For the love of berries: another “remembrance of things past”

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Going back to this blog to write about food and the pleasures of eating and drinking – to write about life – is not easy after a week of grief, following the death of a friend. I needed time to heal from sadness, and now I’m glad to be back. Also, on the plus side, my job has kept me very busy, and I’m grateful for that. Being so busy, I had less time to cry while thinking about my friend, and I channeled my energy into my work and my new responsibilities as a school tutor.  It is difficult but not impossible, and I’m working on it – taking it step by step, one day at a time.

Another thing which helped was that I couldn’t wait to write about my next topic: raspberry jam. Keep Reading

New job, first day: feeling overwhelmed, and thinking of… meat stuffed peppers

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Today was the first day at my new job as a school tutor. It went pretty well, although it was overwhelming at times. It’s been awhile since I had a job, and I approached this new opportunity with enthusiasm, but also with fear. What if I’m going to fail? What if my gap in employment will get the best of me? My usual fear of failure set in, and I felt insecure, vulnerable, and out of place. Keep Reading

Using carrots to make something quick: “Easy” isn’t always easy!

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Last weekend I happened to come across a great sale on organic baby carrots at the grocery store, and I bought quite a few packs. I usually eat them raw, I saute them, or I roast them alongside chicken. Sadly, I did not have a lot of time at my disposal, so my first thought was: let’s make carrot juice! This looked like the perfect opportunity to use up the carrots, and to make something quick and very healthy. What could possibly go wrong? Keep Reading

Friday the 13th as a special day: writing about the past, happiness and… stuffed peppers

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Today is a special day, and I’m going to share my happiness with you guys. First of all, it is special because today I got a job: I’m going to work as a tutor at a local school! I applied for a position at this school last year and my application was unsuccessful, which to me was a big disappointment. Someone kind enough from Human Resources introduced me to the director of the Tutoring Department. She did not have any immediate openings, yet she interviewed me and kept my resume on file. We have kept in touch ever since, exchanging emails periodically. It looks like my persistence has paid off because yesterday I got an email from her offering me a job. I had a meeting with her a few hours ago, and now I am sooo happy. Who says Friday the 13th is an unlucky day? 🙂

Second, today is a special day because I am going to write about a recipe that is very dear to me: vegetarian stuffed peppers. Keep Reading

Pastrami panini: making use of whatever one’s got in the fridge

I hardly ever think of panini recipes in advance. Most of the time, ideas come in the spur of the moment – and upon opening the fridge and making a quick inventory of whatever is in there and can be used. After all, I think this is one of the purposes of panini: to bring wholesomeness and flavor to one’s dinner table without being overly complicated to assemble. Keep Reading

I don’t mind the heat – I just want to make some meatballs!

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It’s near the end of summer – and it’s really, really hot.

These past few days have been very hot and humid in Chicagoland, and work in the kitchen has been unbearable. It feels like the whole house is a melting pot of simmering, sticky heat, and the air conditioning in full swing hardly makes any difference. The days start off with a glorious sunrise and a cool wind which promises mild temperatures – however, that is never the case. Soon, the temperature starts climbing, and everybody frantically runs for shelter from the heat. On this weather, a glass of cold water and a shaded area are my best friends.

I wanted to give cooking a break and to live off panini for a few days, but then I bought some ground pork from the local grocery store, and I had to reconsider my plan. Keep Reading