In my husband’s family, everyone knows what a bambushka is, and may even start salivating involuntarily when you mention one. Before I met him, the only bambushka I had heard of was the similar-sounding Russian “babushka” (no M), meaning elderly woman, or sometimes referring to a Russian woman’s headscarf. Similar to my experience with my friend’s family’s noodlas, I can’t find anything on the Internet about bambushkas. The only thing I can figure is the Russian nesting dolls are sometimes called babushka dolls, so maybe these are named bambushkas because of the treasured filling inside.

So what are bambushkas? It is a rich egg and yeast dough, rolled thinly, and filled with a sausage, ground beef, bacon, onion and sauerkraut mixture. I think it’s the sauerkraut that makes it truly magical. When we made this batch, I ate two for dinner and then couldn’t wait until breakfast so I had an excuse to eat two more. They go quickly. (more…)

Gift idea: A year full of goals

Oh, what a challenge it is to buy a gift for my husband. He buys himself whatever he needs pretty much as soon as he decides he needs it. He’s a really hard guy to shop for: he doesn’t wear ties, his alcohol selection is limited, he has all the outdoor gear and tools he needs, and he’s not into sports or golf or any of the typical “guy gift” things. What he needs most – and what we need – is more time together.

One of my friends shared a neat idea. The gift giver had planned out 12 dates for the year and put each one in an envelope. Cool, huh. (I saw a bunch of variations on this theme on ye olde Pinterest, like this one.)

On December 24 at 10 p.m., I decided to tweak the idea a bit. (more…)

How to display holiday cards year-round

I’m a sucker for holiday cards and letters. This is somewhat ironic, since the holiday season makes me roll my eyes a lot, and I do not enjoy seasonal decorating at all. You’d think that I would get all Scrooge-ish about holiday cards too, but no – quite the opposite. I absolutely love opening the mailbox and getting cards from family and friends, near and far, and then seeing their faces or the card they selected displayed on our wall for the season.

Ok, I’ll be honest. The cards often stay up much longer than the holiday season. Much longer.  (more…)