Russia In An Rv - Life in an RV Blog at - 159659

Life in an RV

Russia in an RV 
Feb. 24, 2010 5:31 pm 
Updated: Mar. 4, 2010 1:31 am
Tonight we travelled to Russia and the Ukraine...if not in body then in spirit and what a spirit that was! This is the vodka I chose for tonight's feast. Anyone with the audacity to call it Effen vodka, put it on a label and slap it on a bottle earns my respect. I know it wasn't technically from Russia, but, hey, it's vodka! Plus I got to tell my husband "Keep your hands off my effen vodka!" Tonight's menu was: Effen vodka shots, Russian Style Marinated Mushrooms from Recipezaar< Chicken Kiev< Ukraine Baked Potato Salad< and Ukrainian Apple Cake (Yabluchnyk)<
The foundations of Russian cuisine were laid by the peasant food of the rural population. This developed in an often harsh climate, with a combination of poultry, fish, game, mushrooms, berries and honey. Rye, wheat, barley and millet provide the ingredients for breads, pancakes, beer and vodka! Yep, like the picture above!
With the apple cake, press the crust down and start laying the apples in. I used red delicious because they were what I had on hand. I think I'd really like this made with granny smiths.

After you get all the apples on top of the crust (I must tell you that I only used 3 apples because I had hurkin' big ones) sprinkle on the topping and bake. I actually had to bake a little longer than the recommended 25 minutes...more like 40-45 minutes...

But this is what it come out looking like, and, was rich and delicious!

The Ukraine Baked Potato Salad...I thought this would be really bland after reading some of the reviews, but really, it wasn't. I added pepper to each layer, but not salt. I only salted the top, about a teaspoon of coarse sea salt. My husband and I both thoroughly enjoyed this.
Russia had a great expansions of territories during the 16th-18th centuries which brought more refined foods and culinary techniques to the country. France was one of the bigger influences.

The Russian Style Marinated Mushrooms were a dish that I couldn't stop eating. I have bought the jars of marinated mushrooms from the supermarket and wasn't really impressed, so I thought these were going to be similar...I couldn't have been more wrong! Delicious!
Russia is officially known as the Russian Federation. Russia shares borders with (from NW to SE): Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania/Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia and North Korea...whew! I'm outta breath after that!...and it also has maritime borders with Japan and the USA. In otherwords, it's the largest country on the planet and the 9th largest population.

Oh...Glorious Marinated Mushrooms....

And last, but not in the least...Chicken Kiev! I've never tried this before. I've seen them for sale in the meat counter at the store for like $5.99 a pound. Why would I buy that when I can do this myself?!?!
Russia spans 11 times zones. It has the world's largest reserve of mineral and energy resources. It also has the world's largest forest reserves and it's lakes contain about 1/4 (WOW!) of the world's fresh water....

Look at that! I used a mixture of panko and Italian bread crumbs...and rather than deep frying (I don't have room for my deep fryer out here...and I was not so inclined to heat oil in a pot, because I needed it for the potatoes) I drizzled with olive oil, put it on parchment paper and baked at 375 degrees for about 25-30 minutes.

And dinner was served!
My supplies this week came to $8 even...I wonder how often that'll happen? So I was able to put $12 into my Beach Bag and the total after 8 weeks is...insert drumroll...$50.19. That's enough for 1 night so far!
Again, I would like to thank each and every one of the 39 people who voted on the recipe exchange for next week's blog country. Bob picked Haiti and I chose Egypt and by a landslide, I guess you all want to see Egypt! I'm least it looks warm there!
Update on Bob...his biopsy has been rescheduled until Tuesday, March I'll post as soon as I find something out...
Until next week, cook Russian and drink Effen vodka!

Feb. 24, 2010 5:39 pm
It all looks and sounds great; and I love the Effen Vodka!! :-)
Feb. 24, 2010 5:41 pm
Looks delish WW and way to go on the extra $$ saved towards that beach trip!
Feb. 24, 2010 5:42 pm
How in the helz did you get all of those ingredients for $8?
Feb. 24, 2010 5:43 pm
Great job, WW! Just an FYI, Russia used to be the largest country on the planet when there was still a Soviet Union. Canada is now the largest. If you every want a fabulous recipe for authentic Ukrainian perogies, please let me know. My Baba's recipe is used by a bunch of nuns who have a perogy sale several times a year to raise money. They make 20,000 dozen at a time (yes, 20,000) and they sell out super fast!
Feb. 24, 2010 5:46 pm
You're right, Cactus Rose...I was tired and trying to get it done so, I just summarized what I read on a website...Canada's the largest country. I apologize for the mistake.
Feb. 24, 2010 5:47 pm
God, if you want to email me that recipe, that would be great or if anyone has any ethnic recipes for me, my email is
Feb. 24, 2010 5:49 pm
Everything sounds delicious. I do have a question about the mushrooms- I've seen them in jars and always wondered what you're supposed to do with them. Do you eat them cold or warm?
Feb. 24, 2010 5:50 pm
Nice job WW. Those mushrooms and me would get along just fine! Way to shop and get the know me...I LOVE that! Certainly that didn't include the Vodka?
Feb. 24, 2010 5:51 pm
Also, I didn't get a chance to vote on the last one, but I'm so glad you're doing Egyptian. It's interesting to read about countries' cuisines I have no idea about.
Feb. 24, 2010 5:51 pm
Nicole~~I had most of the stuff on hand, so I didn't have to buy it! I basically just bought the chicken breasts, mushrooms, chives and some butter.
Feb. 24, 2010 5:52 pm
Nope, that didn't include the vodka...I bought that a while ago to make blueberry vodka, so I had it on hand.
Feb. 24, 2010 5:53 pm
I made the mushrooms early this morning and refrigerated them all day.
Feb. 24, 2010 5:54 pm
Yum....looks delish as usual WW:-)
Feb. 24, 2010 5:59 pm
Well you did a WONDERFUL job and including things you already had on hand is right up my alley! Well done!
Feb. 24, 2010 8:02 pm
I adore mushrooms...gonna have to make those! We have a very dear American friend that lives in Ukraine. He visits us about twice a year and always brings us a few bottles of vodka, which we really don't drink. But when we entertain, it is fun to pull them out! Great job- it looks delicious :)
Feb. 24, 2010 8:29 pm
I've been using this site for a while, but I just found the blogs not very long ago. I have really enjoyed reading your blog. The mushrooms look great and I think we may have to try the chicken too. Well done!
Feb. 24, 2010 9:32 pm
Looks delicious as usual. I love mushrooms any way I have tried. I will make them as soon as possible. Thanks for the fun.
Feb. 24, 2010 9:34 pm
A beautiful meal WW, as usual! The mushrooms look soooooo good to me!
Feb. 24, 2010 11:39 pm
Good job WW!.. Your Russian potato salad looks wonderful and the Chicken Kiev can't be easy; I have yet to try it from scratch although I do love the double stuffed chicken on this site! Thanks for posting the links as well.. I'm going to have to learn how to do do that, I tried but failed (posting a link).. btw I thought you were joking, but the Vodkas name is Effen Vodka! :)
Feb. 25, 2010 6:41 am
It really is effen cracks me up and it's not bad at all!
Feb. 25, 2010 7:07 am
It looks yummy! Have a shot for me! Happy cooking, Jill
Feb. 25, 2010 7:25 am
You are in an RV and accomplishing the great meals. We are retired and travel in our RV. I have enough trouble deciding what to pack to take with us for simple meals. Reading your blog has encouraged me to try more difficult meals and enjoy my kitchen more in our RV. We grill alot and we also cook in our Dutch Ovens. We love pizza from a Dutch Oven as well as desserts and casseroles.
Feb. 25, 2010 7:31 am
I'm so impressed with what you do, the writting, the research, and the cooking. I've been in RV's - even "big" ones - and am frankly amazed with what you manage to do. I have to say that I'm disapointed that Haiti didn't make it but I'm very sure that I will love Egyptian food. You rock!
Feb. 25, 2010 7:32 am
You Effen ROCK!
Feb. 25, 2010 7:43 am
Yum; fabulous! Though I might drink Effen something-other-than Vodka. ;) Picky Q re chicken Kiev: with the slower cooking as opposed to quick deep fry; did the butter in the center melt? Looks delish, regardless. Thanks for the inspiration. And best luck to hubby.
Feb. 25, 2010 7:58 am
Another great blog! Keep em coming! Everything looks delicious!
Feb. 25, 2010 8:32 am
This looks like a fantastic meal! I love chicken kiev and would never have thought it to be a Russian dish!
Feb. 25, 2010 8:51 am
As usual WW another inspiring blog. I anxiously await each of your blogs. I love potato salad of any kind and yours has me wanting some... NOW!! Keep these blogs coming as I am now as hooked on them as my morning coffee.
Feb. 25, 2010 8:53 am did melt into the chicken...I'm glad it did! Who wants to eat a big glob of butter! It made the chicken super moist and delicious. effen rock, too...and jennkl, it is a Russian dish but French influenced.
Feb. 25, 2010 9:13 am
Everything looks amazing! I live in Holland and have never seen this vodka - but now I'm going to have to go out and find some - love the name!
Feb. 25, 2010 9:25 am
That's awesome! My husband is Ukrainian, I should make a meal like this as a surprise.
Feb. 25, 2010 9:58 am
Great blog as usual WW! I too love mushrooms, and therefore must try these soon. Effen vodka- that is too funny! I am looking forward to your next blog, but I do hope you do Haiti at some point!!!
Feb. 25, 2010 11:36 am
I'd take an Effen screwdriver about now, I have a couple of days of vacation going on.Love your blog WW.You always keep it interesting!
Feb. 25, 2010 1:59 pm
If you're interested in the Effen vodka, the website is
Feb. 25, 2010 3:14 pm
your trips around the world are incredible, I saved most of above recipes. where is the marinated mushrooms, I love those things.
Feb. 25, 2010 3:38 pm
It all looks fabulous and the effen vodka is hilarious. I have to see if I can find that here. If nothing else, it would be a great gift for someone. Nice work WW.
Feb. 25, 2010 3:41 pm
Great blog, great photos. Everything always looks so good, but now, I'm hungry!
Feb. 25, 2010 4:57 pm
Thanks, pattyD, Avon and Daiseyland!
Feb. 26, 2010 6:41 am
PattyD...I linked the recipe above, right after teh title of it.
Feb. 26, 2010 8:47 pm
Effen vodka! That is pretty much perfection! And your food looked *really* good too...those mushrooms made me hungry. Thanks...I enjoyed reading this...I can't wait to go back and read more of your blogs.
Feb. 27, 2010 6:28 am
I"m glad you enjoyed the blog, are relatively new so I'll explain what I'm doing. I picked 52 different countries from around the world and each Sunday, my husband and I both pick a country. I then post periodically on the recipe exchange and let the readers there vote for which country they want to see me cook from. Next week, I'm cooking from Egypt. I do all of this in my 21 foot RV and I have to do it for $20 or less. The leftover money goes into a bag and at the end of the year, I'll talley it and my husband and I will go to the beach for a much earned vacation!
Mar. 2, 2010 3:05 pm
I can't get over how you do all that in an RV! Do you have a convection microwave or some other smaller appliances to help you out? What king of stove can you fit in your kitchen? Amazing. All your pictures look great and your blogs are very entertaining. I voted for Argentina next, but whatever you so is so welcome.
Mar. 2, 2010 6:48 pm
I don't have a convection oven, I do have a microwave, but it's in storage...I just have a little 4-burner stove and a little tiny propane oven. We also have a nice new big charcoal BBQ that we use A LOT! I have a 5-quart crockpot that I use, a coffee pot, and an immersion blender that I've never used yet. That's it...other than that, my 2 skillets, 3 pans, a few baking pans and of course, my silicon spatulas and my babies, which are my knives...nothing special, but I love my cook's knife!
Mar. 3, 2010 3:07 am
Everything looks great as usual! I will have to try that potato salad...great presentation!
Mar. 3, 2010 7:05 am
That potato salad WAS good...I think the next time I make it, I'll use more sour cream.
Mar. 3, 2010 1:21 pm
I just started reading your blog and I am hooked! I think you are just darling :) thanks!
Mar. 4, 2010 1:31 am
I've just started exploring the Eastern European markets in Vancouver. Talk about culture shock! I make it a habit to buy something not in English as an adventure lol. The harsh winters of Russia give us some wonderful comfort foods for sure. But your around the world on a budget idea is great proof to anyone who thinks that exciting cooking has to be expensive. Keep it up :)
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Baking, Grilling & BBQ, Frying, Stir Frying, Slow Cooking, Asian, Mexican, Indian, Italian, Southern, Nouvelle, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Dessert, Quick & Easy, Gourmet

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About Me
I've been married to my husband for over 8 years. My husband is a cancer survivor. We live in SW Washington state by Mt. St. Helens, but I'm originally from Forks, the little town made famous by the Twilight movies. My blog is called Baked Lava and I'm currently cooking my way around the world. I write a monthly column for our local newspaper called Life in an RV and that site is I've had my blog featured in Trailblazer Magazine. I love my recycled container garden and I love to create new recipes. I rarely follow a recipe to the letter, unless it involves baking. My husband & I don't have children unless you count the 4-legged variety...we have 4 of those: Puppa, Sasha, KiKi & Super Dave the Girl Cat. I am a prize-winning nature photographer.
My favorite things to cook
I don't have really a favorite thing to cook, per say...I'm not afraid to cook anything. I've recently taught myself how to can and make bread. I still have no great love of making cookies. I'm getting very well-versed in worldwide cuisine, as I'm cooking my way around the world. I love to create new recipes and rarely, anymore, do I have one that flops, but it does and will happen...the road to hell was paved with good intentions, or so they say. My favorite cuisine in this worldwide culinary adventure has been, so far, Belgium...fantastic food! I also am partial to Vietnamese, Korean, Azerbaijani and Hungarian cuisine...and Middle Eastern food kicks @ss!
My favorite family cooking traditions
My favorite family cooking tradition is the weekly international meals that I prepare. The tradition is that my blog readers choose what country they would like to see from week to week and I cook an entire meal for 4 people with a budget of $20. Right now I am in the middle of my "Austerity" project where we are solely eating from the freezers and really have to creative to do this and I am making up recipes as I go...I have used a few AR recipes and credit back to them, though.
My cooking triumphs
I've had several of my original recipes published, I've had my blog featured in a magazine, I now write a monthly food column based on my blog for our local newspaper and I'm already one year into my cooking venture of Around the World in an RV. I am a Food Buzz featured publisher, I'm on PetitChef, RecipesUS and Foodista among many, many other cooking websites. I guess it's safe to say that due to my cooking, I have now ventured into the world of food blogging and into a smaller group of us fellow global food bloggers and I've made some amazing friends.
My cooking tragedies
There have been several and there aren't enough characters in the 1000 allotted to list them all down!
Argentina  |  Australia & New Zealand  |  Brazil  |  Canada  |  China  |  France  |  Germany  |  India  |  Italy  |  Japan  |  Korea  |  Mexico

Netherlands  |  Poland  |  Quebec  |  Russia  |  SE Asia  |  United Kingdom & Ireland  |  United States