Friday, June 24, 2011

The goodness of romaine...

Finally, the time has come to start tasting the "fruits" of our labour! Of course, this first harvest isn't anything special, it's only lettuce... Nonetheless, it's always great to know where your food comes from, how it's been grown, where it's organic.

So first up is Romaine Lettuce, which turned out great!
As fresh as it gets!

 Last year we didn't plant any, but rather went with other lettuce varieties (still have them this year). However, we wanted to have MORE! (Plus, I forgot that lettuce is usually a one-time thing - once it's ready you gotta pull the whole thing out, roots and everything, and then re-seed.) Of course, Romaine is considered to be a dark-green leafy "green" and apparently is REALLY good for you.

Why? Well, it's a great source of Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Copper, Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Thiamin, Folate, Iron, Potassium and Manganese. And obviously, it's low in all the bad stuff such as saturated fats, sodium and cholesterol. Finally, as with other dark leafy greens, the antioxidants contained within romaine lettuce are believed to help prevent cancer.

All I have to say is that it's tasting GREAT in my salad right now :)))
In other news, our garden is slowly progressing:

~ tomatoes (cherry) are ready to start reddening
 ~ cucumbers are poking through
~ and so are the zucchinis
~ and finally, our hot peppers are almost ready to be picked

Should be a good harvesting season. Stay tunned!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Quote of the day

"True leaders listen to the voice of their people; dictators jail them for their rightful demands."
~ Jerzy Buzek, President of the European Parliament, on situation in Belarus.

(click here to read more)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Yum for Apple Pie

My friend Eugenia and I were talking about our favourite homemade foods, the ones our moms and grand-moms make. There are a lot of tasty dishes! I mean, A LOT! One of those mouth-watering things is a good old apple pie. This particular recipe that I'm going to share with you is a bit different from the usual North American "crust+filling+cover+make a hole" pie. It also takes a bit more effort than you would expect with an apple pie.

But first, let me tell you where I got this recipe, I don't want to take all the credit.

There is a show on Russian TV, called "Smak" ("Смак") that has been running since 1993. It's sort of a talk + culinary show - a celebrity guest must prepare something in the studio kitchen. It is up to each particular celebrity to choose what the dish will be. In 2001 they published a small recipe book featuring some of those dishes, which my mom sent over to me. This apple pie was made on the show by Georgi Taratorkin, Russian theatre and movie actor.

* NOTE: as you go down the ingredients list, you might think "wow, that's a lot of butter!"; however, all of the recipes I've made so far only contain REAL ingredients - nothing artificial, no preservatives. That's how people cook in many European countries and they are able to maintain their health and lifestyles because of those real foods. 

Here we go!
Mmm, apple pie!... (my hisband described it as "amazing!")

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Quick & Easy: Russian Kotlety

Ever had those days were you don't really know what to do for supper? Or when you're just not in the mood to slave over the stove?..

Here's my variation of the Russian Kotlety (pronounced as "cutlety") recipe that is quick and easy to whip up. It'll take you maybe 10-15 minutes to prepare and mix the ingredients together, and then maybe another 20-30 minutes to cook (depending on your amounts).