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 πŸ™‚

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.

Continue reading “Food and Travel”

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
Continue reading “My Cooking Philosophy”

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.

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!

About Mornings, Breakfasts, And Getting Stuff Done

Today life was much better than the previous several days. When I was leaving my house at 8-10 AM, I looked around and thought that in most of the homes, people are just starting to get up. It is a weekend, after all!

As for me, by the time I was leaving the house, I have;

  • spoken to Boris for what originally planned to be a half-hour, and ended up being close to an hour
  • gone on a 40-minute bike ride
  • done 30 -min yoga session
  • showed and got ready for a day
  • got the breakfast ready and eaten it outside

I am obsessed with breakfast. I love making nice breakfasts and eating them outside. People find it hard to believe that my numerous breakfast pictures on Instagram are my real everyday breakfasts, not the sill life and that I am making them just for myself (if I do not have anybody staying with me, of cause).

But for me, this is an essential part of the day. I am a morning person, and to start the day with some physical activity followed by a yummy and beautifully arranged breakfast is the way to set me up in a good mood. Sometimes it can’t last through the day, but at least for some time.

Today I made myself a millet hot cereal. The original recipe is here, although now I make it with water and some nono-fat milk. Making it takes some time, but today I put it on LOW before going biking, and after I retured, I mixed in some defrosted pumpkin puree, and spices, and left it on LOW again. It all worked so probably I will be making it more often.

Svekolnik – Cold Summer Soup

I make this cold soup every summer as the temperatures start to hit the 80s, and make it every week un til it cools outside. Many people are suspicious about this soup because it is pink :). But if they are brave enough to try, they love it.

My CSA deliveries have started in July and the last week’s delivery was just perfect.

Here is the most important part of what I’ve got:

Here are my step by step instructions. First, you separate the leaves from the roots:

Continue reading “Svekolnik – Cold Summer Soup”