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Let me tell you this.

This cake is amazing!

There it is.

I needed to get this off my chest.

Ugh, I feel so much better now.

 

I love this cake because it is fresh, delicious, it has different textures in it, it is satisfying and surprising, there are berries, there is cream cheese… and this is how you can make it…

 
 

Here’s what we need.

 
 

1. First, preheat the oven to 350 °F (175 °C).

 

2. Then separate the eggs – the yolks into one large bowl, the whites into another large bowl.

 
 

3. Add 1 3/4 cups (200 grams) confectioners’ sugar to the yolks and mix them for a couple of minutes until your batter becomes pale and smooth.

 

To tell you the truth, if I could live my life the way I really wanted, I’d have this egg-yolk-sugar mixture for lunch every day. Every single day. It’s beyond tempting and delicious for me.

I know, I am creepy.

But let’s forget it.

 
 

4. Now add the flour into your batter and give it another quick stir.

 
 

5. Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.

 
 

6. With a rubber spatula, gently fold one-third of the whites into the egg-yolk mixture to loosen the batter.

 
 

7. Then fold in the remaining whites.

 
 

8. Line a baking pan with parchment paper. Mist it with some vegetable oil and dust it with flour lightly.

I am using a 12 x 15 inch (30 x 38 cm) baking pan here. You can use a smaller pan if you want your cake squares to be a little taller.

 

9. Pour one half (!) of the batter into the pan and spread it evenly.

We need two cake layers for this cake, that is why the batter should be baked in two batches.

Okay, it could be baked in one go and sliced in half afterward, but I am not that daring.

You can be.

But I am not.

 
 

10. Bake at 350 °F (175 °C) for about 12 – 15 minutes until golden-brown.

 
 

11. Before you remove your first cake layer from the oven, lay a sheet of parchment paper on your working surface and dust it lightly with some confectioners’ sugar.

 

12. When baked, invert the cake layer onto the paper.

 
 

13. And remove the top paper.

Let cool.

 

14. Line the baking pan with parchment paper again, fill it with the remaining batter and bake it.

When baked, leave that cake layer in the baking pan and don’t remove it.

Just let it cool.

That will be the bottom layer of our cake.

Well, not ‘our’ literally, the cake will be yours only, unless you send me some.

 
 

15. Now, let’s make the yummy cream cheese filling.

In a large bowl, combine the cream cheese, butter, sugar, and sour cream.

 
 

16. Mix until smooth.

This will take a couple of minutes.

 
 

17. Pour the heavenly filling onto the first layer.

 
 

18. And spread it.

 
 

 
 

19. Place the second layer on top of the filling.

 
 

20. Grab about 1/2 cup of your favorite jam or preserves.

 
 

21. And spread the jam over the cake layer.

This will help to moisten up the cake beautifully.

And it adds another beautiful flavor.

 
 

These are thawed mixed berries.

 
 

22. Scatter the berries over the top.

 
 

 
 

23. And finally, cook the red gelatin according to the instructions.

I used 2 packets. Each one asked for 1 cup (250 ml) of liquid. Altogether, we need 2 cups of the gelatin liquid for this cake.

Also, I used unsweetened gelatin. That is why I had to add some sugar to it.

 
 

24. Pour the cooked gelatin over the fruit.

 
 

25. And let cool completely.

 

26. Then cover the whole cake with plastic wrap, place in the fridge and let firm up for a few hours.

 
 

27. Finally, cut into squares and…

 

Enjoy!

 

(This cake makes about 30 pieces of 2.5 x 2.5 inch (6×6 cm) squares. Pretty enough to make you happy.)

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I love bundt cakes.

It seems that I tend to celebrate the arrival of each season with them.

Somehow, it always works.

 

To welcome this year’s spring and Easter, I decided to go for a wonderful, fresh and invigorating citrus flavor.

And here it is.

 

In fact, the big clever books of baking would call this cake a chiffon cake.

Chiffon cakes are light and moist cakes that use vegetable oil instead of butter. That is the main reason why these cakes do not tend to harden or dry out as traditional butter cakes might.

That is positive, I think.

 

Frankly, this cake tastes just lovely.

Plus, there’s this delicious citrus glaze that increases the whole fresh experience immensely.

Here’s how you can make it too…

 

These are the ingredients that will come in handy.

 
 

1. First, preheat the oven to 325 °F  (165 °C).

 

2. Wash one tangerine under running water thoroughly.

Pat it dry with a kitchen towel.

Then grate one tablespoon plus one teaspoon peel. We are going to need one tablespoon for the cake and the remaining teaspoon for the glaze.

 
 

Mmm.

 
 

3. Now, squeeze the juice from 4 tangerines.

And try not to drink it.

Be strong!

 
 

4. Pass the juice through a fine sieve to get rid of seeds.

Because there might be seeds.

They are naughty and tend to sneak into your juice unobserved.

 
 

5. Now prepare your dry ingredients.

In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, salt, and 1 cup granulated sugar.

 
 

6. Make a well in the center.

Add the oil, egg yolks, and the tangerine peel and juice.

Whisk into the dry ingredients.

 
 

7. In another larger bowl, beat the egg whites until they just stand in stiff peaks when beaters are lifted.

 
 

8. With a rubber spatula, gently fold one-third of the whites into the egg-yolk mixture to loosen the batter.

Then fold in the remaining whites.

 
 

9. Brush a 6-cup (1.4 liters) bundt cake pan with some vegetable oil.

Or use your cooking/baking spray.

 

10. Then dust the pan with some flour lightly.

But be careful at this point, don’t miss a spot. The more attention you pay to this process, the easier it will be for you to remove the cake from the pan after baking.

 

Note: You can use an angel food cake pan instead, if you wish to.

 
 

10. Using a spoon or a ladle, pour the batter in the pan.

 
 

11. And bake at 325 °F (165 °C) for about 30 minutes…

 
 

… or until a wooden skewer inserted into the center of the cake…

 
 

… comes out clean.

 
 

Hello baby.

I like you.

I like you very much.

 

12. Or, in other words, remove the cake from the oven.

Let it stand on the wire rack for about 15 minutes.

Then, using a knife, carefully loosen the cake from the edges and the center of the pan.

 

13. Invert the cake on a cake stand or a plate.

 

14. Let cool completely.

 
 

15. To prepare the glaze, squeeze 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon juice from the remaining tangerines.

Start preparing the glaze just before using it.

 
 

16. In a small bowl, stir together the confectioners’ sugar, tangerine peel, and 2 tablespoons tangerine juice until smooth, adding the remaining teaspoon juice if necessary for good spreading consistency.

 
 

16. Spoon the glaze over the cooled cake, spreading it with the back of the spoon and allowing the glaze to run down the sides of your cake.

 

17. Use some colorful, happy sugar sprinkles to decorate the cake.

 

18. Let stand until the glaze is set, about 30 minutes.

 
 

And most importantly – enjoy, dear friends!

 

Love,

Petra

 

(This cake has been adapted from www.goodhousekeeping.com.)

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Chicken Stroganoff is a lovely variation of the well-known and famous Beef Stroganoff.

 

Beef or chicken, frankly, this dish is amazing.

Just imagine – tender chunks of meat covered with flavorful creamy sauce served over hot noodles.

 

And I haven’t told you everything yet.

Ladies and gentlemen… there’s bacon!

See?

You just have to make this…
 
 

This is what you need.

Plus noodles.

 
 

1. First, chop the leek.

You can also use onion instead.

 
 

2. Cut the skinless and boneless chicken breast into strips or cubes, whatever you prefer.

 

I parted that chicken myself.

Early in the morning.

There’s nothing like parting a chicken while drinking coffee early in the morning.

There’s certain magic to it.

Horror magic.

 
 

3. In a large non-stick skillet or pan, fry the slices of bacon over medium heat…

 
 

… until crisp.

 

4. Remove the bacon from the pan and cut it into small chunks (or crumble it).

 
 

5. Add the leek to the drippings in the pan.
 
 

6. Then add the chicken cubes/strips.

 
 

7. Sauté together for about 6 minutes, stirring frequently.

 
 

8. Now we need our spices: ground black pepper, red paprika, pressed or minced garlic cloves, and salt.

 
 

9. Throw all the spices into the chicken-leek mixture. Add the bouillon and bacon.

 

10. Bring the mixture to a boil. Then cover, reduce heat, and let simmer for about 10 minutes.

 

You may want to transfer the whole mixture into a smaller pot if you don’t have a lid that large.

 
 

11. In the meantime you can cook the noodles.

 

12. Also, in a small bowl, combine the sour cream and the flour and stir until smooth.

 
 

13. Add the sour cream mixture to the pan/pot. Bring to a boil.

 

14. Then reduce heat and let simmer for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

Your sauce will become thicker and creamier.

 
 

Serve your Chicken Stroganoff over hot noodles.

 

Enjoy, dear friends.

 

(This recipe was adapted from ivillage.com and make 2 portions.)

 

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Yep, that’s a healthy green smoothie?

I realize things like these are rather scarce over here, at this little place of mine.

But before you start wondering whether I’ve overcome a head injury recently, let me explain what’s going on…

 

I made this smoothie yesterday. That allowed me to tick off my first New Year’s resolution – to bring a little more health into my life.

Then I did three (3) sit-ups.

I was feeling amazing.

A new person was born.

 

Today I made a batch of cookies and had two glasses of wine.

So everything is back to normal.

The new person has grown up rather quickly, it seems.

 

Still I wonder what made me feel better, the alkalizing smoothie or the lovely wine.

Need to think it all through.

 

Here’s what you need to prepare this healthy beverage.

 

1. Pour the juice into the blender.

 

2. Add the lemon juice.

Minus the seeds.

 

3. Grab a handful of fresh spinach leaves.

They have rather mild flavor so they won’t affect the final taste of your drink substantially.

 

4. And throw them into the blender.

 

5. Peel the fresh ginger and grate it finely.

 

Fresh ginger is beyond healthy but very flavorful.

A little goes a long way.

We need just about 1/4 teaspoon.

 

6. And into the blender it goes as well.

 

7. Blend till liquefied and green.

 

This super detox smoothie is great for alkalizing your system. It is refreshing and packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and enzymes.

And when you drink it, you’ll feel like a new person.

Enjoy, dear friends.

 

(This recipe was loosely adapted from pattycake.ca.)

 

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When I was a kid, cakes like this one were on our table very often.

My lovely Mom used to make them.

They were filled with any fruit that was in season. And during the months of winter, Mom would use just about any canned fruit she had on hand.

So, whether you use plums, cherries or any kind of berries to make this sponge cake with fruit, you’ll be amazed by a very nice flavor it has and how surprisingly easy it is to prepare it.

 
 

Here’s what we need.

 
 

1. First, preheat the oven to 350 °F (175 °C).

 

2. Separate the eggs placing the yolks in one bowl and the whites in another.

Use larger bowls.

 

3. Pour the sugar into the egg yolks and beat until thick and pale in color.

 

Try your best not to eat this all.

Oh my gosh, it’s so good.

Or is it just me?

 
 

4. Then add the butter and mix until fluffy.

 
 

5. Next, in a small bowl, combine the flour and baking powder. Add it to the egg-yolk mixture. Mix to combine.

 
 

6. Then, using a cleaned whisk attachment, whisk the whites…

 
 

…until they hold stiff peaks.

 

7. Add the whites into the egg-yolk batter.

Small lumps of egg whites in the batter are okay.

 
 

8. Spray a baking pan with cooking spray and dust it lightly with flour.

 

9. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.

I used a 13 x 9-inch (33 x 22 cm) baking pan. This cake will rise a lot, so if you are going for a less tall version, use a larger baking pan.

 
 

10. Spread out the batter evenly.

 
 

11. Now cut the plums into halves. Or, if you are using canned plums, drain them.

 
 

12. Evenly arrange the halved plums on top of the batter.

 
 

13. Bake at 350 °F (175 °C) for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

 
 

14. Remove from the oven and let cool.

 

14. Then dust with a little confectioner’s sugar and cut into squares.

 
 

And most importantly, enjoy, dear friends!

 

(This cake takes about 45 minutes to prepare.)

 

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Happy New Year, dear friends!

I wish you health, love, happiness and joy!

And I am completely sure that you’ll have it all.

Some things I just know.

 

What I am also sure about is that you’ll love these scrambled egg muffins.

The idea comes from lovely and cute Jessica Seinfeld. She presented the recipe on Martha Stewart’s show recently.

The recipe is included in her cook book called ‘Deceptively Delicious’ where she shares very smart secrets on how to trick your kids into eating healthy stuff.

Cool, huh?

 

To tell you the truth, I am kind of blushing now. I need to own up to something. But it’s a little hard… because I think I’ve done something really naughty.

Maybe worse than naughty.

The original recipe includes chopped chickpeas and I just left them out wickedly.

And, I added salt.

Aaaaa…

I can only hope that the universal committee for healthy living will forgive me.

But I think they have to because these muffins tasted just amazing.

 
 

Here’s what we need.
 
 

1. First, preheat the oven to 400 °F (200 °C).
 

2. Then lay the strips of bacon in a large frying pan (or skillet, or griddle).
 
 

3. And fry them until crisp.
 
 

4. Slice the bacon thinly into 1/2-inch pieces.

You can also cut the bacon with kitchen shears if that makes the job easier for you.

 
 

5. In a bowl, whisk the eggs lightly.
 
 

6. Then whisk in the milk…
 
 

7. …and Parmesan, parsley, black pepper, and salt.
 
 

Nice.
 
 

8. Now we need six standard muffin tins. Metal or silicone, both are good.

Coat the cups with some vegetable oil (you can brush the cups with the oil or use non-stick cooking spray).

 

9. Divide the egg mixture evenly among the prepared cups.

 
 

10. And sprinkle with the bacon.
 
 

11. Bake at 400 °F (200 °C) for 13 – 15 minutes or until the eggs puff and are cooked through.

 

And in case you wondered, the person in the picture looks very much how I look these days.

You wanted to know it, so now you know it.

 

12. Then remove your egg muffins from the muffin pan and let them cool slightly before serving.

 
 

Here they are.

Just adorable.

A great idea for breakfast or lazy brunch, don’t you think?

 
 

The hearts are red bell pepper.

I’ve used sharp metal cookie cutters to cut them out.
 
 

See how deliciously moist they are?

Mmm.

And they are packed with wonderful and very satisfying savory flavors.

These are totally worth a try!

 

Enjoy, dear friends!

 

(This recipe has been loosely adapted from Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld. It yields six muffins and takes about 30 minutes to prepare.)
 

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I am sending you warm greetings from my kitchen.

Because I luv ya!

And because the running oven makes it really, really warm in here.

 

The time before Christmas has a sweet and magical impact on me. I find myself in the kitchen even more often than usual.

Which actually means that instead of 14 hours a day I spend 20 hours here now.

Like yesterday, for example, I made 82 cookies and I don’t even know how that happened to me.

Strange.

 

Anyhow, these lovely Bowtie Cookies were one of those I made yesterday.

The dough has cream cheese in it. It remotely resembles puff pastry, but it is less layered and less fatty. And oh so delicious!

The dough is filled with jam. You wouldn’t believe how gorgeous that combination is.

Let me show you how I prepared them…
 
 

Here’s what we need.
 
 

1. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat together the cream cheese, butter, sugar, and salt on medium speed until light, about 2 minutes.

 
 

2. Then on low speed, gradually beat in the flour just until mixed. A crumbly mixture will form.
 
 

3. Using your hands, pat the crumbly mixture together to form a dough ball.

 

Oh, and the face – I had to. Again. It’s addictive. Sorry!
 
 

4. Preheat the oven to 350 °F (175 °C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

 

5. Now, on a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a square or rectangle about 1/8 inch (3 mm) thick.

 

6. Cut the dough into even 2.5 x 2.5 inch (6 x 6 cm) squares.
 
 

I’ve found out that my pizza cutter works best when it comes to cutting pastry.

It’s perfectly sharp.

And pink.

I’m in love with it!
 
 

7. Place 1 teaspoon of the filling in the center of each square.

Use a really thick jam. There are even jam brands out there that are meant for baking. Get one of those, preferably.

Also, when I was making the first batch of these cookies I was a little too generous and placed a little more than one teaspoon of the filling in the center. And I also spread it.

 
 

I don’t recommend that.
 
 

Although the cookies looked amazing before baking, if there’s too much jam, it has a tendency to leak while baking.

 
 

In the second batch I was less generous.

 
 

And the cookies leaked less, they almost didn’t leak at all.

 

7. Back to the instructions… pull 2 opposite corners of the square into the middle, and pinch the edges together to seal.

Pinch the edges well, don’t give them a chance to open back into the square shape while baking.
 
 

8. Place the cookies on the prepared cookie sheet, spacing them about 1 1/2 inches (4 cm) apart.

 

9. Bake at 350 °F (175 °C) for about 12 minutes or until lightly golden.
 
 

10. Let cool on the cookie sheet for 1 to 2 minutes, then transfer to wire racks.
 

11. Dust the tops with sifted confectioner’s sugar while still warm, then let cool completely.

 

Enjoy, dear friends!

 

(This recipe was loosely adapted from Epicurious.com and makes 40 cookies.)
 

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