My Tips, Advices & How-to



No Yeast Puff Pastry Dough (Faster Variant)

February 22nd, 2014 in Tips, Advices & How-to by Julia Volhina

Real puff pastry dough is taking a lot of time to make from scratch, most of the times it is easier to just buy it instead. Another alternative could be to try this easier and much faster variant.

Disclaimer first: this dough will probably not be a best choice for some fancy croissants or so, but it will work great for layered cakes, pies, sugar cookies, and such.

Either butter or margarine will work for this recipe, I used margarine. Make sure you don’t let ingredients and dough itself warm up, if you need to pause while making the dough, put it to the fridge to cool down.

Prepared dough can be used right away, or can be frozen for later use, make sure to use freezer bag.

How to Make Butter from Whipping Cream

October 26th, 2013 in Tips, Advices & How-to by Julia Volhina

Couple of years ago we discovered Snowville Creamery. This creamery is local to Columbus OH area and it produces milk, half-half and whipping cream amongst other dairy products. These are absolutely delicious but only come in a half-gallon cartons.

And if I can find something to do with a half-gallon of milk, whipping cream is absolutely other matter: it is not so easy to use all of it (not unless I plan to eat whipped cream every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner for couple days in a row) in time.

Did I mention that Snowville Creamery whipping cream is absolutely delicious? It would be an absolute shame to let it spoil. So when I buy a whole carton and I only need a cup or two of it for some recipe, I do butter from the rest.

By the way, if you can’t find Snowville Creamery products nearby, make sure you use 100% not homogenized whipping cream instead, with no extra ingredients in it (check the label!).

How to Make Vegetable Broth

September 28th, 2013 in Tips, Advices & How-to by Julia Volhina

Making vegetable broth isn’t such a hard thing to do: get bunch of roots and vegetables, stick them all in a pot and in about 1-1.5h you will get a vegetable broth to use for a soup or another dish which you know what it is made of (unlike a canned one).

Good thing about making vegetable broth yourself is that you can use vegetables left over from other dishes: stems from greens (parsley or dill), stem from white cabbage or stem and leaves from cauliflower, greens from leeks, etc – bits and pieces that you wouldn’t have any use for otherwise.

You can boil fresh vegetables just fine, however the method with roasting vegetables first produce more tasting and colorful broth. If you are looking to get more colorful broth keep inner clean brown layer of onion shell on, using more carrot will help too.

How to Prepare Homemade Bacon Crumbles

July 13th, 2013 in Tips, Advices & How-to by Julia Volhina

I have several recipes using bacon crumbles, so I decided to post step-by-step instructions on how to prepare these at home.

Process is not complicated, and will not take more than 15-20 mins along with cooling down.

How to Make Quark (Fresh Cheese) from Kefir

June 29th, 2013 in Tips, Advices & How-to by Julia Volhina

This is somewhat easier way to get quark (fresh cheese): it requires less time since you don’t need to sour milk and such, since kefir is used instead.

There is a trade off to that of course, the taste of quark will depend greatly on taste of kefir itself, as well as its fat content. So use good quality kefir to prepare quark.

Note: 2 quarts of low fat kefir will make you about a pound of quark.

Vanilla Custard

March 10th, 2012 in Tips, Advices & How-to by Julia Volhina

I use vanilla custard to fill eclairs and cream puffs. It is easy to do (just don’t forget to stir) and tastes delicious!

This custard can also be spread thin dry layers of multi-layer cakes such as “Napoleon”.

Vanilla custard calls for egg yolks, so you can find these recipes which call for egg whites somewhat useful.

How to Make Unsweetened Yeast Dough

October 22nd, 2011 in Tips, Advices & How-to by Julia Volhina

Yeast dough is commonly used for baked pies and fried pies/dumplings (pirozhki/pyrizhky).

Slavic cuisine features pies with various sweet and savory stuffing, and they all are usually prepared with dough as simple as this one.

Dough for small pies doesn’t usually require time for rising, you can start assembling them as soon as dough is kneaded: when you are finished with last one – first is ready to to fry/bake.

For whole piece pies you may need to set dough aside for 20-30 mins before cooking to rise.