Salmon fish cakes

salmon fish cakes


Super quick and tasty salmon fish cakes that can be served as appetizer or main course with mashed potatoes or rice. These fish cakes are crunchy on the outside,juicy and tender on the inside. They taste amazing with a dip into creamy mustard aioli.



1-1.25 pounds fresh salmon skinned and diced

1 egg

1 tablespoon mayonnaise

1-2 crushed garlic cloves

1/2 cup shredded cheese (I used mexican blend from Trader Joes)

1/4 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning (Trader Joes type)

1 tablespoon fresh chopped dill

2 teaspoons squeezed lemon juice

salt and black pepper

panko bread crumbs for coating

oil for frying


4 tablespoons mayonnaise

1 tablespoon good dijon mustard (preferably grained)

1 garlic clove crushed

1 teaspoon lemon juice


black pepper

1 teaspoon capers



In a medium bowl, combine salmon, egg, cheese, lemon juice, lemon pepper, dill, garlic, mayo, salt, and pepper.

Heat a frying pan with some oil on medium heat.

Take some fish mixture with your hands or use ice cream scooper and shape into small disk shape.

Dip both sides in panko crumbs.

Fry on both sides until golden brown.



Whisk all ingredients in a small bowl.

Serve fish cakes with aioli



Fish with Orange Beurre Blanc Sauce

beurre blanc saucebaby potatoes, beurre blanc sauce, easy recipe, fish, recipes, salmon, seafood

Want a fancy restaurant style dish in under 30 minutes? Well..this is it! Fish with orange beurre blanc sauce is perfect and easy seafood dish. The sauce is velvety smooth and will go great with different types fish, shrimp, scallops, and lobster.

Beurre blanc sauce is a french specialty sauce made with reduction of orange juice,white wine, and shallots. Then cold butter pieces are blended to create a smooth buttery sauce.

In this recipe I used fresh wild salmon seasoned with salt and pepper, then pan seared to perfection. Served with fried yellow potato rounds, sauteed spinach with crispy turkey bacon and crispy onion string pieces.

beurre blanc sauce-2


Ingredients for beurre blanc sauce:

Makes about 3/4 cup. 

1 piece shallot minced

2/3 orange juice squeezed ( or tangerines)

1/4 white wine

zest from one orange

1 stick very cold butter sliced



2-4 fish pieces

salt and pepper

2 tablespoons oil

1 tablespoon butter


5-6 peeled and sliced potatoes


2-3 tablespoons oil

1 tablespoon butter


2 slices of turkey or pork bacon chopped

1 tablespoon oil

about 4 cups spinach

crispy onion strings





Combine orange juice,shallots,zest,and wine in a pan or saucepan. Bring to simmer on med-high heat.

Cook until liquid evaporates by half.

On low heat, whisk in butter slices one at a time. The sauce should thicken. Season with salt.

Strain through fine-mesh strainer.

Reheat sauce on low heat only.


Heat a frying pan on med-high heat.

Add oil.

Season fish with salt and pepper.

Transfer fish to a frying pan skin side up.

Pan-fry until half of the fish is cooked,then flip and continue frying until the other side gets cooked.


Heat a frying pan on med-high heat. Add oil and butter. Season potatoes with salt and fry on both sides until fully cooked and browned.


Heat a large pan with oil. Throw in chopped bacon(or shallots). Cook until brown and crispy.Turn off the heat. Throw in spinach. Using kitchen tongs toss spinach around until its wilted.season with salt.Throw in some onion string pieces.

Arrange everything on a dinner plate in this order;potatoes,spinach,salmon,sauce.

fish with beurre blanc sauce



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.



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



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


raspberries,strawberries,blueberries,or bananas.


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.


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.



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




















Apple Cake Treats

apple cake treats-4



These are scrumptious and cute apple cake treats.They are mini apple cakes with sweet caramel like frosting, and covered all over with crunchy nut and cake crumb. These treat can be versatile by using your choice of nuts, and also can be made as a whole cake by using 2 (9 inch) cake pans.



1o eggs

1 1/2 cup sugar

1 1/2 cup + 1/2 cup flour separated

1 teaspoon baking powder

5 apples peeled and diced



1 1/2 can cooked condensed milk (dulce de leche)

2 1/2 sticks butter room temp.

4 ozs. cream cheese room temp.

8 ozs. pecans


apple cake treats



Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Line two large baking sheets with parchments paper. Grease or spray with nonstick spray.

In a stand or hand mixer beat eggs with sugar until pale and fluffy.

Sift 1 1/2 cup flour with baking powder and gradually add to egg mixture on medium-low speed.

Mix apples with 1/2 cup flour .

Gently mix in apples into batter.

Divide batter among two baking sheets.

Bake for about 13-15 minutes.

apple cake treats-2



Beat butter and cream cheese until smooth.

Gradually add in dulce de leche.



Cut out cirlcles using small round cookie cutter.


apple cake treats-3

Remove apples from the scraps.Break scraps into small pieces and toast them in the oven until golden brown.

Take one mini cake round and spread generous amount of frosting.Add another round on top.

Spread frosting on the top and side of the cake.

Crush pecans using a blender.Transfer to deep medium bowl.

Take toasted cake pieces and crush using a blender.

Add it to pecans and mix it together.

Cover mini cake with nut and cake coating.


apple cake treats-6



Cabbage Carrot Salad

cabbage carrot salad


This is a quick,easy, and fresh cabbage carrot salad. It’s a nutritious and delicious salad that goes wonderful with almost everything.


Serving size: 4-6 people

1/2  cabbage head shredded

1 large carrot shredded

1/2 sweet onion thinly sliced*


2-3 tablespoons mayonnaise

* You can use regular white onion,just soak or wash in water.


Start by massaging cabbage with a little salt in a bowl.

Add shredded carrots,onions, and mayo.Mix everything until all ingredients combined.


Tomato Cheese Appetizer

tomato cheese appetizer



These tomato cheese appetizers are  delicious,quick and easy to make.My moms garden has been in abundance of ripe red tomatoes,so I’ve been using tomatoes in many different ways.This appetizer is very well known among Slavic people,I twisted a little by adding sliced hard boil egg.



tomatoes sliced

mozzarella cheese shredded


garlic cloves crushed

hard boiled eggs sliced

salt and black pepper if desired

dill for garnish



Combine garlic and mayonnaise.

Spread mayo mixture on tomato slices.

Sprinkle with cheese.

Add a slice of hard boiled egg on top of the cheese.(optional)

Sprinkle with salt and black pepper.

Garnish with dill.

tomato cheese appetizers


Blueberry Lemon Sticky buns

blueberry lemon sticky buns-8

These blueberry lemon sticky buns are beyond delicious! They are super good,sticky,and fingerlicking.My kids loved them…my family members loved them…Im sure you’ll love them too. Perfect with cup of coffee in the morning.Kids liked them with milk, and great with hot cup of tea as well.


yields 18-20 rolls

1 cup warm milk (not hot)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter melted (1/2 stick)
2 large or 3 medium eggs
1 1/2 tablespoons oil

1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon yeast
1 tablespoon sour cream

2 ozs cream cheese*

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 1/2 – 4 cups Canadian flour(highly recommended)  or all purpose flour**
1 egg for egg wash

1 tablespoon water



2 lemon zested

3/4 cup white sugar

3/4 flour

1/2 (1/4 cup) butter melted




2 cups powdered sugar

1/2 lemon juice squeezed

lemon zest from 1 lemon optional

1/4 cup butter melted

1/2 cup milk


* you can replace for 1/4 cup sour cream
**Most European/Russian stores and Winco Foods carry it.
Direction using bread maker:
Add sugar to milk.Stir until sugar disolves.Stir in yeast and 1/2 cup flour and set aside.

Melt butter,let it cool.

In another mixing bowl whisk with hand blender eggs,cream cheese,sour cream,oil,salt,vanilla.

Whisk in milk mixture to egg mixture.

Whisk in butter.Add rest of the flour,and transfer dough mixture to bread maker.

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.




In a mixing bowl, combine lemon zest and sugar. Rub sugar and lemon zest using your hands.

Whisk in flour.

Pour in butter and rub the mixture with your hands to create crumbs.


Making buns-

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Butter or grease 2 small or 1 large baking pans/dish.

Roll the dough into large thin ractangle.

Brush on a thin layer of melted butter or spread evenly using your fingers.

Sprinkle the filling mixture over buttered dough.

blueberry lemon sticky buns-2

Sprinkle blueberries over crumb mixture.Roll the dough into a log.Pinch the edges and seal the seams.

blueberry lemon sticky buns-3

Slice the roll into 1 inch slice.Arrange pieces onto buttered pans.

blueberry lemon sticky buns-4

Cover with kitchen towel and allow to rise for about 20 minutes. Take it outside during summer for quicker better rise.

Whisk egg and water together and brush on buns.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until they are deep golden brown.

Glaze- Combine all ingredients together using a whisk.

Remove buns from oven and pour the glaze over them while hot.

Serve warm or room temperature.

sticky buns


Tomato Salad

tomato salad


A stunning tomato salad that is easy-to follow,healthy,and flavorful.This tomato salad tastes incredible with homegrown tomatoes and goes perfectly with plov(rice pilaf),grilled kabobs,and potatoes. Thanks to my moms kindness to share her garden tomatoes and sweet yellow peppers with me.



3-4 tomatoes cut in half then thinly sliced

2 pickling cucumbers or 1/3 of english cucumber  thinly sliced (optional)

1-2 sweet peppers thinly sliced (optional)

1/2 red onion thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves (optional)

Desired  one or all optional herbs:





salt and pepper

1/4 cup unrefined sunflower oil*(my fav) or any other of your choice

*easily can be found at European (Russian)stores.


Mix all ingredients in a bowl and serve immediately.


Shrimp Spring Salad


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


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


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



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.

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Easter Bread (Paska,Kulich) Recipe

Easter bread-paska-kulich

Easter bread(paska/kulich) is a Russian traditional classic Easter bread. It’s made of sweet yeast dough mixed in with dried fruit like raisins.This recipe comes from my grandmother (Moms Mom),that passed away long time ago,who was an awesome cook and famous for her borscht recipe.Now I think you can see where I got love for cooking….It passes along the line I guess.

Easter bread is made with lots of egg yolks and butter.Similar to brioche or Italian Panettone.It’s a richer version of sweet bread yet is wonderfully light and soft and sweet.Traditional Easter bread is made in round cylinder type molds.But,really it doesn’t matter what shape it is.I like to use regular bread pan or spring foam pan or even muffin pan.I also made some personal breads using a small round mold from Sur La Table ( .40 cents each or .75 for larger one).So you can get panettone molds or choose any mold /pan you like.This recipe is my favorite.It stays fresh like from day 1 (not dry) for few days for sure.


10 egg yolks

2 cups warm milk

1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon yeast

1 cup sugar

1 1/2 cup melted butter (3 sticks)

1 tablespoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 tablespoons oil

2 cups + 4 cups canadian flour (highly recommended)*

1 -1 1/2 cup raisins (I prefer jumbo or golden raisins) soaked in hot water for 10 min and drained.

* If you can’t get canadian flour ,your second choice would be bread flour, and third choice all-purpose flour. Most Russian stores and Winco Foods carry Canadian flour.


2 cups powdered sugar

3 tablespoons choice of milk,heavy cream,squeezed lemon juice,or squeezed orange juice



Combine warm milk with 2 cups flour and yeast.Mix well and set aside covered.

In a stand mixer,whip egg yolks with sugar.

Gradually add vanilla,salt,oil and butter to egg yolks.Add milk and flour mixture to egg yolk and butter.Mix until well combined.

Replace whisk attachment with dough hook attachment.

Add in 4 cups of flour and raisins.

Mix dough well.

Cover dough with plastic cover and towel.

Place the bowl with dough in the warmest place in your house or microwave (don’t turn it on).Let the dough rise(about 2 hours).

Divide dough among all molds and let it rise.(about 20 minutes)

Heat oven to 325 degrees.

Bake for about 30-40 minutes depending on the size of your molds and until the outside is golden brown.

To make glaze:

Combine powdered sugar with milk,cream,lemon juice,or orange juice.

Apply to the tops of easter bread/paska when cooled at room temperature.

Easter bread-paska

Combine warm milk with 2 cups flour and yeast.Mix well and set aside covered.

Easter bread-paska-2

In a stand mixer,whip egg yolks with sugar.

Easter bread-paska-3

Gradually add vanilla,salt and butter to egg yolks.Add milk and flour mixture to egg yolk and butter.Mix until well combined.

 Easter bread-paska-4

Replace whisk attachment with dough hook attachment.Add in 4-5 cups of flour and raisins.

Easter bread-paska-5

Mix dough well.

Easter bread-paska-6

Cover dough with plastic cover and towel.Place the bowl with dough in the warmest place in your house or microwave (don’t turn it on).Let the dough rise(about 2 hours).

Easter bread-paska-7

Divide dough among all molds filling them half way.Heat oven to 325 degrees.Bake for about 30-40 minutes depending on the size of your molds and until the outside is golden brown.

 Easter bread-paska-kulich

When cooled at room temperature,remove from molds and apply glaze.Add sprinkles if desired.

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Baked Chicken Drumsticks

Baked Chicken Drumsticks-2

These baked chicken drumsticks are fuss free and delish. Marinated in soy,garlic and ginger with fragrant cilantro herb marinade and baked until golden brown.The best part about this chicken drumstick recipe, that it can be made in advance and stored in a fridge covered for few days.You can also grill them if weather permits.


For 4-5 lbs chicken drumsticks

1/4 cup fresh ginger minced

8 garlic cloves

1/3 cup soy sauce,shoyu,or tamari.

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

1 teaspoon black pepper

*You may want to add a little salt depending on your taste.


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Combine soy sauce,garlic,ginger,black pepper,cilantro and oil using a blender or food processor.

In a mixing bowl or large ziplock bag mix chicken drumsticks with marinade mixture.

Marinade for at least 30 minutes.

Heat oven to 375 degrees.

Arrange drumsticks in a large baking pan.Pour marinade over chicken.Cover with foil.Bake for 1 hour covered.

Remove foil and continue to bake for another 30-40 minutes or until they are well browned.

Remove from oven,and using a spoon pour the sauce on the bottom of the baking pan over each drumstick.Sprinkle with green scallions if desired.




Chicken Kotleti in Mushroom Sauce

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!


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.


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.









Lemon Layer Cake


Lemon cake

The idea of making this lemon layer cake came from my sisters bridal shower back in September ’13.It was when I had to make a cake that had lemon or honey in it.Well… I ended up making both a lemon cake and honey cake. Basically that was our theme because our  sister Sweet-lana loves her tea with lemon and honey as much as one loves their coffee.She’ll have it in her to-go cup everywhere she goes.

For the cake as pictured above I made total of four layers and made more cream by half. Added blueberries inside.

For bridal shower I sliced the layers in half,but it was hard to keep the cake from falling apart. The cake layers are very delicate.

And I used pureed raspberries with sugar(strained) instead of whole raspberries.









( Cake batter adapted from America’s Test Kitchen)

2 1/4 cups flour*

1/4 cup cornstarch*

1 cup whole milk,at room temperature

6 large egg whites,at room temperature.

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 3/4 cups granulated sugar

4 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

12 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature.

lemon zest of 2 lemons

* you can substitute these two ingredients of cake flour


Cream for 1 (2 layer ) cake:

1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream

8 oz. cream cheese

1  1/4 cup powdered sugar

1 tablespoon squeezed lemon juice

1-2 tablespoons limoncello liqueur

zest from one lemon


1/2 cup hot water

3 tablespoons sugar

3 tablespoons limoncello

2 tablespoons lemon juice.

-Combine all ingredients and let cool.


Fresh blueberries,raspberries or strawberries.

Whole or pureed with some sugar.


Direction for cake-

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Sift flour with cornstarch 3 times and set aside

In a large measuring cup,whisk together the milk,egg whites,lemon zest and vanilla.

In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment,mix together the flour,sugar,baking powder and salt at med-low speed.

With the mixer running,add the butter pieces one at a time until the mixture resembles fine,even crumbs.

Stop the mixer and about 1/2 cup of the wet ingredients.

Beat the batter at medium speed until it is pale and fluffy,about 1 1/2minutes.

With the mixer running on med-low pour in  the rest of the wet ingredients,then crank the speed back up to medium and beat for 30 seconds more.Scrape down the bowl and beat for 30 more seconds.

Divide the batter equally among the two (9 inch) cake pans and smooth the tops.

Bake for 23-25 minutes,or until a toothpick come out clean-do not over bake.

Let the cakes cool in pans for 10 minutes,then remove the cakes from pans,and cool completely.



In a mixer with whisk attachment ,whip cream cheese with powdered sugar.

Scrape the bowl and add lemon juice,zest, and limoncello.Whip again until ingredients are well incorporated.

On med-low speed gradually pour heavy whipping cream,bringing the speed higher gradually.

Whip the cream until stiff peaks.



Pierce first cake layer with toothpick or fork.

Pour/spray syrup on the cake.

Spread a good amount of frosting.

Arrange preferred berries on top of frosting.

Place the other cake on top of berries.

Pierce the cake and pour/spray syrup.

Spread frosting all over cake and decorate as desired.




Russian Glazed Cookies "Pryaniki"


“Pryaniki”are Russian Glazed cookies that existed since 9th century.Although, there are many types of pryaniki,this is just one of them.They are soft,delicious and will stay fresh not only for one day. Especially kids love them and it’s a great treat to share some with your coworkers,friends or family.If you like spiced cookies you can add cinnamon,nutmeg,all spice, or cardamom to the dough mixture.


2 large egg yolks

2 cups sugar

2 cups sour cream (16oz)

8 tablespoons(1 stick) butter room temp.

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon Baker’s Ammonia or Ammonia Bicarbonate*

1 tablespoon vinegar

4 -4 1/2 cups flour (I used canadian)**

1 tablespoon peppermint,vanilla,or almond extract (optional)

*If you can’t find it, sub in baking powder.

** I did experiment with canadian whole wheat flour it work great.Spelt and whole wheat pastry flour will work too.


2 cups powdered sugar

2 large egg whites

1 teaspoon peppermint extract(optional)


1.Whisk  egg yolks with sugar.

2.Add  butter and sour cream and mix using a stand or hand mixer.

3.In a small bowl combine baking soda and ammonium(or baking powder) with vinegar. Add to the mixture.

4.Add preferred flavoring  if desired.

5.Gradually add flour and mix until well combined.

6.The dough will be sticky.Cover with plastic wrap.

7.Refrigerate for 2 hours.

8.Heat oven to 350 degrees.

9.Apply oil to your hands.

10.Roll dough into 1 inch balls and arrange them on a lined baking sheet.

11. Bake for 15-17 minutes.


12.Beat egg whites with powdered sugar and peppermint extract(if desired)

13.Apply glaze to pryaniki while still hot/warm.You can dip or mix them into to glaze also,then spread glaze evenly using your fingers.

14.Arrange on a wax paper to dry.

15.Enjoy with your favorite tea.



Lazy Vareniki

Lazy Vareniki

Well known and all time favorite Ukrainian breakfast dish.Lazy vareniki is like traditional cheese filled vareniki but simplified by combining all ingredients together in a bowl.It’s made of quick dough, cut into small pieces and cooked in boiling water.Tossed with lots of butter and served with sour cream.If desired,you can make simple sour cherry *sauce (sooo good) or strawberry sauce and pour it over vareniki.

*I found frozen sour cherries at my local European/Russian store.

2 cups farmers cheese(tvorog)*

2 eggs

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1  1/2 cups flour

6 tablespoons butter melted (for serving

sour cream (serving)

Sugar (serving)

Large pot and water for boiling

You can substitute ricotta cheese or cottage cheese,but you will need to adjust flour.

Sour cherry sauce-

1 cup frozen sour cherries

1/4 -1/2 cup sugar (sweetness to your liking)

1 tablespoon corn starch


Strawberry sauce-




1.Combine tvorog,eggs,sugar,salt in a bowl using stand mixer,spoon, or fork.

2.Add flour and mix to combine.If dough is too sticky,add flour 1 tablespoon at a time. It should be soft,not tough.

3.Divide dough into four sections.


4.On a well floured surface, roll a long rope/snake.*

5.Cut the rope into 1/2 inch pieces.

6. Bring water to boil and add 1/2 teaspoon of salt.

7.Throw in vareniki one by one.(don’t over crowd ,cook in batches if needed)

8.When vareniki begin to float on top,cook for 3-4 minutes.

9. Drain the water.Transfer to a mixing bowl and toss with melted butter and sugar.

Serve with sour cream and/or with desired sauce (below).

*If you want to be lazier then lazy….use a teaspoon to drop the dough in the water.

Sour cherry sauce-

Place cherries and sugar in a small sauce pan.

When sugar has melted,and begins to simmer, take 3 tablespoons of juice from the sauce pan to a cup.

Add cornstarch to the cup with sour cherry juice.Mix well.

Stir in cornstarch mixture with sour cherries and cook until liquid thickens a little.

lazy vareniki


Strawberry sauce-

Slice strawberries.

Combine strawberries with sugar in a small sauce pan.

Cook stirring until sugar is dissolved (try not to overcook).


To reheat;melt a little bit of  butter in a pan.Throw in cooked vareniki.Saute until golden in color.

Lazy Vareniki



Korean Carrot Salad


korean carrot salad

Well flavored,slightly spicy, and vibrant Korean carrot salad.This salad was popularized  by ethnic Koreans all over Russia,Ukraine,and Central Asia.It always been a staple salad at all Slavic weddings,parties,and holidays.

This recipe came from my mother who was selling this salad along with Kim Chi salad at a local farmers market back in Tajikistan.Korean ladies tought her how to make it the authentic way. Adding sugar is optional. My mom doesn’t add sugar.


8 carrots peeled

1/2 onion

1/2 carrot sliced in half

1 cup oil *

2 tbs white sugar (optional)

1 tbs salt or +/- to taste

6-8  cloves garlic crushed

1 teaspoon ground or coarsly ground coriander seeds.

1/4 cup white vinegar

1 dry red chili pepper

1 teaspoon black pepper

red chili pepper flakes or cayenne pepper (optional)

Chopped fresh cilantro (optional)


* Use non flavored oil such as canola,vegetable,corn,grape seed or light olive oil.


Shred carrots using a thin julienne slicer.

Add salt and sugar. Mix well using your hands .

Pour oil in to a small pan (preferably deep one).

Place chili pepper,sliced carrot and onion in the oil ( sliced side down).

Heat it well on medium-high heat until 1/4 of  onion is black and the oil is boiling *

Meanwhile,add garlic,vinegar,black pepper,coriander,and hot peppers (if you prefer your salad to be spicy) to carrots.

Carefully Pour hot oil allover carrots making sure to pour some over garlic.

Quickly and carefully remove and discard onion and chili pepper.

Mix with your hands.

Adjust seasonings if needed.

This salad has to be refrigerated at least 12 hours before serving.

Add fresh cilantro to the salad if desired.

Can be stored in a well covered container up to 10 days.


Cream horns -Трубочки


Treats like  cream horns (trubochki) filled with fluffy cream will always be a big hit on any type of party. And for us who grew up in slavic family they sure do bring a lot of childhood memories. I make dough from scratch for these,but you can use store-bought  puff pastry as well.

I made these for Christmas using cream recipe from .I usually use different cream for these.But, I liked this one better.


2 1/2 sticks frozen salted butter (300 grams)

2 1/2 cup all purpose flour

1/2 cup cold water

1 egg

1/4 cup vinegar


2 cups heavy whipping cream

3/4 can sweetened condensed milk

1-2 teaspoons vanilla

Powdered sugar for dusting.


In a large mixing bowl,Shred butter using a grater.

Add flour,and rub the flour with butter to make a crumb mixture.

In a separate small bowl,whisk water,vinegar, and egg.

Add water/egg/vinegar mixture to flour/butter.

Mix using hands few times. (Don’t over mix)

Divide dough in to 4-5 portions/balls.

Refrigerate for about 1 hour.

You will need cream horn molds to make these.

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

On well floured surface roll out dough.Not to thin,so you will be able to roll the dough around mold.

Cut into 1 inch strips.

Starting from the pointy top,wrap the strip around the mold overlapping half the width of the strip.

Lay them on the baking sheet and bake for 15-18 minutes or until slightly golden.



Start by whipping heavy whipping cream.

Add 1 tbs at the time of sweet condensed milk.

Add vanilla.

Whip until it becomes thick.

Fill a pastry bag with cream and fill cream horns with it.

Dust with generous amount of powdered sugar.



Eggplant Salad

Eggplant salad

Salads play major role in Russian and Ukrainian cuisine especially at holidays or any kind of celebration.At weddings tables are filled with delicious food and big variety of salads;Eggplant salad would be one of them.I love and adore Eggplant salads!

My mother in law is a wonderful cook with a heart full of love and care.She is also known as a praying woman. She always likes to surprise her grandchildren with goodies and tries to make something  special for her adult children. She shared this recipe with me and I would say that it’s my favorite eggplant salad so far.It’s healthy and surprisingly filling.This salad stores well for weeks in a jar or airtight container.


3 quarts tomato juice

2 cups oil

1 1/4 cup sugar

3-3 1/2 tablespoons salt

1/3 cup vinegar


4-5 eggplants cut into short thick strip

3 red bell peppers

4 carrots peeled and thinly julienned

1 garlic head peeled and crushed

3/4 cup chopped parsley

1/2 cup chopped cilantro (optional)



Combine marinade ingredients in a pot.Bring to boil.

In batches,add eggplant to marinade and cook for 12-14 minutes.

Place colander on top of a bowl and transfer cooked eggplants to colander .

Cook bell peppers for about 7-8 minutes.Transfer to colander.

Cook carrots 5-7 minutes and transfer to colander with the rest of the vegetables.

Transfer vegetables from colander to a another bowl.Add herbs,garlic,and 1 cup of the marinade.Mix well to combine all the ingredients.