Avgolemono Soup Recipe From Serious Eats With A Few Of My Touches

Confession: I've never tried Avgolemono soup. WHAT!? Yes, my twin was shocked by this statement too.

When I saw my friend Paige's tweet about the comfort and warmth of Avgolemono soup she was looking forward to eating after work, I asked her for the recipe and was determined to make it that same weekend.

The recipe for this Greek soup of rice or orzo with eggs and lemon juice comes from Serious Eats. I only made a few changes and so will not be retyping the recipe here. Go show Serious Eats some love ;)

Avgolemono Soup Recipe From Serious Eats With A Few Of My Touches

I only made half the recipe and used orzo and not rice. My orzo cooked faster than the recipe metioned it would.

Adding a mixutre of eggs and lemon juice to the soup sounded so weird to me. It added milky and frothy texture and a very rich taste to the soup. To counter the richness, I added defrosted peas and fresh dill. I also added shredded rotisserie turkey breast to the soup once it was done.

If I were to make the soup again, I'd take the cooked orzo out of the pot before adding egg/lemon mixture and only add it as necessary to bowls right before eating the soup. If you have leftovers, the orzo would expand overnight.

Thoughts: this was one of the strangest soups I've ever had. Not a bad strange. I was happy to try a new recipe ;)


Super Easy Dessert For Entertaining: Dorie Greenspan’s Mediterranean Yogurt Cake

TGIF!!! So excited it's almost the weekend. Do you need an incredibly easy dessert recipe that tastes great, takes very little effort and can stay at room temperature for days? How about something you can also eat for breakfast or as a snack? Well, Dorie Greenspan's Mediterranean Yogurt Cake is your answer!

Last week my friend Alyssa moved back to town (yay!) and came over to catch up over coffee. I decided to make Dorie's recipe because she suggested it during her chat on Washington Post.

I made only a few minor changes to Dorie's recipe, so I will not retype it. You can find it here.

Super Easy Dessert For Entertaining: Dorie Greenspan’s Mediterranean Yogurt Cake

The recipe is made with flour, citrus zest, yogurt and oil. There is also sugar and eggs. I decided not to add the flesh of citrus to the actual cake, but to save it and serve on top of the cake with blackberries. Also, I added extra zest of lemon to the recipe.

I think this cake looks especially great in my Polish baking dish that I bought for less than $20 at Marshalls.

How beautiful does it look? So little effort, so much enjoyment!

Dorie was right: the cake is even better after it sits for a day or so. It's also awesome toasted and served with a bit of whipped cream and cherry jam. This will definitely stay in my baking repertoire.

Have a great weekend!


Where Do I Find Inspiration For Cooking? Roasted Broccoli & Savory Dutch Pancake With Dill

Where do you get inspiration for cooking meals? I find mine at a grocery store, restaurant menus and my imagination, to name a few. Instagram and a few websites are also a great source for either new ideas or as a reminder of things you've been meaning to make and haven't yet.

That's exactly what happened last week when I made a simple lunch of Roasted Broccoli & Savory Pancake With Dill. This is a great Meattles Monday lunch, but can as easily be made as breakfast for dinner.

The recipe for roasted broccoli came from TheKitchn. The only changes I made were the following: 1) I preheated the oven with a cookie sheet inside to help sear the broccoli faster 2) I did not measure the oil 3) I added green za'atar.

Roasting broccoli is fast, easy, and you get great results. I'd recommend, however, only to roast the amount you'll be eating because I did not like the leftovers.

The inspiration for the Savory Dutch Pancake with Dill came from @onetomato_two's instagram account. The only changes I made to her quick recipe was to add a bit of salt to the egg/flour mix. I also used Kerrygold's Dubliner instead of chevre because that's what I had.

You combine 3 eggs with 3 tablespoons of flour, 1/4 cup milk and 1 tablespooons butter {or oil, which is what I did}. I used my Blendtec to make sure the mixture was perfectly smooth. You then bake this in a cast iron skillet for 15 minutes in a preheated oven {425F} and top it with dill and cheese when it's ready and fluffy. 

As luck would have it, the broccoli required 425F oven too! You start by roasting the broccoli, then 10 minutes add the savory Dutch pancakes and 15 minutes later your meal is ready!

A few tomatoes never hurt anyone ;)

Your turn: tell me where you get your inspiration for cooking!


Happy Weekend

TGIF! It's been an odd week with a few snow days and the rest of teleworking days. I'm happy I had my plants and flowers keeping me company. Hopefully this weekend I'll get to interact with humans ;)


Pineapple, Cucumber & Tomatillo Salsa: Tropical Snack For The Winter

Instead of baking a batch of brownies (because I was terrified I'll eat them all myself!), I decided to make something bright and fresh and tropical over the snowed-in weekend.

It all started with the tomatillos I received in my weekly order of Washington Green Grocer produce. I've been a customer for two years and LOVE getting weekly deliveries of vegetables and fruits. I then added the sweetness of the pineapple, the crunch of the cucumber and the smooth buttery texture of the avocado!

Who's ready for salsa!?

Pineapple, Cucumber & Tomatillo Salsa: Tropical Snack For The Winter

4 tomatillos charred in a dry skillet or under the broiler
1/2 large cucumber, peeled, diced
1-2 tablespoons chopped white onion
1 avocado, diced
1 cup chopped fresh pineapple and its juices
salt to taste
1 tablespoon Meyer lemon juice
2 tablespoons minced cilantro

1. Add charred tomatillos to a food processor and blender and turn it into chunky sauce.
2. In a large bowl add the rest of the ingredients and tomatillos. Combine. Taste for salt.
3. Eat with tortilla chips!

Can't you imagine yourself on a beach with this salsa, maybe a watermelon mojito and perhaps a pool boy!? :)


Vegetarian Zucchini & Whole Wheat Angel Hair Pasta With Chickpeas & Fresh Mozzarella

Happy Meatless Monday! It's been over a week that I've made an actual meal. First, I was on vacation in Miami (make sure to check out my instagram), then I flew back to find out water pouring from the ceiling of my kitchen and dining room. Not fun. I've had 2 huge fans and a dehumidifier machine making noise nonstop in my condo for days. Well, this snowy weekend, I decided enough was enough and it was time to get back into cooking and blogging!

I finally decided to make spiralized zucchini and mix them with whole wheat angel hair pasta and a few other bright ingredients for a healthy and satisfying meal.

Vegetarian Zucchini & Whole Wheat Angel Hair Pasta With Chickpeas & Fresh Mozzarella
Makes 3-4 portions

1" bundle of whole wheat Angel hair pasta
olive oil
2 large zucchini, spiralized
2 garlic cloves, sliced
red pepper flakes to taste
1 cup chickpeas
1 cup cubed fresh mozzarella
1 large tomato, cubed
1 Meyer lemon
2 tablespoons chopped parsley 

These are the little things that remain after I use my KitchenAid spiralizer ;) They crack me up.

1. Start by boiling salted water for the pasta. Cook the pasta for about 8 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, drizzle olive oil into a large skillet and add spiralized zucchini and sliced garlic. Season with salt and red pepper flakes and saute for about 5-7 minutes.
3. Add drained pasta, chickpeas, mozzarella cubes and tomato. Heat through. At this point mozzarella will start to melt slightly.
4. Remove the skillet from the heat and add zest of the entire Meyer lemon and half of the juice. Sprinkle in parsley and taste to make sure there's enough salt and heat from the red pepper flakes.
5. Serve immediately.
This was such a satisfying and at the same time rather light dish. I'm not going to tell you zucchini "pasta" is real pasta, but it's a good way to cut down on carbs a bit.

I'm about to heat up a bowl of these leftovers for lunch.



Creamy Tuna Cucumber Boats With Guacamole

I'm so happy to let you know that I'll be once again working with Sabra this year to create easy and delicious recipes using their products. This post is sponsored, but all opinions are my own.

A few weeks ago I received a delivery of 3 products from Sabra: classic hummus, classic guacamole and Farmer's Ranch Greek Yogurt Dip. It took me a few days to figure out what to make, and I think my Creamy Tuna Cucumber Boats With Guacamole were quiet a success!

I love tuna salad and typically make it with mayonnaise, white onion, olives, tomatoes and avocado. I also love tuna in sushi rolls with cucumbers and avocado and spicy mayonnaise. Well, I was out of mayonnaise and did not have avocados or sushi rice. What to do!? I used canned tuna and some of Sabra's products to create a healthier, almost carb free, but still delicious dish.


Makes 4 boats

1 5 ounce can solid white tuna, drained and flaked
2 tablespoons Farmer's Ranch
salt to taste
1 large English cucumber
1/4 cup guacamole
1 tablespoon sriracha (more or less to taste)
2 teaspoons black sesame seeds

1. Mix together tuna and Farmer's Ranch. Season with salt to taste.
2. Cut off the ends of an English cucumber and cut it in half and then in half again lengthwise to make 4 pieces. Scoop out the seeds of each quarter with a spoon. For more stability, trim the bottom of each "boat."
3. Divide the tuna mixture among each cucumber boat and top with dollops of guacamole and sriracha and a sprinkle of black sesame seeds.

These make for a light lunch or an appetizer. You can also make them in cucumber or puff pastry cups for individual servings.

If you are looking to try some of the Sabra products and save money, definitely participate in their Buy, Snap, Score promotion before February 15th!

Disclosure: Sabra provided samples and compensation for the recipe development, but all opinions are my own. Make sure to check out other recipes I developed using Sabra products!


What To Make With Spiralizer: Daikon Radish & Carrot Salad With An Asian Twist

It's 2016! Happy New Year to you all. I have an announcement to make: I decided to become a vegan. Well, not even just a vegan: I thought I'd keep a raw diet from now on.

KIDDING! I would not survive a day :)

This Daikon Radish & Carrot Salad With An Asian Twist, however, is vegan, and raw and perfect for Meatless Monday.

My parents gave me cash for Hanukkah and I bought a spiralizer attachment for my KitchenAid. The attachment is fun to use and makes spirals and ribbons from fruit and vegetables. My dad, though, did not understand the appeal of making zucchini pasta and kept on asking me if I could make real pasta with the spirallizer.

I'll make zucchini pasta as soon as I buy some zucchini, but for now I present to you Daikon Radish & Carrot Salad With An Asian Twist. 

Growing up in Russia, my parents made a salad from shredded daikon radishes and carrots seasoned with sunflower oil, salt and pepper. It was pretty, crunchy, and good for you. I added a few Asian condiments to mine this time around.

Daikon Radish & Carrot Salad With An Asian Twist

A video posted by @mangotomato on
{No amounts are necessary: use as much or as little of each as you like. If you don't have a spiralizer, use a grater.}

Daikon radish, peeled, spiralized
Carrots, peeled, spiralized
sunflower oil
toasted sesame seed oil
rice vinegar
salt {or soy sauce}
fresh cilantro
black sesame seeds

1. In a large bowl combine daikon radish and carrots and drizzle with the oils and vinegar. Taste. Adjust. Season with salt.
2. Serve topped with cilantro and black sesame seeds.


See you in 2016!

Whether you just finished celebrating Hanukkah, or are looking forward to celebrating Christmas, or simply are excited to have a few days off work, I wish you a time of peace, and joy, and well being.

I'll see you in 2016!!!


Roasted Beet & Sweet Potato Salad With Sriracha Kraut

Do you stick to the recipes? I don't ;)

Last Sunday I was home trying to figure out what to make for lunch. I had a bunch of beets, a random sweet potato and an unopened jar of Sriracha Kraut that I picked up on a whim at World Market.

After some thought, I realized that these ingredients reminded me of the Russian beet salad called vinegret that's made with beets, potatoes, peas, pickles and eggs. I decided to make a version of that salad with the ingredients I had.

Roasted Beet & Sweet Potato Salad With Sriracha Kraut
Serves 3-4

1 large beet, roasted, cooled, peeled, diced***
1 large sweet potato, roasted, cooled, peeled, diced
1 pickle, diced
1 cup defrosted peas
1 cup sriracha kraut
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1 tablespoon sunflower oil
salt to taste

*** I like roasting beets in a 425F oven for about 1-1.5 hours depending on the size. Scrub the beets, then wrap in aluminum foil after drizzling them with a bit of olive oil and sprinkling with salt.

1. Combine all ingredients. Refrigerate the salad for at least an hour.

Trust me: the salad tastes better than it looks (or rather better than I was able to photograph it). Other additions that would work in this salad: avocado, herbs such as dill or parsley, and maybe even olives or capers.

Happy almost weekend!