Saturday, March 26, 2016

Happy Easter!

   Happy Easter Everybody!

   Today will be a short post and a short recipe. Short post - because I want to go back to enjoying the Easter with my family as soon as possible and short recipe - because I already cooked bunch of delicious, traditional Polish Easter dishes, so I decided to use a shortcut for the dessert and made some carrot cupcakes using a store-bought cake mix! Yes that's right, you don't always have to harvest your own grain to make your own flour to make a cake from scratch... these cupcakes are still home made and delicious, just a little "easier" and quicker to make!


* Decadent Carrot Cake Mix, Duncan Hines
* 3 eggs
* 1/3 cup vegetable oil

* 2 boxes (8oz each) cream cheese, room temp.
* 3/4 cup powder sugar
* 2 tbsp lime juice
* food coloring
* egg-shaped M&M's 


1. Prepare cake mix and bake cupcakes according to the instructions on the box . Let them cool completely.

2. In a mixer, combine cream cheese and sugar and beat for 4-5 minutes until smooth and fluffy. Add lime juice and beat for 1 extra minute.

3. Separate into two bowls and few drops of different food coloring to each bowl and mix until combined.

4. Frost the cupcakes and decorate with egg-shaped candy.

   Christopher had so much fun making and decorating the cupcakes... or I should say he had fun eating the candy and going crazy on the sugar rush 15 minutes later!!! Justin and I decided to join him, so we ate a couple and then we all ran around the house singing "Let it go... let it go...".

Happy Easter,

Monday, March 21, 2016

Soup again!

   I almost started the post with saying that it's been a while since I posted soup recipe... and then I scrolled down and saw the pozole! Then I thought that at least it's been a while when I used mushrooms as my main ingredient.... and then I scrolled down and saw bunch of recipes with mushrooms! So guess what's on the menu today? Yes, you are right, mushroom soup! It's kind of "springy" soup with mushrooms, veggies and chicken, so it's perfect timing since we just welcomed the Spring. I wish somebody told the weather that Spring came, but than again, it's even better timing since the temperatures outside are very "soupy"! Here is the recipe:


* 16 oz mushrooms, chopped
* 4 celery, chopped
* 3 carrots, chopped
* 1 large onion, chopped
* 3 tbsp butter
* 4 cups chicken broth (or vegetable stock)
* 1 cup sour cream
* salt and pepper


1. In a large skillet, melt butter and add onions, celery, mushrooms and carrots. Add a pinch of salt and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often.

2. Add chicken broth, season with salt and pepper (if needed) and cook for additional 15 minutes.

3. Combine sour cream with half a cup of boiling soup and mix to combine. Add the mixture to the soup, bring to boil and remove from the heat.

   Very light and very delicious (to be honest, most soups are delicious to me). You can use any kind of vegetables you like, it just happened that I had those in the fridge and it turned out they really pair well with mushrooms.


Saturday, March 12, 2016

Ingredient No. 3!

   What, it's already March?! How did that happen? I understand that February is a little bit shorter than other months, but come on.... we just celebrated Valentine's Day not so long ago! Anyways, I'm a little behind with my "new ingredient a month" project (since I still live in February!), but I'm gonna make it up now. This month's ingredient might not be "exotic", it's something that many of you use every single day, but for some reason I've never cooked with it. Tomatillos - green vegetables that resemble unripe tomato in a husk. I think they are actually called "Mexican husk tomatoes".


   When I was searching for some interesting recipes, I saw a lot of tomatillo salsas and sauces, but I wanted something more than that, something different (not that there is anything wrong with salsa!). And then I found it: Green Pozole, made with chicken, tomatillos (duh!), hominy and herbs - it sounded delicious, it looked delicious... and it turned out delicious! 


* 1 lb tomatillos
* 2 lbs chicken thighs
* 2 (15 oz) can hominy
* 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
* 4 garlic cloves, sliced
* 4 oz sunflower seeds
* 2 bay leaves
* 1 cup fresh cilantro
* 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
* 1 tbsp vegetable oil
* lime
* salt

Garnish (optional)

* red onion, sliced
* radishes, sliced
* cilantro


1. Bring about 8 cups of water to a boil.  Add 1/2 chopped onion, 2 garlic cloves, bay leaves, and some salt. Cover the pot, and simmer for 5-10 minutes.

2. Add the whole chicken thighs and cook gently (uncovered) for 20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Remove the chicken and set aside to cool a little. Strain the broth and set it aside for later.

3. In a food processor or grinder, grind sunflower seeds until they form fine powder. Set aside.

4. In a pot, heat 3 cups water with remaining 1/2 onion, tomatillos, cilantro and oregano. Cook covered for 10 minutes, until veggies are tender. Discard the cooking liquid and place the cooked veggies into a standing blender, add remaining garlic and blend everything until smooth.

5. In a Dutch oven, heat vegetable oil, add the pureed veggies (be careful as it will splatter) and cook the sauce uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring regularly. Add the ground sunflower seeds and 1 cup of the broth reserved from cooking the chicken, stir and cook another 5 minutes.

6. Shred the chicken and add it to the sauce together with the hominy and the remaining broth (add as much as you like - depending on the thickness you want to achieve). Season with salt to taste and simmer everything for additional 5-10 minutes.

7. Serve in a bowl with sliced radishes, red onions and lime juice (you can also add avocado).

   What a cool dish! I am definitely going to make it more often (especially that my boys loved it too). It's super filling and hardy, but light and fresh at the same time. The bright and crunchy garnishes make it even "fresher". You can garnish it with all the things I mention or you can just mix and match, but if my two year old loved all of them (even the red onion!!!) you should definitely give it a try!