Apple and Blueberry Cheesecake Crepes

Apple, Blueberry Cheesecake Crepes-1-16 Dessert has a lot of responsibility weighing on its shoulders. Dessert is the punctuation to a meal. It’s the last thing people eat and the taste will linger until the next meal. If you want a stunning and exquisite dessert that doesn’t take all day to make and every pot and pan in your pantry, you’ve just got to make crepes.

The crepes are thin and delicate with an amazing combination of flavors and textures. The creamy cheesecake-like filling has a zesty lemon flavor that starts to melt when it’s paired with the warm, buttery and saucy apples. Let’s not forget the bursts of fresh and juicy blueberries that round out each luscious bite. I know this sounds like it could go on the menu of a 5 star restaurant, but you can make it for dinner on a regular Thursday to make any family mealtime extra special…. 

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Sausage, Peppers and Broccoli Pasta

Sausage, Peppers and Broccoli With Pasta-1-9 Necessity is the mother of invention. Thus was the creation of this dish. A few years ago on a very busy night, I needed a very quick dinner option, and this is what I came up with.

I’m always craving veggies, and this dish has plenty of them. Any dish with sausage has a tendency to be heavy, but in this case, the vegetables and the light broth really lighten it up. Adding fresh tomatoes at the end is one of my favorite ways to add a note of freshness to a pasta dish, in addition to the fresh herbs. You can use any kind of pasta for this meal. Angel hair happens to be one of my favorites:).

Now that I have two very small little boys to take care of, time is very precious. Playing in the kitchen is limited, unless it’s the weekend and my husband can take over babysitting, but by then, I usually just want to relax or go have some fun:). Anyway, I sure am glad that I have a bunch of easy recipes in my repertoire for baby days…. 

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Braised Chicken With Vegetables

Braised Chicken With Vegetables-1-11 The taste of homemade cooking never gets old does it?

It’s interesting, but I don’t think it’s possible to get tired of homemade food. We may get sick of cooking (he he) but not the actual food. I think I appreciate homemade food the most after a road trip. I enjoy eating out as much as the next person, but it’s always such a comfort to indulge in simple home cooking.

I’m writing this after working a 12 hour night shift and I have to go back to work tonight too. I’m especially thankful that I made enough of the Braised Chicken and Vegetables yesterday, and today all I have to do is heat it up. This kitchen wonder is a one dish meal, and has so many terrific flavors going on. You can serve this dish as a stew or as an entree and either way, it definitely has the satisfying flavors of home cooking in every bite. … 

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Ponchiki – Russian Donuts – Творожные Пончики

Ponchiki - Russian Donuts-1-8 Ponchiki are a walk down memory lane for me. My Mom used to make them quite often when I was a little girl. I just happened to have some farmer’s cheese in my refrigerator and this was the perfect recipe to use it in. Sergi and I couldn’t stop eating them. They turned out even better than I remembered. Golden and crunchy on the outside and fluffy and tender on the inside, these Ponchiki are absolutely perfect.

I actually avoid frying as much as I can. Not only because of the health issues, but because I just hate messing with frying. However, this recipe is absolutely worth it. It only takes about 20 minutes total for the whole process, from mixing the batter to gazing at the puffy, golden Ponchiki lying in a delicious jumble on a plate. You won’t be gazing at them for long though, because you won’t be able to resist taking a bite. … 

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Puffy Omelet

Puffy Omelet-1-6 It has been almost 18 years since I first tried this omelet.

The scene: Dad at home with 5 kids. Mom in the hospital after giving birth to our last sibling. We were all so excited! We were old enough to understand the joy of a new baby and couldn’t wait to bring her home.

The reality: The five children needed to eat and Dad just didn’t really have any cooking experience. Mom’s cookbooks to the rescue. He found a doable recipe, read the instructions on making an omelet and started whisking the ingredients together.

I was almost 10 at that time, and having watched Mom in the kitchen creating delicious masterpieces many, many times, I thought I knew a thing or two about cooking. It was weird enough seeing Dad in the kitchen, but his technique just didn’t look right at all. I didn’t want to hurt his feelings and say something, but I had serious doubts that it would be edible. I had never seen Mom make an omelet in the oven, and frankly, the egg mixture looked WAY too runny. Dad didn’t know any better, he just nonchalantly continued with the recipe instructions.

The verdict: Half an hour later, we were all enjoying a puffy, scrumptious omelet that DID turn out perfectly, much to my  relief.

Give this recipe a try. It couldn’t be any easier, and it tastes like you’re eating a fluffy omelet cloud. I added a bit of toasted breadcrumbs for a crisp texture and parsley for a fresh flavor boost. … 

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Frugal Tips From An Immigrant Part 2

Buying lettuce whole is much cheaper than the bagged salad mixes.

Buying lettuce whole is much cheaper than the bagged salad mixes.

In the first part of this post, I wrote about some of the frugal tips that I observed in my parents, grandparents and other immigrants. As I wrote in the first post, I know many multigenerational Americans who use many of these tips as well, while many immigrants are not frugal at all. This is just a general observation. Today, we continue the topic. Let’s get to the second part of Frugal Tips From An Immigrant. … 

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Quick and Simple Meat Sauce For Pasta

Quick Meat Sauce For Pasta-1-9 I’m becoming an expert at perfecting simple and quick dinner options.

Most days, I have to work quickly, to get as much work as possible done during the nap time of my two little guys. I’m not sure what I get more excited about – getting them to nap at the same time or getting dinner done in one session, instead of having to stop and start several times to attend to the one that is crying for attention at that moment. Although when I reach success and have two napping babies and dinner ready to go for when my husband comes home and before I have to go to work at night, I sometimes feel that it’s nothing short of a miracle:).

A quick meat sauce to serve with pasta is a hearty but not heavy dinner option. It’s also especially nice, since you can make a large enough portion to have leftovers and not have to cook the net day. It also freezes very well, so all you have to do is defrost the sauce, heat it up and serve it with pasta…. 

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Ricotta Cheesecake

Ricotta Cheesecake-1-4 One of my favorite desserts is cheesecake. I love sweet creamy and luscious creations. Whenever I can, I make many variations of cheesecake – Raspberry Cheesecake Bars, Chocolate Ricotta Bars, Puff Pastries With Cheese Filling, Pumpkin Cheesecake, Dulce de Leche Cheesecake, Pear and Cheese Coffeecake…. Wow! I didn’t realize that I had so many cheese related desserts on this blog; it seems I have a slight obsession:).

My favorite cheesecake would have to be a Ricotta Cheesecake with fresh strawberries. It’s so good, that it’s something I would choose to have on my birthday. Not only does this cheesecake taste incredible and have an amazingly creamy and velvety texture, but it’s also super easy to make. … 

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Frugal Tips From An Immigrant Part 1

My parents

My parents

Growing up in a family of immigrants, I observed frugality since I was in diapers, cloth diapers, to be exact:). We came to America when my parents were 25 and 30, with 5 children, all 6 years old and younger. Yikes!

They started out with nothing except the suitcases that they brought with them. I’ve noticed that immigrants have a mindset that is keen to all things thrifty and economical, and I think it’s because we came from a place where it was simply a necessary way of life.

Here are some common frugal tips that I’ve observed by watching my parents, relatives and other immigrants. Actually, I know many multigenerational Americans who use many of these tips as well, while many immigrants are not frugal at all. This is just a general observation…. 

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Salmon Pasta

Salmon Pasta-1-16 Salmon is one of the ingredients that pairs really well with acidic ingredients, such as lemons, white wine, tomatoes, etc. I wanted to make a pasta dish with salmon, but I wanted it to have a very bright and refreshing sauce, that didn’t taste heavy either. This is definitely a keeper. Each bite has lots of aromatic and fresh bursts of flavor. Just check out the list of ingredients, and you’ll see what I mean. The salmon is so juicy and paired with the pasta, you can really stretch the salmon, since you only need 2 portions for 4 servings. This is a great option since fish is so expensive…. 

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