Ginger Lemonade

We had lemons, we had ginger, we had fresh mint. It was summer.

Ginger Lemonade

Refreshing summer drink with tangy ginger lemon kick smoothed by the honey sweetness. You can make more and have it refrigerated for couple of days. It is nice to have something this tasty handy on a hot summer day 😀

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 4 tablespoons honey
  • 2 sprigs of fresh mint
  • 1l fresh water
  • 500 ml of ice cubes

Preparation

Grate fresh ginger, then squeeze the juice of 2 lemons.
Dissolve honey in the water, then add ginger, lemon juice, ice cubes and mint sprigs.

Enjoy 🙂

Beef Stew with Polenta

We planned to make a traditional beef stew. We added some Mediterranean spices and pelati. We got stew Dalmatian way 😀
Anyway, try making this dish by replacing beef with octopus, squid or other seafood and you will get a genuine Dalmatian brudet.

(Zvonimir: Jasmina wanted a stew, I was in a mood for brudet, so we compromised 😀 )

Beef stew with polenta

Ingredients

  • 60 g of beef chopped in small cubes
  • 2 chopped onions
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • salt and pepper
  • 4-5 small tomatoes – pelati
  • 1.5 l of water
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp of chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp bread crumbs
  • mixed dry seasoning: thyme, marjoram, rosemary, basil and oregano
  • 2 tbsp of sunflower oil

Preparation

Fry chopped onions and garlic on oil.
Add meat, salt, pepper and fry until golden brown, then add parsley and bay leaf with mixed seasoning.

Mix well and add pelati and water. Cook for about 40 minutes to an hour until the meat gets soft and tender.
Finally add a tablespoon of bread crumbs and cook for another 10-15 minutes.

Add more spices or salt as desired.
Cook to the boiling point.

Polenta

Ingredients

  • 50 g of corn meal
  • 1 l of water
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • pepper to taste

Preparation

Boil the water, add salt and oil.
Gently pour the cornmeal into the boiling water, stirring constantly, to avoid creating lumps.
Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring constantly to prevent burning polenta.

Serve the stew with polenta by pouring the stew over the polenta. Lettuce seasoned with vinaigrette makes a great addition to a complete meal.

Enjoy 🙂

Hot cheesy crab dip

Great party food or a perfect snack for a movie night!

I tried it at work when my colleague was nice enough to share her lunch with me (it’s a nice lunch too). I immediately fell in love with it and made some for Zvonimir and me the next weekend for our movie night. The dip is full of flavour and blends perfectly with crispy crackers.

Experiment and report back on your findings 😉

Crab Dip

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1-1/2 cups shredded Italian cheese mix: Provolone, Mozzarella, Parmesan and Emmental
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 120 g crab meat, drained

Serve with crackers and/or fresh cut-up vegetables (carrots, celery sticks…). Don’t forget a glass of fine wine 😉

Preparation

Heat oven to 350°F.
Mix cream cheese product and dressing until blended.
Reserve 1 tbsp each shredded cheese and onions for garnish.
Add remaining shredded cheese, onions and crab meat to cream cheese mixture and mix well.
Spread onto bottom of baking dish sprayed with cooking spray.
Bake for 15 min, stirring after 10 min.
Garnish with reserved shredded cheese and onions.

Let’s get dipping! 🙂

Red & Yellow Cocktails

Red for Z and yellow for me! 😀

Red and Yellow Cocktails

What do you get when you have bunch of fruit, some alcohol, mint leaves, lime, ice, ginger ale and two curious foodies?

FUN TIMES! 😀

Experimenting with various flavours and trying to figure out the right measurements for the perfect taste made super fun times. Although, experimenting like this can get you tipsy pretty soon, so watch out 😉

This is what we come up with, we hope you are going to enjoy it as much as we did.

Yellow Cocktail with lime, mango and kiwi

Red Cocktail

  • 150 ml apple cider
  • 150 ml ginger ale
  • few drops of lime
  • couple of crushed mint leaves
  • 3-4 medium strawberries
  • 1 ripe kiwi
  • ice cubes

Yellow Cocktail

  • 150 ml bubbly wine
  • 150 ml ginger ale
  • few drops of lime juice + a slice of lime for decoration
  • couple of crushed mint leaves
  • mint ice cubes (add mint leaves into water before freezing)
  • 3 slices of kiwi
  • 6 small pieces of mango

Preparation

It’s as simple as it gets.

Find a large enough, pretty, glass. Pour the liquids over ice cubes, add fruit.
Stir until all the flavours combine.

Drink with friends! 😀

Cabbage and Beans Stew – Prisiljeno zelje s grahom

Sister Stefania Papailiopulos from Varaždin, Croatia held this dish worthy to include it in her published book “Our food and our health” way back in 1939.

Stews are excellent for your digestion and are a necessity in your diet.
This stew is tangy, crispy and healthy. Croatians usually use sour cabbage (sauerkraut) for various stews in winter. During the summer, when fresh cabbage is available and sauerkraut is not yet prepared, this stew with a touch of vinegar has that sourly taste of sauerkraut. The original name in literal meaning says “forced” cabbage with beans, because fresh cabbage is forced to taste like it’s sour 😉

Cabagge Beans Stew

Ingredients

  • half a head of fresh cabbage
  • 250 g of tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tablespoon of vinegar (I use apple cider vinegar, but all are good)
  • salt, pepper, sugar to taste
  • 500 ml of cooked beans (you can use canned)

Preparation

Cut cabbage into stripes, thinner or wider as you prefer.
In a large cooking pot heat up the oil and add finely chopped onion.
When the onion gets transparent add cabbage stripes and season with salt and pepper.
Splash vinegar and simmer until the cabbage is cooked. I like it crunchy, but if you prefer it to be softer, cook longer until it’s tender enough.
Dust with flour, fry until the flour gets sticky and at than add tomato paste and sugar.
Stir and add
water to cover the cabbage.
Boil for 5 minutes, than put the cooked beans in and cook just long enough to warm them up.
Add more salt and pepper if needed.

Serve with sausages, ribs, or just eat it with bread as a vegetarian treat that it is!
Our suggestion is to try this stew with ground meat fritters.

Enjoy 🙂

Ground Meat Fritters – Faširanci

I am presenting you the all time favourite meal of all the kids throughout Croatia!

These fritters smell of childhood memories. I loved mine with spinach and mashed potatoes, but they are often served with vegetables stews. My family had them with kale stew most often for some reason.

Croatian moms like this fritters because they can camouflage a bit of veggies inside, but I like them as they are.

Ground Meat Fritters - Faširanci

Ingredients

  • 450 g of ground beef
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 egg
  • 2 slices of dry bread
  • flour or bread crumbs
  • sunflower oil
  • spices of your choice
  • salt, pepper, parsley

Croatians often use half pork and half beef meat. You can also make them with chicken or turkey meat, but they are going to be much drier.

Preparation

Mix minced meat with beaten egg. Add all other ingredients and knead well with hands. Cover the mixture with foil and leave in the refrigerator for at least half an hour.

For these fritters we use a day or two aged bread that you soak in milk before adding to the mixture. It is very important that you squeeze the bread well to drain all the milk before adding to the mixture.

You can play and add spices that you like (chili powder, sweet paprika), but salt and pepper are required.

Unlike parsley and garlic, which are crushed or very finely chopped, onions previously need to be fried on oil until transparent.

It is important to knead the mixture well with your hands to get all the ingredients combined and to get fritters more compact.

Let the mixture sit for at least half an hour before frying, so that all the ingredients are well imbued.

In a deeper pan warm up the oil.

From the mixture, form balls and flatten them with hands. Size them based on your preferences. I like them thin and palm size.

Bed them in flour and fry in hot oil over low heat on each side until golden brown.

Serve with mashed potatoes, vegetables, various stews or salads!

Enjoy 🙂

Strawberry Cooler

We love the opportunity to explore different recipes from our foodie friends! Some of them we met in person but many we didn’t. We connected with them in many other ways. One of those ways is preparing food and drinks using their recipes, which brings us closer to them in a unique way.

This is one of those “lab” recipes that we enjoy making. A summer drink by Azlin Bloor made with fresh strawberries and lots of ice is a must try for hot summer days!

Strawberry Cooler!

You can spice it up with an alcoholic beverage of your choice, of course, which makes this a super drink for those summer parties as well. 😉

Here is Azlin’s original recipe and other tips.

Have a great summer, cheers! 😀

Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Sauce

Zvonimir likes chocolate fruit cakes, so for his birthday I try to combine his love for chocolate with different fruit each year. We already tried orange, strawberries and dried fruit. This year raspberries were amazing and full of flavour, which made my choice pretty easy.

This gluten free, easy to make cake is a great choice for any occasion and you can try it out with different fruit!

Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Sauce

Cake ingredients

  • 125 g semi sweet chocolate ( I do not recommend dark chocolate, it will give you a bitter taste)
  • 125 ml oil
  • 4 eggs divided
  • 50 g sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Raspberry sauce ingredients

  • 300 g fresh raspberries
  • 10 tablespoons sugar
  • 125 ml water

Preparation

Melt chocolate with oil on low heat until chocolate melts. Cool aside. Divide the eggs. Mix the egg yolks with sugar and vanilla extract until foamy. Beat the egg whites until stiff.

Add melted chocolate to egg yolks mixture and combine with spatula. Mix in the egg white mixture gradually into the chocolate egg yolk mixture until combined.

Pour the batter into previously greased 8×2 inch round cake pan. Bake for 20 minutes on 180 °C.

Cool the cake on the rack.

For the sauce put all the ingredients in a small sauce pan (leave few raspberries for decoration) and cook on low heat until raspberries dissolve and the sauce becomes thick. Cool it off.

For serving, pour some sauce over the sliced piece of cake. Decorate with fresh raspberries and if you like have some vanilla ice cream aside.

Enjoy 🙂

The Beacon Hill Buck

Woohoo, we found a cocktail with 100% Canadian ingredients!

An awesome drink for Canada Day celebration (and for any other for that matter), this refreshing and tasty drink is a great find! Made from Canadian whisky, Canadian maple syrup and Canadian ginger ale, served with ice and a lemon/lime twist, this triple Canadian is a true Canadian 😀

Here is how this oldie got its funny name. Buck or mule, except for being animals, are archaic names for mixed drinks that involve ginger ale or ginger beer, citrus juice and bourbon, scotch, or whisky!

That’s enough talking, rise the glasses 🙂

The Beacon Hill Buck

Ingredients

  • 2 oz. Canadian whisky chilled
  • 1/2 oz. maple syrup
  • 1/2 oz. freshly squeezed lemon/lime
  • ginger ale

Preparation

Build in the glass with ice.
Mix all ingredients but ginger ale.
Stir to dissolve the maple syrup fully.
Top with ginger ale.

Easy peasy. 🙂 Cheers!

Canada Day Muffins!

Happy Canada Day!

What is the #1 thing that comes up in your head when someone mentions Canada? Probably maple (or thank you) 🙂
Our first Canada Day celebration was all about maple (and thank yous).

These muffins were supposed to be cupcakes with maple butter-cream, but some things are just not meant to be. It was like someone was telling us “summer’s here, your summer body is not ready” 😉

The muffins were awesome! Zvonimir ate a couple while shooting this photo 😀 You’re lucky we had some left to show you.
(Z’s note: there was plenty to shoot and that’s where I get inspiration :P)

Fruit Nut Muffin

Fruit Nut Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 cup chopped dates
  • 1⁄2 cup cranberries
  • 1 cup water
  • 1⁄2 cup butter, cut in pieces
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons golden yellow sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1⁄2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Instructions

In a saucepan over medium high heat, combine water, dates, cranberries, nuts and sugar.
Boil for 5 minutes until water absorbs and remove from heat.
Add chopped up butter and stir till butter is melted.
Transfer to large bowl and let cool.
Set oven to 170 °C (350 °F).
Grease and flour muffin cups or use paper liner.
Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir together flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder.
Spoon into muffin cups 2/3 to 3/4 full.
Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Maple! Thank you!