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Get to Know Me

I was profiled on The Daring Kitchen, and thought I'd copy and paste my Q&A here too! Plus, I'm home sick today (cold!!!) and most likely tomorrow, so it's an easy post to publish ;)

Hope you enjoy getting to know me a bit better!


Hi, I'm an economist by day and a salsa dancer/cook/photographer/traveler in my free time.

I spent the first 13 years of my life in Moscow, Russia and then moved to Seattle, WA with my family. After college I moved across country to the other Washington: Washington DC.

Cooking has always been a part of my life: both my parents are wonderful home cooks: they come up with their own recipes without consulting the cookbooks, and that's how I cook too. I have great memories of wonderful Russian meals, but now I cook simple meals with flavors from around the world.

How long have you been a Daring Baker/Daring Cook and what’s your favorite thing about being in the group(s) so far?

I have been a Daring Baker for a year and a Daring Cook for the last 2 months. I joined the group to challenge myself and to try out new recipes (as I very rarely make food from cookbooks). My favorite challenge so far was the flourless chocolate cake: I made it three times!

What’s your favorite kitchen gadget? How about your favorite kitchen appliance?

My favorite kitchen gadget is definitely a microplane: it's great for grating garlic, ginger, taking a rind off citrus or grating cheese and chocolate.

My favorite kitchen appliance is my bright red blender/food processor. I love it for making pureed soups, smoothies, hummus and shredding cabbage and any other vegetables.

Where is your favorite vacation (holiday) destination?

How can I choose only one? I love traveling and seeing different cultures and of course tasting the food! Some of my favorite spots are San Juan, Puerto Rico; San Francisco, New York City, and Atlanta.

I would love to travel to Argentina, Spain, Greece, and Morocco.

What is the ultimate comfort food to you?

Mashed potatoes, matzo ball soup, hot dogs (I know…they remind me of childhood), brownies, tuna melts.

Other than cooking and/or baking. What hobbies do you enjoy?

I'm an avid salsa dancer. I've been dancing for the last 7 years and love it. Whenever I go to a different city I always try to find a salsa club. The funny thing is that Olga is a pretty common Hispanic name too, so people often assume I'm from Latin America and speak Spanish: but I'm just a white Russian girl Smile

You’ve had a rough week. We feel your pain. How do you relax after a rough week?

Lie on the couch and watch a good movie, go out to a casual dinner with friends, blast Salsa music REALLY loud or get a pedicure, flowers, and dark chocolate.

What’s your favorite flower and/or plant?

Orchids!!! That's why my email is orchidgirl1979. I love the variety of orchids, the fact that every time they bloom it's like a little miracle.

Not sure if orchid is technically a flower or a plant Smile I also love Gerber daisies, tulips and African violets.

Do you have a favorite local restaurant? If so, why is it your favorite and what kind of food is served there?

Yamazato in Alexandria, VA has the best sushi!
Zaytinya in Washington DC has great tapas.
Amsterdam Falafel in Washington DC has falafel that reminds me of the ones I had in Israel.

Who taught you how to cook and/or bake?

I learned from my parents and grandparents and from just making my own stuff and experimenting in the kitchen.


♥peachkins♥ said...

It's nice to know things about you,Olga.

Dewi said...

Nice to know the pretty girl behind the delicious creations. I love orchid too, and African violet is my favorite, sadly I don't really know how to take care of them.

Unknown said...

Neat! I think it is so cool that you Salsa dance! :) And hot dogs for a comfort food? I guess everyone has there own unique comfort food. :) I would definitely agree with you on the masked potatoes and tuna melts.

Anonymous said...

you never had cooking lessons? ARe you serious?! Wow! That's SO impressive, Olga!
And tee hee! Salsa dancing! That's so cool!
Oh and who would have ever thought your fav comfort food is hot dogs? lol!

chow and chatter said...

thanks for sharing love your zest for life

Lele said...

I moved from Washington to Washington! I lived in Spokane.

Also, Yamazato is the BEST for sushi! I love that they don't serve their rice frigidly cold!

Simones Kitchen said...

O poor you... Down with the cold. Hope you feel better soon, but in the meantime great to get to know you a little better!

Unknown said...

This was a cool post, its great to learn more about you :), get rid of that cold soon, its summer time !

Mary Bergfeld said...

It's nice to meet you, Olga. It's good to know the person at the other keyboard.

Zoe said...

Cool interview, thanks for sharing! The microplane is my utmost favorite kitchen gadget too!

Sara said...

Hot dogs and mashed potatoes are comfort foods for me, too!

Although I am picky and am only comforted by Vienna hot dogs...

Alida Sharp said...

Nice to meet you Olga!! It seems like we have traded countries! I am an American living in Russia!