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Saturday, November 12, 2011

Moscow On The Hill


I put on my taupe sweater with matching pumps and headed to Moscow.  Along with twenty-two others that were looking for some Russian delight in their evening, we managed to share each other's Borscht Soup (served authentically hot with a dollop of sour cream and dill) - Pelmenis (filled, hand-made dumplings), Cabbage Rolls, and the best dog-gone Beef Stroganoff I ever laid my lips on.  No kidding.  There was one problem though - The company was so fine, I talked more than I ate, and before I knew it I looked up to see everyone's plates were gone and mine was still  in front of me mostly filled.  Needless to say my daughter, Hannah, appreciated the leftovers with me the next day.

Moscow on the Hill is also a Vodka Lounge.  Russians do not consider their meal complete without vodka, and neither did we.  It not only thaws you, but also breaks the social ice!  This is home of the first and only  horseradish infused vodka - family created, and could quite possibly create families!  I started the evening with a pear infused champagne that delighted my senses and woke my pours from a hard-day's work.  My friend, Milind, knowing I love all things coffee, encouraged me to sample his coffee martini.  My oh my, he had to beg it back, so I had to order my own.  Since I recently learned how to infuse vodka, this will definitely be my next exploration.
Moscow On The Hill has a wonderful happy hour, they offer catering, Banquets, take out, and patio dining.  The menu is rich with favorite Russian delicacies.  Some have a noticeable French, Mediterranean, and far-Eastern influence.  They have won over eleven awards.  They also won twenty-three thumbs up on this particular night.


                                As you can see by all the spoons, dessert was shared as well.

                                                 371 Selby Avenue, St. Paul, MN  55102

Following dinner, a small group slipped away to the cellar of  W.A. Frost, across the street.  But that's another story, for another day.

                                                                                Na Zdorovie!


Sunday, November 6, 2011

Zucchini Custard Pie

Guest Chef:  Michael Orensteen
Even with it nearing midnight, I am sipping on some hot hot coffee, for I am also savoring a little slice of heaven..  Michael is a man of many aspirations and talents.  A pilot by trade, owner of MinneHaHa's Comedy Club, stand-up comedian, world-renowned fisherman, and now - proud owner of the Top Chef award at work! Following, is the pie that won Michael kudos.  I recently made it and found it to be quick and easy to prepare.  It's nice that the recipe makes two pies - so you can leave one home, and take the pretty one to work!  My daughter, not realizing this, sneaked a piece from the pretty one!  It still went to work and received rave reviews.  It is a rather sweet pie, so make certain you have a nice hot cup of coffee or tea when you partake.  The baking aroma intoxicates the very scent of life. Close your eyes and let the pie melt in your mouth like a delicate snowflake on a child's breath ...



  • 2 1/4 cups zucchini, peeled, seeded, cooked,  drained
  • cups evaporated milk
  • 2 eggs
  • tablespoons flour
  • tablespoons melted butter                                                          
  • cups sugar                                                                                                 
  • teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 pie shells (homemade or frozen store bought                          


  1. Peel and slice zucchini and place in boiling water. When tender (abt. 5 min.), remove and rinse with cool water to stop the cooking and for easy handling.
  2. 2
    Pull out seeds so only the flesh of the zucchini is left. Squeeze out excess water with paper towel.
  3. 3
    Put all the ingredients into a large blender.
  4. 4
    Blend until well mixed.
  5. 5
    Pour into unbaked pie shells.
  6. 6
    Sprinkle well with cinnamon and nutmeg.
  7. 7
    Bake at 425 degrees for 10minutes then 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
  8. 8
    Let cool on the counter for approximately 1 hour.
  9. 9
    Refrigerate well and serve.
  10. 10
    Its always best topped with whipped cream.


    Pie Crust:

    2 cups all-purpose flour
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    2/3 cup    very cold butter
    4 to 5 tablespoons    cold water                                                         Combine flour and salt in large bowl; cut in butter with pastry blender or fork until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in enough water with fork just until flour is moistened. Divide dough in half; shape each half into ball. Flatten slightly. Wrap 1 ball in plastic food wrap; refrigerate. 

    Now, if by chance you don't work with people you like and care to break bread with, you may prefer to take part in pie throwing.  Beware though, there is an art to this.  Skill is needed:  Technical prowess verging on art.  There is the crucial secret ingredient:  Too runny and the pies won't fly; too sticky and they won't slide off the victims' faces with sufficiently comic timing. 


Don't forget your apron, 
and if it's Friday night -
your heels.