Sunday Breakfast: Healthy Morning Bake

 When I wake up in the late morning or almost afternoon I need something quick, tasty and preferably high-protein, like this morning bake. You need max 10 minutes to assemble all ingredients together, including calcium-rich and diet-friendly cottage cheese, always-adored vanilla and some fruits! While, it’s baking you have enough time for the morning routine. And don’t forget to prepare a freshly-brewed tea: English Breakfast or White tea is a good pairing for this healthy treat. Have a lovely weekend, guys! :)Healthy Morning bake

Healthy Morning Bake

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Time: 30-40minutes
  • Difficulty: very easy
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1 egg, at room temperature
2 tbsp white sugar (or more to taste)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
180-200g tvorog (cottage cheese)
2 tbsp semolina
few tbsps of full-fat milk
1 large apple
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 large banana
1 tbsp brown or raw sugar, optional
1 tsp butter for greasing
sweet condensed milk or sour cream, for serving
Preparation method
  • Wash, peel (optional) and grate apple, drizzle with lemon juice and set aside. Slice banana.
  • In a small bowl, add semolina and some milk just to cover it, microwave on a high temperature for few seconds until it’s warm.
  • Beat or whisk the egg with sugar, vanilla and cinnamon for few minutes.
  • In a large bowl, smash tvorog with a folk to make it smooth.
  • Add semolina and beaten egg mixture into tvorog; stir to combine. Mix in grated apple.
  • Grease the baking tin. Arrange half of banana slices on the bottom, sprinkle with brown sugar (optional). Pour in tvorog mixture. Top with the rest banana slices and sprinkle with more brown sugar, if desired.
  • Bake in preheated 200C oven for 25-30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, boil the fresh water and make a teapot of your favourite tea. Cut a good slice of the tvorog-bake and serve with a dollop of sour cream or drizzle with sweet condensed milk.
  • Enjoy!

Tvorog-apple-banana Bake

Oven fries and homemade potato seasoning

 Many of us like potato fries/chips, and I’m not an exception. :D Yes, I know that they are not healthy.. But if your diet is balanced and healthful most of the time, you can have one cheat day during a week or so. However, it’s certainly preferable to make your own homemade fries. And I mean roasted fries instead of those deep-fried and greasy. My secret to great and tasty fries is a special spice mix, that I prepare myself: for that you need to combine rosemary, turmeric, paprika and some other spices (look at the recipe below). This seasoning suits perfectly to both regular and sweet potatoes. Once tried, you might want to make a larger jar next time! ;)Oven roasted potato fries

 Enjoy your aromatic snack!

Oven fries and homemade potato seasoning

  • Time: 1hr
  • Difficulty: easy
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Oven roasted fries
Sweet or regular potatoes
Potato seasoning
Olive oil
  • Wash and peel potatoes. Cut them into slices (or wedges if you like), put in a large bowl of cold water. Soak for a 20-30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 200C/400F.
  • Drain potatoes and pat dry on a kitchen towels (or use kitchen paper).
  • Put potatoes on a baking tray, generously sprinkle with potato seasoning and drizzle with a bit of oil. Spread into one layer.
  • Bake for 30 minutes. If you have a broiler – broil it for 6-7 minutes more.
  • Enjoy as is, or with your favourite sauce or as a side dish to chicken or meat.
Potato Seasoning
2-3 tsp dried rosemary (whole or crushed)
1/2 tsp dried oregano leaves, crushed
1.5 tsp turmeric
1.5 tsp coriander, crushed
1 tsp sweet paprika
1/3-1/2 tsp hot smoked paprika
1/2-1 tsp curry, optional
sea salt, to taste
freshly ground coarse black and white pepper, to taste
Happy cooking!

Carrot rolls with orange marmalade

When the sun is shining almost every day, you’ve got an inexpressible feeling when it starts raining. You can breeze in fresh and cool air. All day has been gloomy, cool and windy. I made a huge mountain of these rolls early today. Then I wrapped up myself in a cozy blanket, filled a cup with my favorite Earl Grey tea, took few carrot rolls and sat outside to enjoy the sound of rain!Carrot rolls with orange marmalade These freshly baked rolls with orange taste and cinnamon-ginger aroma added a real autumn-note to my day. Carrot rolls

Carrot rolls with orange marmalade

  • Servings: for crowd
  • Time: 1hr
  • Difficulty: moderate
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You can make the dough one day ahead.
*You can substitute orange marmalade with apricot or peach jam. 


300g plain flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/3 tsp ginger powder
a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1/3 fine salt
150g washed, cleaned carrots, finely grated
150g butter, cold
100g sour cream (20% fat)
2-3 Tbsp white sugar (you can add more to suit your taste)
orange marmalade (with orange peel)*
dry-roasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
Preparation method
  1. In a large mixing bowl, sift the flour and add spices. Cut butter into small cubes or grate it. Rub into the flour mixture until you get coarse crumbs. Mix in grated carrots.
  2. In another bowl whisk sour cream with sugar, fold into batter. You should get a soft dough. You may add a bit more flour if needed.
  3. Divide the dough into 2 parts and shape disks, cover each with a plastic wrap and put into the fridge for 30 minutes or overnight.
  4. Take one part of the dough from the fridge and roll it into a 2mm-thick circle. Cut into triangles; the size is up to you.  Spread 1-2 teaspoons of orange marmalade on each triangle, add a teaspoon of hazelnuts and roll into croissant shape. Repeat with the second part of the dough.
  5. Arrange rolls on a lined baking tray. Sprinkle with more hazelnuts, if desired. Bake in preheated 190C oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden-brown.
  6. Serve warm or cooled.
Carrot rolls with marmalade and hazelnuts

Sunday Breakfast: Savory bread pudding

  During the week I’m trying not to buy an extra loaf of bread, if I still have some leftover. But when I see a freshly-baked croissants it’s so hard to resist.. And the poor leftover bread is lying and waiting to be used somehow. Though I use leftover bread and make breadcrumbs with herbs or croûtons for a soup-puree, but sometimes I simply do not need it. Several years back when I started being interested in various cuisines and tried to cook different recipes, I stumbled upon one English recipe – ‘bread pudding’. I was surprised how simple this dish is, and lately – how trendy it can be. It dates back to the early 11th century England and was a popular dish among poor classes, because leftover bread was used for this frugal meal. We have similar dish in Russian cuisine, which is called ‘grenki’ (fried bread); for that we just dip white bread slices into a mixture of eggs, milk and sugar, and then fried it. But what I like the most in English version, that I can bake it and even make it a night ahead. Plus there are endless possibilities for bread pudding: I can add soaked raisins, fresh peaches or any other available berries, vary the type of bread and even make it savory! And that’s what I did this time – I cleaned up my fridge and used not only bread leftovers, I added fried mushrooms with onions (have got some from a pie filling), some peas and cheese. Simple and tasty! :)Savory Bread Pudding

Savory bread pudding

  • Servings: 2
  • Time: 30mins
  • Difficulty: very easy
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Also tried to add some fried smoked bacon, it adds a nice smell and taste.
few white bread slices, cut into cubes
2 eggs
80ml full-fat milk
1/2 dried thyme
salt, freshly ground black pepper, to taste
fried onions+ mushrooms
a handful of peas (if using frozen, no need to defreeze)
50g feta or mozzarella cheese, cut into cubes
some grated parmesan, optional
1-2 tsp butter or oil, for greasing baking dish
  • Preheat oven to 190C. Grease a baking dish, arrange bread cubes.
  • In a bowl, whisk eggs with milk and spices. Pour over bread crumbs, mix with your hands or a spoon.
  • Mix in fried mushrooms, onions and peas. Season with some extra pepper. Put in the oven for 14-15 minutes.
  • Take the dish out and top with feta or mozzarella cubes. Sprinkle with some parmesan as well, if using. Put back into the oven for 5 minutes more.

Serve immediately for breakfast! Enjoy!

P.S. Even if the bread is too stale, don’t throw it – go outside and feed birds! :)
Savory Bread Pudding with mushrooms and peas

Oatmeal Cookies with dates

 There are thousands recipes of oatmeal cookies, I guess. Needless to say, I prefer homemade cookies to store-bought. Homemade is homemade, right? Plus I can vary the amount of sugar, thus you can feel that you’re eating oat cookies, not sugary cookies with oats! And of course, you can add your fav nuts or chocolate chips as much as you like. :D Personally, I don’t like chocolate chips in cookies. I add it sometimes too, but almost never do it; choco chips contain more sugar than pure chocolate; so if I deliberately reduce the sugar in a recipe why should I add more sugar but in another form.. I prefer roughly chopped dark chocolate, it’s healthier and adds much more flavour and taste! Add a small handful of dried berries or fruits for extra deliciousness! :)Oatmeal cookies with dates-1

 So, it’s my fav oatmeal cookies recipe. What’s yours? :)

Oatmeal Cookies with dates

  • Servings: 20-22 cookies
  • Time: 20-30mins
  • Difficulty: easy
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Instead of dates you can add some black raisins or dried cherries.
Addition of chopped dark chocolate make cookies only better. 
IngredientsOatmeal cookies
170g butter, soft at room temperature
35g brown sugar
35g golden caster sugar (or more brown sugar)
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
50g plain flour
50g fine oats
1/2 tsp fine salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2-1  tsp cinnamon
a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
200-220g oats
80-100g roasted walnuts, roughly chopped
6-8 large dates, stoned and chopped
  1. In a bowl, whisk flour with fine oats, salt, baking powder and spices.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter with sugars until creamy about 2 minutes. Beat in egg and vanilla.
  3. Add flour mixture into cookie batter and whisk/beat until combined.
  4. Stir in oats, walnuts and dates.
  5. Line 2 baking trays with parchment. Scoop in cookies, leaving the space between cookies about 4-5cm. With wet hand flatten the cookies slightly.
  6. Bake in preheated 180C oven for 15 minutes or until light golden.
Enjoy with a glass of cold milk!
Oatmeal cookies with dates and walnuts