zucchinis

Zucchini parmesan chips with feta sauce

 

Today,we have a quick,easy,crunchy and scrumptious appetizer,promised to please kids of all ages!

If your kid or husband is struggling in the thought of a veggie in their dish,then you came to the right place. Anna is more of a steamed and raw veggie lover,she doesn’t get so excited in the view of something different. She is a huge veggie lover,but she is still a toddler,so I have to cut her some slack. But,as a parent I always incorporate veggies or type of foods that she doesn’t quite like and try to hide them. Just as I do with my husband.

These chips are baked,perfect for a diet and definitely you won’t stop eating them! They are so darn addictive! The feta sauce is something my husband loves. Creamy,slightly briny and fresh from the herbs and green onions.

Give it a try and you’ll remember me!

 

feta and zucch

zucchinis


ZUCCHINI PARMESAN CHIPS WITH FETA SAUCE

Servings:4  Cooking time:  15-20 minutes  Difficulty: Easy

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 medium zucchinis
  • 1 cup gluten free breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 zucchinis, thinly sliced to 1/4-inch thick rounds
  • 1/2 cup gluten free all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 large eggs, beaten

For the feta sauce:

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese
  • 1 spring onion
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven at 425 F. Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine breadcrumbs,paprika,salt,pepper and Parmesan; set aside.
  3. Working in batches, dredge zucchini rounds in flour, dip into eggs, then dredge in Panko mixture, pressing to coat.
  4. Add zucchini rounds to the sheet pan , and bake until evenly golden and crispy, about 15-20 minutes.
  5. In the meanwhile,prepare feta sauce: Simply,combine all ingredients in a blender and pulse until thoroughly blended and become sauce.
  6. Remove zucchinis from the oven and serve immediately.

ΤΣΙΠΣ ΚΟΚΟΛΥΘΙΩΝ ΜΕ ΠΑΡΜΕΖΑΝΑ ΚΑΙ ΝΤΙΠ ΦΕΤΑΣ

Μερίδες:4   Χρόνος μαγειρέματος: 15-20 λεπτά  Βαθμός δυσκολίας: εύκολο

ΥΛΙΚΑ:

  • 1 φλιτζάνι τριμμένη φρυγανιά χωρίς γλουτένη
  • 1/2 φλιτζάνι τριμμένη τυρί παρμεζάνα, ή κεφαλοτύρι
  • 2 κολοκυθάκια, κομμένα σε λεπτές φέτες πάχους 1/2 εκ.
  • 1/2 φλιτζάνι αλεύρι χωρίς γλουτένη δωρεάν για όλες τις χρήσεις
  • 1 κουταλάκι του γλυκού πάπρικα
  • 1/2 κουταλάκι του γλυκού αλάτι
  • 1/2 κουταλάκι του γλυκού πιπέρι
  • 2 μεγάλα αυγά, χτυπημένα

Για τη σάλτσα φέτας:

  • 1 κούπα ξινόκρεμα ή γιαούρτι
  •  1/2 κούπα τυρί φέτα
  • 1 φρέσκο κρεμμυδάκι
  • 1/4 κουταλάκι του γλυκού σκόνη σκόρδου, ή φρέσκο πολτοποιημένο
  • 1/2 κουταλάκι του γλυκού αλάτι
  • 1/2 κουταλάκι του γλυκού μαύρο πιπέρι
  • 1/2 κουταλάκι του γλυκού θυμάρι
  • 1 κουταλιά της σούπας ελαιόλαδο

ΕΚΤΕΛΕΣΗ:

  1. Προθερμαίνουμε το φούρνο στους 220 C. Σε ενα μεγαλο ορθογώνιο ταψί,απλώνουμε αλουμινόχαρτο.
  2. Σε ένα μεγάλο μπολ, ανακατεύουμε τη φρυγανιά, την πάπρικα, το αλάτι, το πιπέρι και παρμεζάνα,αφήνουμε στην άκρη.
  3. Πασπαλίζουμε τις φέτες  κολοκυθιών στο αλεύρι, έπειτα τα βουτάμε στα αυγά, στη συνέχεια, πασπαλίζουμε στο μείγμα της φρυγανιάς.
  4. Προσθέστε κολοκυθάκια  στο ταψί και ψήνουμε μέχρι να ψηθούν ομοιόμορφα με ενα χρυσό  χρώμα, περίπου 15-20 λεπτά.

Εν τω μεταξύ, ετοιμάστε τη  σάλτσα φέτας: Απλά, Συνδυάστε όλα τα συστατικά σε ένα μπλέντερ και πατήστε μέχρι να ομογενοποιηθούν όλα  και να γίνουν σάλτσα.
Αφαιρέστε κολοκύθια από το φούρνο και σερβίρετε αμέσως.

Καλή όρεξη!

apricot blondies

White chocolate apricot brownies (gf)

 

Time for some sinful dessert,ladies and gentlemen! I think of it as a break from my monthly sweet “withdrawal”. I’ve manage to control my sweet tooth for quite a while,and I’m proud of it!

Every time it’s my monthly detoxication from all these sweets,I clean and organize my pantry an hide on the upper shelf where there is no way to reach it,unless I climb up like my little Tarzan.  When detox is done,I resurface all the no-no,full of guilt ingredients. Need to be noted,that we don’t have any sweet snacks in our pantry. You see,that’s the “curse” of the baker! I’m a big supporter of baking from scratch,with some rare exceptions,and I love it when my baking goods are not overly sweet. I love the balance of flavors,just like this recipe.

The idea of white chocolate brownies,came up spontaneously and it was more like a last minute thought. I got plenty of  fresh,organic apricots and it would be a embarrassing  not to add them in my brownies…

Soft,chewy,moist and with the fruity addition of the apricots these brownies were meant to be a stable in our family!

 

blondies gf

blondies batter
Anna,my little and trusty assistant while mixing!

WHITE CHOCOLATE AND APRICOT BROWNIES

Adapted from Back for seconds

Servings:12  Cooking time: 25 minutes  Difficulty: Easy

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 4 oz white chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 cup gf all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 fresh apricots,pitted and  diced  in 1/4” cubes

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat the oven at 350 F. Line a 8×8 pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Melt butter and white chocolate and stir until smooth.
  3. Add sugar and stir with a wooden spoon. Add salt,vanilla extract and eggs and stir until well combined.
  4. Add the coconut and flour and mix thoroughly.
  5. Last, add  in diced apricots and stir with a spatula.
  6. Pour mixture into the pan and bake for approximately 25-28 minutes,until a toothpick inserted comes clean.

white chocolate blondies


ΜΠΡΑΟΥΝΙΣ ΛΕΥΚΗΣ ΣΟΚΟΛΑΤΑΣ ΜΕ ΒΕΡΙΚΟΚΟ

Μερίδες: 8  Χρόνος ψησίματος: 25–28 λεπτά   Βαθμός δυσκολίας: εύκολο

ΥΛΙΚΑ:

  • 1/2 κούπα βούτυρο
  • 120 γρ. λευκή σοκολάτα
  • 3/4 κούπας κρυσταλλική ζάχαρη
  • 2 αυγά σε θερμοκρασία δωματίου
  • 1/2 κτγ αλάτι
  • 1 κτγ εκχύλισμα βανίλιας
  • 1/4 τριμμένη καρύδα
  • 1 κούπα αλεύρι χωρίς γλουτένη για όλες τις χρήσεις.
  • 2 φρέσκα βερίκοκα, κομμένα σε μικρούς κύβους.

ΕΚΤΕΛΕΣΗ:

  1. Προθερμαίνουμε το φούρνο στους 180 βαθμούς. Bάζουμε αντικολλητικό χαρτί σε ενα πυρίμαχο ταψί 20 Χ20 εκ.
  2. Σε ένα μπολ,λιώνουμε το βούτυρο με τη λευκή σοκολάτα,μεχρι να λιώσει εντελώς.
  3. Προσθέτουμε τη ζάχαρη και ανακατεύουμε καλα με μία ξύλινη κουτάλα.
  4. Στη συνέχεια προσθέτουμε το αλάτι,το εκχύλισμα βανίλιας και τα αυγά. Ανακατεύουμε καλά μέχρι να ομογενοποιηθούν.
  5. Προσθέτουμε τη καρύδα και το αλεύρι και ανακατεύουμε μέχρι να ενωθούν καλά όλα τα υλικά.
  6. Στο τελος,προσθέτουμε τα κομμένα βερίκοκα και ανακατεύουμε ελαφρά. Ρίχνουμε το μείγμα στ ταψί και το ψήνουμε για 25~28 λεπτά,μεχρι να ροδίσει ελαφρά. Για σιγουριά, βάλτε μία οδοντογλυφίδα,αν βγει καθαρή είναι έτοιμο.
  7. Αφήστε το να κρυώσει εντελώς πριν το σερβίρετε.
almond butter oats

Almond butter banana chocolate cups (gf)

 

almond butter oats

There was a really difficult and busy month. Anna had an  allergy skin test and she is allergic to pollen,cats and peanuts. I was so relived,we finally,found out why her skin is so irritated. As an allergic myself to numerous  of things, I know how to make her understand why she feels sick,and she seems to comprehend!

That was a wake up call for my husband and I. I realize I had to be more cautious with our eating habits.  You see, as I said in a previous post, I love desserts more than anything and with Anna’s food allergy in combination with my gluten intolerance and food allergies I had to change. Therefore,I wanted to challenge myself and try not to eat as many sweets as before,for as long as I can.

Weeks ago,I saw an amazing post from Misfit Baker, No bake peanut butter bars with chocolate ganache, and of course I had to make them! With only few tweaks, I made these beautiful chocolate and almond butter banana cups! I substitute the peanut butter with almond butter and the graham crackers with gluten free oats. The results: outstanding! Even my picky husband loved it! What’s better than banana and chocolate combination?

almond banana prep

 

almond banana cup

 

almonds and oats

 

IMG_8382

 

 

 


CHOCOLATE AND ALMOND BUTTER BANANA CUPS

Servings: 4      Preparation time: 10 minutes   Difficulty: easy

INGREDIENTS:

filling:

  • 1 cup gluten free oats
  • 1 cup almond butter
  • 2 TBSP honey
  • 1 1/2 cups ripe banana,smashed
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange zest

Chocolate topping:

  • 1 cup dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips

 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Line cupcake liners in a muffin tin,set aside.
  2. In a food processor, add the gluten free oats and press until becomes like a flour form,but not too fine.
  3. Add banana,almond butter,and pulse until comes together.
  4. Add honey,orange zest and vanilla extract

To make the chocolate cover:

  1. Melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler or microwave,until smooth.
  2. Let it cool for a little bit.
  3. Take a teaspoon of the melted chocolate and pour it in cupcake liner,spread as much as you can. It doesn’t have to be perfect!
  4. Add a tablespoon of the filling and cover with the melted chocolate. Repeat with the rest.
  5. Put them in the fridge for 2-4 hours until firm.

ΜΠΑΡΕΣ  ΣΟΚΟΛΑΤΑΣ ΜΕ ΓΕΜΙΣΗ ΜΠΑΝΑΝΑ-ΑΜΥΓΔΑΛΟΒΟΥΤΥΡΟ

ΥΛΙΚΑ:

  • 1 κούπα βρώμη χωρίς γλουτένη,
  • 1 κουπα αμυγδαλοβούτυρο ή φυστικοβούτυρο
  • 2 κουταλιές της σούπας  μέλι
  • 1 1/2  μπανάνα,λιωμένη
  • 1/2 κουταλάκι του γλυκού ξύσμα πορτοκαλιού
  • 1/2 κουταλάκι εκχύλισμα βανίλιας
  • 1 κούπα κομματάκια ημίγλυκη σοκολατα

ΕΚΤΕΛΕΣΗ:

  1. Σε μια θήκη για μάφινσ ,βάλτε τα χάρτινα θηκάκια για μαφιν;.
  2. Βάλτε τη βρώμη στο μούλτι και πατήστε μέχρι να γίνει σε μορφή σκόνησ,αλλ όχι πολυ ψιλή.
  3. Σε ενα μικρο μπωλ, ανακατέψτε τη βρώμη με τα υπόλοιπα υλικά
  4. Λιώστε τη σοκολατα και αφήστε τη να κρυώσει λιγάκι.
  5. Πάρτε ένα κουταλάκι του γλυκου απο τη λιωμένη σοκολατα και απλώστε τη στο χαρτινο θηκάκι για το μάφινσ.
  6. Βάλτε μία κουταλιά τησ σούπασ απο τη γέμιση και σκεπαστε με ενα κουταλάκι του γλυκού λιωμένη σοκολατα.
  7. Επαναλάβετε με τα υπόλοιπα.
  8. Βάλτε τα στο ψυγείο για 2 με 4 ωρες μέχρι να σταθεροποιηθεί.

 

 

almond butter oats

 

IMG_7969

Shortbread cookies with strawberry sauce(gf)

 

IMG_7970

Almost a month ago,I made these beautiful Strawberry nutella hand pies  and they were a big hit! My daughter absolutely loved them. So,she asked me if we could make cookies with her new cookie cutters. You see, she is my assistant and she needs her(actually mine) cookie cutters. As I was trying to find an easy cookie recipe, I thought of that pie crust.

Anna put her Doc Mcstuffins robe,her cute little rolling pin and her cookie cutters and she was waiting for the dough to be ready.

One of the great things about this pie crust is the fact that rolls easily and is buttery and flaky. She made her own cookie shapes and I made mine. It was so much fun! Adding some chocolate chips to the dough and top it with some strawberry-orange sauce. These cookies melt in your mouth!

 

 


Shortbread cookies with strawberry sauce

 Servings: 4-6   Cooking time:20 minutes    Difficulty: Easy

INGREDIENTS:

For the strawberry sauce:

  • 1 1/2  cups strawberries,diced
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon cold  water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat the oven at 350 F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Prepare the pie crust and at the end add the chocolate chips in the dough.
  3. Roll it into a 12×12 inch square and with a 3 inch (3.5 cm) cookie cutter cut  circles and keep cutting until you run out of dough. Sprinkle with some sugar on top.
  4. Bake for 8-10 minutes until golden brown.

To make the strawberry sauce:

  1. In a medium-low sauce pan,under medium heat add strawberries and sugar. Stir frequently.
  2. When the strawberries start soften and all the liquid comes out add the orange juice and  vanilla extract. In a small bowl add the water and the cornstarch,stir until well combined and add it to the strawberry sauce. Simmer for 6-10 minutes.
  3. Let it cool.
  4. When the cookies are ready,serve with the strawberry sauce on top.

 

 

 

IMG_7966

 

IMG_7967

texas sheet cokies

Texas sheet cake cookies (gf)

 

As a chocoholic and dessert lover,I’m always thinking of what kind of dessert should I eat 24/7,and I know for some of you it might be exaggerating but to me is normal!

 

texas sheet cookies

I got my daddy’s genes for sure! He is a huge dessert lover, both him and I can substitute our meal for dessert! Not so healthy,that’s why we don’t do it…anymore!

Few weeks ago,I fell in love with Texas sheet cake by NancyCreative. The moist cake,and the luscious icing…Chocolate on top of chocolate! So,I decided to make a gluten free cookie version of it! Can you only imagine? A bite size goodness of this cake and before you know it,you end up devouring the whole sheet of cookies. Not that it happened to me…No, hypothetically speaking! These cookies are moist with a kick of coffee.

texas sheet cake cookiestexas sheet cookies icing

INGREDIENTS:

cookies:

  • ½ cup butter, room temperature
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1⅓ cup all purpose gf flour ( I used Bob’s Red Mill )
  • ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted

Icing:

  • ½ cup butter
  • 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 3 Tbsp milk
  • 2½ cups powdered sugar
  • 2 TBSPS instant coffee (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS:

To make the cookies:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Line baking sheet with parchment , set aside.In bowl of stand mixer beat butter and sugar together until light, scraping sides frequently.
  3. Add in egg and vanilla and continue mixing until incorporated. Mix in baking powder and salt.
  4. Turn mixer to low and slowly add in flour. Dough will be thick.
  5. In a microwave safe bowl heat chocolate chips on high in 30 second increments until melted, stirring after every 30 seconds.
  6. Mix melted chocolate directly into cookie dough until evenly mixed.
  7. Drop dough by a measured tablespoon sized mounds onto baking sheet. Bake for 7-8 minutes until cookies just appear set. They will still be very soft on the inside. DO NOT overbake!!
    Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Make the icing:

  1. In a medium saucepan combine butter, instant coffee,cocoa powder and milk over medium heat, whisking until melted together. Remove from heat and whisk in powdered sugar.
  2. Pour icing over cookies and allow icing to set before serving.

texas sheet cokies

 

Almond butter  and m&m's blondies

Almond butter and m&m’s blondies (gf)

For a long time I’ve been looking for smooth almond butter and finally, I found it! I,recently,discover Barney butter  and is definitely my latest obsession! So smooth and light and not overwhelming whatsoever.

My daughter is totally in love with this. She is one of those kids who gets disgusted by peanut butter. Yes, I know..is weird but it really happens! She told me to make some cake and add a little bit of almond butter. So,I thought “Hmm.. BLONDIES!”

These beauties are so irresistible,the almond butter blends beautiful with the orange and the chocolate is just superb! Soft,moist,chewy and chocolatey it will definitely make you eat more than one piece!

 

blondie batter

 

blondie batter mms

 

almond butter

Ingredients:

  • 1 large egg,room temperature
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 cup almond butter,I used smooth Barney Butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 cup m&m’s or chocolate chips

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat the oven at 350 F. Prepare an 8×8 inch pan with foil and cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl,beat the egg with a stand mixer,or whisk by hand if you want,until becomes frothy. Add the honey and  continue beating on medium speed,until well incorporated.
  3. Add almond butter,vanilla extract and orange zest and continue beating on low.
  4. Finally,add baking powder and salt.
  5. Using a wooden spoon or a rubber spatula,add the m&m’s or chocolate chips,and stir well until well combined.
  6. Pour the batter in the baking pan and bake for 15-20 minutes,until golden brown and A toothpick inserted into the center will come out with a few moist crumbs when done.
  7. Allow the blondies to cool down completely,before serving.

 

almond blondies

almond butter blondies

banana cake zoom

Banana cake with Nutella frosting (gf)

banana cake zoom
Please raise your hand if you are a banana cake lover… Now raise both hands if you love Nutella over anything baked! I’m a huge banana cake lover,the fragrant ripe bananas make the cake so moist and scrumptious!

I was thinking of a sweet crepe flavor combination I like: Nutella,banana and coconut. Probably,I was drooling  as usual.As I start dreaming of that crepe,my thought bubble said “Why not a banana-coconut cake with nutella?” That’s when  my research on Pinterest for a great banana cake,began and I found this exceptional recipe from Cooking Classy. Of course I made my tweaks and the result was stunning! Moist,light and well-balanced flavors that will make you asking for more!

banana cake piece
Photo inspired by Cooking Classy

I’m telling you people,this cake is dreamy!

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/3 cups (286g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (2oz) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup (228g) sour cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups (368g) mashed overripe bananas (from about 3 large)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups gluten free all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt

For the Nutella frosting:

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup nutella

Directions:

For the cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Butter a  10 by 10 inch baking pan and set aside.
    In a large bowl, using a hand mixer,cream together sugar and butter then mix in sour cream and eggs. Don’t forget to scrape down the bowl during the process.
  3. Stir in mashed bananas and vanilla extract. Add the flour,coconut, salt,baking powder and baking soda then mix well.
    Pour batter into prepared baking pan, spread into an even layer and bake until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 33 – 38 minutes. Cool completely on wire rack before frosting.

For the frosting:

  1. Pour Nutella in a medium bowl and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk with a hand mixer,(or by hand if you are traditionalist!),until soft peaks form.
  3. With a rubber spatula,add gradually the whipped cream into the nutella and fold gently. Fold until well incorporated.
  4. When is done,spread the frosting on the cooled cake. Sprinkle some shredded coconut if you like and keep refrigerated.

 

Pillowy nutella frosting!
Pillowy nutella frosting!

banana cake 2

 

IMG_7827

Strawberry Nutella hand pies (gf)

 

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Season of the strawberries is here and so is summer! There are so much to love about summer,walks at  the beach under the warm sun, the food is getting as lighter as possible and the desserts fruitier and fragrant!

Now, let’s put our forks and knifes down,for a little bit because it’s time for hand pies! I love the versatility of hand pies, savory with cheese,meat or veggies or sweet with chocolate,or juicy fragrant fruits for the sweet lovers,like myself.

Flaky,buttery pie pockets stuffed with Nutella and organic strawberries. As both of the filling ingredients bake,they unite into a chocolatey and fruity sauce,hard to resist! Isn’t one of the perfect combinations with Nutella? Oh my goodness! For those who are a bit hesitant about the sweetness of the pies,I assure you, it’s not overwhelming at all.

Let your fingers cover with flakes of buttery pie crust and enjoy the filling oozing out of it!


INGREDIENTS:

For the dough:

  • 1 1/2 cups gluten free  all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 cup cold sour cream

For the filling:

  • 3/4 cup Nutella
  • 2 cups diced strawberries
  • 1 tablespoon sugar,depends on the sweetness of the strawberries
  • 2 teaspoons gf all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg
  • Crystal sanding sugar

INSTRUCTIONS:

Make the dough:

  1. In a large bowl,whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder.
    Add the cubed butter to the bowl and use your fingers to work the butter into the flour until the mixture looks like wet sand.
  2. Stir in the sour cream,don’t worry if the dough becomes wet. Then turn the dough out onto a well-floured work surface.
  3. Knead the dough a few times until it comes together, adding more flour, 1 teaspoon at a time, if the dough is too sticky to handle. Roll the dough into an 8×10-inch (20×25 cm) rectangle and dust both sides with flour before folding it into thirds as if you were folding a letter.
    Rotate the dough 90º and roll it out again into an 8×10-inch (20×25 cm) rectangle. Repeat once more then wrap it  in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes while you make the filling.
    To make the filling:
    In a small bowl, combine the diced strawberries with the flour and sugar, tossing to combine. Set aside.
    Assemble the pies:
  4. Preheat the oven to 425ºF (220 C)
    Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll it out to a 14×14-inch (35×35 cm) square. Always floured surface.
    Using a 3-inch (3.5 cm) circular cookie cutter or cup, cut out as many circles as possible. Re-roll the scraps and continue cutting out circles until you run out of dough.
  5. Place  the dough circles on a  parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Spread a portion of the Nutella in the centers of half of the dough circles leaving a  border around the edges. Spoon a small portion of the strawberries atop the Nutella.
  6. Place a second dough circle atop each filled circle then use a fork,or just your finger, to seal the edges of each pie. Whisk together the egg with the water to make an egg wash. Brush each pie with the egg wash, and using a sharp knife, cut two or three vents on the top of each pie.
  7. Sprinkle the pies with crystal sanding sugar.
  8. Bake the pies for about 15-18 minutes, or until they’re golden brown.
    Remove the pies from the oven and allow them to rest for 10 minutes before serving. Repeat the filling and baking process with the remaining dough circles.

Notes: 

The dough might not be as the regular pie dough,and that’s normal. To prevent the knife sticking in the dough while cutting the vents,dip the sharp edge in the flour.

IMG_7790 IMG_7793 IMG_7803 IMG_7805 IMG_7806 IMG_7826

 

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Chocolate brownie cupcakes with peanut butter frosting (gf)

 

IMG_7850Decadent,moist and fluffy brownie cupcakes with peanut butter frosting ready to be devoured! I know,I know! It’s summer time and most of us are trying so hard to get ready for the beach or pool,by being on diet! Ugh! My whole life I’ve been trying to resist chocolate and all these temptation but it was and still is,IMPOSSIBLE!

Last week,I tried to do a week chocolate and everything sweet,withdrawal.My experiment yet successful it made me just a tad more nervous that usual and snacking all the time something savory. You see,I was trying to drown my sorrow in crackers and wood fired Napolitana pizza.

The bottom line is: I will not do it again for such a long time,maybe a two-day withdrawal would be fine. Right?

So,to recover from such a shock,I made these beauties! chocolate brownie cupcakes with peanut butter frosting. I’m not so font of using peanut butter,as I was trying to find a recipe on Pinterest,I found this incredible peanut butter frosting from Sally’s baking addiction.

The brownies are decadent,moist  and slightly crackly on top with the fluffy and dreamy peanut butter frosting,definitely the perfect marriage. Is  going to bring tears of joy in your eyes!

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 8 ounces (226 grams)  dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 1 cup gluten free all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips

For the frosting:

  • 5 Tablespoons (75g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup (250g) creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup (120g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • peanut butter cups,cut in half
  • chocolate syrup(optional)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F (175 C). Line a cupcake pan with liners; set aside.
  2. Place the butter and chocolate in a heat-proof bowl and place that bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the simmering water. Stir until the butter and chocolate are completely melted.
  3. Add in the brown sugar, espresso powder and vanilla; whisk well to combine. Remove from heat and allow mixture to cool for a few minutes.
  4. Once the mixture has slightly cooled, add in the eggs and yolk, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Whisk in the flour, salt, and baking powder – careful not to over mix here! Fold in the chocolate chips.
  5. Divide the batter among the prepared cupcake cups.
  6. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 21-25 minutes. Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan for 20 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting:

  1. Using a  stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the softened butter on medium speed for 1 minute until completely smooth and creamy.
  2. Add the peanut butter and beat on medium-high speed until the two are combined.
  3. Add the confectioners’ sugar, cream, vanilla extract, and salt. Beat on low speed for about 20 seconds, then gradually increase to high speed.
  4. Beat on high for 1 minute.
  5. Frost cooled brownie cupcakes and top them with the chocolate syrup(if using) and half peanut butter cups.

Enjoy!

crackers 2

Parmesan and pine nuts Shortbread (gf)

pinenuts crackers

It was right after I put my daughter for a bedtime,and like any other kid she remembers,that she is hungry,she wants to pee,she is thirsty,right before she has to go to sleep! I’m pretty much sure,I’m not the only one experiencing that every single night. So I made sure,she fell asleep,and decided to drink some wine to calm me down a bit…Yes,ladies and gentlemen, I’m one of those,but I always drink responsibly!

 

As I was pouring some wine in my glass,I felt I was missing something. That poor wine was all alone,without any cheese platter,or grapes! Then the pinterest search began! I was looking for something cheesy,herbaceous and crunchy,and I was lucky enough to find that incredible recipe from Savory Simple. Easy,scrumptious,cheesy and herbaceous shortbread! The addition of the pine nuts gives a beautiful crunch.

Ingredients

  • 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 ounces grated Parmesan (grate it yourself for the best flavor)
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1/4 cup  pinenuts
  • 1 cup gluten free all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon water

 

Instructions

Place the butter in the bowl of your stand mixer with the paddle attachment and mix on medium-low until becomes creamy.
Add the parmesan, salt, pepper, rosemary and gluten free flour one at a time until evenly combined. At the end,add the pine nuts.
Add 1 tablespoon of water to help bring the dough together.
Place the dough and wrap it in plastic wrap and shape it into a log. Chill until firm, at least 30 minutes.

 

cracker dough

 
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Take the dough out of the freezer,unwrap it and slice it into a 1/2 an inch.
Place the crackers on a sheet pan and bake for approximately 22-25 minutes.

crackers

crackers 2

Nectarine and ginger galette

Nectarine and Ginger biscuit galette (gf)

Nectarine and ginger galette
Nectarine and ginger galette

Spring has come with its warm weather,short sleeved shirts and fruity recipes! Each season has its beauty,but spring here in Las Vegas,comes a little bit earlier,but is still enjoyable.

One thing I truly love,when days are warmer,is taking my daughter at the park for picnic,playing and make her so exhausted she would beg me going home. Yes,I know… I’m pretty much sure,though every parent is thinking the same way as I do. Your little ones playing and getting some Vitamin D from sun,always with sunscreen protection,and you get the satisfaction of getting your little fireball tired,therefore everybody WINS!

Some of the snacks we are taking with us in our picnic,is homemade biscuits, a great recipe I found from your homebred mom which I tweak as usual, and my peach lemonade iced tea. So light and refreshing, it keeps you going!

One day,after our picnic, an idea came to me: “What if I combine the biscuit dough and the fruit in one recipe?” That’s home the nectarine and ginger biscuit galette was born. Really easy to make,don’t let the number of steps fool you,I just love to be organized! Juicy and aromatic nectarines,with the warmth of cinnamon and the bright kick of the ginger,all packed in a buttery,flaky biscuit dough. This hybrid is a result of a greedy food lover,who can’t make up her mind whether to make just biscuits with macerated nectarines or fruit tart,and loves flavor combinations that are fresh and unusual!

INGREDIENTS:

Makes 2 6-inches galettes

For the filling

  • 4 nectarines,ripe
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh ginger,shredded
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon Amaretto
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter,room temperature (Wash,peel and cut the nectarines into 1 inch cube. In a medium bowl add all the ingredients except coconut and butter. Mix very well and set aside.)
    For the biscuit dough
  • 2 cups brown rice flour
  • 2/3 cup arrowroot flour or cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup tapioca starch
  • 1 teaspoon xantham gum
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup banana,mashed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup cold butter,cut into cubes
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 egg,beaten

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat the oven at 400 F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  2. In a food processor,mix together the flours, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cover counter with additional gluten free flour to make rolling easier. Add in cold butter and mix together until crumbly and pea sized.
  3. Add in egg,smashed banana and milk. Mix until a cohesive dough forms(will be slightly sticky) Cover counter with additional gluten free flour (or just cornstarch)to make rolling easier. Roll out dough to ½ inch thick.
  4. Fold dough into thirds lengthwise.
  5. Fold dough into thirds crosswise.Roll out to ½ inch thick and repeat process two additional times.
  6. Divide the dough in two,and roll out the dough into a 6-inch circle. Transfer the dough to the prepared baking sheet.
  7. Spoon the fruit (not the juices) into the center of the dough leaving a 1-2 inch border all around. Sprinkle with the coconut on top of the fruit.
  8. Gently fold the edges of the dough over the fruit. Press gently to seal the edges. Brush the edges of the dough with the beaten egg and sprinkle with sugar.
  9. Bake for 18-20 minutes until the crust is golden brown. In a small sauce pan,add the liquid from the fruits and the butter.
  10. Let it simmer for 3 minutes and remove from the heat. When the galettes are ready,drizzle with the sauce

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SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

CHERRY CABERNET CUPCAKES

Chocolate and cherry-red wine cupcakes (gf)

cherry cupcakes
It’s still winter time,the sky is grey and moody, with cold and rainy weather, and the low temperature makes you want to stay home,sleepy and cuddle up! All we need is a cup of rich and creamy hot chocolate or a full glass of full-bodied red wine at night to relax after a long day,while kids are finally asleep! Whether you are a stay-at-home parent or a working mom or dad,we all deserve occasionally a special treatment.
What’s better than the chocolate and red wine combination? The one ingredient compliments the other and both marry so perfectly together. The chocolate-cherry red wine cupcake will definitely steal your heart! These are no your ordinary cupcakes.There is plenty of alcohol,in those cupcakes,so these are not for kids.
Once you sink your teeth into it,you get the deep chocolate flavor with wine undertone,rich cherry and red wine filling with a silky cream cheese frosting. There is something special about that cherry-wine filling. It’s like a present inside a delicious little package! These sweet goodness will satisfy the most refined tastebuds.

CHOCOLATE CHERRY AND RED WINE CUPCAKES (GLUTEN FREE)
INGREDIENTS
• 1 cup sugar
• 2 eggs
• 1¼ cups gluten free all-purpose flour
• 1 tablespoon baking power
• 2 tablespoons dutch process cocoa
• ½ cup whole milk
• ¼ cup reduced wine *how to in notes*
• ½ cup unsalted Butter (melted and cooled)
• 2 tablespoons oil
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


 

INSTRUCTIONS
1 Preheat your oven at 350 F. Line your muffin tins with cupcake liners.
2 In mixer bowl beat sugar and eggs, until smooth and creamy
3 Add in flour, baking powder and cocoa
4 Pour in milk, wine, butter and oil.
5 Beat for one minute until smooth
6 Mix in vanilla on low speed
7 Fill lined cupcake pans with 3 tablespoons batter
8 Bake 15-18 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

NOTES
1 cup red wine (I used a Cabernet Sauvignon
Boil one cup of red wine until it reduces in half (about 10-12 minutes on medium low heat)

FOR THE CHERRY-RED WINE FILLING:

• 1 cup red wine
• 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
• 1/3 cup cherries,pitted
• 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch

1. In a saucepan add the first three ingredients. Reserve a teaspoon of the red wine.
2. Let it reduce on low medium heat for 10-12 minutes.
3. At the end,mix the reserved red wine with the cornstarch and add it in red wine-cherry reduction.
4. Remove from heat.
FOR THE VANILLA FROSTING:
• ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter (set at room temp about 10 minutes, but should still be cool)
• 8 oz. cream cheese (directly from fridge)
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (always use pure vanilla extract if possible)
• 4 cups powdered confectioners sugar
• 1 to 4 Tablespoons heavy cream, heavy whipping creamDirections:

INSTRUCTIONS:
1. Place butter in a large mixing bowl and beat until smooth. Add cream cheese and blend until fully combined and smooth, about 30 seconds.
2. Add vanilla extract and powdered sugar and blend on low speed until combined. Increase to medium speed and beat until it begins to get fluffy.
3. Slowly add the heavy cream, a little bit at a time until desired consistency is met. (Don’t add too much if you want the frosting to stay in place when piped on cupcakes.)
4. Beat until fluffy, about 1 minute.

ASSEMBLE:

Core out the cupcakes.
Fill each cupcake with the cherry-wine filling.
Top it with the vanilla frosting,and drizzle with some of the filling on top.

CHERRY CABERNET CUPCAKES

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

 

 

 

 

 

Apple pie cake (gluten free)

apple pie 2Food has always had a big impact in my life. I have fond memories of my family gathering around,cooking,laughing, baking for hours, and making up mess in the kitchen. I remember our house,every winter was bathed with those beautiful aromas of cinnamon and brown sugar, my father mastering the apple pie cake and bragging about it,and he had every single right to do it. Besides,his cake was just heavenly!

Once you sink your teeth into it,first you hear the crunchy crumble on top. Then you are getting deeper into the soft but not mushy ,perfectly spiced apples and finally to the fluffy,airy,like a cloud in your mouth,cake.

Not overly sweet,the spices and apples marry so well together and the hint of orange brightens the cake. You can’t deny a piece of cake like this! I had to make the gluten free version of this cake as soon as possible!

For the base of the cake,I  used the same with my scrumptious Toblerone cakes!

APPLE PIE CAKE

Servings: 12

Cooking time:40 minutes

Ingredients:

for the cake:

  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup canola oil
  • ½ cup plain yogurt
  • zest and juice of an orange
  • 1 cup white rice flour
  • ½ cup almond flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • ½ cup corn starch
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

for the filling:

  • 3 medium Fiji apples
  • 1 tablespoon Rum (optional)
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • juice of half orange

for the topping:

  • ¾ cup gluten free all purpose flour
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup butter,cut into small cubes
  • 1/3 cup almond flakes

Instructions:

Preheat oven at 350 F. Grease a 13×8 inch pan.

To make the filling:

  1. In a medium bowl,peel the apples and cut them into ¼ inch slices.
  2. Add the rest of the filling ingredients and toss well.
  3. Keep it on the side.

To make the cake:

  1. In a medium bowl,whisk together eggs and sugar for two minutes.
  2. Add canola oil,yogurt,orange juice and zest,vanilla extract and whisk again.
  3. Add rice flour,corn starch,baking powder,salt,almond flour.
  4. Whisk again until thoroughly mixed.

Pour the cake mixture on the bottom. Place the apple slices in order and pour the liquid that’s left on the bowl. That’s the yummiest part!

Sprinkle topping over the apples and cake batter evenly. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, Cool completely before serving. Sprinkle with some powdered sugar and it’s ready!

apple pie

 

apple pie 3

frittata 4

Feta,tomato,pepper and potato fritatta

There is nothing better than a quick and delicious meal! Sometimes,most of us are busy working or taking care of kids without time for cooking. And that’s when you need something simple,yet scrumptious to fill up the hungry bellies of big and small kids.

A lot of times I am craving for an omelette,but not a simple one,an omelette packed with veggies and full of flavor. Frittata is the ideal quick meal!

Frittata is an egg-based Italian dish,similar to an omelette,enriched with additional ingredients,such as vegetables and herbs. The following recipe was a last-minute thought,an “every veggies on my fridge available” kind of recipe! The sweetness of the cherry tomatoes combined with the basil and the tangy and briny feta cheese is just heavenly and it will definitely make you full!

fritatta2

INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 eggs,beaten
  • 1 medium potato,peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 cherry tomatoes,cut in half
  • 1/3 cup feta cheese
  • 1 medium zucchini,cut into 1/4 inch cubes
  • 1 medium bell pepper,cut in 1/4 inch cubes
  • 3 spring onions,peeled and chopped
  • 6 fresh basil leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat the oven at 375 F.
  2. In a medium size skillet,heat the olive oil. Add potatoes and cook,for about 3-4 minutes per side or until tender and slightly browned. Remove the potatoes from the skillet. Add the bell peppers,zucchini and continue cooking until tender and crisp. Season with some salt and pepper,to taste. Arrange the cooked potatoes in the skillet and the beaten eggs.
  3. Let it cook for a minute,until the eggs are set in the edges but still loose on top.
  4. Add the cherry tomatoes,sprinkle with feta cheese and add the basil leaves.
  5. Bake for 10-15 minutes until the fritatta is slightly golden and set in the middle
  6. Sprinkle the green onions on top.

fritatta3