ITMO: 5 Dishes To Take You On a Cooking Adventure This Holiday Season

As we’re still mostly stuck at home for the holidays and international travelling opportunities seem indefinite, why not use our leftover free time (as well as some leftover produce) to go on an adventure without leaving the kitchen? Here’s our list of meals from all over the world that you can enjoy without bothering your travel agency.


Draniki (Belarus)

Crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside, and all-around satisfying. This meal is very simple, very versatile, and affordable. Mostly, all you need is a whole lot of potatoes, spices, salt to taste, and some flour to make things less watery — and there you go. Some of the recipes I followed before have included eggs or other veggies, like peppers or carrots, but one maintains that the only traditional addition is an onion. After you’ve followed it, make sure you serve your freshly fried draniki with loads of sour cream.

Pelmeni (Russia)

If you have never heard of them, they are sometimes referred to as dumplings: essentially, it is boiled dough with meat inside it. is a recipe you can follow that describes two options of folding your — with a special utensil or traditionally, by hand. A few tips: you can turn pelmeni-making into a family activity, bringing everyone together to make your own giant batch of dumplings. It can also be fun to explore vegetarian options, for instance, by swapping meat with mushrooms. Also, make sure to include a couple of special pelmeni either filled with spices or made completely out of dough — this adds a challenge of spotting one on your plate and then making your wish if you really have one.

Stir fry (China)

For our third savory option, there is stir fry, probably, the healthiest choice of all, as traditionally such dishes include a variety of vegetables that don’t lose all their vitamins and fibers thanks to a shorter cooking time. The BBC a great number of different stir fry recipes, including vegetarian ones, and you can probably make the time to try a couple of them, as the average cooking time is only about 30 minutes.

Tiramisu (Italy)

You might think it to be something incredibly fancy, but we’ve done it several times with my mom, and let me tell you — nothing can go wrong if you follow the (or your heart). Make sure to find a large enough dish, preferably a glass one, in which to make your piece of Italian goodness. And another tiny tip: the only potentially tricky step is dunking your Savoiardi biscuits — it has to be just enough, or lagom, as the Swedes would say. You can decide on your own whether to trust this Scandinavian piece of wisdom while making an Italian dish.

Crème brûlée (France/UK)

Light it on fire! The sugar crust on top of a crème brûlée is a little piece of New Year magic in itself, but when combined with the delicious tender inside – ooh, yummy! Here is a you can follow, once again courtesy of the BBC. A pro tip: maybe you can start making those with playing in the background, and then cut through the sugar crust right at the moment Amélie herself does it in the movie. Who knows, this might even give you a whole new insight into the story!

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