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Kings Mountain, North Carolina, United States
"A mind lively and at ease" is a blog by a first-generation Russian-Ukrainian immigrant Maria K. (Maria Igorevna Kuroshchepova). An engineer by education, an analyst by trade, as well as a writer, photographer, artist and amateur model, Maria brings her talent for weaving an engaging narrative to stories of life, fashion and style advice, book and movie reviews, and common-sense and to-the-point essays on politics and economy.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Mama Masha's Kitchen - discoveries old and new

The gift that keeps on giving

Amazing bakes continue to be my cooking staple - especially when dining alone - and a venue for experimentation. The latest versions I tried out successfully:

- Chicken legs, soaked in whiskey, prepared with sauteed mushrooms, onions, and capellini pasta, topped with shredded cheese.

- Fish filets, prepared with sauteed garlic, lemongrass, and wild rice with a splash of balsamic vinegar.

- Sausage with cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, and bell peppers, with couscous.

All of the above were served with some sort of additional vegetable or salad on the side.

Magical substance

It is not uncommon for my husband and me to give each other presents that are sort of for both of us. Usually, they come from the area of home improvement, organization, or cooking. Last Christmas, one such gift was a bottle of Roasted Rice Vinegar I bought. This fantastic, tangy vinegar with a touch of smoky flavor exceeded all our expectations. We've made everything with it - salads, soups, chicken, pork, fish, pasta, rice. It was fantastic with everything. As it has a fairly strong flavor, a little goes a long way, so one bottle is bound to last several months. Definitely try it!

Something new

In the past, I cooked Brussels sprouts whole - steamed them first, then scorched them a little with browned butter and salt. Recently, I decided to try them as I would ordinary cabbage. I chopped them up, sauteed them with onions, bell peppers, and sliced-up Hebrew National beef franks, and served under sour cream-cheddar sauce. It came out very well - I was pleased. And the dish is easily adjusted to go with seafood or meatless. Delicious and nutritious!

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