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

Carrot, Cheese and Garlic Tartlets

Carrot, Cheese and Garlic Tartlets

After the New Year’s bustle was over, we agreed that we were not going to make anything sweet until weekend. Tired of cooking, sated with our multi-layer cake, Austrian chocolate maroons and sweet sparkling wine, I spent the New Year’s morning fishing in the large can for lovely pickled baby cucumbers, reading and watching the lights twinkle on our Christmas tree.

This time-saving recipe has lived a long life in our family. I call it time-saving because we use store-bought tartlet shells. They are made of savoury pastry with a hint of Cheddar-like cheese and paprika. Of course you can make your own tartlet shells by your favourite recipe, or use our pastry for Cheese&Rosemary Halfmoons. Then fill your tartlets with the mix of sweet carrots, mild-flavoured cheese, and tangy garlic. Decorate with black olive rings, fresh herbs, or slices of pickles.

One more thing before we go to the recipe itself: we have launched a Slovak version of our blog! Please meet Stano (see picture on index page), who joined our “editor team” a few months ago and translated all of the posts from my questionable English to correct Slovak.

Carrot, Cheese and Garlic Tartlets

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Fluffy Vanilla Custard with Cranberry Kisel

Fluffy Vanilla Custard

Whipped vanilla custard is yet another dessert which I find quite healthy – especially when it’s served with kisel (speaking about kisel, it’s one of the oldest Russian dishes and it is even known to have saved a city!). It doesn’t contain a lot of fat, and whipped egg whites* that are added in the end make it even more airy and light.
Mom says that in Soviet times, whipped custard was a popular dessert also here in Latvia. In the Latvian language, it’s called Buberts and can be made with semolina. Nowadays the variety of packaged desserts is huge in supermarkets, and I’d say Buberts has become more of a make-at-home type of dish, but I’m sure a lot of families like to have it for dessert every now and then.

*Since raw eggs are used here, please please wash them properly before cooking!

Vanilla Custard with Cranberry Kisel


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Back in the USSR: Chocolate Sausage Revisited

Chocolate Sausage

Chocolate Sausage may sound kind of gross, especially to vulnerable creatures like vegetarians or even semi-vegetarians. But, that’s how this sort of chocolate fudge candy was called when I and my sister were kids, and it was a typical Soviet home-made candy. Every time Mom would prepare this Chocolate Sausage, it was so tantalizing for us to wait until the candy would cool! Nowadays I often think of that feeling of great, unbearable impatience, a feeling that you constantly experience when you’re a kid and gradually lose as you grow up – and last night as I put the fudge into the fridge to let it sit there overnight, I proudly thought to myself: “Good, this is my fudge candy, I’m a big girl and I can wait patiently till it cools”. Later, I popped in to the kitchen to check it three times more. Because you know, it had to be controlled.

What actually made me think of Chocolate Sausage was Pegasuslegend’s lovely post about Rocky Road Fudge Candy, which I came across on FoodBuzz. This recipe made me feel so nostalgic! I tried to recall the Soviet Chocolate Sausage recipe to compare, but of course I couldn’t, so eventually Mom fished this recipe out of her culinary archives. Of course we had to revise and adapt the recipe a little bit. Where it called for very simple, basic ingredients such as raisins (alternatively, jellies – or even leftover toffees, in the most hard-core variation) and walnuts, we decided to use dried cranberries and cashew. We thought this might also work well with papaya, but for some reason all dried papaya had disappeared from the stores that day, so we bought cranberries. Cranberries lend the candy a pleasing hint of fruity sourness.

If you ever have a bizarre idea of having a Soviet-style party, you should keep this recipe in mind. The sweet does look like a sausage! 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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