Five-nuts Mooncakes

When I first saw this recipe I knew I had to do it. They looked to me like energy bars – considering the filling, but in a very pretty presentation. You can read more about them here.

There are many types of Mooncakes, depending on the filling you choose to put in them. I choose the five-nuts version. The original recipe is here, but as you already know me I modified a bit the recipe to suit the ingredients I had.

The most important part of these cookies is the mold, you can make them without it but they wouldn’t be as pretty πŸ™‚

I found mine on amazon

Now for the cookies, there are two parts: the crust and the filling. I made my crust using: 75 g honey, 35 g oil, 10 g water and 150 g flour.

For the filling I used: 45 g walnuts, 45 g almonds, 160 g seeds mix (sunflower, sesames, pumpkin), 75 g glutinous rice flour, 30 g honey, 30 g oil, 25 g sugar, 30 g water.

The filling must be sticky and easy to form into balls

that will be then covered with the crust

This recipe is for 10 cookies, so I formed 10 balls and 10 pieces of crust. Covering the filling balls with the crust require a bit of attention because the crust is a very thin layer.

Then I put the ball into the mold, gently press to form the cakes and then push it out

They already look pretty πŸ™‚

After finishing all 10 cookies I made a eggwash from one egg yolk and a tablespoon of water

I baked the cakes in a hot oven for 5 min, take them out and bush them with the eggwash, put them back for another 5 min but at lower heat and take them out again for a second eggwash, than put them back for another 10 min or until they become golden

Take them out on a rack to cool down

and serve only one ! they are calorie bombs πŸ™‚

but they are so yummmmy

Who need energy bars when you can have Mooncakes made at home πŸ™‚

They are perfect for a sweet treat or to be taken with you on trips.

Happy cooking !

An alternative to incense sticks

Sometime I feel the need to change the “smell” in the house. This is usually after a very “smelly” dish that I cooked or in any other situation when the air in the house is not how it suppose to be not even after a tedious aeration.

Some time I use incense sticks, but for a healthier alternative I use Frankincense. I have a stone recipient big enough to accommodate a disc of charcoal, I light the charcoal than put a small piece of Frankincense on top and let it burn until is over. In no time all of the bed smells are gone πŸ™‚

I don’t use it for religious or spiritual rituals, I just like the smell πŸ™‚

Do you use Frankincense?

Pofta de …

Compot de mere aromat cu scortisoara, cuisoare si cardamom servit cu biscuiti cu miere – yummmy !

First eggs :)

First time chicken growers may ask often when their chickens will start laying eggs. Of course you can find the information on the internet, but every chicken is different, depending on the breed but also on other external conditions.

Well, I am the happy owner of a mature chicken who start laying eggs πŸ™‚

At exactly 5 month – 22 weeks old she start laying eggs. She is a bantam, so this type of chicken are starting to lay their first eggs earlier than other larger breeds, as well as they hatch earlier from their eggs – at around day 19.

The eggs are also smaller but they are so cute πŸ™‚

Happy chickens πŸ™‚

The best garlic press

As you probably know by now I like my food spicy, and using garlic is one of the ways to spice my dishes. Over the years I changed many garlic presses.

The first one I got was large enough to suit 2-3 cloves, but it was made of aluminum and was not suitable to be washed in the dishwasher.

The second one I got was stainless steel, suitable for dishwasher but not big enough, it only crashed one clove at a time.

I bought a bigger one this time, suitable for dishwasher also, but unfortunately, because it is made of plastic is not strong enough to crash the amount of garlic that you can fit in it.

In the end I found the perfect garlic press: strong, large and suitable for dishwasher

In just few moves I can crush a dozen cloves

The best garlic press for me πŸ™‚

Do you have a favorite kitchen gadget?

Balchik Palace and Botanical Garden

One of my biggest dream is to visit as many gardens as possible around the Europe. This year on my list was the Balchik Palace and Botanical Garden constructed for Queen Marie of RomaniaΒ between 1926 and 1937 . A magical place I could say now after my visit there. Is a place where you find peace and harmony, simple but in the same time majestic, a place that I cannot describe in words, is a must see place to truly understand its beauty.

One of the botanical garden’s main attraction is the outdoors collection of large-sized cactus species arranged on 1,000 square metres, the second of its kind in Europe.

There is also an indoors cactus collection

The Palace garden left me speechless, so I let some of the pictures I took there to show you what I cannot describe πŸ™‚

In one word – a must see place !

Homemade Aloe Vera lotion

I realized that no matter how natural are my shop bought skin care products they are far from the homemade ones.

As summer is that time of year when my skin is exposed the most to the sun, garden plants that can cause allergies or scratches, bugs bites, dust and dirt that clog the pores and cause acne issues, I had to come up with a recipe that suits my skin and solve all these skin issues in no time πŸ™‚

So I made myself an Aloe Vera skin lotion.

I cut a big leaf from the base of my plant

Wash it well

Peel it off from one side to expose the gel

Scoop the gel into a bowl

Mash it with a fork

Until the pulp release the liquid

Cover and let it sit in fridge for few hours. It will oxidize into a beautiful pink

Strain the liquid, pressing down the remaining pulp to get as much liquid as possible

Put the liquid into a small glass bottle and add few drops of tea tree essential oil, vitamin E and sweet almond oil

I am not going to explain here the benefit of each ingredient, you can find their benefits over the internet

The oils will float on top of the aloe liquid

So it needs to be shake well before each use

I put my lotion into two different type of bottles, one with a roll-on to use for sunburns, allergies or scratches and bugs bites on my body

And one with a normal lid to use on my face for acne issues. To not contaminate the lotion I use a cotton swab to apply the lotion and than drop it and use a clean one each time

This is my Aloe Vera homemade lotion and it works miracles on my skin.

I keep them in the fridge and use as needed.

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