Friday, 27 January 2012

Christmas biscuits!

OK I know, it is almost the end of January, how can I talk about Christmas still!

The thing is that I had no time at all to post anything. Things had been really busy at work and at home, well, with Ioanna there never is time to blog.
So, this is something I made for my landlady.
Christmas lemon biscuits with colour!

Green Christmas trees, yellow stars and red bells (not shown....)!

I don't have any pistures of the red bells, but I used red dough left overs from my cupcake wreath (see a previous post).
I put them in a nice festive bowl and wrapped it in clear cellophane.
She liked it and I believe it was a nice gesture!

I will post the recipe of the biscuits later.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Home Made Presents and Treats 02. - Body Scrub

My friend Christina had her birthday during the holidays.
I wanted to get her something nice, but she was protesting that it is not the time to spend money and stuff like that.
So I made her a little something, that I use 2 - 3 times a week when I shower for a few years now.

It is really easy to make!

Brown Sugar & Cocoa Body Scrub

1 1/2  cups Brown Sugar (any kind)
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil (olive oil will do as well)
1 tbs Cocoa powder (any kind you have)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger

You mix everything and then you add the oil slowly, taking care not to put in too much. You just want to wet the dry ingredients.
* You can adjust the quantities of the spices according to your "nose".

Put it in a nice jar, label it and there you have it!

The smell on the skin is divine....

Monday, 16 January 2012

Home Made Presents and Treats 01. - Holiday Treat

This year I decided to make DIY presents and desserts. I believe it is more personal and shows that you have actually devoted time and efford to someone. You did not just pop to the store and be done with it.

My mother-in-law hosted this year's Christmas lunch. Usually guests bring wine and desserts to lunch. So we bought a couple of reds (Megas Oinos red wine, oh my God!) and I decided to bake something, to go with our coffee after lunch.

 I went for Cupcakes of course! But I had a great idea for the presentation!!!!

This is a sketch for the bow....
 This is the cookie dough in red colour for the bow.....
Cutting the bow pieces....

Classic green buttercream....
Preparing the cupcakes.......

Adding the chocolates.....

Baking (in my brand new birthday present... the CUPCAKE MAKER!!!!!!!!)

 Classic vanilla cupcakes.....

 With a chocolate surprise .....

And voila!

 Christmas cupcake wreath!!!!!

 Little red cookie bits!
Lemon cookie bow!!!

So so good! Everybody loved it! Both for the taste and the presentation!!!

Friday, 13 January 2012


This year I made little "melomakarona" treats for Christmas. This is a traditional Greek treat. I would describe them as spice biscuits dipped in syrup. We usually add in the dough  or we put on them chopped walnuts. I didn't do this this year, because I like them plain.

This is how the dough looks, because of the oils (check recipe).

Inside the oven...

I let them cool.

The syrup is boiling.

Syrup bath.

This is the outcome (no walnuts)!

The recipe is really easy.


350gr FRESH orange juice
300gr sunflower oil
150gr olive oil
60gr confectioner's sugar
3 tsp cinnamon (or more if you like it more intense)
orange zest from 1 orange (again if you want more, its OK)
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cloves
800gr all purpose flour
200gr fine semolina
* you can omit the semolina and add more flour, but it does add to the texture!

500gr water - 800gr sugar - 150gr honey - 1 orange cut in half - cinnamon sticks - cloves

Mix the wet ingredients. Mix the dry ingredients.
Pour the wet into the dry and knead lightly, just to wet the dry ingredients. If you knead too much the oils will not be incorporated in the dough.
Use your hands and form little oval balls, about 30gr of dough for each one.
Bake for 30-40 minutes in a preheated oven on 190oC.
Remove from the oven and let them cool very well.

Boil all the syrup ingredients and let the syrup cool completely. It is better, in my opinion, to make it one day before. You need to have cool with cool. If one of the two is warm, then the melomakarona will absorb too much syrup and will turn out very soft. You don't want that!

Place them on a festive platter and drizzle with honey and walnuts! Ready!

Keep some melomakarona dry to eat as biscuits! Oh, you are so going to love them!

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Things to come.

I made a lot of things these days! Posts to follow!!!

Happy New Year!!!

Even though we are almost in the middle of January, I want to wish everybody a Happy and Healthy New Year 2012!
I didn't post anything these days, because I had little time and my hands full. I had a few days off work, so I spent them with my baby and my husband, plus I made preparations for my baby's Name Day!!!

This is what I did:
The theme was "Apples - Pears - Oranges", so I created a dessert table, trying to follow these colours.

 These are sugar cookies with royal icing, which I made using the outline and flooding technique.
 Also, there were cupcakes in matching colours. The cake was stratziatella and the frosting was classic buttercream (the green ones) and Swiss meringue buttercream (the orange and red ones).
 Of course we had to have cake pops (they are my husband's favourite treat). I made a whiskey cake with bitter chocolate and covered them in white chocolate.
 This is actually an upside down apple - pear pie dusted with icing sugar. We accompanied it with orange jam sauce.
I decided to cook something savoury to go with the wine. This is a ham and cheese tart (on the left), a mushroom tart (in the middle) and minced meat tartlets with mashed potatoes (barely visible on the right).
My mother-in-law brought lasagna and there was also a green salad with mozzarella and cherry tomatoes (not visible....).

I spent 3 days in the kitchen, but it was worth it. After all it was her first Name Day! Everybody loved the food! We had quite a day!!!!

 My princess and her tiara!