Get Him To The Greek [Tzatziki]

Mum's spanikopita, tzatziki & tortilla chips, complimentary hair colours, and a beautiful cake from our friends!

A few weeks ago some family friends of ours came over for dinner and we went with a Greek menu.  It was lovely to catch up with them and as you can imagine I always enjoy getting ready for a little feast.  I was asked for the recipe for the tzatziki and promised to send it over right away, but of course with my great organization skills during exams that didn’t happen.  So here it is, only three weeks late!

Tzatziki is a traditional Greek sauce/appetizer/dip, depending on how you serve it. We like eating it with souvlaki and grilled meat, veggies, bread and crackers, or just straight out of the bowl.   

Until today I had never actually measured what I was throwing into the tzatziki, so it’s quite easy to just make it to your own taste. If you like Greek food, you really can’t leave out the tzatziki! Tzatziki Recipe

Tea Time Cookies

I’ve talked before about my love for tea (would anyone like a slice of dark chocolate Earl Grey tart??). But I think it’s become more about my tea making ritual while slogging through exams: I put the kettle on to boil, I waste a few minutes doing something fun, and when my tea is steeped and ready that means it’s time to stop goofing off and get to work. (Most of the time this routine works for me, don’t judge!)
With the end of exams around the corner, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and I thought I’d share these cute cookies with y’all.  My super-cool and lovely friend Kaitlin provided the inspiration for these little tea bag cookies (thanks girlie!). Since I was already making a batch of sugar cookies (recipe here) at the time, that’s what I used for these ones, but how much fun would it be to actually make tea-flavoured dough? (A spiced Chai? Earl Grey, anyone? Martha Stewart also has a recipe for green tea shortbread that I’ve been wanting to try…any other suggestions? Let your creativitea flow!)I cut out the tea-bag shapes free hand, and made a little hole at the top of each one with a sterilized nail.  Once they were baked I tied on their little tea labels and dipped the bottom of each one in melted chocolate — these are perfect for dunking in your tea. If you want to save these for your next tea party (or late night study session…) just layer them in a container with parchment paper between each layer, and you can freeze them for a couple of months.
Happy Sunday/Study Day!

That crazy time of year when exams and singing competitions collide…

Easter Treats

This is what procrastinating schoolwork over Easter weekend looks like:

I’m not sure if I will ever outgrow my love of kiddy treats. These coconut macaroon nests with Nutella and Cadbury mini eggs are perfect evidence of my inner 5 year old.  That being said, the combination of crispy, chewy macaroons and smooth Nutella tastes fairly sophisticated!

I whipped up what has become my favourite coconut macaroon recipe. Once they’re out of the oven, just put a spoonful of Nutella and your favourite little Easter candies
in the nest and you’re good to go! (I just melted some quality chocolate chips for nut-free nests.) Hoppy Easter! (AND these macaroons are totally Passover/kosher friendly, hooray!)

Hoppy Easter!

The inspiration came from the lovely folks over at Two Peas & Their Pod.

Avocado Salad & A Serious Case of Spring Fever

While talking about the weather can get old pretty fast and is usually relegated to small talk, Ottawa is buzzing about this glorious weather. It’s officially the first day of spring but it feels like midsummer here.  What big piles of snow were left are melting fast and except for the leafless trees, all signs of winter seem to have disappeared.  This early summer seems a little weird but no one’s complaining! I got on my bike for the first time this year and went to my yoga class with sandals on yesterday, it felt amazing. The tennis courts are open, people are talking about heading to the beach…it sure doesn’t feel like March!
I needed a sunny lunch to go with my sunny day, and was inspired (on Pinterest, where else?) by this fresh take on an avocado salad.

I didn’t have all their ingredients on hand, but I tossed mine together with a simple vinaigrette of red wine vinegar, olive oil, garlic and threw some chopped Kalamata olives on top…bright, fresh and super tasty.

I’m typing outside in the sun, but I think I’d better get to the library if I’m going to get any work done… this beautiful weather isn’t conducive to school work!
Hope the sun is shining wherever you are!

“Guinness Is Good For You” (and so is chocolate cake!)

In honour of Saint Patrick’s day I jumped at the chance to throw Guinness in a recipe to make it un-authentically “Irish”.  This Saturday I might just be hopping on the bandwagon of people who claim to have more Irish ancestry then is true (I do have some though, really!), enjoying dyed green beer and sporting a shamrock, but this dessert is actually a classy (and delicious) way to celebrate the day on which everyone is Irish-ish. And really, chocolate cake + beer…I knew good things were going to come out of the oven.

This recipe certainly doesn’t need to be reserved for St-Paddy’s day only, I will definitely be making this more than once a year!  The Guinness really does do something amazing to the cake; the result is incredibly rich, moist and intensely chocolatey.

Use stabilizer in your whipped cream if you want the topping to look like the frothy head of the famous Irish beer…or your cake could look like mine!

May the luck of the Irish be with you!

Heavenly Angel Food Cake

I love this light and airy cake, but I tend to think of Angel Food Cake as a summer dessert. However, with cartons of egg whites in the fridge this dessert suddenly seemed very appropriate (even if there is still snow on the ground!).
The cake can be whipped up quickly and you certainly don’t need to get fancy to make this dessert a hit. I also discovered that this recipe works super well for a cupcake version! I added some mini chocolate chips to the cupcakes just for fun and it was a perfect little treat. Topped everything off with vanilla whipped cream and strawberries…is summer here yet?Image

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