Mon, September 29, 2014

Russian blini with peanut butter and strawberry jamNew York fall colorsRussian blini with peanut butter and strawberry jam filling
Linen Runner // Williams-Sonoma (this one, napkins, tablecloth) • Forks // Vintage find • Plate // Pottery Barn

I really love posting about my Russian-American food experiments here, but with the move to New York I had to leave all of my kitchen and photo props behind, hence the little break I’ve had from posting food. Now I’m constantly on a mission to find everything from table to napkins, which is not as easy as I imagined! Last week I got a bit lucky with a few plates and linens, which inspired me to take pictures for this post.

Russian pancakes, “blini,” are very similar to French crêpes, just a bit thicker. They’re easy to make and can become a part of any meal depending on the filling.  I craved a dessert and the famous American combo of peanut butter and jam seamed like the right fit.

Russian Blini Dough:

  • 4 cups of flour
  • 4 cups of milk at room temperature, or 2 cups of milk + 2 cups of water
  • 10g dry yeast
  • 3 eggs, yokes and whites separated
  • 1Tsp sugar
  • 1tsp salt
  • 2Tsp melted cream butter

Mix flour with yeast, add milk and leave in a warm place to rise. Beat yokes with salt, sugar and butter. Separately beat the whites. When the flour mix is ready, add yokes mixture and mix them well together. If it’s too thick, add warm water, it had to be pretty runny. Right before cooking add fluffy egg whites.

Place a tiny piece of butter in the pan, and spread it around. Ladle in a spoonful of batter, pour it in the middle of the pan and swirl the pan to spread the batter. Cook until golden brown, then flip with a spatula. Cook until the other side is golden brown, then reserve on a plate with a small piece of butter on top. Repeat until you run out of batter.

You can put whatever you want inside of them!  I spread peanut butter and strawberry jam inside and added freshly diced strawberries, then rolled and cut them into pieces like sushi.

Harlem fall colorsNew York Harlem fall colorsfall colorsfall colorsMadewell flats

Dress // H&M (here) • Shoes // Madewell (now on sale, similar) • Ben’s shirt // Zara

Ben and I were talking about trees today and how/when they decide to change colors. I always just assumed that as autumn rolls in, the daylight becomes shorter, the temperature decreases, and that’s how the trees realize it’s time to prepare for their winter sleep.

It’s the end of September here, but it definitely feels like July: today we had a fabulous 80F day with bright skies and sunshine. Most of the trees show no sign of calendar awareness either, but there are a few exceptions. This colorful tree in the park was hard to pass up. Isn’t it gorgeous? How does it know it’s supposed to be red right now? I’m very glad some trees are disciplined, it’s my first fall in New York City and I hope it will be bright and colorful!

Я очень скучаю по всем моим тарелкам, ложкам, мискам, столам и салфеткам, оставленным в Айдахо при переезде, а свободное время провожу во всевозможных магазинах в поисках новых фотогеничных объектов. На прошлой неделе мне повезло, и у меня появились несколько чудесных матовых тарелок, льняные салфетки и желание снова фотографировать рецепты.

Так и родились эти блины с начинкой из арахисовой пасты и клубничного джема – мне нравится объединять русские и американские традиции! Сами блины в этот раз я пекла по новому рецепту с добавлением дрожжей и молока, они получились чуть плотнее, чем раньше, и менее кружевными. Мне кажется, всё было довольно вкусно, так как блины уже закончились. Это всегда самый верный показатель, правда ведь?

Кстати, о показателях. У нас стоит настоящая июльская жара, сегодня снова было +27, солнечно и сухо. Кажется, Нью-Йорк не обращает внимание на календарь. Некоторые деревья оказались более дисциплинированными и по одиночке начали менять цвет листьев. Вот такое у нас красивейщее красное дерево стоит перед домом, мы не могли пройти мимо, не покружившись в листве перед камерой.

Thu, September 25, 2014

Lublyou NYCCentral Park fall bridgeLublyou LaduréeLublyou Central ParkFifth Avenue Central Park Lublyou in Central ParkCentral Park turtles and ducksCentral Park walks Lublyou Katie Ben

Our third week in New York City was very different from the first two, even our (newly) traditional Sunday date was like no other!

On Saturday afternoon we left the city to visit family in New Jersey. I was a little nervous since it was my first time meeting this side of Ben’s family and it was also the first time we were leaving Sonya bunny on her own for so long since we’d moved here. We took a bus to New Jersey at Port Authority (in case anybody is looking for how to do it, we bought them at the station, it was $20 roundtrip per person, schedule here) and it whipped us away to the other state in just 30 minutes, which was great! At the bus station we were immediately picked up by Ben’s aunt and grandmother who brought us to their house full of relatives for a big family gathering.

It was a surprise to me how many new family members I got to meet! Everyone was very nice and friendly and made me feel welcome and comfortable (which isn’t the easiest thing to do with me, to be honest, unfortunately I tend to take time to relax in new company.) It reminded me how terribly I miss my family and how much I love big gatherings like this. I wish we could all get together more often!

The dinner party was super fun, we had four different cakes for dessert (if that says anything,) and late at night we caught a bus back to Manhattan. The ride took us longer because of some rerouting and detours but the night view of glowing New York City from the other side of the Hudson river made it very special.

It rained at night and the next morning we went on a very foggy Central Park and Ladurée date. This time we ordered a bright green pastry with vivid red berries and took it to the top of the rocks near the south end of the park. We got really lucky with the view from our date spot thanks to the fog hugging the skyscrapers and some of the trees starting to change color. I’m excited to see what this Sunday brings us!

Приближаются наши четвёртые выходные в Нью-Йорке, нужно скорее успеть рассказать про предыдущие! В субботу мы сели на автобус и поехали в соседний штат Нью-Джерси в гости к бениным родственникам.

Я, конечно, немного волновалась, особенно, когда я узнала, что на встречу с нами со всех концов штата съехались тёти, дяди, двоюродные сёстры, братья, и даже 88-летняя бабушка! Но все мои страхи быстро улетучились, к счастью, моя местная семья оказалась очень дружелюбной, весёлой и заботливой. Мы отлично провели вечер, даже звонили по Скайпу бениным родителям в Айдахо, а на десерт у нас было 4 разных торта! Как же я скучаю по своей семье! Хотелось бы с ними так собираться по-чаще.

Позже той ночью мы сели на передние сидения автобуса в сторону Манхеттена, и бонусом нашей поездки стал ослепительный вид ночного Нью-Йорка с противоположного берега реки Гудзон.

Всю ночь шёл дождь, а утром город встретил нас густым туманом. По традиции мы зашли в Ladurée, в этот раз заказали ярко-зелёное пирожное с сочно-красными ягодами и разместились на пикник на скалах в южной части парка. Интернет мне подсказывает, что это обнажения горной породы под названием аспидный сланец Manhattan schist. Вид оттуда открывается восхитительный, особенно, когда небоскрёбы прячутся в тумане, а деревья начинают менять цвет и ронять листву. Интересно, что же нас ждёт в следующее воскресенье?

Sun, September 21, 2014

katieUncle Vanya Cafe New YorkUncle Vanya CafeUncle Vanya Russian CafeUncle Vanya Russian Tea

We began our journey into the Russian food scene of New York City with the Uncle Vanya Cafe (315 W 54th St.)

For most of our meal, we were the only people in the room, joined at the end by a group of businessmen trying not to be too adventurous — “yes, I’ll also have borscht and Russian tea” — and a young couple with their parents visiting, chatting animatedly about their city life to their “out of towner” parents.

There was a lunch deal with a combination of different things, and we settled on borscht (beet soup) and pelmeni (meat dumplings), all of which was pretty good, but nothing too special as far as Russian food goes.

Russian Tea was the star of the visit, and this is why. It was a separate menu item: tea, cherry preserve and cookies. Sounded pretty good, we ordered it and the following appeared on the table: two tea cups, a pot of tea, a glass filled with cherry preserve and 3 (!) simple sugar cookies nicely placed around it. Exactly three. I mean, it wouldn’t be that weird to serve 3 cookies to 2 people if someone had just casually dropped them in a bowl with other stuff like candy and pastries, but I loved the fact that someone specifically picked three cookies and then nicely, one by one, laid them out on the plate.  It’s not really a complaint, we both just thought it was hilarious to be so specific, but yet not leave an even number of cookies for two people.

I brought home a desire to continue eating Russian food, and made a garlicky beet salad. It’s perfect for this time of the year: as Russians believe, garlic helps fight off flu and other viruses.

Russian Beet Garlic Salad

Russian Beet Salad

This Russian salad has a nice flavor of sweetness and a kick of garlic. It can be made with olive oil or mayonnaise, and sometimes I add walnuts, prunes and parsley.

Beets, boiled or roasted and grated
Mayonnaise or olive oil
Garlic, minced
Optional: toasted and chopped walnuts, chopped prunes, chopped parsley

Combine grated beets with garlic (use as much as you want), oil or mayonnaise. Add chopped walnuts, prunes and parsley to taste. The simplest appetizer or side dish is ready!

Мы продолжаем исследовать кафе и рестораны русской кухни в Нью-Йорке, на прошлой неделе мы заглянули в кафе Дядя Ваня на обед. Нас потчевали борщем и пельменями, о которых мне сказать нечего, а завершили нашу трапезу мы “Русским чаем.”

На столе появились две чайные чашечки, чайничек, бокал с вишнёвым вареньем на блюдце, по краю которого красовались три (!) печеньки. Три на двоих. Обычных сахарных печеньки. Вовсе не небрежно высыпанное печенье, будто просто так получилось, что их выпало три. Нет, они были бережно разложены вокруг бокала с вареньем. Как сказал мой брат, “Россия – щедрая душа!” Я даже рада такому анекдоту, Дядя Ваня хоть чем-то удивил :-)

Fri, September 19, 2014

Lublyou: Ladurée Upper East SideLublyou: Central Park Sheep MeadowLublyou: Sheep Meadow

After moving to our new city and once again leaving everything familiar behind, it felt right to start establishing some new routines. I think Ben and I have a great new tradition! On Sundays we go for a walk, stop by Ladurée, get a delicious pastry in a gorgeous box and take it to Central Park to eat together on a green hill.

I can’t imaging a better weekend date, I love sitting under the lush old trees, watching people walking, roller skating, horseback riding, discussing which of those fluffy puppies playing on the lawn across the street we’d like to steal and take home, and then deciding to stroll along the lake to look at the buildings rising over the trees in the background.

Can’t wait to go on our next Sunday Central Park date!

Чтобы новый город не казался чужим, нужно как можно скорее завести себе новые традиции! В Нью-Йорке по воскресеньям мы заходим в кондитерскую Ladurée за удивительно красивыми и невероятно вкусными пирожными в очаровательных коробочках, потом мы идём в Центральный парк на зелёную лужайку под пушистыми деревьями и наслаждаемся сладким пикником в лучах солнца.

Мне очень нравится наблюдать за проходящими мимо людьми: некоторые бегают, другие катаются на велосипедах, лошадях, роликах, кто-то выгуливает собак или толкает перед собой коляску, а некоторые просто загорают на полянках и холмах. А мы кушаем. Скорей бы уже воскресенье!

Lublyou: LaduréeLublyou: Ladurée New YorkLublyouLublyou: New York Central ParkLublyou: Central Park Sheep MeadowLublyu: New York Central ParkLublyou

Tue, September 16, 2014

Lublyou: Grove Alley BrooklynGrove Alley Paint NiteLublyou: Kimchi Taco TruckGrove Alley Paint NiteKimchi Taco Food TruckGrove Alley NYC

Last Friday after work we headed to Brooklyn for the “Grove Alley Paint Nite,” organized by one of my new friends, Melanie. It was a huge gathering (last time there were 2300 people!) for everyone who’s into street art, live music, food trucks and hanging out with new and old friends.

It should come as no surprise that the street food vendors were our first stop after arriving and greeting Melanie. Our choice was also clear, we weren’t going to pass up the Kimchi Taco Truck. Our love for Korean food never stops growing. Kimchi is one of those funny things that seems strange at first but gets better and better every time you have it. I really don’t mind being reminded about the beginning of our relationship, and I think spicy food is especially good when it’s about to get cold. Win-win!

Do you like kimchi? Sauerkraut?

We bought a huge jar of kimchi at the store the other night and it’s already half-empty. I’m doubling my servings these days since I’ve been under the weather after getting soaking wet on Saturday. Let’s hope the healing power of kimchi and red pepper help me to get better asap!

Сегодня я буду вещать о том, как я люблю кимчи. Впервые мы познакомились четыре года назад, когда я ездила в гости к Сэм и Бену в Южную Корею. Там для меня открылся новый мир зажигательно-острой корейской кухни, от которой пахнет рыбой и распухают губы. Тогда же я впервые попробовала кимчи – остро приправленную квашеную пекинскую капусту.

Мне больше всего нравится, что эта капуста имеет множество жилок и складочек, в которых собирается красный перец, лук, чеснок, имбирь…ммммм! По-моему, кимчи должна быть в моём рационе всю осень и зиму, как профилактика простуды.

В прошлую пятницу мы ходили на выставку уличного искусства и концерт, организованные одной из моих новых Бруклинских подруг. Помимо граффити и модной молодёжи там были food trucks – ресторанчики на колёсах, одним из которых был Kimchi Taco! Мы взяли буррито с острой свининой и рис с кимчи, что вдохновило нас на покупку огромной банки кимчи по дороге домой. Банка уже наполовину пуста.

Sun, September 14, 2014

Lublyou: Central HarlemLublyou: Harlem ShakeLublyou: Central Harlem NYCLublyou: Harlem ShakeLublyou: Harlem ShakeLublyou: Chocolate Bakon MilkshakeLublyou: Harlem

Hearing the name of a place I’ve never been always brings to mind vague associated images and expectations that I halfway hope to confirm, but know that I’ll actually have changed as soon as I arrive. “Harlem” had a huge range of different images and rumors associated with it in my imagination, and we were really curious to explore it firsthand and see what it was really like.

To begin with, the buildings are beautiful! Along the wide Malcolm X Boulevard/Lenox Avenue (Mount Morris Park District), there are tall churches and colorfully painted elementary schools. Splitting off from Lenox are tree-lined streets and brownstone stoops with wrought-iron gates and awesome balconies. There are little corner shops and restaurants which are hidden away under umbrellas at first glance, and only become obvious once you’re right in front of them.

While it’s not at all hidden, we stopped in at “Harlem Shake” (which has a great, 50′s/60′s style diner interior) for a Double-Chocolate Bacon milkshake to enjoy while walking around.

It’s impossible to really understand a place immediately, but both Ben and I agreed that on first impression, it reminded us a little of Barcelona, something about the decorated stone buildings, people sitting and talking outside… but we really felt like we only scratched the surface, and we’re looking forward to checking out some of the more famous landmarks like the Apollo Theater in the future!

При слове “Гарлем” мне в голову до последнего времени приходило множество разнообразных и противоречивых образов. Одно было ясно точно – раз уж мы будем жить в Нью-Йорке, нужно будет всё исследовать, исходить и лично увидеть.

Спешу поделиться радостным открытием – архитектура в Гарлеме очаровательна! Вдоль Ленокс авеню мы не успевали вертеть головами, чтобы рассмотреть все высокие церкви (во всём Гарлеме их более 400!), разноцветные дома с крышами, как в “Карлсоне”, прячущиеся под навесами кафе и магазинчики. Если свернуть на одну из параллельных улиц в районе 116-125 станций метро, можно прогуляться по коридору ровненьких “браунстоунов” (brownstone, “дом из коричневого камня”) под сенью перевивающихся деревьев.

В будущем мы планируем провести более детальный кулинарный тур по Центральному Гурлему, а пока мы ограничились шоколадным молочным коктейлем с беконом из Harlem Shake. По вкусу – как слегка подталое густое мороженное, посыпанное хрустящей солёной крошкой, довольно просто, но запоминающееся.

Tue, September 9, 2014

Lublyou: Central ParkLublyou: Central Park NYCLublyou: Ladurée NYCLublyou: New York Central ParkLublyou: Central Park Sail Boats

On Sunday, I had, for the very first time, a pastry from a Ladurée boutique. Not even a macaron like you’d expect. There were too many flavors and colors to choose from, so I сouldn’t. I went for this amazing raspberry multi-layered creamy goodness in its really beautiful packaging. We took this treat to Central Park and ate it there on a green lawn. It was a perfect Sunday, I can’t wait for the next one!

The park didn’t disappoint either. No need to worry about missing the greenness of our old home yet – there is plenty of nature near our new house! I think the best thing about Central Park is that it’s very hilly – it basically makes the whole area seem bigger just like in Manito Park in Spokane! You can walk the roads and trails, row a boat on one of the lakes, picnic on the side of a hill or in the middle of a meadow, hide in the woods… There were lots of people in the park, of course, but it felt like there was enough room for everyone and lots of quiet spaces to enjoy a book or a romantic date.

Central Park strolls and French pastries are all very fun, but tomorrow is going to be the most fun I’ve had in a long time – I’m going to my very first photo shoot with Vanessa Rees! She’s been my favorite food photographer for a long time and she chose me to intern with her for the next 4 months! Too many exclamation marks, but I just can’t wait to share more about it later.

За прошлую неделю мы исходили большую часть Манхеттена. У меня в сумке есть педометр, которым мы меряем количество шагов и каждый вечер ставим новые рекорды. В воскресенье мы долго кружили по Центральному парку, сожгли кучу каллорий и нашли бутик Ladurée, где просто невозможно устоять перед всевозможными вкуснейшими и красивейшими искушениями. Мы решили соригинальничать и вместо очевидных разноцветных “макарон” взяли малиновое пирожное. Это что-то невероятное: воздушное, многоярусное, свежее, кремовое… да ещё и упаковано, как на день рождения! Одного десерта было достаточно, чтобы завербовать нас в верные поклонники пекарни. Очень жду следующей встречи!

Продолжая тему еды, скажу, что завтра будет мой первый день работы в студии Ванессы Риз! Ванесса – мой самый любимый фотограф, она специализируется на фотографии еды, и в течение следующих четырёх месяцев я буду работать с ней в студии и активно перенимать опыт. Мечты сбываются!

Sat, September 6, 2014

Lublyou: Harlem brownstonesLublyou: NYC brownstonesLublyou: BrownstonesLublyou: HarlemLublyou: Loft Madewell

Skirt//LOFT — 50% off now!

It’s crazy how many things happen to us here every single day compared to our quiet and slow life in Idaho! I need to post every day to try and cover some of the events, because they will all vanish from my head in a few days with more adventures. I can’t decide where to start so I’ll do a story about mail tonight.

When we decided to move to New York we knew we had to do some serious downsizing. We ended up getting rid of most of the things we accumulated, packed our computer, books for work, winter coats and favorite picnic blanket in boxes and shipped them to ourselves to the city. We weren’t sure how the whole packages thing works in New York, I read online that if our house doesn’t have a doorman we need to send the boxes to some other address to avoid having them being dropped off on the street and picked up by a random passerby.

We thought it’d be smart to ask the post office to mark the boxes as “Hold for arrival” which will tell the city USPS workers to keep our packages for us to come get them in person. So we sent them off and flew to the city. On Friday we realized that we didn’t have a mailbox key – how would we get the USPS notification to pick up the packages?! Our landlord (and friend) is in San Francisco and he thought of a quick solution – has anyone heard of KeyMe? It’s a very cool digital locksmith app/kiosk – you can make a digital copy of your key from anywhere and send it to anyone to make a copy via email.

We got a digital key copy and headed down to the nearest kiosk. It looked pretty impressive: there is an animation of a locksmith inspecting your key and then making it, after he’s finished he drops the key on the screen and a real key falls out of a box! I saw this happen to some people in front of us. Of course, ours didn’t work that well, I don’t know what was wrong but we called the help line and a guy told us to come to their office for our key in the last 20 minutes before they closed for the week. On the other side of Midtown. We walked through crowds of tourists, burning sun, then suddenly rain, then sun again, traffic lights, intersections and endless walls of high rises. We made it just in time to get our new shiny mail key! But that was not the happy ending, of course.

Arriving home we headed straight for the mail box and were relieved to find that the key actually worked, so we went to our door… and found our USPS boxes with large “HOLD FOR ARRIVAL” sitting in front of us! I’m pretty undecided here: on one hand, it’s great that they are already here safely and we don’t need to go pick them up (I guess…?) but then why did we undergo an extreme quest all over Manhattan to get the key to get a note from the post office?!

Thu, September 4, 2014


I’m writing this post from New York City!

We flew in on Tuesday night with just two suitcases and our Sonya bunny, I still feel like I’m in a dream. The past few days we spent filling up our apartment with necessities. We’ve already completed a trip to IKEA — see the picture of Ben being my hero and carrying the blue bags? Now we have towels, dishes, sheets, forks, a fan (!!!), we’re still in search of a kettle – where do you get it in Manhattan?

I also urgently need clothes and shoes, since we left almost everything behind. We spent part of the day today strolling up and down Midtown with not so much luck for me. Why does everything in my size sell out so fast? Ben, on the other hand, got very lucky at Banana Republic and Zara — I can’t wait to see him dressed up for work next Monday!

Now about my favorite subject, food. We got pretty lucky with two hole-in-the-wall cafes – yesterday we had a great Korean bibimbap at K-Bap (Korean Pro) on 56th street and today we ate sushi and udon soup at Kikku on 55th. As hard as it will be, we’re going to try to go to a new place every time, no matter how good the last one was. Hopefully, we’ll explore more tasty locations this way.

Last night we wined and dined in Chelsea at our friends’ place (we went to Salt Lake City last year to see them get married!): their apartment is the coziest and best designed home I’ve seen in the city, and they have a new puppy, Hazel, who is an adorable bonus.

I hope I get to take my camera out for a walk pretty soon and have some nice photos to post. Our street is so dreamy, I can’t believe it! Can’t wait to share.

Приветы из Нью-Йорка! Вот уже третий день, как мы здесь резиденствуем. Всё как во сне, а во сне же обычно забываешь про земные и материальные нужнды, вот и мы так: прилетели с двумя чемоданами и кроликом Соней в пустую квартиру. Сейчас бегаем по магазинам, собираем всё, что вспомним: тарелки, ложки, полотенца, шампуни, лампы, вентилятор, простыни, сковороды…. и постоянно что-то забываем! Завтра будем искать чайник.

Ещё было бы здорово найти одежду, сегодня гуляли вдоль и поперёк Мидтауна по всем магазинам – в результате одели Бена, а я пока в поисках идеального городского гардероба. Зато нашли прекрасные маленькие кафешки, конечно же, корейскую и японскую – такого разнообразия нам в Айдахо не хватало.

Постараюсь на днях взять с собой камеру на прогулки и сделать хоть немного больших фотографий. Архитектура меня просто с ума сводит – так всё красиво и каменно! :-)

Wed, August 27, 2014

Sandpoint Idaho Fair AlpacasSandpoint Bonner County FairSandpoint Idaho Fair cowBonner County Fair IdahoSandpoint Idaho Fair pigSandpoint fair mini pigSandpoint Fair curly friesSandpoint LublyouBonner County Fairgrounds

It’s official, we have six days left in Sandpoint, Idaho.

Everything we do this week gets labeled as “the Last”.

This is the last time we hiked the Gold Hill and had a picnic on the top of the mountain overlooking the lake.
This is the last time we had production meeting at work and got the double stamps for the vanilla chai lattes.
This is the last time we pick up film prints from the Image Maker.

As our last weekend in Idaho is rapidly approaching I’m sure the “last” game will get even more ridiculous.

So, this was the last time we went to the Sandpoint Fair. Going to the fair is like visiting the zoo which we don’t have in North Idaho: we saw bunnies, alpacas, pigs, mini goats, sheep, we ate fried food and drank Italian sodas… and I got to pet a mini pig! It was awesome. It was the last time I got to pet a mini pig at the Sandpoint Fair! You see, it’s already getting ridiculous. I’d better start packing now.

Осталось 6 дней до отъезда, поэтому мы начинаем сентиментальничать и играть в игру “это последний раз”. Например:

Это последний раз, когда мы пообедаем на вершине этой горы с видом на озеро!
Это последний раз, когда мы по вторникам купим по большому ванильно-пряному чаю и проведём еженедельную планёрку на работе.
Это последний раз, когда мы зайдём в местную фото лабораторию за распечатками с отснятой плёнки.

С приближением заветной даты таких “это последний раз” будет всё больше, и они будут всё нелепее.

Так вот в пятницу был последний раз, как мы сходили на ежегодную ярмарку! Самым главным событием было то, что я повстречала и погладила мини поросёнка с розовым педикюром! Это было восхитительно. И это был последний раз… ну вы поняли. Пойду лучше собираться.