Cuban-Style Citrus – Mojo and Mojito (Part 1 of 2)

Historic Ybor City

Ybor City – Historic Cuban-American Neighborhood

Perhaps because it is so difficult for Americans to go there, I am fascinated by Cuba –with its rich history and culture.  To gain access, Americans must get a license from the U.S. Treasury Department, and that license requires a specific purpose (e.g., journalism, charitable work, government business, etc).   I haven’t applied for a license since I don’t think writing a food blog would qualify 🙂 Continue reading

30 Years of Ukrainian Egg Parties – Painted Eggs, Party Menu and Paskha

Pysanky -  Artwork by Nanci Yermakoff

Pysanky – Watercolor by My Sister, Nanci Yermakoff, 2000.

Countries steeped in Eastern Orthodoxy celebrate Easter with glorious painted eggs and a traditional Easter buffet feast.

The eggs (pysanky) are quite an art form.  The style of egg-painting is different in each country (Russia, Ukraine, Belarus et. al.), but perhaps the most beautiful are the Ukrainian batik (wax-resist dyed) eggs. Continue reading

Russian Easter “Ham” – Buzhenina



Growing up in a Belarusian family, we always had Russian-style “fresh ham”, or Buzhenina, for Easter.  It didn’t look or taste like most Easter hams, because it was a “fresh ham”.  In which case, was it really a ham??? Continue reading

Ireland’s Burren and Beef Stew

The Burren, Ireland

The Burren, Ireland

Most people who visit Ireland go to see castles, explore pretty coastal villages and eat  hearty Irish meals, all of which was exactly what I had in mind on my first trip to Ireland.  But I made the colossal error of asking my husband to plan our trip.  So, we flew into Dublin and drove straight across the island to climb on rocks at The Burren.  I was not entirely sure about all this. Continue reading

A Kosher Cooking Lesson and Vegetable Brown Stock

Rosemary Rescued from the Snow

Rosemary Rescued from the Snow

Cooking lessons are so much fun. I still dust off some of my old lessons when asked or, occasionally, as donations to charity. So, when a friend asked to sell one of my lessons at a live charity auction, I was delighted.  The lesson, “Stocks and the Five Mother Sauces”, was from my repertoire of tried and true lessons.  I could teach it in my sleep.  Piece of cake.  Sure, I would be happy to donate the lesson.

Then came the surprise from the buyer: Continue reading