Saturday, December 31, 2011

Blackcurrant cheese cookies

Today is the last day of the year. If I only knew how each of you is going to spend it I would perhaps get enough celebrating ideas for my whole life. As you can imagine I'm spending it at home, slowly preparing a New Year dinner, decorating a christmas tree, watching old movies and smiling to my lovely family.

If you are also in the mood for home cooking, let me show you these cookies. They are so simple and so tasty that it is hard to find a better fit for such a day. Have a bite and let a miracle happen to you. I believe they do happen if you let them do so. But whatever you believe, be happy tonight.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Cottage cheese and apricot cookie rolls

Did I say already that in Russia we do not celebrate anything on December 25-26th and all the important things happen on December 31st? The thing is that we actually keep baking Christmas cookies even longer - till January 10th or so because that's our favorite home activity on New Year's eve vacation. From all the cookies we bake these are the oldest. While some other cookies come and go these stay with us since (hard to believe...) 1991.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Ginger bread house making at Taste of Russia (Moscow)

Till the very last moment when I was holding the walls waiting for the icing to set I couldn't believe the house will materialize. It is like a little miracle. You do some casual baking, cutting and mixing et voila you end up with this beauty in front of you. More than that, you find yourself actually trying to look through the door and windows, as if you were really wondering what's in there. Coming back to earth, I finally visited Victoria Agabalyan at Taste of Russia cooking school in Moscow and I can't tell you how happy this makes me.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Quinoa with smoky eggplant and roast pepper

I finally got some quinoa. I tried this grain twice before - at Terresa's class in Paris and in Corner Burger in Moscow. Both times I found it completely amazing so I cooked it at home to share the finding with my family. Yes, they did indeed like it. But as soon as I set down and started eating I realized I was making it just for myself.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A very special red lentils soup

I would never think that a soup made of these simple ingredients can be that delicious. However once my mom threw it together and since then we are making it virtually every week. Everybody loves it including my little brother and when I eat it I think I do know why. It is just one of those dishes that are truly good for you. It always leaves you with a deep feeling of satisfaciton and comfort.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Quince marmalade

That's the second autumn when my mom made quince marmalade. Last year the stocks lasted till late winter. It suddenly became so deeply imbedded in the family eating that we can't imagine our mornings without it any more. Sometimes we have it on toasted bread with fresh cheese, other times - on its own with tea. When I started inquiring it turned out that this marmalade comes from hispanic cooking and the particular recipe - from an amazing mama-fenix - Russian food blogger living in Barcelona.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Florentine cookies

Last Monday was my mom's birthday. She went for a MacBook (yes, she does listen to me sometimes) but I still wanted to present something hand made. So on Sunday my little bro and I got together at the kitchen to make her favorite florentines. They are continuing the series on Christmas baking.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Cooking buckwheat

Buckwheat is one of my favorite grains and something I closely associate with home and Russia. It has a lot of character. When cooked properly it is absolutely delicious on its own. No adds or toppings are necessary. In this sense it is similar to rice. The right way to cook it is nothing complicated, but it really makes a difference.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Dinner at Uilliam's restaurant (Moscow)

Since my colleague told me about Uilliam's I was looking for and occasion to try it myself.  A tiny supper popular new place near Patriarkch ponds with open kitchen occupying half the dining hall and with home style Italian food. A very personal (it seems) creation of Uilliam Lamberti.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Rice with green lentils (inspired by Kitchari)

I don't really have a name at hand for this dish, but the idea comes from Indian kitchari. Last weekend I tried kitchari for the first time at a vegetarian cooking class by beautiful Moscow food blogger Natasha at Sok cafe. Now if I think about feel-good-food kitchari comes to my head as the first idea. I just love the whole idea of combining rice with a legume in one dish. Vegetables add lightness and flavor to it and a touch of hot spices really makes it shine.