Virgin Mojito

Just because I don’t drink alcohol doesn’t mean that I have to stick with plain water… This virgin mojito is a perfect beverage for any family and friends gatherings.  There are many ways to make virgin mojito.  Personally, I think the version with Ginger Ale tastes the best.

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Virgin Mojito

Course Drinks
Prep Time 7 minutes
Total Time 7 minutes
Servings 15 people
Author Irina

Ingredients

  • 4 limes
  • 2 lemons
  • 1 big bunch of mint
  • 10 cups ice cubes
  • 2 (1.5 L) bottle of sparkling water or club soda
  • 1 (1 l) bottle of ginger ale

Instructions

  • Slice lemons and limes.
  • In a big jar combine the limes, lemons, fresh mint and ice cubes together.
  • Top with sparkling water, Ginger Ale and stir.

Okroshka (Cold Slavic Soup)

Okroshka is a soup, mostly served in summer and always served cold. The ingredients are diced and then mixed with kvass. The ratio of chopped vegetables to kvass is similar to that of cereal to milk. There are tons of different okroshka recipes, but every okroshka must contain green onion, radishes, cucumber, potatoes, boiled eggs and dill.

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Okroshka (Cold Slavic Soup)

The word "okroshka" come from Russian word "kroshka" (crumbs) and means "made of crumbs". All ingredients must be finely diced.
Course Soup
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Author Irina

Ingredients

  • 4 hard boiled eggs diced
  • 2 boiled potatoes peeled and cut into small cubes
  • 1 medium english cucumber peeled and cut into small cubes
  • 8 slices (300g) bologna finely diced
  • 6-7 radishes thinly diced
  • 1/2 bunch dill finely diced
  • 1/2 bunch green onion finely diced
  • 2 l kvass
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • sour cream for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  • Chop all ingredients.
  • Now is the time to turn the salad into a soup. Pour the kvass over the chopped vegetables and mix gently. Add salt and pepper according to taste.
  • Let the veggies soak all the flavors for about 2-3 hours in the refrigerator before serving. Serve cold with sour cream. Okroshka will taste even better the following day.

Ground Beef Hardshell Tacos

These are to die for tacos. I’ve made it so many times and each time, it turns out so great. It goes awesome with Virgin Mojito.

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Ground beef hardshell tacos

Course Main Dish
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 5 servings
Author Irina

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 3 Tbsp taco seasoning
  • 5 Tbsp cold water
  • 1/2 cup cheese shredded
  • 2 cups lettuce shredded
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 10 taco shells hard

Instructions

  • Fully cook the ground beef. Drain extra grease. Add water and taco seasoning then cook for 3 more minutes.
  • Dice tomatoes.
  • Cut avocado into small cubes.
  • Shred lettuce.
  • Finely chop cilantro.
  • Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place empty taco shells on a cooking sheet and bake for 5 minutes.
  • Assemble each taco with meat mixture, tomatoes, avocado, cilantro and lettuce. Top it with sour cream and salsa. Sprinkle with shredded cheese. Serve immediately.

Beef And Feta Pasta Dinner

Pasta and ground beef is nothing new, but when you add feta cheese, onion and fresh dill to it, it takes your pasta to a whole different level. Enjoy this Beef And Feta Pasta Dinner!

Beef And Feta Pasta Dinner

Irina
You might seriously consider making a double batch of this Beef and feta pasta dinner because your family will definitely ask you for more.
Prep Time 35 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 500 g pasta uncooked
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 200 g feta cheese

Instructions
 

  • Peel and chop the onion.
  • Coat the bottom of a skillet with olive oil. Add onion and sauté until softened and brown, stirring once in a while.
  • While the onion is cooking, cook pasta, according to the package directions. Drain pasta and set aside.
  • Fully cook the ground beef. Drain grease. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Use your hands or the tines of a fork to crumble the feta cheese.
  • Add onion, ground beef and crumbled feta to cooked pasta. Shower on a generous dusting of fresh dill and using two spoons, toss the pasta well.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Potato salad (Russian salad)

This is the most traditional Russian salad we make for any holiday, and New Year’s Eve is the biggest holiday of all, when “Olivier” would be on all tables. What makes it more special is “leftovers”… You can eat it the next day and joke that the salad is from last year.

If you like it, try other salads from my cooking blog!

Potato salad (Russian salad)

Irina
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Servings 8 people

Ingredients
  

  • 4 large potatoes
  • 3 medium carrots
  • 7 hardboiled eggs
  • 1 lb bologna
  • 7 pickles
  • 1/2 raw onion
  • 1 can peas (14 oz)
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Cook potatoes and carrots in a medium pot in their skins until tender. Do not overcook.
  • Peel the vegetables and eggs.
  • Cut the potatoes, carrots, bologna, eggs, pickles and onion into small 1/4 inch squares.
  • Mix all the ingredients with mayonnaise, salt and black pepper. Chill salad before serving.
  • For a fancier presentation, serve it in mini cups.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Walnut Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Once baked, the walnuts get that gooey-caramel and crunchy coating. Your guests will love that Walnut Pineapple Upside-Down Cake.

Walnut Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Irina
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Servings 8 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 7 rings pineapple slices drained
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup all purpose flour sifted
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup walnuts chopped

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9-10 inch round cake pan. Place pineapple slices on the bottom of the pan.
  • In a large bowl, beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla on high speed for about 8 min. Slowly add flour. Using a spatula fold in gently. Continue until all of the flour mixture is incorporated.
  • Add chopped walnuts.
  • Carefully spoon mixture into a pan cake.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  • Cool for at list 10 minutes, then turn the pan over onto a serving plate. Wait 30 seconds then lift the pan off.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Turkey Potato Casserole

“Without the potato, the balance of European power might never tilted north”. (Michael Pollan)

Turkey Potato Casserole is very personal, everyone makes theirs differently. I make my Turkey Potato Casserole with shredded potato.

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Turkey Potato Casserole

Course Main Dish
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Author Irina

Ingredients

  • 1 large onion
  • 1 1/2 pound lean ground turkey
  • 6 medium russet potatoes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 Tbsp water
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese shredded

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Dice onion as finely as you can.
  • Mix together ground turkey with onion, add salt ant pepper to taste.
  • Place the turkey mix in an even layer on the bottom of a 9x13 inches baking dish.
  • Peel and shred potatoes.
  • Spread the shredded potatoes evenly over turkey.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together sour cream, eggs and water. Add 1/2 tsp of salt.
  • Evenly pour the egg mixture over casserole and sprinkle with cheddar cheese.
  • Bake uncovered for 55 minutes, or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.
  • Serve it hot with sour cream and cilantro.

Lemon Cake

I’ve always had a sweet tooth. Whether it be a plain piece of dark chocolate or a decadent caramel cheesecake, I can’t remember the last time I turned down dessert. My mouth  waters every time I see or think of this Lemon Cake. Each time I’m at Starbucks, I know what I will be ordering. I can’t guarantee  this Lemon loaf tastes exactly like Starbucks, I personally think it’s better. You tell me. 🙂

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Lemon Cake

Course Dessert
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Author Irina

Ingredients

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp lemon juice freshly squeezed
  • 1 tsp lemon extract
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup yogurt (I use Greek yogurt)
  • 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour sifted
  • 2 tsp baking powder

Icing

  • 1 cup confectioner's sugar
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice freshly squeezed

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a loaf pan.
  • Combine eggs and sugar.
  • Add lemon zest, lemon juice and lemon extract.
  • Add vegetable oil and mix.
  • Gradually add greek yogurt and mix until combined.
  • Stir in baking powder.
  • Slowly add flour. Blend until smooth.
  • Pour the batter into the baking pan. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and quickly cover the pan with aluminum foil, and return to the oven, for the last 10 minutes, to prevent excess browning.
  • Cool the loaf in a pan for 15 minutes. Remove from pan to wire racks to cool completely.
  • Whisk confectioners' sugar with lemon juice until smooth. Spoon evenly over the loaf and let sit for about 30 minutes.

Lemon Rosemary Salmon

Tasty, simple and beautiful looking dish for everyday or special occasions.

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Lemon Rosemary Salmon

Course Main Dish
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author Irina

Ingredients

  • 4 salmon fillets remove bone and skin
  • 1 large lemon thinly sliced
  • 8 spring fresh rosemary washed
  • 8 Tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp paprika

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  • Add 4 Tbsp of olive oil to baking dish. Place one slice of lemon and one rosemary spring under each salmon fillet.
  • Add salt, pepper and paprika evenly over salmon and place one slice of lemon and one rosemary spring on top of salmon.
  • Drizzle 4 Tbsp of olive oil over salmon.
  • Bake 25 minutes until salmon is flaky.
  • Place salmon on serving platter and enjoy.

Bread Kvass

A traditional Russian bread kvass is a fermented and carbonated beverage in which the main components are Rye bread, yeast, sugar, water and raisins. In Russia kvass is used in some cold recipes such as okroshka.

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Bread Kvass

Course Drinks
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Total Time 14 hours 21 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Author Irina

Ingredients

  • 3 l boiled water room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp active dry yeast
  • 10 slices Rye bread
  • 3 Tbsp raisins optional

Instructions

  • Slice Rye bread.
  • Position a rack in the upper third of an oven and preheat the broiler. Arrange bread slices on a baking sheet. Broil the slices until dark brown, turning them over only once, about 3-4 minutes per side.
  • In a large bowl, mix together active dry yeast, sugar and water. Place bread and raisins in 3 Mason jars and fill the jars with water.
  • Cover the jars with lid or plastic wrap and let it stand on the countertop for 6-8 hours at room temperature, stir the mixture occasionally.
  • Carefully remove the toasted bread and raisins and discard them. Using a strainer pour the kvass into empty jars or plastic containers and place in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Serve chilled and ENJOY!

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