Archive | March, 2010

Gnocchi with Blue Cheese Sauce

26 Mar

Hello dear readers,

it is sweet, precious Friday, which is great, and the weather is great, and we have a fun, relaxing weekend ahead of us, which is also great. So, to go with all the chillin’/ spring happiness, here comes a super-simple recipe for a yummy weeknight dinner.

Once again, I don’t have exact measurements. But I guess that’s okay, this dish is so easy (especially since I used store bought gnocchi – I just didn’t have it in me to make my own this time), that common sense will do.

serves 2-3

about 1 1/2 pounds fresh, store bought gnocchi
1 cup cream (heavy, or half and half, or whatever you like)
1 cup (maybe a little less?) blue cheese, crumbled
1 medium onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
freshly grated parmesan to taste


Cook the gnocchi according to the instructions on the package.

In the meantime, heat some olive oil in a small pot, add onion and garlic, stir, and sauteé for 2 mins. or 3. Add cream and cheese; stir. Reduce the heat. Let the pot sit until the cheese has melted; stir, and season to taste.

Transfer the cooked gnocchi into a serving dish. Cover with sauce and grated parmesan. Serve with a green salad and some good bread. Enjoy!

Enjoy the weekend! I’ll be going out for ice cream, for sure.
xoxo, F.


Pizza with Mushrooms and Creamed Onions

19 Mar

Hello there,

this pizza is quite an ugly duckling! It doesn’t look like much, but it tasted delicious. I especially liked that it’s not covered in huge amounts of melted cheese. Come to think of it, I also really liked that it’s not slathered with tomato sauce. In other words: it’s a pizza, which is generally awesome, but it’s a little different.
The recipe comes from Johanna Handschmann’s Italian Vegetarian Cooking. I followed it pretty strictly; except that I doubled it (my husband and I are both suckers for pizza, so leftovers were a must), and that I used veggie broth instead of wine (I’m not having alcohol at the moment; generally, however, I would use wine in this, and will do so next time I’m making it).
Due to a – totally unreasonable – sabotage of tomatoes on my husband’s part, I made half of the pizza without tomatoes, as you can see in the picture. Well, here we go:

for one 12 inch pizza pan

for the dough:
1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 tsp. salt
1 2/3 cups flour
2 tbsps. olive oil

For the topping:
2 medium onions
2 tbsps. olive oil
3 1/2 oz. button mushrooms
6 tbsps. white or red wine
5 tbsps. cream
oregano, salt, and pepper to taste
2 medium tomatoes
1 cup freshly grated parmesan

In a bowl, mix flour, salt, and yeast. Add olive oil and about 7 tbsps. warm water. Knead into a smooth dough (by hand or machine). If necessary, add a little more water. Let the dough rise for at least 30 mins.

In the meantime, peel the onions and slice them thinly. Wash and slice the mushrooms. Fry the onions in hot olive oil (in a large pan) for 3 to 4 mins., stirring all the time. Add the mushrooms; stir. Pour in wine and cream, stir. Add oregano (I used about 1 tsp. dry oregano), salt, and pepper to taste. Cook the mixture down over medium heat until the veggies are soft and the liquid has reduced.

Wash and slice the tomatoes.

Preheat your oven to 425° F. Grease a baking sheet and put it into your pizza pan.

Knead the risen dough very briefly, then spread it onto the baking sheet. Lay the tomato slices on the dough.

Stir the parmesan into the veggie mix, and spread this on the dough.

Bake the pizza for about 20 mins., until the topping is bubbly and the dough is crusty. Enjoy!!

I hope you have a wonderful, fun weekend. We have some good cooking planned, and some good hanging out and chilling. Those weekends are the best.

xoxo, F.

Quark Cheese Dip with Herbs and Onion

12 Mar


this is going to be a ridiculous post. I swear we’ve eaten nothing but pasta with grilled vegetables all week, which is boring and no one wants to hear about it. The only exception was last night, when we had deep fried fish fingers, potatoes, and a quark cheese dip. The latter one will be today’s ‘recipe’ (ahem), because seriously, it’s the only thing I can think of to blog about this week.

Okay, so:
Put plain quark cheese into a bowl. I used a little less than 1/2 pound for two eaters. Add chopped herbs of your choice; you can use them fresh or frozen. I used about 2 tbsps. of a frozen mix (one of those that you can get at the market). I think chives are a good choice, as are parsley, basil, or lemon balm, i.e. herbs with soft leaves (no hard needles like rosemary or thyme). Add an amount of finely chopped onion that suits you; I added maybe 2 tbsps. of a ‘sweet’ yellow onion. Stir well; add salt, pepper, and a pinch of sugar to taste. Done!
This dip tastes best when given a couple of hours, so I suggest preparing it in the afternoon. Simply let it sit in the fridge until serving. It is good on potatoes, but also on crackers, bread, chips, etc.

Have a nice weekend!! Let’s hope that next week will be more interesting, foodwise.
xoxo, F.

Baked Potatoes with Halloumi Cheese

5 Mar

Hello my dear fellow eaters,

here comes a very easy recipe. Basically, you put potatoes and cheese into a baking pan, and then into the oven, and then you wait until it’s done. Yay! We ate ours just like that, with some bread and a giant green salad, but I think a good piece of meat would go very well with this. Maybe in summer, from the barbecue grill!
A word on halloumi cheese: it is very salty, which I love. I also love the texture, how it becomes soft but still stays solid when baked. I remember, however, that it took me a while to get used to it, it is a food I have grown to like. So if you’ve never had it before, be a little careful, but definitively give it a try!!
Anyways, here we go.

serves at least 2

6 medium potatoes, scrubbed clean
approx. 1/2 pound halloumi cheese
lemon juice
olive oil
salt, pepper, and chopped rosemary needles to taste


Preheat your oven to 425°F.
Cut the potatoes and the cheese into roughly even pieces. I quartered the potatoes lengthwise, so that they resembled huge fries, and cut the cheese into thick slices.
Place cheese and potatoes in a baking pan. Drizzle with olive oil (about 2 tbsps.) and lemon juice (about the same amount). Add salt (carefully), pepper, and rosemary (or a different herb: thyme, for example) to taste. I used a good pinch of salt, was generous with the pepper, and used about 1/2 tbsp. rosemary.
Mix everything with your hands, until all ingredients are evenly distributed, and potatoes and cheese are evenly covered in oil-juice.

Put into the oven and leave there until the potatoes are soft, about 45 mins. Stir once or twice during baking. If the cheese turns too brown, cover the pan with aluminium foil.


Easy, right? I think this would be a good side dish to serve a crowd.
Have a wonderful weekend!! Could it be that spring is here?

xoxo, F.