Cheesy Roasted Zucchini Video

cheesyroastedzucchini1 copyAs summer draws to a close, I’m still taking full advantage of the vegetable surplus availability this time of year and sharing one of the most easiest recipes for zucchini. This video will probably always be one of my favorites. While editing it and watching it over and over again to make sure I got it all right, I couldn’t stop smiling and getting this warm and fuzzy feeling washing all over me.

You might be wondering why I sound so giddy and elated and I have a very simple explanation – we filmed this recipe at my parents’ house, where I’m always so happy and feel completely at peace. It seemed perfectly fitting to share a recipe that my Mom came up with to make good use of her overabundant supply of zucchini and of course, I used all the ingredients from her garden too.  [Read more…]

Raspberry Cheesecake Tart

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Tarts are so pretty and elegant and I love how easy they are to make. I wanted to create a tart with a simple shortbread cookie type crust and have a no bake filling. The less oven time, the better. Right now my baby is at an age where he needs a lot of attention, so I don’t have time for fancy layer cakes or other fussy desserts during the week. During the weekends, my husband can take charge of baby watching, but during the week, I’m on my own. Since we have company on weeknights too, this is the perfect solution. I made the tart during my baby’s nap times and it was all ready to go for our guests that evening.
I combined three of my favorite sweet flavors – cheesecake, berries and a simple cookie that isn’t too sweet.
To make sure it wasn’t runny, I used unflavored gelatin for the cheesecake filling. This tart has a sandy shortbread crust, with a creamy mascarpone cheesecake filling, topped off with fresh, juicy raspberries. You can even make this into small, individual tarts which would be really cute. With a nice cup of tea, this tart is the perfect way to relax with your family or guests.

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Buying Our Kitchen Appliances On Craigslist

Kitchen Appliances on Craigslist-2-10 copyWhen we bought our house last summer, we gutted our entire kitchen and remodeled the whole thing – cupboards, counters, island, walls, ceiling and floor. We also upgraded the appliances to nicer stainless steel ones from the ones that came with the house. We knew that a great way to stretch our budget was to buy used appliances instead of brand new ones. I also didn’t care if all the appliances were the same brand, so that widened our options quite a bit. You can read all the details of the rest of the kitchen remodel in this post.

First of all, we sold all of the simple, white appliances that were in the original kitchen. They all worked well and were in pretty good shape, so that was another way we were able to stretch our budget even more. [Read more…]

Fish and Vegetables En Papillote (Baked in Parchment Paper) Video Recipe

codveggiesenpapillote copyFish with vegetables in one of my favorite options for a quick, healthy and really delicious dinner. I definitely wanted to film this recipe, because I love it so much. The fish is infused with the flavor of the vegetables in every bite, the vegetables are the perfect texture, and everything is so juicy and packed with deliciousness. It’s also a really healthy dinner, which will give you the perfect full feeling but still with a spring in your step.

I really hope you enjoy this video. I have more recipes coming up soon, so be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel so you don’t miss them.  [Read more…]

Our Family Trip To NY

Summer NY Trip-1-54Going to NY is always like a breath of fresh air for my spirit and emotions. And literally, the air is so much more fresh, clear and pure than anywhere else I’ve been in the whole world. Not only do I thrive in the country and being surrounded by nature, it’s so awesome to spend time with my family. [Read more…]

A Few of My Favorite Things July 2015

July FavoritesOne of my favorite posts to read on other blogs and favorite videos to watch on YouTube are Monthly Favorites. This is where people usually share their favorite products, usually related to the type of blog/channel they have, such as beauty products if it’s a beauty channel, etc. I borrowed the idea from one of my favorite blogs, andreadekker.com, where she also shares her monthly favorites.

I’ll be sharing all kinds of things – cooking tools, household items, baby things and anything else that makes life easier and I really enjoy. Some of my monthly favorites aren’t things at all. I hope some of these reviews will help you find products that are helpful to you, as well as saving you money on trying multiple other products, like I did. If anything, you can just read my thoughts and see if it’s something you would be interested in. I would also love to hear about your favorite things, so please share.  [Read more…]

Sautéed Green Beans, Baby Peas and Cherry Tomatoes

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Summer is such a happy time of year. Everything is in the peak of growing, it’s warm and sunny. Even summer rain holds a special place in my heart. I love the cozy feeling it gives me. It’s a gardener’s paradise. We are in NY right now visiting my parents, and my soul is in complete peace and I can’t stop smiling. I am in love with my parents’ garden. It’s in full bloom right now and we are definitely indulging in all the wonderful, completely organic vegetables that they grow.

When I’m in Florida, I have to make do with the produce I find in the grocery stores and farmer’s markets. This combination of veggies is spot on. I can always find all of these ingredients no matter what time of year, but they taste so “summery”.  I’m mentioned many times how much Segi and I love green beans, but I also really like using frozen peas. Since they are frozen at their peak of ripeness, they taste absolutely amazing and fresh, as long as you don’t overcook them. The shallots and garlic provide the flavor to the while dish, and the cherry tomatoes add a bit of acidity. It’s the perfect side dish to so many entrees.

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Deluxe Veggie Omelet

Deluxe Veggie Omelet-1-19On Sundays after church, we love to go out for brunch to a local breakfast and brunch cafe. Sergi and I are such huge fans of breakfast foods for all three meals of the day, not just in the morning. Not only does this place have the most amazing beignets that taste remarkably like Russian  Ponchiki, but they also have so many entree options.
This omelet is my favorite. I tweaked it a bit to suit my taste more. The caramelized onions and golden brown mushrooms are so filling and hearty, the roasted peppers, tomatoes, spinach and fresh herbs bring so much brightness and fresh flavors. The feta cheese and shaved Parmesan cheese are the finishing touch that are so creamy, tangy and nutty. So many vitamins and nutrients are packed into one omelet. You will start your day right from the very beginning.
You can make this for an indulgent breakfast on the weekend, as well as a quick dinner any day of the week. I’ve been making it over and over again and every time I savor every bite, trying to get every single ingredient on the fork before it goes in my mouth. It’s the perfect combination for my palate.

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One Dish Asian Chicken and Rice

One Dish Asian Chicken and Rice-1-29As a task-oriented, type A personality gal, I love staying busy and productivity should be my middle name. However, one look at my baby’s beaming smile and all my noble ambitions fly right out the window. Nothing makes me happier than playing with my son.  I’ve always appreciated easy dinner options, and now it’s become a necessity. Food must be easy in order to be cooked in my house these days. I should start a new category of recipes on this blog – “While the baby is napping”. As soon as those sleepy eyes open and that cute face turns my way and I hear baby babbles, I’m ready to move on to take off that apron. There are more important things for me to do, like letting him play with my face (his favorite thing to do now), sing silly songs, read books and watch him roll over, play with his toys and discover new things every day.

Playing with Nathaniel is so satisfying, but also exhausting, with juggling regular household chores and trying to keep my unpredictable lab levels normal. Cooking has to be fast and simple. Maybe it’s a subconscious thing, but I think simple meals taste better anyway.

Chicken and rice is always a favorite combination in our house. Using chicken thighs keeps the meat so juicy and makes perfect leftovers too. With just a few classic Asian ingredients – ginger, garlic, shiitake mushrooms, broccoli, and soy sauce, it gives this dish a unique twist and amazing flavor combination.  [Read more…]

Grilled Vegetable and Mushroom Kebabs

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You’ve probably seen all kinds of vegetable combinations coming out of my kitchen. The fact is, that I adore veggies, especially when they are sautéed or roasted. They are the part of the meal that I look forward to the most. As soon as I load up my plate with meat, starch and veggies, I will pounce on the veggies first.

For the first 8 years of our married life, Sergi and I were apartment dwellers. Now that we have our own home with a backyard and grill handy, we make good use of it. With the grill only a few steps away from our kitchen, it makes it very easy to prep everything in the nice, air conditioned house, step outside to put the food on the grill (keeping all the heat and cooking mess out there) and in just a short time enjoy some charred, crisp but tender vegetables.

This is my favorite combination – zucchini, peppers, tomatoes and red onion. The mushrooms add so much heartiness to the kebabs, you could serve this to vegetarians, since it’s very filling, but it will make all the meat eaters happy too. We all appreciate tasty food, don’t we? [Read more…]