Slovak Buddha Bowl. Early fall edition.

I actually wanted to take a short break from cooking and food writing but can you guess where I found myself on Friday evening? Of course, right in the kitchen again. Well, if it can’t be helped, I should use this endless enthusiasm wisely and write a new recipe here.

My Friday night hero was Buddha bowl. I’ve been excited about it since the moment I saw it on Instagram as I love dishes made from many ingredients. Is Buddha bowl a dish? In a way yes, but maybe I would prefer to call it “food concept” because ingredients can be combined in any order you want. Original  Buddha bowl is a vegetarian dish, however I found meat recipes too and I added a hard boiled egg to my own version. Here are a few rules of what should be added to Buddha bowl.

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5 food photography tips for your cookbook

Hello, Ferns’n’Cakes, it’s been a while, I missed you so much 🙂 As I mentioned in my  previous post, I was involved in a cookbook project and my goal was not only photography and food styling but also cooking  all the recipes.  I cooked 2-3-4 and sometimes even 5 recipes every day and I have to say that this experience was absolutely awesome.  Of course it was a challenge and I feel like I’ve spend 37 days in the kitchen, but I also had a lot of fun and learned huge amount of new things about food and cooking. I decided to summarize this experience and write a short guide for those who want to make photos for cooking book.

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Spaghetti with tomato and calamari

I’m back from “a kind of holidays” in Croatia. Why “a kind of”? Well, it’s a long story. First, some of my customers need almost every day attention and I have to be “always there” and online. Second, short before the trip I’ve got a  proposal to join exciting cooking and photography book project. Deadline is in September so I preferred not to hesitate and already started to make pictures in Croatia, which means that I was both cooking for myself and friends and also for this new book. As a result, I’ve spent quite a lot of time in the kitchen. But I can’t complain as cooking with south vegetables and olive oil from local market was a pleasure. I promise to write a big post about the book as soon as it is finished  🙂 Now it’s time to share the first of my Croatian recipes. I’ve made pasta with calamari for our “welcome” dinner and it had a great  success.

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Zucchini and chickpea flour pancakes

I’ve got few home grown zucchini in Nová Baňa and 2 of them were white. It’s actually interesting because I have been trying to find white zucchini (so common in my native Odessa) for last 5 years of my life in Slovakia but all my attempts were unsuccessful. Nová Baňa managed to surprised my once again.
I cook a lot of dishes with zucchini, both green and white. It is nice, when it’s stewed with sour cream, chicken and dill or like a filling for a cake. Zucchini pancakes are nice dish for late summer morning. I used chickpea flour for this recipe, but you can substitute it with white all purpose flour.

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Roasted eggplant spread recipe

It was very hot here in Slovakia during last 2 weeks so to be honest I didn’t cook a lot. It was hot even in Nová Baňa last weekend but it didn’t stop me from cooking one of the most famous summer dishes from Odessa cuisine: grilled eggplants, peppers and tomatoes spread. This recipe has obviously Greek or Bulgarian roots, but both Greek and Bulgarians were quite influential in summer Ukrainian region so it’s no wonder that a lot of dishes I often cook  have South European or Middle East origin.

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Side dish ideas: Swiss chard and potatoes

Can I officially claim this year “the year of the products I’ve never tried before”? Here is another prove of this fact: my traditional Saturday visit to the farm market in Zilinska street brought me a large bunch of colourful Swiss chard. The lady, who sells it names chard “Croatian spinach” and tells that it can be cooked like ordinary spinach. If you are from Bratislava and also visit the market in Zilinska, you know this seller for sure. It’s famous Cilka from Zohor, area to the North from Bratislava which is reach in culinary traditions. She names chard “Croatian spinach” and tells that it can be cooked like ordinary spinach. It makes a nice side dish together with potatoes. Of course I’ve made a short research of Swiss chard recipes and here is my own version of potatoes with chard.

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Overnight rice flakes and chia pudding

The main event of July (not just for me but for all Slovakia I assume) was Pohoda musical festival. I’ve never taken part in summer open air activities and was quite nervous if my inner introvert survives in a crowd of 35000. Well, I shouldn’t have been nervous as the festival was unexpectedly cool: really good organized, with plenty of workshops, master classes and great music, of course. Food courts were also great with all possible types of dishes: from fresh coconuts to traditional Slovak langos (fried dough with different toppings like cheese or garlic) or from absolutely great pastrami (it was my first pastrami and I totally liked it) to chia pudding. I finally tried the famous Slovak codfish salad tapped into hot dog bun. It tasted ridiculously good despite the fact that I have prejudice to mayo salads. Well, once in a while 🙂
On one of festival days my breakfast was chia pudding made by Lunter company ( the biggest Slovak producers or tofu and vegetarians spreads like hummus or “fake codfish salad”. Btw, it makes Slovakia special, where else can you try codfish salad hot dog or fake codfish salad made from soya beans?

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