avocado chocolate cookies

Soft chocolate avocado cookies (gf)

Avocado&chocolate cookies

I know that it sounds weird,but it does work. Really! Soft  cookies with the addition off the nutritious avocado and the richness of chocolate. My daughter and I loved them,my husband on the other hand was quiet skeptical and he didn’t want to try in the beginning. “Avocado is for guacamole,not for cookies!” I’m pretty much sure,he wasn’t the only one!

Well.. You can’t make a decision until you give it a try! And finally he did… He was so surprised that chocolate and avocado go well together, and you don’t taste the avocado. Finally,he got convinced.

That reminds me of the chocolate avocado mousse I made while ago.

I found the recipe from an exceptional blog,and I fell in love with these cookies! Of course,I couldn’t help myself and I made couple of changes.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 Medium Ripe Avocado
  • 5 tbs Honey
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • ½ cup Almond Butter
  • ½ cup Cocoa Powder
  • ¼ cup Chocolate Chips
  • Zest from one orange

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat your oven to 350 and prepare a baking sheet with parchment.

Cream together the avocado and honey until smooth. Then add the egg and mix until no lumps remain.
Next add the almond  butter and orange zest and slowly add the Cocoa Powder 2 tbs at a time. If the mixture looks too sticky, leave 1 or 2 tbs out. You want the consistency to be smooth just like the peanut butter.
Stir in the Chocolate Chips by hand and put the mixture in a plastic sandwich bag. Cut a hole the size of a nickle in one corner and squeeze out 1 inch rounds onto the parchment.
Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the middle of the cookies look set.

avocado chocolate cookies

almond cookies

Cashew and white chocolate almond cookies (gf)

almond cookies

 

There is always an excuse for baking some cookies. Whether is Easter, Christmas,Mother’s Day or summertime I,personally always find an excuse to make something sweet,a cake,cookies or doughnuts,to company my morning coffee. Nobody wants to begin his/her day with a plain coffee and an empty stomach!

Fragrant,soft and nutty,these cookies are simply gorgeous! The white chocolate flirting with the cashews and the floral notes of orange come along. I’m telling you,these cookies are out of this world scrumptious! My picky daughter ate them with her milk and she loved them! So simple to make and a great way to make your little ones help you. Besides, what’s baking without a messy kitchen?

 

almond cookies2

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups almond flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 whole egg
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate
  • 1/2 cup cashews,toasted and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven at 375 F.Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Combine almond flour,baking soda and sea salt and set aside.
  3. Mix vegetable oil and maple syrup in a mixer until creamy but not fully incorporated, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add whole egg,egg whites,orange zest and vanilla extract,mix for 2 more minutes.
  5. Slowly add dry ingredients to egg mixture and mix for 1 minute.
  6. Add white chocolate chips and toasted cashews and mix with a spoon until well combined.
  7. Place large rounded tablespoons onto prepared baking sheets,about 1 inch apart. Flatten slightly,to 1-inch thickness. Bake until set and golden, about 15 minutes.

 

almond cookies 4

pistachio cake with strawberry tiopping

Strawberry upside down pistachio cakes (gf)

 

Some of the goods I got from my vacation in Greece, was organic,non-GMO( luckily,Greek seeds are not GMO yet!),raw pistachios. There is a huge pistachio production in Greece. The aroma and the taste are so unique and delicate,certainly that differentiate from the other type of nuts.

Did you ever had a whole bunch of ingredients,of what seems to be,unlikely ingredients,that surprisingly work perfectly together?That’s what happened to me,few weeks ago. A pound of pistachios and a can of strawberry pie filling were still sitting on the pantry and starring at me. It didn’t take long before I realize it was about time to marry those to and make something otherworldly and mess worthy!

Truth is,I’ve never EVER used can of pie filling. I bought it,just because..No reason why! I know I’m not the only one buying things from the super market you were not thinking about! I put lemons in the party as well. I love lemons,and their acidic and bright flavor would definitely level up the cake.

As a base for my cake,I used the same from Toblerone cakes . Airy,fluffy and moist with the beautiful caramelized strawberries on top and the fragrant lemon.

 

 

pistachio cake with strawberry tiopping

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • zest and juice of a lemon
  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 1/2 cup corn starch
  • 1 cup pistachio,finely ground
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 can cherry pie filling

DIRECTIONS:

Heat the oven at 350 F.
Put your cupcake liners in your cupcake tin.
In a medium bowl,whisk with a hand mixer,the eggs and sugar until becomes pale and creamy.
Add the olive oil,the yogurt,vanilla extract,zest and juice and whisk again.
Add the rice flour,corn starch,ground pistachios,salt and baking powder,until thoroughly incorporated.
Add a tablespoon of cherry pie filling in each well of the muffin tin.Fill up 2/3 of the tins and bake for 15-20 minutes.
Let them cool down an flip the muffin tin.

 

pistachio cake

mexican soup

Salsa soup (gf)

mexican soup 2

I love winter! The cold weather inspires you create warm,hearty courses,such as slow roasted dishes, hot chocolate, complexed desserts and soups.

A great thing about soups,is that you can make any kind of soup,if you know how to marry different flavors and the combinations are plenty!

Every time,I started on a new soup recipe,my husband is always hesitant at the beginning,but he ends up eating two or three bowls of soup every time! How much I love when I prove him wrong!

Last time,I made a last minute soup. A Tostitos salsa jar was starring at me  and I knew that I had to do something with it. Something creative without too much effort. That’s possibly one of the quickest and easiest soups.

A kick of spiciness,the beans and the refreshing and soothing dollop of sour cream along with the cheese,it will tickle your taste buds!

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 jar  medium restaurant style salsa (I used Tostitos)
  • 2 cups chicken broth (substitute with vegetable broth for vegetarian version)
  • 1/2 cup black beans,boiled,drained and rinsed (you can always used can instead
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 2 sprigs of time
  • 1 bay leaf

For the toppings:

  • cheddar cheese
  • sour cream

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Wash and peel carrots. Cut them in 1/4 inch cubes.
  2. Add a tablespoon of olive oil,in a medium pot,on medium high heat. Add the carrots for two-three minutes.
  3. Add the salsa,chicken broth,thyme,bay leaf and beans.
  4. Let it boil for five minutes,and reduce heat at low. Let it simmer for half an hour. That allows flavors to blend.
  5. Add salt and pepper and your soup is done!
  6. Top it with  a spoon of sour cream or Mexican crema and cheddar cheese

mexican soup

cassoule

Sausage and white beans cassoulet style(gluten free)

As a kid I’ve never had much appreciation about beans,I’ve always underestimated them. Well,now I know I was wrong. They is so much fiber and iron hidden in there! But sausages are different.. Mild,spiced or zesty,in Greece there is an abundant of sausages,all from different place or Greece.

Luckily, things have changed  20 years later and mothers are more open minded as far as the food. They are willing to learn new recipes,find different ways to incorporate the food their kids hate.

As a grownup I love the  bean-sausage marriage. But not smothered in sauce! Simple and sophisticated. Just like French do. How much I love french cuisine! Their desserts,their wine,their cheese… There is nothing to hate about it!

After a long time,I remembered Cassoulet,a beautiful casserole kind of dish,slowly cooked with beans and sausage or chicken or both and topped with crunchy breadcrumbs. So fragrant,with the flavors married so perfectly together! If you are in a hurry,like me,you would love this version of Cassoulet!

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 pints of cherry tomatoes
  • 4-6 mild Italian sausages
  • 4 large garlic cloves,smashed
  • 1 onion,cut into wedges
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder(optional)
  • few sprigs of thyme
  • 3 cups cooked white navy beans or kidney beans OR 1 19 oz can of white beans,rinsed and drain well
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup white wine

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 425 *F.
    Scatter tomatoes over bottom of dish (reserve about 1/2 cup to add later).  Add garlic, onion and sausages over top.  Drizzle with balsamic and olive oil.
  2. Toss on thyme and sprinkle with S & P.  Bake about 25-30 minutes, for sausages to be golden and tomatoes start to burst.
  3. Remove from oven and stir in beans and reserved 1/2 cup of cherry tomatoes.
  4. Add  white wine and  chicken stock.
  5.   Return to oven and bake 20 minutes longer or until beans are cooked through.

cassoulet 3

cassoulet 2

honey xmas cookies

Greek Christmas cookies with honey syrup (gf)

xmas cookiesChristmas is near, and every home is filled with  beautiful aromas from cookies and desserts of any kind. Each family keeps their own tradition.

In my family,we bake a lot! We mean A LOT!! every time,we make two different type of cookies: a melt in your mouth snowball kind of cookie,with rosewater called Kourabies and my favorite,melomakarona,which are orange and walnut cookies dipped in honey syrup.

It makes me so happy seeing modern twists of these cookies! I prefer to keep it traditional. It’s the first time I ever made them,without my mother’s precious help,besides,being far away from your family makes me way too nostalgic. After so long,especially now that Anna is older and realized what Christmas is,I wanted to give her a piece of her Greek inheritance.

These cookies,do not require any special skills,tools,nor some expensive ingredients. Fact is,Greek cuisine is based in simple ingredients with wise utilization.

Crunchy on the outside, moist and soft on the inside,without being mushy and the remarkable aromas of cinnamon,cloves and orange. These cookies will have a special place in your heart!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 cups all purpose gluten free flour
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
  • zest of an orange
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • q teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon clover powder
  • 1 tablespoon dark rum (optional)

For the honey syrup:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup honey
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1 orange peel

Topping:

chopped walnuts


 

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven at 350 F. Place parchment paper in a sheet tray.
  2. In a big bowl,add the vegetable oil,olive oil,sugar,orange juice and zest,spices,vanilla extract,rum and baking soda.
  3. Add the almond meal,mix with wooden spoon, and slowly add the flour mixed with baking powder. The cookie dough should me soft and moist.honey cookies
  4. Take tablespoon of the dough and make an oblong shape. Place it in the sheet tray and with a fork, pierce it slightly. Repeat to the rest of the dough.
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes.

greek cookies

In the meanwhile make the syrup:

  1. In a medium pot,add all the syrup ingredients,except honey.
  2. When it comes to a boil,reduce the heat to medium and let it boil for 8-10 minutes,until it becomes thick,then add honey and let it for 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. When cookies are done,dip 5-6 of them in the hot honey syrup and let them soak for about 3-4 minutes. Do not be afraid,they won’t get mushy.
  4. Lay them in a big plate or tray,but don’t pile them up. top them with the crushed walnuts.

honey cookies 2

 

greek cookies

 

honey xmas cookies