Romanian, writing about and cooking food inspired by my country’s culinary traditions. Enjoying life in Wales, UK.

Reminiscing about the cocoa biscuit salame that I used to love when I was little. My aunt was and still is famous for it, she makes the best in the family, and she still keeps the method secret. Here I've made my own version in the form of an ice cream parfait, with deliciously gooey chunks of halva, and crunchy, chocolatey biscuits. I’m going to put the left over mix in ramekins, and when I’m ready to serve, top them with whipped cream. One mix - two desserts. Have a wonderful Wednesday and rest of the week you all! 🤗 #gatheredstyle #foodstyling #feedfeed #thebakefeed #proudromanian #familyfood #heresmyfood #promovezromania #salamdebiscuiti #icecreamcake
This is polenta with cheese, sour cream and fried egg - a staple Romanian breakfast dish. It is comforting, creamy and satisfying, with some people preferring to add pancetta or slices of fried sausage. The history of polenta is quite intriguing, especially after the Turks introduced the corn from Central America to the northern parts of Italy (where polenta is still in fashion today) or through their Ottoman Empire, including Romania. I was extremely happy to write a feature about Romanian cuisine for the Great British Chefs website @gbchefs , one of the most prestigious food websites in the UK. In this article, I am taking the reader through seven of Romania’s most popular ingredients and dishes, in an endeavour to shine a light on a culinary world that is mostly unknown. I would be most grateful if you could scroll through this article and let me know which dish you liked most. Thank you and link in profile. @gbchefs #polenta #romaniancuisine #iloveromania #suitcasemag #foodhistory @travelfidget @crummbs_uk @thesupperclubmag @foodfluffer @thefeedfeed @obsfood @sundaytimesfood #colourpop #beautifulcuisines #lifeandthyme #lifewellcaptured #theprettyblog #liveforthestory #kinfolktable #realsimple #greatbritishfood #tastingtable #gatheredstyle #eattheworld #lightinspired #platedpics #still_life_gallery #romanianfood #romanianpolenta #romaniatravel #proudromanian #promovezromania @promovezromania
Gooseberry charlotte with white chocolate - the inspiration for this comes from one of the first desserts that I made when I was a teenager. Wait! It wasn’t quite like this one though. Charlotte or ’sarlota’ is very easy to make, served in a glass, usually vanilla or chocolate flavour, and with no biscuit. In those times, you could have made a ‘sarlota’ from a packet, just put it in milk and stir. That was my dad’s favourite method. Mum used to make it from scratch, because she always made life difficult for herself. So my plan was to make a proper charlotte, with a little experiment: a double biscuit wall. I piped a second, smaller layer on top of the first, and baked them for 12 minutes. It didn’t come out perfect, but that’s life. The filling was based on a gooseberry bavarois in which I added chopped gooseberries. It had such a mild, perfumed flavour, and the texture was so velvety, absolutely delicious. I brushed the interior of the biscuits with Cointreau ;-) and grated white chocolate on top. It was sweet, creamy, a bit tart, a bit boozy, and very refreshing. My husband commented on how good the picture was, and how lovely the light was, coming from the left, and then he asked about the bits of crumbled cheese next to the plate 😂😂 I knew right there that I got the styling wrong 😂 What was the first thing you ever baked or cooked for your family? #charlotte #bavarois #gooseberry #bakesession #foodphotography #foodphotoaday #bakingday #foodstories #foodstylingandphotography
Linzer cake with cherries and strawberries,because I want to make the most of these fruits while they are still in season. The original Linzer torte is said to be the oldest cake in the world, and what we have here is a ‘deconstructed’ version of it :-) well, to some extend. There is a layer of rich cake, then a layer of strawberry jam mixed with a handful of delicious walnuts, then a bit of pastry on top, and finally lots and lots of strawberries and cherries. These are still the basic rules for a good Linzer. The debate is whether to stick to the tradition and make it with redcurrant jam, or actually make it with whatever jam we happen to have in the house. What’s your view on this? If my sister sees this picture, she will roll her eyes. We used to have a neighbour in the block of apartments where we lived, who only knew to bake two things: crescents filled with plum jam and walnuts; and a Linzer cake…with plum jam and walnuts 😂 She used to bring what she couldn’t eat to us (after a few days), so you can imagine that nobody in my family really wanted any. This is why my sister and I are still a bit ‘put off’ by the idea of a Linzer. But it’s so unfair. The one I made here is different, delicious and goes tremendously well with a cup of coffee or tea. I devoured a few slices even before I photographed them. #linzertorte #linzercake #cherries #cherrybakes #strawberrycake #cherrycake #easybake #thebakefeed #foodphotography #foodstyling #baking #bakingday #bakersofinstagram #foodphotoaday
This is one of the cakes that I photographed yesterday at Bea’s workshop. I had such a great time meeting everybody, spending time in the studio @theforgebristol feeling inspired and encouraged to create, and follow my dream. Thank you Bea, and everybody, for making it a day to remember. I can’t wait to see you all again. In the meantime, I’ll be using the gorgeous hand-made bowl from @dassie_artisan and the incredibly soft cotton napkin from @naked_dye. Kym @kymgrimshaw I can’t wait to see your photos, too 😘 @bealubas @serendipitybakes @leonimilano @dyutima_myfoodlens @pepperazzi_food_photography @sandhyaskitchen @thegreenkitchinette @aggiesfoodstudio @withmustard_uk @kymgrimshaw @naked_dye @dassie_artisan @theforgebristol #foodstories #foodphotography #photographyworkshop #foodphotographer #foodphotoaday #sundaycake #food52grams #food52farmstand #thefeedfeed #thebakefeed
Coconut ice cream, gooseberry vodka sauce, brown sugar roasted gooseberries. The season for gooseberries is upon us. How exciting! I went gooseberry picking the other week, and I kept filling the punnets thinking that I didn’t have enough. When I got home, I realised what I had done: 5kg of gooseberries. So far, I’ve made cordial, a cheese cake, a charlotte, curd, pickled gooseberries in sweet vinegar, roasted them to use as a topping, and frozen the rest. One thing I haven’t done is gooseberry gin, but hey, I need to leave something for next year, right? Tomorrow is a big day for me, I’m going to finally meet Bea @bealubas . Bea is running a food styling workshop in Bristol, and I can’t tell you how excited I am to be there, meet the other fantastic food photographers, and spend a few hours in a very creative environment. It is going to be a crazy day for me, because I decided to drive from North Wales to Bristol on the day, then back home after the course. However, the excitement is just too much to care about technicalities. Have a wonderful weekend lovely people! Off I go…🤗 #foodstyling #foodphotography #sweetcuisines #icecream #coconuticecream #platedpictures #seekinspirecreate #hautecuisines #goosberry #eattheworld #greatbritishfood #greatbritishchefs #feedyourhappy #fromscratch #sweetcuisines #thebakefeed #f52farmstand
No...this is not France, this is Romania. These are lavender fields in the southern part of the country, where the summers are very hot, and the soil is perfect for these beauties. A few landowners with entrepreneurial spirit decided to turn their wheat and rapeseed fields over to growing lavender. They make their own lavender products, and sell them at local markets, in shops, and online. It was a brave thing to do: finding a new purpose for their land, learning to do something new that works for them, and that gives them and their community a better life. I can only have admiration for such people, and respect for their hard work and resourcefulness. Location: Plosca, Teleorman Copyright: @tzoi2 👏🏻🏆 Selected by: @radu.nita Featured on: #ig_romania #romania #romaniatravel #iloveromania #lavender #lavenderfields #thisisromania #romania 🇹🇩 #thisismycountry
Chicken shawarma, with roast garlic yoghurt, tahini sauce, cucumber and red onion salad, gherkins, and flat breads. It sounds like a lot on a plate, but trust me, all flavours come together beautifully. This is Romanian street food. Going to get a shawarma is the promise of a feast. There are so many places in Bucharest that sell it. It comes already wrapped, with all the juices fusing together, or just spread on a huge plate, where you can mix your favourite flavours. We eat shawarma for lunch, or before we go out for a drink, and then after the drink. We eat it for dinner, when we rush home with it whilst it’s still warm, its wonderful aromas escaping from the bag, making us almost insane with craving and hunger. We eat it when we meet with friends and ‘go for a shawarma and beer’...and a good old chat. It’s street food, and comfort food…and I can tell you now that some people out there really impressed me when they showed up at my door with one of these. #shawarma #bbq #bbqdinner #bbqlunch #pitabread #tahini #garlicmayo #aioli #garlicyogurt #romanianfood #romanianstreetfood #romaniancuisine #iloveromania #traveltoromania #bucharest #bucharestfood #foodphotography
Cider & apple jellies with rosemary & cider brandy syllabub This is the perfect dessert to end a feast: light, slightly sweet, creamy, and refreshing. It is very easy to make and if you like these sorts of dessert, then the sky is the limit. You can use your favourite fruits and flavours to make it your own. Once again, reading about this recipe in Diana Henry’s book How to Eat a Peach, took me right back to the Dordogne Valley. It may be because of the sweet cider flavour, which I fell in love with on my holiday in France. I used to practice saying ‘Deux cidres doux, s’il vous plait’ Haha, try it, it’s hard. It appeared to get easier after a few drinks, or perhaps I probably cared less. What are your views on ‘jellies’? Are they refreshing? Would you prefer ice cream or smoothies? This is my entry to #rainydaybitescookbookclub Please check this hashtag to see some wonderful creations from the book. #rainydaybitescookbookclub @rainydaybites @dianahenryfood #cider #apples #syllabub
My search for sour cherries has no limits, and I feel like I’m getting closer and closer to finding those lost flavours from home. Pickled in a sugar and vinegar syrup, these cherries are insanely delicious with yoghurt, goat’s cheese, lamb roast, or on their own. I am also thinking of using them in a cheese cake, and even trying them in a clafoutis. To me, they can’t go wrong. When I saw the recipe in Diana Henry’s book, How to Eat a Peach, I knew this was the one for me. Love at first sight. I’ve already stored more than a few jars in the cellar, so you will see them again…and again. You will also see more pickled fruits, too - you know me, I pickle everything. I’m planning to do raspberries, blueberries, grapes, but also a watermelon jam, walnut stuffed mini aubergine jam and green walnut jam. Phew, quite a lot, so keep your fingers crossed for me please. Are you planning to make any preserves this season? This is my entry to #rainydaybitescookbookclub Please check this hashtag to see some wonderful creations from the book. #rainydaybitescookbookclub @rainydaybites @dianahenryfood #cherryseason #cherriesinvinegar #cerisse #summerdessert #foodphotography #food52grams #heresmyfood #howtoeatapeach
Tinga Poblana, from 'How to Eat a Peach’ by Diana Henry. This is an absolutely delightful Mexican dish that fired up my diners' imagination. All of a sudden, we wanted to go on a long-long trip to Mexico, just to explore more of its cuisine and...soul. Even more so, when Diana Henry says ‘Mexico is a hip-swinging, toe-tapping head rush’. Can you imagine that? The dish, although easy to make, has complex flavours: smokiness, spiciness, meatiness, smoothness. It comes with a side dish of roast butternut squash, cauliflower, black beans and chilli. Then, you can add sour cream, crumbled cheese (I used Cheshire cheese), avocados and lime. I couldn’t resist adding two of my favourite accompaniments from Romania: polenta and pickled cucumbers, although corn is definitely of Mexican origin! Since I’ve bought the book, I’ve been literally savouring every word of every story and of every recipe. It has rekindled my love for Chez Panisse; my desire to visit New York just so I can eat a hot dog; and it has made me miss the Dordogne Valley terribly, with its sweet cider and Monbazillac. The menus in the book are utterly delicious, and most importantly, well balanced. They will be of incredible help when my friends visit, as I wouldn’t like to give them anything less than splendid food. This is for #rainydaybitescookbookclub . Check out the others who are taking part in this challenge. @greedyinmontreal @jonathan.baker @chef_jessica @theloyalkitchen @ktdcarla @rainydaybites @prairiegirlbaking @lialemonandvanilla @naomiscookbookchallenge @megynnmakes @delusciousbites @theoliveandmango @dianahenryfood @rainydaybites #howtoeatapeach #mexicanfood #polenta #mamaliga #homemade #feedfeed #legendsoffood #feastagram #tingapoblana
Homegrown white radishes, fennel, mustard seeds - ready to be pickled. I have managed to grow a few dozen radishes, both white and black, for use in salads during the summer. I love cheese and radish salads! But how many can I have in a day? So, I’m pickling a few of them, to be served with fish, meat, or just on their own with a bit of olive oil and a fresh pitta bread. Last of this week’s challenge is the ‘white’ theme. Kimberly @thelittleplantation asked us to capture ‘white’ so my radishes couldn’t have been anywhere else this Saturday. #eatcaptureshare #saturdaylunch #pickles #radishes #daikonradish #fennel #romanianpickles #summersalad #food52grams #foodportrait #countrystyleloves #homegrownveggies #foodstories #wildharvested #ccseasonal #provinciallife
Pistachio, yoghurt cherry mousse, sour cherry brandy glaze. This is my entry for today’s Instagram challenge ‘pink’ by Kimberly @thelittleplantation. The cherry season must be celebrated in style, so I have adapted a cute cake from Romania called ‘Cireshica’ - ‘The Little Cherry’. Back home, we also use a lot of sour cherries, something that I can’t find in the UK. So to counterbalance the sweetness of the mousse and the pistachio base, I used yoghurt and the homemade sour cherry brandy. One day, I’ll make the original cake, but on this occasion I wanted more of the mousse and less of the jelly. Do you often adapt childhood recipes to make them suit your taste or mood? #eatcaptureshare #cherrydessert #cherryseason #pistachiocake #cherrymousse #feedfeed #thebakefeed #deliciousmagazine #food52 #food52grams #buzzfeed #hautecuisines #patisserie #foodstyling #cherries @hautescuisines
Toastie with dandelion and garden pea pesto, and boiled eggs. This was my breakfast today, simple but effective. It will keep me going until dinner. I was only a little girl, at my grand-mother’s house in Romania, when I learned about using dandelions in summer salads. My grandmother, Maria, used to get help in the garden from a woman living in a Romani village nearby. Tzatza Floarea knew her stuff, and I think that she was trying to show me and my sister some tricks about the nature around us. We weren’t really old enough to understand her wisdom. So when we saw her picking ‘weeds’ for cooking, we were a bit shocked. Now, when I recognise those ‘weeds’ in my garden, or when I go for a walk, I think of her. Dandelions are one example. She used to put the leaves in a salad, with lettuce, tomatoes and cucumber. Their bitterness is quite refreshing, especially on those evenings when it is aa hot as in the middle of the day. I’m glad that this special story gets to be the entry for today’s Instagram challenge ‘green’. #eatcaptureshare is run by the inspiring Kimberly @thelittleplantation and I can’t believe that we are half way through it. It is so much fun, and I learn so much. #EatCaptureShare #lunchideas #dandelion #pesto #peapesto #quicklunch #vegetarianlunch #vegetarianfoodshare #greenfood #healthylunchideas #food52 #foodphotography #foodstyling #eateateat #buzzfeed
This photo is from 'Vama Veche’ - that village on the Black Sea shore where everybody wants to be during the summer. It is the place where ageing hippies and bearded hipsters come together to bond over beers on the beach. I haven’t been there in years, but I’d like to think that 'Vama' has resisted attempts by developers to modernise it. Bucharest, where I used to live and work, is a 3 hour drive away. Imagine every Friday, after 5pm, everybody fleeing to Vama in shared cars, on the train, or in mini-buses: just to let our hair down for 2 days, and enjoy an absolute sense of freedom. Going to Vama still has a whiff of counterculture rebellion, of going-back-to-the-roots, of not caring about life’s commodities. In the ‘80s, it was a haven for artists, hedonists and free thinkers. To some extend, it still is. So don't come looking for peace and quiet. This is the place to dance all night and sleep it off on the beach the next day. However, if all you want is your little fishing boat, and a corner of complete solitude, you can still find it, somewhere along the beach from Vama to the border with Bulgaria. Photo from @romaniaascunsa Credit: @veftenie #romania #travelromania #vamaveche #vamaveche2018 #blacksea #exploreromania
These little cheese bread sticks and knots are sprinkled with cumin or fennel seeds, and are very often sold by bakeries or street food shops in Romania. They are very easy to make, using shortcrust pastry with lots of cheese, then cut into shape, brushed with egg wash, and sprinkled with cumin seeds. When my mum was making them, I used to be the one to roll the little knots, or even make pretzel-shaped ones. They are usually served before any other food, while the guests are still arriving and the first drinks are being poured. On the table, there will also be a few olives and slices of cheese, a bottle of plum brandy, and quite a few beers. These little pre-dinner snacks are totally addictive. You will be lost in conversation while munching away on them, one after another, forgetting that the real feast hasn’t even started yet. Today’s #eatcaptureshare Instagram challenge by Kimberly @thelittleplantation is about gulping, or munching, and I just couldn’t have thought of a better example. #breadsticks #breadknots #cuminseeds #fennel #easysnack #gulping #munching #eatcaptureshare #romanianfood #romaniansnack #foodstyling #foodphotography #heresmyfood #eatpretty #eateateat #food52grams
Sweet tagliatelle - with pecan and rum pangrattato. Who would have thought that we eat sweet pasta? The reality of things is that yes, we do. The simplest version of this dish is just with a little bit of Demerara sugar, but I prefer it my way. When making this dish, I realised that pasta is used in quite a few Romanian sweet dishes. For instance, pasta can replace the shredded filo pastry in a kataif, or spaghetti can be used instead of rice in a rice pudding. There is a version of bread and butter pudding, where the bread is replaced by penne. I am not sure if Italians ever have sweet pasta or this is a total blasphemy? In our family, it doesn’t really matter, we eat pasta with a fork and knife, if you know what I mean ;-) This sweet pasta dish is taking part in Kimberley’s @thelittleplantation Instagram challenge #eatcaptureshare The theme is ‘slurp’ and so far there have been some amazing entries. It is so inspiring to be part of this challenge. #eatcaptureshare #pasta #tagliatelle #pangrattato #sweetpasta #rum #walnuts #romanianfood #romaniatravel #romaniandessert #foodphotography #heresmyfood #hautecuisines #hocsupperclub #instafood
Polenta coated cod steaks with chargrilled aubergine purée. The bitterness of the chargrilled aubergine is a game changer. The aubergine purée has been mixed with onion, yoghurt and a pinch of salt. It is sweet, slightly bitter, smokey and acidic - perfect to accompany the fish. The coating of the fish is made of flour, egg and polenta. This is a very popular and easy way to prepare fish back home. I think that the polenta is slightly better than breadcrumbs, because it retains its daintiness, and gives the dish a crunchier texture. Then,of course, there is the Romanian garlic sauce, just a little drizzle of it on top of the fish, and it’s heaven. Once again, this chargrilled aubergine is part of the #eatcaptureshare Instagram challange run by the lovely Kimberley at @thelittleplantation - the flavour is bitter. #aubergine #fishsteak #fishandchips #bitterflavor #garlic #garlicsauce #aioli #foodblogfeed #eattheworld #huffposttaste #foodstyling #eater #hereismyfood #romanianfood #danubedelta
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