It surely wasn’t San Francisco weather, it was the calendar, that reminded me of all the amazing months we spent at babushka’s every year: playing in her beautiful garden; eating cherries, apples, and pears fresh off the trees; picking the sweetest strawberries EVER… and slaving, slaving, slaving in the vegetable garden.
Ohm.. Our hose was useless since the water pressure was so low. We filled huge buckets with water over night, and irrigated the whole plantation manually. And if that was not enough – there were also disgusting tasks – like picking up bugs from the potato leaves, or tortures tasks like pruning. So, you can imagine my love for growing all things green – there isn’t any!
Once in a while I would buy a huge plant at The Home Depot and put the black plastic container it comes with into a nice ceramic one.That’s been my idea of gardening for years.
During my mom’s visits here, such plants would be watered on regular basis and somewhat loved (by mom). Then she would leave. The plant would survive (miraculously or because of whatever drugs The Home Depot stuffs it with) for a few months, and then I’d have to replace it with a new one.
The food blogging community touched some strings in me, that I thought didn’t exist. So, this year, the kids and I planted some herbs and flowers. This time, I controlled the amount of stuff we are going to grow (or kill).
Luckily, our San Francisco yards are tiny. Strangely enough, the kids love to water the new greens. Don’t ask me why. Silly things! They also keep looking for pixie dust, and leave cookies and milk for ferries before going to bed. Sorry, Santa.
The stuff my husband brings from farmers markets nowadays makes me want to shake the winter hibernation off with some fresh healthy recipes. I know, right? What’s happening to me?! Well, I guess all the things green and juicy and flavorful, and not kale are quite inspiring. Plus they are reminding that there is a slight (very slight, but…) chance of sunny days on the horizon, and low possibly (but still a possibility!!!) of a t-shirt-kind of day, and that perhaps we should get into a t-shirt appropriate shape!
Here is something healthy and delicious to celebrate the spring!
Say goodbye to Heinz! This homemade ketchup is a parade of flavors and is a great present for any kitchen: carnivore or vegetarian. It could be stored in a fridge for up to 1 month. Yields: 3 8-oz bottles
Low calCalories 42kcal
fat FreeTotal Fat 0g
sat-fat FreeSaturated Fat 0g
chol FreeCholesterol 0mg
carbsTotal Carbohydrate 11g
Serving size64gCalories from fat0kcalFiber1gProtein0gSugar9g
1mediumyellow onion, smoked
2 x 14.5-ozcansofdiced tomatoes
1/2cup firmly packed light brown sugar
Juice of1orange, strained
Juice of1/2grapefruit, strained
Juice of1/2lemon, strained
2 1/2tspsea salt
1/4tsp freshly ground black pepper
Process tomatoes in a blender on high speed for about 2 minutes or until smooth. Pour processed tomatoes into a dutch oven.
Process onion, garlic and capers in a blender until smooth for about 2 minutes. Add brown sugar, and process to incorporate for about 1 minute. Add the remaining ingredients, and process one more time for about 30 seconds.
Pour the onion blend over the tomatoes and mix with a wooden spoon. Bring the mixture to boil on medium heat. Lower, the heat, and let steam for 50 minutes to 1 hour, until it reaches ketchup consistency; stirring occasionally.
In the meantime, sterilize the bottles or let them go through a full dishwasher cycle.
Using a funnel, ladle the ketchup into the bottles, leaving ½ inch headspace. Wipe the rims and secure the lids. Label, and refrigerate.
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!
In Russia we say that the way to man’s heart goes through his stomach. If that is true, the road to my husband’s heart is paved with vegetarian burritos, pizza, and this quinoa salad.
It’s perfect for winters when all you see at the farmers markets are chard and kale. It’s so hearty, it could be served as your main dish. We use whatever there is in the fridge – I chop up fresh vegetables that we like to eat raw and top them with cooked ones (doesn’t matter hot or cold). Voilà!
If only I had Dave’s taste buds and didn’t crave a dessert after this….
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!