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Cooking with Olga Valentina: Food, Fun & Fashion on the Web

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Olga Valentina Brings a Trifecta of Talents in Her New Cooking Lifestyle Show

An International Politics major that hosted dinner parties back in Russia, Olga Valentina leveraged her behind the camera work as a producer here on the west coast into a witty, self deprecating 30 minute romp in Louboutins from her Venice, CA kitchen. What started as a blog for friends became an exercise in releasing home cooks from the doldrums of dinner’s nightly routine. “The kitchen is not a prison, it’s a place of creativity, fun and entertainment … and a place to laugh,” says Olga Valentina.

Valentina’s travels serve as inspiration for some of her favorite meals she now prepares for a growing online following. Food plays a huge part of her adventure in visiting a new city or region, in which that “food sense” is replicated when she’s back home in Los Angeles. Proud to call herself an amateur chef, the cornerstone of her site and blog’s mantra,” Simple, Fresh, Whole,” is that a formal education is not needed to create amazing food. Visitors to her site (www.olgacooks.com) will also see many traditional Russian-inspired recipes, such as Charlotte Apple Pie from Valentina’s grandmother (Valentina was her Granny’s first name) and mother as homage to what she learned from the matriarchs (recipe below)

Even with world travels under her belt and a rich background abroad, for Valentina it’s always about Italian cuisine…24/7. However, she does not stick in one genre for two long and like a wardrobe change from her packed fashionista closet, she’s on to the next style. The site features demos and instruction (on printable recipe cards) from Country Pâté with Dijon, to “Best Burger Ever” with beef brisket and home made special sauce, as well as, vegetarian, gluten-free and a “featured recipe of the week.” Desserts are a hallmark, such as, Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple cream cheese frosting, Strawberry Peach Crisp with fresh farmer’s market berries and more.

Visit Olga Cooks at www.olgacooks.com.

Charlotte Apple Pie

2-3 green apples

5 eggs

1 cup of sugar

1 cup of all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

The juice of 1 lemon

The zest of 1 lemon

I make this recipe all the time when my schedule is crazy and I want something sweet. This traditional, Russian apple pie is quick, easy, and, most importantly, absolutely delicious! It’s ready in about 30 minutes. Perfect for busy moms or if unexpected company drops by!

-Preheat your oven to 390 degrees.

-Let’s start with the apples. Take 2-3 big, green apples and peel them. Then, remove the cores and cut them into slices.

-Place a large piece of parchment paper into a circular baking pan. Arrange the apple slices in the pan. Be sure to arrange them so that you have only one layer of apples and they fill the pan. – I like to place them in a cute, circular pattern to make sure the entire pan is covered!

-In a large mixing bowl, whisk together your eggs, sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla extract.

-Add the flour in slowly and blend thoroughly to prevent clumping.

-Using a citrus zester, grate the peel of your lemon into the batter and stir!

-Pour the batter over the apples in your baking pan.

-Bake for 20-30 minutes.

-After it’s done baking, top your Charlotte with powdered sugar. Serve with berries and a scoop of vanilla ice cream! Priyatnogo appetita!

-Olga Valentina

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