All posts filed under: food

Christmas sweets

Can you imagine the best time of the year without any Christmas treats? Me neither!
A few weeks before Christmas Eve, we fill our shopping trolleys with flour, sugar and eggs and unpack the cookie cutters. With the most colourful cookie recipes, we dulcify the cold season and keep us warm with some extra kilos.
Our favourites this year: Cinnamon stars, panellets and butter biscuits – Hungry? Then let yourself be inspired by our recipes.
Enjoy your cookies!
The Costa Live Team
PS: We can still work on our summer body next year 😉

 

Cinnamon Stars

250g ground almond
200g icing sugar
2 egg whites
2-3 tsp vanilla sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon

Preparation
Beat the egg whites until peaks form.  Add the powdered sugar and the cinnamon. Beat for another minute. Reserve 3-4 heaping tablespoons of the egg mixture in a small bowl for the frosting. Add the nuts and the vanilla sugar. Beat until the mixture is combined and comes together in a fairly stiff but pliable mass.

Sprinkle a non-stick surface with powdered sugar or ground almond and roll it to a width of about a 1/3 inch. Cut stars out of the dough and transfer them to a lined cookie sheet. Use a pastry brush to brush on the egg white mixture. Bake in an oven preheated to 150 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

 

Panellets

1 sweet potato
250 g almond flour
250 g sugar
grated lemon rind
2 egg whites
1 egg
200 g pine nuts / alternatively coconut flakes or sunflower seeds

Preparation
Roast the sweet potato. Peel and push through a food mill.
While hot, add the ground almonds, the sugar and the lemon rind. Mix well to blend all the ingredients together. Place in a covered bowl and leave to stand in the fridge for a few hours.
Sugar - sweets - christmas - deliciousForm balls of about 25 grams, dip in diluted egg white and then in the pine nuts, pressing lightly so they stick. Arrange on an oven tray, brush with beaten egg and bake in a hot oven for about ten minutes. Once cooked, leave to cool and store in an airtight container.

 

Butter biscuits 

Ingredients:
500 g flour
200 g sugar
1 package of vanilla sugar
350 g butter
2 egg yolks
1 egg
grated lemon zest
1 pinch of salt

Preparation
Put the flour in a bowl and add the sugar and vanilla sugar and mix. Add butter, egg yolk, egg, lemon zest and salt and mix into a stiff dough. Knead gently until dough is smooth. Put the dough into a covered bowl and chill in the fridge for at least an hour.

Roll out onto a floured surface and cut out biscuits. Place on baking tray covered with baking paper. Brush with egg yolk and decorate. Place in oven at 175° C for about 10-12 minutes.

Winter - Christmas - Baking - Sweets - Delicious

Merry Christmas!

Girona: City with History

Just arrived in Girona, quickly collected your baggage and immediately heading to Barcelona? Wait!
Far too often, the charming city Girona is clouded by the Catalan capital Barcelona, which is larger, but also flooded by tourists. Not only is the beautiful medieval old town of Girona worth visiting – there are many more places to see.

The famous river Onyar and the colourful houses…

The church Sant Feliu

On a sunny morning, we decide to finally visit the city we had heard so many things about. Stepping out of the car, we realize that our car park is only a stone’s throw away from the church Sant Feliu. The perfect opportunity to visit the oldest church of Girona first! A very impressing building both from the outside and the inside, which combines different styles in a beautiful way.

       

The Cathedral of Santa Maria

The next monumental attraction is just around the corner: The Cathedral of Santa Maria. Probably the most popular selfie spot in town! We can’t resist, either.. The result: Far too many pictures of the building from every conceivable perspective.. Too bad that we left our selfie stick at home!

Game of Thrones - Girona - Costa Brava - Catalunya

Also a filming location from Game of Thrones!

Once you’ve climbed the stairs with a total of 90 steps and entered the cathedral, you’ll definitely be overwhelmed by the size and, above all, the beauty of the interior. Again, a very impressive combination of different architectural styles  – Romanesque, Gothic, Baroque.

Pont de les Peixateries Velles

While strolling through the Christmassy old town and store hopping through some sweet boutiques, we reach the next popular picture spot faster than expected: The red steel bridge Pont de les Peixateries Velles, which connects the old town of Girona to the modern part and was created by Gustave Eiffel. It offers a wonderful view to the river Onyar, the colourful facades and the impressive cathedral.

       

Passeig de la Muralla

It’s time to make our way to the last tourist spot: the city wall of Girona. What a view! The steep climb is rewarded with an impressive panoramic view of the old town, the cathedral, the Jewish quarter, the church and the Pyrenees.

Girona - Costa Brava - Catalunya

This impressive view is totally worth it!

Christmas shopping in Girona

Enough sightseeing, we are in the mood for shopping! Many small shops and boutiques make it quite easy for us to find the perfect Christmas gifts for our loved ones. The city center is decorated with many colorful fairy lights and lovingly placed Christmas accessories – Oh, I can’t wait for Christmas!

Beautiful, isn’t it?

Rambla de la Llibertat

All these highlights and still no food! Luckily, Girona is brimming with restaurants that are waiting for hungry tourists to pass by! Following the smell of food, we walk to the Rambla de la Llibertat and pick a nice place in the shadow of a tree. With all the presents we bought, we are ready for the best time of the year – Merry Christmas!

 

 

 

Costa Brava’s white paradise – Cadaqués

 I’d already heard quite a lot of things about the former fishing village – the typical Cadaqués style, the unique location and the views to numerous snow white houses made me feel very excited. Let’s see whether the white town of Dalí can sweep me off my feet ..

Stunning views

Spectacular views accompany you on your way to Cadaqués!

The rather twisting road on our way to Cadaqués already turned the car ride into a small experience: gliding from left to right and admiring one stunning view after another – I guess I could already imagine what the city has to offer. I couldn’t lay my phone aside for as much as 2 minutes before having to take way too many pictures of the wonderful bays and harbours again.

But heads up! Be careful and don’t let your phone drop out of the car – you wouldn’t be able to get it back …

White paradise

After a car ride of about 15 minutes and 25 new pictures in my camera roll, we finally arrived: I had a small paradise right in front of me! Whether it is possible that absolutely every house in a village is painted white? So it seems. Whether it may be forbidden to build a house of a different colour here? I’d love to find out … Maybe I’ll know soon if I keep visiting and talking to locals!

Definitely worth visiting..

I have to admit, I was speechless: numerous snow white houses, green pine-trees, a beautiful church that attracts the views because of its height, the mountains behind it and the light blue sea with lots of white boats in front of Cadaqués. A stunning village! You have to visit once you are staying in Catalonia!

Restaurant Cap de Creus

But the car ride wasn’t over yet – again through the mountains! My phone’s camera had a busy day ..

Our destination was the restaurant Cap de Creus right next to the light house of Cadaqués. I could describe the evening in this stunning restaurant with one single word: WOW! I was and still am really impressed. It doesn’t matter where you’re sitting, the views are spectacular everywhere. In addition, a live band starts playing beautiful music just before sunset which brings the atmosphere to a maximum.

Chilling in a restaurant with a live band at the top of the mountains, holding a cold drink in your hand and watching the fantastic sunset – I don’t know if there’s something that could possibly be better than this!

Dinner in Cadaqués

After having extended my photo albums by more than 50 pictures and videos, it was time to return to the city centre of Cadaqués. In situ, we spent some time drinking a beer in front of a crowded bar next to the beach and went to the pizzeria Plaza after that: the only restaurant that could offer a table for 12 persons at nine in the evening without a reservation – the peak season was quite noticeable. After a delicious dinner including pizza, mussels, pasta and a free round of shots, we kept going.

Bar Boia Nit

The ultimate destination was the popular bar Boia Nit, which is very famous for its stunning cocktails. Of course I had to check whether they are really that good.

So, I ordered a piña colada and was quite surprised to watch my cocktail arriving in a pineapple-shaped cup! But not just that: decorated with many small fruits, sipping the cocktail turned into a unique flavour experience! Get over there and try it. You won’t be disappointed!

Beautiful cocktail that tastes fantastic!

Not the last time..

Finally, we finished our special cocktails and spent some time talking and relaxing before heading back home. But: Cadaqués, I’ll be back soon!

Codfish in blue mold

Bacallà amb verdures – Codfish with vegetables

Inspired again by the Catalan kitchen, this time we want to the the following recipe codfish with vegetables. Codfish is dried fish and was essential food for sailors and soldiers. Because of its preservation, it is non-perishable. Try it out and enjoy your meal!

Ingredients:

800 g of cod
1 lemo
100 g of flour
olive oil
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
2 small eggplants
2 small courgettes
2 onions
2 big tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic
salt and pepper
1 branch of rosemary

Colourful vegetables

After washing, cut the vegetables into small pieces.

Preparation:

Squeeze a little bit of lemon juice on the codfish (fresh or well watered) and then roll it in flour. Fry from all sides in hot olive oil.

Codfish in olive oil

Fry the filets in hot olive oil.

Cut the vegetables into small cubes. Heat olive oil in a wok. Sauté onions and peppers. Then, add the rest of the vegetables and the garlic. Let it cook for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Fill the vegetables in an ovenproof dish and put the fish with rosemary on top of it. Let it cook in the oven at 180°C for 10 minutes until firm to bite.


Traditionally, the vegetables ragout is served on top of the codfish. However, we do it the other way round and put the fish on top of the vegetables.

Plate ready to eat

The meal is served. Enjoy!

Ice cream with frozen berries

Where does ice cream come from?

The temperatures are rising and so is our appetite for some tasty ice cream. But have you ever wondered where it does come from? We did some research. You won’t believe what have found out.

Once upon a time in China

Ice cream as we know it today has its origins in China and Greece, not in Italy, as you may think. 3000 years ago, they used snow and mixed it with spices and honey.
The Italian trader Marco Polo finally brought the recipe to Europe, where it soon turned into a delicious speciality. Thanks also to the cooling effect of saltpetre, which was discovered later.
Soon afterwards, various recipes with rose water, cinnamon, chocolate were spread.
In the 18th century, the first real ice cream parlour opened. Its breakthrough however came with the invention of Carl von Lindes refrigerating machine, the predecessor from today’s fridge.

Fruit ice cream

The ice cold refreshment has its origin in China, really surprising!

Ice cream burger

In Girona, for example, you can try some real extravagant variations in the famous ice cream parlour of the Roca brothers, owners of one of the best restaurants in the world (currently no. 3 on the list) El Celler de Can Roca. There, you can order an ice cream burger consisting of two brioche rolls, filled with your preferred ice cream and topping, and heated up in an waffle iron. Try it!

Ice cream in a roll

It may sounds strange to eat ice cream with bread, but the panet is really tasty.

If you rather prefer to make your own ice cream, here is an easy recipe and the best thing is: you don’t need an ice cream machine!

For example with quark:

Recipe for home-made ice cream

The preparation is super fast and easy and the self-made ice cream is low-fat, rich in protein and each portion only has 88 calories.
Just purée 150 g of low-fat quark, a tsp of honey and 150 g of frozen fruits like strawberries or other wild berries with a hand blender. Afterwards, garnish with fresh fruits and serve immediately! If you want to prepare frozen yogurt, use Greek yogurt instead of quark. If you don’t count calories, use some whipped cream. Simply delicious!

Frozen wild berries

The best thing about this recipe, you don’t need an ice cream machine to make your own delicious ice cream.

Finished ice cream

Decorate the ice cream with some fresh fruits and enjoy! Bon appetit!

Ready to eat

Stuffed squids (Calamars Farcits)

Inspired by the Catalonian kitchen, we wanted to try stuffed squid, a traditional recipe of Catalonia. The ingredients are simple and also the preparation is very easy. Try it out!

Ingredients:

1 kg of squids
250 g minced meat
1 onion
2 small tomatoes or chopped tinned tomatoes
2 garlic cloves
1 egg
salt and pepper
herbs as you prefer (parsley, basil, thyme)
olive oil
flour
a little bit of white wine

Preparation:

Clean the squid carefully, pat it dry, remove the fin and tentacles and cut them very finely for the stuffing.
For the stuffing, finely dice the onion and the garlic and then mix it with the minced meat, chopped tentacles, salt, a little bit of pepper, egg and
chopped parsley.
Stuff the squid and secure with a toothpick. Afterwards, roll in flour.
Heat some oil in a pan. Fry the squid from all sides and add the chopped tomatoes. Add white wine and allow to simmer over low heat. Add the herbs and season well. Cover it and allow to stew. Turn them once. Remove the lid and allow the sauce to simmer.
Before serving, strew some parsley on it and serve with salad or rice. Bon appetit!