Saturday, 24 September 2011

A lot of cooking

I've been cooking a lot these days. This is my way of dealing with stress. It helps me think, it clears my head even though a kitchen is a mess. It's not the eating that relaxes me, it's the actual process of cooking; carefully selecting and buying ingredients, preparing them, chopping, stirring, grating, pouring, whisking: all these things give me immense pleasure. Cooking makes me happy. Feeding others has become a necessity, a self-expression, not to mention the fact that I feel absolutely marvelous and content when people compliment my food. On a bad day, I even feel that it's the only thing I'm good at. It actually means that cooking has become a certainty, one thing that doesn't change, a comforting act.

What was I cooking (mostly baking) and feeding people with? Oh, my, here we go...:

~ Carrot cake from the cookbook Breakfast, Lunch, Tea (Phaidon, $29.95) (which is arriving to my mailbox very, very soon) is a number one seller at Rose Bakery in Paris. It was a winner when I baked it. My friend Sophie still gushes over it which is her way of telling me that I should bake another one, ASAP. Although I can't visit this famous bakery I can at least fill my home with its fragrances and imagine myself sipping my tea and gazing at all those chic Parisian people. This cake is so rich and luscious that I barely contained myself from eating it all up by myself. I gained a pound just by looking at it, but it was worth it!

~ This doesn't involve any cooking and it's dangerously addictive. Such a winning combination! No fuss, 100 % enjoyment. Don't blame me afterwards, I have warned you. Pretzel & Nut Mix is considered a Holiday snack, but such limitation is really unnecessary. I make these whenever we have friends over. Life is too short to wait for Christmas to make these.

~ I don't like elaborate cooking, baking especially. I don't have the time nor the patience. Try baking a fancy cake with two little kids (and a husband) around the house. Yes, it's tricky and stressful. So, totally by chance, I've discovered this lovely and beautiful chef, Lorraine Pascal ( I love her name) and her cooking show "Baking made easy". Sun-dried tomato and rosemary palmiers are wonderfully flavorful and easy. My guests loved them. These are especially great while still warm with a glass of beer. So ladylike.

~ Nigella's Pasta with meatballs in tomato sauce is a staple in our home. Kids love it. Since there is a wide range of good quality store bought pasta in every supermarket, I don't bother with making it from scratch.

~ Greek bean soup- Fasolada is a simple soup full of all those things that are good for you. It's either this, lentil or chickpea soup that I make once a week.

~ Imam Baildi- eggplants stuffed with onions, garlic, and tomatoes. Now, this is a time-consuming dish, quite difficult for some, but it's well worth the time and effort. My favorite vegetarian dish.

~ Mustard pork chops
didn't wow me, but still, it's very easy and tasteful. I'm just not a big fan of pork chops and mustard, for that matter.

~ I am cooking Ina Garten's Beef Bourguignon tonight for my father-in-law who's coming tomorrow to visit us. This dish is best served the day after it is prepared since all the wonderful flavors will have fused into each other. The weather isn't cool enough for cooking stews yet, but as I said before- life is too short anyway.

No, this blog is not going to turn into one of those cooking and food blogs. There are so many other things in this world to share.

À bientôt...

(image from pinterest)


  1. Hi Doloula, I'm here though Elisabelle's blog. You talk about cooking in a way similar to how I feel about writing, but cooking is in many ways far more productive. At least, you feed people nutritious and tasty stuff. I'm not so sure I can say the same for my fare.

    It's a treat to read your description here of all these wonderful foods. My stomach is rumbling at the thought.

  2. Oh, dear Elisabeth, you are so kind!Yes, I feel passionate about many things, but cooking is something that gives me enormous pleasure. Thanks for stopping by, it means a world to me. I will explore you blog, it seems like there are wonderful things to read and learn. All best!