April 25, 2015

Raspberry Yogurt Chocolate Tart

by Marjan

Beautiful sunny spring days make it easy to come out of hibernation and celebrate the beauty and joy of blue skies and sunny days. I'm finding my weekends to be filled with fun filled events; whether it is a picnic, small gathering or even a large party, food seems to be the center of my world and attention. I have prepared my Raspberry Yogurt Chocolate Tart now over a dozen times and each time it's been a crowd favorite. This dessert is robust with beauty and taste, simple to make, and fairly less damaging on the waist line. A little tart, creamy and with chocolate sweetness, this dessert is a triple pack unbeatable threat! Minimal sugar is used and with yogurt and raspberries, how can you go wrong?

Many of my guests have asked me to share with them my recipe, so here it is:

April 11, 2015

Ramsons (Wild Garlic) Spring Soup

by Anja

Also called ramps or wild leeks, these garlicky tasting leaves are in season for only a few short weeks. So take advantage of the season as long as it lasts. Not only do ramsons taste delicious, they also have many health benefits and cleansing properties. They are loaded with powerful nutrients called flavanoids and help combat seasonal allergies.

You can buy ramsons from well-assorted stores or find them in the wild. Just make sure you don’t confuse them with the toxic lily of the valley leaves. They look very much alike, however when you slightly scratch the ramsons, you will smell that telltaling garlic smell.

I like this soup here especially on a rather cold spring day, when winter still feels closer than summer and I crave some comfort food. It’s creamy and has some richness to it, and the ramsons give it a delicious garlic taste.

March 28, 2015

Happy Easter - With Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs

by Anja

Spring is here - finally. The Persian New Year started and as we still try to cope with the sudden and tragic loss of our friend Puya we prepare for Easter.

I have to say that I was never really excited about this holiday and never went out of my way to decorate the house, make any special meals or prepare Easter eggs. But now I have two girls at home who cannot wait for the day the Easter bunny visits and they can go for their egg hunt. And I guess it's a nice occasion to come together with family and spend some time over a nice Easter brunch. So, this year I am actually dyeing Easter eggs and already think about what to serve for Easter brunch. I looked into many different ways how to dye my eggs and felt really drawn to a natural way of doing this. So, here is how it goes:
All you need are some fresh organic, free-range eggs (both, white and brown work), onion skin (about 4-5 cups at least), some nicely shaped leaves/herbs (cilantro, parsley, or dill work well, but get creative) and old nylon stockings.

Fill a medium-sized pot with onion skins (the more you add, the richer the color will be). Add about 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil.
In the meantime, place one or two leaves on each egg and tightly wrap with a piece of nylon (about 10cm/4-5'' long). Use a string to bind together or simply knot together the ends of the nylon.

Once the water boils, carefully put the eggs into the pot, making sure they are compeletly covered with water. You can add a splash of vinegar for the eggs to better absorb the color (optional). Boil for 10 minutes, then remove. Let cool, then remove nylons and leaves. If you wish you can apply some coconut oil for  a nice shine. Easy, isn't it. And all natural.

Onion skins will give you a nice brown color. You can play with other ingredients for other colors. Beetroot for red eggs, spinach for green ones, turmeric for yellow ones, red cabbage for blue ones. I tried beetroots, but wasn't too happy with the results. I used one beet for 4 cups water, and got a very pale orangy color. So, if you opt for beetroot, use at least two or three I would suggest.

Let the egg hunt start soon!
Happy Easter everyone!

And if you're not into celebrating this holiday, have a wonderful Spring! May it be warm, sunny and happy wherever you are.

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