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Sunday, October 28, 2012

An Enchanted Evening...

Last night my husband and I had the pleasure of dining at our friends, Ryan and Chantelle's beautiful home. Chantelle and I have always seen eye to eye when it comes to cooking and design, so I was thrilled to have the pleasure of enjoying their beautiful home and cooking. Walking into their home, I immediately felt a sense of peace. Chantelle has created a 'beach escape' environment within the confines of our frigid Minnesota weather. Candles were lit, lights dimmed, shells sparked, and walls filled with life treasures and unique finds. For dinner, she and Ryan pulled out all the stops starting with a delicious appetizer of melted brie, followed by pierogis, borscht, Israeli couscous salad and pumpkin ice cream for dessert! Borscht is a popular Eastern European beet soup prepared with beets and tomatoes and can be prepared both cold and warm. My grandmother loved to cook borscht which also happens to be a staple in Jewish cuisine. Chantelle shredded her beets, which added a nice texture to the soup instead of leaving the beets whole- which could be frightening to the novice eater;). Pierogis for those of you non-Europeans are potato dumplings prepared either steamed or fried. Please try Chantelle's borscht recipe below:

2 cartons vegetable broth (my mom always used beef broth)
4 medium beets peeled 
3 large carrots 
1 large onion
3-4 bay leaves
1 tbsp vinegar 
1 tsp sugar 
1 tbsp dill 
1/2 of a small cabbage (purple preferred)
1 16oz can of diced tomatoes 
salt and pepper to taste
Sour cream for garnish

Place broth is large pot with bay leaves. In a food processor, shred the onion, beets, and carrots, then add to broth. Add vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper to broth and stir well. Bring sauce to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cover for 40 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Then add cabbage and tomatoes. Cover and simmer another 30 minutes. Add dill  and serve with a garnish of sour cream. Delish!

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