Archive | January, 2013

Whole Roasted Stuffed Fish

12 Jan

Whole Roasted Stuffed Fish

Elegant dish for your holiday table.
Don’t be afraid that it would be difficult to skin the fish!  This is done easily and quickly if you lightly salt the whole fish and let it sit overnight in the fridge.

I always ask the fish guy at the store to clean the fish.


  • 1 whole rainbow trout, 1.5 to 2 lbs.
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, grated
  • 1 tbsp olive oil for sauteeing
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs.  You can use buckwheat flour or cream of wheat or matzo meal.
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill (or any other herb you like), finely chopped. 
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Leave the head intact.  With a sharp knife cut the skin close to the head.  Insert your finger (or a knife)  and separate the skin from the flesh going in the direction of the tail.  I find my fingers are the best tool for this job 🙂

  • Trim the fins and cut the bone when you reach the tail.  
  • Separate the flash from the bones and set the skin aside.  Sorry for my peeled nail polish 🙂

  • In a food processor finely chop the fish together with sauteed onions and carrots.  Transfer to a bowl.
  • Add some chopped dill or parsley or any other herb of your choice.  Add minced garlic, bread crumbs, salt and pepper and mix well.
  • Take the skin and fill it with the mixture that you just made. Do not fill too tight, otherwise the skin may burst during baking.

  • Line a cookie sheet with some foil, lay out a line of bay leaves and put your stuffed fish on top of them.

  • Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper, and squeeze some lemon juice on top.
  • Bake for 25 minutes in the oven that was preheated to 375F.
  • Let it cool a bit, slice it and arrange on a platter.

I didn’t add any eggs to the stuffing as it was our Christmas Eve dinner which requires dishes with no meat, dairy, and eggs.  For any other occasion I would definitely add 1 egg.


Wonderful Team Readership Award and Liebster Award

11 Jan


Thank you, Chef Mimi for nominating me for the Wonderful Team Readership Award.  Check out Chef Mimi  Blog – you’ll find tons of wonderful mouth-watering recipes there.

The Rules:

1 Visit and thank the blogger who nominated you.

2 Acknowledge that blogger on your blog and link back.

3 Nominate 14 blogs for the award, a link to their blogs in your post, and notify them on their blogs.

4 Copy and paste the award on your blog somewhere.

My Nominees Are:

  1. Corina Lazarescu 
  2. Belladonic Haze
  3. What’s Cooking
  4. Source of Inspiration
  5. Kocsiska
  6. Michael Terrazas
  7. Prego and the Loon
  8. Pursuit of Life
  9. The Tarnished Spoon
  10. Marking Our Territory
  11. Living by Olivia
  12. Dear Ferrero
  13. Theflamboyante
  14. Monarch Mentoring


I was nominated for this by Paul Edward “Birchpoet”, here is a link to his lovely blog: Birchpoet’s Blog

Thank you!

The Rules: 

Answers to questions:

1. What makes you happiest?  To see others happy.
2. Do you love the Ocean or the Mountains more?  Both.  I grew up near mountains (Sub-Carpathian region) and love being the by ocean.
3. What has been your favorite moment of 2012?  My daughter’s University graduation.
4. What is your favorite quote and why?  “Dance as if no one were watching.  Sing as if no one were listening.  Love as if you’ve never been hurt.  Live every day as if it were your last”.  This quote covers it all in life 🙂
5. Do you like yourself?  If you can’t like yourself, you won’t be able to pleasant around people.
6. Do you stay up till the Stroke of Midnight on New Years Eve?  Absolutely!
7. Something you wish you get it done ASAP?  Learn a new Salsa routine.
8. What was your favorite class while still in school? Russian Literature.
9. What musical instrument have you tried to learn to play?  Piano – my parents made me do it but I wasn’t passionate about it.
10. Anything you wish you had learned earlier?  I discovered Salsa Dancing in my early 30s and wish I would have learned earlier.
11. Do you like to do crafts or draw or even paint?  Crafts.

My Nominees Are: 

  1. Boomdeeda
  2. borscht and babushkas
  3. Animalcouriers

Authentic Ukrainian Borsch

9 Jan

Ukrainian Borsch

Yes, I spell it without the “t”!  Ukrainian and Russian people pronounce it  “Borsch”, Polish people  –  “Barszcz”.  The English way of spelling  “borscht” just doesn’t sound right to me.  How do you feel if you were to hear someone say “Soupt”?  Sounds odd, isn’t it?  I also will claim that this version is authentic since this is how my family in Ukraine made it for generations; this is as hard-core Ukrainian as it gets 🙂  The only substitution I made was to use olive oil instead of vegetable oil.

This borsch is meatless as I made it for our Christmas Eve meal on Sunday.  I personally can’t eat this dish where beets lost their colour.  So if you follow each step in the directions below your borsch will have this deep ruby colour even after you’ll reheat it several times.  It always tastes better the following day!

If you are a meat-eater – make it with some succulent pork ribs, it will take your  borsch to another level of deliciousness 🙂


  • 3 medium beets (or 1 large beet), boiled, peeled and grated
  • 3-4 tbsp white vinegar
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and grated
  • 1 green or red pepper, grated (I do it in a food processor)
  • 3 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (do not drain)
  • 5-6 cups water
  • 1 medium cabbage, shredded
  • 1 can red kidney beans, rinsed
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Sour cream and fresh chopped dill to garnish


  1. Boil the beets with their skins on until tender.  Let them cool, then peel and grate.  Add the vinegar, mix well and set aside. The vinegar will preserve the red colour in the hot borsch.
  2. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots and pepper and cook until tender for up to 5 minutes.
  3. Add the cabbage, diced potatoes, the can of diced tomatoes, and water until well blended.  Let it boil for 20 minutes or so.
  4. Now you can add the beets, beans, and the raw garlic.  Cover and turn off the heat, let stand for 5 minutes.
  5. Garnish individual bowls with sour cream and dill.

Svjata Vecherya / Holy Supper – Ukrainian Christmas Eve

7 Jan

Varenyky (dumplings)

Whole Roasted Stuffed Fish

Last night we had our twelve-dish meatless Christmas Eve meal.  I’ve invited over some of my friends as my daughter and  I don’t have any family here.  What a great night we had!  One of the Russian girls said that it was a blast from a past, in a fun way 🙂  We all stay until 2 am and if it wouldn’t be a Sunday night (many had to go to work today) we could have easily stayed another hour or so.

This is what we had :

  1. Kutya 
  2. Herring
  3. Pickled mushrooms
  4. Sauerkraut
  5. Roasted Peppers
  6. Salad “Vinegret”.  Sounds like “Vinaigrette”  but it’s not the oil-and-vinegar dressing in this case.
  7. Borsch /  (no, this is not a typo.  There is no “t” in this word in Ukrainian, Russian and Polish! Here is the actual word written in Cyrillic:  Борщ)
  8. Cabbage Rolls
  9. Whole roasted stuffed fish
  10. Potato-Fried Onion Varenyky
  11. Cabbage Varenyky 
  12. Uzvar 

Herring, pickled mushrooms and sauerkraut were store-bought.  Everything else my daughter and I made from scratch, including Kolach.  I will be sharing some of these recipes in my posts.

Ukrainian Christmas

5 Jan


We have lived in Canada for almost 20 years now and one of the things that I like about living here is that we get to celebrate 2 Christmases, 2 New Years and 2 Easters.  All of my favourite holidays times 2!

Why?  Because we are Ukrainian Orthodox and Eastern Orthodox Church honors the Julian calendar which was in use two thousand years ago.   For this reason we have continued to celebrate Christmas on the old date.

Our Christmas Eve is tomorrow.  My daughter and I have been preparing Ukrainian traditional dishes since yesterday!  I am very grateful for modern technology in the kitchen as many dishes are quite time consuming.

When Ukraine accepted Christianity in 988 A.D many pagan traditions were in existence.   Many of these traditions
were adapted into the new religion. Some of those traditions have survived a thousand years and formed a part of our Christmas celebrations.

This is how we celebrate Christmas.  It’s strictly a family affair and we do not exchange gifts on Christmas (it’s done on NYE!).

  • The floor should be covered with straw and hay to celebrate the birth of Christ in the stable.  We’ve never done it here (where would I find straw and hay in Toronto) but my grandmother in Ukraine always used to do it.
  •  Svjata Vecherya (or Holy Supper)  is the heart of the of the celebration.  It starts with the first start appears in the sky.  There is no turkey or ham, and there is no Christmas cookies.  The meal consists of 12 dishes (representing 12 Apostles)  containing no meat, dairy, and eggs.
  • The meal must start with some Kutya (wheat berries with poppy seeds, walnuts and honey), a holy ritual dish for many Slavic people.  This dish is very ancient, many believe it represents abundance for the family.
  •  Kolach (another ritual food)  is placed on the table, with a lighted candle (to remind of the Star of Bethlehem) in its centre.
  • We set the extra placing “to invite” the souls of the departed family members and to let them know that they are remembered.  Any passing stranger is welcome as it is believed that it could be a soul of a departed family member who came to visit.
  • In Ukraine, after the supper the carollers visit home after home and wish the family happiness and blessings by singing Koliady (Carols) and eveybody is getting ready for Midnight Mass.  In Canada, Koliady are carried out only in churches.

There are lots of customs and superstitions that my grandmother used to tell me about but unfortunately I have forgotten them.

Merry Christmas to those who celebrate it!




Individual Chocolate Nutella Cake

4 Jan

Individual Chocolate Cake
Yesterday Homemade Delish had posted a recipe for her Chocolate Nutella Cake in a mug.  It looked so yummy and super-easy to make that I just had to have it!

This cake is ready in less than 2 minutes if you have a microwave.  Unfortunately, I don’t have one so I baked mine in a regular oven.  I also adjusted some ingredients;  I didn’t want to feel guilty eating it.

It was delicious!  Next time I’ll pour the batter into smaller tea mugs to have a nicer presentation.

Serves 1 if you are a big eater.  I shared it with my daughter and it was just enough.


  •  2 tablespoons all purpose  flour
  • 2 tablespoon whole wheat flour                                          
  • 2  tablespoons raw organic sugar
  • 2  tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1  egg, beaten
  • 3  tablespoons of non fat milk (I used soy milk)
  • 1  tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon of nutella


  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Mix all ingredients in a bowl.
  3. Place it in a larger pan with water in it, just halfway up the outside of the bowl. This will allow the cake to cook more slowly and evenly.
  4. Bake it for 30 min.



More Awards!

2 Jan

Happy New Year!  Wishing everyone and their loved ones a wonderful year ahead.

SalsaGlam was a success!  It was really great to catch up with all of my Salsa friends from Montreal, Vancouver, New York and Paris.  We danced up a storm 🙂  I’ll be posting pictures next week.

2012 ended on a sweet note!

On December 22nd Kim at Tranquil Dreams presented me with The Versatile Blogger Award.  Visit her blog for beautiful photography, creative writing and yummy baking recipes.


On December 29th, Gegebearbear at Two Rights Attempting to Make a Left  also nominated me for this Award.  Her story is such an inspiration.


These are the rules for the Versatile Blogger Award as follows:

  • Display the Award Certificate on your website
  • Announce your win with a post and link to whoever presented your award
  • Present 15 awards to deserving bloggers
  • Drop them a comment to tip them off after you’ve linked them in the post
  • Post 7 interesting things about yourself

I am honoured to pass this Award to:

  1. Chef Mimi Blog
  2. Birchpoet’s Blog
  3. Craft It. Bake It.
  4. The Timeless Treasure
  5. Discover The Expert in You
  6. At Home With Cat
  7. Picture Real Food
  8. Warm Toasty Muffins
  9. Healthy Glow Nutrition
  10. Beradadisini
  11. The Disorganisation Guru
  12. Merry Catholic
  13. heartflow2013
  14. Homemade Delish
  15. End Times

Seven interesting things about me:

  1. I am “a morning person”.
  2. I am addicted to tea.
  3. I dislike camping but love to travel.
  4. I have a weakness for chocolate, the darker the better.
  5. I am a Scorpio.
  6. My name means “Hope” in both Russian and Ukrainian, and “Delicate” in Arabic.
  7. My nickname is Kat.

On December 31st Gegebearbear nominated me for more awards:



  1. Show appreciation of the blogger who nominated you and link back to them in your post
  2. Add the award logo to your blog
  3. Share 7 things about yourself (see my list above)
  4.  Nominate 5 – 10 or so bloggers you admire
  5. Contact your chosen bloggers to let them know
  6. Optional questions (This one I will forego for now to make it easier on everyone!)

5 Cool blogs to check out:

  1. Source of Inspiration
  2. Pursuit of Life
  3. All Pets Allowed
  4. Greenhorn Photos
  5. Living by Olivia



  • Thank the person who nominated you and link to them in your post.
  • Share seven unknown things about yourself (see my list above)
  • Nominate other bloggers and blogs you like or admire… 15 or so if possible (see my list above)
  • Contact the bloggers you nominate to let them know and to link them back to your post so they can read “The Rules,” too.

Blog of the Year Award 1 star jpeg


1. Select the blog(s) you think deserve the ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award

2. Write a blog post and tell us about the blog(s) you have chosen – there’s no minimum or maximum number of blogs required – and ‘present’ them with their award.

I am nominating:

Rachel Begins Here…

Love her tips on fitness and nutrition!

%d bloggers like this: