May 31, 2008

Walnut chocolate torte

There is no story with this one, it is simply delicious!!! Walnuts, chocolate buttercream, what else do you need? Just ask my neighbor. This one is for you my friend! :)

Walnut chocolate torte
(Adapted from

For the butter cream:
4 eggs
1 cup sugar
3 oz of baking chocolate
2 sticks, plus 2tbs of unsalted butter, or margarine (250 g)

juice of one lemon

Mix eggs and sugar until creamy, and sugar has dissolved. Cook in a pot over another pot with boiling water in it, or double boiler. Mix constantly, and cook until it starts thickening; add chocolate, and mix well. Transfer to a mixing bowl, and let it cool down completely. Then add butter (or margarine), juice of one lemon, and mix to get silky, nice buttercream.

For the cake:
6 eggs

1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp plain bread crumbs
250 g (3 cups ground walnuts)

Preheat oven to 390 F. In one bowl mix egg whites until stiff. In a separate bowl mix egg yolks with sugar for few minutes, until creamy. Add ground walnuts, and bread crumbs. It will be quite dry, then fold in egg whites. Mix until all is blended nicely, but don’t over mix.
Bake in preheated oven for about 40 minutes.

Let it cool, and then cut into two and sprinkle with a little milk, just couple of tablespoons each.
Now fill the cake layers with buttercream inside, and spread all around the outside. Sprinkle generously with ground walnuts, and decorate if you wish. Enjoy!

May 29, 2008

Any time is...

Call it an entrée, a side dish, a salad! Whatever! Just don’t touch my plate, make your own! : )
You can try new things, like the new things, change your taste, and preferences, but when it comes to food, one is for sure, you never let go of your childhood favorites. This was another one of mine…

I was a picky eater, NO, scratch that! I was a pain in a you know what!!! I was not only picky, but I barely ate. Well, you can’t blame me, I had too much work building a school for chicken, trying to raise few dozen bunnies, and saving, and bringing home any animal that needed to (or not) be helped.

Chicken Elementary School was closed soon after my mother realized that in order to keep the chicken in the classroom, the corn was being used up very fast… : )

…anyway, back to pasta. I simply love this dish, and even as picky as I was, I was sure to clean up my plate. The onions and paprika give this pasta/potato dish a really nice flavor, and beautiful color too.

There is a dish almost identical to this one called “Granadir marsh”, only the pasta part is sort of like gnocchi, and it is widely popular in the Balkans, so I guess what was done in part where I grew up, someone simplified it. In any case, flavorful, colorful, and my favorite!

Simple potato pasta dish
1 lb pasta (like mostaccioli, rigatoni, rotini, elbows, penne, you get the idea)
1 lb potatoes, peeled, cut up
2 medium onions
3-4 Tbs of oil, or enough to caramelize the onions
2 Tbsp of paprika seasoning
Salt to taste
Parsley to garnish

Cook pasta according to directions. Drain, and set aside.
Boil potatoes, and mash them (just potatoes, no butter or anything).
Salt pasta and potatoes, and combine them now into one bowl.
Chop, and then caramelize the onions, add paprika, and then pasta/potato mixture.
Mix gently, but thoroughly. Best served immediately - garnish with parsley, and enjoy!
I usually serve it with chicken strips, but it works alone for me too. Feel free to add some other seasonings as well.
For end result, refer to top :)

May 28, 2008

Blogging with purpose :)

I can’t believe I have lived a walking distance from this farm, and missed out on these great farm fresh eggs for almost 3 years! Well, now that I have discovered them, I am buying like there is no tomorrow.

Baking with fresh eggs is way better. I have recently gotten a “Baking, from my home to yours” book, by Dorie Greenspan, and just the following week, when I finally got Madeline molds from Marshalls, Madelines were all the buzz all over the foodie community. Well, I made them too, and my kids loved them! We are hooked! I just used orange peel instead of lemon, as I know that is usually my preference with citrus.

I must not forget!
It’s been a while now that I was awarded this awesome award by TM girl of Taste Memory! Blogging with purpose! I like to think that I am serving some purpose in this foodie world of ours, and being recognized inspires me to contribute more, and be part of this great community! Thank you TM Girl!!! I am honored!

Now I am baffled as to whom to pass it on, as really there are so many of you out there who blog with purpose, and love, and it’s hard to keep track who has already received which award.

So I will use a strategy that I believe HoneyB from The Life and Loves of Grumpy's Honeybunch has used once; the award goes to all of my dear foodies on my list to the right. Those are the blogs/sites I frequently visit, and enjoy! Please pay them a visit, lots of taste to be discovered, great recipes, posts, and fun!

May 9, 2008

Citrus Love!

This month Tartlette is hosting Sugar High Friday #43, which is a monthly event created by Jennifer of The Domestic Goddess.Tartlette chose citrus theme, which is sure to produce yummy posts!!!

Just like Tartelette has mentioned, citrus, after chocolate, is her favorite flavor---well, I am sure it is for many people. I find myself always squeezing that lemon/orange juice over my cakes, regardless the recipe. It adds magic!

I chose this roll because it is my favorite roll/cake when it comes to taste (thanks to orange juice), and I love that it is simple to make. The first delicacy I thought of when thought about participating for this event was this roll, because of the aroma that orange gives it, with chocolate butter cream, it’s a winner!

You can dress it up many different ways, use it for other cake creations, and so on. I make it often; my husband loves it, his mom used to make it a lot (what a way to score points with my hubby, ha? Hahaha!)

Orange Infused Chocolate Buttercream Roll

For the jelly roll:
(this recipe can also be found here)
6 eggs
6 Tbsp of AP flour
6 Tbsp of sugar
½ Tsp of baking powder

Mix the egg whites with sugar until stiff, then add the yolks, one by one, then flour mixed with baking power. Bake in a jelly roll pan lined with parchment paper, @ 385 F until lightly golden (not too long). Transfer onto damp kitchen towel, along with the parchment paper, and roll it up.

Chocolate butter cream:
(I use this one in many cakes, love it! Like Dobos Torte)
4 eggs
5 oz granulated sugar
3 ½ oz bakers chocolate
1 ½ stick (12 Tbsp) unsalted butter

Mix eggs and sugar until frothy, then cook in a double boiler , stirring constantly until it starts to thicken. Then add chocolate, and mix it in. Transfer to a mixing bowl, and let it cool down, later put it in the fridge. When completely add butter cut up into pieces, and mix well with a mixer, until you get a silky textured butter cream.

Unroll the roll, sprinkle generously with freshly squeezed juice of 2-3 oranges, or about 1 cup or orange juice. In the event you don’t have oranges, you can use orange flavored juice box. Roll it up, and decorate any way you like, and enjoy!

To contribute a little more, I have also made some fruit made out of almond meal/flour.
It is so easy, seriously. You feel like a kid while you are making them, and it’s so much fun!!!

Fast too, so if you want to ad flare to your creations quickly, here is your solution, and you can make all kinds of fruit. I have learned a technique from a lovely cook from Canada, goes by name Cipelica, and she post on a Croatian cooking website (Coolinarika).


125 g (4.41 oz)almond flour/meal
125 sugar (4.41 oz)
50 ml (1.69 fl. oz.) water (Updated, not 100ml, it's 50ml)
½ Tsp of margarine
Food colors (yellow, red, green)
(this is how much I have used this time, you can increase accordingly, if you need more)

Boil water and sugar, then add almond flour, and mix well. Add margarine, and let it cool down. Divide into parts, and color each part any color you want by adding drops of food colors slowly.

Play with it, every time you will get better.
For citrus fruit, I have shaped it, and then poked the fruit with a toothpick to create more authentic look.
For more citrus cravings you might like Torta della Nonna!

May 8, 2008

For Beautiful Bones

On my visit to Familia Bencomo blog the other day, I have found out about Susan from Food Blogga, and she’s got a great blog with awesome recipes, accompanied with mouthwatering photos, and great posts!

I read her post about osteoporosis, and I was amazed to find out that age has nothing to do with osteoporosis. Unfortunately Susan is one of those young women who struggle with osteoporosis.
She has decided to host a food blogging event to promote osteoporosis awareness, and since May is National Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Month, it is perfect timing as well.

To find out more about Osteoporosis, the disease of fragile and more likely to break bones, and for great resources, just go to National Osteoporosis Foundation website.

For Susan’s Beautiful Bones: An Osteoporosis Food Event, I have decided to share a cup of coffee with all of you! I can’t imagine starting my day with out that morning cup of coffee, and why not drink one that helps take care of your bones?!: )

Nescafe Late

1 ½ Tbsp of Nescafe Classic Instant Coffee
4 Tbsp of cold milk
2 Tbsp of sugar (or as much as you like)
(that's how much of those ingredients I use;
you adjust it to your own taste, as I do like it strong)

Mix with a hand mixer until frothy, transfer to a coffee cup, then add
1 cup boiling milk, wait a few seconds, and then burden it with tons of whipped cream: ))))))
Sprinkle with chocolate shavings (optional--- yeah, right! *hahaha*), and enjoy!

May 7, 2008

Apple Pudding Cake

This cake is rather simple. I know, I know, I always say that! But it is, really! You don’t even need a recipe, just use your favorite yellowcake/sponge cake recipe. Then you cook apples ( like 3 medium/large ) in 2 cups of water, and you thicken it all with corn starch, sugar, food color if you like, and maybe even some strawberry extract. Usually, I just buy one bag Dr. Oetker strawberry pudding powder, and it’s all in there, except sugar. I use 5 Tbsp. I’m just saying---it is easy!

My friends, and I have made this one a lot in refugee camp over a decade ago, and it brings back some good memories. Yes, good memories! : ) Memories of friendship, and fun, because it was our teenage years, and sharing one stove between 7 families was not stopping us from having our cake, and eating it too!!! Minus the whipped cream : )

Ok, if you want to try, this time I have used a recipe for the yellow cake from one of my cook books, and instead of just store bought pudding (starch), I have used starch and so on...

It is approved by my six year old to be yummy, and pretty too :)

For the Yellow Cake
(adapted from The Ultimate Book of Baking, Martha Day)

½ cup butter
¾ cup sugar
Mix it until nice and fluffy, then add 2eggs,and mix well.
Fold in previously mixed:

1 cup flour
1Tsp baking powder
1/8 Tsp of salt
Grease the spring form pan, and spoon the batter in. Bake @350 F until just right : )

Apple Pudding:

Cook apples (3 medium/large, peeled, cored, and cut up into cubes) in a 1 ¾ cups water. Mix ¼ cup water with 3 Tbsp of starch, 5 Tbsp of sugar (or more if you like it really sweet, I like it just refreshing), couple of drops of red food color, and about 1/4 Tsp strawberry or raspberry extract. Mix it in boiling apples, after they have cooked for like 10 min.
With that done, sprinkle your cake with some milk, to make it more moist, pour the apple pudding over, and cool it down completely.
Serve with whipped cream please! :)

May 6, 2008

Walnut Roll

Nice and cooled down ;)
Very popular all over Eastern Europe, and very popular in my house. We go nuts for nuts, and this roll is perfect for that!!!
I add another cup of nuts on top of the recipe, to make it more nutty! :)
Walnuts, cinnamon, and rum are a very happy gang together, and they create this crazy aroma that invites your neighbors over! Be cautious!

In this photo it is still hot, that's how much we love it:)

Walnut roll
adapted from, (in Serbo-Croatian)years ago, and it appears the link doesn't work anymore... just wanted to give credit ;)

For the dough:
1 kg ( 2.20 Pounds) flour
1 package dry (quick rise) yeast (7g)
6 dl (20.28 fl.oz milk
6 Tbsp sugar
1 ½ stick butter (12Tbsp)
1 Teaspoon salt
1 whole egg
3 yolks

Mix together as you would for any bread - start the yeast separately, and add all the ingredients to a bowl, and let it rise until it doubles in bulk. Transfer to a floured surface, knead, divide into two balls. Roll out each ball into a square about the size of the medium baking pan, to approx. ½ inch thickness. So, when you roll it up, it’s just about wide as the pan.

Walnut filling:
4 cups ground walnuts
4-5 Tbsp of sugar (the original recipe called for 1, but that’s not enough for me : )
¼ Tsp of cinnamon
200 ml (6.76fl.oz.) boiling milk
2-3 tbsp of spiced rum
2 egg whites, beaten until stiff (save the yolks for brushing)

Mix walnuts with sugar, cinnamon, and rum, and then pour the boiling milk over it, and mix together. Add the egg whites, and spread the filling over the rolled out dough. Repeat with other dough, and place the rolls side by side into a baking pan, or 2 loaf pans. Brush with egg yolks, and bake @ 305 F for about50minutes, then increase the heat to about 350for another 5-10 minutes. Enjoy!

Walnut roll 1Walnut roll 2Walnut roll 4

May 4, 2008

Farida's Tandoori Bread ~ I made it!

Look what I made! YUMMY!!!

It's Farida's Tandoori Bread! This bread was on my mind everyday since I first saw it on Farida’s blog. I love bread(who doesn’t), and I am always trying out breads from all over the world, and I am so delighted to report, and I am not surprised, that his bread is awesome. It was literally gone like a snack in 10 minutes. I have followed the recipe faithfully, and it sure paid off, it looks awesome, and tastes like heaven. Certainly a must try!

Farida, thank you so much for sharing, my family loves this bread, and it will certainly be on my table often! My daughter literally walked around the house talking to herself ”mhmm, this bread is good”, ”this is delicious!”, and so on. When my husband and I sat down to eat, and we were slicing the bread away she looked at us like :”that’s enough”, and then she just claimed the last piece like a lion!!!

It is so simple to make, I must make double next time! Delicious bread!
Greetings to your daughter, and your whole family!

May 2, 2008

Nutella Rolls

Believe it or not, it is very hard for me to prepare the food that would appeal to my 8 and 6 year old kids! No matter how much they love spending time with me in the kitchen, and they admire my creations, I can’t have them eat everything I make. I have quoted him already, but once again, my son once told me that I am better “than the chefs at the fancy restaurants”, and that was a huge compliment for me, even though he really just wanted me to give in into buying him something! :))))

The best time to trick them into homemade food is when they come from school, after a long “no fun” day! : ) I try my best to always have something special on the table, and these rolls are one of those things they cannot resist. Nutella is the key, but you can also fill them with your favorite jams, or even cream cheese. For cheese you exclude the 1/4 cup sugar, and increase salt a bit.

I like to keep their minds of BK of McDs by making something special for right after school that will hold them until dinner. They love to take these rolls to school, for a snack too. I try to limit their fast food to a once or twice a month occasion., that’s it!

Nutella Rolls:

½ cup milk
½ cup water
1 Tsp sugar + ¼ cup sugar
½ Tsp dry active yeast
½ cup oil
½ Tsp of salt
Enough flour to mix the dough (Approx. 3 cups)
There really is no measure, you just add until you have a nice bread sort of dough texture

Mix together water and milk, and warm it up a little. Pour into mixing bowl, add 1 Tsp of sugar, and yeast. Let sit for few minutes, then add the oil, ¼ cup sugar, salt, and start adding flour a little by little until you have bread like dough. Cover, and let it rise until doubled.

Now knead and transfer to a floured surface. I do this on my linen tablecloth that I have just for these things, so that I don’t cut or scratch my table when I cut the dough.

Divide the dough into 2 balls, and roll each of them into a diner plate sized circle : ) Now, that’s a funny way to put it! Cut into quarters, and then cut each quarter into 3 rolls to be : ) You get 12, of course! Repeat with the other ball of dough.

Nutella rolls 1Nutella rolls 2
Nutella rolls 3Nutella rolls 4

Put a little Nutella in each, and roll it up. Bruch each with egg yolk wash, sprinkle with sesame seeds or some other seeds (optional), and place a little bit(like ½ Tsp) of butter or margarine on top of each roll. Bake @ 380 F for about20-25 minutes, or until golden.

If this is not enough, just double everything! :)
For another great recipe for rolls, visit Marija’s blog!