I cook, therefore I exist.

Egg Salad

I think, therefore I exist. French geometrician René Descartes in his famous essay "Discourse on the Method" created one of the most appealing ideas produced thanks to the typical human self-awareness. Thinking cannot be separated from the human mind, meaning that every human being thinks, therefore his/her existence is established beyond doubt. Where am I heading for with this? Give me a minute, and I'll make my point. ;)

Rocket Salad

More recently, Portuguese neurologist António Damásio came up with the idea that "I feel, therefore I am" in a wonderful book called "The Feeling of What Happens: Body, Emotion and the Making of Consciousness". Questions such as Who am I? Where do I come from? And what shall I have for lunch? Tough questions that may never get an answer! António Damásio believes our emotions hold the key to consciousness. Me too. Which proves nothing except my respect and admiration for the man. My point is I need to cook. It's not a mission or a task. It's simply my way of feeling alive. And that's the reason why I cook even when I travel or when I'm on vacations abroad. Easy, light meals such as salads, sandwiches or bruschettas to make me happy. Cooking cannot be separated from me, therefore, I exist!

Prosciutto Bruschetta

Tomato and Basil Bruschetta with Prosciutto

Serves 2

2 thick slices of (sourdough) bread, toasted on a griddle pan, both sides
1 garlic glove, peeled
good quality extra virgin olive oil
balsamic vinegar
4-6 ripe Cherry tomatoes, halved
4 fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
2 thin large slices of prosciutto
salt and pepper

Place the tomatoes in a bowl. Add the basil, season with salt and pepper, and toss with a drizzle of olive oil and a little balsamic vinegar, to taste. Cut the garlic glove and rub on the bread (it should be warm when you do this). Drizzle with olive oil. Place each slice on a plate, and add a spoonful of the basil and tomato mixture pushing gently with your fingers so flavours pass to the bread. Top with the prosciutto. Serve warm.


HHDD#22 - It's Pancake Time!

Caramelized pear pancakes

cream coloured ponies and crisp apple strudels
doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles
wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings
these are a few of my favorite things

Surely you've recognized the lyrics from Julie Andrews' favourite things in The Sound of Music. As much as I love apple strudel, I love pancakes more! So... my choice for this 22nd edition of Hay, hay it's Donna Day is Pancakes! I LOVE pancakes the American way (especially plain fluffy ones with fruit and honey or maple syrup) but I'm also a sucker for crepes French style (crisp and thin, folded with chocolate). All I ask is for you to use your pans any way you like, be it pancakes, crepes or pikelets, sweet or savoury, with scrumptious fillings and decadent garnishes or simply dusted with cinnamon and sugar - you choose it!

Caramelized pear pancakes

Caramelized Pear Pancakes
New Food Fast, p. 138, 162-164*

For the pancakes:

Makes 15

2 cups (250 g) plain flour, sifted
3 tsp baking powder, sifted
1/3 cup (85 g) caster sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cup (375 ml) milk
75 g butter, melted
pinch of salt

Place the flour, baking powder and sugar in a bowl. Place the eggs, milk, and butter in a separate bowl and whisk until combined. Combine mixtures and whisk until smooth. (Add extra milk to get the right consistency, if necessary).

Heat a greased medium non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Pour 1/3 cup of the mixture into the pan and cook, in batches, until bubbles appear on the surface. Turn the pancakes and cook for 1 minute or until golden. Repeat with the remaining mixture.

For the caramelized pears:

Sauté some sliced pears (I used 2 large ripe but firm pears) with 60g of butter and 3 tablespoons of light brown sugar, until soft. Arrange in layers with the pancakes. Add 3 tablespoons of light brown sugar to the saucepan, and 1 cup of single or pouring cream. Boil until thick. Pour over the pear and pancake stack, and serve.

*I own the Portuguese version of this book. Apologies if the pages aren't the same from the original, also the recipe may be slightly different as it's my translation.

Donna Hay's recipes:
Pancakes (From Modern Classics 2), p.56
Crepes (From New Food Fast), p.165
Pikelets (From Modern Classics 2), p.62
Blueberry Banana Pancakes (From Simple Essentials Fruit)
Hoisin Pork with Onion Pancakes (From New Food Fast), p.36


Hay Hay Its Donna Day is open to all food and wine bloggers.

Entries submitted for HHDD must be made specifically for this event, although photos may be submitted to Does My Blog Look Good In This.

The host will select, make and post the original Donna Hay recipe without any changes. Participants may make the same recipe as is, or put their own spin on the recipe by altering the ingredients whilst remaining with the theme or if they prefer to share a well loved recipe within the theme. Entrants must include a link to the host in their post.

Entries can be made at any time once the event has been announced but must be posted and emailed to the host by the closing date.

Deadline for all posts to be up and submitted is September 8, 2008. I will be posting the round up a week later (September 15) and voting will then begin!

Please email all your entries to gourmetsamadores[AT]gmail[DOT]com from now on till September 8. In your email, please include the following information: your blog name, your name, your location, your recipe name, and the permalink to your entry.

Hay Hay Its Donna Day is a food event created by Barbara from Winos and Foodies and now under the wing of Bron Marshall.

Get your pans ready!


Hay, hay, I won again!!

Almond Caramel Tiramisu

I won Hay, hay it's Donna Hay! Wooohooo! Now that's what I call great news! For those of you not yet familiar with the event, Hay, hay it's Donna Day was started by Barbara from WinosandFoodies, and it's now under the wing of Bron. Hay, hay it's Donna Day has to be my favourite food event, and certainly feels special to have won it twice!

Thank you to everyone who voted for my Almond Caramel Tiramisu. You sure did pick me up!! And a big, big thank you to Alexandra from Addicted Sweet Tooth for being the perfect host to the Tiramisu Edition!

Check this space, I'll be posting HHDD#22 theme pretty soon!