Vanilla Crescent Cookies (Vanilkové rohlíčky)

Vanilla crescent cookies CWCzech Christmas Cookie #2

My Czech mother-in-law’s vanilla crescent cookies (vanilkové rohlíčky) are the most melt-in-your-mouth version I’ve ever tried. This popular buttery vanilla and nut cookie is enjoyed throughout much of Central Europe. These taste great the first day, and even better as they age. I always make plenty! They are my husband’s favorite cookie. My mother-in-law used roasted hazelnuts, which is also my usual choice, but other types of nuts could also be used. The pictured cookies are smaller than they may appear. I consider them a two-bite cookie, while my husband eats them in one.

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Ischl Torte Cookies (Ischelské dortíčky)

Ischl torte cookies finishedCzech Christmas Cookie #1

These sandwich cookies are a buttery, chocolaty, nutty delight with a delicious jelly/preserves and rum-hazelnut filling. They are almost like a mini fancy torte. The original recipe was created in 1849 in the spa town of Bad Ischl, in Austria, as a treat for the Emperor Franz Joseph I of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. If using Czech/Slovak flour, go by all ingredient amounts in grams and the Celsius oven temperature. Otherwise, use the American measurements. Continue reading

Czech-Style Potato Salad

Czech-Style Potato Salad (2)
There is actually a lot more potato salad in the bowl than it appears. Around 3 quarts.

Happy Independence Day to my fellow Americans! I hope everyone has good weather and will perhaps enjoy the delights of a BBQ.  I’m going to my dad’s house today, where my brother will surely be the grill master. We will have simple barbecue fare, like good ole’ Loeffler’s hot dogs, hamburgers, and pork roll (a New Jersey specialty). I was asked to bring potato salad. Continue reading

Beef Goulash Znojmo Style (Znojemský guláš)

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Not the prettiest dish, but it tastes so good! Pictured with Karlovy Vary bread dumplings.

Goulash is very popular throughout Central Europe, and is a real comfort food, made at home and offered at some restaurants and pubs. Its origins are from Hungary, but the recipe takes on many forms, depending on where it is made. In this post, I’d like to share a goulash from the city of Znojmo in the South Moravian Region of Czech Republic. Continue reading

Czech Carlsbad (Karlovy Vary) Bread Dumplings – Karlovarský knedlík

Knedliky
Knedlíky are great for soaking up sauces 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