Chocolate Hazelnut Truffles

Chocolate Hazelnut Truffles is one delicacy that no one can refuse. The roasted hazelnut compliments the rich cacao powder. Store the truffles in container in the fridge for up to 5 days, but they will disappear from the fridge a lot faster, trust me on this.

Chocolat Hazelnut Truffles

Natalija
If you don’t have hazelnuts, feel free to use almonds, cashews, walnuts or any other nuts you like. Just don’t forget to roast them in the oven before making the truffles. Fresh nuts taste way better.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 2 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 22 minutes
Servings 45 pieces

Ingredients
  

  • 150 ml heavy whipping cream
  • 200 g dark chocolate (60-70% cacao)
  • 50 g unsalted butter
  • 30 g hazelnuts
  • 2 Tbsp cacao powder

Instructions
 

  • Bring the heavy cream to a boil. Pour the cream over the chocolate chips. Wait 1-2 minutes until chocolate melts.
  • Add butter and whisk until smooth. Place it in the frizzer for about 2 hours, until firm enough to roll.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the nuts in an even layer on the baking sheet, and roast it for 10-15 minutes. Stirring every 3 minutes. Check the nuts. You are looking for the color to be a few shades darker. When the nuts are browned and smell nutty, remove from the oven and transfer onto a plate. Cool it and clean from the flakes. I like my truffles extra tiny, so I cut each hazelnut in half. You don't have to cut them if you are making large truffles.
  • Use a teaspoon or small cookie scoop to portion the ganache, hide one hazelnut inside each piece, roll the balls between hands, until smooth and place on a plate.
  • Roll in cacao powder.
  • Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
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Easy poached pears with chocolate

The pears are poached with a vanilla bean and a bit of sugar. Then, they are cooled down and sprinkled with shredded chocolate. This is a very easy recipe to make and will be perfect for a special event or holidays.

Easy poached pears with chocolate

Natalija
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 8 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 4 pears
  • 750 ml water
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean cut in half longwise
  • 50 g dark chocolate
  • Some Fresh mint

Instructions
 

  • Peel the pears.
  • Cut them in half, then core.
  • In the pot, bring water to a boil with sugar and vanilla bean.
  • Add the pears and boil for 10 to 15 minutes, until they became soft but keep their shape. Remove the pot from the heat and let the pears cool in the syrup.
  • To serve, drain the pears well. Then place each half on an individual plate.
  • Sprinkle with shredded chocolate and decorate with mint.
  • You can also serve this dessert in a glass.
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Pumpkin Soup

French recipe for a silky and smooth Pumpkin Soup with two main ingredients. Healthy, colorful, and easy to make. If you have a blender, you have to try this recipe as soon as pumpkins are in season.

To impress your guests, serve this soup in individual pumpkins.

Pumpkin Soup

Natalija
This soup is delicious and silky even without any cream. I add very little, just to make it look beautiful.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 2 leeks (white part only)
  • 1 medium pie pumpkin or sugar pumpkin (about 1.5 kg)
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Some heavy whipping cream or sour cream (optional)
  • Some fresh herbs (cilantro, green onion, parsley) to garnish

Instructions
 

  • Wash and chop the leeks.
  • Wash the pumpkin and cut it in half horizontally. Scrape the inside of the pumpkin clean with the spoon or ice cream scoop (you can use the seeds for another recipe).
  • Peel and cut into regular cubes.
  • In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Cook and stir leeks until they are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
  • Add pumpkin cubes and cook for 5-7 more minutes. Stir occasionally.
  • Transfer the veggies into a large pot. Add just enough water to cover them, and bring to a boil. Add salt and pepper. Simmer about 15 minutes until the pumpkin is cooked.
  • Puree the soup with an immersion blender or in a food processor. Add a little more boiling water if the soup is too thick. Taste for flavor, and feel free to add more salt or pepper.
  • Serve hot, with sour or heavy whipping cream and fresh herbs.

For a special presentation:

  • Cut off the top of a small pumpkin and scrape the inside.
  • Before adding the soup, heat the pumpkin for few minutes in the oven, then add the hot soup and serve immediately.
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Tabbouleh Salad

Tabbouleh salad has been a fundamental part of Middle Eastern cuisine for many years. The main ingredients are bulgur, parsley, lemon juice and olive oil, the rest ingredients are fresh or marinated vegetables, olives, raisins and spices. This salad is very flexible, fell free to add more or less of any spices of your choice.

Tabbouleh Salad

Natalija
Tabbouleh Salad can be served as a main course or side dish.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 20 minutes
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 200 g couscous
  • 200 ml boil water
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 tomatoes
  • 1 english cucumber or 4 small ones
  • 1 onion
  • 1 bell pepper (any color) (I used 3 mini bell peppers)
  • 1/4 bunch fresh parsley
  • 1/4 bunch Fresh mint
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Few drops tabasco sauce (optional)
  • 1 large lemon
  • 6 Tbsp olive oil

Instructions
 

  • In a medium saucepan, bring the water and 1/4 tsp of salt to a boil. Stir in the couscous, cover tightly with a lid and remove from heat, let steam for 5 minutes. Cool it down.
  • Cut tomatoes into small pieces.
  • Peel and cut cucumber into small cubes.
  • Peel and thinly chop onion.
  • Remove seeds from bell pepper and cut into small cubes.
  • Finely chop fresh parsley and mint.
  • Place the chopped vegetables, herbs and bulgur in a mixing bowl. Add Tabasco sauce. Drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil. Mix gently. Taste for seasoning and adjust with salt and pepper as needed.
  • Transfer to a serving plater or serve it as a castle (using a ring)
  • Or in a glass.
  • Or as stuffed tomatoes.
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Quick Almond Cake

This is very unique recipe. All you have to do is whisk all the ingredients together in the mixer bowl for 1-2 minutes, bake for 30 minutes and voilà, you can enjoy the cake with your favorite cup of tea.

Быстрый миндальный пирог

Quick Almond Cake

Natalija
You can use any cake pan you like or have. My favorite one is loaf pan, and I usually make it without the almonds on top. Easy to cut and easy to pack for lunch or picnic.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 8 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 180 g sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 100 g unsalted butter softened
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 100 g almond flour
  • 60 g all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 Tbsp sliced almonds (optional)
  • 1 tsp confectioner’s sugar (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 380 degrees F. Grease a cake pan.
  • In a medium bowl whisk all the ingredients together until combined.
  • Pour the mixture into the prepared cake pan. You can sprinkle with almonds if desire.
  • Bake in the oven for about 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
  • Remove your cake from the oven and allow it to cool. Transfer to a plater. Dust it with powdered sugar before serving.
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Boursin™ Stuffed Mushrooms

Tasty and very easy recipe with only 2 main ingredients that you can find in every store: mushrooms and Boursin.

Boursin Stuffed Mushrooms

Natalija
The Boursin™ Garlic & Fine Herbs Cheese is aleredy salty enough so don’t add more salt. On the other end, if you like spicy food, season with pepper.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 30 small mushrooms (Cremini or Button Mushrooms)
  • 1 block Boursin™ Garlic & Fine Herbs Cheese
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • Some fresh herbs (cilantro, green onion, parsley) finely chopped

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 400° F.
  • Wash and dry mushrooms. Remove stems. (You can use them for another recipe),
  • Place mushroom caps on a baking sheet. Season with pepper. Fill each mushroom’s hole with 1-2 tsps of Boursin™.
  • Bake about 25 minutes until mushrooms are golden and cooked through.
  • Sprinkle the baked mushrooms with fresh herbs and they’re ready to be served!
Keyword Appetizers, mushrooms
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Chickpea salad with bell pepper

Cans are usually pretty handy at home or on the go; there is no need to go to a store and they are quick to prepare. This chickpea salad is a great example of the usefulness of cans. Just open a can and mix it with other ingredients available at home.

There are multiple recipes of salads with this legume: here is one of them with bell pepper, olives and fresh cilantro.

Chickpea salad with bell pepper

Natalija
This salad can by served immediately or chilled for few hours to get all of its flavors.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 400 g (1 can) garbanzo beans drained
  • 1 bell pepper cored and slices
  • 80 g olives (black or green), drained and sliced
  • 1 clove garlic pressed
  • 1/2 red onion cut into thin slices
  • Fresh herbs (cilantro or parsley), finely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lemon
  • 3-4 Tsp olive oil

Instructions
 

  • Combine all veggies in a bowl. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper. Drizzle with freshly pressed lemon juice and olive oil. Toss gently.
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Appetizer Shishito Peppers

You can find shishito peppers in your favorite grocery store. Prepare this super quick recipe in no time and your guests will love this delicious appetizer.

Did you know that 1 in 10 shishito peppers are really spicy?

Appetizer Shishito peppers

Natalija
Minimal preparation for an excellent appetizer (or side dish).
You can serve them with soy sauce for dipping.
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 2 minutes
Servings 4 people

Ingredients
  

  • 6 oz Shishito peppers
  • a bit of olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions
 

  • In a saute pan heat olive oil over medium-high heat.
  • Add the shishito peppers and stir for 1-2 minutes, heating them up until they blister. Add salt and black pepper.
  • Place the peppers on a paper towel to remove excess oil and serve.
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Virgin Mojito

Just because I don’t drink alcohol doesn’t mean that I have to stick with plain water… This virgin mojito is a perfect beverage for any family and friends gatherings.  There are many ways to make virgin mojito.  Personally, I think the version with Ginger Ale tastes the best.

Virgin Mojito

Irina
Prep Time 7 minutes
Total Time 7 minutes
Servings 15 people

Ingredients
  

  • 4 limes
  • 2 lemons
  • 1 big bunch of mint
  • 10 cups ice cubes
  • 2 (1.5 L) bottle of sparkling water or club soda
  • 1 (1 l) bottle of ginger ale

Instructions
 

  • Slice lemons and limes.
  • In a big jar combine the limes, lemons, fresh mint and ice cubes together.
  • Top with sparkling water, Ginger Ale and stir.
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Hachis Parmentier

Hachis Parmentier is a delicious French casserole made with layers of mashed potatoes and ground beef.

The dish is named after Antoine Parmentier (1737-1813). He was a French pharmacist who made potatoes popular in Paris and northern France.

Hachis Parmentier

Natalija
Préparation 25 minutes
Cuisson 45 minutes
Total 1 hour 10 minutes
Portions 4 servings

Ingrédients
  

  • 1 kg large potatoes
  • 100 g butter (50+30+20)
  • 50 ml milk (heated)
  • 1 large onion
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • 500 g ground beef
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 30 g grated cheese
  • Some seasonings or minced parsley (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Peel the potatoes and chop them into cubes. Boil in salted water until easily pricked with fork, about 20 minutes. Then drain water.
  • Add 50 g of butter and mash. Add warmed milk and mash together to smooth consistency. Taste the puree, add more salt if needed.
  • Peel and chop the onion and garlic.
  • Melt 30 g of butter in a large pan and saute onion and garlic until soft.
  • Add ground beef and cook until browned. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Take the pan off the fire and let cool down a little. Add a row egg.
  • Process to finer texture by using a food processor, if desired.
  • Preheat oven to 380F/190C. Grease baking dish.
  • Add 1/2 of mashed potatoes in thin layer to the prepared dish. Then layer beef preparation on top of potatoes. You can also add your favorite seasonings at this point or some chopped parsley. (This time, I added paprika).
  • Top with remaining potatoes. You can make some shapes on the top using the fork. Add remaining butter and dot on the potatoes. Sprinkle with grated cheese.
  • Bake uncovered for about 25 minutes until the top is golden.
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