Revani (Greek Semolina Cake)

Monday, January 19, 2015

The first time I ever went to my husband's parents' house, his father (who is Greek and an incredible cook) slapped down a massive hunk of pastitsio (essentially, Greek lasagna) in front of me that he then followed up with a magical dessert.

For about a year, I called it "Cream of Wheat Cake." But "revani" or "ravani" is actually a semolina or farina based cake soaked in a sinfully sweet citrus-y syrup. It's epic and hands down, one of my favorite Greek dishes. This was my first go at making it. I encourage you to give it a go and wow your friends with your Greeky awesomeness.

Revani (Greek Semolina Cake)
For the cake:
1 cup flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1 cup fine Semolina (or Farina)
1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
1 cup sugar 3 eggs separated (reserve whites)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
zest of 1 lemon
1 cup milk
pinch of salt

For the syrup:
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups water
2 3-inch strips of orange peel
1 tsp. lemon juice

For serving:
Powdered sugar, 1/2 cup almonds, blanched, lightly toasted, and chopped (optional)

- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Grease bottom and sides a 9 x 13 pan.
- Mix the flour, farina and baking powder together in a medium bowl.
- Using a mixer, cream the butter with sugar until light and fluffy.
- With the mixer running, add egg yolks one by one. Continue mixing until a light yellow color. Add vanilla extract and lemon zest.
- Add the flour mixture 1/3 at a time alternating with the milk.
- Clean the beaters well and beat the egg whites in a separate bowl with a pinch of salt until soft peaks form.
- Fold the egg whites in to the batter until just blended with a spatula.
- Pour the batter into the pan, smooth out with a spatula and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until you have a nice golden color.

- While the cake is baking, make the syrup: Add water, sugar, and orange peel to a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add lemon juice and cool.
- While the cake is still warm, cover it with the syrup. Allow to cool before serving.

Adapted from About Food

Fridge Dump Marinara Sauce

Sunday, January 18, 2015

I've always been a veggie lover. But, it wasn't until I met my husband that my veggie limits were struck down and I realized the true power of a good, fresh vegetable.

We keep our fridge well stocked with whatever is on sale. But, that doesn't mean we always get to them before their wilty, yuck-o demise. I had some produce on its way out and decided to save it by cooking into some homemade marinara sauce.


This is an off-the-cuff recipe you can use with a number of combinations of produce. I personally wish I had some fresh peppers on hand to toss in. 

Chop up some onion, celery, garlic, and carrots. Sprinkle with salt and sauté with olive oil over medium heat for ten minutes, stirring frequently.

While the carrots, onions and celery are sauteing, slice up some squash and/or zucchini. I used my handy little julienne slicer that my mom gave me for Christmas. :)

Add in your squash. Sauté for another ten minutes, stirring frequently. 

Handy little tip that my husband taught me: Have a trash bowl nearby for your trimmings, peelings, yada yada yada. You can easily dump all of your unused veggie parts while the sauce is simmering. I hate messes so, this is particularly advantageous for my cooking preferences.

Add a can of diced tomatoes (we cook for two and used no salt added tomatoes, adjust as needed), oregano, basil, salt, pepper, parmesan cheese and a pinch of sugar. Let the sauce simmer for at least 20 minutes. The longer it cookers, the more the veggies will cook down and release flavor. As with any recipe, taste and adjust to your liking!

Eat immediately or let cool and store for later. Boom.

Fridge Dump Marinara Sauce

  • 1 (28 oz) Can Diced Tomatoes
  • 2 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Carrots
  • 3 Celery Stalks
  • 3-4 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 Yellow Squash or Zucchini
  • Pinch Kosher Salt
  • Pinch Black Pepper
  • 1/2 Tbs Dried Oregano
  • 1/2 Tbs Dried Basil
  • 1/2 Tbs Grated Parmesan
  • 1 tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
1. Heat olive oil in a large stock pot over medium-high.

2. Reduce heat to medium and add carrots, celery, onion, garlic to the pot and sauté for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with salt to release aromas. Stir frequently so veggies don't stick.

3. Add in squash.  Sauté for 10 more minutes, stirring frequently.

4. Reduce heat to medium-low and sweat the vegetables for another 10-15 minutes.

5. Stir in tomatoes, basil, red pepper and oregano. Simmer over low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Taste, and adjust seasonings as you see fit.

6. Optional- blend the sauce with an immersion blender for a more pureed texture. Voila!

Adapted from Comfortably Domestic

Pineapple Angel Food Cake

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Dieting? Fantastic- Happy New Year! Not dieting? Fantastic- Happy New Year!

Bottom line. This simple dessert is light, fluffy, Weight Watchers-friendly, and absolutely delicious!

If you say "Two ingredients," I say, "Yes, please!"

Dig it.


  • 1 Large Can Crushed Pineapple
  • 1 Box Angel Food Cake Mix
Cooking Directions
  1. Using a bowl, combine dry cake mix and entire can of pineapple (do not drain the juice).
  2. Mix carefully until all dry mix in incorporated.
  3. Pour into a 9x13 pan. The mixture will be frothy.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees (or time on box for size pan- approximately 30-40 minutes). Do not fear this cake browning on top. It will cook to darker than golden brown. When sides pull away from pan and toothpick comes out clean, your cake is finished!

String-Wrapped Wall Art

Monday, January 12, 2015

It's pretty crazy what some string and canvas can do when their forces are combined. Our bare walls needed a little color but not at the cost of (insert something crazy expensive here).

This was a simple project I found on Pinterest that I thought would suit our simple nest nicely.

What You'll Need
- Canvas
- Spray Paint (color of your choosing)
- Scissors
- Tape or Glue


1. I like to begin by taping down the string to the frame as a starting point.
2. Start wrapping. I prefer to wrap randomly. Create patterns or don't. It's up to you. I personally turned on an episode of Friends (thanks, Netflix!) and just went for it. I found it easier to lay the spool of string on the floor and begin flipping the canvas itself. But, you may want to hold the canvas steady and wrap the string.
3. When you've got what you want, simply tie off the string on an existing string on the backside of the canvas. If you'd rather tape it down to the frame, feel free.
3. Once the wrapping is complete, lay your canvas down on tarp (or garbage bags) and spray away in your desired pattern. 
4. Allow to dry and voila!

Tree String Art

Sunday, January 11, 2015

For what seems like years, I've been living for the nail and string art I've seen all over Pinterest. So, I finally decided to go for it. Yes, there's some tedium involved. But, once you have the foundation laid down, this is a very mindless (and gratifying!) project that you can achieve in about an hour and a half to two hours all while watching the TV (in my case, "The Office").

What You'll Need
Wooden Wall Plank- like the one pictured below (I decided to spray paint mine in a darker wood spray paint but you could leave yours as is or stain as wanted)
Flat Head Nails- be sure that they are the right size according to the thickness of your plank (... that's what she said)
Crochet String- you can also use embroidery string or any string that is to your desired thickness

Use chalk to outline your tree or desired shape. I chose to do mine freehand to achieve a more homespun like. You can Google or Pinterest a number of templates if freehand is not your thing. Your cats will be undoubtedly interested in this entire process as evidenced by the photo above.

Begin hammering your nails along the chalk lines. The more nails you use, the more curvature you can achieve. Then, start stringing away! I chose to outline the entire tree first and then fill in. Do this as randomly as possible and pay attention to gaps once you are nearly finished. Wipe off the excess chalk with a wipe once you have completed your design!


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