Monday, March 29, 2010

Strawberry Cake by Svetlana R.


5 eggs
7 tbsp sugar
5 tbsp flour

250ml milk

a packet vanilla pudding (4.3g/ 1.5oz)

5 eggs

7 tbsp sugar

200g butter

250 powder sugar

2 tsp vanilla extract
1 package strawberries


Prepare your baking dish. Place parchment paper on the bottom. Preheat the oven to 390F.

Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites. Please the egg whites into a mixing dish and egg yolks into a cup.

Use a mixer to mix the egg whites until a you get a stiff foam.

Then add sugar, one spoonful at the time.

Note: when mixing an egg white, it is important to follow these 3 rules:

1. the mixing dish has to be completely dry

2. do not add sugar prior to forming a thick stiff white foam

3. add sugar in slowly, one spoonful at the time

At this point, add egg yolks, one by one, while mixing continuously. Then lower the mixing speed to the lowest setting and add flour, again one spoonful at the time.

Transfer the dough into the baking dish and bake at 390F until it gets color. This is quick, however you should not open the oven during the baking, or the dough will go flat.

When the dough is done baking, take it out of the pan onto a clean kitchen cloth.

Remove the parchment paper.

Immediately roll in a cloth, and allow it to cool rolled like that.

When it is cooled, unroll it, spread your favorite jam and roll it back (this time roll without the cloth).


You will need to prepare 3 different portions that will form cake cream at the end.

First portion: take 250ml milk and cook it. Add vanilla pudding in it and cook according to the instruction. Do not add more milk, even though it says so on the packet, otherwise your cream will turn out too runny. Leave the pudding aside to cool, but do stir it every once in a while so that it doesn't form skin on top.

Second portion: mix 5 egg
yolks and 7 tbsp sugar. Cook it above steam (you can do this by filling a pot with water and then cooking egg yolks and sugar in a smaller pot above it).

Cook until the egg yolks thicken to the point where a wooden spoon you are using for stirring leaves thick streaks on the bottom of the pan. This happens fairly quickly. When this is done, set aside to cool.

Third portion: mix 200g softened butter with 250g powder sugar and 2 tsp vanilla extract. Do not heat butter to soften it, its best to leave it at room temperature a couple of hours before use.

Now take the first mix (pudding), and add second mix (yellow cream), while using a mixer at lowest setting. Then slowly add third mix (butter) in the same way.

It is important that all ingredients are cold, and that they are added in the proper order.

Note: When mixing the cream, make sure you spend enough time and all 3 mixes are smooth and uniform texture.

Cut the roll into sections and arrange them next to each other on a tray.

Add 1/2 of the cream you just made over it.

Then fresh strawberry slices.

Then another layer of cream (use the rest of it) and more strawberries on top.

Cover everything with whipped cream. You can decorate with strawberries if you have any left.

Allow it to cool in the refrigerator for a couple of hours before serving.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Pasta with Spinach and Cheese

Quick, easy and healthy meal. Follow the procedure below:


fresh baby spinach
cheese (any kind you like, I used feta and manchego)
olive oil

Wash the spinach. Shake the water off.

Transfer the spinach into the pan together with some water that's left on it from washing and a little bit of oil. Saute for 10-15 minutes until it shrinks to about 1/4 size.

Than add cheese. I grated some manchego cheese (about 4 tbsp), and added crumbled feta (about 2 tbsp). Parmesan and cottage would work too. You can add more or less, depending on how you like.

While your spinach is cooking down, use that time to cook some pasta. I am using my home made pasta recipe, which you can fine here.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Stuffed Mushrooms by Svetlana R.


20 large mushrooms
3/4 cup breadcrumbs

2 tbsp butter

5-6 strips smoked bacon

salt, garlic powder, paprika

1 cup sour cream

1/2 cup shredded cheese (any kind you like)

Parmesan cheese

First, separate the stems and chop them up into very small pieces. Then heat the butter in a small sauce pan and when it melts, add breadcrumbs.

Cut up bacon and fry it until it is crispy. Add chopped mushrooms stems, salt, paprika and garlic powder. Cook until the water released from the mushrooms is all gone.

In a mixing bowl, combine all together. Add sour cream and cheese. Stuff mushrooms with this fill and sprinkle Parmesan cheese over them.

Bake at 400F for 20-30 minutes.

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Monday, March 22, 2010

Slow Cooked Roast


2.5 lbs thick marbled steak
2 onions, sliced
1 can tomato paste
1 cup red wine

Spices: salt, garlic powder, paprika, chili powder, pepper, mixed seasoning

Heat the oil in the frying pan, and while that's heating up apply generous amount of spices on both sides of the steak. Brown the meat well on both sides on high heat to seal the juices. It is a good idea to cover it or it will spray all over your stove. When the meat looks like the picture below on both sides, transfer it to the crock pot.

In the same pan fry the onions until they become slightly soft. You may want to add more spices at this point if you like.

Add tomato paste and stir well.

Add wine and stir again.

Transfer the sauce to the crock pot to cover the meat.

If the meat is not covered completely, add more wine or just water.

Cover and cook on high for 8 hours or on low for 10-12 hours.

Serve over pasta or rice. We ate this with cheese raviolis and it was very good. This roast also makes great leftovers. I had this for lunch the next 2 days. If you finish all the meat and have some sauce left, you can blend it into a smooth sauce for your pasta.

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If you haven't gotten a slow cooker yet, now is the time. You will use it. Just imagine coming home form work and smelling a fresh hot meal. Yes, your slow cooker can do the cooking while you are at work. Just combine all the ingredients before you leave, and when you return home your dinner will be waiting for you.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Pogačice- Butter Puffs ala Svetlana (Serbian=Погачице)

Svetlana has been cooking up the storm lately! I cannot write her recipes fast enough. The other day I went to her house, she was cooking 3 meals all at ones! I really hope she doesn't move to San Francisco, because then how would I get a taste of her cooking or stop by for a quick chat after work? I really hope she reads this and reconsiders staying where she is at.

In any case, these butter puffs came out of the oven, and I was asking her what it was and she was describing how she prepared it... Finally, when I got to taste it, I got this warm and fuzzy feeling from my childhood- of course my mom made these too, and I grew up eating them, but I haven't had it in so long, I forgot it existed. What a great discovery for me!


250g butter
300g quark cheese
250g flour
1 egg
sesame seeds and/or cumin seeds

1 egg

Soften the butter and fluff it with mixer. Add cheese, egg, flour and salt (depending on how salty the cheese is). Mix the dough by hand, or use a spiral attachment for mixers. Pour the dough into the mini muffin pan, filling the compartments onto about 1/3 - 1/2 full.

Beat one egg and brush it over the dough. Sprinkle some sesame seeds and/or cumin seeds and some salt.

Bake at 370F.

You can also see my butter puffs here.

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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Cream of Spinach ala Svetlana

Here is a cream of spinach recipe Serbian style. You can tell that this dish is Serbian because it has zapška (pronounced as za-purr-sh-ka). You will learn in this recipe how to make zapška, a secret way to make all your food tasting great.


5 oz baby spinach

2 garlic cloves

1/4 cup milk

1 egg

salt to taste

4 Tbsp oil

3 Tbsp flour

2 Tbsp paprika

Boil water in a pan, then add washed spinach and cook it for several minutes. Drain the spinach and throw the water away. Pour new clean water into the pan and boil the spinach one more time. When the water boils, allow the spinach to cook in it for 5-6 minutes.

Drain the spinach well. Place on a cutting board and cut into small pieces.

And now, its time to make something what we call "zaprška". We use zaprška in many dishes, its purpose it to thicken the sauce and add some flavor. Here is how you do it. You will need oil, flour and paprika.

In a small sauce pan, heat some oil to medium-low. Add flour and stir continuously to allow it to fry, but be careful not to burn it.

Add paprika and stir again. Do not cook too long. Have your spinach ready.

Add spinach and garlic back into the pan right after adding paprika.

Slowly add milk while stirring to make a sauce like consistency. It is important to add mils slowly so that your cream of spinach does not turn out too runny.

When the milk starts to boil, mix the egg and add it to the pan.

Cook it for several more minutes while stirring, and your Serbian cream of spinach is done. Serve with fresh bread.