It's me again, grilling baby artichokes 24/7, and pretending that it's not snowing outside, that no, no, no NYC is not trapped and stalled, and that yes, spring is around the corner. And there is no better way to celebrate it then a plate of artichokes. New post is up on the blog, and (yes you've guessed it correctly) it's about baby artichokes (with lemon mirin yogurt). Happy spring folks!
I like when the markets and supermarkets of this Gotham city treat me with kindness. "Spring is in the air" they are trying to say, "spring is in the air". And I believe them, because markets are wise...
Just because it's the Chinese New Year parade today, and we love all the New Years of this world (who can resist a chance for a new beginning?), and just because I have not made the aromatic broth in like a million years, it's currently summering on the stove, loaded with spice goodness. Recipe somewhere on the blog, but you will have to dig it out, it was like two Chinese years ago :)
Just in case you are entertaining a thought of making a red velvet cake for Valentine's day, take a pause, revisit the idea and give this beauty a chance. It's red beet, tart apple and blackberry cake -- an explosion of colors and flavors, just as a proper love cake should be. The best part of all, it's so sweet from the produce, that it calls for very little sugar. I serve it, guilt free, to Miss Pain for breakfast, and she raves about it as if it were chocolate! Recipe #ontheblog .
It's time to turn the color wheel on my instagram feed. And on the plate too. It's February after all and those whites and browns that were so serene and restorative in January, now evoke sadness and depression. This weekend I am working on a new palette, and a new dish, stay tuned.
It's cold outside and it's cold in my apartment, because our ancient heaters have a hard time catching up, and I am miserable. I am this close, and I mean THIS CLOSE to making a batch of mulled white wine to lift up the spirits, but it's 1pm in the afternoon and it fells shocking. If it were 5pm, maybe, so I have four more hours of misery to go. On the other hand people take white wine with lunch, don't they? #recipe#ontheblog
On a rainy day like this, I like to take out my props and photograph... Just for sake of photographing. Except that these teacups are not really props, they have a life of their own. I've been collecting them for ages, and keep them in my library, with the books. And when we have friends over, and make mulled #wine (btw a new #recipe for a mulled white is #ontheblog ) or hot toddy, I take them out and we all have lots of fun comparing our treasures. The one with a big white rose is my favorite.
You do realize that mulled wine does not have to be red? Whites make for some sensational glück wines, mulled wines and alike. Case in point. Together with a funny story about a Christmas tree that lasted until April. Now #ontheblog .
This is a photo I took a long time ago, but it's one of my favorites, and I keep on going back to it from time to time. Partly because it's serene, and there is a certain kind of feeling about it, the quiet happiness I feel when I enter the kitchen. The sense of fulfillment. But the photo also represents one of my favorite dishes -- roasted vegetable broth. I've been making it for years, and it's constantly evolving; sometimes I change herbs, or add ginger; sometimes I add port; sometimes a drop of Worcestershire sauce. But the essence of it never changes -- a pile of oven roasted root veggies, 10 cups of water and a slow simmer on the stove for about two hours. It's the richest and most comforting soups one can imagine. With a soup like that, who needs New Year resolutions? #recipe#ontheblog
Yesterday was the first day of the New Year according to the Serbian calendar. It's nice to have multiple Christmases and New Years. Sort of like pick and choose, there is always a backup kind of thing if your holiday does not go as well as planned. Plus I embrace as many holidays as I can — one can never have enough of good stuff. When mom was alive we used to welcome the New Year with a salad of salted cod and boiled potatoes. I've been following the tradition -- religiously -- for many years. This year, I am adding a variation to our menu: a warm salad with salted cod, butter beans, lemon, white wine and parsley. I know that Mira would approve of it. I am pretty sure. Have a wonderful New Year folks! (The #recipe is now #ontheblog .)
Who would have thought that a plain old salted cod could be such a photo star. One could not ask for a better model. It's also my ingredient of the moment, I love it in brandade (the old fashioned way) and in a potato salad (check out the previous post for details and inspiration), but right now I am thinking of a stew with potatoes and white wine. Lemon perhaps. If anyone has a good recipe, please drop me a note.
It's been like two weeks since we replaced "7" for "8" on the calendar dial, but it seems like eternity; almost as if holiday did not happen. It's incredible how quickly our busy lives take over and assume the reign to the point that there are even no memories left. Just a photo, and a photo becomes a memory. I took this picture of the lake on January 1, as we were ready to depart. It captured the essence of the holiday, the much-needed solitude, the serenity, the peace and quiet. The light on the horizon. They say that what one does on January 1st will be the hallmark of the year ahead, and I so hope it's true.
We are entering that time of the year when our plates and our Instagram feeds are turning brown, and our kitchens need an extra dose of creativity to tease out excitement from the late winter foods. Case in point. One of my favorite winter breads (wait, who am I kidding here, one of my favorite breads period, and oh-so-easy to make) is rye #bread with #Guinness , molasses and caraway. (If you are really tempted, you can sub the caraway with walnuts and raisins. Dry apricots work great too.) I made it at least dozen times this holiday because folks could not have enough of it. It loves sausages, and it loves, loves, loves cheese; it goes well with roasts, and with sauerkraut, and with my favorite dish of the moment -- the salted cod salad. It loves goulash and beef bourguignon. It loves arugula too... Now that I think about it, just a dollop of butter will do, really. And a slice of cheddar, perhaps? Here I go again :) #recipe#ontheblog
It's so funny how immediately after the holidays we make a switch from cookies to salads, and start thinking about eating clean and fresh. But eating clean and fresh in the midst of a North East winter is a different concept than say strawberry smoothie, or cucumber salad. So I like to start my January (and my year) by making this salad of salted cod, potato, parsley and lemon. It's fresh and modern, yet so ancient and comforting at the same time, and so respectful of the season. I don’t have a good name for this dish, but let’s call it a brandade in a salad for the lack of a better title. #feedyourresolution
We've celebrated Serbian Christmas Eve last night with a table of old fashioned, almost forgotten foods. Serbian Christmas Eve is a very pagan affair, which I like very, very much. It must be #vegetarian , because it's the last day of the great lent and we make dark and ancient dishes like baked beans, red rice, lentils, cod and potato salad and walnut stuffed dates. This is my favorite -- caramelized sauerkraut with herbs, prunes, honey, and white wine. When I was a kid it was my nemesis, because no kid likes acidic foods. But growing up I learned to appreciate it (maybe with some extra honey and prunes), and no matter how hard I resisted it growing up, it is now a No.1 must on my holiday table. Plus it gets better as it ages, like a good wine, so after two days in the fridge, it is a delicacy! (#recipe#ontheblog , but you will have to search, I think it's two years back or so).