This report has been brought to you from a special place where we had no internet, only 2 and a half TV channels, intermediate phone service, and issues with water pressure… Yet, the 3 weeks we spent there are beating all the awesomeness charts! In June I gulped a can of courage pills, loaded my 4 and 2 year-olds on an airplane, waved bye bye to the husband, and took the kids on a 30-something hour trip to my homeland!
So, here are some shots and recipes from our visit to Russia, where my children were running in my grandmother’s garden, in the house where my mother was born, where I spent so many happy days, and where you don’t need special photo props to give recipes a hint of old country.
My son met my babushka, godmother, and two aunts. All these ladies were introduced to him as babas. One evening I asked him, “Who do you love?”
Hello from CA (and I mean Carboholics Anonymous, not the state)! I must admit, this Russian mom fell off the wagon again with a crazy week-long baking spree. Why? Because she finally nailed the perfect pie crust recipe. I know, disastrous right?!
To top that, it’s rhubarb season in CA (the state). So, I think you can guess what I’ve been up to! There is a rhubarb pie bubbling in the oven right now… ohm… my 3rd this week.
The rhubarb pie recipe (my new favorite, can’t you tell!?) is to follow in a later post (once my hands stop shaking from all that sugar, and I take some photos). Here is everything on how to make the flaky pie dough I’m so much in love with!
This doesn’t just make a fabulous crust; it also is very easy to remember. The flour to butter to water ratio is 3 to 2 to 1. Add a quarter of a teaspoon of salt for each 100 grams of flour and you got yourself The Perfect Dough! This recipe yields two 9 inch pie shells.
fatTotal Fat 10g
High sat-fatSaturated Fat 6g
carbsTotal Carbohydrate 14g
Serving size38gCalories from fat93kcalFiber1gProtein2gSugar0g
Measure water, dissolve salt in it, and place it in the fridge
Cut butter into pea-sized cubes and place in the freezer for at least 20 minutes.
To make the dough combine cold butter and flour and pulse briefly until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
Slowly add cold water and pulse again for several seconds until the dough begins to come together in a ball but not completely smooth. There still will be butter chunks. If needed, finish kneading with your hands until the dough forms into a ball (try to handle the dough as little as possible).
Separate the dough into disks, 1-inch thick. Wrap them in plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Roll disks on floured surface one at a time to 1/8 inch thick. Carefully line the baking dish with the dough, overlapping about ½ inch (the dough will shrink during baking)
For recipes that call for uncooked shell, refrigerate until ready to use.
For baked shells, preheat oven to 375⁰F/190⁰C. Line the shells with parchment paper and fill with pie weights (I use dry beans). For partially baked shells, bake for about 20 minutes, remove weights. Carefully poke with a fork the dough if it bubbled during the baking. Bake for another couple more minutes. For a fully baked shell, bake for about 25 minutes till light brown. Remove the weights, poke the dough, and bake for another 5 minutes till the dough is golden brown.
Let the shells cool completely on wire racks before filling.
The dough could be made a day in advance and refrigerated. Cooked shells will keep for up to a week in the fridge, or for up to two weeks in the freezer.
We, Russians, like to take our time with everything (I can see my husband nodding here). This year it includes Easter celebrations. Russian Orthodox Easter is on the 5th of May. Naturally, I’m taking my time to publish this traditional recipe. Last year I was a bit unprepared, and paskha didn’t look anything like it supposed to; but I’m well equipped now. If you like cheesecake kind of substances, here is a delicious no-bake dessert!
Another traditional Russian Easter dish, a symbol of joy and blissful eternity.
fatTotal Fat 7g
sat fatSaturated Fat 4g
carbsTotal Carbohydrate 13g
Serving size43gCalories from fat63kcalFiber0gProtein6gSugar11g
300g low-fat farmers cheese
300g low-fat sour cream
1tspvanilla bean paste
Mash fresh dry farmers cheese through a strainer. Add sour cream and mix to incorporate. Fold a cheese cloth 2-3 times and place the farmers cheese mixture in the center. Make a bundle and tie it above the sink or a deep dish for 12 hours.
After the whey is strained, add the remaining ingredients. Mix to incorporate.
Line the paskha mold with a thin layer of fresh cheese cloth. Fill it in with the farmers cheese mixture. Press a weight on top of the mold and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
Carefully remove the mold and peel off the cheese cloth. Garnish with fresh berries, raisins, chocolate or caramel. Traditionally a candle would be placed on top of paskha.
To add some zing to the flavor, soak raisins in rum for about 30 minutes. Drain before adding the raisins to paskha.
I’m so excited to present the beautiful entries of all the amazing food bloggers that decided to participate in our parade! If you are anything like me (a pathological baker and a dessert addict), you would appreciate these guilt-free showpieces! Enjoy!
I recently found Katja’s blog and I’m infatuated! Her recipes are wonderful. She is also a very talented artist, a terrific photographer; and I think her home-improvement projects are simply brilliant.
I asked Christina to display one of her posts, because I’m a huge fan. I actually abuse her blog as my own cookbook – her recipes are so simple and delicious! Coincidentally, this one is the only chocolate-less delight today!
“My life is a perfect graveyard of buried hopes,” I thought today, looking at the scale. The quote, of course, is from my favorite “Anne Of Green Gables”. The feelings are genuinely mine. I am certain, my love for desserts and baking has absolutely nothing to do with them…
So, today, purely to prove I’m not in denial, we are trying something new, and hope you will jump on board! I suggest we make a parade of skinny desserts. If you want to participate – the rules are very simple:
Make a dessert under 200 calories per serving;
Post the recipe and photos in your blog with a link to this entry;
Leave a comment here, letting me know you are in.
Next week on Thursday, I will show off your photos with respective links in one blog post.
This fudge reminds me of Mexican hot chocolate because of its cinnamon flavor; and the nuts and melted chocolate chunks make it irresistible
fatTotal Fat 8g
sat fatSaturated Fat 4g
carbsTotal Carbohydrate 25g
Serving size46gCalories from fat72kcalFiber2gProtein3gSugar18g
3/4cupall purpose flour
1/2cup packed brown sugar
1cup bittersweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350⁰F (175⁰C). Coat a 9-inch square metal baking pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
Place flour, sugars, cocoa, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper in a large mixing bowl.
Spread walnuts over ungreased rimmed baking sheet and roast them in the preheated oven for about 7 minutes.
Place milk and ½ cup of chocolate in a small sauce pan. Cook on low heat, stirring until the chocolate melts (about 3 minutes). Set aside. Lightly beat the eggs. Stir in eggs and melted butter with the milk mixture. Pour the milk mixture to the bowl with the dry ingredients and stir to incorporate. Mix in the remaining ¼ cup of chocolate chunks and walnuts.
Bake at 350⁰F (175⁰C) for about 27 minutes or until a wooden toothpick, inserted in the center, comes out with moist crumbs attached to it. Cool on in a pan on a wire rack.
Privet! My name is Anastasia. I was born and raised in Russia, and moved to the States in my early 20s. I am a stay-at-home mom of two beautiful babies and a wife of their wonderful dad. I’m living the dream, loving my family to pieces, and getting lost in books when I’m not busy chasing the kids around the house!