Posts Tagged ‘Desserts’

Apple Fritters

apple friiter bite+1+3 Apple Fritters
When I was a little girl, about 6-7 years old, I had a BIG dream. My mom to this day reminds me that I used to tell almost everyone I met how I wanted to own my very own business. I was going to be the most popular girl in the neighborhood and everyone would love me. I didn’t want her to worry though because of course I would give family and friends a discount. My dream was to open a donut shop!!! Yep, and I was going to work there and eat donuts every single day. My favorites were bear claws, apple fritters, and of course donut holes! Not much has changed from my favorite’s list; but I have given up my dream on owning a donut shop, or at least it has transformed into a much more ritzy and eclectic “cafe/bakery/bookstore/homemade pottery/photography studio/the-best-place-on-earth” kind of store. See, we grow up and so do our dreams!

Another great story I remember about donuts, specifically apple fritters, is one sunday morning mom and I went for donuts and I was still totally gung-ho and serious about my dream. We visited our neighborhood donut shop that morning and upon leaving I really wanted mom to leave a tip, just like we do at all of the other “restaurants”. She eagerly complied, as to encourage my generosity for the future, and left a couple of dollars at the table where we were sitting. Before we got half way across the parking lot though, the sweet and much older asian woman came out screaming that we had forgotten our money as she waved it high in the air. I then, the seven year old, got to explain to her that was her tip for making such great donuts. She simply smiled and looked a bit confused, but flattered. From that day on, there somehow always seemed to end up an extra donut or two in my bag! Maybe that is whyI have love everything donuts. Probably even a little too much, I tend to make myself sick on them if no one is around to take the box away.


correction+%25281%2529 Baklava

Thank you for your continued patience in my erratic posting, things have been very much overwhelming for me this past week or so and don’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. The first wedding was really beautiful and a great success, tomorrow I am leaving for the second wedding (where I am matron of honor for my best friend from high school). I am so excited for my two great friends to enter into the wonderful roller coaster ride world of marriage; I am a HUGE fan of finding and marrying your best friend and spending the rest of your life loving and learning to love them!

A Twist on Galaktobureko

Well, summer weather here in Lesvos was in full force this weekend and instead of being home and writing the updated blog post that I needed to be, I was swimming in the sea and eating ice cream with my husband. The sea was cold, really cold, at first but after a few minutes my body adjusted and it was spectacular!!! Summer is really one of the best times to be in Greece, and I only have 10 more days of my Greek summer because I am heading to the USA in exactly 10 days! I will (unfortunately) be flying solo, my hubby will still have school and will not be able to join until (maybe) July – I am NOT too excited about that part though. Thank God for skype!!!

Vanilla Chiffon Cake with Strawberries

I have been trying to cut back on sugar and refined carbs these last coupe of weeks because in 32 days I will be standing in a short little dress on the beach while by best friend gets married to a wonderful man!

I have a problem though. I don’t like being told what to do or what I can and cannot have, even from myself icon smile Vanilla Chiffon Cake with Strawberries Diets do not work for me, only exercise and nutrition do and we all know those take the longest to see results. I like desserts but don’t crave them unless I am trying to avoid them… can anyone else relate or am I just a little crazy?!

Returning Home and a Cheesecake Recipe!

We arrived back home at four o’clock this morning after a very long and somewhat perilous trip all around Greece! We took the ship last week (anywhere from 10-13 hours long) from Lesvos to Kavala, drove to Halkidiki (stayed  a week), drove all the way to Athens, and took the ship back to Mytilene, I think we covered some serious ground.

TEXAS Sheet Cake

I am from Texas and I love chocolate cake! That sounds like a Chocoholics confession.
Well, what better of a recipe to share with you other than Texas Sheet Cake. This is a huge, moist, rich chocolate cake with a touch of cinnamon (my favorite) and most of all from the great country state of TEXAS!!!
Texas sheetcake flag TEXAS Sheet Cake

Now, I like sheet cake but if you ask my mom, aunts, or Nana… they would tell you how much they adore it. It is a very requested and well used recipe in my family, maybe only second to homemade Belgian Waffles! Let’s just say my mom has been known to sneak into people’s houses to steal a couple pieces of cake when no one was looking!

Cookies + Brownies

= The perfect bite!

Maybe they should even be called “Cow Cookies”! This is perfect for a party or just a friendly gathering. 

cookie cake triple Cookies + Brownies

For me, this truly is the best of two of the dessert worlds coming together! Chocolate chip cookie meets rich, chewy brownie . . . their union is a harmonious one! The only thing that could possibly make these better would be ICE CREAM!!! My personal favorite is coffee ice cream scooped on top just as it comes hot out of the oven!!!!! I imagine that Blue Bell’s homestyle vanilla would be pretty spectacular too though. Too bad for me there was no ice cream sold on the island in winter a few weeks back when I made these. I would have loved taking pictures with different ice cream flavors on each slice! Which flavor floats your boat?

Banana Cake . . . TWO WAYS!!!

Do you like bananas? Do you love banana bread but sometimes get tired of the same old recipe? Well, I have two wonderful recipes to share with you! Whether you are a simple banana crumb cake lover or if you crave for something a little darker and richer, a chocolate banana cake! Both are incredibly delightful icon smile Banana Cake . . . TWO WAYS!!!
banana cake slice Banana Cake . . . TWO WAYS!!!
Simple Banana Crumb Cake Recipe:
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup oat flour (simple ground oats)
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar (1/3 brown; 1/3 white)
2 eggs
1 cup bananas, mashed
1/2 cup yogurt
1-2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup chopped, toasted walnuts, optional
1/2 – 1 cup chocolate chips, optional

Crumb Topping:
3/4 cup oats
1/3 cup sugar (light brown) 
1/2 -1 tsp. cinnamon
dash of salt
2 Tbsp. butter, melted
1/4 cup nuts, chopped, optional

Preheat oven to 350°. Mix all of the dry ingredients together, I prefer to use a fine hand colander. Cream butter and sugars until fluffy, then slowly add eggs one at a time. Scrape the bowl well and sift 1/2 of the dry mix and fold until moistened. Slowly keep folding in the bananas, yogurt, and vanilla.  Add the remaining dry mix and gently fold until just well mixed, finally add the nuts and/or chips if you choose to do so. Pour into a cake round/square pan that has been either buttered well or parchment added.

Oreo Cheesecake with Strawberry Topping

This is one of those desserts that I made a few weeks ago but was saving to share with you until just the right moment. Unfortunately for me, I didn’t realize how tempting it would be posting pictures of dairy while still trying to stay on my Lent fast. I am just thankful that they are only pictures and not leftovers, I wouldn’t be able to resist so easily.

Kataifi Sweets

A sweet very similar to the famous Greek sweet baklava, is called καταϊφι. I actually prefer it over baklava every single time. I like phyllo just okay, but kataifi is made with shredded phyllo; I actually think it looks like phyllo hair. The inside is typically the same, made with a mixture of walnuts, almonds, and pistachios blended with a cinnamon and sugar to make it quite unbelievable. All of this is then rolled into the hairy phyllo, baked, and like all Greek sweets is topped with a simple honey syrup. 

kataifi single Kataifi Sweets
I wouldn’t say the process was difficult, but I think it is definitely a recipe that you perfect and become better at over time. This was not my par best in the looks category, but I think the flavors hit a birdie (and I don’t even play golf)! 
I can’t even really give you an official recipe because I kinda just winged it. I added a handful of toasted almonds and walnuts, about 1 T. cinnamon + 2 T. sugar + 1 egg + ~1/4 cup bread crumbs + 1 tsp. vanilla powder. I then poured some melted butter over the kataifi hair and proceeded to roll the filling up tight. Cut them into 2″ pieces and baked them until golden brown. While they were cooking I made the syrup with 2 cups water + 1 1/2 – 2 cups sugar + 1/2 cup honey + 1 cinnamon stick + a few cloves + some lemon zest (and a squirt of lemon juice) and let this cool. When the kataifi came out hot, I poured the cool syrup on top and let soak. I don’t like mine overly sweet or drinking the syrup so I have a light hand when pouring, even having some left over. 
Viola = Kataifi. Simple. Delicious. Lightly Sweet. Addictive. 
kataifi double Kataifi Sweets

I will be making this again when we are expecting some guests, it is a bit dangerous to leave around the house when there are only two of you!

Nutella Oreo Truffles

February 5th is World Nutella Day and I have some quite delicious truffles to share with you, all made with nutella!

Truffle Double use Nutella Oreo Truffles

World Nutella Day is on February 5th and this is a chance for everyone to eat nutella in any shape or form! Please join all of us and find some nutella, plain or making something fancy.

Nutella Truffles+use Nutella Oreo Truffles

Brown Rice Pudding

Rizogalo me mavro rizi. 
Rice Pudding w1 Brown Rice Pudding
Everything about this is says Greek to me because Greece was the first place I tried Rizogalo. It was actually in my mother-in-law’s kitchen when V and I were still dating at the time. His parents speak Greek. Did I mention that they speak only Greek! And I do not speak Greek, well, I am trying to learn (teaching myself), but I would say that I am far from fluent. Anyway, back to the amazing rice pudding. I have typically only been fond of rice in Chinese food or maybe with Poppyseed Chicken, so I was a little hesitant when handed a small dish of what V explained to me was rice and milk. Normally, I wouldn’t have chosen such a dessert, but the two things this sweet had going for it were: 1) it was topped with a generous sprinkle of cinnamon; I am in love with all things cinnamon; 2) it was made by my mother-in-law, who is to this day, the best Greek cook I know! Anything she touches turns to gold, or should I say silver since that is her name’s meaning in Greek! And once again she won my approval, the rice pudding soon became a treat that I would enjoy frequently! This is a very popular dessert here in Greece, you can find it at any zaxaroplastio (sweet shop) and even at restaurants and tavernas served as complimentary sweet.  
Rice Pudding w Brown Rice Pudding

I would like to introduce you to brown rice pudding, Rizogalo is usually made with white rice, but this recipe was made using brown rice. More fiber, a more dense and chewy bite, and all around a more wholesome flavor.

Cream Cheese Brownies

Not Greek, yet still delicious! 
DSC 0023 Cream Cheese Brownies

Originally, I planned on making these to take to someone’s house, but since the weather was terrible I ended up staying home. Luckily for me and my husband, I only made a small batch that we finished over the weekend. 
In the Greek culture you never show up empty handed, anywhere. Whether you are just dropping in or have a set date with someone, you should always come bearing a small gift. This is traditionally sweets, wine, or flowers. I wanted to bring something a bit more American to my Greek/Australian friend, but it looks like she will be getting something else. So, these brownies will be to share with you now, they are the perfect combination of fudgey and cakey all topped with a light cream cheese flavor. 
Double+Brownie Cream Cheese Brownies

Cream Cheese Brownies
1/4 cup AP flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup instant oats, slightly blended 
1/4 cup dark cocoa powder
Dash of cinnamon or instant espresso
Dash of salt
175 g. baking chocolate bar (~ 6-8 small pieces), chopped
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 -3/4 cup sugar

Melt the butter and chocolate in a large bowl over water (or double boiler), in a separate bowl sift flours, oats, cocoa, and salt together. Once the butter and chocolate are melted, add the sugar and continue to stir. Once smooth and consistent, remove from heat and cool slightly. Begin whisking the chocolate mix while slowing adding the beaten eggs, vanilla, and espresso or cinnamon. Fold in the dry mixture and stir until just moistened. Pour into prepared pan and top with cream cheese, using a knife to make swirls. ake 35-40 minutes. If you prefer a more fudgey brownie, remove when toothpick has slight batter; if you prefer more cakey, cook until toothpick is removed clean.

Cream Cheese Swirl Recipe
6 oz Cream Cheese, softened
1/4 -1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla 
1 egg (optional) 
Cream together and pour over brownies, using a knife or small edge to create a swirl pattern. 

DSC 0018 Cream Cheese Brownies

Make these next time you are meeting with some friends or family and see how they light up at the sight of chocolate and cream cheese brownies! And try your best not to take a bit out of them before sharing icon smile Cream Cheese Brownies

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Wordless Wednesdays – Brownies

DSC 0008 Wordless Wednesdays   Brownies

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New Years Day Cake … 2011

Greece has a wonderful tradition of making a cake with a hidden coin and cutting it on New Year’s Eve. The “Vasilopita” commemorates a miracle performed by St. Basil while serving as a bishop. The legend varies as to how St. Basil became the guardian of all the gold, silver, and jewelry of Caesarea. There became much confusion upon returning the riches, and everyone began to get upset. St. Basil suggested that the women bake cakes and put the coins inside. When the cakes were cut, everyone found the exact money they were due!

Vasilopita%2B2 Vasilopita
Today a single coin is baked into each cake to remember the miracle, and whomever finds the coin is considered blessed for the new year! Cool, eh?

Vasilopita Vasilopita
So, anytime a family or group is gathered (on New Years or following weeks after) they cut a Vasilopita. First, the cake is given the sign of the cross with three fingers (representing the Trinity) for a blessing. Second, the first three pieces are always cut 1st for Christ, 2nd for Mary, 3rd for St. Basil. Next follows with the eldest family members or honored guests. It is always very exciting for the blessed person finding the coin!

Vasilopita%2B3 Vasilopita
This year I made our Vasilopita Cake, and it was delicious!!! We toasted with some champagne and enjoyed bringing the new coming year with a touch of sweetness.

Vasilopita%2B4 Vasilopita

All the way from Lesvos, Greece … we wish you a very blessed New Year 2011. May you strive to be the person God has made you to be, may He lead you in each step you take, may you listen closely for His voice and follow, may you choose to find the love, joy, peace, and patience in everything God allows to come across your path, and may this build your faith and wisdom every day of 2011. Our coin was in Christ’s piece, I guess that means we will all be blessed this year as long as we are following Him!

Vasilopita Vasilopita

Vasilopita Recipe (Makes one large round cake or two smaller cakes)
4 cups flour, sifted (I use 1/2 cups whole wheat)
2 T. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon or all spice
1 cup butter, softened 
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1-2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups milk
zest of 1 lemon or orange
Confectioner’s sugar 
1 coin (cleaned and wrapped in foil)

Preheat oven to 350°F and butter or line your round cake pan. Sift dry ingredients in small bowl and cream butter and sugar in another bowl. Add eggs to sugar mixture gradually, then stirring in vanilla and zest. Alternately mix in the dry ingredients with the milk, beginning and ending with the milk. Bake for 40-45 minutes, remove and cool on rack. Decorate with powdered sugar and or icing.

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Hi! My name is Jacquline. Welcome to my blog. I hope you will find some delicious Greek food recipes and enjoy the read along the way! Kali Orexi :)


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