Zeppole are like a cream puff filled like a cannoli. The dough is very similar to making cream puffs or eclairs but they are fried like a donuts and filled with a cheese and chocolate filling. These do not hold well and are best eaten as soon as they are made. They are definitely a special treat.



You will need:



Zeppole dough

  • 1 cup water
  • 8 tbsp butter (1 stick)
  • 3 tbsp vanilla sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • fruity olive oil to fry



  • 1 cup ricotta – drained 1 hour
  • 1/2 cup mascarpone
  • 1 tsp Amaretto liqueur (or any orange liqueur)
  • 1/4 cup icing sugar
  • 1/4 cup chopped chocolate
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 1 tsp lemon zest




Step 1: make filling. In a small bowl add ricotta, mascarpone, Amaretto or orange liqueur like Cointreau. Add icing sugar, chopped chocolate and finely zested orange and lemon. Mix and leave in fridge while making dough.



Step 2: gather all your ingredients for the pastry. In a large pan add butter, sugar and water. Melt the butter over a medium heat. Let mix come to a boil then remove from heat and add flour and salt. Stir until combined and return to heat for 4-5 minutes. Stir constantly while on heat.


Step 3: remove from heat and add eggs one at a time mixing well after each. It will seem like it is not going to come together and then it just does.



Step 4: finally add zest and mix well. heat oil.



Step 5: oil should be 350 degrees Fan or should bubble when dough is added. I used a large pot and added a few inches of oil to come halfway up the zeppole. I used a small ice cream scoop and made small balls. Fry until browned.



Step 6: place on paper towel to absorb excess oil and let cool until you can handle them. They should be light and full of holes like an eclair.



Step 7: slice and add some filling and dust with icing/powdered sugar and eat!!













Balsamic Jelly

This balsamic jelly is great under a slice of grilled pork tenderloin or topped on a bit of cheese and crackers and is very simple to make so why buy a jar. I have made both a White Strawberry Balsamic Jelly and a regular balsamic jelly. I prefer the lovely sweet sour taste of the Strawberry Balsamic which tastes great in chicken dishes or again with a bit of cheese and crackers.



You will need:

  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar -regular or try White Strawberry Balsamic – I used Lucero from California which is very nice
  • 1 pkg unflavoured gelatin
  • 1/4 cup honey






This is the white strawberry balsamic version



This is a regular balsamic version



Step 1: in a small pan add balsamic vinegar, honey and sprinkle a package of unflavoured gelatin over the top. Leave 5 minutes. Do not turn on heat for this 5 minutes. Turn on heat and stir to dissolve gelatin and melt honey. Let heat for 2-3 minutes just until everything dissolves.



Step 2: pour into a clean jar and let cool. Store in fridge to let firm up.



Use as a jelly or add to something you are cooking. I like this under a slice of roasted pork tenderloin and I have also used a spoon of it while I am cooking slices of chicken to top a warm salad and I have also used it under a slice of cheese on a cracker.









Ginger Soy Grilled Tuna



A few minutes on the grill, slice and drizzle over sauce. Easy. Perfect for a summer evening.




You will need:


  • 2-4 tuna steaks
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 fresh red chili chopped fine or 1/8 tsp chili flakes
  • 2 scallions/spring onions chopped fine
  • 2 cloves garlic – crushed
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger chopped fine – you can reduce to 2 tsp if you don’t want bold ginger flavour
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp olive oil -I used Lucero Sevillano Extra Virgin
  • salt/pepper


Step 1: prepare sauce/topping. In a small bowl or measuring cup add soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, fresh finely chopped chili (or 1/8 tsp chili flakes) chopped spring onions, crushed garlic, chopped ginger, sesame oil, olive oil.



Step 2: if you can get fresh or sushi grade tuna great however, I had good frozen and it worked fine.




Step 3: heat up grill. Sprinkle salt and pepper over tuna and spoon a bit of topping over the fish. Do not touch the raw fish with the spoon to keep the topping clean.





Step 4: grill for literally 1-2 minutes on each side. (big Pete cooked this just a bit too much should be raw in the center)



Slice, drizzle and enjoy.









Spanakopita is a Greek Spinach and Feta pie. You can make it into individual triangles or in a large pie which is perfect for serving a large crowd. It can be eaten hot or room temperature. My husband loves it so I made some and I also froze some to have ready whenever he has a hankering for  some more.


You will need:

  • 2 x 500gram bags of chopped spinach – thawed and squeezed to remove moisture
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil – I used Lucero Koroneiki Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 6 spring onions
  • 1/3 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp fresh dill
  • 2 eggs
  • 20 oz/ 600 gr. = 1.3 pounds feta cheese -buy Greek Feta if you can get it (it is better!)
  • 1/2 cup ricotta
  • 1/2 lemon juiced plus 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/2 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
  • freshly grated pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil or more for brushing phyllo
  • 8 sheets phyllo pastry for pie- more for individual triangles (thaw according to directions)



Step 1: take 2 bags of frozen spinach, thaw and drain over a sieve. In paper towels or a clean tea towel squeeze the spinach of as much water as possible. Place in a large bowl.




Step 2: in a food processor add onions and garlic and puree until finely diced. In a small saute pan cook onions and garlic for 5 minutes in some good quality olive oil. I have used Lucero Koroneiki which is a typical olive found in Greece although this lovely oil is from California. I normally find Greek olive oil very mild but, I love this one from Lucero because it has a bit more flavour than the typical.



Step 3: add spring onions, parsley (flat Italian is always better than curly leaf) dill, and feta blocks. Process until crumbled.



Step 4: add cheese and herbs to bowl with drained/squeezed spinach. Add eggs, ricotta cheese, your cooked onions and garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice and some freshly grated nutmeg. Mix well to combine.


Step 5: in a medium sized pyrex/glass baking dish brush bottom and sides with olive oil. I have used a smaller pyrex dish just because I wanted to make both a pie and triangles with my mix however, if you just wanted to make the pie (which is the easiest method and much faster than triangles!) use a larger baking dish. The perfect sized dish/tray is the size of a sheet of phyllo dough (pronounced FEE-LOW not FY-LOW) folded in half. This way you place half an open sheet of dough on your pan, brush with oil and fold perfectly in place, then brush again etc. I used 4 sheets for the bottom, folded in half which equals 8 layers of phyllo dough on the bottom.



Step 6: add a generous layer of your spinach filling. Add some fresh cracked pepper to the top (you wont need any salt since the feta is salty.




Step 7: repeat the process again with the next 4 layers of phyllo. Place a half a sheet over the filling, brush with oil, fold, brush with oil. Place another sheet over and repeat until you have placed the last four which will equal another 8 layers. You can trim the edges to make a nice looking tray (and of course if you use the larger pan which fits perfectly you will not need to trim)



Step 8: you can freeze 10 minutes and then carefully slice with a sharp knife into pieces ( this needs to be done before baking- you can re-slice after baking – IMPORTANT! you need to pre-slice) I try not to press down too hard or avoid tearing the phyllo. At this stage you can freeze the whole thing or bake in a 350 F. oven until browned and flaky approximately 30 minutes (but watch it towards the end to avoid burning)



If you are making triangles then slice plyllo dough into 3 evenly divided strips (lengthwise) (keep unused strips covered  with a slightly damp cloth to avoid drying out. Take one strip and brush lightly with olive oil. Place a few tbsp of filling on one edge. Fold as you would fold a flag, from side to side. Seal with olive oil. Place on a tray and freeze completely separated or bake right away until flaky, approximately 15 minutes.



Eat while hot or warm to enjoy pastry at its flakiest. It will get soft over time but, you can always reheat in the oven slightly to get the pastry flaky again.

















Berry Balsamic Frozen Yogurt


This is super easy to make. Throw everything in a blender, pour into a container and freeze for a few hours or use an ice cream machine.  Use the berries you like, a dash of White Strawberry Balsamic vinegar, honey and yogurt and just pop in a container to freeze for a few hours.


You will need:


  • 1 individual portion container of Greek yogurt
  • 2 cups fresh fruit or frozen works fine
  • 1 tbsp White Strawberry Balsamic vinegar- I used Lucero White Strawberry Balsamic
  • 2 tbsp honey (this can be adjusted if the fruit needs it)




Step 1: place berries, yogurt, strawberry balsamic vinegar and honey in a blender. You can use fresh or frozen fruit. Puree until smooth. Taste and add more honey if necessary.



Step 2: pour into a container and freeze a few hours.



or place mix in an ice cream maker until it is the consistency of ice cream.



Step 3: place in a container and freeze for a few hours.



Let container sit at room temperature for 15-25 minutes to become soft enough to scoop.













Pea Artichoke and Feta Pesto


This is perfect as a spread for a sandwich, tossed in some pasta or as dip.  A few fresh peas, some mint, some feta, great olive oil and a food processor.



You will need:



  • 1/2 cup fresh peas
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup olive oil -Mandranova Nocellara (more to drizzle over top)
  • handful of mint
  • handful of chives
  • handful of parsley
  • 1 small jar of marinated artichokes -drained (6 oz)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • salt/pepper
  • 1 tbsp honey




Step 1: gather all your ingredients. Remove peas from pods.




Step 2: in a food processor add peas, mint, chives, parsley and process until chopped.



Step 3: add feta, olive oil, drained artichokes, lemon, some salt and pepper and honey. Mix to puree and then taste it. Adjust the salt and pepper if necessary.



cover with a bit more oil and you can store in the fridge for 3-4 days.











Red Wine, Blueberry and Tea and White Wine, Orange, Peach and Tea Infused Granita


These are perfect for your next grown up party! They are made with fruit and wine and infused with tea. They can be made into a granita and scooped into a dish or you can make them into popsicles or even ice cubes which are perfect to add to your next pitcher of Sangria! Absolutely delicious.


When I was a kid there was this giant pyramid shaped frozen ice that came in a foil and paper wrapper and you would suck on it and take a spoon and carve holes in it and then drink the cherry, grape or orange (nobody bought the orange!) liquid left in the bottom. You got a “popsicle head” because it was so cold and you wore nice purple or pink lips for the rest of the day after. The red wine and blueberry tastes JUST LIKE THE GRAPE LOLA except better because it has wine in it! Try these you will love them!


You will need:

Red Wine, Blueberry and Tea Infused Granita/Popsicles

  • 1 cup your favorite red wine- I used a nice Malbec
  • 1/2 cup blueberries (frozen or fresh)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 berry zinger tea bag

White Wine, Orange, Peach and Tea Infused Granita/Posicles

  • 1 cup your favorite white wine- I used a PinotGrigio
  • 1 ripe peach- peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 small orange (zest 1 tsp) and then slice 2 slices with skin on and then remove peel and cut into chunks
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 lemon zinger tea bag


Red Wine, Blueberry and Tea Infused version



Step 1: place water and sugar in a small pot and let come to a boil, then remove from heat and stir to dissolve sugar. Add tea bag and let steep 5 minutes. Remove tea bag.


Step 2: place sugar water and blueberries (I used frozen) in blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a large measuring cup and add wine. You can strain out the blueberry pulp but I didn’t and it was such a small amount I didn’t even notice it.


Step 3: pour into ice cube trays, or mini muffin silicone trays(easy to remove) or you can think if these like a jello shot and put them in plastic or paper cups to freeze or you can pour it all into a single container to freeze like ice cream.


White Wine, Orange, Peach and tea infused version




Step 1: place water and sugar in a small pot and let come to a boil, then remove from heat and stir to dissolve sugar. Add tea bag and let steep for 5 minutes. Remove tea bag.


Step 2: add peach and orange chunks. I also added a few slices of oranges with the peel attached to let some of the oils infuse the liquid. Then when I was ready to blend I removed those slices squeezing and juice back into the pot.



Step 3: blend the sugar water and fruit in a blender to puree. Add wine and pour into containers.



I made some in a silicone mini muffin tray and some in containers to be scooped out like ice cream or you can make into popsicles.





freeze for 1 hour then insert sticks or use a proper popsicle maker.



I love the way they don’t get super frozen and because of the alcohol they stay easy to scoop and have a nice flaky consistency.



Pretty nice on a hot day!! What is not to like…it’s frozen wine!


















Baked Penne alla Vodka


Penne alla vodka is normally a marinara sauce with some cream and vodka added to it. I have made this more like a Baked Ziti  and a Penne alla Vodka by adding some ricotta, Parmesano and mozzarella and baking the whole thing.  I make lots of extra sauce which can be frozen and used over pasta or even on your next pizza. A few simple ingredients and it can be made ahead and just reheated.



You will need:


2 cups uncooked penne pasta – cooked to al dente (still a bit hard)


Marinara Sauce


  •  32 oz canned whole tomatoes
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 tsp chili flakes (more if you like it hot!)
  • 1 tbsp dry Italian seasonings
  • 1/2 onion
  • 4-5 tbsp very good olive oil – I used Mandranova Nocellara
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • pinch of sugar
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup vodka
  • 1/2 cup cream or milk
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese


Gather all your ingredients.




Step 1: in a food processor add garlic, basil, parsley, chili flakes, Italian seasonings and onion. Mince until fine. Place onion mix in a pan with lots of good olive oil and cook 5 minutes on medium heat.



Step 2: take canned tomatoes and juices and puree in food processor.



Step 3: add tomatoes to onions and oil and cook 5 minutes on medium heat.

Step 4: add salt and pepper and pinch of sugar. Add vodka and cream and cook another 10 minutes on medium heat.



Step 5: cook penne until al dente. Do not over cook.


Step 6: place penne in a large bowl and add 1 1/2 cups of vodka sauce and ricotta and mix. Add a bit more sauce if it is too dry. It should not be swimming in sauce. Taste it and add salt and pepper if necessary.



Step 7: add a bit of sauce to the bottom of your dish (I made two one to eat and one to freeze) Add your penne and top with a bit of mozzarella and Parmesano. Add a bit of parsley to top.



Bake in a 350 degrees F oven for 20 minutes or until the top is browned and bubbly. Since everything is hot it just needs to heat through and melt the cheese. If you bake from frozen it will take longer.




Top with a bit of fresh sauce if you like and dig in!! YUM.












Lemon Sun Dried Tomato Turkey Chevapcici



Chevapcici (CHE-VAP-CHI-CHI) are small sausages from Croatia and all around the Mediterranean. They are typical street food and I love them in all kinds of meat. These are made from ground turkey and this is a perfect small recipe for two people. I have made them with sun-dried tomatoes, lemon, basil, parsley and a few simple spices for something a bit different. Once you try them you will find a million ways to make them.


You will need:


  • 1 lb ground turkey – dark meat
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp sun dried tomato- chopped fine or pureed
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest- finely grated
  • 1/4 tsp chili flakes
  • salt/pepper- a good grinding of pepper and a generous pinch of salt
  • 1/4 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

brush while cooking on grill with 1/2  lemon juiced and  2 tbsp olive oil



Step 1: put everything except meat in a food processor or use a knife to chop finely. Add all ingredients to turkey and mix well.



Step 2: roll into small  fingers- makes about 12-13 chevapcici which is perfect for two people. You can leave in fridge for a few hours or grill right away.



Step 3: grill a few minutes on each side brushing with lemon and olive oil.



Serve with a fresh salad and enjoy!






































Chicken Cordon Bleu


Chicken Cordon Bleu is typically a breaded cutlet of veal, pork or chicken stuffed with ham  or prosciutto and cheese. I made this one with prosciutto and Boursin which is a garlic cheese similar to goat cheese. Simple but juicy and delicious.


You will need:


  • 2 chicken breasts- butterflied and pounded thin
  • 2 slices of prosciutto
  • 1 tbsp of Boursin or goat cheese
  • salt/pepper
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 egg- beaten
  • 3/4 cup breadcrumbs – panko or regular
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasonings
  • olive oil for frying


Heat oven to 350 degrees F.




Step 1: butterfly each chicken breast by slicing through to almost cut into two pieces but stopping just before. Open the chicken up like a book then place a slice of plastic wrap over chicken and gently pound thin.



Step 2: place cheese and prosciutto on top of each breast. Fold back up and sprinkle over both sides with salt and pepper.



Step 3: dredge in flour, then dip in beaten egg.


Step 4: mix breadcrumbs with Italian seasoning and salt and pepper. Coat each piece of chicken in breadcrumbs pressing to make sure breading sticks.


Step 5: in a large pan pour in enough olive oil to come up halfway up the chicken. Heat until chicken placed in pan sizzles. Cook on both sides until browned.


Step 6: place browned chicken on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees F for  15 minutes to make sure chicken is cooked through.



It is moist and juicy and you will want to try it again with different combinations.