homemade chocolate bits 30

How To Make Homemade Chocolate From Scratch

The Best Chocolate Is Always Homemade! Homemade chocolate is the most delicious treat mom used to make when I was a child. Using simple ingredients and requiring little time and effort, homemade chocolate is easy to make from scratch, and the taste is divine! The velvety softness and aromas will make you fall in love with it and prefer it over the classical bars, guaranteed! Mom always saved it for special occasions, Christmas, Easter or birthdays, making it more desirable. These days, homemade chocolate would make a perfect Valentine’s Day treat or gift, or a unique addition to the special...

Valentine's day dessert recipes 59

Valentine’s Day. Why and How Do We Celebrate It?

Why Do We Celebrate Valentine’s Day? The world celebrates Valentine’s Day – the winter holiday of love – as a religious remembering of St Valentine, a Roman priest that married couples against Emperor Claudius’ order. Claudius was involved in endless wars with the enemies of the largest ancient empire and needed soldiers. In his vision, a soldier who had a wife and family was not reliable. So he declared marriage illegal. Valentine, a young priest in Umbria (Umbri, in Roman times), cared more about young love than he cared about an emperor’s orders and kept marrying couples secretly. In the...

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Easy to Make Oatmeal Pancakes: A Healthy Breakfast for Your Sweetheart

A Special Breakfast for A Special Occasion How does spoiling your loved ones with flourless, refined sugar-free and fruity oatmeal pancakes sound? If not often, at least on special occasions, such as a birthday or Valentine’s Day? Whenever you feel like showing your love on a healthy plate, this breakfast recipe will do just that. Be assured that the beneficiary will appreciate and enjoy your effort! Healthy oatmeal pancakes are an excellent substitute for getting out of your porridge routine; even more when the occasion is special. So why not spoil your sweetheart on a Valentine’s Day morning with some...

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How to Make the Softest Italian Pear and Almond Chocolate Cake

Valentine’s Day Delight or Daily Coffee Side? This Pear and Almond Chocolate Cake is a delicious and versatile dessert that works wonderfully both as an indulgent dessert to finish a romantic Valentine Day’s dinner AND as a side for your daily coffee(s). To the Italians, it is in most cases the latter, but that does not mean this pear and almond chocolate cake cannot make a perfect special occasion dessert. To me, it works the same way Tiramisù would: “wow!” And “can I have more, please?” Imagine the combination of delicate, soft and juicy pears and the crunchiness offered by...

walnut snails 32

Walnut Snails Recipe Inspired by a Famous German Pastry

How the Walnut Snails Recipe Made It to Mom’s Recipe Book Mom’s walnut snails recipe is an adaptation of the Nussschnecken desert which is basically a sweet bun of Saxon origins, filled with nuts and cinnamon. Schnecken is the German word for snails, which suggests the unique shape of this finger-licking delicious walnut filled treats. Given Transylvania’s Saxon heritage, our cooking and especially baking have seen a tremendous German influence over the centuries.  When I was a child, mom’s best friend was a German lady who used to bake weekly. She would always invite us to keep her company while she was dancing...

menu dinner table 24

What’s On Your New Year’s Eve Dinner Table?

Menu Ideas For The New Year’s Celebration On New Year’s Eve, we all stay up and celebrate the end of a year and are hopeful for the new one. As it has been since times immemorial, the celebration always involves food and drinks, music, dancing and a hefty amount of joy. The New Year’s Eve dinner is one of the most important of the entire year. We invest time and effort to make it look and taste perfect so that at midnight we celebrate in style with our loved ones. Today, people pay more attention to what they eat and...

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How to Make the Best Festive Appetizer: Beef Salad

A Romanian Salad, French in Name and Historically Having Almost Nothing to do With What’s in the Title! If it sounds a tad confusing, here’s the disambiguation: Romanians like many things but absolutely LOVE food; therefore, they are inventing dishes that everybody loves at the first try and often become traditional foods for holidays. This is a winter appetizer that cannot miss from the Christmas or New Year’s Eve festive table! The story of Boeuf Salad, as we call it, has been originally a simple “game in mayo” dish, about two hundred years ago. In time, the pheasant was replaced...

Christmas 31

Christmas: The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Magic When I was eleven, some kids in my class told me that Santa did not exist. I replied that it was the naughtiest thing to say. He lives and brings me presents every year! The kids started laughing, so I turned my back and left them basking in their small, magicless and emotionless bubble. I instantly knew they would be on Santa’s naughty list! When we returned to school after the winter holidays, the same kids told me that their parents gave them Christmas presents. Well, at least somebody loved them enough to compensate for the lack of magic...

Traditional Christmas treats from around the world 57

Twelve Must-Try Christmas Treats From Around The World

Twelve Days Of Christmas “On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me” the idea to bring together a few of the most famous Christmas treats from around the world. Christmas is indeed the most wonderful time of the entire year. It is a time of reflection, a time of remembering why we even celebrate Christmas in the first place. A time for being grateful for what we have, for being together with the loved ones, for sharing the love for one another and of course, for eating the foods that we love. But most of all,...

British mince pies 31

The Most Mouthwatering Christmas Treats: British Mince Pies

A Tradition In Name Only As a migrant who settled in the UK, of course, I got to learn and appreciate local traditions. But I remember staying away from mince pies for several years. The reason? I did not get why a meaty thing would be placed in a pastry sheet and have sugar sprinkled on top! My prejudice wilted when I decided it was time to do some research and get to the bottom of the story!  It turned up they were only called mince pies because, historically, they would contain minced meat (mainly mutton). In time, dry fruits...

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