Friday, November 30, 2012

Morskie Oko - Jewel of the Tatra Mountains

It feels like a million years ago... High school field trip
Morskie Oko is one of the most popular and charming destinations when visiting Polish mountains. A must-see place.
You can get there by foot (approximately 2 1/2 hours) or enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride.
Both are fun and you can rest assured that you will enjoy the surroundings.
The view of the lake itself is a cherry on top!

Morskie Oko is the largest lake in the Tatra Mountains (Tatry) and is located in the Tatra National Park (Tatrzanski Park Narodowy).
The name Morskie Oko can be translated as "Eye of the Sea", as one of the legends says that the lake was connected to the sea through the underground tunnel.
It used to be called "Fish Pond" (Rybi Staw) due to natural stock of fish (mainly trout), which is really rare in the Tatra lakes. However, fishing and feeding fish are not allowed.
Beautiful clear water of the lake and the view of the highest peaks of the Tatra Mountains are breathtaking.
Morskie Oko is a great starting point for those who want to reach the highest peak in the Polish Tatra Mountains - Rysy (2,499 MASL). It takes approximately 4 hours plus time for rest.
Visitors can explore different mountain trails in the area and nice walk around the lake takes less than an hour!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

For my mom: Banana Bread recipe

Little twist today: from my table to my mom's table.
Polish version first! :o)
Please scroll down for English version.
My brother enjoyed this banana bread at our house
and now he wants some more! :)
Dla mamusi:

3-4 dojrzale banany
75 g rozpuszczonego masla
1/4 szkl. cukru
1 jajko
1 lyzeczka ekstraktu z wanilii (lub opakowanie cukru waniliowego)
1 lyzeczka proszku do pieczenia
szczypta soli
1,5 szkl. maki
*1/2 szkl. posiekanych orzechow wloskich
  1. Widelcem rozgniesc banany.
  2. Dodac roztopione maslo, cukier, jajko oraz wanilie. Wszystkie skladniki wymieszac.
  3. Dodac make, proszek do pieczenia i sol. Dobrze wymieszac. Dodac orzechy.
  4. Mase wylac do natluszczonej keksowki (w moim przypadku sa to dwie keksowki) i piec godzine w piekarniku nagrzanym do 175 stopni Celsjusza.
3-4 ripe bananas
1/3 c. butter, melted
1/4 c. sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. baking soda
pinch of salt
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
*1/2 c. chopped walnuts
  1. Mash bananas with a fork.
  2. Add melted butter, sugar, egg and vanilla extract. Mix.
  3. Add flour, baking soda and salt. Mix all ingredients and add walnuts if you like.
  4. Pour batter into greased loaf pans and bake for 1 hr at 350º F.
The amount of sugar in this recipe is reduced to 1/4 cup
and if you have ripe bananas, trust me, you don't need to overload with sugar!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

My brother is visiting! A word about tourist visa.

It's been a while since my last blog post.
Lots of great things happened and I've been positively distracted.
Finally, I got a chance to host my brother! It's a big deal for me!
For the first time, a close family member from Poland is visiting! :o)

Imagine the distance, the Atlantic Ocean between us, the time difference and plane ticket prices!
We don't get too many chances to see each other.
We're skyping, using social network web sites, sending postcards and e-cards, texting...
I miss my family every day and I'm so grateful for today's technology, but nothing can replace face to face meetings, hugs and laughs!
Horrifying prices of the plane tickets are not the only issue for my family in Poland.
They have to deal with visas, too.
For many people it used to be a discouraging, intimidating and disappointing process (and also expensive one!).
Poland has been waiting patiently for some changes about visas. Different promises and negotiations around this topic took place. Who knows, maybe future will be brighter?...

I believe, that certain things have changed for better though - online application process, short awaiting time for the interview and no long lines in front of the US Embassy!
I was really happy for my brother that he was able to take care of everything and that visa process went really smooth.

All the instructions how to apply for a tourist visa, forms and steps that you need to take can be found on the United States Embassy web site:
This video, prepared by the United States Embassy in Warsaw might be helpful too.

And one more thing...
Anyone travelling with a tourist visa is expected to be a tourist, doesn't have work permit and can not extend his/her stay in the United States.
I answer this kind of questions a lot. I think, that some people get a little suspicious because of the illegal immigration problem in the U.S., but I try not to get offended. I just patiently explain them "the rules" :)

Friday, July 6, 2012

Gołąbki - Stuffed cabbage rolls

This is how we like it.
With lots of tomato sauce!
"Gołąbki" (plural form) means literally "little pigeons", but don't get discouraged, it's only vocabulary :-)
"Gołąbki" is a traditional Polish dish - delicious stuffed cabbage rolls, that my husband and I, love to eat.
They are perfect, especially when I'm missing homey, comforting, Polish food.
They are known under different names in other European countries, while many people in America refer to this dish as "pigs in a blanket".


1-2 heads of white cabbage,
2 lbs ground beef (*if you can buy ground pork, then half and half),
1.5 cup cooked rice,
1 large onion, chopped,
2 Tbsp butter,
1 clove of garlic, chopped,
1 tsp nutmeg,
salt and pepper,
tomato sauce,
fresh or dried dill

  1. Remove core from cabbage and place whole cabbage in a large pot with boiling water.
  2. Cover and boil for a few minutes until the leaves get soft and are easy to peel off.
  3. Carefully peel off individual leaves, remove hard parts (center stem) using a knife.
  4. Chop the remaining cabbage and place it on the bottom of a casserole dish.
  5. Fry chopped onions with butter until soft. Let cool.
  6. Mix ground beef (and pork, if using any), fried onions, garlic, cooked rice and spices until well combined.
  7. Form large ovals from meat and place each one on an individual cabbage leaf. Roll leaves over the meat and place cabbage rolls in a casserole dish.
  8. Pour tomato sauce over the cabbage rolls and garnish with dill.
  9. Bake in 350º F for 1 hour.
Serve with sauce only or with mashed potatoes on the side.
If you wish, garnish with shredded cheese (optional).


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Łazienki Królewskie - Łazienki Park, Warsaw

Palace on the Water
Source: Family pictures
Author: Maciej P.
Łazienki Królewskie  (or Park Łazienkowski) is the largest park in Warsaw, Poland (76 hectares).
The Park is full of interesting buildings, sculptures, monuments and beautiful gardens.
It's a must-see place in Warsaw!!!
It was created in XVIII century for Polish King Stanislaw August Poniatowski.
The park-and-palace complex is located in the city center, and is considered to be the one of the most beautiful parks in Europe.
Loved by tourists and loved by locals, the Łazienki Park used to be a summer residence of the King Stanislaw August.
The name Łazienki Królewskie means literally "Royal Baths", from a bathhouse that was rebuilt and transformed into the King's Palace, known today as Palace on the Water -  Pałac na Wodzie or Palace on the Island - Pałac na Wyspie.
Closer shot
Source: Family pictures
Author: Maciej P.
Roller skating, skateboarding and biking are banned in the park.
Chasing peacocks or squirrels across beautiful green grass isn't recommended either. (I know, everyone wants a snap shot of that beautiful peacock !... :-)
Squirrels - spoiled by the visitors, come close enough to get food. They might even share a bench with you, and eat nuts from your hand! Be careful though... What if you meet some crazy squirrel (crazy enough to bite you??? ;o)

Peacock - one of many in the Łazienki Park
Source: Family pictures
Author: Maciej P.
Many cultural events take place in the Łazienki Królewskie Park and the most popular are Fryderyk Chopin's Concerts, that I mentioned before in one of the older posts.

For a full history of the park, exhibits of the Royal Collections, pictures, etc. you might want to check this website: Lazienki Krolewskie.
For more pictures click here.

Source: Family pictures
Author: Maciej P.
The pictures posted here are courtesy of my cousin Maciej P. who is the author.

Friday, June 8, 2012

EURO 2012 starts!

EURO 2012 logo
Source: Google

Today, June 8, 2012
Poland will play with Greece
at the National Stadium in Warsaw.
Time: 18.00.
Good Luck Bialo-Czerwoni!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Buraczki / beets - healthy side dish

Buraczki - beets, are very popular in Polish cuisine.
I love them now, but it hasn't always been this way...
As a child, I didn't like their look, so I was stubborn and I didn't want to try them.
Until one day... Day at my aunt Zofia's house. It took only one look of "encouragement" and I was eating beets until they were gone from my plate! :) After I was done eating, all I had to say was how great those beets tasted!
The meal was consisting of a pork chop with bread crust, mashed potatoes and beets.
It's a very popular meal combo, so if you happen to visit Poland, big chance is that you are going to try it. 
When talking about beets, I can't forget to mention delicious beet soup - borscht /"barszcz". It's served with mini dumplings called "uszka", and it's definitely one of my favorites!

***Beets are rich in iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B1, folic acid and more.

Pork chops with caramelized onions,
 mashed potatoes with skins and beets

Buraczki zasmazane / Fried beets:

4-8 medium size beets,
1-2 Tbsp butter,
sugar, salt, pepper to taste,
*lemon juice to taste (optional)
* 1 Tbsp (or more) horseradish
* 1 Tbsp flour,
* 2 Tbsp sour cream.
  • Boil beets in skins until soft (30-45 min). Peel off the skins and grate beets finely.
  • In a frying pan melt butter. Add beets and fry for about 5 minutes on medium heat.
  • Season to taste with sugar, salt and pepper. Add lemon juice if desired.
*** If making Horseradish beets - "Buraczki z chrzanem":
Add horseradish instead of lemon juice. You can also add flour and sour cream.

These two are my favorite versions of fried beets. Hope you will like them too!

Interesting fact about beets? ;o)
- Long time ago, women used beets juice to color their cheeks in order to look healthy

(red cheeks = healthy woman).

Monday, May 21, 2012

Nie od razu Krakow zbudowano

It's a very popular proverb.
However, in Poland, we're talking about Polish city
Krakow instead of Rome ;-)

P.S. Krakow is a must-see place in Poland!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Tarta truskawkowa / Strawberry tart


150 g flour,
100 g cold butter (cubed),
50 g powdered sugar,
1 egg yolk,
pinch of salt,
*1 Tbsp cream (optional)
  • Combine all ingredients and form a ball. Leave in the fridge for 30 min.
  • Roll out the dough and place it in a baking pan. Pierce with a fork before baking.
  • Bake for 15-20 min at 400º F.
3 Tbsp strawberry jam,
1 lb strawberries,
strawberry jelly, glaze or jam for coating the fruit
  • Cool tart in a pan and spread jam on the bottom.
  • Arrange strawberries and coat them with strawberry jelly (liquid form), strawberry jam or fruit glaze.
  • Let cool in a fridge.

- Jam can be replaced with cream cheese (1 box of cream cheese combined with 1/4 cup powdered sugar).
- Sliced strawberries are easier to work with when cutting and serving a tart.
- You can also use blueberries/raspberries and choose corresponding jam flavor.
- This time, I didn't have any jam at home, so I made my own:
In a small saucepan, combine 1 lb strawberries with 3 Tbsp sugar and 1 Tbsp water. Cover with a lid and cook on medium heat for 15-20 min. Let cool completely.

"truskawka" - strawberry
"truskawki" - strawberries
"truskawkowa" ("tarta"- tart), "truskawkowy" ("smak"-flavor), "truskawkowe" ("lody" - ice cream) - adjective describing things that are "strawberry" - examples above ;-)

Have a strawberry summer / "truskawkowe lato" everyone! :o)

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Do trzech razy sztuka

It's a very popular saying!
Don't give up, try one more time!
And if you care about something a lot,
forget about the saying... ;-)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Animated History of Poland

Sharing this video via You Tube. The author did a great job.
I thought, that some of you might be interested in watching.

Ricotta pancakes with almond flavor (or without)

Nice for a change.
This ricotta pancakes (like all possible pancakes) are on the top of my breakfast/dessert list.
Serve them with blueberry/strawberry syrup, jam, maple syrup or with sugar only.

Ricotta pancakes with almond flavor:
Yield: 18 small pancakes
1 container (425 g) ricotta cheese,
4 eggs, yolks and whites separated,
1-2 Tbsp sugar,
10 Tbsp flour,
1 tsp almond extract (or vanilla),
1 packet (16 g) almond sugar,
your favorite toppings.
Almond sugar. Thank you Mamus :o)

  1. Beat egg whites until stiff.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix ricotta cheese, egg yolks, sugar, almond sugar and almond extract.
  3. Add flour and egg whites to the ricotta cheese mixture and mix gently until all ingredients are well combined.
  4. Place full tablespoons of batter on the greased skillet. Fry until golden on both sides (I usually flip pancakes 3 times and flatten them with spatula).
  5. Serve with favorite toppings.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

House of Poland in San Diego, CA

If you live close to San Diego, you might want to visit House of Poland and its annual lawn program, that is going to be held tomorrow, May 6 th at 2 p.m.
The lawn program is held on the first Sunday in May and commemorates the Polish Constitution Day, which is on May 3 rd.
There will be music, regional dances and food.
House of Poland is a member of the House of Pacific Relations, and is located in Balboa Park, in San Diego.
Open every Sunday from noon until 4 p.m.

I will definitely visit Polish cottage, next time I'm there!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

I love May! Kocham maj!

Own source
Looks like little birds like us :-)
Own source

Many people say that May is the most beautiful month of the year - "Maj jest najpiękniejszym miesiącem roku". And I agree...
I love May - "Kocham maj"!! :o)
Sunny days, green grass, blooming trees and flowers - everything (and everyone) is waking up after long winter.
People enjoy outdoors and take short weekend trips, that in Poland are called majowka.
Active or lazy, it doesn't matter - what matters is being close to the nature's beauty!

Enjoying spring with my camera ;-)
Own source

Minnesota truly reflects four seasons that I experienced in Poland.
This place feels so homey to me.
And spring gives me the biggest kick of all :o)
Every little thing, that I find similar to life in Poland, is exciting!
Lots of trees and lakes, birds singing all day long and laying eggs in our flowers, lilac...
I adore it!

A few days ago, I snapped a photo of baby lilac next to our house - it should bloom in a month or so...
Can't wait!

Little baby lilac.
Own source

I wish everyone great "majowka" trips, lazy picnic days and time to enjoy fresh, springy air!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Polak won! Great remix!

I am always happy for talented Poles!
Polish composer and producer Radzimir Dębski - Jimek won Beyonce's "End of time" remix competition.
His remix was selected from 3000 entries!
Enjoy! :)

I'm sharing this link via YouTube (I don't own it).

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Kisiel & Budyń

Kisiel & Budyń...
What a couple! :-)
Childhood memory...
Thanks to my friend Ania for sharing these goodies with me! 
Spoons up!
YUM - Pychotka ;-)

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Kopytka - mashed potato dumplings

Kopytka - "little hooves" are potato dumplings that are very popular in Polish cuisine.
They are easy to make, satisfy hunger and can be served with different toppings.
My favorite toppings are: butter with breadcrumbs, beef sauce and mushroom sauce.

5 medium/large potatoes, cooked and mashed,
2 cups all-purpose flour,
1 egg, beaten,
1 tsp salt
  1. Peel and cook potatoes. Mash them well making sure that there are no lumps.
  2. Combine all ingredients and knead a dough.
  3. Sprinkle working surface with flour and roll the dough into long, 1 inch thick pieces.
  4. Cut diagonally into 1/2 inch pieces.
  5. Bring water to a boil and cook kopytka until they float.
  6. Serve with favorite toppings.
  • butter and breadcrumbs (1:1 proportions)
  • chopped, fried bacon
  • beef sauce
  • mushroom sauce
Mushroom sauce - "sos grzybowy":
1 container mushrooms (I use baby portobello),
2-3 Tbsp butter,
sour cream,
chopped parsley leaves,
salt & pepper to taste
  1. In a medium pan heat butter and add mushrooms.
  2. Season with salt and pepper and cook until mushrooms get soft.
  3. Add 1-2 Tbsp of sour cream and stir quickly.
  4. Stir in chopped parsley leaves.
  5. Serve over kopytka.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Polish sausage - Polska kiełbasa

Bigos (Hunter's stew) and sausages at our Polish wedding:))
Talking about Polish sausages...
Poland is known for a large variety of sausages and their awesome taste.
Polish sausages are smoked or fresh, made of pork, beef, veal, turkey and lamb. They are seasoned with pepper, garlic, marjoram and caraway. Sausages can be grilled, fried, boiled, and many of them can be eaten cold. They are a great addition to soups, Hunter's Stew (bigos) and Breton beans (fasolka po bretońsku). Fried or grilled sausage is often served with caramelized onions, pickles, slice of bread, ketchup and mustard. Sauerkraut and horseradish are also popular sides.

I definitely miss having a large selection of flavorful Polish sausages, so what's left is searching for Polish and European stores.
After we moved to Minnesota, our search led us to the store in Minneapolis, where the sausages are made! We stop there to buy fresh, traditional Polish sausage and blood sausage, called kaszanka/kiszka. Apparently kaszanka is my husband's favorite and he is looking forward to another trip to Minneapolis and buying more sausages for BBQ! :)

A few Polish sausages worth knowing about
(please keep in mind that there are hundreds of sausages, that differ from region to region):
  • kabanosy (kabanos - singular form) - dried, very thin, usually long sausage - great for snacking, often served as appetizer.
  • kiełbasa krakowska - smoked, thick sausage - served sliced, on bread, topped with tomatoes, seasoned with salt & pepper.
  • kiełbasa myśliwska (Hunter's sausage) - smoked and dried sausage with characteristic taste and aroma of juniper - great with bread.
  • biała kiełbasa - white sausage - served with traditional Easter soup "żurek" ("żur") or baked with onions; can be served with horseradish sauce.
  • kaszanka/kiszka - black sausage, blood sausage - served grilled or fried with caramelized onions, slice of bread, ketchup and mustard, often with sauerkraut.
Tradition - Polish sausage by the campfire...
And sound of the guitar....
Great times!

    Thursday, April 12, 2012

    My first "Mazurek"

    My first "Mazurek" turned out more brown that I anticipated...
    My oven was sweating after all the baking that I was doing that night :)

    With Easter behind us, cake crumbs on a plate and a few extra pounds - time for reflection! :)
    This year, I wanted to bake something traditional for Easter, so I chose "Mazurek" - typical Easter cake.  
    Crust for "Mazurek" is thin and usually topped with orange/apricot/raspberry jam, nut/almond/coconut paste or poppy seed.
    "Mazurki" (plural form) are known for rich decorations. You can go overboard while decorating: dried fruit, nuts, almonds, candy, coconut flakes... The more the better!

    I love poppy seed, so I chose to make "Mazurek makowy".
    I decorated it with almonds, coconut flakes and "Almond Joy" candy pieces.
    Not the most successful baking in my life, but I didn't get discouraged!

    "Mazurek makowy" w/shortbread crust and poppy seed filling:
    150 g (1 cup) flour,
    150 g butter,
    150 g powdered sugar,
    1 egg yolk,
    pinch of salt
    1 can (354 g) of poppy seed,
    decoration of your choice
    1. Mix all ingredients and quickly form a ball. Refrigerate for 30 min.
    2. Roll out the dough and place on a baking pan. Poke with a fork in few places.
    3. Bake for 15 min at 400º F.
    4. Spread poppy seed filling over the crust. Lower the oven temperature to 375º F and bake for another 25 min.
    5. Cool and decorate.

    Saturday, April 7, 2012

    Kraszanki - how to dye eggs in onion peels


    Dyeing eggs in onion peels used to be the most common method in our family.
    It's probably one of the most popular methods to color eggs in Poland.
    Eggs colored using natural ingredients are called "kraszanki".

    Here are the instructions on how to do it.
    You will need:
    - desired amount of eggs
    - 2 Tbsp vinegar
    - onion peels (onion peels from one onion/two onions per one egg)
    - pot with water

    Place onion peels in a pot with water and vinegar. Boil for 20-30 minutes.
    Transfer eggs into the solution and gently wrap each egg in onion peels, making sure that they are covered.
    Boil 10-12 min or until desired color appears on your eggs.
    You can also use eggs that were boiled before.
    ***Longer cooking gives better results, however it's not recommended to eat eggs that were cooked for too long - depends on what your purpose is. If you wish you could prepare a solution with onion peels one day in advance - boil onion peels and set a solution aside. Then place eggs in a solution the next day.
    ***When eggs are ready, decorate them by scratching different designs using a needle or razor, or leave them plain.
    ***Rub a little bit of oil over eggs to give them a nice shine :)

    Friday, April 6, 2012

    Happy Easter in Polish

    My crocheted Easter eggs. "Crochet-anki" :))
    I had lots of fun making them!!
    Happy Easter!
    "Wesołych Świąt Wielkanocnych!"

    Easter - "Wielkanoc"
    Happy Easter - "Wesołych Świąt Wielkanocnych"
    Happy Hallelujah - "Wesołego Alleluja"


    Tuesday, April 3, 2012

    Żurek for Easter - how to make "zakwas"

    Instant soup - can be purchased online
    If you ever wondered what's a typical Easter soup in Poland, the answer is: "Żurek" or "Barszcz biały".
    Both soups are white and sour, served with white sausage and hard boiled egg.
    Both are made of sour base - "zakwas" that is achieved by fermenting flour.
    While "Żurek" is made of rye flour, "Barszcz biały" is made of wheat flour.
    The fermenting process takes between three to five days, so it needs to be planned in advance.
    After reading a recipe, I'm more convinced to give it a try. It seems really easy.

    1 lb rye flour,
    6 cups water,
    1-3 garlic cloves,
    slice of rye bread (optional).

    Boil water and mix some of it with flour until loose batter forms. Let it cool. Stir in remaining lukewarm water, add garlic and slice of bread. Set aside for three days. Pour into air tight jars/bottles and store in a fridge up to 2 weeks. "Zakwas" should have clear color.

    When this part is done (and remember that it takes at least three days), "Żurek" is made by combining vegetable or meat broth with some of the sour base (approximately 4.5 cups of broth and 2 cups of sour base). You can add some vegetables, such as carrots, celery root and parsley root (white part of celery and white part of parsley), chopped & fried onions, garlic, bay leaf, salt, pepper and marjoram.
    Add fried slices of white sausage, hard boiled egg and enjoy!

    And if this seems too much, use an instant version! :) I can't complain about this option... :))

    Sunday, March 18, 2012

    Fasolka po bretońsku / Breton beans

    This dish is very simple to make and also cheap.
    It's very popular in Polish homes, however the name "Breton beans" might be confusing to many people.
    After some research, I couldn't find the right explanation of this name either.
    To me it's "Fasolka po bretońsku" - period :))
    It might remind you of a chili soup, however beans are the main ingredient, and there is sausage and a little bit of bacon in it.
    You can soak beans in water overnight or make it more simple and use canned beans.
    I prefer option number two :)
    Also, my husband is no-beans-eater, so it's not a main meal in our house.
    Good dish for a rainy day though.

    2 cans (15 oz. each) red beans (white, red or both)
    1/2 can (12 oz.) tomato paste
    sausage (Polska kielbasa) :)
    few slices of bacon (optional)
    2-3 tsp paprika
    marjoram (lots of it!) - I used probably 3-4 Tbsp
    salt & pepper to taste

    1. In a medium saucepan combine beans and 2-3 cups of water.
    2. In a meantime, cut sausage and bacon into small pieces and fry them for a couple minutes.
    3. Add tomato paste, fried sausage, bacon and spices to boiling beans. Stir well and let cook on medium heat for 10-15 minutes. Feel free to add more water and seasoning until you receive desired consistency.
    4. Add marjoram at the end of cooking.
    5. Serve with slice of bread.

    Krówki - "Little cows"

    Memory from my childhood - chewy candies called "Krówki".
    I found them in one of the stores that sells European food in Minneapolis, MN.
    The name "Krówki" means: "little cows" ("Krówka" is a singular form) and there is an image of a cow on each individually wrapped candy :)
    They are cream fudge toffee like candies, that are very sweet.
    I also found a few recipes for homemade "Krówki" online, if you are interested in making them.
    Basic ingredients are: milk, sugar, butter, cream or condensed milk and vanilla. Sweeeeet!

    Sunday, March 11, 2012

    Wszędzie dobrze, ale w domu najlepiej

    "Nalesnikowo" again - Cinnamon crepes with apple butter

    I know, crepes again... :)) I have to have crepes once in a while or I get anxious :)
    I wanted to make something good for breakfast this morning and crepes sounded perfect.
    I walked to my kitchen half asleep, brew some coffee and started preparing batter for crepes.
    I added 2 tsp of cinnamon to the traditional batter (recipe can be found here) and fried my crepes.
    Then I spread some apple butter on each crepe and rolled them.
    I remember crepes just like these from my childhood. My grandma or aunt would fill them with jelly and all the kids in our family would compete who could eat more.
    Somehow there is always more room in a tummy for rolled, thin crepes :)
    Enjoyable Sunday breakfast!
    Serve dusted with confectioners sugar/cinnamon (sugar is optional).

    Friday, March 9, 2012

    Women's Day and cute aprons

    International Women's Day (in Polish: "Dzień Kobiet") is celebrated in Poland on March 8.
    There are wishes - "życzenia", flowers - "kwiaty", chocolates - "czekoladki", and maybe even small gifts - "upominki".
    Usually, a symbolic tulip - "tulipan" is just enough. I'd say, it's even appropriate :))
    But, look what I received yesterday! These two cute aprons!
    I just A.D.O.R.E. them :))
    I can't wait to cook & bake for my husband who gave them to me. Gonna look good :)
    Apron - "fartuszek"

    Wednesday, March 7, 2012

    Fryderyk Chopin and Chopin's places in Warsaw

    Sharing this music clip via YouTube.
    I do not own it.

    Beautiful, isn't it?
    Fryderyk Chopin, Polish composer and pianist (1810-1849) was born in Żelazowa Wola, Poland.
    His music is known all over the world and has been an inspiration to many musicians.
    If you are interested, a detailed biography of Fryderyk Chopin can be found here.
    Cyprian Kamil Norwid, great Polish poet said about Chopin:
    "He was a Varsovian by birth, a Pole by heart and a citizen of the world by his talent..."

    Chopin's places worth visiting, if you are in Warsaw:

    - Żelazowa Wola

    Place of birth of Fryderyk Chopin. Today, it serves as a museum devoted to Fryderyk Chopin. It's surrounded by a beautiful park with Chopin's monument. During the summer time visitors can listen to Chopin's concerts played by musicians from all over the world.
    Żelazowa Wola is located 50 km from Warsaw and it takes approximately an hour to get there by car or bus.

    - Fryderyk Chopin's monument at the Łazienki Park in Warsaw
    (Main entrance from Ujazdowskie Avenue)

    Łazienki Park - the largest park in Warsaw is an attraction itself. There are many beautiful, historic buildings located at the Łazienki Park with its biggest attraction Palace on the Water, a residence of  the Polish King Stanisław August Poniatowski.
    Great architecture and nature beauty create amazing scenery of the Łazienki Park.
    You will see peacocks walking around and proudly displaying their feathers, waiting to be photographed. You will see squirrels with red tails coming up close to the visitors and eating nuts straight from their hands. :)))
    And there is Chopin's monument, that attracts tourists and local people...
    Its beautiful design by Polish artist Wacław Szymanowski is only one of the reasons.
    There are also Chopin's Concerts that take place right next to the monument every year. Famous artists play Chopin's music every Sunday afternoon (noon until 4 p.m.), from May until September.
    Beautiful music, gorgeous scenery and what's best, these concerts are free to the public! A MUST-SEE!!!
    A 1:1 replica of the Chopin's monument is located in Hamamatsu, Japan.

    - Kościół św. Krzyża - Holy Cross Church in Warsaw
    (Krakowskie Przedmieście Street)

    Fryderyk Chopin died in Paris, France, where he was buried at the Père-Lachaise cemetery.
    His sister Ludwika fulfilled his last will and brought his heart to Poland.
    Fryderyk Chopin's heart was placed in an urn and installed in one of the pillars of the Holy Cross Church in Warsaw.

    - Fryderyk Chopin Museum in Warsaw
    (Ostrogski Palace, Okólnik Street)

    Information about the museum and exhibitions can be found on the museum's web site here.

    Thursday, March 1, 2012

    Grzaniec - mulled beer for cold evenings

    It was a blizzard night.
    Snowflakes were dancing like crazy, falling on the ground and creating a white comforter for mother earth.
    I thought: "Time for grzaniec! Just like in Poland on those cold, winter days..."

    Goździki - cloves
    Cynamon - cinnamon sticks
     Name "grzaniec" refers to both, mulled beer and mulled wine.
    Polish pubs and restaurants offer grzaniec in their winter menu.
    If you are cold, it will do the job.
    Preparation is very easy, so what are you waiting for? ;o)

    Grzane Piwo - Mulled Beer (for two):
    20 oz. light beer
    2 Tbsp sugar
    2 Tbsp honey (or more, if you like it sweet)
    few cloves
    cinnamon stick (or ground cinnamon)
    pinch of ginger
    * honey can be replaced with raspberry syrup *

    In a medium saucepan heat beer with sugar, honey and spices. Stir from time to time. Heat until beer reaches boiling temperature. Strain and serve in hot beer mugs.
    Na zdrowie! - Cheers!
    Grzane piwo - mulled beer