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Fish cakes with potatoes and squash for Circulo Whole Kitchen, and a simple tomato salad


fish cakes_2

Good morning dear friends! Are you ready for the weekend?

Today I bring you a post with a delicious recipe that I discovered through Whole Kitchen cooking club, El Circulo Whole Kitchen.Whole Kitchen Magazine provides two recipes to its members every month  ( one sweet and one savory), and the savory proposal for May 2012 was fish cakes.

I immediately liked the idea because, even though we live on an island, I have found it hard to incorporate fish into our diet, particularly that of our children. When I read the recipe for these fish cakes, I loved how versatile it was:  I could  shape them in different ways to make them more attractive for Luka and Zoe, and I could sneak in vegetables (Yes, I do that, I have picky eating toddlers!). The recipe also suits very well Cyprus lovely Spring weather, and it was perfect for a quick-lunch at the balcony, after the children came back from nursery school.

Whole Kitchen provided us with two different recipes: one from Jamie Oliver, which called for salmon and potatoes, and the other one from Trotamundos, which called for white fish, beans and potatoes. I decided to make my variation and used white fish fillets, potatoes, and butternut squash for a sweeter taste.

fish cakes2_2

These fish cakes are really, really simple to make and they require very few ingredients: all you need is fish, potatoes and squash, plus one egg and a bit of flour and bread crumbs for assembling them, that’s all. The procedure couldn’t be easier but it may take a bit of time if you decide to give them a specific shape, as I did. First, you need to boil or steam the vegetables until very tender. In the meantime, cook the fish in the oven for about 10 minutes, drizzled with olive oil and covered in aluminum foil. Once everything is cooked, you simply have to mash the vegetables, add the fish and a bit of parsley (or other spice of your own preference) shape the cakes, flour them and fry them in just a bit of oil.

As I mentioned, I did not make these cakes round, as it is traditional. Instead, since I was going to be serving them to my children, I decided to use a fish-shaped cookie cutter to make them more enticing.

In order to give them this shape, I covered a cookie sheet with foil, extended the preparation on top, covered it with more foil and put the sheet in the fridge for half an hour, for it to get some consistency. After this time, I took it out and started cutting little fish with my cutter and placing them on a plate. Once I was done, I put the fish cakes back in the fridge for another half an hour. This is necessary for them not to lose their shape when you flour them.

After half an hour, I took the fish cakes out of the fridge, floured them (passing by flour, egg and bread crumbs) and fried them in just a tiny bit of oil, until golden. The next time I make them I will try to bake them in the oven, but since this was the first time, I decided to stick to the traditional cooking methods. Frying them makes them crispy on the outside while remaining soft on the inside – and they are just delicious!

I also decided to keep the flavours simple, so that the sweetness of the squash would be palpable,  and therefore used as condiment only a bit of parsley, salt and pepper. You could be more adventurous, and try to add other spices either in the main mixture or by flavouring the bread crumbs with lemon zest or a Provençal mix (garlic and parsley), for example.

Fish cakes are traditionally accompanied by French fries, but I decided to go for a healthier option and opted for a quick, simple salad of cucumbers and cherry tomatoes instead. While  I like to eat fried food on occasions, I don’t have a big resistance to it, and I find that I can tolerate them better if I eat them with fresh vegetables.  I am a big fan of salads all year-long, but I must confess that I could pretty much live on them during the warmer months!

Here’s the recipe:


– 3 fish fillets

– 2 medium-sized potatoes

– 5 slices of butternut squash

– Parsley, salt and pepper to taste

– Flour

– breadcrumbs

-Oil for frying


– Dice potatoes and squash and put in a saucepan, cover with water and bring to the boil until tender.

– Put the fish fillets in an oven tray, add salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Cover with aluminum foil and cook for about 10 minutes.

– Mash the potatoes and squash. Crumble the fish fillets and add them to the vegetable purée. Add salt and pepper to taste and parsley, if desired.

– Shape small cakes with the help of your hands, place them on a tray, and put them in the fridge for half an hour. If you want to give the cakes a cookie cutter shape, extend the mixture on an oven tray covered in foil, put it in the fridge for half an hour, and only after this use the cookie cutter.

– Slightly beat one egg. Remove the cakes from the fish, flour them, dip them in egg, and pass them by bread crumbs so that these stick to them.

– Put a bit of oil in a frying pan and, once heated, add the fish cakes, until golden on both sides. Serve.

I hope you’ll like them!

Have a great weekend!

Surprise, surprise! I’m in Whole Kitchen Magazine!

Hello dear friends! I hope you are having a lovely week

Today I have  a BIG surprise, one that  I have been dying to tell you about:  Two of my recipes, with their pictures, are featured in  the September issue of Whole Kitchen  Magazine!!!

Last July, I was contacted by Silvia (who writes the beautiful blog Food and Cook, for Elle Magazine). Silvia is also one of the editors of Whole Kitchen and, to my surprise and utter delight, she asked me to collaborate with their September issue.  I immediately said YES, of course! Whole Kitchen is a beautiful magazine, full of delicious recipes and gorgeous photography, edited by bloggers I have been following for a long time, and with amazing contributors, so it is a real honour to be able to be a part of it.

In this issue you will find one savory recipe from me: cheese and echalottes tartelettes, with a hint of cumin (pages 58-61)…


…And one dessert: Chocolate and pear mousse pie (pages 98-101)

Tarta de choco y mousse de peras 3

This issue also includes great lunch-box ideas, as well as cookies, muffins and pies which could be prepared with children.It has also added a new section called ” Living”,  with articles on fashion, beauty and wellness.


Silvia and Beatriz: thank you so much for letting me be a part of your beautiful magazine!


May you all have a wonderful weekend!



NOTE: For the recipe of Chocolate and Pear Mousse pie in English, click here.

A dip, a salad and crispy pitta-bread slices



Good morning dear friends! How are you today? I hope you are all doing great.

I apologize for not posting last week. We had a very dear friend visiting us from abroad and we spent our days showing her around, and just enjoying her company. We had a great time, remembering good old times in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, where we all used to lived 4 years ago. Living outside of my home country has required a lot of adapting, and one of the things I have had to accept is having friends scattered all over the globe, and not being able to see them for long stretches of time.  So, when we finally do meet, we try to squeeze time as much as we can and some other things fall behind.

But here I am again! Today, I am bringing you the rest of the recipes from our summer lunch, which consisted of  tzatziki, guacamole, tabbouleh salad, crispy pitta bread slices and lemon coconut mousse for dessert. These are not my recipes, they are actually very common dishes, and I have read many different versions of each of them, but this is how I usually make them. They are  ideal for this time of the year because they are fresh and simple, but I must confess that I LOVE tabbouleh all year-long.

I became a fan of Lebanese food in Abidjan, actually. Ivory Coast (and most of West Africa) has a large number of Lebanese people living in the country, and there are many Lebanese restaurants where one can try dishes such as tabbouleh, kebbeh, falafel, fatoush, etc. Tabbouleh was always one of my favourites and I would order it every time. I learnt how to make Guacamole from a recipe book, so my dear Amanda will have to tell me whether it’s a good one or not!



In order to make Guacamole you will need:

-1 ripe avocado, mashed

– 1/2 a tomato, peeled, de-seeded and cut in small cubes.

-1/2 garlic clove, crushed

– 1/2 red onion, finely diced

– Juice of 1/2 lime or lemon

– 1 teaspoon of olive oil

-salt and pepper to taste

– a few parsley leaves, to garnish.

Preparation is very simple:

1) Peel and mash the avocado with the lime/lemon juice.Put in a bowl.

2) Peel and de-seed the tomatoes. Dice them finely and add to the mashed avocado.

3) Peel and dice the onion, crush the garlic clove and add both to the avocado/tomato mixture.

4) Add olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix everything.

5) Chop a few parsley leaves and add to garnish. Serve.


Tabbouleh and guacamole1

In order to make Tabbouleh, you will need:

-1 cup (a large bunch) of parsley leaves (you need only the leaves!)

– 1/3 cup of mint leaves

– 1/3 cup of bulgur wheat (If you have a gluten-free diet, you can replace it by Quinoa)

– 1 Tomato, finely diced

– 1/2 red onion

– Juice of 1/2 lime

– 1 teaspoon olive oil

– salt and pepper

Tabbouleh and guacamole2


1)The first thing you need to do is wash and rinse the wheat twice. After you have done that, put it in a bowl and cover it with boiling water. Cover the bowl and let it sit for about 20 minutes, until the wheat absorbs the water.When the wheat is ready, put in a serving dish.

2) Using a knife, finely chop the parsley and mint leaves. I know it is tempting to use the food processor (if you have one) to chop all ingredients at once, but it changes the herb’s flavour, so do it the traditional way. Add the chopped leaves to the wheat.

3) Dice the tomatoes and the onion. Add to the rest of the ingredients.

4) Mix olive oil and lime juice. Add to the rest of the salad, together with salt and pepper to taste.

5) Toss all ingredients together several times. Serve.

Finally, I toasted some pitta bread in the oven with a drizzle of olive oil and oregano, and served the guacamole in them.

I simply cut one pitta bread into rectangles, then sliced it diagonally to form triangles. I put these slices in an oven tray covered with aluminium foil, drizzled them with olive oil, added salt and oregano and put them in the oven at 200 C for 5 minutes.

This is how they looked when they were done. They are very crispy, flavourful,  and great for serving dips in them:


Have you had Tabbouleh and/or guacamole before? Dis you like them?

If you do like them, do you make your own at home too? Are your recipes similar to these ones or very different?

May you have a happy Wednesday. See you next week!

A summery table setting and a simple, refreshing salad


Summer in Cyprus is hot. Very. Hot. But this year it feels hotter due to the energy crisis caused by the destruction of the island’s main power plant. Things, however, are what they are and, I believe, it is for each of us to approach them with a positive attitude and make the best out of them. In my case, this means trying to add a little beauty to everyday life, and taking advantage of what we have.

We live in a apartment, so there is no garden or swimming pool where to spend our afternoons.  What we do have is a small balcony which we have surrounded by a straw fence to keep the strong  sun at bay, and where we can sit and relax, enjoying the sweet summer breeze when the sun is not too high. And, when weather permits it, we have lunch or dinner there too.

Last Monday, we did just that. It was not too hot (by our standards, anyway ;), so I  set up a happy summery table setting and served a quick early lunch in the balcony.

I put a white tablecloth on the table, and used lime green napkins under the plates to add a little bit of colour.


I put lemmons on a glass vase to serve as centerpiece, and used a set of salt and pepper shakers that we had bought when we lived in Ivory Coast and that matched the table’s colour palette.


I served lemonade in small green bottles (that originally contained  German beer!) and added grey paper straws to them for the babies. And also for me, because I like them 😉


Using baker’s twine (in Peapod and Lemondrop, from the Twinery), I wrote “eat, drink, laugh” on a piece of paper and put it on a small frame, next to the lemons, to serve as  motto for the meal.


Finally, I folded yellow paper napkins on a pouch, added some ribbon and a paper circle (with Bon Appétit written in it) to dress it up a little, and placed the cutlery inside . You can download these and other tags for free from the Twinery’s blog here. All you have to do then  is to print them in cardboard paper and cut them using a 2″ circle punch or just a pair of scissors)




The menu consisted of different salads, dips and a delicious lemon coconut mousse. The following recipe corresponds to one of these salads, called Tzaziki,  which is traditional here in Cyprus and which, with some variations, is also very common in Serbia (where I actually discovered it and where it is called Tarator ). It is very refreshing, simple to make, and it tastes great with meat or simply with some pitta bread. At home we call it “cucumber salad”. I’ll share all other recipes in my next post!

In order to make Tarator/Tzaziki you will need: 1 cucumber, 1 clove of garlic, greek yogurt and a little bit of parsley.



The procedure couldn’t be simpler: Cut the cucumber into thin slices, and then chop them finely. Place it in a bowl.  Chop a clove of garlic (or half, if you are not a very garlicky person 😉 and add it to the cucumber. Add greek yogurt (500 ml) and mix well.  Chop a few parsley leaves to garnish.


This is the way I learnt to do it from my husband’s family, in Serbia. I should note, however, that here in Cyprus I learnt a different way which is equally delicious but a little bit different. In the Cypriot version they double the amount of cucumbers,  garlic is optional, they generally add 2 tablespoons of olive oil  and they replace parsley for dried mint. My recommendation: try both!


What’s the weather like these days where you live? How do you cope with it?

Have a lovely Wednesday and see you next week!


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