July 17th, 2010 in Beef, Main Dishes, Pasta by Julia Volhina
Several weekends ago, when I asked Yuriy what should we prepare for dinner, I got an answer – lasagna, and I was intimidated a bit – I never prepared lasagna before. So I spent some time in internet researching recipes and found several I liked. I’ve combined them, added some touch to my taste and prepared this lasagna.
This was my first attempt to make lasagna. And main challenge for me was to properly prepare noodles: according to the instructions on the pack they required boiling before using. I’ve added 2 tablespoons of oil to the boiling water and was boiling them layer by layer and it totally helped to prevent noodles from sticking while boiling.
This lasagna turned out perfectly: balanced combination of meat and vegetables (just how I like it), noodles were very tender, it was totally worth all the time I’ve spend boiling them, getting out of water and trying arrange them in the pan.
July 10th, 2010 in Main Dishes, No-meat, Side Dish Recipes by Julia Volhina
Summer is here and summer is a perfect time to enjoy vegetables it brings along.
Bell peppers, eggplants, potatoes roast together with olive oil based dressing with garlic and herbs can be a perfect dish on their own as well as a side dish to meats or poultry.
Once veggies are all sliced and mixed with dressing (can be prepared in advance), it takes about an hour to roast them in the oven.
Roasting doesn’t require much of attention, just stirring from time to time. So I consider this dish easy to prepare.
July 3rd, 2010 in Beef, Main Dishes, Pasta by Julia Volhina
Lots of recipes require using clear soup (meat broth, stock), however not all of them also require boiled meat which is often used to prepare meat broth. So the question is, are there any good recipes which actually require boiled meat and no broth?
This is one of them: russian pasta with ground boiled beef and fried onions (btw, it is called “makarony po-flotski” in Russia; I have no idea why, but we always called this dish so).
Any “al dente” kind of pasta will work here: I’ve used penne, just read instructions on the pack and cook them accordingly. You may also vary proportion of meat to pasta to taste.
June 26th, 2010 in Cold Soups, Soup Recipes by Julia Volhina
Are you suffering from hot weather like me? When outside feels like in the oven there is no better food to eat than cold soup. Lithuanian borscht is a nice refreshing buttermilk based cold soup you can put together without any extra hassle and then enjoy it sitting on the patio.
The real trick to Lithuanian borscht is to find good kefir – it should be original kefir which hasn’t been flavored with any tastes, not salted and not sweetened. I used plain unsweetened kefir (can be replaced with buttermilk) from Lifeway and it worked out perfectly.
The rest of ingredients: vegetables (beets, cucumber and greens) and hard boiled eggs, are easy to get and not pricey at all. And btw, even though this soup is called a “borscht”, the only thing it has in common to other borschts, I guess, is the color.
June 19th, 2010 in Salads by Julia Volhina
This is one of my favorite salads for fresh young cabbage – fast made slaw with eggs and cucumbers seasoned with fresh dill and mayo to taste.
Usually I take small white head cabbage or a half of it, however it will be the same good with red cabbage (the color will look interesting in this case too ) or napa.
Don’t forget to cool down hard boiled eggs before adding them to the salad – it is not recommended to mix fresh vegetables with hot ingredients.
June 12th, 2010 in Eggs, Main Dishes by Julia Volhina
Egg omelette with ham or canadian bacon and vegetables is a nice breakfast dish. It takes more than an hour to prepare, but it totally worth it.
Unlike most of other omelettes which are usually fried eggs with some other ingredients, this one is prepared by baking them in the oven.
It is a bit hard to tell exact baking time for this dish – it depends a lot on the size of the baking pan you use (both size and material it is made of) and amount of ingredients: my advice would be to test omelette with wooden toothpick (pierce it through from top to bottom and remove it) – if it does come out clean – baked omelette is ready.
June 5th, 2010 in Desserts by Julia Volhina
Yuriy had his birthday 2 weeks ago, so I decided to cook him a cake. Somehow we ended up eating whole cake just by ourselves; so we will need to work out more now
I’ve used this simple recipe of homemade cake which is very popular in Russia and other countries of ex-USSR. Because of the sour cream frosting it is often called “smetannik”, which basically mean “made of sour cream” in russian.
If you decide to make this cake – make sure you have enough time to let sour cream to soak to into each layer of the cake after it is assembled; 6-8 hours are usually enough. If you prepare cake a night before you are going to serve it and then put to fridge – it is even better.