Feel like Designing New Type of Cutlet…

Friday, the day my wheels always seem to start turning. I cannot sit in the same place, my mind resembles a deep abyss.  I myself keep falling into this black hole, trying to fill the void, designing new types of foods, being creative.

This Friday a small idea crawled into my head and, I have to say, my heart as well…Little did I know that this meal will turn into a feast for my stomach. Its not that I suddenly had an urge to become a vegeterian, I was simply willing to create something new, just like that, out of the blue.

I looked at what appears to be lying quite nicely in my kitchen – what caught my eye were the vegetables, the grand variety of them…I asked myself, what can I make? Afterall, I had the mightiest vegetable of all looking at me – brocolli!

What came up was THE RECIPE of all time! New type of cutlets made from brocolli, parsley, dill, mushrooms etc

Ingredients:

4-5 mushrooms, 1 kg of brocolli, parsley, dill, feta cheese, 2 eggs, 1/2 cups of flour, salt, pepper.

The Works:

1. Its time to start using your microwave. What I did is I put all the brocolli required into a microwave safe bowl, covered it with a lid, and let it run for its life! For about 10-15 minutes what appeared to be happening is the greatest party I have ever seen, the water (which I poured into the bowl) was dancing heavily together with the brocolli. Afterwards, when everything seemed to be ending, I had one perfectly cooked brocolli. No time wasted with less dishes to wash…

2.  Actually, this step you can perform while you prepare your brocolli. Chop, dice and slice the vegetables you have into a separate bowl. Mix together.

3. Slice cooked brocolli, add into the mix.

4. Add  eggs and flour, salt and pepper. Get powered, mix again.

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5. Look at what you got! Beautiful! Now, all that is left to do is put a frying pan on a high flame, pour in some oil, form little balls and fry them giving it all you have.

You are done! Congrats!

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Soooo, Almonds and Condensed Milk do make a Pie…What a Time Saver!

Almonds Pie. Where to start? I am a sweet tooth, some say this condition is never-ending. For the last couple of days I had a craving for sweets. Not just any sweets – CONDENSED MILK! Of course there is a myriad of recipes and pies containing this food of the gods. My eyes somewhat concentrated more on pies.

As a companion to my condensed milk pie adventure I chose almonds. It is the simplest nut you can get, and frankly, the cheapest. But, the good news is the pie turns out to be of the same quality as if it was made from hazelnuts. What you get in the end is a world full of sweet, chewy texture with almonds peeking out.

Wanna try? Really, nothing too complicated. All it takes is maybe 10 minutes to prepare and 20 minutes to bake in the oven. Simple time saver.

Ingredients

For the dough: 1 table spoon of sugar, 2 eggs, 150 gr butter, 1.5-2 cups of flour.

The filling: 1 jar of condensed milk, 250 gr of almonds.

And you are ready to get to work!

The Works

Mix up all the ingredients for the dough. Once done, put all you’ve created with your own hands into a baking form (with high edges), try to make an effort to design high edges for your dough as well. All this is done using your fingers, so don’t be afraid to get dirty! The edges of your dough should get up to 2-3 cm in height.

Done? Nice. Now concentrate on the filling. Now, this one will be done in a matter of seconds, ready? Spread all the almonds evenly on the dough in the form. Proudly open your jar of condensed milk and pour it over the nuts. Again, disperse it evenly over the almonds. Preheat the oven up to 180 degrees C. Put your creation in the oven and wait patiently for about 25 minutes.

Stand up high, you’ve made a Pie! Enjoy a good cup of tea!

How much is the Fish? A rewarding pie for your eyes

After a very heavy month, my blog returns to its full capacity, slowly but surely.

Have you ever had your mood change so quickly when you look at colorful food? I did.What do you see when you look at this pie?

I must say, the very first time I’ve layed my eyes on this one, I automatically got hungry for some salmon. Somehow I went from a tired person to a very happy one. Maybe, just maybe it is the color of the salmon. I am one of those people who can wake up and shout from the bottom of their hearts: “I want sashimi!” I am that in love with this fish. But, dear readers, today I want to share with you something else you can create using this magical piece of food. This one is a little bit hard to make, just because you have to wait for the dough to get in the mood, so to speak. But, otherwise, it is a very rewarding pie for your eyes. I let you in to a little secret, I just found this one on the Internet, haven’t prepared it yet, but truly want to. I found this one would be helpful when you have a lot of guests over and you want to surprise them with something special.

I am sure this one gets your appetite going as well. And I am sure it does bring an unforgettable party to your tastebuds. On that note, I will not keep you waiting any longer, I give you THE RECIPE. When you are reading this though, don’t forget to look at the pictures.

Personal note: Even if you are the one who thinks food does not seem to look very well on photographs, this one makes you change your mind.

This beautiful story starts when you get these ingredients:

500 gr dough. How do I prepare this dough, you ask me? The ingredients for the dough are: preheated milk (till 30 degrees) – 100 ml, yeast – 10 gr, 1 egg, 2 table spoons of sugar, 1 tea spoon of salt, 70 g butter, 370 gr flour.

Of course, how can you send this one over to your tummy without any stuffing? So, here comes the stuffing:

600 gr of salmon, 120 gr mozarella cheese, 1 medium red pepper, 1 medium tomato, parsley,salt, pepper (according to your own taste)

Sa…Wait for it…Salmon Pie:

Dissolve  yeast in the milk, add sugar, salt, butter, flour and the egg. Get the dough started. Cover it and get it in the fridge for about 3 hours. The volume of the dough should increase after the time has passed. Get the baby out and let it chill out for a while (about an hour) in the regular room temperature.

The next step would be to get it rolling after an hour, about 0.6 cm thick. Now, this is the interesting part, about 3.5 cm from the edge of the circle you, I hope managed to create after you started rolling, you add a little color and put salmon on it all around (which is also cut into bands about 2.5 cm thick) Cover all your magic up with the dough edges (see pictures attached) , don’t forget to close them though. Cut the creation into pieces (again see the pictures), 4 cm thick and turn it over 90 degrees, with the fish looking at you. The fish, the one you  got left, slice again and put it in the middle of the pie.

On top of the fish in the middle, you put tomato cut into pieces, red pepper, add salt, pepper, and get some mozarella going around. Put it into a warm place for 30 minutes. While doing that, preheat the oven up to 180 degrees C. Finally, get your pretty pie into the oven for about 30 minutes as well. Can’t wait for it to be ready? Wait until you get golden color covering it all over. After 20 minutes in the oven, just don’t forget to grease it with egg yolk. * This will help the pie to get an even better tan.

This recipe(and the pictures) was provided to you by: https://www.facebook.com/allrecepts (if any of you here speak Russian as well, this is the place for you)

Ready to put some salmon on the dough?

Ready to put some salmon on the dough?

What  I meant by "Closing the edges of the pie"

What I meant by “Closing the edges of the pie”

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Here comes Pot Roast, with a little secret.

It got real cold here! And when I say “real cold”,  I mean +6, +5 degrees Celsius. It does not seem that cold, but when you start thinking about the insides of your own home, and the temperature there (which can get to +14), and how you sit wearing layers on yourself, all you want is to get warm. One of the best ways for me to dive into a warm world is to cook meat and potatoes. I have to say, this recipe is very filling, with the meat melting in your mouth. But, you have to wait for at least 2.5 hours for it to get ready. If you are one of those people who likes meat having a particularly soft texture, you might have to wait even more. I can tell you, I waited for 3 hours. So, get all the patience you have inside you, and lets get cooking!

*Oh, and a little note, this recipe comes in with a little zest, its got dried prunes in it. This stuff is what gets you surprised. Just remember a day when you tried eating something that you are used to. So you eat, enjoy your food, even if its the usual for you, it still creates fireworks in your mouth. But then, suddenly, you feel like there is something new…Something that makes this dish taste even better. Something that you will remember every time now you think about this specific meal. Not only it adds new taste for the meal, but it actually delights you. In this usual meal you would not expect to come by this ingredient.

Ingredients:

3-4 medium potatoes, 1 kg of beef, half a kilo of chicken breast, 1 big carrot, 2 medium onions, 5-6 tablespoons of tomato sauce (I had sauce for pizza left from the time I prepared homemade pizza, so why let the good stuff go by?),  about 50 gr of dried prunes, garlic, parsley.

The Works:

Slice all your meat into bands, that way the meat will prepare faster. Put it all into a deep frying pan, and let it sit there on the stove, till the juices come out.20131212_095255

Peel of the skin from the potatoes and cut them into cubes. Get working on the carrot, slice it into big round pieces. About the onions, make nice big rings out of them. Mix the onions with the meat, let it sit for about 15 minutes (just do not make big fire on the stove) Remember, the juices still have to be there when you start adding other vegetables in.20131212_103223

Next, comes the carrot. Again, let it soak in all the juices together with the meat for several minutes. Then, start adding the potatoes. You already know what comes next, waiting. But, then comes the fun part, add the sauce you have to mix in a little bit of color in your works. Actually, the red of tomato paste, or in this case, pizza sauce, fits in perfectly with the meat. So, do not be afraid to mix it in! Do not forget to taste your food! If you feel like you need to add more of the sauce, you should positively do so! Afterwards, ladies and gentlemen, comes the bride! Dried prunes! 50 gr is about 7-8 of them, so add them without any hesitation. They are the ones bringing the surprise, remember? They bring a sudden feel of sweet into your dish. Mix it all once again, put the mixture on low fire, close the lid, and…wait…again, it should be close to 3 hours to let the meat be as soft as a baby’s skin. While you are waiting, do not let yourself go crazy, wash and cut the parsley (this one you should add last, when the dish is ready), and peel the skin off the garlic. You can add the garlic after about 1.5 hours. You do not need to slice it, just peel the skin, and throw it in there.

*Important note, when you are waiting for the meat to be ready, check on it once in a while, just open the cover. As we all know since high school, water tends to evaporate. So, do not forget to add some in while waiting those 3 long hours. Plus, it does not let you go bananza! Water should always cover your meat about half way. Otherwise, you’ll burn it all, and you don’t want this one to happen…All your hard work to fly away from you…

And, voalah, after 3 hours you get a beautiful meal that every member of your family can and will enjoy!

Warm up your hearts with a nice Pot Roast!

Feedback: My beloved members actually said that they enjoyed it very much. They haven’t eaten such a dish in a while. The best thing about this dish is, you don’t have to prepare additional garnish for the meat.

The secret of Russian Borscht…

Has ir happened to you that someone told you that the only Russian soup they know of is Borscht. However, when you genuinely want to figure out how on earth you cook this one, they simply smile at you and say something in the genre: “Ask Google”.

Today, my dear readers, is the day I am telling you everything you need to know about Borscht. Let’s just start by saying that there are two types of this soup: one that is made with meat stock and pieces of beef, and the other, the one that is more simple, is prepared with a bunch of vegetables put together (afterall, this is what each soup is about, and it all depends on the mixture you put in your soup)

Its quite quick to make, really. You just have to have a little bit of patience and wait. The secret is in vinegar and tomato paste, it all works out for the best if you pace yourself and put just the right amount. The more tomato paste there is, the less red you’ll get as the end result. The more vinegar you put, the more zest there is.

This is how I make it:

Ingredients:

1 medium beet, 2 carrots, 1 big onion, 1.5 liter of vegetable stock (or you may make it simply with water), half a cabbage, 3 potatoes, 4 cloves of garlic, tomato paste, vinegar, parsley.

The Works:

Get your veggie stock in a saucepan, let it come to a boiling point (or water) Dice the onion and your carrots. Put them in the frying pan (onion first), let them fry for 2 minutes until the onion changes color and becomes transparent. While these two are working together, slice your cabbage into narrow bands, peel the skin off the beet and shred it! Get the mixture of onions and carrots into the stock, cabbage as well. Do not forget to peel the potatoes and dice them nicely, get them together with the party.

Wait for about 10 minutes, let all the veggetables soak  each others juices in. While those are cooking, get working on the beet. You have shredded it already, so no worries there! All that is left to do is to fry it a little without any oil on a frying pan, about 2 minutes. Then, add some tomato paste (I added about 3 tablespoons), mix, let it fry once more.  Take vinegar and add 2 tablespoons into the mix, stir a little.  Wait for a couple of minutes, then add it to the stock. Mix, so that you’ll have a nice even red-orange color.

Slice garlic cloves and cut some parsley. Save these two for last, as you have to let Borsch to actually become one. *Taste your food! Always! If you feel like there is not enough zest for you, and the vinegar you put refuses to work the way it’s supposed to, don’t be afraid to put some more, just taste it afterwards! After some time waiting, add parsley and diced garlic, mix and…wait a little, for about 5 minutes. Let garlic do its job. Of couse, do not forget about salt and pepper, these according to your own taste.

Your first Borscht is ready! Enjoy every bit of it!

Yours truly,

Katya.

Behold…A quick homemade pizza!

I  am going to let you in on a little secret…I am a person who if they really want something, they will get it one way or another. And, if I have some sort of a craving, I have to fulfill it, maybe not right away, but still…The thought about my craving will interfere in some way until  I get it over with.

Yesterday, my desire for pizza got a hold of me. I did not want to spend any money, though. So what a better way to get over a craving for something than get working on cooking it? (that is, if we are talking about foods, of course) Plus, if prepared, the pizza will not be just for me, but for my whole family…I actually had everything to make pizza in my fridge, so why not make it?

Behold…A quick homemade pizza is coming

Ingredients:

4 tablespoons of sour cream, 9 tablespoons of flour, 2 eggs, 4 tablespoons of mayo + anything you have in your fridge that you think will make a good pizza (I took olives, feta cheese, regular cheese to sprinkle on the pizza, tomatoes, special pizza sauce (you can buy it in any store nowadays), sausage, fresh basil, red pepper, an onion, oregano) I have to say I completely forgot about mushrooms, but you can try it and tell me how they mix in there as well.

The Works:

Mix sour cream, flour, eggs and mayo in a large bowl. * What you will get is sort of  dough, very liquid, if not, just add more eggs…Pour the mixture in a frying pan, greased with butter.

Before my stove's magical works!

Before my stove’s magical works!

Then, comes the fun part! Slice and dice all of your favorite ingredients for your pizza, add pizza sauce, sprinkle some cheese on it and….DONE!All you have to do now is just put it on the stove for several minutes with a closed lid. When the cheese starts to melt..

YOUR PIZZA IS READY!

Some thoughts and feedback: I put a lot of stuff on the pizza, so there was a lot of juices flowing around. The result was, my own war with the frying pan, as it was hard to get it out of it. I let it cool for a while, thinking that it would make it easier, it actually did make it so, but the downside was, the pizza was cold! The lesson is to pour the mixture in a better frying pan. This one was kind of old…Plus, maybe it would be better to put it in the oven…It might actually consume less time.

The happy side of it all, this baby was tasty, and did not take a lot of time. All of it about 20 minutes. It tasted like a Margarita. Once again, took me back to Italy!  I think this would be a nice addition to my New Years fancy table plans. A nice entree so to speak….So, just wait for my New Years table menu!

Arivederci, my dear readers and followers!

So what came first, a chicken or an egg? – Fried chicken for dinner!

After a long and busy morning I just needed something to relax. What’s better than cooking? Cooking chicken in the oven! A simple, yet deligtful dish…And again, it does not take a long time to make it. All you need is just some spices, sauces, a tiny bit of passion and your own hands.

I took every second I had before work to prepare this one. Most of the work is done by the oven though, so I did not exactly go here by the name of the greatest chef in the world. If anything, the winner of this title would be my hardworking oven.

The secret is:

Take about 1.5 kg of chicken, 2 table spoons of mayo, 2 of mustard, any spices you would like to shine through, salt, pepper, 3-4 cloves of garlic, some honey.

Before the oven

Before the oven

The Works:

Put your chicken into a large bowl, mix in all the ingredients. * I advise you use your hands to mix. Make sure all the chicken is covered with this magical stuff. Honey will actually make your chicken look golden in color.

Next step is to preheat your oven. * You can actually do it while you are preparing the chicken. Temperature to the highest one possible when the logic behind it is to let your chicken fry faster, so it would not be dry inside. Get it in and wait for about 30 minutes! YOUR CHICKEN IS READY!

A great recipe for someone who does not like to spend a lot of time in the kitchen (yes, even I have moments like this)

More on the topic, a little something that sounds tasty and quick to me

The meaning of BreakFAST or Sandwiches + Toasts + Avocado = Perfection

BreakFAST! Even its own name hints on the most important meal of the day to be simple and fast. Simplicity lots of times leads to perfection. Unfortunatelly, nowadays, the word “fast” is often associated with Fastfood. It does not have to be this way. I declare that even meals that do not require a lot of time from you, have to become healthy masterpieces. So what if here we are talking about piecies of bread? It is still healthier than eating some pie from some fastfood place in the morning. I hope many of you here wll nod in agreement.

On that note, I am proudly presenting to you these small, not at all time consuming sandwiches and toasts that I made today to spoil myself and my beloved!  It was worth every minute spent!

For toasts: Take an egg, pour in some milk (pretend that you are making an omlet), add some salt. Mix together. Take 3 pieces of sliced bread, baithe them in the mixture. Preheat your fruing pan (Yay, I actually used a grill), put your little breads on the frying pan, fry from both sides. And, they are done! Congrats you nailed them! Simple, huh?

Hello, we are grilled toasts

Hello, we are grilled toasts

At this point you can go crazy and add anything that you like to them, I used some ham and cheese…simplicity again! 

20131204_104318 (1)For sandwiches:  Take some bread, get anything you want on it! Yes, I used humus (I fell in love with it here, they actually add some tasty stuff to come with it – spices, for example). After comes the ham, again, any ham your stomach will celebrate from! And you don’t have to stop there…I covered the ham in a special eggplant and mayo cream (not a lot, though)…Yummmmmmm!

Oh, and avocado! How could I forget?! Just slice it into small pieces. Cover it with a good quality olive oil and salt.

Come, your breakfast is ready!

To let your stomachs celebrate even further:

Family Barbecue Meeting or meat in great marinade

I am a meat person. Can’t live without it! How much I’ve waited for this to happen! It seems that each week we would start talking about it, but then, something would occur that would make us postpone this wonderful meat feast! Finally, I got some meat marinated in with special spices. I am very happy to tell you all about it. Even now writing about it makes my stomach twirl…

The marinade is quite simple. All I had to do is to take about 3 kg of sliced meat, put it in a large saucepan…Then, pay attention, put about 3-4 table spoons of soy sauce, mix in a table spoon of mustard (I had dijon), get 2-3 table spoons of honey, slice a couple of onions into perfect round rings, and vous-a-la, we are finished! *Just cover it with a lid, let it marinate in the fridge for about 24 hours. The more the better, as it is all a process, let the meat soak in all the juices… On the day of the barbecue, I just added salt and pepper.barbecue

I want to say thank you to my precious man who took on this journey on the grill. Tnank you! We really had a blast, the meat turned out to be soft and juicy. Remember this veggie garnish I prepared specifically for it, well, I did not need it. At least the first time I tried the meat. Seriously, I was like a dinasour waiting for its pray…

The Lesson: Aside from the fact that I will need to create more meat recipes, this one really helped me to relax and have more time for myself this weekend! Really enjoyed family time!

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Turns out, you can have a rainbow in your own home – Braised Vegetables.

I knew we are going to have barbecue this weekend. I will let you know how it all turned out afterwards. I also knew that I did not want any heavy garnish to go with the barbecue. Besides, we have already had a full load of macaroni, potatoes (fried ones, boiled ones…any kind), hence my strong desire for changes. And yes, after looking at those mind-blowing kitchen pictures yesterday, I honorably declared: “I want diversity!”  It appears that those photos did their work, they did inspire me to get more colors into my life.

Plus, with all that meat lying on a plate, you would want something light as a garnish, no? Not one of us would fancy a phrase: “A moment on the lips, forever on the hips!” A balance is required in everything. And, the amazing thing is, if you don’t want to eat it with anything else, just enjoy it as it is! So, I wish to say “Gratitude” to those who came up with such a simple recipe –  Braised Veggies. My own version of a French creation – Ratatouille! The thing is, you can just open your fridge and start visualizing how your garnish becomes a reality. It is really of no relevance what you throw in, virtually everything combines together when you talk about vegetables.

Here’s how its done: As I said before, I just went up to my fridge, looked closely and, oh Heavens, I found all the colors I needed. Those bright large peppers (red, yellow, green), onions, tomatoes, parsley, cabbage, garlic, carrots, squash, eggplants…and even broccoli – take pairs, this way you will certainly know you have enough for everyone in your dearest family! Well, maybe cut down a little on the eggplant (totally depends on its size)

I grabbed all, and began dicing, slicing and yes, frying. (Some of them, like eggplants and squash) *But remember that guys like squash and eggplant need to be added last, as they have a tendency to become soft real fast. So, you don’t even have to fry them for a long time. Everything I took, I sliced in large pieces, let the rainbow of colors show in full power! *Every time you put something in a saucepan, or if you want to go all fancy – a wok, remember to add gradually, letting each of the vegetables to take in the juice for several minutes and stir before you add another one. The order is this: Cabbage, onions, carrots, our favorites of all time – colorful large peppers, broccoli (I had frozen, so it needed more time to cook), tomatoes, and…after I waited for about half hour – 40 minutes with all that stirring and mixing, I finally added the eggplants (or an eggplant), and squashes. I took all the strength I got left and mixed those guys together!

Here’s a little secret, for I did not want it to become dry like when walking in a desert, I actually made a sauce for them.

Sauce:  Sour cream (or flour in water), water, pressed garlic (about 5 large cloves or the way you like it) mixed together well. Pour the sauce into the pan, cover with a lid and wait for some magic to happen for about 5 minutes. Add parsley, salt and pepper, decorate!

The Lesson: Mood elevated, light food prepared (despite the sour cream, as I didn’t add a lot of it), diversity achieved!

Enjoy and be healthy!

Want even more diversity in your food: