Monday 28 March 2016



Easter Monday, lovely smell in our house, freshly baked bagels for festive breakfast. They are very easy recipe. This recipe requires leaving the dough to rise for hours, it is worth it! You can prepare day before and leave for raising overnight or wake up before your family?

Ok let’s start from ingredients with you need to prepare lovely breakfast.

225g strong plain flour

1 tsp salt

225g strong plain wholemeal flour

20g fresh yeast or 7g easy blend dried yeast

1 tbsp caster sugar

2 tbsp sunflower oil

About 300ml warm water

Decorations - Poppy seeds, sesame seeds, pink or black salt, sunflower seeds etc.

Grease two baking sheets well and set aside. Sift the white flour and salt into a large bowl, then stir in the wholemeal flour, yeast and caster sugar. Make a well in the centre, then add the oil an enough water, mixing to form a soft dough.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic. Shape the dough into a round, then place it in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and leave to rise in a warm place until double size or overnight.

Knock back the dough on a lightly floured surface, then divide it in 12 equal portions. Shape each piece of dough into a ball, then, using a floured handle of a wooden spoon make a hole through the centre of each ball. Enlarge the holes by putting the dough outwards slightly to form rings, making sure the holes are big enough. Place on the baking sheets, cover and leave to rise for about 30 min, or until double in size. 

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200C. Heat a large pan of water until it is simmering, then stir in the sugar until dissolved . carefully drop each bagel into  the simmering water and poach for about 3 minutes, turning once. Remove the bagels from the water, drain well, then return the bagels to the baking sheets. Spring the tops with seeds or salt. Bake the bagels for 15 – 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Cut in half to serve, warm or cold.

Recipe taken from:

Anne Sheasby
2004 by Duncan Baird Publishers Ltd 

Sunday 27 March 2016

Interview with Konstantinos Mataragkas

From now, every other weekend on our blog you will be able to read interviews with foodies from many areas of the food industry. Today you can read interview with Konstantinos Mataragkas who is a producer and supplier of very tasty olives.

G.M. You are a family business, who was it started by?

K.M. As far as the ownership of the groves is concerned, to tell you the truth I don’t know exactly. I say my great grand father back in 1890 because this is  as back as I can track it. There is some evidence for about two generations before that but I cannot say for sure. So let’s stick to my great grand father. Regarding the business it was me and my cousin, Spyros Misichronis, who started it about two years ago.

G.M. How big are your olive plantations?
K.M. They are about 12,000sq.m. with 2.000 olive trees. The premium olive oils though I have imported in UK come from a small fraction of them (about 250 trees) and it is limited production for  3,000 bottles of 500ml. The rest is a very good extra virgin olive oil, which I will have it here along with my premium ones by the end of April.

G.M. How many people work for you olive picking? I've heard that you don't use machines.
K.M. You are absolutely right. You see when you use machines you “shock” the tree and the result is the next year to harvest either less or worse quality product. The tree is a living organism. The best way you treat it the best results you will get. I believe this applies to everything and everyone in life.

G.M. Could you describe a bit about the process from olive to oil?
K.M. I could fill pages with that but I will try to be brief. I wouldn’t like your readers to get bored with technicalities.
  •     We hand picked the olives and they fall on nets above the ground so they don’t contaminate from any bacteria or germs from it.
  •     We don’t put the olives in bags to avoid bruising themselves (again for better final product) but we put them in layers in boxes.
  •     Then the olives go to the mill and we start the process. It is already agreed with the mill that the maximum stay until the extraction starts. will be 18 hours from the harvest. Because of it all the main characteristics and ingredients of the olive remain almost intact. (Especially the polyphenols which are the chemical ingredient that is proven that lowers your cholesterol among other health benefits)
  •     Then, after cleaning the olives with water, we start the pressure and the cold extraction. Only in our case this is really  cold pressed. Common olive oils they do it in 25c – 27c. We do it in 17c. We lose in quantity but we gain in flavour and richer polyphenols.
  •     Then we do the first natural filtering. Common olive oils do a second one with the implication of air in order to look clearer and more transparent in the bottle. Air though is an enemy of olive oil so applying this method you harm the final product.
  •     Then the product remains in tanks sealed with nitrogen so we secure that the product is totally intact until bottling.
G.M. Where can we buy your products?
K.M. OLIVIUM can be purchased from:
    ‘The Better Food Company shop on Whiteladies road,
    “Source” deli in St Nicholas market and in Arch House deli in Clifton Village.

You can also order it from my web page and if you live anywhere close to Bristol centre I can deliver it for free.

G.M. We run a healthy blog, could you explain to us the health benefits of olives? And why we should buy yours?
K.M. A very good question. So how many pages have we got? :)
First of all olive oil is a way of life. It is the base of the infamous Mediterranean diet which has not to do only with your food but with exercise as well. Allow me to be frank.
Sprinkling some olive oil on your macaroni and cheese is not going to do you any good. If you want to get the best out of it, you need  to eat daily vegetables and legumes, salads of all kinds and minimise the consumption of red meat. Also you need to consume daily two soup spoons of extra virgin olive oil. (And don’t take my word for it, google it and you will see!)
Now, why mine?
Well, we produce our premium extra virgin olive oil with the purest way possible. We have made every effort to produce a really premium product of which we are really proud of it. I believe and I know that the difference between my olive oils and the rest of super market olive oils is the same difference there is between super market milk and the real thing from the cow. If there is anyone among you to be lucky enough to taste it then he will know what I am talking about. I  also believe that this is probably the best Olive Oil you can find in Southwest (and yes I have done my research) Choosing OLIVIUM for your every day diet you get the best of two worlds. It is not just a product with an amazing taste but because it is so pure you get the best health benefits out of it.

To follow Konstantinos Mataragkas visit his website:
Interviewed by Greg Macalla

Saturday 26 March 2016

Flowers anybody?

Sugar free

So simple, so delicious and sugar free. These pretty little tarts are easy to make and would be perfect for Mothers day, Easter or as an edible gift for any special occasion!

215g ready rolled butter puff pastry
6large pink lady apples or any red skinned eating apples
juice of half lemon
olive oil for greasing tins

Pre-heat oven to 200C. Grease by oil tray with 12 muffin.
Cut the apples in half, from top to bottom, Core the two halves then slice each half very thinly, place the cut slices into a large bowl filed with lemon juice and water and boil for 4 minutes until just soft but not cooked.
Place the ready rolled pastry onto a lightly floured pastry board, and using a rolling pin, roll it out to ad 5 cm to the length of the pastry. Cut the two pastry sheets, lengthways into 4 to 5 strips. (you
need space for 8 to 12 apple slices along the length)
Place the apple slices along the top third of the pastry strips, overlapping them slightly as you lay them out.
Fold the bottom two thirds of the pastry up and over the bottom of the apple slices and then gently roll each strip to make a small muffin shaped. Place the apple rose tarts into the prepared muffin
Bake the apple tarts in the pre heat oven for 25-30 minutes until the pastry is crispy, golden brown.

Friday 25 March 2016

Happy Easter :)

Leek pancakes


Leek pancakes

Vegan leek pancake
Good news for everybody who loves pancakes. We have a healthy recipe for you today.

3 leeks (only white part)
1 tsp muscovado sugar
1 tsp cumin
½ tsp cinnamo
¼ tsp green cardamom
1 tin coconut milk
1 tbsp vinegar
1 ¼ plain flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
Salt and pepper to taste

Cut the leeks in half lengthways. Remove the outer leaves and wash toughly. In the meantime heat a
pan over a medium to low heat, when it is hot add the leeks, muscovado and spices. Fry until the
leeks are soft.

Sift the flour and a pinch of salt into a bowl, mix then make a well in centre. Mix milk and vinegar
together and pour into the well. Using a wooden spoon, gradually beat until smooth. Next add all
leeks with spices and mix well.

Heat non a stick frying pan on low heat, when the pan has warmed up place 1 ladle of batter onto
the pan and fry for about 5 minutes on each side.

Recipe taken from:
Marta Dymek
2014 by Dwie Siostry 

Monday 21 March 2016

Fresh Rosemary Tea

This is the simplest fresh tea to be made. You simply need one fresh rosemary sprig, two pieces of lemon and two small pieces of fresh ginger. That is all! Place them in your favourite tea pot, pour some boiled water, wait 3 minutes and your tea is ready to be served. Refreshing, yet warm. Ideal for chilly evenings.

Friday 18 March 2016

Leeks and potato soup

Vegan, Gluten free

Leek and Potato soup

Are you tired today? With no idea what to do for dinner? Maybe make some leek and potato soup?

Yes. Yummy

This is the quickest soup I ever had ever made (30 minutes from fridge to finish), and it is so tasty; leeks and potatoes get on so well together! This soup accompanied with some soda bread is a traditional dish in Ireland.


200g potatoes
3 large leeks
1 large onion
2 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons fenugreek
olive oil

Heat the oil in a large pan add the onion, potatoes and leeks. Cook for 3-4 minutes until starting to
soften. Add fenugreek and enough water to cover them. Simmer until the vegetables are tender.

Whizz with a hand blender or in a blender until smooth.

Croutons might be nice.

Recipe taken from:
Marta Dymek
2014 by Dwie Siostry 

Monday 14 March 2016

Banana Oatmeal Cookies

Vegan, Sugar free

Seriously… these are amazing! I wish I hadn't waited so long to try this style of cookie. Very simple and very efficient.


250g oats

1 tsp baking powder

1 large banana or two small

4 tablespoons meltet coconut oil 

1/2 cup warm water

I’m planning to make these wonderful cookies with nuts, raisins etc. etc.

How to do

Preheat oven to 190° C

In a bowl mix the oatmeal, baking powder and coconut oil. Add in nuts, raisins  and then the water till the ingredients gather as dough. 

Using your hands or spoons make 12 -16 small balls and place them on a baking sheet with non-stick paper. Flatten them out with the back of a spoon.

Bake them in the oven for approx. 20 minutes. 

Let the cookies cool down a bit and enjoy!

Friday 11 March 2016

Potato and celeriac mash

Vegan, Gluten free
Potato & Celeriac mash

It is ever so simple to make and is probably a good way to introduce kids to odd vegetables - they don't come much stranger than this!
If you like the taste of celery, you'll love this; it's celery flavoured mashed potato.


1 whole celeriac, about 1 kg
about 800g potatoes
2 tablespoons butter (alternatively use vegan butter)
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Peel the celeriac by roughly slicing off the skin. Wash the 'peeled' celeriac - you will probably get about 800g of celeriac from a 1 kg celeriac. Weigh out an equivalent amount of peeled potatoes, the amount does not have to be accurate - 50/50 ish.
Cut the potatoes into quarters and the celeriac into slightly smaller chunks into small chunks so they cook quickly and evenly. Add to a large pan of boiling salted water, return to the boil and cook for 20 minutes.
Drain and leave in the pan to steam for few minutes. Mash with a potato ricer or a potato masher. Add a tablespoons of butter, a splash olive oil. Season and serve.

Monday 7 March 2016

Aloo Gobi

Vegan, Gluten free

Aloo Gobi

Today we are going to cook a traditional Indian curry; it is based around potatoes (aloo) and cauliflower (gobi). This dish is nice enough with just rice, as a snack or dinner. It can also be one for the lunch box.

2 garlic cloves
3cm of ginger
1 ½ tsp cumin
1 large, or 2 small, cauliflower
2 large potatoes, cubed
2 tins chopped tomatoes
2 tsp coriander
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp turmeric

Mix the spices. In the meantime heat a pan wide enough to hold all the ingredients at once. Add a splash of oil and when it is hot add all spices. Fry for a few second then add the potatoes, cauliflower and enough water to cover them. Cover with the lid and simmer gently until the potatoes are just cooked. Add salt to taste you can serve with coriander.

Recipe taken from:
Marta Dymek
2014 by Dwie Siostry 

Friday 4 March 2016

Cucumbers in brine soup - Zupa Ogórkowa

vegan, gluten free
This is a popular Polish soup.

500g brine pickled (not vinegar pickled) cucumbers, finely grated
2 baking potatoes, peeled and cut into small pieces
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon finely grated horseradishes
1L vegetable stock
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon marjoram
2 teaspoons fenugreek
olive oil
1 bunch fresh dill, chopped
Salt and pepper for taste

Peel the potatoes, cut them into small pieces. Put some olive oil on a frying pan and fry the garlic and potato. When the garlic begins to brown, add the herbs and fry on a low heat for about 5 minutes.
In the meantime wash then grate the cucumbers using the side with the largest holes, so end up with strips of cucumber. Add these to the garlic and potato. After a few minutes add the stock in to your mixture.
Cook everything on a low heat until potatoes are soft and edible. Sprinkle fresh dill on top and season with salt and black pepper.

recipe inspired by:
Marta Dymek
2014 by Dwie Siostry