Stay At Home Meals

I like posting pictures of my meals – and I always liked it! I love it when my food looks pretty, even when I am the only person at the table (which is most of the time). Also, I do not like to spend a lot of time cooking, and I do not like recipes with many ingredients. Whatever appears at my food photographs, is always fast and easy to make.

90% of my food pictures show some breakfast food because that’s my favorite meal of the day. And my friends were keeping asking me why I never post any pictures of my dinners. Well … because by dinner time I always forget that I planned to show all my meal of the day:).

During these past two weeks, there were no changes to how I eat at home. I would still arrange everything nicely on the plate because I enjoy it. It does not take much time, and really improves your mood! These pictures are all from one day last week. Full disclosure: coffee, chocolates, and other sweets not included :).

Breakfast: egg whites with vegetables, mushrooms and two tablespoons of greek yogurt (microwaved)
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Yellow Beets and Blue Cheese Salad

I spotted yellow beets in the Eurofresh store last week. Previously, I only saw yellow beets in my CSA shares. Even though I didn’t plan to cook anything with beets that week, I bought a bunch.

I baked the beets in foil (40-50 min at 400F) and made this simple salad:

Baby kale, baked beets, blue cheese, pistachios. Dressing: one part of pistachio oil, to parts of Madera balsamic. It feels like a holiday meal :}

Beets and Goat Cheese Salad

Once again, this is something I hesitate to call a recipe. It’s just that a couple of years ago, I realized that those super-fancy salads with baked beets and goat cheese – I can easily make them at home. You need to bake beets just once – 40 min at 400F individually wrapped in aluminum foil, and then you can peel them and store in the container – for over a week.

New this year – I started to add some pomegranate seeds to this salad. So now I have:
baked beets, purple and yellow
spicy asian greens
crumbled goat cheese
chopped walnuts
pomegranate seeds
and this wonderful balsamic/oil combination from Vompass:

Proportions are entirely up to you, made in minutes, taste priceless 🙂

Breakfast is the Best Meal of the Day!

I still have lots of pictures from the Labor Day weekend, and here are some of them. Why this is about a Labor Day weekend? Because one of the nice things you can do over the long weekend is to make “Sunday breakfasts” every day:).

The plenty of veggies which are delivered daily presents me with a challenge of adding them to everything:

Chocolate goes for the second course:

Also, it’s blueberry season, time to make Finnish rye blueberry meal:

Food and Travel

There are a couple of places in Madison, which I always like to visit when I am in town. Unfortunately, two of them closed recently, but my second favorite store, vomFASS, is still there :).

I buy a majority of what I buy online because it saves time for the more interesting things, but sometimes buying in the brick and mortar store is a fun of its own, and shopping at vomFASS is undoubtfully a case.

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My Cooking Philosophy

I love cooking. But I am terrified of long recipes with two dozen-plus ingredients. My motto is: cooking should be fun, and should not be exhausting. After all, I am not a stay-at-home wife, nor a 9-to-5 person. I am a “tech exec”, working in a small startup, which means crazy working hours and unpredictable schedule.

I do not hold a belief that the food should be prepared the same day it is consumed. For me cooking or preparing for cooking in advance is vital. Now I am in the midst of my traditional summer vegetable challenge: the CSA delivery comes weekly, and even with my half-share, there are way more vegetables I can consume.

I do not mind leaving some of the vegetables for the next week or more. But I still need to cook them at some point:). Although I live by myself now, I am making big batches – takes the same time to cook! Then I package the cooked dishes into very small containers and freeze them. This way, I can defrost and warm-up just the amount I can consume with one meal.

Summer squash with carrots, onions and tomatoes
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Baked Salmon

This is a recipe from my daughter Anna. When the folks from the Open Door Shelter where I volunteer asked to make fish next time I will come, I was not sure what I could make, which would be fast and simple. And yummy. And this recipe is the best in terms that you need to do almost nothing – the oven does the job.
When I made it in ODS for the first time, it was gone before I turned around. I made it at home when Boris was here with the same effect. I brought two giant salmons to the shelter last Friday, and this way at least there were no people who got nothing.
I had one more left at home, and I didn’t want to freeze it, so I baked it, and now I am going to give some to Mom, some to Igor and freeze the rest.
Here is the recipe:

  • Preheat oven to 400F.
  • Place the fish skin down on the baking sheet (on the parchment paper or aluminum foil).
  • Put several drops of olive oil on top, sprinkle some salt and black pepper.
  • Cut one or two lemons and place the pieces on top of the fish, to give some lemon flavor and to prevent it from getting dry.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes. Anna says – eight minutes, but it didn’t work for me.
Enjoy!

A Swordfish Steak

I do not feel like writing a proper cooking post at the moment, and thereby, I am not creating this post in my cooking blog. But it is still a pretty picture and a nice meal:)

It was the first time for me to cook a swordfish. This recipe popped up during my web search with lots of comments that the timing is wrong. Which made me very nervous, and I was standing there with a stopwatch on, checking the fish for “flakiness.”

One of the sides is tomatillos with onions and tomatoes, all from the CSA delivery. The rest is self-explanatory:)

CSA And Local Produce

I first started to buy stuff from the Middlebury Farms, because it was just good stuff, which other farmers didn’t have, and it was reasonably priced. And then they told their customers that they are going to do the CSA, and I jumped in because I like them and wanted to support!

Since that first time, there were good years and bad years, but that’s the risk you take! The best part of all this deal of CSA never failed me – the mystery of “what’s in the box” next week?

I try to cook everything within a week, and when I can’t eat it all, even with sharing with mom, I freeze the cooked food in small containers. It’s way better than freezing raw vegetables. The cooked meal, when defrosted, tastes not worse than freshly prepared.

I’ve already showed one of my deliveries several weeks ago, when I published my Cold Beets Soup recipe. Here is one more, from this week:

And this one is from the previous week:

Until mid-November, I do not think I will need to buy any greens, or tomatoes, or cucumbers. I will cooking and freezing lots of vegetable sides and making vegetable soups. And I will be sure to demonstrate if there will be something new and exciting this year!