Best Ever Apple Cake

IMG_1090.jpgThis is my mom’s cake. She used to bake it when I was little and I remember asking her to make it all the time. Hers was always with apples and sour juicy ones like Granny Smith work best, but feel free to make it with any fruit that strikes your fancy. I even made it with frozen fruit mix, just remember to defrost it first (don’t ask how I know). I like it most with apples or blueberries; plums work perfectly as well. Or you can combine all three of them. Like I said, anything works and the result will be a fluffy and moist ‘melt in your mouth’ cake that your family and your guests will love. Continue reading

A Little About My Banner Pic

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It took me some time to come up with the name for my blog. It is not that much different than naming your children, only a bit less agonizing, I would say. Mom in the Kitchen? Nope. Violetta’s Kitchen? Violetta’s bites? Eat with Violetta? It became quite clear that I wanted my name in it, but Violetta’s what exactly? Kitchen? But I like not only cooking, but shopping for food and even a few minutes in an ethnic food store fills my heart with joy, so I cannot limit myself only to kitchen. I love eating out and appreciating the food that was prepared by somebody else. So food, as a general term, had to be in the name. Violetta’s Food? Continue reading

Tomato Salad

Tomato salad is my favourite salad ever. It was a staple at our dinner table when I was growing up. Even my husband, one of the pickiest eaters I have met in my life (topped only by his eldest offspring) loves it.  It is so easy to make and yet it is so delicious! You can add cucumbers to it as well, but my favourite version is the original tomato and onion one. As far as the dressing goes, it cannot be any simpler. You can use sour cream, mayonnaise or oil (I prefer lighter tasting oil for this salad not to overwhelm the fresh flavour of tomatoes and onions). I am fond of sour cream dressing , while my mom likes to mix equal parts of mayo and sour cream. I recommend trying them all. Would you let me know in the comments below which one you liked most? Or maybe you can suggest your own? I would love to hear from you! Continue reading

Paska- Traditional Ukrainian Easter Bread

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Easter is a big deal in Ukraine. Everyone is washing their sheets and windows and frantically scrubbing everything in sight. I remember women literally performing complicated balancing acts on their windowsills and polishing the windows to high shine (most houses and buildings had those old fashioned wooden window frames that could be fully opened onto the street). When my day came to join the army of window washing womenfolk, which was some time in high school, I donned my shortest pair of shorts, did my hair and reported to duty. Continue reading

One More Way to Bake Potatoes

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This one is a crowd pleaser and will not take up too much of your time. All you need is some potatoes and bacon, a match made in food heaven (at least in my opinion). Make it as a quick snack if you have company over or as a lazy weeknight dinner, with a salad on the side. My dad tasted a similar dish while visiting relatives that live near Carpathian mountains in Ukraine and was so impressed with it that my mom had to try making it. The original version had small potatoes cut in half and topped with a nice chubby slice of smoked salo (Ukrainian type of bacon that has no, or very little, meat). It is delicious and comes with a variety of seasonings. I improvised given the lack of proper salo and unwillingness to wait for too long for the thicker cut spuds to cook through. I like to season them with salt and pepper as bacon packs quite a bit of flavour, but feel free to experiment with your favourite seasonings. The result will be delicious! I do wonder, how this dish is not a pub food staple? Continue reading