A Very Romanian Christmas

Viviana's Kitchen

Merry Christmas from my family to yours! Wishing you all a wonderful day full of love, laughter, mimosas, and delicious food.

Yesterday, I spent the vast majority of the day baking pastries for Christmas and I used my own website for a couple recipes. However, I noticed that I somehow never shared the recipe I use for Romanian cozonaci, which are sweet egg bread pastries filled with either poppyseed filling or a walnut and rum-soaked white raisin mixture.

They’re traditional in Romania for holidays like Christmas and Easter, but they’re not exclusive to the holidays.

Here is a link to the recipe I used, and for those of you too lazy to hop to another webpage, a break down below:

Romanian Cozonac

INGREDIENTS (for the dough)

1.5 cups lukewarm water
1.5 Tbsp granulated yeast
1.5 Tbsp salt
8 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup honey
1.5 cups (3 sticks) melted unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the pan
7.5 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
Egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 Tbsp water)

DIRECTIONS (for the dough)

  • Mix yeast with a tablespoon of water, then mix with salt, eggs, honey, and melted butter with the 1.5 cups of water in a large bowl.
  • Mix in the flour but do not knead. I used a stand mixer here.
  • Once everything is incorporated, cover and let stand for 2 hours to grow.
  • After two hours, prep your work center with some flour (or oil) and knead the dough, then divide into 4.
  • Rollerpin it out into a large sheet and spread poppyseed filling or half of your walnut mixture, and then roll up and form into whichever shape you’re baking.
  • Bake dough in whatever form (loaf, brioche, cozonac) in the preheated oven at 350F for 35 to 40 minutes (until golden brown) with the rack in the middle position.

INGREDIENTS (for the walnut filling)

200 g walnuts, finely ground
100 g brown sugar
2 egg whites
3 Tbsp cacao
1/3 cup rum or brandy
1 cup white raisins to be plumped in the liquour

DIRECTIONS (for the walnut filling)

  • Plump raisins in rum for at least one hour – I do it over night to maximum flavor.
  • Beat egg whites to soft peaks
  • Add sugar, beat.
  • Add cocoa, beat.
  • Add walnuts and the rum-soaked raisins and mix.

Enjoy!


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Vegetarian Tomato Mushroom Soup

Viviana's Kitchen

During Lent season, I found a bunch of recipes on Foodgawker for a multitude of vegetarian and vegan foods that fit my family’s lifestyle. This is one that I really enjoyed making and it was also quite easy.

I think everyone should know how to make at least one soup from scratch – cause then you know how make about a thousand different soups from scratch.

This particular recipe uses tomato concentrate; I don’t want to call it advanced, but it might require you going out of your way to get an extra ingredient or two.

Here’s the link to the recipe itself, or, if you’re lazy, check out my altered recipe below.

DSC_7546copy

Ingredients

1 medium onion, sliced
2 tbsp butter
1 clove garlic, minced (I always add like 2-3)
16 oz. (about 4 c.) sliced fresh mushrooms
1-2 leek stalks, chopped
2-3 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 (14.5 oz.) can veggie broth – OR – mix 1 tbsp Vegeta seasoning with 14 oz water
1 cup water
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar ( I used apple cider vinegar)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Directions

1. Chop up your onion, leek and carrots, mince the garlic. In a 2-quart saucepan or Dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat.
2. Add onion, leek, carrots, and garlic; saute for about 5 minutes until tender.
3. Add mushrooms. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
4. Stir in veggie broth, water, tomato paste, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil.
5. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.
6. Sprinkle each serving with parsley.

Gluten Free Cardamom Crepes

Viviana's Kitchen

Heyyy.

So I have a few recipes up my sleeve that I tried in the past couple months and I wanted to share with you guys.

This first one is super easy and doesn’t actually have a real recipe per se.

I usually make pancakes on Sunday mornings, but I wanted to try making crepes instead, using Pamela’s Gluten Free Pancake flour that I always use. I actually have an additional recipe, straight from my great-aunt, from scratch, that I’ll be sharing later.

For now, though, this one is very simple and delicious. Check it:

Ingredients

(Makes ~8 crepes or pancakes)
1 cup Pamela’s Gluten Free Pancake Mix
1 egg
1 tbsp canola oil
3/4 cup water
cinnamon and cardamom to taste
Fruits, honey, whipped cream for toppings

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl
  2. Heat a non-stick pan on high (if you don’t have one, just use spray oil before every crepe) and pour your batter one scoop at a time. Swivel your pan to spread the batter as thinly as you can without breaking. You can also use your ladle to help you out with this if the batter is too thick.
  3. Chop your fruits. Optionally, you can mix them with your honey and set aside while you make the crepes. Stuff your crepes with fruits and roll up, then top with whipped cream or more honey and fruits.

 

Breakfast Clafoutis with Cherries

Viviana's Kitchen

Hello hello!

I’m back with a delicious recipe I tried out this morning/afternoon. Afternoon, cause I got out of bed at 11:15 and didn’t finish this until after 12, BUT ANYWAY.

I wanted to eat something different from just cereal or eggs or toast, so I got my ass on Foodgawker as usual and found this easy Lemon Dutch Baby with Berry Compote and put myself to work. It’s not too sugary-sweet or too weird and foreign. I thought it was going to turn out like the Finnish “pancakes” I made like 6 years ago, but I realized when I started eating that it’s a whole lot like the Clafoutis recipe I make, except loads simpler to prepare.

Here’s the breakdown of ingredients and directions. I did not make the whipped cream, but I did make the berry (CHERRY!) compote.

Ingredients

for the Dutch Baby:
zest of 1 lemon
1 cup all purpose flour
4 eggs
1 cup milk
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons + 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
for the Berry Compote:
2 cups frozen berries (‘triple berry’)
juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon sugar
for the whipped cream:
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
OR
your whipped topping of choice
Instructions

  1. Remove frozen berries from freezer, in a bowl combine berries, lemon juice, and tablespoon of sugar. Toss to mix. Set aside to thaw, toss occasionally while dutch baby is cooking.
  2.  Place 12 inch cast iron (or oven safe skillet) in oven, preheat to 425º F.
  3. In a blender add lemon zest, flour, eggs, milk, sugar, 3 tablespoons butter, vanilla extract, and salt. Blend until combined.
  4. Once oven is preheated and skillet is hot, use oven mitts to remove the skillet. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter to the skillet, swirl the skillet until the butter melts and the sides and bottom of the skillet is covered in butter.
  5. Pour the batter from the blender into the skillet. Return skillet to oven.
  6. Bake 22-24 minutes until edges are golden brown.
  7. If you are making your own whipped cream add vanilla and heavy whipping cream to the stand of an electric mixer. Beat on high 1-2 minutes until whipped cream is to preferred consistency.
  8. Give Berry Compote a final stir and pour over the Dutch Baby, top with Whipped Cream. Serve immediately.