March 31, 2012

Warm mushroom and spinach salad

This is a delicious recipe which you can make quick and serve it either as a salad, appetizer or as a side to your main meal. It has a low calories count, is low in cholesterol and high in fibers what makes it a perfect meal when you are trying to lose a few pounds.

Add croutons and chicken breast and it becomes a delicious light main course.

What you need is:
  • 100 grams fresh spinach
  • 200 grams Champignon mushrooms
  • a quarter of an avocado
  • 1 table spoon olive oil
  • 1 table spoon soy sauce
  • 2 table spoons mustard
  • 1 table spoon sesame seeds
  • salt, pepper and chili flakes to your taste
Wash the spinach and tear it in pieces.... CONTINUE READING

March 29, 2012

Stuffed pancakes with mushrooms & chicken breast

This is a very easy to make recipe which can be also made vegetarian by replacing the chicken with more mushrooms. These pancakes are very good even the next day, just heat them up and serve them with sour cream on top.

What you need is:

For the pancakes:
4 eggs
275 ml milk
300 grams flour
cooking oil to make the pancakes

For the stuffing:
2 table spoons butter
250 grams Champignon mushrooms (you can use canned mushrooms as well)
1 medium size white onion
350 grams chicken breast cut in small pieces
1 table spoon white flour
250 ml vegetable stock
200 ml sour cream
3 table spoons Parmesan cheese
salt & pepper to your taste

Mix all the pancake ingredients with a mixer until it becomes a thick liquid paste and leave aside to rest. CONTINUE READING

22 Tricks on How to Cut Down Calories Part 1

You don't have to do big changes in your diet to start loosing weight. As I've noticed, on the long run, it is easier and more realistic to make small changes in the way we eat than drastically change our diets.

So start now with small steps and make life-long changes in your diet and you will see those stuborn pounds come off in no time.

So here they are, the first 11 of the 22 tricks on how to cut down calories:

1. Portion your food
After you go shopping, unpack everything and store in containers, and bags. Portion that big bag of chicken wings so when it's time to cook you only have to take out one portion. And remember, there is nothing wrong in having a snack, but don't take the whole bag of biscuits with you in bed, make a habit of taking as much as it fits in a bowl.

2. Never go out on an empty stomach
Before going to the supermarket to stock up, make sure you had something to eat, that way, you won't end buying all the wrong foods that you';ve been craving for.


March 28, 2012

Swiss rolls trifle

I've always liked swiss rolls and, used to serve it as is, just sliced and placed on a platter. But a few months ago when i was visiting a friend of mine I saw a different, more interesting way of serving it so now it's how I serve it too. And of course, like all things English, my husband love it.

You can choose to make the swiss rolls from scratch or buy ready made. I personally buy mine because making them takes a lot of time and the ones from the store as just as good. Besides, cost less to buy them than make them.

What you need is:
  • 500 grams swiss roll ( choose your favorite flavor, doesn't matter)
  • 600 grams wiped cream
  • 1 packet gelatin ( about 8 grams)
  • 600 grams forest berries, strawberries and bananas (mix them as you wish)
  • custard
Whip the cream until it gets stiff. Dissolve the gelatine in 5 tablespoons of warm water.... CONTINUE READING

March 27, 2012

I found this recipe in one of the cooking books my husband brought home from work and got stuck in my mind because it seemed so fancy and so easy to make at the same time. I knew it'll be a hit and it was.

There are not many ingredients in this recipe but nonetheless it is very tasty. Usually, a galette has a round shape, like a pizza almost, but i like to have it shaped like a rectangular because it fits in my baking trey and when served looks more posh.


What you need is:
  • 2 sheets of puff pastry cut in half
  • 1 kg peeled and seeded pumpkin
  • 300 grams sour cream
  • 300 grams sweet chilli sauce
  • 100 grams goat cheese
  • sunflower or olive oil
  • salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C. Cut the pumpkin in 5 centimeters pieces and place them on a baking tray covered with aluminum foil and.... CONTINUE READING

March 26, 2012

Sour cherry cake

This is another recipe that reminds me of my beloved grandmother. Every time I think of her I see her in the kitchen cooking one of her delicious foods and deserts were one of her strong points in the kitchen.

This recipe, like many I like to cook, are very easy to make and can be done any time of the year using frozen or canned sour cherries. I don't like very sweet deserts and this is one of my favorites just because the sour cherries give a tart taste to the cake which I love.

What you need is:
  • 500 grams sour cherries without the stone
  • 6 eggs
  • 300 grams white sugar
  • 300 grams white flour
  • 4 tablespoons sunflower oil
  • 1 packed baking powder (about 8 grams)
  • hot water
If you're using canned or frozen sour cherries, strained then and then put them on paper towels to lose as much liquid as possible. If you're using fresh ones..... CONTINUE READING

March 25, 2012

Feta cheese foldovers

Whenever i have family over I make these delicious treats and everybody seems so impressed with my cooking skills. Little do they know this recipe is so easy to make and it can even be made the night before and baked right before the guests arrive. You can even make a bunch of them and freeze them for the next time you have unexpected guests.

What you need is:
  • 300 grams feta cheese ( you can use garlic or herb feta cheese for more flavor if you like, i like them simple)
  • 50 grams chopped black olives
  • 100 grams chopped spring onions
  • 1 package frozen puff pastry previously thawed (500 grams)
  • 1 egg yolk beaten with a table spoon of water
  • 1 beaten whole egg

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C. Mix the cheese, beaten egg...... CONTINUE READING

March 24, 2012

Kusudama Origami Flower

 I was looking for a folded paper flower to decorate my desk and after looking at different patterns online I finally decided on this one. The Kusudama origami flowers are generally assembled into a large spherical shape made of 12 folded flowers. I made just one but you can make all 12 of them and glue them together in a sphere.

What you need is:
  • 5 sheets of square paper (you can use post-its, I wanted my flower to be bigger)
  • glue
And this is the final product – a beautiful flower that decorates my desk.

  1. Fold the bottom corner to the top to make a triangle..... CONTINUE READING

March 23, 2012

Rustic English plum tart

I wasn't a big fan of this desert until I met my husband, actually his mother. This is a regular desert in their home and after having it for a few times I've grown to like it.

What i like about this desert is that it's not very sweet and it can be made year round by using canned plums. Obviously, the best version is with the fresh plums, but it's yummy either way.

This is a very easy recipe to make and you can make it even easier by using ready made shortcrust pastry bought from the shop. What you need is:

- 1/2 pound white flour
- 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/4 pound cold butter
- 2 table spoons caster sugar
- small amount of milk
- 1 egg, beaten

- 1 pound plums without stones, cut in pieces
- 1 table spoon ground cinammon
- 1/4 pounds chopped almonds
- 4 table spoons sugar

In a food processor mix all the ingredients untill they look like breadcrumbs. Add just enough milk to bring the pastry together in a thik dough.... CONTINUE READING

March 22, 2012

This is a dish I make mostly in weekends because it takes a few hours to get it done, but it's well worth the time. What you need is:

- 1 1/5 pounds ground beef
- 1 finely chopped white onion
- 2 diced cloves of garlic
- 3 tablespoons cooking oil
- 1 1/5 pounds chopped tomatoes (from the can)
- 1 pound tomato paste
- 1 glass water
- 1/2 pound sliced mozzarella cheese
- 1 pound ricotta cheese
- 1/2 pounds grated Parmesan cheese
- 18 lasagna noodles
- 1 egg
- 3 tablespoons white sugar
- 2 teaspoons dry basil leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- a handfull of chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon salt

Cook the garlic and onion over medium heat until golden. Add the ground beef and cook for 5 more minutes...CONTINUE READING

March 21, 2012

Versatile potato stew

This is an easy and vesatile recipe because you can use any kind of meat or none at all if you are a vegetarian and it will still taste delicious.

It'll take less than one hour to cook, but it's best served after a couple of hours or even the next day after the sauce thickens.

What you need is:
3 pounds white potatoes cut in 1 inch chunks
3/4 pounds of any kind of meat you have in the freezer, works best with pork,smoked meat, beef or sausage cut in 1 inch
1 big onion finely chopped
2 tablespoons sweet paprika powder
3 tablespoons cooking oil
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon ground peper
salt to your taste
enough water to cover the potatoes
2 tablespoons of sour cream (optional, for the topping)

Start by heating the oil in a cooking pot. CONTINUE READING

March 20, 2012

How to start the day with a smile on the face

It is important to start the day right and any way you can achieve that is a good way. I like starting my day with a smile o my face and since I gave you the recipe for the English breakfast i make for my husband, here is how I have mine, just because it reminds me of my childhood summer breaks when my grandma used to cook us lunch (yes, this is lunch for us).

Have a good day!

March 19, 2012

English Breakfast My Way

There are many ways to cook a traditional English breakfast but the home made one will never resemble the one you can buy in a restaurant. By trial and error, mainly by watching my husband's face when serving it, I finally came up with my own home made English breakfast.

This is simple food, but also comfort food, and I am sure it remind my husbad of his home so I am happy to make it every time i sense he is home sick. So if you need to cook for an English person, here is a recipe guaranteed to make them feel at home anywhere in the world.

What you need for this recipe is:
  • 2 bread slices
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 strips of bacon
  • 1 medium size tomato
  • 1 can of cooked white beans
  • salt and pepper to your taste
  • butter for the toast

Open the can of beans, put the content in a microwaveable dish and..... CONTINUE READING.

March 18, 2012

Knitting Pattern Norwegian Slippers US Size 9

They say the way to a man's heart is through his stomach. Well, it's not always the case and most of the times, between you and his heart will find his mother. Yes, the mother in law!

So instead of taking care of him all the time, remember to take care of her as well. I regularly send her presents, things I know she likes and one of the gifts I recently shipped off to her were the Norwegian Slippers.

It's a very easy pattern to knit and you can make a pair of slippers in 2 or 3 days, depending on how much time you spend on them. The original pattern I found was suppose to be felted but I didn't have special yarn for it so I had to adjust the pattern for a US shoe size 9.

The pattern is easy to adjust to your size as the pattern is made out of squares. Just calculate the widest part of your foot and that's the diagonal of one square. I used 3 colors (orange, white and lilac- see the picture) for this pattern, but you can use just one or 2 colors, your choice.

So here it is, the Norwegian slippers I made for my mother in law:

Materials: any kind of yarn as long as you keep the gauge
Needles: 3mm knitting needles
Gauge: 26 stitches=8 cm (about 3.20 inches)

Use this video as reference to fold and saw the slippers.

March 17, 2012

Creamy Smoked Ham And Potato Soup

My mother is an inspiration to me when it comes to cooking, everything I know I learned from her as I am sure she learned it from her mother. But when I think she can't surprise me anymore, she comes up with amazing recipes that are so easy to make and so tasty.

This is one of them and I am happy to share it with you all. My husband loves it and I can't be more happier to see him lick the bowl and ask for seconds.

What you need for this delicious smoked ham and potato soup is:
  • 1 kg pealed potatoes ( use white ones, they are more soft and make the soup more creamier compared to the red ones)
  • 100 gr celery
  • 300 gr smoked ham
  • 2 liters water ( or vegetable stock – I use water but my mother uses the stock)
  • 4 big tablespoons butter
  • 4 big tablespoons white flour
  • 300 gr sour cream ( or high-fat yogurt)
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground white pepper (any pepper if you don't have the white one, I use it because it doesn't changes the color of the soup)
  • salt to your taste
Start by adding the potatoes, celery, ham and water (vegetable stock) in a pot.... CONTINUE READING

March 16, 2012

10 Ways to make yourself liked by others

Did you ever wonder how some women are liked by everybody and some just can't make it past the 3rd date?

We all feel the need to be liked and respected by others and of course, by our partners, but as much as we like to think this is something that happens by chance, it's not always the case.

Here are 10 ways you can make yourself liked and appreciated by your partner:

March 15, 2012

Easy to make Spaghetti with Turkey Meatballs

              Turkey meet is considered to be more healthy than the rest of the meets so when I found this recipe in my grandma's cooking book I replaced the beef with it and it turn out to be delicious.

For this tasty spaghetti and turkey meatballs recipe you need:
  • 1 pack of spaghetti ( about 300 grams)
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 spoons grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
For the sauce:
  • 1 medium size chopped onion
  • 5 chopped cloves garlic
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 can of tomato paste
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1/2 cup red wine ( optional)
For the meatballs:
  • 250 g minced turkey
  • 1 cup of bread (cut the crust off, use just the soft middle)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
Start by preparing the meatballs. Soak the bread in milk until it absorbes the liquid, then add the egg and the turkey meat... CONTINUE READING.

March 7, 2012

Delicious stuffed peppers

This recipe reminds me of home and my childhood years. Every time I cook it, it takes me back to my high school years when I would come home and find my mother in the kitchen cooking one of her many magic recipes.
The stuffed peppers are easy to make and will take about 1 hour to cook. I usually cook enough for 2 or 3 days, but you can scale down the recipe to fit your needs. 

 What you need is:
  • 10 large peppers
  • 2 pounds ground pork meet
  • 2 pounds ground beef meet
  • 2/3 cup rice
  • 2 chopped white onions
  • 4 table spoons of sunflower oil
  • 2 table spoons of flour
  • 2 cups of tomato paste
  • 10 table spoons of sour cream or plain fat yogurt
  • one hand full of fine chopped parsley
  • salt & pepper
Preheat the oven at 280.

Clean the peppers, take the seeds out and leave them to dry upside down. Cook 1 fine chopped onion in 2 table spoons of sunflower oil until golden CONTINUE READING.