The most often asked question from me regarding the Spoons is 'how do you get inspiration to what you make, what makes you decide what is going to be on the blog and when'. And this is relatively easy to answer because all the food made for the posts is consumed in my household.
The food prepared for the blog is something that stands in the guidelines of what ingredients are available right now, what is in the pantry and/or the fridge right now, and what would be tasty to make, and it evolves from there. Like today's post - I had some feta cheese I wanted to use, my basil was overgrowing and the oranges I had needed to be used as well. Then I just started to play with different ideas, and it ended up being a meal that was so tasty, it was easy to prepare with just a few ingredients, and did I mentioned so delicious, the chicken was so moist and tender to eat!
Here the key was the good, quality Greek feta cheese that I used. With this dish I wouldn't use one of those imitation feta cheeses that are sold in oil but get the real thing instead. If you don't like basil, you can use oregano, but then I would maybe change the citrus to lemon.
I marinated the chicken breasts in olive oil with finely chopped garlic and onion in it, for about 3 hours before I started cooking. You could set the chicken in the marinade in the morning before leaving the house, and then prepare the dish when you come home. Also, if you have a Greek oil based salad dressing, you could use that instead.
The pieces of chicken breasts that I used were on the large side, there is liquid in the pan at the end, if you don't like that you can set the chicken on a roasting pan, and then you don't have to worry about the drippings from the chicken, but it could turn out to be a bit dry that way. So be careful with the baking time, your oven temperature and the size of the chicken breasts if you do use a roasting pan for this dish.
I used a slotted spoon to carefully remove the chicken from the pan without the drippings and with the feta topping. I served just a simple cherry tomato salad with the chicken and couscous on the side to keep with the Mediterranean theme.
I hope you enjoy this flavorful dish! Till next time
Here is a recipe, and a meal idea, that the side dish took the center stage and ended up being the main event that everything else just was complimenting.
This idea came to me on the grocery meat aisle, while shopping and seeing what they had and what would inspire me. I was walking with a friend and talking out loud what I could do with the fresh turkey breast that they had for a good price. To use chicken breasts or boneless pork loin instead of turkey would go great as well. Any white meat will work with the slow roasted curried coconut milk cauliflower, apples, and onions.
The idea is rather simple and didn't take a long time to get the dish into an oven, mix a salad and then just relax until the hour was up and the food was ready. And it was a great end result, I have to admit.
If you have a mandoline and are comfortable using it, it can help to cut down the prep time in case you are in a hurry.
The coconut milk mellowed out the curry type taste and just left the slow burn into the dish. If you heat up leftovers the day after all the flavors have intensified, and the burn and spiciness will be higher. I didn't consider it too high, but just so you know.
Without further ado, here is the recipe. I wish you all a great weekend! Till next time
How do you plan your weekly meals? Or do you plan at all, just fix what you are craving for or what is on the sale at the grocery store? Do you shop once a week or something every day?
I try to go grocery shopping twice a week, the other time just getting fresh bread, fruit, and veggies etc. for the weekend. But I also tend to find the best sales when it comes to protein and has a good selection in the freezer where I can choose what I want and need at any given time. Then I plan my meals according to the availability of the fresh veggies in the markets, that I admit, up here in the north, can be limited during the winter months.
This dish is something I made when I had to rely only on what I had in the house, but sometimes those meals are the best, with a lot of flavor, and like this one, with a lot of slow burning heat...
This is a pretty simple recipe, like most of the meals that I share. I like to think that you can get an idea and inspiration of the meals I share even if you are not a fan of working in the kitchen.
I made a big pot of the pork ginger stew because I knew the next day the flavors would be even more intensified and the burn from the ginger and chili would intense. The amount of chili and ginger used is up to you, of course. What I used was nice with just a little fire in the mouth afterward. I love to cook economically, and using leftovers the day after just saves time and money in a long run. The sauce can be served with noodles, pasta, rice or just as with an artisan bread. It can also be made with chicken or turkey, or a vegetarian version with red lentils and kidney beans.
I hope you enjoy the ginger stew and your weekend. Till next time
We have made it to March, and I'll admit, I am really looking forward to warmer, sunny days, the wildflowers to start to bloom in the city parks, the bikes on the streets, people enjoying life in cafe terraces... If you follow the website Instagram account, you might have noticed that all my food pictures have lately been in spring colors as well. I laughed when someone pointed out to me that even the zucchini picture looks like grass... Must be some super-grass, huh?!
But you know the more color on your plate, the more good stuff, vitamins and minerals your body needs, is in the food you eat. So go forth and be colorful!
I served corn and salmon with the noodles. The salmon you can bake in an oven or sear in the pan like I did. The salmon doesn't take long, so if you want a quick meal use the pan to prepare the salmon, if you want a little less stress right before serving time, bake the salmon in the oven.
I hope these ideas inspired you to use color on your plate. Til we meet again
I love to eat fish and chips, and to get a little healthier form of the tasty treat, I made some cod cakes this week, with roasted potatoes that were tossed in olive oil and herbs, and shredded carrot salad on the side to give color to the plate - and vitamins and minerals to me, all the goodies in the carrots, that we especially now need as we head towards the spring season and sun is out more even up here in the north.
The meal was rather easy to prepare. I had the potatoes in the oven while I prepared the cod cakes. I cut the large red potatoes into eights in lengthwise with one potato per person. I had a dash of rosemary, thyme, sage, sea salt and freshly ground pepper on them, little olive oil, tossed them until all were well coated and I set them into the oven. I shredded the carrots ready while the fish was cooking. You can add orange slices, pomegranates, lingonberries, raisins to the salad if so desired to add new flavors and more color to it.
This is a really tasty meal. I have put some of the cakes into a freezer if I ever need in a pinch a quick meal. By making the cakes a little smaller in size they could be a great appetizer as well if served with a mayonnaise-based sauce with little dill, mustard, and spices. I hope you enjoy them and have a great weekend. Till next time
Folks, the spring is in the air, the sun is out, the temperatures nearly above freezing, I can feel the energy bursting out after the long, dark, polar nights and five weeks of influenza... Yet again, life wins up here in Nordic! I am getting nearly poetic here, but hopefully, you don't hold it against me.
You might have noticed that I don't prepare many dishes with chicken. When I go for the poultry, I tend to buy a turkey breast instead, but for a couple of weeks I have been craving for the honey glazed chicken breasts, and what better time to do it than now.
I purposely prepared twice as much as I would have needed so that the next day I had a meal ready to assemble with fajitas. The wraps that I made with the leftovers were so tasty I wish I could have shared them with you.
So that's what has been for a dinner here, I hope you enjoy it and have a great weekend. Till next time
Ginger is among the healthiest spices on the planet. It is loaded with nutrients and bioactive compounds that have powerful benefits for your body and brain. I use it a lot in tea and cooking and just building up my immune system during the flu season. When you mix ginger with carrots, also considered as one of the healthiest foods in the world, and make harmony - or soup if you want - the taste is deeply layered and it is good for you! I tend to have at least one vegetarian day a week, by no means of planning, but by just loving the taste and abundance of veggies our markets are pushing out these days. This week I made the Carrot & Ginger Soup since after being sick for the whole month of January, I really need to boost my energy. But mainly because this soup is really delicious and simple to make. I added some sour cream to it, after finishing it off with butter and drops of fresh lemon juice. If you want the taste of ginger in your soup, but not the hot burn it has, remove it from the kettle before you purè the rest of the ingredients. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Stay warm, folks, or cool if you are on the other side and have summer time. Till next time
We made it through January! Oh, it wasn't easy by any means, and I know I have been a bit absent here on the Spoons lately, but y'all that flu took me down for weeks and there wasn't much 'food talk' around here, I tell you! But, February is here, and it arrived with a bit of snow and gloomy days, and when it gets so outside, I want to compensate that with sunny and colorful plates, food that will cheer me up, is tasty, and all kinds of good.
This particular side dish might not be the healthiest, with cream and cheese and potatoes in it. But I served it on the side of a herb crusted roasted turkey breast, so that gave it some balance, or so I told myself since I really had been craving carbs the whole time I was sick and I finally had the energy to do something about it.
The recipe is really simple, and if you have a mandoline to cut the veggies with, the preparation of the dish could take even less time. Just remember, safety first!
So the nasty flu virus that has been going around since Christmas attacked this household last weekend and is not giving up the fight easily.
I had great plans for cooking and baking this week, but with the fever raging making the carrot cake didn't happen instead I was thankful for the yogurt and bananas to eat when I had the energy for it.
But I made the cake during the holidays as well, so I got a picture of it from the Christmas album, sort of.
But I will share with you the carrot cake recipe. It is a twist on the banana bread recipe I shared with you before in November, and I have fallen in love with it because it is tasty, delicious, moist, and easy to make without any kitchen machinery. I make an icing for it with a mix of cream cheese and Mascarpone and a little bit of powdered sugar. The end result - fantastic! I hope you enjoy it and I truly hope y'all are doing better than this household right now :D
We all have dishes and flavors, even scents that take us immediately back in time, flooding our minds with memories and past events. The Sailor's steak took me back to childhood Sundays when coming home from the church services this dish had been in the oven for hours and the scent of it and the marvelous taste of it was waiting for us. Good times.
The dish is in the oven several hours in lower temperatures and the tastes and aromas have time to develop and merge. It is one of those melt in your mouth dishes, and with ample amount pepper has a great subtle kick to it at the end. You can use beer even if cooking for a family with children, the alcohol evaporates as it cooks, but you can also substitute it with more broth. There are a great many things you could be added to this rather uncomplicated dish, but then we would have to come up with a new name since the original Sailor's streaks would cease to exist.
This is a great meal to prepare on those cold winter days when you have the opportunity to let it cook for several hours in a dutch oven, or set it in your slow cooker and forget it until dinner time. And served with something colorful like pickled beets or shredded carrots, it will make a marvelous mealtime for you.
I hope you enjoy it, until next time
I'm a chef and a pastry chef, and I love food. Preparing a meal for someone is a show of love; for your craft, for the ingredients, and for the ones eating.
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