Every year in October, my church has a “Missions Banquet”, where, ideally, everyone brings a dish representing their ethnic background. Both my DH and I have a lot of mixed European blood, but we also each have a strong presentation of one particular European country that dominates the mix. My mom is 100% Finn, and my DH’s mom is mostly Greek, both of which provide a great deal of inspiration for a variety of delicious ethnic foods. On top of that, I spent some time in Russia in my teen years, and gained an appreciation for a variety of Russian foods, my favorite of all time being blini.
Blini are kind of like the Russian version of crepes, or very thin pancakes. They can be served with savory or sweet accompaniments. Caviar is a favorite (not for me, but for people who happen to like caviar!), and sour cream (or plain yogurt/kefir) is also very common. Smoked salmon is popular, and I recall once having them as a snack for tea in a Russian home, served with jam. In my brief research, it seems like there are about as many different recipes for blini as there are people in Russia, but I use a recipe very similar to what was taught to me by a friend in Russia.
I am no blini expert, so I will just give you the ingredient list that I used, and then direct you to this site, which has very specific instructions for the method that is a lot more precise and helpful than I would be. In Moscow, my friends would say that the first blin was for the cook, meaning that the first blin never quite turned out the way it should. When I make them, the first 2 or 3 are for the cook!
Here is the ingredient list that I used (more accurate, I think than the one in the link above. My recipe doesn’t have buttermilk or kefir, but you can certainly substitute part of the milk with either of those).
1 TBSP sugar
1/3 tsp salt
2 cups milk
1 TBSP oil
Whisk together the eggs, sugar and salt. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture, and then stir as you slowly add the milk. Mix until smooth and well blended – no lumps of flour. Stir in oil. Continue as directed here.
The other component of my international potluck offering was Greek yogurt. Oh. My. Word. I’d eaten Greek yogurt from the store before, but this was homemade, and WOW! It was sooooo good. The best yogurt I’ve ever had. I made my own yogurt with whole milk in my yogurt machine the day before, but you can use any plain yogurt.
Greek Yogurt with Honey and Vanilla
2 cups plain yogurt
1 TBSP honey
1/2 tsp vanilla
Line a strainer or colander with cheesecloth (or…. paper towels, she whispers embarrassedly. No cheesecloth here, so I had to make a quick substitute. And no, there were no flecks of paper in the yogurt!). Pour the yogurt into the colander or strainer and place over a bowl. Allow to sit for several hours to drain out all the liquid in the yogurt (I left mine in the fridge for a large part of the day). You should have almost a sour cream consistency with the remaining yogurt.
Remove yogurt to serving bowl, and stir in honey and vanilla until well blended. Prepare for bliss… and taste!
SOOOO EASY, and aside from the draining time, very QUICK too. It’s a great CHEAP dessert (or snack or breakfast) AND it’s very HEALTHY to boot. And did I mention that it’s fabulously delicious?! A winner in my book!
My final contribution was cardamom coffee, a nod to my Finnish heritage which I have already blogged about, so you can read here if you’re interested.
I think I have just given you the components for a yummy breakfast… Enjoy!
Find more inspiring and informative posts at Make Your Own Monday, Motivational Monday, Homestead Barn Hop, The Bulletin Board, Better Mom Monday, Natural Living Monday, Trivium Tuesday, Titus 2sday, Teach Me Tuesday, Hip Homeschool Hop, Titus 2 Tuesday, Delicious Dishes, Open Call Tuesday, Tiny Tip Tuesday, Healthy 2Day Wednesday, Frugal Days Sustainable Ways, Works For Me Wednesday, Real Food Wednesday, Whole Food Wednesday, Allergy-Free Wednesday, The Mommy Club, Encourage One Another, Thought Provoking Thursday, Simple Lives Thursday, Homemaking Link Up, Keep it Real Thursday, Frugal Thursday Rewind, Your Green Resource, Homeschooling on the Cheap, Thrifty Thursday, Fellowship Friday, Fight Back Friday, I'm Lovin' It, Weekend Bloggy Reading, Weekend Whatever, Snacktime Saturday