Muffins and other sweets, Uncategorized

Weekend Specials

Saturday morning I woke up way too early for a weekend morning, but I decided to get some things done instead of going back to sleep, so I choose all the ingredients to make some muffins: Carrot Raisin Muffins that my husband said they were one of the most delicious I’ve ever done 😉

Here are the ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of apple cider ( I use it to soak the raisins )
  • 2/3 cup of raisins
  • 2 cups of grated carrots
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 1 2/3 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • juice from half a lemon ( to activate the baking powder )

Directions: 

Beat the eggs with sugar until creamy. I didn’t use the electric mixer as it was too early but you could do so to save your energy and time ;). Add the melted butter and whisk a bit more. With a wooden spoon mix in the apple cider and raisins followed by the grated carrots. Add the sifted flour mixed with cinnamon and the baking powder on top. Activate the baking powder by adding the lemon juice. Fold in the flour careful not to over mix the batter.

Carrot muffin 2

Carrot muffins

Carrot muffin 1

 

If you believe it or not all 12 muffins disappeared on Saturday as we had them for breakfast, dessert and some of us, the luckiest ones, for dinner. For the Butternut squash Muffins, I used exactly the same ingredients and directions, but I substituted the carrots with the squash. And because I started with the butternut squash I decided to continue on the same note for lunch and snacks for the day.

squash muffins

Butternut Squash Muffins 

squash muffins 2

Sunday’s lunch: Spaghetti Squash with Oven-roasted Butternut Squash:

spaghetti squash

And the weekend’s snacks: Backed oven Acorn Squash and Butternut squash …

Acorn Squash

 

 

Butternutsquash

Well, I think it enough squash for this week, don’t you? Lol

 

Advertisements
30 minutes meals, Brunch, Uncategorized

Apple Compote

Last week I made a so called childhood desert. Some of you might know is also as “Compot de mere”. I think we all have those moments when we crave a childhood dessert. I will share the recipe, and the way my mother used to make it for us, although I noticed that French compote is more like a stew, I love the extra juice from mine. As a kid, I always thought the more juice, the better 😉 I still like it this way.

Apple compote.jpg

Ingredients:

  • 7-8 apples (I used green apples)
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 5-6 cloves
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • juice from two lemons
  • about 2.5-3-litre water

Directions:

Bring a large pot with water to boil on medium high heat. When the water starts to boil add the sugar, the cinnamon sticks and the cloves.

Wash the apples thoroughly. Peel and core the apples. Cut them in pieces. I love mine a bit bigger. While I cut the apples, I put them in a large bowl, and I squeeze the lemon juice over the apple pieces so they won’t oxidize.

If you like it sweeter, you could add some more sugar. If you are not fond of cinnamon, you can use only the cinnamon sticks or the powder. Simmer all together for about 15-20 minutes. You can serve it hot or cold. I like it mostly cold, from the fridge.

You can serve it hot or cold. In the Summer I will definitely have it cold ], right from the refrigerator.

You can keep it the compote in the fridge up to two weeks if such a thing is possible. Mine will probably vanish in a few days 😉

 

Aplle compote 2

 

 

Aplle compote 3

 

Enjoy ! 

Bread and Pizza, Breakfast, Brunch, Muffins and other sweets, Uncategorized

Weekend specials

As much as I wanted these days to stay away from the kitchen, and mostly for the oven, we still had to eat something.  The idea to stay away from the oven it’s not as easy as it seems.

Like almost every Saturday, we indulged a frittata for breakfast. Usually, when I make the weekend frittatas, I just check the fridge and decide pretty quick what should I throw into the pan. This time the winners were: green olives; red pepper and tuna. The greens you can see in the picture is fresh dill. In my opinion, there is no frittata without fresh herbs. They make such huge difference in frittatas. I have to admit though, that I don’t have them always handy so I will use dry herbs instead. The herbs I used the most are dill, parsley, oregano or basil.

 

tuna frittata 3

 

Saturday’s lunch followed with a homemade (from scratch) pizza: Artichoke, Tuna, and Feta Cheese Pizza. Some of you might think tuna again? Well, the tuna can in olive oil I like to buy is pretty big, so I try to use it throughout the day. When it’s not possible, I would store the rest in an airtight glass container and use it in the next days. Most of the time the other half of the can will end up in a Greek Pasta Salad or Potato Tuna Salad.

What I like about making pizza is that you have just enough for lunch and dinner and you have time to focus on other projects.

 

artichoke tuna and feta pizza

And, of course, there’s no such thing as not indulging our sweet tooth during the weekend 😉

I checked what we had in the fridge and pantry, and the winner was chosen:  Cinnamon – chocolate chips buns! You might ask: why chocolate chips in a cinnamon bun but it was my daughter’s request to try them this way, and I have to say I will most definitely make them again. They were yummy!

 

Cinnamon chocolate chip buns

 

And because is Summer and it’s so hot, and it’s very humid here in Toronto, one way I ensure that we all stay hydrated is making citrus infused water that the whole family can enjoy.

 

citrus-infused-water-3

 

Stay chilled!

 

 

Bread and Pizza, Brunch, Uncategorized

Thank you and a homemade pizza

Thank you so much to all of you, my over 200 followers, for taking the time to stop by and following my blog.

Thank you for your comments but also for all your posts that inspire me daily.

Image result for 200 followers on wordpress

This week, I had a couple of days off, so called a short vacation that I needed it so much. My mind and body were crying for some time off. When I was asked what my plans were, I said that I just wanted to relax. Now I believe we are all different and we relax in our own way. Usually, when I relax means, I want to be equally productive and physically active and just at the end of the day, lazy. 🙂 I really like exuberance and happiness I feel after a good and thoroughly house cleaning or after a five-kilometer ( or more ) walk.

I just wanted to share with you what a day off means to me. I woke up at 06:00 AM instead of 05:00 AM. I started as usual with coffee and getting the breakfast ready. Becuase there was no rush I decided to make a frittata with feta cheese and fresh dill.

fritatta

Around 06:50 hubby and daughter left for work and college, so there were only my babies left in the house and me. After a few coffee sips, I put my furry boys in the crate on the balcony so they can enjoy the warm morning, so I started to clean the house. By 08:30 I finished two laundry loads and by 09:30 the cleaning was done. The cleaning included the windows as well. 😉

After a quick shower, I could finally enjoy the fresh scent of a clean house and my second cup of coffee while browsing the internet for lunch ideas. Homemade pizza was the winner. I decided for a Three Cheese Tuna- Crab Meat Pizza. I have to admit it turned out delicious. My daughter said: “I have no idea what you do or put on your pizza that makes it always the best pizza comparing with  the takeout ones ;)”

Ingredients for the dough:

  • 2 1/4 cups of whole-wheat flour ( I used 1/4 cup when kneading the dough )
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 a teaspoon of salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups of warm water
  • the juice of one lemon

For the pizza topping:

  • sweet basil tomato sauce
  • 100 gr mozzarella
  • 100 gr feta cheese
  • 50 gr of Parmigiano  petals
  • 1 large tuna in water ( no drain one )
  • 1 can of crab meat ( well drained )
  • 1/2 of a large organic white onion
  • green olives

Combine the flour, salt,  turmeric and chia seeds if using.

Put the yeast in a cup of warm water. When it start to bubble, pour the mixture over the flour. Add the olive oil and lemon juice and mix all together.  Once combined, knead by hand for about 5 to 10 minutes. The dough is ready when it feels soft, springy and elastic.  Place the dough in a clean, oiled bowl, cover it and set it in a warm place.

In about an hour the dough should triple the size and be ready for the pizza. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Oil a work surface and roll the dough into a rectangle shape. Rol the dough in half and place it on the baking tray and start topping it.

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees. Using a ladle add the sauce and using the back of the spoon swirl it all over the top of the dough. Top it with tuna, crab meat, thin slices of onion and green olives. Crumble the feta cheese and sprinkle shredded mozzarella and Parmigiano petals.

Cook in the preheated oven for about 20 to 25 minutes.

 

pizza 1

 

pizza 2

It feels like I’ve been making pizza since I was young. I started by using the ready made dough, but once I learned to make the dough, it became so natural to have a homemade pizza a few times a month.

Some people might think that is time-consuming, but I like it because while the dough is getting ready, I have the time to prepare the topping. While the pizza is in the oven, I got ready and left to wait for my daughter so we could enjoy 3 kilometers walk back home. We kept hydrated with lemon infused water. It was a good exercise that made us hungry, so when we reached home, we were so eager to enjoy that pizza and watch our favorite show: The Bridge.

 

lemon infused water.jpg

 

In the evening I didn’t do much but watched some videos on Youtube, planning my new knitting – crochet projects 🙂 when I did not play with my furry babies 😉

 

 

 

 

 

Breakfast, Brunch, Chicken, Uncategorized

Long Weekend Specials

We celebrated Victoria Day this Monday, so we had a long and relaxing weekend. The weather was not friendly, and I had in mind a weekend with smoothies and salads, but it did not turn as I wanted.

The strawberries that I bought for the smoothies ended up in a melt-in-the-mouth goodness: Strawberry Clafoutis. I know I have another post about Clafoutis, which you can read here.  This time I used strawberries ( abut 250 grams) but they were giant in size, so I cut them into pieces.

Ingredients :

  • 250 g strawberries 

  • 4 eggs

  • 400 ml cashew milk (warmed up)

  • juice from half of lemon

  • 1/4 cup of grape seeds oil 

  • 3 tablespoons of sugar 

  • 1 cup of all purpose flour

Preheat the oven at 350. Oil a baking dish. Wash, drain and cut the strawberries.  Place the strawberries on the baking tray.

Lightly beat the eggs; add the sugar and whisk together until smooth. Stir in the flour.

Add the milk ( warmed up ) and the lemon juice. Pour into the baking dish over the fruits.

Bake for about 40 to 45 minutes until golden brown.

Uncategorized

Sunday’s Specials

This Sunday I was very busy, and because of that, I had to think of a really easy and fast meal. There was no time for my Sunday pancakes, so I made a fresh batch of muffins. I know what you might think, but I did it again. This time I decided for a Peanut butter coffee flavor.

Here are the ingredients:

  • 1 cup old fashion oats
  • 5 teaspoons of chocolate peanut butter powder 
  • 1 teaspoon French vanilla instant coffee
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • lemon juice from 1/2 lemon 
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup grape seeds oil
  • 2 cups cashew milk
  • 1 1/2 cup unbleached flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • a few almond flakes for topping

They were moist and delicious, and they had to keep us going until 3 PM when we returned home for a late lunch.

peanut butter coffee muffins

First, I was thinking of ordering out for lunch today, but before I left the house I browsed the internet for a few minutes, and I found a  recipe that inspired me.  My inspiration was Sabrina from Dinner and then dessertEasy Greek Pasta Salad. I adapted the recipe with my ingredients and here is the result: Easy Tuna Pasta Salad. 

Ingredients:

Makes: 4 servings; Prep time: 15 min; Cooking time: 20 min

for the salad:

  • 225 gr rice and quinoa fusilli pasta
  • 1/2 of an English cucumber, chopped
  • 1 cup sweet grape tomatoes, halved
  •  1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 cup green olives
  • 3 small tuna cans in olive oil
  • 50 gr feta cheese

for the dressing: 

  • I saved the olive oil from the tuna cans, but I did not use all of it. ( approx 3-4 tbsps )
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

Boil the pasta as per the instruction from the package.

Place the cooked pasta in a large porcelain bowl. Add the chopped cucumber, halved tomatoes, red onion, green olives, and tuna.

In a small bowl whisk together: olive oil, lemon juice, oregano, salt and black pepper.

Pour the vinaigrette over the pasta mixture and stir slowly. Add some extra black pepper if you wish.

easy tuna salad.jpg

 We spoiled ourselves a bit today by having a Chocolate mousse topped with Pistachio Ice Cream ( Indian style. Both, the mousse and ice cream were storebought).

chocolate mousse and ice cream.jpg

 

There is a frost advisory here in Toronto, but I would like to end my post with some beautiful yellow tulips and the hope that Spring will come soon 😉 ❤

yellow tulip

Uncategorized

The Versatile Blogger Award

image

I know my last post was about a nomination and here I am again posting about a new nomination. This time Jessica from DaringtoJess thought about me. I am very humble and accept her nomination. Please check out her blog. I promise you won’t regret it. She is a wonderful, talented and inspiring young person.

Here are the Rules

  1. Display the award.
  2. Thank the person who gave this award (and include a link to their blog.)
  3. Share seven things about yourself.
  4. Nominate bloggers.

The seven things about me

This is my favorite part of any nomination. Trying to say something new every time. LOL

  1. I studying piano when I was younger for about 7 years and I performed in the City Concert Hall once 😉
  2. My father thought me how to swim. I can make 30 lapse at once on my own speed LOL
  3. I had to give up cheese. I haven’t had any in six months. Do I miss it ? A lot ! I cannot eat vegan cheese either. 😦
  4. At work my colleagues are calling me : Miss Good 😉 I am wondering why ? LOL
  5. I saved all the plants from one of my colleague from my office when she was on sick leave for about one year but I successfully kill all of mine. 😦
  6. I love to walk. My record is 15 km a day. I made it only twice.
  7. Recently I discovered I have gluten intolerance. 😦

 

The Nominees Are ( not in a particular order but these are blogs that I just love visiting almost daily 😉 )

  1. Bea from Beafreee.com
  2. Frida from Fridayfrida.com
  3. Love and umami
  4. Kleopatra from kitchenfabits.com
  5. Schnipelboy.com

Congratulation to all the nominees and I really hope you will enjoy this nomination.

I hope that all of you that celebrated  Easter had a happy one and lots of delicious food and family and friends around the table 🙂

And I am going to end my post with a picture from my sister-in-law’s garden from back home:  Romania, where spring has arrived and green is marked by colorful flowers

toporasi _ zoe 2

Uncategorized

The Blog-aholic Award

This year, it seemed as though there would be no end in sight to this Winter season (just this past week we got another 10 cm of snow in Toronto) and it’s left me feeling drained, mentally. At first I thought I was stressed out because of my hat projects. But even after I finished the hats I couldn’t find my usual energy and happy-go-lucky attitude. Finally, I realized that my overall increase in stress had more to do with work rather than the long Canadian Winters, like I first thought. We’ve had a lot of changes throughout the department and that, for me, means a lot more work. And stress.  It’s really a never-ending cycle; you know how it is, I’m sure.

Anyway, why am I saying this? I guess it’s because I wanted to explained my sudden (but short-lived) absence lately. However, simply because I’ve not had enough energy to post something new, that doesn’t mean I stopped conversing with YOU, the bloggers out there, followers or not. Your posts helped me get past this state and kept me sane. 😛 

During my hiatus, I was nominated for the Blog-Aholic Award by Carol through the “Cooking from the time Challenged” You can find her wonderful blog here. I feel immensely honored that she took the time to think of me, and Carol, once again, thank you! 🙂 

 And just like this,though Carol I was able to find the founder of this award, Esme “The Recipe Hunter (Cook and Enjoy), who said it wonderfully:”blogging is creating. Connecting, Sharing and Inspiring other. So this is actually what this award is about: Share and Inspire others! 🙂 

trh-blog-aholic-award

Here are the rules of the award: 

  1. Put the above award logo/image on your blog
  2. List the rules
  3. Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog (it can be to the post in which they nominated you or any other post or you can even link to their “About” page)
  4. Mention the creator The Recipe Hunter (Cook & Enjoy) of this award and please provide a link or pinback
  5. Write a post to show your award
  6. Share a link to your best post(s)
  7. Share 3 interesting and different facts about yourself
  8. Nominate 5-10 fellow bloggers, or more if you wish. Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them and provide the link to the post you created.

Now I should share 3 interesting and different facts about yourself. I am not sure if they are interesting but they are true fact about me:

  1. I love chocolate. No, this is not true. I am addicted to chocolate. LOL
  2. Playing with my two cats is my new cardio 😉
  3. I cannot go to sleep if there are still dishes in the sink to be done.

The most loved post is Frittata  ❤

And here are the nominees:

  1. snapshotsincursive
  2. A LITTLE SWISS, A LITTLE CANADIA
  3. GYPSYBUS28
  4. lithuanianintheusa
  5. izzieskitchen

I really hope all the nominees are  willing to ” share and inspire others ” and participate in this award recognition. Good luck !

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Knitting and Croche, Uncategorized

Hats

Along with cooking and photography I have another hobby that’s very dear to me, even though I never seen to have enough time to actually do it. However, this winter I decided to change that.

I started knitting again. I made myself and my daughter a few hats and scarves. Two of my coworkers were really impressed and I promised I will make them a few hats as well. For two weekends, all I did was: coffee-knit and repeat 😉 LOL

Here are a few of  my results I thought I would love to share them with you:

Red Hat, Red and Gray scarf and a curious visitor during the photo session 😉 

Blue hat:

blue-hat

Multicolored Hat:

multicolored-hat

Crochet Hat: 

croche-hat

Let me know if you liked my hats 😉

Wish you all a great week !!!