Gravlax – For Salmon lovers

Salmon is by far my favourite fish, and the more I have it, the less cooked I want it :-). In my books, there is nothing worse than an overcooked dry piece of salmon, then again, that is just my taste.

But my most favourite way to eat salmon, other than Sashimi/Sushi style, is to make it the Norwegian way!

Gravlax is so simple to make, super tasty, perfect snack, appetizer and the best part, it keeps for quite a while.

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Here is how I made mine today:

  • 1 1/2 lbs of salmon (you can ask them to remove the skin, will make it easier when slicing, but I prefer to make it with the skin on)
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1/4 cup of salt
  • 2 tbs of black pepper
  • 1/8 cup of brandy or aquavit (used brandy today)
  • Bunch of fresh dill

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The best way to keep this easy and non messy is to grab a gallon ziploc bag, put in the salmon, sprinkle in the sugar, salt, black pepper and then add the brandy or aquavit. Then grab a handful of dill and place it on top. Close the bag carefully letting as much air out as possible and then give the bag a gentle massage to get it all mixed up.

Place on flat surface in fridge for 3 days, and everyday, give it a little love, slight massage and turn it over.

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Yes you need to be patient, but 3 days just fly by and then this fabulous treat is ready to eat! Serve it on its own, on crackers with some sour cream and a touch of caviar, or simply with Mustard sauce (you can find various recipes on the internet), we usually skip the mustard sauce :-).

Enjoy and hope you like it as much as I do ❤

 

Guava Croissant Cheesecake

If you live in South Florida, you must have tried the fabulous Cream Cheese Guava pastelitos that are a staple in the Cuban bakeries but can be found all over the place.

So with that said, I decided to give those pastelitos a little twist and turn them into a delectable easy to make Croissant Cheesecake.

Here is what you will need:

Place the cream cheese in a bowl and leave it there until its soft enough to whip (if you are impatient as I am, you can microwave it for 30 seconds). Add the 1 cup of sugar and using an electric beater, beat away until its nice and creamy.

Heat the oven to 350 Deg F

Grab a baking tray and place a sheet of parchment paper, roll out the first can of crescent dinner tolls and join the seams and  you will end up with a nice rectangle.

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Gently place the whipped cream cheese on top and and spread evenly

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Then open the other can, spread it out on a flat surface, join all the seams and place on top to seal the deal 🙂

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Melt the 1/2 stick of butter and pour on top and then sprinkle the 1/4 cup of sugar

Place in preheated oven for 30 minutes

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You can serve it warm with a nice dollop of vanilla ice cream, or you can place it in the fridge overnight, cut into squares or strips of desired size and serve it cold as a lovely afternoon tea snack.

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Enjoy 🙂

Harry Potter Moment – Butterbeer fudge

It’s that time of year, Halloween is almost here!

I have been playing around with a few new recipes and came across this posting on facebook for Butterbeer fudge that caught my eye and I decided to give it a go.

Of course I had to put the “Andy’s Kandy” twist on it, but then again, that’s just me in a nutshell 🙂

I found the recipe to be fool proof and easy to follow:

Butterscotch Layer

  • 1 can of condensed milk
  • 2 tbsp of butter
  • 3 cups of butterscotch chips

Place all 3 ingredients in a casserole on medium heat and stir until nicely blended and butterscotch chips are totally melted. Mixture should be nice and smooth. Poor into a lined  8×8″ pan with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray. Set aside.

Vanilla swirl

  • 1/3 cup of condensed milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup of chocolate chips

Place all 3 ingredients in a casserole on medium heat and stir until nicely blended. Then dot all over with a large spoon and use a knife to swirl it around.

You can finish it off by topping it with 1 cup of mini marshmallows, I added a dusting of cinnamon on top of the marshmallows and then blasted them with my cooking torch to give them a nice roasted look and flavor!

Place in fridge for a minimum of 4 hours, slice into desired size and enjoy!

Energy Bites – Bananas & Oats

For a couple of weeks I have been seeing this posting about making energy bites/bars out of bananas.

So the day came when I had 2 bananas that needed attention so I embarked on this testing, testing being, will the family like them or not!

Recipe is pretty easy and since I made the first batch I have been replacing a few of the ingredients here and there but to start off, here is what it calls for:

  • 2 bananas mashed
  • 1/4 cup of peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup of honey
  • 2 cups of rolled oats ( I used the regular minute Quaker oats)
  • 2 tablespoons of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

Mix it all together, put it in the fridge for a couple of hours and then roll about a tablespoon into balls or put into a mini cupcake mold for the perfect bite.

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I love love cinnamon so I use a full teaspoon of it instead of 1/2 and I sometimes replace the peanut butter with Cashew butter, Almond butter or the healthy version of peanut butter. They are also great with Craisins ❤

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They are great to have in the fridge for the quick picker upper, as well as great to have on the go in the morning with your coffee!

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Got the family seal of approval so they are now a staple in our home and bananas get bought with a purpose in mind 🙂

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Butter Pecan Waffles the easy way…….

Yet another rainy Sunday and that 3:30-4pm time comes around when a nice treat and a cup of coffee would be perfect to go with the great book I am reading “Gone Girl”.

I pride myself for making all my cakes from scratch, sometimes I think it has nothing to do with pride, just the fact that boxed cakes don’t exist where I come from (or at least didn’t exist whilst I lived there).

Anyway, I came across a box of Butter Pecan cake mix box that I bought at some given time for whatever reason and obviously never used.

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I decided to get rid of it and experiment with my Waffle Maker, so I prepared the mix as per box directions, heated my waffle maker and presto, waffle were ready!

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Then comes the best part, building those waffles with extra flavors.

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I drizzled a layer of my homemade Salted Caramel Sauce. Then layered the waffles, drizzled a bit of Maple Syrup, topped with some sliced bananas and another drizzle of Salted Caramel Sauce, and finished them off with some whipped cream and some homemade candied pecans!

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Now its time for that cup of coffee and my book ❤

A little taste of the holidays…..

A couple of days ago I baked way too many mini sweet potatoes so I found myself with quite a few of them leftover.

You all know my rule by now, nothing gets tossed out and every food item has various purposes in life.

With that said, I took the leftover baby sweet potatoes and sliced them into semi thick slices.

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Sweet potatoes always make me think of the holidays and seeing that there is such a thing as Christmas in July, I decided, holiday theme it is…..

Grabbed some brown sugar and cinnamon and gave each piece a nice dusting of both, warmed them up in the oven and finished them of under the broiler.

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And there we have, a little taste of the holidays, perfect bite for Christmas in July! Now all we need to do is to cool the weather down a bit here in South Florida to make it perfect!

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4 Vegetarian Snacks and Nibbles

Still on my vegetarian kick, going on week 2 and suddenly down quite a few pounds so thinking I will be sticking to it for now~

So today I made the following vegetarian snacks and nibbles:

Cucumber Salad – I love having this as a snack, as a side dish and I have to confess I have had it for breakfast too!

  • Cucumbers
  • Japanese Seasoned Rice Wine
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Sesame Oil
  • Salt and Pepper

Peeled the cucumbers and sliced them on my handy dandy mandolin.

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Then I added some sesame seeds, salt and pepper and here is the tricky part as I don’t measure (we call that “al tum tum where I come from”), added in some Japanese seasoned rice wine (about 1/4 cup) and a drizzle of sesame oil.

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Place in bowl, cover and place in fridge, I think its the best cucumber salad ever 🙂

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Courgette (Zucchini) Spaghetti with home grown veggie sauce

I started by putting my courgette’s through my spiral slicer and then chopping up the little ends to use in my veggie sauce.

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Boiled some water and threw the courgette spaghetti in for just a minute to give it a quick flash cooking, too much cooking turns it into mush! Drained it and drizzled a bit of olive oil into it and put it to the side.

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Placed some tomatoes in a blender and gave them a quick swish and then threw them in a pan with some onions, fresh basil from the yard, my chopped up courgettes, garlic and seasoning and a dollop of sour cream. Once everything was nice cooked, I tossed the spaghetti into the sauce. Added some cracked red pepper and dinner and lunch for tomorrow is ready.

Salt and Vinegar Chick Pea snacks

Found this recipe for salt and vinegar chick pea snacks and decided to give them a go.

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  • 2 cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed ( recipe calls for just 1 but I thought I should make more out of the first batch) I kept the rest of the recipe the same
  • 2 cups of white vinegar
  • salt and cayenne pepper
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil

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Place chickpeas, vinegar and a dash of salt into a pot, as soon as it boils remove from the heat and leave them in the warm vinegar for 40 minutes.

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After the 40 minutes have gone by, drain them and place in a baking pan, seasoned with more salt and I decided to give them a spicy kick so I gave them a good dusting of cayenne pepper.

Preheat oven to 400 Deg F and bake for 40 minutes.

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Recipe got a seal of approval from the family, wonderful healthy snack that replaces items like salt and vinegar chips ❤

Black Rice Salad

This is another favorite, black rice has a nutty flavor and had a bit more body than regular rice.

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  • 1 cup of black rice
  • 1 1/2 cup of water
  • dash of salt
  • Chopped cilantro
  • chopped mint
  • chopped tomatoes
  • small chopped yellow onion
  • One Lime Juiced
  • Sesame Oil

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Add all the above ingredients to the rice once its cooled down and there you have it, the tastiest rice salad ever! Even my daughters boyfriend tried it and liked it which is an extra special seal of approval as he doesn’t eat as much weird stuff as we do!

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