Holidays and more

HAPPY HALLOWEEN, Chocolate Tangerine BOO Cupcakes

Halloween is today….cookies, costumes and candies rule, marching trough the streets in pales with goblins, witches, cartoon characters, princesses, pumpkins, skeletons and many more…..what a fun:)
To add even more fun I made tasty BOO cupcakes

Instead of heavy frosting I made homemade jam with fresh tangerines with the touch of honey and vanilla sugar and for fun decoration, dotted whipped cream.
My little sweet “Mario” and “Rock & Roll” girl made their own Jack-O-Lantern….

Cupcakes are real chocolate heaven with added semi sweet chocolate chunks.

You will need:

1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 cup flour
1 tea spoon cocoa powder
2 eggs
1 cup non fat milk
1/2 stick sweet cream butter, melted
1/2 cup chocolate chunks
2 tsp vanilla sugar
1/2 cup Greek yogurt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Fill muffin pans with liners. Sift dry ingredients into a mixing bowl. Add eggs, milk, butter, yogurt and vanilla. Beat with a mixer, occasionally scraping the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Bake for 20 minutes, until the center of the cupcakes springs back when lightly touched. Cool, frost and decorate.

Pictures are in, so you can see how they looked like before they disappeared by little candy monsters….and many more:)
Happy Halloween:)


Happy 4th of July! Honey Peanut Roasted Cakes with Whipped Cream, Blueberries and Pomegranate

Happy 4th of July!

This year my red, white and blue dessert is healthy and super delicious. I made cupcakes with grounded honey roasted peanuts, topped with fresh whipped cream, blueberries and pomegranate seeds.

Honey Roasted Peanut Cakes topped with Whipped Cream, Fresh Blueberries & Pomegranate seeds


1 cup honey roasted peanuts, freshly grounded
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 stick sweet cream butter
2 large eggs
1/4 cup light brown sugar
8 oz fresh whipped cream
1/4 cup fresh blueberries
1/4 cup fresh pomegranate seeds

Preheat the oven to 400F. Line cupcake pan with silicon cupcake liners.
Separate eggs. Using electric mixer beat the egg whites on the high speed till frothy. Set aside. In the other bowl beat yolks and sugar with an electric beater until thick and pale. Add butter, peanut meal, flour and 4oz of whipped cream. Fold to combine with egg whites.
Pour the mixture into the tins and bake for 20 minutes or until a fork inserted into the center comes out clean. Let them cool.
In the meantime whip the rest of the fresh whipped cream with mixer till nicely done.
Decorate cupcakes with whipped cream, fresh blueberries and pomegranate seeds.
I wanted to make tasty cake recipe and it is truly wonderful. Never grounded honey roasted peanuts before and used it in a batter, great choice. Cakes are moist, airy and delicious.

Now, let’s the celebration begin with bbq, fireworks, wonderful desserts, family and friends!
Happy 4th of July!

Almond Orange Cake, Happy Father’s Day!

When I’m preparing dessert for my husband or my dad, I noticed that they are happiest if dessert is light, with just few ingredients, simple. Same way the kids like desserts to be:) Pudding or mousse are great choices but I wanted to make a cake, refreshing and flavorful.
Since my pantry is well stocked with almonds I decided to make almond cake. Our orange tree is beautiful with ready oranges to be picked and used so idea was there….

Almond & Orange Cake

2 medium oranges
4 eggs
1/2 stick sweet cream butter
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 cups almond meal
1/4 cup corn flour

For the syrup
2 oranges
1/2 cup honey

Preheat the oven to 400F. Line round or cake pan with parchment paper.
Beat the egg whites on the high speed till frothy. Set aside. In the other bowl beat yolks and sugar with an electric beater until thick and pale. Add butter, orange juice, almond meal, flour. Fold to combine with egg whites.
Pour the mixture into the cake tin and bake for 20 minutes or until a fork inserted into the center comes out clean.
Zest the whole orange, then juice. Boil the zest for 5 minutes in a saucepan to soften, then drain and return to the pan. Add the orange juice and honey and heat on low stirring constantly for several minutes till mixture becomes syrupy.
Gently poke holes all over the top of the hot cake with a knife and then spoon over the syrup. Serve warm or at room temperature. Benefit of this dessert is that is light without extra flour and starch.
Cake is wonderful, moist and flavorful.
No leftover crumbs on the plates:)

As always kids were crafty at school and did amazing job….my husband received beautiful cards….so cute:)

Happy Mother’s Day with Homemade Caramel Apples:)

Mother’s day is very special day to me and to all the moms and their children. I think that every day should be just the same because love, hugs, kisses and knowledge needs to be shared every day.
I remember when I was a kid and special little moments that I shared with my mom. Now, we live on the different sides of the world but I know that she will be reading this post-Happy Mother’s day mom.
Few days ago I was a part of the wonderful celebration in my kids classrooms and I received cute little gifts:)

My dear husband and kids surprised me with a big sweet dessert for Mother’s day, they made together Homemade Caramel Apples with fantastic toppings- everybody’s favorite:)

Homemade caramel was fantastic and my hubby did amazing job. Kids have a blast with decorations.

I am so happy and grateful for all the kindness and love:)
Apples were the big hit….super delicious.

Lovely dessert:)


Happy Easter

Happy Easter to all of my friends and family!

This year we dyed eggs in red onion skins.
For the bath I used lots and lots of onion skins and herbs like fresh rosemary, mint, parsley and dry bay leaves. Also fresh pepper corns, sea salt and olive oil.
When Easter eggs are done, they have incredible rich color and flavor.

Here is the photo of the Sweet treat. Homemade Carrot almond cupcakes with whipped mascarpone mango frosting.
Amazing combination of flavors, earthy and delicious.

Happy Easter:)

Veggie Grill, Go Green and Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Today was a busy day filled with Irish dance performances in school, tennis practice and all the green activities. When I looked at my watch it was time for lunch and what a better place to eat out then Veggie Grill. We love this restaurant. It is fun, urban, modern atmosphere. Food is very good and service is super:)
Fresh ingredients nicely prepared and tasty. Our favorite item on the menu is Bali Bliss.

Bali Bliss is Indonesian style tempeh sauteed and grilled. Comes on the wheat bun with lettuce, tomato, onion and chipotle ranch. Blackened upon request. Price is right $6.75. Sweet potato fries is excellent, super crunchy and nicely seasoned. Sandwich comes with side of home made chili or cabbage slaw.
Lemonade is wonderful addition to this meal. They have many varieties but strawberry is my favorite.
“The Veggie Grill menu of delicious specialties are rich in protein and other nutrients and are free of cholesterol, animal fat and trans fat. The Veggie Grill serves wholesome food. By wholesome, we mean good calories and good fats that are 100% plant-based.”
They have several locations throughout the Los Angeles area:

8000 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90046
Phone 323.822.7575 | hours 11am to 11pm

Santa Monica
2025 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90403
Phone 310.829.1155 | hours 11am to 10pm

Plaza El Segundo
720 Allied Way, El Segundo, CA 90245
Phone 310.535.0025 | hours 11am to 10pm

Rolling Hills Plaza – Opening March 21st
2533 Pacific Coast Highway, Torrance, CA 90505
Phone 310.325.6689 | hours 11am to 10pm

University Center – Irvine
4213 Campus Drive, Irvine, CA 92612
Phone 949.509.0003 | hours 11am to 10pm

Irvine Spectrum Center
81 Fortune Drive, Irvine, CA 92618
Phone 949.727.9900 | hours 11am to 10pm

Farmers Market – Opening Summer 2011
110 S. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90036
Phone 323.933.3997 | hours 11am to 10pm

Be healthy, Go green and Happy St. Patrick’s Day everybody:)

Happy Valentines Day-Marzipan Meringue Chocolate Hearts :)

Happy Valentines Day everybody!
This is truly nice holiday to share little more love, warm smiles and few kisses.
Hearts are truly a theme & chocolate is the best ingredient ever.
This year I decided to make something from the heart to my hearts, homemade and delicious.
I love nice, good looking box of chocolates. That was my inspiration this year.

This recipe is very easy to make, doesn’t require lot of time just best quality ingredients.

You will need:

I pack of marzipan paste
1/4 cup semi sweet dark chocolate
1/4 cup white chocolate chunks
2 egg whites
4 tea spoons powder sugar
lemon zest
decoration paste, optional

Meringues are optional too. I like to add them inside of the marzipan because they add little crunch to it.
Using standing mixer whip well egg whites on high for few minutes, add sugar and little lemon zest.
On the cookie sheet, place parchment paper and using spoon make little meringues.
Oven should be preheated to 320F. Then dry bake little shapes for 20 minutes.
Using your hands or cookie cutter, make shapes with marzipan paste. This is the same type of dough as play dough, so same as kids- best thing to do is to use imagination.
Making chocolate dip or bath is fun process too.
In the smaller saucepan on the low heat add chocolate, few drops of milk and tiny piece of butter for the shine.
Mix well till chocolate is creamy not to watery. You can repeat process with white chocolate too if you like.
When meringues are done and cooled down you can press little chunks in to the candy shapes and then dip them to the chocolate.
Lay them on the baking rack to cool down. Decoration is optional too, anything that you like and have in your pantry at the moment would work.
Leave chocolates for an hour or so to sit at the room temperature and then you can wrap them for the gift or just enjoy them:)


Merry Christmas!!

Merry Christmas!
This year I made two different kinds of cookies, one for children and one for adults.

I would like to thank all the nice people who saw and voted for my first video Christmas Cookies-Vanilice which reached almost 12000 views in just a few days!
Thank You!
You can view the video on the Yahoo Lifestyle page.

Merry Christmas Everybody!

Gingerbread Chocolate Santa’s Cookies

Christmas Eve. I just finish baking cookies, gingerbread family this year….what a lovely characters they are. I have to tell you that the whole house smells absolutely amazing. As usual I made a twist and add semi sweet chocolate and fresh ground ginger to the dough. Cookies are super tasty and for the look I have to thank my sweet hubby for the great photography.

Gingerbread chocolate cookies


* 4 ounces semisweet chocolate
* 1 cups whole wheat flour
* 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/4 teaspoon all spice
* 4 tablespoons sweet cream butter
* 4 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
* 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
* 1/2 cup unsulphured molasses
* 1 teaspoon baking soda

Chop chocolate into 1/4-inch chunks, set aside. In a medium bowl, sift together flour and all spice.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter and grated ginger until whitened. Add brown sugar, beat until combined. Add molasses,beat until combined. In a small bowl, dissolve baking soda in 1 1/2 teaspoons boiling water. Beat flour mixture into butter mixture. Beat in baking-soda mixture and mix in chocolate. Pat dough out to about 1 inch thick, seal with wrap and refrigerate at least an hour.
Heat oven to 325°F
Roll dough and using ginger bread cookie cuter made shapes. Arrange cookies on the cookie pen. Bake until the surfaces crack slightly for 12 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes. Decorate and have fun:)

Hope Santa will like them. Our little Robo Hamster Bubbles – the Elf is Santa’s best helper this year….

Now excuse me I have to wrap few more presents and try to put kids to bed….not an easy task, especially when they hear reindeer sleigh bells every second or so…..what a lovely night this is!