Russian Blini (Crepes) Recipe

 

Being Russian doesn’t mean that you are oh-so-good at cooking Russian food! I’ve mastered a lot of it. Making soups and stews is a piece of cake! I could make salads (or as one of my friend’s referred to them “cold casseroles”) every day. But Russkie Blini have always been a challenge for me. Every time I’d try to make them, they’d turn out as pancakes! And if you know the difference between a pancake and a crepe, well – that’s a big fail! The worst was when they’d turn out as something in between crecake? or maybe panpe? But last Sunday I feel like I’ve conquered it, and all I needed to do was to follow my aunt’s recipe, which is tried and true. It’s also no family secret, that’s why I am sharing it with you!

Here is what you’ll need:

2 cups of flour

3 eggs

2 1/2 cups of milk (you can cheat here and divide the given amount in half and substitute milk with water)

1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
Mix all of the above ingredients in a bowl (you can cheat and use a mixer, I won’t tell anybody!)
Then add 1-2 tbsp oil into batter.
And you are ready to FRY!!!
Sam likes his crepes with syrup, but I am more creative – I love them with Nutella and bananas, or strawberries, or blueberries…
Have an awesome Thanksgiving everyone and Black Friday, if you do that, of course!
I’ll be back on Friday with a new post for you!
Cheers,
Z

Sorrel Soup

The what? The who? And where did I get it? First of all, here is what sorrel looks like:

 

It’s nice and sour, I remember eating it as a child, it’s amazing with sugar! Stumbling across sorrel while walking in the forest was considered the best of luck, but that was back when I was 7, of course. I don’t know if it grows in the wild here, but in Russia it did 🙂

Fortunately for me, my mother-in-law is growing some sorrel in her garden. And fortunately for you, I am going to share one of the best recipes of my childhood with you today!

1. You are going to start by making a broth (unless you are using a pre-made broth), I always make chicken broth, because I always seem to have chicken in my freezer. I really hope you know how to make chicken broth, but just in case you don’t, here is how:

– bring 1.5 lb of chicken in 64 oz of water to a boil, removing the foam from the surface;

– add 1 diced onion, and 1 graded carrot, boil for 45 minutes;

– add salt, pepper and bay leaf, boil for another 15 minutes;

– take out the chicken, cut it into small pieces, get rid of the bone (if you were using chicken on the bone), rid of the onion and carrot, toss those,

And your broth is done!

2. Wash and cut sorrel, make sure to get rid of the stems, unless you really want those in your soup ;).

3. Peel and slice 5 potatoes, dice another onion and grade one more carrot.

4. Sautee the onion and the carrot.

5. Bring broth to a boil, add the potatoes, and cook for 15-20 minutes.

6. Add onions and carrots, cook for 5 more minutes.

7. Add sorrel and cook for 2 more minutes.

8. Finally add the chicken, salt and pepper.

This soup is meant to be served with sour cream and half a boiled egg 🙂

 

 

I hope you try this recipe, fall is here, and hot soup is one of my favorite foods of the season 🙂

Xo,

Z

PS. I’ll have an update post tomorrow, just to share what’s been going on in my life 🙂

 

“Clean Out Your Fridge Soup” of the day

I was experimenting with some veggies the other day and decided to make a soup. The thing is, I sometimes buy the products that I cannot possibly finish and I either have to throw them or use them ASAP. And what can be better than making some good filling soup? I know, the Russian in me will always love her soups! So here it goes, my very own recipe for “Clean out your Fridge Soup”.

Assuming you are like me and your fridge is ridiculously overstuffed with fruits and vegetables. For some reason the first ones always go faster than the second ones. Anyways, you want to decide which veggies are going to go into your soup! I took out some potatoes, one onion, one package of celery, 4 carrots, half a cabbage, two tomatoes, one beet, and a can of garbanzo beans (love them!) You are also going to need some stock, I used vegetable one, just because I had some and wanted to use it up!

So first you want to cut it all up – however you want it, small, medium or large – it’s your soup – go ahead and experiment. You are going to start off by frying the onions and the carrots. I just put a little oil on the bottom of the pot and fried in it, that’s

a) less dishes to do

b) you are going to add other veggies to sauté later, and do you really want to deal with moving it all from the pan to the pot? I don’t think so!

Then you are slowly one by one going to add celery and tomatoes.

Once those have been in the pot for a couple minutes, add cabbage and beets.

This is also when you want to add the stock – the amount of stock depends on the size of your pot, I put in one regular sized carton of stock and the rest I filled with water.

Last you want to add potatoes and garbanzos. Bring it all to a boil, and then let it simmer for about 25-30 minutes. I usually check whether my soup is ready or not by checking on the potatoes!

This recipe is great for the summer, and the soup can be served hot, warm or cold. Since there is no meat, it is also vegan and vegetarian (as long as you are not using chicken stock 😉 )

This soup is best served with lemon juice, salt and pepper, but you are free to use whatever spices you like.

Another thing – as one of my friends commented and said – Gute Fart! – it will make you go, more than you want, but not more than you need. It’s a great recipe for all of you out there trying to lose weight. I wasn’t trying to lose anything, except for maybe the produce from the fridge 🙂

I hope you give this recipe a shot and definitely let me know how yours turned out, what veggies you used and how you liked it!

And finally, you can also watch a video tutorial on how to make this soup, but it’s all in Russian:

Soup of the day

Hope you all had a great weekend!

xo,

Z

PS. Did you notice? I now don’t blog on weekends!

Points!

Sooooo I’ve been avoiding presidential elections in Russia (even though I could’ve gone and voted last Friday), we are going to ignore the subject altogether, but I respect your opinion no matter what!

Here are a few discoveries I’ve made about  myself lately:

  • I am a workaholic, surprise, surprise 🙂
  • I don’t like Ellen (yes, the one that’s Degeneres), I did like her wife’s wedding dress though 🙂
  • I am really sad they are cancelling The Nate Berkus Show, he was the only guy out there who knew what he was talking about – yes, people, THRIFT!
  • Black is becoming one of my favorite colors, now that I have to wear it 3 times a week, so if you see me wearing all black, know that I am not going to a funeral!
  • One of these days I am going to move back to NYC and there will be no more style to bring anywhere, because no one wants Minneapolis style in NYC!
  • I love driving around NOT in my car!
  • I am Russian, because I made great “pelmeni” from scratch for the first time last night!
  • When I wake up in the middle of the night, I speak broken English (a few months ago I spoke Russian, the US is taking over my brain!)
  • I am getting my Marc Jacobs watch in a few days, and oh I am going to post about it all over the place!
  • Cosmo magazine has no idea what it’s talking about most of the time. If you have any further questions on this issue – ask my husband!

Now if you are all wondering where is this coming from? Well, maybe Chelsea Handler has always been my hero and I am going to follow in her footsteps some day, meaning adopt a midget and start my own TV show!

Happy Monday everyone,

xo,

Z

 

Breaking the Rules, Boiling Borsch(t)

I often get asked for my borsch(t) recipe, why? Maybe because I have a horrible habit of posting everything on Facebook. But maybe because it is good, and other people want to join in on the Eastern European goodness.

We are going to start with some water, chicken broth cube and chicken:

   

     While the chicken is boiling, let’s take care of the vegetables! Get your peeler and knife ready 🙂

 Onions and Carrots first, because they need to be fried!

 Fried in oil, of course!

   Then come the potatoes:

   The cabbage and the beets (the beets are also supposed to be grated, I just forgot to take a picture!)

      Now it’s time to take the chicken back out and cut it up ! Did you think I was going to leave it like that?

   It’s time to throw it all in! Beets usually cook the fastest, so put them in last!

 So that’s where they keep the color:

   You are also going to want to use some of these:

 But remember: Balsamic Vinegar goes in after borsch(t) has cooled off. Can’t put it into a boiling hot pot!

Enjoy!

I know I will 🙂

And so will Sam!

xo,

ZhenyAH!

It’s the small things in life…

This morning while walking with Sam to work in the rain we were trying to find an entrance to the skywalk which is closer to our house, and taking a turn on w 14th street, we passed by this:

And if you read Russian, you will understand why I got so excited. So this afternoon, after I came back from the Mall of America, I decided to check the Russian pharmacy out!

And I can’t explain how happy I was to discover that they don’t only carry meds, but Russian chocolate, canned fish (shproty and seledka), a lot of herbs that I use for making tea, essential oils, tar soap(!), Russian toothpaste and shampoos

Of course everything is ridiculously overpriced 🙂 But at least the owner is nice and speaks English, which is perfect for Sam, because the store in St. Louis park is not very English-speakers friendly!

The other highlight of my day was going to the Mall of America with Kara, and even though schmucks from the Apple store didn’t want to give me a new charger for my Mac for free (I have one word for you and it’s not blog appropriate!), so much for getting Apple Care, we were able to get her a stunning bridesmaids dress from Macy’s!

What made your day today?

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