Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Deep in The Heart of Texas

Lots of land which looks the same as it looked two hundred years ago, untouched by men, winding roads going up and down the hills, beautiful landscape, charming places and good food - this is what we like about the area which we have visited recently.

This part of land has been touched by men but it looks wild anyway.
One of the old churches we came across during our trip.
Christmas lights...

Roosters rule in Luckenbach :-)

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Amish Bread & Bread Making

I have heard about such an attitude: 'I can't make bread at home because I have no bread machine'. If it was true, bread would be a modern invention and people would have not been able to make it in the past. Because they did not have any bread machines. But they did bake bread and wonderful yeast cakes!
The only tool you need to make bread (if you are not disabled) are your hands. And a bowl - to make the process convenient. However, it is also possible to make bread dough on the worktop or a pastry board - with no bread machine of course.

Amish bread - very tasty (quite an easy recipe) - made with no bread machine :)


Friday, December 5, 2014

Excellent Cheesecake - recipe

I made this cheesecake for Thanksgiving. I used only a half of each ingredient (baking time was shorter: 25 min.) that was why it came out a bit flat, as I did not have a smaller cake tin. But the cheesecake was quite tasty, which was confirmed by the fact that it disappeared quite quickly. It is different from most of the cheesecakes - it has no crust base.



Yield: 1.8 kg

Ingredients:
Cream cheese: 1kg (or 4 packages of 8 oz cream cheese)
Eggs: 8
Powdered sugar: 2 cups
Unsalted Butter - softened: 25 dag (or two sticks)
Cream of Wheat: (kasza manna) 2 TBS
Potato flour (or cornstarch):  1 TBS
Baking powder: 2 tsp
Lemon extract: 1/3 tsp
Raisins: 10 dag (2/3 cup) - soak them in hot (but not boiling) water for a while - then drain well on a sieve or strainer

Procedure:
  • Heat oven to 340 F/170 C.
  • Prepare a round baking tin ( mine is 10.5"x3"): grease it lightly and sprinkle with plain bread crumbs, including its sides.
  • Mix the cheese, butter and part of the sugar. 
  • Separate the egg yolks from the whites.  
  • Mix the rest of the sugar with the egg yolks (till the mixture changes its color and becomes whitish. Mix the cream of wheat, potato flour/cornstarch and baking powder in a separate dish. 
  • Add the dry ingredients to the cheese/sugar mixture and blend it all well. 
  • Add the lemon extract + the drained raisins - mix it all again (not too long) . 
  • Beat the egg whites (in a big bowl) with a whisker till they turn into a stiff foam. 
  • Add the egg white foam to the rest of the ingredients - mix everything delicately with a spoon (do not use a  blender now!).
  • Pour it all into your cake tin.
  • Bake the cheesecake for about 50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. The cheesecake should be light brown then (not too dark). Do not over-bake.

Most often this kind of cheesecake tends to 'sit' after taking it out of the oven - it will get flatter - do not worry about it, it's normal. That is why the sides of the tin should be greased and covered with  bread crumbs (see the beginning of the procedure) to let the cake 'sit' evenly.

 Enjoy!

'Excellent Cheesecake'





Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Gingerbread Cookies + Holiday Baking & Cooking

'If you have faith as small as a mustard seed...
nothing will be impossible for you.'
Matthew 17:20
Thanksgiving is gone, so now it's time to write a few words about the last week creations.
On Tuesday, quite late this year, I made some gingerbread cookies, not many as I am going to make some other ones too. Anyway, now they are waiting in a box for the day when they are decorated - which will happen before Christmas.

Pierniczki II recipe
Wednesday and Thursday were all about Thanksgiving of course.

Baking:
  • Texas sheet (sheath) cake - I tried the recipe not long ago - tasty cacao & cinnamon cake!
  • Cheesecake (I will post the recipe soon ) - it appeared to be quite popular with the Thanksgiving gathering guests - I was glad! Also because I hadn't made any cheesecake for ages.
    A piece of Texas sheath cake

Cooking (not much but enough too make you busy for a few hours):
Surely Thanksgiving means more than food only but nice food makes any holiday really festive. We enjoyed all our dishes + the ones not mentioned here...
I am not going to write about all the things I am grateful for, it would be quite a list though!


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Getting ready for tomorrow..

Don't worry about anything; 
instead, pray about everything. 
Tell God what you need, 
and thank him for all he has done.
  Philippians 4:6-7

I am wishing you all a very blessed Thanksgiving. Soon I am going to be busy with some baking and cooking so there will be no time to do it later. Have a very happy holiday!


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Tastes of Europe: Cafe Bistro - Milk Chocolate Covered Gingerbread Hearts


The hearts were made in Germany but they taste (almost) like Polish 'pierniczki'. They are stuffed with some apricot filling and they are so good! We found them at a local Aldi store  (I know Aldi markets from Europe, I was glad to find them in the US too). Around holidays, they tend to have more products imported from Germany and other European countries: lots of different sweets and foods which remind me Europe, including gingerbread cookies, various kinds of great cheeses and lots more. Wish they had the chocolate hearts and other goodies more often than once a year.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Popovers, 'Little Women' And An Unexpected Guest


This week I have made my first popovers. They are tasty though they look totally different than the ones in the picture attached to the recipe . Quite coincidentally, while watching an old version of 'Little Women', I noticed they had popovers on their Christmas table. The bread in the movie looked quite like the popovers made by myself, but it was even darker - all dark brown. So maybe mine are more as they are supposed to be? I do not know as I had not seen any other popovers before. Well, maybe it was only a matter of the intense colors of the old film but I don't care - our bread is tasty anyway. 

Look who joined us yesterday - when we were having some nice mac and cheese.....
:)
Mac and cheese Teddy Bear's face

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Christmas in 31 days...

The cold weather front and all the Christmas goodies which have already been being sold in stores  are making me think about the holiday itself. I am ready for all the cooking and baking, however I am not sure what I will make  - ah, and now they are playing a piece from the Nutcracker by Tchaikovsky and talking about it on the radio - quite a coinsidence. :)
Perhaps I will try a candy cane cookies recipe a few days before Christmas, soon it will be time to make some ginger bread cookies too. Anyway, it would be nice to know what other guys are planning to bake and cook for Christmas..

Before I start experimenting with candy cane cookies recipes - here is something else to enjoy:  oatmeal peanut butter cookies

Monday, November 3, 2014

Quick Oats - Oatmeal by Mom Brands

This kind of oatmeal is one of the products I call 'our discoveries': good quality stuff + good price.
I used the quick oats to make oatmeal cookies. They are as good and tasty as the ones made with quick oats by a well known manufacturer.
The information included on the box of 'I Love Oats' -
Ingredients: 100% whole grain oats, with no additives or preservatives.
On the label, there is also an oatmeal chocolate chip cookies recipe. I will try it some day as I haven't made that kind of cookies yet. Yes, I am glad we discovered 'I Love Oats'.


Texas Sheet Cake

A very tasty cacao cake. Good as it's neither too sweet nor bitter. Some cacao cakes are quite bitter due to too much cacao in them. This one is quite pleasant, worth recommending. The recipe found here.

Friday, October 31, 2014

October - National Cookie Month

This post is to mark the cookie month. The cookies in the picture are only a sample of different kinds we have had within October. Maybe they do not look impressive but they were tasty. The duckies can say something about it too. :)


Jagodzianki!

Time for some updates. Due to the very busy summer we had, there was not enough time to work on the posts. However, we did have some nice treats during that period. Some of my favorites were blueberry yeast buns - jagodzianki. It's a very easy recipe by Aleksandra - found on the net.




Thursday, October 2, 2014

Rescue Bears

'My sheep hear my voice,
and I know them, and they
follow me: and I give unto them eternal life.'
- John 10:27,28

Let me introduce  two cute guys and tell you something about them.
First, Rescue Bear appeared quite unexpectedly - rescued by Good Soul. The Bear had been in a hide for who knows how long - got lost but was found!


As you can see in the above picture, at first Rescue Bear was a bit shy, but quite content also Good Soul took care of him.
Some time later....... what a surprise! Rescue Bear 2 arrived to join Rescue Bear! Pretty handsome and joyful isn't, he?
Anyway, you now the two Bears - they are quite different but make a good team!



Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Beans, Bread and Traditional Cake

'Casting all your care
upon him; for he careth
for you'
-1 Peter 5:7
Today something traditional from the kitchen. How about some good beans and bread?
Good for a meatless day but not only. Just good :).
Love learning old Southern recipes especially if they are not complicated, and the result is so enjoyable.

Buttermilk bread - recipe


And some cake for dessert:

Carrot cake - recipe
Simple cake - recipe

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Sports and Enjoyment

Not long ago The World Football (well, don't know why it is called soccer) Championships were taking place in a totally different part of the world, and it was fun following the matches too. Who will win the Cup this year? Maybe a European team? We'll see...



Besides football/soccer, we also enjoyed a totally different game recently -  its atmosphere was more laid back and quite enjoyable too - but in a different, more relaxed way ........


Well, no matter what sport you enjoy watching, it is always good to have some plum or other fruit cake for dessert.

The cake is great, just add  a little less sugar than in the original recipe.


Thursday, May 29, 2014

In The Garden

'Commit thy way 
unto the Lord; 
trust also in him;
and he shall bring it to
pass.'
-Psalm 37:6

Beautiful weather - good to go out and enjoy the beauty of nature......
Keep your eyes open to all little things and beautiful creatures. It is not always easy to spot them though, especially if you are 'a city person'. But when you manage to notice a cute animal or see a pretty plant - how refreshing (and joyful) it can be.... :)


Can you see the lizard?








video





Thursday, May 15, 2014

Greener grass and cookies

'He knoweth the way that
I take: when he has tried me, I shall come forth as gold.'
-Job 23:10


Some people are  feeling most often unhappy or at least not content. The only thing that makes themselves feel better is when they learn someone else is possibly unlucky or unhappy too.
It's commonly known that negative attitude creates negative circumstances. So they will always be unhappy and bitter, no matter where they go, unless they change the way they see the world and other people.
'There is much beauty in the world if you just have the eyes to see it.'  Get rid of envious thoughts then. Celebrate and enjoy every day of your life.

Go for a walk or take a ride and try to notice the beauty of nature - look at the trees, grass, flowers, hear the birds, the sound of  a water stream .....



Listen to music, try to dance....

You can also go to your kitchen and make some cookies........
......share them with your neighbors, friends or co-workers. Bless other people instead of  being envious or critical.
It is not true that the grass is greener somewhere else. It is you who make it green or yellow and dry.



Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Day of Swimming Cake

''I will go before thee, and
make the crooked places straight"
- Isaiah 45:2


Do not follow any comments on a recipe - try the original recipe first - and then you will know whether it really needs some alternations or not.


 Make it work for yourself.......


Yes! to million dollar bars!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Happy Spring to You!

'My sheep hear my voice,
and I know them, and they
follow me: and I give unto them eternal life'
- John 10:27, 28

Happy Spring! Happy Easter! Happy Passover!

 

Some snack ideas - not only for Easter:

Pecan pie muffins
...... will disappear from the plate quite quickly......

For meat lovers:

Rotel cheese and ground beef dip - really tasty!



Have a wonderful time :)