Category Archives: drinks

Ryazhenka (Baked Cultured Milk)

See my post, On Baked Milk and Slow Cookers, for how to use a slow cooker to “bake” the milk before culturing.

One night, when we still lived in Liepāja, we were at Rimi picking up food for the next day or so and my husband decided he felt like ryazhenka. He loves the caramelized taste of the milk and thought I might like it. I did, though I couldn’t drink much of it at once. (It actually wound up being my gateway to drinking kefir!)

But, I hadn’t had ryazhenka again since well before we left…

Posted in drinks, gluten-free, latvian, recipes, russian, untranslated | 4 Comments

Latvian Iced Mint Tea

We have a brand new little Chocolate Mint plant as part of our spring planting because I quite simply could not resist the York Peppermint Patty smell of its leaves. I knew this variety existed but I wasn’t expecting to find it at the local nursery.

We figured that since we like hot peppermint tea, making an iced version should be quite tasty. Turns out we were right, it’s really good and very refreshing. It’s a lot like lemonade – great to have a tall, cold glass of this when it’s hot and you’re working in the garden. While I don’t like traditional American iced teas, this is just right to me.

Plus, it’s a good way to use up mint.

Posted in dairy-free, drinks, gluten-free, latvian, recipes, untranslated, vegan, vegetarian | Leave a comment

Nam Manglak – Thai Basil Seed Drink

Nam Manglak

My mom found a packet of basil seeds and decided to challenge me to figure out what to do with them. After some research, I found that the primary use was in a drink called “nam manglak” and that the little seeds would poof up into what seemed rather like tapioca pearls or frog eggs.

They’re awfully fun to nibble on and will poof into small chewy spheres. It seems to take them about 30 minutes to completely soak up all of the water and poof completely, but they start poofing after just a few seconds.

Posted in asian, dairy-free, drinks, gluten-free, recipes, untranslated | 1 Comment

Kvass (квас)

Kvass Extract

In a lot of ways, I almost feel I shouldn’t post this since it calls for an ingredient that is potentially very difficult to obtain. Then again, it might not be, depending on where you live.

So what is this ingredient? Kvass extract.

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Žāvētu augļu un dzērveņu kompots (Cranberry-Mixed Fruit Kompots)


Kompots is a simple drink made from dried fruit, water and sugar, along with a bit of citric acid or dry white wine. It can be served both hot and cold, the latter with whipped cream floated on top. In this one, we used cranberries to add the necessary acid, but you could use oranges or wine as well. It’s easy to make since most of the “cooking” is unattended soaking of one form or another — which makes it a great choice for making while you prepare a lot of other holiday dishes.

If you need a flavorful, not too sweet, and oh so delicious alternative to the typical punch or ‘nog this holiday season, give kompots a try.

Posted in dairy-free, Dessert, drinks, gluten-free, latvian, untranslated | 1 Comment

Vietnamese Iced Coffee

It’s been a tiring day.

My feet hurt from standing too long in heels in a parking lot in front of a storefront my father’s looking seriously at renting for his business. All I wanted to do was go home, put my feet up and finish off the book I’m currently reading.

However, to do that effectively, a cold drink, alcoholic or not, is almost required in order to truly relax.

Posted in asian, drinks, gluten-free, recipes, snack, untranslated, vegetarian | 2 Comments