Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Chicken and Napa Cabbage Salad

My father-in-law- is a great person: he loves people and always goes out of the way for them. He might not eat a lot himself but he still cooks (and he is a great cook, too) - not for himself but for others. Every Sunday afternoon he gets together with his friends to watch a movie (he knows everything about movies, and he is the biggest Jayne Mansfield fan I've even known), and of course, he makes some snacks or lunch for his movie group.

The other day he came across a great recipe and he ran it by his movie group. Everyone loved his Chicken and Napa Cabbage Salad! I was curious, and eventually I got a newspaper article with this recipe (not sure which one it was otherwise I would credit it) and a almost full bottle of sesame oil. Thank you Pappa Robin!

My husband loves Chinese Chicken Salad, and I was going to spoil him a little bit (as if he is not spoilt enough) and make him this Chicken and Napa Cabbage Salad for dinner (followed by some other food, of course). All I can tell you it was a success! Easy to make, colorful and very delicious. The ingredient are pretty basic but it is the sesame oil based dressing that makes a difference. And it is a Weight Watchers recipe too! Here you go:

Ingredients (serves 4):

  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 5 cups thinly sliced Napa cabbage
  • 2 cups shredded cooked skinless chicken beasts
  • 1 cup matchstick-cut carrots
  • 1 green bell pepper thinly sliced
  • 2 scallions thinly sliced on diagonal


  1. Whisk together lime juice, sesame oil, salt and black pepper in large serving bowl
  2. Add cabbage, chicken, carrots, bell pepper and scallions and toss to coat.
Serve immediately and enjoy! 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Joy of Bread Making

I procrastinate. A lot. As you can see it goes for this blog, and almost everything else in my life. Even shopping. I've been procrastinating for years to buy a bread maker. Friends would talk about their machines, the idea of freshly made bread would bring smile to my face, and still, I would not go and buy it. The good thing, my procrastination does end. The time has come, and with just one click (thank you, Amazon and Jeff Bezos!) I became a proud bread maker owner.

I went for a Hamilton Beach. Why? First, several people whose cooking skills are way better than mine recommended this one. Second, I have a Hamilton Beach food steamer and I am very happy with it. Last but not least, the price was hard to beat.

The machine came with a nice little book featuring several recipes. I was also pretty surprised to learn that you can use your bread maker also to make jam. The bread maker has 12 different cycles (from basic white bread to French to gluten-free), 3 different crust types (light, medium and dark) and allows to make a 1.5 lb or 2 lb loaf.

My bread making experience started with making basic white bread. I turned out to be no-brainer! Just add all the ingredients (water, salt, sugar, butter, flour and yeast - yes, no milk or eggs), select cycle and press 'Start'. In 3 hours I opened the lid to find a perfectly baked loaf of bread that smelled totally awesome! And the taste... OMG... it has been a while since I had such great tasting bread. Winning!

Next time I tried to make French bread. I think I messed up on the flour measurement, that's why my loaf turned out to be not the most beautiful one but it tasted fantastic!

In a little bit over a week I made 4 loafs, and everyone who tried my bread loved it.

Easy, no-mess and almost no-clean up bread making seemed like a dream. Now I have it in the comfort of my kitchen. What have been I waiting for? I should have gotten this wonder machine long time ago. Procrastination, procrastination...

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Flavors of Italy

This is a Guest post by Janet Becker. 

Everybody has dreamed at least once to sit in a premium restaurant with a glass of fine wine and a stunning view of the Mediterranean Sea, with that blue that cuts your breath away. And where to go when you want to get all these?

Think about Italy! You have probably joked at least once with friends acting like Italians, with their unmistakable accent and with their large arm movements. But Italy is not only about friendly people, summer perfume and beautiful views.

Italy is also about FOOD. Great food, taste and diversity. We have Italian restaurants all over the world and the Italian cuisine is one of the most famous in the world. Then it's obvious that you must taste it there, where it all started from. So here we have some tips that will lead you to the world of Italian tastes.

Go to Naples for Pizza


  • Known as the city of pizza, Napoli is the third city of Italy, after Milan and Rome. In 2004 a document was released with the original recipe of Neapolitan pizza.
  • The best pizza in Naples can sometimes be found in small restaurants that don’t allow a reservation. One of the best options is Pizzaiolo del Presidente. Situated in the center of Naples, the restaurant has its name from a funny story. After Bill Clinton ate there and rated the pizza as the best he had ever eaten, the boss renamed it Pizzaiolo del Presitente (The president’s pizza).
  • Another great option is pizzeria Da Michele, on Via Sersale 13. Here you can taste the famous Pizza Margherita or the delicious Pizza Quattro Stagioni, which means four seasons.

Venice for Fish and Sea Food


  • If you want a genuine seafood experience, you must go to the most famous fish market in Italy. Situated in Venice, Rialto Market offers you a large range of fresh fish and seafood. The food can be cooked in front of you and, as a tip, fresh seafood and home-made Italian pasta make the best combination.
  • Another good option is Ristorante Marco Polo, situated in the touristic center of Venice. The restaurant offers quality service and cozy atmosphere, along with the best seafood and fish specialties, which makes it perfect for a great and authentic Italian experience.

Milan for Pasta


  • As a reward for its special cuisine, Milan has several world-known restaurants. One of them in Antica Osteria della Lanterna, an authentic place situated in the center of Milan. Here you can enjoy the best home-made pasta in Milan, with genuine Italian decorations and served by a local gentile woman.
  • Another great place is the Pastamadre Restaurant, meaning Mother of Pasta. This cozy place is situated on Via Bernadino Corio 8 and, of course, the main dish is pasta. Whether you want the well-known Carbonara or you prefer something that you’ve never heard about, this is one of the best places in Milan to try it and you surely won’t be disappointed.

So, if you decided to go there for a culinary experience, you should prepare your luggage and your passport. You should know that there are no special visa requirements for Italy, unlike for US, where you need an ESTA approval to travel, so you are free to go to Italy and enjoy your holiday. Buon appetito!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Five Weird Food Delicacies From Around the World

This is a Guest post by Julia Dawson. 

There are a lot of gluttons around the globe who like to indulge in various cuisines from all over the world. However, there are such, who are so adventurous, that they are willing to push things to the extreme and try some of the most bizarre dishes one could possibly imagine. Such meals are not necessarily delicious, but can definitely be described as weird. Adventurous types are even willing to travel to foreign countries so that they could have a taste of their culinary oddities.

Here are a couple of traditional dishes that are quite bizarre. 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Wear green and enjoy this simple yet delicious food. You can't go wrong with corned beef and cabbage. This is what I made for our St. Patrick's luch:

I didn't make soda bread so just got some store-bought, and it turned out to be very good. 

Overall, it was a great special occasion meal but also easy to put together. Love it!