December 31, 2015

Gingerbread Men

gingerbread men cookies christmas holidays winter new year
gingerbread men cookies christmas holidays winter new year
gingerbread men cookies christmas holidays winter new year

Hello guys! First things first. I want to wish you guys happy winter holidays! 

It's been a while. A long long long while. I am so sorry for not updating, maybe some other time, when I feel the right words, I will share my thoughts on this matter. But not today! Because it is holidays and no one is interested in lyrical digressions. And honestly, after half a year break I have a feeling like I am writing a post for a first time - I don't know where to start at, I don't have the right words and I feel like I am a first-former without knowing an alphabet.

I haven't been baking lately except for my date sweetened oatmeal cookies, that became a must on my kitchen, and occasionally some birthday cakes for my relatives. And to be honest, I wasn't planning Christmas baking this year. But as it turned out, I couldn't imagine winter holidays without baking. It just didn't feel right! I literally had an urge to bake, bake, bake. 

What does smell like Christmas? Bingo! Gingerbread Man. I've been baking gingerbread every Christmas. And it even never occurred to me that I can share the recipe, because it seems that everyone knows it, even children. But these cute little gingerbread men are so good! The recipe always works well, it is easy and fun to make and the smell...they smell like Christmas!

July 17, 2015

Greece, Rhodes

Greece, Rhodes
Greece, Rhodes
Greece, Rhodes

No, I haven't been to Greece recently, but cleaning a computer can be a very useful thing! This is how I came across these 2 year old photos in my archives. I have to say that it was a pleasant surprise, while almost all of the photos have been shot in RAW.  Which means I could give them a second birth, because back then I was only a beginner and I had no idea of how to use Photoshop and Lightroom.

Plus, tomorrow I will be on my way to Dresden, where I will spend the next month. So, I thought it is the best time to show photos from trip to Greece, 'cause the next time I will post something is gonna be not earlier than I am back home and it will be for sure about my time in Germany. But anyway I will always update my Instagram account and I will keep in touch. I don't want to bring my laptop with me, just to travel light and enjoy my trip as much as I possibly can. Love you all, guys!
More photos inside.

July 02, 2015

Buckwheat Poppy Seed Pancakes with Blueberries (GF & SF)

Buckwheat Poppy Seed Pancakes with Blueberries (gluen and sugar free)

I did it... I have finally passed all summer term examinations! To say that I am happy is to say nothing! Yesterday I just spent the whole day in bed, sleeping after a farewell party, reading a book in between and planning out summer holidays.  About that, in two weeks I am leaving for Germany for a month! I am so so so excited. I wanted to spend summer holidays somewhere far from home to distract the mind, so I hope this journey will be a bit of change for me. I am gonna stay in Dresden, though I really want to travel the country a lot. And also I thought about spending a few days in Prague. So, if some of you feel like sharing a cup of coffee with me, it would be a pleasure!

I made these pancakes something like a week ago, when I was preparing for examinations. These are a great healthy, nutritious and gluten-free breakfast. I have cooked with buckwheat flour for the first time and I have to say that the nutty taste of buckwheat is just amazing! I am already experimenting with buckwheat in different recipes and hope to share the results in the upcoming posts. 

June 26, 2015

Black Forest Cake Light (Sugar Free) and a Blog Birthday

Black Forest Cake Light (Sugar Free)
Black Forest Cake Light (Sugar Free)

This is a Sweet Blog turns ONE today! First blog birthday! First anniversary! 

I couldn't even imagine that this blog would take such a significant part of my life. As a matter of fact, I couldn't imagine that I could have a blog at all! Since I can remember my passion for cooking, I have always been reading other food blogs and I always thought that it would be so nice one day to have my own. However, I have never taken it seriously and it seemed to be just another unrealisable dream.

June 01, 2015

Gluten & Sugar - Free Healthy Orange Cheesecake

Gluten & Sugar - Free Healthy Orange Cheesecake
Gluten & Sugar - Free Healthy Orange Cheesecake

I have  made this cheesecake for the very first time in the beginning of May. Since than I've made it three more times, almost every weekend. And all this time I have been wanting to share the recipe with you so badly! 

The first time  I made this cheesecake, it was absolutely spontaneous. I happen to have 2 kg of the really good quality farmer cheese . Me + 2 kg of farmer cheese = baking.  I decided it must be a cheesecake, because actually I had been craving  after it for some time back than. So, when I had an opportunity to bake a lighter version, I didn't have to think twice. There was just a tiny problem - I was left without my camera for the whole week, so obviously no pictures - no post. However, it may have been even for the better, since I have improved the recipe afterwards.

I am not gonna lie, it was a wild month.  Every time I had made a cheesecake, there always were some obstacles in the way to hinder me from sharing the recipe. At first, I didn't have camera, then came an examination week, right after it - my birthday, the celebration of which have dragged on for the whole week! Yeah, now I am 20, by the way!

During all May this cheesecake has been my true saviour and a great friend. It is a perfect snack when I crave for something sweet, though it is flourless and sugar-free! I hope you will fall in love with it like I did. 

P.S. Do you also feel like a criminal when you pick the flowers in the public place?

May 03, 2015

Date Sweetened Oatmeal Cookies

Date Sweetened Oatmeal Cookies & Spring Glory

"It's been a long day without you, my friend
And I'll tell you all about it when I see you again
We've come a long way from where we began
Oh, I'll tell you all about it when I see you again
When I see you again

Damn, who knew?
All the planes we flew
Good things we've been through
That I'll be standing right here talking to you
'Bout another path
I know we loved to hit the road and laugh
But something told me that it wouldn't last
Had to switch up
Look at things different see the bigger picture
Those were the days
Hard work forever pays
Now I see you in a better place"

"See You Again" - Wiz Khalifa

Date Sweetened Oatmeal Cookies & Spring Glory, cherry tree, blossom, spring

February 22, 2015

Apple Cinnamon French Toast

Apple Cinnamon French Toast
Apple Cinnamon French Toast

I wasn't going to publish this recipe, because there is no actual recipe. The first time I made french toast I didn't follow any recipe, I just measured everything with my accurate eye. But, gosh! I didn't expect it to be so damn good! And this is the best part of it! It is ridiculously simple and quick in the making. You don't have to be a great cook to fry a slice of bread, after all! But you can and even have to experiment here. Replace cinnamon and sugar with shredded coconut or almond flakes. Use pears or peaches instead of apples. Serve your french toast with fresh berries or bananas and chocolate sauce. I gave you in this "recipe" just the approximate measurements and directions. But it lets you interpret and improvise. So, go ahead and make your perfect french toast for brunch.

February 18, 2015

Apple Meringue Pie

Apple Meringue Pie

Usually it takes me a while to make up a post. First, I think what kind of pastry exactly I want. Whether it is gonna be a pie, a cake, cupcakes or just muffins and maybe some dessert?  Then I go further with flavors. Depending on time of the year and on components I have at the moment. Is it gonna be chocolaty or fruity, luscious or with a hint of tart flavor? When I am done here, I start creating the recipe. Make the crust sweet or neutral? Add cinnamon or leave it out. Finally, when I have the recipe written down, the most difficult part begins. Shooting. Though I have my instagram account for a year now and this blog is almost 8 month old I still have a lot of difficulties with food styling. It may seem that everything is done with such a great ease. But I want to disabuse you. I can say even more! The more I learn the more difficult it becomes every time! I remember my first posts, when I didn't stuff my head with such details as composition, styling, light, photo editing. I mean, I did, of course. But not as over scrupulous as I do now! Not to mention all the tableware thing (food bloggers, you know what I mean)! 

February 10, 2015

Honey Cake

Honey Cake with Sour Crem filling
Honey Cake with Sour Crem filling

I can talk about cakes a lot. When it comes to baking, cakes are my favourite topic.  Cakes will always be on the top of the baking world (because they are simply  much higher than cookies, pies, scones and whatever else :). I love cakes in the winter, spring, summer and autumn. All the year round. And this cake (I mean this recipe) has seen all times of the year!.

As you know, I post only those recipes that have been approved by my family, especially by my father, who is the main critic to everything that is being made on the kitchen. So, only after his approval I can share the recipe here with a light heart.  If my memory doesn't fail me, Honey Cake was approved for the first time about 5 years ago. I have been making it for the most holidays ever since. It's a safe bet. It works all the time.

January 19, 2015

Mlyntsi (Ukrainian thin pancakes) with Citrus Curd

Mlyntsi (Ukrainian thin pancakes) with Citrus Curd

No doubt that you have eaten a lot of fancy desserts in your life, but when I will ask you to name your favourite, I am almost sure it will be something from your childhood.  I have checked this theory not once,  and it works.

So, you must have guessed by now that my childhood wouldn't have been fully happy without mlyntsi. Kidding of course, but to be honest, mlyntsi were (and still are) the most respected dessert in our family. Mlyntsi are well known traditional food in Ukraine, which are similar to French-style crepes.  Our cuisine is pretty simple, it involves anything our ancestors had near at hand. Milk, eggs, butter and flour are exactly the foodstuffs that could be found in any home.

January 12, 2015

Star Anise, Cardamom & Cinnamon Buns

Star Anise, Cardamom & Cinnamon Buns
Star Anise, Cardamom & Cinnamon Buns

These buns were an experiment that turned out to be a revolution of flavours! I was planing for a long time to bake classic cinnamon rolls. But then one morning has changed my plans. We went to the Christmas fair and by pure accident (don't believe it!))) found ourselves by the desk with spices. There were all spices I know and even more of those that are still unfamiliar. Do I have to tell you what happened next? ;) I tried to keep myself in hand (and I did pretty well!), however I left the fair very cheered up . And the reason for that wasn't just the best mulled wine I have ever had that day (shh.... it might)).

Later that day when I got home, I was beyond excited to have a package of spices in my hands and the idea of using them in my head. This is how the recipe was born. For clarity, all of the buns were eaten during 1,5 days!  I think the fact speaks for itself . I wish I could put the smell of anise into photos! The technology hasn't gotten that far, so you have an excuse to make the buns and fill with this incredible smell your kitchen.

January 05, 2015

Christmas Fruit Cake

Christmas Drunken Fruit Cake

Tomorrow we celebrate Christmas! To be honest, I am totally confused with the fact how fast the week after New Year has flown by. Holidays make me lazy, especially after such a difficult term. But one of the pleasures of being on holiday is a freedom to loaf around without feeling guilty. And I do! I do nothing but watching How I met Your Mother day and night. At the moment I am in the middle of the 8th season! I just can not give up, it is only 1 and 1/2 season left (780 minutes, that are equal to 13 more hours of watching))). Hah, crazy, right? Tell me I am not the one crazy like that here!? But I really liked the series - jesting about situations that can happen to each of us in real life. So, for all of you who haven't yet watched this series (or if you just don't know with what to amuse yourself during the holidays), I highly recommend it.

Back to our Fruit Cake. I can't imagine Christmas without this cake. Usually we cook a lot of dishes and they can vary from year to year, but this cake is sort of a tradition. Three weeks before Christmas I bake a fruit cake and let it rest in the fridge, soaking it from time to time with alcohol. Actually I should have written the recipe much earlier, I know. I hope that you will keep it in mind and will be armed with the recipe the next year. 
And also you wouldn't have to worry about what to bake for Christmas, because the cake would be waiting for you in the fridge and you with a safe conscience would loaf away your time. Win/win!

Merry Christmas!!