Coconut Snow Balls


I made these for Christmas gifts (homemade Raffaello) and I realized they “disappear” if not placed in a “safe place”. These will make cute gifts!

The preparation is easy and to assemble this you will need only to melt the chocolate with the butter and assemble the ingredients. The melted chocolate will appear oily, but don’t worry, after assembling and cooling this will fist hold together and then will set and turn harder.

I planned to prepare a snowman, to use a ball and a smaller one without almond for the head, but finally my hubby saw in this a bird and after I’ve fixed the head with a toothpick  he just placed a piece of roasted almond as beak. I found a bird much so cute that I simply used to cloves as eyes and the bird was ready!  The snow? Some additional coconut flakes were perfect for this and are edible.

Coconut Snow Balls

  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
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Autor: Coconut-Snow-Balls-1

You need

  • 200 g white chocolate
  • 150 g unsweetened dried coconut flakes
  • 100 g ladyfingers cookies
  • 100 g powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
  • 100 butter or margarine
  • 1 tablespoon rum
  • about 50 almonds, whole and peeled
  • 50 g unsweetened dried coconut flakes to coat


  1. If you have almonds with skin, place them in hot water for 2 minutes and then rinse with cold water. It will be easy to remove the skin. Dry the almonds with a towel before use.
  2. I used 200 grams of white chocolate which I crumbled using the food processor; if you have white chocolate chips you will not need this step. Place the crumbled chocolate aside in a microwave safe bowl.
  3. Place coconut flakes and the broke ladyfingers cookies in the food processor. Work until finely crumbled.
  4. To the processor add powdered sugar and vanilla and work for a few seconds.
  5. Place the butter in the same bowl as the white chocolate and melt it in the microwave for about 1-2 minutes. Stir. You can also make this placing the bowl over a pot of boiling water.
  6. When the chocolate mixture is soft (it is not necessary that this is completely melted) add this to the food processor as well as the rum. Pulse until combined.
  7. Now take about 2 teaspoons mixture in your hand, press inside the almond and press it all together forming a ball of about 2 1/2 cm (1 inch) wide.
  8. Coat immediately in the reserved coconut flakes and place on a tray. Continue until all the mixture is used.
  9. Place the tray in the fridge or outside (if winter) until set.



Cheese Fondue Soup



The winter is approaching and I needed something easy, tasty and comforting.

The inspiration came from Marion’s recipe and I prepared it with the vegetables suggested in her recipes.

The main change was using a fondue mix I had in the fridge that needed to be used. Well, this mixture is not simply grated cheese for fondue, since a combination of cheese, liquids (I’m not sure it was wine) and cornstarch. If you don’t have this mixture I suggest to combine 100 g cheese (as Gruyere), 50 g cream-cheese and 50 ml white wine.

Serve with bread.

Cheese Fondue Soup

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Time: 30 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
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You need

  • 1 tablespoon butter or margarine
  • 1 small leek, finely sliced (about 100 g)
  • 1/2 onion, finely sliced
  • 1 big or 2 small carrots, finely sliced (about 100 g)
  • 1 small potato finely sliced (about 150 g)
  • 50 g spinach, chopped (about one cup)
  • 300 ml broth
  • 100 ml white wine
  • 200 g ready cheese fondue mixture (read the introduction for substitution)
  • 1 pinch nutmeg
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • grated cheese to serve (I used gratin cheese), optional


  1. Heat butter in a pot and sauté leek, onion, carrots and potatoes until the border of the vegetables begins to brown.
  2. Add spinach and sauté stirring constantly for about 2 minutes.
  3. Add broth and wine. Let simmer for about minutes until potatoes are soft.
  4. Add the cheese mixture and stir until cheese is dissolved.
  5. Season with nutmeg and adjust salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Serve immediately and add grated cheese if desired.

Choco Brownies with Walnuts


Do you love chocolate? These very CHOCO brownies are for all those who love strong a chocolate taste and all chocoholics. The good thing of the recipe (except the chocolate  J ) is that not so much time is required and with the microwave you can speed the process enjoy these very soon.

I’m not sure if I would have loved more nuts, but you can add more if you think it’s better for you.

I know I will make these again and I love to share as well as to save this recipe in a safe place.


Choco Brownies with Walnuts

  • Time: 45 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
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by Choco-Brownies-with-Walnuts

You need

  • 250 g butter or margarine
  • 500 g sugar
  • 200 g unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla powder
  • 4 eggs
  • 150 g flour
  • 200 g walnut, more if desired


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and prepare a baking tray (about 30 to 40 cm) with parchment paper, grease the parchment paper. Be sure that the borders are covered with the foil!
  2. In a microwave safe bowl combine butter, sugar, cocoa, salt and vanilla. Microwave at maximum temperature for about 2 minutes, stir to combine well the butter. Heat again until hot about 50°C.
  3. Add the eggs one by one stirring with the hand blender until smooth.
  4. Stir in the flour beating again.
  5. Fold in the walnuts with a spatula.
  6. Spread the butter on the prepared tray and flatten with a spatula.
  7. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes at 180°C or until done (tooth stick test). Let cool on a rack.
  8. Remove the parchment on to a cutting board and cut the brownies into squares. We like smaller brownies of about 3-4 cm.
  9. Store airtight.

Ayva Tatlısı – Turkish Quince Dessert


Here another recipe including quinces; this year I’m lucky we have a lot them and I’m experimenting trying to many different ways to prepare these wonderful fruits.

Quince belongs to the same family as apples and pear, but they are much harder, but are delicious when it’s ripe. The hard and tangy quinces become soft, fragrant in a beautiful dark rosy pink color when it is cooked. This dessert is very popular in Turkey from October to January winter time and I was impressed from how delicious it was.

I prepared this dessert without any food coloring and the quinces turned red, did not turn mushy and the flesh remained firm.

It is said that the seeds will help to develop the red color and I any case they are rich of pectin. You can also keep the peel in the pan as they are very flavorful.

Ayva Tatlısı - Turkish Quince Dessert

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 2hr 30mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


You need:

Quinces compote:

  • 1/2 lemon juice (to prevent quince to turn dark)
  • 3 medium quinces or 6 small quinces (total weigh before peeling and coring about 1200 g)
  • 1 cups water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 10 cloves (it works even using only 150g!)
  • 200 g sugar

To serve: (or wiped cream, vanilla ice cream or better Kaymak if available)

  • 1 cup Turkish yogurt (or Greek or Balkan style)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla


  • 3 tablespoons chopped pistachios


  1. Prepare a bowl with enough water to cover quinces when halved. Add lemon juice.
  2. Peel the quinces, halve quince and remove the cores. Collect the seed and make a package enveloping them in a small cotton fabric. Place each of the prepared quinces directly into the bowl with lemon juice as soon as possible.
  3. Place the peeled, halved and cored quinces in a wide skillet cut side up. Add water and spices to the bottom of the skilled and cover the quinces with the sugar.
  4. Cover and bring to boil, as soon as the boiling point is reached reduce the heat and let simmer for about 1 1/2 – 2 hours or until softened and color turned red. Check liquid from time to time and if necessary add a few tablespoons water from time to time. As more you cook the as reddish they will turn, I noticed that they turn also translucent.
  5. Remove from the heat, discard seeds and let cool down.
  6. In a small bowl combine the ingredients for the filling.
  7. Place quinces on serving single plates and fill the hole with the filling.
  8. Sprinkle the pistachios on top and serve reddish syrup.

Turkish-Quince-Dessert 2

Gnocchi di Zucca con Salsa ai Porcini


Today’s inspiration was a small pumpkin from the garden but at the beginning I planned to prepare simply some spätzle as they are quick to be prepared.

To go with this I was not sure if I wanted to prepare my walnut sauce or a mushrooms sauce. At once I remembered I had some porcini mushrooms in the freezer and with an Italian sauce I found that Italian gnocchi would be better. Perhaps too much work for a weekday dinner, but I could already imagine how good it would be and went in the kitchen.

All together I had about 2 hours, as the boiling/baking time for the potatoes/pumpkin and then the cooling time took a lot of time. The final cooking for the gnocchi and the sauce was quick and the smell coming out of the oven was divine.

Some people may like little cheese as topping; in our case the sauce was so tasty that we really did not need this.

Note: for the sauce I opted for the baking method as frozen mushrooms could turn mush, which is not really attractive. If you have fresh ones (any kind!) you may prepare the sauce in the skillet.

For the best results I really suggest to use porcini mushrooms; I can remember that my grandmother fried dried porcini after soaking them in water, this is another option.

I friend of mine said that eggplants are similar to mushrooms, this would be a method to stretch porcini if you don’t have a lot of them (if you try this, please let me know!).

Gnocchi di Zucca

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 1 hrs 30 min
  • Difficulty: medium
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For the pumpkin gnocchi you need:

  • 400 g pumpkin pulp, peeled, seed removed and sliced
  • 400 g potatoes, washed
  • 150 g flour, more if necessary
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 dash nutmeg
  • Four to dust
  • Salt for boiling water
  • 2-4 tablespoons vegetal oil for boiling water


  1. Place pumpkin on a baking tray. Bake at 200°C/400°F for about 30 minutes until soft and lightly roasted
  2. In the meantime boil the potatoes until soft. Time depends form the size
  3. When pumpkin is ready remove from the oven, place in a bowl and mush with the form, do the same with potatoes after peeling them.
  4. Flatten potatoes and pumpkin and let cool down until lukewarm.
  5. Add flour, salt and nutmeg, work with the fork in a big bowl until combined, if it is too wet add some more flour, the should be not to sticky and but still soft!
  6. Slice some of the dough, dust with flour (abundant) and roll it out, cut into 1.5 cm (1/2”) pieces and place on a floured baking tray with parchment paper.
  7. Bing a big pot with water to boil (about 3-4 liters), add salt and water.
  8. Transfer the gnocchi using the parchment paper to the boiling water.
  9. After about 5 minutes the gnocchi should rise, they are now ready.
  10. Use a colander and transfer them into a greased baking mold. Place into warm oven (about 150-180°C) until serving or keep warm if the sauce is not ready

Salsa ai Porcini

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 30 min
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Autor: https://artandkitchen.wordpress.comSalsa-ai-Porcini

For the porcini sauce you need:

  • 300 g porcini mushrooms, frozen and diced
  • 1 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small onion, finely diced (or one shallot)
  • 2/3 cup white wine
  • 1 teaspoon flour
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon broth granulate (beef, chicken or vegetables broth granulate)
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • Pepper to taste
  • Salt or broth granulate to adjust
  • Parsley to sprinkle


  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C /450°F.
  2. Pour frozen mushrooms on a greased baking mold (mine was about 25 cm / 10 inch wide) and bake for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add onion and bake until the borders of the mushrooms begins to brown.
  4. Dissolve four in wine and water and add granulate.
  5. Pour this mixture over the mushrooms. Stir only once, gently.
  6. When sauce begins to thicken (after about 5 minutes) add heavy cream and pepper. Stir once gently.
  7. Adjust salt if necessary and bake for other 3 minutes.
  8. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with parsley and serve with the gnocchi or pasta.

Glamour Pear Pies with Cheese and Walnuts



Fascinating pears, dressed with a multilayered friable coat from the oven and filled with an outstanding savory filling. This uncommon, pretty and outstanding outfit makes them appear the most charming pies I’ve ever arranged for my family.

WOW! This was the best combination of the famous trio I’ve ever tried: pear, cheese and walnuts.

In the picture you will find the Italian version including mozzarella and parmesan cheese, but the Swiss version with Gruyere cheese will work well for sure.

Glamour Pear Pies with Cheese and Walnuts

  • Servings: 3-8
  • Time: 45 mins
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print



Your need:

  • 3-4 pears, freshly peeled and cut in halves
  • 200 g sheet of puff pastry, firm but ripe
  • 5 tablespoon mozzarella, grated and very well drained
  • 5 tablespoons parmesan cheese, very finely chopped
  • 5 tablespoons roasted walnuts, chopped
  • Fresh grinded pepper, quantity to taste
  • 1 tablespoon brandy
  • 1 additional walnuts, chopped for topping


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F.
  2. Remove the core of the pears scraping the interior out best with a vegetable scoping tool. Set aside the carved material in mall bowls.
  3. Place the pears cut side down on a baking sheet.
  4. Cut the sheet puff pastry so that for each pear halve you get a triangle and cover the pears halves with the triangle. With a spatula cut out the excessing dough (trimmings) and set them aside.
  5. Be sure to cover well the pears with the puff pastry like a coat. With the trimmings for the stem and the leaves. Stich them with little water. Pierce the dough with a fork.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven at 200°C/400°F or until golden-brown.
  7. In the meantime prepare the filling. You will need half of the reserved pulp (seeds removed, eat the other half! J ) mash them with a fork. Then add the cheeses, walnuts, pepper and brandy, combine well with a fork. Check seasoning, add more pepper if needed.
  8. Remove pears form the oven, adjust them on single dishes cut side up and fill them equally with the filling mixture. Top with the reserved walnuts and serve immediately.

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Chocolate and Mint Cupcakes


Chocolate and mint is one of combinations I always loved. This version of muffins are very moist and the topping really melts in the mouth! This time I used mint candies which I pulverized and stored in a jar for further use.

Halloween was the inspiration of these muffins, we prepared some for that event and other simply to enjoy later as 30 pieces will last a few days for us (keep in the refrigerator!).

Chocolate and Mint Cupcakes

  • Servings: 20-30 pieces
  • Time: 45 mins
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print



You need


  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla (liquid or powdered)
  • 2 cups flour, sifted
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder, sifted
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup powdered cocoa
  • 1 pinch salt


  • 200 g softened cream cheese
  • 250 g powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract, to taste (I used 3 tablespoons powdered white mint candies)
  • green food coloring, to taste
  • Shredded chocolate for topping, optional


  1. In a small bowl combine the wet ingredients (yogurt, oil, water, eggs and vanilla). In a bigger bowl combine the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, sugar, cocoa and salt). Pour wet mixture over the dry one and stir well until combined.
  2. Pour in muffins mold (upper aperture about 6.5 cm wide, made 30 pieces)
  3. Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C/350°F for 15-16 minutes or until through (Toothpick test). The cooking time depends on the size of the muffins. Place on a grid to cool down.
  4. Soften the cream cheese. Gradually add the powdered sugar and the mint extract using first the fork and then the hand-mixer at low speed; add powdered sugar until the desired consistence is reached. While mixing add a few drops green food coloring to taste.
  5. When the muffins are cooled down pipette the frosting on the top and top with shredded chocolate if desired
  6. Let sit a few hours before serving.

Shrimps Saganaki with Vegetables – γαρίδες σαγανάκι με λαχανικά


In Greece the most famous saganaki is the cheese saganaki or Tyri Saganaki a dish that you can find as appetizer in many restaurants.  There are many other saganaki recipe one of them is the delicious  shrimps saganaki ( γαρίδες σαγανάκι, garides saganaki) recipe shrimps and Feta cheese.  We should also mention the mussels saganaki (μύδια σαγανάκι, midia saganaki), calamari saganaki (Σουπιές σαγανάκι, supies saganaki), eggplant saganaki (Μελιτζάνες σαγανάκι, melitzanes saganaki) and many more recipes with vegetables (as Σαγανάκι με λαχανικά χωριάτικο και ανθότυρο, vegetables saganaki with white cheese).

What is a saganki? These kind of dishes have been named by the small frying (saganaki = diminutive of sagani) pan used to prepare this delish, these metal frying pan are provided by one or two handles (no wood or plastic handles) and are suitable for the stove as well for the oven. “Sagan” comes from the Turkish word sahan ‘copper dish’, itself borrowed from Arabic صحن (ṣaḥn).

The same phenomenon happened with the word “paella” (Spanish, and “tiella” (Italian,

Today as I was coming home from work started to plan our supper. We had quite warm days during the last two weeks, but evening, after sun disappeared, we feel that the winter is approaching and I wish a warm place. And what’s the best? The fireplace, the chimney! OK, and how with the dinner? No problem, I’m used to handle with the fire and I will prepare the dinner on the open fire.  It was in that way that I created this recipe, an almost summer recipe, with summer vegetables, with shrimps and with the heat of the fire.

I have a paella pan, which is perfect for 3-5 persons and I can use this as saganaki (or sagani, as it is not “small”).

In the freezer I had a portion of shrimps, the vegetables were already at home and I also had a great homemade bread which was perfect to be combined with this dish.

The flavor was fantastic and smoked component made this dish even better.

If you don’t have a chimney, you can work on the stove top and after adding the feta and shrimps, place pan in the preheated oven. I suppose that with the BBQ may work as well, if provided of lid.

Shrimps Saganaki with Vegetables

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 1hr
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print



You need:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 big onion, sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 big eggplant, diced
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 1 red pepper, sliced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup salted water
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 200-300 g feta, crumbled
  • 24 medium shrimp, deveined


This procedure had been performed on the open fire, you can prepare the recipe on the stove (or in the oven under the broiler) and from step 7 in the preheated oven (220°C/430°F) or continue on the stove covering the pan with a lid.

  1. Heat oil in a fireplace proofed skillet as a paella pan.
  2. Add onions and stir fry until they change the color.
  3. Add garlic and eggplants. Stir fry until they start to turn soft
  4. Add zucchini and peppers, stir fry again for about 5 minutes.
  5. Add salted water and cook until zucchini becomes to turn soft, but not too much.
  6. Add salted water, season with salt and pepper and bring to boil.
  7. Now it’s time for the last step: add crumbled feta and shrimps. When the shrimps turn pink, the saganaki is ready! Enjoy with bread!


  • Broth instead salted water
  • In not on the fire add little smoked paprika
  • Vegetables of your choice, roasted cherry tomatoes are wonderful
  • Replace with water
  • Add ouzo
  • Eggs instead of shrimps (for vegetarians)
  • Prepare in the oven on single ramequins molds
  • Combine with noodles
  • Top with parsley
  • Serve with lemon wedges

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Crispy Sweet Chicken Feet for Halloween


Tomorrow will be Halloween night and I wanted to prepare something different again.

I don’t know how this inspiration really came, I did not want fingers again and in some way I imagined that chicken ones would be great.

I know that chicken feet are edible and in many places they are very much appreciated, but here this is something that the most can’t imagine to eat and so we are.

I prepared a quite stiff dough with flour, olive oil, water powdered sugar and baking powder.

With about 150 g of flour I got 16 feet, enough for a small family!


Crispy Sweet Chicken Feet for Halloween

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 45 mins
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

by Crispy-Sweet-Chicken-Feet-for-Halloween



  • 1 cup flour
  • 3 tablespoon powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 water, approximately
  • 64 pine nuts


  • golden syrup to brush, or other clear syrup


  • 1/4 cup red jam
  • 2 tablespoons brandy, optional


  1. Combine all the ingredients to a stiff dough and work until smooth.
  2. Divide into 16 oval portions.
  3. Flatten little bit the portions and make cuts so that you will get 3 long and one short fingers.
  4. Shape the fingers stretching lightly and place a pine nut on the finger as nail. Best shape them directly on the baking tray.
  5. Place in a preheated and bake at 200°C/400°F until they change the color to light brown.
  6. Brush them immediately with a thin layer golden syrup. Let cool down.
  7. In a small bowl combine jam and brandy
  8. Arrange feet on a dish around the a small bowl with the dipping sauce

White Fall Sangria


Create a romantic mood and make a surprise to your partner serving this delicious beverage! For Valentine day you may add sliced strawberries instead of grapes. “One for you…one for me” and you will see how much she/he will appreciate this idea.

You can also prepare a big bowl of this for company and keep it in the fridge until your guests are arrive.

This recipe had been inspired by the grapes and apples from the garden and by huge basil quantity I still have.  The white wine was already in the in the fridge and in the kitchen the secret ingredient (Vermouth) was ready to use.

Vermouth in the kitchen? Yes, I estimate that I use at least 80% of it for cooking (the same with the brandy). Try it with cheese preparation or with Chinese food; you will see….

White Fall Sangria

  • Servings: 1
  • Time: 5 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print



You need (one portion):

  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 2 basil leaves, I used a very sheeted kind
  • 4-5 ice cubes, to taste
  • 1/4 cup white Vermouth drink as Martini white or other kind, to taste
  • 1/2 small apple, peeled, cored and diced
  • 1/4 cup grapes


  1. Combine wine and sugar, stir until sugar is melted (alternative add little golden syrup or sweetener). Distribute into the glasses.
  2. Add all the other ingredients stir and serve immediately.
  3. Arrange and decorate to serve.

Note: for more basil flavor add the basil after the sugar is melted. Let stand for about 10 minutes before adding the other ingredients.


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