It's this time of year, that we bring dear friends to out kitchen table a little more often, sharing with them delicious treats and flagrant drinks such as cranberry orange mulled wine. With a welcoming perfume that greets guest when entering our home, during holidays, this sweet, spiced red wine infused with oranges and cranberries, releases warm aromas of cinnamon and cloves.
Monday, December 29, 2014
Wednesday, December 24, 2014
Merry Christmas everyone! Since many of you are surrounded by dear family and friends I will keep this short and sweet. I just wanted to wish a magical holiday season and thank you all for reading. Warm holidays flavors such as cinnamon, ginger, molasses and cloves will tingle your taste buds in this gingerbread cookie recipe. Fill your home with the Christmas spirit with one of my favorite treats!
Monday, December 22, 2014
For both its simplicity of cooking and flavor, a delicious roasted chicken is perfect for Christmas dinner especially when served with rosemary potatoes. It's comforting and satisfying with an wondrous aroma that just fills your kitchen. This is an elegant main course recipe that is sure to impress your guests gathered around the Christmas table.
Thursday, December 18, 2014
The today's recipe is very dear to my heart because it brings out many wonderful memories. Every time I think about my childhood, I remember my kind grandmother and her delicious recipes. This pecan sweet swirl bread, also called "cozonac" used to be something we would always bake together around the magical Christmas. There was always snow and so much joy.
Monday, December 15, 2014
Around Christmas, I always want to prepare something that brings me back to my mother's kitchen, something comforting and something warm that reminds me of cold winter days and beautiful snow, from when I was a child. Stuffed cabbage rolls is one of those recipes that warm my heart. They are tender and nearly melt in your mouth as the slow cooking brings out subtle aromatic flavors.
Thursday, December 11, 2014
Kringle is an Estonian pastry flavored with cinnamon that is usually baked around holidays or other celebrations. It's a twisted sweet yeast bread shaped in circle with a soft interior and crusty top that will fill your kitchen with a lovely warm flavor. It's also rich, wonderfully aromatic and brilliant gold in appearance, perfect for the Christmas morning brunch along with a cup of coffee while opening the presents under the tree.
Monday, December 8, 2014
Gingerbread Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and Candied Cranberries - Holiday Inspired Birthday Cake!
Twenty-seven years ago I was born in a little village from Romania to a warm-hearted mother and a kind father. When I was a child, I could never imagine spending my birthday apart from my family as nothing could replace the proud look on their faces as I blew the candles. I am for sure looking forward to the birthday that I will be able to spend back home with my family again. But because now I am far from them and because I love baking, this year I prepared my own birthday cake with all the flavors I enjoy the most: cinnamon, ginger, cardamon, maple syrup, cream cheese frosting and candied cranberries.
Thursday, December 4, 2014
A bowl of warm mushroom soup is the perfect antidote to the cold weather and nipping wind during winter months. Its velvety texture and delicate shades are a comforting reminder of childhood. Fresh, firm and plum mushrooms such as portobello and champignon, soaked in milk and cream, spiced with aromatic thyme and bay leaf and a dash of freshly ground pepper and nutmeg. Serve it with garlic rubbed crostini for a delicious warm dinner.
Monday, December 1, 2014
What better way to celebrate the beginning of December if not with a steaming cup of homemade caramel hot chocolate? As the winter chill sets in, this sweet, creamy and aromatic drink will warm yourself and your guests in this cold weather. Simple ingredients like chocolate, milk and homemade caramel sauce are combined in a delicious comforting drink.
Thursday, November 27, 2014
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! In the United States there is a delicious tradition of serving pumpkin pie as a dessert for this beautiful holiday. It consist of an open-faced crust that is filled with a velvety filling prepared from pumpkin purée, condensed milk, eggs and warm spices such as cinnamon, ginger and cloves. Serve it with a dollop of homemade cinnamon whipped cream for an amazing Thanksgiving dessert.
Monday, November 24, 2014
Thanksgiving will be celebrated in the United States this week and the most important thing to remember is that this holiday calls us to acknowledge the blessing in our lives, seen or unseen. It leads us to be appreciative for all the people, experiences and opportunities we have given. Around the Thanksgiving dinner table, the centerpiece is the turkey and I decided to roast it with an orange-honey glaze and serve it with garlic mashed potatoes and green beans.
Thursday, November 20, 2014
Traditionally from Bologna, Northern Italy, lasagna is one of the most commonly craved Italian dishes in homes and restaurants all around the world. Chicken Florentine lasagna consists of layers of curly noodles separated by a rich béchamel sauce, chicken, fresh spinach and bacon topped with Parmesan and mozzarella cheese - all baked in one delicious masterpiece of flavors!
Monday, November 17, 2014
Chicken pot pie is one of the oldest truly American dishes usually served as a cozy, warm meal during the colder fall and winter months. This mini chicken pot pie recipe highlights a creamy chicken stew loaded with fresh peas, potatoes, carrots and onions baked under a rich and flaky crust. Serve this delicious savory comfort food for supper or dinner.
Thursday, November 13, 2014
Vanilla pudding is a classic dessert with a rich and tempting flavor. Infused with seeds from vanilla beans, this version of pudding is luscious, smooth and creamy with a wonderful warm aroma. Simple ingredients such as milk, eggs, sugar and vanilla are transformed in a purely delicious dessert. Serve it with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkling of grated dark chocolate.
Monday, November 10, 2014
With vibrant flavors and hearty texture, mushrooms are an easy ingredient to help add seasonal flare to the autumn spread. Use them in this delicious savory galette, perfect for mellow amber sunlight, gray afternoons and crisp air. It that can be easily served as an appetizer or as an entrée alongside a fresh salad. Portobello and champignon mushrooms are paired with a rich and sharp goat cheese, flavored with fresh thyme and rosemary thus making the filling, both aromatic and well-bound.
Thursday, November 6, 2014
For this weekend brunch, I am proposing you a unique pancake recipe that gets its flavor and delicate texture from the slightly sweet ricotta cheese, fresh bright lemon juice and finely grated lemon zest. They are light and airy and taste absolutely delicious. Lemon ricotta pancakes are an elegant alternative to your usual weekend breakfast. The generous sprinkle of the powdered sugar and the sweetness and tartness of the pomegranate seeds complements this dish. Serve them as they are or top with fruits, maple syrup, butter or blueberry sauce.
Monday, November 3, 2014
Traditionally from Mexico, tacos consist of corn tortillas wrapped around a variety of fillings such as beef, pork, chicken, fish and vegetables thus allowing an impressive versatility. They are considered one of the most popular Mexican street foods, usually being served from the famous food trucks. Today I am using a variety of flavors such as jalapeño peppers, red onions, cucumbers, cilantro, lime and mango to bring life to the delicious fresh tilapia tacos.
Thursday, October 30, 2014
The culinary trick to Halloween fun is imagination so here is a batch of delicious chocolate, scary but oh so cute, ghost cupcakes with white chocolate ganache frosting. They are rich and moist with a delightful chocolate flavor creating a sweet surprise that this holiday calls for. Serve them as a fun and festive Halloween treat or get creative and tap into your inner child by creating your own scary cupcake!
Monday, October 27, 2014
Pumpkin ravioli is a new fall favorite of mine - the warm scent of toasted hazelnuts with the mingling flavors of rosemary and thyme complement each other in a perfect harmony. The simple sauce of lightly browned butter and fresh herbs heightens and contrast at the same time the sweetness of the pumpkin. Sweet and savory, hand-in-hand.
Thursday, October 23, 2014
Scones are a quintessential part of both British and Irish cooking. They have been popular in these islands for centuries and are as popular today as they always were. These classic English treats are light, moist and tender. They are usually served at tea parties, breakfast or brunch. To brighten the weather and cut through the cold temperatures, I decided to prepare a delightful batch of lemon rosemary scones which paired perfectly with a mug of warm coffee or tea.
Monday, October 20, 2014
If you are looking for a delicious fall-inspired healthy, vegetarian dish, then butternut squash rotini might be the answer. The squash sauce is incredibly rich and smooth without any cream. I decided to garnish this dish with crispy fried sage leaves for a hint of earthy, herbal flavor. This comforting main dish is a celebration of all thing autumn. Serve it for quick and simple weeknight dinner or lunch.
Friday, October 17, 2014
Freshly baked bread complements any delicious meal. Although there is much time and effort required to prepare, knead and bake, the results are always worth the effort. The today's rustic Greek olive bread is made using a simple dough and black olives. During baking, it develops a beautiful textured interior crumb and a nice crunchy crust. When the aroma of freshly baked olive bread fills your home, you will feel like you were visiting a cafe in Greece.
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Once a peasant food, polenta has been adopted in all types of cuisines, mainly due to its versatility. This humble, corn meal dish can be transformed into a delicious meal by adding Brie and Parmesan cheese. Cooled until firm, polenta can be then sliced or cut into designs and pan-fried until golden and slightly crisp. Serve it with roasted Brussels sprouts and a drizzle of homemade garlic and sage oil for a hearty, comforting dish, perfect when autumn's chill sets in.
Monday, October 13, 2014
Pan seared halibut with lemon dill sauce is a simple dish that can be prepared with a few flavorful ingredients. This fish has a mild flavor which allows it to be paired with a wide variety of herbs, seasoning and sauces. So, for today's recipe, I decided to use a classic, rich and aromatic sauce prepared with shallots, wine and butter and infused with lemon and dill. Serve the halibut fish fillets over a bed of blanched asparagus and drizzle with warm sauce. This dish can be easily served as weeknight dinner or as an entrée for an elegant dinner party.
Friday, October 10, 2014
Breakfast gives us the opportunity to start each day with a healthy and nourishing meal. Today's recipe is in my breakfast repertoire for a while now and I must say it's one of my favorite: poached egg toast with spinach and feta. The toast is spread with a little Dijon mustard then a bed of fresh spinach is added, a few feta crumbles are sprinkled on top and at the end, the star of the dish, the delicious poached egg, brings everything together.
Wednesday, October 8, 2014
The cool air of fall is returning slowly with clouded skies and crisp morning breeze making me long for a warm, comforting dish such as a rich, creamy and healthy cauliflower soup. The garlic, thyme, Parmesan cheese and a pinch of nutmeg elevates this simple soup adding extra-layers of flavor. The sharp and nutty aroma of the blue cheese and walnut crostini, balances the cauliflower beautifully. With a velvety texture, this soup it's a simple yet flavorful option for lunch or as a light supper.
Monday, October 6, 2014
Risotto, a true North Italian specialty, is a very simple, delicious yet versatile dish. It gets its luxurious and rich texture from the starches released when Arborio rice is stirred and cooked. In today's recipe, in order to accentuate the risotto's natural creaminess, I added a little bit of pungent goat cheese along with earthy champignon mushrooms and thyme for a burst of flavors.
Friday, October 3, 2014
Apple and rosemary mini pies have an unexpectedly subtle herbal flavor that complements the sweetness of the apples beautifully. The crust is rich and luxurious with a lovely golden color. It has a textural sensation, a slightly sweet taste and bursts with warm flavors such a cinnamon, nutmeg and a pinch of fresh rosemary. The apples are infused with the earthy aroma of rosemary and the sweet flavor of cinnamon. These little lovely pies are perfect for an autumn picnic or party.
Wednesday, October 1, 2014
For the first day of October, I am proposing you a delightful recipe that brings fall in a coffee cup: pumpkin spiced latte. Prepared from organic pumpkin purée and traditional fall spices such as cinnamon, cloves, star anise, ginger and a pinch of nutmeg, this delicious, flavorful coffee will warm your mornings.
Monday, September 29, 2014
Popular in European cuisine, a roulade is one of the most elegant preparation for a pork tenderloin. It's a thin cut of lean meat that is rolled around a filling and sliced before serving. With an earthy stuffing of fresh herbs such as rosemary, thyme, parsley and sweet red grapes, this pork roulade recipe is perfect for special occasions or the Sunday dinner. Serve it with warm roasted Brussels sprouts, potatoes or cold as a delicious appetizer.
Friday, September 26, 2014
Clafoutis is a baked French dessert of fruits with a rustic charm. Traditionally, it is made using black cherries although many variation include other fruits such as plums, apples, blackberries or blueberries. The today's blueberry clafoutis recipe is prepared by covering the fresh berries with an orange infused pancake-like batter and then baked in a hot oven until puffed. Serve it warm with a dust of confectioner's sugar and scoops of vanilla ice cream, yogurt or whipped cream alongside.
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Turning the fully ripened pears into nectar is a delicious way enjoy these flagrant autumn fruits. Basically, a pear nectar is a puree thinned to drinking consistency that is smooth, rich and refreshing. It has a much higher fruit content since it's made from fruit pulp. The most delicious pear nectar starts with fresh pears that are sweet, moist and flavorful.
Monday, September 22, 2014
Gnocchi is a unique pasta with a long history in the classic European cuisine. They are petite, potato pillows with a light and airy texture made primarily from flour, potatoes, eggs and cheese. In today's recipe, I used ricotta cheese and thyme for a burst of flavors and fresh garden peas for balance. Serve them warm, as a delicious main course.
Thursday, September 18, 2014
Roasted beetroot soup has not only a wonderful vibrant color but it's delicious too. This soup is healthy, rich and nutritious. Beets have an earthy and sweet flavor with a rather unique taste. When cooked, they develop a dense, velvety almost creamy texture making them the perfect fit for a delightful soup. Serve it as a lovely starter or as filling yet light lunch.
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Today I am presenting you a very easy and delicious recipe that does not take away the time to chat but rather draws to it: crunchy chickpeas with smoked paprika. This is a healthy savory snack alternative, perfect for a casual meeting with your friends, parties or for movie night. They are slightly salty and spicy, with a hit of garlic and paprika. Roasting enhances the chickpeas texture and infuses them with wonderful flavors.
Monday, September 15, 2014
Tender beef sirloin served with a rich and velvety cranberry sauce is a beautiful option for a deliciously romantic dinner. Instead of going out for a date night, stay in and cook this elegant and lovely dinner for two. What comes as a surprise is the simplicity of this recipe. For a sophisticate take on beef sirloin steak, I chose subtle hints of fresh herbs and spices to enhance the meat's natural flavors. The sweetness of the cranberry sauce complements this beef cut beautifully. Serve with a flagrant rosé wine.
Friday, September 12, 2014
If you enjoy Mexican flavors than you will definitely love these delicious roasted sweet potato skins. They are soft and tender, filled with zesty black beans, bell-peppers and salsa, drizzled with lime-spiked sour cream and topped with parsley. They have an unexpected hit of flavors that are amazingly delicious together. This sweet potato skins can be served as a tasty sweet and spicy appetizer or as a side dish.
Wednesday, September 10, 2014
Are you looking for something healthy and surprisingly delicious to start your morning? This vibrant green smoothie combines the nutrient-rich kale with the sweetness of bananas and apples. It's light and creamy and extremely easy to prepare. It's also cold and refreshing suitable for the last few hot days of this year though the apple flavor alludes to the tastes of autumn.
Monday, September 8, 2014
Ricotta fritters are deliciously light and airy, delicate and very easy to prepare. They are similar with donuts but they have a softer texture with just a little sweet vanilla flavor. A light dusting of powdered sugar and a smooth chocolate sauce to dip them and you have the perfect treat. They are a wonderful option for a fancy breakfast or brunch but they are also acceptable for dessert. The choice is yours!
Friday, September 5, 2014
Granola is a healthy, nutritious and delicious type of crispy cereal that is often served for breakfast or as a snack. Essentially, it's prepared from rolled oats, nuts and/or seeds and dried fruits and is often sweetened with honey, agave or maple syrup. Today, I am presenting you one of the easiest granola recipes that gets its flavor from dried cranberries, almonds, pecans and a pinch of cinnamon. Serve it with yogurt, milk, raspberries, strawberries, blueberries or any other seasonal fruit for a nutritious and healthy breakfast.
Wednesday, September 3, 2014
Banana bread is a wonderful way to use over-ripe bananas. With a moist and cake-like consistency this recipe is easy to prepare and delicious. To elevate its flavor I used coconut, vanilla and chocolate. Banana bread is perfect for breakfast or brunch. Enjoy it with a glass of cold milk, as a side for caffé latte or toasted with a scoop of yogurt.
Monday, September 1, 2014
Sweet and sticky chicken drumsticks are easy to prepare and even easier to devour. Delicious crispy skin, juicy meat coated in a wonderful sticky sauce is all this dish is about. These budget-friendly pieces are a great choice for week nights dinner. Serve them with cauliflower puree and a salad and you'll have a delightful quick dinner ready in no time.
Friday, August 29, 2014
Summer is slowly coming to an end and the market is still full of fresh, seasonal vegetables therefore today we'll honor them in a beautiful gazpacho recipe. Gazpacho is a cool and flavorful tomato based soup that is originally from Andalusia, Spain. The use of fresh and colorful vegetables such as tomatoes, cucumbers, bell-peppers, onions, garlic combined with a dash of olive oil and vinegar produces a vibrant and appetizing gazpacho. A nutrient rich, raw and cold vegetable soup is a wonderful option for a warm summer day.
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Today I am inviting you to a little culinary trip to Mexico, where guacamole, an avocado-based healthy vegan dip, is originally from. It has an authentic taste and my recipe includes fresh avocado, cilantro, fiery jalapeño pepper, tomatoes, red onions, a bright lime juice and a touch of cumin. Guacamole is delicious with tortilla chips, sliced vegetables such as carrots, celery sticks or bell-pepper. Serve guacamole as an appetizer for parties or as a nutritious snack.
Monday, August 25, 2014
Have you ever tried or prepared fresh homemade almond milk? If not, today you will learn how easy it is and which are its health benefits. Basically, almond milk is an excellent raw vegan alternative to dairy milk. With a silky and delicate texture and nutty flavor this all-natural milk is healthy, delicious and unprocessed. This milk substitute is produced by finely grinding almond with water so it involves only two ingredients. It's versatile and can be used in different recipes and it's delicious on its own or with smoothies, cereals and desserts.
Friday, August 22, 2014
If Monday we were delighted by a delicious blueberry pie and Wednesday, blackberry galettes rustic charm stole our hearts, today's red wine poached pears will surprise us with their elegance. This is a simple yet special French dessert and this recipe emphasize the pear's natural sweetness uniting it with a full-bodied red wine flavored with warm spices such as cinnamon, cloves and orange.
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
As you know, this week we are celebrating late summer fruits and if Monday we honored blueberries in a classic homemade pie, today's stars are the delicious blackberries folded in a beautiful galette. Basically, galettes are free from French tarts with a rustic appearance and lovely charm. They consist of a single Pâte Brisée crust with its edges being folded up and around the filling. During baking, the galette becomes crisp and the dessert manages to be both rustic and elegant.
Monday, August 18, 2014
I am dedicating this week to late summer fruits such as blueberries, blackberries and pears. I have prepared some delicious recipes that I'm going to share with you in the upcoming days. So stay tuned! Today, I'm presenting you a classic homemade blueberry pie which is a delightful late summer dessert to share with your friends and family. It's encased in a delicious Pâte Brisée (pastry crust) with a wonderful buttery flavor and crumbly texture. The filling highlights the fresh and sweet taste of seasonal blueberries which are a true star and the warm spices such as cinnamon, cloves, vanilla and lemon zest enhance their flavor.
Friday, August 15, 2014
Italy's famous gelato is a delicious frozen dessert with an astonishing clarity of flavor and a unique texture. It has a rich, creamy and elastic consistency that just melts in your mouth. It is usually prepared using fresh and good quality ingredients such as milk, egg yolks, cream and natural flavorings. Dark Chocolate gelato is my personal favorite and I found an amazing recipe for it!
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Frittata is a delicious Italian dish in which the egg is the main ingredient. It's one of the most versatile dishes being a wonderful venue for different types of vegetables, meats and cheeses and which can be easily be served for breakfast, lunch and even dinner. In today's frittata recipe, I decided to use only fresh summer vegetables like baby spinach, heirloom tomatoes and Portabello mushrooms. The result was healthy, light and tasty but also nourishing!