I got this kit from my boyfriend, let's see if I can make some macarons :)

Crab Salad

Crab salad: 250g immitation crab flakes, 4 boiled eggs, 1.5 cup frozen vegetable mix (peas, carrots, corn), 1/3 medium onion, mayonnaise, salt and pepper. Quick and easy!

Vermicelli time

When summer comes and it is really hot outside I really don’t like to eat anything heavy. The perfect dinner for me would be vermicelli!

Delicious and refreshing with pieces of fresh cucumber, lettuce, carrots, shrimps, chilli, these ingredients blend to add a balance of sweetness and spiciness. This is a great meal that is filling but not heavy for your stomach.

Most importantly is that this meal is extremely easy to make :)

Zebra cake

I used to bake zebra cake with my mom when I was in primary school. It was a really popular cake in Poland. There is not much flavor in it, it is just a regular babka cake but the look of it is so impressive.

5 eggs, yolks and whites seperately
1 cup sugar
1 cup Sprite
1 cup canola oil
3 cups flour + 2 heaping spoonfulls
2 spoons cocoa
3 teaspoons baking powder
2 spoons orange juice

Mix 3 cups of flour with baking powder. Use a mixer to whip the whites until the foam gets thick, at the end of whipping add sugar, keep mixing while adding yolks. Then add flour, oil and the Sprite alternately, keep mixing and add orange juice. Split the dough into two even parts, add 2 heaping spoonfulls of flour to one of them and 2 spoons of cocoa to the another one. Use a round pan, grease it with butter and sprinkle with flour. Alternately put one spoon of the dark dough and one spoon of the white dough into the pan. Bake at 325 F for the first 20 minutes and then decrease the temperature to 340 F and bake for another 35 minutes. Poke the cake with a toothpick. If the toothpick is dry, the cake is ready.

Recipe inspiration from the "Moje wypieki" blog.
I took this picture in 2010 at the Calgary Zoo. The picture is really funny, the zebras look like they were mad at each other. They stand so symetrically, no photoshop :)

Fat Thursday

Fat Thursday (Polish Tłusty Czwartek) is a holiday we celebrate in Poland today! This holiday may sound funny but it is a day when we don't need to count our calories. Any type of food is ok, and of course donuts are the must :) No dieting today!

Happy Fat Thursday Everyone :D I love this holiday!!!
Still hot...These mini donuts are made only from 3 ingredients: vanilla yoghurt, eggs and self-raising flour, sprinkled with icing sugar. Enjoy!
This article is from the last year but you can read more about Fat Thursday here

The sun and chocolate crepes

Enjoying the sun and chocolate pancakes... or should I say chocolate crepes. It's another culinary difference between Poland and Canada. In Poland we call them pancakes when here in Canada they are called crepes. Bon apetit! I made those yesterday, you can eat them with whipped cream, cream cheese or I like them with yoghurt, add any toppings you like.

30 min meals

Do you like Jamie Oliver and his 30 minutes meals recipes??? I watched him a lot in Poland and I even bought his book. That book would be very useful in Calgary where life can be very rush rush and at times there is not much time to cook.

I made spinach and feta dumplings and cheated a little bit using ready wraps. But why not make life easier, right? Do you have any 30 min meals recipes?

Actually dumplings turned into wontons :)

One day trip...

I love one day trips, to get out of the city and feel the nature! A couple of good CDs, a thermos full of hot tea and some sandwiches and I'm ready to go:) Adventure, here I come!

Even though I went to see the Canadian Rockies a few times already, every time I go the mountains are really fascinating to me. Every time they look different. In winter covered with snow, in fall with all the fall colors. Every time breath taking!

Zapiekanka, Polish baked baguette

Zapiekanka is an open bread sandwich with very simple toppings such as pan-fried mushrooms, onions, cheese, ketchup and mayonnaise. It is a very popular fast food choice in Poland, especially among students. I have eaten a lot of them during my university time :)

If you go to Poland you usually find them in small food booths that are on the street. It is very easy and quick to make. You can add any toppings on it, just use your imagination. Other popular topping choice in Poland include pickles and sauerkraut. Since I have a meat lover at home, I added salami to my Zapiekanka :)

You will need:
1/2 baguette
8 slices salami
350 g mushrooms
1/4 chopped onion
cheese as much as you like
ketchup, mayonnaise
salt, pepper

Pan fry the chopped onion and sliced mushrooms, spice it with salt and pepper. Cut the baguette in half, put 4 slices of salami on each half, then put on mushrooms and onions and as much cheese as you want. Place it in the oven until the cheese melts.


Canadian politeness and leftover egg

What very positively surprised me in Canada is Canadian politeness. Canadians are really polite, 95% of them. They greet you each time they see you, always with a smile. They ask how do you do and always have positive attitude.

Sometimes someone starts to talk to me on the bus or on the train and when I respond, most of the times they seem surprised hearing my accent. And first thing they ask is "Are you Russian?" :)

Anyway back to the point, Canadian politeness. It was something new to me seeing people who say hi to the bus driver, thanking him for the drive and wishing eachother good day and they don't even know eachother. That is a really nice start of the day, you feel good when someone wishes you a good day.

If I said hi to the bus driver in Poland and wished him a good day, he probably would look at me really weird :)

Today was a day like yesterday until I found one leftover egg in the fridge and made Polish racuchy! Racuchy are really puffy, with pieces of apple, they melt in your mouth. Delicious!!! In Poland I always made them using fresh yeast but this recipe is based on buttermilk and it was suggested by one of my fanpage fans, Katarzyna.

1,5 cup buttermilk
1 egg
2/3 cup flour
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
vanilla sugar (I got it from Polish shop)
1 medium size apple

Peel the apple and cut into small pieces. Buttermilk, egg, flour, salt, baking soda and sugar whisk in a bowl until texture is smooth. Add the cut apple. Pan fry on an oiled pan, on medium heat until brown. Sprinkle with icing sugar. You can also eat it with marmalade or maple syrup. Instead of apples you can add blueberries, banana or raisins.

And these were made in Poland using fresh yeast.

My dream list...

Roller skating, checked!

Roller skates, rink, disco lights, only thing that was missing was 80's outfit :D Maybe it sounds funny but this was something I always wanted to do in life, it was on my dream list. Do you have such a list? What is on yours? Another thing I would love to do is to see the whales live :)

Greek Almond Crescents

This is my second recipe from the new book and Greek Almond Cookies turned out delicious.

My first recipe failed, I called it Jumbo Disaster. Or maybe it is a matter of taste because my boyfriend said they were really good. Anyway for me the recipe had too much cocoa and also cookies were a bit too hard.

But Almond Cookies are deliciously buttery with pinch of orange zest. I was thinking to get rid of the book if this recipe was a disaster too but because these goodies are really good I will keep it and try out couple more recipes!

The book was on sale, only $14.99 but has hard cover and is very nicely published with great pictures and over 280 recipes. Really good deal!

It says preparation time is 20 minutes but it took me a little bit longer.

Baking books should also show how much time it takes to wash all the dishes after baking ;)

200 g butter
1 cup Icing sugar
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon brandy
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinammon
1 cup grinded almonds

Beat the butter, icing sugar and orange zest with electric mixer. Add the egg, yolk, brandy and keep beating until the texture is smooth.

Put in flour, baking powder, cinammon and mix everything together, then stir in the almonds.

Shape small size crescents and place on the greased tray, in 2 cm distance from eachother. Bake for about 20 minutes, untill golden, at 320 F Degrees.

When cooled dust with icing sugar.

Recipe inspiration from the "Mastering the Art of Baking" by Anneka Manning.

Jumbo disaster

I bought a new baking book and trying out some recipes. Unfortunately Jumbo Chocolate Cookies turned into Jumbo Disaster :D

Now it is time to make some Greek Almond Crescents.

My colleague at work has 5 chickens and I got from him 2 dozen fresh eggs. I promised to bring in some home-made treats, so I hope this recipe works better than the previous one. If not, I am getting rid of that book :)

Carrot cupcakes

My parents always said “eat lots of carrots, they are good for your sight”. Not that I had problems with my eyes but parents always want their kids to be healthy. It’s just a memory from my childhood. Whenever my mom cooked chicken soup (polish: rosół), she always peeled extra carrots for my sister and I to eat it and I heard those words.

I never baked carrot cake in Poland but I ate it couple times in Canada and I love it, so I decided this will be my first recipe in the new year.

Actually I decided to turn carrot cake into carrot cupcakes :)

Ingredients below make about 12 regular size cupcakes. Enjoy!

2 cups raw shredded carrots
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 cup orange juice
1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup chopped pecans
2 tespooons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Cream cheese frosting:
3 ounces cream cheese
2 cups icing sugar
2 tablespoon orange juice

Mix together carrots, sugar, orange juice, eggs and vanilla sugar. Combine the remaining ingredients. Put baking cups into the baking tin, pour the dough into 3/4 of each cup and bake at 350 F degrees for about 20-25 minutes.

To make frosting mix together cream cheese, icing sugar and orange juice until the texture is smooth.

When cupcakes are cool, decorate them with frosting, put a pecan on the top of each one or a mini carrot to make it look pretty.

Calgary Herald, top bloggers

Polka Girl on the Calgary Herald website?!?! I couldn’t believe it when I saw it yesterday. What a great start for the new year. My blog among other Calgary blogs, check it out!

All the best in 2013!!!

Last year my life has changed. I decided to move to Canada. Although the beginnings were not that easy, so far I don’t regret my decision. I enjoy every day here!

I have my loved one next to me, who has always been my biggest support, made me feel good when I was feeling down, and always has a positive attitude. Thank you and sorry for being so grumpy sometimes :)

And Canada is awesome! Even if it’s minus 30 outside with a crazy snow storm, I really like this country!

I would like to wish you all the best in 2013, persistence in accomplishing your goals and making your dreams come true. Never give up, always follow your dreams and passions!

Polka girl

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