Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween and a pumpkin soup...

It's Halloween, can't believe it's already the last day of October... Time fly too quick! Anyway, as we're living in Ireland and Halloween is celebrated here, this year we decided to buy a pumpkin and cut it :) In Poland Halloween isn't celebrated at all (well maybe now as everything is being commercialized...). Traditionally on the 1st of November Polish go to the graves and light a candle, place some flowers to remember those who are gone (and I have to tell you that the atmosphere on the graveyard after dark, on the 1st and 2nd Nov is amazing, all those candles...)
My Pumpkin 'play' was a great fun today - but why(?) nobody tells you that first emptying and then cutting a pumpkin is tricky and not so easy?! After some hard work (and still with all fingers intact...) I had a nice pumpkin vampire and a bowl full of pumpkin flesh. That way we'll be having a pumpkin soup for next 2 days :) The soup was delicious and it was a very first time ever (for me and my Hubby) to eat a pumpkin soup!!! Recipe taken from a great book by Val Warner 'What to eat now - Autumn and Winter'.
P.S. Can someone explain to me why my pumpkin soup isn't nice and orange in colour but somewhat greenish...? Did I do something wrong or is it the pumpkin's fault...?



How to make it...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Daring Bakers #15 Doughnuts...

The October 2010 Daring Bakers challenge was hosted by Lori of Butter Me Up. Lori chose to challenge DBers to make doughnuts. She used several sources for her recipes including Alton Brown, Nancy Silverton, Kate Neumann and Epicurious.

So I couldn't possibly miss this month's challenge... as I already missed last few, but being a new Mum isn't easy (and if anyone thinks that it's piece of cake... well, you're WRONG! but I'm not complaining :D ). So doughnuts this month and... Who doesn't like doughnuts? Anyone? No one...? Thought so ;)
Unfortunately I didn't have time to make a yeast doughnuts, all that waiting and ending up making something with them 4 times during few hours is just impossible with an infant... (and I made these only yesterday night!). Yeast doughnuts aren't anything new in my family, there isn't a New Year's Eve without them (usually filled with rose marmalade, very traditional in Poland). This time I used a recipe I had marked in one of my cookbooks for some time now. The doughnuts were great - although I had to make some adjustments. I decided to make Mexican Buñuelos. The result was a nice and light doughnuts, not too sweet perfect for coating in icing sugar or dipping in chocolate (my Hubby ate them with... maple syrup!).




How to make it...

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Low-fat cupcake brownies...

I know what is needed to make proper, traditional brownies but those are slightly less calorific but still tastes delicious! They have that nice, soft, little moist centre :) Instead of baking one big cake and then cut it into pieces I made cupcakes which worked just perfect :) Next time I'm planing on making white chocolate icing!



How to make it...

Monday, October 18, 2010

Prune muffins...

Those muffins are nutritious and very delicious :) what one want more?! It's perfect weekend breakfast or a treat for the lunch box. They are made with oil rather than butter so are quick to mix. If you don't like prunes I think you can change them for chopped apples, dried cherries etc.


How to make it...

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Home made duck preserve...

I know that recently I've neglected my blog, I've neglected YOU. But the truth is that you can't imagine how much work there is with a small baby until you actually have one ;) Ok, enough with the excuses and now with the post which was waiting for publishing for over a month.
Some time ago we bought a duck (as it's always cheaper to buy whole and use the parts whenever you like). We made delicious duck breasts with oranges and duck confit, but what do you do with left meat on the bone...? So after you take your breasts off and take off you whole(!) legs you're left with the carcass with a lot of meat and fat on it - and here's what we made :)


How to make it...

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Daring Cooks #13 Stuffed leaves... done it, but not really...

This month's challenge was very interesting one and for sure very inspiring too. OK, I know I didn't really take part in this month's challenge but... there are few reasons to that.
First - with Baby J it's not so easy to spend a long time in the kitchen, without any disruption from Her (and there's usually a lot of it! especially now that she's teething)...
Second - Hubby is no longer at home with me, he's out usually from 9 till 5 so he couldn't keep Baby J occupied long enough, so I can make stuffed cabbage rolls (and there's a lot of work with it)...
Third - cooking at night is not an potion for me, I'm half asleep all the time anyway, so I really need all the sleep I can get (and I get it only at night, as Baby J is sleeping all night through till 8 am - woohooo!)...
Fourth - this month's challenge wasn't really 'a challenge' for me. In Poland we stuff cabbage leaves both with meat and vegetarian fillings. It's called 'galabki' (which literally means small pigeons - why? don't ask, have no idea...).

I'm kind of sad/ashamed that I'm not doing challenges EVERY month (both Cooks and Bakers) but it's just not possible at this time and place in my life - for which I'm sorry.

What I'll do is give you a link to my post about it. Hope you'll decide to try it someday - it's one of my all time favourites - but no matter how hard I will try, I can't make them as good as my Dad's....
I know that probably some of you will call it cheating, but please notice that I'm not putting blog checking lines here and I'm giving you my recipe for golabki, because I just want to share with you something I really enjoy and somethig which is a part of my heritage (being it not only a Polish dish, but also a great family recipe!).


So here's the POST - enjoy! :)

P.S. I would love to try and make stuffed grape leaves (as I had them when on holidays in Crete, they were great!) but I just can't find grape leaves anywhere her in Ireland :(

Friday, October 01, 2010

Confit duck...

"Confit is a generic term for various kinds of food that have been immersed in a substance for both flavor and preservation. Sealed and stored in a cool place, confit can last for several months. Confit is one of the oldest ways to preserve food and is a speciality of southwestern France." - by Wikipedia.org

You can store duck prepared this way simply by placing in a pudding bowl, covering in with the fat and keeping in the fridge - it has to be cover in fat to keep for weeks. The fat used to make confit can be reused over and over, the flavours will improve each time.



How to make it...