Tuesday, July 22

How does it feel….

Now I seem so proud 
about having to be scrounging for my next meal….

The number of family members in my household, interested not only in eating but also in creating meals and cooking, has significantly increased in the last few years. As they say, the apple really doesn't fall far from the tree.
It's a fact: the female part of the family starts to show an affinity and passion for creation - which is reflected through food - early on. The remaining male member have only one passion - tasting and giving -sometimes- overly (hmm..) honest food critiques.

So it's becoming really crowded these days in my already tiny kitchen, but it's really an amazing feeling to sit and wait for the dinner to be served to me in my home.

Few selfies to mark uncovering of the surprise dinner, ladies night in!

It's memorable day so I wanted to mark it in my blog.
Baked stuffed potato - tonight's entrée

Minestrone - tonight's appetizer.

So as Bob Dylan asks "How does it feel.."
It feels great!

One of my young chefs was already a guest on my blog with her list of amazing quick recipes.

Now it's the youngest one's turn. And she has really got some great recepies too.
See it for yourself!

Mila's chocolate pretzels

2 cups white whole wheat flour (or gluten free flour if preferred) 
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 1/2 teaspoons Instant Yeast
2 tablespoons granulated sugar (xylitol)
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/4 cups to 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup chocolate chips, divided
1 large egg, for egg wash
Make the Dough: In the bowl combine the white whole wheat flour, cocoa powder, sugar, yeast, instant coffee, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Mix in hot water (120 to 130 degrees F) Mix the ingredients on low speed or stir by hand with a wooden spoon, until combined. Mix in 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour until incorporated. Continue to stir in the remaining 1/2 cup all purpose flour, one tablespoon at a time, adding flour just until the dough is lightly tacky but no longer sticky. (All of the remaining flour may not be needed.) Knead dough for 5 minutes by hand on a lightly floured surface. Knead in 1/2 cup chocolate chips a little at a time, just until evenly distributed.

Chef Mila prepares pretzels
Place rack in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or just oil the pan.
Cut the dough into 10 pieces total. Lightly dust a work surface with cocoa powder. Roll each piece of dough into a long rope that is even in diameter and long enough to be wrapped around your wrist. To form the pretzel, lay the rope horizontally, then pick up each end and draw them upwards as if you were forming a circle that connects at the top. About 2 inches from each end, twist the rope ends together to close the circle, forming a full twist all the way around (the rope that starts on the left should end on the left.) Draw the down into the circle, then adhere the loose ends to the bottom of the pretzel at the 5 o’clock and 7 o’clock positions. Press the dough ends lightly to hold the shape.

In a shallow bowl or pie dish, beat the egg and with 1 teaspoon of water and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt to create an egg wash. Dip each entire pretzel into the egg wash, flipping to coat both sides. Place each pretzel on the prepared baking sheet and let rest 1/2 hour. Pretzels will puff slightly.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the pretzels darken. Remove from oven. While pretzels are still warm, sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup (if still exist) chocolate chips onto the outsides to decorate.

Chef Mila comment: The pretzels turned out great as a treat!

Mila's frozen fruit Popsicles

strawberries/peach/coconut yogurt
strawberry/melon/kiwi/lime/cocnut yogurt/chopped strawberies

You need:

Fruits (strawberries, melon, peach, lime) but any other can be used like raspberries watermelon, blueberries etc
coconut yogurt
juice of two limes
chopped fruits

Mila's combinations:

strawberries/peach/coconut yogurt
strawberry/melon/kiwi/lime/cocnut yogurt/chopped strawberies
peach/melon/lime juice

In the processor, mix each fruit separately and then start combining. First simple it and then put all together. Fill your cups, insert some sticks as a holders and freeze for couple of hours.

It's so refreshing. Enjoy!

Chef Mila comment: The popsicles were a super simple tasty snack!

Mila's Greek salad with dressing

For the Salad:
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Kalamata olives
  • Grape tomatoes
  • Red onion, thinly sliced
  • Cucumber, sliced and seeded
  • Feta cheese
  • Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper
For the Dressing
  • 6 Tablespoons of olive oil
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 2 Teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 Teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper
For the salad, combine all the ingredients and top with fresh feta cheese and salt and pepper to taste.
For the dressing, whisk the olive oil, lemon juice and red wine vinegar together. Then add the minced garlic and oregano. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix well again, and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes. Spread it over the salad and enjoy!
Chef Mila comment: The dressing was awesome on the salad!

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