Mediterranean Apricot and Date Chutney

I love to can.  Yes…as in mason jars, pressure cookers, and hot water baths.  Every weekend during the summer and fall, we venture to the local farmers market to gather nearly a bushel of fresh produce. The rest of the day is spent in the kitchen canning. Storing the items for the winter months.

This weekend I tried a new recipe based solely on its name and the memories it invoked.  When we lived in Abu Dhabi, we often enjoyed various dried fruits and cheeses.  This recipe, filled with apricots, dates, raisins, mustard seeds, ginger, and coriander is perfect paired with cheese and crackers or dolloped on next to a slice of lamb and couscous. Sweet and tart, with a subtle flavor profile.

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Veggie Hash

We have been searching for new ways to incorporate more vegetables into our weekend breakfasts. We often enjoy breakfast burritos, omelets, or various other egg dishes, but most were built around some type of meat. Last week, we came upon a recipe for veggie hash…a combination of sweet potatoes, broccolini, onions, peppers, garlic, eggs, and chives. Just five minutes of prep and 15 minutes in the oven.  One pan…easy clean up.  The result was fresh and light, full of a subtle sweetness from the potatoes and richness from the sauteed onions and peppers.  Eggs provide plenty of protein for a balanced meal.

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Dining in…Vietnamese Pho

I have always loved to cook. From ribs, to desserts; French to Asian. Doesn’t matter. Cooking is a form of relaxation and creativity. Last night, Kevin, my husband and sou chief, and I prepared Vietnamese Pho. A warm and hearty combination of chicken, mushrooms, broccoli, scallions, ginger, red onions, cilantro, fish sauce, rice noodles, and homemade chicken broth, topped with fresh mint from our garden.

Great Market Hall Budapest 

While at the conference this week, I enjoyed many lunches at the market. The market was originally constructed in 1894, but a fire destroyed half the roof in 1896.  Following repairs the market reopened in 1897. Along with the many shops for tourists, many locals do their daily shopping in the market. It is hard to resist the sames of cheeses and salamis that the merchants are quick to offer anyone who lingers by their cases.


  
  
  
  
  
  

The Budapest Wine Festival 

I’ve been in Budapest all week attending a professional conference. After the late afternoon session,  a colleague and I ventured up to the Castle District to savor the grape

 harvest at the Budapest Wine Festival. What an amazing event. Over 200 vineyards were on display showcasing their wines. A prepayment card was used to purchase wines and foods. Upon leaving I was refunded the unused amount. The entire night cost less then $40 USD and I had the pleasure of sampling over 6 wines, grilled salmon, oven baked pizza, and a chocolate chili truffle. This event is not to missed.

Istanbul

Photo Oct 22, 10 00 12 AM

This is a video I made after my first trip to Istanbul in October 2011.  Istanbul is an amazing city, filled with contrasts and contradictions. If you have been there, you understand.  If you haven’t walked its cobble stoned streets, you are missing a great experience. The people are warm and welcoming; the food is beyond amazing.