Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Post-Holiday Ramblings

And Mister and I are back from our big car trip. Two full tanks of gas and four days later, we are back home. Thursday we drove out to Syracuse to see my dad. Saturday morning we drove to Albany to see my mom. And Sunday afternoon we came home. It was just about 700 miles round trip.

And to cap it all off, we're driving to Portland tonight to visit Mister's mom and sisters. What a good thing we bought their presents yesterday! ... yeah. That's how Mister does Christmas. :-P He knew what he was going to get them, he just also knew that he didn't need to rush to get them since we weren't sure when we were going to be seeing them.

But the trip went well. We also got the chance to see my aunt/uncle/cousins in their new house on Friday. Dinner was delicious, we got a popcorn maker to use during band practice, and Mister and I had a nice long chat with my aunt. It's funny, I think the relationship I have with my aunt is the one that I -could- have with my mother, once we get it figured out and she stops having 12-year-old-me reactions. Because that seems to be our problem, we'll be chatting, and then she just assume that I have no idea what I'm talking about and need guidance like a wayward sheep. [K, you are not allowed to mention this to mom as I'm merely musing and not actually trying to say something. If wayward sheep comes up in conversation, I'm cutting your hair again -- 'cause that is SUCH an effective threat... :-P] But yeah, my aunt and I are getting along pretty well now, and we never used to as she was always an authority figure. Growing up is WEIRD.

I don't know where I'm going with this post, other than to say: we're super tired! and that this was the most useful Christmas ever. We got a mixer (music), mic stands, popcorn maker, a new nightlight for the kitchen shaped like a duck, a duckie dish scrubber, pjs for Mister, cookbooks, a garlic thingie (it's a little plate with ridges that scrapes the garlic), etc. Lots of useful stuff. This was one of the first years that I didn't have to find places for STUFF. Everything has a natural home and use.

Oh and the verdict of how my stuff was received: my dad like the stool, my sister's screwdriver didn't light up (yes I still need to email them -- I'll bug Mister today), my mom liked her sweater and showergel, my aunt LOVED the fudge, my cousins liked their little hair flowers (A was like "omg I was LOOKING for something like this when I put my hair up today!"), my grandma really liked her ornament (my grandpa was fascinated by how it was made :-P) and pretzels, my grandpa was unsurprised by fruitcake, mom's bf was unsurprised by fruitcake, N&R liked their slippers and the ones I made for their son were too small, and we left before the last family opened their slippers. Also probably too small since I have no idea how big babies feet are. Oh, and the secret stocking for my dad went over well -- I dunno as he liked the stuff in it (it was just random stuff from CVS like a deck of cards and candy sticks), but it gave him something on Christmas day.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Recipes Used

Yesterday for dinner I made Black Lentils with Caramelized Onions for band, and everyone agreed it was tasty. I served it with rye toast and butter. And then J brought stuffed grape leaves and M brought a pizza and it was really a feast. We drank hot toddies made with Crown Royal, cinnamon sticks, cloves, hot water and Apple Cider Syrup. Delicious!

I am making Chocolate Nutella Sea Salt Fudge for family, and it is currently in the fridge setting. FYI it's a bit of a wrist work out.

The fruitcake is still in the oven, and has at least another 2 hours to go. I just have to finish a slipper, assemble all the slippers, wrap everything and pack to leave tomorrow.

I'm going to go drink some eggnog to get ready. :-P


So I've tried a few recipes, and let's see if this particular one satiates my grandfather and my mother's boyfriend. This recipe is based mostly off of the free recipe that came with my "Sunripe Fruit Cake Mix".

I've been soaking fruits for about a month. The recipe calls for 72 oz of fruit, I had 56 oz. of mixed fruitcake fruit (prechopped) and 15 oz. of dried currents. I used madeira to soak the fruits.

"Festive Holiday Fruit Cake"
72 oz fruit (recipe calls for 12 oz. fruitcake mix, 12 oz. candied pineapple, 16 oz. red and green candied cherries, 8 oz. dried apples, coarsely chopped, 8 oz. pitted dates, coarsely chopped and 16 oz. currants or dark raisins)
1 c. slivered almonds (*omitted)
1 c. walnut halves
1/2 c. butter, softened
3/4 c. granulated sugar
3/4 c. packed brown sugar
5 eggs, room temperature
2 Tbs. dark molasses
1 3/4 c. flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. baking soda
(*I also added ground nutmeg, cloves and mace)

The recipe originally called for dumping everything in a bowl and mixing. Here is how I made it:

Preheat oven to 250F.

Cream butter. Add granulated sugar and mix until fully incorporated. Add brown sugar, ditto. Add eggs one at a time, beating for a minute after each egg. Add molasses and stir to combine.

Whisk or sift together the dry ingredients. Add dry ingredients to wet a little bit at a time, stirring slowly to incorporate. When fully mixed together, beat together for an extra minute.

Stir in fruits and liquor. Stir in nuts. Spoon into prepared pans (two loaf pans lined with aluminum foil, a pie plate for excess batter) and bake in preheated oven until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 3-3.5 hours. While baking, place loaf pans in 9x13" pan half filled with water to prevent overbrowning on the bottom.

When done, cool on wire rack 20 mins. Immediately after removing from oven, pour a bit of light rum over the top of the cake. After 20 minutes, invert onto wire rack and cool completely.


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Life is Crazy!

So I put starter in the freezer, as I won't have time for her until next week.

I nearly have all of the slippers crocheted (one last slipper to go) and then I have to assemble them.

I still have to buy my mother's present, but that's for tomorrow.

I have to bake fruitcake.

I have to make fudge.

I have to pass my Russian test tomorrow (8AM wtf), so am currently studying like mad.

I have to wrap all of the presents. (This will be the year that I don't wrap anything at my mother's please please please.)

I have to figure out if I'm going to make little hair flowers for my cousins (probably should). So four little hair flowers (they take ~30 minutes to make -- and people charge exorbitant amounts for them!).

Um... that's it?

Monday, December 19, 2011

New Design

So R, I thought back to what you had said this past spring about liking to shake up the colors of your blog, and honestly, I couldn't see my blog as being happy, spring-time blue in December! There were a couple of options that I liked, but this cutting board is nice and simple -- so many of the pictures are incredibly busy!

What do you think?

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Yay for Doctors!

So basically everything that I was worried about when I went to the doctors turned out to be non-worrisome. Due to the timing of this bout of cramping daily, my doctor thinks that it was a cyst, and it appears to have gone away on its own. Plus one for me!

I finally got around to talking to my doctor about my tendency to pass out and she thinks that I have Vasovagal Syncope. This basically means that the nerve that lowers blood pressure occasionally goes overboard and makes me dizzy, sometimes all the way to passing out. It's not really a "treatable" condition, and is more "learn to live with it". As my doctor put it, "you've been dealing with it for almost 10 years, so I think you have a pretty good idea how to handle it." But we talked about various things that could trigger it and how to prevent it more readily.

I also had a couple of other concerns, but they wound up getting cleared up pretty easily. I'm just waiting on the results of some blood work to confirm the vasovagal syncope.

All in all, YAY!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Bread and Life


I made a batch of sourdough the other day. Honestly, I was super nervous. All that confidence I had built making bread a whopping five times with my starter? Gone. I was unsure about how I was kneading it, unsure about the amount of flour, it wasn't rising well, I didn't shape it well, etc. etc. But it still came out quite tasty.

I'm currently toasting two slices to spread with peanut butter, and heating the kettle to try some Starbucks Via (instant coffee) that I got from a friend -- adding sweetened condensed milk to the mix. Is peanut butter normally quite goopy? I had to open a jar for the first time in about a year, as we're out of peanut butter, and when I was mixing in the oil, it seemed like there was too much oil! That the peanut butter was too thin with it added. Granted, it was also room temp and we keep our peanut butter in the fridge so that could have been part of the problem.

EDIT: The via is not bad. I added a big spoonful of sweetened condensed milk, some more sugar and it's quite palatable. :-P But there is still a bit of bitterness that is just pure Starbucks. I dont' know as I would buy via, but I'll sure take it for free from my buddy.

Speaking of room temp... my heat is mysteriously not on. The thermostat has been wonky (it's digital) and I'd noticed a few days back that the screen wasn't lit up, but it came back. Last night however, it was unlit, hasn't come back, and the heat is also not turning on when I'm pretty sure it should by now. Mister's also not sure if this is a problem on NStar's end, or if we need to call our landlord because the heating system is broken. I'm gonna have him deal with that, since I wouldn't know one way from the other, and NStar is in his name anyway.

Yesterday was the last day of classes, and a highly productive one at that. I had my Russian oral exam with a partner -- I wasn't the best, but I wasn't the worst. There was one awesome sketch that had my prof laughing the entire time. Couldn't understand a word of it beyond: "'Oh hey Ivan!' 'Do I know you?' 'It's Hamid, Sasha's my sister.' 'Oh I thought you were her friend.'" There was also a memorable bit where Hamid stood up to go, said good bye, and Ivan was like "wait a minute Hamid, I have something to ask you." I think he then asked if Sasha liked him, judging by the class's response, but I have no idea. The assignment was actually super hard: 12 questions with a partner, 12 each!, and you can't repeat questions. I honestly stumbled over some of the parts at the end, because I forgot to write down what I was to say and I never recognize the verb "to eat dinner". Never. So I'm like 'uhhhhhhhhhhhhhh...' and my parter was like "dinner!" :-P

Then on to theory where I had a presentation. That went well. We had studied a few Bach fugues in class, and I found a fugue that was the inspiration for one of Bach's. Bach's is much better. :-P

In ear training, I gave my presentation Monday so I was all set.

And then before my 1:00 History class, I wrote a 5-page paper. I started it at 8:00, had three hours of classes, and finished at 12:34. Tada! I had been attempting to work on it Monday and Tuesday, and I had a mental block about it -- I have no idea why. I wrote a highly amusing "essay" at about 3 am while ridiculously frustrated, though. It begins with: "The Twelve Tables and the Magna Carta are both super awesome." You can tell that an essay is a winner, when it begins like that!

So I have two finals to prep for: my history final tomorrow at 11:30, and my Russian final Wednesday at 8:00. KILL ME NOW. Luckily, I've felt woefully unprepared for each Russian exam, and gotten As... so either she's a super easy grader, gives easy tests or I really know more Russian than I think I do (doubtful)... but yeah, I'm not expecting that test to go well.

I have a doctor's appointment today at 3pm which I'm super excited about. Not in the journey to the doctor's office, as it's far away, but that I get to talk to my doc about the problems I've been having. Yay!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Recipes That Look Tasty!

Three Cheese Balsamic Pancetta Mac n Cheese

Caesar Salad Deviled Eggs

Black Sticky Gingerbread

Maple Syrup Cake


It's time to be cheap again, since Mister and I keep failing at it. So here's a list of lentil recipes that I want to try.

Daal Makhni
Mushur Daal
Black Lentils with Caramelized Onions
Red Lentil Soup (what I'll probably make tonight as I have bread to make)

Monday, December 12, 2011


I am restarting my sourdough starter. It has languished in the freezer for some time now, and frankly, I've been craving bread. Yet, now that I know how tasty and easy it is (and cheap!), I've been loath to buy it, even at the day-old price of $3.

One thing that's nice about the starter currently is it's much more liquid. I had troubles before with it being a little stiff, and I like the consistency that it is. But I've just fed it tonight and we'll see how it takes to that. A warm jar and a warm bowl to be mixed in can do wonders I feel.

Christmas Status

So here's where we are on presents for Christmas:

Mom: buy glogg from LUSH
Dad: buy footstool
Sister: buy sonic screwdriver

Grandma: buy puzzle, give pickles
Grandpa: make fruitcake (I have the fruit soaking in sherry and have for two weeks already)

Mom's BF: make fruitcake (see above)

Stepsister: make slippers (just need to be sewn together -- all crocheted)
Husband: make slippers (have started)
Son: make slippers (still need to decorate like a monster)

Stepbrother: make slippers (haven't started)
Wife: make slippers (just need to be sewn together -- all crocheted)
Son: make slippers (still need to decorate)

Mister's Mom: Mister is contributing towards a laptop
Sis#1: no idea still
Fiance: no idea still
Sis#2: no idea still
Sis#3: buy little tea set and tea

The pattern that I'm using for the slippers and modifying for sizes is these double soled slippers. They seem pretty awesome.

As a Christmas present to myself (so I don't kill myself with that much crochet), I'm also working on knitting garters, the kind you tie on. I personally tie them on by: placing the middle of the garter just below the knee. Criss-cross garter in the bend of the knee (back of the leg) and tie above the knee on the front of the leg. Holds stockings and leg warmers on pretty well that way and means I don't need to have more than one garter belt (as one is broken). I also want to have a total of seven sets of leg warmers as my project for January as I want to be able to wear them every day.

Friday, December 9, 2011

New Booze to Make

I want to make this recipe only I'd probably remove the pith. Supreme dem oranges (as Mister put it) and use a peeler on the peel!

Look at how tasty it looks!

Making Ketchup!

I'm trying this recipe. I'll tell you how it goes!

Verdict? Delicious! I made three 8-oz jars and a bit that I ate with oven fries (french fries baked in oil instead of fried in a pan). But because I don't have a blender type object and used crushed tomatoes, I cooked it down longer -- about 2.5-3 hours. Mister is in awe. :-D


So I stayed home from class today. I just woke up with nasty cramps, and couldn't convince myself to get out of bed. I really honestly hate this. I have had cramp issues for several months now (luckily not as constant as in that previous post), but it is seriously cramping my style... I had to do it.

Luckily, I'm seeing my doctor for a check-up on the IUD next Thursday, so can bring this up to her then, but I wish it was sooner. And of course, Mister has been bugging me to make an appointment for weeks (as in probably five), so this appointment really should have been sooner.

I just wish I knew why my innards dislike me so.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Bored and Baking

When it gets dark early, I get bored easily. I also get cold as we keep the temp low, which makes me want to crawl into my blanket-cave and sleep. So, to keep the return of hibernation at bay, I'm attempting a new recipe! It's a bit modified.

Almond and Polenta Cake. As the woman who runs that site is Irish, her units are in weight. Being a silly American with a shitty kitchen scale, I had to use the power of the internet to convert to volume. My measurements are not as neat as the original, but they're useable. :-P

-- 3/4 c. (100 gr) flour
-- 5/8 c. (100 gr) fine polenta flour
-- 1/2 c. (100 gr) sugar
-- 1/2 c. (100 gr) butter, softened
-- 1 c. (100 gr) almonds, coarsely ground, not bleached
-- 1 egg yolk
-- grated zest of 1 lemon
-- pinch of salt
-- 1 small glass of grappa (or sambuca)

Preheat oven to 170C or ~350F.

Cut flour, polenta, sugar, salt and butter together (I grated frozen butter rather than work softened butter). Mix in almond meal, egg yolk (subbed in some sweetened condensed milk), zest and grappa (subbed in limoncello for zest and grappa).

Spread crumbly mixture in large pan (I used 13x9) and bake until done, ~30 mins.


We had intended on asking a coworker of Mister's if he would be interested in shooting our wedding, as he does beautiful work. Well, the talk came yesterday, and he said no! :-( He said that there is so much editing that goes into wedding photos that he doesn't want to have to take the time to do it.

Which I understand. And my first instinct was: but we don't want a lot of processing! He doesn't need to do any! Yet, as he's a professional, if he has a minimum level of quality, I don't want him to compromise that level by putting his name on an "inferior" product.

Looks like we're going with bowls of disposables!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Lack of Photos

Some of my readers (cough R cough) have noticed my decided lack of personal photos lately. R, I seriously have to change the batteries almost every other time I use the durn thing! It's such a pain, I keep avoiding it.

I will work on getting over that, but that's my main source of laziness.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Some Food Stuff

So today in Theory, the lovely girl who sits behind me had a present for me: Cranberry Marmalade! I told her I'd have to bring her some applesauce. Isn't that the sweetest thing? She said she felt like such a goof having it in her bag, and that it was a lame gift. In case you couldn't tell, we've bonded over food. She told me that I should bring her on my honeymoon to King Arthur Flour-land. So I'm currently making a batch of rolls to spread delicious marmalade upon. I have to report back, after all!

Update: verdict? OMG delicious.

Speaking of cranberries, this recipe for pickled cranberries sound intriguing. Just look at how pretty they are!

Also, tasty looking Chicken and Dumplings

Also a few ideas for wedding stuff.

Honey in a cute little jar as a favor! Love it!

Absolutely beautiful calligraphy on those envelopes. Must use...

And a cute looking Scarf Pattern.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Reference Materials

For the dress, I've been using the images from the following pattern (which I can't find for free, and having trouble finding for less than $50)

I am using this 40s pattern drafting book, and the last place that I found this book has gone down.

I WANT to make the following slip (and probably will if I have extra silk at the end):


With Thanksgiving coming up, everyone is posting the most delicious food recipes including myself!

I'll post what I've making to be involved with Thanksgiving for 22 people at a relative's house, and then post the links to what's had me drooling. All of the actual recipes will be at the bottom of the post.

A new recipe for Bourbon/Maple Pecan Pie.

I'm also making a pumpkin pie that my grandmother got out of the newspaper years ago (and still uses the bit of newsprint!). Note, I will be halving this recipe, as it makes two pies.

I will be making two batches of the rolls that my grandma always makes. They're remarkably similar to Parker House Rolls (by which I mean it's probably lifted), but they're called 60-Minute Rolls and came in a little booklet accompanying my grandmother's KitchenAid mixer. These rolls are absolutely delicious, and it wouldn't be a holiday without them. As a side note, when I called my grandma to get this recipe, she spent so long worrying about whether or not I was able to take it all down, if she went too fast, and to make sure to check the bottoms of the rolls as "sometimes the top gets golden but the bottom is all burned".

And Mister will be in charge of making some tasty tasty mashed potatoes with cheese and sage. We'll be doubling this recipe, and not using all of the liquid that it mentions as it gets a bit soupy that way.

Bourbon Maple Pecan Pie

One pie crust
One egg white, beaten [edit: I'm omitting this]
One pound Pecans
1/4 cup bourbon
1/4 cup melted butter
3 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup real maple syrup
1/2 tsp salt (omit if using salted butter or salted pecans)

Preheat the oven to 375 F.
Soak the pecans in the bourbon, stirring periodically. (I usually soak them for a couple hours, if I have the time)
Press pie crust into a pie pan. Coat the crust with a thin layer of the egg whites. This keeps the crust nice and flaky.
Beat the butter, sugar, and eggs together until they get a bit fluffy, it will still be pretty liquidy, but the mixture will be about 75% more volume.
Blend in the vanilla, salt, and maple syrup.
Leaving 1/4 inch from the top of the crust, put the pecans in the pie pan then add the syrup mixture over the pecans.
Cook for 45-60 minutes, keeping an eye on the pie. I’ve had widely varying cooking times with this pie. When most of the top is brown, and it seems pretty gelatinous, it is done. Be careful not to overcook and burn it.

Pumpkin Pie with Streudel Topping

-- 2 6-oz. graham cracker crusts (or use this recipex2)
-- 2 15-oz cans pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
-- 1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
-- 2 eggs
-- 2 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
-- 1 tsp. ginger (powdered)
-- 1 tsp. nutmeg
-- 1 tsp. salt
-- 1/2 c. brown sugar
-- 4 Tbs. flour
-- 4 Tbs. butter (or solid fat of choice)
-- 1 1/2 c. chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 425F.

Combine pumpkin, milk, egg, 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt. Mix well. Pour into crust.

Bake 15 mins. Remove pie and reduce heat to 350F.

Combine sugar, flour, 1 tsp. cinnamon. Cut in butter until crumbly. Stir in walnuts. Sprinkle over pie.

Bake 40 mins or until a knife comes clean when inserted into the middle.

Parker House Rolls disguised as 60-Minute Rolls

-- 4-5c. flour
-- 3 Tbs. sugar
-- 2 packets active dry yeast (2 1/3 tsp. yeast per packet)
-- 1 c. milk
-- 1/2 c. water
-- 1/4 c. butter

Combine 3 1/2 cups flour, sugar, salt and yeast in bowl of mixer. Combine milk, water and butter in saucepan. Heat liquids over low heat until war,. ~130F. The butter does not even have to melt through.

On stand mixer, attach dough hook and bowl, and set to speed 2. Gradually add the liquid to dry ingredients. Mix 1 minute longer. Continue on speed 2, adding remaining flour 1/2 c. at a time until dough sticks to hook -- about 5-7 minutes.

Mix 10 minutes longer until dough is smooth and elastic.

Turn dough out into a greased bowl with a greased top. Let rise 15 minutes at 100F. (Note from grandma: she puts it in the oven on warm, but her oven's always warm because it has a pilot light so maybe your oven doesn't have a pilot...)

Turn dough out onto floured board and divide in half. Shape each half of the dough. (Note from grandma: I always make what looks like a crescent roll. I have a long end and short end and I roll them up. But the page has a lot of ways to shape it. I'll send you one because maybe you want it a different shape. I always do it a crescent, because I like the easy one. But I'll send you one.) After shaping, let rise again 15 minutes. (Note from grandma: I put the rolls on the sheet they'll bake on, and put it back in the oven to rise until it doubles. Put a little grease on the sheet before putting the rolls there. I put a sheet of foil over the top. When it doubles it's ready to bake.)

Bake rolls at 425F for 12 minutes or until done (Note from grandma: make sure to check the bottom of the rolls. And I bake them with the foil on, just so they don't get too dark on top. But make sure you check the bottom of the rolls, as sometimes it'll get too dark.)

When rolls are done, remove from tray and cool on a wire rack. (Note from grandma: I put a little butter or margarine on the top when they're done.)

Mashed Potatoes with Sage and White Cheddar Cheese

-- 4 lbs. russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1 1/2 cubes
-- 1/4 c. butter
-- 2 Tbs. + 1 tsp. minced fresh sage
-- 3/4 c. whipping cream
-- 3/4 cup whole milk
-- ~9 oz. coarsely grated sharp white cheddar cheese

Cook potatoes in large pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 12 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt butter in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add 2 Tbs. sage; stir unti butter begins to brown, about 3 minutes. Add cream and milk; bring to simmer.

Drain potatoes; return to pot. Stir over medium heat until excess moisture evaporates. Add cream mixture; mash potatoes. Stir in 1 3/4 c. cheese. Season potatoes with salt and pepper. Transfer to buttered 8- to 10- cup baking dish. Sprinkle with 1/2 c. cheese and 1 tsp. sage. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover with plastic. Chill.)

Preheat oven to 375F. Bake potatoes uncovered until heated through and golden brown, about 45 minutes.

N.B. I'm pretty sure Mister just makes super cheesy potatoes without baking them.

Oat and Linseed Sourdough Bread

Nutmeg/Maple Cream Pie

creamy Maple Apple Pie

Potatoes Romanoff

Saturday, November 19, 2011


R, you must have been pulling your hair out with my lack of pictures, the number of times you've yelled at me for it! (Oh I still forgot to photograph blanket shawl, but I will do that later.)

A while back now, I made a whole bunch of turmeric-colored pasta. So tasty! (Although the turmeric was kinda funny...) But it turned out that stereotypical 70s mustard yellow color, which I love! And yes, that is a trombone slide used as a drying rack.

That first night I served it with olive oil and cheese.

The second time (after I froze the pasta), I cooked the pasta with frozen peas, fried up some sausage and served it all with feta on top. Super tasty!

And me being crazy! I have a lot of cleaning to do today (note my lack of doing it right now :-P), I haven't showered yet, and mysteriously wound up watching a whole bunch of youtube videos from an Indonesian Muslim girl on wrapping hajibs in pretty styles. (That girl is beautiful omg) Since I'm too lazy to pin it in place, I just wrapped the ends of this turban underneath itself and it's been holding out for about 3 hours. I have to say, my head is warm! (Considering my hands, feet and nose are cold, I like this.) I've always been super jealous of those girls that wear headcoverings, mostly because I'm really lazy about my hair. Black girls, Muslim girls and Christians "dressing plain" often wear head coverings, and I've always felt super selfconscious whenever wearing just a bandana even. I don't see myself wearing this outside of the house, but it's fun to play with.

Also on the line of turbans, check out this amazing pic:

That is who I want to be when I grow up! Her name is Beatrix Ost and the pic is from Advanced Style.


Is it weird that I prefer when my honey crystallizes? It's currently in a quart glass jar, as it had started both crystallizing and eating through the carton it came in a while back. But in a non-disintegrating container, I prefer it crystallized as it makes it that much easier to scoop a spoonful out for tea without getting honey absolutely everywhere.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Just Me!

So Mister is off to NYC to hang out/pick up his little sister who will be spending a few days with us. (She has class on Saturday, but not Friday or all next week.) With Mister gone this means several things: One, I keep forgetting to eat and I'm too cheap to go out with just myself. Two, I need to clean the ENTIRE house as it's a complete and utter hole, as my mother would say. Well, and three, I need to study for the two tests that I have tomorrow, but who cares about that? Not me! :-P

Now one of the things that super majorly needed cleaning was our bathroom. Lordy, I wouldn't allow a homeless man to see the inside of that bathroom, it was that dirty. Add to this the fact that Mister trimmed his beard over the sink this morning after I left and I know this without him telling me (read: he left his beard all over the sink). That, and I never actually clean the tub (disgusting I know), and it was getting pretty bad and there was mildew on my curtain! That was a clear sign that I need to attack that.

I know that there are cleaners that can use that massive amount of white vinegar that I have, so I looked into it a bit, and most of them seemed to involve either straight vinegar, or vinegar, water and an essential oil. As my bathroom needs it that badly, I just used straight vinegar in a rinsed out spray bottle. I sprayed vinegar on the shower curtains, let it sit for 5-10 minutes and rinsed with hot water. On the one curtain that was all it needed (although I should probably take a sponge to both of them as they feel a bit slimey... ick). On the other, there were a few spots and the entire hem still needed some work. I discovered that the problem with the hem was there was a factory fold an inch from the bottom that I hadn't noticed when I first put the curtain up. So I unfolded it and sprayed. Rinsed with hot water again et voilà, it's beautiful. (We have clear plastic curtains to let the light in, so it's quite obvious when they're dirty.)

Tackling the bottom of the tub was a different story. What I wound up doing (and it worked beautifully) was this: spraying the tub with vinegar. Using a wet sponge, apply baking soda and scrub a bit. In the worst spots, it didn't even require any scrubbing. It just wiped off. The color of that rinse... ick. But hot water makes it all go away and now it's beautiful as well!

One of the few nice things about Mister being away is I can blast Gloria Estefan while cleaning. :-P A surprising side effect of that is wondering if the keyboard solo is actually my (fairly energetic) ring tone!


Update: I've also now made 1 quart, 1 jelly jar and half of a jelly jar of applesauce. Super productive on the non-studying front!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Aha... sorta

Advance 9423

Now to actually find the PATTERN, not just the image on the envelope!

Friday, November 11, 2011


That is EXACTLY the dress shape I want for my wedding dress! Ideally it'd also have straps or perhaps little cap sleeves and different detailing, but basically that.

Why can't I find it? I've seen it... but those that I've seen in it I can't take the dress and pull it apart (which is what I want to ask the woman in that picture to do... I don't think she would).

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The A to Z Guide to Me

Stolen from Crunchy Chicken!

Age: 24 but I honestly have to think about it.

Bed size: Queen. I love the thought of having all the room of a King, but I can't imagine living in apartments with one.

Chore I hate: dishes. And laundry. Although I love sweeping.

Dogs: None, although I pet every single one I walk by.

Essential start to my day: I really love going to my local cafe with Mister, but I often prefer to sleep in.

Favorite color: I often say red, but I love them all.

Gold or silver: Silver. Those who can wear gold I respect, but it isn't me.

Height: 5'6"

Instruments I play: where to start... oboe, clarinet, piano, voice, saxes, trombone decently. I can also hack out trumpet, horn, tuba, flute, bassoon (want want want!) and have proper hand position for drumsticks.

Job title: студентка or, studientka for those who can't read cyrillic.

Kids: none currently

Live: Somerville, MA (and I've had 7 apartments in 4 years)

Mother's name: Susan, often goes by Sue

Nicknames: Teegs is the only one related to my name. Lately, I've heard 'Little Goose' from Mister more often than not.

Overnight hospital stays: I think I did once when I was a kid with asthma, but other than that I don't think I've ever.

Pet Peeve: Oh man, where to start? I hate baby strollers, misuse of foreign and non-foreign words ('wala' indeed!), people breaking traffic laws, people stopping in the crosswalk, car horns, Mister not answering his phone... I hate a lot of things.

Quote from a movie: honestly, I quote overmuch. Although a nice quote that I like, from "Once On This Island" (musical) is: "Our lives become the stories we weave."

Right or left handed: right handed, left eye dominant

Siblings: blood related: one sister. One almost-step sister, one almost-step brother, one ex-step sister and one ex-step brother.

Time I wake up: When I'm forced to. 7am for school.

Underwear: Always. I also am a huge fan of appropriate undergarments of all varieties (*cough cough wear a godsdamned slip cough).

Vegetable I hate: Many. But tomato is probably the one I encounter the most.

What makes me run late: sleeping. Or trying to leave the same time as Mister.

X-rays I've had: teeth

Yummy food I make: "Um, everything?" <-- was what la Crunch said, and I'm leaving it.

Zoo animal: big cats. Although I also like deer, and geese, and ducks, and SAND CATS OMG SAND CATS.

Writing Styles?

I Write Like by Mémoires, journal software. Analyze your writing!

Huh. Nevah hoida him.

After entering in a total of 20 blog posts I apparently write like:

Cory Doctorow 8
David Foster Wallace 3
Chuck Palahniuk 3
William Gibson 2
James Joyce 1
Dan Brown 1
Stephen King 1
Neil Gaiman 1

Friday, November 4, 2011


Caffeine, light of my life, fire of my... tummy. Loins is a little inappropriate there... :-P

I have an addictive personality, and easily get caught up in such delicious substances as coffee. Earlier this week, we were drinking two cups of coffee a day, and I haven't had any for the past three or four days -- I am well aware of this let me tell you!

But Sunday, I had a mini anxiety attack at Whole Foods (could happen to anyone the assholes in that store with all their obnoxious children), and Mister and I talked about it afterwards. We both agreed that I did not use to have anxiety problems as often as I do now, and that within the past three or four years is when I started drinking coffee, and more so within the past year.

Have I missed it these past three or four days? Yes and no. Yes in that I love drinking the beverage, love going to the cafe, love the whole atmosphere. Yes in that I've had a low-grade headache for most of these days. No in that I'm not spending money. No in that I like telling my body what's what, and every now and again cut coffee out of my life.

Do I want coffee right now? Yes -- it's cold out and in, it's a comforting drink, and I often hang out with Mister while drinking it.

But it is and was an addiction: the number of times I've been like "oh man I really want to go grab a coffee", how the thought of drinking coffee fills my head at odd times and with no provocation, how I used to not be able to finish my coffee and now I drink it faster than Mister.

Granted, I feel pretty good about frequenting the coffee shop that I do -- they buy fair-trade and GOOD coffee (Intelligentsia), they buy all of their snackies from local shops and farmers, their milk is hormone free, etc. etc. It's also staffed by lesbians which makes me laugh (except for a handful of gay men -- one of whom appears to have a thing for Mister :-P). (Side note there, apparently quite a few men have things for Mister, which I think he should try to get free drinks out of, as he fills a particular stereotype: the Bear. Too bad for them he's not gay...)

But yeah, so coffee is a strange, convoluted issue with me. But man I want a cup right now!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

And Some Food Links

And because food never looks as tempting without a picture, I'm also including the pictures to remind myself to make and eat these recipes!

Apple Celery Root Gratin

Sugar Cookies with a Spiced Sweet Potato Filling

Hot Cocoa Blocks

Maple-Bacon Breakfast Buns

Hot Chocolate Mix

Canape Pumpernickle Bread

Easter Strata

Easter Pie

Coffeecake Pancakes

Today is Fashion Day?

Apparently I'm on a fashion kick today. And the problem with browsing blogs is once you start, it's hard to stop. So let's catalogue some helpful info that I'm digging up!

Bra Care from the newly discovered and quite awesome Thin and Curvy blog. This poor girl is a perfect hourglass, and as anyone who's looked at clothing knows, nothing is designed for that. If it fits the waist, you can't get it over your hips, if it fits the bust it's huge in the waist. Etc. This blog reviews clothing designers, manufacturers and goes over general helpful outfitting skills.

A bra-sizing calculator because after my readings today, I fear that I'm in the Wrong Bra yet again. I have the whole "bra rides up the back" problem, and although my boobs aren't large enough for it to be as big of a problem (ha) for me as it is for the blogiste, properly fitting clothing is important.

BiuBiu is a Polish-based clothing manufacturer that sells clothing specifically designed for curvy gals. Apparently they do have a bias towards stretch fabrics, but they have great customer service (as learned from Thin and Curvy). As a side note, apparently Poland is the Land of Curvy People as a good bra manufacturer is located there as well, Ewa Michalak, or Effuniak.

7 Tips for How to Pack for Vacation from Trashy Diva's blog.


To round up Fashion Day, I am feeling particularly trend-setting today. Blankets as a fashion accessory! No, not Snuggies, but honest-to-god blankets. :-P

With just knitted tights, jeans, boots, long underwear and a sweater on, I was quite chilly at the computer. I threw my new owl mitts on, and thought about what to do. I thought about another sweater, but they still aren't as warm as I'd like. I realized I wanted a cozy blanket. I took my 4-5' square polarfleece blanket, folded it into a triangle, draped it over my shoulders, crossed the ends, and belted it from the front (leaving the back draped, as without this it restricts movement). Fab! I am warm, cozy, and quite mobile.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Pet Peeves

When people write "wala" instead of "voilà". Grrr... I didn't even know this was a thing until several years ago when a friend wrote that, and I have since seen it from quite a few otherwise passably intelligent people.

School Update

We watched that in Russian class first thing today.

Then we watched that in Theory, my second class. (It might refuse to embed "due to request" if so, this is Pure Imagination from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory)

And then that in Ear training, third. Luckily, we didn't watch anything in History or I'd have had something stuck in my head from every class today!


I auditioned today for a music scholarship with my theory professor, and when he realized that I had both the score and the solo, he was like "well let's go to the piano and play this!" so I got to work with an accompanist who was also supposed to be judging my ability to play but what probably working a fair amount on sight-reading. :-D We also worked out some course planning, and I talked with my history teacher about a course she's offering next semester.


So I want to apply for an overload up to 19 credits. Ideally, I'd apply for 22, but that's not particularly reasonable when they have a "max" credit of 17. But I'm taking 17 and breezing through this semester. I'd like to take next semester: Theory 4, Ear Training 4, Oboe Studio, Individualism in Pre-Modern (or maybe History of the English Language), Russian 2, Orchestra, Orchestration, ... I feel like maybe I'm missing one. Or I can't count credits in my head, either are possible.

I also have to see if I can get more transferred credits applied to requirements. My Anthro class counted as freshman writing, so perhaps I can get that applied towards Freshman Writing 2? As I also have the Harvard Extension writing course which is in there.


I got a B on my English essay that I was super worried about -- and that's INCLUDING the deduction of a letter grade for not doing the in-class peer review (I was so bogged down I didn't have really anything to show for it). This is super awesome, and I'm honestly surprised that it was that high. So it turns out that both papers that I worried over turned out fine, and I think I have less to worry about!

Last Post for October! Household Updates

We had our first snow this past weekend! It snowed a little bit Friday night (it was mostly rain -- horrible, cold, grey rain), and Saturday, it snowed enough that we had our first snow plows. That's right, we had 2" of snow stick to the ground. It of course melted when the sun came out Sunday :-P. Apparently, there are hundreds of homes without power due to the snow. Say what? How can NO ONE have been prepared for snow in October? Seriously folks, it ain't hard. It's kinda a fact of life when you live in the north east US. If you tried to pull that kind of thing in Syracuse or Buffalo they'd laugh you out of town. But that's another story. Mister and I also only turned our heat on the day before any snow hit. We're just awesome like that. :-D


I started working on the muslin for my wedding dress. Let's just say that I suck at pleats and measuring the amount of fabric required. At one point, I threw the thing down and told Mister I was done. When I explained that it was too big, he inquired further.

Mister: Well, how big is it supposed to be?
Me: Me-sized.
Mister: How big is it?
Me: (*holds out hands 3' apart)
Mister: You could fit two of you in that!

I'm pretty sure it's because I think it requires three inches of fabric to make one inch of pleated fabric, and it winds up only needing two inches of fabric. But that's just my suspicion. I'm now tacking down pleats and seeing what I've got left after that.

Thankfully, this is the hardest part I think... It's a pleated bodice that connects to a fitted waist, and a full skirt that goes to just below the knee. There will be additional tricksy-ness for the actual dress as I'm doing super cute things with... uh... pleats... (maybe I should rethink :-P)


Basil and Pepper are cuddling in the kitchen currently and I may actually get more peppers. I kept meaning to bring Pepper in, and forgetting, and when Sunday, after the snow melted and I saw Pepper acting so happy I figured I'd bring him in. He has little pepper plants set! We'll see how this goes.


Still haven't heard from L about the money she owes us. We forgot to call her last Friday, so I've reminded Mister to call her and let her know that we're filing papers tomorrow. (It was supposed to be today.)


Bumped into a friend Saturday, as she was on her way back from picking up her sister at the train station. Wound up grabbing a meal with them, and while waiting for a table, it came up that my friend, M, had never seen Dirty Dancing. As this cannot be born, a movie night was had on Sunday after she got out of gamelan practice. Mister made his awesome Boeuf Bourgignon and we had goat cheese of some variety. M cannot have wheat, gluten, cow milk products, or chicken. Mister and I have rolled with this and we often cook delicious things for her (I made her cake for her birthday last week 'cause I rock ;-) ). Yet, every single time we cook something that we find quite obvious and simple (chili, beef stew, cabbage and bean soup, rice flour cake, etc.), she always seems quite surprised and shocked that we've a) cooked for her and b) found something delicious she can eat. Mister even commented to me last night: 'I think she doesn't really cook much or eat much variety...'. Which is quite probably true. I think what makes it perhaps different is that we're not going out and buying gluten-free wanna-be-wheat products or vegan cheese or what-have-you. Now, these are still quite simple meals -- I wouldn't call chili difficult in any sense of the word -- but perhaps it's something that she never thinks of? I dunno. Extrapolating with too few data points.


Had another friend, M (too many Ms!), over Saturday night for cards, and the conversation turned to reed making. At which point he proclaimed that it probably wasn't too hard and he could make them. I immediately pulled my kit out and put him to the test. He managed to make a functioning (not perfect) reed in 30 mins, and snapped two others due to a) not soaking b) not sharpening the knife often enough or c) not appreciating the delicate nature of cane. I call that a success. He can work in my reed sweatshop ANY time! :-D


Mister and I realized something last night: half of the reason why the kitchen hadn't been getting clean of late is because we kept trying to say it was this person's job or that person's job. When really, we work better when the two of us are in there, and not getting in each other's way. He was cooking and I was washing dishes, and washing what he needed, and cleaning the counter space that he needed -- when we both try to wash, or both clean, we wind up sniping at each other because we work quite differently, yet similarly in one way: we both are brusque and demanding when in work-mode. This has led to quite a few exciting fights.


I'll also post today on school updates, as I haven't been posting much of late.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Planning Russian Tea Party

Based upon this website, I am building my Russian tea party. In order to save the information, I will also put it here.

Over the course of the last two hundred years, the tea ceremony has become one of the strongest and most pervasive cultural traditions in Central Russia. Since its introduction from China early in the seventeenth century, tea has become the Russians' favorite drink. The tea ceremony has become not only a cultural tradition but also has developed into a strong communicational bond for the society.

In Russia tea is served after meals and during mid-afternoon breaks, a kind of English "five-o'clock-tea" with difference that this Russian "five-o'clock-tea" may occur in any part of day and in any place - in office, in a car, in a park. When friends visit somebody hosts invite them to have a cup of tea. This "cup of tea" is not just a tea but a lots of cookies, sandwiches, other meal. Each feast ends with tea-drinking with candies and cakes. Till present time when bagged tea got popular in the world Russians still prefer tea prepared in old classical way when loose tea is brewed in a hot teapot or samovar - the central symbol of the Russian Tea Ceremony.

Here are 9 rules for Russian tea ceremony:

1) Russian tea drinking is called chaepitie, tea is chai
2) Russian tea means - black tea. There are some rules to prepare good tea. That water should be boiled till "sparkling boiling" when first air bubbles appeared. Water should be soft, hard water with much salts is not good for tea. A tea-pot is heated a little bit with some hot water. Then tea is put into the tea-pot - 1 tea-spoon for each person plus 1 for tea-pot - classical recipe. After 3-4 minutes tea is ready.
3) Loose tea is brewed in a teapot, producing strong tea called zavarka. Zavarka is served in teacups or stakan s podstakannikom (glass with metal holder) diluted with hot water to fit personal taste.
4) Sugar and a lemon are a must, everyone adds them in tea to taste.
5) Tea is drunk from cups with saucers. Drinking tea from saucers is allowed, but not recommended. Children often allowed to do it in order to cool their tea.
6) If children are the part of the ceremony they are usially seated at the separate little table, with much less strict rules of behaviour.
7) Russian tea drinking is accompanied by plentiful snack.
- snack nourishing (pies with meat or fish, with cottage cheese, with cabbage, with rice, pancakes with nourishing stuffings).
- sandwiches, cut bread and butter.
- pastries and sweets (any sweet cookies, cakes, chocolate, jam, honey, nuts, pancakes with sweet stuffings). Jam and honey are not put into cup or glass with tea but are served in a kind of bowl or special vase and then each participant of tea party put portion into personal little plate or bowl and then eats by a tea spoon. Often white bread or roll is offered, in this case loaves of bread are spread with jam or honey. Of course fresh butter is served - just in case to spread onto bread.

8) Most of all, remember that tea, in Russia, is not just for tea time. I like to think that the warmth, comfort and hospitality that tea symbolizes, in Russian culture, is why it is offered at every meal and anytime during the day, especially when family and friends are gathered.
9) The main tea drinking in Russian is a conversation. Therefore simply do not invite to tea visitors who you do not want to have a deep conversation with.
Pleasant chaepitie!

Russian Samovars

The samovar came to Russia from Persia and the Middle East in the 18th century. The samovar is a a metal urn in which water is kept boiling for tea. Charcoal or wood is burned in a vertical pipe through the center of the samovar and this heats the water. On top of the samovar is a holder for a small teapot. In this pot, a strong tea concentrate is brewed. This tea essence is then diluted with hot water from the samovar.

In old Russia, in the days before mass production, tea drinking was a way of life. The samovar was a staple in homes, restaurants and offices. Samovars would be located on street corners to sell tea to passersby. Even trains were equipped with samovars for their passengers.
The first samovars in Russia were imported and were very utilitarian in form. As is typical for the Russian people, they began to decorate and develop the samovar into a beautiful work of art, as welcome in the Winter Palace as in a peasant's izba (hut). The first samovar was made in Tula in 1820. After a while, Tula became known as the center of Russian samovar production (in addition to the production of munitions and other metalwork). By 1900, there were 40 samovar factories in Tula with an annual production of around 630,000. The Batashev Metalworks, which became one of the most famous factories, produced 110,000 samovars alone each year.

Samovars came in various shapes and sizes depending on their use. Most were small, around 18 inches high, and were used in homes and offices. Larger samovars could be several feet in hight and diameter. Traveling samovars were equipped with handles and removable legs. Others had compartments for preparing food. The metalworkers of the Russian samovar factories provided exquisite detail in silver, bronze, and iron.

Modern day Russians still use the samovar quite often. However modern technology has provided for electric samovars which don't require the use of charcoal. As in old, these samovars are found in kitchens, offices, and even on Russian Trains. And the use of the samovar has spread from Russia to much of eastern Europe.

I intend to make pierogi, and probably fry them up as well served with sour cream, and I will probably make a sweet of some sort. But will that be enough? Should I maybe do a meat pie or a cabbage pie or a potato pie (all of which sound AMAZING), should I do open-faced Russian sandwiches, or should I at least include bread and butter and jam? I want to make a lot of delicious food, but it ALL sounds good!

... I have half of a cabbage in my fridge, and perhaps I should make cabbage pie tonight!

And since I'm super nervous about losing these recipes and the website, I will list off their recipes as well.

Cabbage Pirog

3 cups flour
1 lb. sweet butter, divided
3/4 cup cold water
2 tsp. salt, divided
1 tbsp. rum or vodka
2 lbs cabbage
1 tsp. sugar
3 hardboiled eggs, peeled and chopped
1 egg yolk
To make the dough combine 3 cups flour with 1/2 lb. cold sweet butter (2 sticks), cutting it until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Mix together the 3/4 cup water, 1 tsp. salt, and the rum or vodka. Add this to the flour mixture and gently mix. Turn out onto a floured board and roll out dough into a rectangle about 1/2-inch thick. Fold into thirds, seal in a plastic bag and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.
Bring one stick butter (1/4-lb.) to room temperature. Roll out dough again to a thickness of 1/2-inch and spread butter on it. Fold into thirds and roll again. Fold the dough again, place in airtight plastic in refrigerator.
Finely shred the cabbage as if you were making cole slaw. (Or you can use 3 bags of the already shredded cabbage that you can purchase at some supermarkets, but be sure the cabbage is very white and fresh.) Put cabbage in a pan with enough milk to cover 1/2 the depth of the cabbage. Add 1 tsp sugar and 1 tsp. salt. Mix gently and cook, uncovered, until soft. Drain cabbage well. Into the pan that you used to cook the cabbage, put the remaining 1 stick of butter and heat to melt. Add the cabbage and the chopped hard-boiled eggs.
Preheat oven to 550-degrees F. Butter a 9 x 12 x-inch pan. Take 3/4 of the dough, roll it into a rectangle slightly larger than the pan, bringing the dough up the sides and cutting off the excess. Spread cabbage mixture over top. Roll out remaining dough and place over top. Pinch edges to seal. Brush with an egg wash that you have made by combining one egg yolk and 1-tsp. water. Make holes in the top of the pie to let steam escape during cooking.
Place pan on lowest rack of preheated oven. Bake for 15-minutes. Move up to middle rack and lower heat to 500-degrees. Bake another 30 to 35 minutes, watching to see that it does not burn. Note: Doubled, to serve a large group, this recipe will fill a standard 12 x 18-inch baking sheet.

Meat Pirog

3 cups flour
250 g butter
15 g yeast
0.5 c milk
500 g meat
2-3 onions
2-3 potatoes
2 eggs
0.5 c meat stock
Make dough from the butter, flour, 1 egg, yeast, and put it in the cold. Roll out the dough in a layer 1 cm thick. Place a half of it in a dripping pan and cover with the meat filling, onions and herbs. Salt the filling, add some pepper, 1 bay leaf, and finely chopped raw potatoes. Cover with the second layer of dough, and spread an egg over it. Make small holes in the pie, and pour some broth through it while baking. Bake in a hot oven for 30-40 minutes.


4 cups of all-purpose flour
1/2 pound of chilled unsalted butter, cut into bits
6 tablespoons of chilled vegetable shortening
1 teaspoon of salt
10 to 12 tablespoons of ice water
2 cups of dry white wine
1 cup of coarsely chopped onions
1/2 cup of coarsely chopped celery
1 cup of scraped, coarsely chopped carrots
10 whole black peppercorns
4 1/2 teaspoons of salt
2 1/2 pounds of fresh salmon, in one piece
8 tablespoons of unsalted butter (1/4 pound stick)
1/2 pound of fresh mushrooms, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons of fresh, strained lemon juice
freshly ground black pepper
3 cups of finely chopped onions
1/2 cup of unconverted, long-grain white rice
1 cup of chicken stock, fresh or canned
1/3 cup of finely cut fresh dill leaves
3 hard-cooked eggs, finely chopped
In a large, chilled bowl, combine the flour, butter, shortening and salt. Working quickly, use your fingers to rub the flour and fat together until they blend and resemble flakes of a coarse meal. Pour 10 tablespoons of ice water over the mixture all at once, toss together lightly and gather into a ball. If the dough seems crumbly, add up to 2 tablespoons more of ice water by drops. Divide the dough in half, dust each half with flour, and wrap them separately in wax paper. Refrigerate 3 hours, or until firm.
Combine 3 quarts of water, wine, coarsely chopped onions, celery, carrots, peppercorns, and 3 teaspoons of salt in a 4- to 6-quart enameled or stainless steel casserole. Bring to a boil over high heat, then lower the salmon into the liquid and reduce the heat to low. Simmer 8 to 10 minutes, or until the fish is firm to the touch. With a slotted spatula, transfer the fish to a large bowl and separate it into small flakes with your fingers or a fork.
Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a heavy 10- to 12-inch skillet set over high heat. Add the mushrooms, reduce the heat to moderate, and, stirring occasionally, and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the mushrooms are soft. With a slotted spoon, transfer the mushrooms to a small bowl and toss them with lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and a few grindings of black pepper.
Melt 4 more tablespoons of butter in the skillet over high heat and drop in all but 1 tablespoon of the finely chopped onions. Reduce the heat to moderate and, stirring occasionally, cook 3 to 5 minutes, or until the onions are soft but not brown. Stir in the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper and with a rubber spatula, scrape into the mushrooms.
Now melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in the skillet over high heat. Drop in the remaining tablespoon of onion, reduce the heat to moderate and stirring frequently, cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until soft but not brown. Stir in the rice and cook 2 or 3 minutes, stirring almost constantly, until each grain is coated with butter. Pour in the chicken stock, bring to a boil, and over the pan tightly. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 12 minutes, or until the water is completely absorbed and the rice is tender and fluffy. Off the heat, stir in the dill with a fork. Add the cooked mushrooms and onions, rice and chopped, hard-cooked eggs to the bowl of salmon and toss together lightly but thoroughly. Taste for seasoning.


4.5 glasses (7 cups) flour
4 glasses (4 1/2 cups) milk
25 g (1 1/2 tbsps) yeast
25 g (1 1/2 tbsps) butter
100 g (1/2 cup) cream
2 eggs
2 tsps sugar
1 tsp salt
Dissolve half the flour, the yeast and butter in milk and let it rise. Beat up the dough, add the rest of the flour, salt and egg yolks ground with sugar. Beat again, add the beaten egg whites and cream, let the dough rest and then begin to bake.

Blinchiki with Tvorog

1 cup flour
1 cup milk
3 eggs
oil to fry
200 g tvorog (Russian style cottage cheese)
1/2 cup milk
100 g poppy seeds
1 c raisins
sugar to taste
Put ground poppy seeds and raisins in hot milk and heat until dense, add sugar and cool down. Combine the mixture with tvorog and 2 yolks. Sift flour in a bowl, add milk and salt. Stir in 1 whole egg and 2 whites and knead dough. Bake thin pancakes, but fry only on one side. Put a pancake fried side on a plate, spread the filling and roll into a log. Put all the rolls on a baking sheet, brush with butter and bake in the oven. Serve with milk or juice.


250 g tvorog (Russian style cottage cheese)
75 g oil to fry
2 tb semolina flour
2 tb wheat flour
3 tb sugar
2 eggs
Combine all the ingredients, except flour, and knead stiff dough. Shape small balls and roll in flour. Fry in oil for 3-4 minutes every side until bright golden.


4 cups of all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon of salt
16 tablespoons (two and a quarter pound sticks) unslated butter, cut into 1/4-inch bits and chilled
8 tablespoons of chilled lard, cut into 1/4-inch bits
8 to 12 tablespoons of ice water
Filling: meat
4 tablespoons of butter
3 cups of finely choppped onions
11/2 pounds of lean ground beef
3 hard boiled eggs, finely chopped
6 tablespoons of finely cut fresh dill leaves
2 teaspoons of salt
1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
Filling: cabbage
3 pound head of white cabbage, quartered, cored, then coarsely shredded
4 tablespoons of butter
2 large onions, coarsely chopped
4 hard-cooked eggs, finely chopped
1/4 cup of finely cut fresh dill leaves
2 tablespoons of finely chopped parsley
1 tablespoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of sugar
Freshly ground black pepper
Combine the flour, salt, butter and lard in a deep bowl. With your fingers, rub the flour and fat together until they look like flakes of coarse meal. Pour in 8 tablespoons of ice water all at once and gather the dough into a ball. If it curmbles, add up to 4 tablespoons more of ice water, a tablespoon at a time, until the particles adhere. Wrap the ball of dough in wax paper, and chill for about 1 hour. On a lightlly floured surface, shape the pastry into a rough rectangle 1 inch thick and roll it into a strip about 21 inches long and 6 inches wide. Turn the pastry around and again roll it out lengthwise int a 21-by-6-inch strip. Fold into thirds and roll out the packet as before. Repeat this entire process twice more, ending with the folded packet. Wrap it is wax paper and refrigerate for an additional hour.

Meat Filling:
Over high heat, melt the butter in a heavy 10-to 12-inch skillet. Add onions and, stirring occasionally, cook over moderate heat for 8 to 10 minutes, or until they are soft and transparent but not brown. Stir in the beef and, mashing the meat with a fork to break up any lumps, cook briskly until no traces of pink remain. Grind the meat-and-onion mixture through the finest blade of a meat grinder (or, the mixture finely with a knife). Combine the meat in a large bowl with eggs, dill, salt and pepper, mix thoroughly and taste for seasoning.

Cabbage Filling:
Over high heat, bring 4 quarts of lightly salted water to a boil in a 8- to 10-quart pot and drop in the cabbage. Reduce the heat to moderate and cook uncovered for 5 minutes. Then drain the cabbage in a colander and set it aside.
Melt the butter over high heat in a deep skillet or 3- to 4-quart casserole. Add the chopped onions, reduce the heat to moderate, and cook 5 to 8 minutes, or until the onions are soft and lightly colored. Drop in the cabbage and cover the pan. (The pan may be filled to the brim, but the cabbage will shrink as it cooks.) Simmer over low heat for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the cabbage is tender, then uncover the pan, raise the heat to high and boil briskly until almost all of the liquid in the pan has evaporated. Drain the cabbage in a colander and combine it with the chopped eggs, dill and parsley. Stir in the salt, sugar and a few grindings of pepper and taste for seasoning.

Preheat the oven to 400 degree. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a circle about 1/8 inch thick. With a 3- to 3 1/2-inch cookie cutter, cut out as many circles as you can. Gather the scraps into a ball and roll out again, cutting additional circles. Drop 2 tablespoons of filling in the center of each round and flatten the filling slightly. Fold one long side of the dough up over the filling, almost covering it. Fold in the two ends of the dough about 1/2 inch, and lastly, fold over the remaining long side of the dough. Place the pirozhki side by side, with the seam sides down on a buttered baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes , or until golden brown.



600 g potatoes.
200 g flour.
1 ea egg.
200 g small plums boneless.
Grate potatoes very finely and pour off the juice. Add flour, egg, sugar and salt. Knead stiff dough (use more flour if needed). Shape small balls and put a boneless plum inside of every ball. Cook in boiling lightly salted water. Knydli are served with melted butter.



1 3/4 cups of all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 egg
1/2 cup of sour cream
4 tablespoons of unsalted butter
1 pound of tvorog (Russian style cottage cheese)
1 tablespoon of sour cream
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon of sugar
1/2 teaspoon of salt
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a large mixing bowl. Make a deep well in the center of the flour and drop in the egg, sour cream and butter. With your fingers, slowly mix the flour into the liquid ingredients, then beat vigorously with a wooden spoon until a smooth, moderately firm dough is formed. Gather the dough into a ball, wrap it loosely in wax paper, and chill for at least 30 minutes.
Drain the tvorog by placing it is a colander, covering it with a double thickness of cheesecloth or a kitchen towel and weighting it with a heavy dish on top. Let it drain undisturbed for 2 or 3 hours, then with the back of a large spoon, rub the cheese through a fine sieve set over a large bowl. Beat into it the sour cream, eggs, sugar and salt. Chill for at least 30 minutes.
On ligtly floured surface, roll te dough into a circle of about 1/8 inch thick. With a 4-inch cookie cutter, cut out as many circles as possible. Gather the remaining scraps into a ball, roll it out again, and cut out additional circles (there should be 14 to 16 circles in all). Make a border around each circle by turning over about 1/4 inch of the dough all around its circumference and pinching this raised rim into small decorative pleats. Drop 1 1/2 tablespoons of the filling into the center and flatten it slightly. Using a pastry brush, coat the filling and borders with the egg yolk-and-water mixture and bake in the center of the oven for 20 minutes, or until pale gold in color.


8 tablespoons of unsalted butter (1/4-pound stick), cut into 1/3-inch bits
3 tablespoons of chilled vegetable oil shortening
2 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon of salt
5 to7 tablespoons of ice water
2 cups of finely ground almonds, lightly toasted
4 teaspoons of milk
6 tablespoons of raspberry jam
6 tablespoons of cherry jam
2 egg yolks
1/3 cup of sour cream
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
1 tablespoon of unsalted butter, softened
Soak the almonds in milk for 5 to 10 minutes. With the back of a large spoon, rub the raspberry and cherry jams through a fine sieve set over a large bowl. Then beat in the egg yolks, sour cream, cinnamon, nuts and soaking milk.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a 12-inch circle about 1/8 inch thick. With a pastry brush, coat the bottom and sides of a 9-inch false-bottomed tart pan with the tablespoon of softened butter. Drape the pastry over the rolling pin, lift it up and unfold it slackly over the pan. Gently press the pastry into the bottom and around the sides of the pan, being careful not to stretch it. Roll the pin over the rim of the pan, pressing down hard to trim off the excess pastry.
Preheat the oven to 425 Degree F. Pour the filling into the pastry shell and roll out the other half of dough into a 12-inch circle. Drape it over the rolling pin, lift it up and unfold it over the filling. Press the edges of the pastry layers together. Then crimp them with your fingers or press them firmly around the rim with the prongs of a fork. With a sharp knife, cut three 1-inch slits about 1 inch apart in the top of the pastry. Bake in the center of the oven for 30 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown. Then set the pan on a large jar or coffee can and carefully slip off the outside rim. Let the pie cool to room temperature before serving.


8 lg eggs; separated
6 tb butter
14 oz honey; clover or wild
2 c sugar
6 c flour
2 ts baking powder
2 ts baking powder
2 ts cinnamon
zest and juice of 1 orange
1 c strong coffee
1 c sour cream
1 c walnuts, chopped
Heat the honey to boiling and allow to cool. Separate the eggs, reserving the whites. Beat the room temperature yolks with the butter until fluffy. Add the cooled honey and beat until well blended. Add the sugar and blend well. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon together, then sift again. add to the honey mixture. Add the orange zest, juice, coffee and sour cream stirring until no dry flour shows. Whip the egg whites until stiff, then fold in a little of the whites, mixing well, then add the rest of the whites. Stir in the chopped nuts, if using them. Pour into buttered and floured loaf pans, rapping them to even the batter. Bake in a preheated 325 Degree F. oven for about an hour. DO NOT open the oven door during the first 30 minutes of baking. When done, cool on wire racks for 10 minutes and then turn out to finish cooling. Wrap well in heavy duty aluminum foil and store in the refrigerator.


1 tablespoon of unsalted butter, softened
5 egg yolks
3/4 cup of superfine sugar
grated rind of 1 lemon (about 1 tablespoon)
1 tablespoon of fresh strained lemon juice
1 /2 pound of toasted hazelnuts, shelled and pulverized in a mortar and pestle a grinder
5 egg whites
1 cup of heavy cream
1 cup of heavy cream
2 tablespoons of rum
2 tablespoons of powdered sugar (confectioners�)
Preheat the oven to 375 Degree F. With a pastry brush, butter the bottom and sides of an 8-inch -wide, 3-inch-deep springform cake pan with the tablespoons of softened butter. With a whisk or a rotary or electric beater, beat the egg yolks for about minute, then slowly pour in the sugar. Continue beating until the mixture falls back upon itself in a ribbon when the beater is lifted out of the bowl. Beat in the grated lemon rind and lemon juice. With a rubber spatula, fold in the hazelnuts.
In another bowl, and with a clean beater, beat the egg whites until they form firm, unwavering peaks on the beater when it is lifted out of the bowl. Gently but thoroughly fold the whites into the egg-yolk mixture until no streaks of white show. Pour the batter into the buttered pan and spread evenly to the sides with a spatula. Bake in the center of the oven for about 40 minutes, or until it has puffed and has begun to come slightly away from the sides of the pan. Turn off the heat and let the cake rest in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove the side of the pan and turn the cake out on a cake rack. Cool to room temperature.
To make the topping, beat the cream with a whisk or rotary or electric beater until it forms soft peaks. The gradually beat in the rum and sugar and continue to beat until stiff. With a spatula, spread over the top of the cake and serve at once.


1500 g flour
250 g margarine
1 ea egg
1 tb vinegar Icing:
1 sugar
0,5 l milk
2 ea eggs
2 tb flour
200 g butter
Cut margarine into small pieces and toss with flour until smooth. Mix egg, vinegar in 1 cup of water and add it to flour. Knead the dough until elastic and smooth. Divide the dough into 8 parts and put in the fridge for 40-60 minutes. Roll out every part very thin, put in a baking form, cut out remains, pierce with a fork and bake in a preheated oven until light golden. Bake the remains of dough until golden colour.
Icing: Mix sugar, eggs, flour and then pour over milk. Cook on low heat, stirring regularly, until dense. When icing cools down a little, add butter and vanilla.
Spread the icing on every shortcake and on the top. Crumb the dough remains and sprinkle all the cake with them. Puy in a fridge at least for a couple of hours.


cocoa powder (unsweeted)
1 2/3 cups ground toasted walnuts, sifted
1 2/3 cups dry sponge cake crumbs, sifted
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted
3/4 cup unsweetened evaporated milk or heavy cream
3 tablespoons rum
1 teaspoon rum
In a bowl, combine all the ingredients except the 1/4 cup of ground walnuts and mix thoroughly until well blended. Scoop up about 1/4 cup of the mixture and shape into a ball. Spread the 1/4 cup of ground walnuts or cocoa on wax paper, roll the rum ball in them.


2 pkg. rapid rise yeast
3/4 cup lukewarm water
4 cups evaporated milk
1 cup sugar
4 cups flour
1 tbs ground cardamom
1 1/2 cups butter
3 cups sugar
2 tbs salt
1 tbs vanilla
1 tbs grated orange peel
1 tbs grated lemon peel
9 eggs
12 cups flour
3 cups raisins
1 cup chopped walnuts
Dissolve yeast in the lukewarm water. Set aside. Scald and cool to lukewarm the 4 cups milk. Add yeast and the 1 cup sugar, 4 cups of the flour and the cardamom to the lukewarm milk. Mix into a smooth sponge and set in a warm place for approximately 2 hours. When sponge is done resting, melt and warm the butter. Stir the sugar, salt, vanilla and zest into the butter and add to the sponge. Gradually work in the flour until the dough is smooth and elastic. Knead for 5 minutes. Add nuts and raisins and knead another 5 minutes. Place in greased bowl and oil or butte dough to prevent crust from forming. Let rise until double in bulk. Roll into various sized balls and place in greased various sized metal cans you have saved. Oil the top of dough. Bake in a 350-degree oven. Baking time will vary depending on size of cans. When dough is done remove from pan and butter the crust. Place on baking rack to cool.


2 kg tvorog (Russian style cottage cheese)
300 g butter
400 g sour cream
4 ea eggs
salt to taste
Paskha is a traditional dish for Easter table. Butter must be soft and supple.Put tvorog under weight for 2 hours, drain through the sieve twice (never use a mincer). Drained tvorog is souffle and light. Bring to boil butter, sour cream and 3 eggs in a separate pan, stirring constantly. Pour in hot mass in drained tvorog, add 1 egg and salt. Blend until homogenous. Fill in the Easter form (with a traditional drawing and ornaments). The bottom is covered with wet gauze. Cover with a plate and put a weight. Keep in the fridge for 12 hours.


1 pc active dry yeast
1/4 c warm water
1/3 c butter
3/2 c sugar
1 ea egg
3 ea egg yolks
1 ts vanilla extract
1 ts grated lemon peel
3/4 ts salt
3 1/2 c all-purpose flour
confectioners' sugar
oil to fry
Dissolve yeast in warm water. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in egg, then egg yolks, one at a time. Add vanilla extract, lemon peel, dissolved yeast, and salt. Beat up until well mixed. Stir in flour gradually, adding enough to make a stiff dough. Turn dough onto a floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic for about 10 minutes. Place in a floured bowl. Cover. Let rise until doubled. Shape little flat rounds. Fry in hot fat 2 to 3 minutes; turn to brown all sides. Drain doughnuts on paper towels and sprinkle with confectioners' sugar, if desired.



1 lb sugar, 1/2 c water
1 1/2 c honey
1/2 lb almonds
500 g flour
12 g potash
1 1/2 lb sugar
1/2 lb chocolate powder.
Dissolve sugar in the water, mix with honey and boil this syrupin a big pan. Add potash, cardamom, cloves to taste and choppedalmonds. Take off from the heat and add flour. Stir thoroughlyand make the dough on the table. Cut out different figurines,put on the sheet and bake in the oven until ready.