Russian Season


Russian, Eastern European and international cuisine brought to you by a mother and a daughter

Spiced Poached Pears

Spiced Poached Pears with Syrup

I’ve done a little study on poached pears last night and found out there were so many ways to make this dessert that I could easily try one recipe per day for a whole week and still the desserts would be very different. The one I had in mind for a long time was Blushing Pears as posted on Foododelmundo, but then I realized I didn’t have any cranberries or raspberries for the juice, so I decided to try a very basic recipe for a start. I combined several recipes for pears poached in sugar syrup, added some honey and a splash of wine (I’m trying to avoid taking alcohol at the moment so just a little splash was good for me), plus some spice that I thought would go along well (it might sound bizarre but I really wanted some cilantro seeds in the syrup!!). I also added a few strips of orange peel and let them boil in the syrup for some 10-15 minutes until they turned translucent. Then I left them to cool and used as a decoration for the dessert.

I also have to note that while most recipes direct to poach pears for 10 to 20 minutes, I kept them simmering for almost 30 minutes. The South African pears I had were not too tender, but I wanted to have them as tender as possible without them losing their shape or becoming mushy of course. I was extremely careful to control their readiness, and about 27 minutes was just the perfect cooking time for me.

The poached pears had a pleasant yellow, translucent colour, a mild flavour with a subtle hint of spice, and tasted wonderful with syrup and vanilla ice cream. I also thought a pinch of diced nuts such as pistachios would be good to add, but unfortunately I didn’t have any at hand.

Spiced Poached Pear in Syrup

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Simple Cottage Cheese Cake

Simple Cottage Cheese Cake
You should never reveal your talents or skills at work if you want to reserve some time for your hobbies. Your boss and colleagues will immediately find a way to apply them. I don’t belong to that type of people for whom career is synonym of happiness; I do my job for a living. That’s why I panic every time I get included in a new project, a working group or in a brainstorming team. I wish I had never said I could edit web pages or make banners. I wish I had never said I could use the computer. I wish I were tiny and invisible. But you cannot be invisible if you’re a press officer and it’s the pre-election period. You must be optimistic, fresh and bursting with energy and ideas. Which eventually brings me to a state of complete stupor, so when I come home from work, all I want is hide under my blanket, sleep, and dream about being invisible to co-workers. Over the last weeks, I’ve been eating frozen string beans and other type of meals you can prepare in 10-15 minutes. I haven’t even opened my last issue of Bon Appetit. I haven’t been checking Tastespotting and Foodgawker…

This is just a recipe for a simple cottage cheese cake my Mum makes. It’s good fresh from the oven or cooled, with crème fraiche or berry jam. One of its main advantages is that it’s very simple to make.

I’m thinking of making lemon&lime sorbet tomorrow – that’s the most complicated dish for me to handle at this time. Wish me luck.

Simple Cottage Cheese Cake

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Are you curious to learn more about Eastern European cuisine? is a food blog run by two Russian-speaking women - a mother (Natalia) and a daughter (Alina) - living in Latvia. Natalia is a professional artist and Alina is the co-owner of a web directory of Russian-speaking businesses in Europe. We both cook and Alina writes posts and takes photos.
In our blog you'll find a range of (mostly tweaked&adapted) recipes from Russia, Eastern Europe, the Baltics, and former USSR. But we can't restrain ourselves from experimenting with other cuisines too :)
Stano is the guy behind the Slovak version of this blog. He is currently living and working in Latvia and is also known as the Man Who Makes Alina Eat A Lot Of Cakes, because he hardly ever eats cakes or pies she bakes. He doesn't have a sweet tooth, you see. Stano also provides us with traditional Slovak recipes - such as Halušky that he's been promising to make for 7 months now :) Just be patient - we're sure he will eventually do it!
Ivanka is the largest cross-cultural project Alina and Stano have been ever involved in:) We hope she will be a foodie too when she grows up!
Our email address is:

Priyatnovo appetita! (Bon appetit!)

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