Lublyou: Russian/American Life & Cuisine

life and cuisine

Fri, November 21 2014

A day trip to Cold Spring, NY

Сold Spring panoramaCold Spring NY riverCold Spring Hudson riverOld Spring NYCold Spring antiquesCold Spring fallCold Spring houseCold Spring Main streetSilver Spoon Cafe Cold SpringCold Spring tripCold Spring New YorkCold Spring NY fallCold Spring riverCold Spring stoopsCold Spring upstate NYPumpkins stoopRed tree

A couple of weeks ago, my friend Emma and I, both craving fall colors and space, got on a northbound train at Grand Central Terminal. About an hour later, we were enjoying the sweetness of country air and the splendid panorama of the Hudson river.

It was a perfect little weekday getaway: the town was very quiet, peaceful and charming.  We got incredibly lucky with the weather, too, it was sunny and in the 70s!

Ben met me after work at the train station and my first words were “I found the East-coast Sandpoint!”  Cold Spring is smaller than Sandpoint, and there are some differences, of course, but the combination of the scenery, fresh air, slow pace, cute houses, gardens, antique shops, trains… it felt like a super short trip back to North Idaho!

We spent our day drifting up and down the streets, picking our dream houses, taking hundreds of photos of the colorful trees (which is partly the reason for this post being delayed awhile,) visiting various shops to look for perfect souvenirs, and eating, of course. For lunch, we chose the Silver Spoon Cafe, and sat on the veranda.  On our way back to the river we grabbed spiced cider at Cupoccino Cafe.

If I had to pick one word to describe my impression of Cold Spring, it’d be “serenity.” I think it’s a great location for a short getaway, maybe next time Ben will join me — the “Pig Hill Inn” B&B looks so cozy!

Fall colorsSilver spoon cafe

Пару недель назад у нас с Эммой был выходной в будний день, погода выдалась по-летнему тёплой и солнечной, и мы отправились на поезде на север в городок Cold Spring.

Там так тихо, спокойно и красиво… как в Сэндпоинте! Всего в часе езды от Манхеттена на противоположном побережье страны я нашла знакомые холмы, реку, гул поездов вдали, милейшие домики, ступеньки, кафе и антикварные магазины.

Ритм жизни тоже не по-нью-йорски размеренный. Во время нашего визита во вторник половина ресторанов и магазинов были закрыты, а те, что работали, после обеда громко сообщали, что пора выходить, двери закрываются. Куда именно люди спешат с работы так рано в этом маленьком городке – для меня до сих пор загадка.

Сегодня, когда разноцветной листвы на улицах почти не осталось, мне особенно приятно просматривать эти солнечные фотографии и вспоминать о прогулках по набережной, горячем яблочном сидре, ярких красках ветвистых клёнов и вьющегося плюща, обеде на открытой веранде и розовом закате на реке. Если можно описать Cold Spring одним словом, то я выберу “безмятежность”.

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Tue, November 18 2014

Ricotta toast with fresh quince and candied walnuts // Тост с рикоттой, айвой и вареньем из грецких орехов

Quince Quince

For me, quince is not just a fuzzy-skinned relative of apples and pears. Sometimes referred to as the Queen of all winter fruits, it’s my favorite fruit and I longingly wait for its season every year. Tart and juicy quince is sharp to my tongue but it brings back the sweetest memories of childhood visits to my grandpa’s orchard, winter packages from my grandparents full of these yellow fruit as well as my grandmother’s red quince “varen’e” (preserves.)

Last year, in dedication to my grandparents, Ben and I planted a little quince tree in my parents-in-law’s garden in North Idaho. This spring, it was all covered in light pink blossoms as if it were a celebration! It’s already snowing back in Sandpoint. Hopefully, our little quince is sleeping until spring. I can’t wait to go visit and see how it became bigger and stronger.

Ricotta toast recipe

In New York, I now go to Union Square Greenmarket where there are a couple of various vendors selling fresh quince during the late fall. Last time I went, I bought it from different booths: a bit of green quince for making jam and cooking (tonight I’m baking it with chicken!) and a lot of bright yellow quince just for raw snacking. // Quince ricotta toast recipe

For this recipe (see it at the end of the post) I also wanted to add a bit of sweetness to the toast, so I got candied walnuts at Chelsea Market made by Harvest Song, a company that specializes in Armenian preserves. What look like black olives in the picture are actually fresh baby walnuts, picked green from the tree before they had a chance to age, and steeped in sugar syrup until they turned lush, sweet, tender. They are eaten with complete shells and pair really well with cheeses, duck, and desserts. // Ricotta toast with quince and // Quince toast

Как я уже не раз говорила, айва – мой самый любимый фрукт. Это связано не только с её невероятным ароматом и кисло-терпким вкусом, но в большей степени с моими детскими воспоминаниями. Мой дедушка выращивал несколько айвовых деревьев в саду и осенью посылал мне посылки в деревянных ящиках с пушистыми жёлтыми плодами.

В Нью-Йорке я теперь покупаю айву на Union Square рынке. Из зелёной я обычно что-нибудь готовлю (сегодня на ужин я запекла курицу с айвой), а спелую ем сырой целиком или на тосте.

Для этого рецепта я использовала свежий мини багет, рикотту из цельного молока, тонкие кусочки спелой айвы и варенье из зелёных грецких орехов из Армении. Все ингредиенты собираются вместе на хлебе и сбрызгиваются сиропом от орехов. Приятного аппетита!

Ricotta toast with fresh quince and candied walnuts

  • Fresh quince
  • Candied walnuts
  • Light bread of your choice
  • Fresh whole milk ricotta

Cut and toast bread, let it cool down.
Spread ricotta on toast.
Wash and dry quince, cut it in thin slices, discard the seeds.
Place the quince slices on ricotta, add pieces of candied walnuts on top, sprinkle with walnut syrup.

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Thu, November 13 2014

Brighton Beach Part Two + weekend sales

In my previous Brighton Beach post I talked about our Russian lunch at Tatiana and shared the sunny beach snaps. Here’s how we continued our “Little Odessa” adventure by going deep into the crowded, noisy and bazaarlike Brighton Beach Avenue.

В продолжение предыдущей записи про русский район Брайтон Бич хочется просто поделиться фотографиями из жизни Brighton Beach Avenue – главной торговой и коммерческой улицы, пролегающей под эстакадой метро. Там есть всё: пирожки с малиной и маком, дублёнки и шубы, буфетчицы в кружевных фартуках и головных уборах, Комсомольская Правда и Аргументы и Факты, гжель и хохлома, птичье молоко и шашлыки… и всё это в Нью-Йорке! Фотографии лучше меня всё расскажут: // Brighton Beach Station

Newspapers, signs, books, labels, ads – everything was in Russian or at some stage of transliteration.

Brighton Beach newspapersBrighton Beach Kalinka Gifts

We went to a few souvenir shops, including the famous (for the area) “Saint-Petersburg book store,” where we browsed through rows of Khokhloma, Gzhel and Zhostovo kitchen beauties, and got a good dose of folk nostalgia.

Brighton AptekaBrighton Beach MosvideofilmBrighton Beach Pies

I loved this lady selling Russian pies on the street. She was so nice, cheerful and just overall beaming with warmth, not to mention the pies were excellent!  We picked up some poppyseed rolls for the trip home and split an egg and green onion pirozhok that the lady heated up for us. Check out my green onion and egg pirozhki recipe to see what they look like and why Ben loves them so much.

Brighton Beach Russian pies
Brighton Beach Russian grocery store

For me, food is one of the best kinds of souvenirs, and we saved the best for the last: a big grocery store!  It had any kind of food or drink I could possibly miss, as well as some that I’ve never even seen. We came home with salted herring, “Alyonka” chocolate, dulce de leche cakes, farmers’ cheese, lingonberry & wild strawberry juice, and more. This final stop and the sunny beach really made the trip worthwhile!

Every time I cook and eat something from our trip down to Brighton Beach, I catch myself remembering it as “when we last went to Russia,” but I have to stop myself and realize that it was actually just an hour’s ride away!  This past week, some of our herring went into “Seledka pod shuboi” salad and some was eaten as a side to mashed potatoes with dill.  A couple of weeks ago, we used our farmers’ cheese in “syrniki”, and I experimented with using dried cranberries in them instead of raisins, and loved it!

Brighton Beach Russian cakesBrighton Beach AvenueBrighton Beach street shop

I don’t know when we’ll be back to Brighton Beach again.  Even though it’s not as far as Russia, it’s still pretty far from our house and there is so much more we need to explore in New York.  I also want to research other Russian grocery stores in the city and maybe online shops, too (I’ll make sure to post about it.)  One thing I know for sure: when we do visit again, we’ll go to more cafes, eat more pirozhki and buy more “souvenirs” to prepare at home!

Speaking of online shopping, the holidays are around the corner and the stores are running sales every weekend!  Here’s a current list of deals:

J.Crew 25% OFF with code SHOPNOW (ends 11/17/14)
J.Crew Factory 40-60% OFF No code (ends 11/18/14)
Madewell Extra 25% OFF sale with code FALLBACK (ends 11/17/14)
Urban Outfitters 20% OFF Beauty (ends 11/16/14)
Kate Spade 25% OFF with code BEMERRY (ends 11/17/14)
Bloomingdale’s 20% OFF with code HOLIDAY (ends 11/16/14)
Macy’s 25% OFF with code GIFT (ends 11/16/14)
Pottery Barn 20% OFF all tabletop
Williams-Sonoma 20% OFF tabletop (ends 11/26/14)

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Wed, November 12 2014

“Herring under a fur coat” Russian salad — Two recipes

My friend Emma and I met for an afternoon coffee and walk in Nolita and despite the gloriously sunny and warm weather, one thing became very clear. There are only 42 days until Christmas! While we were strolling through the streets of Manhattan we watched the cafes’ windows getting dressed up for the holidays, the shops being filled with winter candles, fluffy hats, Christmas tree decorations, and sparkling gift boxes and wraps.

In Russia, no holiday season can happen without one dish, which appears on party tables all over the country: the much loved salad, “Selyodka Pod Shuboy” (Russian: Селёдка под шубой.) It literally translates as “Herring under a fur coat” due to the heavy layering of vegetables that cover the herring. // Herring under a fur coat Russian salad // Herring under a fur coat // 'Shuba' herring appetizer

On our recent trip to Brighton Beach, Ben and I bought a package of salted herring – the first ever herring I’ve bought in two years of my life in the U.S. This important event had to be celebrated with a giant plate of “Herring under a fur coat”!

I realize that for people who are not familiar with this salad, the giant magenta colored pile of shredded veggies might look a bit strange. Inspired by the (more familiar) concept of deviled eggs, I came up with this appetizer version of “Shuba.” You can find the recipe at the very-very-very end of this post. Let me know if you make it and what you think of it :-) // 'Seledka pod shuboi' recipe

The traditional layered “Herring under a fur coat,” or “Shuba,” salad requires:

  • 2 beets, washed with tops and bottoms removed
  • 2 large potatoes
  • 4 hard boiled eggs, shredded
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 jar of herring fillets, packed in oil, chopped
  • Mayonnaise to taste
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • Fresh dill for serving

In a large pot of water boil beets, carrots and potatoes until soft when pierced with a knife. Allow the vegetables to cool, remove the skins and shred the veggies.

Arrange the herring fillets in a circle on a large plate. Add the following layers on top: onion, potatoes, a bit of herring oil from the jar, carrot, a bit of mayo (optional), egg, a bit more mayo (optional), beets and top it with another smooth layer of mayo. Cover and cool in the refrigerator for about 1 hour. Serve cold with fresh dill. // West // Seledka pod shuboi traditional Russian // 'Seledka pod shuboi' salad

При словосочетании “селёдка под шубой” у меня возникают две ассоциации: Новый Год и мой брат.

С новогодними праздничными застольями всё понятно, а вот при чём тут мой брат? Дело в том, что “Селёдка под шубой” – его любимый салат. Естественно, загрузив фотографии в блог, и приступив к написанию текста, я обратилась к брату за вдохновением.

Наша переписка:

Я: Слуш, скажи мне что-нибудь про селёдку под шубой – воспоминание какое или просто мысль?

Т.: Помню, перед НГ мама приготовила шубу, я пальцем по основанию провёл и всё слизал, что можно было слизать без палева. Осталось только с другой стороны. Я достал огромную тарелищу из холодильника, попытался держать одной рукой тарелищу, другой отшлифовать салат, чуть не грохнулось всё. Было 11 лет. Помню как тарелка наклонилась и шуба поплыла. Но успел поймать!

Я: Я просто рецепт и фото селёдки под шубой хочу опубликовать, а ничего что-то в текстовом плане не вспоминается.

Т.: Аааа ахахахах ну для блога не пойдёт. Но можешь написать, что я уронил, и меня сдали в детский дом. Такое наказание в России за порчу новогодней шубы

Я: хахахаххахаха

Т.: Ну это ещё по-доброму, чтобы уберечь от расстрела.

"Herring under a fur coat" Russian salad in individual "boats"

  • 1 potato
  • 2 hard boiled eggs, finely chopped
  • fresh dill for serving
  • 1 jar herring fillets, packed in oil
  • 3 Tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 3 medium beets
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste

In a large pot of water boil beets, carrot and potato until soft when pierced with a knife. Allow the vegetables to cool, remove the skins, shred the carrot and the potato.

Cut the beets in halves, with a spoon scrape the centers out creating 6 little "boats".

Equally fill the beet "boats" with the following layers: potato, onion, a little bit of oil from the herring jar, carrot, a bit of mayo, egg, a bit more mayo, potato and top it with a slice of herring.

Cover and cool in the refrigerator for about 1 hour.

Top with a piece of dill or parsley and enjoy!

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