Tag Archives: Polish cuisine

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

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


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

Polish “Babka” with almonds and white chocolate

I suppose to be on bed rest but it’s not that easy when you’re pregnant and when you crave so many different homemade goods. Last week, for example I had homemade chocolate milk pudding for dinner. Four times. What means that for four days I didn’t eat anything else for dinner just my pudding. Oh wait… I did have something else. A few slices of fresh strawberry and a banana on top of my pudding 😉 That counts, right?!

I want to share that recipe here on my blog, but every time I make it there is almost no time between when it’s made and when it’s in our bellies.

Last Saturday when it was raining and dark outside I finally decide to make Babka. Finally, because that cake was stuck in my head for a long time. “Babka” is Polish name for a sweet yeast cake but actually it can be made without the yeast and then it resembles pound cake. That’s how my mom and my sister used to make it – without the yeast. It’s not very babka-like but many people do that and call that cake babka and when they use the original recipe with yeast then they call it “yeast babka”.

My mom wasn’t a baker and she even didn’t tried to become one. Whenever she baked something (and it happened really rare), she would always make something VERY easy and fast to fix. Babka and a simple chocolate cake were our most often eaten desserts (and pudding or kisiel, of course). She almost never made a glaze. It was too much work with something that she actually didn’t enjoy – baking. Instead of glaze she would spread a homemade jam (raspberry or black currants) on top of each slice of those cakes and that was it. Just like you would do with open-faced sandwich. It actually was pretty delicious.

These days those simple dishes are my comfort food and whenever I feel under the weather I always come back to it.

Following my family steps I made my babka without the yeast. Although, I do want to try to make it the original way someday. But not when I am on bed rest 😉

This cake is really moist and not sweet at all, at least not too sweet like you would think after reading the recipe.

I do not have the right pan for baking babka but I used 9inch loaf pan and it worked great.

Ingredients for cake: 

1/2 cup white chocolate cut into really small pieces (or white chocolate baking chips),

5 1/2 Tbsp. butter, softened and cut into small pieces,

8 tsp. sugar,

1 tsp. baking powder,

1 tsp. baking soda, (if you don’t have it, don’t worry, this cake will be fine without it)

3 eggs, yolks separated from whites,

1/3 cup all-purpose flour,

1 cup ground almonds, blanched

2 tsp. orange zest,

Ingredients for glaze:

3/4 cup milk chocolate, cut into pieces (milk chocolate chips will do), or if you want to make white chocolate glaze use white chocolate (or chocolate chips),

1/3 cup whipped cream,

1 tsp. fresh squeezed orange juice (or orange liquor),

1 tsp. orange zest.


Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Into a glass bowl put chocolate and butter. Put that bowl over a pot with small amount of boiling water. Stirr until ingredients melt together. Now you can take it off the heat and add egg yolk, but still over the double bath. Add one yolk at a time stirring really fast. Add sugar and mix well.

Remove the bowl from the pot and add sieved flour with baking soda, baking powder and ground almonds. Stirr with a spoon.

Beat the egg whites until stiff and add to the almond-chocolate batter. Mix well with a spoon. Add orange zest.

Transfer the batter to a greased pan and bake for about 40-45 minutes. After about 40 minutes you can check with a toothpick if it’s done.

Cool on cooling wrack.

While the cake is baking prepare the glaze:

Again, over double bath melt together chocolate and whipped cream. At the end add orange juice and orange zest.

Wait until cake and the glaze are cool then spread the glaze over the cake.


Fat Thursday and Faworki always go together …

… at least in my home.

Fat Thursday –  is traditional Polish and German feast marking the last Thursday before Lent and is associated with the celebration of Carnival. Because Lent is a time of fasting, the next opportunity to feast would not be until Easter. (Wikipedia).

All Catholics know that – not that I am one, but I grew up in a very religious Catholic family with plenty of doughnuts and faworki every single year on Fat Thursday. More often we had homemade faworki than pączki (doughnuts). It was much easier to make for the family of 5 plus grandparents and, I think, we all liked them better than pączki.

These days, for me Fat Thursday is more like a cultural tradition not very much connected to religion. Being far away from my home country I take a thing or two from the religion I grew up with and make it a cultural thing. It kind of make sense even for Polish people living in Poland because Catholicism is connected very closely to the culture of our country, so even people that are not very religious still celebrate Fat Thursday by indulging themselves eating unlimited amount of doughnuts on that day.

In Warsaw, people waiting in line for doughnuts on Fat Thursday (source Thenews.pl)

I should’ve done this post yesterday but to the last minute I was convinced that I am not going to make anything for Fat Thursday this year. I went to bed last night thinking: I’m too tired to make something that it’s actually going to be just for me. My husband is not a big fan of deep fried foods. Of course he’ll eat french fries, fried onion rings, fried chicken and many different deep fried foods (all in the restaurant) but if I make something at home that is deep fried he does not want to eat it. Oh, and he has nothing against store-bought doughnuts – SOMEBODY PLEASE TELL HIM THEY ARE ALL DEEP FRIED!!!

Anyway, I got up this morning and couldn’t stop thinking about making faworki (chrusty, angel wings).

After making breakfast for everybody I put myself to work (I mean, my stand mixer). 

Those delicious little things are very easy to make and with all the ingredients that most of us have already in the kitchen.


2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp white sugar

4 egg yolks

5 tsp plain yoghurt (original recipe calls for sour cream) plus more if necessary

1 tsp vinegar

2 Tbsp. butter, softened

pinch of salt

orange zest (optional) – this is my twist to this recipe so actually it’s not necessary 

oil for frying

Put all the ingredients together in a big bowl and mix it in your Kitchen Aid or knead by hand until the dough is smooth and looks like that:

our little one burned her hand days ago and these days her favorite word is “hot”. She touches everything saying “hot, hot, hot” looking at me for the nod if she got that right. This time she didn’t 😉

If the dough is too dry and doesn’t want to hold together just add a teaspoon of plain yoghurt. If it’s still too dry add one more until the dough holds together, is nice and smooth and easy to shape into a ball.

Wrap the dough in a plastic wrap, aluminum foil or parchment paper and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. After that time take it out cut into four pieces, leave one piece out and put the 3 left back to the fridge. When you’re done with cutting, folding and frying that first part, repeat everything with the remaining 3.

On lightly floured surface roll the dough very thinly. The more thin the dough the more crispy the pastry will get after frying.

When done rolling with a sharp knife cut the dough into 1 1/2 inch wide and 4 inches long stripes. Make 1 inch or 1 1/2 inch long slit in the middle of each strip.

Working with your both hands open the slit in the middle. Take the top and fold it towards the slit. Pull the end through the slit.

Gently pull both ends and you made yourself a perfect angel wing 🙂

Repeat with the remaining strips.

Fry in hot oil. You can check the oil if it’s ready by putting one corner of the raw angel wing in the oil. If it starts to sizzle and bubbles appear it means that the oil is ready.

Fry on both sides until golden brown. The heat should be on medium high for the best results. Keep an eye on them as they tend to burn really fast.

You might want to put them on paper towel to soak the extra oil out. While still warm heavily sprinkle with powdered sugar. I mean, REALLY heavily 🙂

Keep it high enough so your Little Ones can’t get into it while you’re not watching.

Is it a Chili?! No, it’s my first ever Sloppy Joe (plus homemade buns recipe)

Failures in the kitchen – as much as I hate them they happen. They happen less often than they used to but still… From time to time there is a day when nothing good want to come out from my pots and pans. Of course there is more failures when I cook “American” food and almost no failures when I cook something Polish but that doesn’t count since my husband is not very fond of Polish cuisine.

Chili is one of those dishes that I had to learn to cook for my husband. He always talks (or used to) about his mom’s chili that it was really good from what he remembers. Once she gave him the recipe and I made it. We both liked it but the next time I made it I changed a few things and it was even better.

I just can take a recipe from mother-in-law and call it good. You know how that works. It got to be mine and it has to be better. That’s how it works in here. My kitchen my recipes 😉

Anyway, last time we went grocery shopping I bought all the stuff for chili and grabbed additional 6 oz can of diced tomatoes with chilies. I have to idea why I did it, but I did. I though it might be good to add some new flavor to it.

Whenever I make chili I make a huge pot of it. I freeze it or we eat it for a week 🙂 That’s why I like chili. Everybody likes it, especially my daughter, and I don’t have to cook for a few days after that. Win win.

So the next day I cooked all the tomatoes, cooked the meat and after all I remembered that there is that can of tomatoes with chilies. I think I didn’t even add that whole can, just a half of it. I stirred it, cooked a little bit longer and tasted…  my mouth got on fire!!! I mean, real fire, and when it happens to me I know that my husband will be burning twice as much as me. When he saw my angry and disappointed (and red) face he said: “Oh wait, it can’t be that bad let me try, maybe I can eat it”…, and he tried, and he said “NO. I’m sorry I’m not gonna”.

So, here I am sending that entire pot of chili down to the drain. The only thing it was left was the meat. I SAVED THE MEAT!!! Ground turkey mixed with Italian sausage.

The same night we ate pasta for dinner.

I don’t know why but when I looked at that saved (thank gods) meat I thought about sloppy joe. The weird thing is that I have never made it before and I can’t even recall if I ate it in the past (probably no). Anyway, that idea stuck to my head and it stayed there until the next day. I knew I don’t have buns to make it with and I don’t know how to make the meat sauce. I asked my bloggy friend Polish Mama on The Prairie and she gave me a few ideas which I’m gonna use the next time. This time I didn’t have half of the ingredients and lately my whale-like lovely lazy self is much too lazy to go to the store just to pick one or two things. As a pregnant woman I’m not only a brain damaged but motivation damaged as well. I could go hungry for days just give me water, milk and buttermilk these days and I’m happy as a clam.

Anyway, following my husband recommendations, because it’s him who would mostly be picky about it, I made the sauce from ketchup, brown sugar and soy sauce and I baked the buns, and this is one more reason why I love my bread maker.

Want the recipe!? 🙂

Here it is:

2 cups milk (any kind)

1/4 cup olive oil or butter (melted)

2 Tbsp. honey

2 eggs

2 tsp. salt

1/4 cup bread flour

5 cups whole wheat flour (plus more if needed)

2 Tbsp. active dry yeast

egg wash

sesame seeds

If made by hand or in a Kitchen Aid:

Heat up milk until very warm. Take of the heat. Mix in sugar and dissolve, add yeast, cover and wait about 10 minutes until the mixture rises and is bubbly.

In a separate bowl mix the bread flour and about 4 cups of bread flour, olive oil (or butter), honey, salt. When the yeast mixture is ready pour it over the flour mixture and knead. Add eggs. If the dough is very sticky add more flour. At the end the dough should be a little tacky to the touch at the end, so don’t add too much flour or overknead it. 

Cover and let the dough rest for up to 1 hour.

After that knead it a few times, shape into a balls and flattened them a little on the top. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Let the buns rest for about 20 minutes.

Bake in 350 F for 18-20 minutes.

If made in bread maker:

Put the ingredients to the maker in this order:

Room temperature milk, olive oil (or melted butter), sugar, salt, honey, eggs, bread flour and whole wheat flour, yeast. close the lid and set on the “dough” setting. During the second “kneading” open the lid to check if the dough needs more flour. If it does add 1/2 cup. After a few minutes check again. Keep adding flour until the dough is smooth and stop sticking to the sides of the container. When it’s done take it out and shape into balls just like above. let the buns rest for 20 minutes. brush with egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds. bake in 350 F for 18-20 minutes. 

My Sloppy Joe

For the next two days we ate the rest of the buns for lunch with some veggies and homemade ricotta.


So not being very happy about the disaster with chili I was happy with my first ever sloppy joe. Now I need to work more around the sauce but other than that I think I’ve found a new dish that will be served at our dinner table quite a bit.

It's a KeeperPhotobucket

Jennifer’s Cabbage with Apples (plus extra recipe for bread)

Jennifer – green wife of a green military guy 🙂

On her blog she writes about their journey while trying to become a zero waste household… .

In her last post she wrote that sometimes when her husband is out at sea she skips trips to the store and she lives on cereal and raw cabbage for days.

When I read it I knew I have to write this post. I’ve waited to post this recipe for a long time now and finally I feel like this is the perfect time to do so.

This is a dish that my mother used to make a lot. It goes great with potatoes (mashed or not), all kinds of meat and as a main dish with nothing else on a plate (maybe a piece of good bread to soak the juices after all).

It’s very simple and easy to make and after it’s made it can be store in the fridge for a few days.

This recipe makes about 2 servings.


1 Tbsp. butter

2 apples (any kind), peeled and cut into small cubes (my favorite kind is granny smith and I use it in every recipe that calls for apples)

1 cabbage (whatever cabbage you have or like)

pinch of salt

This time I used Chinese cabbage because it’s the only cabbage I can sneak into my husbands’ diet, so for the most of the time I have it in our fridge. When it cooks it doesn’t smell like regular cabbage and its taste is much milder that the other ones.

If you use a different cabbage you need to cook it longer and add more apples. Chinese cabbage cooks really fast and that’s one of the reasons I use it for this dish… I can make it in 20 minutes 🙂


Chop the cabbage. Cut apples into small cubes. Put those two together in a sauce pan, add butter. Cook covered on a low heat until apples are soft (but not mushy). Stir occasionally.

Add salt if you want, but just a pinch.

Add water if you see cabbage and apple mixture doesn’t have any and it starts to burn on the bottom, but that shouldn’t happen if you cook in on a low heat and stir it often.

If at the end the mixture has to much liquid in it you can use a tsp of corn starch or arrowroot to thicken in up.

I ate it with fresh baked bread and homemade butter

Bread recipe is adapted from Sonoma Garden.

Everyday Oat and Seed Bread

put into bread machine in this order:

1 1/4 cup water

1 1/2 Tbsp. sugar (white, brown,honey)

1 1/2 tsp. salt

1 1/2 Tbsp. vegetable oil or butter

1/4 cup oatmeal

2 cups unbleached white flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 tsp. vital gluten (or bread flour)

2 1/2 tsp. yeast

Set on dough setting. When it beeps during the second kneading (about 30 minutes before the end) put:

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

1/4 flaxseed meal

When the dough is ready put it into a greased loaf pan and let rest for about 40 minutes. Brush top with milk. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes at 425 degrees.


Jennifer, the next time you’re all by yourself gather some extra apples, because it looks like you’ve got plenty of cabbage already 🙂 and viola. no more raw cabbage for days and days…

… and from now on this dish is going to be “Jennifer’s Cabbage and Apples” in my book.

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!!!


“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.


Gingerbread cookies change everything

So, I complained today: for the holiday there is no snow, no rain, no tree, no moczka, no poppy seeds roll nor bigos. I didn’t have that last year neither or two years ago… . Since I came to U.S Christmas time always reminds me of Polish food more than on any other time year round.

Back in Poland my mom would always cook moczka and layer gingerbread cake. The entire house was filled with the aroma of gingerbread spices, chocolate and cooked moczka. I know, I’m talking about moczka like it’s something that everybody knows about. In MY Christmas this is the main dish. I don’t have to have anything else to feel like Christmas is here. Just give me a cup of this chocolaty-fruity-nuty-gingerbready pudding like something and I am the happiest person on the entire world. Every single household who makes it has it’s own recipe. This dish is magic and I can not make it… . I’ve tried once and it didn’t turn out tasty. Only my mom knows how to make the best moczka. So it seems that I will have to wait for Christmas in Poland to finally taste my favorite Christmas dish. How many years will that be?! I think it would be much faster if I learned how to make it – lazy me.

Anyway this post it’s not about moczka. It’s about gingerbread cookies I finally made today. They were inspired by Polish Mama on the Prairie after I read one of her post in which she was sharing her gingerbread cookies recipe. Before that I wasn’t planning to bake anything Polish.

I’ve decided that if I want to make gingerbread cookies they need to be fluffy and thick and reminds me, at least, a little of pierniczki toruńskie. While looking for a good recipe I found out that a good gingerbread cake or cookies should be made at least two weeks before the day you’re planning to eat them, sometimes months before. It’s because they get very hard after they are baked and they soften after resting for long period of time. So as you probably figure it out, there is not time this year to experiment with those kind of recipes.

Finally I found something that I thought will work this year (go here for original recipe in Polish). Funny enough this is not recipe for Polish gingerbread cookies but for German called Lebkuchen.

It took me two days to make them. On the first day I made candied orange and lemon zest and gingerbread spice mix.

Ingredients for the gingerbread spice mix:

2 1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ginger

3/4 tsp cloves

3/4 tsp cardamom

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 allspice

10 seeds of star anise

To make candied orange and lemon zest took me a little bit longer.

Zest from 2 peeled oranges and 1 lemon. Cut into strips, boiled for about 10 minutes. Drained and dried. When they were dry I cooked them in a mixture of:

1 cup of water

1 cup of sugar

until the liquid was almost gone.

Stirring occasionally.

Left on cooling racks overnight.

Ingredients for gingerbread cookies:

1 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour

15 Tbsp blended almonds (make almond flour)

3 tsp gingerbread spice mix

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

3/4 cup honey

3/4 stick of butter (6 Tbsp)

1/2 cup candied zest*


In a medium bowl mix the dry ingredients: flour, almonds, gingerbread spices, baking soda and powder, cinnamon.

Heat the honey and butter in a sauce pan over a low heat until the butter is melted. Let it cool down until lukewarm and pour over mixed dry ingredients. Add candied zest. You can use spoon or mixer at this point and mix it well. Cover and leave to in a cool place.

The dough may look very sticky and hard to shape any cookies from it. Don’t worry after it cools down it gets harder and easy to work with.

When the dough is ready preheat oven to 355 F. Cover 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Roll the dough into a small balls not bigger than a medium size walnut. Place them on baking sheet about 1 inch apart. They will rise and spread.

Bake for about 15 minutes.

Transfer to a cooling rack and let it cool completely.

Decorate the next day.

I have never had them before but as I can assume they are going to be better and better the longer you keep them. Tomorrow I’m planning to cover them with powder sugar icing or melted chocolate. Can’t decide, yet.

Anyway, I am happy that something feels like Christmas, finally. It more smells like feels but it doesn’t matter. I’ve been so focused on baking and preparing sweets that I actually forgot that christmas dinner is something more that fudge, pies and cookies only. I need to change it tomorrow or we will end up eating pasta on Saturday… .

* In my opinion (and my husband’s) those cookies have too much candied zest. They taste really zesty. I am not sure but I might boiled the candied zest for too long and that’s why they came out too hard as for my taste. They might be ok if you want to eat them just like that, but if you want to use them in those cookies (or any other cookies) they seem to be to hard and stick to teeth (a lot). Next time I will use zest made the way I always make it.

Happy Holidays, my friends!!!