To Taste

Page 1



For My Mama & Babcia

The Baturas

Written by Malcolm Crystal & Maria Zawadzki

The TIMES in London wrote on 2/9/2001 re: a film “A Forgotten Odyssey”: “… 1.7 million Poles were deported by Stalin in 1939 after he invaded Poland from the east, just 16 days after Hitler invaded from the west. The Poles were herded into cattle trains and consigned to slave labour in Siberia and Kazakhstan. More than a million subsequently perished, in conditions of unimaginable horror. When Hitler attacked the Soviet Union in June 1941 and Stalin became our ally, Churchill persuaded the Soviet monster to offer an “amnesty” to those Poles left alive in his camps. Summoning immense fortitude in the face of typhus and dysentery, the survivors trudged thousands of miles south to join General Anders’ Polish Army in Persia. Many then fought for the Allies with conspicuous bravery, particularly at Monte Casino and Arnhem. …” This is the story of our family, the Baturas. The name Batura is variation of Bathory, a surname associated with, among others, Stephen Bathory, who was elected King of Poland in 1576. He served as king until his death in 1586.

from left to right: Wiktoria, Celina, Helen, Kazia, Josephine

6 — introduction


8 – introduction

THE START OF THE BATURA FAMILY Jozef (jr.) Batura, was born in Minsk, Belarus in 1896, one of seven children of Jozef (sr.) Batura and Anna Szablowska. In 1925, Jozef (jr.) married Waleria Downar, the daughter of Felician and Maria Downar. Waleria was born in Zydowice, Poland in 1900. Waleria’s marriage to Jozef was her second. She first wed in 1918, to Adam Markiewicz, but Adam died within the year. This marriage produced one child, a son Edward, who died in his 20’s from sunstroke while serving in the army. Following her husband’s death, Waleria lived with her in-laws, where she and Edward lived in a settlement called Osada Ruda. Here, the family farmed on a large holding that included many animals, an orchard, beehives, and forest until she married Jozef Batura in 1925. For his service in the army, Jozef Batura was granted land in eastern Poland, an osada, basically a type of settlement that was granted to many army officers to compensate them for their wartime efforts. From the end of World War I until the beginning of World War II, the Baturas lived in the township of Polesie, one of the easternmost provinces of interwar Poland, in the small settlement of Osada Ruda. Though this settlement does not appear on any maps, according to the Batura sisters, it was within walking distance of the market town of Iwacewicze (now Ivatsevichy, Belarus). Jozef and Waleria worked the land at Osada Ruda: they grew vegetables, raised livestock, made butter, bread, sauerkraut, pickles, beets, jams, canned fruits, meats and sold their goods at local markets. This would become the basis of our family's love of food preparation and cooking. The Batura family consisted of the parents Jozef Batura (1896-1971) and Waleria (neé Downar; 1900-1985) and their 10 children: Josephine Batura Lozowski (1926-1980) Celina Batura Weglinski (b 1928) Bronia & Karolcia Batura (twins) (1929-1929) (passed away at six weeks old & seven weeks old) Wiktoria (Vicky) Batura Brajewski (b 1930) Kazimiera (Kazia) Batura Zawadzki (b 1932) Stasia Batura (1933 to about 1941) Bolek (Bill) Batura (1935-2013) Helen Batura Kotulich (b 1936) Emilia (Emilcia) Batura (1939-1940)

SIBERIA, WINTER 1940 - SUMMER 1941 In mid-September, 1939, weeks after Hitler invaded Poland from the west, Soviet authorities began their invasion of Poland from the east. Jozef Batura along with all others who had served in the military was arrested and initially taken to prison, and later to Siberia to an unknown work camp. The fact that many of these officers had fought for Poland in World War I against the Bolsheviks of Russia was crucially important in Stalin’s decision to target this area and its inhabitants. The Soviet authorities continued their deportation of Poles, (approx. 1.7 million Poles from those regions, about 9% of the population of that area) from 1939-1941. On February 10, 1940, our grandmother, Waleria was in the middle of baking bread when soldiers came to her farm and gave her two hours notice to pack her children and belongings. One of the soldiers was kind enough to encourage her to take anything of value, like gold and fur and as many clothes as possible. They left by horse and carriage, heading to the Russian border. The family dog ran after them until the border. For the next month, Waleria and her nine children traveled on cattle trains with thousands of others to camps dispersed into the vast and brutal Siberian tundra. Waleria and her children were moved around from camp to camp. She initially worked as a logger in the forest until she was hurt in an accident. At one point, the Soviet soldiers approached Waleria to sign over the rights of her children in exchange for food, shelter and schooling. Soviets were taking youth away from families in order to brainwash and convert them to Communism. She refused their offers, knowing she would never see them again.

10 – introduction

She did whatever she could: bartered with local villagers for food, she knit goods to sell to the locals, hunted for turtle eggs by the Dvina River, looked for berries; boiled minnow soup with flour. One Russian woman took 7-year old Kazia into their household, who was given a babysitting job for their 4-year old boy. In exchange, they fed and housed her. Food was the greatest challenge during those months. Many lost their battle with starvation, Emilia being one of them. In 1941, following the declaration of war on the Soviet Union by Nazi Germany, Stalin sought to refashion his foreign policy, leading him to align with the western powers: Great Britain and the United States. At minimum, this was an outward display of support for the Polish government in exile in London under General Wladyslaw Sikorski, and accordingly, a Polish Soviet treaty was signed on July 30, 1941. One of the results of this realignment was a grant of “amnesty” to the Polish exiles in Siberia. For the Baturas and other families in Siberia, this meant that they were free to leave, except that there was no formal announcement made to the refugees of their freedom. Waleria was fluent in Russian, to her benefit. She overheard local Russian villagers talking about the deportation trains coming into the village to take away the “Polish Sybiraki” as those displaced to the land of the Soviet gulags came to be known. Along with her friend, they quickly packed and arranged to get to the trains. To complicate matters, Kazia was in the infirmary with fever, which necessitated Waleria and Josephine to smuggle her out at night in order to make the train, since people with sickness were not allowed to leave. Around the same time, along with other prisoners of war, Jozef Batura was released from prison camp and traveled south with other soldiers to join General Anders army in Persia.

VOYAGE TO AFRICA, 1941 - 1942 Waleria and her children departed the Soviet Union southward in the summer of 1941 by way of Kazakhstan, then onto Uzbekistan, Turkestan and finally sailed via coal barges across the Caspian Sea onto free soil in Persia (Iran). During this year-long exodus, the family traveled amongst thousands of refugees. There were collective farms in which the locals employed the migrants working in cotton fields and digging irrigation channels in exchange for meager portions of food. Many families were forced to put children to work to get enough rations of food to stay alive. In Samarkand, Waleria, with her children, worked in the cotton fields. In an interview in 2005, Helen recollects: “I remember having sacks. I wasn’t even five years old and I remember going in the fields with mama to pick cotton, and I remember the shells were so prickly I used to come home with sore fingers. I remember carrying that bag on my back picking cotton..” In Pahlavi, Persia, the Polish exiles formed into camps that were coordinated by the International Red Cross, the British government, and the Polish government in exile. The relief effort was at first largely funded by gold that the Polish government had managed to smuggle out in 1939. But this eventually began to disappear, and the support for the refugees increasingly fell to the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA), and later to the International Refugee Organization (IRO). For the first time in two years, away from the Soviet stronghold, the refugees were cared for with food, medicine and clothing. Some perished, nonetheless. There was terrible dysentery, and many suffered. Stasia died of typhus fever. Celina recalls suffering from dysentery and having an incident diving into the sea to wash up wearing a silk dress, only to come out of the water in rags since the salt ate away the silk. Traveling to Teheran, Waleria and her children reunited with Jozef for the first time since September, 1939, but only for a few short days while he was on leave before heading to rejoin the Allied army in Palestine. He brought a porcelain doll for Helen and a truck for Bolek. These were the first toys the children ever had. It would be six years before they saw each other again. From Persia, the Poles dispersed to camps in a much larger geographical area: India, British colonies in East Africa and South Africa, and Mexico. Waleria and her children were taken by boat to India, but only for a few days in order to drop off a few of the refugees. They then sailed the Arabian Sea to East Africa.

For the Poles who went to East Africa, there were two main camps: Camp Koja in Uganda, and Camp Tengeru in Tanganyika. Altogether, however, there were 22 camps in Africa, with perhaps 19,000 refugees in total. The Baturas arrived at Koja, perhaps late in 1942, or early the following year. That camp, which accommodated about 3,000 at its peak, would be home until 1948. While the Baturas left for the United Kingdom, others in the camp left for Australia or New Zealand. When Koja was disbanded in 1948, its inhabitants were again dispersed. During their stay in Uganda at Camp Koja, life became more normalized. The camp built a hospital, schools, a church, a store, a cinema. Camp refugees exchanged goods with natives in local villages, but did not frequent areas outside of camp. They learned English in school, and a bit of Swahili from the natives. Celina traveled to a neighboring camp, Masindi to attend school. The Batura’s had a nice garden with vegetables, banana trees, papaya, beautiful flowers. They grew their own peanuts, pistachios, had their own livestock, including geese, ducks, chickens, guinea pigs. Waleria made her own kielbasa, ham, bread, and always continued to cook. Post-war, it became evident that Polish refugees could not return to the Soviet run, Communist Poland. In 1948, the British made arrangements for refugees to leave Africa, and go to various parts of the world, England being one of the welcoming countries. The British arranged the voyage from Uganda to their new home in England. The Baturas traveled by train from Kampala to the Arabian Sea. The sisters recall experiencing their own African safari. They saw exotic animals along the way, including zebras, giraffe, tigers, elephants, and herds roaming the African plains. They waited for a ship to pick them up for several days, which took them through the Straits of Gibraltar, Mediterranean Sea, and up the coast of the Atlantic to the shores of Southampton, England.

12 – introduction

AFRICA, 1942 - 1948

ENGLAND 1948 - EARLY 1950s Waleria and her six children arrived in Southampton, England in April, 1948, reuniting with Jozef Batura for the first time since 1941. The sisters recall celebrating their father’s Name Day (Joseph the Workman May 1), cause for major celebration. Bolek (Bill), being so young in 1939, didn’t recognize his father, and asked when the “gentleman was going to be leaving”. The family settled in a camp called Kirk, in the Cumberland region, about 15 miles south of Scotland’s border. Jozef workd in a dairy. Waleria stayed home to take care of the household. The older siblings got married and went to work, while the younger ones attended schools in various locations. Helen attended a boarding school which was located 12 hours by train away from Cumberland. Kazia attended school in Cheltenham, and later worked for a department store, Woolworth’s, as well as a chambermaid in a hotel. Bolek attended school at first, and later worked for a construction company and apprenticed as a plasterer. Three of the sisters- Josephine, Celina, and Wiktoria married in England. Celina and Walter Weglinski (married July 3rd, ’48) had a son, Richard, before emigrating to America. They lived in Lancaster, where Celina worked for a seamstress. Josephine and Peter Lozowski (married December 26th, ‘49) lived and worked in Preston, and had three children, Regina, Alice and Ted while still in England. Wiktoria lived in Preston before marrying Emil Brajewski (married July 28th, ’51), where they then lived and worked in Wolverhampton, near Birmingham. In the 2005 interview, Wiktoria recalls the food rations in England: “..You got coupons for the candy or chocolate and you got in the beginning, I think, for the whole week one egg a person, and I think a half a pound of meat. But you were able to buy chicken. Especially after I got married I was able to go to farm to buy chicken or buy vegetables. But the meat was rationed and other products for a while. And when we were planning to get married a friend of ours, her husband worked at the farm and he was able to buy or get small chicks and this lady asked me if I would like to take some chicks to take to my mother to raise and kill them for our wedding, which I did. I think, she gave me 12 chicks in the box. Emil and I were going on the train and we had to change two trains to get to my parents and the poor chicks were hungry. While we were waiting for a train we bought a dinner roll, crumbled and fed the chickens and of course on the train the chicks was chirping and the people used to look and laugh. Emil didn’t like it but he didn’t say nothing. We gave this to my parents, my mother raised them and some of them she killed and that was our reception, whatever she was able to make. I made my own torte as a wedding cake…”

14 – introduction

AMERICA EARLY 1950s By the early 1950’s, life had settled down, economy was improving, food was no longer rationed, and this gave families the ability to seek new opportunities. Our family had a choice to stay in England, return to Poland, or go to a final destination, such as Australia or the United States. Celina’s husband Walter had an uncle in Chicago, who gave them the name of a sponsor in Fairfield, CT. In 1951, they were the first to come to the United States and they settled on Marlborough Terrace, where Walter purchased a plot of land & built his house, that today belongs to his son Richie and wife, Christine. In May, 1954, the parents, Waleria, Jozef and their unmarried children: Helen, Bolek, and Kazia sailed on the Queen Elizabeth oceanliner to join Celina and her family. They entered the U.S. through Ellis Island, and were quarantined there for two weeks due to disease testing. Kazia recalls that this was a particularly unnerving experience, with fear of the unknown as their daily routine. The family settled in Bridgeport, CT, a city with a significant industrial base, well suited to accommodate an influx of Polish immigrants. Everyone went to work in various factories, except Bolek (Bill) who went to work for E+F Construction but was laid off due to lack of work during the winter. He worked for Westinghouse factory for a short while, but discovered that he preferred working outdoors. Through the help of a friend, he got into the Bricklayers + Plasterers Union, and was hired as a mason for the Mutual Construction Co. in 1958, where he stayed until his retirement in 2000. Helen, Kazia and Celina worked at the Warner Brothers Company, where Helen met her future husband, Bill Kotulich, whom she married in September 12, 1959. In 1957, on September 14th, Kazia married Kazimierz (Kazik) Zawadzki and settled in New Britain, CT.

AMERICA LATE 1950s At the beginning, the family pooled their incomes each week, and were able to purchase their first house on Clinton Avenue, in Bridgeport, CT. Later, Jozef and Waleria with Bolek purchased the property next door to Celina and Walter on Marlborough Terrace in Fairfield, CT, and together built the house that became the hub for all our traditional family gatherings. Today, Debbie continues the family tradition of “Polish Wigilia” each Christmas Eve at her house in Connecticut. Wiktoria & Emil immigrated in 1956 and settled in Bridgeport, CT. They were expecting their oldest child, Krystyna, while traveling to their new life in America. They purchased their lovely house at 76 Lenox Avenue, which continues to be the family gathering place every Easter as well as the yearly pierogi party a week before Christmas. Josephine, Peter, and Reggie, Alice & Teddy came in May, the same year, 1956. They settled in Trumbull, CT. Togetherness, giving, tradition, and work ethic have been and are the most important values our family cherishes. Since 1954, each holiday: Christmas Eve (Wigilia), Easter (Wielkanoc), and Thanksgiving was celebrated every year in grand style, with food as the main attraction, and continues on. Many Sundays were spent feasting at Babcia (Waleria) and Dziadziu’s (Jozef) kitchen table. For each of the sixteen first cousins’ baptism, first communion, confirmation, graduation, bridal shower, wedding, and baby shower, there were formal gatherings with the dinner table always at the forefront of the festivities. At Helen and Bill’s cottage in Southbury, the family picnics continue to today every Memorial Day, 4th of July, and Labor Day. The smorgasbord of food is legendary. No one leaves the party hungry. The Batura clan has now grown to over 80 people and typical gatherings range between 40-60 people on any given holiday. Our grandparents, Waleria and Jozef created a beautiful life in Connecticut, with family, gardening, cooking, sewing, at the core of their daily lives. In reflection, they had returned to their roots, from the village of Osada Ruda, where farming and food preparation was a way of life. The new generations are now learning, and by way of this cookbook will be able to carry on their traditions.

16 – introduction

Soups, Sauces & Salads


Barszcz is a beet soup common in Eastern


the soup is served during Christmas Eve

8 quart pot filled ¾ the way with water 2 (32oz) cans chicken broth 24 oz package dried mushrooms 5 to 6 medium beets 2 packages “polish barszcz”, optional 3 tbsp lemon juice or vinegar (or more to taste) salt and pepper to taste heavy cream

Europe, and Northern Asia. In my family, dinner. After greeting every member of the family, once everyone has sat down to their seat, aunts and cousins roam around the

t‑ables carrying hot and delicious Barszcz

to start off the meal. This creamy, earthy, soup can (and should) be eaten year round.

It’s a great way to warm up on a cold day, or to start off your meal.

Bring a large pot to a boil, filled three quarters of the way with water. Once the water is boiling, add in the five (or six) beets, with the skin still on them. Cook until tender, about ten to fifteen minutes, and you can easily poke through with a fork. Remove them from the water, let cool. Once the beets are cool enough, remove the skin. This should easily peel off in your hands. Once the beets are peeled, using a box grater, grate the beets. Boil a new pot full of water, about eight cups. Using a twenty-four ounce package of dried mushrooms, cook in a pot of boiling water, until tender. Grind mushrooms in a food processor, or chop finely. Save the water from the mushrooms and set aside for later. In a large pot, combine two cups of the water from the dried mushrooms, the two cans of chicken broth (64oz), two packages of “polish barszcz” (optional, but recommended), chopped mushrooms, grated beets, 3 tablespoons of vinegar (or more if needed) and salt and peper to taste. Cook the soup, let simmer on a medium to low heat for 15 to 20 minutes. Once the soup has cooled slightly, add heavy cream to taste. It should become a creamy pinkcolor. Serve hot and enjoy!


This is a delicous argentinian sauce. It’s


crowd pleaser. It pairs great with just

1 packed cup fresh parsley ½ cup olive oil ½ cup red wine vinegar ¼ packed cup fresh cilantro 2 to 6 cloves garlic, peeled ¾ tsp crushed red pepper ½ tsp ground cumin salt and pepper to taste

super garlic-y and herbaceous flavor is a abuot anything! You won’t be sorry.

Combine all the ingredients in a food processor or blender. Start with a small amount of garlic, and add more after blending. I love to add a lot of garlic to my sauce. More raw garlic gives the sauce a bit of a kick to it. This sauce is great on top of a fish or steak, but also really yummy just as a spread. Enjoy!


This is one of my most favorite dishes in


my Babcia makes for every cottage picnic.

1 medium green cabbage 1 to 2 medium white onion(s) 1 to 2 medium to large carrot(s) 1 cup mayonnaise, more if needed 1 cup sour cream, more if needed 1 tsp sugar ½ lemon, freshly squeezed salt and pepper to taste

the entire book. This coleslaw is a gem that It’s crisp, refreshing, and absolutly to die

for! It’s best if you let the coleslaw set for overnight, or for a few hours, so the cabbage can soak up all the goodness. I don’t lie

when I say that I eat this by the bowlful! Absolutley no coleslaw compares, I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

With a knife, core the cabbage, and thinly shred. Place in a large bowl. Peel the carrot(s) and grate. Add into the bowl with the cabbage. Dice the onions, add to the bowl with carrots and cabbage. To the bowl, add the sour cream, mayonnaise, sugar, and lemon juice. Add salt and pepper to taste. Using your hands (because this is the true way to get the deliciousness), mix together until combined. If the cabbage is too dry, add in equal parts mayonnaise and sour cream. Keep refrigerated when needed, let sit overnight or enjoy immedietly. This lasts about a week, the longer it sits and soaks up the juices, the better it gets! Enjoy!

20 – soups, sauces, & salads


CUCUMBER SALAD SERVES 2 TO 6 INGREDIENTS 1 cucmber ½ white onion dill sour cream, as needed salt and pepper to taste

This recipe is a Polish favorite. It’s crisp and refreshing, and pairs well with just about anything. It’s super easy to make, and lasts a few days. The longer the

cucumbers sit in the sour cream, the even better they are!

Peel the cucumber. Slice into thin pieces, and place it in a bowl. Dice or cut your onion into small slivers, and add to the cucumber. Coat in sour cream, add salt and pepper to taste. Top with dill, as much as desired. The more the merrier! Combine and enjoy!


This was my Great Uncle Ken’s


102, he provided my whole family with

8 cups horseradish root grated (open windows or go outside, if possible) 3 ¼ cup beets, cooked and grated 2 ¼ cups white vinegar (heinz recommended) 4 tbsp sugar 2 ½ tbsp salt (or more to taste) PLEASE NOTE: This recipe should be paired down! This yields enough beet horseradish for my entire family! Definitely start with a small amount and wear protective eye wear, or open windows, if possible. Combine all ingredients and enjoy!

specialty. Living to an impressive age of jars of this deliscious horseradish every year around Easter. The way he would make the family sized portions was by

going into his backyard, gasmask on, and grated away!

MAKES 1 CUP OF SAUCE INGREDIENTS 1/3 cup sour cream 1/3 cup mayonnaise 1 tbsp chopped onion 1 tsp lemon juice 1 tsp horseradish ¾ tsp fresh dill ¼ tsp garlic powder salt and pepper to taste

This sauce is great on anything! It's got

a nice creamyness too it, witha delisicous

kick to it. To make it even more flavorful, use the beet horseradish, see recipe on previous page.

Combine all ingredients and enjoy!


This salad was inspired by the goodness of these two fruits, both at their peak in late summer.

3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice ¾ tsp salt ½ tsp freshly ground pepper 4 large peaches (about 1 ½ lbs) 3 large red tomatoes (about 2 lbs) 3 large yellow tomatoes (about 2 lbs) 1 ½ cups cherry tomatoes (about 10 ounces) ¼ cup mint leaves, plus sprigs for garnish

Whisk together olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, ½ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper in a small bowl; set vinaigrette aside. Halve and pit peaches. Cut halves into quarters. Remove core from stem end of large tomatoes; slice into ½ inch rounds. Arrange peaches, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes on a serving platter. Sprinkle with remaining salt and pepper. Corsley chop mint leaves; add to vinaigrette. Pour over salad, garnish with mint sprigs. Enjoy!

22 – soups, sauces, & salads



This is a delicious addition to a cheese

board, on top blue cheese. Use as desired. Makes a great gift!


2 tbsp pine nuts ¼ cup walnut halves ¼ cup pecan halves ¼ cup hazelnuts ½ cup honey

Preheat the oven to 350F. Put all the nuts on a large baking sheet, keep them separated by type because cooking time varies. Bake until pine nuts are fragrant and lightly browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Set the pine nuts aside, bake the rest of the nuts for about 5 more minutes. Let all the nuts cool. Transfer honey to a serving bowl, or jar, and the toasted nuts. Enjoy!


This dish was given to me by


The salad is a great addition

SALAD 1 cup stemmed parsley ½ cup stemmed cilantro ½ cup stemmed mint ¼ cup dill leaves of 3 to 4 sprigs of tarragon 3 cups of herbs total 2 large handfuls of baby arugula 2 large handfuls of baby spinach

my family friends Susan & Azy.

DRESSING 1 tsp dijon mustard grated zest and juice of 1 small lime olive oil (pour enough until emulsifies) ½ tsp sugar salt and pepper to taste

to any meal, it's super simple,

but super yummy. The mustard

dressing is just the right amount of flavor complimenting the herbaceous blend.

Measure out all herbs, stem and place in a bowl. In the bowl, toss the herbs with the arugula and spinach. In a separate bowl, mix together all the dressing ingredients, until combined. Pour over the salad, toss and enjoy!

24 – soups, sauces, & salads


26 – soups, sauces, & salads


Pickled beets are


These beets go great

BEET PREP 4 quarts of boiled beets, sliced 4 quarts of raw onion, sliced

SYRUP ¾ cup sugar ½ cup light brown sugar 2 tbsp salt, or to taste NOTE FOR BEETS: Wash, scrub (with skin 1 to 2 sticks of cinnamon on), and place all beets into a large pot of 1 tsp allspice boiling water. If your beets vary in size, sort 1 tsp whole cloves in three pots, small, medium and large. 4 to 4 ½ cups white vinegar Small Beets: approximately 25-30 minutes in 3 (or 2 ½ if you used 4 ½ cups vinegar) boiling water. Medium beets: approximately cups water 45 minutes in boiling water. Large Beets approximately 1 hour in boiling water.

a polish favorite.

in salads, on top of

sandwiches or just on

their own. A bright pop of color in a dish and a bold flavor. Pair with some goat cheese to

soothe and compliment the beets.

Boil the syrup for 10 minutes on medium heat. Add raw onions to syrup, and continue to simmer for 5 minutes. Take the sliced beets, and fill the jars up leaving ¼ inch from the top of the jar. Continue until all the beets are evenly distributed throughout the jars. Let marinade for at least a day and enjoy! NOTE: Make sure the beets have been cooled completely before adding them to the jars. Pour the syrup over the beets in each jar evenly. Seal. Allow the beets to marinate for at least a day, to soak up the syrup. Serve as desired.


This salad can be both a main dish


is super easy to put together. If you

¾ tsp salt, plus more for cooking 1 cup whole long-grain rice ½ small red onion 3 tbsp red-wine vinegar grated zest of 1 lemon 3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice (approx. 1 lemon) 2 ½ tbsp extra-virgin olive oil 1 ½ tsp finely chopped garlic ¼ tsp freshly ground pepper 3 tbsp roughly chopped fresh dill

or an addition to your meal. The dish have leftover rice, this is a great use for it. The vinegar and lemon brings a great acidity to the dish, while the

oinons and dill bring a great freshness.

Bring a medium saucepan three-quarters full of water to a boil; add salt to the water for flavor. Stir in the rice, and return water to a boil. For fluffier rice, rinse in a strainer a few times before adding to the water. Reduce heat to low, let simmer. Cook until rice is tender, about 14 minutes. Drain rice, and transfer to a medium bowl. Place aside. While the rice is cooking, dice the red onion into small pieces. Mix together the red onion and vinegar in a small bowl. Let sit 5 minutes; drain onion, discarding vinegar. Return the onions back into the bowl, set aside. In another bowl, add lemon juice, oil, garlic, ¾ tsp salt, and pepper to taste, whisk to combine Drizzle lemon mixture over hot rice. Add reserved onion, dill and lemon zest; toss to combine. Serve hot and enjoy!


This dish is not only delicious, but


lovely colors, flavors and is super

1 can (35oz) whole plum tomatoes 1 can (14oz) artichoke hearts ½ cup onion, finely chopped 2 tbsp shallots, finely chopped ¼ lb butter ½ tsp basil 2 tbsp sugar salt and pepper to taste

it's also beautiful. The dish has easy to prepare. This dish is a summer favorite.

Preheat oven to 325F. Grease shallow baking sheet or casserole dish. Drain tomatoes and artichokes, rince artichokes in water. Sauté onions and shallots in butter until tender. Add tomatoes, artichokes and basil, cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring gently. Season with sugar, salt and pepper. Turn into prepared baking dish and bake at 325F for 10 to 15 minutes or until they are cooked through. Enjoy!


This is a family favorite at Christmas


the first thing that comes around the

1 can crabmeat (4 ½ oz), works great with fresh crab as well ½ lb shrimp 1 to 2 lobster tails, or canend frozen lobster (10 to 12 oz) ½ lb scallops 1 to 2 lbs cod, already cooked 2 tbsp butter 1 tbsp flour 2 cups half & half or cream 1 to 2 cans cream of shrimp soup, or any seafood bisque ½ cup sherry or white wine salt and pepper to taste

Eve dinner. Always served warm,

tables is a nice big cup full of seafood newburg! This soup is rich, creamy, and downright evil, but you won’t be

sorry. Make a nice big pot of this, and

the leftovers will be just as amazing as the first bite.

Melt butter in a large pot, add flour, mix over low heat until golde. Add the cream (or half & half) into the pot, and combine. Place seafood items into the mixture, add the bisque, if you desire more flavor, use 2 cans of the bisque. Add the wine, salt and pepper. Let simmer to allow for the cream to thicken, let sit for a few hours on a low heat. You can let this sit for as long as you’d like. Serve warm and enjoy!

28 – soups, sauces, & salads



This salad is a refreshing addition to


an excitement factor that everyone

3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil 2 tbsp lemon juice 1 large shallot, minced 1 loosely packed quart of watercress or arugula 2 small fennel bulbs, halved 1 crisp red apple, quartered and cored ½ lb blue cheese, at room temperature salt and pepper to taste

a meal. Tt's unique ingredients add

loves. The fennel and apple bring a brightness to the dish.

In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper and shallots. Put the watercress or arugula into a large salad bowl, using a mandolin or a chef’s knife, slice the apples and fennel super thinly, add to salad. Crumble in the blue cheese, and toss the salad with the dressing. Enjoy!

STUFFED MUSHROOMS SERVES 4 TO 6 INGREDIENTS 12 large fresh mushrooms 2 tbsp oil 1 small onion, finely chopped ¼ lb ground beef, pork, veal or turkey (chef’s choice) 2 slices prosciutto ham, chopped 1/3 cup dried sherry ¼ cup seasoned breadcrumbs 1 tsp garlic powder ¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated salt and pepper to taste

These stuffed mushrooms are a

family favorite. They show up every now and then at family gatherings. They're super earthy and meaty.

Preheat oven to 375F. Gently remove stems from mushrooms. Chop stems finely, set aside. Place mushrooms caps on a baking sheet, set aside. Heat oil in skillet, cook onion and ground meat of choice until golden brown. Add chopped stems, prosciutto and sherry to mixture and cook down for about 5 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and add breadcrumbs, garlic powder and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well. Spoon mixture into mushroom caps, sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Serve hot and enjoy!


These tomato dill fritters are absolute


almost any dipping sauce, or they're

1 ½ pounds plum tomatoes, halved, seeded, and chopped 1 cup chopped red onion 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil 2 tbsp chopped fresh dill 1 tsp dried oregano 1 cup all purpose flour 1 ¼ tsp salt ½ tsp ground black pepper 8 tbsp olive oil (approximately) for frying

evil! So yummy! They pair well with

delicious on their own as well. Please make sure to be careful when you're

frying these up, the oil can get very hot. Keep a distance when you can!

Mix tomatoes, onion, 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp dill and oregano in a large bowl. Set aside and let sit for 30 minutes. Mix in flour, salt and pepper to the mixture and let it sit again until it becomes moist, about an hour. Preheat the oven to 300F. Heat 6 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Drop 1 heaping tablespoon of batter into the oil. Repeat forming 8 fritters total, or as many that can comfortably fit in your skillet. Cook fritters until brown, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a paper towel to drain. Transfer to a baking sheet and place in the oven to keep warm. Repeat with remaining batter, about two more batches, adding more oil to the skillet as needed. Arrange fritters on a plate when done, and sprinkle with dill. Enjoy!

SWEET POTATO SALAD SERVES 6 TO 8 INGREDIENTS 4 large sweet potatoes (2.5 to 3lbs) 6 tbsp olive oil, divided ½ cup edamame, shelled and thawed if frozen 1 cup celery, thinly sliced 2/3 cup onion, optional ¼ cup parsley, minced 1 tbsp chives, minced 2 tbsp lemon juice 1 tbsp dijon mustard maple syrup, as needed (optional) salt and pepper to taste

This dish, given to me by Melissa, is a yummy new take on your classic

potato salad. The dijon mustard and

edamame are a great addition to add

some variety to the dish. Maple syrup, a sweet potatoe's perfect match will compliment the saltiness with a splash of sweetness.

Cut sweet potatoes into 1’’ cubes. Put in skillet over medium to high heat with olive oil. Cover and cook until tender and golden brown, about 4-5 minutes (can also be done as a roast in the oven at 450F, for 20-35 minutes). Combine onion (optional), edamame, celery, parsley, and chives in a large bowl. Stir in potatoes and set aside. Whisk together lemon juice, mustard, maple syrup (optional), and olive oil in a small bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour over potatoes and toss. Refrigerate and serve. Enjoy!

30 – soups, sauces, & salads



This dish was given to me by Susan &


that you can let stew for hours on end.

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 4 italian sausages, cooked and sliced 1 cup chopped onion 1 clove fresh garlic, minced 2 (15.5 oz) cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed, save some of the bean broth 1 cup canned diced tomatoes, NOT drained 2 cups chicken broth, plus extra to thin, if desired 1 bunch fresh greens, stems removed and roughly chopped (about 8-10oz) salt and pepper, to taste OPTIONAL: chopped fresh parsley; thick slices of toasted bread

Azy, family friends. It's a great soup

A great way to warm up on a cold day, or to start off a meal. The longer you let the soup simmer, the more flavor all the ingredients will soak up!

Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions and cook till soft, then add the garlic. Add all but 1/2 cup of the beans and the entire cup of tomatoes. Cover and simmer gently for about 5 minutes. Mash the remaining 1/2 cup of beans in a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. You may need to add a splash of the bean broth to get them to blend. Transfer the pureed beans to the pot. Stir in broth and greens. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about 30 minutes. Add the sliced sausage. Taste the soup and season with salt and pepper, if necessary. Remove from heat and garnish with fresh parsley, if desired. Serve with toasted bread. Enjoy! NOTE: Any greens will work, I like broccoli rabe, but if you are a kale lover, use kale!


These are some of my all time


to any meal. Only a few ingredients,

4 zucchini 1 whole onion, white preferable, but any kind works! 1 egg ¼ cup all purpose flour salt and pepper to taste butter as needed (you can substitute butter for oil of your choice)

favorite. This is the perfect side dish it’s super simple, easy and manageable. These are my go-to to complete

the meal, and guests are always

impressed! Delicious anytime of the

year, but especially good in summer!

Peel, and grate the zucchini. Once all the zucchini is grated, strain the zucchini in a colander to remove all the excess moisture (press down on the zucchini in the colander, and remove water that surfaces, repeat until most of the extra moisture is gone, will still be wet). Place the zucchini in a medium to large bowl. Dice the onion finely, into small pieces, add to the bowl with the zucchini. Add the egg into the bowl and mix. Add the flour, a little at a time, until the mixture is combined. Add salt and pepper to taste. If the mixture is still too wet, add some more flour, one spoonful at a time. In a frying pan, melt about two to three tablespoons of butter, on medium heat, don’t add the pancakes until the butter is melted, and sizzling hot. Take a heaping spoonful of the mixture, and add to the hot frying pan, don’t overcrowd the pan, as you will need to have room to flip! Use two pans if necessary. Fill each pan up with five to six pancakes, and let sit on this side for about three to four minutes, checking on them to make sure they’re not burning. Flip each pancake, once they’re a nice golden deep brown, don’t worry if some are lighter than others, you can always flip over again. Add another tablespoon of butter to the pan if needed, let brown on this side. Remove once both sides are golden brown, serve immediately. NOTE: Delicious to add mushrooms or other vegetables on top!

32 – soups, sauces, & salads




My mom gave me this recipe. It's a

favorite seafood dish that's super easy

INGREDIENTS 1/3 cup, plus 3 tbsp olive oil 3 medium onions, chopped 2 (14 ½ oz) canned, peeled tomatoes 4 tbsp chopped fresh parsley 1 tbsp dried oregano 5 garlic cloves, minced ½ tsp cayenne pepper 2 lbs uncooked large shrimp, peeled and deveined 8 oz feta cheese, crumbled toasted French-bread slices, optional

and fast to make. The tomatoes and

herbs soak up into the shrimp. The best part about this dish is that it makes

great leftovers. Enjoy topped on bread, over pasta or just on it's own!

Heat 1/3 cup oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions; sauté until golden, about 12 minutes. Add tomatoes (with juice from can), 3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley, oregano, garlic and cayenne. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover, simmer until sauce thickens, about twenty minutes. Season sauce with salt and pepper. Transfer to a medium bowl. Preheat the oven to 400F. Heat 3 tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season shrimp with salt and pepper. Add to skillet and sauté until shrimp start to turn opaque, about 3 minutes. Add the tomato sauce, stir. Transfer to an oven safe dish, and sprinkle feta cheese over it. Bake until shrimp cooks through, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining parsley, and serve with toast. Enjoy!

36 – mains


Bigos is a polish stew. You can make


and any vegetable. It's extremely

1 lb bacon 3 large onions 3 jars of cabbage or sauerkraut salt and pepper to taste vegetables of choice, optional

it with fresh cabbage, sauerkraut adaptable to anything you want to add to it.

Rinse cabbage, and soak for 20 minutes. Squeeze out, and rinse again. Cook in a pot with a little water for 1 hour. Chop bacon into squares, and fry. Chop onions, and sauté in bacon grease. Add to the cabbage once cooked, and enjoy!


Do not be intimidated by this list


absolute must try! Being one

CHICKEN MARINADE 1 medium to large chicken breast 3 heaping tbsp greek yogurt ½ lemon, freshly squeezed 2 tbsp paprika 2 tbsp garam masala 2 tbsp garlic powder 2 tbsp ground ginger 2 tbsp corriander 1 cloves garlic, minced 1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced RICE 1 cup rice 2 cups water 1 star anise, whole Cumin seeds

of ingredients! This dish is an

SAUCE 2 tbsp paprika 2 tbsp garam masala 2 tbsp garlic powder 2 tbsp ground ginger 2 tbsp onion powder, optional 1 to 2 tbsp cayenne, optional for spice 2 tbsp cumin 2 tbsp corriander 2 tbsp turmeric 3 cloves of garlic, minced 2 tbsp fresh ginger, minced 1 medium onion, any kind works extra virgin olive oil, as needed (about 3 to 4 tbsp) 1/2 pint heavy cream 1/4 cup strained tomatoes

of my favorite Indian dishes, I had to include my version

for all of you to try! This has definetly become a staple in

my house, something that I can barely go a week without. It’s definetly worth the investment of all these spices, you won’t

regret it! I hope you enjoy this as much as we have!

Preheat the oven to 500F. While the oven is preheating, prepare the chicken. Slice the chicken breast into cubes, and place into a small to medium bowl. Add the marinade ingredients into the bowl with the chicken: paprika, garam masala, garlic powder, ground ginger, corriander, fresh minced garlic, fresh minced ginger, lemon juice, and greek yogurt. Mix all the ingredients until combined. If the chicken still looks too dry, add more yogurt as needed. In a small bowl, measure out all the spices needed for the sauce: paprika, garam masala, garlic powder, ground ginger, onion powder (optional), cayenne powder (optional), cumin, corriander, turmeric. Mince three large garlic cloves, add to the spices. Chop up two tbsp of fresh ginger and add to the spices. The ginger can just be eyeballed however much you’d like to add. Dice up the onion, and add to a frying pan. Add your bowl of spices to the diced onion in the frying pan. With about 3 tbsp of olive oil, coat the onions, and sauté until softened, about 3 to 5 minutes. If the onions and spices are still a little dry, add another tbsp of olive oil. While the onions are cooking, start the rice cooking in a medium to large saucepan, 1 cup rice, to 2 cups water. Rinse in a sift before cooking for fluffier rice. Cover with a top, and let simmer on a low heat until the rice absorbs the water and is cooked, about 12 to 15 minutes. Add the star anise and a tsp of cumin seeds for extra flavor. Once the oven is preheated, on a baking sheet, covered with parchment paper or aluminum foil, separate each piece of chicken, and let cook for 7 to 12 minutes, depending on the size of each cube of chicken. The chicken will be ready when the yogurt is slightly brown on the sides of each piece. With the excess yogurt from the chicken marinade, scrape into the onions. Add the heavy cream and the strained tomatoes, mix until the tomatoes are incorporated into the cream. Let this simmer on a medium heat. You can keep this cooking until all the ingredients are ready. Stir every so often to make sure the sauce doesn’t burn on the bottom. The sauce will take about ten minutes to thicken properly. Stir the rice every so often, lift the lid to let out steam if the rice starts to bubble. Once the chicken is cooked, add it to your sauce, and let simmer until the rice is cooked. Once the rice is cooked, portion out and pour masala sauce over, and enjoy!

38 – mains

CHILI SERVES 3 TO 5 INGREDIENTS 1 lb ground chuck beef 1 large onion, minced 1 clove garlic, minced 3 tbsp oil 1 (8oz) can tomato sauce 1 (6oz) can tomato paste ½ tsp salt ¼ tsp crushed red pepper 1 bay leaf, crumbled 1 tbsp chili powder ¼ cup chopped fresh basil or 1 tbsp dried basil 1 ½ tsp salt 1 pint cooked chili beans

Michelle Szymojko is the one to

thank for this dish. Super easy, and always amazing, it will never fail to disappoint. Great to make in a

large batch for a group of people, or for lots of leftovers!

Sauté beef, onion and garlic slowly in hot oil. Add tomato paste, tomato sauce and seasoning. Continue to simmer over low heat for an hour. Add beans, cover and let simmer for 10 more minutes. Enjoy hot!

COD FISH SERVES AS MANY AS DESIRED INGREDIENTS cod filets, cut into serving pieces (as many as desired) lemon juice, as needed mayonnaise, as needed flavored breadcrumbs, as needed

A Batura Christmas Eve is never

complete without cod filets. An easy

and yummy addition to the never ending feast will always clear the plates.

It's a great, easy way to balance out a meal with some seafood.

Wash filets; pat dry. Sprinkle with lemon juice. With a pastry brush, brush each filet with mayonnaise on both sides; dredge in breadcrumbs. Place on a greased baking tray, spray with some cooking oil. Bake at 375F for 30 to 40 minutes or until flaky, cover for the first 20 minutes of baking time with aluminum, remove the second half of baking to allow for browning. Enjoy!

GRATIN ALLA SORRENTINA SERVES 4 INGREDIENTS 1 lb pasta, fusilli is ideal 8 tbsp butter, or more as needed 14 oz mozzarella, cut into small-diced pieces 6 tbsp grated pecorino or parmesan 1/4 to 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs salt and pepper to taste

Given to me by Susan & Azy, family

friends, Gratin alla Sorrentina is a crowd pleaser. It upgrades your

classic pasta dish to be all the more exciting. It's great for all ages, and anyone who's anyone has got to love it! You won't be sorry.

Boil the pasta in salted water until al dente, then drain. Put the pasta back in the hot, empty pan with the butter, the small-diced mozzarella, and 3 tbsp grated pecorino or parmesan, (or a mix of the two) and a few good grinds of black pepper, then stir over a low flame until the mozzarella is melting and pulling into strings. Now tip everything into a buttered ovenproof dish, sprinkle the top with another handful of grated pecorino and some breadcrumbs, then dot generously with butter. To finish, bake the pasta at 350 for 20 minutes, turning on the grill for the last five minutes so the top browns. This is a gentle dish, so it needs contrast: serve alongside a crisp, green salad with a sharp vinegar dressing, maybe, and a cold bottle of wine.

LEEK & MUSHROOM PASTA SERVES 2 TO 4 INGREDIENTS 1 box pasta of your choice ¾ pint of heavy cream ¾ pint, plus a splash more of chicken stock (works great with vegetable stock too!) 2 large leeks (or 3 smaller ones) 4 medium to large mushrooms (or more if desired) 3 cloves of garlic Goat cheese, softened (optional)

One of my own recipes, this dish is melt in your mouth amazing. An easy five (or six) ingredients dish that is absolutely

indulgent. Creamy, earthy and just the right amount of bite, this pasta will

become a go-to dish. From my house to yours, enjoy!

Thinly slice the mushrooms, start sauteing in butter in a large frying pan, add salt and pepper. With your leeks, slice lengthwise twice, so that you can chop into quarters. Make sure to wash out your leeks. Salt again. Don't use too much butter, otherwise your sauce will split. Add the leeks to the mushrooms, let cook down. Mince some garlic, and add to the leeks and mushrooms. Add the splash of your stock to the mushrooms and leeks so it soaks up that yummy flavor, let simmer for about a minute. Add the rest of the stock, and the heavy cream to the pan, let simmer. This will need to thicken, it takes about 15 to 20 minutes. Stir frequently, so the cream doesn’t overboil. Keep on a medium heat. After about five minutes, add as much goat cheese as desired to your sauce. This gives it a great richness, but it’s also great without; your preference. Once the sauce starts to simmer, boil a pot of water for pasta. Cook your pasta according to the directions on the box. Once the sauce has turned a golden brown color and the simmering has slowed down, the sauce will be ready. Add the pasta to the sauce, and coat the noodles. Portion, and enjoy!

40 – mains


This is a classic dish in my


traditional pad thai to make

NOODLES 1 box of rice noodles (8.8 oz) 1 chicken breast, or protein of choice ½ bell pepper, any color ½ red onion 3 cloves garlic 2 eggs, optional A bunch of green onions Peanuts, chopped Jalapeños, optional Cilantro, for garnish Bean Sprouts, as desired Olive oil, as needed Salt and pepper to taste

household. I jazzed up a

SAUCE 4 ½ tbsp fish oil 3 ½ tbsp rice vinegar 2 tbsp soy sauce 2 heaping tbsp garlic chile paste 3 heaping tbsp peanut butter 2 tbsp brown sugar NOTE: This sauce is portioned for one box of 8.8oz rice noodles, adjust accordingly.

it creamier, and even more

delicious. This dish is a super simple, easy and filling meal that’s great if you’re hosting

guests, or just a quiet night in! This dish can be made simply

by not including the scrambled eggs. The chicken can be

replaced by shrimp, tofu, pork or any protein desired!

Boil a big pot of water, leaving extra room for the noodles. In a bowl, add all the ingredients for the sauce and mix together until combined. The sauce should look creamy and smooth. The peanut butter can be hard to combine, so just be patient and careful. Set the sauce aside. Cut the chicken into cubes, or thin slices, and add to a medium to large frying pan. Thinly slice up bell pepper, red onion, and mince garlic, add to the chicken. Add about 2 tbsp of olive oil and start sauteing, add more oil if needed. While the chicken is cooking with the veggies, cut up the green onion, cut half of it into 1 inch long pieces, and the rest can be thinly sliced to garnish on top. If you desire jalepenos, slice them into thin rounds, take out the seeds from the center. Chop peanuts for garnish. Once the water is boiling, add the noodles. Should cook for about 4 minutes. In the sink or on the counter, fill a large bowl or pot with cold water. Set aside. Add in the 1 inch long green onions to the chicken, saute for a minute. Once the chicken is cooked (about 4 to 5 minutes), scramble the 2 eggs, and add to the chicken. Stir frequently. If you desire the dish to be vegan, omit adding in the eggs. Strain the noodles once cooked, and immediately add to the cold water. This is important so that the noodles don’t become sticky. Leave the noodles in the cold water for about 30 seconds, not any longer or else the noodles will become too cold. Strain out most of the water, from the noodles. Leave about ¼ cup of the water with the noodles. Add the noodles to the chicken, and add the sauce. On a low heat, simmer and mix the noodles with the chicken, vegetables and sauce, until the water has evaporated and the noodles are all coated. Serve on each plate. Top with peanuts, green onions, bean sprouts, cilantro and jalapeños (if desired). Enjoy!

PASTA E CECI SERVES 2 TO 4 INGREDIENTS 1 (14oz) can chickpeas 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup chopped) 3 garlic cloves, minced 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, 1/2 teaspoon if you like a kick 1 (14oz) can crushed tomatoes (1 3/4 cups) 2 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken broth 3/4 cup (3oz) small-shaped pasta (mini ziti, mini shells) shaved pecorino cheese, for topping

This classic Roman recipe falls

somewhere in between a stew and

a saucy tomato pasta, with a thick, saucy broth and satisfying bites of pasta and protein-rich chickpeas.

Drain chickpeas, reserving liquid, and blend liquid and about 1/4 cup of chickpeas on low speed until smooth (don’t puree it too much or it’ll be too frothy). Heat olive oil in a medium heavyweight saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and stir until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes and stir until starting to bubble, about 2 minutes, then add blended chickpea liquid, remaining chickpeas, and vegetable broth and bring to a simmer for 10 minutes to allow the flavors to develop and the broth to thicken slightly. Add the pasta and simmer for about 8 minutes or until almost al-dente (double check package instructions if using a different kind of pasta – it’ll likely take a minute or two longer than the package says in this case). Spoon into serving bowls. Top generously with pecorino cheese and serve hot. Enjoy!

42 – mains


Susan & Azy never disappoint


dish is flavorful, fun, and

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for serving 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped 1 medium carrot, peeled and finely chopped 1 garlic clove, finely minced 1 cup brown lentils, rinsed 1 tablespoon tomato paste 3 thyme sprigs 1 fresh bay leaf a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes 5 cups water 8 ounces short tubular pasta (such as ziti, trenne or rigatoni) 1/3 cup whole milk 1 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley grated parmesan, for serving salt and pepper to taste

with their recipes. This Pasta delicious. Don't hesitate when it

comes to making this dish, like I said, it will not disappoint.

In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and carrot, and cook, stirring often until soft but not brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper, and add the lentils, tomato paste, thyme, bay leaf and red pepper flakes. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes to allow the flavors to meld. Add the water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer with the lid slightly ajar, until the lentils are tender, 40 to 45 minutes. Bring the lentils to a boil and add the pasta and milk. Cook, uncovered, stirring often so that the pasta doesn’t stick to the bottom, until the pasta is al dente and the liquid has reduced to a creamy, ragù-like sauce, 10 to 12 minutes. Discard the bay leaf and thyme sprigs. Divide the pasta among serving bowls and garnish with the parsley, Parmesan and more olive oil. Enjoy!


That's right, this recipe makes


are a Batura Christmas Eve

100 to 150 delicious pierogi. Pierogi

DOUGH (¼ this for about 20-30 pierogi) 5 lbs all purpose flour 4 eggs 4 heaping tbsp sour cream 6 oz butter 4 cups water (or more if too sticky)

CABBAGE 1 small cabbage 20 oz mushrooms 1 onion, minced and sauteed 1 can sauerkraut salt and pepper to taste

SWEET CHEESE FILLING 1 lb farmer’s cheese (friendship brand cheese ONLY) 1 egg yolk sugar to taste ½ tsp vanilla extract

POTATO 2 lb potatoes, add butter and milk to them once mashed 1 medium onion, minced and sauteed salt and pepper to taste

centerpiece. A polish dumpling,

these bad boys can be filled with anything you can imagine. Sweet or savory, they're always the

first to go on the dinner table. My family gets together and

makes over 5oo pierogi each year, a few weeks before Christmas Eve. If you're just making for

a few people, they freeze great

for weeks, or you can freeze the dough for months.

Combine all ingredients for cheese filling in a bowl, set aside. Cook potatoes, mash & cool. Saute onions, until deep golden brown, and add to the mashed potatoes, set aside. Cook cabbage down, dry on towels. Grind and drain cabbage (sauerkraut). Grind and drain mushrooms. Mix all ingredients set aside. Combine all the dough ingredients into a bowl, and mix by hand until combined. Once the ingredients are combined, transfer to a floured surface and knead until smooth, about ten minutes. If you made a full batch, cut the dough into 4 pieces, you can freeze the other three (in saran wrap), or you can leave aside if you want more. Each quarter of the dough yields about 20-30 pierogies (you can also make all of it, and freeze pierogi after boiling). Roll out dough, until about ¼ to 1/8 in thick, and using a cookie cutter or the top of a glass, cut out circles of the dough. With each circle, place a heaping tsp of filling, crimp the edges and set aside on a floured board. Continue with remaining circles, and filling. Reroll the dough until you use it all. Once you’ve crimped all your pierogi, it’s always good practice to take some flour, and recrimp them all to make sure they’re sealed.

44 – mains

Boil a big pot of water, or two for quicker results. Have a big bowl of cold water in the sink or on a surface ready. Once the water is boiling, place about 4 to 6 pierogi in the water, they will be ready once they rise to the surface, about 3 to 5 minutes. Some may open in the water, just let it be it happens, you can eat immediately! Once the pierogi rise, use a spoon and transfer the pierogi to the cold water, add another batch of uncooked pierogi into the boiling water. Then, while the next batch is cooking, pull the pierogi out of the cold water, and place on paper towels, to pat dry. Once you finish this process with all the pierogi, if you’re storing for another occasion, store in airtight containers, with parchment paper between each layer. If you’re eating immediately, once you finish boiling all the pierogi, pull out a frying pan and melt 1 to 2 tbsp of butter. Once melted, add in pierogi into the frying pan, brown on both sides, to have a nice golden color. Fry up all, if you’re making a lot, keep the already fried ones in the oven to keep warm. Enjoy immediately! NOTE: Potato and Mushroom filled pierogi are great with some sour cream. Sweet cheese is good with some sugar on top or a blueberry compote! All are delicious just on their own! You can fill the dough with just about anything!


This is your classic potato


making this dish. I'ts a cottage

1 (8 to 16oz) can small peas, drained and washed 4 pickles, slice, dry & dice 3 to 4 boiled potatoes, dice 4 to 5 cooked carrots, dice 3 to 4 hard boiled eggs, diced 3 green apples, diced 1 large onion, diced mayonnaise, as needed mustard, as needed salt and pepper to taste.

salad. You won't go wrong

classic in my family. It's super super easy to make, great with leftover ingredients.

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl, refrigerate and enjoy!

SLEDZIE MAKES 8 TO 10 JARS INGREDIENTS herring, as much as desired 2 large bay leaves whole peppercorns, as desired 1/2 cup vinegar sugar to taste

Sledzie or pickled herring is a Polish classic. Something that ever since I could

remember,was always on the top shelf of my babcia's fridge. This

is a Christmas Eve classic. You'll either love or hate this. When I

was younger, my cousins and I would dare eachother to eat a

piece at Christmas Eve dinner.

Clean and gut herrings, reserving milkers in a small bowl of water. Washing herrings and let soak overnight, 24 hrs in water. Be sure to change water about every 3 hours (of course while your awake). This is to eliminate the salt. Next day, cut each herring into thirds. In a gallon jar, put about 2 bay leaves and 4 to 5 peppercorns at the bottom. Top with a handful of onions, a few pieces of herring and repeat the process to fill the jar. Mix water and vinegar and mash milkers through a sieve with sugar into water mixture. Mix and pour over herrings. Cover and seal the jar, leave in the fridge for 2 to 3 days before enjoying!

46 – mains


These are the belle of the


My Aunt Helen makes these

2 onions, chopped finely 1 stick butter 1 lb clams, minced 1 ½ container breadcrumbs 2 tbsp lemon juice parmesan cheese bacon bits, optional parsley, chopped

ball at Christmas Eve dinner. year after year, collecting and recollecting the shells to use

for the following year. These are coveted all around the

tables, and they're always the

first to go. Lemony and crispy,

these are the perfect appitizer.

Preheat oven to 400F. If you’re using fresh clams, steam in a big pot until all the clams open up. Clams open at various times, this will take about five to ten minutes. If a calm doesn’t open up in that time, don’t use it! Pull out the clams from the shell, and mince them, save shells for later. Chop onion into small pieces, you can use the food processor for best results. Melt butter, set aside. Chop up some parsley, as much as desired for topping, grate the parmesan cheese, about ¼ cup. Fry bacon, and chop into small pieces, if desired. Mix together onions, butter, clams, breadcrumbs and lemon juice, and fill empty clam shells. Place on cookie sheet, sprinkle with cheese, and parsley. If you’d like, place cooked bacon bits on top. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Enjoy!


Although these are traditionally


best swedish meatballs. These

2/3 lbs ground pork 1/3 lbs ground beef salt and pepper to taste 1 or 2 eggs 1 white onion 1 to 3 cloves garlic 1 ½ cups dried out bread slices or bread crumbs flour, as needed for rolling

Swedish, my babcia makes the are you very classic and very

delicious meatballs. great ontop of Potatoes, or just on their own. Christmas Day, these are my

favorite part of the meal that I share with my family. And nothing is better than gravy!

Dice the onion and garlic, and saute in a pan with butter until golden brown (about 5 minutes). Mix together all the ingredients in a bowl. Start with one egg, and if you need the ingredients to combine more, add the second. You can also add more breadcrumbs if the mixture is too wet. Roll into small 1 inch rounds, and coat with flour. Fry in a pan, let the fat render, if you need more add 1/2 tbsp butter. Let brown on all sides. With leftover fat, add a few spoons of flour, and some heavy cream to make a gravy, if desired. Enjoy!


A Thanksgiving must have. When


next to everyone made sure that

2 ¾ lbs unsalted saltine crackers 1 lb of butter or margarine 8 slices of wonder bread (or any white bread) wet, squeezed excess water 12 whole eggs beaten 2 tbsp chicken baste 2 cups water ½ cup chopped parsley 2 medium onions 5 stocks of celery turkey livers (from the turkey) 3 lbs of ground turkey salt and pepper to taste

putting together this cookbook, this recipe be included! This

is my Babcia's specialty. She's incharge of two out of three

turkeys for Thanksgiving Day,

with a few helpers, they always turn out delicious!

Note: If stuffing is not moist

enough you can add more water.

up to 2 cups. Stuffing should be very moist to the touch.

Break up crackers by hand while still in plastic sleeves. DO NOT USE FOOD PROCESSOR crackers will be too fine. In food processor finely chop onions and celery first then turkey livers separately. Melt butter then add onion, celery, chicken baste and cook for 10 minutes at the end add 1 cup of water and let it cool. In a medium bowl add the 12 whole eggs and beat well. In a large bowl add crackers, wet bread, chopped parsley, beaten eggs, water, ground turkey, butter onion celery mixture and ground liver. Mix well by hand add additional water if needed. STUFFING THE TURKEY: Preheat the oven 350F. Line roasting pans with heavy aluminum foil, place 6 pads of butter to the bottom of each pan. Place turkey in roaster. Add stuffing to neck opening and then close with tooth picks. Place your hand under the skin surrounding the breast meat and gently separate the skin from the meat. Place stuffing under the skin surrounding the breast meat. Make sure the stuffing covers the entire breast. Really squeeze it in there, this will keep the breast meat nice and moist. If there is any remaining stuffing add to the cavity. After the birds are stuffed place 4 pads of butter on to the breast skin and add 2 cups of water to the pan. Cover (loosely) with heavy foil and bake for 4 hours. Baste often and uncover for the final 30 minutes to brown the turkey. Once fully cooked let the turkey rest 20 minutes cover to keep warm. Enjoy!

48 – mains


Just like the name says, this


dish.It celebrates summer

DOUGH 2/3 cup all purpose flour 2/3 cup rye or whole wheat flour 1 tsp sugar ½ tsp fine sea salt 1 large egg 1 stick unsalted butter, diced 2 tsp lemon juice ½ tsp lemon zest, optional heavy cream, as needed

is absolutley the best summer

FILLING 2 medium eggplants (1 lb) 2 medium zucchini (¾ lb) 1 lb plum tomatoes 2 hot chile peppers, optional 3 oz goat cheese, softened 1 small garlic clove 1 tsp thyme leavess salt to taste pepper to taste olive oil, as needed

vegetables, and flourishing

vegetation. This is definetly

worth all the time. The dough can be used again, and can be

filled with anything you desire.

MAKE THE CRUST: In a food processor fitted with a steel blade, or in a large bowl, pulse or mix together flours, sugar and salt. In a measuring cup, lightly beat the egg then add just enough cream to get 1/3 cup. Lightly whisk the egg and cream together. Add butter to the flour mixture and pulse or use a pastry cutter or your fingers to break up the butter. If using a food processor, do not overwork the dough; you need chickpea-size chunks of butter. Drizzle the egg mixture (up to ¼ cup, but leave some for later) over dough and pulse or stir until it starts to come together. Mix in lemon juice and zest. Put dough on a lightly floured counter. Knead into one uniform piece. Flatten into a disk, wrap in plastic and chill for 2 hours, or up to 3 days.When you are ready to make the tart, roll out dough to a 12-inch round (it can be ragged). Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment and chill while preparing the filling. Heat oven to 425F. Thinly slice the egglants, zucchini, tomatoes into rounds. Spread out eggplant, zucchini and tomatoes in one layer on 3 separate sheet pans or cookie sheets. Drizzle generously with oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast vegetables, tossing zucchini and eggplant occasionally, 35 to 40 minutes. Eggplant and tomatoes will be golden at the edges; zucchini will be tender. Don’t let the vegetables get too dark because they will continue to brown in the tart. Transfer vegetables to a bowl (you want to have about 3 cups of them) and toss with chile peppers, peppers optional. Decrease the oven temperature to 400F. In a small bowl, combine goat cheese, garlic and thyme leaves. Spread mixture in a thin layer over crust, leaving a 1 ½ inch border around the edges. Arrange vegetables evenly over goat cheese. Fold up edges of crust, pleating to hold it in (sloppy is perfectly acceptable). Brush crust generously with leftover egg and cream mixture. Transfer galette to the oven and bake until golden brown, about 40 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for at least 20 minutes before slicing. Enjoy!

Granola & Muffins


This granola is killer! Super


This is something I picked up

5 1/4 cups rolled oats 5 1/4 cups almonds, chopped finely 5 1/4 cups sunflower seeds 42 oz coconut oil 2 1/2 cups cocoa 2 1/2 cups coconut flakes 2 1/2 cups maple syrup 1 1/4 cups honey 1 1/2 tbsp salt

addictive, and super delicious.

from an old job. For someone who doesn't love fruit or too much in my granola, this is the perfect

combination of ingredients. It's got the best sweet and salty!

Combine all wet ingredients (coconut oil, honey, maple syrup, and salt) in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat immediately once it’s all combined. Preheat oven to 300F. While the syrup is heating, pulse everything, besides the oats and sunflower seeds, to have finely chopped pieces. Add the oats and chopped ingredients to a large bowl. Toss everything together with the warmed syrup and press into sheet trays, lined with parchment to spread out flat. Cook at 300F, stir around and flatten every 15 minutes. Cook for about 45 to 1hr, or until a deep golden brown, the darker the crunchier, and yummier! Wait until cooled completely before storing. Store in an airtight container and enjoy!


You always have to have some


This is another go-to that is a

4 cups gluten-free rolled oats 1 cup raw almonds & cashews ¼ cup pumpkin seeds, optional 1 tsp salt 1 tsp cinnamon ½ cup of raw honey* or maple syrup 1 tbsp vanilla extract ½ cup coconut oil *if using raw honey, it burns easily, you can mix ¼ honey and ¼ maple syrup

gluten-free options on the table! great variation of my granola. Pick and choose what you like, specialize and enjoy!

Preheat oven to 300F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl combine the oats, nuts, seeds, salt and cinnamon. In a separate bowl, combine the honey and/or maple syrup, vanilla and coconut oil. Pour over the oat mixture and combine to coat evenly. Spread evenly onto the baking sheet. Bake granola for 15 minutes, stir, and continue baking another 15 minutes to preferred texture and crispness. Cool and serve or store in an airtight container. Enjoy! Keeps for 2 weeks.

52 – granola & muffins


These are the muffins of


muffin. Acceptable anytime

1/2 stick (1/4 cup) room temperature butter 1/4 cup oil (coconut, canola, veggie, or avocado) 1/2 cup brown sugar 1/2 cup granulated sugar 2 eggs 1/4 cup apple cider* 1/4 cup milk (or a non-dairy alternative) 2 cups all purpose flour (for GF options, use 1 1/2 cups) 1 1/4 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp baking soda 1 tsp salt 2 tsp cinnamon 1/2 tsp nutmeg *If you don't have apple cider, replace 1/4 cup milk with 1/2 cup milk and add 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

my dreams. A donut, meets a of day. Coated in cinnamon-

sugary goodness, these muffins will never disappoint. These

are great all year round, but especially in the fall, when apples are in season!

Preheat your oven to 350F. Prepare your baking pans (cupcake or mini muffins) with pan spray of your preference, butter or with cupcake tins. In a large bowl, measure and mix butter, oil, brown sugar and granulated sugar. Cream well until light and fluffy. Stop the mixer, scrape the bowl and mix again. Add 2 eggs and mix one at a time. Add the apple cider and milk. Again, if you don't have apple cider, double the milk content and add 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar. In a seperate bowl, combine: flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. On a slow speed, or by hand, combine the wet and dry ingrdients. Fill your pans about 2/3 of the way and bake. 10 to 13 minutes for mini muffins and 18 to 20 minutes for regular muffins. While baking, melt 1 1/2 sticks of butter in a small-medium bowl. In a separate bowl, measure the following and stir together: 3/4 cup granulated sugar and 1 tbsp cinnamon. When muffins come out, carefully take them out one at a time. Using a brush or just dunk and roll in the butter and then the cinnamon sugar mixture. If you prefer, you can do this step just on the tops of the muffins. Let cool completely before putting into an airtight tupperware. Keep at room temp. Enjoy!

54 – granola & muffins


These muffins are extra large


cinnamon crumb topping. I

1 ½ cups all purpose flour ¾ cup sugar ½ tsp salt 2 tsp baking powder 1/3 cup vegetable oil 1 egg 1/3 cup milk, or more as needed 1 cup fresh blueberries ½ cup sugar 1/3 cup all purpose flour ¼ cup butter, cubed 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon

and yummy with the sugary-

use double the recipe and fill

the muffin cups just to the top edge for a wonderful extragenerously-sized deli style

muffin. Add extra blueberries too, if you want!

Preheat oven to 400F. Grease or line muffin tins. Combine 1 ½ cups flour, ¾ cup sugar, salt and baking powder. Set aside. Place the 1/3 cup vegetable oil into a 1 cup measuring cup; add the egg and add enough milk to reach the top of the 1 cup mark. Mix into the flour mixture. Fold in the blueberries (or chocolate chips if preferred). Fill muffin cups right to the top, and sprinkle with the crumb topping (follow directions below). The muffins will fluff up a lot, so if you prefer, make 16 small sized muffins and fill the tins 1/2 way, top with crumble. TOPPING: Mix together ½ cup sugar, 1/3 cup all purpose flour, ¼ cup butter, and 1 ½ tsp cinnamon. Mix with a fork, and sprinkle over muffins before baking. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until done. Enjoy! NOTE: If you don’t like blueberries, this recipe works great with chocolate chips too!

56 – granola & muffins


60 – cookies


These little chewy snowballs


stopper. I make them bite-sized

4 cups almond flour 2 cups granulated sugar 3 tbsp corn starch 4 egg whites ¼ tsp salt 1 tsp almond extract 1 to 2 cups confectioners sugar for rolling

are the perfect party show

because you can’t just eat one or even two. You are going to get a

little messy in the process, but

I promise the reward is worth

a set of messy hands and a snow globe of a kitchen!

Preheat oven to 310F. Place almond flour, sugar, and starch in a large bowl. Whisk together to combine and break up clumps. With a mixer, whisk whites and salt until they form soft peaks. This means that when you take the whisk straight out of the fluffy mixture, the end will curl a bit but hold. Mix a few seconds more with the almond extract. Use a spatula to pour the fluffy egg white mixture over the dry ingredients. Fold a few times to begin incorporating. Ditch the utensils. With fingers spread, mix by making circles in the bowl until a grainy dough comes together. Line ungreased sheet trays with parchment. Pour some powdered sugar into a small bowl. Form 1-inch dough balls and roll in the powdered sugar to cover. Place 1.5 inches apart on a cookie sheet. Let the cookies sit out at room temp for 15-20 minutes. Then, very lightly press down to make a disc. Bake for 19-22 minutes for chewy cookies. The tops have a little firmness when lightly touched. If you prefer a drier version for dunking in coffee, bake for 25-30 minutes until they begin to have a golden color around the edges. Allow to cool on pan and enjoy!

APRICOT BARS MAKES 8" SQUARE PAN INGREDIENTS ½ cup all purpose or gluten-free flour 1 ½ cup rolled oats 1 cup brown sugar, packed 1 tsp baking powder ½ tsp salt 1 & ¾ sticks salted butter, cut into cubes 1 (10oz) jar of apricot preserves

These are one of Aunt Kazia's

specialty. They're simple, but effective. These bars almost

always make an apperance on the cottage dessert table, and always clear the plate.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8” square pan with butter. In a large bowl - with mixer, combine all the ingredients except for the Apricot Preserves. Separate the dough into half. Press half of the dough mixture into pan. Spread Apricot Preserves on top and sprinkle the other half of the dough mixture over the top and pat. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until light brown. Cool completely and cut into squares/bars and serve. Enjoy!


Growing up, I always associated


She always cooked with a hot pan

2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature 1 cup brown sugar, light or dark 1 cup granulated sugar 4 eggs 2 tsp vanilla 4 cups all purpose flour 1 ½ tsp. baking powder 1 tsp. baking soda ½ tsp salt 1 ½ cups mini semi-sweet chocolate chips ½ cup Rainbow Sprinkles

brown butter with my babcia's house. and a wad of butter (or some lard

she kept in a mug next to the stove).

Browning butter adds incredible depth of flavor. There is a certain nuttiness and caramel effect that this added

step enhances. It was years before

I ever saw it in a baking recipe, yet it makes so much sense! I hope this

cookie brightens and enhances all your birthday celebrations!

Preheat oven to 300F. In a small pan, warm half of the butter over medium heat. When it starts to bubble and pop, stir occasionally and watch for a golden amber color. Immediately remove and pour into a heatproof bowl or mug. Place in the fridge to cool for a few minutes before using in the recipe. In a mixing bowl, combine two sugars together. Add both butters and mix until smooth. Scrape the sides and add the eggs and vanilla. Scrape sides again and add the flour, powder, soda, and salt slowly. Add the chocolate chips and sprinkles. Scoop into 1.5 tbsp. size balls (roughly 1.5 inch) and onto ungreased pan with parchment about 2 inches apart for baking or put into container to freeze (up to three weeks if well sealed, bakes straight from freexer the same). Allow dough balls to sit in fridge a minimum of 10 minutes before baking. Bake for 19-21 minutes until puffy and lightly golden on the bottom. Cool on pans for a few minutes and enjoy!

62 – cookies


I know I've said that there are


are absolutley the best cookies in

favorites in this book, but these

the whole wide world. Sometimes

6 cups all purpose flour 1 lb unsalted butter 2 tsp baking powder 4 egg yolks 3/4 cup sugar 1/2 tsp lemon juice 4 tbsp sour cream

when I went to visit my babcia,

she would have these waiting for me, fresh out of the oven. These

are addicting, sweet (but not too sweet), and the perfect cookie.

Mix together 4 cups flour, butter, and baking powder by hand. This should become crumbles. Set aside. Beat egg yolks and add sugar and lemon juice. Mix in the sour cream once the egg mixture is fully combined. Add in the dry ingredients. Add the remaining 2 cups flour to the mixture. Wrap and place in the fridge for 1 to 2 hours, or until you can roll the dough out. Preheat oven to 350F. Once the dough is cold enough, roll out and cut shapes with cookie cutters. The dough is super soft, if you can't remove cookie cut outs from excess dough, refridgerate and try again later. NOTE: The butter content will allow the dough to become super soft super fast, so work quickly once you remove from the fridge. Place the cookies on an ungreased baking sheet, parchment paper is suggested. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the bottom and edges of the cookie are a nice golden brown. These cookies are absolutley to die for as is, but if you'd like, make certain cookies with a hole in the center, take a plain cookie and sandwich the two with apricot or raspberry jam! Enjoy!


Aunt Celina's butter cookies,


These add a little bit of

DOUGH 2 cups all purpose flour 1/2 lb butter or margarine 1 egg yolk 3/4 cup sour cream

FILL 1 cup sugar 2 cups chopped nuts, baker's choice 1 tsp cinnamon

just as amazing as my babcias. excitement with a nut filling.

These cookies just add a little more flavor to the table.

in a bowl, measure out the flour. Slice the butter into the flour, then add the egg yolk and the sour cream. Mix the dough well, until the dough is combined. The dough will be sticky. Shape the dough into a ball, wrap and let refrigerate overnight. For the filling: combine all the ingredients. Make sure the nuts are chopped finely. Once the dough is ready: Sprinkle board lightly with flour, divide dough into four parts. Roll out one part at a time, keeping other 3 in the fridge until ready to use). Roll out into a large circle (as for a pie) sprinkle with filling, cut into 16 wedges, roll each wedge, starting with the largest part. Brush with slightly whipped egg whites. Bake on a lightly greased sheet at 350F for 20 to 25 minutes. Enjoy!

64 – cookies


1 ¾ cups chopped pecans 1 cup, plus 1 tbsp butter, softened and divided 1 cup packed brown sugar 1 egg, separated 1 tsp vanilla extract 2 cups self-rising flour 1 cup pecan halves

Aunt Kazia's take on the butter cookie combines a classic

combination, butter pecan, into one cookie. With some brown

sugar and toasted pecans, this

cookie is a great excuse to whip out the mixing bowl!

Preheat oven to 325F. Place chopped pecans and 1 tablespoon butter into a baking pan and bake for 5-7 minutes or until toasted and browned, stirring frequently. Set aside to cool. In a mixing bowl, cream brown sugar and remaining butter (1 stick) until light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolk and vanilla. Gradually add flour. Once fully combined, cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or until easy to handle Once chilled, shape dough into 1 in. balls, than roll in the toasted pecans. Place 2 inches apart, repeat with remaining dough. Beat the egg whites until frothy, dip pecan halves into egg white, and gently press into center of each cookie. Bake at 375F for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown Cool for 2 minutes on wire rack. Enjoy! NOTE: As a substitute for self-rising flour, place 3 tsp baking powder and 1 tsp salt in measuring cup, top off to fill up to 2 cups, using all purpose flour.


These are a Christmas


the Christmas Nut Cookie, first

2 2/3 cup flake coconut, firmly packed 2/3 cup sugar ¼ cup all purpose flour 4 egg whites, unbeaten 1 cup sliced almonds 1 tsp vanilla extract 1 tsp almond extract 8 oz semi sweet chocolate chips, coarsely chopped

morning favorite. Alongside thing in the morning, these

cookies are gone before the presents are unwrapped.

Preheat the oven to 325F. Combine coconut, sugar and flour. Stir in egg whites, almonds, vanilla and almond extract. Form balls from rounded tablespoonfuls and place 2’’ apart on lightly greased cookie sheets. Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans while hot, and allow to cool. Chocolate edge (make after cookies are cooked and cooled). Melt chocolate on a double boiler, stiring until 2/3 melted; remove from heat and continue stirring until completely melted. Dip one edge of cookie into chocolate and set on wax paper, allow to cool completely. Enjoy!


A Christmas tradition. My Aunt


these cookies. They're a great

1 ½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened ¼ cup crisco, room temperature ¾ cup sugar 1 cup finely chopped nuts (walnuts, almonds or pecans) 2 tbsp vanilla extract 4 cup all purpose, unsifted flour confectioners’ sugar, as needed

Krys always makes hundreds of treat for the holidays, makes a

great gift, and keeps for weeks after! Contrary to the name

these cookies are encouraged alal year long!

Cream butter, crisco and sugar together. Add other ingredients (except confectioners’ sugar). Be sure to work in all the flour, use your hands. Roll into a large ball, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate several hours or overnight. Before baking, allow the dough to sit at room temperature til just soft enough to handle, around ½ an hour. Preheat the oven to 300F. Roll into small walnut sized balls; place on ungreased cookie sheet 1’’ apart. Turn the oven down to 275F, bake for 30 to 35 minutes, they should be very light colored. Cool for 15 minutes, then roll in confectioners’ sugar. Roll a second time in powdered sugar before boxing up to mail, if desired for extra sweetness. Enjoy!

66 – cookies


Chrusciki is a Polish classic. A


babcia, and I used to make bowls

12 egg yolks 1 heaping tbsp sour cream dash of salt 1 tsp vanilla extract 1 oz vodka 2 cups all purpose flour, plus more for rolling and kneading 3 to 4 lbs of shortening, for frying

whole afternoon event, my mom, full of these cookies. My mom

told me that once babcia made

these when she was younger, and when my mom came home from

school, the whole bowl was gone before my babcia returned!

Mix all ingredients together by hand, form dough into a ball. Cut the dough into ¼’s, roll out each ¼ on a floured surface. Be sparing with flour. Roll dough out paper thin. Cut dough in long strips, about 2”. Cut across the strips approximately 6” in length. Cut a 1 ½” to 2” slit in the center of the length of the dough. Fold one end of the dough through the center opening to create a bow-tie. Fry the “bow-ties” in an electric or stove top skillet, 350 degrees. Melted shortening should be about 1” high in heated pan at all times. Drop in bow-ties, they will quickly rise to the top of the pan, flip over immediately using 2 forks. The bow-ties will cook in about 20 seconds or until golden brown. Place on paper towels to drain. Place a layer at a time in bowl and sprinkle with confectioner;s sugar through a small sieve, continue until both sides of the pastry are lightly covered. Enjoy and try not to eat the entire bowl at once!


These cranberry orange cookies


addition of the brown sugar

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened 1 cup white sugar ½ cup brown sugar, packed 1 egg 1 tsp grated orange zest 3 cups all purpose flour ½ tsp baking soda ½ tsp salt 2 cups chopped cranberries ½ cup chopped walnuts (optional) ½ tsp grated orange zest 3 tbsp orange juice 1 ½ cup confectioners’ sugar

are a classic combonation. The

makes these cookies super rich,

almost like chocolate chip cookie dough. The orange pops amongst these powerful flavors.

Note: Frosting is optional, and

completely delicious without it!

Preheat oven to 375F. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, white sugar and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg until well blended. Mix in 1 tsp orange zest and 2 tbsp orange juice. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt, stir into the orange butter mixture. Mix in cranberries and if using, walnuts, until evenly distributed. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Cookies should be spaced at least 2 inches apart. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, until the edges are golden brown. Remove from cookie sheets and cool on a wire rack. In a small bowl, mix together ½ tsp orange zest, 3 tbsp orange juice and confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Spread over the tops of cooled cookies. Let the frosting set. Enjoy!


Just like the names, these


They're a really easy recipe,

½ cup butter 2 tbsp sugar 1 tsp vanilla extract 1 cup all purpose flour 1 cup finely chopped walnuts

goodies are super delectable.

and super yummy. You can thank Michelle Szymojko for this!

Mix all ingredients and chill until firm. After the dough has chilled, make dough into marble sized balls, and place on an ungreased pan about 2 inches apart. Bake for 350F for 12- 17 minutes, or until golden brown Put powdered sugar in a bag, and add cookies to coat immediately after bake. Enjoy!

68 – cookies



Let's just take a moment to


cookies are! I especially love

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 1/2 tsp cinnamon 1/4 tsp chili powder, optional 1/4 tsp chipotle powder (or cayenne), optional 1 cup granulated sugar 1/4 cup veggie or canola oil 2 eggs 2 tsp vanilla extract 1 cup all purpose flour (or GF flour blend) 1 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp salt NOTE: These are delicous if you add chocolate chips!

talk about how good these

adding chocolate chips to this

already chocolate filled batter! These cookies remind me of

biking around Prospect Park,

in Brooklyn, with my dad. We would always stop halfway

through at one of my favorite bakeries and get one giant

chocolate crinkle cookie. This

cookie is the best kind of messy!

In a bowl, mix together: cocoa powder, cinnamon, chili powder, chipotle or cayenne powder, sugar, canola oil, eggs, and vanilla extract. Once these ingredients are combined, add flour, baking powder and salt. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for 10 to 15 minutes. Preheat your oven to 350F. Fill a small cereal bowl with a half a cup of powdered sugar. Ready two baking trays with parchment paper for baking. When the dough comes out of the freezer, scoop into 1 tbsp or 1 inch balls and roll in the powdered sugar. Place 1-2 inches apart on the cookie trays. Bake for 9-10 minutes. They will continue baking and setting out of the oven so do not be alarmed if they still seem undercooked at this moment. Let them sit on the baking tray for more 5 minutes. Store at room temp in an airtight container. Enjoy!

70 – cookies


Aunt Kazia's English Toffee is


so yummy and will last for a

½ cup water 2 tsp butter, melted (for brushing over aluminum) 2 cups sugar 2 mounded tbsp light corn syrup (this makes the texture less like peanut brittle) 1 tsp salt 3 cups chopped pecans, or other desired nut, optional 12 oz milk chocolate chips 6 oz semi sweet chocolate chips 2 lbs butter

your classic english toffee. It's lifetime! It's a great dish to make a for a gift!

Tear off 23’’ in length of 18’’ wide aluminum foil, and brush the matte, non-shiny side with butter. Fold up 2 ½ in on every side, forming a makeshift pan. This should leave you with a 13’’ x 18’’ surface on which to pour hot toffee. This fits perfectly in the plywood, if you have. If you use a real pan, this will hold in the heat, and it will take much longer for the toffee to set. Measure out the water and corn syrup, stirring the two together. Pour this mixture into a medium saucepan, heavy bottom preferred. Add sugar and butter and clip your candy thermometer to the side of the pan before it gets too hot. Turn the heat on to medium-high and stir constantly. While this is cooking, it should take a while to reach 310F, put water in the bottom of a double boiler and turn it on low. Put your chocolate chips on the top and melt the chocolate. Once the chocolate is melted, turn it off, set aside. Chop up pecans and have them ready to sprinkle on finished toffee (you can also use a food processor, blend for desired consistency). Stir the candy frequently. The candy is going to start to bubble and thicken, and eventually turn into a caramel color. Keep it going until it reaches 310 degrees. When it reaches that temperature, remove from heat immediately. Carefully pour caramel onto the foil evenly. If you use these exact measurements of pan, wait 4 to 5 minutes before cutting toffee. If you have a smaller space or larger space, the toffee will be different. Using a pizza cutter, be careful not to cut through the foil, create 1 ½ in squares. If the toffee is still too warm, and doesn’t make any impressions, wait another minute or two so the toffee separates when you cut it. After cutting, take the chocolate, and spread a layer over the toffee, it’s up to you how much or how little you choose to use the chocolate. Sprinkle chopped pecans over the chocolate, while it’s still melted Store toffee in waxed paper lined tins at room temperature, and can keep for weeks. Enjoy!

72 – cookies


These are Aunt Kazia's recipe.


just about anything, nuts, jams,

DOUGH 5 ½ cups all purpose flour 1 lb. margarine, room temperature 8 egg yolks 4 yeast cubes ½ cup lukewarm water 2 to 3 tbsp sugar 8 oz sour cream crisco shortening, room temperature

They're delicious filled with

FILLING 1 lb finely chopped walnuts 1 to 2 egg whites sugar to taste

poppy filling. Be creative and add anything to this delcious buttery cookies.

Mix flour and margarine, like a pie crust. The mixture should be crumbly. Add eggs, sugar and sour cream. Mix well. Dissolve yeast in lukewarm milk. Add it to the mixture. Knead the dough. The dough should be a little softer than pie crust. Put the dough in the refrigerator, chill overnight. The next morning, divide the dough into 3 or 4 parts. For each section of the dough, roll out the dough and spread soft shortening over it. Fold the dough in half, twice, so as to get 4 layers. Place the dough in a bowl or on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper. Cover the dough with a sheet of wax paper and a dish cloth. Let the dough stand for 30 minutes. Prepare the nut filling by mixing the nuts, egg whites and sugar. Roll out the dough again. Cut it into squares about 1 ½ inches in length. Place ½ tsp of nut filling in the center of the squares. Fold one corner over the filling. Do the same with the corner directly opposite. Pinch the 2 corners together. Place the cookies on a sheet. Cover cookie with a sheet of wax paper and a dish cloth. Let the cookies stand for 60 minutes so they can rise. Preheat the oven to 350F. After the hour, bake for 13 to 20 minutes (depending on the thickness of the dough). Enjoy! NOTE: You may use any variety of fillings: jams, nuts, poppyseeds.


Aunt Kazia's toffee bars are a


and toffee. These melt in your

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar 1 large egg 1 tsp vanilla extract 1 ¾ cup all purpose flour 8 oz semi sweet chocolate ¾ cup finely chopped pecans

great combination of chocolate mouth and you won't be sorry eating these!

Preheat oven to 350F, grease a shallow rectangular baking pan (approximately 10x14, but any size you have works). Cream together the butter and brown sugar, then beat in the egg and vanilla. Beat in the flour, until combined. Spread the dough evenly in the pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the surface is lightly browned. When the cookies are almost finished baking, melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler or a small heavy saucepan over medium heat. When the cookies are baked, spread the melted chocolate in an even layer over the surface, then sprinkle on a layer of chopped pecans. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then cut into bars, approximately 1x2 in, and place on wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy! Store in an airtight container at room temperature. Enjoy!


My Aunt Krys's specialty are


about these cookies is that they

2 eggs, room temperature 1/8 tsp salt 1/3 cup granulated sugar 1 tsp vanilla extract ½ cup all purpose flour, sifted ¼ cup (½ stick) butter or margarine, melted and cooled NOTE: delicious dipped in chocolate

these madeleines. The evil

have to be made in their special tin, to form their classic shape. But that makes these all the more special!

Grease well and flour the madeleine pan, place racks near the bottom of the oven and preheat to 400F. In a mixer bowl, beat eggs with salt until thick. Gradually add sugar and continue beating until the mixture is thick and lemon colored. Add the vanilla, and fold in flour by hand. Add butter one tablespoon at a time, and fold in quickly. Fill the prepared pan about ¾ full. Bake about 12 minutes or until golden and puffed. Immediately remove from the pan and cool on a wire rack. Regrease and flour pan before filling with the remaining batter. If desired, sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar just before serving. Enjoy!

74 – cookies

MARKIZY TIRAMISU COOKIES MAKES 40 COOKIES INGREDIENTS COOKIE 3 1/2 oz. mocha chocolate ¾ tsp instant coffee, diluted in a small amount of boiling water 7 oz unsalted butter ½ cup of sugar (if less sweet desired, add less) 1 egg yolk 3 tbsp amaretto liquor 2 cups all purpose flour

These coffee, chocolate,

custardy cookies are a great take on the classic tiramisu cake. The custard and the

mocha chocolate is a match made in heaven.

CUSTARD 7 oz white chocolate 6 tbsp mascarpone cheese

Melt the chocolate and set aside to cool down. Mix flour, sugar, egg yolk, amaretto and butter. Quickly knead the dough, form a large ball, and refrigerate for 2 hours. Preheat the oven to 350F. Roll out dough, on the table, sprinkled with some flour when needed. Roll until the dough is a little thinner than ¼ inch. Cut out cookies, I prefer cookies about 1 ½ inches in diameter, but you can use whatever cutters you want! Place cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cookies cool on a wire rack. Melt white chocolate chips if you haven’t already, cool, using a mixer combine the white chocolate with the mascarpone. Then leave to cool down completely to room temperature. Once cooled, spread the mixture on half of the cookies. Sandwich with the other half of the cookies. Place cookies on top of parchment paper again, and sift cocoa and confectioners sugar on top of them! Place in containers and cool for two hours. Store at room temperature after that! Enjoy!

RAINBOW COOKIES MAKES ABOUT 3 DOZEN COOKIES INGREDIENTS 1 can almond paste (8 oz) 1 ½ cups butter (3 sticks), softened 1 cup sugar 4 eggs, separated 2 cups all purpose flour, sifted 1 tsp salt 1 jar (12 ounces) apricot preserves 2 ½ bars of semi sweet baking chocolate (1 oz each) food coloring, 2 colors of your choice

These rainbow cookies are the classic cookie seen in italian

bakeries all over. The almond

and the apricot blend really well together, and the colors make this cookie all the more fun!

Preheat the oven to 350F. Coat three 13 x 9 x 2 inch pans with nonstick cooking spray; line with wax paper, allow paper to come up and over the short ends; spray paper with cooking spray. Set aside. Break up almond paste in a large bowl. Add butter, sugar, egg yolks, and almond extract. Beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, 5 minutes. Beat in flour and salt. Beat egg whites with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Fold into almond mixture, with a spatula, until well incorporated. Divide mixture among three different bowls, equally. Leave one mixture aside, this will be yellow, with the other two bowls, add one color to each of the bowls. If desired, you can change all three bowls to whichever color you prefer. Spread each color, evenly, onto prepared baking sheets (one color per sheet), and bake for 15 minutes, or until edges are golden brown. Immediately remove cakes from the baking sheets, using the extra wax paper hanging over the edges. Heat the apricot preserves in a small saucepan; strain through a sieve. Place color one on a flat surface. Spread half of the apricot preserves over the layer, evenly. Add cake layer color two on top, and spread the remaining apricot preserves evenly over the layer. Add the final cake on top, creating the third layer (with apricot preserves in between each layer). Cover with plastic wrap, and way down with a wooden cutting board or heavy plate. Place in the refrigerator overnight. The following day: Melt the chocolate in a double boiler over hot water. Trim edges off of the cake, spread the chocolate over the top of the final layer. Let this dry and harden, approximately ten minutes. Cut into 1 inch squares, and enjoy!

76 – cookies


2 cups all purpose flour ½ cup sugar ½ tsp salt 1 tbsp fresh rosemary 1 lemon, zested (optional) 1 cup shortening 2 tsp water sugar for rolling

Rosemary shortbread cookies

are delicious together, yes these cookies are vegan, and yes they are every much delicious as

every other cookie. Don't think twice when choosing to make these, you won't regret it!

Mix together flour, sugar and salt. Add rosemary and lemon, add the shortening in fourths, followed by water with a mixer, until dough is crumbly, but sticks together when backed with your hands. Pack into a bowl and refrigerate dough for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 300F. Roll out dough slowly and carefully. The gentler the better, so that it gets packed without splitting apart. Keep dough thick at about a third or half an inch thick. Cut into desired shape and cover cookie completely with sugar. Place generously onto the cookie sheet as the cookies will not spread much when baked. Bake low and long until cookies get slightly golden and are lightly firm to the touch. Depending on size of cutter, timing could be 20 to 40 minutes. Enjoy!

TRIPLE NUT DIAMONDS MAKES 2 DOZEN COOKIES INGREDIENTS 1 cup all purpose flour ½ cup sugar ½ cup cold butter, divided ½ cup packed brown sugar 2 tbsp honey ¼ cup heavy whipping cream 2/3 cup pecans, chopped 2/3 cup almonds, chopped 2/3 cup walnuts, chopped

These cookies are Aunt Kazia's recipe. They're buttery, and rich. The brown sugar is a great way to highlight the nuttyness of the cookie.

Line a greased 9 inch square pan with with foil; grease the foil and set aside. Preheat oven to 350F. In a bowl, combine the flour and sugar. Cut into ¼ cup butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press into the prepared pan. Bake for 10 minutes. In a saucepan, heat the brown sugar, honey, and remaining butter until bubbly. Boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in cream and nuts. Pour over crust. Bake 16-20 minutes or until surface is bubbly. Cool on wire rack, until room temperature. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Using foil, lift bars out of the pan; cut into diamonds. Enjoy!

Cakes & Pies

80 – cakes & pies

ALMOND CAKE MAKES ONE 6" TO 9" CAKE INGREDIENTS 6 eggs 6 oz sugar 7 oz almond flour ½ tsp lemon zest ½ tsp cinnamon 1 oz corn starch

This is my babcia's recipe. Just a few ingredients, but this cake is killer. It's light, fluffy,

flavorful and the hints of lemon and cinnamon make each bite!

Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form, add sugar and beat. Add the lemon zest and cinnamon, add almonds and mix. The last thing to add in corn starch and mix well. Grease a pan, bake at 325F for 45 minutes, do not open the oven, or else the cake will deflate. Enjoy!


1 cup cake flour 1 ½ cup confectioners’ sugar 1 ½ cup egg whites, room temperature (about 12 eggs) 1 ½ tsp cream of tartar 1 cup sugar ¼ tsp salt ½ tsp vanilla extract ½ tsp almond extract

This is your classic Angel Food

Cake recipe. This is Aunt Helen's specialty. It's a light and airy

cake. This cake is great just with a little dusting of confectioners' sugar ontop.

In a small bowl, sift together flour and confectioners’ sugar, set aside. In a large bowl, cream egg whites, cream of tartar in a mixer until light and foamy. Slowly beat in sugar 2 tbsp at a time, until egg whites are stiff and glossy. Then add salt, vanilla extract and almond extract to egg whites. Fold in ¼ cup of flour mixture at a time, slowly. Once fully combined, put into an ungreased tube pan, then slowly run a rubber spatula along edges of pan to get all the air out. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes at 375F preheat. Enjoy!


Aunt Kazia's Apricot Torte is a


CAKE 6 eggs, separated ½ cup, plus 5 tbsp sugar, divided 1 cup all purpose flour

BUTTERCREAM ½ cup sugar 3 eggs, plus 2 egg yolks 1 tsp vanilla extract 1 tsp instant coffee granules FILLING 2 bars semi sweet baking 2 cans (17oz each) apricot halves, drained chocolate (1oz each) 1 cup apricot preserves 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened chocolate shavings, optional

delicious addition to the dessert

table. The apricot filling brings a bright note to the buttercream coffee frosting.

Preheat the oven to 350F. In a large mixing bowl, beat 6 egg yolks (for batter) and ½ cup sugar until thickened. In a small mixing bowl, beat 6 egg whites (for batter) until foamy. Gradually add remaining sugar (5 tbsp) to the egg whites, and beat until stiff peaks form. Fold into yolk mixture carefully. Gradually fold in flour. Divide batter between 3 greased and floured 9’’ round cake pans. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pans for 5 minutes, then remove from the pans to cool on wire racks. For the buttercream, whisk sugar, eggs, yolks, vanilla and coffee in a saucepan. Add chocolate; cook and stir over low heat until thickened (do not boil). Cool completely (this is key, so that the buttercream sets on the cake, and does not melt). In a mixing bowl, cream butter. Gradually add chocolate mixture, set aside. Finally chop apricots; drain and place in a bowl. Stir in preserves; set aside. Split each cake into two horizontal layers; place on a plate. Spread with 2/3 cup buttercream (approximate). Top with a cake layer, and 2/3cup apricot filling. Repeat with layers twice more. Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours (at least) before serving. Garnish with chocolate shavings. Enjoy!


3 cups carrots, shredded ½ cup walnuts 3 tsp cinnamon 2 tsp baking soda 4 eggs 2 cups sugar 1 cup vegetable oil 2 cups all purpose flour 1 tsp salt Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

This coffee cake is Teresa

OPTIONAL FROSTING 4 oz cream cheese 5 tbsp butter, unsalted 3 cups confectioners' sugar a pinch of salt

Szymojko's signature. This cake is

really moist, you can fill the cake with just about anything. You can use any nut, fruit or dried fruit and it'll be so yummy!

Preheat oven to 350F. Beat eggs, oil and sugar in a food processor or a large bowl. In a seperate bowl mix together dry ingredients: Cinnamon, baking soda, flour, salt. Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients. Take a spoonful of flour, and coat the walnuts, so that they stay suspended in the batter. This makes sure they don’t all fall to the bottom of the cake. Fold in the carrots and walnuts into the batter. Grease your pan with butter, put a piece of parchment paper on the bottom for easy removal. . Pour batter into the pan. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, test with a toothpick to make sure the inside is cooked before removing from the oven. Let cool on a wire rack, remove from pan. Dust with confectioners’ sugar, and enjoy! OPTIONAL: For frosting, melt the butter, or have a room temperature and cream together with the salt and cream cheese. Add confectioners' sugar as needed. Use a piping bag or spread on top of the cake, and enjoy!

82 – cakes & pies


Aunt Helen's Chocolate Angel Strata is so delicious, the

INGREDIENTS 1 cup all purpose flour, sifted 1/2 tsp salt 1/3 cup shortening 3 to 4 tbsp cold water 2 egg whites 1/2 tsp vinegar 1/2 tsp salt 1/2 tsp cinnamon, optional 1/2 cup sugar

CHOCOLATE FILLING 2 egg yolks, slightly beaten 1/4 cup water 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips 1/4 cup sugar 1 cup whipping cream

chocolate filling is a creamy custard is a delight.

Preheat oven to 450F. In a large bowl, mix together, 1 cup sifted flour and salt. Cut 1/3 cup shortening until particles are the size of small peas. Sprinkle 3 to 4 tbsp cold water over mixture while tossing lightly with fork. Add wet ingredients to the dry ones, until just moist enough to hold together. Form into a ball. Flatten to ½ inch thickness; smooth edges. Roll out on floured surface to a circle 1 ½ inches larger than a 9’’ pie pan. Fit loosely into the pan; gently pat out air pockets. Fold edges to form a rim; flute. Prick generously with fork, bake the crust at 450F for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Once the pie crust has cooked, let cool. Lower oven temperature to 325F. Beat 2 egg whites with ½ tsp vinegar and ½ tsp salt. If desired, add ½ tsp cinnamon to this mixture. Beat until soft peaks form. Add ½ cup sugar, gradually, beating until meringue stands in stiff, glossy peaks. Spread on bottom and sides of baked pie crust. Bake at 325F for 15 to 18 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool. CHOCOLATE FILLING: Add 2 slightly beaten eggs yolks and ¼ cup water to 1 cup (6 oz package) of semi-sweet chocolate chips. Spread 3 tbsp over meringue, chill remaining. Combine: ¼ cup sugar, ¼ tsp and 1 cup whipping cream. Beat in a mixer until thick. Add the remaining chocolate mixture and combine with whipped cream. Spread over pie, and chill for at least 4 hours. Enjoy!


originally made by Great Aunt

INGREDIENTS DOUGH 20 Egg yolks 4 ½ cup confectioners’ sugar 4 ½ tsp baking powder 1 ½ lb unsalted butter 5 tsp vanilla extract 6 ½ cup all purpose flour

This crumbly coffee torte was

COFFEE FROSTING 5 tbsp ground coffee 1 cup water 1 tsp instant coffee 8 egg yolks ½ cup sugar 2 cups confectioners’ sugar 1 ½ lb unsalted butter 2 oz rum or 2 tsp rum extract

Joesephine signature addition to

Christmas Eve Dinner. Now made

by my Great Aunt Kazia this cake is not your typical coffee cake.

This cake is has five layers, and

28 egg yolks later, it's not for the faint of heart, but it's definitely worth the splurge!

FOR THE DOUGH: Mix flour and baking powder together. Add the butter, combine until crumbly. Seperately, combine egg yolks and sugar, than add the vanilla. Add the flour mixture and mix with a wooden spoon until combined. Refrigerate dough for a few hours, until it’ s able to be rolled without sticking too much. Once the dough is done refrigerating, preheat the oven to 350F. To make the dough layers: Roll dough into ¼ inch thick layers between two sheets of wax or parchment paper. For a square torte, bake in a cookie sheet, than cut in half once baked. You can also bake in round tins. NOTE: This cake makes multiple layers, bake layers in separate baking sheets, each layer shouldn’t be much more than ¼ inch. Bake at 350F for 15 to 20 minutes. Once golden, remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. NOTE: This cake is a tougher cake, it’s not going to be light and airy. COFFEE FROSTING: Brew coffee using 5 tbsp coffee, with 1 cup water. When ready, filter out the grinds, and add 1 tsp instant coffee to this mixture. Set aside to cool. Using a metal pan (you’ll have to use it later as a double boiler), beat the eggs with 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, add 1 tsp flour. Add the coffee and beat together a little bit. Then place mixture over a double boiler of boiling water, and continue mixing frequently until thickens. This can take anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes. Melt the butter and let it cool, completely. This is very important to let this cool before adding into the mixture! Add the cooled butter into a mixer. Once hardened a bit, add 1 cup powdered sugar. Start to mix, then add the coffee mixture a little at a time and mix together for a few minutes. Add the rum or extract to taste. Once the frosting is done, and the cakes are cooled completely, stack, adding frosting between each layer. Once you finish layering, add frosting to top and sides of the cake! This can be messy, but no matter how it looks, I guarantee it’s delicious! Tastes great warm, or cold! Store in the fridge so it doesn’t melt! Enjoy!

84 – cakes & pies



This Dutch Apple Pie is a classic dish. Teresa Szymojko is to thank

INGREDIENTS FILLING 5 ½ cup apples: peeled, sliced, cored ¼ cup brown sugar ½ tsp cinnamon 1 tbsp lemon juice ½ cup white sugar 3 tbsp all purpose flour ¼ tsp nutmeg

TOPPING ½ cup flour ¼ cup old fashioned oats 1/3 cup butter, cubed at room temperature ¼ cup white sugar ¼ cup brown sugar

for this delicious spicefilled apple cinnamon pie. It's got a crispy oat topping that is undeniably scrumptious.

FOR PIE CRUST RECIPE, SEE THE FOLLOWING PAGE. Preheat oven to 375F. In a large bowl, mix together apples, lemon juice, both sugars (for filling), flour, cinnamon and nutmeg. After combined, pour into pie crust, fill evenly . In a separate bowl, prepare topping: mix together flour, oats, both sugars, butter and crumble together. Use hands for best results. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the apples. Bake for 50 minutes, cool on a wire rack and serve warm. Enjoy!


This guinness chocolate cake is absolutley delicious. Michelle


CAKE 1 can of guinness beer 1 stick of butter 1 tbsp vanilla extract 2 cups all purpose flour 2 cups sugar ¾ cup sour cream 2 eggs ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder 2 ½ tsp baking soda

FROSTING 8 oz softened cream cheese ½ cup heavy whipping cream 1 ¼ cup powdered sugar NOTE: This cake is also delicious with a cream cheese buttercream, see the carrot cake recipe on page 82.

Szymojko gave me this recipe, and when I made it, just about the

whole cake was devoured within

days. It's not too sweet, but with

the buttercream topping, from the carrot cake recipe, the cake has a great balance of sweetness and bitterness.

CAKE Preheat oven to 350F. Grease your 9” cake tin with butter, and line with parchment paper. In a medium to large saucepan, heat butter and beer until the butter is melted. Whisk in cocoa powder and sugar to the beer and butter mixture. In a separate bowL, mix together sour cream, eggs and vanilla. Pour this mixture into the saucepan and stir until incorporated, add the flour a little at a time. Be careful, as you add the flour mixture it will activate the baking soda, so make sure your sauce pan is large enough. Incorporate quickly. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 45 min to an hour. Test the center of a cake, with a toothpick, before removing from the oven. Cool on a wire rack. FROSTING In a mixer, whip the cream cheese until smooth. Add the sugar and whip until combined. Add the whipping cream, and beat until smooth. Once the cake is cooled completely, frost with the whipped cream frosting, and enjoy!

86 – cakes & pies


3 large lemons 2 cups all purpose flour 1 ¼ cups sugar ½ teaspoon salt ½ cup very cold butter, cubed 1 tsp baking powder ½ tsp baking soda ¾ cup buttermilk* 1 large egg 1 ½ tsp fresh chopped rosemary 1 (10 oz) jar lemon curd confectioners’ sugar as needed

Nohting is better than a coffee

cake, except when you add lemon rosemary to this classic cake. It's a great twist to add to your repertoire.

*NOTE: Buttermilk can be substituted with greek yogurt Preheat oven to 350F. Grease your pan, and add parchment paper to the bottom of the tin. Grate zest from the lemons to equal 1 tbsp; squeeze lemon juice to equal 5 tbsp. Reserve zest and 1 tbsp lemon juice. Combine flour, sugar, and salt in a bowl of a food processor; pulse 3 to 4 times until blended. Add butter; pulse 6 to 7 times or until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Reserve 1 cup flour mixture Transfer the remaining flour mixture to a bowl of an electric mixer. Add baking powder and baking soda; beat at low speed until well blended. Add buttermilk (or greek yogurt), egg and ¼ cup lemon juice; beat at medium speed 1 ½ to 2 minutes or until blended, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the rosemary, until incorporated. Spoon half of batter into the prepared pan. Whisk lemon curd in a small bowl about 1 minute or until loosened and smooth; carefully spread over batter in pan. Top with remaining batter. Stir together reserved lemon zest, 1 tbsp lemon juice, and 1 cup flour mixture; sprinkle over batter in pan. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Gently run a knife along the side of the pan, flip out the cake. Dust with confectioners’ sugar before serving and enjoy!


6 eggs 1 cup brown sugar 2 to 2 ¼ cup all purpose flour 1 tsp baking powder ½ tsp cinnamon ¼ tsp allspice 2 tbs oil 1 cup honey 1 tsp baking soda 1 tsp lemon juice

Piernik is a polish honey cake. This cake was one of my

babcia's specialties. It's light, airy and yummy.

Preheat the oven 325F. Separate yolks and whites. Mix together with a spoon – egg yolks, sugar & honey. Beat egg whites – set aside. Add flour, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice and oil to egg & sugar mixture – mix well. Fold in egg whites. In a small bowl dissolve baking soda with lemon juice, add to mixture. Grease generously, flour pan and add wax or parchment paper to bottom of pan. 13” x 9” x 2”. Pour batter into pan. Bake for 50 minutes. Place cooling rack on pan, flip cake out of pan and let cool. Enjoy!

88 – cakes & pies


You always need a pie crust


my mom uses for all the pies

recipe. This is the recipe that

11 to 12 tbsp butter 3 tbsp cold shortening 2 ½ cup all purpose flour 1 ¼ tsp salt 8 tbsp ice water

she makes, and it's always

buttery, crisp and crumbly in all the right ways.

In a food processor, arrange cold butter by tablespoons around bottom of container, combine flour and salt, sift over butter. Turn machine on 3 or 4 times, until resembles coarse meal. Add as much ice water as necessary, 2 tbsp at a time, until the dough forms a ball. Chill for at least 15 minutes before rolling out. Divide dough into 2 pieces. Roll out, thin, if you only need the base for a pie crust, wrap and refrigerate or freeze the second half until needed.


FILLING 1 9’’ pie crust, (see recipe above) 1 (15oz) can of pumpkin puree 1 (14oz) can sweetened condensed milk 1 tsp ground cinnamon ½ tsp ground ginger ½ tsp ground nutmeg 2 eggs, separated ½ tsp salt

Pumpkin Pie is one of my

favorites. The spices and

TOPPING 2 tbsp all purpose flour ¼ cup packed brown sugar 1 tsp ground cinnamon 2 tbsp butter, chilled 1 cup chopped walnuts, optional

pumpkin flavors are some of my favorites, they remind me of the fall, arguably the best season.

Michelle Szymojko gave me this recipe, it's got a bit of a twist, but it's all the worth!

Prepare pie crust. Bake pie crust for 10 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Preheat the oven to 425F. In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, sweetened condensed milk, and egg yolks. Fold in 1 tsp cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt. In a bowl of standing mixer, whip egg yolks until soft peaks form. Gently fold into pumpkin mixture. Pour filling into pie shell. Bake for 15 minutes in preheated oven, while pie is baking, prepare streusel topping. Combine all topping ingredients until crumbly. Sprinkle over the pie. Reduce oven temperature to 350F, bake another 40 minutes, or until set. Cool on the wire rack. Enjoy!


Tiramisu is a classic ckae. My


It's one of her classic recipes

3 eggs, separated ½ cup sugar, plus 3 tsp 1 cup espresso, with 1 tsp sambuca liquor 8 oz mascarpone cheese 20 to 24 ladyfingers 1 tsp vanilla extract cocoa powder for dusting

Aunt Krys gave me this recipe.

that she makes usually around Easter. It's easy to make, no baking required, and it will

always be coffee's perfect pair.

Combine egg yolks, sugar, vanilla and beat. Add mascarpone cheese and blend until smooth. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites, with 3 tsp of sugar, until stiff peaks form. Fold in egg whites to the mascarpone mixture. Dip ladyfingers into espresso and line a pie plate. Spread 1/3 mascarpone mixture and sprinkle with cocoa powder. Continue layering until done, sprinkle cocoa over top. Refrigerate before serving and enjoy!

90 – cakes & pies


1 1/2 cups water 1 cup applesauce 1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil 1 tbsp vanilla 2 tsp vinegar 2 cups all purpose or GF flour 3/4 cup cocoa powder 1 1/2 cup sugar (organic sugar is vegan, some granulated versions are not) 1 tsp salt 1 1/2 tsp baking soda

This cake is sweet, it's moist and super yummy. This cake

is delicious topped with just a

sprinkle of confectioners' sugar; it's that good, that's all it needs.

Preheat oven to 350F. In a bowl, add water, applesauce, canola oil, vanilla, and vinegar. Whisk until combined. In a small seperate bowl mix together with a fork: flour, cocoa powder, sugar, salt and baking soda. Combine with the wet ingredients. Mix until all the lumps are gone. Coat your pan with spray of choice, use parchment paper on the bottom of the pan. Fill your pan 2/3 to 3/4 of the way full. Bake until your cake springs back when lightly touched with your hand. It will take longer than a regular cake, set incremental timers to keep an eye on it. Let cool, decorate as desired. Delicious with just some confectioners' sugar on top! Enjoy!

More Desserts


2 oz cake yeast 1 cup lukewarm milk 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour 1 tbsp sugar 16 extra large egg yolks 8 whole eggs 1 1/4 cup sugar 1 heaping tbsp sour cream 1 tsp vanilla extract zest of one orange 2 oz vodka 1 lb golden raisins, washed & dried 3/4 lb whipped unsalted butter 6 cups all purpose flour

Babka is a Polish sweet bread. Tradtionally, my

family makes Babka every year for Easter. When

I was younger, Easter was always at my babcia's

house, in Connecticut. My whole family would come over for breakfast, and celebrate. I always felt

special becasue it was my babcia's house that everyone came to. For like days and weeks before my mom

and I would help setting up tables upon tables in

my Babcia's formal dining room. A few days before Easter, my mom, my babcia, Cousin Maria and I

would make about 15 to 20 Babka cakes. On Easter,

there would be a piece of Babka on everyone's plate, blessed early that week.

Warm milk until lukewarm. Put the yeast into a bowl, crumble the cake of yeast. Add the luke warm milk and dissolve the yeast. Add flour, mix well. Place the bowl on a towel, then cover the bowl with a dish towel. Let rise for 30 to 45 miunutes. Beat egg yolks & whole eggs with the sugar until lemony in color and the mixture rises in the bowl, 15 to 20 minutes. Add all egg mixture to flour & yeast mixture. Add of the above ingredients, except the flour. Mix by hand. Add flour gradually. Knead the dough in the bowl until it gathers together, then continue to knead the dough on a board for approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour until the dough does not stick to the hand. Add flour as needed by sparingly. Place bowl on a towel and cover with a dish towel, let rise in a warm room for 2 hours, avoid drafts. Rub solid butter onto your hands so that the dough will not stick to your hands. Separate dough into small pieces and fill each pan with dough, approximately 1/3 full. Place the filled pans on a towel and cover with dish towels and let rise for a 2nd time in warm room. Approximately 3 to 4 until the dough roughly doubles. Preheat over to 350F. Beat 2 egg yolks and 1 tbls of water, beat well. Brush the top of the dough in each pan. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. If baked dough is very brown, reduce time or temperature to 325F. Place cooling rack on top of pan, tip over to slide out baked babka, set aside to cool. Enjoy !

94 – more desserts


8 oz cream cheese 2 sticks softened unsalted butter (226g) 2 1/3 cups all purpose flour (280g) ½ tsp salt ¼ tsp almond extract cranberry almond paste 1 egg

I love taking liberty with flavors in family classics! My Polish grandmother makes these all the time

for our family gatherings (sometimes with store

bought puff pastry instead). She usually fills them with apricot or raspberry jam. One of my favorite

flavors combinations is the often-underrated pairing of cranberries and almond. Using this paste instead

of a jam will help keep the filling from oozing out of

your cookies during the baking process. By all means, mix and match your favorite jams (maybe even from the store) into this recipe. However, I recommend

finding the thickest jams possible and/or using a food processor to add some almond flour into your jam.

Beat cream cheese until soft (works better closer to room temperature). Add butter and beat again until smooth. Scrape edges. Add flour, salt, and almond extract. Mix on low just until everything is combined. Overmixing will make it harder for dough to keep its shape. Form disc, wrap with plastic wrap, put in fridge for 1 hour to 2 days or in freezer for 2 weeks tightly wrapped (allow time to thaw before rolling). When the dough is ready, preheat oven to 375 F. Roll out chilled dough somewhere between 1/8 and ¼ of an inch thick. Use pizza roller to cut into 2 inch squares. Put 1-1.5 tsp of paste (make sure paste is cold or room temperature, never warm) on each square like an oval from one corner to the opposite. Mix 1 egg and a splash of water to make an egg wash. Using finger, dab small amount onto one corner of each square to the right or left of the paste oval. Fold blank corner in and egg washed corner on top. The egg wash acts as binding in between. Pinch very well so that cookies do not unfold during baking. Lightly flatten cookie so it is not a perfect cylinder. Place on cookie sheet 1 inch apart. Bake for 14-18 minutes just until slightly golden on edges with nice and golden bottoms. Allow to cool on pan, the paste retains heat longer so be careful. Enjoy!


This recipe is the easiest way to trick someone into thinking you are the most

INGREDIENTS all purpose flour, for a pan ½ cup white sugar 30 buttermilk biscuits (3 canned tubes) 1 cup walnuts, optional 1 tsp ground cinnamon ½ cup brown sugar 1 stick butter, plus more for pan

excellent baker. It's super delicious, and probably the easiest thing in the book.

Mihcelle Szymojko is to thank for this

delicious recipe. You can add any nuts, spices, or toppings to these goodies.

Butter and flour the bundt pan, set aside. NOTE: If you don’t have a bundt pan, you can also use a muffin tin, and make little mini monkey bread servings! Preheat oven to 350F. Combine white sugar and cinnamon in a bowl, set aside. Cut biscuits in half or quarters, and toss in the cinnamon sugar mixture. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium to low heat, add brown sugar and bring to a boil, stir frequently. Then add the walnuts (optional). Line the bundt pan with the biscuits in a nice circle pattern, overlapping. Pour most, but not all, of the butter-sugar-nut mixture between each layer, make sure to leave some for on top. Bake for 30 min, remove from pan, while still hot to avoid sticking. Pour the remainder of the butter-sugarnut mixture on top. Best served a little warm! Enjoy!


These are my absolutle favorite thing in

this book. My babcia would make these for

INGREDIENTS BATTER 4 cups of all purpose flour 4 eggs ½ to 1 tsp salt 3 ½ cups water shortening

NALESNIKI FILLING 1 lb farmer’s cheese (friendship brand ONLY) sugar to taste ½ tsp vanilla extract

me almost every morning for my family whenever we stayed over. They are the

best when they're right off the skillet, and the butter and can still melt when you

spread it ontop. They will always be my

favorite, and I just hope you love them as much as I do!

Place flour, eggs, salk and 1 cup water in bowl, mix well by hand, you can continue with a hand mixer. Add water until you have a watery dough. Melt shortening on stove top pan. Hold the pan at an angle, pour a generous spoonful of dough onto pan and swirl dough around to cover bottom of pan. Let cook. When the outside starts to crisp and the center starts to dry or solidify, slide butter knife under crepe and flip. Cook until crepe is a light creamy yellow. Slide onto plate. Enjoy! PLATCKI SERVING OPTIONS: Cover with butter, roll pancake. Cover with butter & sugar, or butter, sugar & lemon juice, roll pancake . Cover with jam, roll pancake. NALESNIKI: Fill each pancake with the cheese filling, and roll pancake. If reheating, fry in a pan of butter, brown both sides.

96 – more desserts



These poppyseed and nut

rolls are my Babcia's recipe.

INGREDIENTS BATTER 2/3 cup milk 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast 2 egg yolks 1/3 cup sugar 3 cups all purpose flour 3/4 tsp salt 1 stick butter, cut into cubes

NUT FILLING 1 ½ to 2 lbs ground walnuts 2 cups sugar 1 tsp vanilla extract ½ lb butter, for spreading on dough 1 to 2 egg yolks mixed with water for egg wash on top for bake

They're a polish bread, filled with poppyseed and nuts.

I'm not going to lie, these are

challenging to make, but they're

all the worth because they're so yummy, airy and flavorful.

POPPYSEED FILLING 2 cups poppy seeds 1 cup milk ½ cup honey 1 cup sugar 1 tsp vanilla extract

Warm milk for 30-40 seconds in the microwave until warm like bath water but not hot to the touch. If you have a thermometer, you want it around 100F. Add one packet (2 1/4 tsp) of active dry yeast directly to your milk container and stir with a fork. In your mixing bowl measure the egg yolks (save the whites), sugar. Add your milk and yeast mixture to your eggs and sugar and stir together with a fork. If using a dough hook on a mixer: start the mixer on low. As dough comes together more, turn it up slightly. Add more flour if the dough is too sticky, and not coming into a ball. If kneading by hand: Start mixing with your fingers spread out. As it comes together, start to compress the dough again and again. As it forms into a ball, begin kneading it using your weight and not your wrists to move your hands and dough. Add more flour if the dough is too sticky and not coming into a ball. Knead until the dough is as smooth as a baby's bottom. In other words, it's stretchy, soft, and not lumpy. Coat a bowl and dough with 1 Tbsp of a neutral oil and cover with plastic wrap for proof 1. Proof 1 should be 1 hour and 30 minutes. The dough will begin to expand a bit. At the end, you should be able to poke your dough and feel the transformation as it becomes filled with more air. You can also proof in the fridge overnight and let sit out on the counter for 1 hour before proceeding. While dough is proofing, make the poppyseed or nut filling. For the poppyseed filling: Scald milk, add poppy seeds and heat slowly on low heat; mix frequently to avoid burning. Remove from heat, add sugar, honey and vanilla, mix well. For the nut filling: Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, set aside for when needed. When your proof is done, roll out your dough into a square just shy of the width of your baking tray. Coat with the filling leaving 1 edge with an inch border of dough that is closest to you. Roll toward your body as evenly as possible. Wet the exposed dough at the bottom to help seal it. Tuck sides underneath. Roll into a parchment tube with 1/2 inch room to grow. and place onto your baking tray. Second proof: This proof should be 30-40 minutes. While proofing, preheat your oven to 375F or proof in the fridge overnight and let sit out on the counter for 20 minutes before baking. Place in the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes. When your roll is done, let them sit out for about 10 minutes to cool just a little bit then glaze to your heart's content! Enjoy them warm, microwave slices for 10 seconds to bring them back to life once room temp, and store them at room temp for up to 4 days well covered or sealed. It also freezes well.


This recipe is a polish family


you will love to add it to your

favorite. It's sweet and creamy,

6 egg whites, room temperature 2 cups extra fine sugar 1 ½ tsp white vinegar 1 ½ tsp vanilla 1 tbsp cornstarch 2 cups whipping cream (2 tbsp sugar and ½ cinnamon if desired, for extra sweetness) fruit of choice for on top

dessert repertoire.

In a grease-free non-metallic bowl, beat egg whites until they reach stiff peaks. Gradually add 1 tbsp sugar at a time, beating until sugar has been added and whites are shiny. This process takes 15 to 20 minutes. Fold in vanilla, vinegar and cornstarch. Preheat the oven to 300F. Line a baking sheet with foil. Butter the foil and outline a 7 in circle. Heap the egg whites into the circle, molding the sides higher with a depression in the center. Place pavlova in the bottom of the preheated oven and bake for 45 minutes. Turn off heat and leave in the oven until it’s cold. It’s very important not to open the oven door, to let out heat! Don’t even check the temperature. Leave it in the oven for as long as it needs to cool completely. To serve, whip cream (and sugar/cinnamon) and fill the center. Top decoratively with fruit of choice. Slice to serve. Enjoy!


This Placki is a polsih yeast

doughnut. These are traditionally

INGREDIENTS DOUGH oil, for cooking 2 lbs all purpose flour 2 ½ cup lukewarm milk 1 oz yeast 5 eggs pinch of salt

MAK ½ lb ground poppy seed 1 cup water 2 tbsp honey ½ cup sugar

made for Christmas Eve Dinner, both coated in the delicious mak

mixture, with fruit compote or just with some butter and sugar, these

are some of my favorite. Great for late ngiht or breakfasts.

For the dough: Dissolve the yeast with milk. Add flour, eggs and salt. Mix well and let rise for 1 ½ to 2 hours. Heat up oil on medium to low heat in a skillet, once the dough has risen. Spoon into the pan and let brown on each side. Let the cooked placki sit on paper towels while you finish cooking all the dough. For Mak: Combine all the ingredients and cook over a low flame for 2 to 3 minutes, if too thick, add a splash of water as needed. Coat the placki in the poppy seed mixture, or leave plain. Enjoy with some jams of your choice!

98 – more desserts


VANILLA EXTRACT MAKES 2 CUPS EXTRACT INGREDIENTS 2 cups vodka or brandy 6 vanilla beans NOTE: You can also cut the recipe in half if desired

Nothing more used in a baker's kitchen than vanilla extract.

This recipe is something my

babcia gave me. She always had vanilla beans in her lazy susan,

stored away in a snapple bottle.

You can use any bottle you would like, I recommend using glass. Cut the vanilla beans the long way with scissors except the last inch, this way the bean stem stays intact. Pour the vodka (or brandy) into the container you will be using (use a clear glass to be able to track the progress of the extract). The darker it gets, the stronger the extract will be, there’s no exact time you should be done with the extract, but make sure to let this sit for at least 8 weeks. Put the cut beans into the vodka (or brandy) and push them down until they’re completely submerged in the vodka (or brandy), they won’t go down on their own, so make sure they stay submerged at the start of the process. Cover the vanilla extract and let sit in a cupboard out of the light. You will start to taste some vanilla flavor after a few days. How ever long you let it sit, determines the strength of the extract. When your supply is halfway used, you can replenish with more vodka (or brandy), it will dilute at first, but regain strength quickly after soaking for a few days/weeks. Some people will add some simple syrup to the extract to sweeten it. This is what most commercial varieties do to have a sweet after taste. You can also add 1 teaspoon of dark rum for every cup of vodka (or brandy) for added flavor.


2 cans coconut milk 1/4 cup cocoa powder 1 tsp vanilla extract 2 to 3 tbsp maple syrup or confectioners' sugar toppings of your choice

Chocolate mousse is one of my favorite desserts, it's creamy,

light and airy. The coconut milk

in this is the perfect compliment to the chocolate sweetness.

Refrigerate 2 cans of coconut milk overnight. Take out your refrigerated coconut milk cans. Carefully tip over and open with a can opener, pour out the clearish liquid, and scoop out the white, solid coconut fat. If you cannot flip upside down to open, then open and scoop out the top layer of white, solidified coconut fat into a mixing bowl and leave behind the clearish liquid at the bottom. Add in the cocoa powder, vanilla and maple syrup (or confectioners' sugar). Whip up with your mixer until smooth and fluffy. Keep refrigerated or frozen. When the cake is cooled, spread the chocolate mousse over the top and add your preferred toppings! See list for inspiration. Enjoy! OPTIONAL TOPPINGS: mini chocolate chips, coconut, cookie chunks, oreos, strawberries, raspberries, whipped cream (make sure it’s a vegan version of any of these if desired to be vegan).

100 – more desserts

ZUCCHINI BREAD MAKES 2 LOAVES INGREDIENTS 3 eggs 2 cups sugar 2 cups shredded zucchini, make sure to squeeze out any excess moisture 1 cup cooking oil 2 tsp vanilla extract 3 cups all purpose flour 1 tsp salt 1 tsp baking soda 1 tsp baking powder 2 tsp cinnamon ½ tsp ground cloves

This recipe is one of my

Babcia’s classic desserts. It’s

a very easy to make dish, and a great way to utilize forgotten zucchini! It’s simple enough to make for guests, to have

for dessert, or to enjoy as a

delicious breakfast. One of my favorite ways to eat this is

toasting a slice in the oven, and topping with a pat of butter!

Grease two pans, using either 9x5 or 8x4 pans. If you only have one pan, that is fine, the baking time will just double. Once you grease your pans, place them to the side and preheat your oven to 325F. In a medium to large bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients: flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and ground cloves. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs until foamy, about 3 minutes. Stir in sugar, zucchini, oil and vanilla into the beaten eggs. Once fully incorporated, spoon in flour into wet ingredients gently. Incorporate fully. Pour the batter into greased pans. Bake your loaves for 50 to 60 minutes. Make sure the loaves don’t burn on the top. Check after 50 minutes, before adding more time. Once the loaves are fully cooked, cool in the pans for 10 minutes. Then, turn out onto wire racks to cool completely. Note: You can freeze the loaves if you don’t want to keep out for the week. If you choose to freeze, wrap throughouly in saran wrap, or aluminum foil and place into airtight bag. Defrost when you want to enjoy.

















102 – family tree























emil, wiktoria, & krystyna


kazia & bill

104 – family photos


left to right: kazia, bill, waleria, josef, celina, helen

celina, waleria, josef


waleria, celina

top left: bill, helen, kazia, josephine, peter seated: josef, waleria, richard

peter, josephine, teddy, alice, regina

christine & bill

106 – family photos

wiktoria & emil's wedding

barbara & malcolm's wedding

108 – family photos








left to right: regina, krystyna, danuta, christine, ileana, maria, barbara

left to right: jerry & jerilyn, joe & janina, mark & zoe

left to right: carolyn, duncan, janina, izzie

110 – family photos

left to right: jerilyn, emma, janina

emil & jack

krystyna, jack & emma

jack & richie

zoe & ali

zoe, emma, & ali

steven & maeve

112 – family photos

left to right: bethani, macie, abigail, kayla

left to right: kazik, emil, teresa szymojko, michelle szymojko, kazia

teri & emma

left to right: dave, jack, john, & maria

jack & jon

christine, bill, michele, debbie, david, tommy

114 – family photos

michele, kayla, macie, brad

left to right: john, duncan, david & janina

matthew, michael, meryl, marianna

krys & maria

brian & alice

116 – family photos

krys, richie & maria

left to right: maria, ileana, krys, teri, reggie, teresa, chris

INDEX INTRODUCTION....................................................................................................................................5 SALADS, SOUPS & SAUCES...........................................................................................................18

Barszcz, 20 Chimmichurri Sauce, 20 Coleslaw, 20 Cucumber Salad, 22 Beet Horseradish, 22 Horseradish Salmon Sauce, 22 Minted Peach & Tomato Salad, 22 Roasted Nut Honey, 24 Persian Salad, 24 Pickled Beets, 26 Rice Salad, 28 Scalloped Tomatoes & Artichoke Hearts, 28 Seafood Newburg, 28 Shaved Fennel, Apple & Watercrest Salad, 30 Stuffed Mushrooms, 30 Tomato Dill Fritters, 30 Sweet Potato Salad, 30 Tuscan White Bean Soup, 32

Zucchini Pancakes, 32

MAINS....................................................................................................................................................34 Baked Shrimp, 36

Bigos, 36 Chicken Tikka Masala, 38 Chili, 38 Cod Fish, 38 Gratin Alla Sorrentina, 40 Leek & Mushroom Pasta, 40 Creamy Pad Thai, 40 Pasta e Ceci, 42 Pasta a Lenticchie, 42 Pierogi, 44 Potato Salad, 46 Sledzie, 46 Stuffed Clams, 46 Swedish Meatballs, 46 Turkey Stuffning, 48

Summer Vegetable Galette, 48

GRANOLA & MUFFINS....................................................................................................................50 Emma's Granola, 52

Gluten-Free Granola, 52 Apple Cider Donut Muffins, 54 Blueberry Muffins, 56

118 – index

COOKIES...............................................................................................................................................58 Amaretti Cookies, 60

Apricot Bars, 62 Brown Butter Birthday Cookies, 62 Babcia's Butter Cookies, 64 Butter Horn Cookies, 64 Butter Pecan Cookies, 64 Coconut Macaroons, 66 Christmas Nut Cookies, 66 Chrusciki, 68 Cranberry Orange Cookies, 68 Delectables, 68 Chocolate Crinkle Cookies, 70 English Toffee, 72 Hungarian Cookies, 72 Pecan Toffee Bars, 74 Madeleines, 74 Markizy Taramisu Cookies, 74 Rainbow Cookies, 76 Vegan Rosemary Shortbread Cookies, 76 Triple Nut Diamonds, 76

CAKES & PIES....................................................................................................................................78 Almond Cake, 80

Angel Food Cake, 80 Apricot Torte, 82 Carrot Cake, 82 Chocolate Angel Strata, 84 Kruchy Kowowy Torte, 84 Dutch Apple Pie, 86 Guinness Chocolate Cake, 86 Lemon Rosemary Coffee Cake, 88 Pie Crust, 88 Pumpkin Pie, 88 Tiramisu, 90 Vegan Chocolate Cake, 90

MORE DESSERTS..............................................................................................................................92 Babka, 94

Cranberry Almond Kolaczki, 94 Monkey Bread, 96 Nalesniki, 96 Placki, 96 Poppyseed Roll & Nut Roll, 98 Pavlova, 98 Placki & Mak, 98 Vanilla Extract, 100 Vegan Chocolate Mousse, 100 Zucchini Bread, 100

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