“When you wake up in the morning, Pooh,” said Piglet at last, “what’s the first thing you say to yourself?”
“What’s for breakfast?” said Pooh. “What do you say, Piglet?”
“I say, I wonder what’s going to happen exciting today?” said Piglet.
Pooh nodded thoughtfully. “It’s the same thing,” he said.”
A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh
Photo credit: Lyukum.net
Hello and welcome everyone! Come in!
I’m Katia and it’s me who’s boiling, simmering, braising, steaming, frying, baking, mixing, whipping, chopping, tasting and biting for this blog. I’m also writing all things here and pushing “masterpiece” button on my Nikon so you could save your imagination for something else.
I was born and raised in Minsk, Belarus. Got university degree in sociology and worked as a scientist. Got married and divorced and started to shoot food in between. Then I met my soulmate, my beloved husband and we spent 6 years seeing each other from time to time because we lived in different countries. Eventually, we moved in together and spent 5 years in Moscow. In 2016 we packed three bags, left everything behind and moved to sunny Texas. Now we are renting a small apartment with big windows and incredible south sunsets view.
When I’m not cooking and shooting I’m watching films, reading books (fiction and non-fiction), learning Italian, doing some personal photo projects and exploring Lone Star state.
Cooking tradition in my family
My grandma who we were living with and my mum cooked something almost every day. It wasn’t because they loved it, they didn’t and my mum still doesn’t, but it was a great part of our culture – a woman should cook, has to. So we rotated 10-15 dishes and made everything delicious and more expensive during holidays.
I didn’t cook until I got married for the first time at 22 and even then it was just occasional because we lived with my parents and the grandma. When I got divorced something has changed. I saw a food blog and it sounds so simple that I baked a cake right away. I even took a photo of it and was hooked. I’ve started exploring, trying different things and eventually all our home cooking was on me. Since my mum didn’t like to cook and I didn’t enjoy cleaning after, we were the perfect team.
So, why cooking?
There is no obligation to cook and nobody has to. I can survive on toast with orange jam and a cup of tea, eat out or go with instant noodles which I did for some time when was a student.
But when I’ve started I discovered a very special thing in my life. Cooking opened the whole new world for me and my family. I’ve tried new products, discovered the taste of distant countries, polished new skills, made huge progress with my English and what is more important, met new people. I have known the joy of seeing people eating the food I’ve made for them.
Food is the whole bunch of experience. The tactile pleasure of kneading the dough. The meditation while making pelmeni (dumplings). The sounds of sizzling oil, crackled bread crust or сrunch of fresh salad. Drops of orange juice going down your arm when you peel the fruit. Licking fingers covered in melted chocolate or cookie dough. Smells of garlic and onions, fried meat or fish, baked bread or apple pie. Then comes the joy of the company, the people you share the food with. All those stories, jokes, and waves of laughter while they enjoying the food.
I think that we could find home through food, preserve some memories, share feelings and experience, find out something new and understand different cultures better. Since we have to eat every day I prefer to enjoy it. We’ve been blessed to live in a part of the world where we have many choices, so why not to?
Recipes and happiness in the kitchen
My attitude toward cooking evolving all the time. In the beginning, I thought that I just need to try a bunch of recipes from books, blogs, and cooking videos, find what I love and add it to our everyday cooking routine. Then I was fascinated with the professional chefs and looked for fancy recipes with the unusual combination of the ingredients. I’m glad I did because we tried something we would never do otherwise. I was obsessed with cookbooks and bought a lot of them, some I love, some I’ve never used.
I still using recipes and even wright them and it’s ok to follow somebody’s suggestions. The recipes are a good way to get familiar with new techniques or unknown cuisine. They are perfect if you need to recreate something very specific. I rely on recipes when I bake and go from there. A recipe, detailed or very general one is a perfect way to pass the experience and a good starting point. But I believe that following the recipes is not the same thing as to know how to cook. Cooking for me is practice, the more you do, the better you become, the better you understand what you are doing and how to achieve what you want.
I like the time in the kitchen when I’m not following any particular recipe. It doesn’t matter if I cook for friends coming over for dinner, just two of us on weekends or just for me during the working days. When you know what you want and how to get there you will be rewarded and won’t regret the time spent on shopping, prepping, cooking and cleaning after. Food doesn’t have to be fancy or complicated to enjoy, but it should be fresh and delicious. Don’t be afraid. Appreciate the ingredients, know the proper techniques and just create what you fill you want to eat.
8 random facts about me:
1. I love the coffee aroma but almost never drink it. When I do, I prefer black.
2. The most delicious food for me is home-baked sourdough bread with smoked salmon and cucumber or with salo. I also love pasta and all kinds of vegetables.
3. The most precious thing in life is family.
4. I don’t like driving a car but want to do it better.
5. I want to visit Italy, Scotland, and Iceland someday.
6. I love good old Sci-Fi books.
7. When I’m not cooking, our dinner is wine and cheese.
35 36 and still thinking who I want to be when I grow up.
Some boring but necessary stuff
I really appreciate it when you leave comments sharing your experience with the recipes you found here. This helps others try them too and it helps me figure out how to make this site better.
I do moderate all comments before approving them to keep this place a nice supportive space for my readers, so inappropriate comments will not be approved. I’ll do my best to answer all comments, so fill free to write them.
I’d love to hear from you!
If you are a company do NOT use my content without asking first. Please email me about it.
If you want to use my images in a print publication, please ask first.
All commercial uses must be requested in writing.
Fellow bloggers, my photos are free to use for non-commercial purposes with proper crediting. Take photos (taken by me only) and use them on your blog as long as a link back to the post appears on the page in the form of credit (one image per post). When you use an image to link the recipe please use the link to the original post you found it and not to the blog name (or add both links). You may use my images for “roundup posts” with proper crediting. Do not change my photos in any way. Do not post the photo and full recipe/post text together. Feel free to share links and photos together on social media and other websites.
I am not a medical professional and don’t give any diet advice. I have non- and vegetarian/vegan categories on my site, but I’m not following any diet. That is why I’ve not categorized my recipes as paleo/AIP/you name it or lactose or other allergens free, but there could be some suitable recipes here. Just be responsible and if you have any questions you should consult a medical professional.
Brand names in my posts
All names I mention are there because I use those products and love them. I’m not paid in any form for that. If I will it will be clearly explicit.
Thanks for visiting and let’s eat together!