Strawberry Pie


1-1/2 all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus more for greasing the pan
2 tablespoons sugar, divided
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk (low fat is fine)
3/4 pound strawberries, hulled and halved


Preheat the oven to 175°C”>350°F

Butter a 9-inch deep dish pie pan or 9-inch square cake pan

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and 1 cup of the sugar until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes or longer depending on softness of butter.
Add the egg and vanilla and beat on low speed until well combined. Gradually add the flour mixture, alternating with the milk, and beat on low speed until smooth. (Note: the batter will be thick.)

Transfer the batter into the prepared pan and smooth with a spatula (if you use a square cake pan, the batter will only come about 3/4-inch up the sides of the pan — that’s ok). Arrange the strawberries on top, cut side down, so that they completely cover the batter (the recipe calls for approximately 3/4 pound of strawberries; use more or less if necessary). Sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar over the strawberries.

Bake for ten minutes, then reduce the heat to 325°F and bake until the cake is lightly golden and a tester comes out clean, about an hour. Let the cake cool in the pan on a rack. Serve with sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, if desired.

Note: Cake can be stored at room temperature for several days, loosely covered.

Haricots Verts Amandins – Green Beans, Almonds and Blue Cheese. 

I came across this recipe many years ago in France. I use either Almonds or Walnuts.


2 teaspoons garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed
1 teaspoon butter
1/2 cup sliced almonds (walnuts are a great substitute)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pinch cayenne pepper, or more to taste
2 ounces crumbled blue cheese
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add salt; add green beans cook until bright green and nearly tender about 4 to 6 minutes. Drain beans and transfer to a large bowl of ice water to cool completely; drain well, set aside.

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add almonds or walnuts; cook and stir until lightly browned about 3 to 4 minutes.

Toss green beans, garlic and reserved olive oil, toasted almonds, and 1 tablespoon olive oil together in a large bowl; season with cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper. Transfer to a shallow baking dish.

Bake beans are fully tender, about 15 minutes.
Top with blue cheese before serving.

Lina’s Vegetable Lasagna 

Lina’s Vegetable Lasagna


1 (16 ounce) package lasagna noodles
1 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
3/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
3/4 cup broccoli
3/4 cup spinach
3/4 cup chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 (32 ounce) jars pasta sauce
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 (15 ounce) container part-skim ricotta cheese
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
2 eggs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C)
Cook the lasagna noodles in a large pot of boiling water for 10 minutes, or until al dente. Rinse with cold water, and drain.

In a large saucepan, cook and stir mushrooms, green peppers, onion, and garlic in oil. Stir in pasta sauce and basil; (put aside 8 ounces of pasta sauce for topping if desired); for bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes.

Mix together ricotta, 2 cups mozzarella cheese, and eggs.

Spread 1 cup tomato sauce into the bottom of a greased 9×13 inch baking dish. Layer 1/2 each, lasagna noodles, ricotta mix, sauce, and Parmesan cheese. Repeat layering, and top with remaining 2 cups mozzarella cheese.

Bake, uncovered, for 40 minutes. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.  


Bewitching Kitchen

Some things do not make much sense. Take Tiramisú, for instance. It is definitely one of our favorite desserts, up there with Crème Brûllée and Oeufs a la Neige. However, after almost 8 years of food blogging, I do not have a single recipe for it in the Bewitching Kitchen. How could that be? I’ve made it in the past, but during this stretch of 8 years we’ve only enjoyed it in restaurants. To be completely honest, one example totally ruined us for other versions. A small Italian restaurant in Paris, called La Trappola, very near our apartment on the 7eme had simply the best, the very best, the most awesome, delicious, luscious, fantastic, superbly addictive Tiramisú in the known universe. Before we left Paris, I tried to convince the owner to share his secrets, but no matter how much batting of eyelashes and smiling I did, he was unmoved…

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Newborn Booties Converse High Top Style

Start making the Sole:

Round 1: Ch 9, work 2 sc into the 2nd chain from the hook. Sc in next 4 stitches. Hdc in next stitch, 2 hdc in next. 6 hdc in last ch. Now working along the other side of the chain. 2 hdc in next stitch, hdc in next. Sc in next 4 stitches. 2 sc into the last ch. (24 stitches)

Round 2: 2 sc into the first stitch, 2 sc into next stitch, sc in next 6. 2 sc in next stitch, sc in next, 2 sc in each of the next 4 stitches. Sc in next stitch, 2 sc in next. sc in next 6. 2 sc into each of the last 2 stitches.. (34 sts)

Round 3: sc in next 2 stitches, 2 sc into the next stitch. sc in next 11 stitches. Put 2 sc into each of the next 2 stitches. sc in the next 2 stitches. Put 2 sc into each of the next 2 stitches. sc in the next 11 stitches. 2 sc into the next stitch. Sc in next 2 stitches. (40)

Round 4: Join to first sc with a sl st, working in back loop only. Ch 1, sc in each stitch around. Join to first sc with with a sl st (40)

Round 5: Ch 1, sc in same stitch as ch 1 and around. Join with a slip stitch. (40)

This is what you should have so far. See how the loop is in the middle? Make sure that is where your loop is.

We want to join yellow here. There are two ways you can do this.

  1. Finish off and re join the yellow yarn in the middle stitch
  2. When you go to join the round with a sl st, instead of pulling through the yelow, pull through the yellow and continue with the next round. Pick up black again when you get to round 7.


Round 6: with second colour (yellow), ch 1, sc around. Join to first sc with a sl st and finish off.
Re join white using one of the above methods.

Round 7: Ch 1, sc around. Join to first sc with a sl st. Finish off. (40 + sl st loop = 41)

Mark the first stitch with a stitch marker. This is the stitch after the sl st join.

 Count from (including) the stitch marker 14 stitches towards the front on either side and mark with a stitch marker.


You should have 16 stitches for the front of the shoe. Start and finish where you placed your markers.Join black in place marked by first stitch marker

Working in back loops only to make the ridge in the front.

Row 1: Ch 1, sc in same st as ch 1, hdc in next stitch, hdc2tog 6 times, hdc in next, sc in next.

Row 2: Ch 2, turn, hdc in next st, hdc2tog 3 times, hdc in next 2 st. (7 hdc)

Finish off with yellow


Join yellow in the stitch shown

Row 1-8: Ch 1, sc in same stitch as ch 1 and in next 6. turn (7 sc)

Sides: with yellow

It is the same stitch that the toe is in.

Row 1: Ch 1, sc in same stitch as ch 1 and in next 26. (27 sc) (end in same stitch toe is in)

Now working in both loops

Row 2-3: Ch 1, turn. Sc in same stitch as ch 1 and in next 26. (27 sc)

Row 4: Ch 1, turn, sc2tog twice, sc in next 19, sc2tog twice. (23 sc)

Row 5: Ch 1, turn, sc2tog, sc in next 7, sc2tog, sc in nxt st, sc2tog, sc in nxt 7, sc2tog. (19 sc)

Row 6: Ch 1, turn. Sc across. (19 sc)

Row 7: Ch 1, turn. Sc2tog, sc in next 5, sc2tog, sc, sc2tog, sc in next 5, sc2tog. (15 sc)

Row 8: Ch 1, sc across. Finish off

Laces: make 2

Ch 80, finish off.

I hope these instructions make sense.  I may add some more photos on the next set.

Lace booties

21 Books Everyone Should Read

Anoop Menon ceo of Confianz Global

The first thing I do coming out of bed every morning at 5 AM is reading one chapter of a book I am working on, then only I move to emails or checking messages on my cell phone.

Read about Tim Ferriss idea about why you shouldn’t start your day by reading emails!

I had mentioned before, 2017 I am dedicating my life to reading books. Reading and traveling make you learn more than anything else. Reading is, of course, the cheaper option. 2016 was a bit rough for me; I made more bad decisions in 2016 than ever, so the more I learn, the better it helps me with motivation, do things right the first time and staying positive.

My current reading rate is a book per week, but I try to spice it up. Who told men cannot multi-task? 🙂 I am reading four books every day; my…

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