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

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

It’s October – Apple Time! Where to pick them, and a few yummy recipes

apples on tree
Pick em fresh from the tree

My husband just LOVES apples! You’ve probably heard the saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”? Well, he certainly eats at least one apple every day. Maybe even two, or sometimes three. Actually, last weekend we went to a local apple orchard, and I swear he ate five. Honestly! September and October is certainly apple time in our part of the United States. Every year we can’t resist going to the orchard when they are in season, and picking two big canvas bags worth. The price was good, but because of the weight, we spent almost $50 total for those filled sacks. Good grief! What are we to do with all of the apples? Even my hubby can’t manage to eat them up too quickly.

My husband has his clear favorite apples varieties (Jonathan and Macoun), but the orchard we go to has several types, some ready to pick earlier than others. What is your favorite type of apple? 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

Long live dairy! A few of my favorite dairy-based recipes

dairy products

It’s been a while since I posted a culinary-related post, and given all of the stress I’ve been under lately a light topic is all I can muster. Plus, it happens that dairy-based foods and drinks tend to be my comfort foods. Continue reading

Yummy! Strawberry Dumplings (Jahodové knedlíky)

Strawberry dumplings
Bohemian Strawberry Dumplings

Most of my posts are mental health-related, but I have kept my promise and written about other interests that enrich my life. One of my many loves in life is cooking. I’ve written a couple of food-related posts in the past. Today I’m sharing my Czech (Bohemian) mother-in-law’s Strawberry Dumplings (Jahodové knedlíky). They are indulgent yummy balls of paradise. We ate them last night for dinner. Czechs usually eat them as a lunch, with 6-8 dumplings per person, but most people outside of Czech Republic may consider them a dessert. Three to four dumplings would be plenty for that. 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