Sandwich Project: #7 – jamon Serrano and basil pesto sandwich!

The true Italian styled sandwich with

wholegrain ciabatta bread
jamon Serrano
basil pesto
dried tomato

Jamon Serrano is much cheaper than Iberico and it is sold everywhere, so we use it often.

Fresh hams are trimmed and cleaned, then stacked and covered with salt for about two weeks in order to draw off excess moisture and preserve the meat from spoiling. The salt is then washed off and the hams are hung to dry for about six months. Finally, the hams are hung in a cool, dry place for six to eighteen months, depending on the climate, as well as the size and type of ham being cured. The drying sheds (secaderos) are usually built at higher elevations, which is why the ham is called “mountain ham”.


And for cheering up Italian spirit on this post I will show you some of the pictures with me and my very tiny daughter seven years ago.

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Sandwich Project: #1 – Homemade Tuna Rillette Sandwich

This one is inspired by French rillettes, which are quite common in sandwiches in France. We usually buy them when we are there, but it is not common here in Czech Republic, so we find a way to make our own one.

Rillettes (/r.ˈɛt/ or /r.ˈɛts/; French [ʁiˈjɛt]) are a preparation of meat similar to pâté. Commonly made from pork, the meat is cubed or chopped, salted heavily and cooked slowly in fat until it is tender enough to be easily shredded, and then cooled with enough of the fat to form a paste. They are normally used as spread on bread or toast and served at room temperature.

Rillettes are also made with other meats, goose, duck, chicken, game birds, rabbit and sometimes with fish such as anchovies, tuna or salmon.


This French dish has its many regional definitions. In Quebec, cretons are similar to rillettes.

So how we make tuna rillette? We take soft creamy cheese, a kind like Philadelphia cheese, but more natural one. To tell the truth I don’t like Philadelphia since I read its ingredients. And we mix soft cheese with Rio canned tuna, maybe be in oil or drained one just with fork. It should contain pieces of fish. Those pieces are what make a difference between pate and rillette. Once you made it, just serve with salad and green onion. Very delicious and one of my favorites! I only make it with gluten free bread.

Fresh and Creative Sandwich Seven Days a Week!

We have been shooting these sandwiches for you during May and the beginning of June. They are not vegetarian and not all of them made gluten free, but btw it is possible to do so.


Suddenly, I found I had 21 sorts of cheese in my fridge. Could you imagine that? I was also surprised with this fact.

The story about sandwiches started in France in 2009. We were young parents with a toddler on holidays. You know what? French people are very strict with their food intake. They only have lunch from 12-30 pm till 2-30pm and guess whats next? Dinner at 7 pm.

Our toddler slept between 12 and 2pm, so we could not eat outside. NEVER! The only thing you can get after 14, if you are lucky to find an open bakery is a sandwich. But my hubby always said they were not the right ones. Too little meat, not enough here and there and once I told, why didn’t you make your own one full of all that desirable stuff. Much time had passed since 2009. Now we have another toddler. You could even see “service continue” in many French restaurants. Bakeries work all day in high season last year. I couldn’t believe! But my husband is sandwich expert. The next days I will show you 7 sandwich ideas one by one.

Asparagus cooking and serving ideas

Asparagus is very popular in Czech Republic.

Only seasonally on the menu, asparagus dishes are advertised outside many restaurants, usually from late April to June. For the French style, asparagus is often boiled or steamed and served with hollandaise sauce, melted butter or olive oil, Parmesan cheese or mayonnaise. Tall, narrow asparagus cooking pots allow the shoots to be steamed gently, their tips staying out of the water.

It has many health benefits, so I cook it often, when it is possible.

According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, one cup of raw asparagus contains approximately 27 calories, 0 grams of fat, 5 grams of carbohydrate, 3 grams of sugar, 3 grams of fiber and 3 grams of protein.

That same cup will also provide 70% of your daily vitamin K needs, 20% of vitamin A, 17% of foliate, 16% of iron, 13% of vitamin C and thiamin as well as smaller amounts of vitamin E, niacin, vitamin B6 and potassium.

In Czech Republic we have thicker asparagus, so I advice to peel it before cooking. I cook in just two or three minutes in boiling water with a pinch of salt. Then serve in different ways.

Today I offer you my latest asparagus serving ideas: asparagus with poached eggs and Parmesan_DSC1671-30Apr2015

and grilled vegetables with asparagus, Parmesan and sweet balsamic acid.


The Very Healthy Fancy Poached Eggs

I tried this recipe for lunch yesterday. Immediately I reported to my sister that if she cooks it for someone he will marry her. That wouldn’t work with my husband, because he hates eggs, but in general it is worth a try. HA-HA!

I cooked poached eggs for the first time ever! Guess why? I saw them recently at the Imperial Café in the center of Prague, a very sophisticated restaurant indeed. I had a very boring fish there, when I saw a waiter with a plate of very interesting design with poached eggs, veggies and bread. I wanted that too, but they didn’t have a gluten free option.

Later on, I saw a picture on Pinterest and decided to try. I always want to eat good and healthy breakfasts with eggs, I swear, but in the morning I usually start to load up on different types of sugars: pancakes, peanut butter, waffles, fruit and so on. Then I find myself full of it with no place for a healthy egg.


 Firstly, I prepared toasts. I used gluten free whole grain sandwich bread from Marks and Spencer.

Then I made an avocado-parmesan salad. Super easy, just cut an avocado, grated some Parmesan cheese and mixed them together.

The last step before cooking eggs was to put the salad on the toasts. So I was ready to poach…

 I read a few articles on how to poach an egg. It seemed difficult to me. Also it was messy. I heated a deep pan until the water was boiling, broke an egg into a bowl and then poured it from a bowl into boiling water. The white partially fell off, but the egg was still poached. Maybe not very fancy for the first time, but who cares.

 Since then I have been a big fan of poached eggs, but still find it quite difficult to cook them for breakfast, when kids are messing around. I’d better save them for lunch.


  • 2 eggs
  • 2 pieces of gluten free sandwich bread
  • a half of an avocado
  • One tsp of grated Parmesan
  • Salt and pepper
  • Few cherry tomatoes or cut one big tomato


Pre Half-Marathon Anxiety

It is only three days before Prague half marathon. I had participated in it last year, when I was breastfeeding my 7-month-old son. I was neither involved in much training that time nor in good shape at all after my baby had been born.


I have done a lot during the last year, but I am still terrified. What if I will have no improvement? What if I do worse?

_DSC0968-18Mar2015I have been trying to survive on reduced calories diet of about 2000 calories per day this week. I am feeling so miserable with this experiment now. I am about to fail every minute and start eating cakes and sugars right away. Everyone asks me why. Why and why have I been doing this now or at all? I decided to support my sister in her weight loss goal. I did not only consider the fact, that I am running a race soon and that I need much more food than she does, even if we are quite same at the first glance.

I have been making a lot of fruit shakes this week. I found it more exotic to replace Greek low fat yogurt with a coconut milk.

As far as the vegetables go, I was lazy to go to a supermarket, so I had no fish, no gluten free bread and no cheese. I only bought a lot of vegetables in a small shop not far from my place and baked them. Vegetables, baked with cumin seeds, turn out amazing.


Am I a pescatarian? New life without meat, new recipes.

I was looking for a reason to stop eating meat again, remembering I had to reject this idea during my second pregnancy, because I started gaining weight too rapidly shoveling up pastas and rice. That wasn’t my plan indeed. Meat partially helped with the situation, but as far as I was not pregnant anymore, I had so many reasons going on with eating meat further. To tell the truth, I was not happy about that, but at least, it was tasty.

And now I am again a pescatarian. This word is used to describe those who abstain from eating all meat and animal flesh with the exception of fish. In other words, a pescatarian maintains a vegetarian diet with the addition of fish and other seafood such as shrimps and lobsters.

The first week was agonizing. I often found myself picking meat from a soup or anywhere else, luckily for me, always on time before I started gobbling it. I even gained half a kilo unaccustomed eating without meat. Maybe, either that happened because I was sick and did not work out at all, eating the same way, as I did train.

Now during the second, I am calm and happy living without hunger agonies. However, vegetarian or pescaterian diet can be a hell if you are eating gluten free like I do. Usually people who are vegetarians eat bread and pasta, but I cannot. So I have a lack of choice almost in all kinds of restaurants.

If you live in France or in Czech, people consider you are crazy, if you say “I do not eat meat”. But last couple of years even here, in Prague, you can find vegetarian restaurants, many of which are quite new.

_DSC0599-25Feb2015Preparing tom yum ingredients. My hubby learned how to cook tom yam and that was in our top #3 tom yam’s we had ever tried. Tom yam is not my favorite Thai soup, as far as I prefer coconut note in Tom Kha, but I added coconut in it and it was just perfect._DSC0863-02Mar2015 Continue reading