ponedeljek, 28. oktober 2013

Chocolate and caramel macarons & My 1st blog anniversary



Exactly one year ago I sat in some other chair, in front of the same computer, and typed my first post. I think I didn’t have a clue what I'm doing and how to do this. I'm glad I persisted. When I look at the first posts and photos, I get a migraine. Plus an ulcer. And '' Oh Mary '' is heard. But I'll never delete them because I don’t want to delete the path of my progress. That's why I like to do this because I’m progressing with this blog and I’m coming closer to the point that I want to achieve. Maybe I will became ill one year later from now, while looking at photos I published today,  who knows =).

This little blog is my hobby, a workshop where I set free my creativity and love of amateur photography and cooking. I have no knowledge of professional cooking techniques and I don’t have that desire to learn it, my desire is not to become a chef. I have no idea about the technical basics of photography, photographic techniques, let alone which camera would be best for food photography. I don’t blog because I would like to receive free products, etc . . . I do this because I love food because I want to learn to cook well, because I stare for hours at beautiful food photography, because I like to write, create and I like to have my own little project. And I want to continue doing this with love. I love to cook and make a mess in a small kitchen, searching  recipes, taking pics and doing my last touch on them in photoshop. .

Readers .... you've been good to me this whole year. You are my comfort, joy and support. I'm surprised I haven’t received a single negative comment. Internet is a place masks allow people to be ugly and cruel  without limits. I feel sad when I think about all that negativity.

Privacy means a lot to me, there’s not a lot of people who I let close and who make me feel like they are worth it to be totally open with them. So it’s even more surprising that I even started writing a blog. I didn’t want to blog anonymously, because it negates the point of blogging, so I knew I can’t blog without being Neja.

Thanks to all those who understand why I’m doing this and support me. Thanks for all the decorative napkins , flowers and the rest of the decor you give it to me saying, ''Hey take this, you can use it for your blog.'' I know what kind of photos I want to create, and that requires a lot of interesting decor, plates, glasses, nice fabric, cutlery... unfortunately it also costs a lot, plus I have no room to store all of this ... so I can only dream and  I have to constantly say to myself that time will come for that and a better camera. And yes, my mom still doesn’t understand why and what I’m doing. She didn’t grow up with computers so I don’t blame her =).

Truffle ... thank you. Thanks for the image of my blog, for all discussions relating my little blog, for your support, and for eating my food =). (For those who don’t have a clue who I’m talking about, Truffle is a nickname for my boyfriend .. I call him Truffle because he is special like that… as truffles are).

Macarons! I tried to make them over half a year ago but I did not succeed. Even before I started preparing them, I became nervous, because I was surfing the internet. I read all sorts of horrors, that success on preparation macarons depends  even on the time of year and humidity! And when the end result was suitable for trash, I might have felt a little bit of moisture in my eyes. I was really nervous when I  did them this time. I followed each step of the recipe (including the fact that I left the egg whites for one day at room temperature). Hey, it was my second time I dealt with this, do you think I won’t approach this very seriously ? =) And I did it! It worked!

I am glad I spent this year with you.

With love , Neja


Recipe from: Call me cupcake 

The recipe

Chocolate macarons
Makes about 35 whole

Ingredients
100 grams blanched, ground almonds (make sure to grind more than 100 grams)
100-110 grams egg whites aged 1 day at room temperature
15 grams cocoa powder
185 grams powdered sugar
4 tablespoons sugar

The process
1. Grind the almonds in a mixer or a food processor. Push the almond flour through a sieve to get rid of any large pieces or lumps.
2. Mix the powdered sugar and cocoa powder together with the ground almonds in a food processor.
3. In a large bowl, whip the egg whites with a hand- or stand mixer. As the egg whites start foaming, add the sugar one tablespoon at a time and continue whipping until the mixture is glossy and stiff. You should be able to hold the bowl upside down without the meringue sliding out.
4. Fold the dry mix carefully and slowly into the meringue, use a spatula. Add food coloring if desired until fully mixed. Don't overmix!
5.. Fill your piping bag and pipe the macarons onto a baking sheet. Don't pipe too much of the mixter, because it spreads. Let them set for 60 minutes to form a dry skin.
6. Preheat the oven to 150° C. Bake for about 14 minutes. Let cool completely, then spread caramel on them and sandwich them together.
Caramel

Ingredients
100 grams granulated sugar
150 ml heavy cream
85 grams salted butter
A pinch of seasalt(optional)

The process
1. Carefully heat the sugar in a saucepan withput stirring. Once the sugar starts melting and becomes a lovely amber brown color, swirl a few times. Remove from heat and swirl until all the sugar has melted. Heat the cream in another saucepan.

2. Add the diced butter to the sugar. Be very careful so you don't get caramel on yourself, it is HOT! Once the butter is added, it will start to curdle a bit, but just keep stirring and it will come together. Put the saucepan back on the heat.

3. Add the cream, a little at a time. Be careful, it will spit and spatter like crazy! Let the caramel boil for a few minutes and then remove the pan from the heat. Let cool and then pour your lovely caramel into clean jars. Don't worry if the caramel seems to runny, it will harden in the fridge (hopefully not too much..). Store in the fridge. If you feel that your caramel is to stiff, leave it in room temperature before using.


Točno pred enim letom sem sedela na drugem stolu, pred istim računalnikom in tipkala prvo objavo. Mislim, da sploh nisem imela pojma o temu kaj počnem in kako naj se tega lotim. Vesela sem, da sem vztrajala. Ko pogledam prve objave in slike, dobim migreno. Plus čir na želodcu. In ''Oh marija'' se sliši. Ampak nikoli jih ne bom zbrisala, ker ne želim brisati poti napredka. Ravno zato rada počnem to, ker skupaj z blogom napredujem in se bližam točki, ki jo hočem doseči. Mogoče mi bo čez eno leto postalo slabo ob fotografijah, ki jih objavljam danes, kdo ve=). 

Ta mali blog je moj hobi, delavnica kjer lahko dam na plano svojo kreativnost in ljubezen do amaterskega fotografiranja in kuhanja. Pojma nimam o profesionalnih kuharskih tehnikah in me niti ne zanimajo, moja želja ni postati kuharica. Pojma nimam o tehničnih osnovah fotografije, fotografskih tehnikah, kaj šele o temu kater fotoaparat bi bil najbolj primeren za food photography. Tega ne počnem zato, ker bi želela prejemati zastonj produkte  ipd. To počnem zato, ker imam rada hrano, ker se želim naučiti dobro kuhati, ker ure in ure buljim v čudovite fotografije jedi, ker rada pišem, rada ustvarjam in všeč mi je, da imam svoj mali projekt. In to želim še naprej početi z ljubeznijo. Z ljubeznijo packam v majhni kuhinji, iščem recepte, ustvarjam škljoce in jih sfiniširam v photshopu.

Bralci….v tem letu ste bili dobri z menoj. Ste moja tolažba, veselje in podpora. Zelo sem presenečena, da nisem prejela niti enega negativnega komentarja . Internet je prostor, kjer  maske omogočajo ljudem grdost in nesramnost brez meja. Hudo mi je, ko pomislim na to, kakšen je ta svet. 

Zasebnost mi zelo veliko pomeni, malo je ljudi, ki jih spustim blizu in ob katerih se mi zdi, da so vredni tega, da se jim odprem. Zato je še toliko bolj čudno, da sem sploh začela pisati blog. Nisem želela blogati anonimno, ker to negira poanto bloganja, zato sem vedela, da brez tega, da se odkrijem, ne bo šlo.

Hvala vsem tistim, ki razumejo zakaj to počnem in me podpirajo. Hvala za vse okrasne prtičke, rože in preostali dekor, ki mi ga podarite rekoč: ''Ej, dej to pa lahko uporabiš za svoj blog.'' Vem kakšne fotografije hočem ustvariti in zanje potrebuješ veliko zanimivega dekorja, krožnikov, kozarcev, blaga, pribora… na žalost to tudi veliko stane, niti prostora nimam za hrambo vsega tega…zato se moram stalno bremzati in le sanjati ter si govoriti, da bo že prišel čas za vse to in za boljši fotoaparat. In ja, moja mami še vedno ne razume kaj se grem. Ni z računalnikom gor rastla in ne zamerim ji=). 

Tartufi…hvala tebi. Hvala za podobo bloga, za vse pogovore v zvezi z blogom, za podporo in ker ješ mojo hrano=). (Za vse, ki tega še niste dojeli ali pa ste ravno začeli brati, svojega fanta kličem Tartufi..ker je tako poseben, kot tartufi).

Makroni! Prvič sem jih delala že več kot pol leta nazaj ampak mi niso uspeli. Še preden sem jih začela pripravljati sem bila živčna, ker me je surfanje po internetu čisto napsihiralo. Brala sem vse mogoče grozote, da je uspeh priprave makronov odvisen celo od letnega časa in vlage!!! In ko je bil  končni rezultat primeren za v smeti, sem morda malce vlage začutila v očeh. Res sem bila živčna, ko sem se jih ponovno lotila. Držala sem se vsakega koraka (vključno s tem, da sem beljake pustila en dan na sobni temperaturi). ..hej, že drugič sem se ukvarjala s tem, se vam zdi, da se tega ne bom lotila smrtno resno?=) In uspelo mi je!!  

Vesela sem, da sem to leto preživela z vami.

Z ljubeznijo, Neja








Recept


Čokoladni makroni
Za približno 35 polovičk makronov

Sestavine
100g mletih mandljev
100-110 gramov beljakov, ki so en dan počivali na sobni temperaturi
15g kakava v prahu
185g sladkorja v prahu
4 žlice sladkorja

Postopek
1. Zmeljemo mandlje ali uporabimo kupljene mlete mandlje. Presejajte mlete mandlje z drobnim cedilom, da se znebite vseh velikih kosov ali kepic.
2. V multipraktiku zmešajte sladkor v prahu, kakav v prahu in mlete mandlje.
3. V veliki skledi, z mikserjem ali ročno stepite beljake. Kot se beljaki začnejo peniti, dodamo sladkor eno žlico po žlico in stepamo dokler zmes ni več tekoča ampak kompaktna (nastane sneg). Sneg mora biti tak, da če bi skledo obrnili na glavo, bi sneg ostal na mestu in ne bi zdrsnil ven.
4. Z lopatico previdno in počasi vmešajte suho mešanico (sladkor v prahu, kakav, mandlji) v sneg. Res bodite previdni, da ne boste hitro mešali. Po želji dodajte jedilno barvo, naj bo v prahu in ne tekoča!
5. Napolnimo slaščičarsko vrečko in na peki papir (ali silikonsko podlago, ki je namenjena za peko makronov) nabrizgamo približno 2 cm velike kupčke. Pazimo na razmik, saj se makroni malce razlezejo. Preden jih položite v pečico, naj stojijo na sobni temperaturi eno uro!
6. Pri 150 ° C pečemo približno 14 minut. Nato naj se ohlajajo vsaj 1 uro preden jih namažemo s karamelo. 
Karamela

Sestavine
100 g mletega sladkorja
150 ml smetane za stepanje
85 gramov masla

Postopek
1. Pazljivo segrejte sladkor v ponvi (taki, na katero se ne prime vse, teflonski…) občasno premešajte. Ko se sladkor začne topiti in postane lepo rumeno rjave barve, premešajte nekajkrat. Odstranite z ognja in mešajte, dokler se ves sladkor ne raztopi. V drugi ponvi segrejte smetano.

2. Stopljenemu sladkorju dodajte narezano maslo. Bodite zelo previdni, da ne bo karamela špricnila na vašo kožo, ker bo zelo vroča ! Ko dodamo položimo ponev nazaj na ogenj.

3. Dodamo smetano,malo po malo. Bodite previdni , ker bo verjetno zelo cvrčalo! Pustite karamelo vreti nekaj minut, premešajte in nato odstranite ponev z ognja . Naj se ohladi in nato nalijemo karamelo v čiste kozarce. Ne skrbite, če bo karamela preveč tekoča, v hladilniku se bo strdila. Pustite, da se ohladi in jo nato položite v hladilnik. Če se vam zdi, da je vaš karamela preveč trda, jo pred uporabo pustite nekaj časa na sobni temperaturi in premešajte z žličko.

sreda, 09. oktober 2013

White Hot Chocolate / Bela vroca cokolada


Why did I fall in love with Fall? In August I started saying to people that I can't wait for Fall to start and they were all looking at me like I'm an alien.

I think there's something so magical about Fall... I always hated Fall because school starts then...but lately I'm thinking that Fall has something mysterious in it..... I think it's so romantic.....it's cold but sunny...the trees have those amazing warm colors, you have a coat on and some scarf around your neck..you go out for a walk..if you're that lucky that you have someone to hold hands with during...well, that's just perfect...and then you come home, you can smell the cold on your clothes, your coat... you change into some cozy clothes, you're a little bit tired and it feels so good when you know that you were out, in nature or in the city, and then you drink tea, eat some comfort food or something sweet .. maybe  chestnuts ..and snuggle ..snuggle....and you feel the love and tenderness....you are like honey, melting and dripping.

I like those kind of things... I like those warm moments that represent different seasons...they take you back...everyone has those seasonal memories. ...oooooh I love it...it's  time to make yourself cozy and warm inside, with a good book and something delicious to eat or drink..like White Hot Chocolate...

How can you not fall in love with Fall?

With Love, Neja



Recipe from: The Recipe Critic

The recipe


Ingredients
4 cups milk of choice
Pinch of nutmeg
1/2 cup of heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
8 oz. white chocolate, chopped into small pieces
Cinnamon
Whipped Cream or marshmallows for topping
The process
1. Stir together milk, heavy cream, chocolate, nutmeg, cinnamon  and vanilla in small saucepan.
2. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the white hot chocolate comes to a simmer. (Do not let it come to a boil.)
3. Remove from heat and serve immediately, topped with whipped cream or marshmallows if desired.


Zakaj sem se zaljubila v jesen? Avgusta sem začela govoriti, da komaj čakam jesen in vsi so me gledali, kot da sem vesoljka.

Nekaj tako čarobnega je v jeseni ... Vedno sem sovražila jesen , ker se takrat začne šola ... ampak sedaj pa res vidim tisto skrivnostnost, ki jo ima jesen v sebi ..... zdi se mi tako romantična ..... je mrzlo , vendar sončno ... drevesa spremenijo liste v neverjetne tople barve, oblečen imaš plašč in šal okoli vratu .. greš ven na sprehod .. če imaš to srečo, da imaš nekoga, katerega roko čutiš v svoji... ...  to je popolnost ... in potem prideš domov, na oblekah vonjaš mraz...na plašču.... preoblečeš se v udobna oblačila.... čutiš tisto prijetno utrujenost in se počutiš tako dobro, ker veš, da si bil v naravi ali v mestu.... nato piješ čaj, poješ nekaj dobrega ..kaj sladkega .. morda kostanj .. in se crkljaš ..crkljaš... in se topiš kot med... 

Všeč so mi  tiste te stvari ... Rada imam te tople trenutke , ki predstavljajo različne letne čase... in te vedno popeljejo nazaj ... vsakdo ima te sezonske spomine . Oooooh ... obožujem to ... to je čas, ko se notri na toplem udobno namestiš, z dobro knjigo in nečem slastnim.. kot na primer belo vročo čokolado ...

Kako se lahko ne zaljubiš v jesen?

Z ljubeznijo, Neja

Recept

Sestavine
1 l mleka
ščepec muškatnega oreščka
115g sladke smetane
1 žlička ekstrakta vanilije
200g bele čokolade, narezane na majhne koščke
cimet
stepena smetana za povrhu 
Postopek
1. V majhni kozici skupaj zmešamo mleko, smetano, čokolado, muškatni orešček, cimet in vanilijo.
2. Kuhamo na srednjem ognju, občasno premešajte, dokler se bela čokolada ne stopi.(Ne pustite, da pride do vrenja.)
3. Odstranite z ognja in takoj postrezite, po želji na vrh dodajte stepeno smetano.



nedelja, 06. oktober 2013

Avocado Cold Soup



Soup season is open! The colder it gets outside (ahh, I love that crisp air) the more we feel the need for that homemade soup. Yeah homemade! Those out of the bag soups are pfff, just yuck! Soup stimulates appetite, it's a lunch starter, the only meal that you can get down your throat a day after hard partying, it's like a balm for the sore throat when you have a cold and that support that lifts your spirit in the cold, autumn / winter evenings. Mmmm ... that warms you up, right? Well, stop getting warm, because this recipe is for a cold soup =). At least I prepared it cold, but you can prepare it hot.

With love, Neja


Recipe adapted from: Green Kitchen Stories

The recipe


Ingredients
coconut butter
olive oil
1 small onion
2 cloves garlic
1/2 inch fresh ginger, minced
1 lime, juice
10 mint leaves
3 medium size avocados (ripe, very soft)
1 cup water
salt & pepper
The process
Mint olive oil:  Stomp mint leaves in a mortar, add 3 tbsp olive oil. Let it sit for a while before dripping it over the soup.

Soup: Add coconut butter to a pan on medium heat. Sauté onion, garlic, ginger and chili until soft. Place in a blender together with the rest of the ingredients. Pulse it and taste, add more salt and water if needed. Pour it into a pot and heat it before serving or eat it cold. Top with a couple of drips of the Mint olive oil.


Sezona juh je odprta! Bolj ko je zunaj mrzlo in zrak svež, bolj nam paše domača juhica. Ja domača!!! Tiste iz vrečke so pfff, zanič! Juha spodbudi apetit, je uvod v kosilo, edina jed, ki jo spraviš po grlu dan po žuranju, balzam za grlo ob prehladu in podpora, ki ti dvigne duha ob mrzlih, jesenskih/zimskih večerih. Mmmm...vas kar pogreje, huh? No, nehajte se segrevati, tale recept je za hladno juho =). Vsaj jaz sem jo pripravila hladno, lahko jo pa pripravite toplo.

Z ljubeznijo, Neja


Recept


Sestavine
kokosovo maslo
oljčno olje
1 majhna čebula
2 stroka česna
1/2 cm svežega ingverja, sesekljanega
1 limeta, sok
10 listov mete
3 avokadi (zreli, zelo mehki)
1 skodelica vode
sol in poper
Postopek
Metino oljčno olje: V možnarju strite liste mete, dodajte 3 žlice olivnega olja. Pustite, da počiva za nekaj časa, preden ga pokapate čez juho.

Juha: V ponvi na srednje močnem ognju segrejte kokosovo maslo. Prepražimo čebulo, česen, ingver do mehkega. Dajte v mešalnik skupaj z ostalimi sestavinami. Zmiksajte, dodajte več soli in vode, če je potrebno. Vsebino zlijte v lonec in jo segrejte, lahko pa jo uživate hladno. Pred serviranjem pokapajte s pripravljenim metinim oljem.