A review of the new menu items from Corner Bakery Cafe: Spring has sprung in the kitchen!

I don’t know about you guys, but I just love the weather outside! It seems that spring has come to Chicagoland and that, after months of grueling cold and icy roads, I can put away my heavy winter coats and wear light clothes – at last! Spring and summer are my favorite seasons because I feel at my best in the sun: I am confident, inspired, energized, happy. Now is the time when things and situations around me gain new meanings, and obstacles are approached with a positive and constructive attitude. Now is the perfect time for me to go ahead and work on any outstanding projects.

I always eat light in the spring and summer. Whereas during winter I often make Georgette’s zucchini bake and drink rivers of comforting sweet hot chocolate, in the spring I want to give my body nutritious but also calorie-friendly dishes. The foods I make at home and eat while out and about are informed by this desire to eat lightly, and each new dish I discover makes me very happy.
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Easter Sunday meal: We are having chicken!

I had a long talk with my mom this morning on the topic of eating lamb on Easter. This is a long-standing tradition in my religion, yet it is one that my family has hardly ever followed. I remember when I was little my mom would scramble to put meat on the Easter dinner table. Back then, meat was elusive, and any kind of meat was much appreciated. Usually my dad would use his “connections” to get us a chicken, which my mom would skillfully butcher to make a variety of dishes: chicken soup, baked chicken, even chicken aspic.

As a child growing up in the countryside, my mom would eat lamb on Easter every year. Things changed, however, as soon as she moved to the city: her family departed from this tradition, and lamb was used less and less in their cooking. I know for certain that my dad didn’t like lamb. As for me, I remember trying a lamb shank once as a child, and not being particularly impressed with its taste.
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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

Vegetarian stuffed potatoes: Going back to the basics during the Holy Week

This is the first dish that comes to my mind whenever someone asks me for Lent recipes. It is so simple, yet so satisfying! I found the recipe about 15 years ago in a magazine, and I’ve been making it ever since with great success. Nothing beats a few unassuming ingredients, which come together and create a genuine flavor experience. I like this dish so much that while writing about it I had to go to the kitchen and get myself a second helping. It’s so tasty! 🙂

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My review of TÊTE Charcuterie: Tradition and innovation come together to create meaty deliciousness

Update: This restaurant has closed.

Succulent crispy pork belly. Flavorful mortadella, hams and pâtés. An array of fresh and smoked sausages, served with house-made pickles and mustard. They were fresh, made from local ingredients, and seasoned to perfection. I tried them all last Saturday, when myself and other Chicago food bloggers were invited to attend the grand opening of TÊTE Charcuterie, which is located in Chicago’s historic meatpacking district. Keep Reading

Roasted vegetable panini: Quick and light spring food, that makes me happy

My mom asked me the other day whether I’d made this panino lately, and I said I hadn’t. I don’t know why, but I seemed to have forgotten about this deliciously light panino, good for vegetarians and lent observers, and perfect to savor on warm spring days. Sadly, the panini I’ve been making recently have been all but sophisticated: a few slices of ham and cheese, some pickles, on the grill – done! With Easter approaching, I’ll be away from work and school for a few days, and I’ve decided to use this spare time to do more cooking and to remake a few of my family’s favorite dishes. I think this panino is a good way to start my culinary spring break. 🙂

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