My Ukrainian friend Michail always has got a lot of interesting bottles of wine from all over the world. Last night he served Tsinandali 2009 white dry wine. And it is the first wine I realy like. It online casinos is produced in Kakheti in Georgia, from white-grapes (85% Rkatsiteli, 15% Mtsvane). Tsinandali is IWSC (International Wine&Spirit Competition) bronze medal winner in 2007, 2008 and 2009 and Concours Mondial de Bruxelles 2009 – Gold. Concours Mondial de Bruxelles 2008 – Silver. That wine is very nice with chicken, salads and fish.

tsinandali by martushka

Ukrainian “szuba” – shooba

Last night my friends from Ukraine impressed me with “szuba” (shooba) – “herring under a fur coat” :) and karp which they made for New Year. Tatiana and Michail made everything like Tatiana’s mother has been doing over the years. It was so delicious…
They used salted herring, onion, boiled carrots, potatoes, beets and mayonnaise. A lot of work!

shooba by martushka

shooba by martushka

shooba disappears quickly by martushka

The karp was equally good as shooba…:)

karp by martushka

The karp was filled with grated carrot…

karp with carrot filling by martushka

A feast to the eyes, and the delights of the palate! Thank you guys! :)


This morning I recived a big box from Natalya! She made me a present – box full of Yerba Mate!

present by martushka

I don’t know from witch one I should start :)))
Thank you Natalya! :)

Roasted duck stuffed with apples


1 fresh or frozen duck weighing 1.5-2.5 kg
3-4 apples
1 tbsp marjoram
3-4 tbsp cranberries or blueberries (optional)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
oil or lard to grease the form

ingredients - roasted duck

Duck (from frozen – defrost in the refrigerator for 8-12 hours) clean of excess fat and massage breast with fingertips – the fat located in the muscles will crash.

raw duck

Drizzle the interior of the duck with lemon juice. From the inside and outside the rub with salt, pepper and half the marjoram. Wrap in foil and put in the fridge for 2-3 hours.


Peel and slice 2-3 apples into quarters. Mix with the rest of marjoram, fill the duck, and sew up on both sides. Insert duck into greased roasting pan, sprinkle with water, put in the oven preheated to 170-190°C, 338F-374F.

add apples

Sewing one side of the duck.

sewing apples inside the duck

Fill with apples…

fill with apples and prepare to sew back end

…and sew back end.

final stitches

Put it to the oven.

ready to go to the oven

Sprinkle the sauce every 5-10 minutes.
After 30 minutes cut the skin on the breast and pour the sauce over again.

sprinkle the sauce every 5-10 minutes

After 45 minutes turn the duck to be baked on the other side.

after 45 minutes turn it over

After 80 minutes cut the skin between the thighs and the body (to put out the fat). If the duck skin is browned nicely, cover it with kitchen foil and bake another 20 minutes – duck is ready when the juice from the puncture is clear.

make cuts to release excessive fat

Hollow out of the remaining cores of apples, fill the interior with cranberries. Place the fruit on a baking tray for 40 minutes before baking. Bake the duck for 15 minutes in the oven, then cut into portions and pour sauce.

roasted duck is ready to serve
Serve with apples.

roasted duck on a plate with vegetables

Dish and photos made by Martushka’s husband :)

Sticky toffee pudding

The taste that rocks my face :)

You need:

200g dried dates, stoned and chopped
250ml black tea (not too strong)
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
85g unsalted butter
175g self-raising flour
1 tsp mixed spice
175g goldencaster sugar
2 eggs

items for sticky toffee pudding by martushka

For the toffee sauce you need:

100g light muscovado sugar
100g unsalted butter
142ml carton cream

items for toffee sauce by quall design

Chop the dates. Put them and the tea in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Cook for 3-4 minutes to soften the dates. Stir in the bicarbonate of soda.

dates with tea and bicarbonate of soda by quall design

Beat the butter and caster sugar until pale and creamy, then beat in the egg, flour and mixed spice. Fold in the date mixture.

blend by quall design

Pour into a buttered ovenproof dish or brownie tin.

pour into cake tin by quall design

Bake for 30-35 minutes.

ready cake by quall design

Make the sauce by putting the sugar, butter and cream in a pan over a low heat and simmer until the sugar has dissolved.

for sauce by quall design

Cook until the sauce is a lovely toffee colour.

toffee sauce by quall design

Cut the pudding into squares and serve with the warm sauce and a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

sticky toffee pudding with ice cream by quall design

Recipe from my friend who found it in Olive Magazine, October 2005.

Turkish moon

When I was a child my mum was making delicious crescent-moon cakes. I still remember the taste, but I have not got the recepie. So I tried to recreate that taste…

You need:

4 eggs
150g icing sugar
150g flour
150g butter or margarine
1½ tsp baking powder
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp rum essential oil

you need by martushka

Mix icing sugar with butter. Add one egg at a time and mix. Add the rest of items.

waiting for blend by martushka

Blend until smooth.

it's smooth by martushka

Preheat the oven to 180°C, 356F. Bake the cake for 15 minutes.

in oven by martushka

after 15 minutes by martushka

Items for icing:

150g icing sugar
2 tbsp rum
1 tbsp water

items for icing by martushka

Mix it all together.

ice by martushka

Cover the hot cake with icing.

icing by martushka

Cut out crescent-moons. I made mistake and cut it before icing set :)

cuting out by martushka

Not perfect but very tasty :) unfortunatelly not the same like my mother’s :(

Turkish moon by Konrad

Uszka – oosh-ka

Because I am pressed for time, I have to start to make some dishes for Christmas eve and freeze them… So today I will make Polish uszka – dumplings or I should  rather say ravioli . On Christmas Eve I will serve them with barszcz czerwony – borscht (beetroot soup). The recipe was given to me by my father.

Items for making  pastry:

2 glasses (320g) or more of  white flour
1  yolk
hot water

items for pastry by martushka

Items for filling:

20g or 40g (more or less if you like) dried porcini mushrooms
onion if you like
salt, pepper

items for filling uszka by martushka

Soak dried porcini mushroom overnight in cooled boiled water, it makes them softer.

soaking mushrooms by martushka

The next day boil them till soft in the same water, when cooled off cut them into fine pieces.
Squeeze the sauerkraut out with your hands but do not squeeze all the moisture out, then chop finely.
Fry the sauerkraut, onion,  mushrooms and  season with salt and pepper.

fried sauerkraut by martushka

Pour flour out onto a pastry board, add some salt and the boiling water a littel at a time and use a palate knife to mix it in until a dough starts to appear, add yolk and knead dough.

kneading dough by martushka

Roll up the dough…

roll up by martushka

…and cut it into squares.

cut into squares by martushka

Topp the pastry with filling.

fill in pastry by martushka

Coat the edges of the pastry with water and seal the pastry.

seal pastries by martushka

Uszka are ready :)

uszka by martushka

It looks like they are too big :)


One day my Romanian friend was describing one of Romanian delicacy’s. It is called zacusca, a vegetable spread made from roasted aubergine, roasted red peppers, tomatos and chopped onion. A few days later I found it in one of the shops on Leith Walk in Edinburgh. So I bought it and spread it on a bread like she said. I loved it from the first bite. Few months later she brought a jar from Romania, made by her mother- in- law, it was fantastic. So zacusca is nice with bread, pasta, crackers, the list could be endless… and today I tryed it with baguette pizza – beautiful :)

zacusca by martushka

Martushka’s husband fryed mushrooms with onion, added salt and pepper

fried mushrooms by martushka

He cut the baguette into long slices, put fried mushrooms and cheese on top

ready to go to the oven by martushka

He preheated the oven to 180°C, 356F. Put it in for about 10 minutes.

hot baguette pizza by martushka

Usually he’s serving it with tomato sauce but today we spreaded zacusca on the top

baguette pizza with zacusca by martushka

It was a good choice!