Author: thecoffeebreak

Stuffed Mushroom Caps

I kind a have love / hate relationship with
mushrooms. I remember few years ago I used to eat them quite often. But when I
was pregnant with my son, I absolutely hated any kind of mushrooms. So I
stopped buying them for almost a year. If you think I am kidding, than you are
wrong. There was no mushroom in my kitchen for a year. None, zero, zilch.  I just could not stand them. Crazy, isn’t it?

I do regret it now, because of it my daughter now
do not eat mushrooms at all, but prior that she loved eating my creamy mushroom
soup at least once every other week. I do hope she grows out of it and she will
eat them again. Actually I haven’t made that soup for over two years now
(oops!), but I really should make a batch.

 

So when finally I felt like I could try to eat
mushrooms again, I almost immediately thought about these little mushroom
bites.  They are great appetizers or
party food and can be prepped ahead of time. Than when you are ready to serve, simply
stuff the mushrooms with a filling, bake for 20 minutes and serve. The other great
thing about these mushrooms that the filling combinations can be endless!  So what are you waiting for? Go, bake some
and fell in love with these stuffed mushroom caps! 😉 

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Stuffed
Mushroom Caps
Serves 6 as appetizer
Ingredients:
24 white button mushrooms
250 g cream cheese, at room temperature
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 tbs chopped coriander
1 tbs chopped parsley
60 g grated mature cheddar cheese
Salt, pepper to taste
½ cup bread crumbs, divided in half
Olive oil
Method:
1.Preaheat oven to 180 C, line cookie sheet with grease-proof
paper.
2. With damp kitchen towel clean the mushrooms,
remove the stems and set aside.
3.In a large bowl combine cream cheese, minced
garlic, chopped parsley and coriander, cheddar cheese and half of the breadcrumbs.
Finley chop mushroom stems and add to the cream cheese. Mix all until combined.
Season with salt and pepper.
4.Scoop about 1 tbs of cream cheese mix into the
mushroom caps. Sprinkle with remaining breadcrumbs and drizzle with little
olive oil.
5.Bake for 20-25 minutes or until browned. Leave
for a few minutes to cool before serving.
Like mushrooms? Why not to try these recipes 😉

Oven-baked Leftover Rice and Mushroom Cakes and Herb Yogurt

Lemon Cupcakes with Raspberry Marscapone Frosting

Lemon Cupcakes with Raspberry Mascarpone Frosting || www.thecoffee-break.com
 Even though I am totally chocolate and caramel
cake kind a girl, in spring I crave fresher and lighter desserts. More fruity, zesty
and lighter in texture.

Lemons are must-have in any kitchen as they are
such a versatile fruit. Not only are they great in all kind of dessert and
treats, such as lemon curd, cakes or cookies, they also goes well in many savory dishes. They are truly a must for marinating fish or seafood, or for
making delicious vinaigrette for salads.
Lemon Cupcakes with Raspberry Mascarpone Frosting || www.thecoffee-break.com
In spring I usually have a huge craving for
everything lemony. Everything I bake ends up with a hint of lemon. Anything I
drink should contain at least one slice of lemon. You get where I am going : )
Lemon Cupcakes with Raspberry Mascarpone Frosting || www.thecoffee-break.com

Raspberries and lemons are so perfect when paired together
and for me it is definitely a spring combination. So when couple of weeks ago I
hand this lemon craving, I immediately knew I wanted to bake lemon cupcakes.
Usually I do not do any frosting, but since I already had some raspberries and
mascarpone in my fridge, I decided to whip up some.

Lemon Cupcakes with Raspberry Mascarpone Frosting || www.thecoffee-break.com

Lemony and light in texture with the creamy
raspberry mascarpone frosting – they are perfect to enjoy with your cuppa any
day. Enjoy!
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Lemon
Cupcakes with Raspberry Mascarpone Frosting
Makes 12 cupcakes
Ingredients:
For cupcakes:
150 g all-purpose flour, sifted
1 ½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
150 g unsalted butter, softened
170 g granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
Zest from one lemon and juice from two
medium lemons
4 tbs milk
For frosting:
250 g fresh raspberries, pureed
250 g mascarpone cheese
180 g icing sugar, sifted
1 tsp vanilla extract
Extra raspberries for topping
(optional)
Method:
1.Preaheat oven to 180 C, line 12
cupcake tins. Set aside.
2. In a medium bowl mix flour, baking
powder and salt. Set aside.
3.In a medium bowl add butter and
sugar, with an electric mixer cream together until light and fluffy.
4.Than add eggs, one at a time. Whisk
until just combined, scraping sides of the bowl in between as needed.
5.Add in vanilla, lemon juice and
milk. Whisk for 30 seconds.
6.Slowly add dry ingredients and lemon
zest. Whisk until just combined. Do not over-whisk it.
7. Divide batter evenly among 12
cupcake liners. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until when inserting toothpick in the
middle of the cupcake, it comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.
8. For the frosting, in a medium bowl
add mascarpone cheese, icing sugar and vanilla extract. On medium speed, whisk
together until smooth. Than with the spatula fold in pureed raspberries.
9.Pipe raspberry mascarpone frosting
over cooled lemon cupcakes. Top with extra raspberries if desired. Enjoy!

Chicken Fillet Patties

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I am always on look out for a new dinner recipes,
because let’s be honest, from time to time I feel like I am stuck in a circle
by cooking same type of dinner over and over again. 

I do not own a lot of cook books. Just a few
books what I took with me from Latvia when I just moved to Ireland and few I
bought myself later on. I used to buy lots and lots of cooking magazines,
looking for some inspiration.  Some
recipes worked well for my family, and I still make them. And some were total
fail. You live, you learn. Right?
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Nowadays a lot of my inspiration comes from
Pinterest. I have to admit, I am slightly addicted to it. Ok ok, I confess, I
am addicted a lot. Here I said it : )
But sometimes idea comes from your friends or relatives.
Just like this recipe I am about to share. About these chicken patties I first
time learned from my friend. Well, actually they were turkey but chicken works
as well as turkey. So, we were sitting drinking coffee and chatting about food,
as you do, when I might complained told her that I had no idea what to
cook that night for dinner. And she suggested I try turkey patties she makes
for her family. It is hit in her house, so I thought why not to try as well,
just with the chicken instead. 
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She told me ingredients
she uses and I slightly adapted them, just to suit my family needs.
You need to start by
washing chicken fillets than pat them dry with paper towel. After that transfer
to chopping board and cut into small pieces. Transfer to a medium size bowl.
Next you need chop the
onion, peel and grate the carrot. Transfer to the chicken. Than chop coriander
and as well add to the chicken. Next peel one clove of garlic, mince it and add
to the chicken. After that add 2 tablespoons of mayo; season with salt and
pepper, mix all until combined. Cover the bowl with cling film and put it into
fridge for an hour.
After an hour, over
medium heat put non-stick frying pan and add oil.
To the chicken add
beaten egg and 3 tablespoons of flour. With a spoon (soup spoon), scoop
generous amount of chicken mix and add to the hot pan, shaping round patty. Repeat
with rest of the chicken mix. You may need to fry them in batches. Fry until
golden on both sides and cooked through inside. 
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Do
you ever feel like you are stuck in a rut by cooking same thing over and over?
If yes, where do you get your inspiration? I would love to hear from you!

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for more? Follow me on Twitter, Instagram , Facebook
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for latest updates.
Chicken
Fillet Patties
Serves 4-6
Ingredients:
3 large chicken fillets
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, grated
Small bunch of coriander, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tbs mayo
1 large egg, beaten
3 tbs  all-purpose flour
Salt, pepper to taste
Oil for frying
Method:
1.Wash and pat dry chicken fillets.
Than chop them into small cubes and transfer to a medium bowl.
2.Finley chop one onion and grate one
carrot. Transfer to the bowl with cubed chicken.
3.Wash and than chop coriander, add it
to the bowl with chicken.
4.To the chicken add minced garlic and
mayo, season with salt and pepper; stir well and transfer to the fridge for an
hour.
5.Over medium heat place non-stick
frying pan, add oil.
6.To the chicken add egg and flour,
mix all until combined.
7.With spoon (soup spoon), scoop
generous amount of chicken mix and put it to the pan, shaping round patty.
Repeat with the rest of the mix. You may need to fry them in batches. Fry until
golden from both sides and cooked through inside.

Apple Ring Fritters

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You know how they say :An apple a day keeps doctor away.
Well who said in what form this apple should be eaten, right? Ok, maybe it is
better to eat it fresh, but let’s forget about it for the moment, shall we?

Even though it feels like it is more an autumn recipe, I
just could not wait till autumn to share with you with this simple yet
delicious recipe.  Soft, pancake liker from outside with a
warm and fluffy apple inside.  Not to
mention cinnamon and sugar coating. Yum! I feel my mouth start to
water as I type this… Ok, moving on…
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Ridiculously easy to make and
only requires few ingredients, that you probably already have in your cupboard,
it quickly became staple snack in our house. And did I mention it is ready
under 25 minutes? So it is a win-win situation for me 🙂
 Or if you looking for simple and trouble-free
dessert, just add a scoop of vanilla ice-cream to the apple fritter and you
have a delicious dessert. Perfect!
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Ok, on to the recipe. It is very
straightforward recipe and you should not have any problems. Start by mixing
all your dry ingredients into a medium size bowl. Then in separate bowl beat
egg and milk. Then add your wet ingredients to the dry, mix until
combined.  Set aside.
Cut apples into 0,5 cm thick
slices. Cut the middle of the apple slice, using small cookie cutter or piping
nozzle, discarding them afterwards. 
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In a large heavy-bottomed pot add
oil. When the oil is around 190 C, start dipping apple rings into batter,
shaking excess batter. Slowly lower into the oil and fry until golden on both
sides. Fry only couple of apple rings at the time. When ready transfer onto
paper towel.
Serve warm, dust with powdered
sugar. Enjoy!
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Apple Ring
Fritters
Serves 4
Ingredients:
1 glass of flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp cinnamon
2 tbs sugar
Pinch of salt
½  glass
of milk
1 large egg
2 apples
Oil for frying
Powdered sugar
Method:
1.In a medium bowl mix flour, baking powder,
cinnamon, sugar and salt. In separate bowl beat the egg and then add milk,
whisk all together. Then whisk egg and milk mixture to the flour mix until
combined. Batter should be thick.
2.Slice the apples into 0,5 cm thick slices,
then using piping nozzle or small cookie cutter, cut the middle of each apple
slice, discarding core afterwards.
3.To a large heavy-bottomed pot add oil. When
the oil is hot (it should be about 190C ), begin dipping each apple ring to
the batter, shaking off any excess. Then carefully lower each ring into the
oil. Fry only couple of rings at a time until golden on each side. When done,
transfer onto the paper towel. Repeat with the remaining apple rings.
4.Serve warm, dusted with powdered sugar. Enjoy!

Courgette and Aubergine Chutney

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 Recently my local store had sale on courgettes. They were
pretty cheap, so my greedy inner voice told me it would be good idea to buy
whole lot of them. And I listened.  So
there they were, sitting in the fridge and waited for their fate. I have to say
I had no idea what to do with them and because of that I kid of regretted that
I bought so many. Lesson learned – do not buy large quantity of food unless you
know what you are going to do with them.

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Anyhow, after a few days of ignoring them and a few days of
pondering what to do with them I made my mind. After seeing delicious looking
courgette chips on pinterest, I decided to try them out. Let me tell you, it
was B-I-G fail. I do not know what went wrong, but they tasted horrible. Good
thing I was only using few of the courgettes to try the recipe.  Yay for that!
And then I remembered my mom and grandma used to make
courgette and aubergine chutney. Every summer they would make big batches of
this chutney and canned it. We would eat it through the autumn and winter months.
And if we are lucky we would have one or two jars left in spring. It is usually
served as a side dish or, as I like to eat it, on toasted or fresh bread. Yum!
It is very easy to make this chutney, but the process itself
can take time as I fry each ingredient separately before putting them together
in one pot. I just think it tastes much better this way rather than dumping all
in one pot.  That is why I like to use
two frying pans to cut the cooking time. 
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Firstly I like to prep my veggies before I start to cook. I
chop the onion, grate the carrots. Cut off each end of courgettes
and cut lengthwise in half then cut each half in half again, ending up with quarters, then just chop them up. I do not bother to peel courgettes
skin but if you like than do it. Then peel and chop the aubergines, chop the
bell pepper and tomatoes.
Now that you are done prepping your veggies, preheat two
frying pans over medium-low heat.  Add 2
tablespoons of oil into each pan. When the pan is hot, add onions to one and
courgettes to another. You may need to fry courgette in batches. When the onion
is softened a bit, add carrots. Fry for couple of minutes and then transfer to
medium/large pot. Same with the courgettes, fry until they are softened, then
transfer to the pot. Repeat same with aubergine, pepper and tomatoes. Add more
oil to the pans as needed. Just be aware that courgettes and aubergines soak a
lot of oil, you may add a little bit of water to the pans instead of oil.
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After, when all of your veggies are softened and transferred
to the pot, add vegetable cube, or if you prefer season with salt and pepper. Stir
the veggies and then cover the pot with the lid; simmer on low heat for about
20-25 minutes or until veggies are done. For a little heat add one chilli
pepper to the pot, do not chop it, just add the whole chilli and when the chutney is
done, discard it.
Once cooled, transfer to an air-tight container and keep it
in the fridge for up to 5 days.
You can serve chutney warm or cold. Enjoy!
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Courgette
and Aubergine Chutney
Makes approx 750ml
Ingredients:
1 large onion, chopped
2-3 carrots, grated
4 courgettes (approx 1 – 1,5 kg), chopped
2 aubergines, peeled and chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
3 large tomatoes, chopped (you can use canned
tomatoes as well)
Oil for frying
Vegetable cube (if preferred can be used salt
and pepper)
1 chilli pepper
Method:
1.Firstly prep the vegetables. Chop the onions,
grate the carrots. Cut off each end of courgettes and cut lengthwise in half then cut each half
in half again, ending up with quarters,
then just chop them up. Then peel and chop the aubergines, chop the bell pepper
and tomatoes.
2.Preahet two frying pans over medium heat. Add 2
tbs of oil to each pan. To one pan add onions and fry until slightly softened, then
add carrots and fry for another minute. Transfer to a medium/large pot. To the
second pan add courgettes and fry until softened; you may need to do it in
batches. Repeat with the rest of the veggies, adding oil to the pan when
needed.
3.After all of your veggies are softened and transferred
to the pot, add whole chilli pepper and vegetable cube to it. Cover the pot
with the lid and let it simmer on low heat for about 20-25 minutes or until veggies
are done. Discard the chilli pepper when chutney is done.
4.Let the chutney cool before transferring to an
air tight container. Keep it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.  Chutney can be served warm or cold. Enjoy!
Note: Courgettes and aubergines can soak up a
lot of oil, therefore you can add a little water to the pans instead of oil.

5 Must-have Items to Keep in the Freezer

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On days when
you are running like a headless chicken and trying to run your errands, keep
children happy and think what to cook for dinner, it’s always handy to keep a
few basic ingredients in your freezer to make meal time easier. 

On days like
that when I am in a hurry to get dinner on the table, I always turn to my
freezer for help. Below are list of things that I pretty much always have in my
freezer that helps me without a hassle to dish up dinner in no time.
                                         
  1.  Frozen vegetables – I love frozen
vegetables for a few reasons:  (1) they
usually come pre-cut, so it saves time prepping and (2) they are great in stews
or soups, and most of the time you don’t even need to defrost them. Just throw a
few handfuls into your pot and wait for a meal to cook.

   2.  Berries – I always have some kind of
berries in the freezer. I usually buy fresh berries when they are on sale and
freeze them. We use them in smoothies, cupcakes, to make compotes or as topping
in porridge. 

   3.   Meat – particularly ground beef and
chicken fillets. If you are looking for versatility then ground meat is your
‘friend’. Cottage pie, spaghetti bolognese, burgers, lasagne just to name few meals
what you can make with ground meat.
 And of course chicken fillets. I usually pre-cut the fillets thinly,
divide into portions and freeze. They defrost quickly and cook evenly.
Easy-peasy.  

  4. Pizza base – it is handy to have a pizza
base in the freezer for those days when you are very busy and don’t have time
to cook. Just top the base with your favourite toppings, pop into the oven and
25 minutes later you have the dinner served. 
 
   5.   Bread – I often buy baguettes at the
end of the day when they are on sale, I simply put them in the freezer and when
I am running out of bread, I pop them into the pre-heated oven and leave them
there until they are crispy from outside and piping hot inside.Besides baguettes I keep hamburger buns and wraps as well.
So, here you have it, five
ingredients I always keep in my freezer. What about you? Do you have must-haves
you keep in your freezer? I would love to hear from you!