Saturday, September 29, 2012

Cooking with Donna and Dzintra

A couple of months ago, the talented and lovely Dzintra  invited me to participate in her Donna Hay magazine cook ups! 
Dzintra is such a creative talent, and one of the kindest souls I know. 
I was so thankful and excited, and am pleased to present my first attempt....

Now if you are not familiar with chef Donna Hay, I must tell you that I have been admiring her exquisite magazine for a few years. 

Lovely, yes?

 Thanks to Dzintra's kind invitation, I finally decided to begin purchasing this gorgeous and artful magazine. Since Dzintra and Donna reside in Australia, the current issue out is Spring...and my local book store lags a bit, so I cooked from the splendid Winter Issue 63...

And that's perfect for our entrance into Fall...
There were so many delightful recipes from which to choose....the photography and styling are outstanding.....

Naturally, I decided to choose my main dish from the Winter in Paris feature...yes, please!


"French Onion Soup with Gruyere Croutons"
page 85

onions caramelizing nicely


Since this was my first attempt at cooking French Onion Soup, I must admit, I was a bit nervous...especially because I was posting my results for all to see.. 
But it came out really delicious...
I did substitute chicken stock for beef since I don't eat red meat...and the next time I make this soup I will omit the flour, for it thickens up a bit too much for me...but overall...magnifique! :)

For dessert...

"Banana Bread with Maple Cream Cheese Icing"
p. 60 and 64

 of course I had to add some white and dark chocolate chips

 a bit of shaved chocolate on top

now to taste...



Add a bit of this...


 Some lovely company....
And it makes for a special evening indeed!

 Merci my dear friend...looking forward to the next issue.
Do visit Dzintra's lovely world here.

Bon Appetit!



  1. Oh dearest Irina I just keep reading and re-reading this post...Just magnifique...utterly delicious....I can almost taste the soup from over here....It would be perfect for this breezy Spring day! And to add those choc bits to the banana bread....what a wonderful idea....You have made me want to go back and re-read that copy again!

    I have just done a cook up last week from the Spring issue and hope to post it soon....

    Thank you so much for cooking with is an absolute pleasure that we are both doing this....I just love the idea. I have just on Friday received October/November issue and I'm waiting for that special quiet time to devour it and then spend ages thinking what to make from it!

    Bon Appetit...with Love from Down Under...Dzintra xo

  2. Oh Irina,
    I can see myself sitting across that table from you enjoying the soup and cake. My idea of heaven. I love French onion soup. What a wonderful heartwarming post. Now I have to check out this magazine :-)
    Happy sunday!

  3. WOW!!!!!!! THIS IS A DELIGHTFUL SURPRISE....oh oh...I hear the music....I am going to.....yep...I am crying.

    Why O WHY do I cry? Because life is so beautiful and so difficult at the same time.....

    Your attempt at this recipe my dear, I am SURE was a success. Beautiful table is so good to see YOUR HOME here.

    Much affection to you, Anita

  4. Hello Irina:
    Although, as you most likely realise, we are not into cooking, we can readily understand the appeal to you of this beautifully presented and clearly very practical magazine.

    Your French Onion Soup looks to be really delicious and is a great favourite of ours. We do hope that you will post more of what you make over the coming months from this most creative of sources.

  5. And it is good to know that you are on the other side of that table with me, no matter what. It has been a long time since I have French onion soup; we just need some COLD weather so I can start making my "cream" of mushroom soup with chestnuts!

    Thank you my friend, for coming to visit me. I am in the process of putting YOUR ornaments in my Etsy, then I hope to publish my new post. Many hugs of gratitude, Anita

  6. Oh Irina I am back again and I see you popped in overnight...The music here is just perfect for your very delicious meal....I think I'm going to have to make this wonderful soup now as our evenings here are still cool enough...I too was thinking of you last week as I shopped and cooked for my cook up...can you imagine shopping together....FUN FUN FUN!!! Who knows, one day we just might be able to share a meal together....Have a fantastic week ahead...Love Dzintra xo

  7. Irina, you cooking maven, you! What a delightful partnership half-way around the world and you have made a great stand with that French onion soup. Except with macarons, I improvise most every recipe and I approve your doing so as well.

    I made banana bread (with sour cream) last week and threw in some chocolate chips for the little people in my life. Next go around, I will be adding some white chocolate, too!

    Delightful, ma chère!


  8. Your visits are always so special my friend, and to come back here is a blessing because I KNOW YOU ARE, Anita

  9. Ahhh, my dear friend. This is amazing! Such a heartwarming post. I love everything about it. So cozy and inviting! It has been a while since I made a French Onion Soup, but I've just cooked a Mini Meatball soup, my mom's recipe. And you know, I have a sweet tooth and would love a piece of this tempting banana bread, please ...You are wonderful , my sister, a cooker and oh, yes, a photographer :)

    Pure Joy! Thank you!

  10. WOW! This looks wonderful! What time is dinner tonight?? :)
    Love hearing about new recipes and love seeing the finished product even more!
    Wonderful job, Irina!
    Huge hugs to you, my friend~ Lisa xoxo

  11. I follow Dzintra too......she is a doll. How fun that you are in a cook off.....I mean cook up with her. LOL LOL Your food sounds and looks ever so lovely.




  12. Thank you so much for sharing what you have made from the DH looks delicious!!! I have only just started buying her magazines and love them!

  13. Wow, this is better than the cake. ;) Who keeps telling you my favorite dishes? ;) I absolutely LOVE French onion soup. I don't use flour, I like a clear beef consomme. Yummo. I think I'll make it this weekend. You and Anita always get me hungry. We've been swapping recipes via email. ;)

    The Papeleria button turned out to be wrong after all. It is the old one which does not link any longer. :( Sorry. But I have the right code on my page under my header when you have the chance.

    Here's to a beautiful weekend, my friend.

  14. Dearest are very very welcome...I love the idea that we are cooking together....I'm sooooo looking forward to see what you do from the next issue...Oh my hand is all healed up now thank you so very much....but you wouldn't believe that now I am on 1/2 a set of crutches (I have just blogged about it so you can catch up then)...Oh your music is so intoxicating......Bon Appetit sweet friend...Dzintra xoxo

  15. Irina! I am now craving french onion soup, oh how I enjoy the cheesy bread on top. I made a soup today, oh how delicious it smelled, it was a recipe I found on a blog this morning, made with chicken and vegetables, thyme and sage for seasoning.... I shared it with my daughter and family, we all had soup for dinner, and now that it has turned more "Fall-ish" it was so cozy.

    I enjoyed your account of soup and dessert making!!! (just the thought of a maple flavored cream cheese frosting has me swooning)

    ~ Violet


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...