Garlicky Mushroomy Chicken with Kale

I have been using quite a bit of kale in my dishes recently, mainly due to the fact that I put it in my morning smoothies and then must figure out what to do with the rest of the leaves.

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For some reason, grocery stores don’t sell just a little bit of kale but a huge bunch of it and I have no room in my fridge or freezer to store it (same story with dill, although space for dill is easier to find. WHY are those herb bunches so big???). I have also promised my husband to keep the freezer only 2/3 filled, which is proving to be quite difficult. He claims that the freezer is so full, there is no room for ice cream, should he want to buy some (it could also be a ploy on my end in order to keep his waist slim and trim). Continue reading

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Leek and Potato Soup With Kale

Have you got some potatoes, leeks and kale kicking around? How about making some soup?

IMG_1796When I was growing up, I hated soups. My mom always made me eat them, as she is a firm believer that warm liquid keeps guts healthy. Maybe she is right, but I don’t mind eating soups any longer. I love them, specially when prepared by her. During my early cooking days I was quite intimidated by soups and thought that making them was a form of fine art. And then I discovered cream soups and everything got less scary. Somehow, pureeing the soup hides any imperfections, makes it look sophisticated AND even kid-friendly (all the lovely vegetables are hidden from the vegetable-wary eaters). Continue reading

Okra Stew, Iraqi Style (AKA Bamieh)

I am always in a mood for Okra Stew and think that okra is seriously underrated.

IMG_1198.jpgMy husband’s dad’s side of the family is from Baghdad and Arabic dishes make regular appearances on our dinner table. Bamieh is the official name our Iraqi family has for this dish, but I stick to a safer ‘okra stew’ as I only witnessed my husband’s cousin’s wife cooking it once and tried to learn the steps the best I could (so authenticity of the recipe cannot be guaranteed). I improvised with the ingredients a bit and came up with a recipe that satisfied myself and the extremely picky eaters I happen to share my life with. Even my 6 year old likes it, and it says a lot! Continue reading

One More Way to Bake Potatoes

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This one is a crowd pleaser and will not take up too much of your time. All you need is some potatoes and bacon, a match made in food heaven (at least in my opinion). Make it as a quick snack if you have company over or as a lazy weeknight dinner, with a salad on the side. My dad tasted a similar dish while visiting relatives that live near Carpathian mountains in Ukraine and was so impressed with it that my mom had to try making it. The original version had small potatoes cut in half and topped with a nice chubby slice of smoked salo (Ukrainian type of bacon that has no, or very little, meat). It is delicious and comes with a variety of seasonings. I improvised given the lack of proper salo and unwillingness to wait for too long for the thicker cut spuds to cook through. I like to season them with salt and pepper as bacon packs quite a bit of flavour, but feel free to experiment with your favourite seasonings. The result will be delicious! I do wonder, how this dish is not a pub food staple? Continue reading