Monday, February 13, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day-or early love letter to my husband.

 Not a big fan of this holiday. Before we got married with my husband, we had decided not to celebrate 14th of February, instead, surprise each other occasionally, and cherish the love between us everyday of our life. I am posting this on 13th, not to ruin the traditions :)

  "I am 12 years old, and asking my mom,
- Mom, how in the world, you would know, which guy to get married with. There are so many to pick from. I am really afraid to make a wrong choice.
 Mom with a smile
  - You will definitely know if He is the Right one."

Now, I know, that my mom was %1000 right, and the second I saw him, I knew he was THE ONE. I love you , and love you, and love you endlessly, like an ocean. You are an amazing soulmate, that understands me, supports me, holds me, lifts me up, listens, and loves. I am grateful to have you entering my life, and sharing every moment of it. I Love you, and thank you for loving me back.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Almonds, Sunflower Seeds-salted snack.

 I love crunchy seeds, nuts in granola, salads, or simply by itself. I purchase raw, unsalted sunflower seeds, or almonds (slivered/or whole), and turn them into perfection in my kitchen.

  This recipe is pretty basic.
  You will need a cup of almonds, or sunflower seeds, water, and kosher salt.
   I use small saucepan, fill it with water, boil it, add 1/2 Tablespoon of kosher salt. The water has to be pretty Ocean salty. When the water reaches boiling status, add your nuts and seeds. Let them simmer in the salted water for 5 minutes.
   Drain the nuts, and spread them on the baking pan. Toast in the oven at 350F for 5-10 minutes. The nuts should be nice, dry, and toasted. For smaller amount of nuts, use the frying pan, and toast them on top of the stove.
 For more interesting taste, you can add some olive oil, red/or black pepper before the toasting in the oven.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Strawberry Balsamic Dressing.Roasted Beet Salad.

 I am surrounded by cupcakes, cookies, crepes, ice cream, and cakes. It's so hard to resist to try everything we make in Pushkin, and stay in good shape, that's why, couple days a week, I eat light and no-calories meals. I love salads, and there are so many creative ways of making delicious salad from basic ingredients that you can pick up, mix up, and eat up without feeling guilty.


  You can guess, that we use a lot of strawberries in our cafe, since one of he most popular crepe in our menu is... -That's right, "Nutella and Slice Fresh Strawberries" crepe.
 I pick through the strawberries, and pick only the best, that go into the customer's meal. Some strawberries are just not perfect enough, and not so bad to throw them away. That's why I make strawberry sauces, and strawberry dressings. You can do the same thing at home- pick through the pint the not -so- beautiful berries, and make something delicious.

   -About 10 ripe strawberries
   - Juice of half of a Lemon
   -pinch of salt
   -pinch of black pepper
   - Balsamic Vinegar 1 Tbsp
    -Honey 2 Tbsp  (or more, if you like it little bit sweeter)
    -Olive oil - If you are on a diet, 2 Tbsp will be perfect.If not, then add exact same amount as, the strawberry puree. 1/2 olive oil+1/2 strawberry puree.
  Use medium saucepan. You can puree strawberries in blender. I sliced, and pureed them with hand stick blender. Add pinch of kosher salt, and black pepper, juice of a lemon. Set the heat on medium, and boil sauce for 5 minutes. You will see, that sauce will thicken, and reduce in amount. Turn off the heat, add balsamic vinegar, and let it cool. Add honey, taste the sauce, and add more salt, or pepper, or honey. I liked to leave it sometimes at this stage. But you can definitely add some olive oil, and whisk throughly. You will have a thick emulsion.


If you think, that you don't like beets, it means you never tried roasted/baked young beets. Purchase young, small beets from your supermarket, or farm stand, and you will enjoy the health benefits of this fantastic root vegetable. You can use fresh beet in your power fresh juices, and make some delicious Russian-inspired salads. But today, let's stay on the safe side, and make something, that's  more familiar to everyone. 
  To bake beets, you will need to wrap them in foil, and bake at 425F for one hour in your oven. My professional oven is super monster, and I had them ready in one hour at 350F.  Time will vary, if the beets are bigger in size.
 Let them cool. Wrap them, and refrigerate, until you ready to use them. I usually bake couple at a time, and use them during the week, whenever I feel like having a salad.

  Mix some greens (arugula, spring mix, green spinach), slice your beets. Add some toasted pecans, crumble some goat cheese (or feta), and Strawberry Dressing. Voila!!!