Wholesome, Delicious & Easy Homemade Granola

All natural goodness and worth the splurge!

I’ve always liked granola and tried making it homemade a number of times, but this version is the best I’ve ever had! It’s more than worth the splurge. Yet it has some healthy additions that help offset any guilt. Sometimes I do indulge in eating it in a little milk, but a little goes a long way as it’s so flavorful, crunchy, and satisfying. It’s also perfect sprinkled on top of yogurt or ice cream or as part of a parfait.

This homemade granola is super easy to make. You can vary the nut, fruit and seed options, but I strongly suggest considering all (or at least some) of the ones I use. It’s a perfect combination! I’ve been making it frequently as I have a very large supply of honey in my pantry. Beekeeping is very popular in Czech Republic, where I now live. My brother also keeps honeybees in New Jersey, in the US. It’s a good practice as the honeybee populations are crucial to maintain in the world. Plus, honey tastes marvelous!

Continue reading

Masarykovo Cukroví (Masaryk’s Cookies)

No, I didn’t eat all of those cookies in one sitting. LOL! Just a couple.

These simple shortbread type cookies are sort of the Czech equivalent of Pecan Sandies in the US. The main difference is the use of whole hazelnuts/filberts, instead of pecans. Hazelnuts (called “lískové oříšky” in Czech) are quite popular in Czech desserts. They also add unique circles in each cookie slice. Beyond the time it takes for the dough to chill and cookies to bake, the preparation process is quick and and very easy.

Continue reading

Kokosky (Coconut Meringue Cookies)

Puffs of heavenly coconut bliss

Today is only the second week of November, yet I’ve made my first batch of Christmas cookies this year! I’ve decided to add a few additional varieties to my 10 Varieties of Czech Christmas Cookies post. So maybe I’ll have 13 or 14 in that post before Christmas?

Here I’m featuring melt in your mouth coconut meringue cookies, which are also popular on Czech Christmas cookie trays. Like most Czech cookies, they are made small to be one or two-bites each. Virtually the only fat in these meringues comes from the coconut, unless you decide to dip them in chocolate, as well.

Continue reading

Mazanec (Czech Easter Bread)

As a follow-up to my Christmas cookies of Czech Republic post, I decided to share my mother-in-law’s Easter bread recipe (“Mazanec”, in Czech). Mazanec is a slightly sweet bread with some fruit and nuts, and subtle vanilla and lemon flavor. My Czech husband has always preferred Mazanec over the similar, but differently shaped, Christmas bread, called “Vánočka”. Continue reading

Authentic Recipes for Czech Christmas Cookies and Sweet Breads (České Vánoční Cukroví)

Below you will find a large collection of authentic and traditional recipes for Czech Christmas cookies. I also  include Christmas breads, with two versions of vánočka. According to my Czech husband, my mother-in-law would make as many as 13 different varieties of Christmas cookies for her platter. I won’t be making that many, this year, but plan to have over 13 varieties in this post, and maybe even more, later down the line.

Continue reading

Princess Cookies (Princezky)

Princezky Princess cookies finished
Filled Princezky. Pipe the filling to make slightly prettier. Sorry the otvírák is in the photo.

Czech Christmas Cookie #8

Bite into these chewy nutty meringue-style sandwich cookies to reach the bliss of a delicious chocolate buttercream filling. My mother-in-law usually used roasted hazelnuts or walnuts for the meringue cookie, but some Czechs use blanched almonds. The nut choice will affect the color, a bit. Meant to be a one or two-bite cookie – that is, if you can stop at only one cookie! These were my husband’s favorite Christmas cookie, as a child. The pictured Princezky were made using finely ground roasted hazelnuts, our favorite nut choice. This combination, with the chocolate buttercream, is a little reminiscent of Nutella. Even yummier, in my view. They do crisp up a little over time, but are still great. Continue reading

The American food industry thinks we are stupid, inattentive, or complacent

Yogurts cropped
The gradually decreasing size of yogurt containers

After a rather stressful appointment today, I decided to pick up a few things from the grocery store. The main items on my list were granulated sugar and pure almond extract. Both items happen to almost always be in the same aisle, the baking aisle, so I went there first before getting side tracked and buying more than I wanted to. The store had zero pure almond extract. They only had the imitation crap. That pissed me off! I refused to buy that. Then what was worse, when I went to pick up a bag (meaning one, 5-lb bag) of granulated sugar, I almost had a fit. I could tell in a millisecond that they were smaller. All of the bags (all brands) were suddenly 4-lb bags! Continue reading

“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