Strawberries Coated with Chocolate and Mint Sugar


Mint sugar is wonderful topping for fresh fruit salads and it’s wonderful have some on hand. For this recipe you can use mint as well as peppermint!

You can preserve the sugar in air tight jars in the fridge or let it dry completely and it’s enough to preserve it tight avoiding humidity to have an impact with the quality. Fresh prepared is the best!

I used this sugar with strawberries and chocolate and made cute snacks placing them on skewers on a watermelon crust. Great for parties! Please avoid sun and heat! J

Strawberries Coated with Chocolate and Mint Sugar

  • Servings: 5-10
  • Time: 30mins + chilling time
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print



You need:

Mint sugar

  • 1/4 cup packed fresh mint leaves, washed, pad dried and chopped
  • 1/2 cup sugar

Coated strawberries:

  • 500 g strawberries
  • 100 g dark chocolate
  • 2 tablespoon coconut fat


  1. To prepare the minted sugar combine mint and sugar in a food processor or in an electric coffee/spice grinder. Blend until mint is finely chopped, occasionally scraping down sides of bowl.
  2. Spread sugar over a dish and let dry at the sun or in the lukewarm oven (60°C/140°F) for about 30 minutes or more if you want to store it. Work with the fork from time to time during drying process break the clumps.
  3. Wash and pat dry strawberries.
  4. Melt chocolate with coconut.
  5. Dip strawberries into melted chocolate and coat with minted sugar.
  6. Arrange placing them on skewers or simply on a plate

Minted Muffins with Mixed Berries


More muffins for me please!

A dozen wild strawberries, 4 dozens red and black currants, 2 dozens raspberries, 1 dozen josta-berries… a dozen mint leaves… or something like this.  A welcome change from the frozen fruits!

At the moment the first berries are turning ripe, still not so many but enough (250 g) to get a great a small basket full of flavors and later delicious muffins!

The combination of mint and berries enhances their taste and gives an interesting and particular note to our cute bites (5-6 cm muffin molds).

They are a perfect food sharing with your family, your friends or colleagues and in a few steps and few minutes they are ready!

Tip: using silicon mold you don’t need to use the any additional paper or grease the molds. With 5-6 cm mold you get about 12-16 muffins.

  • Time: 40 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print



You need:

  • 200 g flour
  • 100 g sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder, sifted
  • 60 ml vegetal oil
  • 100 g light cream cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 90 ml milk
  • 250 g berries, washed
  • 12 mint leaves, washes and cut into strips


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F.
  2. In big bowls combine all ingredients except of berries and mint. Pulse or blend until smooth.
  3. With a spatula gently fold under the berries and the mint.
  4. Fill the muffin molds to half using an ice-cream scooper.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven at 180°C/350°F for about 20 minutes or until done (insert a toothpick in the center, if it comes out clean the muffins are ready).

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Ouzo Meatballs


A few days ago I prepared these meatballs for a family party ant our friends asked us if we have this recipe in the blog. I posted this recipe many years ago on another side but as I know the ingredients and the steps I did not check the recipe anymore and I postponed this post again and again.

Finally I’m here with the recipe to it accessible from my blog.

This version with Greek spices can be used as appetizer, as “Hamburger” or served in tomato sauce. The fresh herbs (mint and dill) and the Ouzo are the secret ingredients and the magical touched this dish.

Ouzo Meatballs

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 40mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print



You need:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion (medium, finely chopped)
  • 500 g ground meat (better beef of beef-lamb mix)
  • 3 tablespoons bread (crumbs), this quantity can be increased to 1/2 cup, but in this case you will need to add more wine/milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 tablespoon dill (fresh or frozen, chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon mint (fresh or frozen, chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon parsley (fresh, or frozen, chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon dry oregano, optional
  • 2 tablespoons ouzo (or any aniseed spirit or about 1/4 teaspoon anise seed ground)
  • 1 teaspoon pepper or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1/3 cup wine, white or 1/3 cup milk


  1. Fry onions in olive oil until golden.
  2. Mix fried onion and all other ingredients together. For this step I use a food processor provided of a spiral dough hook.
  3. Grease a baking mold with olive oil.
  4. Grease your hands and shape small balls of about 2-5 cm.
  5. Bake at 230-250°C Minutes or until lightly browned und through, the cooking time depend on the size.
  6. Serve warm or cold.

Serving suggestions:

  • My favorite version of serving this specialty are formed as small balls (about 2 cm) and served with my mint and dill yogurt sauce.
  • In tomato sauce: After cooking or just before finishing you can add to the mold the content of 1 tin canned tomatoes, fried onion, parsley, salt and pepper. Bake until boiling and serve.

Pavlova with White Chocolate Cream


Pavlova is a meringue-based dessert with a crisp crust and soft, light inside, filled with fruits, cream or whipped cream. The dessert is believed to have been created in honor of the Russian ballet dancer Anna Pavlova who visited Australia and New Zealand in the 1920s.

Years ago a friend told me about this wonderful dessert, I never had seen it before and the first time I prepared this dessert I had to fight with my fear of making meringues.  I had to learn how to make them and I began to read recipes in books and in the internet. As soon as I understood that this is really not difficult I decided to try it and I wrote the draft of my recipe prior preparing this dessert. Finally the meringue came out light and dry; exactly as I wished I arranged it with the cream and strawberries, took some pictures and we enjoyed. I don’t know what happened but I was really not satisfied with the photos and I never posted this recipe.

This week I came across beautiful strawberries and I made it again …with some little changes.

To give the cream a lighter and fresher taste I added a few tablespoons Greek yogurt, this made the cream smoother and even more palatable.

avolova with White Chocolate Cream

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Time: 2hr 30mins
  • Difficulty: mediun
  • Print



You need:


  • 4 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice (some people use cream of tartar or vinegar)
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch, sifted

White chocolate cream

  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour
  • 100 ounces white chocolate, crushed or chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoon Greek yogurt or other plain yogurt


  • 500 g strawberries or other berries/fruits

Topping (optional)

  • whipped cream


  1. Preheat the oven to 120°C/250 °F (convection oven 115°C/ 240°F).
  2. Beat the egg whites into a large clean fat free bowl (not plastic) to stiff peaks.
  3. While mixing on high speed add sugar, a dessertspoonful at a time. When ready, the mixture should be thick and glossy.
  4. Fold in the powdered sugar a third at a time while beating.
  5. Add lemon juice and cornflour over the mixture. Fold them gently in for example with a rubber spatula.
  6. Don’t over-mix. The mixture should now look smooth, glossy and thick, almost like a snow drift.
  7. Cover a baking tray with baking paper.
  8. Spread or spritz meringue shaping a 25 cm (10 inches) circle. Make sure that borders are slightly higher than center.
  9. Bake for about 1 1⁄2 hours or until the meringues sound crisp when tapped.
  10. Turn oven off and leave to cool on the tray in the oven, door half open.
  11. For the cream mix together egg, sugar and corn flour.
  12. Bring 1cup of milk almost to boil and add crushed white chocolate and vanilla, stir well until chocolate is melted.
  13. Add milk mixture to egg mixture and transfer to a saucepot. Wisk continuously and cook at medium temperature until the sauce thickened. Note: I prefer to perform this step in the microwave.
  14. Remove from heat; add remaining 1/4 cup of warm milk. Stir and add yogurt. Stir until well incorporated
  15. Let cool down completely
  16. Assemble the cake just before serving: Place meringue on the serving dish, spread cream in the center, top with fruits and if you like add some whipped cream.


Pane Ticinese – Swiss Italian Bread



The origins of this bread can be found in the Italian speaking part of Switzerland (“Ticino”), but you can find it all over Switzerland where it is called “pane reale” (“Kings bread”).

There are many version of it: white or whole-wheat bread, glazed with egg, milk or with soda solution as for pretzels. In any case the traditions shape and the light fluffy structure are the main characteristics. Mostly some oil is added to preserve it fresh for longer time especially if white flour is used. Serve this bread fresh simply breaking the sections.

My choices: sourdough starter, white flour and glaze with 15 mixed soda solution and brush with milk still hot just after baking.

Today is a special day! I made a new starter beginning from my fermenting elderflower fizz which is just fermenting! I begun the starter in the morning (27°C!) with 2 tablespoons flour + 2 tablespoons fermenting sieved liquid of  elderflower fizz. After a few hours I saw the first bubbles. I added 1 more tablespoon water + 1 tablespoon flour and waited: more bubbles again! Just before going sleep I added 1 more tablespoon flour and 1 tablespoon water and in the morning I found it really active. For the last time I added flour and water in same quantity to get 200 g starter; we went away. After 3 hours it was very well risen and I used the first 100 g stater for this recipe.

Pane Ticinese – Swiss Italian Bread

  • Time: 2 hr mins
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print



You need:


  • 100 sourdough starter (alternative 50 g water + 50 g flour + 5 g dried yeast)
  • 150 water, lukewarm
  • 150 g bread flour (or see introduction)

Final dough:

  • 300 g bread flour (or see introduction)
  • 100 g water, lukewarm
  • 2 tablespoons vegetal oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Glaze (alternative simply oil or milk or a 1% baking soda solution):

  • 1/2 egg, lighlty beaten
  • 1 tablespoon water


  1. Combine well the ingredients for the sponge and let rest overnight or at least 6 hours.
  2. Add all the ingredients for the final dough and knead well. Form a ball and place it in an oiled bowl, cover and let rest until almost doubled.
  3. Degas and knead shortly again. The easiest way is folding in over itself directly in the oiled bowl!
  4. After 20 minutes degas and knead shortly again. Repeat two times.
  5. With this recipe you may prepare 2 loaves or one big one. For to loaves divide the dough into 12 equal parts. (2 breads of 6 rolls) or for one loaf dived the dough into 8 parts (1 bread with 8 rolls). Let rest 10 minutes.
  6. With oiled hands form oval forms and on a baking sheet press them one again the other.
  7. Cover and let rest for 50 minutes.
  8. Preheat the oven at 230°C7 450°F.
  9. Just before baking brush with you selected glaze and with a sharp knife make a long cut through the center of the loaf/loaves.
  10. Bake for 10 minutes, reduce the heat to 180°C/350°C and bake for other 20 minutes or until golden brown.


Sharing Recipes and Pictures of Food: Before and After of Salsa alle Noci


I’ve been cooking since more than 30 years but only the last years I discovered taking pictures of the food helped me to increase the attraction for them and sharing my recipes and photos I learned much more than what I did in the past 30 years.


The process of learning from other food enthusiasts is still ongoing and will never stop. I don’t know how many recipes online and book I read, and home many delicious dishes I’ve been able to enjoy!

I would like to start a new series of posts that teach you all how I got my knowledge and secrets in this of how I came to blogging and got more than thousand followers.

I know that though this series of posts I will learn much more by searching and thanks your precious inputs, this will be our goal.


Looking back at my recipes and my photos I found that “learning from mistakes” was very important for me and “The more you know, the more you know you don’t know” (Aristotle).


Make always local copies or hard copies of your recipes and work!

Before, after and then? (October 2010)Salsa alle noci

  • Title: Walnut Sauce for Noodles (Salsa Alle Noci)
  • Introduction: 1 line
  • Ingredient “cream” instead “heavy cream”
  • Short description; easy recipe
  • Quote: very good
  • Photo: bright colors of the background, lightening problems due to artificial light. Wonderful photo posted by Momaphet this made my new default! (February 2013)

Salsa alle noci

  • Title: Salsa alle Noci – Italian Walnut Sauce
  • Introduction: 6 lines with personal inputs
  • Ingredient “heavy cream” specified. Alternative ingredient added.
  • Short description; easy recipe. Suggested variations.
  • Quote: very good and more alternatives posted
  • Photo: Change to pastel colors and 10 to 10 natural back-light color. Addition of one intermediate step.
  • Copyright not correct

More improvement possible through:

  • More general information’s about the recipe (example history) and more “emotional” personal inputs.
  • Make a list of suggestions by reviewers.
  • More intermediate photos and if possible of the table with glasses, wine… the reader should wish to be there and have plate with this delicious sauce.
  • Follow copyright rules.

Possibilities for the photo: ingredients, intermediate steps, macro of the dish, attractive table setting and decorations, playing with different lights angles.

Chicken Baked with Fresh Marjoram


I was not sure if I should post this recipe in my main blog or in my blog for reviews. One side I followed this wonderful original recipe posted by Karen in  FUTUREEXPAT on the other side I added a remarkable ingredient the fresh marjoram from the garden which made this recipe an eyes catching one and the smell of the fresh herbs filled the house so  beautifully that this ingredient could not be considered a simply addition to the recip

I’m know that not everybody has the possibility to get such a quantity of fresh marjoram, but the quantity can be reduced to the taste and to the availability.

Dried oregano was used as topping and the fresh marjoram as filling and decoration.

To fill the space of the mold, to add some color and some veggies I decided to add 2 halved tomatoes, topped with garlic and dried oregano.

As I showed the uncooked composition what kind of sidedish they would like with THIS, the reaction was: “oh! It smells so good!” And the sidedish? We found we would try some red rice.

Red rice: heat olive oil, add and fry some garlic, add red rice and roast for a few minutes. Add the corresponding water (1 3/4 cups water for each cup of rice) and salt to taste. Bring to boil and let simmer covered until cooked and water is adsorbed.

Chicken Baked with Fresh Marjoram

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 1hr 30mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print



You need:

  • 4 chicken breast skin and boneless
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 long marjoram springs (about 30 cm long)
  • 1/4 cup dark balsamic vinegar
  • Worcestershire Sauce, optional
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 2 pinches of dried oregano
  • Olive oil to drizzle, to taste


  1. Make a side cut into the chicken breast, place the breast on a plate and season them with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with about 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar.
  2. Wash and fold the marjoram spring in order to place it into the chicken, some of it may still be visible. Close and fix the breast with a toothpick.
  3. Arrange the chicken in a baking mold, sprinkle with the remaining vinegar and if you like with some Worcestershire sauce.
  4. Sprinkle with dried oregano and press it on the meat to adhere. Let marinate for about 1 hour.
  5. Make 4 tomatoes halves and place them between the chicken. Sprinkle with garlic, oregano and little salt.
  6. Drizzle all over with olive oil and bake in a preheat oven at 220°C/ 425°F for about 20 minutes.
  7. Remove from the oven and spooning the juices over the chicken. A few reserved marjoram leaves will be a cute attraction!

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Around Cuzco

Cuzco itself has many attractions but the surrounding are fabulous as well and you really should try to explore them.

First of all you have to be ready, that means you are not overtired and had rested at least one day in Cuzco. The altitude of some places (as the sacred valley) as lower than in Cusco, but you will have to get there you will reach the altitude of 3700 in Chinchero.

Depending from how many day you may spend in this area, your will make your selections.


For simplifying the excursion I would divide this into 3 excursions:

Near Cuzco (also called City Tour):

A half day tour with the archeological places of Qoricancha (Temple of the Sun),  Sacsayhuamán (the closest and largest of these ruins is the amazing Inca), Tambomachay (a water temple conveying Inca principles of duality and displaying their mastery of hydraulics), Puca Pucara, Q’enqo (a temple dedicated to sacrifices).

Sacred Valley:

Try to take a tour that starts early I the morning.  You will have the change to see Pisac market and the ruins, after a lunch in Urubamba you will visit the archeological site of Ollantaytambo. (Some people stop here in order to continue their trip to Agua Calientes  and Macchu Picchu). Traveling back to Cuzco depending on the time you will stop in Chinchero (archeological site).

Maras Moray:

Both Moray (agricultural laboratory of the Incas) and Maras (salt mines) are located in the mountains on the way to the Sacred Valley. You want to explore this places without a tour you may take a bus to reach the junction and negotiate a price for the tour of both places. This was our morning and early afternoon program. For the lunch we took a minibus to Urubamba we visited the marked and finally a bus brought us back to Cuzco.


Taxi fares:

Near Cuzco:

Sacred Valley: (MAPS)

Maras and Moray:


Vino Aromatico alla Greca – Greek Aromatic Wine


Sometimes happens you see a wonderful recipe but you have to adapt the ingredients prescribed by the recipe with the local ones. This is exactly what happened to us with this recipe.

I got the inspiration from an Italian newspaper, but at that moment we were sitting on Crete. Well why don’t try to adapt the recipe?

The original ingredients asked for “vin santo” (at least 16% alcohol) and sweet Marsala wine (15–20% alcohol), but what we had on hand was the Cretan Local wine form Chania called Romeiko (κρασι ρωμεικο).

Romeiko wine is can red, rose or white and mostly brownish. The grapes are harvest very ripe and so that the alcohol content is about 14 % or above after the fermentation. After that the ripe grapes have been picked, macerated for a few days (as longer as red and darker the wine) and finally racked into barrels to finish the fermentation with naturally occurring yeast as this are very tolerant to alcohol. The result is a dry, alcoholic and highly oxidized wine with light sherry taste with nuances of honey, nuts and dried fruits.

This wine is very appreciated by locals and also almost all families are preparing their homemade romeiko wine. We love this wine very much as well, but not so many “strangers” do, for this reasons as we ask for this one in restaurant a common answer is “are you sure? Do you like it?”


The characteristic of this wine suggested me to try to modify the recipe. What I needed was more sugar and the spices. For the alcohol percent I decided to add some local grappa called tzikoudia.

Vino Aromatico alla Greca – Greek Aromatic Wine

  • Time: 30 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print



Your need:

  •  2 cup water
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 cm cinnamon
  • 2 cardamom pod, crushed
  • 1 cloves
  • 1/4 lemon zest only
  • 1 cups tzikoudia (alternative Grappa), quantity to taste depending how strong you like it
  • 1 cup romeiko wine (alternative Vin Santo, but eventually reduce sugar to 2 tablespoons)


  1. In a small pot combine water sugar spices and zest and bring to boil. Switch off the heat, cover and let cool down completely.
  2. Transfer to bottle, add tzikoudia and wine.
  3. Best let infuse for at least 1 week before serving.
  4. Serve chilled or at room temperature as dessert wine or for a lazy break.

Variation: serve and add some lemon juice with ice cubes.

Glyko Triantafyllo– Greek Rose Petal Jam


We bought our first jar rose jam (In Greek: γλυκό τριαντάφυλλο) by the greengrocers of our favorite village on Crete and we liked is so much, that we decided to try to prepare this ourselves with our best roses of the garden.

Only strong perfumed roses can be used for this recipe! All roses are edibles, but the taste will be influenced from the material you use. The best roses for this recipe are the Damascus Roses. Picking of the petals should be done in the late morning when flowers are open and develop its delicate fragrance.

There are different ways to prepare this jam: you cook the jam until the jellifying point is reaches or you add some pectin. I tried both ways and I found the second one easier and quicker. With the first one I had the problem that during store the jam begun to produce sugar crystals: the problem is that only one small crystal of sugar will speed the crystallization of the whole one. For this reason it’s very important that all the sugar is dissolved before you reach he boiling point!

Glyko Triantafyllo– Greek Rose Petal Jam

  • Time: 1 day including resting time
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print



You need:

  • 150 g roses, petals if possible white part trimmed
  • 1 kg sugar
  • 1 lemon juice
  • 350 ml water, warm
  • 1/2-2 teaspoons fruit pectin (optional)
  • 50 ml water for dissolving pectin


  1. Wash petals and spread the washed petals on a clean dish towel or paper towels. Pat dry with a paper towel. Remove any dried petals or the ugly ones.
  2. In a big bowl combine petals, sugar, lemon juice and 50 ml water.
  3. Mix bruising the petals thoroughly.
  4. Cover the bowl tightly with lid or cling film and leave in the refrigerator overnight or up to two days. To speed this step you can mash the petals with the wooden spoon for about 15 minutes; in this case let rest at least 2 hours
  5. Add 300 ml water to the petals mixture.
  6. Stir at low heat until sugar is completely melted (without boiling!).
  7. Increase the heat and simmer the contents for at least 30 minutes, until setting point is reached and syrup begins to coat the sides of the pan. At this point the petals should be translucent. Never scrub the sugar from the walls of the top! You can test for this by dropping a little of the jam onto a cold saucer and poking it with your finger to see if it wrinkles (be careful, it’s hot!). To speed this process you can add some pectin dissolved in 2 tablespoon cold water.
  8. Fill the jam in sterilized jars. Close firmly and place the jar upside down (on a wooden or plastic surface for example, to prevent temperature shock) after 5 minutes turn and let cool completely.

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