Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Valentine's treats!

There is an amazing site, which I love checking almost everyday. If you are into food blogs and baking, then you should know Bakerella and her cute cake pops (among other yummy stuff....)!
This is her site:

I saw a lovely post of some treats she had made for Valentine's Day. They are cute, delicious, super easy and super fast! (

Since I had nothing prepared for the day, I decided to make them before G. came from work. So I simply popped in the supermarket on my way home and bought 1 milk and 1 white chocolate. I also had red food colour at home.
In her post Bakerella used candy molds, which I do not have. I just have 1 small square. Instead I used my cookie cutters to create different sizes and shapes!

I melted the chocolates and coloured the white one pink.

I cut a small piece of parchment paper, put it on a small plate and made the little heart with a toothpick. Then I placed the cookie cutter on the paper, making sure the heart was in the middle.
 I put all the hearts in the freezer for at least 30 min. to firm.
 I poured the chocolate on top of the hearts and I put them back in the freezer. This is what they look like:

Be careful how you remove the cookie cutter (I broke one...)

 I also used a large heart cookie cutter and I inverted the chocolates, in order to create a pink heart!

They were ready in about 1 hour!

Thank you for this lovely inspiration Bakerella!

Friday, 24 February 2012

Something simple for lunch!

I try to keep a balance diet programme during the week. Always one day of the week we are having legumes (beans, lentils, etc.). One of our favourite kind of beans are the Borlotti Beans. I buy them frozen from the supermarket, because so far I haven't found any fresh...

The recipe is very simple and you don't really need accurate quantities. I use my very dear friend, the pressure cooker!


1 500gr packet of borlotti beans
2 - 3 potatoes
1 large onion
1 tomato chopped
1 can of tomato puree
salt and pepper
olive oil

You chop the onion and cube the potatoes.

You put some oil in the pot and wait until it is hot.

First you brown the onion.

Then you put the beans in. It is not necessary to thaw them.

You add the potatoes, the tomatoes, 1 to 1 1/2 cups of water, salt and pepper and you cook them until ready and tender and the liquids have reduced to a thick sauce.
Of course when you use a pressure cooker you must follow the directions of the cooker to the letter!

 Ready! I accompany the beans with feta cheese and pitta bread.


Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Lunch with friends 04 - Art de la table!

I like setting tables and trying to combine colours and styles and textures!

For this one I went for white linen (tablecloth and napkins), white china with a white gold border, inox cutlery and large crystal glasses for water and red wine. I also added a few touches of pink!

I had white bowls and serving platters. The napkin rings were DIY by me!!! I used pink satin ribbon which I cut in an appropriate length. Then I held the two ends together using my dear dear friend: the double sided tape!
There was also a white vase with pink roses (not shown).

AND yes, there was a place for Ioanna as well!!!!

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Lunch with friends 03 - Dessert!

Luckily I have pictures for this one!

I hadn't made any baked cheesecake for some time and I had missed it! So I made a classic one and served it with a bit of caramel sauce.


250-300gr biscuit crumbs
120gr melted margarine
900gr cream cheese
200gr granulated sugar
juice of 1/2 lemon (strain it!)
zest of 1/2 lemon
3 eggs separated
125ml heavy cream
vanilla extract

Preheat your oven to 180o C. Spray the pan you will use with oil or melted margarine. Combine biscuits and margarine until evenly moist. You can do it with a fork. Spread on the bottom of the pan and a little to the sides. Chill in the fridge until you use it.
Beat cream cheese and add the yolks, one at a time, slowly, until well combined. Add the sugar and and the heavy cream and beat until it is creamy. Add lemon juice, zest and vanilla.
Beat the egg whites in another bowl until fluffy with soft peaks. Fold the egg whites in your cream cheese mixture gently with a large spoon or spatula until just incorporated.
Pour it in the biscuit crust and bake for 45 min or until it is set in the center and a few min more. I usually go by the color, as I want it to be light golden.
Let it cool in the pan for 30-45 min. Then put it in the fridge overnight. Remove form the fridge 30 min before serving.
You can serve it with ready caramel sauce or confectioner's sugar or jam or fresh fruit, anything you like really!

I used both petit beurre and digestive biscuits for the crust!

Nice and moist!

Smooth it! I like to go all the way up the sides, up to the rim of the pan!

Making the filling!

Ready to bake!

Ready to cut!

Ready to eat!

I wish I had a piece now.....!

Monday, 13 February 2012

Lunch with friends 02 - Salad and Main Course!

I must warn you! I don't have any pictures. I didn't take any before I served them. Nothing was left after, so....
Anyway, here is a description:

I used greens (lettuce, iceberg, rocket), sun dried tomatos, fresh mozzarella, sesamy seeds (toasted), fig balsamic vinegar and olive oil from the tomato jar!
Mix everything together and serve. Really yummy!

(I wish I had a picture...)
I prepared a dish, which I call Garfield's lasagna!! I love Garfield and I love lasagna, so there you have it.

Garfield's Lasagna (Louise's way)

700gr minced meat
150gr mince from sausages (the inside)
1 onion chopped
1 clove garlic chopped
1 tin tomato puree
1 tin chopped tomatos
1 jar ready pasta sauce (I used pecorino sauce)
1 cup water
salt, pepper, basil, oregano, parsley, thyme (quantities to your liking)
1 pack lasagne sheets (the ones you do not have to preboil)
450gr anthotyro cheese (it is like ricotta)
100gr cottage cheese
1 pack cream cheese with herbs
grated kefalotyri cheese or parmesan (as much as you like)

Cook sausage mince, meat mince, onion and garlic in a pot with a little olive oil until browned. Add all the tomato ingredients and water. Season with herbs, salt and pepper and simmer, stiring from time to time, until the meats are done.
Mix all the cheeses in a bowl, except kefalotyri.
Preheat your oven to about 180 - 190o C.
Assemble in a baking dish: arrange in the bottom lasagna sheets, to cover it. If needed, brake them to match the bottom of your dish. Spread 1/3 meat on top, then 1/3 cheese, then lasagna sheets and repeat.
On top of the final layer of cheeses don't put lasagna. Just sprinkle kefalotyri cheese.
Cover with aluminium foil and bake for 30 min. Uncover and bake another 25 min.

Everyone loved it.
I prefer spicy foods, so I added a little tabasco sauce. It is fine anyway you make it though!

Friday, 10 February 2012

Lunch with friends 01 - First course!

Last Sunday we had our best man and his wife over for lunch. We wanted to invite them for some time now, but our schedules didn’t meet, until now.

So I planed our lunch and decided on a first course, salad, main course and dessert.
Since it was a cold day, for the first course I prepared a soup. I made a classic French onion soup, which is one of my favorites!

French Onion Soup
3 tbsp butter
4 onions sliced
2 tsp brown sugar (not too much or it will be very sweet…)
5 cups broth
¼ cup white wine
½ tbsp minced garlic
a pinch of garlic powder
a little thyme
4 cups croutons (onion, garlic or plain)
Kefalotyri or parmesan cheese shredded

Melt the butter in a skillet and add the onions. Soften them and then add the sugar. Stir until very soft but not burned!!!!
Bring the broth to a boil in a pot. Add the wine, garlics and thyme. Boil for a few minutes and then add the cooked onions. Boil for 2 minutes and remove pot from heat.
There are two ways (for me) to serve this soup. The one is you fill oven proof bowls, add croutons and some cheese and you broil the soup in the oven until the cheese melts. The other, which I do when I have people over for lunch is this: I fill my soup bowls and take them to the table. I have the croutons and the cheese in different bowls on the table, so that each guest will use as much as they want in their soup.

I do like my cheese!!!

Wednesday, 8 February 2012


I realised that I have posted a lot of foodie topics and I still have a few more that I haven’t posted yet.
I guess this shows a tendency…

I have a whole shelf with recipes: books I have bought or been given, recipes I found in magazines or from other people, DVDs, etc.
I spent last summer organising my cut out recipes. I typed every single one in Word and printed them. I put them in large folders, divided in subjects.
This year I added on more folder, which I named “Techniques”, as I want to learn basic recipes and ultimately decide on which is the best recipe i.e. for sugar cookies, cheesecake, icings… You get the idea!

Maybe this tendency is why I started a diet and yesterday I went to the gym after a very long time!!!
I love food and cooking and trying new recipes and of course eating what I make, which is the reason for my extra weight. 

The thing is I also love fashion and clothes and shoes and reading fashion magazines and visiting fashion sites and blogs (no, you cannot see that in this blog…. at least not until I lose a few kilos!), so I have to not bake very often …… 

We will see how that will go.

In the gym I used a machine called “Power Vibe”, which has a vibrating base and you exercise on that, under the guidance of a personal trainer. It was really fun and you feel as if you were training for 1 hour instead of 15 – 20 minutes! 


P.S. I will try to post more fashion and style/styling topics, I swear!

Monday, 6 February 2012


Don't you just love this word? It sounds so funny!

These are traditional cookies and I kept seeing foodie posts on them, so I decided to try and make them.

 I read somewhere, I think on Wikipedia, that some recipes call for vinegar, so I added I tablespoon of red wine vinegar.
 I rolled them the traditional way: in cinnamon and sugar (use gloves!).
I like tasting my cookies hot, right from the baking sheet!

They are supposed to have this cracked effect on the surface. Some did, some didn't, but the taste was not affected!!!!
Crispy on the outside, sot on the inside, even the next day!

The recipe I used is this, which I adapted from a couple I found:

1 cup margarine
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
3 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
1 pinch salt
1 tbsp vinegar
to roll them: 1 cup granulated sugar, 1 tbsp cinnamon (grounded)

Beat together margarine, eggs, vinegar and sugar. Mix together flour, tartar, baking soda and salt, then stir them in the egg mixture. Chill for at least 1 hour!
Mix sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and preheat the oven to 180o C. Make little balls of dough using your hands, about 1 tablespoon of dough for each cookie. Roll the balls in the sugar-cinnamon and place on a baking sheet. I covered mine with baking paper. Make sure there is space around each cookie, as they will spread.
Bake for 10 min, until the cookies are flat and cracked. Remove from the oven, let them sit in the baking sheets for 5 min and then put them on a wire rack to cool.

Ready! You will love the smell of cinnamon!

Friday, 3 February 2012

Sugar Cookies!

I love love looove sugar cookies. Plain, with royal icing, with sugar paste, with jam, with lemon flavor, you name it!!!!

Plain sugar cookies:

I iced them with royal icing and made apples, pears and oranges!

Cute and tasty!!


OK, there are a few blogs and sites that I like. There is a blog though, that I check out every single day for new posts:
and also

Rosie, the owner, is amazing. The recipes are great, truly mouth watering and the pictures too!

And of course the tutorials. Ah, there is one in particular on Swiss Meringue Buttercream, which is so detailed! It is as if you have someone giving you instructions right on the spot, while you make it!

Check it out:

Keep up the good work, Rosie!

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Home Made Presents and Treats 03. - Cookie Mix

A few years back I made a pancake mix to have ready in my cupboard, for whenever we wanted pancakes for breakfast.
I took this idea and turned it into "cookie mix in a jar" to give as presents to a couple of friends! Each one got a different mix: chocolate chip cookie mix, butterscotch caramel cookie mix and gingerbread cookie mix!

I put the ingredients in the jars in layers, so as to create a decoration effect. Plus its cutter this way!
I stuck a label, put some fabric around the lid and attached a directions card.

Here I have pictures of the  butterscotch caramel cookie mix.

I love making and giving stuff like that!!!!