Dec 22, 2008

Vanilla Crescents

Vanilla Crescents There is still time for more cookies, they taste awesome, and don’t require too much time from start to finish. These cookies are popular all over Europe, and are also known as vanilla kipfel. I remember them fondly, as they were always part of a Holiday menu when I was growing up. Thank you Bilja for sharing a recipe!

Vanilla Crescents

For the cookies:
170g butter
50g powdered sugar
70g blanched almond meal
270g flour
4 tsp vanilla sugar

For dusting:
150g powdered sugar
6 tsp vanilla sugar

Mix all ingredients until a dough is formed, much like shortbread cookie dough, kind of crumbly. Seal it in a piece of plastic wrap, and let sit in the refrigerator for an hour. Preheat oven to 350 F, form crescents out of dough, and bake them for about 10 minutes on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet . They should still remain white.

Forming crescents may be a bit challenging, but not to hard; if you go for the walnut meal, instead of almonds you will find it a bit easier because walnuts release more oil. Also, you can make it more like half moon shape, it's easier.
Cool them just a little bit before dusting them with powdered sugar mixed with vanilla sugar. Coat them all evenly on both sides. They are best when left at least overnight. The ones in a photo are with walnuts; alond ones are snowy white...

Dec 18, 2008

Lamingtons filled with vanilla custard

Lamingtons filled with vanilla custard

For the sponge cake:
3 eggs
15 Tbsp sugar
15 Tbsp oil
15 Tbsp milk
15 Tbsp flour
2 Tsp baking powder

For the vanilla custard, or pastry cream:
2 cups milk
3 egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar
3 Tbsp corn starch
1 Tsp vanilla extract
You can also cook one of those powdered puddings, which is what I do, pretty much the same.

For the chocolate coating:
4 oz baking chocolate
1 ½ cups milk

Also needed:
100 g / about 4 oz sweetened desiccated coconut to roll them in

First make the pastry cream, to allow it to cool before you make the sponge cake. Mix yolks with sugar, then add corn starch, vanilla extract, and mix until smooth and silky. Bring milk to boil, then add the yolk mixture, reduce heat to low, and cook for few minutes, stirring until it thickens. Cool completely before using!

To make the sponge cake: Preheat oven to 375 F. Mix eggs with sugar until pale and creamy, add the rest of the ingredients in the order given. Pour into rectangular baking dish (9x13“), and bake until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, and the cake looks golden.

Cool completely, and cut into cubes, however big you like. Heat milk and chocolate, stirring constantly until chocolate is melted, and you get a creamy mixture. Start with 1/2 cup of milk, and add the rest gradually, because the need depends on chocolate you use, and you don't want it to be too runny. Allow it to cool so it’s easy to handle. Cut each sponge cube across the middle, and fill it with about a tablespoon of custard, coat it with chocolate on all sides, and then roll it into coconut. Lamingtons are best after you leave them rest for a while, and let those flavors marry each other.

Honey Cake

Honey Cake

This cake brings back so many memories of a happy childhood, the times when I could fly, I was a princess, and I could talk to animals!

I spent my summers in the beautiful piece of heaven on earth, my father’s birthplace, and I have always felt special just for being able to grow up there. I spent so much time in the outdoors which was studded with green fields scented with chamomile flowers, waterfalls, creeks, woods, and woodland creatures; that in a sense I felt like the nature raised me. My uncle had a lot of bees, thus a lot of honey, and my aunt would make this cake often, it was so delicious….had to go back, so here it is!

Honey cake - Medena pita

Cake layers:
150 g / 5 1/3 oz of vegetable shortening
150 g/ 5 1/3 oz of sugar
1 egg
1 Tbsp of baking cocoa (optional)
3 Tbsp of honey
1 Tsp of baking soda
Mix all of the above and then add:
400 g/ 14 oz + 1 Tbsp of flour

You should get rather hard dough, mix it really well, and then divide into 2 or 3 balls, depending on the size of the pan. If you do 9x13”, then 3. Preheat oven to 355 F.
Roll out each layer into the size of a pan, and bake on the back of a large cookie sheet or a jelly roll pan (greased slightly with shortening), for about 10 minutes, it should still be sort of soft, and hard to deal with, so worth it though : )

Let it cool a bit, then transfer onto a kitchen towel (kind of slide it off), and repeat with other 2. When they cool completely they should be very hard, like cookies. That is how it’s supposed to be, the cream will make it soft overnight, and it will all get incorporated into soft, delicious bites.

For the cream:
500 ml/ about 17 fl oz of milk
2 Tbsp AP flour
2 Tbsp corn starch
2 tsp vanilla sugar or 1 tsp vanilla extract
250 g / 8 ¾ oz of butter or margarine, unsalted
200 g / about 7 oz powdered sugar (add or substract to please your sweet tooth)
1 Tbsp of spiced rum

Take some milk out of those 500 ml (like half a cup), and mix it with flour and corn starch until you have no lumps. Set the remainder of milk to boil with vanilla. When it boils, mix in the flour mixture and stir for a minute. Transfer to a mixing bowl, and cool, and then chill in the fridge until completely cooled.

Then mix in butter or margarine with powdered sugar, and add it to the cream, and mix until all well incorporated. You can also add a few tbsp of spiced rum, if you like.
Spread cream over first and second cake layer, evenly, and put the third on the top. Do this on a cookie sheet, or jelly roll pan. Then wrap it with foil or something, and put some weight on top, like baking pans, and let it sit overnight.

Next day, when it’s nice and soft, spread the chocolate ganache on top( you can do any ganache if you have one you already like), and cut into cubes when cooled.

For the ganache:
100 g / 3 1/3 oz baking chocolate and 100 ml / 3.4 fl oz of whipping cream. Heat whipping cream until it starts boiling, then add chopped up chocolate, and mix until smooth.

Dec 17, 2008

Peaches revisited

Peaches CookiesMy friend Biserka allowed me to publish this absolutely best recipe for these delicious, beautiful cookies. She makes them even prettier, and the look just depends on colors and amount of color you use.

I have tried so many recipes for these cookies, as I do have another recipe here on my blog,(for now you can use it to see the process) however now I stick to this one because the biscuit is so soft, and so “cake-like”, especially after you let them sit for a day or two in an airtight plastic bag. I am speechless, let me just tell you that I have made them 3 times in the past 10 days for my friends and family, and we just can’t get enough!!!
Thank you so much my friend!

Peaches Cookies
Peaches cookies

I’ll just write the recipe in metrics, and you can use online converters , but most scales have the option of measuring in grams, as most measuring cups have milliliter option too.

4 eggs
250 ml oil
250 g sugar (granulated
2 tsp of vanilla sugar, or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tsp baking powder
4 Tbs flour
Later add:
500 g flour

First mix eggs, sugar, and vanilla. Add oil, and then add 4 tbsp flour, and baking powder, and mix well. Let it sit for 1 hour, and then mix in 500g flour. Do this with your hands, it’s quite sticky, but once you get it all mixed well, wash your hands, and you’ll find it rather easy to make little balls.

Preheat oven to 355 F, and make little balls size of a smaller walnut. Arrange on a baking sheet, about an inch apart, and bake for about 15-20 minutes, and they should still remain white.

Cool each batch, (I get about 4 cookie sheets out of this, you can double if you want more, but this is plenty), and core them on the bottom part, to make the room for the filling. Leave those crumbs you get from coring for the filling.
I then fill them with combination of Nutella, crumbs from the cookies, and ground walnuts. No measure, I just start by about a cup of Nutella, then I add just enough crumbs and ground walnuts to make nice filling that is not runny, but just perfect for sticking the cookies together.

You fill one cookie half, then connect with another, and you have a peach. To color them, I pour about half a cup of milk into two separate bowl, and add a drop or two of color red into one, and yellow into another. You dip them really quickly into each colored milk, so you don’t end up soaking them, and then you roll them in sugar. Once you are done with all it is best to place them in Ziploc bags, and keep them in there at least overnight. They get so soft, and melt in the mouth. Enjoy

I shall try to include recipe for her filling which is different, as soon as I get time…really busy now! I am sending these delicious peaches as my entry to Cookie Baking Event created by Sharmi of Neivedyam.

Dec 9, 2008

Bring on the cookies!

Jam filled shortbread cookiesThese cookies are best when you let them sit for few days in an airtight container, or a plastic bag. They get softer/chewier, and are sooooooo delicious! Don’t be afraid to put more jam than I did, it is sticky, but after they sit for 2 days the jam hardens, and you will regret you didn’t put more : )

Jam filled shortbread cookies

500 g flour
250 g sugar
300 g vegetable shortening
2 eggs
1 Tsp vanilla extract
2 Tsp baking powder
50 g dark chocolate, melted and cooled a bit
Raspberry jam for filling (or any other, but this one works the best)

Mix flour, vegetable shortening, eggs, sugar, vanilla, and baking powder, and work the dough for at least 7-8 minutes, to get it smooth and workable. Then divide into two, and add melted, slightly cooled chocolate to one half, and mix and incorporate it well.

Roll out each dough to a ¼ inch thickness, and cut out cookies with cookie cutters. Bake each batch for about 7-8 minutes or longer @ 375 F, just don’t over bake them, white ones should still remain fairly white. Once all are baked, sandwich them with jam. Use one chocolate cookie, one vanilla, and raspberry jam, about 1 ½ Tsp of jam for each. Don’t press too hard.

Store in an airtight container or Ziploc type bag for few days. You can also dip the edges in melted milk chocolate after they sat for few days, if it's too much work all at once :)

Jam filled shortbread cookiesTip: I would suggest making plain old round cookies as it is a bit challenging to lift them off the work surface and transfer to a cookie sheet in delicate shapes.

Dec 1, 2008

Apple Torte With Pine Nuts and Raisins

Apple Torte With Pine Nuts and RaisinsThis cake may be a little camera shy, or perhaps not so photogenic, but apples, vanilla, and lemon, in fresh baked buttery sponge cake, along with pine nuts, and raisins, fill the kitchen with the aroma capable of taking you straight to Tuscany, where this cake originates from.

Apple Torte With Pine Nuts and Raisins
Torta di Mele con Pinoli e Uvetta

2 large Golden Delicious apples
Juice of ½ lemon
3 eggs
1 ½ cups sugar, plus some for dusting
½ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
½ cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/3 cup raisins, soaked in warm water for 30 minutes
¼ cup pine nuts

Preheat oven to 375 F. Lightly butter spring form pan (10 inch), dust with flour, and tap out the excess.Peel, halve, and core apples; slice them thinly, and sprinkle with lemon juice. Set aside.

Whisk together eggs, and sugar, until creamy. Then add milk, butter, vanilla extract. In a separate bowl sift flour, add salt, baking powder, and lemon zest, and combine. Add the egg and butter mixture to the flour, using a wooden spoon, and incorporate well. Drain the raisins, and add them to the batter, along with pine nuts.

Pour the batter into the pan, and arrange apple slices on the top in concentric circles. Bake until toothpick comes out clean, for about 45 min. Transfer to wire rack, and cool completely before removing pan sides, and serving. Dust with sugar, and serve cut into wedges.

Recipe adapted from a Williams-Sonoma book “Savoring Tuscany”, by Lori de Mori
You might also like to indulge into this Tuscan favorite.

Nov 30, 2008

Intercontinental Cake - Two Birthdays

Intercontinental Cake
Saturday was my son's, and my birthday! We had a lot of fun with family, and friends! Even though I haven't planned on having a party, getting together at my house always turns into one!

For my son, and myself, I have made this truly rich cake, perfect for celebrations, with layers, and layers of cake and cream! Bound to get some compliments! Honestly, with some organization before hand it is not hard to make at all; it took me less than two hours to complete, and I have decorated it the next day, just few hours before guests arrived. We also got one fantastic cake as a gift, so you can imagine we were all pretty sugar high, and still are! :)

I am not much of a decorator, I got so much to learn in that department, but a slice itself is pretty enough. Make cream first, because cake part is easy , and cake layers cool pretty fast.

Intercontinental Cake
Intercontinental cake
adapted form SerbianCafe

For the filling:
15 egg yolks
1 liter milk
20 Tbsp sugar
5 Tbsp flour
3 Tbsp corn starch
4 Tsp vanilla sugar
1 cup powdered, confectioners sugar
4 sticks / about 450g margarine or butter, unsalted,
200 g chocolate, dark
Whipped cream, and cream stabilizer to decorate
Some ground walnuts to decorate

Mix egg yolks with sugar, and vanilla sugar, until nicely combined, and frothy. Add 1 cup milk (from one liter), flour, and corn starch. Set the rest of the milk to boil. When it starts boiling, add the yolk mixture gradually, mixing well, so not to get lumps; reduce heat, and cook for few minutes, mixing constantly.

Transfer cream to a bowl, and let it cool a little before placing it in the fridge to cool completely. Once it’s cool mix in margarine or butter, which you first mixed with powdered sugar. Add more powdered sugar, if you like it sweeter.

Now you can either divide into three, and add 200 g of chocolate (melted, and cooled slightly) into one third, 200 g fine shredded coconut into the second third, and 200 g walnut meal into the last third.
I have just separated one third, and left it as it is, and added 200 g chocolate into two thirds, and thus got more light chocolate filling, and one plain vanilla.

For the cake layers:
15 egg whites
15 Tbsp sugar
15 Tbsp flour
30 Tbsp ground walnuts, walnut meal
3 Tsp baking powder

In a stand mixer, mix egg whites, gradually adding sugar, until stiff. Slowly add flour mixed with baking powder, then fold in walnuts, and combine well. Divide into three, and bake each layer in a 8” round, spring form pan. Cool each layer, and soak each evenly, with ¼ cup warm milk.
If you got three flavor creams, then spread each layer with a different cream, in any order you like.

To assemble:
Here is my order, since I only did chocolate and vanilla:
Cake layer, chocolate cream, cake layer, vanilla cream, cake layer, chocolate cream, and some chocolate all around. Then I used whipped cream all over and for decoration, and sprinkled with ground walnuts. Yummy!

King's Cake

My son, waiting to grab his heart! One for mommy, one for him! This beautiful creation, called "King's Cake", was done by a friend! I guess I know now where to turn for decorating classes! :) Delicious! Thank you, Edita!

Nov 25, 2008

Chess Roll

Chess Roll
I love making this for the Holidays, because of the quantity, and everyone loves it. Sponge cakes rolled into wafer sheets, and tied together with caramel cream! Yum!
Never mind that my husband can down one whole roll in one evening, and not gain an ounce!!! Skeleton! This w/e is a big one for my family, not only because of the Thanksgiving, but also my son and I share a birthday on Saturday!

Chess Roll

You'll need:
Wafer sheets- Oblatne, they’re about 9x13”
For the sponge:
5 eggs
1 ¼ cup sugar
2 1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup milk
1/3 cup oil
2 tsp baking powder
1-2 Tbsp cocoa powder

Preheat oven to 395 F. Mix eggs with sugar, then add oil, combine, then add milk, gradually add flour mixed with baking powder. Divide into two, and in one half add cocoa powder.
Bake both cake mixes in a 9x13” square pan, separately, of course. I usually make 3 rolls, which means I need 6 brown, and 6 yellow stripes of the sponge cakes. So, cut the cooled cakes into 6 stripes each, and trim them, if necessary to get nice, even stripes.

For the caramel cream:
400g /13.5 oz sugar
0.9 l / 30 oz milk
6 Tbsp corn starch
1 stick margarine or butter, about 125g
2 tsp vanilla sugar, or some vanilla extract

Caramelize the sugar (don’t burn it), then add milk, minus one cup, and add vanilla sugar. The other cup of milk you mix with corn starch, and then add to boiling caramel milk. Mix well, and fast, not to get lumps. When it thickens, remove, cool down a little, and while still quite warm, mix in the margarine, or butter.

To assemble: Chess Roll
Take 3 wafer sheets, and spread with warm caramel cream on the sides with larger ridges. Remember to save some cream for filling in between cake stripes. Somewhere in the middle of each wafer sheet start placing the cake stripes, lengthwise, one yellow, one brown, and spread some caramel cream in between, and on top. Then place two on top of those two, just switch the order to get the checkered look. Now roll the wafer around it, and tighten with kitchen towels, or plastic wrap. Chill, and serve!

Tips: I have read that they can also be frozen, and taste just as good as fresh made, when thawed. If you get bigger wafers, they come in different sizes, then you double everything, and bake in a larger pan. Meaning you would make one yellow cake according to directions above, and one brown one.

Wish I could give credit to a particular author, but I have adapted it to my own liking from so many different authors, and since it’s such a traditional cake in the former Yugoslavia, there is no way in knowing who is the originator.

Makes a great gift for Holiday season! You keep some, you give some :)

Nov 24, 2008

French Macarons - First Attempt

French Macarons
Finally! I gathered all my courage, and gave these beautiful French macarons a try! I wanted to make them for so long, they are so pretty, and I always wondered what it would be like to bite into one.

Even though I don’t think I was quite successful, they are amazing!
I never tried them before, so I have no idea how good mine are, but I believe they should have been more “cake-like” soft. The taste is great, I like it!

For the crispiness I think weather had something to do with it. Also, I think I have beaten them at the end a little bit more than needed, and finally, maybe even baked them a minute or two too long because I was scared to take them out too soon. In any event I am so making them again, and hopefully they will turn out a bit more moist, and less crunchy. Recipe is truly wonderful, easy to follow, and they are pretty, and glossy! I filled them with chocolate butter cream from this recipe (cut ingredients in half).

I have followed a recipe for these macarons by Helen of Tartlette; she has published a Step-by-Step French Macaron tutorial in the second issue of Desserts Magazine. Thank you Helen! I absolutely love them, and can’t wait to experiment with other flavors, and colors!

Nov 19, 2008

Moist Yogurt Cake With Tart Cherries

Moist Yogurt Cake With Tart Cherries My kitchen is infused with the aromas of vanilla, and fresh baked home goodness. Can’t wait for my kids to come home from school; this is a great after school bite! You have no excuse not to make this, it is rather simple, and it’s not time consuming. You’ll have it ready to serve within an hour, that is if you can’t wait for it to cool down. I should add that it is even better when completely cooled, and stored in a plastic bag, yummy!

Moist yogurt cake with tart cherries

You’ll need:
3 eggs
1 cup of plain yogurt
3 cups of all purpose flour
1 ¾ cups sugar
½ cup oil
2 Tsp baking powder
2 Tsp vanilla sugar
About 2 cups of tart cherries( no more, or everything will collapse, and will not bake evenly),I use the frozen ones (thawed, of course).

Get ready beforehand. Measure all ingredients in separate bowls, and have a baking dish ready; I use 9x13 inch square one. Preheat oven to 395 F.
Add baking powder to flour, and mix well, this will assure that it is evenly incorporated.
Place cherries in their own bowl, and add about 2 Tbsp of flour, and shake them, so they get coated with flour, this is very important.

Now, with a hand mixer, mix eggs, sugar, and vanilla sugar. Then add yogurt, and oil, and mix well. Gradually add flour mixed with baking powder, and again, mix well. Now you have the base; nice, medium thick, kind of like muffin batter. Add the cherries, and fold them in gently, and as evenly as you can, don’t overdo it. Transfer to a baking dish, and gently even it out. Bake for about 30-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, and it‘s nice and golden in color. Dust with powdered sugar.

Tip: I have never tried, but I am sure this cake can also be made in form of muffins, only I would think in that case, you would add cherries individually into each mold, but also coated in flour.

Here is another fruity goodness you might be interested in, from my dear foodie over at Palachinka blog.

Nov 18, 2008

Gingery, Garlicky, Potato Chicken Dish

This was my favorite dinner served by my friend, who moved back to China, and I miss her, and her beautiful little girl so very much.
The dish has a very strong garlic, and ginger flavor that I just can’t get enough of. Certainly not something you want to make for a romantic evening, but definitely something you want to unleash your hunger on!
Thank you Jing for sharing the recipe with me! Hope to see you soon!

Gingery, Garlicky, Potato Chicken Dish

You’ll need:
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
2 lb potatoes, cut into cubes
Ginger, about 1-2 oz, diced
7-8 garlic cloves, diced
Dash of sugar
Salt to taste
2-3 Tbs soy sauce
Black pepper

Heat some oil in the pan, when it gets hot, put chicken in, and stir a little bit, then add ginger and 2 garlic cloves. Add a tablespoon of soy sauce, stir for few minutes, and then add potatoes, the rest of garlic, another tablespoon of soy sauce, a dash of sugar, black pepper to taste, and then add about 4 oz of water. Stir, reduce to medium heat, cover, and let cook for about 10 minutes.

Later add salt, and more water as necessary, and stir occasionally. Cook until potatoes are cooked. In the end you don’t want it to be like a stew, but rather for water to dehydrate, and potatoes very soft, and falling apart. Serve with rice. Yum!

This is my entry for the blog event, “ajme, koliko nas je” created by Monsoon, and hosted this month by Andrea.
Napravicu I link sa prevodom : )

Nov 16, 2008

Vanilla slice - Krempita

Vanilla slice - Krempita

2 sheets of puff pastry
1,5 l / 6 1/3 cups milk
150 g / 5 ¼ oz corn starch
3 packets (9g each) vanilla sugar
8 egg yolks
200 g / 7 oz sugar
8 oz whipping cream + 1 stabilizer

Let the puff pastry sheets thaw, the roll them out on a lightly floured surface, and bake according to directions on a jelly roll pan. Let them cool, and then cut out the shape according to the size of the square pan you will use. I used 9 inch x 13 inch. Once you cut them to the shape of the pan, cut one sheet into squares (I made 12); that will be the top of the cake.

Cream: Mix egg yolks with sugar, until frothy. Add a cup of milk (out of the 6 1/3 cups), and corn starch, and mix well. Set the reminder of milk with vanilla sugar added, to boil, and when it comes to a boil, slowly mix in the yolk mixture, and stir constantly for a minute. Transfer to a large mixing bowl, and let cool completely. When cooled, add the whipped whipping cream, whipped with a stabilizer.

Now put the whole sheet on the bottom of the pan, and spread the filling over it. Arrange the cut out sheet on top. Refrigerate for few hours before serving. Dust with powdered sugar.
Instead of the top sheet of puff pastry, you can put whipped cream, and so on. Suit yourself, and enjoy : )

Nov 11, 2008

Ladybug Bread


500g/1.1 lb flour
1 egg +1 egg yolk
¼ cup oil
7g/¼ oz, 1 packet, yeast
1 Tsp sugar
1 ½ tsp salt
About 1 ½ cup milk and water mix, warm

Start the yeast in a small bowl with a tsp of sugar, and a little bit of warm milk. Mix all ingredients, adding milk/water mixture as needed, more or less than the recipe calls to get medium soft dough. If you like sweet bread, add more sugar.

Let it rise, until it doubles, then work it on a floured surface, and shape one small ball, one large ball to get a ladybug (or something else). Cut the large ball of dough through the middle to get the wings look. Decorate with poppy seeds or something else. As you do this, preheat oven to 395F, and then bake the bread for about 30 minutes or more if necessary. Enjoy watching your kids, or other kids in your life tear it apart! :)

Tip: Once it's baked, and after all the awes, you can shake of some of the poppy seeds, if you don't like that many. I think next time I'll make the ladybug spots with pieces of bread, and just stick them on with egg yolk wash. Might even look cuter...

Nov 10, 2008

Hazelnut Torte - Paganini

Hello, my dear foodies! Thank you for all your kind words, and support in my time of absence. I am very busy, but will be dropping by more, hopefully! Today is my daughter's B-Day, and I wanted to share with you this wonderful cake I made for her. Happy Birthday baby!

Hazelnut Torte (Paganini)

First make the two fillings.
Chocolate filling:
5 egg yolks, and 1 whole egg
50 g/1.75 oz dark chocolate
150g/ 5.25 oz sugar
250g/ about 9 oz butter or margarine, unsalted

Mix egg yolks, egg, and sugar until nicely incorporated, and then cook, with chocolate, in a double boiler. Cool down completely, and then add butter, or margarine cut into thin slices, and mix until smooth. Let it sit in the fridge until needed.

Vanilla filling:
4 egg yolks
5 Tbs corn starch
1 vanilla sugar (9g/0.32 oz)
6 Tbs sugar
0.7 l/ 3 cups milk
0.5l/2 cups whipped cream, whipped + 1 stabilizer
(I use the whipped cream powder, 3 x (40g/1.41oz) with about 1 ½ cups milk)

Mix egg yolks, vanilla sugar, sugar, and corn starch with about half cup milk (taken from the 3 cups). Let the remainder of milk boil, and when it comes to boil, pour in the mixture, and stir constantly until nice and thick. Cool down completely, and then gradually add the whipped cream, whipped with stabilizer. Vanilla cream, when cooled may be very tough to mix, and blending the whipped cream in can be a bit challenging, so add the whipped cream, mix a little, then cool again, and mix some more until smooth. If you mix it in one round, you will find that it can heat up, and become runny! Thanks to Jenn, I am making these corrections.

For the base:
10 egg whites
280g/ about 10 oz sugar
280g/ about 10 oz roasted, finely ground hazelnuts
2 Tbsp baking cocoa powder

Preheat oven to 395 F. Mix egg whites until stiff, slowly adding sugar, then hazelnuts with cocoa powder. Bake in a large spring form pan (8"), or a square 9”x13” baking pan. Either use parchment paper, or grease the dish before baking. Baking time depends on your oven, check often. As usual, it is done when the toothpick comes out clean.

Cool down the cake, then poke it all over, and soak (but not to much) with milk. Put the cake on a stand of your choice, then put the spring form ring part back on (or around it, you know), and then put the fillings, that’s how you get perfect layers, and everything is kept in place, and evenly spread. When ready to serve, or giveaway (yeah, right), you just do the finishing touch. Fist top it with the chocolate filling, then vanilla, then decorate as you wish; whipped cream on the top works the best, but you can also sprinkle the top with coarse ground hazelnuts.

This cake is a true bite of heaven, prepare it to compliment a simple dinner! Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Coolinarika.

Sep 8, 2008

Summer Fruit Brûlée Tartlets

Hello my dear foodies!!! I have missed you all, and thank you for visiting my blog!
I’m back! Tired, and busy, but kitchen is back in business, and I hope I can win you all back with these creamy, dreamy, delicious tartlets!

Ingredients for 4 tartlets:
4 egg yolks
1 tbsp cornstarch
1/4cup caster sugar
A few drops of vanilla extract
¼ cups creamy milk
2 cups mixed summer fruits (or just one kind)
½ cup confectioners sugar

For the pastry (this is for 8 tartlets, so freeze half):
2 ¼ cups plain flour
Pinch of salt
¼ cup ground almonds
1 tbsp confectioners sugar
2/3cup chilled butter, diced
1 egg yolk
3 tbsp chilled water

First make the pastry by combining flour, almonds, salt, and sugar in a bowl. Add butter, and rub it in until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the yolk, and enough water to form the dough, I ended up adding 5 tbsp; depends, so add little by little. Knead the dough, cut in half. Freeze half, wrapped tightly in a plastic wrap for some other time. I love the way this pastry tastes --- yummy!

Cut the other half into four pieces, and line four tartlet tins, using your fingers to mold it in. Let the excess pastry hang over the edges. Chill for 30 minutes. In the meantime preheat the oven to 400 F, or 200 C. Line the pastries with parchment paper, and baking beans. Bake for about 10 minutes, let them cool, and then trim the edges carefully, if necessary.

For the custard, beat the yolks with cornstarch, sugar, and vanilla essence in a bowl. Warm the milk in a small pan, and add it to the yolk mixture, mixing constantly. Then put it back into the cleaned pan, and heat until it thickens, stirring constantly, but don’t let it boil. Remove from heat, and press a circle parchment paper to prevent skin from forming on the top. Leave to cool.

Now assemble the tartlets. Sprinkle the fruits evenly into each case, and spoon over the custard. Chill tartlets for 2 hours. Preheat the broiler to the highest setting. Sift the confectioners sugar over the tops of the tartlets, and place them under the broiler until the sugar melts and caramelizes. Allow them to cool about 10 minutes, to harden before serving. Enjoy!

Source: “Best Ever Pastry Cookbook”, by Catherine Atkinson

Jun 29, 2008

My First Daring Bakers Challenge - Sherry Yard’s "Danish Braid"

My first Daring Bakers challenge hosted this month by Kelly of Sass & Veracity and Ben of What’s Cookin’? , and I have enjoyed it so very much! I loved the braid, it is aromatic, and delicious. Can't wait for next challenge!

I have made two braids, one with pastry cream, one with plum jam. Here is the process to making Danish braid, and it is not half as hard as you think, and every bit enjoyable, especially when your whole house smells like heaven, and then you get to bite into it!!! :)

Right now I am somewhere on my way to Florida for some much deserved "me time"! Well, as much as the kids will alow it! :)


Makes 2-1/2 pounds dough

For the dough (Detrempe)
1 ounce fresh yeast or 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1/2 cup whole milk
1/3 cup sugar
Zest of 1 orange, finely grated
3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped
2 large eggs, chilled
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
3-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt

For the butter block (Beurrage)
1/2 pound (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour

Combine yeast and milk in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on low speed. Slowly add sugar, orange zest, cardamom, vanilla extract, vanilla seeds, eggs, and orange juice. Mix well. Change to the dough hook and add the salt with the flour, 1 cup at a time, increasing speed to medium as the flour is incorporated. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes, or until smooth. You may need to add a little more flour if it is sticky. Transfer dough to a lightly floured baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Without a standing mixer: Combine yeast and milk in a bowl with a hand mixer on low speed or a whisk. Add sugar, orange zest, cardamom, vanilla extract, vanilla seeds, eggs, and orange juice and mix well. Sift flour and salt on your working surface and make a fountain. Make sure that the “walls” of your fountain are thick and even. Pour the liquid in the middle of the fountain. With your fingertips, mix the liquid and the flour starting from the middle of the fountain, slowly working towards the edges. When the ingredients have been incorporated start kneading the dough with the heel of your hands until it becomes smooth and easy to work with, around 5 to 7 minutes. You might need to add more flour if the dough is sticky.

1. Combine butter and flour in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat on medium speed for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle and then beat for 1 minute more, or until smooth and lump free. Set aside at room temperature.
2. After the detrempe has chilled 30 minutes, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough into a rectangle approximately 18 x 13 inches and ¼ inch thick. The dough may be sticky, so keep dusting it lightly with flour. Spread the butter evenly over the center and right thirds of the dough. Fold the left edge of the detrempe to the right, covering half of the butter. Fold the right third of the rectangle over the center third. The first turn has now been completed. Mark the dough by poking it with your finger to keep track of your turns, or use a sticky and keep a tally. Place the dough on a baking sheet, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
3. Place the dough lengthwise on a floured work surface. The open ends should be to your right and left. Roll the dough into another approximately 13 x 18 inch, ¼-inch-thick rectangle. Again, fold the left third of the rectangle over the center third and the right third over the center third. No additional butter will be added as it is already in the dough. The second turn has now been completed. Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes.
4. Roll out, turn, and refrigerate the dough two more times, for a total of four single turns. Make sure you are keeping track of your turns. Refrigerate the dough after the final turn for at least 5 hours or overnight. The Danish dough is now ready to be used. If you will not be using the dough within 24 hours, freeze it. To do this, roll the dough out to about 1 inch in thickness, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and freeze. Defrost the dough slowly in the refrigerator for easiest handling. Danish dough will keep in the freezer for up to 1 month.

Makes enough for two braids

4 Fuji or other apples, peeled, cored, and cut into ¼-inch pieces
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
4 tablespoons unsalted butter

Toss all ingredients except butter in a large bowl. Melt the butter in a sauté pan over medium heat until slightly nutty in color, about 6 - 8 minutes. Then add the apple mixture and sauté until apples are softened and caramelized, 10 to 15 minutes. If you’ve chosen Fujis, the apples will be caramelized, but have still retained their shape. Pour the cooked apples onto a baking sheet to cool completely before forming the braid. (If making ahead, cool to room temperature, seal, and refrigerate.) They will cool faster when spread in a thin layer over the surface of the sheet. After they have cooled, the filling can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Left over filling can be used as an ice cream topping, for muffins, cheesecake, or other pastries.

Makes enough for 2 large braids

1 recipe Danish Dough (see below)
2 cups apple filling, jam, or preserves (see below)

For the egg wash: 1 large egg, plus 1 large egg yolk

1. Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface, roll the Danish Dough into a 15 x 20-inch rectangle, ¼ inch thick. If the dough seems elastic and shrinks back when rolled, let it rest for a few minutes, then roll again. Place the dough on the baking sheet.
2. Along one long side of the pastry make parallel, 5-inch-long cuts with a knife or rolling pastry wheel, each about 1 inch apart. Repeat on the opposite side, making sure to line up the cuts with those you’ve already made.
3. Spoon the filling you’ve chosen to fill your braid down the center of the rectangle. Starting with the top and bottom “flaps”, fold the top flap down over the filling to cover. Next, fold the bottom “flap” up to cover filling. This helps keep the braid neat and helps to hold in the filling. Now begin folding the cut side strips of dough over the filling, alternating first left, then right, left, right, until finished. Trim any excess dough and tuck in the ends.

Egg Wash
Whisk together the whole egg and yolk in a bowl and with a pastry brush, lightly coat the braid.

Proofing and Baking
1. Spray cooking oil (Pam…) onto a piece of plastic wrap, and place over the braid. Proof at room temperature or, if possible, in a controlled 90 degree F environment for about 2 hours, or until doubled in volume and light to the touch.
2. Near the end of proofing, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Position a rack in the center of the oven.
3. Bake for 10 minutes, then rotate the pan so that the side of the braid previously in the back of the oven is now in the front. Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F, and bake about 15-20 minutes more, or until golden brown. Cool and serve the braid either still warm from the oven or at room temperature. The cooled braid can be wrapped airtight and stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, or freeze for 1 month.

Dough, and braid B4 oven...

Danish pastry 1Danish pastry 2

Danish with pastry cream, then plum jam, and jam itself :)
Danish pastry 3Danish pastry 13Plum jam 2

Plum jam cooked by reduction:

Cook washed and pitted plums with sugar over medium to high heat until it starts boiling (your choice how much, I don't put much, they are sweet already). Later reduce to low, and cook until thick. Can as usual. Simple as that! :)

Pastry cream:

2 cups milk
3 egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar
3 Tbsp corn startch
1 Tsp vanilla extract

Mix yolks with sugar, thenh add corn startch, vanilla extract, and mix until smooth and silky. Bring milk to boil, then add the yolk mixture, reduce heat to low, and cook for few minutes, stiring until it thickens. Cool completely before using!

Jun 27, 2008

Beef Stew - Goulash

I only wish I could deliver to you the awesome aromas that are hugging my kitchen now, as well as the taste of this wonderful stew! Mhmmmm, mhmmmm! Yum!!!

Beef Stew - Goulash

1 ½ lb beef for stew, cut up into cubes
5-6 medium to large onions
1 bay leaf
Salt, ground black pepper, favorite seasoning
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp Paprika
1 Tbsp flour
Oil for sautéing
1 ½ to 2 lb potatoes

Put beef into cold water, until needed. Chop onions, and sauté them in a pot, in just enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Sauté them only until they are wilted, then add drained beef, and water to about an inch above the beef. Bring to boil, then reduce heat, and cook for 1 ½ to 2 hours, or until the meat is tender. As it losses water, keep adding boiling hot water to same height, just about an inch above the meat.

Peel potatoes, cut into quarters, and cook in a separate pan, then drain. In the meantime, finish the stew. Add bay leaf, salt, pepper, tomato paste, seasonings to taste. Let it come to a boil while you make the thickening agent.

In a frying pan heat some oil, just to cover the bottom, add 1 ½ Tbsp flour, and mix it well. Then add 1 Tbsp paprika seasoning, mix well, and transfer to stew. Mix well, remove from heat, let it set for a while, then add cooked potato quarters to it. Enjoy!

Tarte Tatin

I have been meaning to make this for quite some time now, and now I know I will be making it again. You know I’m a sucker for simple, and a major sucker for apples! : )

Tarte Tatin
(adapted from Desserts, 500 delicious recipes)

8 oz/ one sheet puff pastry
10-12 large apples
Lemon juice
½ cup butter
½ cup caster sugar
½ tsp ground cinnamon
Crème fraiche or whipped cream to serve

Thaw pastry according to directions, then roll it out on a lightly floured surface to the size of the pan in which you will be making the tarte (11 inch round). Transfer to a lightly floured baking sheet (parchment paper is great), and chill until needed.

Peel, core and cut apples in half lengthwise. Sprinkle with lemon juice.
In the pan which you will use for tarte, cook butter with sugar and cinnamon, until sugar is dissolved, stirring occasionally. Continue cooking for 6-8 minutes, or until the mixture starts resembling caramel.

Remove from heat, arange apples tightly in the pan(they will shrink), and return to medium heat to simmer the apples in the pan for 20-25 minutes or until they start to brown. In the meantime, preheat oven to 450 F. Remove apples from heat, and cool down slightly.

Place pastry on top of the apple filled pan, and tuck the edges of the pastry inside the edge of the pan. Pierce pastry in 2-3 places, then bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until pastry is golden. Cool for 15 minutes.

Cover the pan with a serving plate, and carefully invert the pan, and the plate together over a sink (in case some caramel drips), and then lift the pan. Serve warm as is, or with some cream. Enjoy!
More apple recipes available here:
Apple cake with whole apples
Apple bundt cake
Apple dumplings
Batter fried apple rings

Jun 26, 2008

Carob Cubes

My dear foodies. I am sorry I have been absent for a while, but I have checked some of your blogs, and have tried to keep up with the latest developments in our foodie world!
I have had a lot on my plate lately, and I am now getting ready for a Florida vacation! Yeah!!! Finally!

I will stay for about 2 weeks, or so I hope, but I will have my laptop with me, so keep in touch, and I will too. I have rented a house, so kitchen will still be available to me, you never know, maybe I whip up something while having fun on Marco Island!

Thanks for visiting, and here is a cake made of ground carob, which I loved to snack on when I was little. It is great, next time I am thinking about making an entire torte out of it, with cream, and the whole nine yards… : )

Carob Cubes
(Recipe adapted from Franck d.d. ground carob package)

3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
1 cup ground carob
5 Tbsp oil
5 Tbsp spiced rum
2 Tsp baking powder
Grated rind of one lemon

Preheat oven to 405 F. Mix egg yolks with sugar, adding sugar little by little. Add milk, flour mixed with baking powder, ground carob, oil, rum, and lemon rind. Mix well.
Mix egg whites until stiff, fold them in the mixture. Pour into regular rectangular cake pan (11x7x2), and bake for about 30 minutes. Cool down, cut into cubes, and dust with powdered sugar. Enjoy!

Jun 16, 2008

Yellow for Bri

This is my entry for this month’s Click special event is - Click Yellow for Bri!
Briana Brownlow is about my age, and reading about her struggle with breast cancer so young, and learning that at a very young age of 15 she has lost her mother to the disease, has saddened me deeply. You are in my prayers Bri!

This is an appeal on behalf of a group of food bloggers who are friends of Briana Brownlow @ Figs With Bri.
Bri was diagnosed with breast cancer two and half years ago. A mastectomy, chemotherapy and two years of relatively good health later, the cancer is back. It has metastasized to other parts of her body. At the age of 15, Bri lost her 41-year old mother to the disease. Now, she’s waging her own war against breast cancer. More about it here.
She is going through intensive chemo and other treatments and needs to focus single-mindedly on healing and finding what treatment works best for her. Her health insurance, unfortunately, does not cover holistic alternatives which she would like to try. Bri and her husband Marc have enough on their plates right now in addition to worrying about her medical bills.
The team organising the
JUNE edition of CLICK at Jugalbandi has organised a fundraiser to help Bri and her family meet her out-of-pocket medical costs for ONE YEAR.
CLICK is a monthly theme-based photography contest hosted by Jugalbandi. This month’s theme is: YELLOW for Bri
Yellow is the colour of hope. Through the work of the
LiveStrong Foundation, it has also come to signify the fight against cancer.
The entries can be viewed
HERE. The deadline for entries is June 30, 2008. The fundraiser will extend until July 15, 2008.
The target amount is 12,000 U.S. dollars. We appeal to our fellow bloggers and readers to help us achieve this. Bri deserves a chance to explore all options, even if her insurance company thinks otherwise.
There’s a raffle with exciting prizes on offer. After viewing the list, you may make your donation HERE or at the Chip-In button on any participating site.
Your donation can be made securely through credit card or Pay Pal and goes directly to Bri’s account.
This month’s photo contest also has some prizes. Details
You can support this campaign by donating to the fundraiser, by participating in CLICK: the photo event, and by publicising this campaign.

Pineapple (fruit) Torte

For the cake:
7 eggs
7 tbsp of sugar
5 tbsp of flour
10 tbsp ground walnuts
2 tsp baking powder

Preheat oven to 395 F. Mix egg whites with sugar until stiff. Add yolks, walnuts, flour with baking powder. Bake in a round spring form pan, for about 25-30 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.

Cool down, and then cut into two layers. Sprinkle cake layers (generously) with juice from the pineapple can. Spread about half the cream, then fruit, then cream again. Leave some cream for the outside of the cake. Optionally, spread whipped cream all around, and decorate as you wish.

3 eggs
2 tbsp corn starch
2 tbsp flour
1 1/3 cup sugar
2 ¼ cups milk
6 tsp vanilla sugar
1 ½ sticks butter or margarine, unsalted
1 can of sliced pineapple or fresh pineapple slices, or some other fruit, can be just cut up fruit, anything works : )

To make the cream:
Mix eggs with sugar, add corn starch and flour, and add to boiling milk. Reduce heat, and mix well until thickens. Cool completely down, then mix in butter or margarine cut up into slices. Mix until nice and creamy.

Jun 8, 2008

Six word memoir

I got tagged for this one some time ago by Farida from Farida’s Azerbaijani Cookbook, but couldn’t get to it, and then I forgot all about it. I should add forgetful, in the list below : )))
Now I got tagged again, by Chriesi of Almond Corner, and I thought I must find time to do it, so here it is ladies, me in six words:

Restless (Sagittarius:)

I am very just, and honest, and it is hard for me to live in the world today where there is not much justice…

I am restless; yes, I love being home, cooking, baking, all that, but when the nice weather is here, the highway is calling me, and I love to travel, and get away!

I'm a perfectionist, but not extreme kind. As much as I can be with 2 kids and a big baby husband! I do love organizing, and constantly changing stuff around the house, never pleased with one display/layout for a long time. Constantly changing!

Very impulsive, which is sometimes good, but most of the times makes me jump to conclusions…
OK, this was supposed to be a “6” word memoir!!!!! Sorry! Have a fun day!

Now, I am supposed to tag 6 fellow food bloggers, and the lucky 6 are:

Marija from Palachinka
Cathy from Noble Pig
Susan from Food Blogga
Antonio from Olive Juice
Familia Bencomo from Familia Bencomo
Kate from Aaplemint

If you have already been tagged, do excuse me, I cannot go through so many pages, and check, and if you have done it, maybe just provide a link, if you want to, no biggie, so you need not do it again, but we (me) still get to read... :)

Rainbow Trout - Potato Pancakes - Summer Feta Salad

Quick, and easy summer Sunday dinner. For fish, sometimes I use regular flour, sometimes cornmeal; I guess in the moment it depends on which one is closer.

Rainbow trout

If I do cornmeal, I use:
1 cup cornmeal
1 Tsp paprika
1 Tsp black pepper

Cut, and salt the fish to taste. Coat in cornmeal mixture, and fry on medium heat for few minutes on each side, or until desired doneness. Transfer onto paper towel, and sprinkle with lemon juice.
Italian style potato pancakes
(adapted from Gemma’ homestyle Italian cooking, November 2002 issue)

3 medium/large potatoes
1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
1egg, slightly beaten
Salt to taste
1 cup Italian style breadcrumbs
A handful of parsley, finely chopped up
½ cup canola oil for frying

Cook potatoes, and mash them, Add the egg, corn, and some salt, and mix well.
Add parsley to breadcrumbs (optional, but I like it). Now, spoon out some mixture into the crumbs, and coat well, take it with your hands, and fry few at a time, over medium heat.
Flatten them, as they fry, but let fry 2 minutes before turning, and turn very carefully, to retain the shape. Fry 2 minutes on other side, and as they are done, transfer onto baking sheet, into the oven (200F) to keep warm, until they are all done.

Summer Feta Salad

Bell peppers
Cucumbers ( I didn’t have any, works fine without them)
Feta cheese, crumbled
Some salt, and black pepper
Oil, and vinegar

Cut up the veggies into small cubes, about equal amount of each, salt to taste. Sprinkle with black pepper, oil, and vinegar, all to taste. Top with crumbled feta cheese. No kissing after this, but Yum!!!!!!

Jun 2, 2008

Asparagus cheese bake

One of the first things I baked, when I was about maybe 10 years old, was an oven baked French omelet from an old cookbook. It included flour, 1 tablespoon for each egg, and same amount of sugar. That was easy for starters, and I would make it for my brothers, and I can never forget how happy that made me! I have served it with our homemade jams.

Now, my husband likes asparagus with eggs ( and I grew up on asparagus), and I thought why not make savory bake with cheese too? Normally I just cook asparagus, and serve them as a salad/side sort of thing with hard-boiled eggs, or grilled, so it’s about time to give it a try with some other method.

So many recipes out there, but I thought of my easy omelet, and thought to make it like that, savory of course, and burden it with cheese.

Well, I have presented you with how great it looks, here is the recipe should you decide to give it a try, it is nothing special, and every bit yummy!: )

Asparagus cheese bake

½ lb asparagus approx. (1 bunch)
Butter to grease the baking dish
2 eggs
2 tbsp of flour
¼ Tsp baking powder
Salt to taste
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese ( or other kind)

Boil asparagus till just slightly tender, do not overcook. Drain. Preheat oven to 425 F.
Lightly grease the baking dish (small casserole kind) with butter.

Mix egg whites until stiff, then add yolks, and then flour, one by one tablespoon, some salt, and baking powder. Arrange asparagus any way you like in the baking dish, then pour the egg mixture in. Bake for about 10 minutes or until the toothpick comes out clean. Sprinkle with cheese, and bake until cheese melts. Enjoy! Simple, and yummy, just the way I like it!

May 31, 2008

Walnut chocolate torte

There is no story with this one, it is simply delicious!!! Walnuts, chocolate buttercream, what else do you need? Just ask my neighbor. This one is for you my friend! :)

Walnut chocolate torte
(Adapted from

For the butter cream:
4 eggs
1 cup sugar
3 oz of baking chocolate
2 sticks, plus 2tbs of unsalted butter, or margarine (250 g)

juice of one lemon

Mix eggs and sugar until creamy, and sugar has dissolved. Cook in a pot over another pot with boiling water in it, or double boiler. Mix constantly, and cook until it starts thickening; add chocolate, and mix well. Transfer to a mixing bowl, and let it cool down completely. Then add butter (or margarine), juice of one lemon, and mix to get silky, nice buttercream.

For the cake:
6 eggs

1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp plain bread crumbs
250 g (3 cups ground walnuts)

Preheat oven to 390 F. In one bowl mix egg whites until stiff. In a separate bowl mix egg yolks with sugar for few minutes, until creamy. Add ground walnuts, and bread crumbs. It will be quite dry, then fold in egg whites. Mix until all is blended nicely, but don’t over mix.
Bake in preheated oven for about 40 minutes.

Let it cool, and then cut into two and sprinkle with a little milk, just couple of tablespoons each.
Now fill the cake layers with buttercream inside, and spread all around the outside. Sprinkle generously with ground walnuts, and decorate if you wish. Enjoy!

May 29, 2008

Any time is...

Call it an entrée, a side dish, a salad! Whatever! Just don’t touch my plate, make your own! : )
You can try new things, like the new things, change your taste, and preferences, but when it comes to food, one is for sure, you never let go of your childhood favorites. This was another one of mine…

I was a picky eater, NO, scratch that! I was a pain in a you know what!!! I was not only picky, but I barely ate. Well, you can’t blame me, I had too much work building a school for chicken, trying to raise few dozen bunnies, and saving, and bringing home any animal that needed to (or not) be helped.

Chicken Elementary School was closed soon after my mother realized that in order to keep the chicken in the classroom, the corn was being used up very fast… : )

…anyway, back to pasta. I simply love this dish, and even as picky as I was, I was sure to clean up my plate. The onions and paprika give this pasta/potato dish a really nice flavor, and beautiful color too.

There is a dish almost identical to this one called “Granadir marsh”, only the pasta part is sort of like gnocchi, and it is widely popular in the Balkans, so I guess what was done in part where I grew up, someone simplified it. In any case, flavorful, colorful, and my favorite!

Simple potato pasta dish
1 lb pasta (like mostaccioli, rigatoni, rotini, elbows, penne, you get the idea)
1 lb potatoes, peeled, cut up
2 medium onions
3-4 Tbs of oil, or enough to caramelize the onions
2 Tbsp of paprika seasoning
Salt to taste
Parsley to garnish

Cook pasta according to directions. Drain, and set aside.
Boil potatoes, and mash them (just potatoes, no butter or anything).
Salt pasta and potatoes, and combine them now into one bowl.
Chop, and then caramelize the onions, add paprika, and then pasta/potato mixture.
Mix gently, but thoroughly. Best served immediately - garnish with parsley, and enjoy!
I usually serve it with chicken strips, but it works alone for me too. Feel free to add some other seasonings as well.
For end result, refer to top :)