Saturday, August 23, 2014

Azerbaijani Farmer's Market - Teze Bazaar

Whenever I travel to a new places, I try to visit the local farmers market. Farmers markets are all about good quality food, big variety of products and locally grown produce. It is a great place to buy seasonal products, as well as to find many other useful things, directly from the farmers themselves.  Also, it is a great way to understand different culture of the new country.

When I was in my hometown Baku, Azerbaijan, first time in my life I visited the biggest and the oldest Farmer Market in the city, which is called "Teze Bazaar". That place is amazing, so many organic fruits and vegetables and honestly it is a paradise for the food photographers.
Teze Bazaar is 80 years old and it is well known for its wonderful black caviar, sturgeon from the Caspian sea, fresh meat and big variety of spices.  I did not buy anything, but I was truly impressed with the great selections of goods.



















Sunday, August 3, 2014

Fig and Olive - Los Angeles

It was my first time in "Fig and Olive" LA and honestly, when I entered the restaurant, I did not expect it to be that beautiful. Me and my husband visited Fig and Olive in New York and it was average, however, this new location in Los Angeles is very different, it is trendy, elegant, vibrant, energetic and delicious!

Our experience started with complimentary fresh rosemary bread and three signature olive oils from Spain and Italy. DIVINE! Then, my husband had fig and olive salad, which was nice and refreshing and I had a lobster bisque soup, that was to die for! For main we had Chicken Tajine and Salmon tartar. The chicken tajine came with the cous cous on the side, which was a good touch and my salmon tartar was very fresh and flavorful! For dessert we had the chocolate pot the creme and waffles with seasonal fruits. Both were spectacular.

The service was very attentive. The lady was very knowledgeable and she made a good suggestions with the drinks. I even met the chef of the restaurant, David Gussin. Great chef and a very nice person!

We would definitely return again and try some new things on the menu. My suggestion to you, wear your best outfit and rock that place on Saturday!

























Monday, July 21, 2014

Taboulleh Salad



I love the vibrant colors of refreshing Taboulleh salad. It is a very simple, but yet delicious cold dish of Lebanese cuisine, so easy to make and if you use fresh, organic ingredients, it will make the salad even more special.

Ingredients:

1 cup of bulgur
3 tomatoes
1 red onion
1 cup of chopped parsley
1 cup of chopped mint
1/2 cup of lemon juice
1 t.s. of olive oil
Salt and pepper

Preparation:

Firstly, prepare your bulgur by placing it in the bowl and cover it up with 50 ml boiling water. Stir well, cover with the lid and set a side for about 30 min, until bulgur absorbs the water.

Chop tomatoes, red onion, parsley and mint. Fluff bulgur with the fork. In a mixing bowl combine all ingredients, garnish it with lemon juice, salt, pepper and olive oil. Toss well and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving. Toss again prior serving. Serve it as a part of meze or with your meat or fish, Delicious!



Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Spicy Ahi Tuna with Cucumbers

Spicy tuna is one of my favorite things to order in Asian restaurants. Once I tried this delicious starter in Zurich, then I fell in love with it and wanted to recreated and modified this dish at home. It is so easy to make, it literally takes 15 minutes to prepare the dish. Moreover, it looks gorgeous on your hors d;oeuvre table.

So let's get started!
For this dish, you will need the following ingredients:

1 pound of fresh sashimi grade ahi tuna
1 t.s. of sesame oil
1 t.s. soy sauce
1 t.s. of mayonnaise
1 t.s. of Sriracha sauce
1 t.s. of sesame seeds
1 t.s. of lime juice
3 cucumbers
Salt and pepper

Preparation:

Combine diced sashimi grade tuna with sesame oil, hot sauce, little bit of mayo, and soy sauce, mix well. Slice the cucumbers with the peeler to make long thin strips. Put the tuna mixture into the cucumber slice and roll it. Garnish with sesame or poppy seeds. Voila, it is ready! You can also substitute tuna with smoked salmon. Delicious!



Saturday, July 12, 2014

Homemade Frozen Berry Ice Cream

As it gets incredibly hot here in SoCal, we try to stay cool and enjoy the delicious homemade ice creams. This time I made frozen berry ice cream. My daughter loves it, so do I. I love making healthy homemade treats for my little princess. For me it is important, because I can control the amount of sugar in the desserts. Sometimes I even add honey or agave nectar instead of sugar, which makes it even healthier. This recipe is so easy, delicious and you only need the following 4 ingredients:

3 large frozen bananas
2 cups of frozen blueberries
1 cup of frozen strawberries 
2 tablespoons of honey

Place frozen strawberries, bananas and blueberries into the blender. Start blending. Add honey to make it easier to blend. You can also add a little bit of milk, if you see that you are having hard time blending the ingredients. Place your delicious ice cream into a pretty glass, decorate with mint leave and sprinkle with flax seeds. I told you, it is super easy.
Enjoy!





Sunday, June 22, 2014

Strawberry Preserve with Ginger

I love to preserve fresh fruits and berries when they are in season. If they are fresh and organic, they glow with beautiful bright colors and they smell amazing. Moreover, I just loooove how they look in the cute little jars. I don't like to put a lot of sugar, but you can adjust the sugar according to your preferences. I also love to balance the sweetness with a little bit of freshly cut ginger.

For this delicious strawberry preserve you will need the following.

Ingredients:

3 cups of organic strawberries
1/2 cups of brown sugar
4-5 tiny pieces of fresh ginger



Wash 3 cups of organic strawberries. Remove hulls and stems.



Put the strawberries into the pan on medium heat. Add a little bit of water and stir well.



Add brown sugar and 4-5 tiny pieces of ginger. Stir well.



Bring to boil. Remove from hit. Let it cool. Fill the jar with the jam. Overall it takes about 20 minutes. Very easy!



Consume within 2 weeks. Store in the fridge.

It's delicious!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Bacon Wrapped Chicken Breast Stuffed With Rosemary Goat Cheese



Today, I would like to share with you quick and easy recipe that can be serve on every occasion. The ingredients are very basic, however, I will show you how to transform them into elegant and sophisticated meal. This is the easiest meal you can imagine, in less than 30 minutes, you can have a dinner ready, which is not only delicious, but also looks fabulous on the plate.

So let's get started!

Ingredients:

2 pieces of chicken breasts
4 slices of bacon
1 teaspoon of chopped fresh rosemary
3/4 cups of soft goat cheese
Fresh rosemary for decoration
Salt and Pepper
Olive Oil

Start by preheating the oven for 350 degree F.



Mix the goat cheese with freshly chopped rosemary, add salt and pepper, mix well.



With the sharp knife cut 1 inch long slit into the thick side of the breast, creating a pocket. Stuff each chicken breast pocket with goat cheese mixture. Wrap each breast with two slices of bacon. Place the rosemary leaves between chicken and the bacon, as it shows on the picture. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and put some olive oil on top, place the chicken breasts on the baking sheet and bake it for about 25-30 minutes, until the chicken is no longer pink and the bacon is crisp. Enjoy!

 

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