Tag Archives: Poland

mom photographer, self-portrait

365 Self-Portrait Project (week 35th)

First of all, I want to invite all of you to read my post at World Moms Blog about my Self-Portrait Project. It is called “(Self)Portrait of mother(hood)” and I talk in it about… hm… this project in general, and why I encourage mothers to be more brave when it comes to have their pictures taken… for the sake of the future generations.

Second of all, this post has A LOT of pictures, not only self-portraits but of the things and places that we’ve seen, done, and gone to. Without them this post wouldn’t be complete.

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Friday:

New Hair Cut or Not… Thinking.
I am kinda tired of my I-Don’t-Know-What-To-Do-With hair cut. For years I had had short hair. Whenever they grew longer I would feel like there is nothing more boring than long hair and I would cut it again. When I met my husband he said he wish I would keep my hair long, and I did. Then I got really mad and frustrated with having to deal with my hair EVERYWHERE and I cut them. Since then they have grown again and again I’m in a spot where I hate it. I hate how they fall out, I hate to have them all over my clothes, in our food, and all over my kids. I hate to wear pony tail ALL THE TIME, too.

And I think: Cut it?

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On Saturday we hit the road. 7 hours long road trip. When we finally got to our destination I stayed at the hotel room with NO. 2 while the husband took No.1 and went to chat with his parents.

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Sunday was crazy. HOT AS HELL.

At some point me and the husband kind of split again. I’d stayed at the hotel room, feeding No.2 and taking a nap with her,

while my other half went outside to spent some time with his parents, taking No.1 with him.

Later that day, just before putting everybody to bed I took this picture.

We were teaching No.2 how to play “High Five” ;)

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On Monday we hit the road again. This time it took as 12 hours to get back home. It was the most tiring trip I had ever experienced. 

If a few years ago somebody told me I am going to hate road trips, I would laugh loud and long. I would say: “you freaking kidding me. I love road trip. I will never grow tired of road trips. NEVER! 

If a year ago somebody told me I’ll be the most happy person on the earth seeing Denny’s sign, I would say: “You’re freaking crazy!!!”.

Photo Art Friday

You may ask: why I don’t like road trips anymore?

So here is your answer: 

and while you watch this movie imagine that you’re stuck in this car for about 9 hours… and you’re car sick, and you’ve got a headache so big that you can barely see what in front of you…

Somewhere in the middle of our trip we picked up Kid NO.3:

She is 11 weeks old.

She is NOT potty trained.

She is afraid of us.

She couldn’t walk on leash.

She is all what I DO NOT NEED at this point of our life.

but husband had waited for this puppy for over a year…

She is already a best buddy with No.1

No/1  is the main reason No.3 (her name is Magnolia/Maggie) has learned to walk on leash in a period of 2 days.

She sleeps in crate.

She is not potty trained, and every single morning we wake up to a smell of poop and pee.

So until she is fully trained, her place is in there.

The training is going pretty good, though.

During the day she doesn’t poop or pee in the house. Yeay!

and here are her mother and her brother:

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This was taken after one of those mornings when my husband goes outside in order to clean up the crate and I go to the bathroom to wash the poop and pee off of No.3. 

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Play time.

No. 2 LOVES to play  “flying baby”. This is one of those moments when no matter how mad, sad, frustrated she is, when I pick her up and do the “flying baby” a big smile appears on her face, immediately.

Bonnie’s texture “The Little Things”

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Today we’ve had a several potty breaks. Doggy hasn’t had a single accident inside the apartment what makes me really happy!

and while we were playing I took a few shots of my little ones:

I wish you all super relaxing weekend, my friends!

I hope for more than 4 hours of sleep during those few upcoming nights…

ewa samples, cebularz, flat bread with onion and corn-6

Polish flat bread with onion, corn, flax-seed meal and fresh herbs / tzw Cebularz Lubelski

While this dish is very popular in Poland and you can find it in almost every single bakery I had no idea that it comes from Jewish culture and it is actually called “Cebularz Lubelski” after one part of Poland where it suppose to originated from.

“Cebularz” means something with onion… and in this case it doesn’t mean that the onion is incorporated into the bread. It is not an onion bread.

After reading many descriptions of this dish it seems like I should say that it is a wheat cake with onion. I’ve decided to call it a flat bread but it is not a bread. The dough is more like for sweet buns or dinner rolls.

There are many ways people prepare the onion and many recipes mention is should be prepared a few days ahead. I didn’t have that much time and I was really craving this dish so I simply fried the onion while the dough was in my bread machine. Originally the topping is made from onions and poppy seeds. I didn’t have poppy seeds and I’ve decided to make it more colorful and flavorful by adding different ingredients.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup milk

3 Tbs. butter, unsalted

2 tsp. sugar (any kind: white, brown, turbinado)

1/2 tsp. sal

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour *

1/2 cup bread flour +1Tbs (if needed)

1 tsp. instant yeast

1 egg, beaten

1/4 cup flax-seed meal (can be switched for chia seeds)

1/2 or 3/4 big purple onion, chopped roughly

fresh corn from one cob

2 Tbs. olive oil

1/2 cup fresh herbs (I used mix of cilantro and parsley)

cherry or yellow pear tomatoes (optional)

Fresh picked from our “buckets garden” :)

* you can use different amounts of bread and all-purpose flours. If you don’t have bread flour you don’t have to use it. I have never tried this recipe with whole wheat flour, but I think, it would be ok to incorporate it into the recipe as well.

Directions for bread machine:

In a sauce pan put together the milk, butter, sugar and salt. Heat it up on low heat until the butter melts. The mixture should be lukewarm not hot. Pour it into the bread machine, add flours and sprinkle the yeast on top. Set the machine on “dough” and turn it on.

During the second kneading open the lid and add the egg saving about 2 tsp for later use. Add flax-seed meal.

At this point you might need to add an extra 1 Tbsp of flour (all-purpose or bread). The dough should form elastic, soft and shiny ball around the kneading hook inside the bread machine.

Meantime chop the onion and cut the corn of the cob. In a frying pan heat up 2 Tbsp olive oil, add chopped onion and corn. Fry until the onion is soft. Add salt and pepper to taste.

When the dough is ready, take it out of the bread machine and divide into 6 balls. On a lightly floured surface roll them into a flat circles, about 5 to 6 inches in diameter.

Transfer them into a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Brush the edges of each piece with the remaining egg. In the middle of the flat bread put about 3 Tbs of the onion-corn mix.

Bake for 15 minutes in 395 F or until the edges are golden brown.

To make this dough without bread machine just follow a regular directions for making yeast dough by hand or Kitchen Aid.

Dissolve the  sugar and yeast in very warm milk and wait until bubbly. Add melted and cooled butter, salt, flours and knead. Add beaten egg and knead until the dough is not sticking to the side of the bowl and creates easy to work with ball. Transfer the dough to lightly oiled bowl, cover with a cloth or plastic foil. Leave in a warm place to rest until doubled in size. When it’s ready punch in in the middle, add flax-seed meal and knead a little bit more until everything is well incorporated. To finish follow the instructions above. 

Serve warm, topped with fresh herbs and cut into wedges fresh tomatoes.

ewa samples, whole wheat blueberry marzipan pancakes-13

Marzipan and blueberries whole wheat pancakes with flax-seed meal

 

Back in the days my husband and I used to eat at iHop a lot. Almost every Saturday or Sunday we would go there for a breakfast and I would have a huge stack of pancakes, always a different flavor or whatever new they were having that time. 

One day while I was pregnant with our No. 2, as usual, we went to our local iHop for breakfast and we haven’t been there since. I have no idea if they have changed something or because of my pregnancy I was more sensitive but I hated the food there that day. On that day my love affair to their pancakes has vanished. For good!

Instead I’ve started making my own pancakes. For a while I had struggle finding a good, fluffy and flavorful batter.

Finally I found this recipe for buttermilk pancakes and I’ve used the batter for all kinds of pancakes since. It has never failed.

Ingredients:

dry ingredients:

1 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour,

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder,

1 tsp. baking soda,

1 tsp. cinnamon,

4 tsp. turbinado sugar,

1/4 tsp. salt,

1/4 cup flax-seed meal,

wet ingredients:

1 1/2 cup buttermilk (homemade works great)

2 1/2 Tbsp. butter, melted, cooled,

2 eggs,

garnish/filling

1/3 cup fresh blueberries

1/4 cup marzipan paste (homemade or store-bought)

Directions:

Mix dry ingredients and wet in two separate bowls. Then mix everything together and let it sit for about 10 minutes.

Pour about 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake on hot skillet. Immediately top each pancake with a few blueberries and small pieces of marzipan paste. Fry until the top is bubbly. Flip over and fry for additional minute or until nice and brown. 

My husband eats them with maple syrup.

My daughter with strawberry jam or not… ;)

For me, with all the flavors going on just inside those pancakes, plain are all what I need.

The marzipan is such a nice addition. It just pops out when you eat those pancakes. Of course you need to like marzipan in order to enjoy them like I do. My husband being not the biggest fan of marzipan likes it hidden like that although he prefers banana-blueberry pancakes.

 


ewa samples, challah,featured picture

Bread Machine Challah (Chałka)

Challah is a traditional jewish braided bread made on jewish holidays and Sabbath.

In Poland, challah is very popular and it can be bought in any bakery. Though, this baked goodie has no religion meaning. Many people don’t even know that this bread comes from jewish culture.

As a small kid I remember my mom buying it every Saturday. Each time we would sit at a kitchen table with her and gobbled it up, warm with some butter or jam on top, or just plain. Just the two of us. Fresh and warm challah is one of the best things ever.

The challah I remember was moist, sweet and very fluffy with not very crunchy (but soft) skin.

As I grew up the flavor and the texture of it have changed to something very hallow with hard and not very tasty skin. My mom and I didn’t really like it so we stopped buying it. Every now and then if I spotted a new bakery I would stop and buy one just to see if the bakery uses the old good recipe for moist and sweet challah but I had no luck.

I haven’t had challah for at least 5 years.

I’ve been looking for a good recipe for quite a while. Finally I decided to try the recipe from “Allrecipes”. I went through a many reviews under it and I made a few changes mentioned in one of them although I had to change it even more. At the end I ended up with totally different recipe but ah… still SO DELICIOUS !!!

After I took if out from the oven altogether with my daughter we couldn’t stop eating it.

I rolled the dough into three strands instead of four. Didn’t use any special way to braid it just the simple “hair style braid”. Because of that it came out a little flat. Next time I will invest an extra few minutes to learn the right way of doing it.

Ingredients:

1 1/4 room temperature water

1/2 cup sugar (the original recipe calls for honey but I didn’t have any)

2 Tbsp. olive oil

2 1/2 tsp. salt

1 egg, lightly beaten

3 egg yolks, lightly beaten

2 cups all-purpose flour *

2 cups bread flour

2 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast

1/4 flax-seed meal (optional)

* I guess, it depends on how big your eggs and yolks are but I had to add and extra 2/3 cup flour to the bread machine during the second kneading.

Directions:

Add to the bread machine: water, olive oil, beaten egg and yolks, all purpose and bread flour, sprinkle the yeast on top. Close the lid and set on “dough”. During the second kneading if the dough is really runny (like mine was) add and extra 1/3 cup of bread or all purpose flour, close the lid and wait for a minute or two. Repeat until the dough form a soft ball inside the bread machine. At the end add flax-seed meal.

Divide the dough into 3 parts and braid as you would make your hair :)

or follow this instruction for the right way how to braid challah.

Transfer the challah onto a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil or parchment paper, cover with light towel and let rest for about 60 minutes in a warm place.  

After it’s doubled (or tripled) in size preheat the oven to 375.

You can gently brush the top with egg white and sprinkle poppy/sesame seeds on top which I didn’t do. 

Bake for about 30 minutes. After 15 minutes if the top of the challah is dark brown you should cover it with aluminum foil to prevent from burning.

I baked mine for too long and I burned the insides a little too much.

The thing was that each time I checked the bread I was expecting to hear a hollow sound when I tapped it but each time it was soft and seemed not quite baked inside. Finally after 40 minutes of baking I had  decided to take it out and check the inside.

How surprised I was when it looked perfectly baked.

The entire house smelled like heaven :)

We ate it with blueberry jam on top. I mean, SHE ate it with the jam. I ate it plain. That’s how I like it.

ewa samples,self portrait,featured picture

365 Self-portrait Project (week 23rd)

It’s been a hot week here and finally they opened on old playground near us which was closed for almost 9 months because of complete re-doing. I haven’t seen this place (or any other playground) so packed with running and yelling kids. It appeared that the generation of today’s kids still can jump, run and swing. I thought that it’s a long time forgotten skill ;)

This park is walking distance from us so each day before or after dinner when the weather cools down we walk down to the park where for an hour or so our NO. 1 is in a hog heaven!

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That’s exactly what we did last Thursday. We went to the park. While my husband was running after NO. 1 I was watching them and freezing my butt off. The weather here is so crazy. Sometimes I hate it. It’s so hot during the day and when it comes to around sunset the temperature drops and it gets really cold, especially with the wind blowing. Ugh…

Watching all those kids (and adults) running in their shorts and short sleeve t-shirts I was getting even more cold. My husband always makes fun of me that being raised in such a cold country strangely I have no immunity to the cold.

by the way, Poland is not that cold. It snows there during the Winter and rains in Fall but other than that I would say it’s pretty nice. People always think that Poland is like Siberia but it’s not!

It still doesn’t change the fact that I hate the cold!

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Next evening, at the park, as well. We went there a bit earlier so it hadn’t gotten cold yet, but at the end I got cold again and wanted to go home what wasn’t that easy with our NO. 1 enjoying all the fun things around. We had to bribe her with the vision of a yogurt and cheerios waiting for her at the house ;)

It worked!

Two things she loves: swing and slide. Nothing else matters.

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On Saturday, at the park, again.

This time we went there before noon and the weather was just gorgeous.

While No. 1 was running like crazy around the playground…

… enjoying the warm weather I lied down on the grass with NO 2.

Of course, the Big Sister always cares about the well-being of her Little Sis. She always says: “you ok, baby?” and when No. 2 is crying she asks: “whats wong, baby?” (yes, she skips the “r”). The cutest thing ever.

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An hour of free time in my hands turned into this photo (and a few more, but this one I like the best).

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Killing boredom during one of those long night feedings I played with textures and ended up with this:

using Bonnie’s texture: “Memories of Paris”

I like it enough to post two almost the same pictures. I just couldn’t pick one. I like them both. With and without the texture.

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Every time I go outside, to water the plants, to go to do the laundry, to check the water temperature in the swimming pool, to take a picture… SHE ALWAYS RUNS after me wanting to go, too! Running towards the door she yells at dad: “bye bye” and off she goes with me.

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Yesterday I went almost all day without thinking about this project AT ALL. All the sudden at 10:30 pm (!!!) I remembered. Had no freaking idea what to do.

There is a long story behind this picture which was waiting for a different moment and more time to prepare myself for this shot. From the day I started this project I knew I want to recreate an image from Stephen King’s “the Shining” book’s cover (Polish edition). This cover wouldn’t let me fall asleep if the book’s cover wasn’t facing down on my desk after I read it before going to bed. I used be addicted to S. King’s and D.R. Koontz books when I was a teenager.  

I hope I will approach this idea one more time as this one is not what I have in my head.

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Enjoying my book. Funny and really entertaining. I know that there is a movie with Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson (I can’t stand this guy, by the way!!!) based on this book. I found out about this book reading Cesar Millan’s book “Be the pack leader” last month. I am in a mood for doggy books lately ;)

That’s for now, my friends. I will drag my tired self to the kitchen to make a new cup of green tea!

by the way, for those who breastfeeding in public is an issue worth to discuss, please join the dialog under my post for World Moms Blog : “Poland via USA: Breastfeeding in public?”.

Give me your best shot at Better in BulkPhotoStory Friday

ewa samples, pasztet z marchwi, carrot pate

Pasztet z marchwi – Polish Carrot Pâté with coconut sugar glazed carrots

Dish this was in my head for a long time. As once vegetarian I used to make it quite often. I made a few changes like the glazed carrots inside or coconut oil but the rest of stayed pretty the same. 

Normally pasztet is meat based dish. In Poland it’s made from ground poultry, pork, ham (It actually could be made from any kind of meat). The meat is minced into a spreadable paste. It’s mixed with flour or bread crumbs, eggs, seasonings and baked in a loaf-like pan. It’s not the healthiest dish as it’s made mostly from the “strange” parts of the animal (like liver) and its fat.

There is many variations of this dish. Vegetarian variations as well. Mine is one of them. To like this dish you really must like carrots. It is essentially a carrot paste with whole sugar glazed carrots inside. I LOVE it. My husband DOES NOT.

Ingredients for glazed carrots:

4 carrots, lengthwise the size of a loaf pan*

2 Tbsp  butter, unsalted

1 Tbsp coconut sugar (brown sugar is fine, too)

orange juice from one orange, fresh squeezed

* You can cut those carrots in half but you don’t have to if you have a pan wide enough to cook them in.

First of all I need to mention that I’m in love in coconut sugar, lately (as well as coconut oil).
I discovered this sugar in our grocery store for about $5 per lb. It’s not the cheapest thing but I had to try it. Now I am hooked. I use it only in small amounts and in a few dishes so it lasts longer.

Place carrots in a sauce pan. Add coconut sugar, butter and fresh squeezed orange juice. Covered bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a medium low and cook for about 20 minutes or until almost all the liquid is gone. Stir it often.

Ingredients for pâté: 

9 medium carrots, washed

2 Tbsp plain yogurt

2 eggs

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

zest from one lemon

2 Tbsp coconut oil

 1/4 big red (sweet) onion

1 stick celery

salt, pepper, sugar (to your taste)

feel free to use ginger and nutmeg as well

Directions:

wash the carrots, cut into small pieces and place into blender. add flour, eggs, yogurt and lemon zest. blend until smooth. add spices and blend again. set aside.

in a small pan heat the coconut oil, add onion and celery. cook until both are soft. add it to the carrot mixture and blend again until smooth.

Pour half of the mixture to a loaf pan. Place 2 glazed carrots side by side.

Pour the rest of the carrot mixture over it and place the remaining glazed carrots on top of it pressing them so they are slightly covered.

Cover with aluminum foil. Baked in 355 F for 1.5 hour in a water bath.

After that let it cool covered or serve warm immediately.

It could be served warm or cold.

As a main dish or a side dish.

As a paste on a sandwich or with crackers.

It looks great and taste delicious with fresh mint :)

Store it in a fridge for up to a week. It actually tastes better after a few days.

Food on Friday button
ewa samples, take a picture 1a

Memories captured

Yesterday I talked on Skype with my parents in Poland. A few weeks back they had their big anniversary and my sister made them a photo book. While my mom was going through it trying to show me the pictures my sister used in it I realized how just a few pictures we have from our childhood. All of us. My parents have almost non. Me and my siblings have just a few. Maybe a little more than a few but still… .

My 1 month old daughter already has more pictures than I had have taken from the period when I was newborn till about 15.

I do believe that pictures are a big part of our lives. They should be really treasured and we shouldn’t be afraid to stand in front of the camera just to capture the present moment in order to keep it for our future. Someday it will help us to get back, remember and cherish the moments from our life.  There is so many memories lost because we don’t have anything what would help us to remember. In my case I do not have many pictures from when I was young and pretty ;)

These days, though, I’m trying to cover this hole with my 365 Self-Portrait Project and it’s been going pretty good so far.

As for my kids I try to take as many pictures as I can so someday they will be able to look back at those precious moments and faces. I hope they will be able to fill more than one photo book with them :)

When our No 2 was born, the first week or so I was all about taking pictures of her. Newborn, newborn and newborn everywhere and all the time. I felt like I am pushing our No 1 away just to focus on the newborn.

These days I’m getting back to normal. I try to give each of my daughters the same amount of time with the same amount of pictures taken :)

It’s hard though as our New Family Addition needs much more attention and time then her Big Sister. I keep asking myself: do I do it right? do I make her feel loved enough? do I spent enough time with her so she doesn’t feel jealous and pushed away?

But…

look at her, does she look pushed away, rejected ?

So far she works really hard for the name “Big Sister”. She’s got her ups and downs but more often it looks like she really likes her Little Sister.

The kisses and hugs she gives her now and then are the most cutest things ever and she is not even asked to do that.

… and the Little One. She is cute and she knows it :) All the attention she gets… she’s simply being spoiled.

Hugs from our quiet corner (baby’s finally asleep in HER BED).


Simple BPM

ewa samples, homemade ricotta header

Creamy and Rich: Homemade Ricotta

As a kid, since I can remember to about when I was 14 I spent me entire Summer break in a small village in Poland with my dad’s family. They didn’t have running water (just a well). We bathed in a huge washbowl and…  the toilet was outside. I would eat wild growing berries and drank milk straight from a cow. For two months I would forget how processed food tastes like. During the last few years we visited them they had a store (!). That tiny place was mostly used for buying an alcohol and sodas by locals. It didn’t last long, though. That’s how self-sufficient that village was (as most of the villages anywhere else in Poland).

One of the best memories I have from that period is milking cows. I was never good at it and I gave up very quickly in trying to get better, but I tried it and it was fun. While my aunty was milking her cows I would pretend I’m a cat and I tried to drink that warm and fresh milk straight from a bucket to which my aunty milked the cows. Once, a friend of our family came from behind while I was doing so and pushed my head deep inside that filled with milk bucket. Everybody laughed and I was mad… . I’ve never drank milk straight from a bucket since.

Despite that accident and many more (like me being attacked by a “gang” of angry turkeys) those 2 months spent there every year were the best times ever. I will cherish them forever.

The food we ate there is my goal to achieve in the future: home grown, home raised, homemade.

Right now I just learn how to “home make” stuff from what I can get at the store :)

This time I learned how to make ricotta.

I’ll tell you something: I will never buy ricotta again. The homemade is creamy, rich and nothing like the store-bought. NOTHING! The recipe I got is not the original ricotta recipe. The original calls for whey from making another cheese (like mozzarella). Whole milk is never used. I cheated here a little ;) It doesn’t matter, I think. The results are amazing and that’s what matters. Right?!

To make it I used:

3 cups whole milk

1 cup heavy cream*

1/2 tsp salt

4 Tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice

Directions that couldn’t be any easier:

Pour the milk, cream and salt into a saucepan. If you have a candy or deep-fry thermometer attach it to the pan and heat the milk to 190°F stirring occasionally. When it reaches 190°F remove from heat.

If you do not have the thermometer you should watch the milk-cream very closely until you see bubbles appearing around the edges of the pot. It means the liquid is ready to be removed from heat.

Add lemon juice. Stir couple of times (no more), very gently and slowly. Let the pot sit undisturbed for 5 to 10 minutes.

Line a sieve with a few layers of cheesecloth and place it over a bowl. The bowl is to catch the whey. Later it can be used for baking breads.

Pour the milk mixture into the sieve and let the curds strain for at least an hour.

I didn’t have cheesecloth (but I do now) so I used an old t-shirt I don’t use anymore.

The cheese I got after 2 hours of straining was firm but very easy spreadable, it looked and felt almost like cream cheese. No curds just creamy and silky texture.

I am not sure for how long you can store it. I kept mine in airtight container in the fridge. It lasted for 4 days before I ate it all.

I ate it with fresh baked bread… .

You can’t beat that!

For an extra twist to this cheese visit Polish Mama on the Prairie… I’m definitely trying her idea the next time I’ll make it.

* the heavy cream in this recipe can be skipped. doing so you’ll get cheese with big curds and much more drier texture. 

It's a KeeperHookingupwithHoH Beyond The Picket Fence

ewa samples, homemade kisiel header

Homemade “Kisiel”

Sometime in the past I wrote a post about kisiel. The one that I had was a powdered kisiel I got from our Polish store.

To make it you just need to add the powder to a boiling water and voila! I found it in our Polish store but I’ve never bought it again since.

What’s kisiel?!

It’s a European dessert. Its consistency is like a thick syrup. Often made from kompot - at least in our family we used to use it to make kisiel. Sometimes it’s made from fruit juice. To get the thick consistency, in Poland, we use potato starch (flour). Corn starch is very rarely used in cooking in Poland. Instead of those two, lately I discovered that arrowroot is the best to use.

If there is no kompot  or fruit juice kisiel can be made with water, sugar and fresh fruits. I’ve never tried to make it using frozen fruits but I think it might work, as well.

The one that you can get from the store doesn’t have any fruits in it. Just like a pudding it’s a flavored powder, nothing else. These days they make those weird flavors that have nothing to do with fruits. The last time I had one was “cola” (coca-cola) and it was terrible!!! 

Homemade it’s a totally different story. To make it you can get creative as much as you want, but stay with the fruits only ;)

For example a few days ago I made a bueberry-pear-apple kisiel from fresh fruits.

It was delicious. 

Have you seen “Julie and Julia”?! I love love love this movie!!!

It might be serve cold or hot. I prefer to eat kisiel hot. The same is with pudding. I think that serving those two desserts cold is a sin against taste buds. Seriously!!! I’m getting angry just thinking about it.

Anyway, many recipes that you will find on Internet call for huge amounts of sugar. It’s really not that necessary if you use fresh fruits. The fruits will give it the natural sweetness and, at the end you could serve it with a whipped cream. 

This is my recipe

1/2 cup fresh blueberries

1/2 cup apple (I always use granny smith), peeled and chopped into small pieces

1 cup pear, peeled and chopped into small pieces

3 cups cold water (divided into 2 1/2 and 1/2)

3 TBSP. sugar (or more if needed)

3 tsp. corn starch (or arrowroot or potato starch)

Cook chopped apple and pear in sugar and 2 1/2 cup of water for about 5 minutes – until the fruits are soft but not mushy. Add blueberries and cook another 3 minutes stirring often. In the remaining 1/2 cold water dissolve the corn starch (or whatever starch you’re using). Mix it with the fruit-sugar mixture. Stir until it thickens.

Done! :)

As I said, you can serve it cold, hot or slightly warm.

In my opinion the dessert tastes the best on the next day. You can store it in fridge for a few days. Whenever you’re ready to eat it just heat it up again (or not) and enjoy.

If it’s not sweet enough you can always add sugar.

If the consistency is not thick enough for you add more starch (first dissolve it in a tiny bit of cold water). I remember my mom used to make it almost like water. She would add almost no starch. She liked to drink it from a cup like it was a tea. I like mine somehow thick but not too thick.

… at the end enjoy watching your kids gobbling it up!!!

 


featured picture

“Chłodnik” Polish cold soup


Middle of Winter, and who does think about dishes that would refresh you and help you to cool down?

Only pregnant women :) 

Pregnant and living in CA where in January we have ripening tomatoes and growing lettuce outside our apartment.

“Chłodnik” literally means “cooler” and in Poland and many European countries is eaten during the Summer and late Fall when fresh veggies are very easy to get. If you have the access to fresh veggies all year long there is no reason to not to make it. It’s delicious, easy to make and good for breakfast, lunch, dinner (or 2am sinless snack – in my case).

The base for it is always plain yoghurt, kefir or buttermilk. 

In the recipes I know of and have eaten in the past the main ingredients were: beets, cucumber, radish, chives, dill.

If you skip the beets you don’t have to boil anything. Just cut everything up, mix it with:

yoghurt and kefir

or just kefir

or just buttermilk

or mix of yoghurt-kefir-buttermilk

and chill in the fridge at least for an hour.

As easy as that.

What you need for the soup:

  • 1 medium (or 2 small) beet(s), boiled and grated
  • 1 bunch of radishes
  • 1 English cucumber
  • bunch of chives
  • or buch of green onions (in this case use only the green part of the onions)
  • 1 cup plain yoghurt
  • 2 cups kefir
  • salt
  • pepper

The recipe makes a very thick consistency soup. If you think you might not like it skip the yoghurt and use only kefir instead.

Boil and grate the beet. Put it asaid until is cold. In the meantime cut radishes, cucumber and chives into small pieces (not too small, though).

Mix it all together in a big bowl.

Add 2 cups of kefir and 1 cup of yoghurt.

Mix it all together. Add salt and pepper. Taste. If the consistency is to thick add more kefir. If it isn’t salty enough you might want to wait to add more after is chilled and ready to serve.

Chill in the fridge for an hour at least.

Serve with hard boiled egg cut into quarters.

Sprinkle with chopped dill. I didn’t have it so I skipped that part. I am not the biggest fan of dill, anyway.

My husband said it would work perfect as a chip dip (?). I would’ve never thought about that but after he said it… I kind of agreed.

btw, Polish kefir it totally different from the one I found here so the soup is not exactly the way I am used to it, but it’s  still delicious.