Archive | June, 2012

Salted peanut florentines

28 Jun

… the lacy ones

On my previous post I made my aunt’s ice cream, the old school and old time classic. As I didn’t bother adding any other ingredients, to make it more “special”, I made this florentines recipe to accompany it, which was sitting in my bookmarks for a long long time.

Florentines are my family’s all time favorite sweet and we are known to bring/send them to friends and family abroad, every chance we’ve got. This recipe is a bit more “special” than the usual ones, at least the ones we tend to buy, as they are made with salted peanuts which bring out the caramel flavor  (if you don’t like the sweet-salty combo, maybe this recipe is not for you). They are super thin and crunchy, the kind of florentines we love.

A few words about the recipe: Continue reading

Ice cream (old time classic & favourite)

25 Jun

Summertime and the living is not that easy. Many people seem to have lost their mind, or at least they are out and about more now that the weather is (really) hot and I notice them easier.

Our summer seems to be defined by these two questions (the first especially among children, but aren’t we all deep down):

“How many ice creams have you eaten?”

-“How many times have you been to the beach?”

I always get pissed off when people ask me about going to the beach (but a quick look at my pale/off white skin tone would give them an answer)

No ice creams, no beach (followed by silence, something must be wrong with me, how could I be Greek and not a natural beach bum?)

This year the hot trend is the frozen yoghurt, or fro-yo or whatever it is called in each place, but I am not on antibiotics, so I’ll pass, thanks!

Also, I haven’t bothered buying that ice cream machine I wanted. So, I resorted to this old school recipe that doesn’t require any high tech ice cream machine. My aunt used to make this every year and she would always serve one scoop, as it is quite rich and sweet, sprinkled by a teaspoon of finely chopped caramelized almonds that she would hide on the highest kitchen cabinet, so that someone chubby and glutton wouldn’t eat them all (I’m not gonna name any names here). As I didn’t have any almonds, I made some salted peanut florentines.

A few words about the recipe:

  • this is a quick and easy recipe, with an excellent result as the ice cream is soft and rich in taste
  • the more times you beat/stir the cream as it freezes, the softer the texture of the ice cream will be
  • you can use a fork or a spatula, but a handheld mixer will have a better result
  • for better result, the cream and the milks have to be cold (I just beat them in room temperature with no problems)
  • I divided the cream in two and I melted in a water bath about 50 grams of gianduja, that I poured the last time I beat the cream (pictured above)

Ice cream (no ice cream machine involved)

(my aunt’s Georgia recipe)

1 can non dairy whipped cream
1 can sweet condensed milk
1 can evaporated milk (I used 2% fat)
2 tsp. vanilla extract

Whip the cream in high speed for a few minutes, until it has thickened (4-5 minutes) (I forgot this step)

Add the condensed and the evaporated milk and beat some for a few more minutes until you have a thickened cream. Beat in the vanilla.

Put the mixture in the fridge for an hour, to chill (I beat it twice while it was cooling). Put the bowl in the freezer and after 20 minutes take it out and with a handheld mixture (fork, or spatula) beat it until it is creamy. Repeat this step 2-3 times (the more you beat it, the creamier the ice cream will be).

Meringue cookies – Little fluffly clouds

21 Jun

I can’t recall the last time I ate a meringue cookie. I consider them to be old school sweets (not in a negative way) and were offered to me often as I was growing up, but I never bothered with them. I am one of those “if it’s not chocolate I can’t be bothered” type of gal, but of course as I grow up (and I tend to to that a lot lately), especially now that i am baking in my free time, my palate seems to be more “open” to new things and I have come to appreciate new/different tastes and ingredients.

Also, I’ve been seeing a lot of them lately; little meringue clouds, light and fluffy, stuffed in big beautiful jars on christening dessert tables (I’m going to be a godmother in a month, so I’ve been researching it a lot).

It just coincided that I made a dessert the other day, that required 9 egg yolks (the judge nearly had a hard attack when he saw me gathering them up and putting them on the execution table). But I was secretly making plans. I could take advantage of them in many ways. I could finally make that white omelet that my dietician has told me to eat. Or make macaroons, but the first and last time I made them was rather unsuccessful, but it was a rainy day, so let’s blame it on the weather. Since I’m not into body building (yet), I decided to use some of the whites to make meringues.

A few words about the recipe:

Continue reading

Lavender and Lemon Shortbread

19 Jun

This was supposed to be Monday’s post.

But somehow, while the weekend seems to come after a very long and slow week, it passes too quickly. Monday morning finds me sleepy and exhausted, with my weekend to-do list full of things that have not been crossed off (laundry? sorting out the junk drawer? sorting out my winter/summer clothes?). Until recently, I was spending my weekends as a couch potato, staring at the ceiling or watching tv until my eyes fell off, but lately I’ve been doing the opposite. I start my weekend by hanging upside down from the ceiling and stare at the floor, for a change. And I bake. I used to be a party animal, but lately I’ve become a pastry animal. Oh, and I am really good and quick at cleaning up after the mess I create in the kitchen (no-one had warned me that behind those beautiful pics you see on blogs, there is a huge mess).

If you are wondering, the lavender I’ve used in this recipe is not leftover from (not) sorting out my winter/summer clothes. This is suitable for culinary use and has no extra chemicals. You can also make some tea with it, I read somewhere that it may help with stress, headache, tension. Its use in the shortbread adds a unique floral flavor and compliments the lemon. You should be careful when using lavender though, cause too much  may taste like eating a moth repellent.

I also made a lemon curd to accompany the shortbread and it really made a difference as the cold curd refreshes you from the dryness of the shortbread and the heat.

A few words about the recipe: Continue reading

Spinach Burgers

13 Jun

In case you are wondering, I am not one of those eccentric ladies who only eat one color of food. If you think so though, I know that I can’t do much to change it, as the only food I have posted here is green.


As I’ve mentioned before, I am on a diet. The cakes and cookies I’ve been making are part of my evil plan to fatten everyone around me, so that I will look leaner and more restrained. I am kidding…. when I was a kid I was quite “plump” and whenever something sweet entered the house, my mom made sure to get rid of it as soon as possible.  Truth is, I don’t have much of  a sweet tooth, I’d rather eat a huge bowl of pop corn than ice cream (I can’t just have one cracker or one crisp, if the bag open it has to go or be eaten). But since I’ve have the tendency to put on weight, there goes this recipe… (with a little cheese on top)

If you are not interested in something healthy and low-cal, please come back in a couple days, I’ll make it up to you, I promise.

A few words about the recipe: Continue reading

“Healthy” banana, coconut and chocolate oatmeal cookies

11 Jun

The word healthy is in brackets because one could argue that these are healthy. But compared to what I have made and what I am going to make in the future, these are healthy (of course if you scroll a bit further down you will notice that I have managed to “amend” the healthy side bit).

I wanted to make something sweet, but healthy, that will give a boost  of energy to my gym friends, before or after working out. Something that one can eat without feeling (too) guilty and won’t have to to spend 3 days on the treadmill to burn it off. I wouldn’t want them to think that I am sabotaging their “summer 2012 bikini/swimsuit” mission.

I am also trying to take into consideration this blog’s main judge, who, is not really fond of my attempts to sneak vegetables or “healthy stuff” into his diet (like this  and that). Since I can’t deny the fact that these fall into the “healthy stuff” category, I thought I could get away by camouflaging them a bit…

You see where I am going with these, right? I baked some of the cookies in my mini muffin pan, so I got some cookie-muffins, perfect as a base for a scoop of ice cream. The ice cream is unfortunately not home made. I feel shame just by writing it, but since I don’t have an ice cream maker we still buy it.

Anyway…. this is how I de-healthified (is there such a word, really?)  something relatively healthy….

Warning: this is not a sushi, so please don’t shove it in your mouth in one go, or you will get a brain-freeze (true story)

A few words about this recipe: Continue reading

Chocolate muffins

7 Jun

I’ve been seeing chocolate everywhere. I guess there are other sweets around me, but my system refuses to acknowledge anything else.

The chocolate I’ve been seeing, comes in fancy forms and shapes, unlike those simple looking (but “effective” I have to add) muffins, but since I’ve been away this long weekend (we had Monday off) and I’m working a more-than-full time job, it’s quite difficult for me to find the peace and quiet I need in order to bake something (it’s sorta my meditation time). So, the green mixer had the time off.

And no, if you are wondering, we didn’t go to the beach for the first of the year swim/sunburn/or ice cream (important milestones in ones summer, in Greece). We had a wedding to attend, in a small village, resulting coming back to an empty fridge and cupboards.

But I was not feeling good about not making and posting anything here, so I managed to make these muffins, which disappeared as quickly as it took me to make them. No one ever denies a chocolate treat, for sure (ok, I may have delivered a couple to friends personally).

I found this recipe on Pinterest. I’ve been resisting it for some time now, although I had registered a long time ago, but due to peer group pressure (yeah, I’m not 16, I know), I jumped on the pinterest wagon at last and created some boards. I wonder if I will manage to find time to follow everything.

A few words about the recipe

  • Quick and easy recipe, perfect for breakfast or/and to accompany coffee (they are made and eaten on the spot) and the muffins are not overly sweet
  • if you like nuts, feel free to add some, it will be a good idea
  • if you are not very fond of coffee or don’t have instant espresso you can omit it from the recipe Continue reading
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