Smetanik Cake

smetanik cake

 

smetanik cake

 

Smetanik cake is a Russian sour cream cake with sour cream frosting. It’s not overly sweet and the cream feels really light and smooth. If you love moist cakes you can add sugar syrup to moisten it, if you’re more on the drier type cake then skip this step. You can also add raspberries (my fave..) or any other berries for a little sour sweetness. My family loves this cake, it’s one of our favorites.

 

Ingredients:

6 eggs

1 1/4 cup sugar

1 1/4 cup sour cream

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon baking soda + 2 tablespoons vinegar(combined)

1 1/2 cup flour

2 tablespoons cocoa powder

 

Cream/frosting:

8 ozs cream cheese

8 ozs condensed milk

1  1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Sugar syrup

1/2 cup cold boiling water with 1 tablespoon sugar for soaking

Optional-

raspberries,strawberries,blueberries,or bananas.

Direction:

Heat oven to 325 F degrees

Prepare two 9 inch cake pans lined with parchment paper and greased or sprayed with non-stick baking spray.

Beat eggs with sugar using electric mixer on high speed.

Add in sour cream,vanilla,and baking soda mixed with vinegar.

Continue to mix on medium-high speed until well incorporated.

Sift flour directly in the bowl with cake batter.

Mix gently using a whisk, always working one direction.

Divide mixture in half.

Add cocoa to one half,and mix it in with a whisk.

Pour cake batter into prepared cake pans. (1 for white cake,1 for chocolate cake)

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until when toothpick inserted and comes out clean.

Let cool.

Cream-

Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese on high speed, scraping the sides when needed.

Bring down the speed to medium and gradually add condensed milk.

Add in powdered sugar, sour cream, and vanilla.

Bring the speed up to high and continue mixing for about another minute or so.

 

Assembling-

Slice really carefully both cakes in half.

Cut off tiny amount of cake from around the sides of the cake.Set aside, we will need it for later.

Starting with chocolate layer, spray or pour (using a spoon) some sugar syrup on the cutted side of the cake layer.

Add good amount of cream.  If adding any berries or bananas, arrange them on top of cream.

Place white cake layer on top of cream, and repeat the steps. If adding berries or bananas, Arrange them on every other layer.

Using a shredder, Shred cake pieces in to tiny crumbs.

Add the crumbs to the sides and top of the cake. Or you can use chocolate/vanilla wafers or chocolate wafer candy (shredded)

Decorate with berries or as desired.

Refrigerate for at least 6 hours.

 

smetanik cake

 

 

 

 

Smetanik Cake

Ingredients

  • 6 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda + 2 tablespoons vinegar(combined)
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • Cream/frosting:
  • 8 ozs cream cheese
  • 8 ozs condensed milk
  • 1 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • Sugar syrup
  • 1/2 cup cold boiling water with 1 tablespoon sugar for soaking
  • Optional-
  • raspberries,strawberries,blueberries,or bananas.

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 325 F degrees
  2. Prepare two 9 inch cake pans lined with parchment paper and greased or sprayed with non-stick baking spray.
  3. Beat eggs with sugar using electric mixer on high speed.
  4. Add in sour cream,vanilla,and baking soda mixed with vinegar.
  5. Continue to mix on medium-high speed until well incorporated.
  6. Sift flour directly in the bowl with cake batter.
  7. Mix gently using a whisk, always working one direction.
  8. Divide mixture in half.
  9. Add cocoa to one half,and mix it in with a whisk.
  10. Pour cake batter into prepared cake pans. (1 for white cake,1 for chocolate cake)
  11. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until when toothpick inserted and comes out clean.
  12. Let cool.
  13. Cream-
  14. Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese on high speed, scraping the sides when needed.
  15. Bring down the speed to medium and gradually add condensed milk.
  16. Add in powdered sugar, sour cream, and vanilla.
  17. Bring the speed up to high and continue mixing for about another minute or so.
  18. Assembling-
  19. Slice really carefully both cakes in half.
  20. Cut off tiny amount of cake from around the sides of the cake.Set aside, we will need it for later.
  21. Starting with chocolate layer, spray or pour (using a spoon) some sugar syrup on the cutted side of the cake layer.
  22. Add good amount of cream. If adding any berries or bananas, arrange them on top of cream.
  23. Place white cake layer on top of cream, and repeat the steps. If adding berries or bananas, Arrange them on every other layer.
  24. Using a shredder, Shred cake pieces in to tiny crumbs.
  25. Add the crumbs to the sides and top of the cake. Or you can use chocolate/vanilla wafers or chocolate wafer candy (shredded)
  26. Decorate with berries or as desired.
  27. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours.
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Peach Muffins

peach muffins-2

peach muffins

 

Sweet and tender cake-like peach muffins with crunchy and buttery almond crumble.These Peach muffins can be a delightful breakfast or dessert treat when peaches are in season.

Ingredients:

3 cups flour (I used 1 1/2 cup white and 1 1/2 cup whole wheat)

3 eggs

1 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 cup oil

1 1/2 cups plain yoghurt

3/4 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon optional

2 large or 3 small peaches diced

Almond crumble:

3/4 cup almonds*

3/4 cup flour

3/4 cup softened butter

3/4 cup brown sugar*

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon optional

*you can sub in walnuts for almonds, and regular granulated sugar for brown sugar.

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400F.

In a bowl, whisk together flour,sugar,salt,baking powder and cinnamon(optional).

In another bowl,whisk together eggs,yoghurt,milk,oil, and vanilla.

Combine wet ingredients with dry ingredients and mix in peaches.

Line a cupcake pan or a muffin pan with liners. Spoon batter in to each liner 3/4 full.

 

In a medium bowl using fork or your hands mix all crumble ingredients.

Top muffin batter with generous amount of almond crumble.

Bake for 15-17 minutes if using cupcake pan or 22-24 minutes if using muffin pan.

peach muffins

 

 

peach muffins-2

peach muffins-5

 

Peach Muffins

Ingredients

  • 3 cups flour (I used 1 1/2 cup white and 1 1/2 cup whole wheat)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 1/2 cups plain yoghurt
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon optional
  • 2 large or 3 small peaches diced
  • Almond crumble:
  • 3/4 cup almonds*
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup softened butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar*
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon optional
  • *you can sub in walnuts for almonds, and regular granulated sugar for brown sugar.

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together flour,sugar,salt,baking powder and cinnamon(optional).
  3. In another bowl,whisk together eggs,yoghurt,milk,oil, and vanilla.
  4. Combine wet ingredients with dry ingredients and mix in peaches.
  5. Line a cupcake pan or a muffin pan with liners. Spoon batter in to each liner 3/4 full.
  6. In a medium bowl using fork or your hands mix all crumble ingredients.
  7. Top muffin batter with generous amount of almond crumble.
  8. Bake for 15-17 minutes if using cupcake pan or 22-24 minutes if using muffin pan.
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Greek Salad

greek salad

greek salad

This is light and healthy Greek salad recipe.Greek Salad is a crisp, light, healthy  summer salad. Torn Romaine lettuce is topped with juicy tomatoes, crisp cucumbers, kalamata olives, red onion, peppers and crumbled or diced feta cheese then tossed with light and tangy lemon olive dressing.This Greek salad is refreshing and perfect for summer.

Ingredients:

1-2 romaine hearts sliced or torn

1-2 tomatoes sliced into thin wedges

1/2  english cucumber sliced in semicircles

1/2 red onion thinly sliced

kalamata/black olives

pepperoncini  and/or green bell pepper sliced

Crumbled or diced feta cheese

Fresh parsley minced (optional)

 

Dressing:

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar*

1 teaspoon salt or to taste (I used pink himalayan)

1 teaspoon sugar

fresh ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon dry parsley

1 large clove garlic or 2 small

1/3 cup olive oil (high quality recommended)

*You can sub in white or red wine vinegar

 

Directions for dressing:

In a bowl whisk lemon juice,balsamic vinegar,salt,sugar,parsley,black pepper,and garlic.Gradually whisk in olive oil.Continue to whisk until the dressing is well combined and thickened a little.Set a side for at least 15 minutes-30 minutes.Or refrigerate for later use.

Place all salad ingredients in a salad bowl or a plate.Toss with prepared dressing.

Greek salad-2

 

Greek Salad

Ingredients

  • 1-2 romaine hearts sliced or torn
  • 1-2 tomatoes sliced into thin wedges
  • 1/2 english cucumber sliced in semicircles
  • 1/2 red onion thinly sliced
  • kalamata/black olives
  • pepperoncini and/or green bell pepper sliced
  • Crumbled or diced feta cheese
  • Fresh parsley minced (optional)
  • Dressing:
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar*
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste (I used pink himalayan)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry parsley
  • 1 large clove garlic or 2 small
  • 1/3 cup olive oil (high quality recommended)
  • *You can sub in white or red wine vinegar

Instructions

  1. In a bowl whisk lemon juice,balsamic vinegar,salt,sugar,parsley,black pepper,and garlic.Gradually whisk in olive oil.Continue to whisk until the dressing is well combined and thickened a little.Set a side for at least 15 minutes-30 minutes.Or refrigerate for later use.
  2. Place all salad ingredients in a salad bowl or a plate.Toss with prepared dressing.
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Pasta with Fresh Tomato Sauce

pasta

pasta

My moms garden is in abundance of tomatoes every summer.And every time  when I have a lot of something,I think of a way how to use it in a perfect way.Making pasta with fresh tomato sauce is great way to use those extra tomatoes.This pasta sauce is so easy and quick to make ,that you will have a healthy and amazingly delicious lunch or dinner in no time.

Ingredients: 4 large tomatoes or 2 lbs  Roma tomatoes

8-10 cloves garlic minced

1 shallot or half onion finely chopped

1/2 cup chardonnay or any other white wine

8  basil leaves minced

1 tablespoon finely parsley

1/2 cup grated Parmesan

salt and fresh ground pepper

4 tablespoons olive oil

cooked pasta (I used whole wheat spaghetti)

 

Directions: Cut a small X on the bottom of each tomato.Place tomatoes in a pot or a bowl and cover with boiling water. Cover with lid and blanch for 5 minutes.

Carefully peel of the skin and roughly chop the tomatoes.

Heat a saute pan and add oil. Throw in onions and garlic and cook for 2 minutes.Pour in chardonnay  and let it evaporate for about a minute.Add tomatoes,basil and parsley.Cook sauce until thickened,about 10-12 minutes.Season with salt and pepper.

Combine cooked pasta with sauce and sprinkle some parmesan cheese. You can add  yourchoice of sautéed  or grilled vegetables to pasta.

 

Pasta with fresh tomato saucedelightsofculinaria.com, dinner, easy recipe, food, healthy, holiday recipes, italian food, lunch, marinarasauce, pasta, quick recipes, recipes, red sauce, simple recipe, spaghetti, tomato sauce

 

Pasta with Fresh Tomato Sauce

Ingredients

  • Ingredients: 4 large tomatoes or 2 lbs Roma tomatoes
  • 8-10 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 shallot or half onion finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup chardonnay or any other white wine
  • 8 basil leaves minced
  • 1 tablespoon finely parsley
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • cooked pasta (I used whole wheat spaghetti)

Instructions

  1. Cut a small X on the bottom of each tomato.Place tomatoes in a pot or a bowl and cover with boiling water. Cover with lid and blanch for 5 minutes.
  2. Carefully peel of the skin and roughly chop the tomatoes.
  3. Heat a saute pan and add oil. Throw in onions and garlic and cook for 2 minutes.Pour in chardonnay and let it evaporate for about a minute.Add tomatoes,basil and parsley.Cook sauce until thickened,about 10-12 minutes.Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Combine cooked pasta with sauce and sprinkle some parmesan cheese. You can add yourchoice of sautéed or grilled vegetables to pasta.
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Berry Cake Roll

berry cake rollalmonds.easy dessert, baking, berries, berry roll, cake, delightsofculinaria.com, dessert, easy recipe, food, quick dessert, recipes, rolls, roulade, russian recipes, summer cake, sweet, teatime-2

berry cake rollalmonds.easy dessert, baking, berries, berry roll, cake, delightsofculinaria.com, dessert, easy recipe, food, quick dessert, recipes, rolls, roulade, russian recipes, summer cake, sweet, teatime-2

 

This is a quick and tasty berry cake roll recipe that is perfect for summer when berries are in season.Making a berry cake roll that is easy to make,refreshing,and beautiful is simply delightful.It’s tastes really light that you might be tempted to get seconds.

 

Ingredients:

6 eggs

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup all purpose flour sifted

 

Cream-

1 package (8 0zs) cream cheese

1 1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

1 teaspoon vanilla

or

1 tablespoon orange liqueur

 

Mix or choice of berries:

sliced strawberries

raspberries

blackberries

blueberries

shredded almonds

 

Directions-

Pre heat oven to 350 degrees.

Line a 10×15 jelly roll pan (large baking sheet) with parchment paper going over the sides of baking sheet.Spray with cooking spray.

In a stand/hand mixer bowl, beat eggs on medium speed while slowly adding sugar.Increase speed to high and beat until eggs are pale and fluffy.

Carefully mix in flour.

Spread the  batter evenly on prepared pan.

Bake for about 10-12 minutes or until cake is golden.

Roll the cake up loosely while hot and let cool completely.

 

Cream:

Beat cream cheese until smooth.Add in powdered sugar and continue to beat until sugar is well combined.Add vanilla or liqueur.

On medium speed gradually pour in heavy whipping cream while slowly increasing the speed as it begins to thicken. Continue to beat on high until cream is fluffy.

 

Assembling:

Carefully remove parchment paper while unrolling the roll.

Spread cream over the roll and scatter your choice of berries over the cream.

Roll the cake and cover with cream.

Top with shredded almonds and decorate with berries and mint.Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

 

Berry Cake Roll

Ingredients

  • Ingredients:
  • 6 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour sifted
  • Cream-
  • 1 package (80zs) cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • or
  • 1 tablespoon orange liquor
  • Mix or choice of berries:
  • sliced strawberries
  • raspberries
  • blackberries
  • blueberries
  • shredded almonds

Instructions

  1. Pre heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line a 10x15 jelly roll pan (large baking sheet) with parchment paper going over the sides of baking sheet.Spray with cooking spray.
  3. In a stand/hand mixer bowl, beat eggs on medium speed while slowly adding sugar.Increase speed to high and beat until eggs are pale and fluffy.
  4. Carefully mix in flour.
  5. Spread the batter evenly on prepared pan.
  6. Bake for about 10-12 minutes or until cake is golden.
  7. Roll the cake up loosely while hot and let cool completely.
  8. Cream:
  9. Beat cream cheese until smooth.Add in powdered sugar and continue to beat until sugar is well combined.Add vanilla or liqueur.
  10. On medium speed gradually pour in heavy whipping cream while slowly increasing the speed as it begins to thicken. Continue to beat on high until cream is fluffy.
  11. Assembling:
  12. Carefully remove parchment paper while unrolling the roll.
  13. Spread cream over the roll and scatter your choice of berries over the cream.
  14. Roll the cake and cover with cream.
  15. Top with shredded almonds and decorate with berries and mint.Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
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Fruit Kompot

Fruit compote (kompot)-6

Fruit compote (kompot)-6

Fruit Kompot is a Eastern European cold fruit punch drink. Seasonal fruits are simmered in a pot filled with water then cooled and refrigerated for a cool refreshing drink.Fruit kompot is a much better choice over store bought fruit punch that has artificial coloring,flavorings,and additives.If you want to be more on the healthier side…just don’t add sugar.

Fruit Kompot is very popular drink in Slavic homes especially during summer.It’s always good to have a nice refreshing cold drink on a hot summer day and its perfect party drink as well. I like to cook a big pot of it because it stores well in the fridge and we can enjoy this goodness for several days.

Summer Kompot-

Ingredients:

(fresh or frozen)

Cherry plums or plums

Strawberries

tart cherries

nectarines

Cherries

peaches

apricots

blueberries

any Sugar or sweetner to taste

water

lemon juice if needed to adjust acidity

As shown: cherry plums(alicha in Russian),strawberries,tart cherries,and nectarines.

 

Fall kompot:

Apples quarted

cranberries

pear quarted

dried fruits

frozen berries

any sugar or sweetner to taste

lemon juice  if needed to adjust acidity

 

Directions:

Place  good amount of desired mix of fruits in a pot.Fill pot with water and bring to a slight boil.

Add sugar according to your liking.let it simmer for about 30 minutes.

Add lemon juice if needed.

Let cool,strain to a pitcher,large jar or glass container and refrigerate.

Fruit Kompot

Ingredients

  • Summer Kompot-
  • Ingredients:
  • (fresh or frozen)
  • Cherry plums or plums
  • Strawberries
  • tart cherries
  • nectarines
  • Cherries
  • peaches
  • apricots
  • blueberries
  • any Sugar or sweetner to taste
  • water
  • lemon juice if needed to adjust acidity
  • As shown: cherry plums(alicha in Russian),strawberries,tart cherries,and nectarines.
  • Fall kompot:
  • Apples quarted
  • cranberries
  • pear quarted
  • dried fruits
  • frozen berries
  • any sugar or sweetner to taste
  • lemon juice if needed to adjust acidity

Instructions

  1. Directions:
  2. Place good amount of desired mix of fruits in a pot.Fill pot with water and bring to a slight boil.
  3. Add sugar according to your liking.let it simmer for about 30 minutes.
  4. Add lemon juice if needed.
  5. Let cool,strain to a pitcher,large jar or glass container and refrigerate.
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Cherry Clafouti

cherry clafouti-5

 

cherry clafouti-5

Cherry Clafouti is a french country-style egg custard dessert slightly similar to quiche.Sweet cherries are covered in pancake-like batter  then baked until puffed and nicely browned.It”s a really quick and easy custard type dessert that has no need to be cooled or stored in a fridge before serving.Clafouti also can be versatile by replacing cherries with any berries,plums, or peaches.It can also be served for breakfast or brunch.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups pitted fresh or canned cherries(drained)

4 eggs

1 1/4 cup milk

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

pinch of salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon kirsch liquor  (optional)

powdered sugar for dusting

butter for greasing the pan

Directions:

Heat oven to 325F degrees.

Butter a 10 inch round pan (do not use a springform pan or removable tartlet pan).

Arrange cherries evenly on the bottom of a pan.

Whisk eggs and milk together.

Add sugar,vanilla,kirsch(optional),salt and flour.Continue whisking until all lumps are removed.

Pour the custard over cherries and bake for 1hour – 1 hour and 15 minutes.The custard should be lightly browned and firm to touch when done.

Dust with powdered sugar while still warm or cooled.

Cherry Clafouti

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups pitted fresh or canned cherries(drained)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon kirsch liquor (optional)
  • powdered sugar for dusting
  • butter for greasing the pan

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 325F degrees.
  2. Butter a 10 inch round pan (do not use a springform pan or removable tartlet pan).
  3. Arrange cherries evenly on the bottom of a pan.
  4. Whisk eggs and milk together.
  5. Add sugar,vanilla,kirsch(optional),salt and flour.Continue whisking until all lumps are removed.
  6. Pour the custard over cherries and bake for 1hour - 1 hour and 15 minutes.The custard should be lightly browned and firm to touch when done.
  7. Dust with powdered sugar while still warm or cooled.
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Lamb Osso Bucco

lamb osso bucco

lamb osso bucco

Lamb is highly rated in our family.We LOVE lamb!!! (shanks and chops the most) It’s very rich and yet so delicate and mild.

Lamb Osso Bucco  is a comforting delicious Italian lamb dish that is aromatic and full of flavor.The meat is seared and then braised in a flavorful sauce until tender and nearly falling of the bone.

Osso Bucco is Italian for bone with a hole and refers to the marrow in the center of the cross cut shank. The reason for cutting is to expose the richness of the bone marrow.So you can prepare the shank as is or have a butcher cut the shank crosswise for vital nutrients.

 

Ingredients:

6 lamb shanks (or crosscut shanks-osso bucco style)

1 onion sliced

3-4 carrots cut in chunks

4-5 celery and/or fennel cut in chunks

7 garlic cloves

14.5 ozs. diced tomatoes or 2-3 fresh tomatoes

8 ozs. tomato paste

2 cup red wine

1 cup beef or chicken broth/stock

1 tablespoon dried oregano

4 rosemary sprigs

6 thyme sprigs

1 bay leaf

salt

black pepper

oil

 

Directions:

Heat a dutch oven or frying pan with oil.

Season lamb with salt and pepper.

Sear on all sides until well browned.

Sear in batches.Add more oil if needed.

Remove each batch and set aside.

Add onions,carrots,celery/fennel to the pot.Add  more oil if needed.

Stir and Sauté for approx. 10 minutes.

Add tomato paste,oregano, and 2 crushed garlic cloves 5 whole garlic cloves.

Continue to saute stirring for another 3 minutes.

Add red wine,stir and cook for another minute or two.

Add tomatoes,stock/broth,bay leaf,salt and pepper.

Transfer shanks back to dutch oven or a large baking dish.(pour sauce over shanks if using baking dish)

Arrange sprigs of rosemary and thyme in between the shanks.

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Cover with foil and braise the shanks for 2 hours.

Turn the sides and continue to braise for another 1 hour.

Remove foil and braise uncovered for 20-30 minutes.

When done the meat should be tender and nearly falling off the bone.

Serve over mashed potatoes,risotto,rice, or pasta with your choice of vegetables.Pour sauce over the shank as much as desired.

-I served with mashed potatoes,steamed broccolini and organic veggie mix from Trader Joe’s(corn,green beans,peas and carrots).

 

 

Lamb Shank Osso Bucco

Lamb Shank Osso Bucco

Ingredients

  • 6-7 lamb shanks (or crosscut shanks-osso bucco style)
  • 1 onion sliced
  • 3-4 carrots cut in chunks
  • 4-5 celery and/or fennel cut in chunks
  • 7 garlic cloves
  • 14.5 ozs. diced tomatoes or 2-3 fresh tomatoes
  • 8 ozs. tomato paste
  • 2 cup red wine
  • 1 cup beef or chicken broth/stock
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 4 rosemary sprigs
  • 6 thyme sprigs
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • oil

Instructions

  1. Heat a dutch oven or frying pan with oil.
  2. Season lamb with salt and pepper.
  3. Sear on all sides until well browned.
  4. Sear in batches.Add more oil if needed.
  5. Remove each batch and set aside.
  6. Add onions,carrots,celery/fennel to the pot.Add more oil if needed.
  7. Stir and Sauté for approx. 10 minutes.
  8. Add tomato paste,oregano, and 2 crushed garlic cloves 5 whole garlic cloves.
  9. Continue to saute stirring for another 3 minutes.
  10. Add red wine,stir and cook for another minute or two.
  11. Add tomatoes,stock/broth,bay leaf,salt and pepper.
  12. Transfer shanks back to dutch oven or a large baking dish.(pour sauce over shanks if using baking dish)
  13. Arrange sprigs of rosemary and thyme in between the shanks.
  14. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  15. Cover with foil and braise the shanks for 2 hours.
  16. Turn the sides and continue to braise for another 1 hour.
  17. Remove foil and braise uncovered for 20-30 minutes.
  18. When done the meat should be tender and nearly falling off the bone.
  19. Serve over mashed potatoes,risotto,rice, or pasta with your choice of vegetables.Pour sauce over the shank as much as desired.
  20. -I served with mashed potatoes,steamed broccolini and organic veggie mix from Trader Joe's(corn,green beans,peas and carrots).
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Grande Nachos

Grande Nachos

Grande Nachos

 It won’t take a long time for these Grande Nachos to become your family favorite.A large platter of crisp tortilla chips loaded with seasoned chicken,hearty beans,cheese,tomatoes,sour cream and green onion. And to elevate it to a  more SUPREME level, Add some fresh guacamole,jalapeño and cilantro. This recipe was inspired by my awesome sister Dasha. She served them as appetizer,and made a big crowd rush to the table.

You can omit chicken to make it vegetarian and use steak or ground meat instead of chicken.

Ingredients:

(As much as you like)

Tortilla chips

refried beans (heated)

shredded cheddar cheese or nacho cheese

sour cream

diced tomatoes

sliced fresh or pickled jalapeño (optional)

sliced green onion

chopped cilantro

guacamole  or diced avocado

1 chicken breast

salt

pepper

1/2 teaspoon chill powder*

1/4 teaspoon cumin powder*

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder*

1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional)

1 tablespoon lemon/lime

1 tablespoon oil

* you can sub in your favorite chicken seasoning.

Direction:

Chicken-

Combine salt,pepper,cumin,chili powder,garlic powder,oil,and lemon/lime juice.

Add marinade to chicken breast and let it marinate for 15 minutes.

Grill,bake,or pan sear the chicken breast on both sides.( I used electric grill.)

Let it slightly cool.

Cut the chicken in small-medium cubes.

Arrange first layer of chips on oven safe platter.

Layer with cheese,beans,and chicken.

Repeat the steps with second layer.(chips+cheese+etz…)

Heat oven on 350 degrees.

Place the arranged platter in the oven for about 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Top with sour cream,tomatoes,jalapeños,green onions,cilantro,and guacamole or diced avocado.

Grande Nachos

Ingredients

  • (As much as you like)
  • Tortilla chips
  • refried beans (heated)
  • shredded cheddar cheese or nacho cheese
  • sour cream
  • diced tomatoes
  • sliced fresh or pickled jalapeño (optional)
  • sliced green onion
  • chopped cilantro
  • guacamole or diced avocado
  • 1 chicken breast
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon chill powder*
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin powder*
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder*
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon/lime
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • * you can sub in your favorite chicken seasoning.

Instructions

  1. Chicken-
  2. Combine salt,pepper,cumin,chili powder,garlic powder,oil,and lemon/lime juice.
  3. Add marinade to chicken breast and let it marinate for 15 minutes.
  4. Grill,bake,or pan sear the chicken breast on both sides.( I used electric grill.)
  5. Let it slightly cool.
  6. Cut the chicken in small-medium cubes.
  7. Arrange first layer of chips on oven safe platter.
  8. Layer with cheese,beans,and chicken.
  9. Repeat the steps with second layer.(chips+cheese+etz…)
  10. Heat oven on 350 degrees.
  11. Place the arranged platter in the oven for about 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.
  12. Top with sour cream,tomatoes,jalapeños,green onions,cilantro,and guacamole or diced avocado.
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Shrimp Spring Salad

Spring Salad with Shrimp

 


shrimp spring salad

 Spring and summer are my favorite seasons.Everything around you looks amazingly beautiful, fresh and full of life.This shrimp spring salad consists of leafy romaine lettuce, radish, sweet peas and shrimp.All the ingredients are tossed with creamy garlicky dill dressing.It’s very tasty and easy to make for any occasion.Even though the dressing is creamy, salad feels very light but filling.

Serves 2-4

Ingredients:

1 bunch romaine lettuce torn or chopped

3-4 radishes sliced

2/3 cup  frozen peas (thawed)

1 lb cooked shrimp

Other optional ingredients:

avocado,chives,cherry tomatoes

Dressing:

2 heaping tablespoons mayonnaise

2 heaping spoons plain greek yoghurt or sour cream

2 tablespoons fresh finely chopped dill

2-3 crushed garlic cloves

Salt and fresh ground black pepper

 

Directions:

In a small bowl,whisk all dressing ingredients and set aside.

Place romaine lettuce,radis,pesa,and shrimp in mixing bowl.

Toss salad with garlic dill dressing.

 

Spring Salad with Shrimp

Spring Salad with Shrimp

Ingredients

  • Ingredients:
  • 1 bunch romaine lettuce torn or chopped
  • 3-4 radishes sliced
  • 2/3 cup frozen peas (thawed)
  • 1 lb cooked shrimp
  • Other optional ingredients:
  • avocado,chives,cherry tomatoes
  • Dressing:
  • 2 heaping tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 heaping spoons plain greek yoghurt or sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons fresh finely chopped dill
  • 2-3 crushed garlic cloves
  • Salt and fresh ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Directions:
  2. In a small bowl,whisk all dressing ingredients and set aside.
  3. Place romaine lettuce,radis,pesa,and shrimp in mixing bowl.
  4. Toss salad with garlic dill dressing.
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Wholesome Banana Pancakes

healthy banana pancakes

healthy banana pancakes

These healthy wholesome banana pancakes are a twist on traditional pancakes.They are moist and fluffy with a slight nutty taste and loaded with super-foods. Spelt/whole wheat flour,chia seeds, and flax seed meal has tons and tons of health benefits.I use chia seeds and flax meal a lot .I add them to cereal,yoghurt,oatmeal,porridge,muffins,pancakes,waffles…etz. You can call this totally guilt-less delightful breakfast that can give you a good health boost.

 

Ingredients:

2 overriped bananas

2 eggs

1 3/4 cup milk

1/4 cup raw cane sugar

1 1/2 cup spelt flour (or mix equal parts of white and whole wheat flour)

1/3 cup ground flax seeds

1/4 cup chia seeds

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 tablespoons oil

1/2 cup chopped walnuts optional

Variations: You can use 1 cup flour and  1/2 cup oat bran if desired.If you try to avoid sugar,you can avoid adding it,or replace with honey or any other healthy sweetner.You can use regular granulated or brown sugar too.You can replace regular dairy milk with almond,coconut, or soy milk.

 

Directions:

In a mixing bowl combine flour,chia seeds,flax meal,baking powder,salt, and walnuts (if desired).

Using a hand mixer,beat eggs,sugar and bananas.Gradually add milk.

Add flour and other mixed ingredients to wet ingredients.Mix until well combined and all lumps disappeared.

Heat a lightly oiled skillet or griddle on med-low heat.Add one scoop of batter using a ice cream scooper.

Allow pancakes to cook until they are golden brown.Flip pancakes over and cook the other side until golden brown .

Serve with pure maple syrup(healthier choice) or homemade syrup.

Top with fresh fruits,berries,whipped cream or cottage cheese mixed with condensed milk.

Wholesome Banana Pancakes

Wholesome Banana Pancakes

Ingredients

  • Ingredients:
  • 2 overriped bananas
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup raw cane sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup spelt flour (or mix equal parts of white and whole wheat flour)
  • 1/3 cup ground flax seeds
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts optional
  • Variations: You can use 1 cup flour and 1/2 cup oat bran if desired.If you try to avoid sugar,you can avoid adding it,or replace with honey or any other healthy sweetner.You can use regular granulated or brown sugar too.You can replace regular dairy milk with almond,coconut, or soy milk.

Instructions

  1. In a mixing bowl combine flour,chia seeds,flax meal,baking powder,salt, and walnuts (if desired).
  2. Using a hand mixer,beat eggs,sugar and bananas.Gradually add milk.
  3. Add flour and other mixed ingredients to wet ingredients.Mix until well combined and all lumps disappeared.
  4. Heat a lightly oiled skillet or griddle on med-low heat.Add one scoop of batter using a ice cream scooper.
  5. Allow pancakes to cook until they are golden brown.Flip pancakes over and cook the other side until golden brown .
  6. Serve with pure maple syrup(healthier choice) or homemade syrup.
  7. Top with fresh fruits,berries,whipped cream or cottage cheese mixed with condensed milk.
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Poppy seed roll

Poppyseed rolls

Poppyseed rolls

 

I think poppy seed roll to Russians/Ukrainians is like cinnamon rolls to Americans.They are classic European sweet dough rolls with homemade poppy seed walnut filling.

Nothing beats homemade fresh goodies like pastries,rolls, and buns.The smell of baking fills the house making kids to wait impatiently for them to be done. Seriously….They are the best tasting rolls and especially good with cold glass of milk.

If for any reason you don’t like poppy seeds,you can make them with other variety of fillings like walnut+sugar,fruit preserve,raisins+sugar,cranberries or melted butter+sugar.

Ingredients for filling:

1 1/2 cups poppy seeds

1 cup water/milk

1 – 1 1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup walnuts

Dough:

2 cups warm milk  (not hot)

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup butter melted (1 stick)

4 large or 5 medium eggs

3 tablespoons oil

1 tablespoon yeast

1/4 cup sour cream

1 teaspoon vanilla

6 1/2 – 7  cups flour  [amazon asin= highly recommended or all purpose flour*

1 egg for egg wash

 

*Most European/Russian stores and Winco Foods carry it.

Direction using bread maker:

1.Add sugar to milk.Stir until sugar disolves.Stir in yeast and set aside.

Poppyseed rolls

2.In another mixing bowl whisk eggs,sour cream,oil,salt,vanilla.

Poppyseed rolls

3.Melt butter,let it cool.

Poppyseed rolls

4.Whisk in milk mixture to egg mixture.

Poppyseed rolls

5.Whisk in butter.Add flour,mix and transfer dough mixture to bread maker.

Poppyseed rolls

6.Set your setting on “dough”.

With stand mixer:

1.Follow steps 1-4

2.Whisk  in butter.Transfer mixture to stand mixer bowl.

3.Add flour.

4.Mix dough with hook attachment.Starting on med-low speed and increasing speed gradually to highest.

5.Cover bowl with plastic wrap.Place the bowl in the warmest place in your house covered with blanket or towel.

I like to place it in the microwave(don’t turn it on!).

6.Let dough rise,about 2 +/- hours.

 

Place poppy seeds in a small saucepan and cover with water.Bring to boil then reduce heat to low  and cook for 10 minutes.When cooled,grind poppy seeds with walnuts using meat grinder.If you don’t have one you can use coffee grinder or good blender(if you don’t have any of that,it’s still ok not to grind).Grind before cooking poppy seeds.Mix in sugar and set aside.

Poppyseed rolls

Prepare egg wash-whisk egg with 1 tablespoon water.

Apply a little bit of oil to your hands and rolling pin if needed.

Poppyseed rolls

Divide the dough in half for 2 large rolls or  in three parts for 3 medium rolls.

Roll out the dough into rectangular or oval shape.Spread thick layer of poppyseed mixture.Roll it up half way and tuck in the sides and continue to roll all the way. Carefully place the roll on baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Poppyseed rolls-6

Poppyseed rolls

Preheat your oven on lowest setting for 5 minutes and turn it off.Place rolls in slightly warm oven.Let rolls slightly rise for about 15-20 minutes.Apply egg wash and bake rolls on 325 degrees for about 40-45 minutes.

Poppyseed rolls-4

Let them cool completely before slicing.Enjoy with tea,milk or coffee.

 

Poppyseed rolls

Poppyseed rolls

Ingredients

  • Ingredients for filling:
  • 1 1/2 cups poppy seeds
  • 1 cup water/milk
  • 1 - 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • Dough:
  • 2 cups warm milk (not hot)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter melted (1 stick)
  • 4 large or 5 medium eggs
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 1 tablespoon yeast
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 6 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 egg for egg wash

Instructions

  1. Direction using bread maker:
  2. 1.Add sugar to milk.Stir until sugar disolves.Stir in yeast and set aside.
  3. 2.In another mixing bowl whisk eggs,sour cream,oil,salt,vanilla.
  4. 3.melt butter,let it cool.
  5. 4.Whisk in milk mixture to egg mixture.
  6. 5.Whisk in butter.Add flour,mix and transfer dough mixture to bread maker.
  7. 6.Set your setting on "dough".
  8. With stand mixer:
  9. 1.Follow steps 1-4
  10. 2.Whisk in butter.Transfer mixture to stand mixer bowl.
  11. 3.Add flour.
  12. 4.Mix dough with hook attachment.Starting on med-low speed and increasing speed gradually to highest.
  13. 5.Cover bowl with plastic wrap.Place the bowl in the warmest place in your house covered with blanket or towel.
  14. I like to place it in the microwave(don't turn it on!).
  15. 6.Let dough to rise,about 2 +/- hours.
  16. Place poppy seeds in a small saucepan and cover with water.Bring to boil then reduce heat to low and cook for 10 minutes.When cooled,grind poppy seeds with walnuts using meat grinder.If you don't have one you can use coffee grinder or good blender(if you don't have any of that,it's still ok not to grind).Grind before cooking poppy seeds.Mix in sugar and set aside.y seeds.Mix in sugar and set aside.
  17. Prepare egg wash-whisk egg with 1 tablespoon water.
  18. Apply a little bit of oil to your hands and rolling pin.I add a small amount of oil to the surface too.
  19. Divide the dough in half for 2 large rolls or in three parts for 3 medium rolls.
  20. Roll out the dough into rectangular shape.Spread thick layer of poppyseed mixture.Roll it up half way and tuck in the sides and continue to roll all the way. Carefully place the roll on baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  21. Preheat your oven on lowest setting for 5 minutes and turn it off.Place rolls in slightly warm oven.Let rolls slightly rise for about 15-20 minutes.Apply egg wash and bake rolls on 325 degrees for about 40-45 minutes.Let them cool completely before slicing.Enjoy with tea,milk or coffee.
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Markiza Cake

Markiza cake

Markiza cake

This is a delightful cake that is fairly sweet and with a little fruity flavor.Markiza cake is multi layered shortbread cake with meringue,nuts,and jam.In most original Russian recipes it is made with rich and sweet dulce de leche frosting.It’s too sweet for my family. I make it with my favorite frosting that goes perfect for this cake.One advice…Plan to spend good amount of time in the kitchen.It’s not a quick cake,but worth all your time and effort.Enjoy with coffee or tea.

Ingredients:

6 eggs (egg yolks and whites separated)

2 1/2 cup sugar

3-4 cups flour

2 sticks butter room temp.

1/3 cup sour cream

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Chopped walnuts or hazelnuts

Your choice of jam (I like apricot)

Cream:

2 sticks butter at room temp.

1 (8ozs) cream cheese

8 ozs. heavy whipping cream (or cool whip)

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 3/4 can condensed milk

Directions:

In a mixing bowl using hand or stand mixer combine butter with 1 cup of sugar.

Add egg yolks and sour cream.Mix until all ingredients are well incorporated.

In another bowl combine flour and baking powder.

Gradually add flour* to the batter.

Form 6-8 balls,cover with plastic wrapper and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

* start with 3 cups,gradually  adding more if needed.

Meringue:

Whip egg whites until frothy.

Add 1 1/2 cup sugar.

Continue to whip until stiff peeks.

Heat oven to 375 degrees.

Roll out one ball at a time on slightly floured parchment paper.

Cut edges of cake layer using a 8 or 9 inch cake pan.

Spread about 1 -1 1/2 tablespoons of jam** on the layer.

Spread about 2 +/- tablespoons of meringue.

Sprinkle with about 1 tablespoon of nuts on top of meringue.

** Spread jam on every other layer.

Markiza cake

 

 

Bake for 6-8 minutes depending on your oven then reduce temp. to 200 degrees and continue baking for another 10 minutes.

Repeat steps with the rest of the dough.

Cream:

Whip butter with cream cheese and vanilla.

Gradually add condensed milk.

Gradually on med-low speed pour in heavy whipping cream*,increasing speed as cream thickens a little.

Continue to whip until cream thickens.

*if not using heavy cream,add cool whip.

Assembling:

Slightly heat jam using stove or microwave.Stir and let it cool.

Carefully spread a good amount of cream on the first layer with jam.

Place second layer(no jam)meringue side facing down on top of the first one.

Repeat steps with the rest of the layers in this order:

with jam-cream-no jam-cream-with jam-cream-no jam…so forth.

Apply cream to the sides and top of the cake.

Gently spread cooled jam on top of the cake.

Decorate sides of the cake as desired.I used white chocolate shavings and whipped cream with powdered sugar for top edges.

Markiza cake

Cake “Markiza”

Cake “Markiza”

Ingredients

  • Ingredients:
  • 6 eggs (egg yolks and whites separated)
  • 2 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3-4 cups flour
  • 2 sticks butter room temp.
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • Chopped walnuts or hazelnuts
  • Your choice of jam (I like apricot)
  • Cream:
  • 2 sticks butter at room temp.
  • 1 (8ozs) cream cheese
  • 8 ozs. heavy whipping cream (or cool whip)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 3/4 can condensed milk

Instructions

  1. Directions:
  2. In a mixing bowl using hand or stand mixer combine butter with 1 cup of sugar.
  3. Add egg yolks and sour cream.Mix until all ingredients are well incorporated.
  4. In another bowl combine flour and baking powder.
  5. Gradually add flour* to the batter.
  6. Form 6-8 balls,cover with plastic wrapper and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  7. * start with 3 cups,gradually adding more if needed.
  8. Meringue:
  9. Whip egg whites until frothy.
  10. Add 1 1/2 cup sugar.
  11. Continue to whip until stiff peeks.
  12. Heat oven to 375 degrees.
  13. Roll out one ball at a time on slightly floured parchment paper.
  14. Cut edges of cake layer using a 8 or 9 inch cake pan.
  15. Spread about 1 -1 1/2 tablespoons of jam** on the layer.
  16. Spread about 2 +/- tablespoons of meringue.
  17. Sprinkle with about 1 tablespoon of nuts on top of meringue.
  18. ** Spread jam on every other layer.
  19. Bake for 6-8 minutes depending on your oven then reduce temp. to 200 degrees and continue baking for another 10 minutes.
  20. Repeat steps with the rest of the dough.
  21. Cream:
  22. Whip butter with cream cheese and vanilla.
  23. Gradually add condensed milk.
  24. Gradually on med-low speed pour in heavy whipping cream*,increasing speed as cream thickens a little.
  25. Continue to whip until cream thickens.
  26. *if not using heavy cream,add cool whip.
  27. Assembling:
  28. Slightly heat jam using stove or microwave.Stir and let it cool.
  29. Carefully spread a good amount of cream on the first layer with jam.
  30. Place second layer(no jam)meringue side facing down on top of the first one.
  31. Repeat steps with the rest of the layers in this order:
  32. with jam-cream-no jam-cream-with jam-cream-no jam…so forth.
  33. Apply cream to the sides and top of the cake.
  34. Gently spread cooled jam on top of the cake.
  35. Decorate sides of the cake as desired.I used white chocolate shavings and whipped cream with powdered sugar for top edges.
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Cabbage Salad

Cabbage salad


Cabbage salad

We eat salad of some kind everyday and never get tired of it.Cabbage salads are our favorite and can be made in different ways with variety of vegetables and different dressings.This crunchy and tasty cabbage salad with mix of other vegetables is very satisfying and absolutely delicious.It makes a perfect potluck salad or any special occasion event.

Ingredients:

1/2 head cabbage shredded

1/2 English cucumber sliced in quarters.

5-6 small dill pickles sliced in to small strips(european style)

1 small carrot grated.

1/2 cup frozen(thawed) or canned peas.

3/4 cup frozen(thawed) or canned corn.

3 green scallions chopped.

1 tablespoon fresh dill finely chopped.

2 tablespoon mayonnaise*

2 tablespoons sour cream*

salt and black pepper.

* you can do mayo only or sour cream only.

 

Directions:

In a small bowl,combine sour cream and mayo with salt and black pepper.

Combine all the vegetables with mayo and sour cream dressing.

Cabbage Salad

Cabbage Salad

Ingredients

  • Ingredients:
  • 1/2 head cabbage shredded
  • 1/2 English cucumber sliced in quarters.
  • 5-6 small dill pickles sliced in to small strips(european style)
  • 1 small carrot grated.
  • 1/2 cup frozen(thawed) or canned peas.
  • 3/4 cup frozen(thawed) or canned corn.
  • 3 green scallions chopped.
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill finely chopped.
  • 2 tablespoon mayonnaise*
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream*
  • salt and black pepper.
  • * you can do mayo only or sour cream only.

Instructions

  1. Directions:
  2. In a small bowl,combine sour cream and mayo with salt and black pepper.
  3. Combine all the vegetables with mayo and sour cream dressing.
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Chicken Kotleti in Mushroom Sauce

Chicken Kotleti_

Chicken Kotleti_

Russian/Ukrainian kotleti to Slavic people  is like chicken nuggets to Americans.We all grew up on them.It’s one of those Moms famous foods that are perfect as party food or everyday meal. They are tender,juicy, and well seasoned chicken patties that are fried and steamed or fried and simmered in creamy mushroom sauce.Creamy mushroom sauce can be served as gravy also.Always perfect.Always delicious!

Ingredients:

4 chicken breasts*

4 chicken thighs*

2 medium onions chopped

1 carrot grated

2-3 bread slices

milk to soak bread

1 medium potato peeled and grated

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

salt and pepper

Bread crumbs (I get them from Trader Joes)

2 tbsp oil + more for frying

*Or 3-4 lbs ground chicken meat.

 

Mushroom sauce:

1/2 onion finely chopped

1/2 carrots finely grated

6-8 mushrooms sliced or quarted

3/4 chicken broth*

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream*

2 tablespoon flour*

1/4 teaspoon teaspoon pizza seasoning (optional)*

salt and pepper

2 tablespoons butter

* You can make it with out chicken broth,just add more cream and omit flour.The best pizza seasoning for this sauce is from winco (bulk section).I tried from other stores,It’s a little different.

Directions:

Grind chicken thighs and breast.

Soak bread slices in milk and set a side.

Heat oil in a sauté pan on medium heat.

Saute onions with carrots until soft.

Press through grinder and add to chicken.

Squeeze bread from milk.Press through grinder and add to chicken.

Add potatoes,mayonnaise,salt and pepper to chicken.

Mix everything well, hitting the meat against the bowl( at least 20 times).

Shape them in to preferred size patties.

Heat a frying pan with about 1/2 inch oil ( I use extra light olive oil or avocado oil).

Dredge each patty  in breadcrumbs . Fry patties in batches on both sides until golden brown.

If  you’re not serving kotleti/patties with mushroom sauce, arrange fried patties in a baking dish or a medium saucepan. I add onions,peppercorns,and bay leaf to the bottom (it’s optional).Pour a small amount of water or chicken broth over patties/kotleti,about 1/2 -3/4 inch from the bottom. If using baking method;heat oven to 350 degrees and bake for about 20-25 minutes. If using stovetop method; bring to a boil then reduce to low and steam for about 10 minutes.This makes kotleti juicy.

Chicken Kotleti

 

Mushroom Sauce:

Melt butter in a saute pan on medium heat.

Throw in onions.Saute onions until soft.Transfer to a bowl or plate.

Add more butter if needed and sauté carrots for couple of minutes.Transfer to plate with onions.

Add more butter and sauté mushrooms.

Transfer onions and carrots back to a sauté pan with mushrooms,and mix in flour.Cook for about 15 seconds.

Gradually and gently whisk in chicken broth by dribbles at first.Sauce will thicken.Add heavy whipping cream and pizza seasoning.Season with salt.Turn off the heat.

Arrange patties in a medium saucepan and pour the mushroom sauce over kotleti/patties. Let them simmer on low heat for about 10 minutes.Serve with mashed potatoes,pasta or rice.

 

Chicken Kotleti in mushroom sauce

Chicken Kotleti in mushroom sauce

Ingredients

  • Ingredients:
  • 4 chicken breasts*
  • 4 chicken thighs*
  • 2 medium onions chopped
  • 1 carrot grated
  • 2-3 bread slices
  • milk to soak bread
  • 1 medium potato peeled and grated
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • salt and pepper
  • Bread crumbs (I get them from Trader Joes)
  • 2 tbsp oil + more for frying
  • *Or 3-4 lbs ground chicken meat.
  • Mushroom sauce:
  • 1/2 onion finely chopped
  • 1/2 carrots finely grated
  • 6-8 mushrooms sliced or quarted
  • 3/4 chicken broth*
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream*
  • 2 tablespoon flour*
  • 1/4 teaspoon teaspoon pizza seasoning (optional)*
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • * You can make it with out chicken broth,just add more cream and omit flour.The best pizza seasoning for this sauce is from winco (bulk section).I tried from other stores,It's a little different.

Instructions

  1. Grind chicken thighs and breast.
  2. Soak bread slices in milk and set a side.
  3. Heat oil in a sauté pan on medium heat.
  4. Saute onions with carrots until soft.
  5. Press through grinder and add to chicken.
  6. Squeeze bread from milk.Press through grinder and add to chicken.
  7. Add potatoes,mayonnaise,salt and pepper to chicken.
  8. Mix everything well, hitting the meat against the bowl( at least 20 times).
  9. Shape them in to preferred size patties.
  10. Heat a frying pan with about 1/2 inch oil ( I use extra light olive oil or avocado oil).
  11. Dredge each patty in breadcrumbs . Fry patties in batches on both sides until golden brown.
  12. If you're not serving kotleti/patties with mushroom sauce, arrange fried patties in a baking dish or a medium saucepan. I add onions,peppercorns,and bay leaf to the bottom (it's optional).Pour a small amount of water or chicken broth over patties/kotleti,about 1/2 -3/4 inch from the bottom. If using baking method;heat oven to 350 degrees and bake for about 20-25 minutes. If using stovetop method; bring to a boil then reduce to low and steam for about 10 minutes.This makes kotleti juicy.
  13. Mushroom Sauce:
  14. Melt butter in a saute pan on medium heat.
  15. Throw in onions.Saute onions until soft.Transfer to a bowl or plate.
  16. Add more butter if needed and sauté carrots for couple of minutes.Transfer to plate with onions.
  17. Add more butter and sauté mushrooms.
  18. Transfer onions and carrots back to a sauté pan with mushrooms,and mix in flour.Cook for about 15 seconds.
  19. Gradually and gently whisk in chicken broth by dribbles at first.Sauce will thicken.Add heavy whipping cream and pizza seasoning.Season with salt.Turn off the heat.
  20. Arrange patties in a medium saucepan and pour the mushroom sauce over kotleti/patties. Let them simmer on low heat for about 10 minutes.Serve with mashed potatoes,pasta or rice.
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Overnight Oats with Buckwheat

overnight oats and buckwheat

overnight oats and buckwheat

I don’t know of healthier breakfast then overnight oats with buckwheat.A filling,delicious,and nutritious breakfast with superfood ingredients and tons of health benefits.Can it get better then that??? 

Overnight oats are oats soaked overnight in liquid such as milk(any kind).I like to add buckwheat and other super foods to give it an extra boost.They are very versatile and made with variety of ingredients,flavorings,and fruits.

If not using Natures Path’s superfood cereal, you will need to use raw (light green)buckwheat, not roasted. Using raw ingredients known as “live food” has more health benefits because, when food is heated over 118 degrees F. most of the food nutrients are destroyed.Eating more raw food gives you more energy and amazing health results.

Ingredients:

1/3 cup rolled oats

1/4 cup Nature path organic Qi’a buckwheat,chia,hemp cereal*

2 tablespoons ground flax seeds

3 tablespoons plain yoghurt

3/4-1 cup milk (regular,almond,coconut,etz….)

1 tablespoon vanilla

2 tablespoons maple syrup,honey,agave,or condensed milk.

Fresh fruit and/or berries

Choice of nuts

*You can make your own;just add raw buckwheat,chia seeds,hemp seeds,almonds,and cranberries.

overnight oats with buckwheat

 

Direction:

Place all the ingredients (except fruit) in a glass jar such as mason jar or any other glass container.Stir to combine all the ingredients.Cover with lid and refrigerate overnight.When ready to serve, top with fruit and berries and more nuts or chia seeds if desired.If you like more liquid in your oats add more milk and adjust sweetness to your liking.

 

 

Overnight Oats and Buckwheat

Overnight Oats and Buckwheat

Ingredients

  • Ingredients:
  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup Nature path organic Qi'a buckwheat,chia,hemp cereal*
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
  • 3 tablespoons plain yoghurt
  • 3/4-1 cup milk (regular,almond,coconut,etz….)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup,honey,agave,or condensed milk.
  • Fresh fruit and/or berries
  • Choice of nuts
  • *You can make your own ,just add raw buckwheat,chia seeds,hemp seeds,almonds,and cranberries.

Instructions

  1. Place all the ingredients (except fruit) in a glass jar such as mason jar or any other glass container.Stir to combine all the ingredients.Cover with lid and refrigerate overnight.When ready to serve, top with fruit and berries and more nuts or chia seeds if desired.If you like more liquid in your oats add more milk and adjust sweetness to your liking.
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French Toast Casserole

French toast casserole

French toast casserole

This is a scrumptious and special breakfast casserole that can be made ahead.This French toast casserole has a crunchy top with custardy bread filling.You can simply cover the bread in casserole dish with plastic wrap,and whisk all the ingredients for the custard then cover and refrigerate until morning.Or if you like it to be pudding like ,you can pour the custard over bread and refrigerate overnight. I made this casserole last week for sisters brunch, and it was a big hit.I served it with delicious blackberry sauce,and that made it even more special.Mmmmmm!!!

Ingredients:

1 challah bread*

10 eggs

1/3 cup powdered sugar

2 cups heavy whipping cream**

2 cups milk**

1 1/2 zested and juice squeezed

3 tablespoons orange liqueur (optional,but very good)

1/4 teaspoon salt

sliced almonds

* You can use french bread or any other lightly sweetened specialty bread.

** Or 4 cups half and half

 

Blackberry Sauce:

2 cups blackberries

1/2 cup turbinado sugar ( light brown sugar or regular white is fine too)

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon orange liqueur (optional)

1/2 cup water*

orange zest( about 1/2 orange)

 

Note: If you like your sauce to be thicker, add 1 teaspoon cornstarch to water.

*You can mix  1/4 cup water + 1/4 cup orange juice and reduce the amount sugar.

 

Directions:

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Slice bread in to large chunks and arrange all pieces of bread in the glass baking dish or casserole dish.Sprinkle  a little of turbinado sugar over the top of bread.

In a mixing bowl,whisk eggs with salt.Add cream,milk,sugar,orange zest,orange juice,and orange liqueuer. Whisk to incorporate all the ingredients.

Pour the custard mixture over bread.Sprinkle sliced almonds over the bread.

Cover with foil and bake covered for about 30-35 minutes.Remove foil and continue to bake until the top is light golden brown ( about another 25-30 minutes).When ready to serve, dust with powdered sugar and add more almonds if desired. Serve with warm maple sauce,homemade syrup with cinnamon,or blackberry sauce.

Blackberry sauce directions:

Place blackberry in a blender.Pulse until well blended.Press the sauce through fine mesh strainer to remove the seeds.Add sugar,orange zest,cinnamon,water/orange juice blackberries.

Heat the sauce in a sauce pan on medium heat.Let it simmer for about 3-5 minutes.Whisk in orange liqueuer.

French toast casserole-4

French Toast Casserole

French Toast Casserole

Ingredients

  • Ingredients:
  • 1 challah bread*
  • 10 eggs
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream**
  • 2 cups milk**
  • 1 1/2 zested and juice squeezed
  • 3 tablespoons orange liqueur (optional,but very good)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • sliced almonds
  • * You can use french bread or any other lightly sweetened specialty bread.
  • ** Or 4 cups half and half
  • Blackberry Sauce:
  • 2 cups blackberries
  • 1/2 cup turbinado sugar ( light brown sugar or regular white is fine too)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon orange liqueur (optional)
  • 1/2 cup water*
  • orange zest( about 1/2 orange)
  • Note: If you like your sauce to be thicker, add 1 teaspoon cornstarch to water.
  • *You can mix 1/4 cup water + 1/4 cup orange juice and reduce the amount sugar.

Instructions

  1. Directions:
  2. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Slice bread in to large chunks and arrange all pieces of bread in the glass baking dish or casserole dish.Sprinkle a little of turbinado sugar over the top of bread.
  4. In a mixing bowl,whisk eggs with salt.Add cream,milk,sugar,orange zest,orange juice,and orange liqueuer. Whisk to incorporate all the ingredients.
  5. Pour the custard mixture over bread.Sprinkle sliced almonds over the bread.
  6. Cover with foil and bake covered for about 30-35 minutes.Remove foil and continue to bake until the top is light golden brown ( about another 25-30 minutes).When ready to serve, dust with powdered sugar and add more almonds if desired. Serve with warm maple sauce,homemade syrup with cinnamon,or blackberry sauce.
  7. Blackberry sauce directions:
  8. Place blackberry in a blender.Pulse until well blended.Press the sauce through fine mesh strainer to remove the seeds.Add sugar,orange zest,cinnamon,water/orange juice blackberries.
  9. Heat the sauce in a sauce pan on medium heat.Let it simmer for about 3-5 minutes.Whisk in orange liqueuer.
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Zuppa Toscana Soup

zuppa toscano

zuppa toscano

If you ever tried this creamy and hearty Zuppa Toscana soup at Olive Garden Restaurant you probably fell in love with it.Well… you can enjoy this soup at home with this easy simple recipe.When ever I cook it at home,all I hear is “it’s better then Olive Garden!”.It’s super-delicious and perfect comfort soup.

 

Ingredients:

1 onion chopped

5-6 cloves garlic minced

4-5 slices  bacon or pancetta diced

1 lb. Italian hot sausage (casing removed) or homemade recipe below

6-8 russet potatoes or 2-3  baking potatoes washed and sliced into 1/4 inch rounds.(semi-circles for baking potatoes)

4 quarts  (16 cups) chicken broth

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1 bundle of kale chopped

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

1/4 cup romano cheese optional

salt and black pepper

2 tablespoons butter

Sausage:

4 chicken thighs grinded or 1 lb ground chicken.

6 garlic cloves crushed

1 teaspoon dry basil

1/4 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

salt and black pepper

 

Directions for sausage:

Combine all ingredients well.Take little pieces of meat and arrange on baking pan.

Bring pot of broth to a boil.

While broth is heating up,heat a frying pan or skillet on medium heat.Throw in bacon or pancetta in the pan and let it slightly brown a little.Remove bacon from pan and wipe the pan from  drippings with paper towels*.Add 1 tablespoon butter and throw in sausage pieces.Brown sausage and add to bacon.Add another 1 tablespoon butter to the pan.Add onions and garlic. Saute until onions are soft and golden in color.

When the broth is boiling,throw in potatoes,bacon,sausage,and sautéed onions with garlic.Cook on med-low until potatoes are soft.

Add heavy whipping cream,parmesan cheese and kale.Heat through and serve.

* I don’t like to use drippings,but you can use drippings if you like and not add butter.

Zuppa Toscana Soup

Zuppa Toscana Soup

Ingredients

  • Ingredients:
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 5-6 cloves garlic minced
  • 4-5 slices bacon or pancetta diced
  • 1 lb. Italian hot sausage (casing removed) or homemade recipe below
  • 6-8 russet potatoes or 2-3 baking potatoes washed and sliced into 1/4 inch rounds.(semi-circles for baking potatoes)
  • 4 quarts (16 cups) chicken broth
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 bundle of kale chopped
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup romano cheese optional
  • salt and black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Sausage:
  • 4 chicken thighs grinded or 1 lb ground chicken.
  • 6 garlic cloves crushed
  • 1 teaspoon dry basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • salt and black pepper

Instructions

  1. Directions for sausage:
  2. Combine all ingredients well.Take little pieces of meat and arrange on baking pan.
  3. Bring pot of broth to a boil.
  4. While broth is heating up,heat a frying pan or skillet on medium heat.Throw in bacon or pancetta in the pan and let it slightly brown a little.Remove bacon from pan and wipe the pan from drippings with paper towels*.Add 1 tablespoon butter and throw in sausage pieces.Brown sausage and add to bacon.Add another 1 tablespoon butter to the pan.Add onions and garlic. Saute until onions are soft and golden in color.
  5. When the broth is boiling,throw in potatoes,bacon,sausage,and sautéed onions with garlic.Cook on med-low until potatoes are soft.
  6. Add heavy whipping cream,parmesan cheese and kale.Heat through and serve.
  7. * I don't like to use drippings,but you can use drippings if you like and not add butter.
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