Here comes Pot Roast, with a little secret.

It got real cold here! And when I say “real cold”,  I mean +6, +5 degrees Celsius. It does not seem that cold, but when you start thinking about the insides of your own home, and the temperature there (which can get to +14), and how you sit wearing layers on yourself, all you want is to get warm. One of the best ways for me to dive into a warm world is to cook meat and potatoes. I have to say, this recipe is very filling, with the meat melting in your mouth. But, you have to wait for at least 2.5 hours for it to get ready. If you are one of those people who likes meat having a particularly soft texture, you might have to wait even more. I can tell you, I waited for 3 hours. So, get all the patience you have inside you, and lets get cooking!

*Oh, and a little note, this recipe comes in with a little zest, its got dried prunes in it. This stuff is what gets you surprised. Just remember a day when you tried eating something that you are used to. So you eat, enjoy your food, even if its the usual for you, it still creates fireworks in your mouth. But then, suddenly, you feel like there is something new…Something that makes this dish taste even better. Something that you will remember every time now you think about this specific meal. Not only it adds new taste for the meal, but it actually delights you. In this usual meal you would not expect to come by this ingredient.

Ingredients:

3-4 medium potatoes, 1 kg of beef, half a kilo of chicken breast, 1 big carrot, 2 medium onions, 5-6 tablespoons of tomato sauce (I had sauce for pizza left from the time I prepared homemade pizza, so why let the good stuff go by?),  about 50 gr of dried prunes, garlic, parsley.

The Works:

Slice all your meat into bands, that way the meat will prepare faster. Put it all into a deep frying pan, and let it sit there on the stove, till the juices come out.20131212_095255

Peel of the skin from the potatoes and cut them into cubes. Get working on the carrot, slice it into big round pieces. About the onions, make nice big rings out of them. Mix the onions with the meat, let it sit for about 15 minutes (just do not make big fire on the stove) Remember, the juices still have to be there when you start adding other vegetables in.20131212_103223

Next, comes the carrot. Again, let it soak in all the juices together with the meat for several minutes. Then, start adding the potatoes. You already know what comes next, waiting. But, then comes the fun part, add the sauce you have to mix in a little bit of color in your works. Actually, the red of tomato paste, or in this case, pizza sauce, fits in perfectly with the meat. So, do not be afraid to mix it in! Do not forget to taste your food! If you feel like you need to add more of the sauce, you should positively do so! Afterwards, ladies and gentlemen, comes the bride! Dried prunes! 50 gr is about 7-8 of them, so add them without any hesitation. They are the ones bringing the surprise, remember? They bring a sudden feel of sweet into your dish. Mix it all once again, put the mixture on low fire, close the lid, and…wait…again, it should be close to 3 hours to let the meat be as soft as a baby’s skin. While you are waiting, do not let yourself go crazy, wash and cut the parsley (this one you should add last, when the dish is ready), and peel the skin off the garlic. You can add the garlic after about 1.5 hours. You do not need to slice it, just peel the skin, and throw it in there.

*Important note, when you are waiting for the meat to be ready, check on it once in a while, just open the cover. As we all know since high school, water tends to evaporate. So, do not forget to add some in while waiting those 3 long hours. Plus, it does not let you go bananza! Water should always cover your meat about half way. Otherwise, you’ll burn it all, and you don’t want this one to happen…All your hard work to fly away from you…

And, voalah, after 3 hours you get a beautiful meal that every member of your family can and will enjoy!

Warm up your hearts with a nice Pot Roast!

Feedback: My beloved members actually said that they enjoyed it very much. They haven’t eaten such a dish in a while. The best thing about this dish is, you don’t have to prepare additional garnish for the meat.

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Behold…A quick homemade pizza!

I  am going to let you in on a little secret…I am a person who if they really want something, they will get it one way or another. And, if I have some sort of a craving, I have to fulfill it, maybe not right away, but still…The thought about my craving will interfere in some way until  I get it over with.

Yesterday, my desire for pizza got a hold of me. I did not want to spend any money, though. So what a better way to get over a craving for something than get working on cooking it? (that is, if we are talking about foods, of course) Plus, if prepared, the pizza will not be just for me, but for my whole family…I actually had everything to make pizza in my fridge, so why not make it?

Behold…A quick homemade pizza is coming

Ingredients:

4 tablespoons of sour cream, 9 tablespoons of flour, 2 eggs, 4 tablespoons of mayo + anything you have in your fridge that you think will make a good pizza (I took olives, feta cheese, regular cheese to sprinkle on the pizza, tomatoes, special pizza sauce (you can buy it in any store nowadays), sausage, fresh basil, red pepper, an onion, oregano) I have to say I completely forgot about mushrooms, but you can try it and tell me how they mix in there as well.

The Works:

Mix sour cream, flour, eggs and mayo in a large bowl. * What you will get is sort of  dough, very liquid, if not, just add more eggs…Pour the mixture in a frying pan, greased with butter.

Before my stove's magical works!

Before my stove’s magical works!

Then, comes the fun part! Slice and dice all of your favorite ingredients for your pizza, add pizza sauce, sprinkle some cheese on it and….DONE!All you have to do now is just put it on the stove for several minutes with a closed lid. When the cheese starts to melt..

YOUR PIZZA IS READY!

Some thoughts and feedback: I put a lot of stuff on the pizza, so there was a lot of juices flowing around. The result was, my own war with the frying pan, as it was hard to get it out of it. I let it cool for a while, thinking that it would make it easier, it actually did make it so, but the downside was, the pizza was cold! The lesson is to pour the mixture in a better frying pan. This one was kind of old…Plus, maybe it would be better to put it in the oven…It might actually consume less time.

The happy side of it all, this baby was tasty, and did not take a lot of time. All of it about 20 minutes. It tasted like a Margarita. Once again, took me back to Italy!  I think this would be a nice addition to my New Years fancy table plans. A nice entree so to speak….So, just wait for my New Years table menu!

Arivederci, my dear readers and followers!

The meaning of BreakFAST or Sandwiches + Toasts + Avocado = Perfection

BreakFAST! Even its own name hints on the most important meal of the day to be simple and fast. Simplicity lots of times leads to perfection. Unfortunatelly, nowadays, the word “fast” is often associated with Fastfood. It does not have to be this way. I declare that even meals that do not require a lot of time from you, have to become healthy masterpieces. So what if here we are talking about piecies of bread? It is still healthier than eating some pie from some fastfood place in the morning. I hope many of you here wll nod in agreement.

On that note, I am proudly presenting to you these small, not at all time consuming sandwiches and toasts that I made today to spoil myself and my beloved!  It was worth every minute spent!

For toasts: Take an egg, pour in some milk (pretend that you are making an omlet), add some salt. Mix together. Take 3 pieces of sliced bread, baithe them in the mixture. Preheat your fruing pan (Yay, I actually used a grill), put your little breads on the frying pan, fry from both sides. And, they are done! Congrats you nailed them! Simple, huh?

Hello, we are grilled toasts

Hello, we are grilled toasts

At this point you can go crazy and add anything that you like to them, I used some ham and cheese…simplicity again! 

20131204_104318 (1)For sandwiches:  Take some bread, get anything you want on it! Yes, I used humus (I fell in love with it here, they actually add some tasty stuff to come with it – spices, for example). After comes the ham, again, any ham your stomach will celebrate from! And you don’t have to stop there…I covered the ham in a special eggplant and mayo cream (not a lot, though)…Yummmmmmm!

Oh, and avocado! How could I forget?! Just slice it into small pieces. Cover it with a good quality olive oil and salt.

Come, your breakfast is ready!

To let your stomachs celebrate even further:

Turns out, you can have a rainbow in your own home – Braised Vegetables.

I knew we are going to have barbecue this weekend. I will let you know how it all turned out afterwards. I also knew that I did not want any heavy garnish to go with the barbecue. Besides, we have already had a full load of macaroni, potatoes (fried ones, boiled ones…any kind), hence my strong desire for changes. And yes, after looking at those mind-blowing kitchen pictures yesterday, I honorably declared: “I want diversity!”  It appears that those photos did their work, they did inspire me to get more colors into my life.

Plus, with all that meat lying on a plate, you would want something light as a garnish, no? Not one of us would fancy a phrase: “A moment on the lips, forever on the hips!” A balance is required in everything. And, the amazing thing is, if you don’t want to eat it with anything else, just enjoy it as it is! So, I wish to say “Gratitude” to those who came up with such a simple recipe –  Braised Veggies. My own version of a French creation – Ratatouille! The thing is, you can just open your fridge and start visualizing how your garnish becomes a reality. It is really of no relevance what you throw in, virtually everything combines together when you talk about vegetables.

Here’s how its done: As I said before, I just went up to my fridge, looked closely and, oh Heavens, I found all the colors I needed. Those bright large peppers (red, yellow, green), onions, tomatoes, parsley, cabbage, garlic, carrots, squash, eggplants…and even broccoli – take pairs, this way you will certainly know you have enough for everyone in your dearest family! Well, maybe cut down a little on the eggplant (totally depends on its size)

I grabbed all, and began dicing, slicing and yes, frying. (Some of them, like eggplants and squash) *But remember that guys like squash and eggplant need to be added last, as they have a tendency to become soft real fast. So, you don’t even have to fry them for a long time. Everything I took, I sliced in large pieces, let the rainbow of colors show in full power! *Every time you put something in a saucepan, or if you want to go all fancy – a wok, remember to add gradually, letting each of the vegetables to take in the juice for several minutes and stir before you add another one. The order is this: Cabbage, onions, carrots, our favorites of all time – colorful large peppers, broccoli (I had frozen, so it needed more time to cook), tomatoes, and…after I waited for about half hour – 40 minutes with all that stirring and mixing, I finally added the eggplants (or an eggplant), and squashes. I took all the strength I got left and mixed those guys together!

Here’s a little secret, for I did not want it to become dry like when walking in a desert, I actually made a sauce for them.

Sauce:  Sour cream (or flour in water), water, pressed garlic (about 5 large cloves or the way you like it) mixed together well. Pour the sauce into the pan, cover with a lid and wait for some magic to happen for about 5 minutes. Add parsley, salt and pepper, decorate!

The Lesson: Mood elevated, light food prepared (despite the sour cream, as I didn’t add a lot of it), diversity achieved!

Enjoy and be healthy!

Want even more diversity in your food:

I couldn’t, I just couldn’t pass this one by….

I know this is not exactly edible, but any woman in here will understand me when she sees this. And plus, kitchen is the place here you cook, so it seemed quite important to me to post this today. It turns out that kitchen is the place where I spent most of my free time, and it is of value to me that this place would be magical (as my food is, I like to believe), and most of all comfortable and inspiring to create my beauties in.

Talking about creativity! Anyone cooking in these kind of kitchens will probably get their muses for cooking every second! When I started living away from my parents, one of my dreams was to have a kitchen with an island. Man, how narrow my dreams were. I, for sure, want one of those now. Doesn’t really matter which one, they all look beautiful to me. The mix of modern design and the feeling of being at home. Well, maybe number 5 or 7 would actually fit me in the best way possible. They just seem more cozy.

Look at the one with piano on top. Not bad, huh? Maybe only I would write recipes instead of notes on the wall=) But, it is just me.

The morale of all this: These kind of designs would inspire me to cook even more.

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Have a great Thanksgiving and  Happy Hanukkah Everyone!

These two clashed together this year, huh?

Check it out for yourself:

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Attention! Hot Chocolate on the way.

Nostalgia all around. I remembered the time working as a barista in Canada. It seems so many years have past since that time. I was working in a small cafe, really, a four by four square, but with a family-like atmosphere. Somehow, this place, even though it was small, was popular among Canadians. Too bad I cannot seem to recall the name of the cafe.

But, I will always remember the taste of a cup of hot chocolate. The manager even argued that this recipe came from Mexico, and the old Maya traditions. A part of me always wanted to believe him, especially when I drank it with such pleasure.  Unfortunatelly, my memory seems to be too short to remember the recipe itself, but one ingredient stands out for sure: Chili pepper. And one more thing, he insisted that all the ingredients for this chocolaty hot chocolate have to be of highest quality possible. * Not that it does not have to be the same for all other meals.

So I believe the recipe itself would look like this (or at least I would like it to look similar) This one has its zest, I can assure you.

Try me!

Try me!

Ingredients:

Bitter chocolate (the one with high cacao percentage) – 100 g, 1 chili pepper. milk – 400 ml, vanilla sticks – 1, cinnamon sticks – 1,  brown sugar – 15 gr. *  add a little bit of cognac if you like – 20 ml.

The Works:

Break down the chocolate into small pieces.  Next, cut your vanillas sticks in half. Afterwards prepare yourself to battle with chili pepper. clean it out and slice also in half. Get all those guys together in a pot, poir in milk. Heat the party up, but don’t boil. Throw in sliced chocolate, decrease the heat on the stove and let the cookie crumble for about 10 minutes. Do not forget to stir!

The end result: Melted chocolate with even mixture in a pot. Get the spices out, if you don’t mind your chocolate’s level of spiciness to expand your sences, you can leave the chili till the end. However, if its something you stand against – get it out earlier than any other spice. Final step, add brown sugar (maybe even cognac, everything in accordance with your own taste), and serve.

Share this beauty with others or simply dive in yourself!

Enjoy with every sip!

Something of relevance: