Categories
Desserts Eat Holidays

Greek Easter Bread with Yaya

Greek Easter bread is a semisweet dense bread decorated with brilliant red hard boiled eggs rubbed with olive oil. It’s a beloved family tradition that we enjoy each year.

Greek Easter Bread with Yaya

This Greek Easter bread is one of the most eagerly anticipated sweet treats of the year at our house. For over 20 plus years, the week before Greek Easter has  been filled with days spent in the kitchen making cookies, dolmades, spanakopita and of course the beloved Easter bread. My Greek mother-in-law takes the traditional Greek food very seriously when it comes to the holidays and for that I am grateful. My girls have grown up watching Yaya create her magic in the kitchen which always includes beautiful stories from days gone past. Aside from learning about Yaya’s cooking and baking techniques, we walk away from our time spent together, hearts wrapped in a warm blanket of memories that was woven from spending time in the kitchen together. That’s what food and family is all about isn’t it?

Tsoureki is the Greek word for Greek Easter bread. I spent a lovely afternoon making and baking this delicious bread with Yaya (my mother-in-law) laughing and telling stories and I just had to share this special tradition with all of you. ThisEaster bread is a semisweet bread that is pleasingly light yet pleasingly dense once it meets your mouth and is the perfect pairing alongside a pipping hot cup of coffee. It is something that we all look forward to sinking our teeth into each and every spring on Easter day.

One of the key ingredients to this semisweet bread is a spice called, Mahlepi. You can find this spice at your local Mediterranean grocery store (sometimes called Mahlab).

This is what it looks like…

Greek Easter Bread with Yaya

You’ll want to grind the seeds until it becomes a fine flour-like consistency like this…

Greek Easter Bread with Yaya

This unusual spice is a wonderfully warm cinnamony nutmeggy slightly nutty spice that is the undertone flavor in this marvelous bread.

Once you mix all of the lovely ingredients in a large bowl by hand, including the fresh zest of lemons and oranges, you’re kitchen will smell divine.

The dough will look like this…

Greek Easter Bread with Yaya

Don’t worry about the melted butter pooling around the sides it will absorb as the bread sits in a warm place to rise.

Meet Yaya…

Greek Easter Bread With Yaya

she is beyond giddy about how beautifully the bread has come together.

Once mixed, the dough should be covered with plastic wrap that is actually tucked down in and touching the dough. Then wrap towels around the entire bowl and put it in a warm place for a couple of hours.

Greek Easter Bread with Yaya

Our dough was ready much faster than usual. After an hour and a half of chatting while drinking coffee and munching on paximathakia our dough had risen.

The bowl of dough should look like this when it’s ready…

Greek Easter Bread With Yaya

You could hear angels singing and Yaya too. She was like a little school girl swirling around the kitchen while explaining to me that the secret of making “good dough” is the happiness that you have in your heart while making it. I wholeheartedly agree. A happy heart makes happy food.

Once the dough has risen, turn it out onto a floured counter and divide the dough into four equal parts. Then separate each of the four parts into three pieces and roll the dough with your hands into approximately 14 inch long and about finger thickness.

reek Easter Bread With Yaya

Braid the three long cylinder pieces just like you would braid hair. It should look like this…

Greek Easter Bread With Yaya

Then place the braid into a round pan that is lined with wax paper.

Greek Easter Bread With Yaya

Then let that rise again, covered and placed in a warm spot. This should take about 30-45 minutes.

I would recommend a little dancing and singing to expedite the process. It worked for us!

Once the dough looks nice and plump like this…

Greek Easter Bread With Yaya

Brush the dough with a mixture of beaten egg, vanilla and water. Then place in a preheated 350° oven for 30 minutes until it looks like this…

Greek Easter Bread With Yaya

Once the bread has cooled, cut out the center of the bread and place a red dyed hard boiled egg inside.

And there you have a traditional loaf of Greek Easter bread.

Greek Easter Bread With Yaya

Help yourself to a slice of the beautiful bread, pour a cup of coffee and exclaim Xristos Anesti (Christ Has Risen)!

Greek Easter Bread With Yaya

Just like the beautiful bread.

Greek Easter Bread With Yaya

I’ve shared some mouthwatering Greek recipes with you in the past. Here are a few fav’s ::

Wishing you a marvelous and blessed Easter.

~Wenderly

Here’s the delicious recipe –

Originally published April 6, 2012

Categories
Desserts Eat Snacks

Rainbow Jello Jigglers

These rainbow jello jigglers are sure to put a smile on anyone’s face. They’re a sweet treat that’s fun to eat for kids and adults as well!

Rainbow Jello Jigglers

Jello has always held a fond place in my heart. Growing up, my beloved mother would try and try again to make the mysterious colorful wobbling confection. And much to her chagrin,

Categories
Desserts Eat

Indoor S’Mores

Indoor s’mores are a fun and easy way to enjoy all of the delicious delights of an outdoor sweet treat right inside the comforts of your cozy home!

Indoor Smores

The days are finally growing longer and I know that Spring is bound to push its way up from underneath the frozen ground eventually. I find myself yearning this time of year for the good old outdoors. Making s’mores and most of all eating s’mores has to be one of my all time favorite summer indulgences. During these frigid snowy winter days I yearn for the warmer sun kissed days and all of the fun and food that comes with them. But then I realized that perhaps I could bring some of the outdoor fun, indoors!

Indoor Smores

And out of my desperate desire to feel the splendor of summertime, these indoor s’mores were born! They were just thing to cure my summertime yearning blues! I started with roasting large campfire size marshmallows. I happen to have a gas stove, so I grabbed a wooden skewer and roasted the marshmallows right over the flame. Obviously a fireplace would be an even better replacement to an outside campfire but I was short on time and the instant flame of my stove did the trick. I decided to use a pizzelle Italian cookie in place of the traditional graham cracker to add a unique touch. And a healthy slathering of a chocolate spread raised the whole chocolate experience to an entirely new level! The hot melty marshmallow married into the already smooth chocolate and made this indoor s’more perfection!

Indoor Smores

These s’mores work wonders as a cure for the winter blues but they also remedy any bad weather situation any time of the year!

Here’s the recipe ::

Enjoy!

Wenderly

Categories
Desserts Eat

Devil’s Food Cake Whoopie Pie

Devil’s food cake whoopie pies are a delicious way to show friends and family how much you love them this Valentine’s Day or any day!

Devils Food Cake Whoopie Pie

For as long as I can remember, the week leading up to Valentine’s Day at my house has been filled with shoe boxes, bright colored construction paper, glitter, glue, handmade cards and hours of imagination and creation.

Elementary school is now but a fleeting memory and I must admit that I’m handling it, {sniff} quite, {sob}  well. My girls have blossomed into beautiful young ladies who are now getting ready to move onto high school and (I can’t believe that I’m typing these words) spend weekends visiting colleges. How is that possible? 

So the other day while I was shopping at my beloved Target, hurriedly rushing through the isles, I just may have taken a wrong turn and ended up in the Valentine section. Within moments I was surrounded by hundreds of happily chattering mothers holding the hands of rosy cheeked children who where gleefully picking and choosing the perfect Valentine’s Day cards to fill their beautifully decorated boxes… that they had just finished making at home with bright colored construction paper, glitter and glue. I swear that I could hear the music from Little House on the Prairie in the background, making it all the more traumatic to realize that I had a cart full of toilet paper and cleaning supplies, rather than my sweet little chubby cheeked cherubs eating popcorn and slurping a slushy. It was at that moment, through my tear filled eyes, that I spotted the devil’s food cake mix and I knew what I had to do. I must admit that I felt a bit torn about my initial intentions. For a split second I considered whipping up the batch of devil’s food cake to eat my sorrows away.

But then I remembered my heart shaped whoopie pie pan  and I envisioned my not-so-little-anymore darlings digging into each chocolate whoopie pie with a little girl glee. My mouth turned up into a Grinch-like grin I knew with certainty that, “I have to make heart whoopie pies for my girls!”. I’m still not certain if I said it out loud or in my head, and I don’t really remember driving home come to think of it. But what I do know is, once I stepped into the quite solitude of my kitchen,

Devils Food Cake Whoopie Pie

and began the simple process of making a boxed recipe with some of my favorite kitchen staples,

Devils Food Cake Whoopie Pie

my heavy heart was enlightened.

Devils Food Cake Whoopie Pie

I became calm and relaxed and enveloped in the sweet bliss of baking.

Devils Food Cake Whoopie Pie

Baking something for the people that I love and cherish,

Devils Food Cake Whoopie Pie

even though they have the audacity to blossom and mature into beautiful young ladies.

Beautiful young ladies who relished in the whoopie pies while entertaining me with their wit and humorous stories about their day. This time I had tears of laughter filling my eyes and I was grateful for who my daughters have become.

Devils Food Cake Whoopie Pie

My heart soared and I just wanted to shout “whoooooopppieeeeeeee!” But I didn’t, because that would be weird. Not to mention, my two sweet young ladies would be the first to point that out to me and I just wanted to relish in the moment.

Here’s another decadent chocolatey Valentine’s Day treat ::

Wishing you a delightful Valentine’s Day full of lots of lighthearted whooooooppppieeeee!

~Wenderly

Updated 2/6/15. Originally posted 2/13/13. 

Categories
Desserts Eat Holidays Make

Easy Turkey Cookies

Make room for these adorable turkey cookies on your Thanksgiving dessert table! Kids big and small will love these sandwich cookies turned turkey!

Easy Turkey Cookies

There will be a new sweet treat joining the plethora of pies on the dessert table this year! Chocolate covered sandwich cookies topped with a chocolate kiss and a fan of fruit leather are all you’ll need to to make these turkey cookies. Make them ahead or set up a station and invite your younger guests to busy themselves with making their very own turkey creations!

Easy Turkey Cookies

These festive turkey cookies could even be used as place cards if you wish! Just tuck a thin strip of paper with your guests name in between the fruit leather feathers. How cute is that?

Easy Turkey Cookies

Whether you make your turkey cookies ahead or entertain the kiddos with an edible sweet-treat-turkey-making-station, I can guarantee a fun element of whimsy will be enjoyed by all as they indulge in one of these turkey cookies.

Supplies you’ll need to make the turkey cookies :

  • sandwich cookies
  • chocolate melts
  • red & orange fruit leather strips
  • gold dragees
  • small tube red gel icing
  • small leaf cookie cutter

What you’ll do :

Melt the chocolate melts according to package instructions. Cut fruit leather with a small leaf cookie cutter into as many leaf feathers as you like (I used 4 leaf feathers on each cookie). Open cookie and spread melted chocolate over the center icing (take care not to put too much or it will squeeze out the sides). Lay the fruit leather leaves on the melted chocolate in a fan along top half of cookie. Put the top cookie back on and gently squeeze to help seal cookies back together. Spread melted chocolate on top of cookie. Place a chocolate kiss onto melted chocolate and let set a few minutes. Put two dabs of melted chocolate on kiss where eyes should go (I used a clean paint brush to do this). Place gold dragees on the dabs of chocolate and hold in place with finger for a few seconds. Squirt a small line of red gel icing to to side of the tip of the chocolate kiss to make the turkey gobbler.
Enjoy!

Wishing you & yours a very sweet Thanksgiving!

Wenderly

 

 

Categories
Desserts Eat

Pumpkin Bread Petit Fours Recipe

Pumpkin bread petit fours are perfect to have on hand for entertaining family, friends and last minute guests as the holiday season unfolds. These delicious little pumpkin bread packages wrapped in dark chocolate will pair perfectly with a hot cup of coffee or tea. Or maybe champagne?

Pumpkin Bread Petit Fours Recipe

Oh is it a happy day here at Wenderly!!! For months now My Yanni and I have been discussing, drawing out plans, discussing again, picking fonts, changing fonts, redesigning logos & icons, discussing more, picking out font sizes, drawing layouts, comparing color palettes, agreeing on layouts, then changing layouts, creating categories, drawing graphics, making multiple lists and checking them thrice.  Then one day after discussing and refreshing the page for the umpteenth time and holding our breath for what seemed to be an eternity…the new Wenderly was born.

And here it is. Pop the bubbly!

I made pumpkin bread petit fours to celebrate! I hope you’ll join me!

Pumpkin Bread Petit Fours Recipe

It seems only appropriate that Wenderly be reborn in Autumn. I simply adore the beautiful transformation of the warm humid air into crisp clear days, the abundant harvest of perfect pumpkins and tart apples and I especially love the parade of color that seems to happily saunter down every avenue.

Pumpkin Bread Petit Fours Recipe

It gives me a totally new outlook on life. A fresh perspective. And a craving for nestling into creativity and capturing all the senses.

Pumpkin Bread Petit Fours Recipe

These pumpkin bread petit fours were inspired by all of those things. And they’re as easy as can be.

Pumpkin Bread Petit Fours Recipe

I just used my favorite boxed pumpkin bread, made a scrumptious chocolate glaze and then topped them off with festive little candy corns & pumpkins.

Pumpkin Bread Petit Fours Recipe

A decadent taste of autumn all wrapped up in a dark chocolate coating is the perfect way to celebrate all the wonderful changes going on in the world outside as well as in my little world online. Not to mention, they make a delightful treat to have on hand for those who gather in your home this holiday season.

Pumpkin Bread Petit Fours Recipe

I can’t even begin to tell you how happy I am that you’re here. Whether this is your very first time or you’ve been stopping by for awhile, I do hope you’ll join me as I venture on in this most exciting world of sharing what I love to eat, decorate, make and inspire with each of you, for a long time to come. Cheers!!

With love and celebration!!!

Wenderly

Categories
Desserts Eat Make

Mummy Marshmallow Pops

Mummy Marshmallow Pops make a big impression with a minimal amount of work! Halloween is a just a few days away, trick everyone with this easy treat!

Mummy Marshmallow Pops

Marshmallow pops have become a favorite at our house. I first fell in love with the idea a few years ago when I made these 4th of July marshmallow pops! Ever since, my mind automatically begins to conjure up a new version every time one season melts into another. I just can’t help myself.

I thought that these marvelous mummies just screamed Halloween!

Well they would if they had a mouth. Ha.

Mummy Marshmallow Pops

I like to use decorative straws rather than lollipop sticks to give an added visual punch (you can find them at Target or any craft store). I couldn’t decide which size marshmallow had the cutest *cute* factor so I used both!

Mummy Marshmallow Pops

Other than marshmallows and straws, candy eyes and candy melts are all you’ll need to create these little sweeties.

Mummy Marshmallow PopsMummy Marshmallow PopsMummy Marshmallow Pops

Wishing you a very Happy Halloween full of sweet treats and spooky tricks!

Wenderly

 

Categories
Desserts Eat

Carmel Apple Hand Pies

These sweet little carmel apple hand pies are divine and a cinch to make! Soft cinnamony apples and gooey carmel tucked into a tiny flakey crust. They’re like a little package of fall.

carmel apple hand pies

I know that I told you in my last post about our Apple Orchard Adventure that I would share my apple hand pies with you once the new Wenderly site was up but I just can’t wait!! I have too many fall DIY projects, decorating ideas and recipes to share with you so I’ll be posting here until the new site launches.

carmel apple hand pies

Patience has never been one of my strong points.

carmel apple hand pies

I really don’t know why I’ve never made a hand pie?

In my mind they seemed so labor intensive for some reason but I’m here to tell you that they’re not! As a matter of fact, I’ll be making hand pies for every festive occasion for quite awhile! I’m already dreaming up different personalized  hand pies for all who gather around my Thanksgiving table embellished with pastry leaves and acorns. I was even thinking about some savory hand pies for Christmas Eve supper.

carmel apple hand pies

Aren’t they just precious? I adore the rustic look and feel. Using the prepared pie crust really made making these a breeze.

And nobody could even tell the difference.

carmel apple hand pies

Darling little packages of pastry filled with all the delights of the season. Indulge yourself and your loved ones with some carmel apple hand pies today!

Happy Fall!

Wenderly

 

Categories
Appetizers Desserts Eat Snacks

Red, White and Blue Frozen Sugared Grapes

The Fourth of July is a day away and I’ve got the perfect sweet treat to cool off even the hottest of days! Red, white and blue frozen sugared grapes! They are simple, scrumptious and sure to please a crowd!

Red white blue sugared frozen grapes

My love affair with frozen sugared grapes begin when I was just but a wee little nipper. My mom would dazzle guests with these frozen sugared grapes for many occasions from her monthly bridge group to our annual 4th of July tennis tournament. I remember sneaking through the kitchen pretending to need a glass of water on a mission to pluck a couple of those frosty little sweet orbs to shove into my mouth before darting back upstairs. I’m certain that I did not go unnoticed as I scurried out of the kitchen looking like a chipmunk as my cheeks were stocked full. But looking back, the risk of looking like a chipmunk far outweighed the sweet delight.

Red white blue sugared frozen grapes

Sometimes my mom would serve the frozen sugared grapes on a large platter filled with many savory cheeses and other times she would save the sparkling treat until the end of the evening when everyone was ready for a sweet dessert. I have chosen to display the frozen sugared grapes on their own to highlight their beautiful simplicity.

Red white blue sugared frozen grapes

These frozen sugared grapes can also double as a delightful sugar encrusted ice cube bouncing within a fun frothy drink. Red, white and blue frozen sugared grapes make a simple appetizer, unique ice cube or festive sweet dessert to cool you and your guests off this 4th of July. Not to mention the whole summer through!

Wishing you a fun & refreshing 4th!

Wenderly

 

 

 

Categories
Appetizers Desserts Eat Main Courses Snacks Soups & Salads

4 Fun 4th of July Recipes

watermelon-flag

Since the 4th of July is 4 days away, I’ve rounded up 4 of my favorite user friendly fun-filled easy peasy recipes from 4th of Julys of the past! They’ve all been taste tested and friend and family approved!

Simple, delicious and festive. Perfect for any parade, picnic or patio!

The first of the 4 recipes, is the refreshing Patriotic Watermelon & Feta Flag (as shown above). It takes only minutes to put together and the sweet and salty factor makes it a perfect appetizer or a healthy dessert.

Or how about a Fresh Mozzarella Tomato & Basil Flag to kick off the meal?

final-mozzerella-tomato-flag-3

Fresh and flavorful and fun to eat plain or with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.

Hot ham & swiss sammies have been a 4th of July tradition since I was a little nipper.

hot-ham-baked

Would you just look at that sweet little sammie? You know that you want indulge in the warm savory poppy butter sauce, melted cheese, sweet salty cooked ham and ever-so-crispy bun, don’t you?

final-hot-ham-2

Your guests will too! They’re so yummy and travel friendly.

Have you ever made 4th of July Marshmallow Pops?

3-4th-july-marshmallow-pops

Three ingredients. No mess. No hot oven to contend with in the blazing summer heat.

Not to mention stinken cute!

group-4th-july-marshmallow-pop-white-plate

The kids will love ’em and the adults will feel like kids again. And to me that’s just what the 4th of July is all about.

Fun, friends and festive food!

Hope I’ve made your entertaining a little easier this year.

Happy Red, White & Blue to you & yours!

~Wenderly