Rosca de Reyes (Mexican Three Kings Bread)

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Hello everyone!

Do you know what “Three Kings Day” is?….It’s the day which is celebrated on Januray 6th each year. In Christian faith, on this day three wise men (magi) who were known to be noble kings, priests or astrologers in search of truth, followed the North star and brought three gifts for baby Jesus to celebrate his birth.

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In Latin America, children write letters to the magi asking for gifts and then leave their shoes out of the house on the night before January 6th, hoping to receive gifts from the kings on the day. On this day, families bake “Rosca de Reyes” and children dress up as the magi and parade around their neighbourhoods.

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The Rosca de Reyes is a sweet bread with cinnamon-almond filling. The wreath-shaped bread is made to resemble a crown, with the glace fruit on top of it representing the jewels of the crown. You can put candied orange and lemon peels on top, as well as glace cherries. I chose to use only candied citrus peels, because the glace cherries I found in my local supermarket were just full of artificial colours and preservatives, which I rather not eat to be honest :D

The wonderful smell of citrus, almonds and cinnamon fills the house when the bread is baking is in the oven, so if you’re after something different to bake this holiday season, give this a go! Your family and guests will ask for seconds ;)

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WISH YOU A WONDERFUL CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR AHEAD :)  ~~~~~~~~~~
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  ♫♫♫   “Mis Deseos-Feliz Navidad” (Michael Buble Duet With Thalia)    

Ingredients: 

Ingredients

Dough:
1 3/4 cup plain flour
2/3 cup milk
1/3 cup Light olive oil
2 eggs
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/3 cup tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt

Filling:
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup chopped roasted almonds
Zest of two oranges
Olive oil for brushing

Topping:
Candied orange and lemon peel (homemade is the best, here’s an easy recipe)
Flaked almonds

Recipe:

1. Heat the milk on the stove or in the microwave.
2. Place the sugar, yeast,salt and oil in a large bowl and pour the hot milk over it. Stir to combine.
Milk3. Add the eggs and whisk so that sugar is dissolved completely.
Eggs4. Add the flour one cup at a time, mixing in between to form a rough dough.
Dough15. Transfer to a floured surface and knead for a few minutes until the dough is smooth.
Dough 26. Place the dough in an oiled bowl and let rise in a warm draft-free place to rise for 1hr 30 minutes.
DDough7. Punch the dough to deflate it and then flatten the dough to a rectangular shape (approximately 30 cm x 20 cm).
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8. Brush the inside area of the rectangle with olive oil, leaving 1cm on the sides.
9. Mix the sugar, cinnamon, sand zest in a small bowl and then sprinkle on the dough.
Sugar110. Add the chopped almonds.
Dough411. Starting from one of the long edges, start rolling the dough slowly. When you reach the other end, pinch the ends so they stick completely.
12. Place the dough on a baking sheet, lined with baking paper.
13. Place a small bowl in middle of the wreath so that the bread keeps its shape when baked.
Sheet114. Preheat the oven to 180C.
15. Brush the top of the bread with beaten egg and decorate with candied fruit and flaked almonds.
Sheet216. Bake in oven for 30 minutes. If it starts browning too quickly, cover it with foil after the first 15 minutes.
ENJOY!~~~~~~BP2

Jeweled Rice (Morasa Polow)

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Hello Everyone & Happy Mehregan!

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Have you heard of Mehregan? It’s the Persian Festival of Autumn, celebrating harvest season in ancient Persia. From almost 4th century BC, this day has been celebrated by Persians, and Zorostrians in particular to give thanks to God for being given food entering the cold months of the year. You could say it’s similar to Thanksgiving in the West. This was the tradition in ancient times. Nowadays, the tradition is still followed. Persians set colorful tables and all the family members gather around the table at lunch time and pray and eat together. Like almost all Persian festivals, this day is filled with dance, music, food and laughter!

This year I’ve joined a group of 27 awesome Persian bloggers to celebrate this festival. We all have posted Persian recipes on our blog simultaneously now, so please check them out as well, they all are a true inspiration to me:

Ahu Eats    All Kinds of Yum    Bottom of the Pot     Café Leilee  Della Cucina Povera      Fae’s Twist and Tango    Family Spice    Fig and Quince  Honest and Tasty       Lab Noon            Lucid Food         Marjan Kamali   My Caldron     My Persian Kitchen     Noghlemey             Persian Spice          Sabzi Blog                Simi’s Kitchen             The Saffron Tales    The Salty Pear          Spice Spoon             The Unmanly Chef       Turmeric and Saffron     Veggiestan     West of Persia          Zozo Baking                 Coco in the Kitchen

Today’s recipe is called “Morasa Polow” which literally means “Jeweled Rice“.  And I think by looking at it you can see why! It’s full of colourful ingredients which adorn the plain white basmati rice. This is one of the most beautiful dishes of the Persian cuisine and whoever has tried it, has fallen in love it! So I encourage you to definitely give this dish a go, you won’t regret it!

Noosheh Jan (=Bon Apetite)!! :)

Ingredients:

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2.5 cups plain white Basmati rice
1 white onion
1 double skinless chicken breast
1 teaspoon Curry powder
1 teapsoon Black pepper
Pinch of Salt
1/2 cup Blanched almonds
1/2 cup Blanched pistachios
1 cup Barberries
1/2 cup Rasins
1 cup Boiled sweetened orange peel, cut into strips
2 teaspoons Saffron, soaked in boiling water
Olive oil, for frying

Method:

1. Saute the onion in a pan, then add the chicken pieces with the curry powder, salt and pepper.

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2. Cook the chicken until completely cooked through.

3. Rinse the rice a few times with cold water then add it to a pan with enough water to cover it completely and a pinch of salt. Let it boil on medium heat until it is al dente.

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4. Drain the rice with cold water. Separate 1/3 of it in a bowl and add the saffron mixture to it. Mix well.

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5. Fry the barberries in a pan for 3 minutes.

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6. Fry the raisins in a pan for 3 minutes.

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7. Now is assembly time! Put the chicken pieces in the bottom of your chosen dish.

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8. Add white rice on top to completely cover it. Then decorate the top of the rice with the rest of the ingredients, in whatever shape you desire.

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Winston Knot Bread

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Hello everyone!
As you know, I love baking bread at home and today’s bread is my favorite bread that I’ve made so far. It is so beautiful and eye-catching. Your friends and family will think you’ve put a lot of effort in making it,but in fact, it is not that difficult! After doing it once, you’ll get the hang of it quickly and you can make it again without even looking at the recipe.

SO without further adieu, I present to you probably the most stunning bread ever! :D

Ingredients:
3.5 cups plain flour
2 teaspoons dried yeast
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons light olive oil
Sesame/poppy seeds        

Method:
1. Pour 350 warm water in a jug and mix in the yeast. Then, add the oil and stir.
2. Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl.
3. Add the water mixture to the dry ingredients and combine to form a rough dough.
4. Transfer to a table and knead until you get a soft dough.
5. Place the dough back in the bowl, cover and let sit for 1 hr until doubled in size.
6. Transfer the dough to a table, punch it back and then divide it to 6 equal segments.
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7. Roll each segment into a 25 cm cylinder.
photo n1 8. Place the cylinders in cross shape like this:
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9. Fold the top left portion over the cross:
photo 3 10. Bring the top right portion under the cross, then over the shorter hand:
photo 4 11. Bring the outermost left hand over:
photo 5 12. Bring the outermost right hand under, then over:
photo 6 13. Bring the outermost left hand over:
photo 7 14. Pinch the remaining segments together so there aren’t any loose cylinders:
photo 8 15. Turn the dough over and VOILAAA!!
photo 9 16. Brush with water (or egg) and sprinkle some sesame or poppy seeds on top if you like.
photo 1017. Cover and let rise for 30-45 minutes.
18. Preheat the oven to 220C.
19. Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown.
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20. ENJOY!!!! ~~~~~ :)

Huevos Rancheros (Mexican Fried Eggs with Chilli and Tomato Salsa)

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Hello everyone!

Today is the first birthday of my blog! I’m so excited that I decided to blog one year ago, this day. It feels amazing sharing the food I like with all of my wonderful followers. So a big THANK YOU to you, I really feel flattered when you like or comment on my post, you make my day!
HUG

Now today’s post is a delicious Mexican breakfast recipe. I am in love with Mexican food. Whether it be desserts or main meals, Mexican food is full of color and flavour. My love of Mexico doesn’t finish at their food though! Their language, music, and dance is also so captivating to me. They just make me happy!

As you probably know, chilli is one of staples of the Mexican cuisine and for today’s recipe, the chillies come from my own humble pot! It’s only about 20 cm tall, but it gives chillies season after season, even in winter :D So much so that I give some away to my friends or family every now and then, there’s a limit to how many SUPER HOT chillies you can eat in a week, isn’t it?! :P

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“Huevos Rancheros” means “rancher’s egg” in Spanish. Its name comes from the traditional large breakfasts that Mexican farmers have on the ranch. It has a big kick to it because of the chillies, onion and the cumin powder. But, for me, even if my eyes tear up from all the hotness of chillies, I’d still say this breakfast is worth eating!!

I really hope you like today’s recipe, its something I will be making more often from now on, especially as a weekend late breakfast ;) If you decide to make this dish, put some Mexican music on full blast, I tell you you feel like you are in Mexico! :lol:

  ♫ ♫Cancion del Mariachi (From Deperado, Antonio Banderas)    ♫ 

 

Ingredients:

(Recipe from Elise Bauer)

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2 eggs
1/4 medium onion, diced
2 long green chillies, deseeded and diced
3-4 hot small red chillies (lessen depending on your hot food tolerance level), deseeded and diced
1/2 can (200 g) of whole or crushed tomatoes (or passata)
1/2 avocado, diced
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
4 tablespoons olive oil, for frying
Parsley, to garnish
Tortillas to serve

Method:

1. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in pan and fry the onions until translucent.

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2. Add the tomatoes and crush them in the pan. Add cumin powder and simmer for 2 minutes.

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3. Add both chillies, continue simmering until reduced.

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4. Meanwhile, in a separate frying pan, heat 1-2 tablespoons of oil ( depending if you’re frying the eggs one by one or together) and fry the eggs.

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5. Heat the tortillas at the same time.
6. Once all elements are ready, its time to assemble!
a)Place the tortilla on plate first.
b)Top with egg.
c)Add the salsa on one side of the egg.
d)Garnish with pieces of avocado and parsley.

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Enjoy! ~~

Schiacciata con L’uva (Italian Grape Harvest Bread)

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Hi everyone!
Today’s recipe is from the beautiful region of Tuscany in Italy. “Schiacciata con L’uva” in Italian literally means “crushed with grapes”. This bread is baked and sold in bakeries across Tuscany during harvest season. The most authentic version of this bread is made with local Tuscan sweet and juicy dark grapes called “uva fragola” meaning “strawberry grapes”. If you can find these grapes where you live, then definitely use those. I could not so I used red seedless grapes instead.

Vineyeard-in-Chianti-Tuscany-Italy-famous-landscape

A vineyard in Tuscany

You can use almost as much grapes as you want, the more actually the better! You can also make the dough thinner to end up with a crispy bread.
Sprinkling of sugar on top of grapes make the bread sweeter and a bit sticky and oh so yummy! :D

This bread goes well with cheese , wine and of course some Italian music! You might like this one:

  ♫  RENATO CAROSONE- “TU VUO’ FA’ L’AMERICANO” (meaning “You Want to Be American”)  ♫ ♫

 

P.S. The flag in picture is green, white and red, but for some reaosn it shows up as blue in my camera!  :roll:

Ingredients:
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700 g plain flour
1.5 teaspoon active dry yeast
5 tablespoons caster sugar
1 tablespoon light olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
500 g dark sweet grapes
1 tablespoon rosemary (optional)

(Recipe from Caroline Betherton)

Method:

1. Place the flour, sugar and salt in a bowl and mix well.
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2. Pour 450 ml of warm water in a bowl, and mix in the yeast. Then add the oil and stir.
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3. Make a well in middle of dry ingredients and add the liquid gradually. Stir to get a rough dough.
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4. Transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes until you get a soft and smooth dough.
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5. Put the dough back in an oiled bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place for 2 hours.
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6. Transfer the dough to a floured surface, knock it back and knead again gently. Then divide then dough into 3 equal parts.
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7. Take 2/3 do dough and flatten it with a rolling pin to the size of your rectangular or Swiss roll tin.
8. Line the tin with baking paper and rub some olive oil on the baking paper. Then place the 2/3 of dough from step 7 in the tin.
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9. Arrange 2/3 of grapes on top of dough and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of sugar.
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10. Flatten the rest of the dough with your hands and place on top of grapes. Then arrange the remaining grapes on top.
11. Let rise again in warm place for 1 hour. Then sprinkle with 3 tablespoons of sugar and rosemary.

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12. Preheat the oven to 200 C.
13. Bake for 20 minutes at 200 C, until golden on top.
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Enjoy! ~~~ :)

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Chinese Sweet and Sour Chicken

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Hello everyone!
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Today’s recipe is in spirit of the new Chinese New Year. Can you believe this is the first Asian dish I have ever made at home?! :lol: Well, having tasted this dish, I think I’m gonna try to learn more about Asian flavours and try more of them, ‘cuz this one was very tasty!

Sweet and sour is a very popular flavour in Chinese dishes and is not limited to chicken. You can make sweet and sour ribs, pork, fish and even shrimp. So, if you’re a fan of this flavour like I am, there are plenty of ways to cook with it!

My version of sweet and sour chicken is healthier than the other version, where chicken is deep fried and served with a sweet and sour sauce.

What is your favourite Chinese dish by the way?

Ingredients:
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1 (single) chicken breast, diced
1/4 cup diced red capsicum
1/4 cup diced green capsicum
1/2 cup pineapple pieces
1/4 cup pineapple juice
1/8 cup chicken stock
1.5 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1.5 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 teaspoons corn flour
1 tablespoon light olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

Method:

1. Heat oil in a pan. Then add the chicken pieces with salt and pepper and cook until browned.
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2. Add the red and green capsicum and cook for 2 minutes.
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3. Mix the rest of the ingredients , except the corn flour, in a bowl and then add to the pan with the pineapple pieces.
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4. Let simmer until the stock has just reduced.
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6. Mix the corn flour with 2 teaspoons of water in a bowl and then add to the pan.

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7. Let simmer until the sauce has thickened.

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8. Serve with steamed rice.
Enjoy! ~~photo 2 (2)

Other Sweet and Sour Chickens Around the World:

1. Sweet and Sour Chicken with Asparagus
http://josephineharrington.wordpress.com/2013/12/01/sweet-and-sour-chicken/

2. Jamaican Sweet and Sour Chicken
http://recafo.wordpress.com/2013/11/17/sunday-recipe-jamaican-sweet-sour-chicken/

3. Sweet and Sour Chicken with Ketchup and Soy Sauce:
http://offthecuttingboard.wordpress.com/chicken/sweet-and-sour-chicken/