Saturday, October 23, 2010

Draniki (Russian potato patties)

This is probably my favorite dish, my mom used to make it for me when I was a little girl. This is definitely my kind of comfort food :)


6-7 potatoes (medium sized)
2 Tbs. flour
Sunflower oil (you can use any oil but it tastes the best with sunflower oil)
1 tsp salt
1 egg

Peel and grate the potatoes (this is done much easier with a food processor). Put the grated potatoes in a bowl. Add egg, flour and salt and mix it all together. Heat some oil in a pan on medium high heat, only when the oil is hot (you can test the oil by adding a drop of water into the pan. If the oil is hot enough it will spit). Scoop some of the potato mixture with you hand and form a flat patty (try to squeeze any fluids out of the patty before putting it in the pan, this will make the patties crispy!). After about 2 minutes (when the patty is brown and crispy) use a spatula to flip it to the other side. Fry the other side until it is also nicely browned (about 2-3 minutes). As you continue forming your patties you will notice that more fluid is forming, make sure to squeeze out most of the fluid before cooking the rest of the draniki. Add oil as required. Serve hot on it's own or with a salad. Enjoy!

Friday, October 22, 2010


Since coming to Canada in 2003 I was trying to find foods that reminded me of home. It took me 2 years to find good apple juice (Tropicana), 4 years to find real Hummus ("Sabra" at Loblaws, Kosher section), and now after 8 years of continuous search I found my bread!!! This should not be taken lightly! Bread is such an important food, I wasn't able to find delicious bread for 8 years, I tried so many kinds and nothing tasted like home. I finally found it and it's perfect. Not too mushy, not too sticky, not too dry, and not too crispy. Some breads are so crusty I feel like they should warn you on the package about the dangers of eating it.

Before I tell you anymore about this wonderful bread I discovered, I suggest you turn on your favorite drum-roll.

It is a Belgian Bread made by Irresistibles. It is sold at Metro, I haven't seen it anywhere else so far. There! So now you can save yourself 8 years of searching. Bread, I always knew you were out there. <3

Broke Bean Stew

I got this recipe from the Biggest Loser and it is sooo good! I did make it a little bit differently, the original recipe doesn't require any meat so if you are a vegetarian then leave the meat out and use a vegetable broth instead of chicken broth...However, my husband Nik is a meateatarian! Had I not put any meat in, at dinner I would hear him say: "Did you forget to put the meat in?" or "Is this some kind of cereal?" or "Can you pass me the burger patties?". You get the,to avoid my wonderful stew being turned into something resembling burger soup at the last minute, I added some beef and it turned out really yumzers! I wouldn't make it any other way.


1 Tbsp olive oil
1 large yellow or white onion, chopped
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 small package of beef cubes or 1.5 lb. of steak cut up into cubes.
1 large can diced fire-roasted tomatoes (or just diced tomatoes)
2 cans (15.5 oz each) black beans or chickpeas or lima beans; rinsed & drained
1 can chickpeas
3.5 cups organic chicken broth
1/4 cup chopped cilantro (or parsley if your name is Christine Armstrong and you can't stand cilantro! :) )
2 cups baby spinach leaves (optional)
Serve with sour cream.


Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in 4-quart saucepan. Add onion and sauté about 5 minutes, until softened but not browned. Add garlic and cook 1 minute longer. Do not brown garlic. Add the spices. Stir well to coat onions and garlic in the spices.

Add tomatoes and simmer about 5 minutes. Add the beef cubes and mix it well with the spices, onions and garlic so nothing gets stuck to the bottom of the pot. Keep stirring for about 10 minutes, the beef should no longer look raw. Add 2 cans of beans and 2 ½ cups of broth and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer.

Place the chickpeas and the rest of the broth (1 cup) in bowl of food processor or in blender. Add cilantro and puree until smooth. Add mixture to stew. Add spinach (optional) and heat just until wilted. Stir well and serve hot with a bit of sour cream. Enjoy!!!