Thursday, December 1, 2011

Banana Bread (whole wheat)


It's never been a secret - everybody knows I love rain. No, I don't love rain, I adore rain. But I've been craving snow lately - and this hasn't been a secret either.


It's been raining all day on Sunday - good ol' November rain - quietly raining, gloomy dark day, and all it was needed for this to become snow: a little bit of cold!
No such luck, so it was about time to put my new baking pan to work: the new baking pan in the shape of a happily smiling snow man, with a round jolly belly.

Quick to make - unfortunately not as quick to blog.

Preheat oven at 350F.

In a large bowl, add the following, mixing well after each addition:

- 2 whole eggs
- 1/2 cup raw pure honey
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 ripe large bananas, mashed
- 1/2 cup raisins (optional)
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp baking powder

Pour batter into a parchment lined loaf pan (9x5 pan) - I used my snowman pan which I've buttered.
Bake for ~ 45-55 min., until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean. Let cool in pan, then transfer onto a wire rack.


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Upside Down Cranberry Cake & I'm Back



Yes, I know I've been MIA and behind with posting, but this is gonna change. Starting now!
So I'm back, with the upside down cranberry cake recipe that has been eagerly waiting to come out since the Canadian Thanksgiving. 
Fairly easy to make.
 
Preheat oven at 350 F.
Butter and line a 9 in (23 cm) round cake pan.

For the topping:

In a pot, over the stove top, mix together:
- 2 cups fresh cranberries
- 1/3 cup butter
- 1/4 cup agave syrup
- cinnamon
- pure vanilla extract

Stir over medium heat until all the butter has dissolved and continue cooking for ~ 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

For the batter:

In a large bowl, mix together:
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt
- 1/4 cup agave syrup
- pure vanilla extract

In a small bowl whisk together:
- 1 & 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 2 tsp baking powder

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well. Do not over mix.
 
Pour the cranberry topping mixture into the prepared cake pan. Make sure cranberries are evenly arranged on the bottom of the pan.
Pour the batter into the cake pan, over the cranberry mixture, smoothing the top.

Bake for 45-55 minutes, until the cake starts to pull away from the sides of the pan.

Remove from oven and let stand for ~ 10 min. Run a knife around the edge of the pan and then invert the cake onto a serving plate.


Sunday, October 9, 2011

Pumpkin Cinnamon Pancakes


Thanksgiving Sunday off to a deliciously good start - cinnamon pumpkin pancakes. Served with a choice of raw honey or Agave syrup. 

Super easy recipe, yields ~14-15 pancakes and goes like this:

In a large bowl, mix together:

- 1/4 cup plain yogurt (Balkan style)
- 1 & 3/4 cup pureed pumpkin
- 5 tbsp agave syrup
-  2 whole eggs
- cinnamon
- 1 & 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp baking powder (magic powder)

Do not overmix!

Heat a lightly oiled pan over medium heat. Pour ~ 1/4cup of the batter into the pan and cook for about 3 minutes, until bubbles start to form and the bottom is golden brown. Flip over to the other side and cook for another 1-2 minutes, until lightly browned.
Repeat with the remaining batter.

Will be closely followed by pumpkin cranberry upside down cake!
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Cheese Biscuits




This is one of my favorite recipes of all times - and it's one of those super-quick-extremely easy recipes. Haven't made the cheese biscuits in a while, it was about time for a comeback.

Preheat oven at 425F. 
In a large bowl, add:
- 3/4 cup grated cheese (I used 1/2 cup feta cheese and 1/4 cup cheddar cheese)
- 1 & 1/2 cup plain yogurt (Balkan style)
- ~1/4 cup finely chopped parsley leaves (or any other herbs)
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 tbsp baking powder

Mix all the ingredients together until they form a sticky dough. 
Drop by tablespoons full onto an ungreased parchment paper lined baking sheet.

Brush each biscuit with beaten egg (1 egg, lightly beaten). Bake for ~ 20 min, until top goldens.

Serve warm or cold - they're awesome either way!

Monday, August 29, 2011

To Heaven and Back - Clovermead Apiaries

Peaceful and fascinating place!
It's just a short drive away from our home - have no idea why it took us so long to visit! I was expecting a cute nice place, flowers and bees: found all these and even more! It felt like taking my eyes and brain to the spa, and giving my memories a nice long massage (oh, the apple trees!) . And on top of that, we came back home with a box full of yumminess. 

Here's what we got:


- organic cider vinegar (unpasteurized, un-filtered, aged in wood)
- pure raw honey
- pure bee pollen
- chocolate honey spread (it's got "chocolate, honey" listed for the ingredients, I suppose it's made with dark chocolate or even cocoa powder since the honey itself is so sweet)
- ginger honey spread (just bought the trial version, and it' so good, spicy good, I'm going back for some more as soon as I get the chance)

And then some more:

- bee propolis
- raw propolis
- pure beeswax

Now this is how heaven looks like:



By the apple trees:

Well deserved break!




Thursday, August 18, 2011

Pumpkin Cinnamon Muffins





In celebration of the lovely sings that awesome September's almost here. Almost... Dreaming of leaves rolling in the wind, amber light, air starting to be crisp and healthy, almost pretty colors welcoming October, cognac mums, pumpkins, September skies - all the beautiful things. Almost there...


12 happy pumpkin muffins waiting for September in my kitchen!

Preheat oven at 350 F. Line a 12 muffin pan with paper liners.

In a large bowl add the following, mixing well after each addition:

- 1 whole egg
- 1/4 cup agave syrup
- cinnamon
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour (pre mixed with 1/2 tbsp baking powder)
- 1 cup pureed pumpkin


Do not overmix! Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin pan and bake for ~ 25 minutes. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Choux Puffs



Or choux pastry, or cream puffs...

Anyways, they're cute. And tasty beyond cute. And can be filled with whatever the moment brings. Or craves. Strawberry and whipped cream, in this case.

Recipe makes about 15 puffs, and goes like this:
Preheat oven at 400 F.

In a heavy saucepan, place:
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/2 cup water
and bring to a boil. Remove fro the heat and add:
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp salt

Stir with a wooden spoon until mixture is smooth and return to heat. Continue stirring until the mixture forms a thick lump. 

Remove from heat and beat with an electric mixer for one minute or two to release the heat. Once cooled, add:
- 2 whole eggs lightly beaten
and continue to mix until the mixture forms a think paste.


Place on parchment paper lined cookie sheet in spoonfulls, spacing them a couple of inches apart.  Bake at 400F for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350F and bake for ~ 15 more minutes.

Remove from oven, make a small slit on the side of each shell to release the steam, and let cool completely on wire racks.

For assembling the cream puffs: slit each shell in half and fill the bottom part with the filling of choice. Place the top part of the shell on top of the filling.



Monday, August 15, 2011

Cornbread




Cravings on a rainy Sunday - ok, it's not sweet, but it's still baking. Best companion for a glass of cold buttermilk while watching the beautiful rain.

And easy to make.
And bakes so quick!

Recipe goes like this:

Preheat oven at 400F.

In a medium bowl, mix well:
- 1 whole egg
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup buttermilk
- salt (to taste)

Then add:
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 tbsp baking powder.

Mix until well combined and transfer the mixture into a 8in square pan lined with parchment paper.
Bake for ~ 20 until golden. Wait until cools completely before cutting. 



Thursday, August 4, 2011

Coconut Peach Pudding (Coconut Heaven - Part I)


 Tuesday inspiration (yes, it was on a Tuesday) brought me to coconut heaven - part I.

My lil' A. is vacationing under the Texan sun and this means green light for coconut for us at home! He hates coconut, I love coconut! In my efforts of being a good Mom I usually avoid coconut - except for the song where  you 'put the lime in the coconut, you drink 'em both together'.

The beginning of a beautiful journey - the coconut and I (have I mentioned 'coconut' enough times already?)


Preheat oven at 350F.

In a large bowl, mix together:
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 4 tbsp agave syrup
- 2 whole eggs
- 1 cup shredded coconut *

Pour the mixture into a buttered porcelain quiche pan (or parchment paper lined loaf pan).

Bake for 15 min until set. Remove from oven and add the thin cut slices from ~2 peaches. Bake for another 15-20 minutes until golden.

(*would've preferred it better with just 3/4 cup shredded coconut) 
 Yup, it's that simple!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Summer in May - Smoothie Time


It was Sunday morning, Mr. Sun already up by the time I was. Just the month of May but felt like mid summer - breakfast served accordingly! 

For my lovely morning smoothie I only needed:

- the juice from 2 freshly squeezed grapefruits
- 1 small banana
- 2 nectarines
- 2 tbsp hemp seeds

And voila! Joy in a glass!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Raspberry Filling Pancake Cake



Sunday again. Therefore: pancakes! But with a touch of raspberry. And in the shape of a cake. 
Super easy recipe, serves 4, and turns breakfast into celebrations. No need to look far for reasons to celebrate: it's Sunday, gorgeous rainy morning, clear sunny afternoon, it's quiet and nice, finished my book for the Forest City (doesn't 'Forest City' sound simply lovely?) Bookclub first meetup, got a chance to be walking in the rain with Dog, and even got a chance to continue reading through the book I was reading at the time the meetup was announced. It's barely past noon and feels like entire day of lovely!

On to the pancake cake with raspberry filling:

For the pancakes: 
In a large bowl, add together and mix well:
- 1 cup plain yogurt (Balkan or Greek style)
- 2 tbsp Agave syrup
- pure vanilla extract
- 1 whole egg
- 2/3 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp baking powder

Heat a lightly oiled pan over medium heat. Pour ~ 1/4cup of the batter into the pan and cook for about 3 minutes, until bubbles start to form and the bottom is golden brown. Flip over to the other side and cook for another 1-2 minutes, until lightly browned.
Repeat with the remaining batter. Makes 7 pancakes.
For the filling, mix together until smooth and fluffy:
- 1/2 package (~225 g) ricotta cheese
- 1 cup fresh raspberries (or frozen)
- a little bit of honey (agave syrup will turn the mixture brown)

Divide the mixture into 7 equal part and spread over each pancake. Stack the pancakes one on top of the other. Decorate with raspberries. 

Monday, May 16, 2011

Creamy Peach Tart



Sunday night and reading The Help (by Kathryn Stockett) for the first meeting of a brand new book club in town. Minny was peeling peaches in my book, page something, and the crave hit me - and manifested itself in the form of Creamy Vanilla Peach Tart.


Started by preheating the oven at 350F.


For the shell (classical tart shell), used a medium bowl and added the following:
- 1/2 cup butter (room temperature)
- 1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 2 tbsp plain yogurt (Balkan style)

Formed the dough, shaped it into a ball and pressed it firmly into the bottom and sides of an ungreased 10-in tart pan. (oh, and poked the bottom using a fork). set aside.

For the filling:
- puree 1/2 cup of sliced peaches
- 1/2 cup agave syrup
- 1 whole egg
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt (Balkan style)
- pure vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp whole wheat flour

Mix well until all the ingredients are combined. Pour the mixture over the unbaked tart shell. Optional: add extra peach slices on top.

Bake for ~ 45-50 minute, until set. Let cool before cutting.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Raw Vegan Challenge - Days 4 & 5


Both day 4 & 5 went by so smooth, bet they were passing by on their tippy toes. 

On day 4 I had a fruit salad to start the day (banana, orange, shredded apple, hemp seeds).
I moved over to some walnuts for snack.
Launch came and it was: cauliflower, broccoli, baby carrots, tomatoes and cucumbers. I bought them at the market while shopping for a birthday present for one of my friends. Took me a while to convince the vendor I didn't want any dip with that.
For the next snack I had the most amazing and sweet muscat grapes. Oh, the flavor!Added a handful of cashew nuts to them.
For dinner, my detox took a bit of a detour again, since I've attended a birthday dinner, and the salad came with vinaigrette and crumbled cheese. Fighting those proved pointless so I gave up when the server brought it to the table. Oh well...


Day 5 started with just a banana on my way to the bus station - I was in such a rush so my plans for carrot-celery-apple juice seemed like a sweet fantasy at the moment - barely had time to prepare my lunch.
Luckily, the rest of the muscat grapes were waiting for me in the fridge at work. Oh, the flavor again, such joy!
For lunch I had the 'summer salad' I was craving so much, one of my favorites when I was a kid: tomatoes, cucumbers and parsley leaves. Nothing else! So simple and so good!
Quick snack: a handful of cashews from my desk drawer at work.
Dinner started with grapefruit juice. Continued with shredded carrot, shredded zucchini, finely chopped dill, Brussels sprouts.
I have my hopes high - day 6 will bring me the carrot juice!

And bonus happiness for today: few days ago, my beautiful and talented friend from far away sent me one of her creations from her online store, Wool Bangle Bags by Rodica and I was so surprised that it got here so quickly! I was counting days, and never thought I'd have it so soon. Can't wait to wear it, mine is the white one with brown ribbon, so pretty - pictures just don't make them justice!


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

My Challenge - Raw Vegan Detox Day 3


Weekend's over, Monday's here, back to work - treasure my lunch break and all the 'me time' I could steal for myself in tiny little bits during the day.

Started the day with a large smoothie (correction: I always start my day with a huge glass of water):
- banana
- blueberries
- raspberries
- hemp seeds

My day was ~ 85% raw, since I detoured at lunch via some:
- lentils (~ 1/2 cup)
- diced tomatoes
- home made polenta (~ 1/2 cup from organic corn meal)

Indulged in pineapple and strawberries for one of my snacks. Walnuts for the other.

The perfect ending - huge salad:
- spinach
- green beans - finely chopped
- living red lettuce
- diced tomatoes
- diced cucumbers
-parsley leaves & dill, finely chopped
- Chia seeds

Water. Plenty. Rivers of water! Herbal teas as well - but not as much.
Sending strawberry thoughts from my lively colored cloud! Day 4 to come!



Sunday, May 8, 2011

My Challenge - Raw Vegan Detox, Day 2


Mother's Day inspired me to start my day with carrot juice. Just because my Mom used to make it for me in the morning, took me a while to like it, eventually grew to love it!

Levels of energy - sky high, quality of sleep - amazing.

On to day 2 meals:

First: carrot, celery and apple juice with hemp seeds

Second: pistachios,  almonds

Third: huge salad - spinach, living red lettuce, living green lettuce, parsley leaves, diced tomatoes, zucchini

Forth: grapes, watermelon

Fifth: 'stir and fry' - broccoli (finely chopped), Brussels sprouts (diced), lemon juice, diced tomatoes, spinach (finely chopped), dill and parsley leaves 

Lovely day today, so sunny and gorgeous, dragged Dog & co out of the house for a ~8K hike and they couldn't say 'no' to me on Mother's Day.


Can't wait for day 3 to start!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

My Raw Vegan Detox - Day 1


Because it's been a while - oh, so past due!
Because April brought Easter baking and anniversary cake. 
Because it's just so tempting - the view from upstairs at Convent Market, while having tea at Tea Haus it's simply breathtaking and makes me wanna dive head first in that colorful wonderland.
Because I was craving it. 

Organic everything - I'm not going to mention this beside each food.
My primary source of inspiration: the Ecopolitan 7-days raw plan. My other sources: oh-so-many. 

My meals today (yes, almost everything goes: "in a large bowl, mix together. Let sit for a while before serving"):

Started with
- bananas
- shredded apple
- Chia seeds.

I usually like caffeine  with my workouts, so today I was following the detox rule - no caffeine, so teaching the Zumba class felt good, but I was honestly missing the wings of awesome. But thought it was worth it!

Meal 2:
- freshly made orange, apple & carrot juice (with a dash of cinnamon)
- almond butter

Meal 3: 
- huge zucchini - shredded
- sweet tomatoes, diced
- broccoli, finely chopped
- parsley leaves, finely chopped
- sea salt

Meal 4:
- walnuts
- watermelon

Caption: the living salads and herbs at the Convent market

Meal 5:
- spinach, finely chopped
- tomatoes, diced
- living red lettuce
- pumpkin seeds
- black pepper

Water. Plenty. Loads. Herbal tea. Same.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Apple Cinnamon Rye Biscotti



Mid-spring diving into fall flavors...

Preheat oven at 325 F.
In a large bowl beat together:

- 1 whole egg*
- 1/2 cup unsweetened apple pureed
- 1/2 cup agave syrup
- cinnamon
- pure vanilla extract

After well combined, add the following and mix well ( do not over mix):

- 1 cup dark rye flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 3/4 cup corn meal
- 1 tsp baking powder

The dough will be very sticky. Divide the dough in half and 9with wet hands) shape each half into logs. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for ~ 35 minutes.

Cool for 5 minutes and use a serrated knife to cut each log into 10 diagonal slices. Place the biscotti on the parchment lined cookie sheet and bake for another ~25 minutes. 

Let cool completely. Can be stored in air tight tin containers. 

Nutrients per 1 of 20 biscottis: Calories: 88, Total Fat: 0.7g, Saturated Fat: 0.1g, Trans Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 11mg, Sodium: 5mg, Total Carbs: 18.9g, Dietary Fiber: 2.6g, Sugars: 0.6g, Protein: 2.3g
Calcium: 1%, Iron: 5%

* For vegan version: use 1/4 cup unsweetened purees apple or 1 banana instead of 1 whole egg.



Thursday, March 31, 2011

One of My Morning Smoothies - Mixed Berry, Chia Seeds, Ginger Rooibos Tea


This is when my sunny San Francisco mug comes to brighten up my morning even more!

Post-workout shaking just adds spice and fun to the process.

Ingredients for today: just added the following in the vertical mixer tall plastic cup - a blender works just fine as well - and mixed until all the ingredients were smoothly blended:

- 1 cup pureed apple
- 1 cup Ginger Lemon Rooibos tea (freshly made and chilled before used for the smoothie)
- 1 cup mixed berries (from frozen)
- 1 cup fresh spinach leaves
- 4 tbsp Chia seeds (ground and sprouted)

Now the only thing needed: a drinking straw in happy colors! (and by the way, National Drinking Straw Day is celebrated annually on January 3rd, in the US!)

Such a treat - ~ 280 calories, 9 g Total Fat, 1g Saturated Fat, 0 mg Cholesterol, 29 mg Sodium, 43 g Total Carb, 16.7 g Dietary Fiber, 23g Sugars, and 7g Protein.
Also 56% Vitamin A, 76% Vitamin C, 20% Calcium, 28% Iron (% DV)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Oatmeal Muffins with Chocolate Ganache




Rolled oats and vanilla, on one of those last days of winter, that Charles Dickens would say about that “it was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade”.

 

Yields 12 really quick. Filled with warm chocolate ganache for the last touch of the winter feeling.

 

Preheat oven at 350 F.
 

In a large bowl, combine:

- 2 cups rolled oats (old fashion)

- 1 cup plain yogurt (Balkan or Greek style)


Let sit for ~ 30 min then add the following, mixing well after each addition:

- 2 whole eggs

- 1/2 cup agave syrup

- pure vanilla extract

- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

- 1 cup whole wheat flour 

- 2 tsp baking powder.


Do not over mix. Spoon batter into two 6-muffin pans lined with parchment paper. Baked for ~ 30 minutes until tops are golden and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.


For the ganache filling (optional):




Bring 1/4 cup heavy cream to a boil. Measure ~ 1/2 cup (unsweetened or semi-sweet, organic) chocolate chips into a medium bowl. Pour the hot heavy cream over the chocolate chips and let stand for a few seconds. Whisk until smooth and evenly combined. 

Fill the muffins with the chocolate ganache using a cupcake filling tip



Nutrients per 1 of the 12 muffins (without the filling):  Calories: 190, Total Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 1.5g, Trans Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 38mg, Sodium: 21mg, Total Carb; 30g, Dietary Fiber: 3g, Sugars: 1g, Protein: 5.5g
Vitamin A: 2%, Vitamin C: 0%, Calcium: 4%, Iron: 6%


Sunday, February 27, 2011

Raspberry Ricotta Cheesecake

Serves 6.

Preheat oven at 350 F.

In a large bowl, mix together until smooth and creamy:

- 1 tub (~ 425 g) ricotta cheese
- 1 cup Balkan style (Greek) yogurt

and then add and mix well:

- 1/3 cup agave syrup
- 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
- pure vanilla extract
- cinnamon
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup raspberries

Pour batter into a 9 in (23 cm) round cake pan lined with parchment paper and buttered.

Bake for ~ 45-50 min. When done, remove from oven and let cool completely in pan. 
Nutrients per 1 of the 6 servings: Calories: 248, Total Fat: 11.2g, Saturated Fat: 6.6g, Trans Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 112 mg, Sodium: 216mg, Total Carb: 26.5g, Dietary Fiber: 1.4g, Sugars: 17.3g, Protein: 11.4g
Vitamin A: 9%, Vitamin C: 4%, Calcium: 18%, Iron: 3%

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Red Rice & Apple Pudding


6 servings featuring winter's awesome trio: cinnamon, vanilla and apple.

Preheat oven at 350 F.

In a large bowl add 3 cups cooked red rice.

In a medium bowl, mix together:
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 whole egg
- 1/3 cup agave syrup
- cinnamon
- pure vanilla extract
- 1 apple (grated, skin on)

Pour the mixture over the rice and mix well. Spoon everything into a buttered porcelain quiche pan (or parchment paper lined loaf pan) and bake for ~ 35-40 minutes, until set.

Let cool completely before cutting.

Nutrients per 1 of the 6 servings: Calories: 181, Total Fat: 1.9g, Saturated Fat: 0.7g, Trans Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 37mg, Total Carbs: 38g, Dietary Fiber: 2.1g, Sugars: 4g, Protein: 5g
Vitamin A: 2%, Vitamin C: 2%, Calcium: 3%, Iron: 3%

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Chocolate Souffle


Makes 3. Very rich dessert - practice moderation!

Preheat oven at 325 F.

In a medium sauce pan over the stove top add together:
 - 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 tbsp agave syrup
- 2 tbs whole wheat flour
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter

Cook and stir for about 1-2 minutes until thickens. Remove from heat and add:
- 2 oz melted (organic) unsweetened or semi-sweet chocolate

Set aside.

Separate 2 large eggs.
Beat egg whites with an electrical mixer in a small bowl until stiff peaks form.

Once the chocolate mixture has cooled down, add the egg yolk, stirring gently.
After adding the egg yolks, incorporate the egg whites and mix gently just until blended.

Pour mixture evenly in 3 ramekins, place the ramekins into a baking pan. Carefully pour enough boiling water into the baking pan to come one third up sides of ramekins.

Bake for ~ 35 minutes or until centres are set.

Nutrients per 1 serving: Calories: 399, Total Fat: 30.4g, Sat Fat: 18.6, Trans Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 214mg, Sodium: 69mg, Total Carbs: 24.6g, Dietary Fiber: 1.8g, Sugars: 8.4g, Protein: 6.1g

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Pumpkin Pancakes

 

Can't really think of a better way to start my Sunday - 6 warm and fluffy pancakes towered up on a blue plate, waiting for us to just dig in.

In a large bowl, mix together:

- 2/3 cup plain yogurt (Balkan style)
- 1/3 cup pureed pumpkin
- 2 tbsp agave syrup
-  1 whole egg

Then add:

- 2/3 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp baking powder (magic powder)

Do not overmix!

Heat a lightly oiled pan over medium heat. Pour ~ 1/4cup of the batter into the pan and cook for about 3 minutes, until bubbles start to form and the bottom is golden brown. Flip over to the other side and cook for another 1-2 minutes, until lightly browned.
Repeat with the remaining batter.

Nutrients per 1 of the 6 pancakes:  Calories: 112, Total Fat: 3g, Saturated Fat: 1.2g, Trans Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 39mg, Sodium: 30mg, Total Carbs: 18.8g, Dietary Fiber: 2.2g, Sugars: 1.2g, Protein: 4.1g
Vitamin A: 41%, Vitamin C: 1%, Calcium: 4%, Iron: 5%

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Vanilla Bites with Sour Cherry Icing


Yummy cuteness! Recipe yields 48 bites.

For the vanilla bites:

Preheat oven at 350 F.

In a large bowl, mix until fluffy:
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 cup agave syrup

To the same bowl, add mixing well after each addition:
- 3 whole eggs
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp  baking soda

Pour the batter into a parchment lined 8 inch square baking pan and bake for 30 minutes.

Let cool before cutting into (48) bite size pieces.

For the sour cherry icing:

 In a medium bowl add:
- 1/2 tub (~ 225 g) mascarpone cheese
- 2 tbsp agave syrup
- 1/2 cup sour cherries (pitted)

Mix with an electrical mixer on medium to high speed until peaks form.

Nutrients per 1 of the 48 vanilla bites with icing: Calories: 72, Total Fat: 4.7g, Saturated Fat: 2.6g, Trans Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 25 mg, Sodium: 7mg, Total Carbs: 6.4g, Dietary Fiber: 0.5g, Sugars: 3.5g, Protein: 1.3g
Vitamin A%: 3%, Vitamin C: 0%, Calcium: 1%, Iron: 1%



 

Monday, February 7, 2011

3 Layers Cake


This might not be the most gorgeous looking cake in the world, but it's rich, and moist - pure decadence. This cake is more of a celebration and special occasions cake rather than an everyday treat.
From bottom to top, starts with a brownie layer, continues with a coconut layer and ends with a blondie one. Recipe makes 24 squares.
Preheat oven at 350 F.

In a large bowl mix together:
- 1/2 cup butter cut in small pieces (at room temperature)
- 3 whole eggs
- 1/2 cup agave syrup
- pure vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup whole wheat flour pre-mixed with 1 tbsp baking powder

Mix well and divide batter in half for layer 1 (brownie layer) and 3 (blondie layer).

Layer 1:
Add 3 oz melted semisweet (or unsweetened) chocolate to half of the batter and mix until well combined.

Layer 2:
In a medium bowl mix with the electrical mixer until fluffy:
- 1/2 tub ~ 225g mascarpone cheese
- 1/2 cup agave syrup
- 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut 

Layer 3:
Do not add anything to this other half of the batter - this will be the blondie layer.

Assemble the cake before baking, as follows:

Pour layer 1 into a 5 x 9 inch baking pan lined with parchment paper and refrigerate for ~ 10 minute.
After 10 minutes, pour layer 2 over layer 1 and spread evenly. 

Pour layer 3 over layer 2 and spread evenly without applying to much pressure.

Bake for ~40 minute until set. Let cool before cutting into squares.



Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Double Chocolate Mascarpone Cake



January chocolate cravings found their ways into February.
Preheat oven at 350 F.

In a large bowl, melt

- 3 oz semisweet or sugar-free chocolate
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces

When completely melted, remove from pan, add in this order and mix well after each addition:

- 1/2 cup agave syrup
- pure vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs
- 3/4 cup whole wheat flour mixed with 1 tsp baking powder


Pour the batter into a parchment paper lined 8 in. (20 cm) square pan.
Bake for ~ 30 min.
 Let cool and cut in half.

For the chocolate mascarpone cream filling:

Melt 5 oz (140 g) semisweet chocolate and mix with 1/2 tub (~ 225 g) mascarpone cheese and 1/3 cup agave syrup. Use an electrical mixer and mix until fluffy.

Spread 1/2 of the chocolate cream over one of the two halves of the cake and sandwich the layers together. Pour the remaining chocolate cream on top and on the sides, spreading evenly.

Chill in the fridge before cutting in slices (~10 to 16, depending on thickness) to let the cream set. 

Nutritional info per 1 slice: some things are better left unsaid

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Bittersweet Chocolate Tart



Blaming the long nights of January for my chocolate cravings. This tart came out so rich that cured them all - such a treat!

Makes 8 servings. Preheat oven at 350 F.

For the base:
In a bowl, mix together:
- 1 & 1/4 cup dark rye flour
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 tbsp agave syrup
 
Add 3-4 tbsp ice cold water and mix into a dough.
Shape dough into a ball and place in the middle of a tart pan.
Stretch the dough to match the tart pan shape by pressing it firmly with your fingers.
Set aside.

For the filling:
 
In a large bowl, add in this order and mix well:
- 2 whole eggs
- 1/2 cup agave syrup
- pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt (Balkan style)
- 8 oz unsweetened chocolate chips  (melted).

 
Pour the chocolate mixture into the tart shell and bake for ~ 35-40 minute until set. Let cool before cutting.
 
Nutrients per 1 of the 8 servings: Calories: 352, Total Fat: 17.2g, Saturated Fat: 8.9g, Saturated Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 70mg, Sodium: 36mg, Total Carb: 48.9g, Dietary Fiber: 3.1g, Sugars: 15.6g, Protein: 6.1g
Vitamin A: 7%, Vitamin C: 1%, Calcium: 4%, Iron: 8%

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Raspberry Sauce


Combine in a saucepan:
- 1 bag frozen raspberries (600g)
- 1/2 cup agave syrup
- pure vanilla extract
Bring to a boil, then simmer, stirring often, until a thick consistency is reached (keep in mind the sauce will thicken further as it cools).
Use a fine sieve to strain and remove the seeds.

One bag (~600 g) frozen raspberries yields 1 cup of sauce.



 The sauce is amazing over ice cream, souffl├ęs, pies, puddings, and so on. Here's today over a slice of my Upside Down Pear Cake




If any sauce left - can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Citrus and Dates Squares



Makes 16 squares that instantly satisfy any stubborn sweet tooth. And any sour tooth. And any sweet&sour tooth.

Preheat oven at 350 F.

In a large bowl mix together:
- 1 whole egg
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 3/4 cup agave syrup
- pure vanilla extract
- juice from 1 orange and 2 lemons
- 4 Medjool dates finely chopped

In a medium bowl mix:
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda

Add dry ingredients to liquid mixture and mix well. Do not over mix.
Pour batter into a 9 inch square baking pan lined with parchment paper.
Bake for 30 minutes. Let cool before cutting into squares.

Nutrients per 1 of 16 pieces: Calories: 150, Total Fat: 4.9g, Saturated Fat: 0.6g, Trans Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 13mg, Sodium: 5mg, Total Carbs: 26g, Dietary Fiber: 2.2g, Sugars: 4.4g, Proteins: 2.6g
Vitamin A: 1%, Vitamin C: 6%, Calcium: 1%, Iron: 4%

Monday, January 17, 2011

Banana Muffins with Dried Apricots



For 12 muffins:


Preheat oven at 350 F. Line a 12 muffin pan with paper liners.

In a large bowl add the following, mixing well after each addition:

- 1 whole egg
- 1/4 cup agave syrup
- pure vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour (pre mixed with 1 tsp baking powder & 1 tsp baking soda)
- 3 ripe bananas (pureed)
- 5 dried apricots, finely chopped

Do not overmix! Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin pan and bake for ~ 25 minutes. 

Nutrients per 1 of the 12 muffins: Calories: 165, Total Fat: 6.6g, Saturated Fat: 0.9g, Trans Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 18mg, Sodium: 7mg, Total Carbs: 25.1g, Dietary Fiber: 2.8g, Sugars: 5.2g, Protein: 2.9g
Vitamin A: 5%, Vitamin C: 5%, Calcium: 1%, Iron: 5%
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