passport to Russia

russianMaybe… I’m no expert on Russian food but I am from WI with some strong German-American heritage. I know how to fry potatoes and make cucumber salad.

1. You don’t need to put a weighted plate on the potatoes while they cook. I even tried it. Useless.

2. apples, radishes and cucumbers with dill sour cream dressing…kind of SUPER AWESOME!  I’m not kidding. You should try this.

I was not that into the chicken kiev and all the pounding and rolling seems like a waste of time for a breaded chicken cutlet.

Thai-Vietnamese? salad


I’m not exactly sure why this salad is Thai-Vietnamese….the peanut sauce and basil seems a little Thai inspired but I’m not sure about the Vietnamese part…doesn’t it have to have fish sauce to be be Vietnamese?

Here is the assembly list if anyone has some insight for me, although there are a few Chicago winter substitutions/omissions.

lettuce (green leaf and romaine)
snow pea shoots
shredded carrots
green onions
red onion
fresh mint
fresh basil
toasted sesame seeds
toasted almonds

soy sauce
canola oil
salt and pepper

tuna steak (Yes, it is cooked through. Sacrilege! This was day two leftovers and I reheated it)
canola oil
lime juice

white vinegar
white grape juice
peanut butter
grated fresh ginger
cayenne pepper
canola oil

cioppino the San Fransico treat

I have to admit that I absolutely assumed that cioppino was Italian…until I Google-d it this evening and saw that it hails from San Francisco.  Well…I learn something everyday.

I’m still nursing this #$%^ cold so “easy” and “soup” are big bonuses on my recipe selection list right now. Also I’m craving seafood after the Bavarian vay-cay diet.

So this is what my 1/2 batch of Rachael’s Everyday Cioppino ended up like:

  • olive oil, some red pepper flakes, half a can of anchovies, a bay leaf, 3 cloves of garlic minced in a pot over medium heat
  • After the anchovies started to melt a little I added 1 stalk of celery chopped, and 1/2 an onion chopped.
  • Once the veggies were a little soft I splashed in a little white wine (1/2 cup-ish of organic Torrontes from Argentina)
  • After about a minute I added the stock, mine was about 10 oz of chicken stock from a carton and 4 oz  fish stock from frozen concentrate (I freeze it in ice cube trays so I can pull a few cubes out when I want them)  also 4 sprigs of fresh thyme, a good handful of chopped flat leaf parsley and a 14 oz can of fire-roasted crushed tomatoes
  • After that came to a bubble I lowered the heat a bit (med-low) and added my fish (good sized chucks of cod – I seasoned them with smoked salt flakes and fresh ground pepper)
  • After about 5 minutes I added 1/2 dozen mussels and shrimp and a good handful of little scallops.
  • Then I covered it and cooked it for a another 5-10ish minutes then pulled out the now naked thyme stems. done.

My shrimp were a little overcooked….I could have added them for the very last next couple of minutes.

Now. What am I going to do with the second half of that can of anchovies?

mini-meatball soup

meatballmacaronisoupThis is not the prettiest soup but good. I never really measure and I added a lot of veggies, meatballs and pasta so it is kind of a sauce rather than soup but good comfort food and it reheats well.

I just used the last of a couple kinds of leftover pasta I already had. I did use the beef/veal/pork combination and my bread crumbs were panko.

recipe : there are some reviews on this site by people who seriously love this soup

a greekish dinner

The salad dressing/marinate for the chicken was great with the fresh oregano and lemon zest.  The feta I bought at the local grocery was fab-u-lous but I have a huge wedge of it!  This is no little package of feta crumbles so we may end up in a too much of  a good thing situation. I also got some great kalamata olives and Lebanese style pita. Then I cranked up my grill for the chicken. (I’m still in love and it has been so rainy here in Chicago I still haven’t had a chance to use it much) –> recipe on Rachael Ray

This was my first attempt at using phyllo too and I don’t think it went all that well. The recipe is trying to make it easy on you by not making you layer hundreds (exaggeration) of sheets of phyllo with melted butter.  This recipe calls for about 4 sheets each and this just really isn’t enough. These spanakopita-sorta’s are okay but I also made the bakla-squares (simplified baklava?) and they were pretty bad. I will spare you the photos. I notice that they did on the web site too. –> spanikopita, bakla-squares


The future?: google earthing other people's dinner tables