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

Caraway Drink… And No More Chicken Soup!

Caraway drink for lactation

I’m sick of chicken soup.

You know, after being a semi-vegetarian for seven or eight years, I’m absolutely repulsed by any kind of soup made with meat or poultry. But ironically, I’ve found out I can’t lactate without animal protein. And chicken soup is one of the best ways to enhance milk production, since there’re proteins in it, and it’s liquid. At first I tried to diversify my chicken soup menu by adding different types of croutons or pasta. By this week, I realized this didn’t help any longer. I will never like chicken soup. I’m hopeless. So now I just throw some fresh dill into my bowl of chicken soup, grab a large piece of bread, close my eyes and… brrr! this should be done quickly. In fact it’s getting unbearable, so I think I’ll just start eating more chicken fillets instead.

I’m so ashamed of being so carnivorous.

Due to the lack of time, I haven’t cooked anything interesting in a while. Today I made Hasselback potatoes for the first time in my life and I loved them! I sprinkled some caraway seeds on top and added a tiny bit of garlic. Hasselback potatoes are a classic, so I’m not posting the recipe. Instead, I thought I’d just share another tip for encouraging lactation. Caraway drink - it really helps. And what’s more, it tastes good! To prepare it, pour one teaspoon of caraway seeds with one cup boiling water, cover and let infuse for 10 minutes. Then add a teaspoon of sugar and cream/milk to taste. Of course you shouldn’t necessarily be breastfeeding to enjoy this drink, so I recommend it to everyone!

Caraway drink

Check out this pretty IKEA balloon my sister gave us for Ivanka’s first month anniversary!

smeshnie

Cream Cheese and Banana French Toasts

Cream Cheese Banana French Toast
I’ve always loved long relaxed weekend mornings when I could sit back with a cup of tea and savour my breakfast. With a newborn around (and no more weekends for me), I reappraised the freedom of morning hours. The little one gets quite fussy during night and then sleeps deeply and serenely through the morning. Which gives me a chance to not only get done with the housework in the kitchen and bathroom, but also cook something simple for breakfast. These stuffed French toasts were inspired by a gorgeous Strawberry and Mascarpone French Toast recipe I’ve once seen online and cannot find any longer - I’ve googled for it today, but to no avail. If I ever find it (I should have it somewhere in my bookmarks), I will certainly add a link to it here. Anyway, I had a pack of “Creme Bonjour”, a cream cheese similar to Philadelphia in the fridge, plus some bananas (probably the only fruit I’m allowed to eat uncooked), so I thought I’d try to use these for some stuffed toasts, based on that recipe. And I loved the result! Cream cheese worked even better than mascarpone here, thanks to a hint of saltiness, which balanced out the perfumy sweetness of bananas. That was also very quick and easy to make. So, here is the recipe: Read the rest of this entry »

Proud Parents… and Breastfeeding-safe Apple Pear Cranberry Parfait

Autumn Fruit and Oats Parfait

I’m so excited to finally tell you our very main news – our little daughter Ivanka is here! She is already 10 days old and very pretty :) And she inherited a good appetite from us :) We went home three days after her birth, and the first couple of days were as chaotic as any first-time parents’ first days probably are. I was afraid to accidentally hurt her, I didn’t know where to begin in the morning and how to survive at night time when the baby wouldn’t sleep properly (I guess she’s still mixing day and night). Gradually new activities were added, such as bathing and walking outside, and hey, seems like I learned to juggle all that! Unfortunately, what suffers the most is cooking – I haven’t cooked a decent dinner ever since she was born, but at least I’ve had some free time in the mornings when she was still sleeping so I could have my oats or rice in peace and quiet. Today the weather was so rainy and moody that we decided we’d just sleep by the open window instead of going outside, so I had the time to toast some rolled oats in a pan and make a parfait with some tart and juicy autumn fruit, simmered and cooled, and some plain yogurt. I’ve been told no raw fruit or vegetables, no raw (pasteurized) milk, no beans or cabbages etc, so I guess I’ll have to specialize in breastfeeding-safe recipes for a while.

I didn’t have any special cravings while I was pregnant, but now I have two strong ones – for oats and yogurt. I just can’t live without a bowl of plain yogurt with toasted rolled oats and plum jam in the morning – or just oatmeal with jam or butter… who would have thought I’d ever have oatmeal every other morning of my own free will?? The only annoying thing is that my pregnancy - now breastfeeding - was the reason why I had to start eating meat :( I know that a lot of vegetarians carry on with their diet also during pregnancy, but I was scared that the baby wouldn’t get all the essential proteins, so I had to start eating chicken or meat at least once a week. But, I’ll certainly return to my semi-vegetarian diet when I no longer breastfeed.

Life with a newborn is quite busy, but I’ll try to post some simple recipes every now and then. And now I’ve got to go because I hear her squeak quietly in her crib – just like a nestling or a mouse, so funny :)

Breastfeeding-safe Apple Pear Cranberry Parfait

Read the rest of this entry »

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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

Priyatnovo appetita! (Bon appetit!)

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