Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Express Limoncello Syllabub With Amaretti

Preparing an amazing dessert for the Holidays is a must-spending hours in the kitchen to cook is optional:)
One of my closest friends, Ursula, a school principal,loves to cook and entertain, but is always short of time and has therefore created several delicious express recipes.
Her Limoncello dessert is everybody's darling and she was generous enough to share it with us.
As I wanted to try something different this year for the Holidays- no sweet potatoes and no pumpkin had to sacrifice their veggie life for this delicious sweet treat.
It's super easy to prepare, full of flavor and the hint of summer aromas of this syllabub will bring a bit of sunshine to your table during the colder days of the year.
Limoncello, a delightful lemon flavored liquor produced in Southern Italy is the shining star of this dessert.

It is not difficult to find in larger supermarkets and well assorted liqueur stores and I just learned when preparing this post,that Dany de Vito has even his own brand (I don't know if his Limoncello is as good as his acting though :-))

This is what you need: 

3/4 cup of Limoncello
the zest 3 organic lemons
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
11/2 cup of Greek Yoghurt
1/2 cup of Mascarpone
1 cup of brown granulated sugar (I run out of it, this is why I used white sugar)

Cut off both ends of the lemon, then grate the zest.

 Cut  zest into smaller pieces.

Put lemon juice,Limoncello,1/2 cup of Greek yogurt, lemon zest and sugar in the blender and blend until mixture is smooth and creamy.
in an other bowl soften the Mascarpone.
Gently mix  Greek yoghurt and the Mascarpone until smooth.

 Add the Limoncello mix and stir again until all ingredients have blend in.

Serve in wine or cocktail glasses and sprinkle with crushed Amaretti.

Serves 4-6.
Enjoy! Happy Thanksgiving!
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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

From Rome With Love: Delectable Pumpkin Crostinis

Do you enjoy traveling?
Most people would affirm, I suppose.
The issue is when it comes to unpacking. There are those who let their suitcase "rest" for a few days before they empty their luggage and there are those who have to unpack immediately as soon as they walk over their own doorstep. 
I'm rather a member of the frenetically unpack ASAP club - even when coming home after midnight.
We just returned from a short trip to Rome where we used to live for two years and... we came home after midnight. Guess what I did?
Anyhow, it was a wonderful trip and the memories will stay on.
It was so beautiful to come back, see our friends there and enjoy the charm of La Bella Roma. 
It felt as if we would have never left, walking the narrow streets of the city center, visiting our favorite restaurants and bars (Just want to clarify before you might think that we are totally devoted to alcohol that a bar in Italy is actually a cafe) :)
We also visited an exceptional exhibition about Cleopatra in a lovely old monastery called the Chiostro del Bramante.
The queen conquered the eternal city by storm.
Visitors are streaming to the Chiostro to pay tribute to Cleopatra much the same as the Roman emperors Julius Cesar and Marcus Antonius did at the time of the Roman Empire.   
Here are a few of our Roman Impressions I would like to share with you.

Evening light at the Ponte Milvio. Couples in Rome have long been attaching padlocks to the bridge as symbols of love.

A sculpture watching over the bridge

A delicious treat with fresh Carpaccio di Manzo , Ruccola and shaved Parmesan at a restaurant at the Campo di Fiori.

Strolling Piazza del Popolo on Sunday afternoon

Any idea how he does this"meditation" trick?

Would H.M. be amused?

And finally a delectable Italian treat, presto and with only 5 ingredients for a surprising, easy holiday appetizer.
For the Pumpkin Crostini you need:

1 small baguette
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cups coarsly shredded pumpkin
1 cup coarsly shredded Parmesan cheese
Salt, freshly ground pepper
basil leaves for decoration

Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat.
Add chopped onions,cook until traslucent.

Add shredded Pumpkin and cook for only 2 minutes or until al dente (do not overcook) 

Season with salt and pepper.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Cut the baguette into 1/2 inch slices.

Cover generously with the pumpkin mixture.

Spread with shredded Parmesan. 

Bake until cheese has melted (7 to 10 minutes) and turned into a golden brown color. 

Garnish with fresh Basil leaves and serve immediately

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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Lean and tender: Roasted Pork Fillet With Cranberries

Pork Filet (Tender loin) is one of the most tender and lean parts of pork meat.
It works very well together with some fruity or sweet ingredients and is a perfect party dish.
Preparing pork fillet is easy and fast, but keeping it moist and juicy can be tricky as it tends to try out soon when overcooked.
Just use your kitchen "Sense and Sensibility" you won't be sorry to prepare this "bocatto di cardenale" an ancient Italian expression that refers to a dish so delicious that it's worth to be served to a Cardenal, known in medieval times for their love of good food.
To prepare this tenderloin
You need:
1 pork fillet , about 500g
2 sprigs rosemary
1 1/2tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 clove crushed garlic
2 tablespoon sweet ground paprika
11/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 cup dried, sweet cranberries
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil to brown the pork
1-2 cups of vegetable broth

With a sharp knife, remove the white,tough membrane from the meat.

Stir together olive oil, sweet paprika, crushed garlic clove,mustard,cinnamon,salt and freshly ground pepper.

 Rub  mixture over the pork.

Heat olive oil in a medium, heavy pan and brown pork with the rosemary sprig and cranberries all over to seal in the juices.

Heat the oven at high temperature 400 degrees (170C) ,pour the vegetable broth over the meat and roast pork together with cranberries and rosemary only 15 to 20 minutes or until just a hint of pink remains. During the roasting process, pour from time to time the mix of vegetable stock and meat juices over the fillet.

Transfer to a cutting board , remove rosemary and let rest for about 5 minutes  before cutting into slices.

Pour juices and cranberries from roasting pan into small sauce pan. Warm over slow heat.
If you prefer a richer sauce ,add some cream.
Serve with fresh,green broccoli and tagliatelle cooked al dente.
Serves 5 to 6.
See you next week.
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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Autunm Splendor In The Viennese Woods And A Visit ToThe Worlds Eldest Zoo

One of the luxuries of living in Vienna is that you just have to take the Public Transportation to reach the Viennese Woods where you can enjoy pure nature and hike to your hearts content.
Last weekend we were strolling through this splendid area that surrounds the city.

The light of a golden autumn day 

  and the soft rolling hills of the Viennese Woods creating spectacular views over the city.

The area is a well known as a wine lover destination

A sun clock from an old house in the Grinzing area, where people go to enjoy the new wine of the year, called " Heuriger"

Another fantastic experience for the young and the young at heart is a visit to the Schoenbrunn zoo.
It ocupies part of the park of the Austrian Emperor's summer residence and is the oldest zoo in the world.
The excursion is a unique experience where landscaping, baroque architecture and modern zoo projects blend in an unforgettable visit.

The perfect proportions of the baroque Palmenhaus, where tropical  palm trees and other plants were grown for the emperors delight.

The watchful elegance of a Gepard

 Siesta time in the lions house

Who is who in the zoo?

Hope you will have the opportunity to visit these sites someday, I'm sure you would enjoy it.
See you next week.
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