Monday, May 23, 2011

Russian Candy Review: Limonchiki (lemon drops)

In this occasional series, I review candy you can find at Russian grocery stores.

Previous installments:
The Candy: Caramel’ki Limonchiki (карамельки лимончики)

The Name: Loosely translated, limonchiki means little lemons or--my preference--lemonettes. Caramel'ki means caramels, but in Russian candy parlance this usually refers to hard candy with filling, rather than caramel.

The Look: An off-color yellow shell, with plum jam in the middle.

The Taste: The shell is tart and the middle is sweet and jammy.

Verdict:  Pretty good for hard candy. I give 'em an A-.

In Milwaukee, you can buy limonchiki at Spartak in Whitefish Bay. Or, check out this guide to Russian/Eastern European groceries.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Russian Chopped Salad

I couldn't resist taking a picture of my parents' Russian house salad. The base is cucumbers, tomatoes, parsley or dill, scallions, and either sunflower oil or sour cream for the dressing. Sometimes my mom will add any and all crunchy vegetables in the fridge. The only requirement for this salad is that it’s colorful. Here’s the formula:
Base (all chopped):
Parsley, dill, or preferably both
Peppers—red, yellow green
Red onions
Olives, feta, or blue cheese (not remotely Russian, but good)
Sunflower or olive oil, a bit of grainy mustard, dash of sugar, splash of vinegar, splash of pickle juice (secret ingredient)
A few tablespoons each of sour cream or plain yogurt and mayo, dash of mustard, dash of sugar

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

A Call for a Cause--and Creativity

Cookies for Kids' Cancer Bake Sale May 21: If you’ve always wanted to sample my baking—and you live in or around Miwaukee—you’ll have a chance at the Cookies for Kids' Cancer Bake Sale on May 21. Milwaukee food bloggers, myself included, are contributing treats for this fund-raiser organized by #MKE Foodies. You can also bid on one-of-a-kind stuff donated by Milwaukee chefs and restaurants in the silent auction.

Event details:

Bake Sale and Silent Auction for Kids' Cancer
Saturday, May 21, 2011
1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Best Place at the Historic Pabst Brewery
901 W. Juneau Ave., Milwaukee
RSVP on Facebook

Call for Creativity: I love this flow chart of asparagus recipes by Mark Bittmann in New York Times' Sunday magazine. Cool and unusual way to write a recipe. So much food writing goes the memoir route—you know the type, we food bloggers have all done it:

This asparagus morel quiche takes me back to childhood Christmases at my Norwegian great-aunt Norma’s house…. Or…. Whenever I make this mousse de jambon, I think of the time when I was 19, living in a little apartment in Paris, with this French boyfriend who broke my heart, etc.

This kind of thing can be affecting when done right, but we shouldn’t always try to emulate Ruth Reichl or Molly Wizenberg. Let's get some inspiration from food bloggers who come up with creative ways to write about food—like the Amateur Gourmet’s restaurant review comics and DudeFoods' gonzo photos.
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