Czech Carlsbad (Karlovy Vary) Bread Dumplings – Karlovarský knedlík

Knedliky
Sliced Czech dumplings go well with saucy entrees or with sauerkraut

Dumplings (Knedlíky)! The Czech people just love them, and they come in various forms and flavors, for various purposes! Dumplings are often served with meat dishes (usually with sauces or sauerkraut), may appear in some soups, or even have fruit or other sweet fillings 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 significant other of one who wishes to cook and bake some Czech/Slovak specialties for your family? You may 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

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

Getting married abroad, in a most glorious city (Prague, Czech Republic)

Prague scene
Beautiful Prague, Czech Republic

My husband and I met each other when working for the same company in the U.S. It was an instant attraction. It wasn’t long before I officially moved in with him. After about two years together, our love grew very strong. The day then arrived when we decided to get married, which was soon followed by a request for my hand in marriage from my parents. What a sweet old-fashioned gentleman! The whole period was quite romantic. I’d share more details of that romance, but hubby told me that some details he’d like to keep just between the two of us. I must respect that. Instead, in this post I will concentrate on just the preparations and events surrounding a marriage abroad. From this point until after the wedding, hubby will be referred to as “fiancé”. Continue reading

What does that taste like? Foods the cashier might be unfamiliar with.

I thought I’d dedicate a post to foods that might not be familiar to some people in my home country of the United States, but are commonly used in some countries outside of the US. There are also some foods available in my local stores, that even I’ve yet to try, mostly because I’m unsure how to use them. Continue reading

If only I could go to a Czech spa right now!

Mariánské Lázně1
Mariánské Lázně in Czech Republic

In my husband’s home country of Czech Republic, if you are a bit under the weather or recuperating from a major illness, your doctor may prescribe a two to three week in-patient treatment at a spa (or lázně in Czech), which is covered by health insurance. There, patients are evaluated by a doctor specializing in balneotherapy (treating disease by baths) or physical therapy, who assembles an individual plan of procedures and treatments. Those range from drinking (the mineral waters!), bathing (not only in the mineral waters, but also in waters infused with herbs, fruit, salts, hops, malt extract, and others), wraps, massages, exercise, special diet, etc.  Continue reading

Summer work abroad in Poland

Poznan main square
The Old Town Square in Poznań, Poland

One day in the summer of 1992, I was hanging out at my university campus bus stop near the student center. The bus stop had numerous flyers advertising various activities. One read “Teach English in Poland through the Local Democracy and the Citizen’s Foundation in Poland.” Continue reading