Hi There! I am Marina and welcome to my kitchen (em kay is the pronunciation of my initials). I love easy recipes that I can get on the table fast, but also ones that taste good, of course:). My cooking carries Russian, American, German and maybe a little Kazakh influences. I’ve also traveled extensively and I hope to share some of my experiences and stories as I share my recipes. I hope you join me on my cooking journey!

Self Portrait

My background

I’m a Russian American from Kazakhstan, currently living in Germany. I grew up and went to school in Minnesota, United States. I studied Business Administration, after which I worked for several years in a Customer Service position at a local community college. After a while, I needed something different to do. So I decided to study abroad which was always a dream of mine. I ended up going to Germany with my sister, since our family had relatives living there/here. I met my future husband here and we got married in the summer of 2015 and the rest is, as they say, history. Which means I’m stuck in Germany for a lot longer than anticipated:)

I ended up getting a job as a financial analyst and worked for a great company for several years. At the moment, I am a stay-at-home mom and am enjoying this season of my life (hurrah for babies!).

I started cooking as a teenager. Usually, just helping out my mom. Once I moved abroad, this is where I really started cooking myself. Since then, I have come a long way. I love finding new and tasty dishes to try out and love making the recipes work for me and my family. I hope you enjoy the foods as much as we do.


I’ve been to some awesome places so far and hope to visit many more. One of the most recent places I visited was Cairo, Egypt.

Besides visiting the normal touristy attractions such as the pyramids of Giza, we, of course, had some street food and that’s where I tried Koshari for the first time. A dish with rice, lentils, noodles chickpeas, served with an awesome tomato sauce and roasted onions. I found a great recipe online for this dish and it has been added to our favorite meals to cook at home.

Trips like this encourage me to try new foods and to try and make it myself. Looking forward to my next trip wherever it may be!


Coffee is my favorite drink (though a good cup of tea is not far behind). My favorite coffee shop “at home” is Caribou Coffee. It’s incomparable. Though I must say I feel like my tastes have changed since living abroad so long. Who knows. I might discover a new one soon.

To combine travel with coffee, I have a tradition to visit a nice coffee shop when we visit other places (preferably not a big, well-known coffee shop chain). Here are some of my coffee experiences.

Left to right: (1) Kensington Coffee, Nancy, France. (2) Doubleshot coffee, Prague. (3) Some little coffee shop in Strassbourg, France.

I basically love coffee-anything. Well, kind of. I stop at coffee yogurt. Tried that once and no, just no.

Ice Cream

The cool part about living in Germany is that there are many amazing grocery store options (maybe that’s also the case in the US, but I haven’t lived there for so long, that I don’t remember them).

My newest ice cream discovery is the Tiramisu Ice Cream from Cremissimo (left). Another favorite is the Cappuccino (naturally) ice cream from Mövenpick.

My Food Philosophy

I believe food should taste good, but also that you don’t have to spend hours in the kitchen creating it (there are so many other things to be doing). I love easy recipes that don’t require much time to put together. And I think you will see this reflected in my recipes. With that said, I am not afraid of trying more complicated foods and I am sure there will be more advanced recipes on my blog, as well.

I believe the food we eat should be as natural as possible. I try to avoid processed foods as much as I can since what we eat has an impact on our health. I garden and love to eat the foods and vegetables that I grow, whenever possible. Again, with that said, if pressed for time or it’s more convenient, I might use something canned and/or processed.

Check out my current list of recipes by visiting my Recipes Page. I am constantly working on and adding new recipes to this list.

Other Hobbies

I love traveling, reading books, gardening, and lately I have discovered a new kind of hobby – creating websites. I really like doing geeky computer stuff, and this blog brought this to a whole new level. I guess I like making websites now, too. I had the honor of creating a local church’s website (see here: www.erb-kaiserslautern.de). Creating it was a lot different than creating this blog and I learned SO MUCH and used so many new features there, that I haven’t used here. Someday, I’ll update the structure of this blog and add more features. In the meantime, I’ll focus on posting new recipes and growing this place.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy this blog and find some recipes that will become family-favorites.

All the best,


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