Kale Salad with Avocado and Mango

I am so excited that warmer weather is finally here. Now is the best time for healthy greens and fresh juicy mango. There is just not one single thing I don’t like about this salad. Trust me this is a salad you want to try.

Kale Salad with Avocado and Mango

Irina
Prep Time 10 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups kale finely chopped
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 large mango
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 5 tsp mandarin juice freshly squeezed
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 8 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Wash all the ingredients.
  • In a large bowl, add the kale, 2 tsp of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Massage until the kale starts soften(it will darken in color). Set it aside.
  • Meanwhile peel and dice mango into 1/2″ cubes.
  • Cut onion into half-moon slices.
  • Slice the avocado while it’s in its shell and gently scoop the slices with a spoon.
  • Finely chop the cilantro.
  • Squeeze juicy mandarin into a small bowl. Add honey, Dijon mustard, olive oil, salt and freshly ground black pepper. Whisk together.
  • Mix everything together, top with grated parmesan cheese and drizzle with dressing.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Ponchiki (Russian Doughnuts)

Every kid of the Soviet Union should remember the taste of golden and crunchy on the outside and fluffy and tender on the inside tvoroznye ponchiki. It’s a deep-fried piece of dough shaped into a small ball and covered with powdered sugar. They don’t just look delightful, they taste the same.

You don’t have to take a trip to Russia to get the real taste of ponchiki : I’ll be sharing my recipe with you today.

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Ponchiki (Russian Doughnuts)

If you couldn't find farmers cheese in your local grocery store, don't panic : use ricotta. This is a good substitute for farmers cheese. Very similar taste. But be sure to drain the water out of the ricotta.
Course Dessert
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Irina

Ingredients

  • 2 cups farmer cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • olive oil or vegetable oil to fry

Instructions

  • In a medium bowl, beat two eggs with sugar and salt, add baking soda and vanilla. Continue beating for 30 more seconds. Add two cups of farmers cheese and beat for 20 more seconds. Add flour and stir with a spatula. Dough will be sticky.
  • Using a small ice cream scoop, or wet hands form dough into a small balls.
  • In a large iron skillet, heat the oil until hot (350 degrees F). Add ponchiki, one at a time, and fry over medium heat until golden brown. Normally ponchiki roll over on their own, and you don't have to turn them over.
  • Lift them with tongs, drain on paper towel. Toss ponchiki in powdered sugar while they are still hot. You can serve them right away.

Potato Pancakes (Draniki)

One of my husband’s favorite food is draniki. Russian style potato pancakes. Perfect for breakfast or branch. I’ve seen draniki  recipes that use mashed potato also, but I personally prefer my potato to be coarsely  grated, because then you have more crispy ends. Traditionally draniki are served with sour cream, but you can also serve them with ketchup or cottage cheese.

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Potato Pancakes (Draniki)

You will need some extra olive oil, draniki absorb oil very fast.
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Irina

Ingredients

  • 6 medium potatoes washed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 50 ml buttermilk
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 50 g all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup olive oil (plus extra)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (optional)
  • fresh herbs (optional)

Instructions

  • Peel and grate potatoes. Squeeze grated potatoes with hands, extracting as much liquid as possible.
  • In a large bowl beet eggs, baking soda and buttermilk, add grated potatoes, salt, pepper and flour, mix well.
  • In a large iron skillet heat the olive oil until hot. Place the tablespoons of batter in the pan and flatten with spoon.
  • Reduce heat to medium and cook until the bottom is golden brown.Turn over and cook on the other side.
  • Garnish with fresh herbs and serve them hot with sour cream.

Creamy Vanilla And Chocolate Jelly

Creamy Vanilla And Chocolate Jelly is a very light and airy dessert, with a touch of sweetness. Who wouldn’t love chocolate and vanilla goodness in a cup? I always try to limit myself. This dessert is so simple to make and a great way to end a special dinner. It can be done the day before.

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Creamy Vanilla And Chocolate Jelly

You can also make it in one big baking pan and cut it into small squares.
Course Dessert
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
5 hours
Total Time 5 hours 20 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Author Irina

Ingredients

Vanilla layer

  • 1/2 cup water cold
  • 3 packs Knox original gelatin unflavored
  • 500 ml heavy whipping cream
  • 500 ml whole milk
  • 8 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract

Chocolate layer

  • 60 ml whole milk
  • 3 Tbsp water cold
  • 1/2 pack Knox original gelatin unflavored
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp cacao powder

Instructions

Vanilla layer

  • In a small bowl, sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup of cold water. Let stand for 5 minutes.
  • In a large saucepan, bring milk, heavy whipping cream, vanilla extract and sugar to a simmer, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved.
  • Add gelatin mixture and stir until dissolved. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Let it cool for 5 minutes, strain through a fine sieve.
  • Divide the mixture between 12 small glasses and place them in the fridge until firm (2-3 hours).

Chocolate layer

  • In a small saucepan, add milk and water. Sprinkle gelatin on top and set aside for 3 minutes. Add cacao powder and sugar, mix well.
  • Place over medium heat and heat until barely boiling, stirring constantly.
  • Remove from the heat and strain through a fine sieve. Let the mix cool down.
  • Remove the glasses from the refrigerator and pour the chocolate mixture on top of the vanilla jelly.
  • Refrigerate for 2 more hours.

Beef Rice Pilaf With Dry Barberry Berries

This is very delicious and flavorful rice. Perfect for special dinner with friends or just for your family. It may seem a little time consuming, but it’s worth it.

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Beef Rice Pilaf With Dry Barberry Berries

It is very important to put the raw garlic on top of the rice before covering everything with water.
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 minute
Total Time 21 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Author Irina

Ingredients

  • 2 cups rice Uncle Ben's Long Grain White Rice
  • 2 lb beef boneless stew beef
  • 4 large carrots
  • 2 onion
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 head garlic
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 5 Tbsp barberry dry berries
  • 1 Tbsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 Tbsp salt
  • 4 cups water hot

Instructions

  • Soak and rinse the rice, at least 2-3 times, then drain.
  • Cut beef into 1 inch pieces.
  • Peel and cut the carrots into thick matchsticks.
  • Peel and dice onion.
  • Heat the olive oil in an enameled cast iron dutch oven over a medium heat, add beef.
  • Cook beef for one hour on medium-low heat, stirring occasionally.
  • When the beef is fully cooked add onion and soften, stirring regularly for about 3 minutes.
  • Add carrots, spices, salt, pepper, bay leaf and dry berries. Cook for another 2 minutes, stirring regularly.
  • Layer the soaked rice over the top of the beef and vegetables. Peel some of the skin off the garlic head and slice the top off, exposing the garlic cloves. Put raw garlic head on top of the rice.
  • Carefully pour hot water over wooden spoon to ensure even distribution over rice. Do not stir.
  • Cover with lid. When it starts boiling, remove the lid to let the water almost evaporate.
  • Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook until the rice is tender and the rest of the liquid has been absorbed, about 15 minutes.
  • Mix the ingredients as you serve the pilaf on a platter. Garnish with garlic head.

Creamy Mushroom Pate

With a few simple tricks, you really can make this Creamy Mushroom Pate at home. Skip the store bought spreads and pates. Making it yourself is so, so easy and will be way tastier than just about anything from the deli department.

Mushroom Pate

Irina
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Servings 10 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 250 g mushrooms washed
  • 1 medium onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 8 oz cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 7 Tbsp olive oil
  • green onion optional

Instructions
 

  • Slice the mushrooms.
  • Peel and cut onion into half moons.
  • Peel and mince garlic.
  • Place a large frying pan over a high medium heat. Add 5 Tbsp of olive oil and sauté mushrooms for 10 minutes. Constantly stirring. Remove from heat and let cool.
  • Meanwhile, place a small frying pan over medium heat, add 2 Tbsp of olive oil and onion, and cook until golden brown.
  • Add minced garlic and sauté for one minute. Turn off the heat and allow it to cool.
  • Put half of the mushrooms and onion with garlic into a food processor or blender and pulse several times to combine.
  • Add the remaining mushrooms and cream cheese and puree.
  • Add salt and pepper and mix it with wooden spoon.
  • Serve on crostini, with green onion or any fresh herbs.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Pork Schnitzel

Schnitzel is the German word for “cutlet”, which is usually made with veal and is thinly pounded, breaded and fried in oil. I make my Schnitzel with pork and it tastes just amazing, soft inside and crispy outside.

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Pork Schnitzel

The trick to a tender, juicy schnitzel is not cutting the meat super thin, but rather using a meat tenderizer to pound the meat down to a 1/4 inch thickness.
Course Main Dish
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Author Irina

Ingredients

  • 2 lb pork tenderloin
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 lemon thinly sliced

Instructions

  • Cut the meat into 6 equal pieces. Place each piece between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound with the flat side of meat tenderizer, until about 1/4 inch thick.
  • You will need four large dinner plates: In the first plate, combine together flour, salt and pepper. Whisk eggs and milk in the second plate. In your third plate stir together paprika with bread crumbs. And one empty plate.
  • Dip each piece of meat one by one into the egg mixture.
  • Then dip into flour.
  • And again into egg mixture.
  • Then into bread crumbs.
  • Place your coated schnitzel on the plate number four.
  • Pour oil into a large skillet about 1/2 inch. Heat the oil over medium heat.
  • Once the oil is hot, carefully lay in each prepared schnitzel, cooking one at a time. Cook on each side for about 3 minutes. Turn it over to brown the other side.
  • Transfer to paper towel. Repeat with remaining pork slices.
  • Garnish with lemon slices and parsley.

Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken noodle soup has always been one of my favorite soups, for fall and winter. Every time I make this soup it makes the house smell deliciously welcoming. What make this soup special, is that I use Homemade noodles. You can add store bough ones, but it just wouldn’t taste the same.

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Chicken Noodle Soup

Course Soup
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 minute
Total Time 21 minutes
Servings 10 servings
Author Irina

Ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken throughly washed
  • 5 quarts cold water
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 bay leaf `
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 Tbsp black peppercorns
  • 1 cup homemade noodles
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 large carrots peeled and sliced
  • Fresh dill

Instructions

  • Place the chicken in a large soup pot. Add water, onion, bay leaf, dried rosemary, black peppercorn and salt. Cover with lid, bring the water to boil and simmer over medium low heat.
  • If you see the scum on your broth, remove it with slotted spoon.
  • Cook for 90 minutes, until chicken is tender and easily comes off the bone.
  • Transfer chicken to a large dish.
  • Strain the broth into a large bowl.
  • Wash your soup pot and pour broth back to a pot.
  • Add carrots. Bring to a boil.
  • Add the homemade noodles to the pot, turn the heat up to high and boil noodles until tender (about 7 minutes).
  • Using two forks, pull the meat from the bone and shred it slightly.
  • Return the shredded chicken to the pot when there is about 2 minutes left for the noodles to cook.
  • Add fresh dill, salt and pepper to taste.

Homemade Egg Noodles

Absolutely love these Homemade Egg Noodles! My sisters and I used to make them together when we were growing up. They are fabulous with chicken stock, or homemade Chicken Noodle Soup.

 

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Homemade Egg Noodles

If it's anyone's first time for making egg noodles, add the extra water or flour bits at a time until you get a dough that you can knee very easy and it will smooth out nice, when rolling on the floured surface.
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Author Irina

Ingredients

  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 Tbsp buttermilk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour (more flour for rolling)

Instructions

  • Use a fork to beat the eggs, until smooth. Add salt and buttermilk and whisk. Stir in flour, one spoon at a time, until the dough come together in a ball.
  • Flour a flat surface and roll the dough out.
  • Once the dough reaches 1/4 inches thickness, use a sharp knife or pizza cutting wheel to cut the dough. You can cut them as wide or narrow as you like, but cut them as evenly as possible ensure uniform cooking time.
  • Dust with a little flour and spread to dry.
  • Let the noodles dry for 2-3 hours.
  • Cook in 3 quarts boiling salted water for 5 minutes or until tender.
  • Drain and serve with butter.

Beets and beef borscht

Borscht is a traditional Russian and Ukrainian hot soup that is made with beef, beets and cabbage. It is popular in many Eastern European countries, and each country has its own recipe. This recipe is how my grandma used to cook.

Check my other soups on this website!

Beets and beef borscht

Irina
Traditionally, Russian borscht is prepared with beef, but you can make it with any meat you like.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 10 mins
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Servings 10 people

Ingredients
  

  • 1 1/2 pound slice of bone-in beef shank (with a lot of meat)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 15 cups water cold
  • 3 medium potatoes peeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 medium carrots peeled and shredded
  • 3 medium beets peeled and shredded
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 300 gr cabbage (about 1/2 small cabbage) shredded
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley chopped

Instructions
 

  • In the large pot, add the beef, one bay leaf, 2 teaspoons of salt and cold water. Bring to a boil.
  • Carefully remove the scum with a slotted spoon, or you can strain it and then start fresh with clean meat and clean water. Bring it to a boil one more time, then reduce heat to medium and simmer for about 50 minutes.
  • While your meat is cooking, get your veggies ready.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add grated carrots along with onion and sauté until nice and golden.
  • Add beets and cook for 4 minutes stirring. Then stir in the tomato paste and cook for another 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Once the meat is ready, add potatoes. Allow to simmer for about 10 minutes.
  • Add sliced cabbage into the stock and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the sautéed vegetables and cook for 5 more minutes.
  • Stir in parsley and sugar.
  • Taste the borscht for flavor. Feel free to add more salt and pepper.
  • Serve hot, with sour cream and bread.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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