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Perfect Profiteroles

The perfect recipe, perfect always without fail with thanks to Renato Briffa :

You will need:

250 ml water
125g Stork margarine [packet]
120g strong flour
3 to 4 eggs

Preheat oven to 220 C and place a large pan of water at the bottom of the oven so that there is moisture in the oven.

Put the water in a saucepan and add the Stork margarine cut into small pieces
Bring to a boil and remove from heat.
Add sieved flour and mix well. I use a wooden spoon.
Return to moderate heat and stir continuously until mixture leaves the sides of the pan.
Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Beat the eggs in a separate container and gradually add to the pan.
Do not add all the eggs at once and stop when the mixture is at dropping consistency. A good test for this is to check that the mixture flows back when it is stirred on one direction.
Place in piping bag with a nozzle of your choice and pipe onto a baking sheet.
Bake at 220 C for 25 minutes without opening door.
Bake further if required.
Allow to cool.


Cut open.  Dip the top side of each profiterole into melted chocolate.

Pipe some fresh cream top with some raspberries.

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Stork Margarine is imported, distributed and marketed by M&Z (Marketing) Ltd and is available in all leading supermarkets and stores.

TV kids getting ready for Christmas

 

Photos: Stefan Stafrace

With thanks to Paradise Zone, Ange by Maria Bonavia, Flormar and Nicole Mizzi

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Vegan Hazelnut Balls

‘Gluten-free, lactose-free and reduced sugar diets are hot topics these days. The drive for ingredients to suit a large number of food intolerances comes from consumers and with such a large choice in the market, guests no longer have to feel they are a burden to their hosts and be apologetic about their intolerances.

Adjusting recipes to make them suitable for everyone is much easier than making special dishes to cater for individual requirements. These Christmas vegan hazelnut balls are free from lactose and gluten and are sweetened with unrefined sugars in reduced quantity’

You will need:

2 packets (gluten-free) plain biscuits
2tbsp Crema Novi
100g finely chopped hazelnuts
20g ground hazelnuts
150g dates
40g coconut
2tbsp brandy/rum
100ml coconut milk

To cover:

400g Novibloc Fondente
1tbsp olive oil
50g whole hazelnuts

  1. Crush the biscuits very finely by grinding them in a food processor. Add the Crema Novi, chopped & ground hazelnuts, coconut, dates, rum or brandy & blitz in the food processor.
  2. Add the coconut milk, a little at a time until the mixture binds together. Mix well.
  3. Form into balls & on top of each ball place a hazelnut in the centre & gently press down.
  4. Leave to set for at least 4 hrs or overnight in the fridge before you cover with melted chocolate.
  5. To melt the chocolate, break it up into small pieces & place in a bowl. Put the bowl in the microwave for 30 secs. Mix the chocolate with a plastic spatula.
  6. If necessary place in the microwave for another 10 secs & repeat until the chocolate completely melts.
  7. Add the olive oil & mix with the spatula.
  8. Dip the balls into the melted chocolate & place them on a dish covered with baking paper.
  9. Leave to set overnight in the fridge & then remove from the dish & trim the bottom of each chocolate neatly before serving.

For a chance to win this amazing Christmas Novi Chocolate hamper SHARE this recipe on your social media page [facebook, instagram, twitter, pinterest or linkedin] and leave a comment below. The winner will be notified on Wednesday 19 December 2018.

Novi Christmas Hamper.jpeg

Novi Chocolate is imported, distributed and marketed by M&Z (Marketing) Ltd and is available in all leading supermarkets and stores.

More recipes using Novi chocolate:

Carrot Oat and Chocolate Bars

Quick and Easy Chocolate Muffins

Sicilian Cuccidati Cookies

Healthier Salted Caramel Bars

Orange Almond Chocolate Gluten Free Cakes

Maltese Easter Vegan Figolli

VALLETTA LIGHTS 2018

Valletta Christmas Lights 2018

 

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Klarf Watch, sleek and beautiful

klarf watch 6.jpg

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NOVI Chocolate

Try your luck to win the Novi Christmas Hamper by liking, sharing and commenting on one or all of these links.  Winner will be advised on 19 December.

Carrot Oat and Chocolate Bars

Quick and Chocolate Muffins

Novi Christmas Hamper

 

 

 

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Gluten Free Christmas Cake

‘This cake has no added refined sugar and I use ground almonds instead of flour. I love the taste and texture. If you prefer it sweeter add some stevia.

 

gluten free christmas cake 2

500g dried fruit of your choice, (currants, raisins, apricots, sultanas, figs, prunes)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
pinch of salt
2 apples grated
200g dates
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Few drops good vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
1 tablespoon apple organic vinegar
Grated rind of an orange
50g Stork Tub Margarine
4 eggs
250g ground almonds
50g nuts of your choice (almonds, pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts)
50g cherries

 

Optional: Top with frosting, 50g cherries cut in half and 200g pecan nuts

Glaze the top with warm honey.

You will also need a 20cm round cake tin

 

gluten free christmas cake 3

Preheat the oven to 150 C.
Cover the cake tin with baking paper or prepare the cake tin with baking spray.

Melt the Stork margarine in the microwave.

Mix with all the liquid ingredients together and add the dates and grated apple with skin on.  Use an electric blender to bring this mixture to a smooth consistency.  In a separate bowl, mix all the dry ingredients together including the nuts and cherries until they are coated with the ground almonds
Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients.
Stir using a large metal spoon until the mixture is consistent but do not overmix.

Pour the batter into the prepared cake dish
Bake for an hour. Check after 50 minutes of baking time as each oven is different.

Leave the cake to cool in the container.
Store in an air tight tin preferably in the fridge if you are keeping long term as there is no added refined sugar that guarantees preservation.

  • Temperature 150C
  • Baking time: 50 minutes
  • Serves: 12

gluten free christmas cake

To decorate:
140g stork margarine or butter
280g icing sugar
1-2 tablespoons milk

 

Margarine does change the taste of frosting but it also makes it softer and more pliable.

Beat the butter in a large bowl until soft. Add half of the icing sugar and beat until smooth.
Add the remaining icing sugar and one tablespoon of the milk and beat the mixture until creamy and smooth. Beat in the milk, if necessary, to loosen the mixture.

 

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Just before serving spread a thin layer of frosting on the top of the cake and decorate with pecan nuts and cherries.

 

 

Stork Margarine is imported, distributed and marketed by M&Z (Marketing) Ltd and is available in all leading supermarkets and stores.

Malta Christmas

With tv kids getting ready for Christmas

Photos: Stefan Stafrace

With thanks to Paradise Zone, Ange by Maria Bonavia, Flormar and Nicole Mizzi

 

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Martina’s Cupcakes and the use of Russian Nozzles

Martina is an amazing lady. She recently was placed third in the KitchenAid Competition by Forestals and I was not surprised to see her beautiful cake as I having been admiring her work for a few years when she posts on social media.

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Marina’s cupcakes during my tv show last week were divine.

Martina studio cupcakes 5

For her cupcake recipe you will need:

168g salted butter
233g sugar
2 egg whites
1 1/2 tsp. Vanilla
195g all purpose flour
1/8 tsp. Baking Soda
1 1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
180 ml. Milk
martina studio cupcakes 2
Prepare a muffin tray by lining with paper cases.
Cream the butter and sugar together in an electric mixer.
In the meantime sift the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda and leave aside in a separate bowl
Beat the egg whites using a whisk until they are white and frothy.
Add small amounts of the milk and flour mix alternatively to the butter mix and keep beating on low speed until they are incorporated.
Finally fold in the egg whites by using a large metal spoon.
For the Vanilla Butter Cream you will need:
Some russian nozzles
martina studio cupcakes 4
113g. Butter
640g. Icing sugar
2 tsp. Vanilla
some milk if needed
Simply beat together the first three ingredients.  Martina explains that the mix has to be quite stiff and only if necessary to add some milk, one tablespoon at a time.
Use a piping bag with nozzle of your choice to decorate the cupcakes
Martina studio cupcakes
I enjoyed meeting Martina, getting to know her and thank her for sharing some of her family photos.

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This week’s Life and Style Weekend

You can watch this week’s programme from this link.

 

You can also see:

Martina’s cupcakes using Russian Nozzles

Photography:  Gino Galea

With thanks to Paradise Zone, Ange Boutique, Make up by Nicole Mizzi

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Yoga for kids

It was a pleasure to host Pamela Griffin last week.  Having lived in Dubai for 15 years, she started to practise Yoga while she worked as a member of the cabin crew with Emirates as she found it balanced her irregular working hours and fast paced life.

pamela griffen

 

When she had her own family, she found that yoga supported further bonding, a healthy lifestyle and brought exercise into her family life.

 

 

Pamela says ‘Yoga is fun and great for kids. Due to the love I have for kids & yoga I decided to combine both and take it to the next level and certify myself into becoming a certified teacher in yoga for kids and family.’

 

‘Becoming a certified kids yoga teacher assisted me in supporting my kid’s way of life for the better in so many ways. Yoga, presented in a child’s language, can help counter the stress experienced by little ones living in such a hectic lifestyle’

 


Pamela explains that children derive enormous benefits from yoga. Physically, it enhances their flexibility, strength, coordination, and body awareness. In addition, their concentration and sense of calmness and relaxation improves.

 

 

Pamela adds ‘Doing yoga, children exercise, play, connect more deeply with the inner self, and develop an intimate relationship with the natural world that surrounds them. Yoga brings that marvellous inner light that all children have to the surface.’

You will be able to see more of Pamela during my weekend show on Net TV.

You can find more information on Pamela’s classes via this link

 

 

 

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Myriam England, Founder of Magnificat in Malta

Myriam England is responsible for bringing the spiritual group ‘MAGNIFICAT’ to Malta.

“It is a women’s ministry” explains Myriam. “We reach out to women in need and provide support and a way to begin or fortify the relationship with the Lord.”

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The theme of group is based on the Bible verse Luke 1:46 when Our Lady met Elizabeth and the spirit jumped in the womb (which signifies the Holy Spirit). It is all about women supporting each other.’

“It is something that is in my heart, and has always been. I knew I wanted to do something spiritual – voluntary work and follow the Lord.” Says Myriam.

In 1994 Myriam met Linda Shubert, the evangelical author of bestselling book “The Miracle Hour” and went on a trip to the Caribbean with her to visit the needy – people who needed support.

“When I went to a conference in Orlando with Linda, I was impressed by how many people were approaching her” says Myriam. “Then she turned to me and said ‘Myriam, you should start Magnificat in Malta’.

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When I went home, I found my bedroom floor flooded with fax papers informing me about the group. Then, a few days later another fax came through from Linda to say that I should go to New Orleans to touch base with Babsie Bleasdel, author of  the book “Go teach my people”.

With thanks to Magnificat

Myriam’s husband Richard was always supportive of her spiritual mission and encouraged her to pursue it, sending her off to New Orleans where her journey to bring Magnificat to Malta began.

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Mariz Cassar

When Myriam gave up her role as coordinator, Mariz Cassar took on the responsibility. She went to New Orleans with Myriam where she was overwhelmed and touched by how powerful the group is.

“I couldn’t believe the power and joy these women had, it really moved me.” Says Mariz. “It was that moment when I knew I had to be involved in bringing this movement to Malta.I have attended many conferences including in Washington and California to hear people give their testimonies. It is when we are at these conferences that we choose the people that inspire us the most and invite them to come to Malta to speak about their story.”

Marly Cassar joined Magnificat around the same time as Mariz started.

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Marly Cassar

‘I always thought the people were so lovely and warm. “It is a fellowship like none other” adds Marly who had lost her own mother and found comfort among these women who supported each other when they were in need.

Myriam England

Myriam England

The ladies then tell me about their next speaker visiting Malta, Father Don Calloway His touching story about how his life turned around once he found religion inspired the ladies to invite him on behalf of Magnificat. He will be speaking in Malta on 8 June 2019 and you can watch his testimony in this clip here.

 

For further information contact: 21442468/79442468/ 99238897 or you can follow the page for Magnificat in Malta on Facebook

Photos:  Rachel Muscat

With thanks to my stylist Maria Bonavia, Ange Boutique, Paradise Zone and Sue Caruana at Beauty Inc

 

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Christmas is coming! Carrot, Oat and Chocolate Bars

‘I like making my own energy bars as I know exactly what has gone into them. This is a quick recipe and the result is amazing. Adding some luscious good-quality chocolate makes them a great treat during this festive season.  Once they are set, preferably the day after they are made, I cut them up into bars or squares, pack them individually and freeze them’

You will need:

1 large carrot, grated
some vanilla (essence or pod)
2 cups oats
1/2 cup dates
200g Novibloc Fondente
a pinch of salt
1/4 cup mixed chopped almonds and pistachios
a pinch of cinnamon
a grating of fresh nutmeg
a pinch of mixed spice
grated zest of a tangerine
water

Carrot Date and Oat Energy Bars

Prepare a loaf tin of 23cm x 13cm lined with baking paper.
In a saucepan place the dates & grated carrot. Add 1/4 cup of water, the spices & grated citrus zest & allow the dates to break down on low heat. Add more water, a few tablespoons at a time if necessary & do not allow the mixture to dry up. 
When the dates are soft & mushy turn off the heat, add the Novibloc Fondente and mix. Then add the oats & vanilla and mix until it is even & consistent.  
Press down the mixture into the prepared loaf tin & use a spoon dipped in water to press it down until it is compact. Top with chopped nuts & press down again using the wet spoon.
Leave in the fridge overnight.
The next day remove from the loaf tin by pulling the baking paper out gently.
Use a sharp knife to cut into bars. They can be stored in the freezer for up to a month.

Prep Time 20mins                                                                               Makes 12 small bars

coconut-carrot-balls.jpg

Unbaked carrot coconut balls, as seen on tv

And you can use the same recipe without baking by shaping the mixture into balls and rolling them in coconut to produce these delicious Carrot and Coconut balls.

carrot and oat.jpg

For a chance to win this amazing Christmas Novi Chocolate hamper SHARE this recipe on your social media page [facebook, instagram, twitter, pinterest or linkedin] and leave a comment below.  The winner will be notified on Wednesday 19 December 2018.

Novi Christmas Hamper.jpeg

Novi Chocolate is imported, distributed and marketed by M&Z (Marketing) Ltd and is available in all leading supermarkets and stores.

Christmas street lights Charlene Grima

Christmas street lights by Charlene Grima

 

More recipes using Novi chocolate:

Quick and Easy Chocolate Muffins

Sicilian Cuccidati Cookies

Orange Almond Chocolate Gluten Free Cakes

Maltese Easter Vegan Figolli

 

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Organising Children’s Wardrobes the ‘Kon Mari’ way

Julia Barker Kon Mari .jpg

This week ‘Kon Mari’ consultant Julia Barker talks me through the sometimes never-ending task of organising children’s wardrobes. The amount of times that children dirty their clothing usually results in a few outfit changes per day, continuous washing machine cycles and mountains of folding and putting away.

Using Julia’s methods, we can use a system to better organise all the tiny items in a way which is easy to access and visually pleasing.

Konmari way with Julia Barker.jpg

 

“Children’s clothing seems so small, its hard to know what to do with them” says Julia. She uses special techniques to fold the clothes. For example, an elasticated fitted sheet is an awkward item to fold neatly but using her method, it can be folded in a way to make it a regular shape so that it can stand horizontally instead of stacked on top of each other so that when you open the wardrobe, you can see exactly what you have.

Konmari method more kids clothes

 

Julia also took me through her process of how she organises her clients households, first she has a consultation with her clients to see how they use each space in their house (which rooms they use the most and what they like to get out of each space). Then she starts the organising process adapting to the specific areas. If you do not have much drawer space, you can stack small boxes on top of each other instead. “You don’t need to buy specialist storage, you can use whatever you have at home” she says.

 

Julia Barker Kon Mari Consultant

 

Finally, Julia tells me about the importance of colour coding your clothes in your wardrobe. “It sounds frivolous, but it makes a huge difference!” The aesthetics of a tidy space is a huge factor to how you feel about your space.

 

For a chance to win a ‘decluttering’ consultation and session with Julia Barker like and share this page and leave a comment.  Winner will be advised on 19 December.  Another great Christmas gift !

 

 

zen with julia.jpg

 

Photography Gino Galea

Julia can be contacted via her facebook page

 

 

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Christmas is coming ! Quick and Easy Chocolate Muffins

‘These chocolate muffins are so quick and easy to make. They are so soft and delicious that I think most people will not be able to resist a second one.

During Christmas week or a weekend in December they are ideal any time of the day and would be a good start to the weekend as a late breakfast too with a cup of coffee. Thick, dark and silky chocolate gives you an instant lift and you can also omit the icing and sprinkle oats, museli or your favourite seeds on top before baking.’

You will need:

250g self-raising flour
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
75g cocoa powder
a pinch of coffee powder
a pinch of cinnamon
a pinch of salt
200g soft brown sugar
70g Stork tub
30g Crema Novi
3 eggs
1tbsp apple vinegar

Novibloc Fondente

Novibloc Fondente

For the topping:
400g Novibloc Fondente
2tbsps olive oil
fresh or glacé cherries

1. Preheat oven to 160 C (fan assist).
2. Prepare a muffin tin by lining it with muffin cases.
3. Sieve twice the self-raising flour, cocoa powder, bicarbonate, cinnamon. Add the salt & mix.
4. Place all the ingredients in an electric mixer & whisk for a minute. Use a spatula to clean the sides of the bowl & whisk it again until the batter is smooth and consistent. Do not overmix.  
5. Use a spoon to fill the muffin cases & place in the oven to bake for 25 mins.
Crema novi chocolate
6. Allow to cool completely before topping with melted dark chocolate.
Novibloc dark chocolate

How to melt the dark chocolate in the microwave:

Break the chocolate up into small pieces & place in a microwave safe bowl.
Microwave for 30 secs, stir & repeat the process by returning the chocolate to the microwave for 10 secs each time, stirring again between every 10 secs. When the chocolate is almost melted, do not return to the microwave but stir until it is all melted. Add the olive oil, one spoonful at a time & stir until it is glossy.  
Melting the chocolate

Keep stirring until the chocolate and glossy

Allow to cool for 5 mins before dipping the cooled down muffins into the batter or pour melted chocolate over each muffin.

Prep Time 45mins Serves 8 to 10

Quick and Easy Chocolate Muffins

Quick and Easy Chocolate Muffins

Top with a fresh or glacé cherry before it cools down & solidifies.
A luscious chocolate treat for Christmas ❤️

For a chance to win this amazing Christmas Novi Chocolate hamper SHARE this recipe on your social media page [facebook, instagram, twitter, pinterest or linkedin] and leave a comment below.  The winner will be notified on Wednesday 19 December 2018.

Novi Christmas Hamper.jpeg

Christmas Hamper by Novi

Novi Chocolate is imported, distributed and marketed by M&Z (Marketing) Ltd and is available in all leading supermarkets and stores.

Valletta Christmas Lights 2018

Valletta Christmas Lights 2018

 

More recipes using Novi chocolate:

Carrot, Oat and Chocolate Bars

Sicilian Cuccidati Cookies

Orange Almond Chocolate Gluten Free Cakes

Maltese Easter Vegan Figolli