Traditional Matzo Kugel for Passover

Traditional Matzo Kugel for Passover

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What is Matzo Kugel?
Matzo Kugel is a pudding made often during the Passover holiday.  Although most people eat a sweet version of Matzo Kugel, prepared with fruit, eggs and nuts, they can also eat a savory version featuring vegetables.

 
Why do we eat Matzo during Passover?
During the eight days of Passover, observers should avoid eating five types of grains which rise:  wheat, rye, spelt, barley and oat.  The only exception allowed during Passover is eating one of these grains in the form of an unleavened flatbread, today known as matzo, matza or matzah.

Ok,…

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Dandelion Pesto

Dandelion Pesto

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Why make Dandelion Pesto?
Dandelion pesto has brightened up many springtime dishes in past years.  In Belgium, I sometimes gathered the leaves of this wildflower from my backyard lawn to add to salads, soups and other dishes.

 
Dandelion greens grow wild
Picking dandelion greens are an annual tradition that marks the arrival of spring.  Although you can find dandelions all year long, the peak of their growth is during springtime.  Most dandelion greens go unnoticed, except to gardeners who get annoyed by the stubborn growth of this weed as it spreads across their…

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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.

However, when it’s cooked, fennel’s pronounced taste becomes more subdued and quite yummy.  Cooked fennel is a good substitute for celery in many recipes.  In Belgium, some people replace fennel for Belgian endives (chicons / witloof) in the traditional dish of Chicons au gratin.

 
Recipes with Fennel
Full of good intentions, I often buy fen…

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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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Yogurt Spread with Radishes and Green Onions

Yogurt Spread with Radishes and Green Onions

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Spring was in the air on my lunch table
A couple days ago I was home for lunch on my own and wanted to make something special yet easy. I had a few eggplants, carrots, red peppers, cucumbers, green onions, and much more.

I was really in the mood to make a typical Belgian spread made principally with fromage blanc, green onions and radishes.  You add a little salt and pepper to these ingredients and you basically have your spread.  I also wanted to make baba ganoush with the eggplants. So what did I do?

I made both! Here I share the recipe for the Yogurt Spread with Rad…

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Pasta with Salmon and Avocado

Pasta with Salmon and Avocado

Pasta with Salmon and Avocado is a Perfect Dinner for Two
Fresh Colored Pasta with Salmon, Avocado and Wild Garlic Sauce is a seasonal delight.  It is quick to make, satisfying and not a worry for your waistline.  Ready in minutes, Pasta with Salmon, Avocado and Wild Garlic Sauce is ideal for an impromptu or last-minute supper with a special someone tête-à-tête.  What a dream for a weeknight supper!

While the wild garlic makes this a seasonal dish, you can easily substitute a smaller dose of ordinary garlic or fresh garlic instead.  Wild garlic, also known as ramps, has a more subtle flavo…

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Leek Quiche with Wild Garlic

Leek Quiche with Wild Garlic

How to turn a basic Leek Quiche recipe into a special Springtime dish
On Easter Monday four generations of my Belgian family gathered at my niece’s house for an afternoon pot-luck spread and egg hunt for the kids.  Everyone brought a dish.  There were cakes, pies, brownies, tartes al Djote (a local specialty pie from Nivelles, Belgium), flammekeuche, chocolate truffles presented in a cake-pop style, a raspberry Charlotte, and other goodies.  I brought a vegetarian Leek Quiche with Wild Garlic, which was easy to make and quite tasty.

When I make a quiche, I follow a basic formula of 3 eggs …

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