December 2nd (Advent 2016)


Bread is the staff of life



Meatballs in Tahini Sauce


Ground meat is a very versatile and cheap ingredient which offers you so many ways to prepare meatballs.

Perhaps meatballs are not one of the cutest dish to serve, but this preparation looks really gorgeous and it’s so good!

What makes this recipe so special is are not only the added potatoes and tomatoes, the lemony tahini sauce is super delicious and irresistible!

A great dish to be served with pita bread and to be shared with your friends!

  • Time: 50 min
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


You needmeatballs-in-tahini-sauce-3


  • 300 g ground beef or lamb (best if mixed)
  • 1 onion
  • 1/2 red pepper, chopped or finely diced (optional)
  • 4 tablespoons parsley, chopped
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 1 pinch allspice powder
  • 1 pinch cardamom ground
  • 1 pinch cloves powder
  • Salt, pepper and cayenne pepper to taste

Tahini sauce and veggies

  • 200 g tomatoes, sliced
  • 200 g potatoes, peeled sliced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of tahini
  • 1/2 lemon, juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest, grated
  • 3/4 cup water
  • Salt, pepper and ground cumin to taste
  • Sesame seed to sprinkle (optional)


  1. Fry the potatoes with some olive oils in a non-sticky skillet until they begin to brown
  2. In the meantime combine in a big bowls all the ingredients for the meatballs. Work well with your hands (or with a food processor) to combine.
  3. Shape the meatballs (diameter of about 4 cm), and arrange them in a baking dish.
  4. Arrange the tomatoes and around the meatballs and the prepared potatoes
  5. In a small bowl combine tahini, lemon juice, water, lemon juice and spices. To dissolve the tahini it’s easier if you microwave the mixture for 30-40 seconds. This will also make the sauce thicker.
  6. Pour the tahini sauce over the meatballs, tomatoes and potatoes. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  7. Bake for around 30-45 minutes or until the meatballs and potatoes are well done and it begins to brown.

Ww 22 smart points per portion (calculated as 3 portions in total)







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December 1st (Advent 2016)


Sometimes your best friend understands you better than you understand yourself.

Healthier Biscuits with Olive Oil


Looking for something to add to my carrot soup I came to idea to prepare biscuits!

My variation today was replacing the butter by olive and I really wondered what would happen.

I scaled down the quantities replaced buttermilk with yogurt (I have this almost always on hand) and I started my experiment.

What was important, I knew it, was not to knead the dough. This should not turn smooth as it would not turn flaky and it would not form the desired layers. I folded the dough only twice, some say until 6 times, but I imagine that with the olive oil this would be too risky and I had to avoid to get a well combined dough.

I got what I need and wished! They turned out crispy outside and soft inside! And really flaky!

I’m very happy with the result and now I have my basic recipe and I can create my variations on them!

  • Time: 40 min
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Autor:  healthier-biscuits-with-olive-oil-2

You need

  • 1 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, plus for brushing
  • 4-5 tablespoons Greek yogurt


  1. Preheat oven to 220°C.
  2. Sift flour and baking powder in a bowl. Add sugar and salt and stir well.
  3. Add olive oil and work with the fork to form rough crumbs.
  4. Add yogurt and stir with the fork until just combined; the dough should look somewhat dry and shaggy.
  5. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and roll it into a rough rectangle, about 2 centimeter thick; avoid squeezing or kneading the dough.
  6. Fold dough into thirds like a letter. Using rolling pin, roll out dough to a thickness of 1 centimeter, dust with flour and repeat folding once more.
  7. Roll out dough to about 1 centimeter thickness. Wrap in plastic and transfer to refrigerator for 10 minutes.
  8. Return dough to work surface, and, using a 4-5 cm round cookie-cutter by pressing down without a twisting motion, cut out biscuits as closely together as possible. This gives about 10 pieces.
  9. If you have scraps just reform a rectangle (don’t knead!) and cut additional biscuits.
  10. Brush the top of each biscuit with very thin layer of olive oil.
  11. Place biscuits on a baking sheet and bake until golden brown, approximately 10 to 15 minutes at 220°C. Serves 2 to 4. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Ww 17 smart points per piece








From Djúpivogur to Húsavík, (Iceland, day 6)


After the raining night we woke up and found out the sky was opening and the heavy rain washed our car almost perfectly and shining! A quick breakfast and we continued our trip. We had to cross the island and reach the north coast!

The fist part of today’s ring road started by climbing up the hill on a not paved road. Well, we will get used to that!

On the way further we stopped and enjoyed the amazing view looking down to the point we started. Waterfalls, sheep and a rainbow were worth for some additional pics and a short break.

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At Egilsstaðir a small town on the banks of the river Lagarfljót we bought our lunch and we continued along Jökuldalur Valley and across the highland desert of Möðrudalsöræfi. On a plateau with a great view to many volcanoes was the perfect place to rest and enjoy our lunch.

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Travelling to the north we took another not paved road and visited the powerfull Dettifoss waterfall, the largest waterfall in Europe. These image can give only a little bit the impression of the power of this waterfall!

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From here we proceeded further to the north and drive to Ásbyrgi Canyon, a strange and spectacular horseshoe shaped canyon not to be missed.


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Proceeding in the direction Húsavík we reached the sea and once again we were happy to see such spectacular breathtaking light effects.

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Húsavík is sometimes called “The Whale Watching Capital of The World” as it was the first place in the country to offer very successful Whale Watching cruises. The Whale Museum in Húsavík is an educational centre on marine wildlife.

No whale watching for us, we simply enjoyed a warm bath in the hot tubes just outside of the town and a good sleep after the long drive.



Post about ICELAND


Scented Beef Tenderloin with Polenta Squares


This recipes seems to be complicate and long, but if you read the recipe in advance and prepare this as suggest you will be able to prepare all in a reasonable time.

I placed the accent of this recipe on the herbs especially in my flavored salt which I love so much.

Alternative is replacing the basil-salt by a mixture of salt and finely chopped basil.

The other flavor from the garden comes from the rosemary! In this case it is very important that you fry it very gently and prevent turning brown.

Scented Beef Tenderloin with Polenta Squares

  • Servings: 2
  • Time: 50 min
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

Autor:  scented-beef-tenderloin-with-polenta-squares2

You need

Polenta squares:

  • 300 ml water
  • 80 g corn flour (or quick cooking polenta flour)
  • 50 g light cream cheese
  • 30 g parmesan cheese
  • 12 black olives, pitted and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons red pepper, finely diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon  basil salt or 1/2 teaspoon salt + 5 basil leaves chopped
  • Pepper to taste


  • 2 beef tenderloin steaks
  • 1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar cream
  • Seasoned salt to taste (I used my basil salt)
  • Pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tender rosemary springs
  • 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar (dark balsamic vinegar works as well)
  • 1/2 cup broth


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion finely diced
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 red pepper
  • Salt and pepper to taste ( I used my basil salt)
  • teaspoon basil salt to taste  or teaspoon salt + basil leaves chopped to taste


  1. Marinate the meat with the balsamic cream, salt and pepper for about 30 minutes (the time you need to prepare the polenta and vegetables)
  2. Bring water to boil, add corn flour and stir until water is adsorbed. Remove from heat.
  3. Add cheeses, olives, red pepper and season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir well o combine.
  4. Press the polenta into square molds (or a bigger mold and cut into pieces when cold).
  5. Let cool down until firm, remove form the mold and place on an oven safe plate. Place into the oven and keep warm (about 90°C).
  6. In the meanwhile fry the vegetables at medium low heat in a skillet with the oil and season to taste. Set aside in a warm place until serving.
  7. In a skillet heat at very low heat the oil and the butter for the meat. Place the rosemary springs in the skillet and let dry slowly to give a delicate flavor to the oil and butter mix. Don’t heat too much and don’t let the rosemary turn brown. When the rosemary is dry remove it from the skillet and set aside. Pour 3/4 of the oil and butter mix into a small bowl add the white balsamic vinegar.
  8. Preheat the broiler.
  9. Now heat the remaining oil and butter mix to high. When the temperature is reached, place the meat in it and fry the steaks for 2 minutes on each side (or more if you prefer well done), then wrap well into foil to rest for about 5 minutes. In the meantime dissolve the fond with the broth. Sieve the broth into the cup with scented oil.
  10. Place the polenta under the broiler for about 3-5 minutes! Check from time to time.
  11. Arrange the broiled polenta with the rosemary spring and vegetables on the plates (best if using warm plates). Now unwrap the meat, pour the juice into the bowl with the rosemary-oil and the broth. Adjust the meat on the plates and serve with bowl with the sauce.
  12. I sprinkled some salt with the dried basil flowers over the meat just before serving!

Ww 32 smart points per portion (meat + polenta + vegetables)


Tacchino Tonnato – Slow Cooked Turkey Breast with Tuna Sauce


Vitello tonnato or vitel toné (veal with tuna sauce) is a traditional Piemontese (from Piemonte, and Italian region) dish of cold, sliced veal covered with a creamy, mayonnaise-like sauce that has been flavored with tuna and anchovies. It may be served chilled or at room temperature, generally in the summertime, as the main course of an Italian meal or as “an exceedingly elegant antipasto for an elaborate dinner.

In my version turkey cooked at low temperature for a few hours; but you can use turkey leftovers form the Thanksgiving Day for this!

Originally fresh white tuna (in most restaurants canned tuna is used today to reduce cost and preparation time) is simmered until fully cooked in white wine, cider vinegar, white onion and garlic, and then puréed with a mix of olive and vegetable oil and egg yolks in an electric blender or food processor to form a thick sauce. A variety of seasonings can be used, including anchovies, cayenne pepper and lemon juice. The thick, smooth purée is then somewhat thinned with a little water and cooking liquid from the veal and a few capers are stirred in. Some of the sauce is spread out on a serving platter and the cold slices of veal are arranged in a single layer on top. The rest of the sauce is then poured over the veal so that it is, generally, completely covered.

This is a double recipe; the slow roasted turkey breast and the tonnato sauce.

500 g turkey breast with tonnato would feed about 4 people, so I suggest to prepare 1 kg of breast, enjoy half of it warm the half of this with the tonnato sauce. Or simply double the sauce ingredients for the whole turkey breast and this make about 8-10 servings.

Note: you may also try to cook “sous-vide” the breast with the wine and the spices. Finish by quick broiling it in the oven.

Tacchino Tonnato – Slow Cooked Turkey Breast with Tuna Sauce

  • Servings: 4-10
  • Time: 1 day
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

Autor:  tacchino-tonnato

You need

Turkey (enjoy half of the cooked warm and half of it goes in the fridge for the tonnato recipe )

  • 1 kg turkey breast, boneless and skinless
  • Rub spices for chicken/ turkey to taste ( I used my Mexican rub mixture)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup of white wine
  • 1 tablespoon oil


  • 200 g tuna fish from the tin, drained
  • 2 eggs, hard-boiled, diced and cold
  • 2 tablespoons in brine preserved capers, drained
  • 1/2 lemon juice only
  • 1/3-1/2 cups broth, cold
  • 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar (optional)
  • 1-2 tablespoons cornichons, diced (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon pickled onions, diced (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to adjust taste

To garnish

  • Capers
  • Sliced cornichon (optional)
  • Pickled onions (optional)
  • Lemon wedges (optional)
  • Cherry tomatoes (optional)
  • Parley leaves (optional)


  1. Pat the turkey dry all over with paper towels and place it in a bowl and rub with spices, salt and pepper.
  2. Preheat the oven to 85-90°C together with the mold.
  3. Heat oil in a skillet and brown the breast on all sides (this takes about 7-8 minutes).
  4. Place the breast in the preheated mold, dissolve fond in the skillet with the wine and pour it over it over the breast. Place it immediately in the oven at 85-90°C and bake for about 4 hours. Best if you can measure the temperature in the center of the meat. This should reach 75°C.
  5. Remove turkey form the oven and enjoy about half of it warm with the favorite sauce (for example a cranberry sauce or the sauce I suggest in recipe in my recipe of Meatstars or Meatballs with Asian Flavor)
  6. Let cool down the remaining the remaining and place it overnight in the fried.
  7. Slice thinly the breast and arrange it on a serving dish.
  8. Place all the ingredients for the sauce into the blender and process until smooth. Adjust taste with salt and pepper or add more capers.
  9. Spoon the sauce over the sliced turkey and top with capers.
  10. Finish to garnish with the ingredients you like and you have on hand.

Ww 11 smart points per portion (4 portions from 500 g turkey breast)







Chicken Tikka


This Indian famous dish cannot be missed as this is one of our most favorites.

Serve with naan or rice and add some salads, raita and/or vegetables.

If you wish to prepare a paste with the spices to be ready for use, place 10 fold of the quantity of the spices (from ginger to chili) in a wide skillet with ½ cup of white wine vinegar and ½ cup of oil. Heat slowly and bring to simmer until the vinegar is completely evaporated and the oil separates from the spices. Fill in a jar and keep in the fridge. Now you can replace the spices by 1-2 tablespoons of the paste.

Chicken Tikka

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 2 hrs
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Autor: chicken-tikka

You need

  • 500 g chicken, boneless, skinned and cubed


  • 1 tablespoon ginger, fresh grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ¼-1 teasopoon chili powder ( to taste)
  • red food coloring (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup yogurt, plain if possible balkan style
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander

For the pan

  • 1 tablespoon oil


  1. In a bowl combine ginger, garlic, turmeric, paprika, coriander ground, chili, red food coloring and salt.
  2. Stir in yogurt, lemon juice and fresh coriander.
  3. Now add the chicken cubes and coat well.
  4. Leave to marinate for at least 1 hour or best overnight.
  5. Preheat the broiler or the grill at medium high.
  6. Grease the pan with the oil and place the chicken to broil. When medium done turn and cook on the other side. The total cooking time is about 15-20 minutes, bake until through and done.
  7. Note: you can prepare this with you grill in the oven or over the BBQ. If you prepare this on the barbecue, cover loosely the chicken with aluminum foil while cooking.

Ww 6 smart points per portion






Chicken with Oranges- Persian Koresh


As I asked my husband to mention me one of his favorite recipes I prepared at home, he said „orange chicken“.

Well, I don’t know how many times I prepared some recipes with chicken and orange, so he really could not tell me which one.

After searching in my recipes and photos, I came across this recipe I prepared 5 years ago and it was really phenomenal. I found it in another site, I prepared this, photographed it, enjoyed it and reviewed it. Today I will post this here in order to remember this again and make my family very happy!

Chicken with Oranges- Iranian Koresh

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 50 min
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


You need: chicken-with-oranges-iranian-koresh

  • 1 tablespoon oil, sesame
  • 500 g chicken breasts, cut in bite size pieces
  • 2 tablespoons vegetal oil
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons orange zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 lime juice
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron
  • 3 oranges, peeled in segments
  • 2 carrots, julienned
  • 3 teaspoons almonds, slivered
  • 2 teaspoons pistachio nuts, chopped finely


  1. Heat sesame oil in a non-stick skillet and fry chicken until lightly brown. Set aside in a plate.
  2. Heat vegetal oil and shortly fry the onions.
  3. Now add orange zest and all the spices, stir.
  4. Add chicken back to the skillet and coat with the onion-spice mixture.
  5. Add orange juice; bring to near boil; cover and let simmer until tender for about 20 minutes. Stir and check liquid from time to time.
  6. Add carrots, almonds and pistachio nuts and simmer for additional 15 minutes.
  7. In the meantime combine in a medium saucepan vinegar, lime juice, sugar, and saffron water. Simmer for heat for 5 minutes add orange segments; stir well.
  8. When all is ready combine everything in the skillet; stir gently and serve garnished to taste for example with additional nuts.

Ww 16 smart points per portion







Grandma’s Orange and Almonds Cake


Mom loves to prepare and serve us and our children this cake when we visit her. It’s really a simple cake, you don’t need a lot ingredients and the taste is divine. Viva la nonna!

Grandma's Orange and Almonds Cake

  • Servings: 8
  • Time: 1 hr 20 min
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Autor: grandma-s-orange-and-almonds-cake

You need


  • 3 eggs
  • 150 g sugar
  • 50 g flour
  • 150 g almonds, ground
  • 1 ½ oranges, juice


  • 1 oranges, peel thinly sliced
  • ½ oranges, juice
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar, additional for topping


  1. Preheat oven to 150°C/300°F and prepare (grease and dust with flour) a 24 cm /10 inch springform.
  2. Peel one orange (only orange part) with a knife. Cut peel in thin slices and place in a small pot with juice of 1/2 orange.
  3. Beat to hard peeks the egg whites. Set aside.
  4. Beat egg yolks with sugar until creamy.
  5. Incorporate the juice of 1 1/2 oranges, flour and almond ground.
  6. Gently incorporate beaten egg whites.
  7. Poor in the prepared springform and bake about 50-60 minutes or until through.
  8. In the meanwhile bring to boil orange peel with the 1/2 orange juice, water and additional sugar.
  9. Simmer slowly until reduced to half volume.
  10. When cake is ready remove from oven pinch tooth stick and spoon topping over it.
  11. Let cool down and serve.

Ww 14 smart points per roll








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