Cornmeal cornbread, a loaf that tastes like polenta

Cornmeal cornbread is a fantastic complement to a hearty meal. Traditionally served for Thanksgiving, I find it incredibly suited year round. Entirely gluten free, it is an excellent option for gluten intolerant guests. I baked my first loaf last year precisely because it is gluten free! I had ran out of gluten-free flour and needed to cater to people with gluten intolerance. There was almond meal at home, but any type of nuts was banned from the workplace so that was not an option. My last card was cornmeal. So I figured that a nice loaf of cornbread was better than nothing. Continue reading

Apple cinnamon mini shortcrust pies

Apple cinnamon mini pies

Apple cinnamon pie rhymes with comfort food (no, it doesn’t). But seriously, this might be the most basic pie, yet to so many people it brings back childhood memories. A warm apple pie that fills the room with its flavour. Add the warming hint of cinnamon and you reach sensory heaven. What’s more? The butter, of course. A proper buttery and flaky pastry that, when warm, releases its butter scent. Apple, cinnamon, butter. Warm. Want some more? A side of sweetened whipped cream. BAM! Continue reading

Mini tarts with mushrooms and parmigiano

Mini mushroom pies recipe

I’ve been an advocate of shortcrust vegetable pies for years. I started making them when I didn’t even have a tart pan but was using a springform pan, instead. It works, and it can look pretty, too. Then I started going smaller and made them finger-food-sized baked in the muffin tin. Also something to be proud of. Until I finally got myself a proper tart pan and started producing the real deal. My favourite? Definitely the mushroom tart.

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Szarlotka, the Polish apple juice and vodka cocktail

Szarlotka is the name of Polish apple pie. There is another item in Polish cuisine that goes by the same name and that features two of the same ingredients – apples and cinnamon. The third igredient is Żubrówka, probably the most famous Polish vodka out there, the one with a leaf of bison grass in the bottle. When szarlotka doesn’t refer to a pie, it is a drink, Poland’s favourite way of drinking Żubrówka when used as a cocktail ingredient and not enjoyed alone.

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Baba Ganoush, roasted eggplant dip

Baba ganoush, the Middle Eastern roasted eggplant dip

My mom learned to make roasted eggplant dip from a Romanian friend. This friend used to roast her eggplants on the open flame, as that is the traditional way of doing it in Romania. My mom decided to do it her way and roast the aubergines in the oven instead. By doing so you lose the smoky flavour, but the outcome will have the same texture and will yield an equally great ingredient to make a delicious eggplant dip.

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Raspberry custard tarts

Home-made custard tarts decorated with freshly picked raspberries

No blueberries this year. What a big disappointment. Last year when my parents visited at the beginning of August, they went out blueberry picking every day and filled my freezer with endless supplies. Flash forward to one year later and the bushes are all empty. No harvest time for my parents. Except for one time, when they came back from their afternoon walks in the neighbourhood with some raspberries. Continue reading

Pizza with avocado and fresh tomatoes

Home-made pizza with fresh tomatoes and avocado

There is evidence of flatbreads being baked in many ancient cultures, but pizza as we know it nowadays has a much more modern history. Legend has it that the first pizza Margherita was invented in 1890 in honor of Margherita of Savoy, Queen of Italy. The country had been unified under the same flag for only a few decades, and to honour the queen the pizza that carried her name was made with the same colours of the Italian flag – red, green and white. Continue reading

Rose petals in sugar

Rose petals are a popular filling for pączki, or Polish doughnuts. So popular that my Polish mom goes crazy over them. Whenever she’s in Poland she will devour dozens of these, and every time our aunt comes back from Poland my mom will have her visit the bakery before going to the airport to pick up some to bring back. This is one of the few things she cannot find in Italy, and it is her mission to look for and feed on these whenever she finds them somewhere. Continue reading

Garlic salsa dip with canned tomatoes

garlic salsa dip

I wish I could say it’s hot but it’s just not. I think all through July the temperature never reached 25 degrees. My parents are here visiting and it feels like fall. Some nights the outside thermometer even shows one-digit results. This is the first year that I get to spend all of July in Sweden, as we chose to travel in June and then again in August and I think I never want this again. July is disappointing. I’m not a fan of the heat but in the summer I want to see the sun. Continue reading

Strawberry Bavarian Cream

strawberry bavarian cream

I have a distant memory of strawberry Bavarian cream made from a box by my mom when I was little. I think I had it for the last time about 20 years ago. Then production must have stopped because we couldn’t find it in stores any longer, and for some reason she never ventured into making it from scratch. I like cooking from scratch, so I decided that I would try. I stocked up on strawberries and started doing some research. Continue reading