Uncategorized

Baby Joy!

Hi,

Four weeks ago baby Adam joined our family!

It was the first day of Spring, the sun was shining and the skies were blue. After a few hours in labor he arrived 15 minutes before sundown. It was the perfect ending to a beautiful day. I never in a million years could have imagine how our lives would change. We are all settling in and trying to find a new rhythm for our daily life.

I’m taking a short maternity leave from the blog until early June to focus on my family and to recharge my creative juices.  Hopefully by then I’ll get more than 2 hours of sleep at night…

See you soon!

Shani

 IMG_0195

Standard
EAT

Rainbow Salad

There is nothing better than a good, delicious, healthy salad for lunch. I especially love to combine fruit and nuts with my regular base for added texture and flavors. I am also a firm believer of eating your colors – mix as much color vegetables as you can at each meal!

Ingredients

1/2 head of radicchio, chopped

1 head of red lettuce, chopped

4 big leaves lacinato kale, stems and center ribs discarded and leaves coarsely chopped

6-8 large strawberries, halved

6-8 cherry tomatoes, halved

1/2 cup mint, chopped

1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted

1/3 cup olive oil

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place the raddichio, kale, strawberries, tomatoes, mint, feta and almonds in a large bowl. Add the dressing and toss until coated.

IMG_0892

IMG_0913

IMG_0939

IMG_0945

IMG_0947

Photos by Kate Bolt

Standard
EAT

Soup for the Soul

Growing up my mom will always make soup during the Winter months. Coming home from school to a comforting bowl of hot soup was just perfect. I’m carrying on this tradition with my own family. This soup is one of the favorites in my house, between the girls and J the pot will be empty and gone in two days.

Split pea and Kale soup

3 Tbsp olive oil

1 medium size onion, chopped

2 medium size carrots, diced

2 red peppers, diced

4-6 big leaves lacinato kale, stems and center ribs discarded and leaves coarsely chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup parsley, chopped

1 pound bag of dried split pea

1 qt chicken stock

1 1/2 cup of frozen petit green peas

2.5 qt water

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, peppers and sauté for about 10 minutes with the cover on. Add the kale, garlic and parsley, stir well and cook for 5 minutes. Rinse the split pea in cold water and add to the pot. Add the chicken stock, water, salt, and pepper and stir well. Bring the soup to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer, partly covered, for 30 – 40 minutes until the vegetables are tender and the split pea is starting to disintegrated. Add the frozen green peas, and cook for another 20 minutes.

Soup is best if made one day ahead. Cool completely, uncovered, then chill, covered. Thin with water if necessary.

IMG_0869

IMG_0871

IMG_0991

IMG_0996

Photos by Kate Bolt

Standard
EAT

Shakshuka

I must write a post about one of my favorite dishes. It is my signature dish for brunch or for a light dinner. This is another traditional dish and I grew up with my dad’s version where he used a lot of diced peppers. My version is more Greek in its style using kalamata olives and feta. Shakshuka is a super easy dish that can serve as the star of any gathering. All it needs is a good white bread to accompany it. For best flavors serve it with Tahini on the side.

2 tbsp olive oil
4 tbsp kalamata olives, pitted and halved
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large can of rustic cut tomatoes
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 large eggs
2 tbsp feta cheese, crumbled

Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat and add kalamata olives and garlic. Stir and cook for about 5 minutes to allow the olives to soften (this will remove some most of their bitter flavor). Add the tomatoes, balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper, bring to a gentle simmer, cover and cook further for about 10 minutes.

Make 4 little dips in the sauce. Gently break the eggs and carefully pure each into its own dip taking care not to break the yolks. Sprinkle the feta over the eggs. Cover the pan and simmer gently for 15 minutes, until the eggs are set. Remove from the heat, and leave for a couple of minutes. Spoon into individual plates and serve with tahini.

Note: This recipe I only used 4 eggs since it was only made for two. This base is good to use with up to 10 eggs.

IMG_0758

IMG_0776

IMG_0836

IMG_0854

Photos by Kate Bolt

Standard
EAT

Stuffed Peppers

This is one of those recipes that every family has. My late grandfather used to make it using only green peppers since he liked the bitterness in them. I only use the red ones since I love the sweetness in them. Some will precook the rice to shorten the cooking time and some will use only dry rice and let the peppers cook longer. Every family has a story of her own. This is mine.

Note: The peppers are cooked in a tomato sauce. Mine changes each time, according to what I have at my pantry. The sauce should be easy and simple to accompany the peppers. 

Sauce, peppers and seasonings
7 red bell peppers (Try picking the big ones that can hold the stuffing)
1 large can of crushed tomatoes
1 large can of rustic cut tomatoes
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
sugar in the raw, salt and freshly ground black pepper
Stuffing
1 cup basmati rice
1 pound sirloin ground beef
2 tbsp chopped dill
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp baking soda
Salt and freshly ground peppers

Start with the stuffing. Cook the rice according to direction on the package. Limit cooking time to 15 minutes until the water is absorbed but the rice is not fully cooked. Set aside.

Place the ground beef in a large mixing bowl and add the baking soda. Using a little bit of ice cold water, mix the baking soda with the beef (this is a family trick that will make the beef airy). Add the dill, dijon mustard and season with salt and freshly ground black peppers. Pour over the rice. Mix everything together well (you may need to use your hands).

Using a small knife gently remove the top cap of the pepper while keeping it intact. Use the knife to remove any seeds left inside and random white pieces. Without forcing the peppers, stuff each one with an equal amount of the mixture. Close each pepper with its top.

In a large pot (which you have a tight-fitting lid for) pour the tomatoes and season with 1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar, salt and freshly ground peppers. Depending on how acidic the tomatoes are you may need to season with a little bit of sugar to balance the flavors. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat. Carefully arrange the peppers. The tomato sauce should almost cover them. Add hot water if necessary to reach that level. Bring to a boil again and then lower the heat, cover the pot and cook for about an hour. The stuffing should be fully cooked and the peppers tender but still keeping their shape.

Use tongs to remove peppers from the pot. Spoon sauce in a moat around them or slice open peppers and douse with sauce on top. Enjoy!

IMG_0411

IMG_0442

IMG_0478

IMG_0514

IMG_0531

IMG_0547

IMG_0644

Photos by Kate Bolt

Standard