Vanilla and Yogurt Cheesecake with Raspberry Sauce

Vanilla and Yogurt Cheesecake with Raspberry Sauce

Don’t you just love a good cheesecake?  I certainly do!  I particularly like today’s recipe as it is a 2 layered cheesecake.  The bottom layer is a normal baked vanilla cheesecake, while the top layer also contains Greek Yogurt… this makes the cake a tad lighter to the palate and a bit fluffier on the whole.  This is also the first baked cheesecake recipe I have ever used and it’s never given me any trouble.  It is very easy to make and tastes delicious.  You can serve it with any fruit sauce you like.  Raspberries are a classic, but any other berries, cherries or passion fruit also work a treat with this cheesecake.  I think this is a classic recipe that everyone should have in their “cake repertoire”, especially if you like to bake!  It is the perfect tea time treat!  Enjoy! Continue reading

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Posted in American, Baking, Cakes, Cheese, Desserts, Sauces, Special Occasions, Tea Time | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Beet and Goat’s Cheese Salad with Mint Balsamic Vinaigrette

Beet and Goat’s Cheese Salad with Mint Balsamic Vinaigrette

I love cheese.  All kinds.  Goat’s cheese in at the top of my list, together with Gorgonzola, Parmigiano Reggiano and Taleggio.  I like it so much that I even learnt how to make it by myself, at home (click here to find out how to make your own Chėvre)!  I love how flavourful and tangy it is.  I like to eat it plain, simply spread on some good crusty bread, but I also like to cook with it.  Today I am going to share with you the recipe for a simple salad with a sophisticated touch.  The salad itself is very easy to make, and what I like most is the way that the Goat’s cheese mixes up with the fabulous mint balsamic dressing when you eat it… it adds an extra layer of texture: creaminess!  And don’t forget the crunchy hazelnuts… just delicious!  Enjoy! Continue reading

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Posted in Appetisers, Cheese, Mains, Salads, Side dishes, Vegetables, Vegetarian | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Spaghetti alla Puttanesca

Spaghetti alla Puttanesca

Finally a pasta dish again! I cannot believe I haven’t published a recipe for pasta in a while!  When we were living in Italy, we used to eat pasta once a day… almost every day.  Yep, that’s the way Italians do it.  But after moving to Australia, we don’t eat it quite as often.  Still, I love cooking pasta and it is my “go-to-dish” for busy days, especially during the week.  Today’s recipe is a classic of Italian cuisine.  It is very famous in Italy and it originates from the regions of Campania and Lazio (where Naples and Rome are respectively).  The name literally means “spaghetti a la whore”… but in Italian we also say puttanata (which derives from the Italian word for whore – puttana) to describe something worthless.  It appears that the name derives from this second meaning as it is a dish made with simple and humble ingredients that everyone has in their fridge/pantry and that are often left overs.  So it is a very quick and easy recipe… perfect for a quick meal.  It is one of those recipes that Italians use for spaghettate. Ah, there goes another funny term.  A spaghettata is a very quick meal (usually, but not necessarily made with spaghetti), that you put together at the last minute for unexpected guests.  This recipe is always a hit, as it is delicious (and vegetarian too, so it is a crowd pleaser).  I am sure this is going to be a very useful recipe for busy times, so make sure you bookmark it!  Enjoy and don’t forget to check out my other Regional Italian Recipes! Continue reading

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Posted in Italian, Mains, Mediterranean, Pasta, Regional Italian Dishes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Piadina Romagnola with Mortadella and Stracchino and a Barilla Cooking Class

Piadina Romagnola with Mortadella and Stracchino

Over the weekend, I was invited by Barilla Australia to one of their Hands-on Cooking Classes at Casa Barilla, here in Sydney.  The class was about food from Emilia Romagna, home of many iconic Italian products like Parmigiano Reggiano, Prosciutto di Parma, Balsamic Vinegar and Mortadella, to cite just a few.  It is a true foodie heaven and one of my favourite places to visit! Continue reading

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Posted in Appetisers, Bread, Finger food, Italian, Mains, Mediterranean, Regional Italian Dishes, Sandwiches, Snack, Street Food | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Poire Belle Helene

Poire Belle Helene

Today’s recipe is a dessert: Poire belle Hélène is a beautiful looking treat made up of vanilla poached pears, served with a warm chocolate sauce, whipped cream (or vanilla ice cream) and toasted almonds.  Need I say more?  I personally love it.  I think pear and chocolate, just like orange and chocolate, is a match made in heaven.  What I love most in this dish is the balance of both flavours (the bitterness in the chocolate contrasts with the sweetness of the pear and cream/ice cream) and textures (the soft cream, the silky sauce, the crunch of the almonds and the sightly firm pears all balance out).  Eating a spoonful of this dessert is a blissful experience.  And, it is very easy to make.  In no time (and with very little effort), you will have a very impressive dessert, perfect for any occasion!  Enjoy! Continue reading

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Posted in Desserts, French, Fruits, Gluten Free, Special Occasions, Vegetarian | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Mushroom Sofficini

Mushroom Sofficini

If you follow this blog, you will be already familiar with sofficini, as I have published a Ham and Cheese Sofficini recipe a while ago.  For all the others who still do not know them, sofficini are delicious pockets of crunchy (yet soft) dough filled with all sorts of scrumptious cheesey goodies.  These are usually sold frozen by a well known brand in Italy and they are some of the most loved food by Italian children.  I have eaten all sorts of sofficini while growing up, and really miss them here in Australia.  So, I have resorted to making them at home.  And they taste even better than the store bought version!  One of my favourite sofficini fillings has always been mushrooms.  I love how well the mushrooms go with cheese and béchamel!  The result is so creamy and gooey and they taste so good.  I always make extra and freeze them, so I have them ready whenever I need a quick lunch or dinner.  This is some of my favourite comfort food!  Enjoy and buon appetito! Continue reading

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Posted in Appetisers, Baking, Italian, Mains, Snack, Vegetables, Vegetarian | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Guinness Braised Lamb Shanks

Guinness Braised Lamb Shanks

It’s been quite cold lately here in Sydney and we have had our share of rainy days too.  It truly feels like winter.  I am not complaining, it usually doesn’t last long and I know I will miss this weather once the heat and bush fires start again.  I am trying to make the most of it… and that includes indulging on wintery comfort food, like these Guinness braised Lamb Shanks.  Lamb shanks are delicious when cooked properly… they need to be slow cooked for a long time so that the meat becomes tender and it falls off the bone… then it literally melts in your mouth.  I love beer based stews… if you are not a fan of Guinness, you can also use any other beer you like to make this stew… or add a little brown sugar to the sauce to slightly counteract the bitterness of the Guinness.  But I quite liked it.  This stew HAS to be served with mash potatoes to soak up all that delicious gravy!  Enjoy and stay warm! Continue reading

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Posted in Irish, Mains, Meat | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Strawberry Frozen Yogurt

Strawberry Frozen Yogurt

It is time again for the “Secret recipe club” reveal!  I am sure you all know what the club is about, but for the few of you who still don’t know about it, here goes a brief explanation.  It is a great concept… each month you are assigned a participating food blogger to make a recipe from and in turn someone else will be assigned your blog.  All you have to do is choose a recipe, make it and blog about it on the specified date.  The only rule is to keep it a secret!  If you are interested in learning more, or want to join the club, please visit the Secret recipe club website.
This month I was assigned Cook with Sara, written by the very talented Sara.  Sara describes herself as a “midwestern girl who loves to cook AND eat” – I can relate to that… well, the second part of it at least! :-)
I made her Strawberry Frozen Yogurt because I had been wanting to make frozen yogurt for forever and I had strawberries in my fridge.  So, what better excuse to make it?  It is a very easy recipe and it is absolutely delicious.  The flavour of the strawberries is so intense that it feels like you are eating frozen strawberries.  I loved it and I will definitely make it again this summer.  It is a great treat for the kids (sans the alcohol) and it’s so much healthier than regular ice cream!
Thank you so much for this great recipe Sara!  Please, make sure you drop by Sara at Cook with Sara and check out her beautiful site! Continue reading

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Posted in Desserts, Fruits, Ice Cream, Snack, The Secret Recipe Club | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments