I am 25 years old and have spent the majority of my life living in Chicago. I enjoy taking advantage of all the great things the city has to offer- the culture, cuisine and all the exciting things to see and do.
My favorite things to cook
I really enjoy entertaining and the challenges of coming up with a creative menu. I rarely follow a recipe to the letter and tend to research different recipes to create the perfect one. For everyday meals, my boyfriend and I have recently tried to incorporate healthy low-carb options. Some of our go-to recipes include: low-fat chicken piccata, seared pork chops with shallots and balsamic glaze, grilled salmon and steamed seasonal vegetables.
My favorite family cooking traditions
My family emigrated from Kiev, Ukraine when I was eight years old. From an early age, I have been inspired to cook by my mother and grandmothers. Some of my earliest memories include sitting at my paternal grandmother's kitchen table helping her measure the ingredients for strudel and learning how to shape matzo balls.
Preparing large, elaborate meals when entertaining has always been a part of the Russian tradition. Even though food was scarce, parties and celebrations were always bountiful feasts. To this day, this is a tradition honored by my family whether we are preparing a classic Russian meal or something more modern.
My cooking tragedies
While I love to cook, baking is not my forte. One afternoon I decided to make French macarons for my boyfriend's mother's birthday. It soon became clear that I was in over my head. No matter what I did, batch after batch of the delicate almond cookies looked pathetic. Finally, after a full day of failure I was able to produce five cookies worthy of presentation. While this started as a baking tragedy, I am very proud of my five near-perfect macarons (and my boyfriend enjoyed eating the rejects).