Hump Day Banana Cake


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Since my kids started school Sept 1 I have been in an attitude battle with myself. I know you’d think this would be the kids, but no, it’s me.

The reason is I hate the running, the waiting and the new schedule of school, music school and all the little club things we are going to spend our lives on the next 9 mos. I don’t hate the actual things, just the process of waiting and running. And until I get used to this new schedule after a peaceful summer I am just so tired. I feel like hitting the sack at 9 p.m. and usually, I am a night owl. This just goes to show how tiring this is 🙂

I have been stuck in a cake rut recently too and had been baking other things as much as possible to avoid them. But then today bananas were on sale, you know the ones that are perfectly ripe and ready for use. My mind quickly realized that I had all the other ingredients at home, forgetting that I didn’t have much butter because butter prices have flown through the roof here lately- but I managed with a bit of oil for a substitute.

I decided this would be our hump day cake, because you know if you are gonna have a cake you should have a reason, right? 🙂 Mondays are crazy for us, with all 3 of the older kids having the most running. So by the time we reach Wednesday I am definitely feeling a reason to celebrate.

This cake consists of a sand crust base, a caramel filling, lots of bananas and a whipped cream top, something similar to Banoffee I’d say. One thing to remember is to splash a squirt of lemon juice on them and toss before putting in the cake- I think I forgot to do do that this time. I was baking bread, making supper and trying to can salsa all while doing this and am really not sure- but the brown banana on the side seems to tell the real story.


My favorite part of baking cakes is the decorating and when you are in a pinch and don’t have any fresh berries or fruit on hand it is an exciting challenge to come up with some new things to decorate with.

I realized as I decorated this cake and used 4 things that don’t normally go on cakes that my excitement for cakes had returned. And it wasn’t because this cake was so exhilarating, rather that the creative process of coming up with original ideas for decoration challenged me and got those creative juices flowing that I so need and love to use in my cakes.

So stop on over, and grab a few of the last crumbs of this cake- because the kids loved it and it is nearly gone.

Ratings :

K-boy age 5- One million stars




Polka Dot Cake Theme


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This order was so much fun to make with the polka dots- macarons and bright colors.


Bottom layer:

  • Lemon sponge with lemon mousse and lemon curd filling + strawberry slices.

Top layer:

  • Lemon sponge with rhubarb jam and mascarpone cream filling.

Macaron cookies in 3 colors

  • Blue- with blueberry buttercream filling.
  • Yellow- with lemon curd filling.
  • Pink- with raspberry mascarpone filling.

Lapsas Maja


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I first noticed this cafe a long time before I had the time to go in as I would pass it every time I had to visit my midwife.

I finally had the time parking wise to stop in and I was SO glad I did. I had salad with chicken, and a mushroom pastry which was out of  this world. I loved that they had options that other bakeries do not have- like the mushroom filled pastry. Yum! I also had a lovely Illy coffee latte and some of the best biezpien (quark) cake that I have ever had. It still lives on in my memory – moist, delicate, fresh!

So if you are in Aganskalna, on Marupe street be sure to stop in to this cute cafe bakery for a light lunch, or some tasty pastries!


Mom’s Buttermilk Waffles


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From the time I was a kid I remember loving waffles. Perhaps it’s because a family with 4 kids rarely makes them due to the time it takes to cook enough for everyone to eat and the wait time involved.

When I was in England visiting my cousin I loved their family tradition of having the waffle iron on the table and cooking and eating them together thus avoiding the work of one person cooking for the hungry tribe and never getting to sit down. Also waffles are best right off the iron and having everyone at the table together makes a nice family meal with time to talk while waiting.

I am lucky enough to have a waffle iron which cooks two waffles at the same time, which moves things along.

When I first moved to Latvia I could not find a Belgium waffle iron anywhere. I wanted at best something with deep squares- but no such luck for me as at that time they  were hard to find and expensive.

With 4 kids of my own, I seldom make waffles. Especially because our pancake cook in the house is usually my husband on Saturday mornings, and he doesn’t like making waffles. Therefore I use this  morning tradition of ours as a chance to sleep in a few extra minutes with the baby.

So here is a good waffle recipe, tried and true from my Mom.These will be soft unless you cook them longer and browner until crispy (which is the only way to eat a waffle in my mind). However, if you want it crispy then you must eat it immediately as when it cools it will be soft again. I love to eat them with a dab of butter and maple syrup like my Mom used to. As a kid the whole butter on pancakes and waffles was weird- but now it reminds me of my childhood in the USA and my Mom.



2 eggs

2 cups buttermilk (I used kefirs, or a mix of kefirs and milk)

1 t. baking soda

2 cups flour

2 t. baking powder

6 T.oil

Dash of salt



Whisk eggs, then whisk in milk and oil.Add baking powder and soda and whisk to avoid clumps. Gently stir in flour- being careful not to over stir. Ladel onto hot waffle iron and cook according to your liking and as required by your waffle iron.





Princess Cakes

My latest orders have included a couple of princess cakes, which have been a fun change.

These were both honey cakes. Honey cake is my ALL time favorite cake and yesterdays had a7 layers to it with the delicious sweet yet sour filling.

Everyone seemed to enjoy it and the little girl’s were delighted.

Here is to lots more princess cakes in the months to follow!

A Soup a Day



Our 3rd child likes to say he doesn’t like foods. Even before he has tasted them. He likes to do this especially if he sees soup set before him.

Now I love soup, especially now when it is winter. Pair that with fresh bread or crackers and I am all set. But soup is not only comforting, and great for those colds, but is also practical. . .

My kids have been sick one by one for the last 3 weeks and that is so draining. Now the baby has it and that is just so sad when baby has his first cold. . .For me soup is easy, make a big pot and eat leftovers. 🙂



I have also made crackers 2 times this month because they are just so tasty and we have been stuck at home for so long.

I have been making pumpkin soup quite a lot lately to use up those last little pumpkins from the garden and my husband said it was the best he had ever had. That was the last time when I garished it with pumpkin seeds- but I was out this time because those went into the crackers 🙂

When serving a blended or creamy soup I love to garnish with something crunchy. Yesterday our pumpkin soup was garished with crushed chips, and sunflower seeds. The kids get excited to eat the soup when the see the little pieces of chips  in it.

And if that doesn’t inspire those little ones like my boy- try a competition. He hates to be last and when challenged to eat his soup before his big brother got to the table he jumped in and ate the whole (little) bowl in record time!


The pumpkin soup recipe I used for my base is this one by Jamie Oliver– but I added 1-2 potatoes, and celery root instead of celery stalks because that is what I had at home.

What are your favorite soups?

I’d love to get your recipes, share in the comments below.




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These have been a favorite cracker in our home for a long time now. Thanks to Elina for the recipe she copied out of a magazine and gave me. My friend Gunta inspired me to make a larger batch and freeze some for later- thus always having some dough on hand.

You can divide the dough in balls and roll each one individually or roll it out and cut them with cutters like we did.

Healthy, and yummy and sure to please even the youngest in the family.


250 g. flour ( 2 1/4- 2 1/2 cups)
50 g. flax seeds ( 1/2 cup) ( I use other seeds too depending on what I have at home, sesame, pumpking, sunflower, etc)
150 g. whole wheat or rye flour ( 1 1/2 cups)
1/2 t. salt
20 g. sugar (3-4 T)
1/2 t. baking soda
50 g. melted butter (6 T)
240 ml. kefirs, sour milk, buttermilk ( 1 cup)


  1. Mix dry ingredients.
  2. Mix wet ingredients and stir into dry to form ball.
  3. Knead as necessary, and divide into balls of teaspoon size.
  4. Roll dough in balls, or roll and cut.
  5. Place on lightly greased cookies sheet.
  6. Prick with a fork.
  7. Bake at apx. 175 degrees C or 350 degrees F until golden.


Malpils Manor , A Romantic Getaway


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When my husband and I got to deliver a wedding cake to Malpils Manor back in March I never dreamed I myself would get to be there celebrating our own marriage.

This Christmas we celebrated 10 years of married life and though I knew my husband was planning a surprise, I had no idea where.

He told me I had to bring fancy clothing; and not knowing how fancy I took 4 dresses with me for our overnight mini vacation.

The older 3 kids were taken to a friend’s home and we headed out for lunch with the baby and made our way to our destination which was for me still unknown. I had a few ideas- but was very surprised when we meandered our way through the countryside to end up arriving at the manor from the back. Smart man- I would have known much early had he driven familiar roads.

The whole experience at the manor was like stepping into a fairytale movie for me. I felt so special, and pampered by my husband.

Our room was so elegant, and luxurious!The whole manor is beautiful boasting a large collection of paintings which we were allowed to admire at leisure. (The blanket is a bit rumpled since I didn’t make as nicely as they did and forgot to take a photo the first evening).


The whole place was so quiet- I felt like they were open for us exclusively, which as it turns out was almost true.  But not quite.  . but they aren’t usually open Mondays 🙂

After we had looked at the paintings and taken a walk to get our baby to sleep I dressed for dinner. I was glad I had brought an evening dress along.


Compliments of the Chef

We had a fantastic dinner, with a very courteous waiter. I chose the pheasant, which was scrumptious! We also were brought some delightful bread, and this sampler of various tastes- compliments of the chef.



We throughly enjoyed our dinner- and despite being full we wanted to taste their homemade icecream, delicious!


Malpils Icecream

The next morning we awoke to snow- which made our morning so much more special since it 1000x times better than mud.

Breakfast was beautifully laid, generous and very delightful! Since a wedding was to take place later in the day there were alot more people buzzing about which made the quiet evening prior that much more memorable!

We had a lovely walk around the premises outside with out baby in the pram while enjoying the snow and taking photos.

I highly recommend Malpils Manor if you are looking for a romantic place to spend a weekend, or celebrate your special occasion.

The food was fantastic. 5 stars

The atmosphere enchanting. 5 stars

The service also was top notch for us! 5 stars

The romantic package is a lovely way to spoil your parter, complete with candles to light in their elegant rooms, and a fruit tray with sparkling wine later in the evening.  I don’t know if all of their rooms are equally lovely, but ours was magnificent!

Perhaps I am overly generous in my praise- but you should go ahead and check it out for yourself. I went a way feeling like I had stepped into a romantic movie, only this time I was the one in it, not the one watching it.

5 stars for my husband for spoiling me and reminding me he can be romantic, even 4 kids and 10 years in married life!

Malpils Manor Webpage

Debesmanna, a Latvian dessert


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From the time I was a little girl growing up in an American home in the USA but with a Latvian Dad and Grandparents I feel like I knew something about or had heard of this dessert. My Grandma always told how in her childhood they had whipped it with a spoon, which took forever and made it VERY special!

Personally I always loved the name of it, because debesmanna  translates perfectly from the Bible as manna from heaven. In other words the bread God sent the Israelites to provide their daily needs.

This dessert has nothing to do with bread, but is a fruit juice based, cream of wheat dessert, which though it seems like a strange combination whips up into a delightfully light, airy dessert which is served with milk.

When my family lived in Latvian in the 90s a Latvian lady came over to teach me how to make this for our family. Usually this is made from red berries- either wild cranberries, red currants, or some other sour berry. I use frozen rhubarb regularly with a handful of red currants thrown in to give it the customary pink color.

The recipe below is graciously provided by my friend Gunta; with my notes and photos. Thanks Gunta for sharing! If you want it in Latvian click HERE

Ingredients x 10 of original recipe because we have kids and they love this  🙂

350 g. cranberries or another sour fruit or berry.

1 liter of water

250 g. sugar

150 g. cream of wheat


  • Rinse berries if need be. Cover with the water and bring to boil. Boil until they are soft.
  • Pour thru a sieve and use back of spoon to get as much juice as possible from the berries.
  • Return the juice to the pot and add sugar, stir to dissolve. Bring to boil.
  • Whisk in cream of wheat stirring constantly so as to avoid lumps. Bring to a boil while stirring. Remove from heat. Cool.
  • Pour into a stand mixing bowl and whip till light and fluffy. It will become much lighter in color and texture. If it isn’t sweet enough you can add more sugar at this point. I usually make it with less and my husband always seems to sweeten it up at this point 🙂
  • Serve in bowls or decorative cups with milk poured over it.
  • Enjoy!






Hot Cheese Sandwiches- Latvian Style


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When I first was getting to know my good friend who would later become my Latvian host for a whopping 14 months she made these quick cheesy bread snacks. I loved them then and love them now.

They are easy and fast. filling and great to take along. You don’t need a recipe for these- so here is the process in photos.

  1. Layer a baking tray with slices of bread. As many as you think you and your family/friends will eat.

Preparing the slices

2.  Grate cheese (any kind will do or a mix is even better) Grate at least 300-400 grams if you plan on doing a whole sheet of sandwiches. You will need more cheese or less cheese depending on how many slices of bread you are using.


3.   Add eggs. I used  3 for this 9 slices of bread . Again it depends on how much cheese. You can also add chopped chives, or dill or a bit of mayo or other spices to this. Doctor it up the way your taste buds desire 🙂


4.  Stir and spread on bread.


5.   Bake in the oven on 180-200 degrees C (350-375 F)

Cheese bread Latvian style

6.   Remove from oven when golden.

Latvian cheese sandwich snack

7. Enjoy !

Did you make this recipe?

How did you like it? How did you doctor yours up? Share in the comments 🙂