Monday, March 17, 2014

Why you should make Olivier rather than a regular old potato salad!

Olivier is an awesome version of potato salad! Olivier is from Russian origins. It contains boiled potatoes, peas, boiled, carrots, pickles, hard-boiled eggs, onions, mayonnaise or a lighter option sour cream, and bologna. It is an upgrade compared to the regular boring potato salad. According to Th Huffington Post "10 Food Reasons Russians Are More Hardcore Than The Rest of Us" Julie R. Thomson describes Olivier as us potato salad on steroids. Olivier is so much better and so much tastier than plain old potato salad. It is much creamier, meatier, tangier than your average potato salad and plus you can add your own spins on it. 

 My family makes Olivier whenever we have guests coming over for lunch or we prepare it as an appetizer for dinner. According to The Washington Post "At Sochi, Salad Olivieris Everywhere " by Bonnie S. Benwick says that the potato salad is often made for holidays and get together. “The meaty, refreshing potato salad is most often made for holidays and special occasions. It is said to have been created by a chef named Olivier, who ran a restaurant in mid-19th-century Moscow". It is very popular and made often in Russian families

Most people do not know about Olivier, so if you are planning to have a little get together or picnic you will be the star of the show if you make some and bring it. People will think you are a wizard in the kitchen when it's super easy to make and everyone will be asking you for your recipe. Olivier is super easy to make and you honestly do not need that many ingredients to make it.

photo credits to

Yields  ~ 4 0r 5 people
  • 2 carrots boiled, peeled, 1/4 inch dice
  • 2 large potatoes or 3 smaller potatoes also boiled, peeled and 1/4 inch dice
  • 1/2 an onion, chopped into 1/4 inch dice
  • 4 hard boiled eggs, chopped and peeled and 1/4 inch dice
  • 1/2 lbs. of bologna or your choice of meat, 1/4-inch dice.
  • 1/2 a can of peas
  • 1/2 cup of mayonnaise or sour cream for a lighter option
  • 4 dill pickles, chopped 1/4 inch dice
  •  1/2 a green apple 1/4 inch dice (optional) 
  • Add salt and pepper to your liking
  • Chopped chives or parsley (optional)
1.     Boil carrots and potatoes in one pot for 20 minutes and the eggs in another. You know the carrots and potatoes are done when you can stick a fork through all of them easily but DO NOT OVER BOIL! 
2.    Boil the eggs for ten minutes once all done and soft, let cool for 5 minutes or until cool enough to hold and work with. 
3.    Now peel the carrots, potatoes and eggs if you peel before boiling, then the veggies might fall apart while cooking. 
4.    Very carefully chop the carrots, potatoes, and boiled eggs all in small even squares. Make sure every piece is 1/4-inch dice.
5.    Then dice everything else.
6.    Then drain and add the peas and mayonnaise or sour cream, mix everything together in a bowl and make sure everything is covered. 
7.    Add salt and pepper to taste. Chop the chives or parsley and add on top as a garnish. Put in the fridge after for at least 1 hour the longer you let it sit in the fridge the better the taste. 

Have you ever made potato salad before? What's your opinion on potato salad?

Chicken Noodle Soup

Jessica Raytselsky's photo
Chicken noodle soup is one of my favorite things to make. Chicken noodle soup is a favorite for almost every person I know because chicken noodle soup has those homemade qualities that remind you of home no matter where you are. Chicken noodle soup even made it in SAVEUR's Hearty Fall Soups in 2010. Upscale magazines, even have chicken noodle soup featured in them and it beats out all those fancy soups.

If there is one food, you could learn to make, this one is the one, you should learn because almost everyone enjoys it.  Chicken noodle soup appears hard to make, but it is very simple to make.

Chicken noodle soup was one of the first foods I learned to make. My dad taught me how to make it for the first time when I was a young teenager.

 If all this doesn't make you want to learn how to make chicken noodle soup then this will get your attention. There is an old wives tale about chicken noodle soup that claims that chicken noodle soup is a cold remedy. According to the New York Times The Science of Chicken Soup by Tara Parker Pope this old wives tale has some truth to it a scientist by the name of Dr. Reynard conducted a study to prove this."Dr. Reynard theorizes that by inhibiting the migration of these infection-fighting cells in the body, chicken soup essentially helps reduce upper respiratory cold symptoms."(Tara Parker Pope) Chicken noodle soup has its health benefits and makes you feel better when you are sick, it reminds you of home and is very simple to make but can look sophisticated when you serve it to your friends and families.            

Thursday, March 13, 2014

We are all foodies on the inside.

Jessic Raytselsky's photo's
So let's be honest, I love food- you love food-we all love food right? I love food, whether I am cooking or actually eating! I have formed this bond with food overtime my earliest memories being cooking with my next-door neighbor. I love to cook it allows me to relax from a busy day and forget about everything that happened during the day. 

This might sound odd, but my neighbor was a young mother with several boys and she always wanted a girl. Well, let's just say I was her "daughter she never had". She would cook the yummiest of desserts from warm pumpkin pie to gooey chocolate chip cookies.  She would always invite me into the kitchen whenever I was over playing with her boys. One distinct memory I have is she asked me to help her make homemade whipped cream for the pumpkin pie she was making. She just told me to take a carton of whipping cream, sugar and a little vanilla and keep stirring until it was thick. I thought it was so incredibly amazing that just by putting a few ingredients together it could completely transform this mixture into a bowl of yumminess

Once I got older I began cooking at home when I was living with my dad. My dad's girlfriend had introduced me to traditional Ukrainian recipes that were passed down from generation to generation. It was funny because my dad's girlfriend wouldn't measure anything out she always approximated so she couldn't ever give me an exact recipe because the recipes that she knew were passed down from her family. Way back then there weren't measuring utensils so it was either a palm of this or a pinch of this. She taught me how to make borscht, which is a beet soup, different Ukrainian salads, cutlets which are like a meat patty and many more recipes. I ended up taking some of her recipes and combining my experiences together forming my own style of cooking.