cold borscht

August 22, 2013 § Leave a comment

Beet Soup
The first time I had are this soup I didn’t think I was going to like it.  Borscht is such a tradition in my family.  We have it every Christmas Eve for our Polish dinner, we drink it out of a cup and my mother dips her pierogi in it.  I like cold borscht so much more than warm, I might even say I don’t like warm at all?  I called my mother when I was making this soup and she informed me she had already made it twice that summer and made sure I made mine right.  I love it because it has more texture to it, it is not just broth.  It is the perfect summer soup because it uses the greens of the beets which are more prominent in the summer time: smaller beet, bigger greens! Plus this soup has hard boiled eggs, which gives it a little sometimes extra. It is a really refreshing soup.

Cold Borscht

3 small beets with greens
6 cups vegetable broth
2 tbsp lemon juice
salt/pepper to taste
1 1/4 cup sour cream
1 cucumber
6 radishes or so
3 hard boiled eggs

1 Wash the beets and greens and chop into small pieces. Put in a pot with the broth, lemon and salt/pepper. Bring to a boil and let simmer for about 30 minutes.

2 Let the broth cool. Add a little bit of broth with the sour cream and with a fork whisk until dissolved. Add it back to the rest of the soup.

3 Peel the skin off the cucumbers and slice them into thin slices. Slice the radishes into think slices also and add both to the pot. Cut the egg whites (just the whites) and add them with the herbs.

4 Chill the soup for at least 2 hours. Garnish with more herbs..

things i love

August 17, 2013 § Leave a comment


honey lavender cake

April 17, 2013 § Leave a comment

easter eggshoney lavender cake

Easter! Easter is one of my favorite holidays. Not sure why. Candy? Spring?

I tried to die some eggs just for fun. I did blue and yellow. Yellow was from turmeric and blue from purple cabbage, both quite smelly. It was pretty easy, took longer than I thought, but there are different methods. I first made the dies by letting the turmeric and cabbage boil then simmer for about half an hour with some vinegar. Then once it cooled a bit I let the already cooked eggs sit overnight in the die and rinsed them in the morning. We have a tradition in my family where we play a game of crack the egg. Everyone goes around the table trying to crack everyone else’s egg and the one that ends up not cracked is the winner. I wanted to make these eggs for that but some of them ended up cracked in my careless haste.

This cake I made was really good and I think I will make it always on Easter from now on! It was my first time baking with lavender. I love the smell so much, it is my go to scent, it really does calm. I was always scared to bake with it for some reason but it was easy. I just bought some lavender buds in the bulk section in the co-op, it was by the tea so I guess I assumed it was good to eat! The lavender was not that strong in the cake but added a nice floral taste that I enjoyed. And the lemon was perfect on top!

Honey Lavender Cake

1 stick butter plus 3 tbsp
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup honey
1 2/3 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2-3 tsp lavender buds
2 eggs beaten

1 cup confectioner sugar
4 tsp soft butter
juice of 1 or 1 1/2 lemons

1 In a medium saucepan heat the butter, sugar and honey. Once nice and smooth add the lavender, turn off the heat and let it cool.

2 Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix the flour, baking powder and cinnamon. Add the eggs and the cooled butter mixture.

3 Pour the batter into a greased cake pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes.

4 As the cake cools prepare the icing. Just blend everything until smooth and not too thick. Add more lemon juice or a little water if too thick. Spread over a cooled cake.

pad thai

October 22, 2012 § Leave a comment

pad thai, pad thai, pad thai, pad thai!!!!  Who doesn’t love pad thai!  It’s actually not my favorite thai dish but it was fun to make.  I used a wok!  And tamarind, which I discovered is a fruit but has a more savory taste.  It’s used all over the world is dishes.  I’ll have to try it again in an other ethnicity.

adapted from here

Pad Thai

12 ounces dried flat rice noodles (stir fry noodles)

3 tbsp tamarind (from a block)

1 cup boiling water

1/2 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup light brown sugar

2 tbsp Sriracha

1 bunch scallions, chopped thin

2 shallots, diced thinly

1 pkg firm tofu, rinsed and cut into 1 inch cubes

1 cup vege oil

6 eggs

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 cups bean sprouts

1/2 cup roasted peanuts, chopped

handful of cilantro

1 lime cut up for juice

1 Soak noodles in a bowl of boiling water for 30 minutes.  Soak tamarind in boiling water for 5 minutes, stirring to break up.  Press through a sieve and mix juice with soy sauce, sriracha and brown sugar.

2 Heat oil in wok on high until hot.  Place in the tofu in the wok and fry in one layer.    Fry until golden, about 10 minutes.  Set aside tofu on a plate with paper towel.  Pour oil in a bowl and set aside.

3 Lightly beat the eggs with a little salt.  Heat 2 tbsp oil in the wok until it is hot.  Pour in the eggs and swirl the wok so the egg sticks to the side of the wok.  Use a spatula to break apart a bit, let cook all the way through.

4 Heat the wok again until a drop of water evaporates instantly.  Add 6 tbsp of oil, swirl to coat the wok.  Add the scallions, garlic and shallots until soft.  Add noodles and mix in for a couple minutes.  Add tofu, sprouts and 1 1/2 cups of the sauce until everything is mixed.

5 You can add more sauce if desired (I had enough).  Stir in the egg.  Garnish with cilantro, lime juice and peanuts.

lemongrass thai noodles

October 17, 2012 § Leave a comment

“New York City is a living organism; It evolves, it devolves, it fluctuates as a living organism. So my relationship with New York City is as vitriolic as the relationship with myself and with any other human being which means that it changes every millisecond, that it’s in constant fluctuation.”

-Timothy “Speed” Levitch

‘be so good that they can’t ignore you’

-Steve Martin

Lemongrass Thai Noodles

9 oz. udon noodles

1 1/4 cups asparagus, cut into little pieces

1 1/2 cup snow peas

2 carrots, thinly sliced

1 red chili pepper, seeded and thinly sliced

3 spring onions

1/2 cup roasted cashews


1 stick lemon grass, thinly chopped

handful cilantro

1 red chili pepper, seeded and thinly sliced

1 tbsp sesame oil

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp soy sauce

juice of 1 lime


1 Bring a pot of water to a boil.  Add the noodles and cook for 10 minutes, drain and rinse.

2 Bring another pot of water to a boil.  Add the asparagus, snow peas and carrots for about a minute and then drain.

3 In a skillet heat a little oil and sauté the onions and chili pepper for a couple of minutes.

4 Mix the dressing ingredients together.  Toss the noodles, blanched veges, onions and chilies and the dressing together.  Top off with cashews and more cilantro!

caramelized fennel and shallot risotto

May 15, 2012 § 3 Comments

I made this risotto last week when it was still raining every day, which seems to be what is going to happen this week.  But this weekend I had lots of fruit and salad and quacamole.   This risotto is kind-of sweet, which I really loved.  It was different which I loved also.  And simple.  While I was making this I questioned what to do with the green parts of fennel?  I guess you can eat it, I’m going to have to experiment.

From “Fresh and Fast Vegan”

Caramelized Fennel and Shallot Risotto

4 cups vege stock

2 large fennel bulbs (or 1lb.)

2 tbsp olive oil

3 shallots

1 tbsp light brown suger

1 3/4 cup arborio rice

sea salt and pepper

fresh tarragon leaves, roughly chopped

1 Cut the fennel bulbs and shallots into thin slices.  Heat the oil in a large saucepan.  Add the fennel and shallots and sugar.  Saute on medium heat for about 30 minutes, until both start to caramelize.  The sugar just helps speed up the caramelization, you can leave it out and cook the veges longer.

2 While the veges cook, heat the stock in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer.

3 Add the rice to the fennel and cook a minute or two.  Add 2 ladles of stock and stir until the rice has absorbed the liquid.  Keep doing this a couple of ladles at a time.  It should take about 20 minutes to half an hour.  Keep stirring so the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom.  If more liquid is needed use hot water.

4 Season with salt and pepper and tarragon.

soba noodle salad

May 10, 2012 § Leave a comment

Today I saw a butterfly on the subway.  I thought it was pretty neat, it was neat to watch people watch it too!  Little moments of beauty!

So everyone and their mother has some sort of recipe for soba noodle salad with sesame seeds out there,  I know I’m not that original.  But still it was yummy and pretty.  So this is a mix of other soba recipes and stuff I had.  Once I discovered soba noodles I became an addict for sure, I love their texture and that they don’t take that long to cook.

Soba Noodle Salad

8 oz soba noodles

1 large carrot, cut into matchsticks

4 scallions, thinly sliced

1 cup sugar snap peas (ends removed)

1/3 cup frozen edamame

1 tbsp sesame seeds

2 tsp rice vinegar

5 tsp soy sauce

2 tsp honey

3 tsp toasted sesame oil

1 Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Add the soba noodles and the carrot.  After a couple minutes add the edamame.

2 Heat 1 tsp sesame oil in a skillet.  Add the scallions and the snap peas.  Just toast for a couple minutes.  Add the sesame seeds to toast them a bit as well.

3 In a small bowl mix the vinegar, soy sauce, honey and rest of the sesame oil.

4 Drain the noodles and other veges.  Return to pot (over no heat) and the the other veges with the sesame seeds and the dressing.


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