Hands-on Fun

As promised…our last Romanian recipe. Then we have a few special celebrations before we’re off to our new international pick. This next selection will be courtesy of Miss A which is always exciting. We just never know where she’ll take us! Mike and I usually talk about our options, so those picks aren’t really a surprise. We can bet on Mr. N going for Asia, but Miss A…she’s taken us to Brazil, Uzbekistan, Portugal and Greenland. It’s literally all over the map. Continue reading

I think I can! I think I can!

And I did! I am nothing if not determined. Okay, perhaps I’m a recovering perfectionist, but let’s just say determined. It sounds nicer. I am in the business of PR after all. We know how to spin. Take Miss A’s over-tired meltdown last night for instance. She was being assertive and independent, not bossy and stubborn. It’s just a matter of looking at the bright side (and helps keep us sane after 20 minutes of screaming).

Now the bright side to my failed Romanian recipe, as many of you noted in your comments last time, is that the prep pictures for that flubbed dessert were already done. All that was left to do was to cook. So this afternoon when Mike took the kids to the library, I took advantage of the empty house. It was time to rock this recipe – Crema de Zahar Ars, or Caramelized Sugar Cream. Continue reading

The FTC Romanian Style

By the “FTC,” I’m of course referring to the French Toast Challenge and would you believe when I was searching for Romanian recipes I came across a Romanian French toast? It was meant to be and so it was…our anniversary breakfast.

Mike and I celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary this past weekend. I can’t believe it’s already been 12 years. We’ve had our ups, we’ve had our downs, and I can honestly say, I love this man more today than ever. We celebrated our anniversary in style (Eva – I wore my pink and orange stilettos!) with a delicious dinner, a great bottle of wine and a lovely late night walk (not in the stilettos). I may try to recreate one of the appetizers from our dinner soon. It was too delicious not to – bacon wrapped dates, stuffed with blue cheese and topped with a balsamic reduction. Oh, my, my, my.

But I digress. Back to the Romanian feast of the day. While the Ciuperci pe Friganele doesn’t exactly scream romantic breakfast, we figured it was best to whip up the mushroom laden French toast while the kids were at Nana and Papa’s. We are slowly converting them, but mushrooms would not have screamed breakfast of the year to the kids; plus Mike and I like making breakfast together while the kids are out. It’s a little something reminiscent of days gone by. I still remember the first time Mike made me breakfast. It was of course French toast; however, it didn’t start with chopped mushrooms. Continue reading

One for the Money, Two for the Show

As promised tonight’s introduction to Romanian cuisine is complete with a bonus recipe. Yep, this is a twofer. Now that summer is here we’re eating lighter and enjoying the outdoors quite a bit more. That means there’s less time to spend holed up in the kitchen. All that said, you’re probably wondering why then, we have two recipes. Well…they are both appetizers and absolutely easy.

Both Beth from Yes Folks, I Run Like a Girl and Kate from Minestrone Soup both suggested eggplant and eggplant salads as part of our tour of Romania. So our first recipe is just that – a Romanian Eggplant Salad. While searching for eggplant recipes we also came across a recipe for Fasole Batuta, or a Romanian Bean Dip. The bean dip recipe is adapted from Lake Magazine which also had this little tidbit of information: It is estimated that there are more than one million Romanians living in America, and of this group 17 percent live in Illinois and Michigan. In metro Chicago alone there are about 100,000 Romanians. I had no idea! That was kind of a fun little fact to learn about our area.  Continue reading