The Best White Russian: A Mistake

Milena’s Cooking Adventures

Before I start: I don’t have a name for this drink yet besides BEAUTIFUL MISTAKE. If you have a name suggestion, please post it in the comments!

A few years ago, I got a new bartender set for free. It had all sorts of shiny things in it: a shaker, a muddler, and many other contraptions ending in -er that I hadn’t ever seen before. Me being me, I decided to use it for everything in my life. For a little while there, every drink I had needed extra mint leaves, just so I could muddle them. I shook drinks that never should have been shaken, adding in way too many ice cubes and shaking so long my fingers lost feeling. I am nothing if not over-enthusiastic. Most of the drinks were… undrinkable. But my enthusiasm finally paid off, when one day I made my favourite drink. Continue reading The Best White Russian: A Mistake

Pel’meni and Blini

Milena’s Cooking Adventures

As some of you know, I’ve been studying Russian for (mumbledymumble) number of years (it’s more impressive if you think I just started…). Besides Cheburashka and other adorable Russian cartoons, the most exciting aspect of learning the language for me has been exploring Russian cuisine, a kind of cooking that– I thought– was completely unfamiliar to me. But as I started researching recipes and learning some of the staple flavours of Russian cooking (mmmm dill), it suddenly started to seem pretty familiar. Continue reading Pel’meni and Blini

Black Bean Corn Salad for a Beach Picnic

Milena’s Cooking Adventures

I am, as you may have figured out, very lazy. Well, I alternate between very lazy (out of milk for tea and the store is a whole block away? Please pass that sweetened condensed milk) and incredibly perfectionistic (Why yes I will spend 4 hours frosting that cake, thank you).

This is one of those times I prefer to be very lazy. I first saw this salad in a Cooks’ Illustrated magazine. By now it’s been years and I’ve mostly forgotten their exact recipe (I no longer have website access), but what I do remember is being terribly offended that they would dare to ask me to spend an extra 5 minutes roasting corn for better flavour. I mean, of course, they’re right, but that’s besides the point. I have pride in my laziness, after all. I’ve got a reputation to uphold. And when it’s hot out, the last thing my lazy self wants to do is turn on the stove. Continue reading Black Bean Corn Salad for a Beach Picnic

Pumpkin Banana Bread

Milena’s Cooking Adventures

I was banned from making this recipe by my former roommate (she who Travels to Istanbul and Brings Me Things, if you’ve been following previous posts). You might think that makes sense. Simple, you say. Maybe she didn’t want this sweet banana bread to tempt her. Maybe she’s allergic to bananas. Maybe I make messes in the kitchen (this last point is obviously blatant slander and has no connection whatsoever to the truth).

No, it was because of what I did with the bananas. Most banana bread recipes call for spotty overripe bananas, but I found that I never had more than one of these at a time. So scrolling down into the comments’ section of Smitten Kitchen (whence I adapted this recipe), I found the suggestion to freeze overripe bananas as they happen, then simply thaw them out when you need them for a recipe. “Brilliant!” I thought. “What a remarkable idea!” I thought.

Except no one told me what they look like.

Continue reading Pumpkin Banana Bread

Gazpacho Made Easy

Milena’s Cooking Adventures

Hey, did you make that Tomato Cucumber salad I posted the other day? Do you– unlike me, a clear fan of ordering the same thing always always always at restaurants– get tired of eating the same thing for more than 2 days in a row?

Well, do I have news for you.

who am i? where did i come from? :O

Continue reading Gazpacho Made Easy

Tomato Cucumber Feta Basil Salad

Milena’s Cooking Adventures

Speaking of gardens, it just started cooling off here, and my basil plants are doing well. It reminded me of my favourite summer salad to make, a fresh and happy glowing mess of tomatoes and cucumbers, feta, and basil, with a generous drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Of course, it helps to have some lovely summer ingredients.

hi tomatoes!
Starting out right with glowing tomatoes and shy cucumbers

Continue reading Tomato Cucumber Feta Basil Salad