Olive oil tea tree oil

Many of us are traveling this summer on vacations, getaways, staycations and road trips. While there are women who manage to keep up with their beauty routine even while trekking across Europe or camping in the wilderness — most of us can appreciate the simple solutions to keep ourselves looking and feeling presentable. 

 

 

We curated natural beauty solutions used by beautiful women just like you around the world. Check out how Greek and Italian women keep their skin looking luminous, and what eggs can offer for your gorgeous locks. Simple and 100% natural, keep these beauty tips in mind as you enjoy the adventures of travel this summer. 

 

 

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Russian Food

 

Summer vacations are about two things … well, three things really: rest, relaxation and food! Delicious dining, especially on vacation, is the best way to immerse yourself in the local culture. Whether you’re discovering foreign lands, or being a tourist in your own city, food is often more than sustenance — it is an experience.

 

A trip to Paris is not complete without tasting authentic escargot. Fresh seafood paella is pretty much mandatory while in Barcelona. And if you find yourself in Poland pirogies should be the first thing on your eating agenda.

 

The food trend in Russia seems to have returned to its roots. Restaurants like Grand Cafe Dr. Zhivago and Cafe Pushkin have become delicious destinations for locals and tourists alike. And they are not alone. More and more fine dining restaurants in Moscow and St. Petersburg are serving traditional Russian fare, complete with borscht, Siberian Pelmeni, Meat and Cabbage Vareniki, and Pozharskie Kotleti. This is a stark contrast to just five years ago when international cuisines, like Japanese and Thai, were center stage.

 

If you’re craving Russian food but can’t get to Moscow, check out our exclusive list of the most popular restaurants serving Russian food across the United States.

 

Safe travels and Bon Appetite!!
 

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This holiday weekend many of us are celebrating Independence Day with friends and food. Grilling, barbecuing and enjoying warm summer nights with delicious food and great company. So while the meat (or fish) is on the grill, make a refreshing cabbage salad that’s easy to make and oh so delicious. Crunchy shredded cabbage, thinly sliced onions, crispy green apples – this simple summer salad is a classic Russian side dish. 

 

 

Summer Cabbage Salad

 

Ingredients

 

1/2 medium green cabbage

1/2 medium onion (or 3 stalks of green onion)

1/2 green apple 

1/2 lemon

1/2 cup chopped parsley (or dill)

salt & pepper to taste

1 tbsp olive oil

 

Directions

 

1) Clean and finely shred green cabbage. Place into large bowl and squeeze with your hands to release the juices. 

2) Dice green apple into small, bite size pieces.

3) Thinly slice onions. You can also use green onions for a more summer flavor.

4) Rough chop parsley or dill.

5) Squeeze half a lemon and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive olive and mix.

 

Enjoy!!

 

 

 

DIY summer drink

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nothing tastes better on a hot summer day than a refreshing cool drink or cocktail. Colas and store bought juices are boring and loaded with artificial colors, flavors and sugar. Iced teas and kambuchas are trending among hipsters and yuppies alike, setting a new standard for artisanal drinks.

 

We’ve all been inspired by scrumptious pics of colorful liquid concoctions in beautifully arranged mason jars. This summer, why not explore the world of authentically Russian cocktails and compotes. We’ve collected six classic favorites, complete with recipes for your summer drinking pleasure.

 

*Keep reading for a bonus recipe for traditional Russian ‘nastoika’ (infused vodka).*

 

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summer beauty

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer is almost upon us and we’ve been busy scouting the globe for the latest sizzling beauty products. Are you ready to get your skin and hair looking fabulous for the summer sun? Keep reading for our favorite picks from Natura Siberica’s HOTTEST summer beauty products based on 100% natural wild berry extracts.

 

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This weekend marked two great holidays: Victory Day (May 9th) and Mother’s Day (May 10th). To honor our moms and our Veterans, we’ve created a special video recipe for a beautiful and delicious dessert — apple roses with puff pastry and raspberries. 

 

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As the weather gets warmer and fresh veggies are once again plentiful, we’re officially calling it open season on summer soups. This week, we’re making Okroshka! With a few twists on the traditional recipe, we hope you enjoy this delicious homage to fresh garden veggies.

 

 

Okroshka comes from the Russian word “kroschit'” which literally means to crumble into little pieces. The classic soup is a mix of (mainly) raw veggies including radishes, cucumbers, and spring onions, and usually include boiled potatoes and eggs.

 

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homeopathy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s no secret that traditional healing and homeopathic therapies have steadily grown in popularity. Around the world, more and more people are turning to herbs, homemade elixirs and folk remedies to treat common colds and body ailments.

 

An overwhelming shift in perspective towards the combination of modern and traditional medicine has once again opened the doors to time honored cures from the past. Nearly every culture has recipes and remedies that have been passed down from one generation to another.

 

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Vintage Easter Card

 

Easter is the most important Holiday in the Russian Orthodox tradition. In fact, for the vast majority of Russians, Easter is more than a question of faith – it is a celebration of their national identity.

 

Laced with symbolic meanings of pagan ancestry, Russian Easter traditions can be traced back to folk rituals that date back to pre-Christian times. As we enter the week of “Red Hill” (Красная Горка), we’d like to reflect on some of the lesser known customs associated with these Holidays.

 

 

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Traditional Russian Easter Kulich

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No Easter table is complete without a classic Kulich. Famous for its traditional shape and exquisite taste, Kuliches take center stage in traditional Easter baskets. Baked fresh in cylindrical tins and decorated with white sugary icing and colorful sprinkles, Kuliches are look very similar to Italian panettone bread. What makes Kuliches different from panettone is the light and airy dough. (Full recipe here).

 

 

Following Eastern Orthodox tradition, Kuliches are decorated with icing and often include the letter XB which stands for ‘Christ Is Risen’ (Христос Воскрес). They are taken to the Church in an Easter basket filled with decorated Easter eggs and blessed before consumption. Kuliches are eaten for 40 days following Easter as a symbol for atonement and suffering of Jesus Christ. 

 

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Verbnoe_voskresenie_02 

Today is Willow Sunday, also known as Blossom Sunday, and in Russian Orthodox tradition as ‘Verbnoe Voskresenie’ (Вербное Воскресение).

 

 

One week before Easter, this Holiday marks the day Jesus entered Jerusalem. Christ’s entry Jerusalem.

 

 

Biblical accounts mention that in Jerusalem Jesus was greeted by crowds of people waving and laying down palm branches as a symbol of victory and triumph, as well as the resurrection or re-birth of new life.

 

 

In colder climates where palm trees do not grow, branches of other trees – like olive and willow – were thought to depict new life.

 

 

Across Russia, and other former Soviet Republics, Verbnoe Voskresenie is named for verba (pussy willow). The fuzzy blossoms known as catkins are one of the first spring buds to bloom after long and harsh winter.

 

 

 

And so for hundreds of years Russian tradition holds that bunches of pussy willow branches are brought to Church and distributed, along with candles, during Verbnoe Voskresenie as a way to mark the beginning of Verbnaya Nedelya (Willow Week).

 

 

Поздравляем Вас с Вербным Воскресением!

 

Happy Willow Sunday!

 

Spa scene with natural cosmetics

 

Essential oils are some of nature’s best kept secrets. A natural and chemical-free alternative to traditional moisturizers and cosmetics, essential oil mixes can be used to treat skin problems, reduce stress, sooth muscles, and strengthen hair and nail cuticles. This week we’re sharing a few basic recipes to make your own essential oil mixes at home.

 

 

 

 

 

>> Click more to find out which top selling oils are 30% OFF with promo code OILS14 at RussianFoodDirect.com. <<

 

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Easter Egg

We’ve all seen them, or at least pictures of them, the beautifully crafted Faberge Easter eggs made famous in the late 19th century. But what’s so special about them anyway? This week, we’re exploring how a young goldsmith’s art pieces became mini monuments of Russia’s past.

 

 

See a complete collection of Faberge style Easter eggs.

*** Exclusive savings with promo code FABEG14.***

 

 

 

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Happy International Women’s Day to all the lovely ladies around the world!! Celebrated every March 8th, the holiday was first observed in the early 1900s in the United States as a way to bring political and social awareness to the struggles of women worldwide. 

 

Over the years, it blended the cultures of many countries and took particular hold in Europe and the former Soviet Bloc. In many regions the holiday lost its political edge and simply became an occasion for people to express their love and appreciation of women. Think Mother’s Day meets Valentine’s Day.

 

Candy mix

 

In Russia and many other former Soviet countries, traditional gifts given to mothers, daughters, grandmothers and aunts include flowers and chocolate. Delicate spring flowers like yellow Mimosas and Lily of the Valley have come to symbolize femininity and are often associated with March 8th.

 

** See which candies are 20% OFF below with promo code WOMEN8. **

 

 #MyRussianRewards

 

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spring-cleanse

 

Spring is almost here! Soon the birds will begin chirping again. Butterflies will flutter their beautiful wigs, and leaves will once again start budding. Just as mother nature creates a nurturing environment for new life to spring forward, our bodies and minds are ready for a spring cleanse and rejuvenation.

 

As we peel the layers of warm winter clothes, our bodies are ready for a cleanse and rejuvenation. We’re sharing a few helpful tips to cleanse, detox, and rejuvenate your body.

 

Ready to cleanse? Promo code TOP-BEAUTY saves 35% on your next order of select Health & Beauty products.

 

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Lenten Ingredients

The Great Lent is a 40 day spiritual preparation for Pascha (Easter) marked by reflection, personal improvement, repentance and fasting. Much like the Greeks and other Eastern European cultures, Russian Orthodox Christians begin observing Great Lent on “clean Monday”, a time to cleanse and purify everything from the clothes we wear, the pots and pans we cook with and most importantly, our bodies and souls.

 

 

Yes, Lent is the time for making auspicious changes. But it doesn’t have to be about complete deprivation. In Slavic tradition, the ritual of fasting for six weeks involves a progressive giving up of certain foods, beginning with meat. Fish, eggs and dairy, as well as olive oil are not allowed after the third week. Without getting into the nitty gritty of the Church rules, we’re helping you navigate through foods you CAN eat and sharing delicious recipes for Russian mushroom soup, cabbage soup and traditional eggplant ikra (veggie spread).

 

Don’t miss a VERY special #MyRussianRewards. See which products are 35% OFF with promo code VEG14

 

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Maslenitsa is a Holiday of indulgence and reverence before the Great Lent. As far back as Kievan Rus’, people celebrated Maslenitsa by indulging in food and fun for seven days. According to Orthodox tradition, this is the last week people can consume milk, eggs, and butter before embarking on a 40 day lent.

 

maslenitsa

 

Each day of Malenitsa has a special meaning and reflects a hybrid of Christian traditions and pagan festivities of ancient Rus’. The Holiday is a bidding of farewell to harsh winters and welcoming in of a new and plentiful Spring season. A week-long journey of family, food and fun, Maslenitsa starts with an official welcoming of the Holiday on Monday.

 

 

 

 

#MyRussianRewards deals on select blini fillings with promo code FISH14.

 

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RussianFoodDirect is excited to introduce an exclusive rewards program called #MyRussianRewards. Each week we will introduce a series of our TOP SELLING products and offer BIG SAVINGS for a limited time.

 

Promo codes will be available weekly and only on the blog. This is our way of saying THANK YOU for your loyalty! Ready to save? 

 

Russian Food

 

 

 

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Blini with black caviar

Cupid’s arrow is about to strike the hearts of lovers once again. Yet as every woman knows, cupid is secondary if you can keep your honey’s stomach satisfied. This year, skip the Valentine’s Day dinner date and go straight for a romantic breakfast with your amour. Treat your partner to a luxuriously tasty creation of Russian mini blini with black caviar and fresh red mimosas with retro “Sovetskoe” champagne.

 

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borscht

 

Borscht is one of the most recognizable words in the world. A hearty soup served in all regions of the Former Soviet Union. From the nobles to the peasants, borscht has graced the tables of generations of Russians, Ukrainians and many other Easter European cultures. 

 

Regional politics aside, the history of borscht is quite difficult to trace. Most gastronomic historians do agree that it likely originated in ancient Kievan Rus. Back then Kiev was the capital of greater Russia and likely was the birthplace of this marsh of beets, carrots, onions, potatoes and cabbage.

 

The name is derived from the Slavic word “borschevik” translated as “hogweed” in English. Hogweed is a sturdy plant, and distant cousin of modern-day carrots, that still grows in many parts across Russia and Ukraine. 

 

Its shoots have been used for hundreds of years as a sugar substitute due to their sweet flavor. The leaves were often used for salads or as a side dish of greens. Boiling the leaves produced a wonderfully aromatic stock for soups, adding a distinct mushroom aroma. It’s not far fetched to think then, that original recipes of borscht called for borschevik, rather than beets, as its main ingredient.

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