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

Slovak Bread Fondue

Slovak Bread Fondue
As soon as I saw this recipe I knew Stano would love it. There was a lot of cheese and a lot of bread in it, and bacon and spring onions - and it was baked (his second favourite after fried)! So I made it on a Saturday while the children were sleeping, and we even managed to watch about 1/5 of The Artist while munching on this delicious and flavourful fondue. Then the kids woke up and the same old story began… it took us 3 evenings to watch the entire movie!

And yes, you read right - there’re now four of us! Our little Milena was born in late April, she is a Dragon by Chinese horoscope (which I think is pretty cool), she has dark hair and is a little copy of her father - again! I was sure our second baby would look more like me, but no - she’s another tiny clone of Stano.

Milena

I’ve missed food blogging so much, so I’ll try to post new recipes every now and then. Not sure I’ll be able to reply to all the comments that have been added ever since though! Sorry - and a huge thankyou for your feedback, your suggestions and your questions! And here’s the recipe for this brilliant fondue cooked and served in a loaf of bread. There will be no dishes to wash after the meal, as the “spoons” are made of bread too!

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Sea Buckthorn Juice

Sea Buckthorn Juice in a small jar

Yesterday Ivanka finally allowed me to go veggie-shopping to the farmers’ market. She is learning to walk and she refuses to stay in her stroller for more than 15 minutes. The farmers’ market, however, is located in a 25 minutes walk from our home. She can make a few steps on her own or walk for a longer time holding my hand, but this distance is still too long for her. Besides, where would I put all my bags if not into a stroller? I missed the splendid farmers’ market so much. The small market we have across the street just doesn’t compare with it - giant carrots, stinky garlic (last year’s leftovers?) and wrinkled blueberries are some of my anti-favourites.  So I was extremely happy when Ivanka graciously allowed me to take her to that further market! We bought as much fruit and berries as I could squeeze into the baby-stroller bags.

It’s pretty amusing actually that our daughter already has her own opinion on a lot of things. She thinks, for example, that food crumbs that fall on the floor are the best delicacies ever. I just can’t stand the sight of her digging a tiny clot of yesterday’s omelet from under the stove and trying to eat it. I even started to mop the floor every other day: Sisyphean efforts, as a true foodcrumb connoisseur will always find something delicious even on a freshly cleaned floor :)

Some other things Ivanka thinks are cool include eating toilet paper, destroying flower pots and chewing shoe sponges. But of course there’re also a lot of good, and beautiful, and exciting things she likes. We were surprised to note that she prefers cats to dogs. She does like dogs, but when she sees a cat… she sings serenades, she’s in love! She loves to listen to music and dance and sing along. She loves flowers. Her favourite colour is yellow. I just think that’s so tremendous to discover her new preferences, likes and dislikes!

Sea Buckthorn

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The Nostalgic Way To Eat Cabbage

Cabbage with Egg and Breadcrumbs
Cabbage with egg, sprinkled with toasted breadcrumbs, is one of my childhood foods. Mom used to make it quite often, as it’s very quick to prepare and makes an interesting alternative to fresh salad. These days I have started making cabbage with egg again for Ivanka - and for us too. Ivanka eats in micro portions (where does all this energy come from?!), so now as she’s 10 months old and can eat a lot of things, it hardly makes sense to cook for her separately (you can always add more salt later). Cabbage is not something I’d like to have more often than once a week, but in summer, when it’s firm and green, there’s no reason to ignore it.
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Mini Rogaliki

Chocolate Applesauce Rogaliki

Rogaliki are small crescent rollls filled with jam, marmalade, Tvorog or even raisins. I think the most common filling for Rogaliki however, is jam/marmalade. I’m not sure we ever had them at home when I was a kid, but some of my friends’ mothers and grandmothers used to bake these very often. Rogaliki are very good with tea or coffee, and they are budget-friendly. It’s been my dream to have warm Rogaliki for breakfast for many years now, and today this dream came true.
I made the dough ahead and refrigerated it overnight. Chilled dough was very comfortable to roll and cut. The unsweetened dough made with sour cream and a pinch of baking soda is flaky and soft, even though my Rogaliki were tiny. I was in the mood for something petite and delicate, so these crescent rolls came out more like soft filled cookies. Of course this means you have less filling in the centre - just for flavour - and it takes you longer to make them. Classical Rogaliki should be larger in size, with more filling inside; the original recipe yields 3 times fewer rolls than I made.
At first I was thinking of filling them with dark, rich apricot jam made by Stano’s Mom, but then I remembered about three little jars of a wonderful chocolate applesauce she gave to us, and used it instead. I must ask Stano’s Mom for the recipe when we are in Slovakia in summer; chocolate applesauce is something amazing! First you taste the chocolate, then the juicy tartness of apples comes through; there’s a lot of surprise in it! It’s great on crepes, pancakes, ice-cream, whatever. As a filling for Rogaliki too. It smelt like a chocolate factory when the rolls were baking!

Mini rogaliki
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Chocolate Paskha

Chocolate Paskha

This Paskha recipe that I adapted from March edition of a Russian magazine “Moy Rebyonok” is quite different from what we make every year. Our traditional Paskha is super-mega-extremely rich and loaded with intense flavours of dried fruit, nuts, and boiled egg yolks. In comparison with it, the Chocolate Paskha I made last night seems to be something light and delicate. But it’s just an illusion, muahaha. Because the Orthodox Easter table sets the end for the 40-day long Lent with its restrictive menu. And an Easter meal must be rich and satisfying. So, my first suggestion for making this Paskha is to use Tvorog (or closest alternative) that contains 15% milk fat. Another tip is to use high-quality dark chocolate such as Lindt, 70 to80% cocoa. A very dark chocolate is less likely to get mushy while you grate it and it won’t melt when incorporated into the Paskha mix. The original recipe, however, suggests that you stir grated chocolate into whipping cream until the chocolate dissolves. I chose to keep those tiny crunchy crumbs of chocolate in my Paskha rather than just flavouring it with chocolate. With a little bit of extra texture to it, not overly sweet, moist and rich, this Paskha is pretty flawless. Happy Easter!

*The XB letters on top of Paskha ar for Христос Воскресе - the traditional Russian Easter salutation that translates as Christ is Risen.

Chocolate Paskha

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Happy Easter, Friends

Rose Flowers

There’s not going to be a lot of baking or cooking in my house this Easter. I’m busy chasing and catching Ivanka all around the house as she is always leaning like the Tower of Pisa. She started to crawl some time ago and she now gets up on her feet, however she doesn’t know a safe way to get out of this position except for simply releasing her hands and falling down on her back - ouch! There’s no safe place at home to leave her alone for a single moment, so I like to go to someone else’s place and let the baby explore a new space - this distracts her from trying to get up on her feet for some time. So, I’m looking forward to visiting my parents this Sunday and enjoying a happy baby and a family meal with all the traditional Easter treats.

I am hoping to make a new kind of Paskha this time though - please ask Stano to help me with the baby on Saturday! ;-) This is going to be a pretty unconventional Paskha, while Mom will be making the traditional kind.If I succeed, I will post about it after Easter. For now, I just wanted to refresh the two recipes we use every Easter. I don’t usually advertise our recipes, but if you’d like to make something Russian this Easter (why not - Orthodox Easter coincides with the Catholic holiday this year), both of these are really worth trying! 

Kulich - Russian Easter Bread

Russian Kulich

Russian Paskha

Russian Paskha

Happy Easter!

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Are you curious to learn more about Eastern European cuisine?
RussianSeason.net 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: russianseason@gmail.com

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