First Weekend Specials 2018 and Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone! I had so many plans to cook and to post many delicious meals and recipes for the first weekend of 2018, but unexpected bronchitis got my plans ruined. 😦

Anyway, I tried to satisfy some of our preferences for the first day of the year and to indulge a bit from breakfast through dinner 😉

Me and my daughter, we started the day with a chocolate chia pudding that I prepared the day before and let it in the fridge overnight. For that, I mixed three tablespoons of chia seeds with one tablespoon of each cocoa and brown sugar and 2 cups of unsweetened cashew milk. Give it a good stir or shake to mix all the ingredients in a jar and let it in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Now, you can imagine I had to let mine warm up for a while as eating right from the refrigerator was not an option at this point 😉

Cocoa chia pudding 2

While the two of us continued with some delicious Ricotta Chocolate Overloaded Pancakes:

Ricotta Pancakes.jpg

my hubby decided to move to the savoury side and enjoyed an Italian Sausages Omelette with Sauer kraut and homemade pickled beets. While the Sauer kraut was store bought I like to make the pickled beets at home. I just boil the beet with skin on. Let them cool down, peel them and cut them into cubes or chunks depending on your desire. I just drizzle the beet pieces with lemon juice ( I use the juice from a small lemon ) and half teaspoon balsamic and a  pinch of salt.

Sasauges Omelette


With such an indulgence for breakfast, you can imagine that our lunch was quite late, or we could call it an early supper. But this gave me a chance to take care of the cake. I made the same cake for my daughter’s  birthday, early December 2017. The cake was quite a hit after a try like ” mom, really I am not little anymore. You don’t have to make a cake every year …yadda, yadda, yadda. ” And because we all loved it I decided to make it again as the first dessert of 2018.

While the lunch was cooking, I prepared the ingredients for the cake. As a Romanian tradition, we would serve cabbage rolls for New Year. However, I did not go for the original recipe, but I made something to remind us of cabbage rolls. I had left two Italian sausages, and I made some pan-fried turkey meatballs from extra lean ground turkey. I cooked the sausages in a large pot. After they turned quite brownish, I added the sliced cabbage. I seasoned all with salt, black pepper, smoked paprika, dried dill and oregano. I give it a stir and let it cooked until the cabbage softened a bit. I added some more hot water and the turkey meatballs on top and let them simmer on low heat for another hour or so. If you are wondering why did I add boiling water instead of just water, is because the sausages and cabbage were already cooking and by adding the hot water you won’t stop the cooking process. I had to admit the combination of pork, turkey and cabbage was just delicious.

Sausages with cabbage


And we end our first day if 2018 with a decadent Chocolate Tiramisu:

You could check the original recipe, my inspiration for this delicious cake here.

Here is what I used. I changed a few ingredients, but the final result is very close.

  • 500 g ladyfingers
  • 500 ml coffee, sweetened with 1 tbsp of brown sugar ( I made it again, and I skipped the sugar and was just okay as well )
  • 1/4 cup of brown sugar
  • 500 gr smooth ricotta
  • 300 gr semisweet chocolate
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee ( optional)
  • 1 teaspoon rum extract
  • a few amaretto biscotti for decor, optional.

Here is the result. I think that the pictures talk a thousand words :

Chocolate tiramisu 1


Chocolate tiramisu 2

You could add a beautiful festive ribbon around. I just couldn’t find mine, and I had no energy to look for it. Like my daughter says ” mom, don’t put it away too well, you know that you never remember after that” LOL


Chocolate tiramisu 3

I have only one more comment to make about the cake: with every day that passes it becomes more delicious, the ladyfingers will be so moist and soaked with the coffee, and the cream cheese just melts into your mouth. Now it depends on how long you can resist it but in my opinion, the third day was the best, so maybe if you have guests, it’s better to prepare this one day ahead. 🙂


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 🙂


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.


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 )


Prepare the sauce:

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


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


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.


Bon Appetite !



Pork chops with mashed potatoes and mushrooms

Today’s lunch is a bit different because it has its roots back home. Looks like a very usual Romanian Sunday lunch.

My family was asking for mashed potatoes so I was thinking to make something that reminds us our childhood, our mother’s or grandmother’s dishes.

I always cook Sunday more because I love to have some leftovers for Monday’s lunch, that’s why I have made 6 portions.

Ingredients ( 6 servings )

1 piece of boneless pork chop, cut in 12 slices

8 large white potatoes

20 large white mushrooms ( or 2 casseroles of  200 gr )

3 tbsp barbecue sauce

2 tbsp tomato sauce

100 ml white wine ( sauvignion blanc )

salt, black pepper, garlic powder

3 tbsp sour cream for the potatoes

extra virgin olive oil

canola oil

Oil a glass tray with canola oil and place the pork chops. Season them with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Add 100 ml of wine and 100 ml of water.

Let them cool for 15 minutes while preheating the oven to 350 F. Bake them for about 40 minutes. After 20-30 minutes add the barbecue sauce mixed with a bit of water and bake for 10 more minutes.

Peel the potatoes and cut them in thin round pieces. Add them to a skillet and cover them with water. Add a bit of salt.  Boil them until soft.

Meantime, peel the mushroom and place them in a small tray. Drizzle olive oil, salt and pepper and 2 tbsp tomato sauce. Toss lightly and bake them for 20 minutes.

When potatoes are soft, drain the water and mash them. Add the sour cream ( or butter if preferred ) a bit of salt if still needed and keep them coverd in the stove to keep them warm until the table is set up.

And if you have kids who hate mushrooms 🙂 you can enjoy the meal without them …

Bon Appetite !!!

Three types of beans with English Sausages

My best recipe ever. Do you want to know why ? Because haven’t cooked it myself … but together with my daughter. Actually I just gave her the instructions and stayed with her in the kitchen and I enjoying her cooking and a glass of white wine. I didn’t even photographed the food myself … She did all : food, the pictures, setting up the table … What an indulgence …

However, I do believe this is one of  the best comfort dinner for a cold and rainy fall day, when all you want is to feel cozy and  close to your dear ones while watching a good movie…

Ingredients ( 4 servings )

500 g English Sausages ( 8 small pieces )

1 can Fave Beans

1 can White Kidney Beans

1 can Red Kidney Beans

( all the cans are 450 ml big )

1/2 can (820 ml ) tomato sauce

3 tbsp Barbecue Sauce

Salt, black pepper, garlic powder

1 bay leaf

Canola oil

Fresh basil to garnish

First, heat the oven to 350 F. Grease a grill tray with canola oil and place the sausages.

Bake them for about 30-40 minutes. After approximately 20 minutes turn them on the other side.

Heat a skillet over the medium heat. Add 3 tbsp canola oil. When hot add the beans.

When the beans are hot add the tomato sauce, salt, black pepper, garlic powder and the bay leaf.

Give them a light stir and cook for 2 more minutes reducing the heat to low.

Add the barbecue sauce and turn off the heat …

Set up the table and enjoy your special comfort meal.

It can be served with Sauerkraut or Sweet dill pickles and garnish with fresh basil …


Bon Appetite !!!

Oven pork meatballs with greenpeas and sweet corn

Makes about 4-6 servings … depends how hungry your family is 🙂

Ingredients for the meatballs ( makes about 16 meatballs )

300 g lean ground pork

1 egg

1/4 tsp garlic powder or 1 fresh garlic clove grated

1/4 tsp dried basil

3 tbsp bread crumbs

salt and black pepper

This is my classic meatball recipe but from this a lots of variation can start :

  • chicken/ turkey meatballs
  • adding green onion to the mix
  • adding 1/4 yellow onion grated

and so on ….I think the list can be endless ….

Mix together all the ingredients and make about 16 meatballs and cook them in a preheated oven ( 350 F) for about 30 minutes.

Ingredients for Green peas and sweetcorn

3 carrots

5 green onions

1 1/2 cups green peas

1 1/2 cups sweet corn

olive oil

salt and black pepper

1/4 tsp basil

Peal and cut carrots and green onion in pieces.

Add 3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil to a skillet and when warm add the caroots.

Let them cook for about 3-4 minutes than add 1 1/2 cup of green peas and sweet corn.

Add salt and pepper and dried oregano and cook for about 10 more  minutes.

Bon Appetite !!!

Oven Broccoli and Asparagus with Oven Meatballs

Ingredients for the vegetables( 4 servings ):

1 head broccoli, broken in small florets

1 bunch asparagus

1 lemon

4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1  tsp of dried oregano ( optional )

salt and black pepper

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Brake the broccoli into small florets. Cut the ends of asparagus ( about 1-1.5 cm) and than cut them in 2 cm pieces. Wash the vegetable under the running water. Drain the water. Put the vegetables in a big bowl and add the olive oil, lemon juice salt, pepper and oregano and lightly toss them together.

Pour them in a tray and bake them for about 15-20 minutes until the asparagus is done but still crisp.

Ingredients for meatballs( 4 servings) :

250-300 g lean ground pork

1 egg

2-3 tbsp bread crumbs

1/4 tsp dried ( or fresh if preferred ) garlic powder

1/4 tsp dried oregano ( optional )

salt and black pepper

Mix all the ingredients together and form small balls and bake them in a greased tray for about 20 minutes.