Cranberry tart with white chocolate

St. Valentine’s Day is coming, and I’m sure that most of you are looking for something special to surprise your second halves with. Believe me, this tart is exactly what you’re looking for! Breathtakingly aromatic and irresistibly mouthwatering, light and energizing, with crunchy almond basis, sweet-sour spicy cranberry filling, and delicious soft as cloud white chocolate cream topping, it will get right to the heart of that very one! Besides, it’s nothing difficult to prepare and the risk of failure is really non-existent. In case of limited leisure time, it’s perfectly normal to cook this tart step-by-step in different days: to bake the tart base and prepare the cream base the day before, and do all the rest on that very day. And I’m sure that you’ll be amazed no less than your love! Go on, and love for everybody!

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Brussel sprouts-orange salad

Common cabbage is one of the most traditional vegetables in Ukrainian kitchens with a wide variety of ways of cooking it known to each and every housewife. Yet, we often neglect other, sometimes much healthier, types of cabbage, like broccoli, cauliflower or Brussel sprouts, and our choice of recipes including these vegetables is quite limited. Today, I offer you an extremely healthy (really, it’s like a vitamin bomb), energizing, nutritious and truly delectable salad with raw uncooked Brussel sprouts (and yes, it’s perfectly OK to eat them fresh), completely devoid of any bitterness common to cooked Brussel sprouts. Combined with oranges and hazelnuts, these tiny greens will undoubtedly surprise you and will definitely win a place on your table as a side dish or even a main one if combined with some soft salty cheese or smoked meat. So, go on and experiment!

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Biscuits ‘Cheesy cushions’

The holidays have finished and it’s a high time we moved on in our culinary explorations and tried something new. These biscuits are just ideal for this purpose: incredibly easy and quick to make, made of simple enough ingredients, and yet mouth-wateringly delicious. Indulge yourself with these light and soft cottage cheese ‘cushions’ with delicate citrusy aroma and just a perfect amount of dark chocolate sprinkling that will make your winter days just a bit cozier.

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Baked vegetables with sesame

The long string of winter holidays has finally come to an end and we’re more and more looking to something light and easily digestible, yet still delicious, to unload our stomachs. This recipe is just perfect for this purpose: potatoes, carrots, and Brussel sprouts baked gradually, step by step, to ideal texture, and sprinkled with sesame seeds and lemon zest for freshness, are perfectly light, dietetic, and truly delectable dish that can serve as a side dish for any meat or fish, or just be eaten alone as the main dish. And don’t you doubt about adding carrots – lots of people, me including, hate baked or boiled carrots, but not in this recipe! Added a bit later than potatoes and cooked for exactly the indicated time, it gets the ideal texture being moderately soft with the appetizing smell of fresh carrots. And seasoned with crunchy sesame seeds, even children wouldn’t resist stuffing these vegetables in their mouths!

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Ukraine is a country with probably the largest number of winter holidays, including two New Years and two Holy Eves; and the next week we’re going to celebrate the baptism of Jesus, preceding which is still another Holy Eve. It is traditional to celebrate the Holy Eves with twelve Lenten dishes, among which – at least in my family – is kalach, a traditional braided bread sprinkled with poppy seeds. My recipe of kalach is probably the tastiest one I’ve ever tried: soft, aromatic, tender, and literally melting in your mouth! It’s perfectly easy to cook and quite slow to get stale (my record after cooking double portion was one week, and that tiny bit that was left was still soft). To make it more varied, you can sprinkle it with almond flakes, add raisins or some spices to the dough (especially tasty is adding ½ tbsp cardamom pods), or even add jam to the braid! So, even if it isn’t a part of your traditions, I fervently recommend cooking it just to enjoy its softness or to make delicious toasts.

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Christmas dinner traditions

‘Silent night, holy night, all is calm, all is bright…’

Christmas is coming! And while you’re busy getting ready, buying all the necessary foods, and planning your holidays, I offer you today to learn something new… of course, about Christmas! In particular, about traditional Christmas dinner in main English-speaking countries. And while some details and traditions vary from district to district within even the same country (just think about the differences we have in Ukrainian traditional menus!), here are some classical dishes which are literally the symbols of winter holidays and Christmas in particular in those countries.

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Mulled wine

Mulled wine is a traditional winter drink enjoyed worldwide at various street markets, Christmas fairs, or simply at home. Also, it’s my favourite drink, and I’ve tried dozens of it to find out the ideal one, the one that I’m presenting today, with a festive mixture of spices and a strong aroma of mystery and joy. I’ve always associated mulled wine with a fireplace (although I have none 😊), warm socks (oh, those I have), a cozy blanket, and pristine snow (hope to come soon). Along with mandarins and Christmas tree, mulled wine is the spirit of the Christmas holidays for me. Besides, apart from getting you warm on a winter night and lifting your mood, a side effect of mulled wine is preventing flu and healing sore throat, so why not? What do you associate mulled wine with?

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Brussel sprouts with meatballs

I’m crazy about greenery: aside from being extremely beneficial for your health, it helps you to stay optimistic, energetic and concentrated throughout the week. Obviously, in winter we don’t have many green vegetables or fruit, but, luckily, we have Brussel sprouts! Many people avoid them because of their natural bitterness, yet with this recipe, you’ll doubtlessly fall in love with this precious vegetable! Stewed with carrots and covered with delicious meat sauce with meatballs, it makes for an excellent, filling yet energizing side dish or gravy. So, don’t miss this opportunity while it’s still time for Brussel sprouts!

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Pasta with baked cauliflower

I looove cauliflower; for me, it’s one of the tastiest vegetables ever, and when baked it becomes so deliciously appetizing that it’s impossible to resist! This dish is even more irresistible: just imagine, soft cauliflower baked with spicy garlic, aromatic parsley, creamy pasta, and golden pine nuts, all sprinkled with hard cheese, mmm! Being perfectly easy to cook, light, dietetic, and unquestionably tasty, this pasta is definitely my favourite choice for dinner. So, give it a try!

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November Salad

This vigorous salad is another one of my favourites: juicy, creamy, bright, and refreshing! I suppose you’ve already guessed the reason for its name, haven’t you? Right, these red and yellow peppers and orange carrot make it look like autumn leaves under our feet! And when combined with tender turkey and cheese, it becomes so invigorating, nourishing, and energizing that it can doubtlessly replace your dinner! So, what are you waiting for?

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