Strawberry cheesecake

Another favourite of mine is the strawberry cheesecake. With a creamy filling and a buttery biscuit base, who can resist this classic dessert?

prep time 20 min  + refrigerating time 4 hrs
for the crust
  • 200g Digestive biscuits
  • 100g melted butter
for the filling
  • 10 g gelatine sheets
  • 250g cream cheese
  • 250g whipping cream
  • 250g strawberry yogurt
  • 90g powdered sugar
for the topping
  • 500g strawberries
  • 2 Tbls sugar + 1 lemon for juicing
  • 70g sugar
  • 30g corn starch

1. Clean and chop the strawberries, add 2 Tbls of sugar and the lemon juice and let marinate, preferably overnight.

2. Line a 26 cm round springform pan with a baking paper on the bottom.

3. Crush the biscuits in a bag with a rolling pin into a fine crumb. Transfer the crumbs to a bowl, then pour over the melted butter. Mix thoroughly until the crumbs are completely coated. Tip them into the prepared tin and press firmly down into the base to create an even layer. Refrigerate for 15-20 min.

4. Put the gelatine sheets in a shallow bowl with cold water.

5. Whip the cream cheese together with the yogurt and the cream, add the powdered sugar and whip some more.

6. Squeeze the gelatine sheets and place in a small pot with a few Tbls of water. Turn on the heat to low and let the gelatine melt, about 1 minute. Add this to the cream and pour the filling over the crumb base. Let refrigerate for 3 hrs.

7. After 3 hrs, separate the juice from the strawberries and add water to make 400 ml of diluted strawberry juice. Place it in a pot on a stove top, add 80 g of sugar and 30g of corn starch and keep stirring for 4-5 minutes.

8. Add the juice to the strawberries and pour the mixture over the cake. Let set for 1 hour in the fridge.



Lemon chicken soup

This chicken soup uses lots of lemon and feta cheese so you might call it Greek-inspired. Easy and fast to make, and so so good with lemon, feta and peperoncino to give it some heat.

prep time 10 min     cook time 20 min
ingredients for 4
  • 500g skinless, boneless chicken breast
  • 2 l chicken broth
  • 1 sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • 3-4 garlic gloves, minced
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 2-3 cm piece of ginger, grated
  • peperoncino flakes
  • salt
  • 2 Tbls extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 avocado
  • 150g feta cheese, crumbled
  • fresh thyme
  • 130g short angel hair pasta or 2 dl pearl couscous

1. Place olive oil in a large pot over medium low heat. Sauté onion, garlic and peperoncino (the amount is up to you) for a few minutes and then add grated ginger.

2. Add the broth, the zest and the chicken breasts to the pot. Season with salt. Increase the heat to high, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes. You can add the pasta or the couscous now and let cook for 5 more minutes. If making this amount but using only a portion, I suggest adding the pasta at the end to the amount of soup you are using, otherwise the pasta or couscous become mushy.

3. Turn off the heat. Remove the breasts from the pot and shred the chicken using two forks. Return to the pot and add the lemon juice.

4. Ladle into the soup bowls and decorate each bowl with 1/4 of avocado slices, 40 g of crumbled feta and some fresh thyme.

5. The soup keeps well in the fridge for 3-4 days without the pasta or couscous.


Red wine braised pork ribs

These pork ribs are easy to make, melt-in-your-mouth good and also economic. What’s not to love? The recipe is from Casa Pappagallo

prep time 5 min     cook time 1h 30min
ingredients for 4
  •  1 -1,2 kg pork ribs
  • 750 ml red wine
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp whole black peppercorns
  • 30 g tomato paste
  • sprig of rosemary
  • a few leaves of fresh sage
  • salt
  • extra virgin olive oil

 the glass of red wine in the pic is not enough, you need a whole bottle 🙂

    1. In a dutch oven or a cast iron pot heat 2-3 Tbls of oil and add the garlic cloves.
    2. After a few minutes add the ribs and let them brown on all sides. Do not overcrowd the pot. If need be, brown the ribs in two sets.
    3. When the ribs are nicely browned, season with salt, add the red wine, rosemary sprig, sage, peppercorns and tomato paste.
    4, Cook at low heat with a lid on for an hour or until the meat almost falls off the bone.
    5. Pair this with mashed  or oven potatoes or oven veggies.


Banana carrot zucchini muffins

I’m dipping my toes into muffin baking with alternating results. This recipe sounded delicious and healthy so I decided to give it a go. The muffins were delicious and moist, but not perfect. It just means I have to try again!

prep time 30 min     cook time 20-30 min
ingredients for 12 muffins
  • 220 g flour
  •  110 g sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 170 g peeled and grated carrots
  • 130 g grated zucchini
  • 135 g mashed, ripe banana
  • 2 eggs
  • 60 g vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
    1. Preheat oven to 200 C.
    2. In a medium bowl, whisk together dry ingredients and set aside. In another medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil and vanilla and set aside.
    3. In a large bowl gently toss together the carrots, zucchini and bananas. Pour the liquid egg mixture over the grated vegetables and bananas and fold in gently to combine.
    4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and fold in until just combined.
    5. Scoop the batter gently into greased or lined muffin tins.
    6. Bake for 8 min at 200 C, then rotate the pan and reduce the temperature at 175C. Bake for additional 10-11 minutes (I needed almost 20 min) or until the toothpick comes out  clean.
    7. Leave muffins in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove from pan and place on a wire rack to cool completely. Sprinkle a little bit of powdered sugar on top.

Venetian style liver

Fegato alla veneziana (finely sliced liver with gently stewed onions) is one of the most classic Venetian dishes and appreciated also by those who don’t care that much for liver.

prep time 10 min     cook time 45-50 min
ingredients for 4
  • 450 g calf’s liver, finely sliced
  • 2 white onions, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3 Tbls extra virgin olive oil (+ a knob of butter, optional)
  • 1/4 glass of white wine vinegar (optional)
  • salt and pepper
  • finely chopped parsley for garnish (optional)

1. Heat the oil (and butter if using) in a large pan, add the onions and sauté for about 10 minutes, stirring constantly and making sure they don’t brown. Add the vinegar – some use white wine or lemon juice instead of vinegar – and gently cook covered for  additional 30 minutes. 

2. Slice the liver thin and sauté in the pan with the onions, raising the heat.

3. Continue cooking for another four or five minutes, turning the liver slices continually and seasoning with salt and pepper at the last minute.

4. Be sure the liver is cooked to a turn: if overcooked it gets hard and dry, if undercooked it is bloody and sweetish. Serve piping hot, sprinkled with minced parsley, accompanied with slices of grilled polenta, mashed potatoes or greens of your choice. I paired it today with delicious asparagus.