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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Confession #1: I've never eaten pie before.
Confession #2: I have now fallen, completely head over heels for pie.

Strawberry rhubarb pie... tangy, sweet and simply extraordinary! After trying this pie, I have officially joined the Pie Appreciation Club. I can't wait to try the many different pies that have now creeped their way onto my very long list of recipes to try. But let's just focus on this one pie for now...

I have mentioned my lack of baking skills before in my Pound Cake post so my next confession should come as no surprise... I didn't make the pastry! Instead I used the already made Pillsbury version - I didn't even bother looking at the nutritional info, it is probably horrifying. So if making pastry is your thing, go for it - I'm just going to stand here in the corner with my store bought pastry...

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
Recipe adapted from: Cooking Nook


1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3 cups rhubarb, sliced into 1/2" pieces
1 1/2 cups sliced strawberries

Directions (filling only)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl. (reserve about 1-2 tbsp for topping) Slice the rhubarb and strawberries. Once done slicing, combine the fruit with the other ingredients stirring around.

Spoon the mixture into a pastry lined pie plate and lay the top layer of pastry on top, sealing the edges.

Bake at 425 for 12 minutes, turn down the heat to 300 degrees and bake for 30 minutes.

Despite the bought pastry, this pie was perfect, it was enjoyed by many... I stashed away the one remaining piece for dessert... on second thought, I'm going to go and eat it now before anybody else finds it!

- Lou

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

"Delish" Brownies

Being back in Greece again is absolutely wonderful, and I'm full of new cooking inspiration! I can't wait to post about what I've been up to, but until then I'll leave you with these "delish" brownies!

These brownies get their title from my Grandmother, who thought that they were positively "delish". Anyway, these are quick and easy and probably one of the best brownie recipes because they would be impossible to mess up, and finally, because, well, they're Martha Stewart's! I've made these a few times, and have therefore made a few adjustments to the original recipe.

Ingredients (makes 9 large or 16 small squares)
6 tbsp unsalted butter
6 oz coarsely chopped semisweet chocolate
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 8-inch pan with parchment paper, and grease the parchment paper.

Melt butter, chocolate and cocoa in a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water. Stir together until melted. Once melted, cool slightly.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a bow, and set aside.

Beat sugar, eggs and vanilla in a bowl with an electric mixer for 4 minutes. Add the melted chocolate mixture and beat until combined. Add the flour mixture and beat, scraping down the sides of the bowl until completely combined.

Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake until a cake tester comes out with a few crumbs (but not wet!), which takes about 35 minutes.

Let the brownies cool in the pan for about 15 minutes and then lift out the brownies using the parchment paper. Let cool completely before cutting into squares.

So there you go, the perfect brownies! If you feel like adding in some extras try adding in some nuts, or chocolate chips.

- Lou

recipe adapted from: Martha Stewart's Double Chocolate Brownies
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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Berry Good Banana & Blueberry Smoothie!

On a hot summer day, there is nothing better than a fresh smoothie, especially when you have all types of berries on hand! I opened the fridge today to find 3 packages of blueberries, so it was definitely a blueberry smoothie type of day. Not only is it refreshing, but it's packed with all the goodness of fruit! Wether you're making this for breakfast (a personal favourite of mine) or for a snack during the day, it'll hit the spot.

Ingredients (makes enough for 1 smoothie)
3/4 cup blueberries
1 banana (chopped)
2/3 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup milk
4-6 ice cubes


Throw all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until desired thickness.

Yum, go and enjoy your smoothie! I'm having mine right now...

- Lou

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Monday, July 12, 2010

Meatless Monday ... Summer Salad with Basil Garlic Dressing!

As I write this post, it is 11:50pm on Monday, so it is still "Meatless Monday", I've been having issues with my photo editing software and I couldn't get the pictures to where I wanted them, but I've finally conquered the computer and been able to fix the problems!

So, I know in my last post I said that I would be posting about cupcakes next... well don't worry, those are still to come! But it is Monday, which means it's time for my weekly "Meatless Monday" post! Today, I decided to have a yummy, super healthy salad for dinner. But the real star of this salad was the dressing, a basil, garlic dressing. And it was delectable... yummmmm!

Ingredients (dressing, makes about 1/2 cup)
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh basil
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
1 tsp dried basil
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp parmesa cheese (grated)
a pinch of salt and pepper


Using a food processor, process the garlic until it is chopped, add in the fresh basil and pulse until finely chopped. Add in all of the other ingredients and process until smooth, or desired texture!

And there you have it, a simple to prepare, weeknight, meatless, dish!

p.s In case anyone is wondering what I put in my salad, lettuce, cucumber, mushrooms (matchstick), carrots (grated) and chopped broccoli (for some extra nutrients, broccoli is a super vegetable similar to sweet potatoes!) you can also add in some beans for a bit of extra protein!

- Lou

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The easiest, homemade cupcakes in the world!

So I'm off to Greece today, for two weeks I've got a few posts layed out already which will be posted in the coming two weeks, but hopefully I'll be able to do some special "International" posts... wouldn't that be fun?

So, finally, as previously mentioned, I'm not much of a baker, so when I bake it's usually very, very simple. This is my first time making cupcakes from scratch... yes, I am embarrassed to admit that my former self was utterly dependent on the Betty Crocker cake mixes for all cakes and cupcakes. And I have to admit, making these, I think I have officially converted from pre-mixed cakes to homemade! woo! These are seriously the easiest cupcakes in the world, and if you, like me, are used to using the mixes, seriously try this, you'll never go back!

1/2 cup butter (at room temperature) cut into cubes.
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup sugar

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 egg
3/4 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Place the butter in a large mixing bowl and sift the dry ingredients over top. Using an electric mixer, mix it slowly together. Next, add in 1/2 cup of milk and the egg and beat until the flour is completely moistened.
Add the remaining milk and vanilla and beat for another minute.

Place the paper liners in your muffin tin and fill the cupcakes about halfway full (or a little more, I found that I didn't fill the liners enough.)

Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until the toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean!

Let me warn you, give these away to friends because it's very easy to get carried away, and soon enough you'll be surrounded by cupcake liners and no more cupcakes!

- Lou

recipe courtesy of

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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Living Lou's Authentic Chicken Thighs

Mmmmm, I would take chicken thighs over chicken breasts in a flash. They are much more moist (isn't that just the worst word? moist... moist... blegh!) Yes, they are pretty small, but it's OK because then you can eat two, or three (or four...) of your favourite chicken thighs! This is a pretty simple recipe which just calls for a marinade which helps to keeps the meat from going dry. This chicken is the perfect partner with Meatless Monday's kickin' potatoes or my favourite sweet potato fries!

Living Lou's Authentic Chicken Thighs

4 chicken thighs

1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1/2 small lemon (juice only)
1/8 tsp hot sauce
1/2 tsp honey
1 clove garlic (crushed)
half green onion (chopped)
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp dried rosemary
freshly cracked pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Whisk together all of the ingredients for the marinade and marinade the chicken in the fridge for an hour. After the chicken is done marinating place it in a dish and bake for 30 minutes.

Try out this recipe and enjoy some of my favourite chicken thighs! Up next: classic vanilla cupcakes!

- Lou

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Monday, July 5, 2010

Kickin' Parmesan Roasted Potatoes .... Meatless Monday!

I've missed a few Meatless Monday's throughout my self imposed hiatus. It was a busy time with exams and such, which left me with basically no time for sleeping, let alone cooking!! So, unfortunately, and reluctantly, cooking was put on the back burner... but now that summer has officially started and I've had a little bit of time to recuperate it's time to try some fun new things in the summer!!

To start us off, here's a fun little twist on the classic roasted potatoes that everyone loves! They are completely delicious and super easy! I like to add in a little cayenne just for a bit of bite, but you can add in as much as you please, or, can handle!

1 package of red baby potatoes
1/4 cup olive oil
sea salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese (grated)
1/4 tsp mustard powder
1/8 tsp of cayenne (more depending on level of heat wanted)
1/8 tsp ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Wash and thinly slice the potatoes (no peeling necessary!) Toss in a baking dish with the olive oil, sea salt and freshly cracked pepper.

Next, to make your Parmesan mixture, mix together the remaining ingredients (cheese, mustard powder, cayenne and black pepper.) Throw the mixture into the dish with the potatoes and toss to coat. Place in the oven uncovered for 45 minutes. Once they are done, throw a bit of butter on top and serve.

And there you go! These are the perfect side dish for practically anything - I would even eat them as a meal...

- Lou

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