Don’t bake like me

I baked a cake on Sunday. The weather was inviting, rainy and damp, though warm.

In rainy weather, I want to read, with a cup of tea and a piece of cake or at least a pie.

The choice fell on the Zebra cake. I have loved it since childhood for its simplicity and unsweetened taste. 

You need to mix all the ingredients. Divide the dough into two parts. Add cocoa powder in one of them. Then pour the white and black dough, alternating, into a baking dish. This will give the cake a nice marble look. 

There are two disadvantages in my recipe: there is little sugar and all the ingredients are measured in “faceted glass”.

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Ukrainian borscht and American husband

One day in St. Petersburg*, Daniel and I went to a restaurant called “Teplo”. The restaurant was located in the basement of the building across the street from our hotel. It was probably some “fancy” restaurant, we could only get there by reserving a table by phone.

Saint Petersburg, Russia

To be honest, I don’t remember the details of the interior, but it was somehow crowded, a lot of tables, a lot of people, a lot of waiters scurrying back and forth.

I was completely unaccustomed to restaurants, and I felt extremely uncomfortable. I wanted to have dinner and leave as soon as possible.

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Hello Autumn

Hello autumn! I missed you.

-What are you knitting?- Daniel asked

-I want to knit a sweater, – I answered

-Why do you need a sweater now? After all, the day after tomorrow summer-perplexed (however, as usual)  my husband

-Well, it‘s cold in the library in the summer because of the AC, so I’m preparing for the summer, – I

I lied. In fact, I start to miss autumn in the spring.

I don’t get along with summer. It’s true. Since childhood.

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My Russian remedies for cold

Many years ago in Russia, I got sick. My American friend recommended to rest and make my family to cook some chicken soup for me. It sounded really funny at that time. I didn’t see any connection between flu and chicken soup. After relocating to the US, I’ve learned that this is a very popular way to treat your cold. …cold or flu? To be honest I’ve never knew the difference between them. I had to look up online. 


… the main difference is that the flu is caused by different types of viruses than the common cold.  Flu symptoms are usually much worse than cold symptoms, and they appear suddenly. The most common flu symptoms are fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, head and body aches. Colds are usually associated with a sore throat and runny nose. And cold symptoms usually appear gradually…

About a week ago I caught a cold. Now I know it was  a cold (not flu). My husband was away on a business trip. So I wasn’t expecting any chicken soup. And  I had to remember some Russian home remedies for colds.

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Pickled beets

October is a time of shorter days, beautiful foliage, strong wind, pouring rain, cool temperature. And time of picking up the vegetables from your garden. 

If you like pickled beets this post is for you.

I didn’t like beets too much. But while living in the US I started to eat them with my husband. He asked me to pickle them. That’s why  I searched for a recipe. 

Eventually, I got the one  from my Russian friend, Mom of three daughters, lovable wife, and a blogger@mama_natasha_gotovit

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Pizzelles and my travel experience

Time to time I bake pizzelles. Pizzelles are traditional Italian waffle cookies, as Google says.

I like them. They are easy to make, remind me Russian waffles and go very well with coffee at work.

Every time when I think of them, I remember a funny story happened to me.

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Sorrel – grass or soup ingredient?

Sorrel is in season. But what is it?

Wikipedia says: “Common sorrel or garden sorrel (Rumex acetosa), often simply called sorrel, is a perennial herb in the family Polygonaceae. Other names for sorrel include spinach dock and narrow-leaved dock. It is a common plant in grassland habitats and is cultivated as a garden herb or salad vegetable (pot herb)”.

Sorrel - ingredient of Russian Green Soup

Sorrel looks something similar to spinach, but the taste is very different. It is extremely  sour. Sorrel contains many nutrients. There are a number of vitamins: A, C, K, B1, B2, PP, E. Sorrel is saturated with trace elements. These are iron, potassium, copper, manganese, magnesium, nickel, sodium, fluorine and zinc.

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Spring, Maslenitsa, Blini

Why is Spring associated with blini (Russian-style pancakes) for Russians? Just because in Spring they eat a lot of blini.

Russian pancakes, also known as blini or blinchiki, are really special for people raised in Russia. Blini are a really important part of Russian culture as they are a pearl of Russian cuisine.

            Blini are much wider and thinner than American-style pancakes, but not as thin and wide as crepes. It allows you to stuff them with everything you like; such as ground-beef, ham, cheese, and salmon. You also can eat them with caviar, sour cream, jam, chocolate cream, honey, condense milk, berries, or other sweets.

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My traditional New Year’s salad

I think that in every country and every family there is a traditional New Year’s menu.

In Russia, Olivier salad is not losing its leading position. People even formed an association: if Olivier is on the table, then we celebrate the New Year. There are many recipes for this salad. In every family it is delicious and unique.

The original version of the salad was invented in the 1860s by French cook Lucien Olivier, the chef of the Hermitage, one of Moscow’s restaurants. Olivier’s salad quickly became popular with Hermitage regulars, and became the restaurant’s signature dish. It is known that the salad contained grouse, veal tongue, caviar, lettuce, crayfish tails, capers, and smoked duck, although it is possible that the recipe was varied seasonally. The original Olivier dressing was a type of mayonnaise, made with French wine vinegar, mustard, and Provençal olive oil; its exact recipe, however, remains unknown.

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