bake, so you can make it even after a busy day, and be sure that its heavenly aroma will revive and renew you and make you forget all your troubles and worries!

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