White chocolate and pistachio Blondies

This dessert is a last minute decision! I’ve never tried Blondies before and I was curious to try them. In the beginning,I wanted to make lemon blondies with  raspberries. But Anna loves raspberries and she ate all of them! How can you refuse her! I’m so happy when she eats fruits and veggies! I was trying to find different combinations,and I came up with this one. I’ll try more combinations definitely,in the near future!

The Recipe looked really easy and it is very easy to make! Of course I made few changes. I found the recipe here.

For the blondies you’ll need:

  • 6-7 TBS butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup GF all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp Almond butter
  • 1 tsp. Amaretto
  • 1/2 cup pistachio,toasted
  • 3 oz white chocolate,melted

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Line an 8×8 pan with foil and lightly spray with PAM.
In a large microwave safe mixing bowl melt the butter. Allow to cool for 5 minutes. Mix the brown sugar with the melted butter and beat until smooth. Beat in egg and then vanilla. Add white chocolate,Almond butter,Amaretto,salt, stir in flour and baking powder. Mix in pistachios.

image

Pour into prepared pan and use a greased spatula to evenly spread mixture in pan and level the top. Bake for 25 minutes or until set in the middle.Cool on rack before cutting.

image

The house had that incredible smell! it was so easy to make it! It wasn’t so sweet,but if you have any doubts you can deduct some of the brown sugar,or add 2 tbsp. black coffee,as I did,to balance the sweetness. It’s so moist,succulent and scrumptious,that you’ll make it again and again!!

 

image

I hope you enjoy it!

 

Advertisements

White chocolate mousse Mini Pavlova with Red Wine fig sauce..

Yesterday it was a very busy and long day!! We decided with George to make the dinner to our family. The menu was sardines butterflied and stuffed with herbs and garlic,stuffed squid with smoked Gouda,tomatoes and roasted peppers ,octopus in the oven,mussels,sea bass and red snapper with herbs in the oven ,salad and of course dessert!

It was a big challenge for me,because George was working, and I didn’t have someone to taste the food. So,I went with the instinct! I wanted to take some pictures to post the recipes,but I was out of time! I made few pictures of the desserts and I’ll show you my mini pavlovas!

I’ve never made pavlova before and it turned out fantastic! The combination of flavors are so delightful,you can’t stop eating it! The sauce has a depth of flavor that took me back in college!

The inspiration of the sauce,was a Finnish drink that I tried when I was in college. We were serving in a hotel in Rhodes and the Finnish Ambassador would be there,therefore,they made a Finnish drink with warm red wine,anise,all spice and cinnamon. It was really tasty and great for the winter time next to the fire place…!

I thought ” why not turn this warm wine into a sauce?” And that’s what happen… Let’s start the recipe!

I found the pavlova recipe here. The rest is mine.

When you’re done with the pavlovas, take a  parchment paper and draw circles with a mug.I took Anna’s snack cup 🙂 Then flip the paper and put the  egg white mixture. Bake them for 35 minutes. The original recipe says 1hr to 1hr and 15 minutes,but there are small.

image

Let the pavlovas cool in the oven with the oven door slightly open.

image

For the white chocolate sauce:

  • 1 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 6 oz white chocolate
  • orange zest
  • 1 tsp Amaretto liquor

In a microwaveable bowl add the 1/4 cup of the heavy cream and the chocolate and  let it melt for about 3 minutes. After is melted let it stand for 1 minute and stir.

Let the chocolate cool for 20 minutes,or when is at room temperature.

After the chocolate is cooled,add the zest and the Amaretto. Whip the cream,but do not over beat it. Gently fold the cream into the chocolate and put it in the fridge for 2 hours.

For the red wine-fig sauce:

  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1/2 cup dried figs,chopped
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder
  • pinch of anise powder or 1 star anise
  • pinch of all spice

In a small pot, put all the ingredients together and in a medium heat,let the wine reduce and the flavors to come together for about 4-5 minutes. The figs will caramelize and the result will be unbelievable!!

image

Assembly:

Take the pavlovas,add the white chocolate mousse and add on the top the cream the sauce! You’ll think that you’re in heaven!

image

*Some of the mixture left and I put it in muffin tins,I run out of muffin cups and I used parchment paper instead…!


George’s Mediterranean mussels!

Last time,George wanted to try a new recipe with seafood,which means that I didn’t got involved at all! Not because that I don’t know how to cook them,but I’m allergic to seafood and I cannot even touch them! The last time I ate seafood,I was 14 years old and we were eating,fried calamari,grilled octopus and shrimps (really popular in Greece)and I still remember the texture in my mouth of mussels,shrimp and squid but the flavors are kind of fade,after all these years…!

So my wonderful hubby was the chef last night and I was the reporter, “interview” him about his new recipe! It was really fun! He found this recipe on YouTube and I found it really interesting!

For the mussels you’ll need:

  • a can of whole peeled tomatoes
  • 2 shallots,finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic
  • a tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup of chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 lb. clean mussels
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • salt-pepper
  • 1 tsp. of sugar.
  • 1/4 cup Kalamata olives,chopped
  • fresh basil
  • juice and zest from one lemon

Method:

To clean the mussels:

image

image

 

With a little brush, try to clean the shells and take out the beard. Put all the mussels in a medium ball,add 1 tbsp of salt and cold water,enough to cover the mussels. Let them for 20-30 minutes,so all the sand and teeny-tine little rocks come out. After 30 minutes approximately,mussels are ready to get cooked!

For the sauce:

In a medium heat,put a dutch oven or a deep,wide pot add the olive oil.

When the oil is warm add the shallots and the garlic. Let the shallots caramelized.

In a medium bowl,crush the tomatoes.

image

Pour the wine into the shallots,and after a minute add the tomatoes,the chicken broth,the balsamic vinegar and the sugar. Let it simmer,for 7-10 minutes in a medium-low heat.

When the sauce is reduced a little bit after 10 minutes,add the butter,let it melt and then add the mussels and the bay leaves,salt and pepper. Put the lid on and let it simmer for 7-8 minutes in a medium low heat always!

image

When the mussels are finally open,remove the bay leaves,and add the olives the juice and zest of the lemon and basil.

image

The aroma is unbelievable!According to George,the mussels were spectacular,divine,light and the sauce just perfect!

image

 


Baked doughnut-like holes

Last week it was a very busy week for us… I didn’t have much time and simultaneously, I had  bunch of ideas! Like these nights,that you don’t think anything else,while you are ready to sleep,but what to cook for the next day..

We were planning Anna’s first birthday and a lot of beautiful ideas came to our minds! Colorful cake and balloons,games for the kids… Talking about birthdays,yesterday,we attend to a friend’s  baby boy’s first birthday and it was great! The party took place at the park,a lot of music,great food (Gluten Free!!) and kids were playing!

image   image

 

So, the last week I wanted to make doughnut holes. I wanted to make an easy recipe,though without dozens of ingredients that sound more like scientific terms…! Like it or not,that’s what I have to eat…These “scientific terms”.. But I’m OK with that! The recipe that I found is easy,and the doughnuts look like coconut doughnuts- cake. That’s why I wrote it as doughnut-like holes!

We’ll need:

  • 1/4 sugar
  • 1/4 coconut oil,or regular butter
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp. GF vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 5 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1 tbsp almond milk
  • powdered sugar and cocoa powder to roll the doughnuts

Method:

Preheat the oven at 350 F.

In a medium bowl,cream  together,the first 4 ingredients in an electric hand mixer. Add egg and almond milk and mix thoroughly for about 2-3 minutes,in a medium speed.

Sift in coconut flour and stir to combine. Let dough sit for a minute and shape it into 10-12 1-inch balls.

image

Place evenly on baking dish and bake for 13 minutes. Let cool and roll them into the powdered sugar and the cocoa powder.

image

*I put a small piece of pear in each ball.

**Put them in the fridge for 1 hour and then eat them. There are so moist and delicious!

image

 


Financier apple-pear tart

Yesterday,we bought  some juicy fruits and of course I wanted to make a dessert with them! While I was thinking what kind of tart should I make,I remembered a Greek food magazine my mother left me months ago,with apple pies. This magazine has some great apple pies from around the world, so I made this one from France. Vive la France!

This tart is like tart tatin..very delicious,simple and moist!

Ingredients:

For the filling:

  • 3 big golden apples
  • 2 bosc pears
  • 100 gr. unsalted butter
  • 100 gr. brown sugar
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • juice from one lemon

For the Financier cake:

  • 100 gr. almond flour
  • 120 gr. brown sugar
  • 100 gr. GF all purpose flour
  • 8 egg whites
  • 1 tsp. GF baking powder
  • orange zest
  • 120 gr. unsalted butter,melted
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. rum (optional)

For the garnish:

  • 100 gr. walnuts
  • 100 gr. hazelnuts,toasted
  • 30 ml. water

How to make it:

Preheat the oven at 350 F.

Take a 9 inch cake mold or a pan and grease it with a butter.

Sprinkle the brown sugar. Peel and cut the apples and pears about 1/2 inch thick. I add Bosc pears,because there are sweeter than the other pears. But you can put any kind you want.

image

In a medium bowl dissolve the cinnamon in the lemon juice and mix the fruits. Then spread them in the cake mold.

Make the cake: In a big bowl mix all the ingredients together except the butter. Whisk well,till the batter is smooth. In the end add the butter and pour it  into the cake mold.image

Bake for 30 minutes. When is done let it cool  first for 15-20 minutes.

Make the garnish: In a small sauce pan add the sugar and water. When it comes to a boil add the toasted hazelnuts  and walnuts. Mix well,in a medium heat,till the hazelnuts and walnuts caramelize.

image

Flip the apple-pear tart and  add the caramelized hazelnuts and walnuts on the top.

image

* You can keep it in the fridge 3-4 days.

The tart is just heavenly tasty! The orange zest with the fruits make the tart so light! The cake is moist and light! Enjoy!

image

 


Mini white chocolate-coconut and mocha brownies

imageIt’s been almost a week since the last time I made a dessert and I think it’s time for one of the most luscious and sinful desserts!

I was trying to make a white chocolate brownie,but I couldn’t find the recipe that I like. Finally, I found this recipe and of course,I made few modifications…!

We’ll need:

  • 6 oz white chocolate
  • 6 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup all purpose GF flour
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract.
  • 1/4 cup hazelnuts,chopped
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut,toasted.
  • zest from one lemon

How we make it:

Preheat oven at 350 F

Grease a 8x8x2 inch pan,or do as I did. Grease a mini muffin tin.

In a heavy saucepan,melt the chocolate with the butter,in a medium high heat. Stir well.When is melted,set aside and let it cool for 10 minutes.

Add the eggs and the sugar. Stir with a wooden spoon and then add the flour,the zest,the vanilla extract and the chopped hazelnuts.

For the white mocha brownies,simply add 1 tsp of instant coffee in

Add extra hazelnuts on the top and the toasted coconut.

image

Pour the mixture into the pan or muffin tin and bake for 15 minutes. If you’ll bake it in a pan it needs 25 minutes. If  you’ll bake it in a muffin tin you’ll need 15 minutes.

The taste is unbelievably amazing! White chocolate does not overpower the other ingredients. The lemon zest freshens up the whole brownie! You should try this!

image


Baked fish in salt crust

image It’s been a wonderful and relaxing weekend for us…! We spent our weekend with some friends, in Brian Head,Utah. How magnificent this place is! Even though,I’m not a mountain person,(I’m more seaside girl)the oxygen,the trees around you,the kids that were playing made me feel so beautiful!

 

image

But honestly,after the mountain I missed eating fish! I’m a fish lover! I love fish..baked,grilled,sauteed! In Greece,we have a lot of recipes with seafood and fish and I’m trying to make my husband and my daughter love the fish as well. Well…Anna is still small and she loves fish already, and I’m happy for that!

We cook fish with simple ingredients,that Greece produces..like fruity Extra Virgin Olive Oil,tomatoes,lemons,dried aromatic oregano,the depth of rosemary,the hearty garlic and lemony  thyme. A fragrant and delightful palette!

Today,I made white perch baked in salt crust. I know that most of the  Americans do not cook the whole fish very often.In Greece we are the opposite, we cook the whole fish,but few people buy the fish fillets!

Baking fish in a salt crust is a technique that I saw on TV when I was a teenager. My mother made this and it was so flavorful! The chef was Italian and he said that it’s an Italian technique.I really loved the way he cooked the fish! It was something different and to me back then,it was weird to bake the fish in so much salt! But it really works! Italians have a great cuisine and a respectful knowledge about fish.

We have so many things in common,as far as the cuisine.

 So,today we’re going to Italy!!

 You’ll need:

  • lemon slices
  • Several sprigs of flat leaf parsley
  • 2 white perch or other suitable whole fish, about 1.5 pounds, cleaned and scaled
  • 4 cups sea salt or kosher salt
  • 3 egg whites
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Lemon wedges
  • thyme
  • black pepper (optional)
  • 2 spring onions,finely chopped

How to make it:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Tuck the lemon slices,thyme,black pepper,spring onion and parsley sprigs into the cavity of the fish.

Combine the salt, egg whites, and 1/4 cup water in a bowl, mixing well until the salt has the consistency of damp sand.  (If the mixture feels too wet, add more salt; if too dry, stir in a bit more water).

Line a large rimmed baking sheet (or any other baking dish) with foil or parchment paper.  Using half of the damp salt, form a bed for the fish.  Place the fish on top, and pack the remaining salt over it to form a covering.

image

Bake the fish to an internal temperature of 135 – 140 degrees, about 25 minutes.  (You can just poke an instant read thermometer right through the salt, into the fish).  Remove from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes.

image

With the back of a wooden spoon, crack and remove the hard, pale brown crust of salt.  Remove the skin and fillet the fish.  Serve with your best olive oil and lemon wedges.

The fish and the veggies were so delicious! The aroma is  so great! The fish not salty at all, is so moist and scrumptious! Do not be afraid to cook the whole fish!

image

You should try it!

*In the salt crust I add some lemon zest,the aroma was just incredible!