Broccoli dumplings with ricotta cheese - Polpette di broccoli con ricotta - Okruglice od brokule s ricotta sirom

This recipe is part of the contest Kuvarigrice, our host for February 2016 is Kata
I adore kale, cabbage and broccoli, but I hate cauliflower! Isn't it strange?
Cauliflower is one of the very few things that I don't like. More then its flavour I don't like its texture. I have always compared broccoli to cauliflower and I was hesitant to tast it. First time I ever ate broccoli was in Sweden, in December! I know what are you thinking: why should you make all those kilometers to taste broccoli for the first time...in Sweden?! But during our travels in North European countries, me and Mr.M., we used to walk and walk and we often got so hungry that I would have eaten cauliflower too, mhhh....no, cauliflower would  be still there, all alone  on the dish! In that occasion I have ordered my dish, it was main course dish with meat and vegetables and broccoli! Firstly I continued to look at those green blooms, then Mr.M. described its flavour and texture and at the end I smelled them (I was very discreet in doing it). I gathered all my courage and I ate my first small piece of broccoli. It was surprisingly sweet and solid, not mealy at all and I liked it! So I "cleaned" my dish completely and from that moment I started to thing about broccoli as a tasty and perfect winter vegetable. 
Now I often use broccoli as side dish, I prepare the soup and pasta with it, but it's my first time preparing dumplings with broccoli. During last February days I was thinking about something else to offer to my friend Kata for our contest and I'm very satisfied with the result. I hope you will also love it, especially because it is very easy, healthy and so seasonal!
To make this dish even more healthy I've decided to avoid frying the dumplings, so I baked them in the oven with very, very little olive oil.


Frittata with borage and walnuts - Frittata con borragine e noci - Fritaja s boražinom i orasima

I always saw these strange and hairy plants growing scattered around in leafless winter garden, but I never ate borage before. I was hesitant to taste it! But at the end my curiosity has won and during one of our evening chats with my mother I suddenly opened my heart to this wild plant.
It taste better then spinach, you don't need to boil it too long and despite plenty of hair on its leafs this plant is so tender and delicate. I like quick and easy dishes and I immediately thought about early spring frittata with some crumbled walnuts. Sounds good, right? And it really is...so if you are lucky and you find this wild plant, don't escape from it. It can be cooked in so many ways and it is very healthy too.
And I adore its blu indigo flowers that bloom during coldest moths and don't fear the frost. Actually this winter is the mildest we have had in last years and I hope it will not snow in March or April!


Pears preserved in lemon juice with honey - Pere conservate in succo di limone con miele - Kruške konzervirane u limunovom soku s modem

If you have a foodblog, you know how hard it is to resist from buying some...plenty of fresh and ripe seasonal fruits. Fruits are so inspiring and versatile. I've discovered that I not only like fresh fruits, but I adore all kind of preserves and deserts made of fruits and flavoured with different spices. Few weeks ago I made this preserved pears and I've added cloves into the syrup because I thougt that the intense flavour of cloves will give some more verve to the mild pear taste and because I needed  to make my "pear jar" more photogenic. But the real satisfaction and surprise arrived what I've opened the jar.
Have you ever smelt the scent of wintersweet Chimonanthus flowers? It's exactly the one I've felt in that precise instant. I couldn't imagine I would produce the same scent in the jar, moreover it is the edible one!
So, now I have my joung wintersweet Chimonanthus tree flourishing on the terrace and its perfume in a jar. And I didn't have to cut any of tree branches to enjoy its intense scent. Isn't it beautiful?
I love its pale yellow, almost transparent flowers with the bordeaux heart.
You can see first thiny flower buds already in August, hidden between the leaf and the branch. It continue growing and swelling all autumn long and the very first flowers open when the cold frost arrives. This is the extraordinary beauty of the nature.