Tag Archives: appetizers

Happy New Year

Table at New Years
Happy New Year Everyone!
I hope you had a wonderful and safe holiday season. This year my family and I decided to go out instead of celebrating at home, though as usual, we were together. In the image you can see the typical blintz (not rolled, but folded) with caviar on top, stuffed shrimp, pickled things (tomatoes, pickles, and cabbage), cold cuts (beef tongue, and some sort of other meat), seafood salad, and of course alcohol. These were just the appetizers. For the “main course”, of which there were two, there was lamb and then Chicken Kiev. I should say that the lamb was decent, but we prefer it the way we make it ourselves. We like our spices (cumin and coriander) and we also get really fresh lamb from the same vendor we’ve been going to for the last 20 years.

I must mention the pickled tomatoes. Absolutely fantastically good. Considering it’s my favorite food, I was very pleased at how good they were and I ate quite a few.

As with any typical celebration, there was plenty of food, live entertainment, dancing, and alcohol. Though, the only drunk people we say were Americans who “crashed” the party (they came in from the bar across the ballroom).

If you’d like to see how this holiday is frequently celebrated, please check out this post by another local blogger.

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Birthday Celebration

Birthday Celebration

Birthday Celebration

I know that it looks like I haven’t cooked anything in months.  And it’s almost true.  I have cooked things I already wrote about and have a few more recipes I haven’t posted.  But let me start with the birthday celebration which was in early March.

I made two roasted chickens, just to be sure I had enough. But one was enough. Everyone seemed to love it. I hope they weren’t just polite but actually liked it.

I also made:

Additionally, I bought a lot of marinated things such as marinated tomatoes, mushrooms, and pattisons (baby squash of some kind).

Meat filled flat-bread (lepeshka) – лепешка

Lepeshka

Lepeshka

We made this flat bread (лепешка) the same day as when we made manti. See, we had some leftover dough as well as a little bit of the meat mixture. We can’t let anything so good go to waste, so we combined them together into a most delicious bread (with meat).

For the ingredients and steps to create the dough and meat mixture, see the Manti recipe.

The dough was rolled out and slightly stabbed with a fork. This is done so it doesn’t puff up (we’re not making puff pastry after-all). So, after stabbing the dough with the fork to make some holes, place the meat evenly throughout (see the first image).

Then, roll the dough into a rope shape.
Once you have a length of this meat filled dough rope, start rolling into a circle (see the second picture).

Brush with an egg wash and place into an oven at 350 degrees for about an hour. Since ovens vary wildly, just make sure it’s done and the dough is flaky and golden brown on top (and that the meat is cooked through).

Thanks Nora for yet another delicious recipe.

Dough with meat

Dough with meat

Dough roll

Dough roll

Lepeshka Done!

Lepeshka Done!

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Spread

Thanksgiving Spread

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, in large part because I love all the cooking.  Most people dread all the cooking, but I even take Wednesday off so I can make a few “spares”, just in case something doesn’t turn out and people still leave with overstuffed bellies.  I still love the holiday, despite the mandatory family squabbling.  But without further delay, here is the menu I’m planning (and yes, I take help where I can):

Appetizers:

  • Chicken wings (not a Thanksgiving staple, but I love them and they seem to go over pretty well with the family).  See above
  • Seafood puffs (puff pastry stuffed with seafood, store bought, and I hope they’re good).
  • Smoked Salmon and Goat Cheese Pizza Bites
  • Smoked Mackerel (this can be found in most Russian food stores; ask for “skumbria”)
  • Baked Asparagus with Cheese
  • Shrimp with sauce
Whole fish

Whole fish

Fish in pieces

Fish in pieces

 

 

 

 

Salads:

  • Seafood salad
  • Olivie? (a French salad, and every cook in former USSR has her/his own twist on it. This one is a maybe since I don’t like peeling potatoes or cutting cooked potatoes.) I decided not to make it this time.
  • Egg salad and mushroom
Turkey

Turkey

Main Course:

  • Baked potatoes (my family is averse to mashed potatoes with skins and I am averse to pealing potatoes)
  • Stuffing (of the StoveTop variety. My family will accept no other.)

Dessert:

Zephyr in Chocolate

Zephyr in Chocolate

  • I bought two pies at Sweet Pies of Door County and we’ll have that. They’re yummy, try one.
  • I also bought a Russian-style dessert called Zephyr in Chocolate. I’m not exactly sure what’s in it, but it seems a marshmallow-type substance covered in dark chocolate.

Recipes and pictures for all these to follow.