Monday, November 23, 2009

Just Grate

Holiday season is here. I love the spirit of it. I love the idea of simple homemade meals for the most dear people. Unfortunately our both families are far away and that's why my mind these days brings back the memories of holidays back in Russia
I thought about sharing with you two very simple side dishes that are sure to be found on many tables this holiday seasons in Russia.

I am talking about GRATED BEETS and GRATED CARROTS.

You need to cook BEETS first. Scrub them good, trim the stem but not too close to the bulb and leave the root untouched. Then boil like you would potato- until the knife inserted goes in smoothly. I would think 3 medium beets should be fine here. Once they are cooked you need to peel them ( the skin will come right off) and grate.
Add one clove of garlic crushed, couple of spoons of mayonnaise and a handful of crushed walnuts.

The CARROTS do not need cooking. For this dish you will grate 2 large carrots then simply add 1 crushed garlic clove and mayo. The day I cooked it for myself and took picture I did not feel like adding anything else in it. But crushed walnuts or even raisins would work great in here.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Turkish wedding

I've been moving my data from one laptop to another and so I found the pictures I took this past summer in Turkey. I remember being very excited when I witnessed this authentic wedding. It was not at all what my wedding looked like and since it all was unfolding right on the street where my husband's parents live I knew I had to take lots of pictures.
It was a day long wedding with lots of interesting details so I will try to share with you what I saw.
It all started early in the morning with a lonely sheep tied down to a entryway into an apartment building. And then 2 musicians arrived. They were to announce to everyone in the neighborhood about wedding. That was seriously loud!Towards noon the sheep was pulled away into an empty lot near the house and was prepared for a big event.
When the bride and a groom arrived they watched the ceremony of sheep sacrifice and then with blessings from their guests they went into there future home. The guests meanwhile were invited to their tables that were arranged basically on the street. The bride did not join them. She stayed in her room with all her friends until dusk.
In the evening the men went on dancing on the street . The bride and her girlfriends were still upstairs. When the dusk came the celebrations continued. Another ceremony had to be performed.And then of course more dancing. The bride was just so gorgeous!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Yogurt soup

Fall is time for soups. And while its still not too cold outside yogurt soup seems to be the perfect choice. It has this nice velvety texture that is very warming right now and at the same time lots of mint brings back aromas of summer. What can be better!
So let me start by saying a few words about the type of yogurt you need for this soup. Please look for a full fat or at least 2% variety of Greek yogurt. It has to be almost sour cream consistency and not one of these light-textured breakfast yogurts. I buy large container of FAGE or CHOBANI brands in here.
To cook the soup you will want to mix yogurt and broth in ratio of 1 to 3. So if later you want to cook a smaller portion of this soup please keep that number in mind .
Another trick with this soup is that you have to make sure you do not bring it to boil too fast and you steer it as often as possible otherwise your yogurt with curdle. Basically with this soup you have to keep an eye on it at all times. Good thing is it doesn't take long to cook. So here is what you will need

1 large container of strained Greek yogurt (17,6oz /500 g)

3 containers filled with chicken broth ( use the yogurt container )

1/4 cup of short grain rice

1 egg

1 Tbs of flour

1/4 tsp of salt

1 Tbs dry mint+ more for serving

your favorite red pepper for serving

Without starting your stove put all the ingredients except red pepper into a pan and mix it well. Now start your stove on medium heat. Keep mixing the soup every once in a while so that it heats evenly. Your task is to bring it to a boil slowly. Go ahead and increase the heat later if neede it. Once you are there lower the heat again and cook the soup still steering occasionally until rice is done.
To serve sprinkle with some more mint and red pepper.

Monday, November 2, 2009


What a beautiful warm day it was...