Frango a Cafreal( chicken piri piri)

 Portugal-Spain_1  Today we heading to Portugal! Is one of the countries I’d love to visit! Great history,tasty food,the sun, the beaches…! What not to love! We’re planning with my husband to travel around Europe next year. I hope will visit at least 2 European countries..!

po umb.

Long time ago,I bought a cookbook,while I was still a student. The author and great chef of this book collect, hundreds of recipes around the world and I’ve decided to try a Portuguese recipe,Chicken piri piri.

   Although,the recipe is Portuguese, Piri piri is a red chili that grows in South Africa,Malawi,Ghana,Zambia and in Swahili they call it pili pili which means pepper pepper,whereas in Portuegese language they call it piri piri. It takes about 1 day to marinade the chicken,but is not difficult at all! My husband said that you have to make an appointment to eat that food…! So, I marinade 4 chicken thighs  it from last night.

  I guess there are a lot of versions of chicken piri piri,but I found this one and I found it superb!

For the marinade you’ll need:

  • 4 chicken thighs
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp red hot chili pepper
  • lime zest
  • lime juice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tsp. tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh chopped parsley
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. fresh chopped coriander
  • 1 tsp. sweet paprika
  •  salt


Chop the garlic,the parsley and coriander. Crumble the bay leaf and shred the ginger.

In a small bowl,mix all the ingredients,till you’ll have a paste. The paste smells fantastic! I made it in the traditional way…!


Wash the chicken and cut the unnecessary skin and fat and apply the marinade in the chicken. Put them in a bowl with lid or Ziploc and refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.


As I said I prepare everything the night before.

You can grill it or roast it. I prefer to grill it. The taste was so perfect,the aroma was great! To balance the heat I served it with yogurt dip sauce with green onions, salt and thyme and oven potatoes. the meat is succulent and fork tender! The heat of the chili pepper is just right!

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Our journey came to the end…! I hope you enjoyed it 😉

Asian style fish soup

Last week,we bought halibut and we were trying to find a nice Asian style  recipe,effortless and quick. So,while I was searching on the internet,I found this recipe,we tried and it was very delicious! I cooked with ingredients that I’ve only heard,but not so familiar with. Sesame oil,rice vinegar and bok choy… Sesame oil is so fragrant and tasty!

Three days now,is rainy in Las Vegas and and what’s better than a soup in rainy day! I tried to make this recipe as a fish soup. As I said, I have seafood allergy,and I can’t consume,fish sauce.

For the soup you’ll need:

  • 1 small head bok choy, thickly sliced, or 4 baby bok choy, ends trimmed
  • 1 red pepper.I add 1 orange,too for extra color!
  • 4 6-ounce halibut fillets,cut in 1-inch chunks.
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3-4 broccoli florets ( Anna loves it,that’s why I put it!)
  • 3 scallions,thinly sliced on a diagonal 
  • zest from half orange
  • 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons grated ginger root
  • rice noodles

How to make it:

Let a heavy pot or a wok heat and add a little bit of sesame oil,add the veggies,saute them,in a medium heat.



In a bowl put the fish ,add the soy sauce,ginger root,orange zest,rice vinegar and sesame oil and let them marinade for 5 minutes. add them in the veggies. Stir well and if you want little bit of water.

In another pot heat some water and let

the rice noodles for 3 minutes.

After 3 minutes add them in the soup.

Cook the soup with the noodles for another 3 minutes in medium-low heat.

The soup doesn’t take more than 15 minutes to cook! Is so easy and the soup is unbelievably tasty! The sesame oil with the kick of orange zest and ginger is magnificent!


Lemon glazed apricot cake

Happy Friday everyone! Finally, Friday has come and I’m always excited when that day comes because Anna and I can have daddy with us! He’s working really hard and weekends he’s only ours!

Yesterday I bought some organic apricots,really juicy and the aroma was so perfect that I couldn’t resist not to make a nice cake! So, I found this really nice recipe and as usual I made few modifications.

So here we go:

  • 1 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup brown  sugar
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon Amaretto
  • 1 1/4 cups almond flour
  • 1/2 cup GF all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup diced fresh apricot (or dry apricot soaked in hot water for 10 minutes)
  • 3-4  dried figs(optional)

For the glaze:

  • 1 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 3 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. coconut extract

chopped hazelnuts for garnish

Heat the oven to 350 F.

In a medium bowl cream together the butter and sugar until well combined and creamy.


Add the eggs one at a time, beating for 30 seconds after each addition.  Stir in the vanilla and Amaretto.


To the butter/sugar mixture add all at once the almond flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Mix on low speed until the mixture is smooth.  Fold in the chopped apricots and figs.

Spread the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 35  minutes, or until the cake springs back when gently pressed in the center and the edges pull away from the sides of the pan.   After 30 minutes you may need to loosely cover the top of the cake with foil to prevent over-browning.   Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then turn the cake out into a wire rack to cool completely.


For the glaze:

Mix together all the ingredients for the glaze.

When the cake is cool,pour the glaze over the top and decorate it with some hazelnuts.


It’s so moist and not overly sweet. The lemon glaze balances the sweetness. Is just perfect!!!


4 cheese empanadas

In Greece they would call it tyropita but in Spain and all the Hispanic countrie,they call it empanadas. I really wanted to try and make them! The crunchy and simultaneously fluffy dough with any kind of filling,makes them so delicious!

I’ve decided to bake them instead of frying them and fill them with cheese. Not only one cheese but 4! I was so excited when I saw that the recipe succeed! To people that don’t have gluten intolerance might sound silly and childish,but believe me,is a big deal to achieve a modified regular recipe with flour,into a Gluten Free recipe!

For the empanada dough: makes 7-8 empanadas.

  • 1 1/2 cup GF all purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 ice cold water
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 tbsp. Greek yogurt

In a medium bowl mix the flour with the salt and blend the cold butter with your fingertips.

In another small bowl,mix the egg,iced water and white wine. Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients. In the beginning mix them with the fork. Then add the yogurt and knead the dough with your hands. The dough will be sticky,so don’t worry!

Transfer the dough in a floured surface and knead gently. Wrap the dough with a plastic food wrapping film and let it chill for at least an hour.

For the filling:*

  • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese
  • 2 tbsp. goat cheese
  • 1 tbsp. Gorgonzola
  • 3-4 cherry tomatoes. I used yellow
  • a quarter of a bell pepper. I used yellow
  • black pepper,to taste.


Preheat the oven at 400 F.

Put parchment paper in a sheet pan.

Place the chilled dough on a floured surface,flour also the rolling pin,so the dough will not stick.


Roll the dough in as thin as possible and with a pastry cutter cut the dough into circle.

imagePlace the filling,brush the edges with egg wash ( 1 beaten egg with 1 tbsp. cold water) and fold it.


 Brush the top of the empanadas with the egg wash and sprinkle them with sesame (that’s optional!)


Bake for 20 minutes,until golden brown. Let them cool first before you eat them. They are so light and delicious that I could barely stop myself devour them…!


* I love Gorgonzola, but I didn’t want too overpower the other cheeses. You can put as much as you like.

Bite-size cheesecake with chex,coconut and orange jelly

Almost every morning(when I have time!),I eat my breakfast, so I can have more energy, chasing my little princess! I love chex cereals,especially those with honey..they’re so great! I give them to Anna,as a snack 🙂

I decided today,to make a quick bite size cheesecake! The flavors well combined and it screams summer! Is refreshing and light.

For your cheesecake you’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup chex GF cereals any flavor you like. I prefer with honey and nuts.
  • 1/4 cup hazelnuts
  • 1 tbsp butter,melted*
  • 1/2 tsp. unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp. espresso or instant coffee
  • 1/2 tsp. Amaretto
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • zest from  half lime
  • 1 cup fresh  orange juice
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  •  1 envelope unflavored gelatin. The gelatin I used was in powder form. You can use the other one,too.

In a small blender, crumble the hazelnuts and chex. Doesn’t have to be powder! Add the melted butter,the cocoa and coffee. Place them in the mini muffin tin,or the regular muffin tin and put them in the freezer for 15-20 minutes.


In the meanwhile,prepare the cream. In a medium bowl mix together,the ricotta,amaretto,vanilla extract,lime zest,coconut and the milk.


For the jelly:

In a saucepan,add half of the orange juice with the sugar. Let it warm and the sugar to be dissolve. In a medium bowl, add the other half of the orange juice and the gelatin. If the gelatin is in a solid form,you should let it in a small bowl with cold water to be dissolved.

When the juice is warm,pour it into the cold juice and whisk well. let it stand for 5 minutes.


Take out the mini muffin tin and put 1 tsp. of the cream in each one and then add a little bit from the orange jelly. Put it in the fridge for 1 hour.


The results are brilliant! The acidity if the orange and the coconut-lime-Amaretto is the perfect “marriage”!

*You can substitute the butter with coconut butter if you want.


Bite-sized cookie-cake with a coconut-chocolate cream

I sounds crazy and weird,but there was no other way to describe it! It has the crust of a soft cookie and the interior is like a cake. As I said before, I love bite size desserts. You don’t feel so guilty when you devour them!!
I found this recipe on a Greek site,but as always, I made few modifications. I put less sugar and on the cream, I substitute the sugar with Stevia. I’m trying not to eat too many sweets, I have to admit,that I’m really addictive to sweets,but not any kind of sweets…! Even when I make desserts,I keep 2-3 portions for us and the rest I offer them to the relatives and neighbors 🙂

For the cream:

  • 250 ml whole milk
  • 1 tsp. Stevia
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 30 gr. corn starch
  • 1 tbsp semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tbsp shredded coconut
  • 1 tsp. Malibu rum ( that’s optional!)

In a pot warm up the milk in a low heat,but be careful! Stir with a wooden spatula,so it will not stick on the bottom. In a medium bowl,whisk the egg,Stevia,vanilla, the rum and corn starch. Take the 1/3 of the milk and slowly,pour it into the egg mixture. Whisk fast! You don’t want to eat an omelet with your cream!!
Then pour it into the pot with the milk and mix. Add the chocolate chips and the coconut. Set aside and Cover the cream with a food plastic wrap,to prevent the crust on the top of the cream.

For the cookie-cake base:

  • 80 gr. sugar
  • 120 gr. GF all purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 65 ml canola oil
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 50 ml milk
  • Zest and juice from one orange

Preheat the oven at 350 F.
In a big bowl,beat the eggs with the sugar,till they get fluffy and creamy.
Add the zest and orange juice,the vanilla and beat again.
Pour the oil and gradually add the flour with the baking powder and salt. On the end,add the milk.

Grease a mini muffin tin,add 1 tsp. of the base and on the center add the chocolate cream.
Bake for 15-20 minutes.


I experimented again and in 4 of those cookie-cakes instead of chocolate cream I
put goat cheese with vanilla and blueberries.


They came out fantastic! Not overly sweet,fluffy and airy inside,and the crust is like a cookie!
How I love the mesmerizing aroma of baking!!!

And of course I had to try them with my morning coffee!


Kayianas with goat cheese ( Greek scrambled eggs)

Every summer,my mother and I,make Kayianas. Is a very light and delightful dish for th

ose who love eggs! Is like Greek scrambled eggs. The main ingredients? Only two: tomatoes and eggs.This food reminds me my childhood,when my mother used to make that,we were sitting in our small balcony,looking at the sea and eating Kayianas…! Happy memories!

The original recipe is for 5 people,but I made only for 2.

We’ll need:

  • 2-3 tomatoes,sweet and juicy. It’s really important,because of the acidity of the tomatoes.
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • goat cheese or feta cheese
  • salt and pepper,to taste
  • oregano

First stage: Tomato sauce

Fill up with water a small pot and let it boil. When it starts boiling,put the tomatoes and let them for 10-15 seconds. Remove them and peel them. They peel very easily! It’s a little trick,my mom taught me 🙂

Cut the tomatoes in half and squeeze them,so,all the extra juices and seed will be removed.




That’s how we know sauce is ready.

Second stage:

When the sauce is ready,add the beaten eggs,the salt and mix all together as you do with the scrambled eggs. When is done, add the oregano,the olive oil,the pepper and the goat cheese or feta cheese.

The aroma and the flavor are great! 


Magdalenas with white chocolate and cherries

Yesterday,some friends invited us for BBQ and a great play date for our little ones! I really love it when we gather all together,drinking wine and let the kids play !


In Greece,when somebody invite us,we always make either cake or cookies,as an appreciation. So,I made magdalenas. My mother used to make them when my brother and I used to be kids,and of course we made them disappear in one our..! Nice airy,soft cakes,different than the others! I made few modifications,though!

Here we go:

1 cup GF flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4. Tsp. salt
4 medium eggs
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup white chocolate,melted
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Zest from one lemon
12 pitted cherries. If you don’t have pitted cherries,used raspberry. Is a great combination with the white chocolate!


Preheat the oven at 375 F.
In a medium bowl whisk the flour,baking powder and salt. In another medium bowl,beat the eggs,sugar and milk till it gets little bit thick and bubbly.


Pour the egg mixture into the dry ingredients and with a stand mixer, whisk well.


Add the white chocolate,the lemon zest and the vanilla.


In a small bowl,put the cherries and add little bit of sugar,just enough to coat the cherries. This will help the cherries to be more soft and caramelized. In a muffin tin add the the batter,only the 2/3 and put a cherry in each Magdalena.


Bake for 20 minutes,until they’re golden brown.
When they’re done,let them cool.


The aroma was all over the house,so sweet! Brought me such great childhood memories! The magdalenas were airy,fluffy,soft. Don’t be afraid that they will be overly sweet,they are just perfect! Sweet enough to satisfy your mouth! The lemon zest really freshens up the cake! Try it!

I hope you enjoyed 🙂

Karydes with hazelnut

It’s unbelievable how I’m writing right now my new post! I’m writing for a Greek cookies with coconut(karydes in Greek means coconuts) while I’m listening one of my favorite bands,Guns & Roses and drinking coffee!


Well,it’s a combination of different countries and hobbies,for sure! But this really inspires me to write more and more!I guess music has no boundaries and apparently,is an inspiration to everything and anything!!

So,while I was listening with Anna Paradise city,I made in few minutes a very easy dessert.It looks like mini muffin( because I put it in a mini muffin tin) but it’s actually something between scones and soft cookies with coconut.I’m pretty much sure there is some kind of word for this kind of dessert but I can’t really find it!

For karydes you’ll need:

  • 320 grams of shredded coconut
  • 1/3 sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 4 tbsp quinoa flour or any kind of GF flour
  • Zest from one lemon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp Amaretto
  • 1/2 cup finely shredded hazelnuts
  • 50 grams margarine
  • 2 tsp baking powder

In a medium bowl,Beat the eggs with the sugar for 3 minutes approximately,till the mixture becomes white and kind of creamy.

Add all the rest ingredients and beat well.


Cover the bowl with a wrapping film and let it rest in the fridge for 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven at 350 F. In a mini muffin tin add the batter and let it bake for 14 minutes,till they get a nice golden brown color.


Ready!!That’s it!

They aren’t overly sweet,just enough to fill your mouth with the coconut and lemony delightful combination! The fragrant is amazingly all over the house and it makes you buzz!

image And here I am,still listening my favorite music and drinking coffee with my Karydes..! Some things never change!! 🙂



Mini cheesecake with white chocolate/ coconut and peach

It was late at night,I was alone with Anna and thankfully she  was sleeping ,after 20 minutes of constant crying,when I’ve decided to make something with the broken biscotti that  I’ made couple days ago.As I said before,leftovers are the best when you modify them and transform them into something delightful!

After 10 days of chocolate withdraw,the time for something chocolaty,but not to fatty,finally has come! So, I made mini cheesecakes,with the biscotti as base,cream with white chocolate with mascarpone cheese and coconut and cocoa powder on top.Of course you can put any kind of fruit sauce on the top,I just wanted to make it fast!

For 6 mini cheesecakes we’ll need:


  • a muffin tin
  • 5-6 biscotti or cookies
  • 1 1/2 tbsp melted butter
  • 1 tsp Amaretto

I put the biscotti in a zip lock and smash them with the rolling pin.It’s less messy!Mix the butter with the biscotti and  the Amaretto and put them in the muffin tins. When you finish with the base,put them in the freezer for 10-15 minutes.



  • 200 grams mascarpone cheese
  • 1/4 cup melted white chocolate
  • 1 tbsp shredded coconut

While the base is on the freezer make the cream. Mix all the ingredients together. Take the muffin tin from the freezer and add the cream.It’s one tbsp per cheesecake. Spread them nicely,wrap them with wrapping film  and put them back in the freezer either all night,as I did because I went to sleep 🙂 or for 30 minutes,if you’re awake! When it’s totally freeze,take a knife and try to take the cheesecake out  of the tin. Sprinkle with the cocoa powder and voila! In one cheesecake I made a cream with mascarpone and Anna’s banana cream.It was so good!!


For the topping:

  • 1 sliced peach
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • a pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp rum

In a pot mix together the peach and sugar,let it caramelize and add the rum.Stir, and on the end add the cayenne. The contrast of Cayenne pepper balances the sweetness of the white chocolate!


I really enjoyed cooking at night…So peaceful and quiet!Next morning,I enjoyed the cheesecake!It’s not overly sweet,the mascarpone with white cheesecake worked really good together and the cream was fluffy.


Biscotti with Amaretto and apricots

Today,Anna had play date with her friend Luke! She was so happy,cheering,screaming from joy and sharing her toys!Kids had really good time! Moms,too!Drinking coffee with Jelena ,chatting and chasing the little ones!



Of course,coffee without cookie is impossible…! Jelena’s trying  not to eat sweets,unlike me!I tried to make something with low sugar and easy. And biscotti came on my mind…!I’ve never made before,and without knowing the process,I thought that it was difficult to make.But I was wrong…Is one of the most easiest recipes,you can combine different flavors! So I made a lemony Amaretto biscotti with dried apricots and hazelnuts. I found the recipe from Giada De Laurentiis,but I made some modifications.

  • 2 cups GF all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp Amaretto
  • 3/4 coarsely chopped hazelnuts
  • 1/4 cup dried apricots

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Line a heavy large baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk the flour and baking powder in a medium bowl to blend. Using an electric mixer, beat the sugar, butter, lemon zest,amaretto  and salt in a large bowl to blend.Beat in the eggs 1 at a time. Add the flour mixture and beat just until blended. Stir in the hazelnuts and apricots.


Form the dough into  a long log on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until light golden, about 40 minutes.Let it  cool for 30 minutes. Place the log on the cutting board. Using a sharp serrated knife, cut the log on a diagonal into 1/2 to 3/4-inch-thick slices. Arrange the biscotti, cut side down, on the baking sheet. Bake the biscotti until they are pale golden, about 15 minutes. Transfer the biscotti to a rack and cool completely.





Herbed potato sticks

Everyone has leftovers from day’s before lunch or dinner!Yesterday I made silky,cheesy potato puree with meatballs in a tomato sauce. Every time I make potato puree,we’ll have leftovers,so I put them  on the fridge. This time,I tried to make something out of that leftover as a snack.

With Anna trying to organize and inspect the fridge,together united,we tried our best..!!Well,she’s only 9 months,but she took almost everything out of the fridge and the pantry,and she gave me some ideas!



 All you need is:

  • 2 tbsp. GF flour
  • Shredded provolone or Parmesan cheese as much as you like(I prefer provolone,because it has stronger flavor and is more peppery.)
  • some pepper
  • Little bit of thyme and mint
  • and of course the potato puree,about 1 cup.You can boil some potatoes if you want and add some milk into it.

You mix them and make them in the shape of sticks.Put some extra cheese on the top. Bake them in a preheated oven at 375 F for 25 minutes. Let them cool and dust them with paprika!


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