Tag Archives: Sweet

Palachinke (Crepes)

26 Feb
A stack of palacinke.

A stack of palacinke.

Palachinke are Serbian style crepes. They can be served plain or as a dessert wtih fruit or jam filling, a sprinking of brown sugar and cinnamon, toasted crushed walnuts, nutella, etc… or they can be made into savory crepes by filling with vegetables, cheese or even meat.  Enjoy!

The following recipe is from Lillian.

  • 1/2 tablespoon canola oil (more later for the frying pan)
  • 1 egg
  • pinch of sea salt
  • pinch of white sugar (optional)
  • all purpose flour, as required
  • water, as required
Batter cooking in the pan. In the background, the consistency fo the batter is evident.

Batter cooking in a small pan. In the background, the consistency of the batter is evident.

1. In a large bowl, beat egg, add in salt, oil and sugar.

2. Add in lukewarm water to the desired level depending on how many palachinka you wish to make.

3. Using a wooden spoon, begin by gradually whisking in 2 tablespoons of flour, then add more flour until batter mixture has a smooth creamy consistency. As a test, the mixture should fall in a continuous flow from the spoon but not be too thin.

4. Allow the batter to rest for at least 30 minutes (or up to overnight) in the fridge. The consistency of the batter will become even smoother and creamier.

5. Heat a small non stick frying pan on medium heat.

6. Add 1/3 tsp canola oil. Spread oil around pan.

7. Pour enough batter to thinly coat the entire pan.  Swirl the pan around in order to spread the batter.

8. Once the palachinke comes loose from the bottom of the pan, flip over and cook for another 20 seconds or so.

9. Dish palachinke onto a plate and repeat steps 6 to 9 until batter is used up.

Thank you to Lillian for sharing her family recipe and photos!

A stack of palacinke.

A stack of palacinke.

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Hot Cocoa

20 Nov

Hot cocoa.

The following recipe makes one mug of steaming hot cocoa.

  • 1.5 cup skim milk
  • 1.5 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1.5 tbsp sugar (brown or white)
  • a pinch of cinnamon
  • a tiny splash of pure vanilla extract
  • a few marshmallows for extra sweetness

Milk with cocoa powder, vanilla, sugar and cinnamon simmering in a pot.

  1. Add all the ingredients (except for the marshmallows) into a pot and bring to a boil. Stir often as milk burns rather easily.
  2. Pour hot cocoa into a big mug.
  3. Add in a few marshmallows.
  4. Sprinkle a tiny amount of  cinnamon on top of the marshmallows.
  5. Let cool for a few minutes before taking the first sip.

Pita od Visnja

14 Aug

Pita od visnja (Serbian style sour cherry strudel).

Pita od Visnja is a Serbian style cherry strudel. It is traditionally made with pickled sour cherries and phyllo. Thank you to Lillian for sharing her recipe.

  • about 10 sheets of phyllo pastry
  • 1 jar (776 mL) of sour pitted cherries, drained well
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup carbonated water
  • 1/2 canola oil
  • 1/4 plain bread crumbs
  • 1 cup icing sugar

Phyllo and sour cherries.

Line a baking pan with parchment or aluminum foil. Spread a thin layer of oil onto the foil or parchment. Unwrap two sheets of phyllo and lay on top of the baking dish. Place a few cherries (10 to 15) near the edge of the phyllo length wise. Sprinkle 2 to 3 tbsps of brown sugar over the cherries. Sprinkle 2 to 3 tbsps of bread crumbs over the cherries and brown sugar. (The bread crumbs will absorb the liquids that are released from the cherries during baking and prevent soggy pastries.) Roll the phyllo closed and tuck in the edges. Repeat until baking sheet is full or the cherries run out.

Pita od visnja unbaked and uncut.

Precut pita od visnja, ready for the oven.

Drizzle oil over the top of the phyllo and  also sprinkle about 1 to 2 tbsps of carbonated water on top of the phyllo. This helps the phyllo to puff up.  If so desired, cut the phyllo (almost to the bottom) before baking. This will help separate the pieces during serving.

Pita right after it has been removed from the oven. Leave in the oven for 2 or 3 more minutes if you like your pita od visnja more golden brown and crispy.

Bake in a preheated 400 ºC oven for 10 to 12 minutes. The phyllo will begin to brown near the edges. Leave in longer if you prefer extra crispy golden brown phyllo. Immediately after removing from the oven, dust a generous amount of icing sugar over the baked pita.  Let cool for a few minutes before separating pieces and serving.

A generous dusting of icing sugar over the pita.

TIP: Work quickly as phyllo sheets dry out quickly.

Strawberry, Kiwi and Plum Salad

17 Jul

A bowl of fresh sliced strawberries, sweet plums and kiwi.

  • 1lb strawberries, washed and sliced in half
  • 2 kiwis, peeled and sliced into bite size pieces
  • 2 plums, washed and cut into bite size pieces
  • a couple of tbsp honey (optional)
Try to use the freshest sweetest (and if possible organic or farmer’s market) fruits as they are the star attraction and should be of the best quality. Mix the strawberry, kiwi and plum in a large bowl. Chill for a couple of hours so the flavours have some time to meld. If desired, add a drizzle of honey before serving.

I like the combination of sweet plum and strawberries with the slightly sour kiwi. It is also a lovely colour combination.

Wine Tasting: A follow up

13 Mar

I attended another lively wine tasting with host Rose Vogt (the first wine tasting can be found here). The theme at the second wine tasting was a comparison of old world versus new world wines. In particular, Pinot Grigio versus Malbec wines.

20 Bees, Pinot Grigio, $11.95

The following white wines, all Pinot Grigio, were sampled first (year, alcohol, sugar* and price):

  1. 20 Bees, 2011, 11.7%, 1, $11.95
  2. Eastdell Estates, 2010, 10.3%, 1, $12.95
  3. Muri Gies, 2010, 13.2%, extra dry, $18.95
  4. Tommasi Le Rosee, 12%, 1, $14.95

Rigal Les Terrassess, Malbec, $12.95

The following red wines, all Malbec variety, were sampled after the Pinot Grigio.

  1. Rigal Les Terrasess, 2009, 13%, 1, $12.95
  2. Georges Vigourous Antisto Tradition, 2008, 14%, dry, $17.95
  3. Fuzion Alto Reserve, 2010, 14%, 1, $9.95
  4. Graffigna Cent Res, 2010, 13.5%, 1, $12.95

Rose is also an avid cook. She made fresh vibrant shrimp and spinach salads with homemade vinaigrette  to pair with the Pinot Grigio as well as beautiful lamb and mushroom skewers for the Malbec wines. Pinot Grigio often goes well with seafood or a creamy pasta. Pinot Grigio is also suggested as a before-dinner wine. Many of the Malbec wines are often ideal accompaniments to barbecued meats or roasted vegetables.

A shrimp and spinach salad with plump tomatoes, red onions and sesame.

Lamb skewer with mushrooms and red onion.

The evening was capped off with a sinfully sweet Port by Taylor Fladgate.  This was the first time I had ever tried port. It had a rich golden brown colour and tasted like sweet liquid gold. The Port was a lovely treat and a great way to end the wine tasting.

Taylor's Fladgate Port wine, product of Portugal, 20% alcohol, $36.95.

Some additional tips and tidbits I learned from Rose:

  • Port is a fortified wine.
  • Some young wines can be purchased and then aged in the bottle for several years. This is a money saver as wine makers charge extra for aged wines.
  • A bottle of wine that smells like wet sock has gone bad and can usually be returned to the store of purchase.

As always, a big thank you to Rose for her time, sharing of wine knowledge and scrumptious food.

*Sweet is the flavour of sugar in wine; dry is the opposite of sweet. Extra dry lies somewhere between sweet and dry. A rating of 2 is more sweet than a rating of 1.

Banana Bread

22 Jul

A slice of banana bread.

  • four ripe bananas, peeled, sliced and mashed in a large mixing bowl.  TIP: use a potato masher to mash the bananas; if you don’t have a masher, a fork is fine, too.
  • 1/3 cup unsalted melted butter, cooled
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup sugar (a bit less if the bananas are super ripe)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1.5 cups of flour

Four bananas. These should be ripened some more before using to make banana bread.

Using a potato masher to mash the bananas.

Into the banana bowl, add in the butter, egg, vanilla and sugar.  In a separate bowl, mix the baking soda, salt, cinnamon and flour. Gradually add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.  The batter will be thick and have a caramel-like colour.

Banana bread batter.

Pour the batter into a buttered 5 by 6 inch baking dish.  Bake for 45 minutes in a pre-heated 350° oven.  Cool before serving.

Batter poured into a buttered baking dish, ready for the oven.

After the batter has been baked for 45 minutes. It's now banana bread.