Tag Archives: Cook

Avocado Cucumber Spinach Smoothness

This smoothie was meant to be mine. Just mine. 

You know, these days I can’t eat in peace because whatever I take there is 3 drooling mouths (No.1, No.2 and the dog) watching me carefully with those begging eyes. 
No.1 is very particular about the color or texture of her food. So if there is something that looks or feels suspicious (like green food) she won’t even try it. 

That’s why this smoothie was meant to be mine. 

I made it… 
… and I barely ate a few spoons before the kids got to it.  

They just devoured it and were asking for more.

So here is the recipe to successfully sneaking some greens into your kids diet. 

avocado-cucumber-greek-yogurt-smoothie-mom-photographer (2 of 1)

1 cup greek yogurt (honey or vanilla flavored)

1 TBSP honey

1 medium soft avocado

1/2 english cucumber 

handful fresh baby spinach

1 tsp. coconut oil

avocado-cucumber-greek-yogurt-smoothie-mom-photographer (1 of 1)

 

Blend and Enjoy!

avocado-cucumber-greek-yogurt-smoothie-mom-photographer (14 of 1)

You might also like this green smoothie I made a long time ago. (click here for the recipe)

ewa samples, avocado-spinach-cucumber smoothie-7

So, Happy Blending my friends! 

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3 ingredient homemade chocolate pudding

I had planned to share this recipe for a long, long time. 
I made it for the first time about a year ago and I am hooked since. 

Never was a big fan of chocolate puddings but I never had it made from scratch either. 

To make it takes about 15 minutes, no eggs, butter, and no sugar. 

This recipe is for one serving only but to make more just double/tripe the ingredients.

home-made-chocolate-pudding-mom-photographer-collage

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 (60 g or 2.15 oz) bar dark (or milk) chocolate 

1 cup whole milk

1 1/2 Tbsp corn starch

DIRECTION:

Over low heat melt the chocolate in 3/4 cup milk. 

Do not allow it to boil. 

Stir the corn starch in 1/4 cup milk until dissolved. 

When the chocolate is melted and the mixture is starting to simmer add the dissolved corn starch and stir constantly until thickens. 

The next step is to enjoy it. 

It tastes the best HOT! 

home-made-chocolate-pudding-mom-photographer

Enjoy your week, my friends!

Trail mix. In other words, a jar full of goodness.

Trail mix does and always will remind me of those sleepless nights after our No.1 was born. She was a good sleeper but for the first several months, like most newborns, she would wake up once or twice for feeding during the nigh. Most of the time, while nursing, I was watching tv, mostly news… they would bore the heck out of me, so I would get hungry.

Trail mix was always a great resolution to my problem. I ate pounds of trail mix during those months. At first I was buying already mixed  stuff. Then, one day I run out of it but having a few different nuts, raisins and some leftover chocolate chips I made my own trail mix and from that day I have not bought another trail mix.

Now, every time I go to the store, I make sure to get some seeds, nuts and dried fruits in bulk… just in case of a craving, which I always have. If there are a few chocolate chip left somewhere, it is an extra  goodness… but it is not necessary.

     

This time I had everything… nuts and dried fruits, and chocolate chips.  

Ingredients: 

Fistful of walnuts

Fistful pecans

3 Tbsp. pumpkin seeds

1/4 cup dry cranberries

1 Tbsp. dry cherries

1/4 cup white chocolate chips

The concoction was wonderful! A little tart from all the dry fruits with the wonderful flavor from white chocolate chips; So good I thought, I should share it !

Have a wonderful day, my friends.

Hearth & Soul Hopkimklassencafe

Spinach and Beet Cornbread Muffins

I love cornbread, there is no question about it.
Using the little time off from our No.2, who is finally sleeping on her own, IN her own bed, I want to share one of my favorite cornbread recipes EVER.
This can be baked in 9 inch pan

or in muffin forms

For some reason I prefer muffins. I think, it’s because with those muffins I can limit myself more and control myself in eating them all in one sitting. No matter what shape this cornbread has it is still delicious.
The spinach kind has no spinach flavor whatsoever, I would say it’s even sweeter than the one without it, while you can surely taste the beets; not a lot, though.
Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup sugar
3 eggs
3/4 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
3 heaping tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup baby spinach, rinsed*
1 very small beet, steamed
If you want to make JUST spinach or JUST beet cornbread then double the amount of the veggies (1 cup of spinach, and 2 small beets or 1 medium).
Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 400 F. In a blender, puree the butter, sugar, eggs and evaporated milk for about 30 seconds.
2. In a large bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, salt, and baking powder.
3. Add the dry mixed ingredients to the blender and blend until just combined.
4. Pour half of the batter out leaving another half in a blender.
5. Add the spinach to the batter left in a blender and blend until the mixture is evenly green and there is no big pieces of spinach left.
6. Pour the batter into muffin forms to about 3/4 full.
7. transfer the remaining batter into the cleaned blender and add cut into small cubes steamed beet. Blend until well incorporated.
8. Transfer the batter to muffin forms.
9. Bake for 25 minutes.
Print the recipe:
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KitchenFun

Marbled Chocolate Cream Cheese Cake (slow cooker recipe)

About 6 months ago my husband got me a slow cooker. This is a new thing to me. For a while it was just sitting on our counter as I had no idea what to do with it. I know that there is many recipes out there for slow cooker but whenever I check them with my husband he does not approve it or says: “YEAH, we could try it” what essentially means: “It doesn’t sound like something I’m gonna really like, but if you insist lets make it”. It is not what I am looking for.

With two small children and a puppy, after a day of cooking, the last thing I want to hear from my husband is his lack of approval of the food that’s on the table.

Lately, I cook ONLY dishes I have asked my husband about and got his 100% approval, or when I know that if he won’t eat it I WILL FOR SURE.

It was a little  bit different in this case. He had read the recipe and said his verse: “YEAH, we could try it”, but I knew that no matter what I WANT TO TRY THIS CAKE. I knew that if he doesn’t like it I probably will.

I wasn’t wrong. He ate one piece and said: “Hm… it is different”. After a few days he asked for a piece of this cake but it was too late. I ate it all with a small help from my daughter.

It is not a brownie, that’s for sure. It is more like a lava cake.

Cream cheese swirl:

8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup sugar
pinch salt
1/2 cup milk chocolate (semi-sweet or milk chocolate chocolate chips are fine, too)

For the chocolate cake:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 Tbsp. vinegar
1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Directions:
In a bowl, beat cream cheese, egg, 1/4 cup sugar and salt together until smooth. Stir in chocolate chips.

In a separate bowl combine flour, soda, salt,  1 cup sugar and cocoa powder. Beat in water, oil, vinegar and vanilla until just blended.

For easy removal, line slow cooker with aluminum foil and pour chocolate mixture into foil liner. Place tablespoonfuls of cream cheese mixture on the chocolate mixture and with a knife, gently swirl mixtures together to create a marbled design.

Set cooker on high heat and cook for about 2.5 hours.

————-

To prevent the water from the lid of slow cooker to drip onto the cake, before you cover  it with a lid put a towel over the slow cooker and than put the lid on top of the towel.

Print the recipe:

This cake came out very moist.

It has the right balance between sweetness and bitterness. I loved it.

Will be making it again.

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Tortilla bowls

Tortillas are the “must have” in our house lately.

My husband likes quesadillas.

Our daughter can eat them just with peanut butter. She likes them a lot!

I like to use them in all kinds of wraps. So far, my favorite are spinach-strawberry wraps on homemade whole wheat tortillas.

My husband is not a big fan of the homemade ones so we still buy them for him.

Anyway, homemade or not we eat a lot of them.

Lately I’ve discovered tortilla bowls and the are a big hit in our home.

Whenever I make them our daughter tends to eat more of what’s inside, what I use to sneak more veggies in her.

They are super easy to make.

I use big muffin baking forms:

Not to torn the bottoms of the tortillas, very delicate I fold the tortillas inside the muffin form. 

Bake in 350 F for 10 minutes.

Fill with whatever you want.

Sometimes I make it just for my daughter so she has a funny bowl for her nuts to snack on. She loves it! And I have less dishes to wash 😉

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Bread Machine Pumpernickel (Pumpernikiel), or another way to have my coffee

This bread always takes me back to my childhood.

It is my mom’s favorite bread. At some point I have learned to like it as well.

I have not eaten it for too long, that’s why I had finally decided to make my own.

Being honest with you it is not the real deal. It is not the dense, bitter-sweet pumpernickel I had eaten growing up. It is dense, don’t get me wrong, and it is bitter, but in a different way.

Mine was made in a bread machine from the start to the end what took 3 h and 20 min.

To bake the “real pumpernickel”, from what I know, takes from 20 to 24 hours, and it doesn’t need coffee or cocoa powder.

Ingredients:

1 1/3 strong brewed coffee, room temperature

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup dark molasses

2 Tbsp. brown sugar (I used turbinado)

2 Tbsp. cocoa powder, unsweetened

1 1/2 tsp. salt

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup rye flour

2 cups bread flour

2 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast

Directions for bread maker:

1. Throw in a bread maker container all the ingredients in order as listed above.

2. Choose 1 1/2 lb loaf (if you have the option)

3. Set it up for “whole wheat basic” 

4. Push “start”

5. After is done baking take it out and cool on cooling rack for 30 minute before slicing.

Directions for oven:

1. Combine molasses, brown sugar and warm coffee, mix it well. Add yeast. Set aside for the yeast to start working.

2. In a separate bowl mix dry ingredients.

3. When the yeast is nice and bubbly add oil.

4. Add oil&yeast mixture to the dry ingredients. Knead until the dough is not sticky anymore.

5. Place the dough in a bowl, cover with towel and let it rest in warm place until double in size. 

6. When the dough is ready punch it down and shape the way you are going to bake it (loaf pan, dinner rolls, baguette, etc).

7. Grease the pan you are going to bake it in.

8. Transfer the dough to the pan or baking sheet.

9. Let is double in size again.

10. Bake in 375 F

– 35 minutes for bread

– 20 minutes for rolls or baguette.

11. Serve with honey butter*

* Honey-butter:

2 Tbsp butter, softened,

1 Tbsp honey

Mix it with fork and serve.

Simple as that.

You should probably double the recipe because this butter is SUPER DELICIOUS!!!

For me the bread is a Guinness among breads. If you like this kind of beer you will like pumpernickel.

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+ Yeastspoting

Vegan Wheat Germ Semolina bread

What a delicious bread I made this week.

My first bread made from the start to the end in a bread maker.

It took 3 h 20 min to be done with the entire process.

It was awesome.

I just put all the ingredients into the machine and went away.

I had the time to do 3 loads of laundry, go for a swim with my kiddo and clean around the house.

When I came back it was already time for lunch. And what could be better than a fresh-baked bread

topped with light chicken salad:

Recipe for 1 1/2 Lb Loaf:

1 1/4 cup water

1 1/2 Tsp. salt

1  1/2 Tbsp. sugar (I used turbinado)

3 Tbsp. Wheat Germ

2 Tbsp. Olive Oil

3 Cups Semolina Flour

2 Tsp Active Dry Yeast (I used bread machine yeast)

Directions:

Put all the ingredients in the order as listed above. Set on basic bread cycle. Come back when it’s done. Take it out of the pan and let cool for about 30 minutes before slicing.

Enjoy.

This bread makes really good toast and it’s wonderful for sandwiches!

Store it in a zip lock bag in room temperature.

The only con of making bread in the kind of machine I have is the weird shape and HUGE slices, but I can live with it.

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Flax-seed meal pizza crust

 

Surprisingly enough, I rally liked this crust. It is such a unique and much healthier substitution for the regular one. 

I will make it again,

however next time I’m going to bake it for a bit longer in order to get rid of that slightly slimy texture of the crust. I am not sure if that can be done, though.

From this recipe I made pizza that had fed me and our daughter for dinner and lunch the next day. Husband wasn’t brave enough to try it. I spread the dough to about 1/2 inch thick and it took about 3/4 of 9×12 inch baking sheet. Next time I’ll try to make it thinner as it raised while baking.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 flax-seed meal

1 tsp. baking powder

2 Tbsp. fresh mint, chopped

2 Tbsp. fresh basil, chopped

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. sugar (or your choice of sweetener)

1/2 cup water

3 eggs, beaten

3 Tbsp. olive oil,

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 F

Mix well flax-seed meal, baking powder, basil, mint, salt, sugar. Add water, beaten eggs and olive oil. Mix util all ingredients are well combined. It will be very watery but that’s ok. Let the mixture rest for 15 minutes.

Spread the batter over a baking sheet layered with parchment paper (do not have to grease it, at least I didn’t and it worked just fine).

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. I baked it for 15 minutes but in my opinion it wasn’t enough. Next time I’ll bake it for 20 minutes.

Add your favorite toppings and bake for additional few minutes until the cheese is melted.

Enjoy.

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Whipped Cream and Beet juice Sponge Roll

So here we are.

It is 4th of July and we are not going anywhere to watch fireworks tonight. My husband is not very happy about that but with our two little munchkins and him still recovering from his surgery it is what it is and being honest with you, I am happy about that. Although he really tried to convinced me into going out but as stubborn as I am and as hurting as he is, I won. We are not going and I have more time to blog as it’s my second post today 🙂

To make the 4th of July a bit special, though (just for him), for the first time in my life I made a roll cake.

Since I discovered this recipe I had looked at it several times thinking that it actually does not look like a very hard work to make a roll cake, and the recipe for a sponge cake is incredibly easy and fast to fix. I’ve changed the recipe a little by whipping the egg whites separately, adding a beet juice as a natural food coloring to the filling and using blueberries as a garnish.

Ingredients for the cake:

5 egg whites

5 egg yolks,

5 Tbsp. powdered sugar

4 Tbsp. all-purpose flour

2 Tbsp. corn starch

Ingredients for the filling:

(2 cups) half and half whipped cream

4 Tbsp. powdered sugar

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup fresh strawberries, cut into pieces

1 Tbsp. fresh beet juice (for coloring)

Directions:

1. Whip egg whites to stiff peaks. Add sugar and egg yolks and whip for additional minute.

2. Meantime sieve both flour and corn starch to a separate bowl.

3. With a hand whisk gently mix the flour with the egg and sugar mixture.

4. Heat the oven to 320 F. Line a 17×11 baking sheet (the deep kind) with parchment paper. 

5. Gently spread the batter over the baking sheet.

6. Bake for 25 to 3o minute.Do  not overbake as it will be crumbling and breaking as rolled into a log. It should be slightly brown and soft to the touch. Mine was done after 25 minutes.

It looks like the original recipe was made in smaller dish so it was thicker. I used 17 x 11 baking sheet and my cake was very thin and delicate but still easy to handle.

7. As soon as it’s baked move it from the baking sheet, keeping the parchment paper on the bottom.

8. Using new piece of parchment paper, very lightly greased, cover warm cake (the greased part touching the cake).

9. With the two layers of parchment paper and the cake in the middle roll the cake. The log should be rolled pretty tight and even.

10. Leave it for about 45 minutes to cool.

11. Meanwhile whip the half and half with powdered sugar adding only one tablespoon at a time and tasting it after each time. I used 4 Tbsp. of powdered sugar as in the original recipe and it came out too sweet as for my taste. Add vanilla extract and beet juice (you can use canned but I prefer using fresh). Beat until well incorporated. You can use more juice for deeper color but be careful not to add to much!

12. Unroll the cake, removing the top layer of the parchment paper. Spread the whipped cream and strawberries over the top. Leave some of the whipped cream for later. 

13. Roll the cake removing the bottom layer of the parchment paper as you roll.

14. Spread the remaining whipped cream over the top of the roll.

15. Garnish with fruits.

16. ENJOY:

My plan for this cake was a little bit different. I wanted to make it more “patriotic” by adding the beet juice to half of the batter and blueberry juice to the remaining batter. By doing so I would have blue and red roll with white filling. If I had done it, I think it would have looked pretty cool, but I remembered to do that when the cake was already in the oven. I totally, totally forgot about it even after my previous, 20 minutes fight with my blender to get the beet juice!!! ugh…

After that I’d decided to add the beet juice into the whipped cream and use the blueberries for a garnish. After all I think it came out great even without the colors I had planned.

The roll tasted great served immediately but chilling it in the fridge for a few hours made it WAY BETTER; moist and so soft. Next time though, I will use more strawberries. Biting into a piece of a strawberry gives it such a great kick of freshness! I really recommend this cake. Easy to make. Tastes great. Looks cool! and it has beets in it which you don’t taste at all!!!! you can go wrong with that 😉

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