Apricot tarts!

 imagesIs almost 110 F outside and all I wanted to taste, was something fruity! What’s better than mini tarts with apricots!

Everything started with two totally different recipes! The failure of one and the success of the other 🙂

While ago,my mom sent me a recipe of fluffy sweet bread, that I used to eat when I was kid..So, I decided to make them..With no success!!! They didn’t rise as they suppose to,but the taste was really  good! 

It’s difficult to convert regular recipes to GF. But I didn’t give up! I’ve learn not to throw away food,if it’s edible..!

For the tart crust you’ll need:

  • 12 oz of GF flour
  • 2 tsp GF dry yeast
  • 7 oz lukewarm milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3.5 oz powder sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 5 oz unsalted butter,room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven at 375 F

In a medium bowl mix the yeast with the lukewarm milk and let it for 5 minutes or more to foam.

Add the butter almost  melted at the same temperature with the milk,and you mix it. Add the salt,sugar and vanilla. Mix well. 

Add the eggs and mix really well until combine. When the mixture is dome,pour the flour gradually,until the dough is not sticky anymore. It may need more or less flour.

Let the dough rest in a warm place,for half an hour.

After that take your dough and place it on a floured surface and start roll it. 

Cut it in circles with a round pastry cutter and put it in a muffin tin.

Bake them for 15 minutes.

For the apricot mousse you’ll need:

  • 1.1 apricot compote 
  • 8.8 yogurt
  • 5.2 brown sugar
  • 0.5 oz gelatin
  • 2 tbsp cognac or rum
We pulverize the apricots.Then add the sugar.
In a small bowl,we dissolve the gelatin in a lukewarm water.
We combine apricots and gelatin.
Add the cognac or rum and the yogurt.
Mix very well until combine.
The mousse is ready!
Fill the mini tarts with the apricot mousse and let them in the fridge. They stay fresh for 2 days. 
 
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Yogurt Orange Cake

What a perfect combination…! Orange and yogurt! It’s very delicious and moisture and it’s a pleasant “company” to your coffee! 

What  you’ll need: (For 4-6 people)image

  •  1 1/2 cups GF  flour, all-purpose
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ tsp cardamom
  • 8 tablespoons butter at room temperature
  • ½ cup honey
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 4 eggs
  • ¾ cup Greek yogurt.It has rich flavor and texture.
  • 1/2 tsp. Cointreau

Icing sugar for dusting, optional

How to make it:

Preheat oven to  350 F. Grease a round cake tin 11 inches.
In a bowl stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cardamom.

In the mixer beat the butter about 1 minute. Add honey and beat the mixture for about one minute. Add the orange zest, vanilla,Cointreau and eggs, one at a time, stirring until combined well our materials. Gradually add the flour mixture and stir until a homogeneous slurry.

Add the yogurt and stir.
Spread the mixture evenly in the cake tin and bake about 40-45 minutes. Leave the cake to cool for 15 minutes and sprinkle with icing sugar.

*The original recipe needs 2 cups of regular flour,but the GF flour is  different than the regular. So, I put 1 1/2. It all depends what kind of flour you’ll use. There are different kind of all purpose GF flour in the market.

** Cointreau is optional. 


Make your own Flour mix for cookies,cakes and bread!

When I was first diagnosed with celiac,my biggest concern was where I could find gluten free flour and products in general. In Greece,unfortunately they lack of gluten free products.. You have to go to your pharmacist animgresd order maximum 30 lb   of gluten free products from specific companies like Shär. For 30 lb of GF products you pay $400! But,not all the products were available..!

    So, when I came here I found my paradise! I found everything I wanted! But still,some products and especially flour,which is the most important is expensive.A Gluten Free flour cost approximately $7  for less than a pound! It’s really expensive!! So,I’ve made a research and  I found out that you can make your own GF flour mix for cookies and cakes. It makes 18½ cups of flour!

You’ll need only 3 ingredients:

All purpose Flour Mix

  • ½5½ cups tapioca starch
  • 81/3 cups potato starch
  • 4½ cups minus 1 tbsp sweet rice flour(glutinous rice flour)

Combine all the ingredients  until the mixture is one color.

Store it in an air light container.Sweet rice flour you can find at local Asian markets. This mix is used as an all purpose flour substitute in many recipes  for cookies,cakes and bar cookies. But, REMEMBER that you ALWAYS have to weigh your flour. If a recipe calls for a cup of all-purpose wheat flour, sometimes you’ll use less than a cup,sometimes more! Weighing is crucial!

 

imagesWhole-grain Flour Mix(It makes 14 cups)

What you’ll need:

Combine all ingredients until the mixture is one color. 

This flour mix is a good Whole-wheat flour and is used in a lot of bread recipes.

 

 

 

gluten-free-artisan-bread

 

 

 

Quick Bread Mix:

  • 4½ cups minus 1 tbsp Whole-Grain Mix(see above)
  • 2½ cups minus 1 tbs White Flour Mix(see above)
  • 1 cup plus 3 tbsp packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp baking powder
  • 4½ tsp. baking soda
  • 1½ tsp salt

 Combine all ingredients until they’re one color.

Divide the mixture into three batches. Store the batches in air light,heavy duty bags or plastic containers..You can store the Quick Bread Mix at room temperature for about a month. For longer storage you  can freeze it for up to three months.


Liebster award!

LiebsterAwardAbout two weeks ago,I’ve been nominated by beesweetsurrender and I was so excited!!

When I read “Liebster” immediately came on my mind the German lessons that I took in college long time ago and I was really surprised at myself,because I could remember the meaning of “Liebster”. Liebster means sweetest,kindest,nice,dearest,cute..Therefore, this award goes from the kindest people to the nicest people..People that trying to “build” their own “home”,in this case blog, in the community of blogging!

A Liebster is a blogging award given by bloggers to other bloggers. There are a few qualifications:

  • The award is given by bloggers to bloggers with fewer than 200 followers.
  •  Answer the questions that the tagger set for you.
  •  Choose 11 people and link them in your post.
  • Create 11 questions for the people you’ve tagged to answer.
  • Go to their page and tell them.
  • Each blogger should post eleven random facts about themselves.

There is no limit!

11 fun  facts about me:

  1. I’m chocoholic! I love chocolate and I’m trying to control it!!
  2. I love pets. This is a very nice way to socialize  small kid! It worked with my daughter!
  3. My favorite color is red
  4. I’m multitasking person,but recently I feel a little bit rusty :/
  5. I love learning foreign languages. Years ago I could speak and understand German,Italian and English..Right now I can speak and understand perfectly only English and Serbian because of my hubby 🙂 My Serbian need more practice,but I can understand almost everything..!
  6. Except celiac,I have food allergies in shellfish,although I love them,but I’ve learn to live without them 🙂
  7. I’m not a sports person,but I enjoy watching basketball and soccer!
  8. I love travelling! I really want to learn other cultures!
  9. For 5 years, I sponsor a child in Africa.Is good to help with your own way people that are helpless. Doesn’t matter if it’s in Africa..It can be in your neighborhood,too 🙂
  10. I love shopping,but I never have time!
  11. 7 years ago,we won the lottery with my little brother..We won $20..!!I really wish there were more zeros at the end!!hahahaha!

These are the questions that I was asked to answer.

1.What’s the craziest combination of food you have ever attempted to blend together?

Cooking and baking,is all about experiments..! My experiment was to make sweet/savory/spicy cupcake and the result was amazing!I’ve made a chocolate with a spicy tone and a caramel-salty frosting! Really good!The other MOST crazy thing I’ve ever blend was ham,with strawberry jam and nutella..No success,whatsoever! But it was these days that every woman needs something sweet and abnormal to eat 😀

2.What is your favorite book?

Jonathan Livingston Seagull,written by Richard Bach. Is a 127 pages book,not so popular,but with a very nice plot..Is about a seagull who wants to do more than fly only for seeking for food. Learn the reason  he has wings.

That book,made me take the decision to come from a small town of Greece and live alone(before I meet my husband) in USA and never regret it 🙂

3. If you could change one thing about your life right now, what would it be?

I really enjoy my life as is..! If only my daughter could wake up at 8 instead of 6:30..! I’m joking 🙂

4.If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you chose?

I would love to live in a peaceful place next to the beach,anywhere in the world!

5.What’s one life lesson you’ve learned/experience that you think is worth passing along?

Never judge the others from their nationality,but from their character. Characters are not always build from the nationality,there are always exceptions..! Always expect help form people that you’ve never think of 🙂

 6.What’s something you hope to accomplish this year?

Well…Besides the weight loss that I have in my mind and that I would like to make my blog well know(as much as it can be)I think the biggest achievement this year,it would be for my daughter to speak both Serbian,Greek and English..! Those languages have so many differences,but similarities,too! Weird huh?

7.Favorite nail polish color?

Mint. It calms me and reminds me spring and summer!

8. If you could pick one food to not have any calories and therefor you could eat it endlessly… what would it be?

Chocolaty desserts!!!

9.When you were a kid what did you want to be when you grew up?

When I was 7 I wanted to be painter,so I learn how to draw..I love drawing! When I was 10,I wanted to be musician,too and  I’ve learn how to play keyboards.. Finally, at the age of 12 I wanted to be either cook or baker..!

10. Who would play you in a movie about your life?

That’s a really  tough question! I think Jennifer Lawrence. She looks very straightforward and a kind of  tomboy..!

11.Would you pick a truth or a dare?

I dare to pick the truth..! I have nothing to hide and I feel that I can conquer my fears!

After a long research,those are my nominees…! I don’t know if they have less than 200 followers,(I’m pretty much sure they have more than 200)but I really like their blog..!They are really good and there is a combinations of everything that I love..! Cooking,music and designing!

Cookin’ and Shootin‘ , This French FarmhouseEmily Cannell, On the cocoa trail, MW Kitchen, Needle and I, Serenity Spell, Subatomic Tourism,Talking covers

These are my questions to the nominees:

  1. What excites you the most?
  2. What made you start the blog?
  3. Who encourage you to start the blog?
  4. Do you have ambitions for your blog?
  5. What’s the greatest accomplishment  so far in life?
  6. What’s your favorite season?
  7. What’s your favorite cuisine?
  8. What’s your favorite movie?
  9. What’s at the top of your bucket list?
  10. One skill you wish you had?
  11. What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done,but didn’t regret? We all did something crazy!!Don’t be shy..!!

Quick culinary tour to Rhodes Greece

While ago my husband and I were talking about  beautiful places that our countries  have..So, I said “why not post about Rhodes in Greece?”

limaniI used to study in that island for 3 years and it was an outstanding place. It was the first time that I left from my parents house.. You see.. I was not even 18 yet..! In the beginning the idea of live by yourself in an island far away from your parents sounds great,but once you realize that you have to do everything by yourself at the age of 18,wasn’t such a great idea to me! After a month I got used of the people,the place,the study and the beauty of this place!

  The island of Rhodes is at a crossroads between Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. This has given the city and the island many different identities, cultures, architectures, and languages over its long history. Its position in major sea routes has given Rhodes a very rich history. The island has been inhabited since about 4000 BC!Really old!old town  petaloudesLindos GIOS pAVLOS rODOU

rhodes

By walking in the Old Town of Rhodes it takes you back to the  Middle Ages, the smell of the seafood,the sea and the music makes you dozed! One of the traditional  recipes that I’ve learn is Pitaroudia  and Moschopougia. Pitaroudia is a garbanzo bean patty with herbs.


pitaroudia    
Ingredients: 

  •    1.1 lb of  garbanzo beans,put the garbanzo beans in bowl full of water and you leave it overnight,but you can buy the can as well.
  •  2 shredded tomatoes
  • 1 yellow onion,chopped
  • 2 tbsp of mint
  • 1 cup of water
  • 7.5 oz Gluten Free flour
  • salt and pepper

As I wrote above,leave the beans in a bowl of water, overnight. The next day,you shred them and mix them with the chopped onions,the mint,the tomatoes and the water.

Add the flour and you mix it really good.

Take a tablespoon of that mixture and fry it in a  high heat.

Doesn’t take more that 2-3 minutes each side.

Moschopougia is a very easy dessert,something like a cookie.7

Preheat the oven at 350 F.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups finely shredded walnuts
  • 1 cup finely shredded raw almonds,peeled 
  • 1  cup bread crumbs
  • 1 cup sugar 
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg 
  • a pinch of  clove in powder
  • powder sugar
  • 1/2 cup rose water

3   

Put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix it well. Gradually,add the rose water until it becomes a nice dough like a paste that doesn’t stick in your hands.

4

Put the cookies in a tray with parchment sheet. Make any shape you want and bake for 10 minutes. Don’t let them more because  they will get really hard! Let them cool.

6

When they cool ,dip them into a bowl of rosewater and then,roll them in the powder sugar.

Don’t let them exposed,because they will get dry easily.

I hope you enjoyed the tour 🙂


Karydopita mamas (mommy’s drunken chocolaty walnut cake with syrup)

 When you immigrate to a country with different cuisine and traditions,all you want  to do is to keep your traditions and culinary delights “alive”..!But,all that matters is that most of us are food lovers and to be more precise, dessert lovers!So,the cuisine in this case doesn’t really matter!!

     I remember,when I was kid,my parents and my little brother back then,used to gather in the kitchen and make our meetings,try to decide what dessert we’re going to make.Unfortunately,the dessert never last more than 24 hours!Either we would vanish it right away,or we would make unexpected “visits” during the night..! You see,all of us love sweet delights 🙂 Our mom always used to make our birthday cakes with  fruits on the top and fruity creams and almonds..Great memories! Her and my father  were the first “pastry chefs” that show me the little “secrets” that can make a dessert  delightful! 

   So,in Greece we have a desserts called Karydopita, which is actually walnut cake with syrup. My mother made a little twist and she added chocolate..! ImageThe results are amazing! Everybody loves chocolate! I have to warn you that there are a lot of calories here,but it’s worth!This is a very sweet dessert,but you can put less sugar if you want. Let’s start!!

Ingredients:

For the cake

  • 2 cups chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup GF bread crumbs. You can find it in the super markets and especially in Sprouts and Whole Foods
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 cup of sugar.
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda(dissolved into a 1/2 cup rum)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • 3.5 oz unsweetened chocolate
  • 1/2 cup  unsweetened butter

For the syrup:

  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 3 tbsp of rum

Preheat the oven at 350 F.

For a start,you make the syrup. Take a saucepan and add the ingredients for the syrup. Let it boil  for minutes,but start timing from the time that starts boiling. Turn off  the heat and let it aside to cool down.

 IMG_1550

To make the cake:

Step 1: Melt the butter with the unsweetened chocolate in a  saucepan or a bain-marie, stir and when it’s melt let it cool.

Step 2: Put the eggs in a bowl and beat them really good.

Step 3: Add the sugar,continue the beating till the mixture is fluffy.

Step 4: Add the bread crumbs and continue beating.

Step 5: Add the lemon zest,the cinnamon,baking powder and walnuts.

Step 6: Add the melted chocolate,too and mix well!

Step 7: Pour the mixture into a greased pan and let it bake for about 30-40  minutes.

Step 8: When it’s done let it cool and pour the warm syrup on the cake until the cake absorb the syrup.It will absorb it like a sponge!

Our cake it’s done! If you want to complete the sin,serve it with ice cream(My favorite is coffee ice cream!)

images


When banana meets Nutella…!

IMG_0992[2]Banana and Nutella..a classic and tasty combination that few people can resist! I found a banana recipe on a cook book and I made it months ago when I was still pregnant..! So, I put them in a muffin tin,add a Nutella frosting and voila! It’s easy,fast and very delicious!

You’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter,room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2-3 soft bananas
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 gluten free flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup milk and 1/2 tsp white vinegar OR lemon juice
  • almond flakes for decoration

For the frosting:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2/3 cup Nutella
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tbsp heavy whipping cream

How to make it:

Preheat the oven at 350F.

Beat the butter and add gradually the sugar. Puree the bananas and add them to the butter and sugar mix,add the eggs and vanilla.Mix well.

Then,add the flour, salt and baking soda and the milk mix slowly.

Pour into the muffin tins  half of the batter,in the center of the muffin tin put a tsp Nutellaand fill the 2/3 of the muffin tin with the rest of the batter. Bake for 20 minutes.

When they are done llet them cool on a baking rack.

While the cupcakes are baking is time to make our frosting. Save some time 🙂

Beat together the salt and the sugar. Add Nutella, vanilla and salt and whip for 30 seconds.

Add the cream.

When the cupcakes are cool,put the frosting on top and refrigerate.

IMG_0990[1]