Breakfast, Brunch, Cakes, Pork, Uncategorized

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. ūüė¶

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 ūüėČ

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 ūüėČ

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. ūüôā

Brunch, Salads, Soups, Uncategorized

Weekend Specials

I don’t know about you, my dear reader, but when I go groceries¬†shopping I pretty much have in mind what I want to cook throughout the week, and I also go for what’s in season. Sometimes I do the groceries¬†shopping by myself and hubby just picks me up when I am ready. Sometimes he likes to come to explore the shelves.¬† We both love to explore the International aisle for new spices and other goodies.

Anyway, Saturday was one of those times when he decided to come along. We had just reached the pasta section when he asked:¬†“do we have pasta? ”

Me: ” actually we do, but I bought cabbage to make ” Pasta with cabbage” ( a dish we both liked as kids, back home in Romania).¬†So I need¬† a special kind of pasta.”

Hubby: ” I like this funny shape” train wheel pasta ” and he puts the bag in the buggy ”

Me, quite sceptical: “No way that will go with the cabbage dish.”

He, stubborn: ” I want this one. They are so funny … ”

I took both pasta packages as I was really concerned the one he chose will not turn out right for his lunch.

Now you might ask what’s the reason I told you this pasta story? Well because it turned out pretty gosh darned delicious with the Cabbage and I also ended up stealing some of my Tuna and Veggies Salad, and I just loved it so much as I made twice already ūüėČ

Train wheel pasta with cabbage:

  • 1 green cabbage, chopped.
  • 1/2 a red onion, chopped
  • salt and black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil ( optional )
  • grapeseed oil, about 5 tablespoons
  • 3 cups of pasta, boiled¬†as per package instructions ( 2 cups were enough, so I end up stealing some ūüėČ )

In a big pot heat the oil and add the chopped onion, When translucent,  add the shredded cabbage and mix well. Sauteed the cabbage stirring frequently for about 40 minutes.

While you cook the cabbage, boil the pasta as per the package instructions.

Drain the pasta and wash it in cold water. Add it to the cabbage. Season with salt, smoked paprika and black pepper. Black pepper is a must in this dish.

Pasta w Cabbage 3 A

Tuna Pasta Salad with Veggies:

  • 2 zucchini halved and sliced
  • a handful of grape tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh chopped parsley
  • 1 small tuna can drain
  • lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil
  • salt

In a large non-stick, skillet heat the oil. Add the zucchini and sautee them until light brown. Add the tomatoes. Season with salt and lemon juice. Add the parsley.

Add the veggies to a large salad bowl. Add drained pasta and tuna and stir gently.

Enjoy it.

Tuna Pasta salad 3


Tuna Pasta salad 4


Becuase it was pretty¬†chilly and wet here in Toronto this weekend I decided to warm up with a Mushroom soup –¬† Vegan, Creamy, Mushroom Soup.¬†Not as creamy as I wanted because I added a bit too much broth ūüėČ )

mushrrom soup 2


mushrrom soup.jpg


And there can be no weekend without a dessert. The winner was:

Raisins Cinnamon Sticky Buns. 

Raisins cinnamon sticky buns




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 ūüėČ

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 )


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




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


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 ūüėČ I still like it this way.

Apple compote.jpg


  • 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


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 ūüėČ


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‚Äôs no such thing as not indulging our sweet tooth during the weekend ūüėČ

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.




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. ūüôā¬†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.


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. ūüėČ

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 ūüôā when I did not play with my furry babies ūüėČ






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.


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 dessert: Easy Greek Pasta Salad. I adapted the recipe with my ingredients and here is the result: Easy Tuna Pasta Salad. 


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


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 ūüėČ ‚̧

yellow tulip


The Versatile Blogger Award


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 ūüėČ
  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. ūüė¶
  4. At work my colleagues are calling me : Miss Good ūüėČ 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. ūüė¶
  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. ūüė¶


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

  1. Bea from
  2. Frida from
  3. Love and umami
  4. Kleopatra from

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 ūüôā

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


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. ūüėõ¬†

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! ūüôā¬†

¬†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! ūüôā¬†


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 ‚ÄúAbout‚ÄĚ 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 ūüėČ
  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
  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 !