Tag Archives: food and recipes

Apple pie with semolina

There are so many things I love about autumn!
Chose a day in our rush-life-time and stop! Stop and look around! You could see many bright colors, that golden fall has brought for you. Browny-orange and fiery red leaves are falling from trees. Gloomy and gray sky. Breeze in! Cooling and lightly burning air. 
 
What an amazing day to bake a warm apple pie! 🙂
Apple pie_1 
Ingredients:
 
Apples (pink lady) 3
Cottage cheese 100-150g (1/2-2/3 cups)
A handful of raisins, optionally
Butter 50-70g (4-5 Tbsp), melted
Semolina 150g (1 cup)
Flour 2Tbsp
Egg 1
Sugar 100g (1/2cup), I used brown  
Cinnamon 1/2 tsp, optionally
Baking soda 1tsp
Bread crumbs or crushed nuts (hazelnuts, almonds) 1-2Tbsp, optionally
 
I forget to put soda in the pie mixture sometimes, so don’t worry if you’ve done the same, the pie will be nice and tasty anyway! 😉
Using fine semolina makes the pie more fluffy, however, I used that time coarse-grained and the pie was none the worse.;)
Feel free to change a quantity of the ingredients to suit your own taste.
 
Method:
 
Slice the apples, sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon.  
Meanwhile, combine cottage cheese and egg. Add semolina, flour, soda and melted butter, mix.
Add apples, raisins and carefully combine.
Butter the baking pan, sprinkle some bread crumbles or crushed nuts, add the apple mixture.
Bake until golden color for 30-40 minutes. 200C/400F
 
Enjoy!!! 😀
 Apple pie_2
 

Russian kasha

 Kasha means porridge. One Russian proverb says “Bread and Porridge is our food”. A pot with a porridge and bread were the main food on a table many years back. A large varieties of cereals are produced in Russia, but the popular and loved one has been the buckweat.
 According to old Russian tradition, during the wedding a bridegroom and a bride had to cook a porridge together. If they could cooked a good, tasty porridge that meant they could get on with each other. A porridge was cooked for many occasions like a wedding or Christmas feast, birth or funeral repast. Sometimes a feast was called ‘kasha’. Every hostess had a personal recipe of porridge, which she kept in a secret. 
 
 In Russian cuisine a porridge is divided into 3 groups by it’s consistency: liquid (eaten as a soup), oozy (usually for children) and crumbly (the tastiest one). The consistency depends on a quantity of water or milk, in which porridge was cooked. Pumpkin_millet

Millet porridge with butter or lard added was the common meal for Russian labors, who had worked in fields. It’s can be eaten sweet (with sugar, honey, dried fruits) or savoury (with onion, garlic, mushrooms), as a main dish or garnish.
 Moreover, millet is rich in calcium, B vitamins, iron, potassium, and contain no gluten.

  
We need:

  • pumpkin
  • millet – 1 cup
  • water – 1/2 cup
  • milk – 1 cup
  • a knob of butter
  • few dried apricots
  • raisins
  • sugar – 1Tbsp
  • a pinch of salt
Take a pumpkin. 
Cut the lid and set aside. Clean all seeds out.
Put a knob of butter on the pumpkin bottom.
Wash millet thoroughly under running tab water. Mix with raisins and sliced dried apricots. 
Put the cereal mixture in the pumpkin. Add a pinch of salt and some sugar to taste. Pour the milk and water, cover with the lid.
Bake for 1-2 hours.
Open the lid. 
Tasty millet porridge in pumpkin pot is ready!
Serve with honey.
Pumpkin_millet-2 
P.S. For 1 cup millet take 1 cup milk+1/2 cup water. Sub millet with rice.
 
P.P.S. Don’t throw away seeds. Sprinkle over some sea salt and smoked paprika. Add olive oil and bake on a baking paper along with the pumpkin.

Stuffed capsicums. Russian recipe.

First of all, guys, have you seen Jamie Oliver’s live foodtube show yesterday? I’m a huge fan of him, he is so inspiring person! It started 12:30am Dubai time and today has been working day. I’ve honestly tried to watch it, but after half an hour I fell asleep:) Going to watch it today.

There are a large variety of fillings that are used for stuffed capsicums worldwide.

The most widely known in Russia is ground pork with rice. However, the concept has mutated to suit up-to-date needs, and peppers are filled with couscous, wild rice, cheese and etc.

Peppers_3

You need around 60-70g of the filling per capsicum.
 
8-10 medium-sized capsicums
500g ground pork/beef or 250g pork+250g beef (I used beef)
100-150g rice, short-grain preferably 
2 carrots, shredded
1 big onion, finely chopped
200g sour cream
100g tomato paste
200-400ml lukewarm water, I prefer veg stock
sunflower or olive oil for frying
salt, black pepper
small bunch of dill or parsley, chopped (optionally)

 

Wash the rice thoroughly, cook in 100ml of water until semi-done (around 7-8 minutes).

In a small pan over medium heat, fry carrots and onions until tender and they’ve get golden color.

Meanwhile, wash capsicums, cut the tops off each pepper and remove seeds. If peppers do not stand up straight, slice a little (!) off the bottom of the pepper to level it out.

Peppers_1Peppers_2Mix meat, cooked rice and 1/2 of veggies together (if you don’t like onion and carrot in filling, escape this step). Add salt, black pepper to taste. Fill the capsicums tightly and place in a baking dish.

In a bowl combine sour cream, tomato paste and the remaining 1/2 veggies together.

Pour the sauce in a large deep dish. Place the stuffed capsicums in.

Pour the stock or water slightly below the brim of the capsicums.

Close the dish with a lid, bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer on a lower-medium heat for 35-45 minutes.

Serve with the sauce, in which peppers were cooked, or sour cream.

Sprinkle over some fresh dill or parsley.

Peppers_4

Yummy! 🙂

Meatless or not Monday

It’s supposed to be Meatless Monday inspired by a recipe of veggie lasagne I came across here.

However, I found few strips of bacon in a fridge and had to use it. 😀
Below the adapted version of wonderful, yummy and cheesy lasagne! 
It’s a pretty flexible recipe and adding more vegetables would be tasty (peas or zucchini). I love chunky pieces of cottage cheese (also it’s a good source of Calcium!), but you can sub it with ricotta. 
Veg lasagna-2

Ingredients (serves 4):
6 sheets dried lasagna
300g cottage cheese
3-4 strips of smoked beef bacon, cut into medium pieces (escape it for veg option)
100g mozzarella cheese
50g pecorino cheese (or parmesan)
1 can*400g chopped tomatoes
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
10-15 basil leaves, chopped
100g spinach leaves, chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled
150-200ml vegetable or beef stock 
1tsp muscovado sugar (or any)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
 
 
Let’s cook it!
  • Heat a pan, fry bacon for 1 minute. Add garlic, onion, celery and fry until softened (during the process the garlic gives out the nice flavor, so at the end just take it out). Add the tomatoes, sugar and stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10-12 minutes. Add basil leaves. Season to taste with salt, pepper.
  • Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F.
  • Meanwhile, in warm water soak the lasagna sheets for 8-10 minutes.
  • Spread few spoons of the tomato sauce and chopped spinach in the base of greased gratin dish. Top with 3 sheets of lasagna then spread over half of the sauce and half of the cottage cheese.
  • Repeat layers. Spread over grated cheeses.
  • Bake for 30-40 mins until the top is golden. 

Serve with green salad and a glass of white wine. 😉

Veg lasagna-1

Sponge Cake with Strawberries

The summer is over in some countries, and autumn’s come. Hope you enjoy it!  If only it could be here for a day..

It was usual hot summer day, when ‘why not to make a nice cake with strawberries’ idea came into my mind. I went for the widely known sponge cake, which in Russia is often called biscuit cake. In the US it’s known as pound cake, while in the UK as Victoria cake. Pretty simple to make, could be layered with various berries and feelings.

I soaked sponges with cherry brandy to pep it up.  😉

strawberry cake-2

Ingredients for 20 cm/8 inch round pan:

200 g self-raising flour
3 large eggs
160 g butter, melted
100/150 g granulated sugar*
1 tbsp lemon or orange zest (optionally)
1 vanilla pod or 1 tsp vanilla extract (optionally)
a pinch of salt

For cream filling:

200 ml whipped cream
80/100 gr caster sugar*

For brandy syrup:

6 tbsp water
2 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp brandy**
300-400 g strawberries***
2 tbsp icing sugar

Directions:

  1.  Heat oven to 160C (350F). Butter and flour a cake pan.
  2. Whisk together eggs and sugar until light cream texture. Add melted butter, salt, lemon zest, vanilla extract and beat in.
  3. Sift the flour over bowl and gently start to fold in.
  4. Bake 25-30 minutes or until top of cake is golden.
  5. Meanwhile, prepare brandy syrup. Combine sugar and water in a saucepan, simmer until sugar is dissolved. Remove from a heat and stir in brandy.
  6. Remove the cake from oven, cool in a pan for 10 minutes. Take cake out of pan and put onto a wire rack and let it cool completely.
  7. While cake is cooling, cut strawberries into medium-thin slices. Sprinkle with icing sugar.
  8. Whisk whipped cream and sugar together (for 4-5 minutes).
  9. Time to assemble our cake. With long knife cut cake horizontally into 2 layers.  Brush each layer with brandy syrup. Spread 2/3 of strawberries over one layer, then half of whipped cream.  Cover with another sponge. Spread whipped cream over it, top with remaining strawberries.
  10. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Serve with tea and enjoy!

strawberry cake-1

*In every day life I consume very small amounts of sugar. In all recipes I put it roughly. But you can increase amount as much as you like it.

**Substitute brandy with cognac/rum or non-alco liquor. 

*** Substitute fresh strawberries with preserved.

1 13 14