Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Egg-horseradish paste/dip...

I had no idea how to call it. We normally eat it spread on a ham or cheese sandwich. It's also great as a side dish with meats. But I definitely know that there can't be Christmas or Easter without it! I just can't possibly imagine a holiday breakfast without this aromatic paste on the table... Hope you will try it too, it's dead simple. Especially now during carnival season - it will work great as a kind of dip/side dish with small canapes or vegetable sticks etc.



How to make it...

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Chicken & mushrooms creamy sauce...

My Hubby made me a beautiful lunch today. The ingredients are really only for one big portion (if you want more just take 2 chicken breast and double rest of the ingredients accordingly). I would say this will be perfect served with pasta - for ex. spinach tagliatelle - I had it with pearl barley and it was delicious! Hope you will try it - sometimes my Hubby is a culinary genius :) and today was one of those days.



How to make it...

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas Everyone! and I've got NEWS for you!!!

As you know I have had a secret for some time now. I promised I will share it with you and what's a better time then Christmas!?
So, it's official now - I'm pregnant guys! :))) It's a BIG thing for me and my Hubby - it's our first and hopefully not last! We tried for over a year and then finally I had to have an operation in September (some of you may remember that...). Everything was a success though and I'm 16 weeks pregnant :)

No long reading today - as I'm sure you're all enjoying good food and great time with your family and friends. So only few words from me today:


Wesołych Świąt Bożego Narodzenia! Merry Christmas! Joyeux Noël! Frohe Weihnachten! Καλά Χριστούγεννα! Nollaig Shona Duit!
Buon Natale! С Рождеством Христовым! Feliz Natal! Feliz Navidad!


P.S. Yo'll never guess what I found under Christmas tree... "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" by Julia Child and "My life in France" - Julia Child again :D

Thursday, December 24, 2009

24th Dec - Christmas Eve (Vigil) supper...

As you know (or maybe not, and if you don't know anything about Polish Christmas tradition please go here) today is my day for celebration. There are only two of us here - me and my Hubby - but we still had to cook traditional vigil supper, as it is in our family homes...



Christmas Eve Menu

Starter:
Sour Beetroot Soup with sauerkraut and mushrooms ravioli
Main:
Fish - Breaded Cod served with roasted potatoes and sweet & sour stew of cabbage and mushrooms, Salmon with Lemon sauce, Monk Fish with Leak sauce
Dessert:
Almond soup, Star shortcake cookies, Gingerbread cookies, Italian Panetonne, Mince Pies and Christmas Pudding served with whipped cream
Beverages:
White wine, Traditional dried fruit compote, Still mineral water

Some of those recipes you can find on my blog already, some of them will be added later. So without any further delay - I'm going to enjoy my feast. Have a nice evening and if you're Polish - Wesołych świąt!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Sweet Almond soup...

Another festive recipe. It's not a soup as such, coz you will serve it after the meal as a dessert or mid-day snack. Polish almond soup - zupa migdałowa - is a creamy meatless soup that some families serve for Christmas Eve supper. It is usually served hot for Wigilia and cold at other times of the year (great for birthday party etc.). I have to admit that it was my first time ever making this dessert - although I ate it many times before. It was easy and the result is fantastic. Hope you will enjoy.
P.S. Unfortunately on the photo you can't see all the almond flakes and raisins in the soup... shame.


How to make it...

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Makówki - poppy seed Silesian Christmas desert...

"Makówki is a traditional poppy seed-based dessert, most notably in Silesia where it is served almost exclusively on Christmas Eve (and perhaps on the following days, as long as the supply prepared for Christmas lasts). The main ingredient are: sweet white bread and finely ground poppy seeds boiled in milk with butter. Other important ingredients include: dried fruit (figs, raisins, apricots, dates, etc.) almonds and other kinds of nuts (the choice of nuts and dried fruit varies). It is flavoured with sugar, honey, vanilla, cinnamon and rum. The bread is cut into thin slices and layered in a clay pot or more often into a glass or crystal bowl. After each layer, the sauce of the boiled poppy seeds, with flavouring and nuts, is poured so that the bread is well soaked. The top is decorated with some extra nuts and fruit. The dish is served cold, at least several hours after preparation." - by Wikipedia.org



Enough of facts and details. I remember this traditional Christmas dessert since... I can remember. We usually used chałka to make those (a kind of sweet bead, something like French brioche). We had a lots of poppy seed usually left from making 'makowiec' - another traditional Polish cake. Makówki is typical Silesian dessert, so don't be surprised if a Polish man/woman never heard of it ;) I used to make makówki - as it's dead simple and perfect for a child cooking :) Just a layer of sweet bread, cover with hot milk and spread a layer of poppy seed with dates, and again with the layers until you run out of them :) Chill in the fridge, take the spoon out and enjoy! Oh, I miss those little things when away from home, home country... especially during Christmas time...

Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas gingerbread cookies...

I've finally had a chance to make this year's Christmas cookies. First one the little starts, for which you can find the recipe here. The second ones were the gingerbread cookies. The smell of gingerbread is an ultimate Christmas sign for me. I made round cookies rather then a loaf - it will be easier to eat (and easier to munch on them...). This recipe for gingerbread is very easy so I hope you will give it a try - even if it's your first time. My cookies won't go on the Christmas tree - some of them will end up as a home made present, the rest will end up in mine and/or my Hubby's tummy ;)



How to make it...

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Smoked mackerel paste...

Nothing 'festive' this time, sorry guys ;) This is something which constantly reminds me my childhood. Generally in my family fish is widely eaten and there are many thing in which it's used. Smoked mackerel paste is one of them. I remember when I was very young I really didn't like it a lot... But growing older means (sometimes anyway ;) ) that you're getting wiser at the same time. It's dead simple and very nice on a piece of toast :) It will be great on a small toasts/blinis as a starter or finger food during a party. Of course I didn't have to convince anyone about advantages of eating fish (good fats Omega 3 etc.... ).



How to make it...

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Uszka...

"Uszka, (meaning 'little ears' in Polish), are small dumplings usually filled with mushrooms or minced meat. They are usually served with borscht, though they can be eaten alone. They are a part of traditional Christmas Eve dishes in Poland, Lithuania, and Ukraine, and are either floated in the soup, or eaten as a side dish." - by Wikipedia.org

Done, another thing I can cross off the list. They are very easy to make but it's quite time consuming - forming those little ears. You can freeze them, once you cooked them slightly just cool them and to the freezer. Then when you want to eat straight from the freezer into salted, boiling water and ready to be served. For Christmas Eve in Poland, we make them with meat free filling - sauerkraut and mushrooms. I can't imagine Christmas Eve feast without them swimming in a bowl of lovely ruby barszcz (beetroot soup)!



How to make it...

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Daring Bakers #9 - Italian Cannoli...

The November 2009 Daring Bakers Challenge was chosen and hosted by Lisa Michele of Parsley, Sage, Desserts and Line Drives. She chose the Italian Pastry, Cannolo (Cannoli is plural), using the cookbooks Lidia’s Italian-American Kitchen by Lidia Matticchio Bastianich and The Sopranos Family Cookbook by Allen Rucker; recipes by Michelle Scicolone, as ingredient/direction guides. She added her own modifications/changes, so the recipe is not 100% verbatim from either book.

This month's challenge was very nice - and the result was very delicious. I didn't have a cannoli forms so I've made a square ones and sandwiched them. I also made another shape - as the recipe was very familiar to the Polish one for Faworki (traditional carnival sweet) I made some cannoli in faworki's shape.


How to make it...

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Krokiety - Polish savoury, stuffed pancakes...

"Croquettes in Poland are basically made from a thin rolled pancake stuffed with mushrooms, meat, cabbage, sauerkraut or combinations of those ingredients. Then covered in breadcrumbs, fried in a pan and usually served usually with a clear soup like borscht." - by Wikipedia.org
Krokiety are very, very popular in Poland. It's a kind of savoury, stuffed pancake. They are quite easy to make and are a great accompaniment to another traditional dish - barszcz, beetroot soup. There are two main kinds of stuffing used to make krokiety: 1. meat, 2. sauerkraut and mushrooms. Personally I prefer the second one, but the recipe below is for the one with meat, as this time my Hubby ruled in the kitchen ;)



How to make it...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Daring Bakers #8 Macaroons... disaster...

The 2009 October Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to us by Ami S. She chose macaroons from Claudia Fleming’s The Last Course: The Desserts of Gramercy Tavern as the challenge recipe.

OK, so it's another DB challenge and what a disaster for me. I was so looking forward to this - as I ALWAYS wanted to make macaroons, but... It's officially first challenge that didn't work for me, or maybe (which is more possible) I didn't work well enough for the challenge. I was waiting till late with this month's challenge - did it only yesterday... If there's anything that could go wrong with it - it did go wrong. I don't even know where to start...

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Round pound cake...

I've heard about that cake many, many times and finally decided to bake it! I got recipe from a great blog Eat my cake now - and it was a success. The only change I made was that I didn't add Cognac, as I didn't have any handy (and buying a whole bottle just to add 15 ml to the cake wasn't really a good idea ;) ). Oh, my pound cake was round rather than loaf shape - but that didn't change the taste at all :P



How to make it...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

First Birthday!...

OMG can't believe that my blog is already 1 year old. Time passes so quick. Many things happened during that year. I have learned so many new things, discovered new tastes, met new people - some of whom become my friends :)


This blog opened me for the whole world and opened the world to me!
When I started this blog I had NO idea how many of other fellow foodies are out there. It's so good to know that I'm not the only one ;) That I'm not alone in my kitchen success - but also some kitchen failures (which sometimes you just can't avoid).
I would like to thank you all who are reading Anula's Kitchen regularly (or who just pop in from time to time) and who support, inspire and encourage me every day.
Of course I can't write this post without mentioning fantastic Daring Bakers and Cooks! The challenges are great fun and the people couldn't be any better! Thank you for making me Daring in the kitchen! :)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Autumn's evening warmer...

I'm not lucky lately... First the operation (and to all those concerned about my health, everything is almost back to normal, just those ugly scars...) and now I got a flu! Luckily not the swine flu... I'm into comfort food, kind of warm and not too complicated dishes. This is quite popular in Poland, particularly in Silesia region - actually a little different version than mine but very similar. I used what I actually had in my fridge and cupboard. It's quick (besides baking...) and soo good. I know that it may not look too beautiful (and sorry for the quality of my photos...) but it tastes amazing! Hope you will try during, long, dark, cold winter evening.
In Poland this kind of dish is called 'pieczonki' and the potatoes, bacon and beetroot are a must! It was traditionally 'baked' in an open fire. There is even special cast-iron dish, especially designed to make 'pieczonki'...



How to make it...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Daring Cooks #5 Vietnamese Chicken Pho...

This month's DC challenge is hosted by Jaden from Steamy Kitchen. She choose the Vietnamese Chicken Pho and another additional recipe of Sweet Wontons (which unfortunately with my operation and lots of other things going on I didn't have a chance to make, but I'm going to do so!).
The soup was very good indeed. It's perfect especially now, when the days are shorter and much cooler. It's very warming and have a nice kick ;) It's sort of 'comfort food' for me.



How to make it...

Thursday, October 08, 2009

A porridge that may look pretty?...

I already wrote about how I eat my porridge (you can find it here) but I want to share some more ideas with you. That's how I eat it recently. As the days are shorter and weather is cooler (it's basically raining here constantly, it's really miserable...) I'm choosing what's 'comfort food' for me. A nice scent of cinnamon, apples, sultanas on a hot porridge - can you have a better start of the day?
P.S. Sorry for the photo - taken very early in the morning ;)



How to make it...

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Mushroom sauce & I'm back for good...

After some time of neglecting my blog, which had lots of reasons (my trip to Poland, surgery after which I'm still recovering and didn't have a strength to stand in the kitchen and cook or bake). Anyway, I'm back for good now and full of new ideas, with some new cooking books on my shelf and very eager to share all that with you.

This mushroom sauce was actually made by my Dad, back at home. As it's mushroom's season there right now, mushrooms are everywhere and in quite reasonable price. We (Polish ;) ) love our mushrooms - pickled, fried, dried, sauce, soup, in a scrambled egg etc. Of course there's nothing better that your own hand picked mushrooms, but sometimes it's not possible so... you just go to the market and buy some. This mushroom sauce is great with plain mash, pearl barley, buckwheat, potato pancakes or courgette cakes (and that's what we had). I believe that each family has their own version of a mushroom sauce, this one is very simple and delicious, so I hope you'll try it!

P.S. Just remember when you're hand picking your mushrooms - go with someone who knows mushrooms very well or... it can end badly for you. Mushrooms can be very poisonous and you have to be careful with them!



How to make it...

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Daring Bakers #7 Vol-au-vent and puff pastry...

So, as every month, on the very same day :) here we go: The September 2009 Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Steph of A Whisk and a Spoon. She chose the French treat, Vols-au-Vent based on the Puff Pastry recipe by Michel Richard from the cookbook Baking With Julia by Dorie Greenspan.

"A Vol-au-vent (French for "windblown" to describe its lightness) is a small hollow case of puff pastry. A round opening is cut in the top and the pastry cut out for the opening is replaced as a lid after the case is filled. Vol-au-vents can accommodate various delicious fillings, such as mushrooms, prawns, fruit, or cheese, but they are almost always savory." - by Wikipedia.org



How to make it...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Julie & Julia... what a great movie!...

I finally saw it! I went on a date - with my Hubby. He wasn't very keen at the beginning because of the movie itself (let's face it - it wasn't his first choice). But... he liked it a lot! He likes food, likes to eat and cook so I knew he will like it at the end. OK, so now my thoughts and my opinion about Julie & Julia ;) It's different, interesting and if you're 'foodie' - you can't miss it! I loved it from the very beginning :) It's funny, real (yes, we all have some 'accidents', better and worse days in the kitchen...) and it's full of gorgeous food!

The life of Julia Child, the journey to become one of the most famous and loved cooks - I never knew lot of those fascinating things about her. You can 'feel' her passion, determination and fearless approach to cooking. She didn't believe in 'half-ways' - and that's also why I admire her so much! She made French food available to all of us - rich or poor, amateur or advanced cook, French or English - as long as you want, you will do it! She gave us basic 'tools', toughed what to do to be successful (not only in the kitchen...).



Julie Powell - an ordinary woman living in NYC. Wanted to do something with her life, wanted to persuade her passion (writing) in a profitable career, so she doesn't have to work in a dead end job anymore. Her journey through "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" was amazing! She was determined, brave!, passionate - 536 recipes in 365 days! OMG, I don't think I could be such devoted and stubborn as she was! But, that paid off - she's realising her dream right now - she's a famous writer and a person to follow. She showed us that if you really want - you can. If you want to read the original blog it's here.



I think that both lives, both stories are actually very similar. Both began from the love of food, both ended with a success!

Unfortunately, I don't have my own copy of Julia Child's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" - and I would love to have it! Tried to find it here in the bookshops, but couldn't get it... You don't have a spare copy by any chance? ;)

To sum up! If you'll have a chance - go to the cinema! Just one advice - reserve a table in a nice restaurant, so you can go and eat something after the movie... Believe me, you will be hungry ;)

P.S. All photos from the official web site Julie & Julia.

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Daring Cooks #4 Indian Dosas...

It's already this time of the month - time for Daring Cooks challenge! The September Daring Cooks challenge was hosted by Debyi from Healthy Vegan Kitchen. She choose Indian Dosas.

I must admit that it was my first time eating Dosas, never mention making them! I love all kinds of pancakes, so I was very excited by this challenge. Also, I'm eating vegetarian dishes from time to time, but I've never eaten anything vegan. I must admit that I was very surprised how it turned out! When I was chopping, mixing, cooking I thought - OMG it will be bland and weird consistency... I was soo wrong!Lots of work - but worth it :) They were very delicious - everything!




How to make it...

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Vegetable risotto? ...

I didn't plan to put that recipe here on my blog - so I didn't write anything down and I didn't have exact measurements. But... when I tasted it I changed my mind ;) My Hubby loves it to, so I decided to share it with you :) I don't know if I can really call it a risotto, as that wasn't my aim to make one. Just had a fridge full of veges, risotto rice on the cupboard and had to prepare lunch for next day. So, without any further delay, here it is...



How to make it...

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Yogurt honey muffins...

I have this 'phase' lately for making muffins. I have no idea where did it come from - but I like it and enjoy it a lot ;) As I had 2 big packs of Greek yogurt I thought of these little, fluffy things. I found this recipe in one of my many cookbooks - 'The cookie and biscuit bible'. The are perfect for a nice breakfast, necessarily with a cup of coffee, or as a treat for lunch during busy day at work.


How to make it...

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Daring Bakers #6 Dobos Torte...

The August 2009 Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Angela of A Spoonful of Sugar and Lorraine of Not Quite Nigella. They chose the spectacular Dobos Torte based on a recipe from Rick Rodgers' cookbook Kaffeehaus: Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Caffés of Vienna, Budapest, and Prague.

"Dobosh or Dobos Torte (type of cake) was first introduced at the National General Exhibition of Budapest in 1885; Franz Joseph I and his Empress Elisabeth were among the first to taste it. The cake soon became popular throughout Europe as it was different from all others. It was simple but elegant, as opposed to the multi-storey, flaming cakes of the age. Its other secret was its use of fine butter cream, which was very little known at the time; cake fillings and frostings were usually made with cooked pastry cream or whipped cream. The chocolate butter cream and the batter of the cake were both invented by Jozsef C. Dobos." - by Wikipedia.org

This month's challenge was a torte - it was the first time in my whole life making a real torte! It was my first time making butter cream! It was my first time making caramel! Lots of 'first times' for one recipe ;) It was a real challenge for me... I liked the result a lot - especially chocolate butter cream - very soft, velvety and delicious. I liked the bowl ;)



How to make it...

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Bigos - Polish savory stew of cabbage and meat...

This is very popular dish in Poland. No party, celebration (especially in Silesia and Mountain's region) can be without it! It's also traditionally served on the Christmas Day. I like it a lot. There are many versions of bigos - I would say that each family have their own, unique recipe. This is how my Hubby makes it - and it's great :) But I still miss my Dad's bigos - can't recreate it!


"Bigos - a savory stew of cabbage and meat... Typical ingredients include fresh and fermented white cabbage (sauerkraut, 'kapusta kiszona' in Polish), various cuts of meat and sausages, often whole or puréed tomatoes, honey and mushrooms. The meats may include pork (often smoked), ham, bacon, beef, veal, sausage and, as bigos is considered a hunters' stew, venison or other game. Leftover cuts find their way into the pot as well. It may be seasoned with pepper, caraway, juniper berries, bay leaf, marjoram, pimento, dried or smoked plums and other ingredients...
As with many stews, bigos can be kept in a cool place or refrigerated then reheated later—its taste actually intensifies when reheated. A common practice is to keep a pot of bigos going for a week or more, replenishing ingredients as necessary. This, the seasonal availability of cabbage and its richness in vitamin C made bigos a traditional part of the winter diet in Poland and elsewhere." - by Wikipedia.org

How to make it...

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Macaroni cheese with broccoli and tomatoes...

It was my first time making Macaroni cheese - I wanted to try it for a long time though. Macaroni cheese is very popular in the UK and in the USA - where it's called mac'n'cheese. Its popularity in the USA has been attributed to Thomas Jefferson serving it at a White House dinner in 1802 - who knew it's origins go back that far?!

Recipe for the famous macaroni and cheese couldn't be any simpler - just a white sauce, with a lot of cheese and macaroni cooked just al dente. But, I'm usually not the one to stick to the recipe and always looking for ways to change it, to make it "my own". As it happened I had a lot of broccoli which I had to use, I really hate food waste, but I'm pretty sure that other veges would work great too here - just think of artichokes, cauliflower, mushrooms or peppers!


As it happens there were some cherry tomatoes sitting on the counter top too, looking rather miserable and waiting eagerly for their turn, so they too found their way into this, so not "traditional" at this stage, macaroni and cheese.
Yes, I do know I'm not using the traditional macaroni pasta here either, but have you seen the price of it?! Half a kilo of macaroni shaped pasta costs more than a 2 kg pack of the one I used! I simply can't see a reason big enough to justify using the "traditional" macaroni shaped pasta for this dish.
At the end of the day it's all about the taste, and the looks too. Well, I can honestly say that on both accounts - I've succeeded!


Cheese sauce works very well with the broccoli as well as slightly sharp and acidic tomatoes. The dish is not bland and it has more than one texture, that of the creamy sauce.

How to make it...

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Homemade 'almost' ice cream...

It's 'almost' as they are lacking that nice, smooth, velvety consistency - but that's maybe due to lack of the ice cream machine... I did everything by hand. And it was my FIRST time ever attempting to make my own ice cream! :) Those are more like sorbet though, but... They are delicious! It's just spooning up, that has some difficulties... The other advantage is that I know exactly what I'm eating - no preservatives, E something etc. The taste is great and I'll work on my consistency next time - if anyone has any suggestions, a piece of advice very welcome! :)



How to make it...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Egg paste... and so many memories...

I know , I know - an egg paste isn't anything unusual or creative. It's not a rocket science, but... In the current economic situation you have to be able to do SOMETHING from ANYTHING. This recipe isn't original though. It's from my University's canteen. I remember when I used to buy those sandwiches - big, white roll and a thick spread of an egg paste.... yum! I tired to recreate it for 2 reasons - not too many things in my fridge and to bring back all those memories from my time at the university. It was almost the same - but the memories were back, fresh as it was yesterday... I miss those days sometimes...
I know I won't be able to make exactly the same egg paste - one of the reasons: I never asked for an 'original recipe' ;) No more writing back to the essence :)



How to make it...

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Apple & banana fritters...

I didn't have an exact recipe for those fritters. It was a moment. I had some apples, bananas were already getting brown so... I just make up some batter to coat them and fry. The result was amazing. Nice crisp from the outside and soft inside! Banana ones are my favourite. I also wanted to make some pineapple fritters - but didn't have any at home... All you need is a cup of coffee/tea to go with it :) I ate some of them with icing sugar, some with honey - they would be perfect with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, but then again - nothing in the freezer. Next time tough!



How to make it...

Friday, August 14, 2009

The Daring Cooks #3 Spanish dish of rice, mushrooms, cuttlefish and artichokes...

The host of this month's Daring Cooks challenge was Olga from Las Cosas de Olga and Olga’s Recipes. She have chosen a delicious Spanish recipe - Rice with mushrooms, cuttlefish and artichokes by José Andrés, one of the most important Spanish Chefs at the moment.

I really enjoyed this month's challenge. It was delicious - my Hubby had 2 BIG portions, accompanied by a pint of Kilkenny... I remember similar dish when I was in Barcelona - I loved it then too :) It was very easy to make, especially if you prepare your Sofregit in advance. The only 'hard work' was with the allioli - over 20 minutes of constant stirring in the mortar - and I wasn't happy with my final result, but it was tasty (the most important thing!).
I will be making this dish again for sure. Next time I'll try to experiment with different 'main ingredient' - maybe chicken, vegetarian version etc. ...



How to make it...

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Cherry pie or... cake...

I love cherries! I remember when I used to pick them as a child, fresh from the tree. My Granny would make jams, starch jelly, pies, muffins... Beautiful childhood memories. I can still smell boiling cherries with sugar for jam or marmalade :] I was lucky today and bought a big jar of cherries (already without the stones!). Fresh cherries are crazy expensive here... I was thinking how to use them, carefully and make them last a little longer. Is there a better idea then a pie/cake?!? No. Not for me anyway ;) I'm not sure if it's more of a pie or a cake - better decide yourself.



How to make it...

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Beghrir - Moroccan semolina pancakes...

Beghrir are tender Moroccan pancakes made from semolina. I found that recipe on the Internet when looking for something with semolina - as I had so much of the stuff at home... They are very easy to make, but the batter has to rest for 1 hour before frying the pancakes, so plan ahead a little bit here. They are great hot or cold, so you can make them in advance. They are traditionally served with a syrup made from butter and honey (which you can see on my photo), but  beghrir are also great with maple syrup or just plain honey and maybe a bit of Greek yogurt. I love their "bubbly side", which soaks up honey sooo well :)




How to make it...

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Burgers without BBQ...

It's BBQ time. Unfortunately we don't have our own BBQ as we live in a flat and don't have a garden... Never less - where's will ;) My Hubby had this nice idea for lunch today. Burgers with a salad. I normally don't like burgers (they always remind me about McD etc. Not my kind of food...). Those were very nice. Not too 'fatty/oily', nice balance of spices and herbs and perfect with tomato-green cabbage salad. Shame it couldn't have that nice BBQ smell...



How to make it...

Friday, July 31, 2009

Rice and apple pudding...

It's hard for me to define this dish. I remember it since I wass a child my Dad used to make it. It's great as an afternoon treat, warm dessert, but sometimes we would have it even as a light, sweet lunch. When I was older, I ate it sometimes as a breakfast, especially on cold, wintry mornings.


You can cut the apples into small pieces (like myself), as I like their texture in the rice, or great them, as it's normally done in Poland. A nice twist on the dish would be cooking rice in a coconut milk rather than cow's one, it won't be traditional Polish dish anymore, but another one which is equally delicious! Addition of apricots (which I don't add every time) and raisins, is totally my take on this sweet dessert, and both can be omitted - for more "authentic" taste.


How to make it...

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Daring Bakers #5 Mallows...

The July Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Nicole at Sweet Tooth. She chose Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Cookies and Milan Cookies from pastry chef Gale Gand of the Food Network. (Have to admit that I didn't make Milan Cookies... you will find the recipe here).

You have no idea how happy I was when I saw this month's challenge - I LOVE marshmallows! :) This wasn't difficult, although I was all covered in marshmallows, and so was my whole kitchen ;) The base for the cookie is delicious also on it's own - my Hubby ate a lot of them even before I had a chance to cover them with marshmallows an chocolate. As long as he was concerned - my challenge was finished ;)



How to make it...

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Strawberry roulade and my name day - 'imieninki'...

"A name day is a tradition in many countries in Europe and Latin America of celebrating on a particular day of the year associated with the one's given name. The custom originated with the Catholic and Orthodox calendar of saints, where believers, named after a particular saint, would celebrate that saint's feast day. In many countries, however, there is no longer any explicit connection to Christianity (...) In Poland, name days (Polish: imieniny) are widely celebrated, and most calendars contain the names celebrated each day. Name day celebrations in Poland traditionally involve a gathering of friends and family at the celebrant's home at the dinner table, followed by drinking and socializing, similarly to birthday celebrations. The song "Sto lat" is sometimes sung. Children, and often adults too, receive presents, just like on their birthday." - by Wikipedia.org

And today is MY name day - second birthday for some, for me too :) So it couldn't be without some kind of cake - doesn't matter that I had to make it myself... My choice today was a strawberry roulade as we were lucky and bought fresh strawberries for a very good price. It was delicious! Especially with nice, strong freshly brewed coffee...

Best wishes to all Annas out there! The one in Montréal, the other one in Udine and one in Warsaw especially :) You all know who I'm thinking about ;)



How to make it...

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Feta Tiganiti... Pan-Fried Feta Cheese...

Greek food is one of my favourites but unfortunately I'm not confident when cooking it. This recipe isn't mine. It comes from a great website 'Greek Food - Recipes and Reflections' (link to the original recipe can be found here).
I love Greek food. My first holidays with my Hubby were in Crete - the biggest Greek Island. The food was amazing. Fresh fruits, veges, lamb and those desserts - all with huge amount of honey... yum! I would love to travel around Greece and try all regional cuisine - maybe, someday... This recipe is very easy and so delicious - you have to try it!



How to make it...

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Pickled courgette...

In Poland pickling has a very long tradition. I remember when each summer, my Granny used to make pickled cucumbers, beetroots and even green tomatoes for winter. She still does it, along with my Father and the rest of my family. It used to be easier - when you had all the ingredients straight from your own garden. Now you have to find good farmer, which luckily isn't so hard ;) I tried to pickle the courgette - it brought back childhood memories for my Hubby... when his Mum used to do the very same thing...

"Pickling, also known as brining or corning, is the process of preserving food by anaerobic fermentation in brine (a solution of salt in water) to produce lactic acid, or marinating and storing it in an acid solution, usually vinegar (acetic acid). The resulting food is called a pickle. This procedure gives the food a salty or sour taste." - by Wikipedia.org



How to make it...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

One pot turkey...

It's quick, it's cheap and it's good! Three great reasons to try this dish - minimum three ;) In total this dinner for two (actually two dinners, we divided it for two evenings) cost me around EUR 4.00 - what a great bargain! The key was the fact that I bought 4 turkey drumsticks for just EUR 1,59! I suppose that this will go well with any kind of meat - whatever you will find in the shop on promotion that day ;)



How to make it...

Friday, July 10, 2009

Pork chops in red wine sauce...

I just love pork chops! I know that now probably million vegetarians would want to kill me. The truth is that normally, everyday I don't eat meat, I can live without it. I prefer some nice cheese, jam or tomato on my sandwich but there are days.... There are days I just need(!) a nice pork chop, meatloaf or garlic chicken fillet :) And that was one of those days - I needed a pork chop! As we had also bought plenty of nice Bordeaux I thought, that a red wine sauce will be a great accompany to those chops - and I was right! :)



How to make it...

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Brioches...

If you know me a little, you should now at this point know, that I LOVE everything French - and this recipe is no exception ;) Those small individual brioches are delicious - especially with some jam and cup of coffee or milk. If you like it more traditional way, you can bake it as one, big loaf. Brioche is a highly enriched French bread, whose high egg and butter content give it what is seen as a rich and tender crumb. It has a dark, golden, and flaky crust from an egg wash So don't wait - go to work and enjoy the smell of baked brioches in your kitchen! :)



How to make it...

Monday, July 06, 2009

Polish cabbage rolls - Gołąbki...

Golabki is a dish that's very popular in Poland and it's also one of the most favourite in my family. It's not difficult at all, but a little time consuming (mainly with forming the rolls), then all you have to do is to cook it.
The taste, the final result is really very good reason for all that rolling ;) They are great with mashed potatoes and thick, velvety tomato sauce. You can use raw meat, like myself, but I know that many Polish families will use cooked meat - from making a broth etc., hence making golabki very budget friendly dinner. I've also learned that serving golabki with mashed potatoes and tomato sauce - and I really don't know any other way - is really "my family thing", though popular with others too. You can serve them on its own - as you have all "ingredients" of a fully balanced dinner already there: meat, rice and veg ;) Personally I think that simple, plain tomato sauce gives it another dimension, and its acidity goes really well with delicate cabbage.


"Gołąbki [ɡɔˈwɔmpki] are a form of cabbage rolls. They are a traditional Polish dish consisting of boiled cabbage leaves stuffed with ground beef, chopped onions and rice or barley; most often baked and refried in a spicy tomato sauce. Gołąbki means pigeons (this refers to the shape of the roll; none of the ingredients have any connection with the pigeon meat known as squab).
Gołąbki rolls are usually fist-sized when fully stuffed or rolled. Spiced Pork is sometimes used instead of, or in addition to, beef. There is an unverified story or myth that the Grand Duke of Lithuania and King of Poland Casimir IV Jagiellon fed his army with gołąbki before a key battle of the Thirteen years' war outside of Marienburg Castle (Malbork) against the Teutonic Order around 1465. Polish rumor has it, that victory over the Teutonic Order was partially credited to strength of the hearty meal of gołąbki given to the allied Polish and Prussian troops. The castle was not conquered, though, but turned over later." - by Wikipedia.org

How to make it...

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Celebration cake...

I know that my Hubby had his BDay cake already (you can find the recipe here) but we had guests only yesterday. He got lucky this year and got 2 BDay cakes! I'm too good for him ;) Didn't know really what to make this time, so I came with very easy idea for a very delicious cake :) Luckily for me everyone was delighted and they (me too!) really enjoyed the cake. Not a lot of work involved and it's yummy!



How to make it...

Friday, July 03, 2009

Fish and chips with a modern twist...

As I'm living in Ireland now, traditional 'fish and chips' aren't anything unusual for me. Shop bought versions tend to be very fatty and usually blend in taste. I'm trying to eat a fish minimum once a week - it supposed to be very good for you, so why not give it a try. I had some cod in the freezer so I decided to take a go at this traditional duo. Instead of normal long chips I made some diced ones. It worked out very well and I'm sure I will make it more often.



How to make it...

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Daring Bakers #4 Bakewell Tart...er...Pudding...

The June Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Jasmine of Confessions of a Cardamom Addict and Annemarie of Ambrosia and Nectar. They chose a Traditional (UK) Bakewell Tart... er... pudding that was inspired by a rich baking history dating back to the 1800's in England.

I have to admit that before this challenge I have never heard of a Bakewell tart/pudding. I was very excited as the recipe looked very promising - and I wasn't disappointed :) Bakewell tart/pudding is now one of my favourite desserts! It was easy to make and what an amazing result. I used a blackcurrant jam which was a little tart and went well with the almonds. I had some pastry left and I made mini Bakewell tarts - they were very very handy, few bites of a perfection :) for a good mood!



How to make it...

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Babka cake and Hubby's Birthday! ...

"The Polish noun babka and Russian baba (Russian: баба) mean 'grandmother' and as applied to the pastry probably refer to its shape, a tall cylinder, sometimes with corrugations resembling a skirt’s pleats. The name of the pastry entered the English language from Polish, via French, although 'babka' is also sometimes used in its original sense ('grandmother'), especially among those of Eastern European descent." - by Wikipedia.org



This is one of the most famous and traditional cakes in Poland. It's called 'babka' or 'babka piaskowa' (sandy cake). It's my Hubby's Birthday today and I wanted to make a real cake for Him - lots of layers, cream, fruits etc. but no... He asked for this one. Fine by me - if it only makes him happy :) It's not difficult, though work consuming (especially if you don't have a big mixer as me...). Hope you will like it. The part with cocoa isn't necessary, so if you like you can skip it.

How to make it...

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Ciapki, goody - childhood breakfast...

Different idea for a breakfast. I'm working part time recently so I finally have time to prepare something more than traditional cereals and enjoy eating it slowly... This is another memory from my childhood. It's great if you have some stale, sweet roll but really any stale roll/bread will do. In Poland it's called "ciapki" which is really hard for me to translate into English. I was talking to my colleague recently and he told me that his mother used to do that as well. She called it "goody". I'm sure you will like it, if not love it. It's a comfort food for me. Enjoy!



How to make it...