My mother is one of the most knowledgeable people that I know. Maybe being a librarian for many years made her very good at doing research, on just about any topic. She has also been to many places across the globe and has a great general knowledge about many things. She recently went to Morocco with a group of her friends (some of the bravest women that I know!) and she sent us a parcel containing a pair of red Moroccan shoes and a bag of Moroccan spices. I don't know whether Moroccan people even eat goulash but mine was made with my Moroccan spice, hence the title. And once again the home made bread reared its delicious head! Do yourself a favour, buy some Moroccan spices and try this recipe out. Or try another recipe and let me know about it!
I think every person who claims to like cooking should make their own ricotta cheese at least once! It is as easy as boiling some milk, adding three ingredients and then waiting for the whey to drain. I usually add my ricotta cheese to my lasagne as well as Fabio's recipe for meatballs (both recipes still to come). And so far I have heard no complaints! On the contrary.. Ricotta cheese can also be used as a part of your appetizers, in salads, desserts, pastas, as a dip...the possibilities end only when you give up on your creativity!
The only negative aspect of making your own ricotta cheese is that you have to use it within three days - but really...is that such a bad thing after all?
The pasta in our house is almost crawling out of the kitchen cupboards because we buy it in bulk. Although I dream about having a pasta maker and making my own pasta, the store bought kind will have to do...for now.
A delicious pasta dish like our white sauce chicken pasta (if I may say so myself..) is a great dish and have satisfied our hungry stomachs many a meal but after a while one longs for change. There is a quote that says: To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often -Winston Churchill.
I am sure Mr Churchill wasn't talking about food when he spoke these words but I thought I would make it apply to this particular food situation.
In the past, my cooking have been static in that I made the same dishes over and over again. When you find a dish that you are good at making and the people who eat it love it, then make it as often as you can! But don't forget that change can bring about improvement, so do yourself (and those you feed) a favour and change a few ingredients or even the cooking method or even just the way it is presented!
The simple changes we made to our regular pasta dinner was enough for us to clink our wine glasses in satisfaction.
My Grandfather was a baker. The stories about the bakery and about my hard-working Grandparents were told to me by their youngest son, my own hard-working Dad. Maybe that is why I have loved baking from such a young age...? You see; I am not a sweet tooth, I never have a craving for doughnuts, my mouth doesn't water when I see a picture of pastries stuffed with cream and sweet fillings. But I do love making them! Don't get me wrong, I taste what I make and I enjoy it... I am not completely immune! So, before coming to Korea, I have made various baked goods except one....bread. I never needed to since I had a wide selection to choose from, at a good price. But in Korea, bread is a luxury. Especially non-sweet, whole-grain or plain bread.
The short version of how I started making my own bread: we wanted 'real' (by our standards) bread, bought expensive whole-grain bread a few times, realized there must be a better way, bought yeast, made bread. We were quite impressed by the end result and so this recipe soon became invaluable to our recipe collection. I don't know what I love more; making these little rolls-of-heaven or feeling like a baker's granddaughter while making them..
It is winter in Korea and despite the snow that graced us with its presence this morning, we are past the halfway mark and getting ready (mentally) for the humid summer days to come. But, while we can still cuddle in the cooler weather, we are making soup!
We had potatoes and onions that needed to be turned into something dish-y. Like the 'dish-y' boys my aunt always used to point out to me when I was in high school. As I was paging through Fabio Viviani's Italian kitchen (image below), I came across his recipe "Whatever is available vegetable soup".
I first started watching Fabio Viviani's short cooking videos, called 'Chow Ciao', on yahoo.com after a friend recommended it to me. One thing I really missed about my weird and wonderful country was the fact that I had a fairly big kitchen and the most amazing kitchen tools - still in storage waiting to one day be cooked with again! Apart from being quite witty and Italian, Fabio cooks really simple, very delicious dishes. But I still didn't really feel like cooking in this small kitchen, with tools that I didn't pick out for myself..until one day I didn't have sauce for pasta. I did it. I went online and searched 'Fabio Viviani marinara sauce'. And I made it. I am not going to lie; after making it the first time, I thought to myself, "Is it really worth it? Instead of making this myself I can buy it in a bottle." So much easier, right? Probably yes...until you taste the sauce in the bottle again..
Needless to say, I don't buy marinara sauce anymore. Once you've had a taste of the real thing, you can't go back! Thanks for the book, Robin and you're welcome, Fabio.
This is currently the dish we turn to when it has been a long day and the cooking-love level is not as high as usual when we get home and start thinking about dinner. By no means am I saying that this dish is not delicious! We have made it enough times that it is a no hassle dinner for us. And I love making white sauce, no matter how tired I am. This was not always the case but you know what they say about practice, right? I remember, in the pre-dating days, my mother-in-law asked me to whip up a white sauce while helping her with dinner. I replied with an embarrassed smile that I don't have enough confidence in my white-sauce-making-abilities to make it for my friend-who-is-a-boy's family. So, I made the salad...