Cooking and photography are two of my many passions. My blog, Julia's Album documents what I cook and bake on a regular basis.

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  • Location: USA
  • Favorite foods: Ravioli, soups, pomegranates, beets. All kinds of homemade sweets.

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Weekend Cook and Tell: Love For Legumes

My current favorite legume is chickpea. Chickpeas are actually quite rich in protein, and you could totally have a dinner consisting only of chickpeas and not be hungry.

This very easy chickpea vegetable curry recipe with quinoa is a vegetarian dinner that can be whipped up in the matter of 30 minutes. It is a very filling veggie dish, to be served as a main course, for lunch or dinner. The recipe combines curry flavors, chickpeas, mushrooms, and spinach in a creamy coconut broth, on top of quinoa (also rich in protein).

Submitted to Photograzing.

Weekend Cook and Tell: Breakfast For Dinner

I love to make tarts in large tart pans for dinner. This
Breakfast tart with eggs, Gruyere cheese, leeks, thyme, tomatoes goes equally well for breakfast, brunch, or dinner. It's very filling and has everything: protein (eggs), carbs (amazingly fluffy tart shell), vegetables (leeks, grape tomatoes), fat (Gruyere cheese). Because it is made in a tart pan, it also makes for a nice presentation which is important for dinner!

Submitted to Photograzing, also pinned and tagged @SeriousEats

Super Bowl Party Giveaway: Baby Back Ribs and Pulled Pork

Making ribs on a cold evening, at the cabin, surrounded by silence and tall pine trees

Weekend Cook and Tell: Flu Fighters

When I am sick, I love to have a bowl of spicy Thai soup that immediately helps alleviate symptoms, such as runny nose, nasal congestion, and also soothes sinuses and soar throat.

I also love to eat this chopped salad with pomegranate seeds, spinach, mango, apples and pears - as you can see this salad is literally loaded with vitamins and anti-oxidants which will help boost your immune system.

Both submitted to photograzing.

Weekend Cook and Tell: Cooking For One

When I am alone, I like to experiment with making different kinds of tarts and tartlets, especially for breakfast. These egg tartlets with spinach and grape tomatoes came out really good. They keep well in the refrigerator for several days, so I get to enjoy one of my favorite breakfasts - eggs and vegetables baked in a tart shell. I also make these variations of breakfast in a tart: breakfast cups with eggs and bacon and egg tartlets (both already on Photograzing).

Weekend Cook and Tell: A Hanukkah Feast

I was almost late to this party :). A lot of wonderful Hanukkah recipes and ideas here. But a great feast is not a feast without some booze. So, here is my contribution: mulled wine - a comforting hot drink for a cold winter night. Spiced up with cinnamon sticks, cloves, lemon peel, sugar and other good stuff.

Submitted to Photograzing.

Weekend Cook and Tell: Holiday Food Gifting

I've been making a lot of cookies in the last 2 weeks (total of 5 types of cookies so far) for holiday gifting, and my absolute favorite this year is a simple almond shortbread cookie, but with addition of Amaretto, an almond flavored liquor. It's a classic cookie for the holidays, and almond flavored liquor makes these cookies even more almond-like.


I love peach-shaped sandwich cookies myself, and here is my version of them: I make peach cookies with a very thick dulce de leche filling (which I make myself), and I use natural coloring, such as beet juice and carrot juice to make the cookies look like peaches.

I submitted both photos to Photograzing.

Weekend Cook and Tell: 'Tis the Season for Soup

I have a very special soup for you today. I've made it for Christmas for the last 2 years, and it's been a hit each time, even with people who don't like carrots.

This spiced up carrot and lentil soup, topped with toasted sliced almonds and coarsely ground black pepper is a healthy, vegetarian, flavorful Christmas appetizer. The sweetness of carrots in this soup is perfectly balanced with earthiness of lentils, so this soup will appeal to both carrot fans and lentil lovers. A little bit of chilli gives this soup just the right amount spiciness, and the rest of the spices bring out just the right flavors out of carrots and lentils.

I've made this soup over the weekend and just submitted the photo to Photograzing.

Weekend Cook and Tell: Freezer Friendly Meals

I've been freezing a lot of desserts, lately: cakes, cupcakes, tart dough, fruit tarts, etc. Cupcakes(without frosting) freeze exceptionally well in a freezer bag. So, I just bake a batch of cupcakes, keep them in the freezer, thaw them whenever I need and then top the cupcakes with frosting. They are actually good as is, without any frosting. Here is the link to the recipe on my blog: chocolate cupcakes. I also submitted it through photograzing.

I tend not to freeze any other meals, even though I probably should, it would make my life easier.

Cook the Book: 'The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook'

I've been on a mini-tart kick lately, so I've been making lots of breakfast mini tarts. Just the other week I made Baked egg cups with bacon, spinach, and cheese on a very flaky crust. And I blogged about them, too!

Weekend Cook and Tell Round Up: The Savory Side of Pumpkin

@Simon, the soup you're describing sounds so tasty! I've tried thin strips of cured duck breast, called "duck bacon" (even though it is technically not bacon, because it is actually duck breast). Cured duck breast strips will go so well with pumpkin soup!

Weekend Cook and Tell: The Savory Side of Pumpkin

I just submitted my photo of pumpkin (or butternut squash) turnovers made with puff pastry. I like to use a lot of freshly ground black pepper with the pumpkin filling - it makes a great savory snack! Here is the link to my blog post with the recipe:

Pumpkin puff pastry turnovers recipe

Weekend Cook and Tell: Keen on Quinoa

Quinoa has become a staple at my house. Whenever we order Chinese or Thai, we much prefer to substitute rice with quinoa. I'd rather eat quinoa than plain white rice. I also love the nutritional component: quinoa is a good source of fiber and is gluten-free.

Here is the recipe I just submitted through Cook and Tell:
Thai red curry sauce with chicken and quinoa

I also submitted another recipe to Photograzing about a month ago, that had quinoa. Here is the link to the Photograzing entry:
Thai coconut milk soup with chicken and quinoa

Last Chance to Enter our Puff Pastry Contest!

I am almost done preparing my entry and will be submitting it today or tomorrow (before the deadline)!

Weekend Cook and Tell: Puff Pastry FTW, Literally

I LOVE Puff Pastry! It's so versatile, easy to use and yummy! I was very excited about this Weekend's challenge and made little pizzas with puff pastry.

I submitted my photo to Photograzing and I also pinned it on Pinterest and tagged @SeriousEats and #cookandtell in my pin text. Here is the link to my blog post with the recipe:

Small Puff pastry pizzas with bell peppers, mushrooms, Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese

Weekend Cook and Tell: Fresh Pasta

I see it now! Thank you! It was definitely fun to participate!

Weekend Cook and Tell: Fresh Pasta

Hi Alison, where will you be posting round up of this past weekend's cook and tell? thanks!

Weekend Cook and Tell: Fresh Pasta

I made ravioli with spinach filling and tomato cream sauce. I submitted it to Photograzing and I also pinned it on Pinterest and tagged @SeriousEats in my pin text. Here is the link to the blog post with the recipe:

How do you find motivation when you've lost it?

I've been through that. What kept me back from cooking was the feeling of being overwhelmed with having to plan the meals every day, do shopping, find recipes, etc. Especially, after a big energy sucking change (such as moving).

Of course, you feel exhausted mentally by the move and have little energy. Planning a dinner every night seems like an overwhelming task.

What helped me in situations like that was to sit down at the start of the week, come up with all the recipes for all meals I was going to cook during the week, make list of ingredients, go shopping and buy everything I need. And as the week unfolds, I have my plan in place: recipe for each evening, ingredients, and a peace of mind (that I don't have to plan each day).