Saturday, August 31, 2013

Polenta and Roasted Vegetables Stuffed Eggplant


My love affair with roasted vegetables. Especially when they pair with polenta. Seasoned roasted bellpepper, tomato and eggplant, topped with melting cheese. With a side of freshly made tomato sauce. I do not remember leftovers!



Friday, August 30, 2013

Marriages Are Made in Heaven and Celebrated on Earth


 ...and after eleven years, one craves for something freshrobust, yet delicate, like this Swiss chocolate and mascarpone buttercream cake, filled with fresh raspberries...Cakes have personality, like years!







Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Chickpea and Vegetables Curry


Another hit of many colors: a beautiful medley of garden fresh vegetables and chickpeas, plus the tantalizing Indian spice blend- Garam Masala!

Yellow squash, purple onion, yellow and red bell pepper, blue eggplant, green parsley, red tomatoes- did it make a rainbow? maybe not in the right order...



Monday, August 19, 2013

Polenta and Roasted Vegetables Bake


Warning: if your doctor hasn't prescribed you cooking therapy, do not start this dish. By the same token, if you are in search of a de-stressing method, give it a try! It may work. (well, it works for me, as a matter of fact, I lose concept of time and am totally absorbed while cooking).

This guy here takes a bit of preparation time, yet assembly is easy!

Polenta base, layers with roasted zucchini, roasted green and red bell pepper, roasted eggplant, topped with polenta, each layer is seasoned with a garlicky homemade tomato sauce...Topped with sliced yellow and red tomatoes and sprinkled with grated cheese (Russian- could not figure out the type).
 

 






Sunday, August 18, 2013

A Cake to Remember



So yesterday was my mother's birthday. Celebrated with family and friends, with fresh breeze and sunshine, with delicious vegetarian dishes and a cake she did not expect. Gumpaste Roses and Lavender for sugar flowers, vanilla and orange for taste, meringue and sponge for texture...

Happy Birthday, Mother!
 





Thursday, August 15, 2013

Popovers- Strike the Iron While It's Hot





One of the simplest and quickest breads to make, yet you need special molds and a very hot oven. It's magic watching them rise 4 times the height of the original poured batter! Eat them while still hot, with butter, gravy or jam- it's up to your cravings!





Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Potato Crust Pizza




When one has leftover cooked potatoes and when one runs out if imagination, there comes pizza. The crust is not as crisp as that made with wheat flour, but certainly tasty. For topping- bell peppers, onions and tomatoes.




Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Roasted Vegetables Salad


 

Red and green bell peppers, mushrooms, purple onions, eggplant, all of them are brushed with olive oil and roasted in the oven. Dressed with a teaspoon of apple vinegar, salt and blackpepper, garnished with parsley- one cannot ask for a more flavored salad, especially when the vegetables are coming from the best source!


Monday, August 12, 2013

Homemade Marinated Mushrooms


I have been quite adventurous about pickling this summer, and decided that mushrooms deserve special treatment too. Added chopped red bellpepper for drama. For spice- mild Madras curry powder. None left.

Brine made of white distilled vinegar, sunflower oil, honey, crushed garlic and salt. YUM.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Persian Rice and Pumpkin Pilaf- Delightfully Fragrant


Diced pumpkin and rice are cooked to perfection in an infused stock of cardamom, cloves, sage,   golden raisins and dried apricot. A few strands of saffron impart a delectable aroma to this pilaf.  As a side dish, or on its own- regardless, it is a great show on the table!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Chickpea Kofta in a Rich Tomato and Mushroom Sauce


This is probably one of the most welcome dishes in our house, though more elaborate, certainly worth the effort. Chickpea koftas are made in a similar manner to falafel, with adding of Indian spices, Garam Masala here.
Soaked in a rich, slightly spicy tomato and mushroom sauce, not only are they delicious, but they are also festive enough for a special occasion meal.



Monday, August 5, 2013

Corn and Cabbage Slaw- Crunchy!


Freshly cooked corn and shredded cabbage, crushed fresh tomatoes, seasoned with olive oil, salt and black pepper, garnished with parsley, give an irresistible crunch (or annoying, as the case may be) to this summer salad. But it can be a winter salad too. Easily.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Layered Stuffed Bread- Laccha Paratha Inspired!

 

One of the most amazing scenes during travels, in Asia in particular, is street food. These street cooks and vendors never cease to amaze me. Their dexterity and pace is phenomenal! It is too tempting to resist asking them permission to take some shots, and then try their goodies!

Well, this bread here is inspired by laccha paratha, which is a flat layered bread made in many Indian homes, and streets as well. Though made of wholewheat bread dough, the technique is the same: stretch, roll, flatten, bake! Filled with shredded herb and garlic cheese,  the outcome is mouthwatering!







Friday, August 2, 2013

Risotto al Pomodoro Fresco- Fresh Tomato Risotto


An Italian classic dish, creamy and fragrant, one of those dishes that seems like it could fit under the "One Pot Dish" category, but not quite. A properly made risotto requires the right rice, and a lot of patience. Click HERE for the recipe and step by step instructions.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Zucchini Rolls- Ricotta,Garlic and Chives

Thin zucchini slices are slightly pan fried in very little oil, then filled an rolled with ricotta cheese, seasoned with crushed garlic and chopped chives. The result is an impressive bite size appetizer that is just too delicious to skip.





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