“Lightened Up” Almond Berry Clafouti

Almond Berry Clafouti-big
Almond Berry Clafouti (w/o confectioner’s sugar)

So I’m almost finished the second week of my new weight loss plan. Many of you know that I enjoy posting recipes on occasion, so I thought I’d start posting some diet-friendly or “lightened up” ones, too. I’ve enjoyed a lot of new creations these past several days, as well as old ones I remember from the past. Continue reading

I have always loved a good brew! Reflections of a beer lover.

Beer froth

I remember being no more than four years old when my dad asked me to grab him a beer from the refrigerator. That was way back in the mid-1970s. I’m not sure what inspired me to open the can the first time. Was it the challenge of opening it, which back then had the old pull-tabs? Or the curiosity of what that drink tasted like? Either way, I did taste it, and probably unlike 95% of children that age, I actually liked the way it tasted, despite it being what I now call “cheap American swill”. Dad obviously knew I stole a taste, and got a kick out of it. From that point on (as a child), I’d always take a taste. As time went on the “tastes” grew more substantial. Continue reading

Finding Czech and Slovak groceries in the US (and UK)

Czech selection of foods
Selection of food items commonly eaten in Czech Republic and Slovakia. Some products may be produced in other countries.

Are you a Czech or Slovak living in the US or UK? Or a spouse of one who wishes to cook and bake some Czech or Slovak specialties for your Czech or Slovak spouse? You might have noticed that some ingredients are not so easy to find in the US or UK. Well, I have a few suggestions that might help you out. Continue reading

The Obsessive Overuse of Garlic in Modern Day American Cooking?

garlic heads

When I was a little girl, my mother noticed I was getting rashes on my arm and behind my knee. She took me to my pediatrician who recommended I go to an allergist. I went, and the results of the allergy testing were pretty sad for me. He said “No peanuts, no chocolate, and no oranges or orange juice.”  So every Easter, I’d get the white-colored bunny rabbit and various jelly beans in my basket. Yuck! My siblings had the delicious-looking chocolate ones, plus Reese’s peanut butter eggs, and other chocolate goodies. Imagine the envious look on my little face?

I wasn’t the only one in my family that seemed to have an allergy. It was discovered early on that when we ate something containing garlic, my brother became nauseous and red in the face, and would even throw up. Continue reading

Grapefruit Chicken (Poulet au Pamplemousse)

Grapefruit Chicken finished portraitGrapefruit Chicken was my signature dish during the early years of my marriage. My husband and I both loved it, as did several of our relatives and friends. It was the entrée I most often made to impress. I realized that I hadn’t made this dish for a long while, so decided to make it as this year’s Valentine’s Day dinner. Hubby was very happy!

Based on a French recipe, Grapefruit Chicken takes chicken to a new height combining the sweet and sour of pink or red grapefruit with the delicious flavors of sherry and brandy soaking succulent chicken. In addition, this dish includes a flambé step, which my husband always wants to participate in. He has always been fascinated by fire, and has been known to flambé things not normally set ablaze. Only food, though. He’s not an arsonist. Here is the recipe: Continue reading

An Assortment of Sweets Found in Bohemia (part of Czech Republic)

I’m a gal from New Jersey (in the USA) who met and married a sweet Czech from Prague. With him came some recipes from his Bohemian mama, all of which I’ve made to keep my hubby happy. Me, too! All of the sweets above are a selection of ones he grew up eating frequently. They include (from top left clock-wise): Continue reading

My favorite recipe for New Year’s brunch – One for luck and prosperity

Lentils herbs ham egg hat
This egg is poached. Sunny-side up eggs look even prettier.

I remember the second time I visited my husband’s home country of Czech Republic, it was over the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. New Year’s Eve we stayed up almost all night. It was early in the morning the next day, and we were hungry, and only certain “hospodas” (places to order Czech beer and maybe a snack or typical meal) and other joints were still open. Hubby told me that the selection of foods would be quite limited that morning, but they were sure to have one traditional New Year’s food — lentils. Lentils have long been known to symbolize good luck in the New Year, and especially prosperity. I guess I can understand the “prosperity” part because lentils sort of look like coins, in a way. Before that day, the only time I ever ate lentils was in lentil soup. At the restaurant we found, the lentils were cooked with some vegetables and chunks of ham, and then topped with a sunny-side up egg. Pure comfort food! The opposite of an extravagant meal. When I got home, I recreated the simple dish, and even found that it could be made quite diet friendly.

Lentils, Herbs & Ham (optional) with an Egg “Hat” (about 4-6 servings) Continue reading

Four homemade soups you can make in an hour or less (two vegetarian)

Growing up in Czech Republic, my husband ate soup almost every day. Though I didn’t eat it that often in my family (in the USA), when I had it, it was a wonderful treat. My mom was very good at making soups, and made a wide variety, always from scratch. Some were to warm us up in the winter (like the ones below), others were to use summer produce. Continue reading

Exceptional recipes for the discerning palate

gourmet cookingDo you often make recipes that are posted on the internet, at sites like www.allrecipes.com, www.foodandwine.com, or https://cooking.nytimes.com/? I love cooking new things, and when I have a few special ingredients on hand I get curious about the possibilities for new dishes. Other times, I like to look at different approaches to old recipes I’ve made, to maybe improve on them, or make them with a new twist. Many of these recipes are rated by home cooks everywhere. Obviously some of us have different tastes and expectations for food than others, but generally don’t you look for the recipes with the highest ratings? Continue reading