10 Varieties of Czech Christmas Cookies (České Vánoční Cukroví) and more

Christmas cookie platter 2018 metal (2)
My 2018 Christmas cookie platter. Not all Czech cookies in this post are shown above.

This post marks the end of my Czech Christmas cookie countdown. Phew! On November 11th, I posted my first of 10 Czech Christmas cookie/confection recipes, with my last posted yesterday, along with a bonus Czech sweet bread. According to my husband, my mother-in-law would make as many as 13 different varieties for their platter. Frankly, I can’t manage all of that baking! 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

From Easy Bake Oven to eternity

From Easy Bake Oven to eternity collage

Julia Child sums up what I’ve learned over the years about cooking, that “The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.”  I can relate to that, especially now. Continue reading

Radiant Banana Nut Muffins from My Utility Muffin Baking Research Kitchen

Utility Muffin KitchenFinal Final-002
In the kitchen

I don’t have no boss, feeling lonely at home by myself. I have things I could do, I could call my favorite vegetable, but my belly is growling. The kitchen is too clean. Time to mess it up with some cosmik debris. I’m a baking tycoon. Gotta bake my radiant banana nut muffins, good enough for downtown Hollywood.

Put on the music. I think I’m itchin’ for some classic Frank Zappa right now. Joining him in song in the utility muffin baking research kitchen. I put on the oven and dance like a dancing fool around the room, beating and mashing the wet stuff, then adding the flour, scraping it down, whipping it up. Oh, god I am the American dream, I do not think I’m too extreme. Continue reading