Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Moscow - Love/Hate Relationship - Part Two

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Part 2:   You know you’re in Moscow when…

....People also seem quite happy to sit, relax, and enjoy each other's company on a more personal/intimate level: 
Lana's Art Studio
there is a deep admiration for luxury brands – conspicuous consumption is very prevalent.

Lana's Art Studio

even in the red "brick" square you see impossibly high stiletto heels finishing off the infinitely long legs of impossibly beautiful, blue-eyed, blonde and brunette, model-esque Slavic women (look closely, see how skinny the heels are).

You know you’re in Moscow when…

the skyline is a mix of steaming power station chimneys and beautiful multi-coloured onion-domed churches.

Russian Churches 

no-one is running down escalators to catch the next train – not so much because the escalators are very deep (although they are), but because trains come along every minute, so no need to rush. People also seem quite content to sit, relax and read their papers in the beautiful marble hallways before 

boarding their train.

taxis include private cars that are flagged down beside the road, with fare and route negotiated on the spot.

moody-looking men in leather jackets are holding meetings in hotel lobbies.

Hotel Sovetksii

 the neo-20s buildings are larger and more beautiful than you’d expect, whilst the military and Soviet era statues are even more over-the-top than you’d expect.

statures in red square 

you can buy vodka in the ‘alcohol corner’ of a butcher’s shop, and it’s quite common to see well-dressed young men and women drinking from brown paper bags.

borscht, dill and cream are on daily menus, as is mushroom soup, although pizza is now just as ubiquitous.

I would like to sharing some of my favorite recipes I found from pinterest here:


Borscht – Beetroot Soup from Green Kitchen Stories: 
2 tbsp ghee or cold pressed olive oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 lbs / 500 g raw beetroots, any color, coarsely grated
4 cups / 1 l vegetable broth
2 bay leafs
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
sea salt & freshly ground pepper
Horseradish Yogurt
4 tsp freshly grated horseradish, or more to taste
1/2 cup / 120 ml plain yogurt
Heat ghee in a large saucepan on medium heat, add mustard  and cumin seeds and stir constantly to prevent from burning. Fry until fragrant. Then add onion and fry until soft, stirring occasionally. Add the grated beetroot, vegetable broth and bay leafs. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and let simmer for 30-40 minutes. Meanwhile prepare the Horseradish Yogurt by combining both ingredients in a bowl and set aside. Add apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper to the beetroot soup and let simmer for another minute or so. Adjust seasoning to taste. Serve in bowls with a dollop of Horseradish Yogurt.

This is from Oliver Magazine - beautiful photography of  Russian food  by A. Montgomery:

Russian Salad
You can make this authentic Russian potatoe salad called “Olivie” and it is delicious! If you love shrimp or chicken, you’re going to love this dish!  And it’s so easy that if you can buy some pickles, a can of peas, boil 6 eggs, peel a few potatoes and cut up some carrots…..your friends will think you’ve become a master chef!  Here is original post on russian cuisine!

So, the true Soviet version of salad Olivier includes the following basic 5 ingredients:
  • hard boiled eggs, diced
  • boiled sausage, diced (or use dised canadian bacon) 
  • boiled potatoes (usually boiled with peels, my Mom also boils carrots in peels, and then the peels are removed), diced
  • marinated (or fresh) cucumbers (usually home-made freshly salted , from home-grown cucumbers), diced
  • canned green peas, whole
  • green onion, diced
Dice everything, except for peas=), season to taste … and add loads of mayonnaise, the amount depends on your decency (which can also be ‘lightened’ with sour cream or greek yogurt)
Enjoy! Let me know if you tried this and what is your opinion on it)

Have a great week! 

This is it for now! Stay with me and do more recipes, stories, hotel tips, and more in my part 3 of Russian trip next week,

xx, Lana 


  1. I love how the borscht looks! I've never had it, but I would love to try a bowl. And that pink church looks gorgeous.

  2. Thanks Marieken, I love the traditional old churches architecture...they so close to my heart. The pink church photo is from my hometown. Borscht is good for a cold winter's day:) but cooking from scratch takes a long time!

  3. Wow, awesome pictures and wonderful recipes. Makes me want to visit!

  4. I had the pleasure to stay in this hotel I have pictures for a few days...it is very safe and nice! if you need it in the future...i will send you a reservation site.
    the restaurant there is most famous and very impressive!

  5. Love this post! How I'd love to see one of the buildings and go inside. And those bags are awesome!!!