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.

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. 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.

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 dessert: Easy 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 ūüėČ ‚̧

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 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 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 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

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. 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¬†

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 ‚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
  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 ūüėČ 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 ūüėȬ†

Blue hat:

blue-hat

Multicolored Hat:

multicolored-hat

Crochet Hat: 

croche-hat

Let me know if you liked my hats ūüėČ

Wish you all a great week !!! 

 

 

 

 

 

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. ūüėõ

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 РDark 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.

 

 

 

 

Uncategorized

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 ” ¬†ūüėāūüėā

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 ūüėČ

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.

Muffins and other sweets, Uncategorized

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.