Author: thecoffeebreak

Farmers Cheese Breakfast Fritters {Sirniki}

If you ask me to name one dish that comes in mind
from my childhood memories, without a doubt it would be sirniki (seer-nee-kee). They were
usually made on weekends or mornings when there was nowhere to rush, and enjoyed
leisurely over the breakfast table. Ok, who am I kidding; they were gone as
soon as they hit the table as they were one of our favourite breakfasts 🙂

Sirniki are fritters or pancakes, and usually made
from farmers cheese, flour and/or semolina, egg and sugar. You can add vanilla
for taste, but I personally prefer without it. Also you can add raisins or
dried chopped apricots and omit sugar altogether for healthier version. Serve
them with dollop of sour-cream and lightly dust with powdered sugar. They also
can be served with jam or marmalade, or even with condensed milk. But I like
them more traditional way.


Now, speaking of farmer’s cheese. If you have not
heard about farmers cheese before then imagine cottage cheese or ricotta, but
much drier and tangier in taste. You can make farmers cheese yourself by using
this recipe, just make sure to drain it well by living it in a fridge
overnight. Alternatively you can buy it in an Eastern European shop or larger

It is very easy and quick to make sirniki. And you
do not really need any equipment, but of course you can use food processor for
your convenience. To be honest, I like to make sirniki only with semolina and
omit flour at all. In my experience they will hold shape better as using only
flour, more often than not, they fall apart in the pan.

In a bowl combine farmers cheese and egg, mix well
until combined. I use fork to break up farmers cheese and to make mixture fine
and even. Then add semolina and sugar, mix and leave to stand for 20-30 minutes
for semolina to plump up.

 Put non-stick frying pan over medium heat and
add oil, about 2-3 tablespoons.
In a plate put more semolina. With a spoon scoop
(I use soup spoon) out farmers cheese mixture and put directly into the plate
with semolina; roll it into a ball, then flatten into a patty. Repeat with the
rest of the mixture. You should
get about 8 patties.
When the oil
is hot, carefully place the patties into the pan. Fry until they are golden on
both sides. 
I prefer to
eat them warm, but there is nothing wrong with cold ones too.

You can easily
double this recipe if you want to cook bigger batch.

Farmers Cheese Fritters
Serves: 2-3

g farmers cheese
tbs sugar
tbs semolina
tbs oil for frying
a bowl mix farmers cheese and egg, use fork to break up farmers cheese and make
the mixture more even and fine.
semolina and sugar, mix all. Leave to stand for 20-30 minutes for semolina to
plump up a little.
up non-stick frying pan over medium heat, add 2-3 tbs of oil.
a plate put more semolina. With a spoon scoop out some farmers cheese mixture
and put it into the plate. Roll into a ball then flatten into a patty. Repeat
with the rest of the mixture. You should get about 8 patties.
the oil is hot, carefully put patties in the frying pan. Fry them until they
are golden on both sides.
served warm, with a dollop of sour-cream and dusted with powdered sugar. Also
can be served with jam, marmalade or condensed milk.


Easy weekday meal: {Sausage and Broccoli Egg Noodles}

 My life just got a
lot busier. My almost 5 year old
daughter started her first year at school (a squeal of excitement!), and I am
the one who is doing majority of school runs and after school activities, with a toddler in  tow. And let me
tell you, it is not always an easy task. In those moments I wish I could drive,
which by the way is on my mile long to do/achieve list. But I am getting there,
slowly but surely : ) 
With above being said, I am more and more opting for an easy
weekday meals, whether it lunch or dinner, quick and simple will do the job.
Weekends are more relaxed in our household, therefore more laborious meals are
being cooked then. 
This sausage and broccoli egg noodle dish is simple yet
satisfying and you could easily add more veggies if you want. It is quick to
make and you won’t need to stand hours near the stove.  Double score!

First, start with putting large pot with salted water over
medium high heat and bring it to a boil. Add egg noodles and frozen broccoli,
boil it for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
To a frying pan add oil and heat it up; add chopped sausage
and fry it for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then add chopped onions and
grated carrot, ½ cup of vegetable bouillon and simmer for another 3 to 5
minutes or until sausage is cooked through. Remove from the heat.
To the pan add noodles and broccoli, mix well. Add fresh
herbs, if using. Do not forget to grate some of your favourite cheese on top
and serve immediately.


Sausage and
Broccoli Egg Noodles
Serves 4
4 egg noodle nests
3 cups frozen broccoli
5-7 sausages, chopped
1 tbs oil
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, grated
½ cup of vegetable bouillon
Fresh herbs, optional
Cheese of your choice
1.Bring a large pot of salted water over medium
high heat to a boil, add noodles and broccoli. Boil for 5 minutes; drain and
set aside.
2.To a frying pan add oil and heat up over
medium heat. Add sausage and fry for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then add
onion, carrot and vegetable bouillon, simmer for another 3-5 minutes or until
sausage is cooked through. Remove from the heat.
3.To the pan add noodles and broccoli, mix well.
Add herbs, if using. Grate your favourite cheese on top of the noodles and
serve immediately. 

Homemade Almond Milk Recipe

 I only ‘discovered’ almond milk sometime last year.  Don’t get me wrong, I knew that there is alternative
to dairy milk, but, thankfully, having no allergies in my family, I was not
interested in non-dairy milk.
 But seeing so many of lovely bloggers raving about almond
milk, my curiosity took over and I decided to try it as well. I am not going to
lie, at first I wanted to buy it. But when I looked at the price at my local
store, all my desire disappeared. It costs almost €3 for one liter of almond
milk, which in my opinion is a pure robbery 

 So after doing some research, I was happy to find out that
to make your own almond milk is very easy. In fact to make basic almond milk,
you need only three ingredients. Yes, that’s right, only three ingredients –
almonds, water and some kind of sweetener. And that’s it!
Talking about sweeteners, I prefer to use dates as my
sweetener. Usually I use madjool dates, or any other dates I have on hand. But
you can use honey, maple syrup or stevia as well. Whatever you prefer.

The other nice thing about making your own almond milk is
you can add flavour to it. Like vanilla, cinnamon, cardamom, cacao powder,
cloves-just to name few.  
To make your own almond milk, you need to soak almonds for
10-48 hours. The longer you soak almonds, the creamier milk will be.  After they been soaked drain the water and
rinse almonds in running water.


 Put almonds into blender, add filtered water and dates.
Blend on highest speed for a couple of minutes or until smooth and frothy. 
Place 4 layers of cheesecloth over a strainer set over a
bowl. Pour the almond milk through the strainer into the bowl. When most of the
milk has passed through the strainer, gather the cheesecloth and twist, gently
squeezing it to remove any excess liquid. 
You will be left with almond pulp, which could be used in
baking. Just spread almond pulp onto cookie sheet and dehydrate in the oven
over low heat. So no waste here at all!
Store almond milk in glass jar or bottle in refrigerator for
up to 3 days.  Enjoy!

Almond Milk
 Makes about 1 liter
150g almonds
1 liter pure, filtered water, +for soaking
4-6 Madjool dates
almonds in a large bowl, pour pure, filtered water over almonds and let it soak
for 10-48 hours.
almonds been soaked, drain the water and rinse in cool running water.
Put almonds in blender, add pure, filtered water and dates. Blend on highest speed
for 2-3 minutes or until smooth and frothy.
Place  4 layers of cheesecloth over
strainer set over a large bowl. Pour almond mixture and let it strain for
couple of minutes. After all milk has been strained, gather cheesecloth and
twist, squeezing it gently to remove any extra liquid.
Transfer milk to a glass jar or bottle and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Shake
the bottle/jar before using.



Spicy Beef and Kidney Bean Lettuce Cups

Lunches nowadays are almost nonexistent for me. With one
toddler and one four year old, there seems never time just to sit down and have
a lunch.  And by the time I finally have
a free minute to eat I am always starving and ready to wolf down anything. And
I have to admit that not always it’s a healthy or wise choice. 

Sure, I could stock up with oh so convenient store bought ready-made
meals but knowing or rather not knowing what exactly goes in there, I prefer to
cook myself. I guess it is something to do with my upbringing.  My mom always cooked from scratch, every
single day and every single meal. And that’s what I do for my family now.

These lettuce cups are perfect if you don’t have a lot of
time on your hands yet want to eat something healthy.

Start with heating up oil in frying pan over medium heat.
Add onions and lightly fry them, stirring from time to time so you do not burn
them.  When onions are almost done add
your minced meat. Break down big lumps of mince meat, so that meat cooks evenly
and throughout. 
When the meat is almost done, add minced garlic and finely
chopped red chilli pepper. Season with salt and if you wish add some black
pepper as well. Stir well.
Now you can add kidney beans. I used canned beans, just
drain and give them a rinse.  Stir well.
Cook everything for another minute or so and your are done with cooking.
Wash your lettuce leaves, pat them with kitchen towel to
soak excess water.
Arrange lettuce on plate, scoop some meat into lettuce and
top with some shredded carrot for a crunch. And enjoy your lunch 🙂 
Spicy Beef and Kidney
Bean Lettuce Caps
Serves: 4 
Print this recipe
2 tbs sunflower oil
onion, chopped
g minced beef meat
garlic cloves, minced
½-1 red chilli, finely diced
pepper to taste
can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
Lettuce leaves, washed and dried
large carrot, julienned or grated
medium heat, heat up oil in frying pan. 
Add onion and gently fry for 5 minutes.
minced meat, garlic, chilli, salt and pepper. Keep frying for another 6-10
minutes or until minced is cooked. Break up large lumps as you fry the minced
When the minced meat is done, add kidney beans. Keep frying for another minute
or until kidney beans are heated up.
Place your lettuce cups on the serving plate, divide mixture evenly among the lettuce
cups. Top with some carrot.
Serve with sour cream.

Fried sardines with garlic, chilli and fresh herbs

Where did summer go? We are already half way through September
and I definitely can feel chills in the early mornings. Although I enjoyed our
summer a lot, I am happy to welcome the autumn.  

Past summer has been exceptionally warm this year what is
very unusual to Irish weather and I bet nobody have expected that. Temperatures
were reaching as high as 27C, and I have to tell you it was very pleasant
change from what we would typically have. 

With all the sudden hot weather I really baked or cooked anything
too complicated. Instead we spent majority of our time outside soaking up the
sun and satisfying our hunger with light meals, fruits. And of course lots of
popsicles and ice-creams kept us cool.
One of my preferred ways to spend hot summer days is near
seaside. Not necessary swimming or sunbathing, but just to be near water and
feel cool breeze coming from the sea.  

There are couple of nice beaches around Dublin but I have to
say that one of my most favourite is definitely Howth. Located at north side of
the Dublin, it is easy to access whether you drive or take a public
transport.  There are always plenty
things to do or see, such as Howth Castle or Martello Towers. Or if you would
like to see some breathtaking views, I suggest having a walk over cliff tops as
you circle Howth head. 

And not to forget that you can take a short boat trip to the
Ireland’s Eye. It’s a small unpopulated island, just off the coast of the
Howth. It takes only about 20 minutes to get there and boats to and from the
island departs every 30 minutes, so you can stay there as long or as little you
want.  I would suggest you take a picnic
with you and spend some time there just relaxing and enjoying wonderful sights. 

 In our house we all love fish. Whether it’s fried, baked or
grilled, we could eat it every day. And sardines are not exception.  They are delicious and do not require long
cooking, just season and  fry them and
your lunch is served. Easy!

Serves 4   


 8-10 sardines, gutted
and cleaned (you may need more sardines, depends on the size of yours sardines)

1 tsp chilli powder

Salt and pepper to taste

5-6 tbs all-purpose flour

 2 garlic cloves, sliced

Oil for frying

Chopped herbs to garnish

Lemon wedges


Put frying pan on a medium heat; add oil.

 Season sardines with
salt, pepper and chilli powder then dredge the sardines in the flour, shaking off
the excess flour.

To the frying pan add sliced garlic, gently fry it for about
minute then add sardines and fry for 2-3 minutes on each side.
Transfer to a
serving plate and garnish with fresh herbs. Serve with lemon wedges on the

Glimpse of our holiday in Torrevieja and prawns in garlic, olive oil and lemon marinade

It’s certainly become a tradition for us.

spring, for the past five years we go to Torrevieja.

Torrevieja (Old Tower),
pronounced as [toreˈβjexa], is a coastal
city located in the south-eastern Spain. Situated in the Costa Blanca and is just
47 km from the second-largest Valencian city – 
Alicante. With two airports nearby, one in Murcia and other in Alicante,
Torrevieja is easy to access. 

between the sea and two large salt lakes (Las Salinas), Torrevieja was
originally a salt-mining and fishing village and only in 1931 was given
official city status.

Torrevieja is relatively small city, there are plenty of thing to do and to see.
Whether you like an active holiday or just looking to enjoy a slow paced
Spanish life, there is something for everyone.


Even though Spanish
cuisine differs from region to region, they all have one in common – using locally
grown, fresh ingredients. Many dishes prepared nowadays are same as they were
hundreds years ago and recipes are usually passed from generation to
generations. Some dishes were developed with the help of the other cultures,
both invaders and visitors.

With all the
water that surrounds Spain, there are large choice of fresh seafood and fish at
the market. You can find anything from sea bream to shrimp and octopus.
The most
typical dish in Torrevieja is ’’Caldero’’, it’s a fish stew which consists of
different types of fish and rice and is cooked in cauldron – cast iron pot with
a tight-fitting lid. Caldero translates as cauldron, hence the name of the


There is
weekly market with abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as freshly
baked bread, pastries and other great produce. It takes place every Friday
morning at Salinero Calle. 

With the
plenty of seasonal and local food choices available, we always cook ourselves. The
meals are usually very simple and always consist of some kind of fish or
seafood and always a huge salad to accomplish the meal. Garlic, lemon, sea salt
and olive oil –  all what we need to
season our meals.
fresh and healthy.

Without any
doubt, after long winter and cold spring, warm Spanish sunshine is what we
needed.  Long walks along the beach, listening
to tranquillity of the waves and just sitting in cafe and sipping cortado or
coffee con leche and watching the world go by.
 We always come back recharged and ready for
the next challenges that awaits us back home.
Here is
simple prawn recipe we cooked a lot at Torrevieja. It only needs few
ingredients but it tastes flavoursome and complete.

Serves 2
500g prawns,
2-3 garlic
cloves, minced
Juice of 1
2 tbsp
chopped parsley
3 tbsp olive
Sea salt and
pepper to taste
In bowl combine
garlic, lemon juice, parsley, olive oil and salt and pepper, mix well until
Place prawns into marinade, make sure all prawns are well coated in the marinade.
Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Heat a non-stick
pan over medium heat, place prawns into the pan and cook for about 3 minutes
on each side. Discard the marinade used for prawns. 
shrimps to cool off a bit before serving.