About Salt...

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For a long time I have been meaning to share some important tips about SALT. 

Right now, I have about 8 different kinds of salt in my cupboard, though only three are used with some frequency - and those are table salt, Windsor kosher salt, and Diamond Crystal salt.

Did you know there are some serious differences between these salts that can affect your cooking or baking project?

If not read on... Click here for details, and link back here if you wish to leave a Comment or ask a Question or add a LIKE!

Hungarian Cheese Snacks: Sajtos Rúd

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One of my MIL’s special event Hungarian treats were these... these - what to call them?? We always called them “sajtos” - which translates to “cheesies” - not a very sophisticated label. So in English, let's call them Hungarian Cheese Snacks.

Imagine these as part of a charcuterie / antipasto spread. Or - if it's a trend to serve wine with potato chips - surely these are more classy. When it comes right down to it, I can't think of any time when these would not be a big hit!

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Nuts and Bolts

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From time to time, my mother reminisces about "nuts and bolts" - the flavourful, crunchy snack she used to make for her euchre parties.

Nuts and bolts on one corner, and bridge mix on the other. No surprise, there are many variations of this recipe online. I finally found her recipe, and jazzed up the flavour a bit.

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Pasta with Potatoes (Hungarian Krumplis Tészta)

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Yes, you are reading that correctly - pasta with potatoes - a double whammy of carbs. This must be one of the most quintessential peasant meals around. 

As I have mentioned before, pasta with 'xyz' is a Hungarian thing, for example pasta with cabbage (káposztás tészta), 

This is the pasta combo that appears most frequently in the KB kitchen - largely due to our seeming inability to judge how much mashed potatoes to make with other meals. Leftover mash!? It is never thrown out, and instead becomes this double carb supper treat.

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Hungarian Cabbage Rolls (Töltött Káposzta)

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You will not be surprised to learn there are tons of variations on cabbage rolls - influenced by family and culture.

Most recipes for Hungarian Cabbage Rolls use a tomato sauce, though oddly, the Hamilton Hungarian Community's annual cabbage roll sale offers up a version that is more "paprikash" - and just at the moment I don't have a recipe for that.

This recipe does a pretty good job of replicating my mother's / grandmother's version of cabbage rolls.

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Scallop and Corn Chowder

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Who doesn't wish for "restaurant-worthy" recipes for a dinner party - a "show-stopper", as they say.

You can make this in front of guests if you have a kitchen cum theatre. Or (with preparation) you can begin this about a 1/2 hour before serving. 

It serves 4, but can be doubled easily, and there are options for substitutions.

Everyone would wish for seconds, but they need to save room for the rest of your fabulous dinner!

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Gingerbread Layer Cake

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Yes, it's after Xmas and there have been enough sweets, but it's also "resolution" time, and I invite you to resolve to make this beauty sometime in 2018.

There are "secret" ingredients in this cake which is now at the top of my favourites list.

I have already made this more than once and ask people to guess the secret after tasting - though so far no one has quite pinned down the source of this glorious cake's distinctive, addictive flavour explosion.

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Liver Stuffing / Dressing (Májas Töltelék)

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Probably every family has a beloved turkey stuffing - and from what I have read, some of those recipes go to the grave with their creators. I am rescuing our family's dressing recipe from that fate. 

This family classic / tradition was always much enjoyed, but for a time it disappeared from the menu, and was very much missed. It used to be my favourite post-xmas snack - I liked nibbling on it more than leftover turkey. It was made first by my grandmother, then my mother, and now I hope the tradition will continue!

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Italian Amaretti Cookies

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Here's what you get - a crisp sugary exterior and a soft chewy interior that will remind you of marzipan.

Some have described Amaretti as the Italian version of the French Macaron - both featuring almond flour and egg whites as the main ingredients. I have taken a course to learn how to make Macaron (and have had success making them).

No course needed for Amaretti - it's crazy easy and pretty much foolproof to make.

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Creamed Mushrooms on Toast

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As the Holiday Season approaches, you may already be thinking about the need for appetizers. Here's one of my favourites.

Use ordinary cremini mushrooms or a fancier combo. This tastes best on toasted egg bread. Let guests serve themselves or prep a fancy platter for an impressive show.

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Bulgur with Cumin-Scented Sweet Potatoes

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Have you embraced whole grains? Are you using bulgur, millet, quinoa, wild rice - maybe even farro or amaranth more often? 

I almost always have both bulgur and super nutrisious sweet potatoes on hand so this is an easy go-to recipe.

You can have this on the table in half an hour as a side, or a main with an over-easy egg on top. I have served it warm, or room temperature as a picnic salad.

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Chocolate Heaven

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It's family birthday time, and since 1985, "Chocolate Heaven" from the (now defunct) Chocolatier Magazine has brought good cheer to my birthday boys.

It is light with a heavenly, creamy experience of chocolate. I think of this as easy to make - a treat that avoids the hassle of baking.

This will sound silly, but I had not always realized that this recipe is essentially a chocolate mousse with bits of angel food cake added. I offer all the tips you need to make this a success!

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Whipped Ricotta with Plum Coulis

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Here's a Kitchen Bliss recipe that is K.I.S.S. You know... Keep It Simple Stupid - and this recipe also gives you a chance to "go nuts" with creative combos. The Whipped Ricotta takes minutes to prepare, so use it for unexpected company or a quick week-night treat - that can be more or less healthy depending on how you enhance it.

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Mulligatawny Soup

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Mulligatawny Soup - sounds a bit exotic, but is also hearty and that's what we often like now that soup season is upon us. (Make it without chicken, and using vegetable broth, for a vegetarian treat.)

I'm sharing the recipe I use from the Podleski Sisters (aka Looneyspoons) Crazy Plates (1999). I have just recently acquired Greta's newest "baby" - Yum and Yummer - and will look forward to trying some dishes from there. Not only does the new book have photos of each recipe, but a link to a "how to" video - for each and every recipe!

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Rouladen

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Enjoy the bliss when dinner guests rave about this meal, but never save the best only for guests.

These are easier to make than you'd think, and after an hour and a half oven time you have a gorgeous dinner!

You may wish to serve it with Hungarian tiny dumplings, called Nokedli - and I'm happy to share that recipe as well!

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Chocolate Hazelnut Diamonds

Who can resist a "shortbread" layer topped with chocolate, toffee and hazelnuts? Bliss, right?

This recipe is ridiculously easy to make - there's no rolling out pastry or fancy tricks. You get a lot out of it - depending on how you cut it - about 4 dozen.

Because it stores well in a tin, in a cool place, it is often one of the first Xmas cookie recipes I make in December.

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Pizzelle

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Here's a recipe that has been appearing at the family Xmas table for about 30 years!

While some pizzelle can be thicker and softer - we like these because they are thin and crisp - and flavoured with orange, lemon, vanilla and anise.

You will need a pizzelle maker / iron. It can be a one person project or invite a friend or family to help make memories while making yummy treats!

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Rustic Apple Cake

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When is an Apple Cake not really a cake? When it's mostly apples! That's what I love about this recipe which I have made countless times. Unless you have pie crusts ready in your freezer - this is the fastest way to get a stunning apple treat on the table.

The cake is mainly thinly sliced apples that emerge from the oven almost as a set custard. It's described as "French-style". 

Use (almost) any apples you have on hand - and the recent trend is to combine different apples.

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Quick Pickle Chips

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I have no idea if anyone tracks(ed) the preserving trend, but it seemed to be on the uptick in the last ten years. Some credit the trend to hipsters in Brooklyn and journalists pondered if pickles were the new cupcakes? 

Since many young'uns today live in tiny apartments, small batch preserving has also become popular. Though I have the fruit cellar and the jars - small batch is what pushed me to pickling. (And this is really small batch - a 1 pint jar of pickles.) Also appealing in this case is that there is no processing. These are fridge pickles That take 10-15 minutes to make) and that last up to six weeks - though so far they've been eaten before then.

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