Handy-Dandy Little Baggies

Sandwich bags.

I know, not terribly exciting, right?

No doubt, chill tenants in one of your kitchen drawers, these little do dads wait patiently for your lunch, or to hold small stuff for you on those occasional trips.

But guess what?  I’ve got something to get you excited about.  Sandwich bags aren’t just for sandwiches and wayward hair clips anymore.

Did you know that these handy-dandy little baggies can actually help you while you cook?  Well, they can. Continue reading

Parsley-Arugula Pesto with Pasta and Crispy Bacon

Parsley is a sleeper.

It may grow like gang busters, but not something I’d ever viewed as a main ingredient to, well, anything.

I was wrong.

A few days ago, last Friday to be exact, I made my way — read: a few stockinged-feet — to my apartment balcony to the place where my garden grows.

It is a veritable jungle out there, thirty-five square feet of sunflower, chive, rosemary, thyme, sage, mint, lavender, Frontenac grape-growing mania. Continue reading

Spiced Yogurt with Peaches and Candied Ginger

Fellow food blogger, Amelia Crook of Simple Provisions got me to thinking recently.  Her M.O. is:

Food does not need to be fancy to be celebrated.

To that I say, “Speak the word, sister, speak the word!”

Fussy does not mean good, and yummy does not necessary have to be complicated.  Sometimes the most satisfying eats don’t even involve cranking up the stove or whipping yourself into a cooking frenzy.

Sometimes they involve a simple, perfectly ripe peach. Continue reading

Top 15 Things Every Small Kitchen Must Have: Part II

Uh huh, you guessed it!

Today we’re continuing to count down — or in this case, up — to my top 15 things every small kitchen cook must have to have fun and make magic in the beautiful, bitty kitchens they’ve got.

Maestro, drum-roll please!

Our next five!

6.  Fresh herbs.  ‘Cause, simply put, you can’t beat ’em.  And you don’t need a garden, much space, or even a green thumb.  I have a thirty-five square-foot apartment balcony, a thumb that’s light green at best, and it’s a jungle (and my haven) out there.  Make one on yours.

Continue reading

Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie (or Mom and Dad Pie)

Today is my parent’s 43rd wedding anniversary.

They are the most wonderful peas-in-a-pod, and yes, I know, I’m biased.

Forty-three years ago today they were getting married.  Mom, walking down the aisle to meet my dad, in a gown she made all by herself.  My dad calling her his “Julietta”.  And just like it is in Rhode Island this time of year, it was hot.  It was sweaty.  It was perfect.

They’ve had forty-three years of memories made together, my mom and dad.  Forty-three years filled with making wonderful memories for my brother, Niko, and I.  Forty-three years of good times and bad, and yet just as much — if not more — silliness, laughter, and love. Continue reading

Roasted Banana and Cardamom Paletas (i.e. Mexican Ice Pops!)

Summer always arrives super fashionably late here in the Pacific Northwest.  She takes the scenic, scenic route and doesn’t show her sunny face until the eleventh hour on the Fourth of July.  But when she gets here, all tops break loose and we PN’ers just lose it.

Paletas are my way of welcoming Sister Summer to this here neck of the woods, and encouraging her to kick off her flippie floppies and staying a while.

These paletas just very well might. Continue reading

Top 15 Things Every Small Kitchen Must Have: Part I

A big part of Small Kitchen Chronicles is for and about the small kitchen cook, as well as cooking and living big in the small spaces we’ve got.

So, it’s always the perfect time to talk about great, small kitchen must-haves.

Though it’s a very personal thing, here is my Top 15 List of things this small kitchen cook can’t live without.

So, without further adieu…

Christina’s first five!

1.  Good, quality ingredients, preferably organic, local and in-season.  If you buy anything, this is what you should spend your hard-earned change on.  A pauper can live (and cook) like a king on quality over quantity.  Even if it’s in an aluminum pan, it’ll make all the difference.

Continue reading

The Humble, Little Lemon

Okay, it’s official.  Summer’s here and it’s just about the time when I start thinking about all things refreshing.

Visions of lemonade and dancing lemons fill my head and then inevitably, I get to thinking how much I love the humble, little lemon.

It’s sunny face smiles back at me no matter what time of the year it is, and no matter how dreary it can get here in the Pacific Northwest, I know there’s always a bit of sunshine waiting for me in the fridge. Continue reading

Best-Ever Way To Make Bacon

I know I’m not alone when I say, “I love bacon”.  I heart it.  I really, really heart it.

“Breakfast for dinner” is also a near, dear-to-my heart personal motto of mine.  Why have dinner when you can have breakfast?  Why have lunch when you can have breakfast for lunch?  It even turns out, that it just so ended up, that I even married a Bacon (the best, very sweetest kind).  The Universe got it.

I think you get the idea.

What I have never hearted though are the third-degree burns I always get when making bacon in a pan.  Sweet Mother Mercy, dodging bacon grease is not something I need on my list of “To Do” in the kitchen.  Not-to-mention (okay, I just did), the constant flipping and tending to — then, the messy clean-up. Continue reading

Wild Blueberry Crumble With Oat-Almond Topping

I have never been much of a dessert fan.  I am by default a salt kind of girl, and would much rather prefer most anything salt to anything sweet any day.  But I do have a soft spot in my stomach for blueberries — specifically, frozen blueberries of the wild kind.

How much of a soft spot?  Well, for starters, I eat them every morning with my cereal after defrosting them under warm running water in my kitchen sink.  Every morning.  Every time my brother sees me, he yells, “Blueberries!” (basically, a verbatim imitation of yours truly from when we used to live together).

No joke, these bitty berries make me that happy. Continue reading

Stay tuned…more to come!

Francesco Tonelli for The New York Times

Re-realization: there’s a lot to this blog-site building stuff.

Navigating around, figuring this WordPress thing out, building pages, figuring even more stuff out.

But just like Rome wasn’t built in a day, getting SKC out of the oven, all warm and golden brown, will require a bit of gentle patience.  So thank you in advance for yours while I work on getting SKC up and running. Continue reading

Hello world!

Just a small taste of what’s to come

Hello world and welcome!  My name is Christina Lazarakis and this tiny corner of the interweb is Small Kitchen Chronicles.

I must confess, I am not a fan of my kitchen.  Two words: too small.  Twenty five and a half tiny-square-feet-small, and unfortunately, no, that number is not an exaggeration.

I moved into said kitchen in December of 2011, when I moved in with my then-fiance, now wonderful-husband, Christopher.  It suffices to say, it was not a love-at-first sight thing, this introduction to my new kitchen. Continue reading