Holiday Series: Christmas Feast!

Starting our Holiday Series late this year as we had tons of stuff to do these days, plus we found out that we do not have five more weeks until the little bundle of joy joins us, but only about three so we had lots to do and lots to panic about. That said, we did do a lot of stuff for the blog as well, a Christmas feast included that will take you two days to make. I think this is actually the most elaborate thing we ever did in the kitchen and this all happened because of D. Because he just loves ribs!!!


To keep with the Romanian Christmas tradition, this time he chose pork ribs and we decided to make them in the oven with a wedge-potatoes side – that happened because I still crave potatoes like crazy! As well as craving chocolate, sweet bread and other fattening stuff, except for meat.That said, I do admit that those ribs were amazing eating them felt like heaven in my mouth. They were just the right amount of cooked, seasoned, moist and they simply fell off the bone. I am telling you D outdid himself with these ribs! Thus I am absolutely recommending his recipe! So this post will go two ways: the ribs and the side with a simple mayo dip.


Part 1: The Ribs!

What we used:

  • 4 racks of pork ribs
  • 1 bottle of Jack Daniels Barbecue Hot Chilli Sauce
  • 4 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp hot chilly powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon (you can skip the cinnamon if you do not like it)
  • 10 g fresh basil
  • 20 g fresh chives
  • 20 g fresh rosemary

What we did:

  1. We took a large amount of photos – as you can see this has to be the most photo-infused recipe post.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the barbecue sauce, the chopped herbs, the honey and the spices.
  3. Take each rack of ribs and generously cover them in the mixture.
  4. Cover them with transparent foil and place them in the fridge overnight.
  5. The next day, carefully line a tray with aluminium foil, place the ribs on it covering them with the barbecue mixture.
  6. Pre-heat the oven at 160 degrees C.
  7. Grind some Barbecue spices all over the ribs, cover the tray with foil and into the oven they go for about 3 hours making sure you flip them mid-way.
  8.  At the end of those 3 hours, take the covering aluminium foil off and leave them in the oven for another 30 minutes.
  9. That’s it! Despite this one taking 24 hours to perfect, it is very easy to make.

Part 2: The baked potatoes and the dip!

What we used:

  • 1 kg small potatoes
  • 10 g fresh basil leaves
  • 10 g fresh rosemary
  • 10 g fresh chives
  • 30 g butter
  • 3 white onions
  • 1 small pot of Hellman’s mayonnaise (we usually prefer fresh home made mayo but being pregnant, I am not allowed to eat anything unpasteurised)
  • 2 garlic heads
  • 1 tsp barbecue seasoning

What we did:

  1. Again, we took lots of photos – did I mention how much I love food photography?
  2. We roughly cut the potatoes into wedges (no, we did not remove the skin) and we cut the onions into rings.
  3. Chop the greens, mix them together but keep about half of the chopped chives for the dip.
  4. Heat the butter until it is liquified and smash the garlic.
  5. Mix the butter with the greens, the seasoning and half of the garlic – this will be your potatoes seasoning.
  6. In an oven-safe ceramic bowl carefully place the potatoes and paint them with the butter-herb mixture, add a layer of onion rings and then repeat with a layer of potatoes and butter mixture and off into the oven they go at 160 degrees C (yes, you can add them in the oven with the ribs) for about one hour.
  7. For the dip you will need the mayo, the remaining garlic and the remaining chives and all you have to do is mix them together to end up with a perfectly balanced garlic dip.

That is about it! You will end up with an amazing dish for the holidays that is both filling and delicious. And it was all D‘s idea! Since this is a festive time, I will not, under any circumstance think about how healthy/unhealthy this dish is and thus I will not post any nutritional info as I feel this is a time to celebrate life and not count calories and fats.


Stay close by as the next post will be the first one from the Christmas Tree Series that we plan to do every year and we will reveal the theme we chose this year! Until then, just enjoy a full plate of ribs with your family!



Purple Mash…

Back in the potato-cravings-zone, but this time on a more healthy note than before… Never did I ever liked mashed potatoes of any kind until I tried this recipe. For some reason, in my opinion, mashed potatoes were always done by those that are too lazy to actually fry them or bake them in the oven – the way potatoes are meant to be eaten – I mean, all you have to do is boil them and mash them and you end up with one of the most boring options to cook potatoes. In my opinion, no matter how much milk or butter you added to them they always ended up tasting like paper.


Since being pregnant means that you literally go a bit insane, this weekend I was craving mashed potatoes. But not any type of mashed potatoes, blue mashed potatoes because I thought they must taste great solely based on their colour and the fact that I decided to add some of my favourite ingredients plus skipping the unhealthy butter. Obviously, blue potatoes are only called ‘blue’ to confuse the shit out of you, because in fact they are purple. Like really purple! And you do need to use gloves when you handle them raw otherwise you’ll end up with purple-stained palms for a few days – trust me, not the greatest look! While blue potatoes are a bit more expensive than plain white potatoes, they do not taste any different or make a big difference from a nutritional stand point, therefore unless you do not want to a)get your hands dirty and b)eat something a bit different in colour, you can easily swap them for plain potatoes for this recipe.


Moving on to the recipe. Here’s what I used:

  • 1 kg blue potatoes
  • 400 gr greek yoghurt (instead of all the milk and butter – for a very creamy result)
  • 20 gr of fresh dill
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 150 gr shredded mozzarella (or any other shredded cheese you like – I picked mozzarella because it is lighter and has less salt)


While making this takes about an hour, there are only a few simple steps to follow:

  1. Take pics of the lovely coloured ingredients and then start chopping everything. Peel the potatoes and cut them, chop the dill and mince the garlic.
  2. Boil the potatoes for about 40 minutes, drain them and mash them with a hand blender.
  3. Add the greek yoghurt and blend some more.
  4. The garlic and the dill are next into the blending pot.
  5. In comes the shredded mozzarella which must not be blended but mixed really well with a spoon.
  6. That’s it! All you have to do now is serve the purple mash in cups!

Besides it looking very interesting, it is very tasty thanks to the dill and the garlic while still being very satisfying to cheese lovers like me thanks to the mozzarella. This can be a side to any dish or you could consume it the way I did, on its own as it is really filling. It is a grade A food which means it is a healthy dish and it does not pack a lot of calories (only 211 per serving) while giving you a good amount of protein. All the nutritional info is courtesy of MyNetDiary app and I’ve uploaded both the serving info as well as for the whole thing. I divided the whole quantity to 8 servings. I hope you’ll enjoy my purple mash!


Craving potatoes…Again…

We haven’t posted a recipe in a while now… Not necessarily because we have lacked in the cooking department – in fact we kinda did, with all the construction works going on – most of our cooking has been about D cooking wonderful breakfast recipes as surprises for me during weekends, therefore, no photos were taken to document that. Since some (all) of his dishes turned out AMAZING we will re-do them and post them here. Today is all about yesterday’s dinner and me craving potatoes again.

Processed with Snapseed.

This is a very easy to make dish, basically you can add anything in it, but I have to warn you, it needs 1.5 hours to be ready from the point when you only have the ingredients until you can actually enjoy it, so start before you are hungry. The ingredients are basics and to be honest, we had most of them in our house. This is yet again a no-meat dish because I still seem to have an adversity towards meat these days.

What you will need for about 30 potato patties:

  • 1kg of white potatoes (but you can use whichever type you like)
  • 2 eggs (we use free-range eggs that my mother brings me from the countryside every week)
  • 1 garlic head (not too big as you still want to feel all the other ingredients and potatoes tend to absorb the garlic flavour better than anything else)
  • about 8 young green onions
  • 300 gr of cheddar (we used both white and red cheddar – about 150 gr each)
  • 50 gr of butter (use full fat butter as it is better)
  • 15 gr of fresh oregano (you can use whatever fresh greens you like)
  • salt
  • pepper

Processed with Snapseed.

What you need to do:

  1. Preheat the oven at 200 degrees Celsius.
  2. Grate the potatoes and put them in freezing water as you do not want them to turn brown. I was lucky enough to have D help me with this step as he knows how important my manicure is to me and I always seem to grate my fingers whenever I attempt to grate anything.
  3. Cut the onions, mince the garlic and the oregano and grate the cheese.
  4. Whisk the eggs and melt the butter (we used the microwave for the butter for about 30″)
  5. Get a big bowl as you are going to mix all the ingredients together. It doesn’t really matter what order you put them in, but it is really important to mix them really well.
  6. Start making patties from the mixture and arrange them on a tray (use some baking paper otherwise they will stick to the tray and that is very messy).
  7. Put them in the oven for about 40 minutes after which time you should add some cheddar on top of them and leave them in the oven for another 5 minutes.
  8. That’s it! Enjoy!


This is not the healthiest meal out there, but it is an ok one according to my UP app. Yes it is packed with saturated fat, but it is also almost equally packed with unsaturated fats and fibres. Now all the data you see here is for the entire quantity – that is about 30 patties – yes, we used two trays to bake the entire composition, but you can use half of the ingredients. That means that one patty provide about 70 kcal which, in the grand scheme of things, is not that much. Naturally, nobody can only eat one, so I’d say that one serving consists of three-four patties, so it is rather ok for dinner.




Taking responsibility for one’s own actions!

As you all know, I overslept on Sunday, and my significant other decided to go grocery shopping without a list and on an empty stomach, therefore we were stuck with enough food to feed a small third world country. He did however take responsibility for his errors and ended up cooking all day. The end-result that was supposed to be our lunch mesmerised into our dinner (taking photos and cooking doubled the cooking time) and it was DELICIOUS! And this is coming from someone that doesn’t necessarily appreciate a meat-based dinner. Knowing this all too well about me, the sneaky bastard incorporated cheese into the meat roll and ended up with a lot of praising (on and offline) from yours truly.


I do have to mention this, before we start with the technicalities of this dish, that this time, D went all the way and apart from the main course he also made an amazing side dish, therefore, this recipe will have two distinctive parts. If you plan on recreating this recipe, take into consideration the amount of ingredients D bought and the fact that we ended up eating this meal all week long, so unless you plan on cooking for your neighbours as well, divide the quantities at least by 2.


What you’ll need for the main course:

  • 625 gr flank steak (that’s two flank steaks, basically the moment I saw those two pieces I realised we were going to eat this all week long-not that I am complainig)
  • 500 gr mushrooms
  • 30 gr rucola (you can basically add whatever type of leaves you like – baby spinach, salad, etc)
  • 15 gr of chives
  • 5 gr of fresh thyme (rosemary works well with beef as well)
  • 2 medium red onions
  • 50 gr grated cheese
  • butter (beef tastes infinitely better when cooked with butter instead of oil)


Steps you’ll need to follow:

  1. As per usual, arrange all the ingredients for that perfect photo.
  2. Start by putting a little butter into a non-stick pan and let it melt over small flame.
  3. Put the minced onions in the pan and stir well until it turns soft.
  4. Add all the diced mushrooms and stir until they halved in volume.
  5. Add the minced chives and stir until the mushrooms turn brown (see photo for reference).
  6. Lay the meat flat and put some of the mushroom stew on it. Keep the rest for a little variety on the side.
  7. Add the rucola on top of the mushroom stew.
  8. Finish the combo with grated cheese and thyme.
  9. Roll the meat, securing it with skewer-sticks and then cut it into 3 cm thick slices.
  10. Heat some butter into a cast iron pan – if you’re going to fry meat, this is the best type of pan for the best taste (D already tried every other type of pan, save your money)
  11. Put the slices into the pan and cook them 2-3 minutes on each side, or until you decide they’re good to eat (we’re normally having medium-rare beef)


Congratulations! The main course is done! Moving along to the side dish…

What you’re going to use:

  • 500 gr new potatoes
  • 500 gr sweet potatoes (1 large will suffice)
  • 250 gr cherry tomatoes (use cherry tomatoes so you won’t need to chop them)
  • 10 gr thyme
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 50 gr grated cheese
  • butter
  • 1 tbsp pomace olive oil (do not use virgin olive oil for cooking)


The road from a bunch of ingredients to some of the best baked potatoes:

  1. Butter the inside of the vessel you are going to use.
  2. Pre-heat the oven at 185 degrees C.
  3. Throughly wash the potatoes and dice the sweet potato.
  4. Evenly spread the sweet potato on the vessel.
  5. Top them with the cherry tomatoes and the sliced onion.
  6. Cut the new potatoes into halves and put them over everything (they are last as the sweet potato needs more heat)
  7. Sprinkle the thyme and pour the tablespoon of olive oil evenly.
  8. Add salt and pepper and in the oven they go!


Depending on your oven, they should be done in 20-30 minutes. Right at the end, grate them with the cheese and you’re done. This whole post actually took me to write, a fraction of the time it took D to cook. Even though it took us 4 hours from start to finish, it was so worth it! The combo of beef, greens and cheese alongside new and sweet potatoes is amazing, and once again D won my heart with this dish!

As you’ve been accustomed by now, the nutritional information is from my UP app and it’s for the whole amount of food. You should divide it by 8 in order to get the info for one serving. All in all, this is actually a healthy meal, in spite of the frying part, but only because we used very little butter instead of oil.

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I hope you’ll enjoy D‘s improv-meal because I know I did!!!