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Glimpse through the Flemish window - Very Exciting News!


"Purple Spring" Still Life by Yelena Strokin 2016

My dear readers, I am sorry to disappear on you like this but I have been very busy lately and I have some great news for you.

For a long time, I have been secretly wishing for my own photography exhibition. I always wanted to hold my still life exhibition and now it is really happening. I feel like my dream is coming true and I am giving myself the best present ever. But there is a lot of work, pressure and planning taking place in the background. That’s why I have no time to post any recipes, but I have so many new and good ones, especially for my Russian Monday. I will continue blogging after September. Stay tuned.

If you are local or live nearby - you are all invited to the opening or any other day of your choice. The exhibition will be in a heart of very nice historic town - New Hope, Pennsylvania, with many shops, restaurants, galleries and even very old theater. It would be a pleasure to see you there!

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Orange Apricot Biscotti with Pistachios & Hazelnuts - Perfect Cookies for the Mothers Day


My new Still live with flowers and butterflies - prints are available for sale!

When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child.

— SOPHIA LOREN

Happy Mothers Day!!!



Great to have these tasty crispy cookies on hand when guests stop by during the Mothers day, these biscotti also make lovely gifts. You can substitute dried apricots for the cherries, if you like.

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Important Announcement!



I am delighted to inform you that Sweet potato chips image, in Food Bloggers category, has been shortlisted in the Pink Lady® Food Photographer of the Year 2016 and has progressed to the next stage of judging. If you like my work and I hope you do, please vote for me!

Here is a link:  Pink Lady® Food Photographer

You need to scroll down for Food bloggers category and look for Yelena Strokin United States. This is very important to me and I thank you very much for your votes!

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Russian Monday: Cheese & Garlic Salad



Although, today is not a Monday but I feel this post is very appropriate for Easter. It was my husband’s idea to make a post about this salad. He loves it and remembers eating it back home on every holiday. The dish is very simple, but I am sure you will love the taste. Pick your favorite cheese or combination of cheeses. Amount of garlic is totally up to you, our family loves a lot of it-)) Also you can serve it on top of cherry or plum tomatoes, and fresh spring herbs would be a wonderful addition.


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Roasted Spiral Root Vegetable Salad with Citrus Dressing



Earthy beets, rutabagas and slightly sweet carrots are a winning combination, especially when they are tossed with a citrus dressing with the bright flavors of orange and lemon juice. This salad is also tasty if a green apple spirals are tossed with the roasted vegetables.

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Irish Barm Brack Bread with Dried Apricots Perfect for St.Patrick's Day



Barm Brack is a yeast bread with added raisins (I added dried apricots)  - it is sweeter that standard bread but not as rich as cake. Although, it is traditionally eaten around Halloween, when charms are baked into the dough as part of an ancient fortune-telling ritual, I think it is perfect for those who celebrate St.Patrick’s day.

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Whisky Marinated Flank Steak Broiled with Mushrooms & Onions



If you celebrate St. Patrick’s day here is a recipe you will not regret to cook. Tasty and absolutely stress free dish. Very few ingredients are needed and only few minutes takes to prepare it. Please enjoy our second video. I am looking forward to your comments.


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Russian Monday: "Blini" - Vanilla Crepes with Berries



“Maslenitsa” is a Russian carnival week originating from pre-Christian times. It was celebrated around spring solstice and was dedicated to the boy-Sun named Xors becoming a man-Sun named Yarilo. The main dish of the holiday week are pancakes (or “blini” in Russian) in all their varieties. Their round shape symbolizes the Sun.

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Victoria Sandwich - Get ready for Downton Abbey's final episode this Sunday!



America's love affair with the show about the lives and loves of family and servants in an aristocratic home across the pond is coming to an end as the series Downtown Abbey wraps it's sixth and final season.

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Russian Monday: "Kurnik" - Chicken Pie with Mushrooms, Kasha, Eggs & Homemade Chicken Broth



This is not your everyday meal, but rather a very special occasion one. If you have invited dearest friends for dinner or perhaps you’d like to spoil your family with a great dish, this is what you need to cook! It is complicated and time consuming, but it is worth every minute of your time.

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Baked Brie with Wild Mushrooms, Garlic & Fresh Parsley - Video Post



Today I have a video recipe for you. This is my first attempt, hence please treat it kindly-)) I would love to hear your thoughts, impressions and what other recipes you would like to see on video. Thank you for visiting Cooking Melangery!

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Flourless Honey-Orange Chocolate Muffins - Perfect Breakfast for your Valentine



How could you go wrong with muffins that marry the best flavors: orange, honey and chocolate? These are divine with a delicate cup of Café au lait and freshly whipped cream cheese.

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Lemon & Poppy Seeds Meringue Cake



The flavors of lemon and poppy seeds complement each other beautifully in this cake. I used the Meyer lemons for this recipe, but if they are not available, ordinary lemons will do just as well.

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Russian Monday: Yellow Split Pea Soup with Smoked Ham Shank - "Gorochovy Soup"



I recall this soup from my childhood, my school and even kindergarten years. Pea soup is very rich, fragrant and delicious. It is also very good in cold weather. The cooking of it is quite simple and fast. 20-25 years ago you could get peas at any store in Russia in few varieties – yellow, green, whole or halves. The halves were especially popular for some reason, they were cheap and in demand.

Pea soup in Germany is practically a national dish and usually is served with smoked pork. Similarly, in Netherlands pea soup is cooked from crushed green peas with pork. Russian version of this soup is cooked with potatoes and served with crackers or toast.

This recipe is my grandma’s – she used to make pea soup with smoked ribs and served it with garlic croutons made in the oven. Fantastically delicious!

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Winter Flowers



You probably know the feeling when you just cannot even hold a camera in your hand feeling allergic even to a thought of taking pictures! Lately, I have been feeling like that for a couple of weeks. I have so many projects in my mind and things need to be photographed, but somehow I have absolutely no power to do so. Every night I fall asleep with one thing on my mind, hoping tomorrow is the day when I can start anew.

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Oyster-Corn Chowder & Garlic-Rosemary Biscuits



Nowadays, we think of oysters as a luxury food, but a few centuries ago they where in such bountiful and accessible supply that people actually complained of having to eat too many. Too many oysters - can you imagine?

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"Peach" Cookies with Dulce de Leche-Butter Cream



You probably know these cookies or have seen them all over Pinterest, in fact I have few different recipes of them in my folders. They have attracted my attention quite some time ago and I’ve been thinking of one day making an effort to bake my masterpiece. Now I am glad I did. So, the holidays may be over, but this seriously impressive dessert is giving me a reason to bake and celebrate winter. I was very surprised by the ease of the process and deliciousness of the end result. My daughter has helped me a great deal and we had a lot of fun baking. These “peach” cookies are beautiful, and Cooking Melangery is all about beautiful food. Lets start new year with creatively delicious treat!

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