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Vegetarian

It’s time to make zucchini cakes!

This is my mom’s recipe and it’s a big hit in our house. My husband loves these savory cakes and eats them “bathed” in plenty of sour cream. Meanwhile, I eat them on their own and quite a few at a time, sometimes late at night, when the pregnancy cravings kick in. I think this is a great comfort food: served hot, straight from the pan, the cakes are fresh, light and moist and exhibit simplicity and earthiness. I have found that simple is in many case better, and this is why I like to let the flavors shine through and to talk for themselves in this dish. No strange names or artificial additions – just a few well-known ingredients, true to themselves and carefully selected 🙂 Keep Reading

The roasted red pepper and eggplant dip of my childhood: So pure, so rustic, so flavorful

I used this dip the other day in a panino and absolutely loved it! It is the perfect dish to make now, when summer is on its way out and lets fall take over, and when the local markets are starting to sell plenty of produce at a reasonable price. This roasted pepper and eggplant dip is one of my favorite foods ever, and it gets better the more you let it “marinate” in the fridge – this gives its ingredients enough time to infuse with each other’s flavor and to create a multifaceted harmony of various tastes and aromas.

This is a dish my mom and aunt used to make very often when I was growing up. They would prepare large batches, which they would can for the winter ahead. The canned dip would last us the entire winter: nutritious, flavorful and light, it would remind us of the beauty and warmth of seasons past. To us, this was both a flavorful and a functional dish: it satisfied a need, and told a story.
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It’s time for summer lightness and freshness: It’s time for a caprese salad

I don’t know about you, but I always develop an appetite for healthy foods during the summer. It is in the summer that I feel the need to take the greatest care of my body, giving it as much nutrients as possible and taking advantage of the abundance of fruits and veggies. The summer season’s fresh produce always inspires me to come up with new ideas in the kitchen, and this summer makes no exception. It’s even better now, because since becoming pregnant I have miraculously started eating a lot healthier than before. The little one definitely knows how to stir me in the right direction food-wise. 🙂 Keep Reading

On panini, creativity in the kitchen, and delicious melty goodness: A review of the Red Gold Tomatoes aioli recipes

I won’t lie to you: my creativity in the kitchen has declined since becoming pregnant. My mind is like mud, I don’t have any energy, I am always sleepy, and even the easiest cooking tasks (peeling an onion, anyone?) are difficult for me to accomplish. I’ve been dragging along for a good couple of weeks, hoping to be back to my usual energetic self soon. In the meantime, I know I need inspiration and all the creative resources I can get my hands on to counteract the fatigue. I need novelty in the kitchen – fresh ideas to inspire me and to keep me alert and motivated.

This is why I was very excited when Red Gold Tomatoes contacted me to ask me to test out their aioli recipes. I never made aioli, and as such I was very excited to go back into the kitchen and to prepare something new and creative. Red Gold are currently on a mission to introduce more home cooks to aioli, a versatile spread which can be used in sandwiches, as a dip or as a topping. The aioli possibilities are endless, and for me this test could not have come at a better time. Keep Reading

Mom’s potato salad: How food reminds me of people I miss

I made this easy salad the other day not because I wanted to cook a vegetarian dish, nor because I was too lazy to make anything complicated – but because I was missing my mom. A lot. I haven’t been feeling well lately (I’m going to see a doctor tomorrow) and I really need my mom: I miss her touch, her comforting warmth, her unique way of caressing me and of helping me to feel better. She is in Romania at the moment and she’ll fly back to Chicago in early July. We’ve got everything planned for a wonderful summer vacation after she gets here. Less than two months to go, and time can’t seem to go fast enough.

So, while waiting for mom, I decided to cook something to remind me of her, a dish I know she always likes to make in a pinch: her easy peasy potato salad. Keep Reading

Our Easter Sunday salad: Half Greek, half… radishy

I just love the vibrant symphony of colors in this salad! The mini peppers bring in a delicate touch of sweetness, while the olives give it a firm flavor and an exotic twist. The feta cheese holds the salad together and adds an undisputed creamy wholesomeness. I love the flavor of the feta cheese, and whenever I eat it my mind wanders off to the bucolic pastures of the Greek islands.  Keep Reading