Featured

Gali’s Little Kitchen – About Me

My grandma always said: “if it’s made with love, it will always be delicious!”

Hello, my name is Gali and I welcome you to my blog. My main passions in life are my kids (I have got three – a girl and two boys) and cooking and baking.

In my blog I would like to share with you our family favourite recipes – the ones that even the fussiest eater in our family (my youngest son) is happy to tuck into. All the recipes on my blog are tried and tested multiple times, most of them written by celebrity chefs or from the best of the Internet. Some I left as they are and some I adapted to our family taste buds. I hope you enjoy reading my blog and trying the recipes, please feel free to comment or email me with your suggestions and questions!

Thanks for joining me in my new adventure!

Gali x

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Russian olad’i also known as blinis

Staying at home for the past three weeks, cooking lunches and dinners on a daily basis reminded me about hobbies that I put aside due to work and family life. Not being able to work and having plenty of time for cooking created the perfect excuse to get back to what I enjoy and am passionate about. A silver lining in this Covid-19 cloud.

The recipe below I learnt from my mum, who in her turn, learnt it from her mum. It’s a simple recipe and a family favourite, that has been the star on our table multiple times in recent weeks, especially because we could not get hold of bread or matzah, but still had some eggs and flour left in our cupboards (as bakers do).

This recipe is not Passover kosher but with the current situation being able to choose is a bit of a luxury and we have been very fortunate to have our circle of support. All our wonderful neighbours and friends who bought and delivered our groceries in the past weeks – big thank you, guys, for all your love and help. We feel truly privileged to have you in our lives!!

A little about the recipe – it’s very simple and yet versatile. Can be served sweet or savoury, also great for social gatherings and canapes (once opportunity arises). The blinis are easy to make and inexpensive, can be topped with anything such as chocolate spread (see my recipe for home made Nutella here) or maple syrup for a sweet option, crème fraiche and salmon (or caviar/roe) – pescatarian. Our family favourite is bacon and maple syrup.

Preparation time:     10 minutes

Frying time:              approx. 30 minutes

Makes:                        feeds 3 hungry children

 

Ingredients

2 Large Eggs

500ml Kefir

A pinch of salt

1tsp Baking powder

2 1/3 Cups plain flour

Oil for frying

 

Method

  1. Beat the eggs in a large bowl and add kefir, mix them together add salt and baking powder.
  2. Add flour and mix until no lumps left, you should aim to have a thick mixture that resembles sour cream and falls of a spoon.
  3. Fry in some oil in a well heated frying pan, on a medium flame.
  4. Serve with your favourite toppings and enjoy.

Food Photography course at School of Artisan Food at Welbeck

In the past month I have found myself driving to Welbeck. Not once, but twice. Both times I felt that I had learned something new so I have decided to share my experience with you guys.

After starting my food blog here on wordpress.com I thought it might be a good idea to have some half decent photos to go with it. As a result, the first course (after a long break) I signed up for was a food photography course at The School of Artisan Food in Welbeck, Nottinghamshire.

The experience starts way before you get to the school. The road to Welbeck is very green and picturesque, with fields all around, trees and beautiful, period stone buildings.

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Food photography is a half a day course with Victoria Harley.  The day starts at 9:30am with registration and refreshments, including hot drinks and locally made breads and jam. This is the perfect opportunity to meet your fellow food loving photographers.

At 10am the course begins, most of the attendees bring their own cameras, however if you forget your camera there is a spare one at the school, reserved for such occasions. During the course we’ve covered topics such as props, background, compositions, different textures, ingredients, positioning, and the use of natural light and shadows. We also spent time getting familiar with aperture, ISO and shutter speed.

At about 1pm we had a beautifully prepared lunch that was prepared at the school by their team of chefs, using local produce. The refreshments and lunch are included in the price of the course.

After the lunch the course is finished and we were free to go home and practice our newly gained skills. Below are some photos that I have taken during the course (no editing, watermarked only).

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The props we have been working have been truly amazing.

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Personally, I feel that the course has given me more confidence in using my camera for food photography. This is an introduction course, suitable for the beginners, to gain new skills and ideas on how to improve their food photography. You can find more information about this course on the School of Artisan Food website (https://www.schoolofartisanfood.org/product/introduction-to-food-photography-half-day).

Thank you for reading,

Gali x

 

 

 

Cheese Buns

To be honest this recipe wasn’t planned to be posted next. I had a few recipes before this one in the pipeline, however, when I tried these buns and today being a high Jewish holiday I chose to give this successful recipe a priority.

Last night we started celebrating Shavuot in our house. We celebrate it by having a dairy meal. I won’t bore you with the details of Shavuot, which you can find online if interested. I would like to tell you about a bun recipe I have tried yesterday.

The buns contain no yeast, only self raising flour and 4 different types of cheese!! These savoury buns turn out great and are full of flavour. They are easy to make although the ingredients are not cheap. The buns are packed with cheese and by using a stronger, full bodied cheese you can enhance their flavour. If cooking for kids I would suggest to stick with a milder cheese. I stumbled upon this recipe in Janna Gur’s book “The Book of New Israeli Food a Culinary Journey”. Followed it to the “T” with one change – I had to use more cheese for coating and they all were gone within a few hours. This recipe makes 30 small buns and they are very nice warm or cold.

Enjoy baking and happy holidays!!

Preparation time:     30 minutes
Baking time:               20 minutes
Makes:                          30 Portions

Nutritional values per bun: calories 150kcal, fat 10.3g, carbohydrates 8.8, protein 5.2

Ingredients
350g Self raising flour
250g Ricotta
200g Gruyere cheese, grated (the original recipe suggests some alternatives such as kashkaval or parmesan)
150g Feta
1 Large egg
200g Butter, melted

FOR THE COATING
70g Hard cheese, grated (I used Cheddar cheese)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees (180 degrees fan-assisted).
  2. Place all the ingredients in a bowl (except the cheese for the coating) and mix with your hands into a soft dough, add some flour if the dough is too moist.
  3. Divide into 30 balls (approximately 38g each), dip the dome of each ball in the grated coating cheese and arrange evenly spaced on a tray lined with baking paper.
  4. Bake for about 20 minutes, cool slightly and serve.

Banoffee Traybake

Hi all, sorry I have disappeared for a bit. Last month has been pretty busy. We had a wave of some sunny – hot weather here in the UK, my first 10K run, a weekend away, followed by a bank holiday weekend. Now I am not training for a run I decided to treat myself to some banoffee traybake.

The recipe below has got a long story behind it. A few years back, I stumbled on Mary Berry’s recipe for a banoffee traybake from her book “Cook now eat later”. I like the idea of a traybake, it’s a great way for a lighter portion and catering for larger parties. I tried to make this recipe numerous times, unfortunately it never worked out. The cake always turned out undercooked, even when baking for twice the time or longer. Later on I came across Nigella Lawson’s recipe for a banana breakfast ring from her book “Feast – food that celebrates life” I was very excited. Nigella suggests it to be baked in a ring tin, however, I was still hoping for a traybake. From the first attempt the cake turned out beautifully and absolutely delicious.

My next step was to combine the two recipes together: Nigella Lawson’s cake recipe with Marry Berry’s caramel icing recipe. This cake turned out to be a winner!! One traybake makes about 18 squares and you can make even more by cutting them a bit smaller. A quick alternative is to use a ready made caramel to ice the cake but home made turns out rich, thick and absolutely beautiful. This cake is delicious even without the icing.

This cake is so good that my youngest son asked me to make a Pokémon birthday cake out of it (please see the picture above). Note: In this post I won’t be explaining how to decorate a Pokémon cake, but if you are interested please drop me a message, or comment and I will respond with some details on how to do it.

Preparation time:     15 minutes
Cooking time:           30 minutes
Makes: 18 Portions

Ingredients

FOR THE CAKE
3 Bananas
60ml Vegetable (I use grapeseed) oil
3 Eggs
½ Lemon juice
1tsp Vanilla extract
200g Caster sugar
325g Plain flour
1 tsp Baking powder
½ tsp Bicarbonate of soda

FOR THE TOPPING
50g Butter
50g Light muscovado sugar
405g tin light condensed milk

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees (160 degrees fan-forced) and oil (or line with baking parchment) a traybake tin 32x23cm (approx.).
  2. Mash the bananas, add the oil, eggs, lemon juice, vanilla, sugar and whisk it all together.
  3. In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda, then fold it into the wet mixture.
  4. Pour into the oiled tin and bake for about 30 minutes, until risen and golden brown, the cake should be springy in the middle. Cool down in a tray for about 10 minutes and then turn it out onto a cooling rack.
  5. For the toffee, place the butter, sugar and light condensed milk into a saucepan and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved.
  6. Turn the heat up and bring to the boil stirring continuously. Simmer for two minutes until smooth and starting to thicken.
  7. Remove the toffee from the heat and allow cool slightly, pour over the cool cake.
  8. Spread out evenly with a small palette knife. Use a hot knife to cut into squares.

TIP: You can bake it in advance and freeze it, ice the cake once thoroughly defrosted. To make the cake Kosher Parve it can be left without icing or iced with the chocolate spread, please see the recipe here: https://wordpress.com/post/galiskitchen.wordpress.com/18

 

Soft White Dinner Rolls

Preparation time: approximately 3 hours with proving and baking
Makes: 30 buns

Ingredients

FOR THE DOUGH
600g Strong white bread flour
1 sachet Fast action yeast
½ tbsp Salt
1 tbsp Caster sugar
375ml Milk
20g Butter

FOR THE TOPPINGS
1 Egg, beaten
1 tbsp Milk
Pinch Salt
1 – 2 tsp Sesame seeds
1 – 2 tsp Poppy seeds

Method

  1. Combine all the dry ingredients in a mixer bowl.
  2. Put the milk and butter in a microwavable jug and warm up for about one minute, until the butter begins to melt.
  3. Add the liquid ingredients to the mixer bowl and with a dough hook knead the dough until smooth and silky (about 5 minutes).
  4. Make the dough into a ball, put it in the bowl and cover with cling film, leave in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size.
  5. Punch the air out of the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface.
  6. Roll into ping pong size balls (approx. 30g+ each) and place them on a baking sheet about 1cm apart. You should get 30 balls of dough – I arrange them in 5 lines of 6.
  7. Cover them with a tea towel and leave to rise again in a warm place until they just about touching.
  8. Pre-heat oven to 220 degrees (200 degrees fan-assisted). Beat together the egg, milk and a pinch of salt and brush the buns. Scatter some of the buns with poppy seeds, some with sesame seeds and leave some plain. I do two rows each – 2 plain, 2 with poppy seeds and 2 with sesame seeds.
  9. Bake the buns for 15 minutes, the buns should be golden brown and joined together in a batch. Transfer onto a cooling rack. The buns then can be served straight away.

 

TOP TIPS: When the dough is made rather than covering it with a cling film I use disposable shower cups that you can pick up on your travels – fits perfectly and allows the dough to rise (this handy tip I picked up on a baking course some years ago). Once the buns are baked, I cover them with a tea towel to keep them soft and fresh.

These tasty bite size buns are very easy to make and will become your family favourites after the first bite. When fresh these buns are better than anything you find in the shops. Use of sesame or poppy seeds is optional, even plain these buns are delicious!! In my house they are usually gone within a few hours. The original recipe can be found in Nigella Lawson’s book “Feast – food that celebrates life”.

Home Made Chocolate Spread

Preparation time: 20 minutesDSCN 6a
Makes: approx. 360g
Nutritional Values: approx. 500 kcal per 100g

Ingredients

200g Blanched hazelnuts
130g Icing sugar
50g Unsweetened cocoa powder
½ tsp Vanilla extract
Salt to taste – in our house we prefer a bit more than a pinch for the sweetness to shine through
½ tsp Vegetable oil

Method

  1. Pre-heat oven 200 degrees (fan assisted). On a lined tray, roast hazelnuts for about 5 – 7 minutes, cool them a little.
  2. Blitz the hazelnuts in a food processor.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients and keep blitzing until the nuts release their natural oils and create a spread of the consistency you desire.
  4. Put in an air tight container and enjoy.

This recipe is our breakfast favourite. The spread turns out beautiful and chocolatey, very smooth and it smells divine! Works very well on any type of bread – shop or home-made or drizzle over an ice cream and will satisfy any chocolate lover!!

I found this recipe by chance on line https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6iUOaqzhls and my first thought was “what a great idea it looks delicious and the ingredients are natural”. It took me couple of times to master this recipe. I suggest, for a better flavour and easier blitzing, to roast the nuts and not use blanched ones. Cut all the ingredients in half it will make a nice quantity and it’s always easy to make a fresh batch. Please use a high-quality cocoa powder. Lastly, please use a powerful food processor like the one shown. Wishing you all happy and super chocolatey cooking!!

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