Lublyou: Russian/American Life & Cuisine

life and cuisine

Tue, June 30 2015

Forest to table: Lamb’s Quarters and Barley Salad // Lamb's Quarters and Barley // Lamb's Quarters recipe

Forget kale and arugula, go foraging for lamb’s quarters, stinging nettles, chickweed and dandelions! Or just buy some at the farmer’s market like we did last weekend. Yes, we got a bunch of weedy plants at the Union Square Greenmarket and I made a salad with them! The forest-to-table trend is on the rise! // Lambs Quarters and Barley salad recipe

Nothing is new here, of course. We used to forage and eat all kinds of plants when I was a kid. But actually buying wild weeds in the middle of Manhattan is quite an experience for me. I couldn’t wait to call home and tell my family that “I just paid $3 for a bunch of lamb’s quarters in New York!” // Lamb's Quarters salad

I tossed our farmer’s market lamb’s quarters in a salad with barley, cucumber, baby radishes, cherry tomatoes, onions and bleu cheese. I also enjoyed playing with the leaves and making collages (as you can see). To my surprise, Sonya bunny wasn’t as interested in lamb’s quarters as I expected. She still prefers kale and parsley.

Have you cooked with any wild plants lately?

Foraging forest-to-table Lambs Quarters

В субботу, прогуливаясь по фермерскому рынку в центре Нью-Йорка, я увидела на нескольких прилавках давнюю знакомую. Мне вспомнилось название “лебеда”, но интернет мне сейчас подсказывает, что правильное название этому растению – “марь”. При виде этого сорняка меня настигают воспоминания из детства: прополка грядок в саду у бабушки, прогулки по пролеску за школой, поиски грибов в оврагах около дома…

Теперь же этот сорняк можно купить у фермеров и собирателей (сейчас их очень модно называть foragers) на Манхеттене примерно за $3 за пучок. Вам расскажут, что это почти дикий шпинат, только полезнее, конечно же. Употреблять нужно в сыром виде в салатах или тушить с другими овощами для гарнира. Заодно на том же рынке можно приобрести свежую крапиву, мокрицу, зелень одуванчиков, васильки, календулу, и много других хорошо знакомых и давно забытых “ингредиентов”.

Я решила поэкспериментировать с lamb’s quarters, марью, и у меня получился вот такой салат с ячменем, помидорками черри, молодым редисом, огурцом, свежим луком и голубым сыром. Действительно, по вкусу очень похоже на любую другую салатную зелень, особенно шпинат. Только вот кролик Соня почему-то отказывается есть мою модную зелень, она предпочитает кейл и петрушку.

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Sun, June 21 2015

another reason to love New York (if I needed any more)

One of the best things about living in New York City is literally being in everyone’s way. People are coming to and through the city for business or on their way to vacation all the time. And I just happen to be here, so I get to see everyone as a bonus! I’m greatly thankful for this opportunity, because back when we were living in out of the way places like North Idaho and in Russia, I couldn’t dream of having friends swing by there from time to time to visit by chance.


Our favorite Northwesterners Lanette and Ben came for a visit recently and we had such a great time! We walked all over Williamsburg, DUMBO, Chinatown, Central Park and The Met. We ate at Diner, Harlem Shake, Bakeri, Tasty Hand-Pulled Noodles, and Benjamin made his special pizza for dinner one of the nights.


This week we’re having guests again! Ben’s mom is stopping with us for a couple of days on her way to Europe. I wish everyone could just move here already, but for now I’m glad so many airplanes use New York as a hub.


In the other news, this weekend wasn’t as dynamic as I usually prefer. I’ve had a terrible show-stopping headache for the past few days. We still tried to get out of the house: we explored the East Village on Saturday in an unsuccessful search for Ukrainian grocery shops, and traveled to the very north of Manhattan island to discover a tiny Russian store in Washington Heights today. That was the end of my courage and willpower, I sure hope I don’t need to exercise any more of them tomorrow. Enough, headaches!

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Sun, June 14 2015

Brighton Beach weekend

Benjamin and I first visited Brighton Beach, also known as “Little Odessa”, last fall (here are my previous posts: one, two), and have been meaning to go back again since then. This time the beach was way more crowded, and a day trip felt like a mini vacation at the seaside!


We didn’t swim, it was still too cold for that, but we ran in and out of the water, chasing the waves for a bit. That was enough to raise our appetites, so we quickly settled down at the boardwalk-facing Tatiana restaurant. Beach hunger is no joke — we ordered almost every kind of dumpling they had on the menu!


The rest of the visit we spent browsing endless gift shops, grocery stores, bakeries, and cafes, tasting various hand pies and acquiring necessary supplies.

Speaking of Russian food, my “Pelmeni” dumplings got featured on BuzzFeed! I can’t tell you how excited and proud I am, I might even have trouble falling asleep tonight.


I also took a million phone photos, here are some of my favorites:

On the left is my new sugar bowl, handpainted in the Russian folk “Gzhel” style. My family has a similar one at home back in Moscow, and I’ve been looking for one for our New York apartment. My search is finally over thanks to St. Petersburg store on Brighton Beach Avenue.

On the right, just Emma and I being too excited about the beach.


Among thousands of other gifts and souvenirs, Russian doll Matryoshka pillows can be found in this neighborhood.  I wonder why I even bother bringing these things from Russia every time I visit..?


We were also extra active on snapchat, even Ben got an account! Find me @lublyou if you’re also into oversharing!


Another “Christmas in June” gift to myself – a new Russian shawl! It was surprisingly windy at the beach that day, and I only had a silk shirt on…. well, I don’t really need an excuse for a new shawl, do I? Here’s my most favorite Russian shawl — I’ve been wearing it for many years!

Мы снова побывали в Маленькой Одессе, на этот раз летом! В прошлый раз по пляжу бегали только чайки, а прибрежные рестораны отгораживались от леденящих ветров пластиковыми стенами. Почитать о поездке на Брайтон Бич в октябре можно тут и тут.

В июне пляж совершенно не узнать: повсюду качаются разноцветные зонтики, палит солнце, в воде плещутся взрослые и дети… В ледяной воде. Мы немного порезвились в волнах и побежали обедать в кафе “Татьяна”. Аппетит на пляже разыгрался не на шутку, мы заказали почти все виды пельменей, которые только были в меню, даже жареные. К слову о пельменях, мои фотография и рецепт попали на сайт BuzzFeed! Это такая честь, я от восторга боюсь сегодня не уснуть!

Но вернёмся на Брайтон Бич. После обеда мы бродили по сувенирным и продуктовым магазинам вдоль главной авеню. Я нашла прекраснейшую сахарницу с курочками, расписанную вручную в технике Гжель! У нас дома в Москве есть подобная, и я давно искала такую же нам с Беном на кухню.

С подарками самой себе мне особенно посчастливилось в этот раз, я уехала из Маленькой Одессы с новой Павловопосадской шалью! Стоит упомянуть ещё свежайший зефир, печёные и жареные пирожки, пряники… Отличная получилась поездка, будто небольшие каникулы на Родину!

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In Lifestyle, Looks, New York City

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Mon, June 8 2015

Lublyou this week

Recently I started making weekly lists, featuring some of the things and moments I loved the most over the past seven days. I’m calling it “Lublyou this week”, because “lublyou” is Russian for “I love”.

This week I loved:

1. My recent food photos for Tastebook

Summer Pasta SaladPicnic Potatoes in Jars

Being Russian, I don’t quite get the whole “pasta salad” concept. It just doesn’t feel right to me to eat cold pasta. I should say it didn’t. I was asked to make a Pasta Salad recipe and photograph it for Tastebook, and I got really into it! I experimented with many ingredients and finally came up with THE pasta salad recipe that I enjoyed enough to want a second helping and more! It’s simple but crunchy and delicious.

Summer Potatoes in Jars , on the other hand, have always been one of my favorite meals to eat during my annual countryside vacations. Grandmother and I would dig up young potatoes and quickly boil them for lunch, sprinkle them with oil, salt and dill, and have them with fresh cucumber salad on the side. Forever favorite!

2. Friends in town.

Brooklyn East River State ParkDiner brunch Brooklyn

Our dearest Northwesterners flew in to visit and we had a mountain of fun, same-room-snapchats, food, walks, and even more food. Of course, we went to Diner for brunch on Saturday! I only wish Emma were still around to meet Ben and Lanette and to hang out with us. Ridiculously, right now as I type this, all three of them are in Dublin! What?!

3. The Roof Garden at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The Met Roof Garden

Every time we’re visiting The Met we go up to the roof garden for the city views and a vitamin D break. Last weekend we happened to be there early in the day and had the whole space to ourselves! That’s when I finally got to see the new Pierre Huyghe installation right in the middle of the garden: there is a big fish tank that turns opaque white from time to time, and numerous “tide pools” created by lifted paving stones.

4. Sunday breakfast.

Birch Coffee Upper East Side

We got up very early for a Sunday and went to Upper East Side for the sweetest breakfast anyone could hope for. Literally! I had my favorite chai latte with one of my favorite Dough doughnuts, a bright pink sweet-and-sour hibiscus. We sat in the sun at the window-turned-bar and watched the Upper East Side dogs being walked or carried by, or left tied to a tree to patiently wait for their owners to grab coffee and fresh pastries.

5. My brother’s cat.

Scottish fold

My family, and my little brother in particular, recently adopted a new cat. I was a bit reserved about it at first, but now I can’t wait to meet her! This is Ami and she spends most of her days laying around in the silliest poses, asking you to rub her belly.

Other things I lublyou right now:

  • Columbo — Ben and I recently found these old TV series on Netflix, and it fit perfectly into our list of “cozies”. I’m particularly sentimental about it since I used to watch it with my mama when I was a kid. I can’t believe I’m now watching it with my husband in our New York apartment — couldn’t have imagined it then!
  • Chef’s Story — I’ve been listening to this podcast at work today while editing photos and it was captivating to hear interviews with the people I’ve been able to meet at ICC over the past month! So far I’ve made my way through the episodes about Dan Barber and Ron Ben-Israel. So inspirational!
  • Instax mini — I almost forgot how much fun it is to shoot these tiny “polaroids”! Luckily, with friends in the city I had more than enough opportunities to shoot a few packs of film. Here is an instax throwback: one, two, three!

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In Lifestyle, New York City

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