Russian Monday: "Solyanka" - Rustic Potato Soup with Smoked Meat & Olives

Solyanka (pronounced “so-lyan-ka”), a Russian word which can be translated as “grab-bag” or “hodgepodge” is the name of the dish symbolic in Russian cuisine known far beyond Russia. As a matter of fact, knowing the name of this dish is enough never to go hungry if you are a foreigner visiting Russia. For the first time “solyanka” is mentioned in the Russian literature of the 15th century and by the 18th century it is widespread and referred by two names – “solyanka” and “pohmelka” (“pokh-mel-ka”), which meant a greasy and very hearty soup served as snack with vodka or served as an entrée. Nobility, however, did not accept this dish at all, considering it a sign of bad taste and only commoners and poor people loved it, since it was very filling and warming while being a good source to replenish energy after a whole day of hard labor. Solyanka also helped common people to drink without actually getting drunk.


Baked Goldfish Pumpkin Chips - for my Sweet Children!

What a genius idea for healthy snack - baked goldfish pumpkin chips! We are roasting vegetables every other day and roasted pumpkin is our favorite. Today I have created this amazing and fun recipe for my children's lunch boxes. After a long search for suitable cookie cutter my husband has finally made one from 2 1/2-inch oval cookie cutter, rather than buying it online or at the store. To make your own cookie cutters is simple and leaves space for your imagination and creativity.


Pumpernickel Bread with Chocolate, Coffee, Molasses, Prune Butter & Caraway Seeds

I like to bake bread at home, especially when cooler days descend upon us after summer. I feel homemade bread represents home and family. Usually I bake something during weekend and I like to surprise my kids and my husband when they come home and aroma of the fresh bakes welcomes them into cozy atmosphere. I use recipes from the books or sometimes create recipes myself. I got very helpful book on my shelf named "Baking with Julia" by Dorie Greenspan. If you are interested in baking it is highly recommended. I use it often and inspiration for the challah bread on our table as well as many other delicious bakes comes from this book.


Still Life with Pumpkins - Autumn Collection

“Run into the garden, and bring me a pumpkin.” Cinderella went immediately to gather the finest she could get, and brought it to her godmother, not being able to imagine how this pumpkin could make her go to the ball. Her godmother scooped out all the inside of it, leaving nothing but the rind; which done, she struck it with her wand, and the pumpkin was instantly turned into a fine coach, gilded all over with gold".

Have a magical weekend my dear readers!


Whole Grain Amaranth Cookies with Pumpkin Jam

Amaranth Cookies with Pumpkin Jam are a nice change for the cookie jar. These spicy autumn amber beads are decorated with pumpkin jam that is delicious!


Avocado-Egg Salad & Poached Salmon Sandwich

Succulent poached salmon and eggs combined with creamy avocado, sautéed onions and fresh basil makes a substantial sandwich. The ingredients all blend together perfectly to create a gourmet-tasting experience. This sandwich takes a little work to prepare, but is not short on taste. It can be served warm or chilled.


Amaranth-Honey Bread

I made this bread using amaranth for the first time and it came out wonderfully! It has a bit of an "earthy" taste of "good old days", but at the same time sophisticated enough to be served with French cheese and red wine. The crumb is soft and moist with tiny seeds. We had it after lunch with my  vanilla rum plum jam  and it was a perfect combination.


Russian Monday:"Golubtsy" Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Stuffed cabbage or golubtsy (“go-lub-tzy”) in Russian is a dish of Middle Eastern as well as European cuisine. This name usually refers to ground beef mixed with boiled rice or buckwheat wrapped in cabbage leaves. However, there are many varieties of fillings and the dish is popular in a many countries – Azerbaijan, Armenia, the Balkan countries, Moldova, Russian, Turkey, and Ukraine etc.


Cardamom Semolina Cake with Rosewater Syrup

Yes, I have to admit, I do have a sweet tooth and bake something sweet quite often. In my family 4 o'clock afternoon tea is a cherished tradition. Tea and coffee is something we all drink a lot of. Sometimes I crave Middle Eastern desserts, sweet and syrupy, with ton of nuts and exotic herbs. That is why on my kitchen shelf I always keep handy a bottle of rosewater and cardamon seeds.


Almond-Rice Cream Pudding

Blanched ground almonds contribute crunch and subtle sweetness to this creamy rice pudding.

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