Friday, 30 March 2012

My French pastry baking class

I know we are coming to the end of the week, but guess what I did last weekend! You obviously thinking: "of course it is going to be a French pastry course, since you have written that on the title"! Yes yes... that is exactly what I did and it's because I wanted to face my fear and finally be able to bake all these complicated pastries (especially puff pastry since it is more time consuming than I thought). Our tutor Pino Ficara taught us to bake Praline Mille Feuille (Napaleon Pastry)...

...Chocolate Eclair, Madeleine...

... and Creme Brulle....hmmm!
 I was particularly happy to see savory option there as after all this sweet I felt a little too overwhelmed (I had cake before the class - really bad idea). Here it comes....

Ingredients: 250g puff pastry
                    1 onion, thinly sliced
                    1 courgette, quartered and sliced
                    1 aubergine, quartered and sliced
                    1 red pepper,  cut into julienne
                    oil, butter, salt, sugar, pepper

1. Pre-cook vegetables: in deep pot over low heat add butter and olive oil, add onions, pinch of salt and about 1 tablespoon of sugar. Let onion cook gently without coloration, remove onto tray lined with foil and let cool.
2. In a oven tray add enough oil to barely cover bottom and over medium heat cook all the vegetables separately until tender. let it cool.
3. Preheat the oven at 200C. Roll puff pastry into square, place on the tray lined with baking paper and with a fork prick dough well to prevent it from puffing too high when cooking.
4. Place cooled onion onto ready pastry,
     then arrange the other cooked vegetables.
Brush the sides with the egg yolk for the glaze...
Bake immediately until golden, let cool a few minutes before slicing and serving.

If you would like to attend the french pastry class yourself like me, go to

Friday, 23 March 2012

The story about how the spinach pretended to be a sorrel

Last week I finally made the trip to my garden in London. Oh... how I love spring! I was actually expecting to face the worst: weeds and my neighbor's blackberries invading my garden. But instead I was delighted to see the sorrel and the rhubarb all recovered after long winter we had! I know you all know well about the rhubarb, but I really want to highlight how amazing is the sorrel. Well... this leaf vegetable taste crispy sour when raw and makes my childhood's favorite soup soooo yummy! I know it is not common to grow in England although it grows better in my garden then in Lithuanian climate. Never mind that.... my mum came up with this sour spinach recipe that matches my so loved sorrel soup... and she did not come up with that for me (since I am in England and can't buy sorrel in the shops). My mum's major goal was to get my little brother (age 10) to eat more spinach (sorrel soup was also his favorite). Let me tell you more about my little brother. He is like a most children don't like vegetables or anything green food related (except sorrel of course) and likes pizza, fries or cola. So you can imagine my mum's frustration to feed him with the healthy foods. That is how she comes up with sour spinach soup to imitate the sorrel soup... GENIUS!!!

Ingredients: 1 onion
                    5 rashers of smoked bacon
                    2 carrots
                    1l chicken or vegetable stock
                    2 potatoes
                    200g fresh spinach leaves 

                    2 eggs
                    juice of half a lemon
                    salt and pepper to taste

1. Fry onions, cubed smoked bacon and shredded carrot.
2. Add stock and diced potato. Bring it to boil and simmer it for 20 min.
3. Reduce the heat and add the spinach and cook for about 2-3min

4. Remove it from the cooker and stir in whisked eggs and lemon juice. season it to taste.

I hope you like it!             

Sunday, 18 March 2012

The ways you can distract yourself from overeating...

 I am known for overeating and even when I am full I can still fit the whole cake into my mouth (literally). So no wonder after Christmas (which obviously long time gone) I have put on sooooo much weight! I felt so discouraged as I could not fit into any of my jeans (except boyfriend or loyal cut)... :(
Anyway, I am back to normal and this is only because I kept myself distracted by my second favorite activity after cooking and eating: knitting and crochet. I found that there are a lot of social groups going on in London doing different kinds of interesting things. But I was only interested in joining the knitting club. My friends think that this is where I meet my granny friends... ha ha. But, no no... I am not the youngest there, you will have to believe me on this. There was a girl last week aged around 10 years, really eager to learn!
So far I finished most of my knitting projects and I am on something new at this moment. I am crocheting a collar! You might think that I got the idea from my "granny" friends that I met in the knitting club, but that's not truth, I always liked this style (my friend Vicki call it "old-lady style"). I am not finished yet, but there you go....
 So far I have been crocheting circles and joining them together to fit the pattern.
Will defiantly update you when I finish it. Meanwhile if you are not the biggest fan of knitting or crocheting then this truffle recipe is for you! My friend Vicki thinks is the best thing you can eat as it contains all the vitamins you need like a vitamin bomb (she is a health freak). She says that whatever is healthy tastes the best... I normally disagree, but wow these are good!


Ingredients: 200g hazel nuts
                    200g walnuts
                    200g raisins
                    200g prunes
                    200g dry apricots
                    1tbsp honey
                    1tbsp lemon juice
                    sesame seeds or coco powder or chopped nuts or whatever to roll the truffles in

Just put all the ingredients into food processor, whiz for a minute, shape the balls out of mixture and roll it into coco powder or sesame seeds or what ever else suitable in that department.

Enjoy your healthy snacking!