Easy and simple: Greek salad

I am currently working on adding a bit of fun to the blog so I thought to start sharing from time to time some videos instead of pics. We have filmed a lot of recipes lately and I will incorporate them very soon.

So for the first video reference tutorial I chose the Greek salad because let’s face it: who doesn’t love Feta cheese? There are billion of ways to make this salad out there but I did stick to my mom’s recipe and this is the way I now make it at home.

Ingredients (serves 2) :
-1 cup sliced cucumber
-2 cups cherry tomatoes cut in half
-1/2 green pepper sliced
-1/2 red onion
-8-10 olives
-1 cup feta cheese
Dressing:
-1/4 cup olive oil
-1 tbsp. capers
-1 tbsp. oregano
-1/2 tsp. salt

Hope you guys enjoy! 🙂

 

Paleo Summer: Gazpacho recipe

If I had to choose my favorite Spanish dish it would be hands down: Gazpacho. I drink it all year-long even though it is a Spring/Summer recipe. There are tons of different ways to prepare this; some add bread, some use other colorful ingredients.

I have to say that with one arm (and one hand) it was quite challenging to pull the pictures off but I made my best effort. 🙂

Ingredients (serves 1): 

  • 3 cups chopped tomatoes (scoop all the seeds out)
  • 1 cup chopped cucumber (peel and scoop the seeds out)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 3/4 cup bell peppers (yup, once again all seeds out)
  • 1 garlic head
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

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Directions: 

Blend all the ingredients until smooth. Depending on the consistency you desire you can either add water or keep it creamy. I personally prefer it half and half. Since I have a big problem with textures in creams, I strain it in a big hole strain to keep it extra smooth.

Normally you can garnish it with some diced peppers, tomatoes, onions and cucumbers but since I am not at the top of my chopping game right now, I kept it simple.

Let cool in the fridge for at least one hour before serving.

Enjoy! 🙂

Food blogger interview: Mavi de Armas

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I was looking forward for this blog post since I saw the amazing recipes and pictures of my good friend Mavi de Armas (isn’t she absolutely gorgeous?!) and her blog “Avant Garde Pty”. We met a very long time ago in Venezuela and we clicked right away; she was funny and witty and we always had fun when we saw each other (yaaaas).

So there I was one day scrolling down her Instagram feed loving her amazing and stylish blog pics and I thought it would be a fun idea for her to join us in an interview here at The Golden Limoncello and let us know a bit more about her amazing blog.

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1) What motivated you to start your blog?

My love for food…The story is that I had tons of food pictures in my phone, so one day I thought… why not share? Avant Garde was born because I wanted to find the most beautiful products and create beautiful compositions so I discovered that not only I am a cook, I’m a food stylist.

2) How did you pick your blog’s name Avant Garde Pty?  

Well “avant-garde” is a term that is used mostly for art…and for me, food is art, it is beauty, The most simple way of describing food styling is by saying that it is the combination between art and gastronomy. Avant Garde is a compilation of food styling, food experiences, tricks, travels and more.

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3) What do you enjoy most about blogging?

I need to be truly sincere, it’s an obsession! I want to share everything with my followers, it’s a lifestyle! I always think about what I’m going to photograph, what recipe to cook, and it’s very exciting eating at restaurants and sharing my experiences.

4) If you had to pick, which would be your favorite recipe post of your blog? My famous Fudgy- sweet salty brownies! They are insane!  My husband and friends just love them!

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5) Sweet or salty?

Both!  In the same preparation! I think that is my favorite flavor, I love the combination of caramel and sea salt! It’s a vice.

6) Who is your biggest inspiration? 

In the kitchen, my husband is my main inspiration! He is a great chef, I’m very proud of him and I just love the way he cooks!

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7) All your photos look amazing! What is the most important thing for you when you are taking photos for the blog? 

I want to make food more beautiful that it is. I love to prepare the food  for the eye, for the camera. Food has to speak for itself.

8) Let’s pretend I come over for dinner, what would you cook? 

Well first that would be awesome! I love to make dinner parties in my home, if you come over for dinner I’ll start with some Cozze Bianco (one of my favorite dishes),  Tagliatelle with truffle butter and lobster and for dessert Crêpes à la crème.

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9) Can you give us a trick that never fails in the kitchen? 

After cooking the green vegetables , place them in a bowl with water and ice. It activates the greenery.

10) Last but not least, can you share a quick, easy recipe that you love? 

Of course! You have to try this delicious shake…

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All photos credit to © Maria Victoria de Armas

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Low-carb: Cauliflower Mashed “Potatoes”

You know those recipes that are extremely healthy but taste like…well…like sand in your mouth? This is not one of them. This recipe is really yummy and has actually no potatoes in it. I love to use it as a side with roasted chicken or a steak and best of all, I can eat this at dinner time.

Cauliflower is very versatile, remember this cauliflower pizza crust and the paleo flatbread?

Ingredients (serves 2 hungry people or 3 not so hungry ones  🙂 )

  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 1 whole leek (green part included)
  • 1 garlic head
  • 1 whole egg
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/3 cup almond milk
  • 4 tbsp. olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

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Heat your oven to broil. Chop the cauliflower, the leek and the garlic heads. Boil the cauliflower until tender. Set aside and let cool. In a pan pour 2 tbsp. olive oil and sauté your chopped leek with the garlic until semi-golden. Set aside to cool.

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Pour your egg , egg whites, almond milk, sautéed leek with garlic and the remaining olive oil in your blender. Add salt and pepper to taste. Blend lightly for 1 min. Don’t over-blend because then it gets very liquid. Pour your mix in a Pyrex and cook in the oven until the top gets golden.

🙂 I like to sprinkle it with some paprika.

Let’s bake something

I don’t know about you guys, but me…this time of the year…it means baking.

I was reorganizing and taking a look at my Culinary Tuesdays and came up with the idea to share with you guys my three favorite sweet recipes of the blog. I will bake some new stuff and share with you the process really soon, but meanwhile…let me indulge you with some fun recipes that you can cook this holiday season and share with your friends and family.

Cinnamon Paleo cookies

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Carrot cake

Lemon Pie

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Quick italian dinner: pasta al pomodoro

I was reading my past posts and realized that I am always in a hectic situation.

I have to sit down and learn to breathe. Between the recording, filming and writing my social life has gone down the toilet. But who am I kidding? I love being busy. The point here is that I have to squeeze in time to do other stuff and relax a little.

That being said, I am going to share with you guys a recipe that is quick, easy and once you learn it, it never fails. So when you find yourself in a busy (or lazy) day, this is your solution.

I made this and Jimmy loved it. This is my no-fail, fool-proof recipe. Let’s take out some tomatoes and let the magic begin!

Ingredients: 

  • 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup tomato puree ( I was feeling kind of lazy and used the canned version and I also had half tomato which I grated and added it too)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • handful of chopped basil leaves
  • salt
  • Pasta of your choice (I used glutten-free)

 

Instructions: 

  • In a pan saute the garlic with the olive oil.
  • Chop the cherry tomatoes in half (easiest way to do it) and add them with the tomato puree in the pan. Let simmer for 15 minutes. Add the salt and the chopped basil.
  • In a big pot boil enough water for two portions of pasta, and add salt to the water. Once the water is at bowling point, add the pasta an let cook as instructed on the packaging. Once the pasta is cooked drain it and serve with the sauce.
  • Easy, breezy… pasta al pomodoro. Enjoy!


Carrot cake: crowd pleaser

I try to always take the healthy road when I post recipes in my blog but sometimes I like to make not-so-healthy ones too (Jimmy insists on it with passion).

So today I want to share this carrot cake recipe that always makes me look good when I have guests over and since my mother-in-law is coming to visit, it is absolutely a must.

If you would like to find a healthier version of this recipe I posted one last February here.

I used this recipe and added 1/3 cup raisins but I didn’t add the frosting (yes, I’m such a rebel). Feel free to add the frosting if you like.

Enjoy! 🙂

 

Basics: homemade almond milk

I remember the time when I couldn’t stand the taste of almonds; for some reason it didn’t do it for me. Now, after all this intolerance nonsense that cause my migraines, I have come to good terms with it since it’s a fantastic alternative to normal milk (which I don’t like the taste of per se).

Back in Caracas I used to make my own almond milk because it was impossible to find it in stores but when I moved to Madrid I found in the “natural” stores sugar-free almond milk. When I tasted it it seemed kind of…well kind of non natural. The taste was very artificial and the texture did not seem right. After I took a look at the ingredients it said 7% almonds. Say whaaaaat? What about the other 93%?

So to make a short story even shorter, I now make my own almond milk at home and I’m very happy with it. I mix some dates and vanilla with the milk other times I add some cinnamon it all depends on your personal taste…

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup blanched almonds (soaked at least 8 hours or overnight)
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 3 dates or 2 tbsp stevia sweetener (optional)
  • 1 tsp vanilla (optional)

The most important part here is to soak your almonds for at least 8 hours, 12 hours max. Once they have been soaked, you drain the almonds and put them in the blender. For each cup of almonds you add 2 1/2 cups water. I used to add 3 cups but the milk turned out watery and I like it foamy and thick. Then, if you like, you can add the dates and the vanilla.

Blend for at least three minutes then pour your mix into a cloth strainer and squeeze all the milk into a clean bowl. If you want you can set aside what remains inside the stainer and make some almond flour later. (I’ll leave the simple steps at the end of this post.) 

Refrigerate your milk: it lasts for about 3 to 4 days in the fridge.

Enjoy!

Almond flour: Set your oven on broil. Take out you oven’s tray and add a parchment paper. Take what’s left in the strainer and spread it on the tray. Leave in the oven for 15 min. Turn the oven off and let the flour cool inside the oven so it dries off. Once the flour is dry strain it in a sieve so you now have a fine type of almond flour. 🙂

Paleo cinnamon-carrot muffins

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Since last week was Valentine’s Day, I needed (read carefully I said “needed”) to make some muffins to celebrate. I tried several paleo recipes but they didn’t work out for me. I still have to master the recipes that require almond flour.

These are the ingredients that I used for mine: 

– 2 cups almond flour

– 4 tbsp. coconut flour

– 3 egg whites and 1 yolk

– 4 tbsp. melted coconut oil

– 3 tbsp. homemade applesauce

– 4 tbsp. raw stevia powder

– 1/3 cup grated carrots

– 1/4 cup almond milk

– 1 tsp. vanilla

– 1 tbsp. ground cinnamon

– 1 tsp. baking soda

– 1/3 cup walnuts (add more if you wish)

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Instructions:

– Pre-heat the oven to 350°F (175°C).

– Beat the egg whites to a meringue-style mix.

– In another bowl mix all the ingredients except the carrots and walnuts.

– Add the egg white mix to your bowl with the carrots and walnuts.

– Add the mix to 6 separate muffin linens (I bought mine at Tiger)

– Cook for 20 min (or until you insert a toothpick and it comes out dry).

– Let cool and enjoy 🙂

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Cinnamon Paleo Cookies

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I know it’s been long since my last recipe post, but going from a very-comfortable-big-lovely kitchen to a mini-countertop-micro kitchen is no walk in the park. I am starting to feel the Christmas vibes all around me and I thought it would be a lovely idea to bake some cookies.

I am a huge fan of cinnamon and this cookies will definitely kick my sweet holiday craving this month. I searched for some base recipes for the Paleo cinnamon cookies but found myself adding and replacing some ingredients from the original recipe. That’s just me…you guys can go ahead and follow the original one.

I added two tablespoons of grated orange zest and doubled the cinnamon. I also substituted the maple sugar and the molasses with stevia unrefined powder (I found this amazing ingredient in the herbal shop). They came out pretty yummy.

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Enjoy!

Gift idea: brownie mix in a jar

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When I saw this the other day I immediately knew what I would give as a homemade gift for a friend. He loves good food (well, who doesn’t?) and rarely has time to cook, so I though this would be a lovely and original idea for his birthday present. Plus I know I will be making some of these for holiday season.

I followed this recipe and I have to confess I had to test it before I handed it out: it was heaven. Jimmy loved the brownies and I am planning on making some more to store in the freezer for our future sweet cravings.

This post falls into the Culinary Tuesdays category but I am going to go ahead and post it too in the OCD Thursdays because it is also a DIY gift idea.

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Layer carefully your ingredients so they look pretty (mine look kinda weird, but I made the effort)

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Don’t forget to add a little tag with the instructions and the rest of the ingredients to add when making the brownies. I bought my paper and tags at Tiger. 

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Instafood: Madrid edition

I haven’t had time to make a recipe tutorial. Not to mention my kitchen is really small and I have just the basic instruments in there. I will post some new recipes in the future though. Small kitchens never have stopped me from cooking what I love!

Lately, while we were getting settled, we had a very strange diet between salads, fast food and ice cream. I am getting back on track this week. We ate paella, found local almond milk, had fun getting lost in the farmer’s market and even drinking some limoncello!