Friday, October 25, 2013

Last days of autumn

This is my 15th autumn in Canada (wow... it felt weird writing that, AS IF it's been that long already!), and think this was by far the best fall weather I've experienced here. I figured it wouldn't last long, so we might as well enjoy it a little. Armed with my favourite possession, my camera, we headed just a short drive away to Gatineau Park a few weeks ago.

The colours on the hills and in the valley were breathtaking! We took a ski lift up & down (well, actually we thought of hiking down, but only mountain bikers could get off the lift at the top). Here are some photos for your enjoyment!
View from the ski lift

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Green Tomato Relish

What can I say... This recipe is simply delicious and VERY unexpected also! Because the fall is upon us and because the temperature was starting to dip low at night, we figured that it was time to pick the remainder (a large remainder) of our tomatoes before they got damaged by the frost (never mind this AWESOME stretch of weather we're currently on!). Aside from a few really nice ripe fruits, we had lots of green tomatoes... lots!

What to do with all of them? The only thing we've ever really done with green tomatoes back in my native country was to pickle them (they are delicious, might I add!). But I felt like I wanted to do something interesting instead.

Once again, I scoured the Internet for an idea... I found 3 or 4 interesting things, but finally stopped at a recipe for a Green Tomato Relish. Although I WAS hesitant at first (I'm not a big fan of relish), but I decided to give it a try, and I was not disappointed that I did! It's sweet, yet soft and mild, there is something about it that makes me want to put it on everything!

Green Tomato Relish

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Homemade Salsa


As promised, and a bit overdue, I'm sharing a recipe of salsa I made for the first time ever. I've never actually made salsa before - my adventures in preserving have mostly been in jams (posted here and here). But this year our garden provided us with an overabundance of tomatoes, so it was TIME to do something about it. After looking around the net for a few simple, but interesting recipe, I stopped at one that I felt would be a) easy to prep and b) easy to modify - I adopted (and tweaked) from the Stop Lookin Get Cookin blog.

And here it finally is!
(Note that I skipped the step of peeling the skins off tomatoes and I did NOT add sugar to the jars before pouring in the cooked salsa, in part because I just forgot, but also because there's enough sugar as it is.) 

Homemade Salsa

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Quick update

My poor forgotten blog... well, not exactly forgotten, since I have been thinking of several things to share with you, but as usual, life got in the way!

(*** also, if you're wondering why the number of posts on my blog decreased, that's because I've decided to clean up a little and also to remove some photos of my little miss)

A few good "keeper" recipes ARE coming your way, I promise! But for now... Here are a few photos of this year's harvest :) We're definitely enjoying all of the yummy tomatoes; the biggest one we picked this year weighed in at an impressive 703 grams!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Postcard Collection

Hello friends,

Just a quick update to tell you that I started another blog where I'll be sharing my awesome growing postcard collection! I think it's time you see how one can learn a little bit about the world without leaving the house.

Stay tuned as I post the images for my 250+ cards :) and I'll try to keep you up-to-date with weeklies.

Here's the link: Postcrossing World

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Russian Strawberry Compote

I remember when I was a young I used to LOVE when the first harvest of berries came around our dacha. My grandparents always had an abundance of strawberries growing in the yard. So usually, after we would feast ourselves on said berries, there were enough left over to prep and preserve them for the winter. There was LOTS of jam (and I'm making some this summer!), but there were also large 3L jars of berries compote.

This is my first time making this beverage (and if preserved properly, it keeps well into the winter months), so I decided to search for a recipe online. Of course, if you search for "strawberry compote", you will find a recipe for something that has a syrup-like consistency and is meant to be poared over pancakes, ice creams, etc. Though there is nothing wrong with that (yum!), it wasn't what I was looking for.

So instead, I ended up searching for "клубничный компот" and finding what I needed :)
(in Russian, of course). It looks and tastes more like a strawberry juice.

I hope you enjoy it as much I do!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Spring's in the air (and on our skin)

The sun is out more and more every day, and the spring has definitely (and finally!) arrived. This means that it’s that time of the year where we should look in busting out that sunscreen (at least for the pasty pale folks such as me)!

Most people have a bottle or two from last summer, hanging somewhere around the house. But before you slather yourself and your kiddies with that, there are few things that you should keep in mind:

Monday, February 25, 2013

Who doesn't like cake? ("Rotten Tree Stump Cake")

Playing catch-up has been tough so blogging's been on the back burner a little...
This recipe was supposed to be shared with you, oh... about a month and a half ago! But, of course, life got in the way.

While vacationing in Belarus in January, my sister and I (well, more like my sister ONLY, I was mostly taking photos) made a delicious cake, whose name doesn't do it justice.

I do hope you attempt to make it as it is SO so easy! Here's a little preview:

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Evening at the ballet

Those of you that have seen my list know that an outing to the ballet has made it on. However, it's been such a long time that I didn't even know where to start, whom to ask for company, etc. partly because we don't have a dedicated Opera & Ballet Theatre here, but mostly because it HAS been too long.

Then my sister told me that she got tickets for my mom and I to go to the ballet while I visited them in Minsk. I was stoked! I've always loved that theatre and going there with my mom, just the two of us, would be nice; that too we haven't done in a long while.

The ballet was called Бахчисарайский фонтан (English: The Fountain of Bakhchisarai) based on a poem by the same name written by A. Pushkin. The stage decorations, the costumes, the dancers - everything looked beautiful and well put together. It wasn't your typical classical "Swan Lake" sort of a ballet, it was full of colours and movement; I enjoyed the costumes being non-traditional, it was refreshing. This made me wanting to get back to seeing ballet more often (gotta check out what we have at NAC). Let me know if you're interested in joining me!

Here are just a few shots of what we enjoyed for 2.5 hours :)
(there is a LOT more to see)
National  Academic Bolshoi Theatre of Opera and Ballet of the Republic of Belarus