Posts tagged ‘food’

2016, June 10

Recipe of the Month: Easy Oven Fajitas

Let me start by saying that I love Fajitas seasoning! I once bought some and used it for basically everything I cooked, including sprinkling it on sandwiches – but then couldn’t find that exact brand ever since.
The recipe below also has the seasoning mix recipe included, so I was beyond excited to try making it myself. It is perfect, honestly!

Looking for new ideas of how to cook chicken, I gave this easy oven Fajitas recipe a go a few months ago. It was one of the best recipes I tried, and I just love that it’s all done in next to no time. The only thing I’d change is my choice of casserole dish, since the one I used was a tad on the small side for the amount I was preparing. It cooked well and all, just a little hard to stir in.

page fajitas

Fajitas Seasoning

4 Tbsp chili powder
2 Tbsp paprika
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cumin
1 ½ tsp cayenne pepper
4 tsp sugar
2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp corn starch

Mix all of the ingredients for the fajitas seasoning in a small bowl and place in a small jar or seasoning mix bottle. Use especially for Fajitas, but it tastes delicious in sandwiches as well.

Easy Oven Fajitas

2 small (or 1 lg.) onion
2 medium green bell peppers
1 medium red bell pepper
1 medium yellow bell pepper
1 lb. chicken breast
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
4-5 Tbsp Fajitas seasoning
1 medium lime
8 (6-inch) tortillas
½ cup sour cream (optional)
¼ bunch cilantro (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the onion and bell peppers into ¼ to ½ inch wide strips. Place them in a large casserole dish. Slice the chicken breast into very thin strips and add it to the casserole dish with the vegetables.

Sprinkle the seasoning over the meat and vegetables. Drizzle the vegetable oil over everything, squeeze the juice from half of the lime and then use your hands to toss the ingredients until everything is well coated.
Bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, stirring once half way through. Squeeze the juice from the other half of the lime over top of the meat and vegetables after it comes out of the oven.

Scoop a small amount of meat and vegetables into the center of each tortilla. Top with a few sprigs of cilantro, a dollop of sour cream, and an extra squeeze of lime if desired.

As a side note, this is a great dish all by itself – in case you’re not feeling like wrapping it up in a tortilla or having any bread on the side.

Bon appétit! ;)

2016, May 20

Recipe of the Month: Leek & Green Beans Chicken Stir-Fry

While thinking of recipes for my birthday lunch, I realized that I’ve only recently started adding leek into recipes when cooking.
I recall my grandma making some recipes with leeks when I was little, and me hating the taste of every single one of them. But now that I have control over what goes into certain dishes, as is with many other things actually, I especially like cooking chicken with leeks.

When in the mood for something super simple, yet delicious and filling, I turn to this chicken stir-fry recipe.

chicken leek green beans

Leek & Green Beans Chicken Stir-Fry

500 grams chicken breast
1 large leek, or 2 small leeks
300 grams green beans
pinch of salt, pepper, ginger, and curry
olive oil
splash of wine or chicken stock
1 tbsp soy sauce

Cut the green beans up (if you want to) and cook them in a pan with a bit of olive oil, seasoned with salt, white pepper, ginger and maybe some curry, tossing frequently for about 5-10 minutes. Add a little water if you’re not using frozen green beans straight out of the freezer.
After the beans turn color, cut the chicken up in small cubes and add it to the pan.

When the chicken is nearly cooked, add in the leeks, thinly sliced. The leeks get sauteed quickly while the chicken finishes cooking. You can add a splash of wine, too, for an extra flavor; or just add a bit of chicken stock so the leeks have some “juice” to saute in. Add one tbsp of soy sauce.

Cook for another 5 minutes, then serve as is or with a side of rice.

When in the mood for something fancier, I go with my homemade Szechuan Chicken recipe. Come to think of it, it’s not even that it’s fancier, just has more ingredients, hence more prep work to it.
And to tell the truth, when in lack of time or if I’m just plain lazy, I leave out the green beans and make the chicken stir-fry with leeks only. It still tastes wonderful!

Let me know if you try making either of these! I’m curious to see if you liked them.

Bon appétit! ;)

2015, August 10

Partake in salad alchemy

For last week, the assignment in the year of loving ourselves fearlessly was to Partake in salad alchemy. I’ll copy below what j says in the 52-52 Guide, so you’ll understand exactly what I’m talking about.
“One year on my birthday, my friend Andrea sent me the coolest little e-book. It’s called Salad Alchemy. It’s written by Meg Worden of Feed Me, Darling, and it’s so special and different that I’ll steal the words from her site to describe it:
Salad Alchemy is 7 lovely, life shifting salads, with ingredients that hold in them legend, story, nutrients and energy to transform your body and belief system about food.
This is not your ordinary cookbook or recipe book. This is seven story-centric salad recipes that serve to guide you into a deeper understanding of how pleasurable the preparation and consumption of food can be. It can be an ecstatic experience, even if you’re eating salad. Salad! Who knew?
I loved it. The seven salads are named Creativity, Power, Genius, Transformation, Stability, Beauty and Love. Meg writes about each one beautifully, linking food, myth, science and soul. I loved making the salads, reading Meg’s words, thinking about them as I tasted. It’s not a book so much as an experience.
This week, I’d love you try Meg’s salads. You can download the book here. It’s only $8.95, but if you can’t afford that, this week, live as though you believe the adage, “you are what you eat.” Be good to your body. Eat fresh, raw, and close to the earth. Eliminate preservatives and anything with unpronounceable ingredients. Enjoy your meals from prep all the way through clean-up. Your body is an astonishing biological miracle. Slow down. Appreciate it. Feed it soulfully.”

I couldn’t buy the book right now, but followed j’s advice and ate as healthy as I could, and played with having salads nearly every day.
On Monday I made grilled squash. On Tuesday I had a salad with hard boiled eggs in it. On Wednesday I took a salad to work for lunch and added the left-over squash into it. On Thursday I made Eggplant Spread. On Friday I added a can of tuna to my salad. On Saturday I sautéed mushrooms to go with lunch. And on Sunday, I had a yummy salad from Pret, in Kingston.
I also did my best to have fruit nearly every day, like bananas for breakfast, apples after lunch and melons as a treat, and I had yogurt and muesli, too.
And to tell the truth, I look forward to eating in London this week. I ate healthy last time I was here as well, so it’ll be nice not having the temptation of chocolate, chips and other such things around me (we have quite the extensive stash of treats in one of our kitchen cabinets at home!) ;)

In case you’re looking for new salad ideas, here are a few salad recipes I posted on my blog before. I still love making them on a regular basis!

For week 32, the assignment is to Make a “songs to be belted” playlist.
j said that for her, collecting songs for such a playlist was fun because not every song she likes is a song she loves to belt, and I completely understand that. I will be making a playlist for myself, and share the titles with you here, next week.

How was your week? Did you partake in salad alchemy? Or at least ate healthy things too, every day? Or a couple of days maybe?

PS: If you’re interested in joining us, you don’t have to have the e-guide to play, but if you’d like it, you can buy it in the shop.

2015, June 26

Recipe of the Month: Coconut Heaven

It’s been a long time since I posted a Recipe of the Month bog post, but let’s correct that right now, shall we?

You might remember my Easy Pumpkin Sheet Cake recipe from a few years back. Well, I still bake that, in all sorts of variations, depending on the season. Last week, I tried it with coconut, and it tasted heavenly!


Coconut Heaven

For the sheet cake:
2 mugs flour
1 mug sugar
2 eggs
2-3 table spoons vanilla extract
1 pack baking powder (10 grams)
half a teaspoon salt
5 table spoons oil
1 mug Coconut milk

Use the same mug (250 grams or more) all throughout baking!

Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
Break the eggs into the mug, add the 5 spoons of oil, mix, then pour the coconut milk over it to fill the mug. Gently stir, then add it to the rest of the ingredients in your bowl and mix well. Stir in the rest of the coconut milk. (You may need to add a bit more milk than just 1 mug, depends on the flour and sugar you’re using).

Bake in preheated oven for about 20-30 minutes on medium temperature (which depends a lot on your oven, it should be about 200-250 on an electric oven).

For the syrup:
150 grams butter
30 grams cocoa or dark chocolate
200 grams sugar
10 tablespoons milk
rum essence – optional
coconut shavings

Heat up the butter over Bain-Marie, add in the cocoa, sugar and milk while stirring continuously. Keep stirring until everything is melted and the syrup is at a smooth consistency.

Once the sheet cake has cooled, cut off the edges, and cut the rest up into squares to your liking.
Take each square and roll it in the chocolate syrup, and then in coconut shavings to cover them evenly.

Bon appétit! ;)

2012, April 8

Recipe of the month – Making Strawberry Soup with Ann McElfresh

Happy Easter!!!


I have a little Easter treat for you guys in the form of a guest post by none other than my favorite food blogger, Ann McElfresh from Cooking Healthy For Me.

I’ve been following her blog and trying out her recipes for quite a while now, and imagine how thrilled I was when she accepted to join me today for a little chat and some healthy (not to mention delicious!) cooking :)


IMG_3184 EA: Hello Ann!

AMc: Hiya Estrella!  How are you?

EA: I’m doing great, thanks. It’s such a pleasure having you here, thank you for accepting my invitation to guest post!

AMc: Thank YOU for inviting me!  I’m thrilled to be here! 

EA: You know I’m a picky eater and that, aside from Peach Soup, I generally dislike soup. How did you settle for a recipe for your guest post for Life’s a Stage?

AMc: I know you like strawberries and this is such a delightful soup.  Cool, sweet and refreshing!  I went with my instincts – I just love it!

EA: I just had to give the recipe a try as soon as I could find strawberries (they’re definitely not ripe here just yet). Do you prefer them frozen or fresh for soup?

AMc: I would say frozen.  When they’re defrosted, they have a juiciness to them and since they’re being "pulverized" anyway, the softer texture works well.

IMG_3199 EA: I adapted the recipe a bit, since I couldn’t find any (low-enough-for-my-budget priced) frozen strawberries. I bought fresh strawberries (which, to my surprise were much cheaper) and decided to use strawberry yogurt instead of plain yogurt – the end result was a nice aroma.
You know how tasteless fruits and vegetables can be when not in season… What are your suggestions for similar situations?

AMc: First off, I LOVE the idea of using Strawberry yogurt.  I used Greek yogurt in mine. If you can’t find fresh fruits and veggies at the peak of season – most of the time – Frozen works well. They are generally picked at the peak of season and frozen quickly. While they aren’t as tasty, they certainly work well.

EA: Now, I know you’ve made some recipe adapting of your own. So let’s get cooking, shall we?

AMc: Sounds good!

Strawberry Soup (Serves 6)

Adapted from Delicious Disney



2.5 pounds frozen strawberries, thawed in juice
2 cups fat-free half-and-half (2 cups heavy whipping cream)
¼ cup low-fat sour cream (1/4 cup sour cream)
1/3 cup fat-free plain Greek Yogurt (1/3 cup plain yogurt)
3 Tablespoons Splenda (1 Tablespoon sugar)
Strawberries for garnish (optional)



Mix strawberries, half-and-half, sour cream and yogurt in an electric mixer, immersion blender or blender.

Beat a low speed to a smooth consistency.

Add Splenda, if desired.

Chill; stir well before serving.

Garnish with fresh strawberries, if desired.


AMc: Easy, delicious and perfect for spring and summer!

EA: It is all that and beyond; I LOVE this soup, Ann! Can’t wait for strawberry season now – both to make this soup (every single day!) and to freeze some strawberries for when I’m in the mood to have this during winter.

Oh and, like all your photos usually are on your blog along with the recipes, the photo of the soup is gorgeous. Here’s what mine looked like :)


AMc: It looks TERRIFIC!  Your soup looks so cool and creamy!

Many thanks Estrella, for the guest post opportunity – I had a blast!

EA: Thank YOU again for sharing this wonderful recipe with me, and now with my readers. It certainly was a blast to have you over!

Bon appétit, everyone!

2011, March 27

Recipe of the month: Kőttes Palacsinta

One of my favorite desserts, though I can’t have it as often as I’d like… So, guess what I’m craving right now?

page hungarian doughnutspage doughnuts

Hungarian Doughnuts

1 / 2 kg flour
2 egg yolks
4 dl milk 
1 tablespoon sugar
2 dkg yeast
melted butter
pinch of salt
Oil for frying, Powdered sugar, jam or fruit syrup, etc.

Warm up the yeast with the sugar and 1 dl milk. In a bowl mix the sifted flour, egg yolk, salt, yeast and about 3 dl milk so the dough is not too soft. Add the flour one cup at a time while mixing on low speed until the dough is smooth and elastic about. If the dough is too sticky, add more flour.
Mix thoroughly then add the lukewarm melted butter. Cover and let rise until doubles its size for 2 1/2 hours.

Punch down dough. On floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/2-inch thickness. Using a round cutter, cut out doughnuts without cutting out a smaller circle in the centre. Transfer doughnuts to floured baking sheet. Cover and let rise for 1 hour.

Deep-fry for 1 – 2 minutes until lightly browned on both sides. With slotted spoon, remove to paper towels.

Serve with jam, powdered sugar, syrup, or my personal favorite Garlic Sauce

Bon appétit ;)


Note: variation on TheHungarianGirl’s Carnival Doughnuts

2011, February 20

Recipe of the month: Hungarian Crepes

It’s that time of the month again when I feel like I haven’t been baking enough, like I’ve neglected having fun in the kitchen in favor of quick and easy recipes…

And that’s where my grandmother’s crepes recipe come in handy – they’re quick and easy enough to make while providing lots of fun (the flipping in the air part), an amazing and diverse dessert ;)

page hungarian crepes

Palacsinta – Hungarian Crepes

25 dkg flour
3  eggs
3 dl milk
1 tsp sugar
a little butter or oil
a little mineral water
1 pinch salt

Mix the eggs with the sugar, salt, milk and flour. Add enough mineral water to result in about the density of cream.

Rest the dough for at least half an hour.

Then pour a thin layer of the batter onto a hot frying pan or flat circular hot plate, adding a trace of butter on the pan’s surface. Spread the batter evenly over the cooking surface of the pan by tilting the pan or by distributing the batter with an offset spatula.

Fry on both sides until it turns  red.

I love the diversity of this, as you can eat it with basically anything:

a) if you want a sweet dessert add a bit more sugar and  when done spread: Nutella, pudding, jam, powdered sugar, cocoa, mix of sugar and grated walnuts, etc. on it

b) you can add a lot of things into the batter before baking: peanut butter, diced mushrooms, squash, pumpkin, apples, etc.

Bon appétit ;)

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