Napa Cabbage Salad with Carrot and Apple

Napa cabbage salad with carrot and apple makes a wonderful side addition to any meat.  It’s sweet and sour taste is light and refreshing. Most importantly this is a simple and quick salad made and dressed in one bowl.

Chocolate Pecan Banana Bread

Chocolate pecan banana bread is by far the best type of banana bread I have ever had. Surprisingly, it is lighter and less sticky than typical banana bread and, in my opinion, more flavorful and elegant-looking. In this recipe, there is a good balance of chocolate and nuts. Using half the amount of nuts than chocolate benefits the overall palette of this cake. Pecans can be substituted with walnuts with a slightly less mild taste. Additionally, rum can be added to spice it up a little, although many people will prefer it more mellow in taste.

ricotta pancakes

Ricotta Pancakes

Ricotta pancakes are light, fluffy, crunchy on the outside, and soft (almost custard like) and delicious on the inside. They originate from Ukraine and are traditionally made with farmer’s cheese. Making them with ricotta cheese provides a little bit lighter and less-dense texture. These pancakes are super quick to make and have a unique flavor …

Slow cooker beef stew

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Slow cooker beef stew is my family’s most favorite cold weather dish. The aromas, the richness of the sauce, and most importantly, tenderness and flavor of the beef are unforgettable and hunting. Slow cooking has a huge advantage in cooking beef as the long process always results in soft and juicy meat.

carrots

Carrots with Butter and Parsley

Carrots with butter and parsley are quick to make. They have a bright color and present really well. More importantly, they are sweet, tender, and loved by everyone.

Preparation is swift with peeling, trimming the ends, and either slicing them on the diagonal (1/4 inch thick) or cutting them into sticks. I prefer sticks and I keep them relatively thick (about  1/3-1/2 inch).

Polish fried cabbage

Polish Fried Cabbage

Polish fried cabbage is prepared by stewing shredded cabbage in a small amount of water and then finishing it with a classic roux. This last touch is probably where the name “kapusta zasmażana” (fried cabbage) comes from. The roux (zasmażka) thickens the remaining liquid and makes the cabbage glisten. The dish is finished with a generous amount of fresh dill. This addition makes all the difference. The flavor is light, slightly sweet, and unforgettable. Traditionally, fried cabbage accompanies fried or roasted meats. In some regions of Poland, people make this cabbage with bacon or stewed meat. They serve it as a main dish with a side of mashed potatoes.

old-fashioned brownies

Old-Fashioned Brownies

Old-fashioned brownies are based on the recipe from the 1952 edition of “Joy of Cooking”. My family loves this cake and calls it “the best brownie we ever ate”. These “fudge squares” (as they were also called) are irresistibly chewy and delightfully chocolatey. This is as a result of the recipe using a significant amount of butter and real chocolate.  The preparation is very quick and the batter should be baked in a shallow (9×13 inch) pan.  The cake is not tall but it produces a natural crust. When it is cold, it needs to be cut into squares. The original recipe suggests 1 x 2 inch bars (54 in total).

Apple cake2

Apple Cake

This apple cake is so easy that a person with no baking experience will successfully make it. Additionally, this is a fast and delicious cake made with only a few ingredients. For me, this cake recipe serves as a last minute dessert or something I make when I have leftover apples that do not look too attractive anymore (the kind with wrinkled skin, etc.)