coconut chocolate chip pancakes!

light, fluffy, filling, coconut & chocolate chip pancakes. Completely gluten-free, dairy-free & sugar-free

What a day!

I had planned on posting these coconut pancakes up yesterday. I actually made them in the morning so that I could have a nice filling breakfast in preparation for the long day ahead….

Of course, as soon as I was done eating, I got called in to work.

I am beyond happy to report that this week I have been working alongside Eirini to help make the desserts for the wedding that happened last night. That’s right, 200 chocolate mousse & 200 mini strawberry pavlovas.

Yesterday, all our work paid off too. Yesterday, I got to put on some fancy chef whites & work alongside Vangelis (from Chili Catering) doing the mies en plas for the event.

12 long hours on my feet & a non-stop go-go-GO approach & it was FANTASTIC!

I had the time of my life!

So clearly, there was no time to share my filling pancake breakfast. Thank god for that breakfast too since I didn’t have a chance to eat anything else until 01:00 the following morning…. where I stood quietly in the shadows stuffing my face with left over dolmades & sipping on a cocktail from Baba that Vangeli had brought in as a little treat for the staff once we were done. What a night!

So here I am, sleepy on a Sunday morning, planning to melt on the couch the entire day with my feet up, feeling the warm summer island breeze coming through the open doors, the sun light hitting the floor & a little take-out to sedate my hungry stomach…. & now I have to tell you how wonderful my little chocolate chip pancakes were.

Light, fluffy, filling, slightly sweet from the bitter chocolate & honey, completely gluten-free, dairy-free & sugar-free…. but nothing about them makes you feel like you’re lacking or missing out. They are what they are. & what they are, is delicious.

Continue reading

banana, chocolate & meringue pie

gluten-free banana, chocolate meringue pie

All I can think about is Montreal.

When my sisters & I were little, our grandfather had this beautiful farm in Montreal that was our little slice of heaven. We used to go every summer & spend the entire time outside & dirty. If we weren’t in a riding lesson, or competing at a competition, we were in the fields hunting for wild blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, climbing up trees, exploring in the woods looking for abandoned tree-houses built by hunters, or swimming.

Our bedroom was located in the barn directly above our horses. We originally used to sleep in the main house, but eventually everyone caught on that we wanted to be as close to our four legged friends as possible, & my grandfather had the attic in the barn converted into one large room. Andy, our resident handy man & grounds keeper (also the sweetest, kindest man one could ever meet) had even build us a balcony overlooking the fields. On a clear night, we had the best view anyone could ask for.

This is a painting someone once did of the farm, just so you get a sense of the magic:
Pope's Hill Farm, Montreal, QuebecI tell you all this because my sister Amyra & I were once again reminiscing about the magic & missing it terribly.

More often than not, when I miss a time or place, I remember the food & the smells that were associated with it. For the farm, chocolate & meringue pie is always the first thing that comes to mind. Rich, creamy, & delicious.

I told you, pie for me embodies love. If you don’t feel overwhelmed by love when you’re making it, it wont be amazing. Good, but not amazing.

So, feeling completely nostalgic & romanticizing the past, I decided it was time I posted up my very own recipe. I made a small adjustment by adding in bananas, but the rest of the pie is as close to the original as I could make it. Every single bit is bliss. Every single mouthful makes me feel all warm & fussy inside.

I miss my sisters. & I miss our paradise.

Continue reading

creamy coconut & almond chocolates

milk chocolates filled with a creamy almond & coconut filling

Every muscle in my body aches.

Do you have any idea how hard it is to dig a hole in the dirt, when the dirt is basically hardened clay & lots of rocks??

I’m not talking about some pathetic little hole, either. I’m talking about a full on trench!

No one told me that organic gardening would be hard. That the soil could basically be barren of anything resembling nutrients. That weeds would thrive, or snails would reign terror. No, I wasn’t given the 411 before I started my little adventure into exploring my green thumbs.

Going away to Athens for a week because we were let-go from our previous employment? Bad idea.

Not that we didn’t have fun, we had a ton of fun. My garden has run rampant in my absence however & it’s taking a lot of very labour intensive work to get back into shape.

Pruning. Weeding. Burying compost. De-snailing. Re-potting. Cleaning up.

There’s been a full workload the past two days & now it’s time to treat myself to chocolate. Lots & lots of little milk chocolate bites filled with a creamy almond & coconut filling. I’ve been storing them in the fridge too so they have this slightly refreshing feeling whilst you’re eating them.

Tonight is a night for “Mad Men” & chocolate. I’ve already had my long, pampering shower so I no longer smell like a man, & now it’s time to relax. Maybe even a spot of knitting.

Good night! Continue reading

fantabulous sugar cookies, literally

vanilla & almond sugar cookies

It’s no secret that I have an affinity for the word “fantabulous”.

I know it’s not a real word, & I’m not trying to suggest that other people get on board with my blatant disregard for the english language.

What I am saying is, that this is a word that reminds me of my sister Amyra. She & I have a deep-seeded love for Eddie Izzard & his comic marveling. So when I miss her, I use it more often.

I also felt that the word was appropriate for today. I’ve decided my future will be fantabulous!

Ok. Truth time.

Our future at Hotel Ploes has come to a rather abrupt end. There is no ill will held by either parties as nothing was actually done wrong, however, they have decided to close down the kitchen & all its production. Kitchens take a lot of work & when it was fully understood how many changes would need to be made & how much work was involved, it was decided that they weren’t up to the task.

We part on peaceful & pleasant terms though.

I did myself a little comfort baking last night. You know, just to soften the blow. Sugar cookies have a way of softening blows. Whilst doing this baking I was half missing my sister, terribly, & half contemplating the future & what I reckoned it held for me. I decided that no matter what would happen, it should in fact be fantabulous.

Hence the cookies. I’m starting the new chapter of my life with a sweet & positive attitude. A vanilla & almond flavored attitude.

Continue reading

double crusted peach pie

Pies are what you make for the people you love. Truly.

The kind of love that deepens with every breath in & sometimes causes you to feel as if your heart aches from the sheer volume of it all. The kind that grows over the years, & ages into something beautiful & breath taking.

Yea, I get sappy sometimes.

I learnt to make pies as a child trying to bake my way into my grandfather’s heart, he had a weakness for pecan. I was small & sweet as I would sit on his lap eagerly waiting for his look of approval. I used pre-made crusts back then & thought that if I ground up half the pecans, it would force more of their delicious flavor into each & every bite. I wanted to cram as much love into every mouthful.

Not much has changed.

Continue reading