My first Foodie Penpal Box

So, the other day the postman rang (once) and I got excited like a fat kid that hears the jingle of the icecream van...
It meant the mysterious parcel from my foodie penpal has arrived.

Foodie Penpal, what's that, you ask?
Every month you are assigned a penpal, that's as passionate about food as you, and then you send them an awesome box filled with cool baking or cooking stuff or homemade treats....whatever tickles your fancy. And in return you will receive an awesome box from someone else.
Easy. Awesome. Foodtastic.
This was the first time I participated, after reading about foodie penpals on Rock Salt's blog, and it was fun. So much fun, that I'll totally do it again next month!!

This is what the lovely Sarah from A Tomato Sardine has sent me.

- The cutest handwritten card ever.
- Ground Almonds, which I use almost on a daily basis, so that's a winner!
- A packet of Soy Garlic Sauce. This is a winner too because I have always been a bit intimidated by Asian cuisine, and already having the sauce will make it easy.
- Dried dates. Yes! Dried fruits might as well be the best thing on this planet. I'll be snacking on dates loads in the next couple of days.
- A little booklet, self-made by Sarah, that contains cool recipes and cooking stories. 
- A jar of cinnamon sticks, which makes me think that Sarah is either able to read my thoughts or actually stalking me, because I have been looking for cinnamon sticks for ages and couldn't find them anywhere!
- Handmade Chocolate from Wales. As you can see half of the bar is already gone. Need I say more?

Thank you so much Sarah!

If you like this idea (which is totally amazeballs, if you ask me) you should click on the button below and check out all the other foodie penpal boxes.

The Lean Green Bean


Rocky Road Flapjacks

FINALLY, my camera is back in my possession. I have missed it.
We are usually not that long apart from each other, but for the last week my family has been visiting me in Ireland and the camera has lived with them for a while.

All good, we are reunited, and food is being photographed again.

Poor camera did not have much of a rest. First thing this morning we embarked on a new adventure together.
DrOetkerBaking happened to tweet recipe for rocky road flapjacks in honour of National Marshmallow day. (You better have gotten your party hats out for that!!)

Marshmallows. And chocolate. And nuts. In a flapjack.
Nuff said. I am easily convinced to get my apron out.
The rest is (blog)-history.

Rocky Road Flapjacks (adapted from DrOetker, makes 6)
1/3 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 tbsp golden syrup
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup mini marshmallows
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1 tbsp butter
1/4 cup white chocolate

Melt together the butter, sugar and golden syrup in a saucepan.
Combine the oats, marshmallows, and nuts (in the original recipe pecans are used) in a separate bowl.
Stir in the syrup mixture until everything is well coated.
Spoon the mixture in a greased ovenproof dish.

Bake at 180C for 20-25 minutes.

After you have let the flapjacks cool completely, cut them in slices.

Melt butter and white chocolate and drizzle it over the flapjacks.

Happy National Marshmallow Day!!

Let's not kid ourselves......every day is marshmallow day ;)


Bruschetta with Homemade Ciabatta Bread

Hands up guys, who has ever made their own sour-dough bread?

If you haven't, you better give it a shot now......because let me tell you, making bread is not only Granny-business. It's hip.
Baking bread is totally in. All the cool kids do it now.

And look how pretty the result is:

And it tasted awesome too!!!

See, you can only win by giving this bread experiment a go.

I'm not going to lie...bread is pretty amazing by itself. Ideally fresh out of the oven with a bit chunk of butter.
But you can totally make bread fancy-panty by loading it with a couple of delicious and simple ingredients and call it 'bruschetta'.

Look how I dressed my bread up:

Starring in this multi-flavour-sextett are

- Roast pepper, onion and bacon bruschetta

- Zucchini spread bruschetta (adapted from Barafras Kochloeffel)

- Classic tomato and mozarella bruschetta

- Spinach pesto and parmesan bruschetta

- Strawberry and goats cheese bruschetta (adapted from Shutterbean)

- Walnut spread bruschetta (adapted from Souvlaki for the soul)

...hard to pick a favourite!

So, now that I have done my very best to make your mouth water and to make you crave home-made bruschetta, I will not give you the recipe.


I am not giving you the recipe here, on this blog. Because the lovely people from wheretoeat.ie, a fantastic  website where you can check out and review restaurants, let me write a guest post in their blog section about my 'Last of the Summer Bruschetta'.

Please check it out here and if you're from Ireland, go have a look what wheretoeat.ie have to offer!!

Buon appetito :)


Strawberry Rhubarb Tarts

My boyfriend's mum gave my frozen rhubarb once. She gave it to me so I may bake something delicious with it.
That was 6 months ago....

I am sorry boyfriend's mum! I just totally forgot I had it there in the freezer!!

Normally, I would have never thought about the rhubarb sitting there, chilling (get it...cos it's in a freezer! :D) but I have exams coming up next week, so naturally, because I am a massive and hopeless procrastinator, I was desperately looking for things to distract me from the thought of studying.

So I baked. I baked delicious strawberry and rhubarb tarts.
And I'd like to think that the previously neglected rhubarb felt proud to be part of this.
I teamed up the rhubarb with pretty strawberries and they turned out to be a marriage in heaven.

Let's just hope the rhubarb is still good to consume after all this time.

Strawberry Rhubarb Tarts (makes  small tarts)
1 cup flour
a pinch of salt
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 cup cold butter
cold water

1/2 cup chopped rhubarb
3/4 cup chopped strawberries
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
almond extract

1/2 cup flour
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg

For the crust combine flour, salt, lemon juice and the cold butter. Don't overwork it, the mixture should just resemble coarse breadcrumbs.
Slowly add as much cold water as you need to form a nice dough that's not too sticky.
Let the dough chill in the fridge for 1/2 hour.

For the filling combine the rhubarb, the strawberries, cornstarch, flour and a tiny bit of almond extract.
Let the mixture chill in the fridge for 1/2 hour.

For the crumbs combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and butter. Form a crumbly mixture.

Divide the dough for the crust into 4 equal balls and press them into your tart tins.
Spoon over the filling.
Sprinkle with the crumb topping.

Bake in a preheated oven at 180C for about 30 minutes.

PS.: With whipped cream this makes a glorious dessert!!


The Porridge Diaries: Carrot Cake

Guys, I had an 'Eureka' moment.
I have found it....

You know those people who judge other people for eating cake for breakfast....Yeah, if you are one of them, please don't do that anymore. You don't make me feel good while I stuff my face with spoonfuls of chocolate icing and cover my formerly clean outfit with cake crumbs.

Anyway, people ain't gonna judge me no more because from now on breakfast time is porridge time!!!

Because porridge slash oatmeal (they are the same thing, aren't they??) is undoubtedly the breakfast of champions.
Fellow food blogger Kath from Kath Eats Real Food is clearly of the same opinion, check out her Tribute to Oatmeal where I got my inspiration and massive craving from.

This is the first edition of "Edith Eats Porridge That Tastes Like Cake" featuring Carrot Cake.
I made porridge that tastes like carrot cake. That's right.

Oh dear, I am way more proud of this achievement than I should be....

Carrot Cake Porridge
1/2 cup porridge oats
1 cup applesauce*
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1 tsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup walnuts

Cook the oats and the carrot in the applesauce for about 3 minutes, add water depending on how creamy or liquidy you like your porridge.
Add flavours and toppings such as sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and walnuts (or pecans) to your liking.

*I made the applesauce myself. It's really easy. I cooked one peeled and roughly chopped apple with a cinnamon stick and cloves in boiling water for about 10 minutes. When the apples were soft I transferred all the apple pieces into a blender, added about 3 tablespoons of the remaining water in the pot and blended until I got a smooth and creamy sauce. 


THE Brownies

It is a miracle I haven't posted this recipe before.....
they are THE brownies after all.

The thing is, everyone will try to tell you that their brownie recipe is the only one you will ever need.....but I am right. Duh.

Let me give you some advice though....don't share them with your boyfriend, don't offer them to your neighbours, and don't even think about bringing them to parties.
Because once a person has had one little taste of THE brownies, it is already too late, they are hooked.
And before you know people will call you in the middle of the night, some will bribe you to make them again and you'll be baking brownies till the end of your days.

Well, okay, I might have (totally not) exaggerated.

Do make those brownies.
You won't regret it, pinky promise!

Just one little thing before we start...this is a 3 bowl situation. I am sorry. I haven't figured out yet how to turn it into a one bowl recipe. You might be smarter than me.

Brownies (makes one small batch)
1/2 cup chopped dark chocolate
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 cup chopped nuts (I used walnuts, almonds or hazelnuts would be yummy as well)

Whisk together the sugar and the eggs.
Melt the butter and chocolate on low heat.
Stir the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture.
Add the flour and cocoa powder.
Fold in the nuts.

Bake at 180C for about 25minutes or until the brownies are set and the top is shiny.

And don't leave just yet...I'm gonna drop some knowledge:
If you manage to keep some brownies for yourself (good on ya) resist the urge to eat the whole batch in one sitting.
Or else as soon as you wake from your sugar coma your tummy will ache like hell.
I am speaking from experience.

It is totally worth it.


Carrot and Apple Salad

I am heartbroken. My love affair with blueberries has ended.
Today I went to the shops to stock up on blueberries, only for like the third time this week, and they were gone.
All gone. Blueberry season is over. Just as I was thinking of more ways to eat these berries of the gods.

But one has to move on. It's carrot season now, let's embrace it!!

And carrots love apples. I have already proved this with my carrot muffin tops.

But this is a whole different thing.

We are uniting the fruit and the vegetable in a refreshing blueberry-season-is-over/end-of-summer salad.
It's crunchy, it's sweet, it's sour, and it's daaang healthy.

Carrot Apple Salad (makes 1 portion)
1 carrot
1 apple
1 tbsp raisins
dijon mustard
white wine vinegar

Chop the carrot and apple in any shape you like.
Add the toppings. I only used raisins, but cranberries, sunflower seeds or nuts would surely be nice as well.
Combine the mustard, honey, vinegar (any other white vinegar would work as well), slat and parlsey to a dressing. Taste it to make it as sweet or vinegary as you like it.


Carrot Muffin Tops

My boyfriend is a huuuge sucker for yorkshire puddings. He kept praising the yorkshire puddings his auntie makes, so I got jealous.

What does this have to do with muffins tops, you ask?
Hang on, I'm getting there...

So the good woman I am, I went out, bought a special yorkshire pudding pan, and made my first ever attempt at making yorkshires.
BUT they weren't the 'real' ones...because apparently yorkshires are best made in a regular muffin pan.
There you go.

Luckily, I am an inventive lady with a sweet tooth, and I have found an amazing, way, waaay better purpose for a yorkshire pan.....Muffin tops.
Because everyone knows, they are the best part of a muffin anyway. Fact.

Carrot Muffin Tops (makes 4)
1/2 cup shredded carrot
1/4 cup shredded apple
3 tbsp brown sugar
1 egg
1 tbsp vegetable oil
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
a pinch of nutmeg
a pinch of cinnamon
1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Cream together the egg and the sugar.
Add the carrot and apple. You can grate them or make a puree, depends if you like pieces of carrot in your muffins. Add the oil.
Mix in the dry ingredients.
Add the walnuts, or raisins, or both if you like. Shredded coconut would be nice as well.

Bake at 180C for about 20 minutes.

Aren't they just the prettiest bottomless muffins you have ever seen?

My fridge was scarily empty, so I had to enjoy those babies plain, but you should totally fancy them up with a delicious cream cheese frosting! Mmmhh :)


Zucchini Pasta...Without Pasta

I am not entirely sure what to call this dish....Is it a pasta? Is it a salad? Is it a 'whatever-I-found-in-the-fridge-and-threw-on-a-plate' dish?
I don't know.

What I do know is, that I want to eat this dish every day for the rest of my live!

This reminds me of that episode of How I Met Your Mother when they are listening to "500 Miles" by The Proclaimers and Marshall is like "This is such a good song, I'll never ever get sick of it, ever!!!" and then after listening to it for a couple of hours non-stop they just want to die....

I don't think 'Death by Zucchini Overload' would make a good obituary, I better limit my consumption to once a week.....maybe.

Zucchini Pasta (makes 1 serving)
about 1 cup of julienned zucchini (apparently that's the fancy term for long thin strips, I just used a normal knife)
1 tbsp olive oil
juice of half a lemon
1 clove of garlic
chopped parlsey (or basil)
a dash of salt
2 tbsp crumbled goats cheese (or ricotta, or feta cheese)
2 tbsp chopped almonds (or walnuts, or pine nuts)

Mix the zucchini and the dressing together with a lot of love and either eat it raw or toss it in a hot frying pan for a minute.

Sprinkle with cheese and nuts.

And you're done!


The Simple Things - Avocado&Kiwi

I have seen loads of fancy avocado and kiwi smoothies on the web recently. Smoothies are a big thing at the moment. Apparently. They are everywhere. I get it...kind of...they are healthy and refreshing and perfect for the summer.

I may have jumped the bandwagon and made myself a blueberry banana smoothie yesterday. Shhh, don't tell.....

But I generally prefer to chew my food rather than slurp it in liquified form. I do still have teeth. Amazing teeth that like to bite on stuff.

So here comes the smoothie on bread. Avocado and kiwi salad with toasted brown bread.

Avocado and Kiwi Salad
ripe avocado
ripe, soft kiwi
lime juice
a liiiiittle bit of salt
fresh chopped mint



Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

My mum has a huge vegetable garden, like huuuuuuge...there's even a potato field. And come summer, she switches to a full-time job in zucchini harvesting. So. Many. Zucchini.

They were turned into zucchini cream soup, fried zucchini, stuffed zucchini, roasted zucchini, zucchini in all variations. But it seemed like there was no way of getting rid of all the zucchini and after a while even the neighbours were fed up with them.

That's how the zucchini stopped being savoury and began ending up in my mum's chocolate cake.
My sister and me didn't like to admit it because, you know, there's healthy stuff in it....ewww....but that cake was heavenly. Thank you mummy!

So this recipe is an attempt to recreate my mum's chocolate zucchini cake. I think she would be pleased with the result :)

Chocolate Zucchini Muffins (makes 6 muffins)
1/2 cup chopped zucchini
1 egg
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp oil
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Blend the chopped zucchini with 1 tablespoon of water as smooth as possible. Look for a sauce-like consistency.
Mix together the zucchini, egg, oil and sugar. Add the dry ingredients. Fold in the walnuts.

Bake for approximately 25 minutes at 175C.


An Austrian Dish - Bread Dumplings with Mushroom Sauce

I'd like to introduce you to a dish from my home. 
Traditional Austrian bread dumplings with a creamy mushroom sauce that will blow your mind. 

In German this would be called "Semmelknoedel und Schwammerlsauce" .....yeah doesn't sound that appealing....

The boyfriend also made a remark that it doesn't look appealing either. I have to admit, bread dumplings are not the prettiest of all dumplings. The ugly duckling dumpling.

Or maybe the boyfriend meant the mushrooms with his hurtful comment....well, don't judge a book by its cover and all that stuff......don't be shallow, give this dish a chance, try to look past its unfortunate appearance, it is so damn delicious.

Bread dumplings (makes 2 dumplings)
1 cup coarse breadcrumbs
1 tbsp chopped onions
1 egg
1 tbsp milk
black pepper

Put the breadcrumbs on a tray and leave them in a hot oven for a couple of minutes to dry them a bit (it will make the process easier for you). Instead of breadcrumbs you can also use coarsely chopped stale bread.

Mix in the onions, egg and milk. Add a little more milk if you think you need it, but the mixture shouldn't be sticky. It should be really easy to form balls that hold together well.
Add salt, pepper and thyme. Trust your taste buds.

Put the dumplings in a pot of hot water, and let them simmer, not boil, for about 10 minutes. Place them on kitchen tissue after you take them out so the dumplings are not too soggy.

Mushroom sauce (makes 1 serving)
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp chopped onions
1 tbsp dried mushrooms
1/2 cup vegetable stock
3 tbsp cream
black pepper
fresh parsley

Fry the mushrooms and onions in the olive oil until the mushrooms get a nice dark colour and are just starting to get crispy. Finely chop the dried mushrooms and add them in.
Add in the vegetable stock and the cream. Be generous with salt and pepper.
Let the sauce simmer for a bit and then finish it off with some chopped fresh parsley.

Boom, just like my nanna makes it.
(What is it with grandmas and cooking......?)


Summer Citrus Salad aka My New Favorite Salad in the World

Where do I even start....? This salad is crunchy. It's smooth. It's sweet and sour. It's fresh. And it's damn tasty.

I really want you to know how cool this salad is, because it's full of stuff that's good for you.

If you, like me, have had far too many not so pretty and un-lady-like chocolate attacks recently, this is a good way to get your healthy eating buzz on. If not, well, then you are a better human being than me. But your body will thank you for this salad anyway.

Summer Citrus Salad
lettuce leaves
red onion
orange segments
dried cranberries
pine nuts

For the dressing
lime juice
olive oil
finely chopped coriander

Ps. Do you like my plate with this badass bear on it? Head over to PerDozenDesign and check out Catherine's designs. This lovely lady hand illustrates plates and cups and other ceramic tableware and they all look freaking amazing.


Blueberry White Chocolate Slices

There was no way around it, I just had to mix blueberries into some baked goods before blueberry season is over.

Also, my local supermarket sells them for 60cents at the moment. Sixty. Cents. Blueberries. So I basically  had no choice...

These slices are pure sugary buttery goodness. With a couple of blueberries thrown in. See...there's fruit in it, so it basically counts as one of your 5 a day. And the only logical conclusion is that you will have to eat 5 slices in order to keep a balanced diet. True story.

Blueberry White Chocolate Slices (fills a 9x9 inch pan)
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup flour
1 cup blueberries
1/2 cup white chocolate chips

For the crumb:
2 tbsp butter
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup granulated sugar

Mix together butter sugar and flour to form a smooth dough that's not too sticky. Press it evenly into a greased pan.
Sprinkle the blueberries and white chocolate chips over the base.
For the crumb topping mix all the ingredients together until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs.

Bake at 175C for at least 25 minutes or until the crumb topping is just starting to get brown.

Ps. The boyfriend loved these slices. Even though he generally detests fruit in baked goods and he has never had blueberries before (I know right....I pity him too) he is now a self-confessed blueberry fan. Success!
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