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!