A Basic Sourdough Starter Guide

A Basic Sourdough Starter Guide

How Much Commitment Do You Need to Create and Maintain Your Own Sourdough Starter?
You’ve probably heard it takes a lot of work and care to maintain a sourdough starter.

You have to feed your sourdough starter at least once daily.  Some bakers feed it two to three times per day.  Ok, a baby or a dog requires about the same amount of care and attention, you might think.  Are you ready for such a life-changing commitment?

Remember all this effort is only to maintain your sourdough starter.  Afterwards, you will  have to make your bread, which can take between 18 and 36 hours for a traditi…

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An Easy Quiche Recipe Made Simple

An Easy Quiche Recipe Made Simple

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A Quiche Recipe for all Occasions
Quiche is sometimes overlooked as a dish to serve guests.  I don’t understand why.  I love quiche for informal gatherings, especially accompanied by soup or salad.  It’s an easy weeknight supper with my kids.  Leftover quiche is also super easy and yummy the next day, warm or cold.

Since I started this blog, I’ve made quiche more than a dozen times.  Yet, I have shared only one quiche recipe.  It was a recipe for a Leek Quiche with Wild Garlic, a perfect springtime dish.

What can I possibly add to the numerous quiche recipes already av…

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Tomato Fish Soup in 30 minutes

Tomato Fish Soup in 30 minutes

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How to make a Quick Tasty Tomato Fish Soup
Tomato Fish Soup is one of my favorite soups at home and in restaurants.  There are so many ways to make fish soup, some simple, others a little more complicated.  This recipe is super easy to make in less than an hour.

You can make this Tomato Fish Soup in a single pot, making your clean up afterwards much easier.   All you need to do is put a casserole on the stove over a medium heat.  Add an onion, a few garlic cloves and spices.  Then pour in a can of whole tomatoes, mix and let simmer until tomatoes break down.  Finally thro…

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Vegan Tomato Sauce for All Occasions

Vegan Tomato Sauce for All Occasions

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A Versatile Vegan Tomato Sauce
I usually try to feature here recipes for tasty healthy versions of otherwise ordinary dishes.  Or recipes for extraordinary dishes that will wow your family and guests.

Most people already know how to make an Italian-style tomato sauce to use on pasta.  However, here is a tasty healthy version of a tomato sauce that can be used in many of your favorite dishes.  Several friends have asked me to share this recipe for Vegan Tomato Sauce, as it is as yummy as it is nourishing.

I often use this Vegan Tomato Sauce in my vegetarian lasagna as…

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Fresh Red Beet Pasta

Fresh Red Beet Pasta

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Why Bother Making Fresh Red Beet Pasta?
Recently I developed a recipe for Red Beet Ravioli with Spinach and Goat Cheese, which was absolutely yummy.  Of course, I may be a bit biased.  So don’t rely on my word, try it yourself and see how delicious is this ravioli dish!

The red beets in the pasta make the dough a vibrant purple color, which will certainly make any plate look more attractive.  The red beets also add dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals and nutrients that will help you and your family remain healthy.  Contrary to common belief, red beets are not high in sugar;…

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Pumpkin Ravioli with Spinach and Goat Cheese

Pumpkin Ravioli with Spinach and Goat Cheese

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Why Not a Pumpkin Variation for a New Family Favorite?
During a stay in Kosice, Slovakia at the end of my Journey to Greece, I fell in love with a vegetarian red beet pirohy (pierogi) dish served with fresh spinach and goat cheese.  To discover more about my love story with this delicious wholesome dish, read my recipe for Red Beet Ravioli with Spinach and Goat Cheese.

While I was testing out recipes for Red Beet Ravioli with Spinach and Goat Cheese with one of my Belgian sisters, she started harvesting pumpkins from her vegetable garden.

 

 

As I l…

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Red Beet Ravioli with Spinach and Goat Cheese

Red Beet Ravioli with Spinach and Goat Cheese

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What Inspired this Soul-Fulfilling Red Beet Ravioli Dish?
Towards the end of my Journey to Greece, I spent a few days in Kosice, Slovakia, near the Hungarian, Polish and Ukrainian borders.  I initially planned to spend one night in Kosice, yet immediately fell in love with its old town.  I ended up staying three nights so I could leisurely visit the town, hang out in its cafes and restaurants, and spy on the hordes of people strolling on the main street, Hlavná ulica.

Hlavná ulica is such a vibrant street with a park, musical fountains, and loads of statues dividing the b…

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Greek Stuffed Peppers and Tomatoes

Greek Stuffed Peppers and Tomatoes

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What Makes this Recipe for Greek Stuffed Peppers and Tomatoes Genuine?
Months ago my friend, Diamantis, described how his wife, Thomais, made the absolute best Stuffed Peppers and Tomatoes (in Greek known as Gemista).  In fact, his accolades of his wife’s wonderful cooking and his invitation for me to come learn at her side first gave me the idea to embark on my Journey to Greece.

Why not spend time in Greece learning local and family recipes from such a good cook?  I’d enjoy some long-deserved vacation while gathering materials for my blog.  Ok, twisting my arm was  perh…

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Pasta with Fennel and Fresh Garlic – Yummy and Healthy!

Pasta with Fennel and Fresh Garlic – Yummy and Healthy!

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Pasta with Fennel and Fresh Garlic Makes a Quick Yummy Meal
 
Is Fennel an Acquired Taste?
Not everyone enjoys the strong-licorice flavor of fresh fennel.  It can be a bit overwhelming if you eat a lot of it in one sitting.

Fennel offers many health benefits, making it worthwhile to find ways to include it in your diet.  Full of good intentions, I often buy fennel at the grocery store and farmers’ market, hoping to find a way during the coming days to use it.  Chopped fennel with some slices of orange and a vinaigrette dressing makes an easy salad.

However, wh…

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Wild Garlic Pesto

Wild Garlic Pesto

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Wild Garlic Pesto on Pasta is a Springtime Favorite
 
Memories Triggered by Wild Garlic
The sense of smell can trigger strong memories, no matter how faraway they may be.  Wild garlic, also known by many other names, such as ramps, spring onion, ramson, wild leek, bear’s garlic, and wood leek, is probably my most faithful olfactory trigger.  Wild garlic is not actually a variation of garlic, but rather a variation of leek.

At 16 years old I lived on a farm in Belgium as an exchange student.  Farm life was different in almost every way from my life in Los Angeles….

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Crusted Salmon for Special Occasions

Crusted Salmon for Special Occasions

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What makes Sunday family meals so simple yet so special?
After rushing around all week, Sunday rolls around and lets us slow down to enjoy our families and friends.  A meal together, a stroll in the park, or whatever else your family does to reconnect together.

 
Sunday brunch in Los Angeles
While growing up in Los Angeles, Sunday brunch was my family’s main event.  We often enjoyed bagels, lox, and cream cheese along with whitefish, creamed herring and dill pickles. At one time my father made his famous scrambled eggs with everything in it (dried salami, onions,…

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Quick Puff Pastry Dough

Quick Puff Pastry Dough

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How do you make a Quick Puff Pastry Dough?
What do you do when you want to make Puff Pastry Dough (pâte feuilletée) but don’t want to go through all the effort?  Puff Pastry Dough is ideal for appetizers, quiches, and light desserts.   It’s even on its own with a little flavored sugar drizzled on top.  This is how I use up all the leftover bits of dough.

To make a genuine Puff Pastry Dough, knead some cold butter into rectangular slabs of dough.  Fold the slabs over themselves several times.  It’s not terribly difficult but does take a certain amount of patience and rep…

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Peach, Nectarine and Plum Pie

Peach, Nectarine and Plum Pie

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What fruit pie is your favorite in the summer?
Peach, Nectarine and Plum pie has been my family’s favorite these past few years.  We look forward to the moment when the peaches, nectarines and plums are at their freshest and fill up the grocer’s stalls at a reasonable price.  This week that ideal moment has finally arrived, just in time for my daughter’s birthday celebration.

I should confess that I have not actually waited until this week to make this wonderful pie.  I’ve already been “practicing” for the past 10 days, bringing a pie to a friend’s house for dinner and …

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Top 5 Saffron Recipes

Top 5 Saffron Recipes

What makes saffron so special?
A couple months ago I announced the creation of a new board called Saffron Recipes! on Pinterest.

As the most expensive spice in the world, saffron is usually sold by the gram. Fortunately, you need only a small amount of saffron to give your dish the special touch of color and taste.

One reason the price is so high for saffron is that gathering it is very labor intensive. Saffron comes from the 3 stigmas of the flower of the female crocus plant. Each flower contains only 3 stigmas, which must be picked carefully by hand, separated, sorted and then dried. …

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Ginger Syrup Made at Home

Ginger Syrup Made at Home

What is the difference between ginger syrup and ginger beer?
Ginger syrup is made by cooking ginger with water and sugar until you obtain a syrupy consistency (see recipe below).  Meanwhile ginger beer is traditionally a fermented beverage created by mixing ginger syrup (once cooled) with a mother culture (ginger beer plant) and leaving this mixture to ferment for a few days.  The process for making ginger beer is very similar to the process for making other popular cultured and fermented drinks, such as Kombucha and water kefir.  Once you learn to make one, it will be easy for you to start m…

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