Mushrooms with Mustard and Nuts

A yummy warm appetizer, a few tasty bites with a lot of flavor.

These stuffed champignons can be prepared in advance, but it want to use them immediately remember to preheat the oven first.

Do not trash the stems, but use them for another recipe as for example my “Cheesy Vegetable Stew”.

Mushrooms with Mustard and Nuts

  • Servings: 3-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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You need:

  • 250 g champignons mushrooms, big or medium sized
  • 2 tablespoon Dijon mustard, if possible with whole grains
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons cream cheese
  • 1 cup croutons
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • ½ cup thinly sliced parmesan cheese
  • Walnuts, enough to top each mushroom


  1. Remove stems of the mushrooms and make a hole a little bit bigger using the vegetables-carve. You will use the caps, but reserve the cutouts and the stems for another recipe.
  2. Place the cups on an ovenproof mold (opening up).
  3. Crash or dice the croutons lightly (to about 5 mm/ ¼ of inch size) so that they will fit better into the mushrooms.
  4. In a small bowl combine mustard, cream cheese and nutmeg add croutons and toss well. Season with salt and pepper to taste
  5. Spoon about 1 tablespoon stuffing mixture into each mushroom cap.
  6. Top with the parmesan cheese.
  7. About 10 minutes before baking preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F.
  8. Bake the mushrooms into the oven for 2 minutes or so, when you see, that the cheese begins to melt, take out of the oven, to with one piece of walnut and bake until the cheeses begins to change the color and the mushrooms and heated through.
  9. Optional: garnish with fresh herbs to serve.




Apple Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

This is a great cake with great results adapted from Lynette’s apple cake recipe.
I substituted the butter with 1/2 cup of sunflowers oil (only for personal preference) and I did not use butter in the frosting, Walnuts were my alternative to pecan (local product in Europe). I also made a bigger portion as a used a big mold.
I prepared this for a party, so that I made this a little bit more flat and I cut this in small pieces (finger food!). It was a great hit and it was very much appreciated!

Apple Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Servings: 15-25
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 6 large apples, peeled, cored, and finely chopped or coarsely grated
  • 250 g sugar
  • 100 ml vegetal oil
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 400 g all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 2 tsp baking soda, sifted
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 100 g walnuts, chopped


  • 200 g cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla or grated lemon zest, optional to taste
  • 200 g powdered sugar, sifted


  • Walnuts (optional)


  1. Prepare the apples and preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F.
  2. In a big bowl combine apples, sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla.
  3. Add flour, baking soda, salt and spices. Stir to combine.
  4. Fold under the walnuts.
  5. Pour the batter into a greased baking mold (mine was 45 to 30 cm big) and spread evenly.
  6. Bake for 45 at 180°C/350°F until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean (tooth stick test).
  7. Let cool down completely.
  8. Combine the ingredients fort the frosting stirring well until smooth.
  9. Spread the frosting with a spatula over the cake and top with some walnuts.
  10. I made the cake in the evening and I cut it into pieces in the morning. The frosting was not hard still creamy but not “floating”.


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Fesenjan – Persian Chicken with Walnut and Pomegranate Sauce



I’ve been away once more and this time we’ve spent some time on Crete enjoying some very sunny days and the local food.

As always I love to experiment with the local ingredients available and this autumn the choice fell on the pomegranate fruits.

Do you have a pomegranate tree carrying hundreds of these delicious fruits and do you need a recipe? This recipe was perfect for us as I decided to prepare some pomegranate juice concentrate to be used for cooking and as special ingredients for salads.

I started with preparing my concentrate. The main steps: collect the fruits, halve them and remove the red seeds in a bowl full of water (the thin white skin will come to the surface and can be easily discarded), blend and sieve the seed to release the juice, boil every 2 cups of the juice with ½ cup of sugar until reduced to one quarter (this takes more or less one hour).Fill you the boiling molasses into small jars, close immediately the jars and place them head side down for a few minutes and then turn them again. This can be prepared with bottled pomegranate juice as well.

I’ve prepared this recipe with skinless and boneless chicken breasts, I did not powder the walnuts and I served this to some friends. The recipe has been very much enjoyed and it was a real success!

Now I’m happy to share this with you very much!

Fesenjan - Persian Chicken with Walnut and Pomegranate Sauce

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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You need

  • 250 g walnut halves
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 kilogram skinless chicken, thighs or breasts, if you prefer boneless and cut into big pieces
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 cups water or low sodium chicken stock
  • 5 tablespoons pomegranate molasses or juice concentrate
  • 1-2 tablespoons sugar to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Salt
  • Pomegranate seed for garnish, optional
  • Parsley for garnish, optional
  • Wanuts halves for garnish, optional


  1. Toast the walnuts in a large skillet stirring constantly until fragrant or bake in the oven at 180°C for about 8 minutes. Set aside to cool down then blend them to finely ground or chop them very finely using a knife.
  2. Half butter and half oil in the skillet and brown the chicken pieces on all sided. While browning season with salt to taste. Remove from the skillet and set aside.
  3. Add remaining oil and butter and fry the chopped onions until translucent.
  4. Return the chicken pieces to the skillet and add water and simmer for about half an hour or so.
  5. Now add pomegranate molasses, sugar, turmeric, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir well season with salt to taste if using water.
  6. Add walnuts, stir and cover. Cook for about 1 hour stirring from time to time or basting the chicken pieces, with the sauce.
  7. When the chicken is soft remove from the heat and adjust salt, pepper and sugar to taste.
  8. Garnish as desired and serve with rice or best Tahdig (Persian rice with potatoes crust).

Ww-34 smart points per each of 6 serving








Nocino/Ratafià – Italian Walnut Liqueur


Have you ever tried the NOCINO the Italian green-walnuts liqueur? It’s delicious and it is very easy to prepare this! Simply follow my instructions and you will prepare this next year as well! It makes a wonderful gift for your friends!

Nocino is a  sticky dark brown liqueur very popular in Northern Italy as well as in the Ticino the Southern Italian speaking part of Switzerland were it mostly called “ratafià”. It is much appreciated for it’s an aromatic but bittersweet flavor.

It’s origins are unknown but it is during the Middle Ages, Italian monasteries used nocino for its medicinal properties and also as an alcoholic treat; some sources says it has even Celtic origins.

In any case I can say that it particular delicious and after a heavy meal this helps the digestion!

“Noci” means nuts; as this is made from unripe green walnuts. According the tradition the nuts should be picked in the night of St Johannes, but I would suggest to pick the nuts before they are “wooden” and size is around 3 cm. Don’t forget to use plastic gloves while picking the nuts as the juice would brown your skin and cloths!

Almost every family has its recipe, I will live the first recipe I got. I still follow this recipe, but the alternative I follow is to use “tsikoudia” (τσικουδιά,the Cretan grappa/raki) instead of alcohol and water. The result different but it is delicious as well and I can’t say which version s better!

Other spices that can be used for this recipe: vanilla, nutmeg, maces and, cardamom.

In the photo: before and after result.

Nocino/Ratafià – Italian Walnut Liqueur

  • Servings: 4 loaves
  • Difficulty: medium
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Autor:  Nocino

You need:

  • 20 green walnuts, halved or quartered (more if too small)
  • 1 liter 90% alcohol for preparation of liqueurs
  • 1 lemon zest, cut into strips
  • 5 cloves
  • 1 big piece of cinnamon
  • 400 g sugar
  • 300 ml water, boiled and cooled down


  1. Prepare the walnuts .
  2. Place all the ingredients in a big pot/bottle and close tightly.
  3. Let sit for 40 days in a warm place, best if at the sun.
  4. Sieve and fill in bottles.


I place again all the ingredients (expect of the filled nocino) in the original bottle, I cover it with a sweet rose wine (you may add some sugar if you like) and I let it sit for a few month. I’m sure you will enjoy this very much as well! It is less strong but delicious as well!

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

  • 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.

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
  • 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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Carob Cake Bars with Walnuts

Carob Cake Bars with Walnuts

At the beginning of October we very lucky to spend a few days on Crete, visit our friends, making excursions and enjoying the warm weather.

Visiting the animal farm of our friend Giorgios and her daughter Konstantina and helping them on beekeeping I noticed some wonderful carob trees (Ceratonia siliqua, commonly known as the carob tree, St John’s-bread or locust bean) full of hanging pods. As I told them my children liked to chew them and telling them that I knew they can be used for cookies and cakes, Giorgios did not think twice and he collected some for us.

Finally a few days later the brown pods had been processed to brown carob powder. The steps: wash, boil, remove the seeds, chop, dry, toast and mill.

Then I had time to create this new recipe and offer some of the bars to our friends. They really stunned about the taste and enjoyed them very much, but they thought I would have bought the four. They were more than surprised I told them that the cakes are product of  THEIR carobs pods from the farm!

We brought the rest of the flour home and I already now I will use it for new recipes.

You need:

Dry ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup sifted flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons carob powder, toasted
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cardamom pod, seeds powdered with mortar (or 1/2 teaspoon of cardamom powder)

Wet ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup vegetal oil
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 1/4 milk
  • 1/2 cup nuts
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (optional)


  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons carob powder, toasted
  • 1 pinch cinnamon
  • 1-2 tablespoon Greek yogurt
  • halved walnuts for decoration


  1. In a big bowl combine all dry ingredients and set aside.
  2. In mixing bowl combine all wet ingredients.
  3. Add sifted dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix well.
  4. Blend in vanilla and nuts.
  5. Pour batter into oiled 20 cm/8 inch square pan (or round 26 cm/10 inch mold). Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool down.
  6. Mix all ingredients for the glaze adding the yogurt stepwise until you reach the desired consistency. Glaze the cake and place in the refrigerator until set and cut into 1 inch squares (or as desired).
  7. If you like decorate with halved walnuts.