Monday, November 30, 2009

Chocolate Bread


2 eggs
1 cup flour
1/4 cup milk
4 tbsp cocoa
2/3 cups sugar
1.5 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup butter, softened or melted

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Beat the eggs first, then add the rest of the ingredients except chocolate chips, and mix well. Stir in the chocolate chips. Pour the batter into the lightly greased 9x5in loaf pan. Bake for about 1 hour or until a wooden pick comes out clean. Leave the loaf in the pan for about 10 minutes to cool before serving.

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The best way to make breads is in a bread maker! The desert type of breads are easy to mix, since they don't have to rise at specific temperatures for specific periods of time, so they can quickly be mixed manually and baked in he oven in a loaf pan.

Smoked Salmon Roll


15oz smoked salmon
10oz cream cheese
1/2 cup crushed pistachios
1/2 cup chives
2 tbsp rosemary, finely chopped
3 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Chop chives and rosemary and mix them with cream cheese and oil. Add salt and pepper.

On a baking sheet, place salmon sheets so that they partly overlap. Spread the cream cheese mixture over it leaving about 1/2in on the edges. Sprinkle coarsely chopped pistachios over the cheese and roll it up. Use the baking sheet to help roll it.

Place the roll in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve it. This roll is difficult to cut unless it is very cold, so you might want to put it in the freezer for about 30 minutes before serving. You may decorate it with pistachios, basil and red onions or chives.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Baked Chicken Legs on Potatoes

This dish is very easy and quick to make- prep time is only about 10 minutes, and cook time another 1.5 hours. It is also easy to make this in large quantities, if you have company coming.

This is the first meal I learned to cook when I was 8 years old. At the time I still had trouble boiling milk. My parents always used to buy unpasteurized milk which had to be cooked, and my job was to cook it before they come back from work. Most of the times I managed to get distracted and over boil it, which is REALLY difficult to clean up. But this meal is pretty forgiving. As long a you fully cook the chicken, and spice it enough, it will be pretty tasty.

You do not need a non stick disk. The parts that stick are the most delicious!


Dark chicken meat (legs and thighs)


Carrots (optional)
Your favorite mixed seasoning salt

Herbs of your choice (oregano, basil, thyme)

Wash the potatoes and carrots and cut them into large slices. Apply mixed seasoning and mix well. You can make it as spicy as you like. Then add oil and mix again.

Sprinkle the seasoning onto the chicken covering the whole surface. If you are using meat with skin, use more seasoning. Arrange the meat on top of the potatoes.

Cover and bake at 440F for about 30 minutes. Remove the cover and continue to bake for another hour. If you like it a little more crispy, you may broil it for about 5 minutes at the end.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Tomato and Avocado Salad

Fresh healthy salad prepared in just minutes!


1 large heirloom tomato
1 ripe avocado
1 green onion
1/2 lemon
Olive oil

Dice tomato and avocado into bite size pieces and chop the onions finely. In a large salad bowl, toss together tomatoes, avocado and onion and salt to taste. Squeeze 1/2 lemon onto the salad, and sprinkle with olive oil.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Chard Soup


1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped

1 carrot, finely chopped

5-6 chars leaves

2 L of water

1 bullion cube
(can be chicken or beef or vegetable)
2 eggs

3/4 cups sour cream

salt and pepper to taste

Steam chard leaves for a couple of minutes. Then chop them into small pieces.

In a cooking pot, heat the oil on medium high heat, then add chopped onions and carrot. Simmer until the onions become golden brown. Add chopped chard and continue to simmer for another couple of minutes.

Then add water and chicken bullion cube. Boil on low for about 20 minutes. Mix well and make sure the bullion cube is completely dissolved.

Before serving, beat the eggs and mix with sour cream. Add this mixture to the hot soup.

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Want organic, fresh, home grown chard? Plant your own:

Monday, November 23, 2009

Sea Bass With Bok Choy


1 lb of sea bass stake
1 can baby corn
1/4 lbs bok choy
1 close garlic
3 green onions, coarsely chopped
5 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tsp ginger paste
2 cups of white rice

Please the fish on a plate, salt and rub ginger paste onto both sides. Sprinkle 4 Tbps of soy sauce onto it and flip a couple of times to make sure that both sides are covered. Let it marinate until you prepare the veggies and cook the rice.

Set the rice to cook in your rice cooker.

Steam bok choy for about 10 minutes. Then transfer it to the pan together with baby corn and garlic, and simmer in oil over medium hear for a few minutes. Add green onions and continue to simmer for another minute. Sprinkle 1 Tbsp of soy sauce and salt to taste. The veggies are ready and can be transferred into a serving dish.

In another pan, heat the oil on high, and fry the fish about 4-5 minutes per side, for 1in thick piece. It's a good idea to cover the pan in order to prevent the oil from spraying all over your stove.

Serve the sea bass over rice with bok choy/ baby corn mix on the side.

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Steaming is a healthy way to cook vegetables- it does not only retain flavors and color, but also the nutrients. It is quick and easy with minimal mess.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Mediterranean rice


2 1/2 Cups uncooked rice (white or brown, your choice)

Tbsp oregano
Tbsp rosemary
1 Cup sun dried tomatoes

1 small red bell pepper, shopped finely

1 Tsp pine nuts

7 Cups chicken broth

2 Tbsp butter

salt and pepper to taste

Heat butter in the frying pan and add in sun dried tomatoes, pepper, rice, oregano, rosemary, pine nuts, salt and pepper. Stir frequently over medium heat for about 5-6 minutes. Then add chicken broth and cook stirring occasionally until the liquid is gone and the rice softens.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Waldorf Salad

Waldorf salad originates from the 1800s. It was created by Oscar Tschirky, aka "Oscar of the Waldorf", in Waldorf-Astoria hotel in New Your City. Today, there are many variations of this salad. You can also add your own touch to it.


Juice from 1 lemon
2 celery stalks
2 apples
1 orange
3 Tbsp mayonnaise
1 cup whipping cream
1 cup crushed walnuts
salt and pepper to taste

Peel apples and celery and chop into small pieces (you can also shred them, or cut into thin strips, depending on how you want your arrangement to look like), and immediately place them in lemon juice to prevent them form turning dark. Then add the other ingredients and mix.

Serve over lettuce. Whole walnuts and lettuce pieces can be used for decoration.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Urnebes spread (Serbian= Урнебес салата/ Urnebes salata)

Urnebes spread is an authentic Serbian side dish usually served with grilled meat. It makes a good hamburger topping, but is also great on crackers or bread.


1 lbs of cow or sheep white cheese (feta for example, but it can be mixed with cottage cheese, depending on how strong you want it to be)

10 roasted red peppers, finely chopped

1 garlic clove
2 Tbsp fatty sour cream

1 Tsp paprika

3 firm cooked egg yokes

1 Tbsp oil

salt to taste

1 roasted hot pepper (optional)

Mix well, and serve as a spread or a side dish. Urnebes goes well with any kind of meat or bread. You can make it as spicy as you like.

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A two part dish is ideal for serving spreads. You can use the larger compartment for serving crackers or bread.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Leak Bread


4 eggs

1 cup of milk

1/2 cup of oil

2-3 cups chopped leaks

1 cup feta cheese

2 1/2 cups flour

2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp of baking powder

Mix eggs first, then add flour and milk and continue mixing until its smooth. Then add the rest of the ingredients and mix again. Bake in a pre-greased pan at 430F until the top becomes golden brown and the toothpick comes clear.

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To avoid sticking to the baking dish, it is always convenient to use parchment paper:

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Savory roll


5 eggs

1/2 cup of flour

2 Tablespoons of oil

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon of salt


1 cup cream cheese

1/2 small onion, finely chopped

1 clove of garlic, finely chopped

1 cup ham, finely chopped

1/3 cup of butter

3 Tablespoons of parsley, finely chopped


1 cup sour cream

shredded cheese

Whip egg whites into a firm foam with a mixer, add yokes and continue to mix. Then add salt, baking powder, flour and oil and fold in with a spoon (do not mix anymore). In a greased baking pan, place a baking paper and then pour the mixture. Bake at 400F. Take out of the oven and place on a clean kitchen towel while it is still hot, and roll. Leave it rolled while you make the fill.

In a bowl, mix cream cheese, finely chopped onion and garlic, ham, parsley and butter.

Unroll the baked dough, and spread the fill on it. Roll it again tightly. Rap in foil and leave in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. When you are ready to serve it, take it out of the refrigerator, remove the foil and spread the sour cream and grated cheese on top of the roll. Cut in slices.

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Kitchen aid mixers are especially useful in baking because you can add the ingredients while they mix. No mess, no splashes and you still have both of your hands to do other stuff. This mixer makes baking easy and quick.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Slow cooked steak


4 lbs thick steaks with bone and fat

1 medium size onion

5 cloves garlic

Mixed seasoning for rub

1 can diced tomatoes

Red wine
Salt and pepper

Chose thick fatty steaks on a bone at your supermarket. I recommend using fatty meat in slow cooking because it forms a nice thick sauce and the meat doesn't dry out. The fat will melt and the meat will be tender and juicy. The bone is also important because it will give the sauce a good flavor. The bone will fall off the meat during cooking and can easily be removed. Rub a thick layer of mixed seasoning onto both sides of steaks. I use Cajun spice mix, but you can use any that contains some salt, garlic powder, paprika, chili powder, crushed pepper, etc.

Heat the oil in the frying pan and brown the meat for about 5 minutes per side, until the meat is dark brown. Don't worry about cooking the meat all the way through, it will cook in the crock pot. Browning will seal the tasty juices in. When the meat is dark enough, transfer it into the crock pot. Then add whole or coarsely chopped garlic cloves and in the hot oil and and stir them till they are brown too. Deglaze the pan with wine and add that to the crock pot as well.

Add tomatoes and finely chopped onions. Then add more wine so that the meat is completely immersed in liquids. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix the sauce around the meat. Again, make sure that the meat is completely covered with sauce so that it doesn't dry out. Cover and cook on high for 3 hours and then on low for another 4 hours, or just on low for 8-9 hours.

When the meat is fully cooked, it will fall apart and the bones will pull of easily. Serve over pasta or mashed potatoes.

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Everyone should own a crock pot! They are cheap and very useful. Even though crock pot dishes are cooked for many hours, generally they don't require much time in preparation.

Put some meat, veggies and spices in your slow cooker in the morning, and when you are back from work, you have a healthy and tasty meal.

I like Hamilton Beach 3-in-1 slow cooker because you can make 3 different size meals. If you feel like cooking just one small piece of meat- you can do it. This is not possible in large crock pots (which most kinds are) because you would have to use way too much sauce (wine, broth, oil, etc) to cover the meat and prevent it from drying out.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Savory chicken cakes

This is a great finger food for parties. It's got the looks and and its got the flavor. It is served cold and each piece is a bite size, so no silverware required. It can be combined with other finger foods for a great presentation.


2 chicken breasts

1/2 lbs feta cheese

1/3 cup chopped pickles

1 tablespoon mayo

1 tablespoon sour cream

1 teaspoon sesame oil

salt, pepper

shredded cheese

crushed pistachio

roasted sesame seeds

small cupcake liners

Cook the meat in salted water. When the meat is fully cooked, drain the water and shred it in a food processor. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Wet your hands and form small balls to fit in your cupcake liners. Then roll some of the balls in shredded cheese, some in roasted sesame seeds and some in crushed pistachios.

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Thursday, November 5, 2009

Bajadera- chocolate walnut desert

This desert is easy to make, and there is no baking required.


2 cups of sugar

1¼ cup of butter (unsalted)

3 cups ground tea biscuits

3 cups ground walnuts

3 ounces semisweet chocolate, grated

1 teaspoon rum or rum extract (optional)


3 tablespoons of milk

2 tablespoons of sugar

1 tablespoon butter

6 ounces semisweet chocolate

Bring 1 cup of water to boil and add sugar. Stir as the mixture thickens. Then add butter, tea biscuits and walnuts. Stir well until a dough like mixture forms. Divide the dough into two parts. Stir in the chocolate into one of the parts (you can also add rum to this half).

Put the chocolate part in a greased baking dish. It is easier to do this with wet hands, to prevent sticking. Then put the other half (the one without chocolate) on top. Press it evenly in order to get nice layers.

Chocolate glaze:
Heat the milk, butter and sugar together in another smaller pan, stirring continuously until the butter melts. Then add chocolate. When the mixtures become homogeneous, pour it over the dough.

Let the cake cool in the refrigerator for a couple of hours before you cut it.

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Impress your guests and show off your bajaderas in a bright orange ceramic serving plate.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Tomato and eggplant pasta sauce

Pasta sauces are generally easy to make and keep well in the refrigerator as leftovers. This particular dish takes about 1 hour to make (including all the chopping), and will provide several meals. When I make this at home, I usually freeze a portion for later.


4 lbs cherry tomatoes cut in halves
1 big Italian eggplant, or 2 smaller ones, chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves
1 jalapeno pepper
1/2 cup red wine
1/4 cup olive oil
pasta of your choice fresh
herbs: oregano, basil and thyme (or dry Italian seasoning)
salt and pepper

Chop the onions, garlic, jalapeno pepper and eggplant. Cut the cherry tomatoes into halves.

In a large skillet, heat olive oil and add eggplant. It will absorb all of the oil. You do not need to add more- when the eggplant is done, it will release the oil back. Then add jalapenos, onions and garlic. Add salt and simmer for several minutes. When it starts to stick to the bottom of the pan, add wine to deglaze it, and stir.

Lower the heat and add tomatoes. Stir them in and cover the pan. Cook on medium-low heat for about 20 minutes.

Add chopped herbs and cook for another 5 minutes. Serve over pasta.

The leftovers are easy to store and even freeze for later use.

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You need a quality heavy sauce pan for even heat distribution. They last forever.

Also, you can use canning jars to preserve your sauce.

Mushroom, Canadian bacon and tomato pizza


pizza dough



canadian bacon

fresh mozzarella cheese

shredded cheese mix

Grease the pizza pan with margarine. Stretch the dough onto the pizza pan making the edges slightly thicker. Then grease the top of the pizza dough with margarine again so that the tomato sauce doesn't make it soggy. Make sure you cover the edges well, this will keep them moist during baking.

Cut up one or two medium tomatoes in a bowl and and then crush them with a fork. Add one can of tomato paste to this and mix. Cover the pizza dough with this sauce.

Slice the mushrooms and arrange over pizza.

Then cut up canadian bacon in small pieces and spread them on top.

Slice the tomatoes thin and arrange on top. Finally, place slices of fresh mozzarella cheese to cover all the toppings.

Garnish with shredded cheese and oregano. Remember- there is no such thing as too much cheese on a pizza!

Bake on 425F for 15-20 minutes. When the edges start to get golden brow
n, your pizza is done.

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I use bread maker to make the pizza dough. It works great- just pour all the ingredients in and push start. 1 hour and 45 minutes later, I have a perfect pizza dough.

This bread maker makes much more than just a pizza dough. The bread possibilities are endless, as well as other pastries. It also makes jam, so you have something to eat with your bread! It is programmable, so you can set it in the evening and wake up with a nice smell of fresh bread in the morning. The loaf size is 1lb (most other bread machines make 2 lbs bread loaves), so its perfect size to consume in a day or two and then make a fresh loaf again.

Sugar and spice salmon

You will need a salmon fillet, olive oil and lots of spices for this recipe. This dish is quick to make, and it is good for those days when you come back form work tired and hungry, and don't feel like spending the whole evening cooking dinner, but still want to eat something tasty and healthy.

Sugar Spice Mix

1/4 cup Brown Sugar
1/4 cup Chili Powder

1/2 tsp Dry Mustard

1/8 tsp Ground Cinnamon

1/2 Tbs Paprika

1 tsp Cocoa Powder

1 tsp Ground Cumin

1/2 Tbs Ground Black Pepper

2 Tbs Salt

Combine all ingredients and mix well. This will give you plenty of spice mix. Store the remaining mix in a jar for next time.

Rub a liberal coat of spice mix onto one side of salmon fillet. If your fillet has skin on one side, rub the spice mix on the side without the skin.

Heat 3 Tbs of olive oil in a skillet. Sear the fillet for 2-3 minutes on the spice side (this is for 1/2 inch thick fillet; fry longer if your fillet is thicker). Turn it over and cook the other side for another 2-3 minutes. Don't overcook it- it will be dry.

Mash potatoes are a good side dish for sugar and spice salmon. Steamed veggies such as asparagus, broccoli and zucchinis also go well with it.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Chicken and bacon pasta sauce

Pasta is quick and simple to make. You can have restaurant quality pasta dishes when you make your own sauce with fresh ingredients. There are endless variations of pasta sauces. Here is one that is NOT vegetarian.


10 Tbsp olive oil
1-2 jalapeño peppers
½ medium size yellow or red onion
2-3 garlic cloves
1 chicken breast or 5-6 chicken tenders cut in small pieces
handful of cut up smoked bacon
1/4 cup red wine
5 cups cut fresh tomatoes (or 3 small cans)

Have all the ingredients ready and cut up before you start. You can use any kind of tomatoes, or mix and match like I did. Roma tomatoes are especially good for sauces.

Jalapenos can be pretty hot, so if you don't like spicy food, you can take out the seeds and the sauce will be mild.

Heat the oil in a large skillet together with cut up jalapeno peppers and bacon.

Add chicken and fry over medium heat. Salt it and stir well so that the chicken can fry evenly on all sides. Then add finely chopped onions and garlic. Simmer for another 2-3 minutes until the onions are soft. Pour wine into the skillet and scrape the bottom.

Lower the heat and add tomatoes. Cook covered for another 20 minutes, mixing periodically. Than add chopped oregano and and salt to taste.

For more flavor, you can use other herbs such as thyme and basil. Mixed Italian seasoning works well too.