breadThis may not be a traditional picnic idea for the 4th of July weekend but if you are planning on making some kind of a sandwich, why not something that would catch everyone’s eye? I used my rustic bread recipe for this, but if you don’t have time for that, get a loaf in your favorite bakery.
It may remind you a little bit of the famous Pan Bagnat idea, except the original version was supposed to be combining wheat bread with Nicoise salad, where it comes from. But since my husband’s preference for bacon and prosciutto is much higher than for tuna I have decided to make some adjustments. More »

This is such an easy recipe but I had a hard time to figure out what I should call them in English.
In Polish we call these Malosolne (maw-oh-SOL-ne).

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I have seen different names at the farmers market and when I tasted them some were close in taste to the ones my mom makes. But not quite…  I don’t want to call them sour because there is no single drop of vinegar in them. And many times there are more spices in them that I don’t want. These are the simple pickles that you will find in many groceries and farmers stands or at homes at this time of the year in Poland. It’s exactly the same brine that you would use for regular Polish pickles in brine.  However the cucumbers you find at markets now are still coming from green houses so they might not survive the long term pickling too well.  Hopefully within a month or two maximum you will be able to get the seasonal cucumbers grown in the ground, but if you are not sure what you’re getting, simply ask.  I will be making lots of jars this year again to keep us going through winter time and will be happy to share canning methods with you later :)

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It takes only 3 to 4 days to pickle those and you should eat them within the next week maximum. They will be super crunchy and refreshing either as a snack or addition to your salad or barbecue meat. I just like to open a jar and eat them directly from there :)

The most difficult part I faced was finding the right dill and fresh root of horseradish.  Eventually I bought the dill in a pot since I couldn’t find the pickling dill, and for this type of pickles you can use the cut dill that you can usually find in a store. Finding horseradish wasn’t easy either. I searched at Farmers Market with no luck and finally found it at Harris Teeter. You will need either a large empty jar or two small ones to hold your cucumbers and brine. The important part is the water and salt ratio. It should be 1 ½ tablespoon for 1 liter of water (4 cups). So if you end up buying more cucumbers you will have to increase the ratio. And remember that when you pick them in a stand, make sure you touch every single one and pick only those that are tough and firm and no yellow color is coming through. More »

tartThis is the season when my every trip to the Fresh market ends up bringing home fresh beets with stems. I just love the sweet taste of the young beets and tartness of the stem. There are so many ways to use them in the kitchen and today I would like to share with you an idea for a tart. I used my previous recipe for the dough but I made a little bit more dough so that I could lay out the lattice and make it look pretty. If you don’t like ricotta, you can use goat cheese or feta cheese. It’s such a perfect dish for lunch or light dinner on a hot afternoon here in DC that the only thing that makes it better is a glass of cool white chardonnay. More »

17. June 2014 · 1 comment · Categories: Desserts

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No matter how old you are you deserve a cake like this on your birthday! My sister in law is the lucky one this time and since I know that she loves chocolate and cherries, it will make a perfect birthday cake for her to enjoy and obviously all of us as well.
The sponge cakes are not typical fluffy ones, they are more dense and moist to add more chocolate flavor to the cake. This recipe asks for two of those but at the last minute I decided to make another sponge cake since I wanted the wow factor. I simply used half of the ingredients that are in this recipe below. More »

brulee10Classic and simple but let me tell you, the taste is far away from simple or average. Do you ever wonder how can you trick your basic crème brulee recipe? Well, first of all make sure you have the right amount of egg yolks; you just can’t go cheap here, and then infuse the custard with some lavender and lemon zest. It’s blossoming everywhere right now so pick few sprigs and add them to your desserts.

bruleeI followed the American Test Kitchen advice on the ratio of egg yolks in this recipe and there is no way you can achieve this richness using any other method.

And if you are worried about what to do with all the egg whites, think about meringue cake as a dessert option or a Sunday breakfast egg white omelet with spinach and cherry tomatoes.

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