Pesto swirls /Black olive pate swirls

Today in Toronto ( and all Southern Ontario ) was a red cold weather alert with temperature that went between minus 30 to minus 40 last night.

So I asked myself…what could I do during such weather? If you know me, by now, I think you already know the answer.

I decided to bake.

I  took a peek in the fridge and I saw I have some pesto and black olive pate; I didn’t need  more than a few seconds to come to a decision: swirls!!!

What do you need:

  • 2 cups of organic whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup of organic white flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon organic turmeric powder
  • 2 table spoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 a teaspoon of salt ( this a really low salt dough )
  • 1 teaspoon dry east
  • 1 teaspoon organic chia seeds ( optional)
  • 1 teaspoon organic golden flex seeds ( optional )
  • 2 1/2 cups of warm water
  • 3 teaspoons of pesto ( ready made; for the pesto swirls)
  • 3 teaspoons of black olives pate for the olive swirls

Combine the flour ( both types ) turmeric and the seeds if using.

Make a hollow in the flour and add the yeast and one cup of warm water.

When it start to bubble add the olive oil, sprinkle the salt and the rest of the water 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 and set

aside covered in a warm place.

In about an hour and 30 minutes the dough should tipple the size and to be ready for the swirls.

Line a muffin tray with baking paper liners. The dough is a bit oily so there is no need to oil the tray or the liners.

Oil a work surface and roll the dough in a rectangle shape.

Spread the pesto on half of the dough and the olives pate on the other half.

VARIATION: If you really want and have handy ( I did not ) you can add some more   cheese over like shredded  mozzarella.

Roll the dough in a long sausage and cut it in about about a inch wide.

Place it the the muffin ready liners. If some are smaller you could add two swirls in one liner:)

Bake in the preheated oven for about 20 to 30 minutes depending on the oven.

What can I say more ???

I couldn’t stop at just one piece ! Delicious !

 

 

 

 

Sour cream chocolate chips coffee cake

 

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Saturday I had dear friends visiting  ( coming to see our 7 month little kitten ) and this made me browse for some deserts.

More cakes cached my eyes. I wanted something not too complicated yet something interesting and if possible something that I haven’t done before. I know it’s risky to do this when you have guests but for me it helps me focus.

I decided for a ‘Sour cream chocolate chips coffee cake’.  I got the the shopping list ready and bought all the ingredients.

Here is what you need:

for the cake:

  • 1/2 cup of grape seeds oil (the recipe was calling for 1/2 cup of unsalted butter)
  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs (I used 4 medium eggs)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 lemon ( juice )

 

for the filling and topping

  • 2 cups semisweet dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup of granulated  sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon grounded cocoa beans (optional)
  • 1/2  teaspoon instant coffee

 

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Grease and cover in cooking paper a 9 x 13 inch baking pan.

In a large bowl cream together the oil with sugar. Add egg yolks one at a time. Add vanilla extract and the sour cream and beat until creamy. Add the flour and the baking powder on top. Pour the lemon juice over the baking powder. Mix all the ingredients until you get a smooth but thick batter. In a separate bowl beat the egg whites until stiff and fold it into the batter.

In a separate bowl mix together the filling ingredients.

Pour the half of the cake batter in the prepared baking tray. Sprinkle with half of the filling mixture and 1 cup of the chocolate chips. Add the rest of the batter and the filling sugar covered with last cup of chocolate chips.

Bake if for 40 minutes. Recipe was asking for 40 to 50 minutes.

It was a real success. Even my daughter loved it and she usually doesn’t eat cakes!

 

I will definitely make this again! Delicious!

 

No butter granola raisin-cranberry cookies

Even though I was thinking not to make any deserts at least until Valentine’s Day I was not able to keep my promise.

I was looking at my coconut raisins granola almost every morning but I was not in the mood for granola breakfast.

But I did not want to get to old so I decided to make something out of these granola. First thing that came to my mind was cookies !!! But no butter in my kitchen.

Not to worry that’s why we have so much opportunities today so I open Google and started browsing for a cookie recipe with no butter.

What capture my attention was Oatmeal peanut butter chocolate chip cookies from overtimecook.com/2015/01/28/oatmeal-peanut-butter-chocolate-chip-cookies-without-butter-margarine/.

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup of grape seed oil ( as the recipe asked for; I tried to go ahead with only half a cup but the mixture was to dry )
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar ( the recipe was calling for a cup; I just tried to cut the sugar of and they were quite OK; if you have a sweet tooth I think you should go for the cup of sugar instead )
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder 
  • 2 large eggs 
  • 1 1/2 whole wheat flour ( the recipe was asking for 2 cups all purpose
  • 1 cup raisins granola ( the recipe was calling for 1 cup of old fashion oats )
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries ( the recipe was asking for chocolate chips but I did not have in my pantry; they were great with cranberries as well )

Beat together the oil and peanut butter until creamy and well incorporated.   You can use an electric mixer. ( I just used the whisk and worked well ). Add the sugar and eggs one at a time and mix well. Add vanilla extract, oats and cranberries. Add the flour on top of the mixture and the baking powder over and add over the lemon juice. Mix all together until well incorporated.

Scoop the cookies in a cooking sheet lined with cooking paper and bake it the preheated oven for about 10 minutes. Just be careful to check them as they burn easily:)

 

 

Bon Apetite !

 

Cozy morning breakfast ideas

Last week when I woke up I was craving sandwiches for breakfast instead of my usual bowl of bran and milk.

I checked my saved recipes and what got my attention was:

I updated both choices with what I had in the fridge.

Garlic- cheese pita sandwich 

I got ready a garlic head and baked it for 15 minutes. Once the garlic had cooled I mixed it two table spoons of cream cheese, 1/4 cup of mozzarella and 1/4 cup of grated parmesan. I seasoned the mixture with salt, a pinch turmeric (optional) and half of teaspoon of dried dill. 

I cut the pita in half and filled each half with the cheese mixture and grill it on a hot pan 5 minutes each side.

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Spinach and cheese Casserole

  • 300 g frozen chopped spinach,
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion( half of a red onion )
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper – optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg – optional
  • 5 slices whole grain pita. The recipe required French or Italian bread. I did not have and I used pita instead and it worked very well.
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella
  • 1cup finely grated parmesan
  • 3 cups milk
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil and onion and cook about 5 minutes. Add the spinach and cook for about 5 -10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • Cut the pita slices in small pieces. Buttered gratin dish and add the pita pieces. Top with one-third of spinach mixture and one-third of each cheese. Repeat layering twice with remaining bread, spinach and cheese.
  • Whisk eggs, milk, mustard and the spinach mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Add the cheese and half of parmesan. Pour evenly over pita. I used a soup ladle.
  • Sprinkle the remaining parmesan. Cover with plastic wrap and chill at least 8 hours (the recipe asked) hours or up to a day. I chilled it overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Remove the dish from the refrigerator and leave it at least 30 minutes at room temperature. Bake (uncover) for at least 45 to 60 minutes until golden brown. Let it stand for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Bon Appetite!

“I generally avoid temptation unless I can’t resist it.”
Mae West

 

 

Banana Bread Improvement

On my previous post “Happy New Year 2016 !”, I mentioned that my Banana bread did not turn as expected.😦

Sometimes these things happens. The funny story is that I did not have butter but I wanted to use a light olive oil instead. I had all the ingredients out and started to work on the bread. At a moment I said ” why did I leave the oil out here, I should put it back !” And so I did. As you may guess, it had not been a very smart move…

I  wanted to make a Banana Bread like Elise from ” Simply Recipe” http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/banana_bread. And it would have been perfect if I wouldn’t have been so eager to clean up my counter before finishing the bread.:)

The finishing product turned out to be too good to be wasted and since we don’t tend to throw away food,  I found a way to make it easier to eat. I melted some dark chocolate and I fixed the problem.

Now we are ready to lick our fingers !!! It was worth waiting:)

Ingredients:

  • 4 very ripe banana smashed ( I like t have a few banana;s bits there )
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup grape seeds oil or light olive oil (or butter )
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 cup  roasted and diced almonds
  • 1/4 cup roasted and diced peanuts ( I usually use walnuts but I did not have this time )
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips (optional)
  • juice from half of lemon
  • 1 1/2 whole-wheat flour

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease and lined a baking tray with baking sheet. ( and now I put the oil aside😦. Don’t do like me )

Mix the eggs with sugar, vanilla extract, cinnamon and nutmeg. Pour over banana mixture and stir to combine the ingredients. Pour the mixture over the flour add the baking powder and pour over the lemon juice over the baking powder. It;s going to help the baking process:)

Incorporate by folding the nuts and chocolate chips and pour the mixture in the prepared baking tin.

After 30 35 minutes you should try if the tooth pick comes out clean your bread is ready. If not leave it  more minutes.

 

 

“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.”
Charles M. Schulz

See you soon,

Felicia

 

Happy New Year 2016!

What did we indulge on on New Years’ Eve:

Potato – Cheddar – Perogies

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Parmesan and Dijon Mustard Devil’s Eggs ( home-made:) )

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Mozzarella Chicken Meatballs ( made from scratch:) )

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and another batch of Feta Rolls Feta Rolls

And something sweet for the soul: Banana Nut Bread

I forgot to add the oil. It’s perfect in taste but it’s missing the moisture : (

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To more amazing recipes for 2016 !

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU AND YOURS !

 

“When we love, we always strive to become better than we are.   When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us      becomes better too.” ― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

 

eGGs

Nowadays we can buy a wide range of eggs: from white, brown to free-range and organic.  Whenever you buy eggs, buy them from the same supplier if you found a trusted one. But do not forget to always check the expiration date on the box.

You can also check the freshness of an egg by floating it in water. If it sinks to the bottom of the container horizontally, it is very fresh; if it floats to the top it is stale and you should throw it out; if it stays with its tip on the bottom of the container than it is less fresh but you can still use it. I was doing the test on the eggs I bought today and they seem very fresh.:)

Eggs are best cooked at room temperature, so you should remove it from the refrigerator 2-3 hours in advance. Sometimes time is not always on your side so taking them out of the refrigerator even a half hour before use should be enough.

There a lots of ways of cooking the eggs: scrambled eggs ( omleta ); boiled eggs, 4-5 minutes for soft eggs and 9- 10 minutes for hard cooked eggs. Don’t cook them longer than 10 minutes or dark rings will appear around the yolk.  There is also fried eggs ( oua ochiuri ) which you cook over medium heat , occasionally busting with the hot oil to help the yolk set, for 3-4 minutes. And there is poached eggs. For this, you it’s best to use fresh eggs or they will break in the water.

One of our favourite breakfast meal is scrambled eggs. The combination I like most is with mushrooms, feta and olives.  There are lots of variations that can be used when preparing them and most times, it also depens on what you have on hand in the fridge. It a very good way to use leftovers like grilled chicken and all kinds of veggies: mushrooms, spinach, broccoli, bell peppers.

Ingredients:

  • 6 eggs
  • 3-6 mushrooms
  • 6-8 green olives
  • salt, black pepper, dried oregano
  • extra virgin olive oil

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Depending how hungry you are, there are also lots of options on serving this: just like that or

DSCN5947.JPGwith fresh veggies or you can stick it into pita bread:) Bon Appetitte !!!

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