June 27, 2014

23, or Rules of Summer 2014

I was born on June, 24th at 10:30am - Moscow time, in Russia. Which makes my official birthday here on June 23rd, at 11:30pm. So now I think I'm allowed to celebrate for two days in a row.

This is a little crazy to think about how my life has changed since my last birthday. The amount of things I've done in the past year is overwhelming. I have got lots of memories, some sad, but definitely lots of happy ones. Here I want to say "Thank you" to people, destiny and universe who made my 22nd year very-very special! <3
As my life changes rapidly every year I'm always afraid to make a "to-do" list, because I'm never sure that I wouldn't fail to keep it up. But this year I decided to look at it from a different perspective:
This is just a way of solidifying some of my summer plans - the things you intend to do, but somehow always manage to slip away, along with the long days and warm nights. I've just put these 23 "rules of summer" 2014 to stay inspired:

1. Visit a pick-your-own-berries farm. Then make this.
2. Take a spontaneous weekend trip someplace I've never been (Like Montana).

3. Go to a drive-in movie theatre - I never have!

4. Rent a sailboat up in Seattle and watch the sunset from there.
5. Go outdoor climbing somewhere around Smith Rock.
6. Attend an outdoor concert
7. Take walks after dinner at least three times a week
8. Spend a day like a tourist in Portland.
9. Purchase my first ever bike
10. Read at least 5 books before the Labor Day
11. Host a Russian dinner get-together
12. Attend a Food Festival
13. Learn more things about coffee.
14. Find something special at someone's yard sale
15. Build sandcastles in Bandon, Oregon
16. Play at the Waterpark up in Seattle
17. Attend my first Baseball game 
18. Create a family recipe book
19. Learn more about film photography
20. Start learning Spanish
21. Speak more Russian with Andrew
22. Tent camping
23. See some more deer

June 18, 2014

Zucchini patties recipe

Today is Wednesday which means we're already half-way through the week. With people working full time it's really hard to find time to cook for yourself, especially something healthy or how I like to call it "guilt-free". So here one of my favorite recipes to share with you. What I love about it is that it's absolutely "convertable" - so if you are out of some ingredient you don't have to run to the store - just play around it and see what you have on hand to replace it.

So here is what I like to use for 6 patties:

  • 2 small zucchinis
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheese - I used chedder and mozarella- that's what I had on hand. You can replace it with any cheese you like / or not add it at all - it's absolutely up to you. 
  • 1 egg - same with the egg - flour will have the patties stick together, if you don't want to add the egg. I just like it more that way.
  • 1 table spoon of flour - I used buckwheat, but you can use whatever you prefer.
  • 1 clove garlic
  • salt, pepper, seasoning to taste

And here is a couple of secrets. 

1. When you shredded your vegetables make sure to squize some liquid from them before you mix in other ingredients (I just use my hands) - otherwise they'll be too watery and will fall apart. 
2. Mix all the ingredients together and form them into patties. They won't be firm and stick together well but it's perfectly fine - trust me. When they bake/cook the mixture will do it's thing.
2. If you are out of time you can just fry them on a pan with oil of your choice. However I just find it easier to put them on a parchment paper and bake for about 20 minutes (350F - 180C degrees).

You can serve them with sour cream, salsa, hummus, or any homemade dressing of your choice. Here while they were baking I quickly put together a salad with tomatoes, kale, carrots and my new favorite mustard and olive oil dressing. 

Let me know if you make them yourself and I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

June 11, 2014

Pacific ocean

Living in Oregon has some huge benefits. I grew up only seeing water larger than a puddle once a year when my dad and I would go to Saratov - a small southern town in Russia with the biggest river in the country, the Volga river. I can't complain as that was the best time I ever had as a child. I had never seen an ocean up until I was nineteen. It was my first month in the US when Andrew took me to see the Oregon coast.
Here we are, 3 years later, enjoying the same coast together. I love water... even when I don't get to spend time in it. I love watching waves, surfers, birds, rocks - it's so calming and makes me think that everything is in its place now.


June 4, 2014

Being special

So it's 20 days until my birthday but I don't know what to do yet. Lots of people don't really care about birthdays once getting older, but I believe that this should be the best celebration of the year. Maybe not the biggest (depending on the budget), but you definitely MUST feel special.
Just think. What if...your mom decided not to have you? Or what if things went wrong? I mean, what are actually the chances that you would appear in this world? And despite everything here we are, happy or not, healthy or not really, but we are here. For one or another reason. And we must celebrate. Celebrate our life! Because it's wonderful and special. I mean YOU are special and this is the perfect day to remind yourself about that.

Today I found out that I'm 8,382 days old. So let's celebrate!

June 3, 2014

Sonya's Granola

Every year people get obsessed with some food or brand, it becomes sort of everyone's favorite. I remember the time when Starbucks just got opened in Russia a couple of years ago and almost everyone took a picture with a cup with their signature mermaid.
These days as healthy eating is getting more and more popular lots of people replaced their favorite pancakes with granola or oatmeal. If you follow my instagram you know that I love love my oatmeal in the mornings. But I'm that kind of a person who gets bored of things pretty quickly if I don't add some variety so I started making my own granola. I know there are a thousand of recipes on the internet but I wanted to share this one as it's my personal absolute favorite. So let's call it "Sonya's granola"

So here it goes:

1 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup cashews
1/2 cup sunflower seed/pepitas
3/4 cup shredded sweet coconut
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons maple syrup/agave/honey
1/4 cupcoconut oil (melted)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup raisins/dried cranberries/apricots --any dried fruit on hand.

1. I put apricots to soak in the hot water for about 5 minutes or so. Once they get softer I chop them into little pieces.

2. I put almonds and about half of our sunflower seed in the blender and blend for about 10 seconds until it becomes like a powder. 

3. Then I combine all my dry ingredients, including dry fruit. 

4. In the separate bowl I mix coconut oil with my sweetener which I have on hand. *You can add brown sugar for extra sweetness but I personally like it without it*.

5. Mix our "sauce" with the dry ingredients, put on the baking sheet and bake for about 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees (180C).

I promise, you'll love it. You can also make granola bars with the same mixture as well. And I like to add fresh berries if I have some!

Enjoy! :)

xx Sonya