recipe: mixed berry chocolate slab pie

September 10th, 2015 | Posted by admin in Desserts | RECIPES - (0 Comments)

I made this pie for my Labor Day party and it was a hit!  This time of the year the berries at the market are in abundance and I love this recipe because it serves a crowd.  I picked up fresh eggs and butter for the dough, and I always use King Arthur’s Flour. I pulled this recipe from a wonderful cookbook “Bountiful” by Todd Porter and Diane Cu. With the sweetness of the berries I cut the sugar down to ½ cup, and I use salted butter and don’t add the kosher salt.  Also I mixed the chocolate chips into the fruit so it was not a layer of chocolate on the crust but rather immersed in the fruit! It’s easy and delicious and makes a statement due to its size! I also like an egg wash on the dough. Enjoy!


• 3 lbs mixed fresh berries, larger berries halved and quartered
• ½ cup sugar
• 3 Tablespoons cornstarch
• 1 ½ cups chocolate chips

• 8 cups flour
• 1 cup sugar
• 2 teaspoons sea salt or kosher salt
• 1 lb cold unsalted butter, cut into ½” pieces
• 3 eggs
• ½ cup cold water
• Heavy cream, for brushing the crust or egg wash
• Turbinado sugar, for dusting


• Preheat oven to 400° F. Butter one 13-by-18-inch sheet pan.

• Start the filling: Put the berries in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together pie filling sugar and cornstarch until well combined. Add sugar mixture to the berries and gently toss to coat berries. Add chocolate chips. Set aside.

• Make the crust: In a large bowl, whisk together dough flour, sugar, and salt. Pinching with your fingers or using a pastry blender, incorporated butter into mixture until no large pieces of butter remain and mixture has a crumbly texture.

• In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs with the cold water. Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture, then pour the egg mixture into the well. Working from the center out, combine egg and flour mixes together until the dough holds together. If necessary, adjust with a little additional flour or cold water if dough is too sticky or not holding together.

• Divide dough into two portions, one twice the size of the other.

• On a large floured surface, roll out the larger portion of dough to an 18-by-22-inch  rectangle (I’ll roll out slightly larger then trim edges straight to the dimensions), dusting the underside and top of dough with flour a few times while rolling out to keep dough from sticking.

• Gently wrap the dough around the rolling pin, then unroll it over the first sheet pan. Adjust dough so it sits evenly in the sheet pan.

• Roll out the smaller dough portion to a rectangle just larger than 13 by 18 inches. Flip the second sheet pan upside down and gently press it into dough, then lift the pan off. Use impression to cut dough to size.

• Place in oven and bake 30-40 minutes or until top is golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Dust with Turbinado sugar, slice and serve.



Print Friendly, PDF & Email

places to go: Klaud’s kitchen

June 24th, 2015 | Posted by admin in PLACES TO GO - (0 Comments)

We spent a fun weekend in Door County and had a delicious lunch at a great café, “Klaud’s Kitchen”.  The menu is short and perfect!  I was so excited to see liver sausage on pumpernickel with brown mustard and onions.  Does it get any better?  The bread was soft, fresh, and thick, but the liver sausage was thicker, a big slab smothered in a delicious mustard and what seemed like picked onions.  I was in heaven.  This sandwich brought me back to my Danish roots… one of my mom’s favorites.  The egg salad looked just as amazing and we all were disappointed we didn’t try the baked bologna!!  Then to add to the lunch, Klaud brought out fresh, hot biscotti!  It was again making us all cheat on any diet restrictions we had… crisp on the outside and a chocolate brownie like softness on the inside.  The most interesting part of our visit was both partners were from the Chicagoland area, each having a business in Long Grove and moving up to Door County to start this new place.  Ok I apologize for not having pictures of the food.  It was so good we ate before remembering to take pictures!  I may have to make another weekend trip sooner than later to enjoy this special lunch spot.



Print Friendly, PDF & Email

summer containers

June 22nd, 2015 | Posted by admin in FLOWERS | Outdoor - (0 Comments)

I’m hoping summer is here and still wishing for consistent sunshine.  This is a sun container filled with hot pinks and purples.  The main flowers are a hybrid dahlia with the darker leaves that make a great contrast to the licorice vine, mini petunias, scaveola, and allisum.  I added a pop of additional interest with the hot pink cosmos… my favorite.  It’s feeling like summer!

This is a sun shade container best put in morning sun and afternoon shade.  I put in a Eugenia topiary with endless summer hydrangeas, added some variegated ivy keeping it simple but always bountiful!  A very easy planter to assemble… just remember that hydrangeas need a good watering every day!



Print Friendly, PDF & Email

I love the flavor of Cardamom so when I saw this recipe in “Bountiful”, a beautiful cookbook by Todd Porter and Diane Cu, I had to try it.  Sometimes you want something just a bit sweet, not too sweet, and not a large portion… maybe a little something with your afternoon tea.  This is that something!



• 1 cup flour
• 1 tsp baking powder
• ½ tsp cardamom
• ½ teaspoon of aniseed
• Pinch of kosher salt
• ½ lb of grated zucchini
• 1 egg
• ½ cup sugar
• ½ tsp of grated lime
• ½ cup of unsalted butter, melted
• Confectioner’s sugar for dusting



• Preheat oven to 325° and lightly oil the muffin tins.

• Whisk together the dry ingredients and set a side.

• Squeeze the grated zucchini dry to remove excess moisture.

• In a separate bowl whisk the egg, sugar, and lime zest. Whisk in the butter and stir in the zucchini, then fold in the flour until just combined.

• Divide the batter evenly into the muffin tins (you can also use individual tartlet molds).

• Bake for 20-25 minutes until cakes are light golden.  Allow then to cool and dust with confectioner’s sugar.




Print Friendly, PDF & Email

recipe: Wilie’s pancakes

May 15th, 2015 | Posted by admin in Breakfast | RECIPES - (1 Comments)


These pancakes were introduced to me by my nephew’s wife Marissa and their adorable toddler Wilie.  This was his favorite breakfast, easy to make, healthy, and best of all no flour!  I make these at least once a week and keep a few in the fridge for a quick snack. Enjoy!


• 2 mashed ripe bananas
• 2 eggs
• 2 tablespoons of almond butter (any nut butter will do)
• 1 tsp good vanilla
• 1 tsp of cinnamon


• Whisk together and pour into a griddle.

There’s really no need for syrup.  Delish!



Print Friendly, PDF & Email

spring container

May 12th, 2015 | Posted by admin in FLOWERS | Outdoor - (0 Comments)

Left over flowers for a sweet container.  Bright colors of stock, double mini petunias, lobelia, nemesia, osteospermum, and zinnias included in this container.



Print Friendly, PDF & Email

recipes: blackberry crisps

April 15th, 2015 | Posted by admin in Desserts | RECIPES - (0 Comments)

Spring makes me think of fresh berries, and blackberries were on sale!  So I used the plump sweet and tart blackberries in my crisp recipe.


• 4 cups of washed and drained fresh blackberries
• 2½ tsp of fresh lemon juice
• 1 tsp lemon zest
• ¼ cup of whole wheat flour
• ¼ cup of sugar

• ¾ cup of oats
• ¾ cup of brown sugar
• ¾ cup whole wheat flour
• ⅓ cup butter melted
• ½ tsp baking powder
• ½ tsp baking soda



• Mix “Fruit” ingredients (blackberries, lemon juice, lemon zest, and ¼ cup whole wheat flour, and ¼ cup sugar) together and place in ramekins.

• Mix “Crisp” ingredients together and place over the fruit in the ramekins.

• Bake in 350° oven for about 25 minutes.




Print Friendly, PDF & Email

spring flowers finally!

April 14th, 2015 | Posted by admin in FLOWERS | Outdoor - (0 Comments)

Bright colors to enjoy!



Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Most of my love for cooking came from my early memories of my paternal grandmother, Marnos Bedrosian. She was an amazing cook and my sister and I have been trying to recreate this recipe for a while. On my last visit to Charlotte we had a day of cooking and I think we finally perfected this special recipe. The most enjoyable part of making this delicious bread besides eating it was cooking with my sister (who did most of the work!) and having my mom around to enjoy the delicacy fresh from the oven!

Please refer to the pictures as they are a big help when rolling out the dough.


• 2½ lbs. of flour (I recommend “King Arthur Flour”)
• 1 stick of butter
• 1 large spoonful of Crisco
• 1½ tablespoons of sugar
• ½ tsp. salt
• 1 yeast cake
• 4 eggs
• Approximately 1 cup of whole milk


• 2 sticks of melted butter to coat layers of dough

• Egg wash… 1 egg whisked with a tsp of water

• Sesame seeds to sprinkle on top after egg wash is applied.

• Scald milk and add butter & Crisco melt and let stand.

• Mix yeast in 1/2 cup of warm water, add sugar and let stand.

• Beat eggs and add to cooled milk mixture and combine with yeast mixture.

• Knead dough for 10 minutes then let rise in a warm spot covered for 3-4 hrs. You can make late the night prior, but if so put in fridge.

• Form into 6 balls of dough let rise keep covered.

• When doubled in size dough will be ready to roll out into a very thin sheet. I use a long dowel similar to the handle of a broom. It allows you to roll out dough in a large circle. Approximately 20 inches in diameter you will almost be able to see through the dough. Always use flour on your surface & dowel to avoid dough sticking.

• Now dough is folded & refolded.  Please refer to the pictures for guidance:

• Between each fold brush with butter. When you have folded it into a strip then cut on the diagonal and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Cover and let rise.

• When ready brush with butter, egg wash & sprinkle a few sesame seeds on top and put in preheated 350 degree oven.

• Choereg is done when golden brown on top! This is the best time to enjoy a hot fresh piece with a great cup of coffee or tea! The breads can be frozen and warmed up…always best with a dollop of butter! This is the recipe that brings back strong memories of my grandmother Marnos.






Print Friendly, PDF & Email

places to go: eataly

December 15th, 2014 | Posted by admin in PLACES TO GO - (0 Comments)

I had a “big” birthday this week and because I love to cook and eat, my girlfriends took me to Eataly.  Their manifesto speaks to me… ” In love with food”, ” food unites us all”… so we ventured on to “Eat, Shop, & Learn”.  We were fortunate enough to have an amazing guide take us through all the different departments and restaurants.  It was a farmers market on steroids, all Italian.  From Tomahawk Steaks dry aged beef, to hunks of delicious cheese, pastas, fresh baked bread, a fish counter to die for, and beautiful sweets accompanied by the perfect cup of cappuccino. I will be going back now that I have the lay of the land… maybe even to take a cooking class. If you love food, like to cook, and appreciate fresh wonderful food you should go.  Enjoy!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email