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oregano

A panino a day keeps the panic away: my grilled eggplant and goat cheese panino

Whenever time is running out for me to come up with complicated meal ideas, the alternative is simple: panino it is! This should come as no surprise to those of you who have been following my blog for awhile now. Especially these past few months, with very little time to “spare” in the kitchen and with lots of things to do inside and outside our home, panini have ruled over our menu, and for good reasons: they are quick, easy to make, and very versatile indeed.

My husband and I are big fans of eggplant. However, so far my use of it has been limited to eggplant salad, eggplant parmigiana and stuffed eggplant. I came up with this idea of a panino because I was simply looking for another way to incorporate this rather unassuming veggie into my cooking. It was a “happy accident,” and pairing eggplant with goat cheese made up for a balanced and earthly panino, with an unadulterated mix of flavors which stays true to its component parts. Keep Reading

Getting back is hard – so can a pork roulade make a difference? :-)

These past few weeks have been really hectic for me. First, school is back and I’ve been fretting over classes, syllabi, and meeting new colleagues and students. I have been stressed and out of shape intellectually, and going back to a full work schedule has proved nothing short of exhausting. Second, my mom’s recent flight back to Europe was delayed for several hours, causing her to miss a connecting plane in London and to arrive at her destination well after midnight. My mom is a senior citizen who doesn’t speak English, and the whole experience was a nightmare for her, as it was for us. Such stressful events are definitely not conducive to creativity in the kitchen. 🙁

Getting back to cooking and blogging was hard. In the end, I found inspiration in an email exchange I had with my cousin, who is a passionate gardener. This summer he has grown tomatoes, zucchinis and cucumbers galore, and he was writing me that he had just finished sun-drying some of the tomatoes. My mind instantly went back in time, to the years we spent in England and to a recipe we used to like a lot: pork roulade stuffed with sun-dried tomatoes, parmesan cheese and herbs. Keep Reading

Roast beef for a special occasion: our first celebration of Father’s Day!

We are a household of carnivores, but our meat preferences are very different. Chicken is my favorite meat to cook and to eat: light, versatile and affordable, it makes up the central element in a variety of dishes I love. Whenever I think of chicken I think of mom’s chicken recipes, and I get all excited and happy. To me, mom knows best and is the best cook 🙂

Meanwhile, my husband is a diehard fan of red meat, who always chooses steak over breaded chicken. I wanted to cook something I knew he would enjoy, so I made roast beef to celebrate his first Father’s Day ever. This is one of my mom’s recipes – this is the way she usually cooks beef, pork and even mutton. I followed her recipe, but also changed it a little by adding mixed peppercorns and oregano.

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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

4th of July menu: Let’s celebrate with burgers, hot dogs, salads and sangria!

Happy 4th of July everyone!
What are you all doing today? Over here, one thing is for sure: the grill will be on 🙂 We’ll grill burgers and hot dogs and we’ll eat plenty of various salads. As for drinks, since I’m pregnant I’ll limit myself to apple juice. Meanwhile, my husband will enjoy one of our latest flavor discoveries: the Beso del Sol sangria! I was very excited when the Beso del Sol creators asked me to review their product and to build a summer menu around it. Sangria is one of my favorite drinks ever, so why not?

We used to drink sangria when we lived in Europe, and we loved it. A refreshing mix of delicious wine and fruity goodness, to me it is the quintessential grown-up summer drink: light and flavorful, it is also alcoholic enough to be taken seriously. You can add extra sliced fruit when you serve it, or you can leave it as it is. Either way, the fruit used while making the sangria will shine through, rendering an unmistakable flavor and a tantalizing aroma to the original wine. 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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