• New blog “Couple of Cooks”

    If you haven’t seen my new blog Couple of Cooks. You should really check it out!

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  • Recipe

    Tzatziki Dip & Pita Crisps

    Recipe

    Tzatziki is a traditional Greek dip that is made of sour cream, yogurt, cucumber, lemon juice, garlic, and fresh dill.  It is the perfect dip for vegetables and pita crisps; it also goes well with grilled meats, falafel, or souvlaki.

    I like to use Greek yogurt to make Tzatziki because it is thicker than regular yogurt.  If you decide to use regular yogurt make sure you strain it to remove some of the liquid, Tzatziki sauce should be thick and creamy.  The yogurt and sour cream give the sauce a nice tang while the cucumber, lemon, and fresh dill balance it out with freshness.  It only gets better with time, so let it sit in the fridge for a day before serving.  Tzatziki is easy to make and is the perfect accompaniment for a variety of foods.

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  • First Year Anniversary Poem

    Yesterday was our first year anniversary. I wanted to share the lovely poem that David wrote for me.

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  • Recipe

    Poppyseed Chiffon Cake

    Recipe

    My cousin has been telling me about this cake for months, and how much everyone she makes it for loves it.  After such a glowing review I knew that I had to give it a try. It was fairly simple to put together and the perfect finish to a spring meal.

    Chiffon cakes are similar in texture to angel food cakes, but slightly heavier because of the addition of egg yolks and oil. I topped my cake with cream cheese frosting; but it would also be wonderful served with whipped cream.

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  • Recipe

    Buttermilk Pancakes with Caramalized Apples

    Recipe

    I woke up this morning with a craving for pancakes, so I made Buttermilk Pancakes with caramelized apples baked into them. This is truly the best pancake recipe you will ever make. They are fluffy and light with a great flavour from the buttermilk and just the right amount of sweetness from the caramelized apples. I normally just make these pancakes without the apples, but since I made the caramelized apples the other day I figured this would be a great use for them. Pancakes are not only great for breakfast but would make a unique dessert if you topped them with cinnamon flavoured whipped cream instead of maple syrup!

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  • Recipe

    Cinnamon & Honey Granola

    Recipe

    My Mom has been making this granola since I was a little girl. Once you make homemade granola you will never want to eat the bought stuff again. Not only is the flavour better but you can control what spices and nuts you add to the recipe. I make a batch of this every week and it always amazes me how fast it is all eaten up.

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  • Recipe

    Sweet Side of Italy

    Recipe

    I used to think that Italian desserts were nothing special and only consisted of tiramisu and biscotti. Boy was I wrong! While I was in Tuscany last summer I sampled many delicious treats, from amaretto cookies in mascarpone cream, to molten chocolate cakes, and even a fresh fig tart. Lately I have been missing Italy, so I decided to bake some of the recipes that I brought back from my trip last year. The first recipe I tried was for a “Spicy Chocolate Tart”. I made a few modifications to it though, by adding chopped hazelnuts, milk chocolate instead of dark, vanilla extract instead of sweet wine, and I omitted the red pepper because I wasn’t sure if my family would like their chocolate spicy. The modifications resulted in a decedent and utterly delicious tart that had just the right amount of crunch from the hazelnuts and flavour  and aroma from the vanilla. I served each slice with a dollop of cinnamon scented whipped cream and fresh raspberries.

    The next dessert I made was an “Apple Cake with Crackly Meringue”. It turned out amazing! This is a layer cake that starts with a butter crust bottom, followed by an apple cake batter, and finally it is all topped off with crunchy meringue. I also made a few changes to this recipe by using buttermilk instead of regular milk, and omitting the lemon zest. Lastly, I added some cinnamon to the cake because I think apples and cinnamon go together perfectly.

    While in Italy I tried to have gelato everyday. Lately I have been craving gelato so I made “Strawberry Vanilla Mascarpone Gelato” and added fresh strawberries to give it extra flavour and a nice colour. I don’t know what it is about making ice cream but I always get so excited to see it turn from a liquid to a solid. If you are not really into baking, but love to have home made desserts I would recommend you buy an ice cream maker. You can find them for a reasonable price and making your own ice cream is really so simple and fun!

    Last night I decided to try out a recipe for an “Italian Strawberry Tart”. This recipe again was very simple and the only change I made was to use vanilla instead of amaretto liqueur. My mom is not a big fan of almonds so I always try to omit them, and anything with their flavour from my baking. The best part of this tart in my opinion was the mascarpone whipped cream. The addition of mascarpone took this whipped cream right over the edge and even helped it to hold its shape better. I am going to be putting mascarpone into my whipped cream from now on. If you don’t know what mascarpone cheese is, think of it as the Italians version of cream cheese. It is a lot denser than cream cheese though, and less sour in taste. You can find it at all Italian grocery stores and most regular stores.

    Making all of these desserts really brought me back to Tuscany. If you can’t take a trip to Italy, making one of these delicious desserts is the next best thing!

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