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Sunday’s Specials and lots of LOVE

When I started this blog back in 2011, I wanted to share the diversity of recipes we enjoy every day and on special occasions, but I also wanted to leave some of the recipes written down for my daughter. However, life is not as linear as we like to believe it is. In the following years, I had to focus on a career change and there was just not enough time to pursue my hobby. Not to the extent that I wanted to. I did, however, continue to photograph the food we ate. It’s a little soft spot of mine: going back and seeing what we used to eat, say, five years ago. It is so different than what we eat today!

As expected, over the years, our culinary preferences have changed. Personally, I had to do some (involuntary) changes due to some health problems. And along the way (and one gruesome documentary later), my daughter also decided to become vegan. My husband, however,  is the only one that remains faithful and open to all kinds of challenges and new recipes. You put it in front of him, and if it looks and/or smells appetizing enough, he’ll eat it.

Now, you might ask yourself “Why is she telling us this?” I’ve been asked several times over the years what prompted me to start this blog. As I mention at the beginning of this post, this blog was meant to be a digital cookbook for my daughter to use after I’m long gone. (Bit sentimental but also morbid, as she so often likes to remind me). But now, as I become more immersed in this lovely community of food bloggers, this blog has grown and transformed in more ways than I ever dared to hope. And it is all because of you, dear reader. Now, before we get teary eyed, let me just say a big, warm thank you for supporting me and joining me on my daily adventure with food.

Because this Sunday was closer to Valentine’s Day I wanted to make it a bit more special.

We started the morning with Peppermint Hot Chocolate while waiting for the waffles to be done:

peppermint-hot-chocolate

 

waffel-1

Since my daughter turned vegan, we discovered Yves company with their vegan products. One of our favorite ready done meals are the kale – quinoa bites. We had them on the side with mashed potatoes and veggies. Here you can see my husband’s plate which is quite overloaded 😉

Mashed potatoes with kale bite and veggies.jpg

Now for dessert I decided to go for a Vegan Butternut Squash pie. Unfortunately, I made a vegan crust but I lost my courage when it came to the filling .. .However it turned out just as amazing as a pie should be 🙂

butternutsquash-pie-2

Wishing you lots of love and delicious food.

” Love is just a word until someone comes along and and gives it a meaning.”  – Paul Coelho

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

30 minutes meals, Breakfast

Frittata

 

As per Wikipedia:” Frittata is an egg-based Italian dish similar to an omelette or crust-less quiche, enriched with additional ingredients such as meats, cheeses, vegetables or pasta. The word frittata is Italian and roughly translates to “fried”.

There are a few rules to follow and mistakes to avoid. Here there are a few rules found in  Bon- Appetit magazine, Dawn Perry, BA digital food editor:

1.  “Dairy turns an ordinary omelet into a delicious, creamy egg cake.”

2. ” For every dozen eggs you use, you’ll need a half-cup of dairy. Six-egg frittatas get a     quarter-cup.”

3. “Whatever oven-safe pan you choose, be aware of how well it conducts heat. Because it retains heat well, a heavy pan like a cast-iron will continue to cook your frittata after you remove it from the oven.

4. “A frittata makes use of fully-cooked leftovers like last night’s roasted potatoes or this morning’s leftover sausage. But if you’re starting from scratch, it’s best to fully cook any addition that might release moisture into the eggs—mushrooms, tomatoes, and summer squash or zucchini are common “wet” culprits than can water down your eggs. Sauté them separately.”

5. “A good frittata should have the texture of custard: trembling and barely set. An over-baked frittata, in contrast, will have all the textural appeal of a kitchen sponge (and its interior will look strikingly similar). “You may want a deep golden-brown top,” says Perry, “But the reality of it is, when the crust is golden, the interior is over-baked.”

6.” Be sure to season your eggs with salt and pepper before adding them to the pan. A surface-level sprinkling of salt won’t penetrate the rest of the frittata”

7. ” Choose your cheese wisely: Although all cheese is delicious, not all cheese is created equal. Know what function you want your cheese to perform. Best options are cheddar, gruyère, and fontina cheese. 

 

Zucchini, Dill and Mushrooms Frittata: 

 

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Oven Ricotta and Spinach Frittata:

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Ham, Spinach, Cheddar Cheese  and Green Olives Frittata: 

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Reg Pepper, Spinach and Mozzarella Frittata:

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Capers, Parmesan Frittata:

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Enjoy !

Pork

Curry Cauliflower with Spicy Italian Sausages and spaghetti

I find curry dishes so easy and diverse. I bought this Spicy Italian Sausages to cook them with cabbage. You might already know how crazy we are about curry so my daughter made me change my mind and transformed  them into a curry dish, again. I know but it’s never too much curry for us 🙂

I knew I would have to use the mild version of the sausages for curry but my hubby added it also some more hot pickled red peppers.

How can he do that is a mystery to me 🙂

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What I used:

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 4 spicy Italian sausages ( 450 g )
  • 1/2 package curry paste (Kitchens of India)
  •  1/2 package spaghetti
  • 5o ml cream
  • 1 teaspoon dry dill
  • salt and black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • chicken broth – home made if you have
  • 1/2 (350 ml) bottle of strained tomato paste

How you do it:

In a skillet add the chicken broth and let it simmer for 2-3 minutes.  Take the sausages one by one and remove small amounts ( balls ) with your hand and let them fall into the skillet.

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Wash and break the cauliflower in small florets. Put them in a food processor and bring them to the size of a green pea ( approximately )

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Prepare the sauce:

Add the chicken broth and curry pasta, tomato sauce    and cream into a small bowl and mix well.

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Add the cauliflower and the sauce to the meat and let it simmer for about 20-30 min on medium low heat.

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Now it’s time to put the spaghetti to boil in a large pot of salty water following the package instructions. Drain the spaghetti and add the cauliflower sausage mixture to the pot and give it a gentle stir. Season with more dill if needed and let it cook for about 5 minute so all fragrances combine.

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Bon Appetite !

 

 

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Uncategorized

Sunday’s Specials – Family Day Specials

This weekend we celebrated Family Day in Ontario, so it was a long weekend. I needed this so much. Honestly, Saturday just flew away since I had a lot of errands to run, that kept me away from home since morning to the early evening. Sunday ended up feeling more like Saturday for me and today, Monday, felt like Sunday. Bit complicating, isn’t it? Yeah, I know. Unless you’ve experienced this feeling before, I sound a bit like a nutter. 😛

In our household, nothing brings our family together like a home cooked meal.

What brought us together for breakfast this lovely weekend, was the famous hummus that all of us are very fond of, but I usually have to stay away because I cannot eat tahini paste and garlic. But my peeps said they can skip those ingredients and they will be just fine. Honestly, it turned out so delicious and I was able to eat it too. Yay !!!

Homemade Vegan Hummus (no tahini):

Hummus 1.jpg

Alongside the hummus we also had some homemade  Lemon Mint Black Tea that even by hubby devoured.. I added a teaspoon of vanilla agave nectar as sweetener and the whole pitcher was empty in just a few hours!

Lemon Mint Black Tea: 

lemon-mint-tea

For lunch the winner was a Vegan Kale Potato and Chickpea Stew:

Kale potatoe and chickpea stew.jpg

And we closed our culinary Family Day adventure with some Vegan Coffee Dark Chocolate Muffins. The addition of the coconut milk was just best option and I think it made them so fluffy and moist and they just melted in our mouths.

Vegan GF Coffee – Dark Chocolate Muffins  ( NO SUGAR )

  • 1.5 cups of banana flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking
  • 3 tablespoons organic Cocoa
  • 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup of chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup of Sultana raisins ( my daughter doesn’t love them but I thought of adding them to help with sweetness )
  • one pinch of Himalayan salt
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup cashew milk
  • 3 tablespoons organic agave nectar
  • 1 teaspoon organic pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup of grape seed oil

Mix all dry ingredients together. Mix all wet ingredients in a different bowl. Add the wet ingredients over the dry one and mix to incorporate. With an ice-cream spoon place the batter in a prepared with muffin paper tray. Bake for about 15 – 20 minutes depending on the oven.

Melt 50 grams of dark chocolate. Add three tablespoons of coconut milk. Pour over and just enjoy them and try to stop after one LOL

vegan-coffee-dark-chocolate-muffins

For those of you who celebrated Family Day I hope you had a great day and for all the others I hope you made it through the Monday with a big smile on your face.

 

 

 

 

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ONE LOVELY BLOG AWARD

Hi Everyone! I and so happy to let you know that I was nominated for the One Lovely Blog Award !!! I know I am a bit late but I finally found time to send a big Thank you to my nominee, Elsie from ELSIE L.M.C. and to complete my nomination. Check out her blog. It is so interesting and funny and diverse!!!

The Rules for this award are as follows:

  • Thank the person who nominated you and leave a link to their blog
  • Post about the award.
  • Share 7 facts about yourself.
  • Nominate, at most, 15 people.
  • Tell your nominees the good news!

Seven facts about me

1. I love chocolate way to much. Any kind: dark, milky or white. I try to stay away from milky and white ones but I cannot be that good. I sometimes even get grumpy if several days pass without tasting just a bit of chocolate. My hubby and daughter often hear me say: ” Hand me the chocolate and no one gets hurt ”  😂😂

2. I love to cook for my family and friends. I can’t wait for someone to say: there will be a party, brunch, etc and I’ll already be thinking of several dishes that I could do. LOL

3. I haven’t learned to bake yet my favorite dessert: eclair/ chou a la creme. After I got married with no baking experience at all I was so eager to try make them. Such a disappointment. It was a complete failure. I have yet to find the motivation to try again. However, they are still on the list! I’ve not completely given up yet!!

4. I love swimming even though I do not do it as often as I would like to.

5. I don’t like nor drink alcohol. On occasions I tried a glass of red or white wine or sometimes I tied my hubby beer but it’s just not for me. I would rather eat an eclair or two than drink a glass of wine 😉

6. I love taking pictures of pretty much everything: food, nature, buildings, cars, peoples…

7.  This might sound strange but I like to clean the house. I just enjoy the smell of fresh,  clean spaces. Sometimes my husband will say ” looks like no one lives here ” LOL

I nominate:

  1. Lucy from lithianianintheusa
  2. Bernadine from bernbakes
  3. Linda from thedutchbaker
  4. Bea from beafreeblog
  5. Priya from Indiankitche

Thank you one more time ELSIE and good luck to all nominees.

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Uncategorized, Muffins and other sweets

Cocoa Cookies

On a Special Sunday’s post I made this delicious and  easy cookies: Cocoa Cookies, that I found on one of my favorite Romanian blogs that I love to browse from time to time: Edith’s Kitchen.You can find the original recipe here.

My family was amazed by the results, despite the little changes that I made here and there. And my co-workers could not believe that something so delicious could come from so few (and let’s not forget HEALTHY) ingredients.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup  melted butter ( vegan )
  • 3/4 cup of brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp cocoa
  • 1 tsp of instant coffee
  • 2 tbsp rum extract (you can add a bit more as the taste is not very strong after baking) ( you can also substitute the rum extract with other flavor of your choice; I made with almond extract as well )
  • a pinch of Himalayan salt

In a bowl mix together the melted butter, the sugar, the egg, salt and the rum extract.

In a different bowl mix the flour, cocoa and baking soda.

Add the flour mixture over the butter mixture and mix well.

cocoa-vegan-cookies

I have also tried a second batch substituting the egg with apple sauce. I have to admit in look they were slightly different but the taste was just: YUMMY !!!

cocoa-vegan-cookies-second-batch

One thing is sure. I added this cookies on the family list and preferences and because today is Family Day in Ontario,  I hope you all have a great day.

 

sundays-specials
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Sunday’s Specials

Friday !!! I have to admit this weekend I cheated. I had a vacation day on Friday. Just to relax, cook,  play with the furry boys and  go out with my daughter for some much needed mother and daughter fun.

Friday morning I wanted to make a special breakfast, especially because my better half had to go to work, so I decided to wake up early to make some pancakes. Because it felt like weekend already I wanted to come with something new and so I created:Vegan Matcha Peppermint  Pancakes with Dark Chocolate Overloaded.  This is a long title 😉  but I wanted to include all the goodies I used and the pancakes turned out so delicious and passed both tests: daughter and husband. I had the first one. I had to be sure they are OK, of course. And I had the second one as well 😉 just to be sure I wasn’t wrong about how good they were. The rest I saved for my peeps. LOL

I have to admit the pancakes were a huge success so I had to make them again on Sunday morning.

Vegan Matcha Peppermint  Pancakes with Dark Chocolate Overloaded

vegan-peppermint-matcha-dark-chocolate-pancakes

And because this Sunday it was just me and my daughter, we had a very interesting vegan cream soup and a vegan mashed potato dish for lunch

Sweet potatoes – Acorn squash Vegan Cream Soup.

sweet-potato-acornsquash-cream-soup

In addition to the very light vegan soup the Vegan Mashed Potato with Mushrooms.

Mash potatoes with mushroom and ranch dressing.jpg

I had no idea what to do for dessert. All I knew I wanted something with apples.

Something not complicated and fast to  satisfy the three of us. So I picked up the ingredients from the fridge and pantry and I ended up with a wonderful creation:

Apple Cinnamon Dark Chocolate Muffins

Apple Cinnamon Dark Chocolate muffins.jpg

All in all, this weekend was quite fun. I had time to relax, play with Sherlock & Steve and cook. It was as perfect a weekend as one could get. Hope your weekend was just as good!

 

 

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Sunday’s Specials

Sunday came again and like every Sunday I had to try new things. 

Friday, I found a post that stuck in my mind and I had to try it.  Jessica’s from ” How sweet it is” wrote a wonderful post about a Matcha Hot White Chocolate: here

We enjoyed our Matcha Hot Chocolate along with delicious gluten-free, vegan pancakes. One thing is sure: I will be making this hot chocolate and pancakes again. 

matcha-hot-white-chocolate

vegan-pancakes

After such a rich breakfast I had enough energy to start planning the lunch and the dessert.

I am not sure what made me decide, but I haven’t cooked something Asian inspired in a while so the winner was: Sweet and sour veggies with rice noodles.

sweet and sour veggies with rice noodles.jpg

And we finished with a very special dessert. Well, of course I made muffins before but never tried the vegan ones and also when you serve them with ” So Delicious ” –  vegan coconut vanilla ice-cream it’s just like a Sunday indulgence. 

For the muffins I found my inspiration here  as for the ice cream … I just got inspired by the freezer form our grocery store.  LOL 

vegan-vanilla-ice-cream

 

mocha-vegan-muffins

I hope you enjoy it as much a we did 🙂 

 

 

 

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Muffins and other sweets, vegan

Vegan Cinnamon Buns

When I found Dana’s post from minimalistbaker.com  I was very impressed by her result. 

I can say I am in love with this dessert because it is very easy to make and very versatile.

I browsed through my posts and my computer folders  I found that I was filling those buns with various things: from plum jam to cheese and pesto. 

So why am I making them yet again? Well I had never tried a vegan version. It seemed interesting and I really wanted to see the result.

Here are the ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp of instant yeast 
  • 1 1/2 cup warm unsweetened almond milk 
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 cups whole grain flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 50 grams of ground almond 
  • 1/2 cup = 1 extra tbsp Earth balance (vegan butter)

Heat the water but never reaching the boiling point.

In a bowl add the warm water, the sugar and the instant yeast. Let it activate for about 10-15 minutes.

In a large bowl add the flour and salt. Mix together. Make an indentation, add the yeast mixture and half of the melted butter. Start kneading until the dough is coming from your hands and it’s not sticky.  You might have to add a bit of extra flour. Knead for about 5 minutes. Transfer the dough to a clean, oily bowl and cover it with a kitchen towel or plastic foil. Let it rise for about 1 hour or until the dough is double the size. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a thin rectangle. Brush with the melted butter left. Mix together the sugar, cinnamon and the ground almond.  Top the buttered dough with the sugar cinnamon mixture. 

Starting at one end, tightly roll up the dough. Cut the dough into 2 inch pieces. Add the pieces in a square or round greasy pan. Brush the rolls with the extra tbsp of butter for a reach golden color. Cover them with plastic wrap and let them on the top of your preheat oven ( 375 F ) for about 30 more minutes.

Bake the buns for about 30 minutes or until slightly golden. 

Let them cool for a few minutes and then enjoy 🙂 

 

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 ♦

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Uncategorized

Sunday’s Specials – Jan 15, 2017

It should be a known fact that I tend to cook a lot on Sundays.

This weekend was full of firsts. From our morning smoothie to an afternoon dessert.  This morning, inspiration struck and I prepared a Grapefruit-Strawberry Smoothie made from 2 bananas, 6 ripe grapefruits and 250 gr of strawberries. Aside from the delicious taste,  I also fell in love with the color of it! Seriously, isn’t that amazing? I’ve added no addition honey or sweetener; it didn’t require it, in my opinion. 

But really, look at the color! Just the sight alone makes my mouth water! 

grape-strawberry-smoothie

Later in the day we had a  mushroom- red pepper and feta  frittata that did not make it to the post as it seems we were quite hungry and I forgot to take the picture. LOL 

For lunch, we once again tried something new. Turmeric Oven Roasted Turnip and Carrots.

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And there is no Sunday without a dessert. The new winner was Cocoa Cookies. They are even more delectable than they look 🙂 

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Have a great week ahead 🙂 

 

 

 

Uncategorized

2016/2017 Tag

So I’ve been tagged in by Jess ( Thanks, Jess 🙂 ) and I decided to go for it. The tag was created by David from The Guy Who Said Always No.

Here are my answers to the questions:

1. Describe your 2016 in 3 words.

Stressful, restless and yet blissful.

2. Write the name of 2 people who have characterized your 2016.

Every day I am characterized by my mother.

Also I am impressed and inspired daily by all of the wonderful bloggers out there sharing their story, their life to inspire others 😉

3. Write about the most beautiful place you’ve visited in 2016 and why you liked it so much.

Sandbanks Beach; we haven’t traveled too much in 2016 due to work and school duties 🙂 but my better half and I discovered a beach not too far from our city that really made our summer: Sandbanks Beach: best beach in Ontario, Canada.

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4. Write the most delicious food you’ve tasted in 2016.

As  you might know by now I love curry so in 2016 for my birthday my husband invited me to a Indian Buffet: Tate of India, so all I could eat was curry. LOL

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5. Write the event which has marked you more of this in 2016 (even global event).

Donald Trump getting elected. 😦

6. Write the finest purchase you’ve made in this 2016, and if you want, link a photo.

  • Ninja Blender, 1000 Professional. ( Cashew milk in the making 😉 )

ninja

7. Write 3 good intentions for this 2017.

  • Try to make a new recipe each month ( sweet and/or savoury )
  • Be more active
  • Write more on the blog

8. Write 1 place you want to visit in 2017.

I don’t have a new place in mind but I would love to go back to  Cabot trail, Nova Scotia.

cabot-trail

9. Write 1 plate/food you want to eat in 2017. 

  • Pavlova (a personal challenge for me)

Here are the lucky tagged 9 people 🙂

  1. Snapshotsincursive
  2. lapetitepaniere
  3. cookiesnchem
  4. Milanka’s Fine Food
  5. TiTaNiUm
  6. alittleswissalittlecanadian
  7. arusuvaiunavu.wordpress.com
  8. elsielmc.wordpress.com
  9. gypsybus28.com

Here are the Rules

  • Use the image that you find in this article.
  • Mention the blogger who has chosen you: Jess
  • Answer the questions.
  • Mention 9 bloggers/friends and let them know through a comment on their blog.

Thank you Jess fro thinking of me. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Uncategorized

Sunday’s Specials -Jan 08, 2017

Why do I like Sundays ? Because usually it brings us together for all the meals of the day.

Sunday like every other day I start  with coffee. Fresh brewed, hot coffee. However, I cannot drink coffee without milk so I started experimenting with Home made cashew milk: 

cashew-milk

For lunch: Vegan lunch: Veggie platter:

turmeric-roasted-potatoes-with-green-beans-and-red-cabbage

and for dessert we had another special treat: Vegan Cinnamon Buns

( recipe soon on the blog 🙂 )

vegan cinnamon buns.jpg

 

Have a great week ! ♥