Glad to see you stop by! This is a collection of recipes I have developed, received from friends or was inspired by and altered somehow. While I try to post all food photos I just cannot help but share some of my Vintage clippings with you from my Gran's recipe drawer, my great Gran's tin and of course my Mum's treasure trove of her Gran's lovely publications all kept so prim, not to mention the cache my Mum also had and even mine too! They are all regularly used recipes, loved by my family, friends, and now you my treasured readers Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Poppy Seed Cheesecake

This is quite a delightful little cheesecake, will certainly be a new go to!
Poppy Seed Cheesecake
Adapted from John Pawson and Annie Bell's, Living and Eating.

Serves 6-8
2 TBLS softened unsalted butter
1/2 cup white bread crumbs
1 tsp sugar

1/2 cup golden raisins
4 TBLS lemon, or any flavored vodka
1 1/2 lbs cream cheese
1 cup sugar
2 medium eggs
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/3 cup flour, sifted
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 - 2 TBLS poppy seeds

Place raisins in a bowl and pour vodka over them. Soak overnight.

Preheat oven to 375. To prepare base, grease an 8" spring form pan, using all of the butter.
Mix bread crumbs and sugar and press into the sides and base of the pan.

To make the filling, blend cream cheese and sugar in food processor. Beat in eggs and heavy cream, carefully fold in flour and vanilla extract. Mix in raisins and residual soaking liquor. Carefully pour mixture into prepared cake pan. Dust surface with poppy seeds so it is lightly covered in a thin layer. Bake for 45 minutes - until just puffy around the sides. It should be wobbly in the center. Turn off oven and open door slightly. Cool in oven for one hour. Serve at room temperature.

Polish Poppy Seed Cheesecake

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Appl'ie Goodness Pork Chops

Pork Chops with Apples and Stuffing

What You Need

1 pkg. (6 oz.) STOVE TOP Stuffing Mix for Chicken
1 can  (21 oz.) apple pie filling
2 granny smith apples cored, peeled, and sliced then warmed to crisp/soft Add to pie filling to cut sweetness. 
1/2 tsp nutmeg or cinnamon 
6 boneless pork chops (1-1/2 lb.), 3/4 inch thick
Walla Walla onions or Vidalia onions cooked into your fresh apple wedges brings in another layer of delicious flavour. 

Make It

HEAT oven to 375ºF.
PREPARE stuffing as directed on package.
SPREAD pie filling onto bottom of 13x9-inch baking dish sprayed with cooking spray; top with chops and stuffing. Cover.
BAKE 40 min. or until chops are done (160ºF), uncovering after 30 min. 
I have found that adding the fresh apples bake up fine without pre softening them ahead of time. (I rather slice them a bit thicker so pre heat them) 

Monday, September 19, 2011

Aprons and a whole lot of Admiration

Aprons are the absolute greatest!
We see our Grannies wear them, our sweet Auntie's in a fancy little Christmas apron and most importantly our Mum's collection of every occaision possible, with little leftover bits in the pockets if you cared to look months later.  The best part is we could play dress up in them and play for hours and even sometimes get our brother and boy cousins to wrap one on! My fave was this time my cousin Craig put on an apron of my Gran's and in moments he transpired into the worlds best barber and my locks hit the floor! I wonder if he found scissors in the pocket or if he just felt like a fancy barber. I miss him. Onwards ~

Recently I started looking for aprons from my memories as I had a collection that burned down with my cottage this summer. Yeah the whole cottage to the ground, everything lost. So I find this awesome venue to collect and diarise everything. Here is a peak at the pages I have curated;

Then I decided to check out amazon for Apron books, holy smokes! I started with this one Apronisms you can purchase it by clicking that link only $5.99 It is adorable.

Then I went on a fabric hunt ... I am going to make my own .... here is what I found. You are going to go crazy, so hang up your apron, grab a tea and enjoy.

Want more haha
And finally I must let you know that over at my little web store I have some great linens we are putting up and preparing to sell, so you can start your collection at fantastic prices!
My fave is our Picadilly!
Have fun my friends! Always wear an apron for your personal pleasure, you will be amazed how good you feel not to mention, C U U U T E !

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Polena Kapusta

Today my Dad made Kapusta, and that makes me so proud of him! To me, I identify my Dad as a fantastic cook along with many other things. The cooking he did, seemed to bring the family in a little tighter if only for a weekend dinner. Sounds kinda sad, but no not really. He showed us our roots and where the recipes our family has used through the years have come from. This fellow can even make new potatoes, carrots and green beans taste like a wicked gourmet dish with butter salt and pepper. I used to love watching him pick over all the veggies at the farmers' market for the "perfect pick" I wonder if he knew I was paying attention haha! He even had a garden for years and now I miss him gardening, because to me ... that is my Dad! So Thanks Dad!
This one is my recipe adapted from my Dad and a lovely Slovakian gal, but I am a lover of Sauerkraut!

Holupki or Polena Kapusta or Cabbage Rolls

Sauerkraut, 1 lb. bag
1 - 2 heads of cabbage (I use sour cabbage now)
Filling: (I devised this using all my Daddie's techniques, he never really did the same thing twice! Again I was always watching! I think Gran told me he was sick when he was little a lot, so he would hang out with her and cook! So awesome!)
1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground pork
1 lb. bacon diced (My addition as I am a bacon addict)
2 cups rice raw or instant (Dad would NEVER touch instant rice but I have)                                                              
1 egg ( a helpful little binder)
1 onion chopped **prepare onions and garlic as per note below**
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon Hungarian sweet paprika
4 cloves of garlic minced (I am sure my father used more) 
1 tbsp dill weed (optional but I love it)
Baking Sauce:
1 c. water
1c. Tomatoe Juice (do not use V8 as it doesn’t give the right flavour)                            
1 can campbells tomatoe soup                                     
1 small tin tomatoe paste                                           
1 small tin diced tomatoes                                          
1/2 cup vinegar
1 tsp thyme or 1 Tbsp dill ( Dad likes this option)
The night before mix together all filling ingredients! **What is very important here is that your onions are fried to a little past caramel stage and to little dark edges, I think Dad puts the fresh garlic in at this time too**

Chill in fridge overnight so flavours can marry! Mmm MMM good haha
The smooth type of cabbage is best!
Next day scald cabbage leaves till limp - use only the large ones (well no not really I put all the cabbage in and about my cast iron casserole roaster because it is so good! Even the very end of the cabbage which I call cabbage hearts) 
Drain all the leaves as you pull them off your cabbage (Kapusta)
Take a handful of meat mixture place in cabbage roll up folding sides in to hold meat in. (Only my Dad can roll these the size of a thumb and all uniform, I remember once when I was making these big honking ones he made me redo them! haha) Place in large pan layered with the rest of cabbage pieces and bits & sauerkraut under & over each layer. This is where I put the "cabbage hearts as I call them" I tuck each one in like it is a cabbage roll, there is a mad race for these in my house! Pour the baking sauce over center and top layer.
Cover & cook slowly 2 1/2 - 3 hours add more juice or water to keep moist if needed (We go with 325 degrees F) Make sure to take the lid off for the last 15 minutes of baking to remove excess liquid if there is any but it is likely not going to happen because the sauce is really good too.
Serve with boiled new potatoes & beets with onions & vinegar & crusty rye bread 

    Saturday, September 17, 2011

    On Pink Cakes and Birthday Wishes

    I am a year wiser folks but not a year older because I eat my candles!
    For the past few weeks I decided to go look for the perfect pink Birthday cake and had even agreed to make my own. Although fairly common for me to do, I never really like to make my own cake. It is, well anticlimactic.
    So off I go to FlickR, google, pinterest and even Amazon. you think this is easy, well no it really isn't. Or maybe it is and I am just one of those picky picky people who is very hard to please when it comes to food.
    (side note I rarely eat in a restaurant because I feel I can do better haha and when I walk into a Bakery 8 times out of 10 ... I am disappointed.) I know it is sad!
    SO I will share my links and my choices and in hopes you will share me any pink cake stories, or recipes you may have.

    I adore the South which anyone who knows me clearly knows this. I was able to catch the twang and use the accent quite quickly and bake the fare ... ha! I feel like Oh Baby I am Home! I am however from the North and not even the USA as it were but that doesn't matter, my soul is south and that makes me a gosh darn southerner y'all Okay so I tell you this because Patty Pinner is the reason I knew my search would yield me success one day and for that I love her, her book and her stories. How can anyone not, I ask you =o)
    Before I share Patty Pinner's recipe with you, two things you need to know ... 1) I usually think jello is creepy and 2) a cake mix can be the best pastry chef in the worlds best friend. (The key ... nobody should know there was a mix involved, that is just an affair for you to have)  Ok so here we go:
    The Search for my Ultimate Birthday Cake 
    My flickr journal of the cake hunt 
    The Book that saved my Birthday

    The Cake:
    adapted from Sweets Soul Food desserts and memories

    1 18.5 ounce white cake mix (no pudding we are pushing it with jello haha)
    1 3 ounce pkg Strawberry jello ( nothing else will do, don't fiddle with nostalgia)
    2 tsp flour and 1 tsp double acting baking powder (okay I fiddled here)
    4 tsp granulated sugar
    3/4 cup veggie oil
    1/2 cup water
    1/2 + 2tbsp frozen, thawed and drained strawberries ( a wee fiddle)
    reserve all the juice it is going to be important and dont taste any !
    Combine cake mix, jello powder, flour mixt, Mix well then add oil. Then beat in each egg one at a time very well. I like to tell you to say the alphabet 3 times after each egg ... no kidding.
    Add the strawberries, water and sugar and beat well ... make sure to check the bottom of the bowl because the jello likes to hide there. I use a spatula for a couple turns. Bake in 3 ... 8 inch prepared pans for 30 minutes.
    I will get to the frosting in the morning because I have a date tonight...
    I am back with the frosting:
    8 ounces frozen strawberries, thawed and well drained reserving juice (the book wants 5 0z)
    1 1/2 pounds confectioners sugar ( the book asks for 2 pounds)
    1/2 stick of butter salted ( book asks for unsalted)
    2 white chocolate ghiradelli  baking bars ( none are asked for in book)
    In a bowl you need to combine the strawberries, the confectioners sugar, the melted white chocolate bar (one is used to make garnishes with a wee strawberry cookie cutter)
    Beat this frosting until smooth and creamy and strawberries are teeny tiny bits I add exactly 1/2 tsp pink wilton food colour gel and 2 tbsp strawberry juice during beating. I thicken all remaining strawberry juices with a wee bit of cornstarch (no sugar) This for my fancy little drizzles. Melt the other white chocolate bar 1/3 at a time over very low heat. Heat off for the last 1/3 to temper. Pour onto a parchment paper lined pan so the chocolate is quite thin and flat a good pan bashing does this =o) When almost set use cookie cutter dipped in cornstarch to cut out several strawberries and leaves, you can paint these later when fully hardened off.
    Layer up your cake with frosting between each layer and on top then the sides of the cake. Simple is prettiest. Then decorate with a wee drizzle of strawberry gel and arrange your white chocolate strawberries  I like to set each one on a little poof of whipped cream made with confectioners sugar to keep its shape. ( I use food colour gel to paint the berries and leaves and allow to dry ... you can even make these the day before.) I like to fuss but seriously this cake is amazing on it's own merit and if you don't use the white chocolate your cake is still going to grace any party.

    We have made it simple for you to purchase by clicking HERE You are going to love this book so much!

    Monday, September 12, 2011

    White Chocolate Raisin Cookies to Celebrate the Autumn

    White Chocolate-Oatmeal-Raisin Cookies

    Adapted from Tale of Two Sisters and Their Kitchens
    Yield: about 2 1/2 dozen


    • 1  cup + 2TBSP  all-purpose flour
    • 1/2  teaspoon  baking soda
    • 1/2  teaspoon  ground cinnamon
    • 1/4 teaspoon mace
    • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
    • 1/2  cup  plus 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
    • 1/4  cup  granulated sugar
    • 3/4  cup  firmly packed light brown sugar
    • 1  large egg
    • 1  teaspoon Nielsen Massey Orange water
    • 1  cup  uncooked old fashioned
    • 12  ounces white chocolate, chopped, divided (about 21/2 cups)
    • 1/2  cup golden raisins I like to use the Sunmaid jumbo assorted variety of raisins)


    Combine first 4 ingredients in a medium bowl.
    Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add sugars, beating well. Beat in egg and orange flavoring until light and fluffy.  Add flour mixture and oats; stir until blended. Stir in 1 cup white chocolate and raisins. Cover and chill dough 1 hour, if desired.
    Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Drop batter by heaping tablespoonfuls, 3" apart, onto prepared baking sheets.
    Bake at 350° for 13 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on baking sheets 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool completely.
    After cookies have completely cooled, melt remaining 1 cup white chocolate. Spread melted chocolate over approximately half of each cookie.
    Note: Order orange water from my shop acupcakery.com It's very affordable, and a small vial will perfume your kitchen for a long time.