Monday, July 9, 2012

Weekend baking - Cherry Pie

I like baking, especially on weekends, when I have enough time to come up with an idea of what and how I'd like to bake. This time it was a cherry pie. I had a lot of cherries, that needed to be used somehow. Pie is an awesome usage of cherries.
Here is a super easy, light and tasty summer cherry pie recipe.

1. Frozen puff dough.
2. Cherries.
3. Sugar.
4. Semolina.
5. Walnuts.

1. Unfreeze the puff dough and put it on the baking tray. Don't forget to put baking paper under it. I like using ready-made puff dough. It makes baking fast and easy. And it is light enough for summer baking.
2. Put a good layer of cherries. I removed cherry pits beforehand.
3. Strew with sugar and semolina to cover the cherries. Semolina will absorb extra cherry juice. You can use breadcrumbs for the same purpose.
4. Put walnuts on the top. You can use any other nuts, seeds or sprinkles you prefer.
5. Wrap the edges of the dough so that cherry juice couldn't flow out and burn.
6. Bake until the edges of the dough became golden and crusty. Actually, make sure the dough is cooked.
7. Make your favorite tea/coffee. In my case it was a mix of black tea with orange peel, sage, oregano and wild strawberry.
8. Enjoy the pie.
And have a nice day! ;)

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Birthday girl

This week we had one more important event. Our little girl Feature became 1 year old on the 4th of July.
Yes, she was born on the US independence day (maybe that's why she is so independent :)).
This means that she has been living with us for 10.5 months. We took her as a 1.5 months old crazy kitten.
I boiled some chicken for her, which she enjoyed a lot. And in the evening she had a small cupcake with 1 candle. Also she's got this little noisy guy as a present.
She was a little bit scared of  the candle's flame - she is afraid of fire after burning the ends of her whiskers over our gas stove. She is a very curious girl and prefers to check everything by herself.
Anyway she was happy to eat some cream from the cupcake after that.
Time flies and our girl is a grown up now. We viewed our winter photos recently and realized that she became much thinner in summer. She molts a lot, her ears are almost bald, but it is still very hot for her, that's why she is always lying in a drafts if she can find any around the house. Here is her winter photo to compare the amount of hair.
She likes lying on my crafts box very much, that's why it is always covered with Feature's hair.
She also likes to play with my yarn. I need to pack and hide it really good and safe, unless I want to find my apartment covered with yarn when I come back. I've had such experience few times already. She always helps me to do any kind of house work or crafting. When I clean the apartment she follows me and checking if everything is clean enough. When I knit or crochet she lies nearby and checks if the yarn if good enough, usually by tasting and chewing it. When you make the bed, she also comes to help and checks if anybody had left under the blankets. Well, her help is obviously invaluable.
She is very playful and sometimes unruly, but our lives won't be so fun, exciting and challenging without her. Every day coming home you never know what waits you there :)
♥Happy Birthday Feature!♥
And have a nice day! ;)

Family gathering

Past week was a bit busy and full of events. On Saturday we were visiting my grandparents to celebrate granddad's birthday. It was a fabulous weekend spent with family in the shadowy garden near their lovely house. They live in a small town near Kiev. There are a few small ponds there with a beautiful nature around. The blue building at the opposite side of the pond is an old wooden local church. I like visiting this place, it's always pleasant and relaxing.
Grandma's garden is full of flowers as usual.
She planted a few room flowers for me.
So I have a new blue blooming violet in my little violet collection and a few more flowers, one of them is going to bloom soon.
My grandma grows a lot of useful stuff in her small garden. My favorite are herbs. She provides the whole family with herbs. I love to make different herbal teas and most of all I like to use homegrown herbs for them. Lavender, mint, sage, lemon balm, jasmine - all this comes from grandma's garden. The tea taste is especially good if herbs are prepared by yourself or by kind grandma's hands and it's a great pleasure to drink it during long winter evenings or on breakfast - it gives a lot of energy and good mood.
I am a great fan of spices as well. My favorite one is basil. It is the best seasoning for meat, but I love it so much, that I can add it to any other dishes, except desserts of course. Fortunately, you can also find basil in my grandma's garden. As well as cumin, coriander, parsley, dill, rucola and so on.
The main dish of the day was grilled salmon cooked on a mangal. We prefer meat when the weather is colder and fish is a good choice for summer.
Here is a picture of the previous family gathering, when we cooked meat - Shashlik. Looks smoky and yummy. My father cooks the best meat I've ever tried.
This week was extremely hot and we are all looking forward for divine rain or at least wind.
Hope you are having a great weekend! Will be back soon with more news. See ya.