5 Days of Christmas Day 3 / Make These Easy Cream Cheese Mints

December is the month we bake the most, by far. For better or worse the kids and I make a lot of festive treats as a means to occupy the kids who are inside more and a way to celebrate Christmas. Of all the things we’ve made though, sometimes it is the…

3 ingredient Nuggati Brownies

Some testing for a surprise dessert I am planning to make for Valentines day. I came across a recipe for 3 ingredient brownies that seemed perfect for the occasion , but also for more than just this instance. I am not very good at baking (or cooking) and having a go to, easy to make , bulletproof dessert can be a lifesaver. The recipe itself is famous for using only 3 ingredients and it requires no special skills. If you want to replicate this you will need :

400gr of Nugatti (or any chocolate-hazelnut spread) – 2 whole eggs – 70gr of flour (optionally add at the end half a cup of chopped pecans and a pinch of sea salt)Add all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Pour into a 18cm round pan and bake for 30min at 175C. 

Simple and easy in its execution, it requires minimal effort and it tastes incredible. I combined it with a dollop of good quality vanilla ice cream ( I tried to make a teardrop by scooping it with a heated tablespoon, video tutorial here ) because I prefer to have something on the side to balance the chocolate flavor. Do try it!


//Photography and Styling by Katerina Dima


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The post : 3 ingredient Nuggati  Brownies, appeared first on Only Deco Love
Styling and photography by Katerina Dima unless otherwise stated.

How to cure your own olives

 Today I decided to take a few minutes from my day and harvest my small olive tree ( you can see how small the tree is here). I wasn’t planning on doing anything with the olives , I mainly wanted to relive the tree of its fruits so it would grow during the winter. However I felt bad just throwing the olives away so I thought I would treat them so they become edible in a few months. I have done this many times while in Greece where I own my own olive trees, though we mostly gather the olives to produce olive oil. In fact the olive oil I do have at home right now comes from my own olive trees! 
I felt bad for just throwing the only olives my little indoors tree produced for the first time, so I decided to treat them. If you have indoors olive trees and you want to treat them, do read on for a full tutorial. The whole process takes less than 10 minutes so you should really try it!

Instructions :

Step 1 | Pick the olives from the branches with your hands, this should take only a few minutes if you have a small tree. If you have a bigger one then you can gather them faster with a very wide plastic hair comb.
Step 2 | Make a small incision in each olive with a sharp knife. 
Step 3 | Use a clean clear bottle ( a plastic one is recommended ) and drop all the olives inside. Add a little bit of salt but only a pinch.
Step 4 | Seal the bottle and let it rest in a cool place where the sun does not hit for a couple of months. It is important that the bottle lays flat and the water covers its neck completely so no air comes in at all.
Step 5 | Once the olives are cured (read below for tips on timing) make a brine with fresh water, some salt and vinegar. Taste the brine and make it to your liking. Some prefer it saltier, some prefer it more sour. Add more salt or vinegar to taste. Fill a container with the brine and mix in the olives. Keep in a cool place.


Depending on how big the olives are the process might take more or less than 3 months. The incision speeds up the process especially when the olives are bigger but it is not necessary. Since I already cut my olives (and due to their original size) I expect they will be ready around Christmas. 
To test if the olives need more time to mature just open the bottle and try one. If it is still too bitter to eat then empty the water from the bottle, fill it with new one, seal it and lay flat as before for a few more weeks. 
That is all it takes to cure your own olives. I am really looking forward to how mine will taste like, although they are so small there will be more stone than olive! Hopefully next year or the year after that (olive trees produce fruits every 2 years as a rule) my indoor olive tree will be big enough to give significantly more olives in a bigger size as well. For now I will let you know how this experiment turned out around Christmas! 

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The post : How to cure your own olives, appeared first on Only Deco Love
Styling and photography by Katerina Dima unless otherwise stated.

How to cure your own olives ( from your indoors olive tree)

I think every scandinavian house has an indoor olive tree. They are easy to grow and their look is so very unique , yet it fits in almost any style.I got two myself a couple of months ago and one of them quickly filled with olives.Today I decided to take a few minutes from my day and harvest my small olive tree ( you can see how small the tree is here). I wasn’t planning on doing anything with the olives , I mainly wanted to relive the tree of its fruits so it would grow during the winter. However I felt bad just throwing the olives away so I thought I would treat them so they become edible in a few months. I have done this many times while in Greece where I own my own olive trees, though we mostly gather the olives to produce olive oil. In fact the olive oil I do have at home right now comes from my own olive trees! 
I felt bad for just throwing the only olives my little indoors tree produced for the first time, so I decided to treat them. If you have indoors olive trees and you want to treat them, do read on for a full tutorial. The whole process takes less than 10 minutes so you should really try it!

Instructions :

Step 1 | Pick the olives from the branches with your hands, this should take only a few minutes if you have a small tree. If you have a bigger one then you can gather them faster with a very wide plastic hair comb.
Step 2 | Make a small incision in each olive with a sharp knife. 
Step 3 | Use a clean clear bottle ( a plastic one is recommended ) and drop all the olives inside. Add a little bit of salt but only a pinch.
Step 4 | Seal the bottle and let it rest in a cool place where the sun does not hit for a couple of months. It is important that the bottle lays flat and the water covers its neck completely so no air comes in at all.
Step 5 | Once the olives are cured (read below for tips on timing) make a brine with fresh water, some salt and vinegar. Taste the brine and make it to your liking. Some prefer it saltier, some prefer it more sour. Add more salt or vinegar to taste. Fill a container with the brine and mix in the olives. Keep in a cool place.


Depending on how big the olives are the process might take more or less than 3 months. The incision speeds up the process especially when the olives are bigger but it is not necessary. Since I already cut my olives (and due to their original size) I expect they will be ready around Christmas. 
To test if the olives need more time to mature just open the bottle and try one. If it is still too bitter to eat then empty the water from the bottle, fill it with new one, seal it and lay flat as before for a few more weeks. 
That is all it takes to cure your own olives. I am really looking forward to how mine will taste like, although they are so small there will be more stone than olive! Hopefully next year or the year after that (olive trees produce fruits every 2 years as a rule) my indoor olive tree will be big enough to give significantly more olives in a bigger size as well. For now I will let you know how this experiment turned out around Christmas! 

//Photography and Styling by Katerina Dima

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The post : How to cure your own olives, appeared first on Only Deco Love
Styling and photography by Katerina Dima unless otherwise stated.

Mushroom Season


Autumn is my favorite season no doubt. The leaves that fall, the color palette, the last soft warm breeze, all the wonderful new flavors. It is time for long hikes in the forest with a basket ready for filling. Mushrooms, berries, wild apples, everything is within your hands reach. Yesterday I decided to make a mushroom mix for lunch, just two types of mushrooms that you can find abundantly at the supermarket freshly picked, or that you can find yourself in the forest since it is their favorite season to grow. If you would like to replicate my easy lunch, it only takes a few minutes, just read below on how to make yourself a healthy and hearty autumn bite!
:: Preparation | Lightly saute the mushrooms in a pan with a tablespoon of olive oil or butter.I add either a couple of tablespoons water so they wont burn or chicken stock for some extra flavor. After 2 to 3 minutes remove from heat and drizzle some fresh lemon juice on top. Add a tablespoon of low fat sour cream and season with some black sea salt. 

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Styling and photography by Katerina Dima unless otherwise stated.

Cold Coffee with frozen coffee ice cubes


Just when we thought autumn was in full swing , summer made a come back. Cold coffee it is then! Tip : fill a glass with milk then drop frozen ice cubes in to slowly melt. Delicious! The cubes start to melt immediately and depending on how strong coffee flavor you prefer you might want to wait for a few seconds and stir first. I use from 2 to 4 coffee ice cubes that I have frozen overnight and prefer my glass to be filled with skimmed milk. If you like coffee without milk you can make a cold brew coffee then use the coffee ice cubes to keep it cold but also maintain the consistency. Ice cubes water coffee down as they melt, why not use frozen coffee cubes instead? Tip :  For an extra flavor, also freeze hot chocolate for frozen chocolate cubes!
// Photos by Katerina Dima

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Styling and photography by Katerina Dima unless otherwise stated.

Last Peonies


The last of my peonies, a single bud that for some reason took too long to bloom, is all that is left from a full bouquet of my pink peonies. Peony season is probably my favorite when it comes to seasonal flowers, I find them so delicate yet I can fill up a vase very easily with just a few buds. Their aroma as well is irresistible, I always try to have them close especially when I am working. Add a bowl of yogurt with some dried goji berries and cacao nibs and I am happy camper in my own living room. 
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Styling and photography by Katerina Dima unless otherwise stated.

Porridge Breakfast with Forest Fruit Compote

I have always said, if you don’t like porridge, it is probably because you are doing it wrong.I woke up really early today so I had time to cook it, it is easily one of my favorite breakfasts, especially if it is a little bit cold out. Nutritious and extremely filling,it can give you energy for a long time, it is definitely worth the bit of extra effort involved into preparing it. Here is how I make it :

Ingredients: Half a cup of rolled oats (not instant), a cup of almond milk, one apple,2 vanilla pods,a tablespoon of brown sugar.

Clean and chop the apple in small pieces, scrape the vanilla out of the pods and mix in with all the rest f the ingredients together in a pot.Still a few times and add the vanilla pods in as well.Cook in low heat for 15 to 20minutes (until the porridge has the consistency you prefer), remove the pods and serve in a plate or bowl of your liking.While not necessary I love sometime to add some compote on top! For the compote I use whatever frozen berry mix I have in the fridge. In a separate pan I add a tablespoon of sugar and in medium heat I wait until it caramelizes well. Add the frozen fruits and stir a couple of times, add a few tablespoons of water and let it shimmer for a few minutes. Pour the contents of the pan on top of your porridge and you’re done! 

Porridge generally has a very bland taste, which is why most people don’t like it. Don’t be afraid to add fruits and extras in it to make it flavorful, I change my recipe up all the time depending on what ingredients I have at home. I prefer almond milk for cooking it but you can add normal milk if you wish. For an even more potent and sweet taste chop a banana instead of an apple. I don’t put any extra sugar when I use fruits that are already sweet though,but that is up to your taste.

Other recipes for porridge include variations of just about anything you might imagine. Add mascarpone, coconut water and cacao nibs for an amazing cheesecake tasting porridge.Prepare some vanilla cream (an egg,cream,vanilla pod,sugar) and add that in your porridge while cooking, then add a tablespoon of sugar on top and blowtorch it until it caramelizes for a creme brulee flavor! The possibilities are endless,just try some out yourself, you will be surprised  :)

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The post : Porridge Breakfast with Forest Fruit Compote , appeared first on Only Deco Love
Styling and photography by Katerina Dima unless otherwise stated.

Caramelized Granola


Today I decided to share a tip with you on home made caramelized granola that will change the way you see and eat granola. While granola arguably is great as an idea for breakfast, unfortunately the store bought kind is filled with sugar and other artificial flavors in order to make it tastier than when we make it on our own. I find that a teaspoon of sugar is not the worst I can eat during a whole day so I mix my own granola in a bowl, then warm a pan where I drop a teaspoon of brown sugar. Wait until it turns into liquid caramel, take off the stove and immediately stir in the granola mix I just prepared. I mix well so it forms a little lump, then I spread on non stick cooking paper and wait for it to cool completely. When it has cooled down I roughly chop it to pieces with my hands, add in a bowl with as much milk as I want and some choice fruits and enjoy my own caramelized granola. The result is mouthwatering, the granola is crunchy and flavorful while the milk after a few seconds will taste like home made caramel. It is a great combination if you have a couple of extra minutes when you get up in the morning, or you can even prepare this from the previous day and make extra batches as well. It keeps for a long time in an airtight container. Some ingredients for the granola : chia seeds, rolled oats,dried coconut,cinnamon, flax seeds,poppy seeds. I have all these in separate airtight containers in my kitchen so I mix and match different mixes every time. Try it, its so easy and so flavorful!

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The post : Caramelized Granola,appeared first on Only Deco Love
Styling and photography by Katerina Dima unless otherwise stated.

Goji berry and Chocolate Yogurt Lunch


Whereas for breakfast of lunch, or even as a snack, Greek yogurt has always been on top of preferred list.One of my favorite combinations is with Goji berries and some chocolate drops. For an extra punch, blend the goji berries for a few seconds,use a shiv to separate the big chunks from the powdery smaller pieces. Mix the powder goji with the yogurt and fill a bowl with it. Then mix the bigger chunks of goji with a tablespoon of chocolate drops and sprinkle that mix on top of your yogurt. You will get a beautiful result as seen above and the taste is well worth the extra effort!

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The post : Flower bouquets on a budget ,appeared first on Only Deco Love
Styling and photography by Katerina Dima unless otherwise stated.

Birthday Pancakes and the best recipe


Yesterday it was my birthday and as per usual every birthday morning calls for a small celebration in bed with dessert and presents. This time it was pancakes and while I wasn’t going to share these photos on the blog, the sheer amount of messages I got regarding the recipe calls for it. In fact I am very happy to share since it is really the best recipe for pancakes I have ever tried. Below you will find ingredients and instructions. 
Ingredients :
2 cups flour 
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
2 eggs
2 cups of milk (if the batter seems too thick add 3 or 4 more tablespoons)
3 tablespoons melted butter, plus butter for cooking
Instructions :
Add all ingredients above in a bowl at the same time, order is inconsequential. Use a whisk (I prefer doing this by hand) and mix until a smooth batter is formed. Cook as per usual. Since this is not a cooking blog I will not attempt to tell anyone how to cook pancakes. I just leave them until bubbles start to form then flip them once and then remove them. No need to leave the batter in the fridge before starting to cook either. Just start right after whisking is done. The pancakes always end up delectable, fluffy and amazing looking. As for today, I just had the leftovers from yesterday (I even left them out of the fridge) with some lemon curd. Delicious!
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© 2013-2016 ONLYDECOLOVE.COM
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Styling and photography by Katerina Dima unless otherwise stated.

Pancake Weekend (and a trick to make them fluffier)

This weekend I decided to make some pancake batter which ended up with providing enough pancakes for two days. Saturday morning we had them plain with some sugar and fruits on top while today we had them with nutella, bananas and vanilla sauce. Clearly Sundays version was more of a dessert but that’s the beauty of pancakes, you can eat them in so many different ways! There are so many pancakes recipes out there ( I am using an adaptation from Urban Cakes), the one I am using provides with fluffy pancakes although I found out a small trick to make them extra fluffy. While a lot of recipes call for folding egg whites or putting extra baking powder in the batter what I discovered has to do with baking them.
The Trick :
While most recipes will call for baking the pancakes in melted butter, simply cook your pancakes without using any butter in a non stick pan. The pancakes will rise at least double the size they would normally and their texture will be much more cakey when you eat them. Go on, try it :) The only downside is they will not get that crispy golden edge as seen above and of course the extra buttery taste. I don’t view this as a downside, I love my pancakes both ways!

Ingredients :

1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons melted butter
Preparation:
Mix all dry ingredients together. In a different bowl slightly beat the egg then add the milk and the butter.Keep whisking if the butter is hot so your egg will not cook. Add the liquid mixture to the dry ingredients and whisk until everything is blend well together but do not overmix, the batter is supposed to be slightly lumpy. Cook in a non stick pan over medium heat. Turn once after enough bubbles have formed on the top.
Recipe adapted from Urban Cakes

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Styling and photography by Katerina Dima unless otherwise stated. 

Pancakes served in my new Anne Black Plates (and a trick to make them fluffier)

This weekend I decided to make some pancake batter which ended up with providing enough pancakes for two days. I just had to use my new plates by Anne Black that just arrived in my mail, I found that pancakes complimented them perfectly, or is it maybe the other way around?Saturday morning we had them plain with some sugar and fruits on top while today we had them with nutella, bananas and vanilla sauce. Clearly Sundays version was more of a dessert but that’s the beauty of pancakes, you can eat them in so many different ways! There are so many pancakes recipes out there, the one I am using provides with fluffy pancakes although I found out a small trick to make them extra fluffy. While a lot of recipes call for folding egg whites or putting extra baking powder in the batter what I discovered has to do with baking them.
The Trick :
While most recipes will call for baking the pancakes in melted butter, simply cook your pancakes without using any butter in a non stick pan. The pancakes will rise at least double the size they would normally and their texture will be much more cakey when you eat them. Go on, try it :) The only downside is they will not get that crispy golden edge as seen above and of course the extra buttery taste. I don’t view this as a downside, I love my pancakes both ways!

Ingredients :

1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons melted butter
Preparation:
Mix all dry ingredients together. In a different bowl slightly beat the egg then add the milk and the butter.Keep whisking if the butter is hot so your egg will not cook. Add the liquid mixture to the dry ingredients and whisk until everything is blend well together but do not overmix, the batter is supposed to be slightly lumpy. Cook in a non stick pan over medium heat. Turn once after enough bubbles have formed on the top.

//Sponsored post.All opinions are my own.

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Styling and photography by Katerina Dima unless otherwise stated. 

CACAO CHIA PUDDING

INGREDIENTS 3/4 cup chia seed4 cups almond milk (fresh almond milk recipe here)1 pack of Aloha Chocolate Cacao PowderTop with Aloha Superfood Chocolate and RaspberriesStir together almond milk, chia seeds, and Aloha Chocolate Cacao …