14 Responses to Getting Down to Basics

  1. Anna-in-N. says:

    Hello Emily,
    I just stumbled onto your blog via “Tastespotting” (…. and your Spinach pancake recipe there). When looking around your website and found this list … and smiled, because I discovered, that almost all those things you recommend are “living” in my kitchen, plus some German herbs…. as I am German and travel back there regularily.
    I am living by myself (after my husband died) and will be soon a (healthy and happy) 70 years old woman, I am still cooking daily for myself and enjoy finding different ways, to combine those things I have at hand … I also love company and share meals and wine with friends. One of them recently called me a “fearless cook” … and by-the-way I almost always wear an apron, while cooking.
    Thank you for a wonderfully inspiring blog.

    • Emily (Kuross) Vikre says:

      Hello Anna! Welcome, and thanks for your inspiring story! I definitely aspire to continue cooking and being a “fearless cook” all my life. It’s so incredible to hear from people who are living it out as well. Keep it up, and I hope to hear from you more! 🙂

  2. Meghan says:

    Hey Emily! I am a patient of your dads and we just had this big long discussion about nutrition and eating well. I told him I find it hard to get started because I don’t know WHAT to make or what ingredients to buy and get started. He told me to look at your blog and I think this is really going to help! I’m excited to get started on a healthier life. Thanks for all the great information!


  3. Meghan says:

    Oh I forgot to ask you….whenever I follow recipes I feel like I go out and buy a bunch of ingredients for this one recipe and then I don’t use any of the ingredients again and they go bad. How do you plan your meals so that you are using all of your fresh produce and not letting it go to waste? Thanks!


    • Emily (Kuross) Vikre says:

      Hi Meg,
      That is a really great question, and I think it is a struggle for a lot of people cooking at home! I think using up that extra produce is where being willing to be a little experimental comes in handy. So, if I make a recipe and have a bunch of produce leftover that I didn’t use, one or two days later, instead of cooking from a recipe, I look at those vegetables and think, ‘okay, what kind of dish would I like to put these into?’ And, usually I wind up just sauteeing or roasting them with olive oil and garlic until they’re tender, I may or may not also toss them with one of those spice combinations I listed in this post. Then,I rub a piece of fish with a similar set of spices and roast it until it flakes easily and serve that alongside the vegetables. Another option is to cook the vegetables and cook up some pasta, rice, or other grain (bulgur, couscous, barley – look for whole grains) and toss the vegetables with the grain, another drizzle of olive oil, maybe some of the spices, and sprinkle it with just a bit of cheese – or a dollop of plain yogurt is yummy if you’re using Middle Eastern spices. Any vegetables you have you can generally cook and then bake into a quiche, which is especially easy and healthy if it is crustless. And lastly, I often use up vegetables by roasting them, refrigerating them and keeping them to add to sandwiches. Hope this helps! And, if you have more questions, always feel free to email me at fiveandspice@gmail.com. 🙂

  4. […] Ideas for handy spice and herb combos from Five and Spice […]

  5. Emily, have you had any experience with Chaga Tea? Suppose to be exceptional for the autoimmunce system and cancer. Just wondering what your opinion on this is. Thank you.

    • Emily (Kuross) Vikre says:

      Hi Barbara, I really don’t much about chaga tea. From what I know, it sounds like it’s been shown to be strongly ant-iinflammatory and anti-carcinogenic (anti-cancer) in studies in cells and in animals but it hasn’t really been tested in humans. However, if it does have strong anti-inflammatory properties, then it could be beneficial to drink for enhancing your immune system, and I haven’t seen anything that shows bad reactions to it (although it may react with certain drugs, so it’s always good to check that sort of thing with your doctor).

  6. Terri says:

    This is a great list of staples. There is only one thing on your list which I am missing…sardines. However, I do seem to have an abundance of clams at present.

    I found your blog through TasteSpotting when I came in search of your Roasted Carrot Soup with Citrus and Cumin. Oh my! The pictures here are beautiful and your recipes look delicious. Thank you for sharing your talents.

  7. Hi Emily! Just wanted to comment on how this is a great and informative article; really enjoyed reading it. Thanks.

  8. ginandtunics says:

    This is really helpful for stocking a new kitchen! Thanks!

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