The end of this month will mark six months of life here on planet Syracuse. Six months - half a year. How insanely bananas is that? How time flies. Although the big move meant temporarily separating from my beloved city and my family and friends, it did grant me some things I never had before - like access to nature (which, it turns out, I quite like!), being able to afford a co-working space, and a washer and dryer inside our house, which is nothing short of a game-changer. Since the arrival of the infamous Syracuse snow that blankets the city every December . . .
There is a Russian potato salad called Olivye that is the single most commonly found food on any Russian celebration table. I am willing to bet there is not one living person of Russian or Ukrainian origin that can't name all the ingredients that go into this salad. They are: boiled potatoes and carrots, hard-boiled eggs, pickles, canned peas, and sometimes kielbasa or poached chicken. Everything is finely chopped into about quarter-inch cubes and dressed generously with mayo - the Russian answer to basically any kitchen conundrum. Salat Olivye (the . . .
Alas, a new recipe! Boy does it feel awesome to share something new with the world today. If it seems like I've been absent for the past couple of weeks, it's because I have been; I've been toiling away to wrap up an unbelievably exciting cookbook project, the details of which I've still yet to share with you. It's been an emotionally intense two months - straddling the fine line between awe and excitement, and fear and nervousness. Here's the thing about developing recipes for a blog versus for a book. With blog recipes, the time between coming up an idea and . . .
"A woman can make a salad, a hairstyle and an argument out of anything," is my mom's favorite Russian Mom saying. I realize how it may seem a biiit sexist (Russian moms are typically what we call "traditional"), but the way she sees it, it's definitely a compliment. It's usually her reaction when she's impressed with me MacGyver-ing something in the kitchen or around the house, and it always puts a smile on my face. On a somewhat recent weeknight when my roommate and I were too exhausted to think up an actual recipe and go buy the ingredients, I put together these . . .
This sauteed cauliflower recipe is a side dish I've been cooking at home all summer long. It wasn't supposed to be a "blog recipe," but dammit it's good, and it deserves to be immortalized among the interwebs. As I'd just learned after doing a quick Google search, this is a riff of a traditional Italian antipasto dish of steamed cauliflower with tuna, capers, vinegar and olive oil. Mine is a bit different in that the cauliflower is sauteed, which gives it that coveted caramelization, and then steamed in the same skillet, which makes it a little more tender. Bonus . . .
Growing up in Ukraine, cucumbers and radishes were staple summer vegetables in my life. But when I met fennel - which was, sadly, all too recently - I was like, "Damn, girl. Where you been all my life?" Fennel doesn't typically get a whole lot of play on restaurant menus or in food media and I wonder why. Is its anise flavor off-putting? Are people confused by what to do with its ample stalks and fronds?! What do you think, people? Do you cook with fennel? Fennel's fresh floral taste and crunch is the perfect complement to grilled meats or fatty fish (like salmon), . . .
I think it's safe to say that nobody really craves salad for dinner in the wintertime. Nobody walks home after work thinking, "I can't wait to get some cold, raw, crunchy vegetables into my mouth." No. Winter calls for warm, soft, cozy foods. And yet, vegetables have to be eaten during winter more than ever, since our immune systems could really use the deposit of powerful vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Enter: my favorite warm arugula salad. The cooked mushrooms and onions coated in balsamic vinegar do a great job of wilting and gently warming the raw greens. . . .