Last Friday, my scale showed a mini weight gain. I had stayed within my daily calorie allowances. The gain annoyed me for that reason, and because it undid my accomplishment of reaching an interim goal. However, I knew I lost fat. Just knew it! I coughed up the gain to “other factors”, meaning water weight, hormonal fluctuations, and/or something else. My weight can fluctuate greatly, even within a day. So, I put that behind me. I expected that I’d see a good result today. Did I? See below. Continue reading →
Even as an enthusiastic cook, I sometimes need a break. I don’t want to halt my weight loss journey, just ease up on some of the effort and time needed for meal planning and preparation. Fatigue and excess stress can lead to bad food choices, I know. I have to avoid this. Ways to simplify meal prep and planning is this week’s topic. But first things first – see my week’s weight change below. Continue reading →
The herb lovage (levisticum officinale) is much more commonly used in Europe than the United States, but I’m lucky to say that it is a part of my herb garden. My Czech husband and I found it at a garden center in New Jersey, several years back. This sturdy tall perennial herb has come up every spring since, and lasts into early autumn.
Lovage has a flavor reminiscent of celery and parsley, so goes extremely well in soups and many other recipes. The whole plant is edible, even down to the roots, but in this recipe I use the stalks and leaves. Lovage is the star ingredient of this soup, along with root vegetables that add additional flavors, thickness, and a bit of sweetness. It’s important to use stalks with younger leaves, otherwise it can be slightly bitter. The recipe can be made vegetarian, or even vegan, easily. Continue reading →
I would have been quite surprised if I didn’t lose weight this past week! I was determined to meet my interim goal of reaching the next lower 10 lb weight bracket, by today. Though my exercise did slightly dip, my daily food allowances were not exceeded. And yet, I think that some would not have thought all of my daily menus diet-like. Menu planning takes effort, but it’s more than worth it. Loving to cook and bake helps, too. Curious about my week’s weight change? It’s right below. Continue reading →
Fewer than 20 minutes drive from my house is a Polish food shop. Having a Czech husband, that store’s presence is valuable, since some products are the same or similar as ones he grew up with. They always have fresh blintzes for sale, which I especially enjoy eating. Since theirs are definitely not low calorie, I worked out a version that is diet-friendly, but still tastes plenty good. Continue reading →
I continued to stick to my eating plan perfectly, this second week of my Fitness & Weight Loss journey. My large Week 1 weight loss kindled my zeal to continue, along with some nice hikes in new places. I’m happy to report good results again, and share some of my newest observations. But first, my weigh-in results: Continue reading →
As announced in my post two days ago, Weight/Fitness Journey Restarts, I finally restarted my journey towards better health. Though it’s only been four days since I started tracking my food intake, and staying within a designated allowance, I have already seen a most pleasant reduction in my weight. Normally my weigh-ins will be every seven days, on Fridays, but look what’s happened already after four: Continue reading →
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.
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 →
Have you ever had Bishop’s Bread? If not, many recipes you’ll see online resemble the notorious fruit cake that Americans joke about as a “re-gifting” item. My Czech mother-in-law’s recipe does contain some lemon zest, but beyond that, it’s more of a chocolate chip and nut lover’s dream. This cake wonderfully combines bittersweet chocolate with hazelnuts (or walnuts or pecans), with the lemon zest adding just the right bit of pleasant zest for ultimate deliciousness. This sweet bread contains lots of beaten egg whites. Occasionally, I add some chopped candied orange peel to the batter, if I have some left over from making Marokánky cookies. If I do that, I reduce the chocolate and nut quantities slightly. Continue reading →