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the peanut butter lover’s cookie

6 Feb

Peanut butter is one of these things you either love or hate. It is not particularly popular in Greece but thanks to my German mom I was introduced to it early on in my life. So yes, I definitely belong into the first category.

After a little bit of internet research I decided to make my own version of the pb cookie. When it comes to baking I NEVER attempt to create something from scratch. Baking needs the right quantity at the right temperature with the right fat, this is not for me you guys. I want to open the fridge, use my imagination and the ingredients on hand and improvise. That is why I cook and not bake. Just wanted to make that clear. I am a savoury kinda gal and I do enjoy chocolate and co occasionally but I get my junk food fix from other ridiculously unhealthy stuff like chips (or crisps if you are British).

This is the recipe of the easiest flourless pb cookie:

  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1/2 cup of mini dark chocolate chips (optional)

I usually make my own peanut butter. It is dead easy, much healthier and a lot cheaper than what you can find here on the super market shelves. Place the peanuts into the bowl of a food processor. Process for 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Continue to process until the mixture is smooth. Depending on the food processor that could take up to 5 minutes. That’s it. Just be careful to use fresh peanuts as stale peanuts will produce a stale tasting peanut butter. I used ready salted peanuts to get that extra sweet and savoury kick I wanted my cookie to have. 

Preheat the oven to 175 C.  Mix the peanut butter, sugar, egg, baking powder and vanilla until well combined. Add the chocolate chips. I used a wooden spatula to incorporate everything.  Form dough, about 1 heaping tablespoon at a time into balls and place them on a baking sheet a bit apart. Flatten them with a fork. Bake until golden about 10 minutes (depending on the size of the cookies it might take a bit longer). Open the oven door and withhold yourself from eating the whole tray 😉
Enjoy!
 
Until next time,
 
love,
 
tatu
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guilt free oven baked parmesan crusted schnitzel

11 Nov

4 pork chops
1/4 cup mustard
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
100 gr grated parmesan cheese
2 cups crushed corn flakes
1 teaspoon paprika
3 tbsp olive oil

1. Use a meat hammer to pound the pork chops until very thin.
2. Mix the crushed corn flakes with the parmesan, the seasoned salt and the paprika.
3. Spread enough mustard on each pork (both sides) and then dip the chops, one after the other, into the corn flake mixture.
4. Preheat oven to 225°C. Place schnitzels on oven tray. Pour a little olive oil on each. Place the tray in the oven on the middle shelf
5. Bake for 20 minutes (or more depending on the thickness) until crumbs are crisp and golden.

Serve the schnitzels hot from the oven with a slice of lemon and enjoy.

p.s. If you don’t like pork, use chicken instead. Equally delicious!

Aside

homebaked pizza by Yianni & Iliana

22 Oct

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guilt-free raspberry with a hint of lime cheesecake

10 Oct

Our family is a bit of a disaster when it comes to food limitations (high cholesterol and thyroid issues). The only one who can truly eat what she wants is Iliana and she is in a ‘not feel like eating much mode’ at the moment. Ironic, right? For the last few years, I have twisted and turned most of the recipes I knew into healthier versions. Of course there are still quite a few which would be a sin to lighten up and we do let ourselves indulge (once in a blue moon) and enjoy the full fat/full everything version.

This cheesecake is a much lighter and healthier no bake cheesecake. I hope you will enjoy.

INGREDIENTS

  • 200 gr digestive biscuits
  • a handful of blanched almonds
  • 2 tablespoons of light butter
  • 2 packaged of light cream cheese (400gr)
  • 1 low fat greek yogurt (200 gr)
  • 1 lime (both juice and zest)
  • 3-4 tablespoons of agave nectar (you can substitute it with honey, I prefer the agave nectar as this has a less distinct taste)
  • 3 gelatine leaves, soaked in cold water for 5 minutes
  • 300gr fresh or frozen raspberries (or any type of berries or sour cherries)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar

Directions

  1. Blend the digestive biscuits together with the almonds to produce fine crumbs (don’t overblend).
  2. Melt the butter and mix together with the above.
  3. Press the mixture into an 8-inch pie dish. Bake in a preheated oven at 150 C for 15 minutes. Leave to cool while making the filling.
  4. Beat the cream cheese in a mixing bowl together with the yogurt, the agave nectar, the lime juice and zest until softened. Heat 1 tablespoon of water in a pan and add the soaked gelatine leaves. Once melted, add to the cream cheese mixture and mix well.
  5. Pour the cream cheese mixture onto the (cooled) crust.
  6. Chill the cheesecake in the refrigerator for a few hours.
  7. For the raspberry sauce, combine the raspberries with the sugar in a saucepan and bring to low boil. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes to get the consistency you like. I like the sauce to be a bit tart, if you prefer it sweeter just add more sugar.  Leave to cool and refrigerate until needed.
  8. Take the cheesecake out of the fridge, pour the raspberry sauce over it and serve.  Image
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‘as easy as it gets’ creamy risotto

7 Oct

'as easy as it gets' creamy risotto

I have always loved the taste of a perfectly creamy risotto. Preparing risotto is not that difficult, it just takes a bit of effort and time. This is my version:

Ingredients:
1 onion, finely chopped
2 whole garlic cloves
1 celery (the white part only), finely chopped
300 ml dry white wine
just over 1 litre vegetable stock (heated)
400 gr risotto rice
50 gr butter
150 gr parmesan
rock salt and freshly grated pepper

Heat the olive oil, add the onions, garlic and celery, and fry very slowly for about 15 minutes until soft. Discard the garlic (I don’t like the garlic to be too strong in this dish). Add the rice and turn up the heat. Keep stirring the rice until it gets slightly translucent. Add the wine and keep stirring until the alcohol evaporates. Once the wine has cooked into the rice, add your first few spoons of the hot stock. Turn down the heat to medium so the rice doesn’t cook too quickly on the outside. Keep adding stock and stirring the rice allowing it to be absorbed before adding the next load of stock. This will take around 10 to 15 minutes. Have a taste. It should not be ‘al dente’ nor should it be too soft and mushy. Should you run out of stock before the rice is cooked, add some hot water. Remove from the heat and add the butter and Parmesan. Stir well. Place a lid on the pan and allow to rest for a few minutes. Don’t skip this resting part as this is what makes the risotto so perfectly creamy. Season it with salt (depending on the stock you use you might not need to add salt at all) and freshly ground pepper. Serve it as soon as possible. Enjoy!

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cretan rusks with tomatoes, capers and goats cheese

1 Oct

cretan rusks with tomatoes, capers and goats cheese

This is my version of the cretan dish ‘dakos’. Same principle, slighty different ingredients:
You will need:
6-7 cretan wheat rusks (or 1 large one)
3-4 tomatoes
100gr goats cheese
some rock salt and freshly ground pepper
capers
olive oil

Blend the tomatoes in a blender or cut them up into small pieces (I was too hungry so I used my blender). Cover each rusk with the tomato mixture (use up all the juices-you want to soak the rusk so you can easily cut it). Pour some olive oil over the tomato mixture, season with salt and pepper, add the goats cheese, sprinkle some capers on the rusks and pour some more olive oil. Enjoy!

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