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Bringing People Together with Easy to make Russian Comfort Food

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image source:Corrie Cooks

Russia has a long history of droughts and famines. Although there have been no famines since 1947, the former Soviet Union saw many food shortages. By the time the Soviet Union was about to collapse, many common items of food were being rationed.

Shelves held only rotten vegetables, butchers counters had pitiful scraps of bone and fat instead of sausages, chops, and joints. As recently as last year Russia halted exports of its wheat as fears of a shortage once again raised its head.

So it may seem a strange choice when it comes to discussing cuisine, comfort food, and cookery. But, the advent of the multi-cooker has made it easier than ever to try new recipes at home, and Russian food has much to recommend.

Why Russian food?

Because it is comforting, is the simplest answer to this question. Russian weather can at times be harsh, and some areas are bitterly cold. If you come from a country that enjoys a full spectrum of seasons then you will understand that when winter comes, sometimes all you want is some proper comfort food.

Russian cuisine can provide dishes that are full of carbs, fill up bellies, and generally satisfy and protect against the cold. If you were from England then you would probably describe some Russian food as the kind of meal that sticks to your ribs.

However, if the English think they eat a lot of potatoes, then they can think again, compared to the Russians. Mashed potato may well be the ultimate comfort food, and it is served everywhere in Russia. Ok, maybe not in a pizza restaurant or McDonald’s. Actually, McD’s did make a mashed potato burger but chose to market that in China instead of Russia.

But the truth is, Russian food can be very satisfying, and while it may not be diet-friendly, it can be heart-warming and is often about family and friends. Much of Russian food is home-cooked and shared with families. An interest in Russian culture and history could help to bring people together in all walks of life, especially if enjoyed with some pelmeni.

Why are people more interested in foreign cuisines now?

Last year saw the Covid pandemic arrive that is still currently ongoing. This resulted in lockdowns, self-isolation, and quarantines, not to mention far more serious consequences. The effects of Covid are still being felt through Europe and across the globe. It could be years before a return to a proper sense of normality happens.

Because of the restrictions that were put in place, people have been unable to visit restaurants, and they have also had travel plans curtailed. For many, this meant taking the problem into their own hands and finding a solution. The answer for some was to take up cooking as a hobby and try different recipes.

Cooking at home during lockdowns meant that a new hobby was found, time was used more usefully, and knowledge of other cultures could be explored through the medium of food. The success of one or two kitchen appliances has also helped.

What is a multi-cooker, and can they really help someone to cook?

A multi-cooker is an appliance that has various cooking modes and options. They may be able to sous-vide, saute, bake, and cook rice. They may also have options for slow-cooking which is great for tough cuts of meat. Plus they can pressure cook, to speed up recipes that traditionally take a long time.

Basically, a modern multi-cooker, such as the Instant Pot or Ninja Foodi, is similar to the older style pressure cookers, but with a lot more features. They have helped many amateur cooks to start to try different recipes as the cooker does most of the work, and the food is ready very quickly.

They might be a good option when put together with Russian comfort food, as the meals can be prepared and cooked with very little fuss.

So, what does Russian food consist of? Is it just lots of cabbage and potatoes?

Why do Russians eat so many potatoes?

Ok, so it is true that potatoes are popular, but part of this is for practical reasons. When it comes to serving up sustainable food and ingredients, potatoes are up there with the best.

Every country has its own main carbohydrate when it comes to staple dishes. This may be pasta (or noodles), rice, or potatoes. Obviously, bread is a factor too, but for the purposes of this article, the first three will be looked at as they form the basis of many meals across the world.

Between potatoes, rice, and pasta, the former is the most environmentally friendly option by far. Also, in the harsh winters suffered in parts of Russia, there is often a lack of fresh vegetables, and potatoes are always available.

Favourite food options for Russians will often include dishes with potato, however, for the national dish, this is swapped out for wheat.

What is the national dish of Russia?

Pelmeni is a kind of dumpling that is usually stuffed with meat. It can be served in soup, deep-fried, slathered in butter, and is highly popular. It is sometimes treated a little as convenience food but can make a hearty broth or soup with sour cream too.

It would be possible to make pelmeni in an Instant Pot, and there are plenty of recipes for similar dumplings on the internet. But, perhaps this particular part of Russian culture should be saved for traditional cooking methods.

Multi-cookers are often associated with healthy cooking, and it might be a shame to take away the joy of heavily buttered pelmeni, or deep-fried dumplings, by trying to turn them into a calorie-friendly option.

Other dishes that have been enjoyed over the centuries include borscht, blintzes, plov, kotleti, and of course beef stroganoff. There is also solyanka soup which is both sweet and sour and is believed to be the best hangover cure available.

Borscht is highly adaptable to the seasons as it can be eaten cold in warm weather, or hot when the winter nights draw in.

Making Russian dishes easily

So, assuming you have access to a multi-cooker or Instant Pot, then you may be able to pull off some authentic Russian dishes without too much trouble.

Beef stroganoff has been around since the 1800’s when it first appeared and has been attributed to the Count Stroganoff of that period. Whatever the truth is, stroganoff is one meal from Russia that has spread to many other countries.

The problem with this dish is that many countries such as the UK and the US adopted it and switched out quality ingredients for convenient ones such as tinned mushroom soup. Fortunately, recipes from Corrie Cooks and other websites have now corrected this, and you can find much better versions.

Making the best beef stroganoff could mean a lot of slow cooking but a pressure cooker means that you can achieve the same results in 20 minutes. To make the best stroganoff use good ingredients. There are two schools of thought here though.

Many cooks will advocate the use of sirloin or rib-eye steak for beef stroganoff, but others will prefer a long slow cook with a cheaper, but tastier cut of meat. If you are using the Instant Pot for fast results then go for a quality piece of beef.

Summary

Russian food may not be popular in the way that Thai, Chinese, or Italian are. However, dishes from this country are made with love and they bring people together.

One could be more satisfying than producing a tasty stroganoff in just twenty minutes and serving it up to a table full of family on a cold winter’s night?

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Top 5 techniques to design a modern home in 2023

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Now is the perfect time to start designing that dream home of yours! With innovative design trends on the rise in 2023, this guide will take you through all of the top techniques to make your modern home stand out. Let’s get started!

Incorporating natural elements into your home design

When designing a modern home in 2023, incorporating natural elements into the design scheme can add warmth and texture. Natural elements such as wood, stone, exposed brick walls, and plants will give your interior a tactile feel while adding visual interest to your space. Using wood and other natural materials can also serve an important purpose in creating a space with good acoustics. The use of furniture made from organic materials such as cane china, vintage Turkish rugs, rattan and jute will further accentuate the use of natural items within the room.

Incorporating plants into interiors is not only aesthetically pleasing but it has also been linked to numerous physical and mental health benefits. A zen garden in your living area or intermixing potted plants with eclectic decor creates a tropical ambiance that promotes relaxation. Consider using wall-climbing ivy to soften the edges of outdoor spaces as well as textured walls and staircases that offer aesthetic appeal through its undulating vines. Nature has much to offer when it comes to unique modern house plans and should be an essential element you include when updating or renovating your current space.

How to achieve the perfect balance of contemporary and cozy

Achieving the perfect balance of contemporary and cozy is no easy feat, but with some knowledge and a bit of effort, you can easily create a modern home that you, your family, and all your guests will love. Here are a few top tips to help you design a dream house befitting of the 2023 era:

-Opt for natural materials like wood, stone, and metal: By combining materials like these into the overall design elements in your home you can both add texture and interest to each space while also allowing for customization.

-Utilize smart features: With many advances in technology, integrating automated features into each space will help make life easier and can even help save on energy costs.

-Maximize the use of natural light: Maximizing natural light within each room can help open up any cramped or narrow spaces while still maintaining a modern yet welcoming feel throughout the house.

– Incorporate nature into indoor spaces: Installing plants, trees or rock gardens indoors that reflect locally-occurring elements will bring life to any room both indoors and outdoors.

These are just a few ideas that should help put you on the path towards creating an aesthetically pleasing yet equally functional modern home by 2023. With plenty of design options out there it may seem overwhelming at first – but using these tips as your starting point will give your dream house exactly the aesthetic edge it needs!

Conclusion

In conclusion, when designing a modern home for 2023 and beyond, you must pay attention to key elements like natural lighting, energy efficiency, an open layout, multipurpose furniture and smart home technology. Additionally, you should focus on balancing both modern-day practicality and aesthetics in order to create a personalized home that caters to your individual needs and preferences. By creating a harmonious combination of style and functionality in the home design process, you will be able to enjoy all the conveniences that tomorrow’s technology can offer while still maintaining the luxurious and beautiful atmosphere of a modern house.

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Buying Guide for Custom-Made Backpacks

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With the evolution of our daily activities, there is a need to purchase a more versatile bag like a backpack. Custom-made backpacks are used as promotional products to promote various brands or products owned by people who want to look unique. The backpacks may feature a unique design, brand colours, and logos.

When looking for a customized backpack, it is vital to check various characteristics to boost the bag’s longevity. This article details everything you need to know about custom backpacks including their benefits and what to look for when purchasing one.

Below are some factors to consider when purchasing a custom-made backpack.

Budget

How much are you planning to spend on a bag? A relatively good budget will enable you to purchase a high-quality, long-lasting backpack. Check out various online shops such as Amazon to find a good customized bag that matches your needs.

Other than holding your stuff to keep your hands free, here are some other benefits of choosing one from Rocketbag’s custom-made backpacks.

Type of Material

The material used in making the customized backpack will determine its longevity. Based on expert advice, always settle on bags made from leather, canvas, or cotton. These materials are lightweight, meaning that you can carry them for a long time without getting tired.

They are also wear-resistant and waterproof, which guarantees durability. Nylon and polyester bags are cheaper but are not as durable as leather or canvas bags.

Capacity and Pockets

Choose a customized backpack that easily fits all your items whenever you need it. The good thing about these backpacks is that they come in various sizes from small to large. Small custom-made bags can carry between 5 to 10kgs whereas the largest can carry up to 50kgs.

A customized backpack with added features such as laptop sleeves and hydration packs can be amazing. You can also customize your bag to have anti-theft features to prevent theft or attach movable wheels to minimize strain when moving around.

They Are Fashionable

Custom-made backpacks come with different prints or patterns, which makes them look trendy, especially for young people. Moreover, their stylish nature makesthem suitable for various functions. With the emergence of technology, designers make unique backpacks to match their customers’ needs.

As opposed to carrying items in your hands, which is sometimes uncomfortable and not practical, backpacks provide extra protection for items. With anti-theft available in customized bags, you can safely keep valuable items.

Comfortable

If you carry a lot of stuff at once daily, it is much easier and more comfortable to carry them in a backpack. Furthermore, high-quality custom-made bags distribute the total weight evenly on your back and shoulders, which boosts comfort.

Though high-quality and durable customized backpacks are expensive, it is important to own one. A quality backpack should be trendy, comfortable, and made from durable material.

Bottom Line

Custom-made backpacks are designed for specific purposes such as corporate gifts, going to school, camping, or going to fitness centres. The tips shared in this guide will help you find the best custom-made backpack that meets your needs and is durable.

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Versatile Fall Outfits for Work and Play

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As the months begin to change and you feel that recognisable chill starting in the air, it clearly indicates that Autumn is on its way. As a transitional season, along with spring, finding very versatile wardrobe pieces is a sure way to extend your closest options without breaking the bank.

Mixing and matching midi dresses with cardigans and tailored trousers will graphic tees allow you to remain stylish and comfortable as you battle your way through interchanging hot and cold days before the winter chill fully settles in.

Something to Remember

When it comes to formal business attire, you have to go by the parameters provided to you by your company. They may have a strict dress code you must follow, which sadly doesn’t allow for much self-expression.

However, if you are given more freedom, don’t go too far with personal expression unless your office has clearly expressed its desire to embrace this way of dressing. Instead, stick to more neutral tones, solid colours, pastels and subtle patterns. Anything too bright or “busy” instantly looks more casual, which might not be what you are after.

Tailored Trousers

Tailored trousers should be a closet must-have for all women. They are incredibly chic and can be worn all year round in formal and casual settings. Again, you have a variety to choose from, including bootleg, cigarette cut, and cuffed.

The style that suits your body shape best is mainly up to personal preference. Selecting different patterns and colours will help you dress it up or down. For a work look, pair a cigarette cut with loafers, a white button-up and a smart blazer. For a more casual look, switch to a comfortable bootleg style paired with a graphic tee and sneakers. Throw a jersey overtop if needed.

T-Shirts

If you are still working in the traditional business office environment, this one may not be for you. But more and more, thanks to a global pandemic, the level of formality in offices has changed to a more relaxed and casual nature. So naturally, this opens up the outfit possibilities quite a lot, mainly giving you the ability to include things like graphic tees and neutral t-shirts into your work attire.

A stylish way to carry this item into autumn is pairing it with trousers or fitted jeans, a pair of heels or loafers and a cardigan for a more casual look or a fitted jacket for a more formal choice.

Blouses

Whether silk, satin, linen, or cotton, incorporating blouses into your clothing choices adds a feminine and flirty twist to the regular button-up shirt. Lighter, more breathable materials are ideal by themselves for the warmer autumn days and can easily be worn under any jacket option if there is a chill in the air.

Consider keeping away from any variations that have bright colours or significant patterns. These will make the blouse harder to pair with items you already have. Additionally, they might become less appropriate for the office.

Cardigans

Cardigans are a fantastic choice for Autumn due to their ability to keep you warm without making you overheat. Because of the various knit options available, including thick wool, thin wool and cotton, and knee-length or thigh-length hems, there is a cardigan out there to suit any day of autumn.

They can be worn over pants, dresses, skirts, and shorts, and you can wear them buttoned or open. Like most staple pieces, neutral colours will give you the most extensive range of wear, but if you find a cardigan that can insert a pop of colour into your outfit, don’t be scared to experiment.

Shorts

Shorts might seem a little out of place in autumn fashion, but it holds its own amongst transitional pieces. A standard piece of advice for days when you can’t quite figure out the temperature is to wear winter on top and summer on the bottom, or visa versa.

Cotton shorts can be effortlessly styled with a blouse, button-ups, graphic tees, and fashion sneakers for an edgy street-style inspired look. Alternately, leather or faux leather shorts can be paired with a silk blouse, heels and a smart jacket, taking you from a business meeting to evening drinks without an outfit change.

Shoes

Having footwear that you can turn to for both work and play is relatively vital as shoes can be an item that starts to add up moneywise. Investing in three or four good quality shoes that can be worn throughout the year, and more importantly, throughout the seasons, pays off in the long run.

A chic pair of heels is almost a given, but for many women, they are neither practical nor comfortable to wear. Thankfully, they are not the only option for the office so if you would rather avoid them, go ahead. Instead, look to purchase a pair of leather or faux leather loafers, traditional combat boots, and stylish sneakers.

Each of these options can be paired with pants, jeans, shorts, and dresses, giving you maximum versatility for your work wardrobe and personal life.

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