Monday, April 23, 2012

Classic lasagna

Lasagna has been my favorite main dish like...forever. I can't remember at all when was the first time I ate it, or how many times I ate it. Too many times I guess. You know there is some foods, if you eat too them too many times, you just start at some point to not like it anymore...but not lasagna. It didn't happen. I still enjoy them so much when I eat them. And I also enjoy preparing them myself. The recipe I usually do is quite easy in my opinion, the only tricky thing in it might be the bechamel (white sauce). And well sometimes I end up making my Bolognese too liquid which gives the result you see on the picture on top: it doesn't look so pretty but at least the taste stays great. 


- 12 lasagna sheets
- 100g grated cheese

For the bolognese

- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 500g ground beef
- 2 onions
- 200g tomato sauce (best if it's the kind with crushed tomatoes inside)
- 2 tsp chopped parsley leaves 
- salt and pepper

For the bechamel

- 50cl milk
- 30g butter
- 40g flour
- salt and pepper
- 1 pinch grated nutmeg



In a large casserole pot, heat oil over medium high heat. Add the onions cut in small pieces, and saute until soft and translucent. Add the ground beef and let it simmer until cooked. Add the tomato sauce, salt, pepper and the parsley. Mix well and let simmer at very low heat for about 20 minutes. 


In a small kettle, melt the butter over low heat. Add the flour and whisk with a wooden spoon until smooth, about 5 minutes. Gradually add the milk. Whisk constantly to avoid lumps. Simmer and whisk over medium heat until the sauce is thick, about 10 minutes. The sauce should be thick enough to coat the back of wooden spoon. Remove from heat and add the nutmeg, salt and pepper. 

Let's put everything together:

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celcius. 
In a gratin dish, put the different preparation and ingredients: lasagna sheets side by side(to cover the whole dish), bolognese (you should make sure that it covers properly all the lasagna sheets so that they get wet, that way they will easily cook in the oven, without any need to precook them), bechamel. Do that for as many times as you have bolognese, but keep some bechamel for the end. To finish the dish, put those ingredients in this order: lasagna sheets, the rest of bechamel, and the grated cheese. 
Put in the oven for about 20 minutes. 

Monday, April 16, 2012

Scottish shortbread - a very easy recipe

When I visited Scotland last year, I ate a lot of shorbread there. And since then I wanted to try to bake them by myself. It didn't happen until recently, when I got a new Jamie Oliver cookbook about Great Britain. The recipe for shortbread there was really easy and only few ingredients were needed; the kind of ingredients one only has at home! So it is the recipe which inspired this one. There is very few modification to what's in the book. It came out to be really good, but I know I can still improve from there. And I will try again! because I love Scottish shortbreads.


- 200g flour
- 50g caster sugar; plus extra for sprinkling over
- 125g unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract


Preheat the oven to 170 degrees celcius.
 Mix the flour and sugar together. 

 Rub in the butter with your thumb and forefinger,

 then add the vanilla extract and squash, pat and push it into a dough.

 Form a ball and then roll it until it's 1cm thick (add a little bit of flour on top if it's sticky)

 Cut small finger shapes so that it looks like that. And put them on a baking sheet.

 Sprinkle over some sugar and put in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes.
It's ready when it has a lovely golden colour. 
Leave it to cool down before eating.

 It's perfect with a cup of tea!

And if you have some left, put them in an iron box. 

Friday, April 13, 2012

Brownie double choc cake

I've been recently on a diet for 6 months, and I lost 15 kilos (33 pounds). And as many know, a diet is full of sacrifices. So for the last few weeks I've been craving for brownies, a really chocolaty brownie! I even tried to make a diet version of them, but failed. It was good but didn't taste at all like a brownie. So here I am now, out of the strict part of my diet and able once per week to eat whatever I wish. So one of the first dessert I made was a brownie!! Unluckily, I didn't have a square tin anymore, so well, this did not stop me: I put the brownie in a round cake tin, and it ended up as what I called a brownie cake!!

Here is the recipe of the one I made:


- 340g of butter
- 40g cocoa powder
- 4 eggs
- 250g brown sugar
- 140g flour
- 2 tbsp vanilla extract
- 115g almonds, nuts mix (in powder)
- 115g dark chocolate
- 2 tbsp milk

(if in my next posts you wish me to also put the ingredients in pounds, please tell me)


  • Preheat the oven at 180 degrees celcius.
  • Melt 225g butter with 40g cocoa powder in a bain-marie. 
  • In a bowl, mix the eggs with the brown sugar, and add this mix to the butter-cocoa mix. Add the flour, vanilla extract and nuts-almonds. Mix everything well together.
  • Pour the dough in a 25cm cake tin. Put in the oven for 15-20 minutes.
  • Remove the cake from the tin and let it cool down.
  • In the meantime, melt the dark chocolate with the milk in a bain-marie. When smooth, take it away from the stove and add 115g of soft butter. Mix well until smooth.
  • When the icing is cold and a little bit thick, spread it on the brownie cake.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Fast and Easy Apple Tart

After few weeks without a post, this new one comes also with an entirely new design for the blog. I hope you like it! The title picture is entirely home-made, and I actually had a lot of fun doing it. So what happened during those weeks without me posting? Well, I went to Spain for 2 weeks with my uni for an intensive program in destination analysis (part of my hospitality management bachelor degree), and then I got sick and my computer had problems at the same time. But now I'm back on my feet and so is my computer! So for that new post, I'll share with you a fast and easy recipe of apple tart. I made that up once when I wanted some apple tart but didn't have much time to bake
everything from the scratch.


- 1 ready-to-use shortcrust pastry
- 1 pack of cream or vanilla pudding (follow the instructions on the pack to prepare it. You'll just need to add milk and sugar)
- 4/5 apples


Peel and cut the apples in quarters.
Put the ready-to-use in a pie dish, and put very small holes in it with a fork, so that the pastry doesn't rise when in the oven.
Put the apple quarters on the pastry.
Put in the oven: first during 15 minutes at 220 degrees celcius, then during 25 minutes at 200 degrees celcius.
Take the tart out of the oven and pour the pudding on the apple.
Let it cool down and put it in the fridge until the pudding has gotten thick (when it's cold or almost cold, it should be perfect). But of course if you can't wait, you can also eat it lukewarm, then the pudding will be still a little bit liquid, but it won't matter!


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