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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

German Streusel Cake with Apricots


Hope you all had a great Memorial Day weekend. We spend one day with our Friends, the other we just hung out at our little Ranch. We currently have 90 degree weather, and our Orchard is full of ripe fruits ready to be picked. Yesterday we've picked some Apricots, and made a yummy German Streusel cake (Crumb Cake) with Cream Cheese and Apricots. A childhood favorite of mine. You can substitute the Apricots with any other fruit. My favorites are, Plums, Cherries, or Blueberries.
Hope you will try it. Recipe is below pictures.







German Streusel Cake with Apricots

Dough/Topping

250g Butter
1 cup Sugar
1 tablespoon Vanilla Extract
1 Egg
Pinch Salt
3 cups Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Powder

Cream Butter with Sugar, Vanilla Extract, Egg and Salt, add Flour with Baking Powder, until you get a smooth dough. Grease Baking Pan (I use a 9x13 inch), and use 2/3 of dough to press evenly onto Baking pan. Set aside. 

Make the Cream Cheese Filling.

24 oz Cream Cheese (3- 8oz packages)
1/2 cup Sour Cream
1 cup Sugar
1 tablespoon Vanilla Extract
1 Egg
1/2 teaspoon finely grated Lemon (optional)

Pour Cream Cheese mixture over prepared dough. Cut and Pit ca 10-12 Apricots. Put fruit over cream cheese filling. Then add remaining dough in little clumps all over the cake. Bake at 350 degrees ca 40-45 minutes. Let cool and refrigerate.

Love,

Diana



Thursday, May 22, 2014

Strawberry Meringue Tartlets


Need a last minute desert recipe for Memorial Weekend? I baked a batch of these Strawberry Meringue Tartlets this morning. They didn't even last 15 minutes in my house. I'm not kidding... fifteen minutes! 
OMG, biting in the slightly chewy Meringue was like biting in a heavenly cloud, and the juicy Strawberry filling...They are that good!!






Here is the Recipe:


Heavenly Strawberry Meringue Tartlets

Dough:

1 1/2 cup Flour
2 tablespoons Powder Sugar
pinch Salt
1 stick cold unsweetened sweet cream butter
1 Egg yolk
3 tablespoons ice cold water


Filling:

1 small package fresh Strawberries
juice of 1/2 lime
Strawberry Jam

For the Meringue:

3 egg whites
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon Cream of Tartar

Directions:

(makes a 9" Tart or 6 Mini Tartlets)

1. Preheat Oven to 325 degrees

2. In a bowl, combine Flour with sugar and salt. Cut cold butter into small pieces and add to flour. Start to knead quickly until dough is crumbly, then add the egg yolk and the cold water. Knead everything quickly until dough is smooth. Place dough into the Refrigerator ca. 30 minutes.

3. Wash, dry and slice the Strawberries. Squeeze a little lime juice over.

4. On a floured surface, roll out dough, cut out 6 big circles and put into buttered tartlet baking forms. With a fork make a few holes in the dough. Bake 15 minutes in the oven.

5. Meringue: With electric mixer bead egg whites with pinch of salt, vanilla and cream of tartar on medium speed until soft peak. Then add the sugar one soon at the time slowly into the thickening egg whites. Increase the speed to high and keep mixing until it becomes a stiff  thick and fluffy cream. (Important. Don't reduce the Sugar amount, or the Meringue will not come out right.)

6. Spread a little Strawberry jam over the tartlets. Top with Strawberries and add the Meringue on top. Place back into oven and bake another 20 minutes, until Meringue is slightly brown.

Cool on Kitchen rack.

If you can't wait until tartlets are fully cooled, they taste delishious warm :)





Love, 

Diana

Monday, March 17, 2014

Superfood Quinoa Salad & New Dishes


Today, I want to share a super yummy and healthy Salad with you. It is a current favorite in our family.
Nice green and slightly crunchy.
Recipe is below the pictures. 




My new dishes. They are baby blue. I like them so much, I bought them in different colors. 




My little dreamer, Tatum.




Meet the newest members of my family. They are 1 day old. I'm officially a mommy of 5 kids and 8 Chickie's :) Need names still. Any suggestions??


Superfood Quinoa Salad 

(serves 4)

4 cups Broccoli florets
2 cups Green Peas (fresh/or frozen)
2 cups Cucumber (sliced)
1 Avocado (diced)
1/4 cup Onion (minced)
1 1/2 cups Quinoa
200g Feta Cheese
1 hand full Alfalfa Sprouts 
1 bunch Cilantro (minced)
a little fresh Mint (optional)
6 tablespoons Olive Oil
Juice of 1 Lemon
Salt & Pepper to taste
1/2 cup mixed Seeds slightly toasted (Sunflower, Pumpkin, Sesame, Chia)


Cook Quinoa in water until soft. Let cool down.

Cook Broccoli about 5 minutes so it has a slight crunch. (I think I over cooked my slightly). If you are using frozen peas, add them for about 1 minute to the pot. Remove Broccoli and Peas and put in ice water for about a minute , so the color of the veggies remain green. 

In a bowl mix the cooled down Quinoa with all the veggies, and herbs. Make the Olive Oil/ Lemon Dressing. Mix into Salad. Crumble Feta cheese and toasted Seeds, add to the Salad.

Enjoy!

xo, 

Diana




Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Ahoy there


Calling all Captains, Sailors and Pirates!

I have great news for you today. Have you seen Ikea's new Summer Collection? No... Well, I'm glad you here. They have RIGHT NOW all these beautiful nautical merchandise, that make you wish for summer to come faster by. At least... that's what I wish for :)
Gorgeous, isnt it?


© Inter IKEA Systems B.V. 2014

© Inter IKEA Systems B.V. 2014

The LISEL textiles are inpired by fisherman villages, and Coast life. Designs are available in traditional nautical colors, Red, White, and Blue.
Lots of marytime detail. Nautical knots, Ropes, and Ocean life. 
© Inter IKEA Systems B.V. 2014
Love the Hampton Style look without the hefty prize tag?
They have Bedding, Pillows, Dish towels, Tabletop wares, even Carpets.

© Inter IKEA Systems B.V. 2014

These cute pillows (in form of a Makarel) are my favorites. I know my two little pirates would love to have them in their room.
© Inter IKEA Systems B.V. 2014



... and how cute are the crabs. Love it.
© Inter IKEA Systems B.V. 2014





© Inter IKEA Systems B.V. 2014

I love, love stripes. The towels are perfect to take to the beach. The carpets are flat weaved, and made for indoor/ and outdoor use.
© Inter IKEA Systems B.V. 2014

I'm off to Ikea.

xo, Diana



You can find:

Makarel Pillow here
Bedding here
Rugs here
Dish towels here and here


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Feather Decoration DIY


Hi there,

 today I have a nice spring decoration DIY for you.  It's a great "in between" Easter decoration idea. Or if you are tired of the same traditional egg hangers, I could imagine it as a Easter center piece as well. The best part is, you need very little to make these clay feathers, and they are so easy to make. Oh... and NO Mess!!










Instructions:
Take a small part (Walnut size) of the Modelling clay and roll it with a Noodle roller on a piece of foil. (The feathers will come easy of the foil, once dried). OK, so after you have rolled your clay thinly, you take an exactor knife and cut the clay in a shape of a feather. If you not good at cutting freehand, you always can find pictures on the Internet that you can print and use as template. Next, roll another (pea size) of the clay, roll it on your hand. This will be the quill, in the middle of the feather. Brush a little water onto feather, so the quill will stick.




Next step: With an Exactor knife (or needle) "scratch" lightly to make contour-lines. Make a few grooves and bend it slightly, so it looks more natural. Then make a small hole in the upper left , next to the quill, so it can be hung later. Let your feathers air dry, up to 24 hours.
Once completely dry, you can file the sides a little to smooth'en out rough edges.
Insert a string. Its ready to hang now. I like the look when the feathers are hanging on a simple dry tree branch. I think it looks even elegant. What do you think?

Happy crafting, and decorating friends!!

xo, Diana


Friday, February 28, 2014

What to do on a rainy Saturday + Sugar Cookie Recipe

Were ending February with a huge rainstorm, thunder and snow in the mountains. Not so good when you have little boys who love the outdoors.
The last few days my creative team converted my living room into Lego land. It's fine with me. We're enjoying the cuddle days to the fullest.

Before complaining about the cold and the Rain. Here are 10 really good reasons coming from a couch potato ( if I only would have time, but if I COULD... I would never leave my Couch...).











On rainy days you can without guilt:


1. Snuggle up in cozy pillows and blankets

2. Spend half of the day cuddling with the kids, reading funny books together, or read super exciting Novels half of the night (and look like a Zombie the next day... it's OK.. that's how I scare the UPS guy periodically.)

3. Stay in comfy Jogging pants, cozy sweater and warm wool socks.

4. Make hot Soup, crook pot meals, and sweet deserts. (food for the soul)

5. Light scented candles all day (I'm loving right now Vanilla, and crisp bamboo)

6. Bake cookies with the kids. Dip in hot chocolate

7. Do some shopping, get crafty, or do whatever makes you feel sunny

3. Put a bunch of pillows on the floor and watch good movies, have Pizza delivered, and eat Popcorn.

4. Make hot Cacao with a dash of Cinnamon


February... I liked you. It's my Birthday month, but looking forward to Spring now.



The Cookie recipe I used in today's post is from Martha Steward. We love it.





















Sugar Cookies

4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (I used finely grated zest of 2 Lemons instead)

Directions:

In a large bowl, sift together flour, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.

Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs.

Add flour mixture, and mix on low speed until thoroughly combined. Stir in vanilla, or lemon zest. Put dough in freezer bag and refrigerate about 30 minutes.

Heat oven to 325 degrees. On a flowered surface, roll dough to about 1/8 thickness, and cut with cookie cutters in desired shapes. Bake on a ungreased  baking sheet 8-10 minutes.
Cool on wire racks, and decorate as desired.









 Happy Snuggling!

Diana

Miso Soup Recipe

   


It has been raining all morning. It's cold, and two of my kids are having the sniffles. 
A healthy comforting soup was in order. So, I thought, 
instead of making traditional Chicken Noodle Soup,  I change it up a bit with this Japanese staple. I have made Miso Soup before, and the kids really loved it.

I used this white Miso paste. It is mild and sweet in taste. It's also Non- GMO. A perfect base for this Soup. You could also use yellow Miso paste. The darker the color of the Miso, the stronger (earthy) the taste of the soup will be. 
You can find Miso paste at Whole Foods Market, or in Japanese, and Korean Markets.

Miso Soup is also really healthy, and good for you.  I did a little research. This is what I found.

In looking at the health value of light, sweet miso, it is notable that it contains a high amount of lactic acid bacteria, is high in simple sugars and typically holds about twice as much niacin as darker, saltier varieties. All-natural miso is also a living food that contains beneficial microorganisms such as Tetragenococcus Halopphilus, a bacterium that is active in the fermentation process. It is known to be an adequate source of the Vitamin B12 for vegans who cannot regularly consume it in meat products. It also contains 2 grams of protein for every 25 calories, which makes it a great, low calorie source of protein. In addition it carries a plethora of trace minerals such as zinc, manganese, and copper.





Now to the recipe. Hope you enjoy it.

xo, Diana

P. S. Stop by tomorrow. I have somethings sweet for you!

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Miso Soup Recipe - Chicken Udon

  • 5 cups water 
  • 3 tablespoons white miso paste 
  • 1 cup sliced carrots (Brokoli optional)
  • 1 cup dried Shiitake Mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup dried wakame (Seaweed)
  • 1 chicken breast (cut into bite sized pieces)
  • 1 package udon noodles (or soba noodles)
  • 1 cup cubed firm organic/Non-GMO tofu 
  • 3 tablespoons Mirin (optional)
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced green scallions 
  • Salt to taste

  1. Bring water to a simmer in a medium or large pot over medium-high heat. Whisk in the miso paste and add the chicken, carrots, udon noodles, shiitake mushrooms, seaweed, and tofu. 
  2. Simmer for about 20-30 minutes.
  3. Top with green scallions