Russian Bites: Napoleon cake

Russian napoleon cake-5

You know how after traveling for a while you really crave home? The ordinary things, like being able to sleep in your own bed and cook for yourself? By the end of our Eurotrip, I even missed bootcamp (so happy I love working out) and my business. With every city we left, I was sad to go yet ready to move on.

And now I miss those daily pastries, al fresco drinks in the middle of the day and long long walks. Guess what? I can still get away with doing all 3! Winking smile I really should sometime…

Russian napoleon cake

Last month I was asked for a Russian Napoleon cake recipe so I immediately emailed my mom and set up a date for us to make it. I’m good like that (also I really like cake). It’s actually originally a French dessert (Russian food has a lot of French influences) but the traditional Russian version seems to be a bit easier (although it has 4 layers vs 2) and has a bit of a different look. With using store-bought puff pastry dough, the whole thing comes together in a cinch and will be gobbled up even quicker! That’s a fact. Winking smile [See how the styled photos are only of a few tiny pieces? Yeah, that’s because that’s all that was left! Too good.]

Russian napoleon cake-2

So what’s a Russian Napoleon cake? It’s pretty much 4 layers of puff pastry layered with custard cream (creme patissiere). Bake the puff pastry according to instructions on the package, make the custard cream (eggs, milk, sugar, flour, butter) and then layer the two. Easy!

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The last piece of puff pastry gets crumbled to create this fun topping:

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Let the whole thing stand in the fridge overnight so the puff pastry softens a bit from the custard and the layers really meld together. The result is a cool, creamy, buttery dessert that’s unbelievably addictive!

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I want a piece right now!!

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Printable recipe

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Do you ever miss home while on vacation? Ever had Napoleon cake? It’s gooooood; I hope you try it! Open-mouthed smile

Happy 30th to me (plus a celebratory virtual sweet for you!)

I’d like to think I’m pretty mature for my age and for the past few weeks I’ve been saying that I don’t feel like I’m a 20-something anyway so might as well make it official. Yet last night at 11:35pm when I realized that I was minutes away from turning THIRTY, all of a sudden it hit me. I’m going to be officially an adult. Twenty nine sounds kind of like 26, yet 30 sounds nothing like 29 and more like 35. It’s a huge difference. I guess I’m really a woman now, no longer a girl (does that sound like a Britney Spears song to anyone, or am I aging myself here? lol). Despite a mini freak-out in my head every time I think about being 30, I am rationally completely ok with this. I am an adult. I own my own business that I built from nothing for goodness sake; I have an amazing husband, a great condo and really a lot of accomplishments to be proud of. So I’m celebrating today by working (because I love my job and I made it happen!!!), working out (because taking care of my body = taking care of me) and then enjoying a crazy awesome chef’s tasting dinner at Craigie on Main that Adam is treating me too. Hey, can a twenty one year old do that? Probably not! Smile

strawberry lemon shortcake

Oh and remember that 30 by 30 list I made when I turned 29? It was one hefty list and I got through most of it (and I’m ok with whatever I didn’t get to – I’m sure in my thirties I’ll learn even more about prioritizing in life and letting go of perfection). Check the link to the original post for updates on my progress.

strawberry lemon shortcake-2

Last but not least – what’s a birthday celebration without something sweet? It’s spring so I’m sharing this light strawberry lemon shortcake dessert. I made it a few weeks ago for a spring-themed dinner with Shannon and Kerstin. It was light and refreshing and everyone really enjoyed it (including myself). Strawberry shortcake is actually one of Adam’s favorites so I know I’ll be making it again this summer with local strawberries.

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Happy birthday to me!!

How have you guys been? Any fun desserts consumed lately? I need to know! Winking smile

Quick and cheap: egg salad BLT

Hi friends, how’s life? Did you watch the Boston Marathon? I’m always so proud that this amazing race is in my city. And since I live very close to the finish line, I always get a little emotional seeing all the runners. I know how close they are to this incredible accomplishment and I’m so so excited for them!

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Anyways, the marathon was the highlight of my week so far but the rest of the week as always revolved around food.  Since I do a lot of recipe testing for my express lunch time lessons, I wanted to share one of my favorite quick and cheap recipes that’s perfect for lunch or a casual dinner – an egg salad BLT. This recipe was originally featured in Best of Cooking Light and it was love at first bite. I adore how light yet creamy the egg salad is, and the addition of lemon zest really brightens it up. Also, I’ve used nonfat Greek yogurt in place of sour cream on many occasions and it works wonderfully.

Side note: Martha Stewart’s method for hard-boiled eggs creates perfect eggs every time.

The best part? The contrast between creamy eggs, juicy tomatoes and crispy, salty, smoky bacon. Oh yes! :)

egg salad BLT

What are your favorite quick and cheap recipes? Please share with all of us in the comments!

 

 

 

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