Russian Monday: "Muraveynik" - Anthill Cake with Caramel & Walnuts

Approaching winter holidays are always filled with fabulous flavor. Well in advance of the actual holidays we setup the tree, stock up on our favorite foods, fetch marinades and special ingredients from the pantry. The lady of the house is puzzled about how she could surprise the household with one of her delectables.


Roasted Chickpeas with Ginger, Spices & Sesame Seeds - Tasty Snack/Appetizer

These crispy and spicy roasted chickpeas conceal a mouth-watering collection of flavors and make a delicious appetizer. You could make this dish any time of year, and I think they make a wonderful New Years Eve party snack.


Crown Roast of Pork with Pomegranate

Sending the warmest Christmas wishes to you and your family. May the good times and treasures of the present become the golden memories of tomorrow. Wish you lots of love, joy and happiness. 



Dark Chocolate Brandy & Cherry Cake

The rich chocolate sponge, moistened with brandy and cherries, is still one of my favorite of all the chocolate cakes. Dark chocolate cherry cake is a perfect party dessert. The cake can be make in advance and it always looks impressive.


Oysters on Ice with Shallots, Red Wine Vinegar, and Lemon

Raw oysters are one of those shellfish that you either love or hate. They do, however, have a reputation as an aphrodisiac, which has helped increase their popularity. If you have never eaten a raw oyster before, make sure that you squeeze lemon juice on it and watch to make sure it contracts before you eat it.


Poached Pears in Spicy Apple Wine

This makes a very pretty dessert for Holiday dinner, as the pears take on a extra gold color from the wine.


Rustic Chocolate Banana Bread

As the familiar sweet aroma fills the house, no one will be able to resist a slice of this dense, moist chocolate banana bread. Breakfast time? Serve the bread at room temperature or toasted, with butter or cream cheese. This Chocolate banana bread lightly flecked with dark and white chocolate.


Russian Monday: "Riba pod Marinadom" - Pan Fried Fish with Warm Carrot Sauce "Marinade"

This warm, spicy marinate with its rich partnership of flavors is perfect complement to lightly fried fish, such as cod, basa, sea bass or tilapia. “Marinade” is a carrot-onion sauce that the fish is covered and served with. These dish can be served hot with mashed potatoes or at room temperature as an appetizer. And the good thing is - you can make it day before serving! Try it, you'll thank me later-)


Christmas Cookies #8: Canelés (Cannelés) de Bordeaux - French Sweet Little Treats

If you have never tried Canelés I highly recommend them, it is a classical specialty from Bordeaux, France. They are quite unlike any other petits fours and you are going to love them. Imagine a perfect bite of caramelized crêpe of a most delicious flavor with pastry cream melting in your mouth, crunchy outside and soft at the center.


Christmas Cookies #7: Orange Ginger Biscotti

These orange ginger biscotti are delicious served with ice cream or on their own with coffee. They should be stored in a cool, dry place…but they may not remain there for long. Once you have tasted one, the sheer pleasure will tempt you to eat at least another couple, so I suggest you provide 3-4 biscotti cookies for each of your guest.


Christmas Cookies #6:"Zebras"- Marbled Meringue

I have been making these cookies since I found them on Williams-Sonoma site few years ago. They have become favorite recipe for my children and they call them "Zebras".


Christmas Cookies #5: Crackle Top Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies

Try this recipe with your children and have fun getting them to make these sweet perfect chocolate round cookies.


Christmas Cookies #4: Anise Cookies with Chocolate Chips

Anise Cookies 2

"Anise is a favorite sweet spice in Europe, especially in the Scandinavian countries and in Germany. Our modern wedding cake is said to date back to the anise-flavored cakes eaten by the Romans after elaborate meals.


Christmas Cookies #3: Spiced Brown-Sugar Fruit Drops

These delicious cookies are dainty enough for a tea party and yet hearty enough for afternoon snacks. They have a rich, delicately spiced brown-sugar flavor and are filled with pecans, dates, and raisins. If the cookies are not over baked, they have a better flavor and remain soft for a longer period of time.


Christmas Cookies #2: Lebkuchen - German Spice Cookies with Almonds

Literally translated lebkuchen means "lively cake." The many spices give this traditional German Christmas cookie its lively flavor; the honey gives it the characteristic texture and keeping qualities. Since lebkuchens improve with age, make them 3-4 days before serving.


Christmas Cookies #1: Russian Mushroom Cookies - "Gribochky"

Christmas baking is a part of holiday tradition in many countries. Cakes, muffins, rolls, cookies, marzipan and chocolate figurines appear in large numbers on bakery store shelves and in our kitchens and dining rooms. And every Christmas baking has its own story...

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