Simple advice for a better life.

Ukrainian Red Beet Borscht - Quick and Easy 2Ukrainians love their Borscht.  Actually most Eastern Europeans love all kinds of soups, and very often a hearty soup, with a piece of fresh rye bread, makes a full meal.  Meat is not consumed in large quantities in Europe, as it is in the US, but soup is always the first course served with lunch, or dinner.

This quick and easy version of preparing a Ukrainian Red Beet Borscht, was shared by my cousin from Ukraine.

It is quick easy, because most of the ingredients are already prepared, and do not require much prep time as for the Ukrainian Traditional Borscht, I posted previously.

My family agrees that this Borscht can easily be the main course, since the beans provide sufficient protein, as a substitute for meat, plus all the other veggies in this borscht.

Add some tossed salad, plus a light dessert, and everyone will leave the table quite satisfied.

Ukrainian Red Beet Borscht - Quick and Easy Recipe-main ingredients

Three main ingredients, all ready to use; Whole Red Beets, White Beans, and pre-cut Coleslaw cabbage.


  • 1 can of  Whole Beets, shredded
  • 1 can of White Beans
  • 3 cups of pre-cut cabbage mix for Coleslaw
  • 2 1/2 quarts of soup stock, I used ready made chicken broth
  • 1 medium potato, peeled and cut up to small chunks
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 Tbs White Vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbs butter or oil, for frying onion and garlic
  • 2 Tbs sour cream, or heavy whipping cream
  • 2 Tbs fresh Dill, chopped


  1. Drain the Whole Red Beets, rinse, and shred on a large eye shredder, or in a food processor.
  2. Set aside.
  3. Drain and rinse the White Beans.
  4. Set aside.
  5. Peel one medium size potato, and cut to small cubes (size of a dice).
  6. Set aside.
  7. Pour 2 1/2 quarts of vegetable, chicken, or beef broth into a 4 quarts pot, and bring to boil.
  8. Add the potatoes, and cabbage mix.
  9. Bring to boil, and cook for 15 minutes.
  10. Saute chopped onion and garlic, in butter, until onions are translucent.
  11. Add the shredded beets, beans, and sauteed onions, to the borscht.
  12. Add vinegar, and cook for 10 minutes.
  13. Scoop sour cream, or heavy cream into a cup, mix in a couple of Tbs of hot borscht liquid, to temper the cream, add some more hot liquid, and mix well again.
  14. Add the sour cream mixture to the borscht.
  15. Do not boil, if using sour cream, to prevent curdling.
  16. Add chopped dill.
  17. Season to taste, with salt and pepper.

Best served hot.

Great as a reheated leftover.

TIP: To make this recipe vegetarian, use Vegetable Broth as the base, rather than Chicken or Beef Broth.

Nature’s Beauty In My Back Yard

Early bloomsIf you have been reading my posts for the past few years, you already know that one of my favorite pass times is spending time outdoors in my garden, and taking pictures of the Beauty of Nature.

I love planting veggies and herbs, but also totally adore flowers.

Today I will share some of the pictures I took of few of my currently blooming plants.

East side flower patch 2011

My East side flower patch, with some of the flowers already blooming, and others are just getting  ready do bloom a little later on.

Ireses and Sweet Williams

Irises and Sweet Williams loving the sunny weather today.

The Beauty of an Iris

What a natural beauty of an Iris flower.

Peony flower

As you can see, I am not the only one enjoying these gorgeous blooms.

Perfect place to relax

A perfect place to sit down and relax.

My youngest son built this bench, in his late teens, as a Mother’s Day gift to me, so it creates a very special place for me to sit down and relax, surrounded by blooming plants.  There are also three, corner openings for flower pots, but I usually leave them open.

I was very proud of him, since he did a very nice job with his first ever woodworking project (now he is my computer specialist and financial adviser).  I am so lucky!!

2 year old Poinsettia

Are you saying – Is this a Poinsettia? – You are correct, this is my Poinsettia…no, I am not growing it outside.

I had to share a picture of this Poinsettia with you, since it is in my care for two years now.  If you recall my previous post, I purchased it for Christmas two years ago.

I preserved it for a whole year as per the instructions I also posted, and this is how it looks like today.

As you can see, it’s still doing very well.

Now my challenge is to keep it going for as  long as I can, and  I will definitely share my progress with you.

I am very curious to find out how long this Poinsettia will last, and still keep a descent shape.

Did any of you save your Christmas Poinsettias?

How are they doing?

Please share your stories.

Series 2 Tivo Back

Creative Commons License photo credit: redjar

Someone has brought a very interesting fact to my attention, and I am more than happy to share it with all of you.

I am often posting money saving tips, so when I read about this one, I could not believe it myself.

Can you believe that recording your favorite shows on your DVR, just to watch them later at your leisure, is a costly venture?

Actually, according to this study, running your DVR uses half the energy of an average new refrigerator, and more than an average new flat screen TV.

Unbelievable, but apparently very true!!

Please read the whole article, to find out more.

Please share your thoughts, and opinion, with all of us.

Happy Father’s Day 2011

Walnut Tree - 5 years old

Happy Father’s Day


All Father






Foster Fathers



If you are wondering why I chose a picture of my English Walnut tree for this post, I have a nice story to share.

This tree is already 5 years old, so it has two more years to grow, before bearing walnuts.

I received this tree, as a small seedling,  from my uncle (my father’s brother), who was my father figure during my teen years,  as I was growing up in the US without my parents.

As a child, we had walnut trees on my parents’ property in Europe, and I remember how much fun it was to watch the green peels, covering the walnut, to dry out slowly, crack open, and release the fully ripen walnut into the grass below.

We had lots of fun creating a competitive game of finding as many walnuts as possible, in the shortest time.  At the same time,  picked up all the ripen walnuts for mom to use in her Walnut Torte.

So you see, this English Walnut tree is quite special to me, and very fitting for a Father’s Day post.

Please share your special Father’s Day related story with all of us.

Summer travelSummer is fast approaching, so does summer vacation for kids and parents, which also means many long trips by car.

Many of us have AAA, or OnStar,  for roadside assistance as needed, however there are few additional items we all should carry with us, while traveling by car.

I came across a very well put together U-Tube Video about Roadside Emergency Kit to keep handy at all times while traveling.

Please click on the link below, and I can assure you that you will not only learn a great deal, but you will actually enjoy it.  Please pass it on to your loved ones to check it out as well.

If you have any additional suggestions, or stories to share, please do so, and we’ll all be very grateful.

Happy, and safe, trails!!!

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