An Interview with Catalina from Cake With Love
I come from a third world country in Eastern Europe named Moldova. My most vivid and happy childhood memories are those spent with my grandparents. They live in a small village; have their own garden and animals. I remember how I was impatiently waiting for the summer to come, so I can go there and spend 3 month playing with my friends, helping my grandparents at gardening, eating fresh salads and fruits right from our yard, and enjoying my grandma’s (I call her mother Maria) baked goods! She is one of the best bakers I know. When we come to visit she has hundreds of fresh cookies waiting for us, and several cakes all delicious and all made with love. Now, I live in the States, I can’t go visit them as often as I used to, but even if I am so far away I feel their unconditioned love and look forward to the day when we all will have cake together again. Until then, I decided to start my blog, to bake and share every piece virtually with them.
Where do you get most of your recipes from?
I create most of my recipes, but I also get a lot of inspiration from my mom and grandma, I read a lot of food blogs, I have a big collection of cook books and Pinterest is a great tool to get new ideas. My husband is a great cook too, so he creates some delicious recipes for my blog as well!
What are your top 5 favorite recipes that you’ve posted? What makes them so special?
My top five favorite recipes that I have created are: this delicious Crepe Cake with Sour Cherries, this decadent and rich Peanut Butter Cheesecake with Reese’s & a Brownie Crust, this healthy and No Bake Chocolate Coconut Vegan Energy Crunchy Balls, the Uzbech Style Rice with Beef, this is mu husband’s signature dish, and the flavors are amazing! Last, but not least, this hearty and comforting Chicken Meatballs Soup with Kale & Gnocchi! These are the recipes that are favorites in our family! The crepe cake is very light and easy to make, the sour cherries pair so well with the creamy and sweet frosting! The Peanut Butter Cheesecake is a winner everytime I make it for somebody’s birthday! We almost always have some of those Vegan crunchy balls on hand, since they taste like chocolate truffles but are so healthy on the other hand! The Uzbech style rice with beef is a dinner staple in our house, since it packs so many great flavors, is very filling and the leftovers are delicious! The soup is a favorite too, it is definitely very comforting and hearty, but it packs a lot of nutrients with all that kale and vegetables, I prefer to have it on a rainy day under a warm blanket while watching a movie!
What recipes do you recommend moms make for their family during the summer?
During the summer I always recommend making recipes that don’t involve turning the oven on, that are easy and quick and taste delicious at the end! I would also recommend trying to always have on hand fresh, local and organic produce from the Farmer’s Market! To enjoy fresh salads for lunch and maybe as a side for dinner! Load on fruits that have high water content, like melons, grapes and cherries, to keep your children hydrated and to have a healthy snack ready on hand!
Do you have any recipes that are quick and easy to make that busy moms should consider trying?
I am pretty busy too, with a high demanding job in Finance sometimes I also don’t have enough time to cook for the both of us, in these situations I turn to my fool proof and time saving recipes, like this delicious Jasmine Rice with Shrimp and Scallops that is ready in 20 minutes flat! Another great recipe that can be enjoyed outside is for these grilled Fish Tacos with Mango, the fish is ready in minutes and there are almost no dishes to clean, the bonus is that you get to spend sometime outside and your children can play while you cook!
Also, these summer I started experimenting with frozen desserts, and these Tropical Popsicles were a big hit, there is no sugar involved, and they are packed with fruits and healthy fat from the coconut milk! Vegan and delicious, sweetened only with natural juice they make the perfect dessert for kids and grown ups! If your family members love Peanut Butter as much as I do , I would like to recommend you this recipe for No Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunks & Marshmallows Chewy Bars, they come together in minutes, are packed with protein, oat bran and make a great treat, kids will love them! If you are not a Peanut Butter Lover, no problem you can make these No Bake Caramel & Chocolate Bars, which will literally melt in your mouth! If you feel extra fancy, and have some free time, try making these Organic Carrot Cake Balls, you will think that you are eating some fancy Godiva truffles!
How do you save money while shopping for ingredients?
To be honest we spend much more than we want on groceries, and that is only because we eat a 90% Organic diet! We buy our products from 3 stores, BJ’s – they have an organic department, and I always buy the greens, like spinach, arugula, celery and broccoli (all organic) from them, the price is very good! They also have Natural and Organic Chicken, Almond Milk, Organic Eggs & Milk, Organic Sugar, Butter & Flour, and since we use these products a lot I buy them in bulk, and look for coupons all the time!
I go to Shoprite once a week, to stock up on organic tomatoes, avocados, shrimp and scallops. I also buy my oatmeal and beans from their organic section! We buy all the red meat and fish from Whole Foods! Also, during the summer I hit the Farmer’s Market once a week for fresh berries and fruits!
All these stores have a discount program, and I always try to check it in advance and plan my grocery trips and meals based on the items that are on sale. It is much easier to shop and save money with a list of meals that you want to make for a week ahead! Before going grocery shopping take a look at your pantry and fridge, to have an idea what protein and produce you already have so you don’t end up buying stuff that you don’t need! Part of our budget, we eat out only on special occasions and try to save money by cooking all the meals at home, and going out once a week on a date night!
Site: Catalina @ Cake with Love http://cakewithlove.me/
Twitter: CakewLove https://twitter.com/#!/CakewLove
Pinterest: Cake with Love http://pinterest.com/cakewithlove/