Deliciously Inspired

Deliciously Inspired

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Food. No matter what your eating preferences, nationality, or childhood experiences, food remains a bearer of memories, the center of social gatherings, and a creative outlet for us all.

Growing up in a Greek/Italian home, food has been a huge part of my life for as long as I can remember. Memories of family members crowding around the dinner table to indulge in authentic Greek food made by my Yia Yia, or Italian made by my Gram, fill my head and inspire me to create dishes that bring people together in the same way. Weeknight family meals and Sunday dinners were, and still remain, a necessity in my home. What’s the one major difference between my childhood dinners and dinners today? Now, I’m the one preparing the meals with my sisters for everyone to enjoy, rather than my mother, aunts, and grandmothers.

Social butterfly that I am, though, I absolutely love to entertain and bring people together for a meal. From amazing appetizers and sinfully delicious snacks to delectable dinners and everything in between, I am down to get down in the kitchen. I love to experiment with recipes, try new foods, swap ingredients for different ones, and learn from those who know better than me. In fact, people I know and love who undoubtedly know much more about food than I created some of the recipes I’ll be sharing with you in the coming weeks.

But, before we “dig in,” to meatier posts, I wanted to share with you a few of my favorite things and the rules I live by in the kitchen!

Seven Favorite Foods:

Sushi- whether maki, sushi, or sashimi, you put it on my plate and I will devour it.
Brazilian steak and rice- if anyone knows how to make this, please enlighten me, because I’ve tried and tried again and can’t nail it.
Pasta- red sauce, white sauce, vodka sauce, or no sauce, I LOVE PASTA.
An excellently constructed breakfast sandwich- complete with bacon, sausage, ham, and cheese. Not salt, pepper, or ketchup here, my friend.
Cadbury Flake Bars- they have to be ordered, which takes work… but that might be for the best.
Dense, chocolate cake- because, who doesn’t love that?

Eight Spices and Seasonings:

Red Pepper Flakes and/or Cayenne Pepper- for those moments when you have to have heat. I use red pepper flakes when I’m cooking in a pan (sautéing, pan frying, etc.) and in sauces, and cayenne when I’m roasting or baking.
Himalayan Pink Salt- salt coaxes flavor out of anything and everything. I love Himalayan pink salt because it’s easier for the body to use and absorb and the flavor is slightly more complex.
Parsley and Basil- for those times when you want to add an Italian flare, a little extra flavor, or the perfect garnish on top of a dish.
Garlic, Lemon, and Olive Oil- these 3 flavors, whether combined or on their own, bring back memories of family dinners at my Yia Yia’s house.
Coconut Oil- a great alternative to other oils and butter and can be used both in a recipe or to cook with. You can find it with the coconut flavor or without, so you can use it even when “coconut” is not a component you want in a dish.

Finally, I have two strong beliefs when it comes to cooking/eating that I hope you’ll see come through in the posts that follow.

Good and good for you CAN be one in the same.
Just because something is nutrient packed and slews slightly on the healthy side doesn’t mean it needs to taste that way!

Indulgence is encouraged (just not all the time).
Often times, we see people on the road to getting fit or healthy and they absolutely refuse to have a bite of pasta or taste the cake you worked so hard to bake. Well, I believe you can and should have your cake and eat it, too… just not all of it.

So, with this column, it’s my goal to bring you food that’s easy to make, {sometimes} on the healthier side, and always deliciously inspired.

Until next time!

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Alexia Pagones
Alexia Pagones
I’m a New York native who moved to Boston for college and never left. I’m a social media marketer by day and a foodie/gym rat by night . When I'm not wearing any of those hats, you can find me binge watching shows on Netflix, dancing like a fool to my favorite music, or off an adventure with my boyfriend and best friends. I live my life to my fullest and like every experience, from a meal to a trip, to be deliciously inspired.
Alexia Pagones

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