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

Baked salmon with spinach rice: summertime is “salmontime”

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There is no better time to eat salmon than during the summer, when this gorgeous fish is at its most flavorful. As it leaves the ocean and rides the streams of the Alaskan waters in search of good spots to spawn, the salmon makes an amazing journey, during which it reaches peak condition. Unsurprisingly, the demand for salmon increases in the summer. Packed full of protein and good fats, this nutritious fish can be used in a variety of healthy dishes, and it tastes great alongside vegetables. Keep Reading

Ham and cheese panini with homemade veggie sauce: Cook less, enjoy summer more

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Summer just isn’t summer if you don’t spend it away from the computer once in awhile – I came to this simple realization earlier this week, when my husband and I took a couple of days off and ventured out of  Chicago. It was not a long break by any means, but it did allow us to relax and to recharge our batteries. Plus, it also made me remember how much I loved walking in the countryside, feeling light and invigorated, enjoying every breath of fresh air and admiring the colorful fields and the pensive forests.

We got back home late in the evening after a long drive, and I wanted to make something quick to eat as a light dinner. I still had a batch of homemade vegetable sauce in the fridge, so I decided to use it to make ham and cheese panini. Keep Reading

Homemade vegetable sauce: My unsung culinary hero

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Remember those  ingredients that elevate a dish without taking center stage?  Ingredients that you add to foods out of habit, and sometimes without even thinking about it? I like to think of them as the unsung heroes of the culinary world. These are the ingredients you constantly rely on, which can always be found in your pantry/fridge – very much present, yet grossly underrated.

I have given this topic some thought recently, and I have come to the conclusion that it is time for me to acknowledge my unsung culinary hero: homemade vegetable sauce. Keep Reading