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Polish Traditional Gingerbread

Courgette Fritters

Homemade Cream Cheese

Homemade Raspberry Vinegar

Homemade Vanilla Extract

Classic Basil Pesto

Waffles with Whipped Cream and Summer Berries

Bilberry Muffins with Lemon Icing

Spanish Tortilla with Chorizo

Bread and Butter Pickles

Vegetable Quesadillas

Steak Bavette and Sweet Potatoes with Hummus and Herb Salsa

Homemade Beef Burgers

Tartare Sauce

BBQ Sauce

Pork Meatballs and Mashed Potatoes with Apple and Beetroot Salad

Architects Bake with Polly Eats London: Sourdough Bread

Tex-Mex Chilli con Carne

Celebrating the Lunar New Year: Money Bags Dumplings

Homemade Dumpling Wrappers

Red Onion Marmelade

Orzo Pasta with Courgette, Mushrooms and Green Peas

Pigs in Blankets

Ancho Crema Dip

Guacamole: a Classic Mexican Dip

Pico de Gallo Mexican Salsa

Mexican Black Beans with Tomatoes and Totopos

Homemade Flour Tortillas

Fishcakes with Rémoulade

Rémoulade - French Cold Sauce

Avocado Dip

Mexican Spicy Mini Chicken Wings

Danish Crisp Bread

Smoked Trout Pate

Gougeres

Polly Eats London at the Great British Bake-Off: An Extra Slice

Polish Plum Cake

Polly Eats London at Liberté Chérie

Polish Traditional Gingerbread

The secret of the amazing flavour of this cake lies in the long process of maturing and only natural ingredients such as honey and spices. I prepare the dough on stir-up Sunday and let it sit in the fridge for almost a month. After the long rest, the cake is baked, sprinkled with Amaretto Liqueur,  dressed up with layers of plum jam and marzipan, tightly wrapped, and left in the fridge for another week. Just prior to the festivities or one day before Christmas, Polish Traditional Gingerbread Cake needs only a shiny coat of chocolate ganache. Find the recipe here….

Gingerbread Mix Spice

I always start the festive season by making homemade Gingerbread Mix Spice. The preparation takes only a few minutes, and all I have to do is mix all ingredients. The Gingerbread Mix Spice is a blend of seasonal spices: cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves, cardamom and nutmeg. You can make the spice mix milder by cutting the ginger amount or adding more if you need an extra punch. The Gingerbread Mix Spice is very aromatic, fresh, warming and great for gingerbread of all kinds and muffins. It should be kept in an airtight container. Find the recipe here…

Courgette Fritters

Simple courgette fritters are perfect for a quick lunch or light supper, and they are very seasonal. I know the courgettes are available all year round in the grocery shops, but they now have a lot of flavour, and this is the time for many beautiful dishes with this humble vegetable. Although the word fritters conjures up deep frying and greasy dishes, the patties are light, and the cooking uses little oil. The courgette fritters can be eaten straight out of the pan or warm with a dollop of crème fresh. Find the recipe here…

Homemade Cream Cheese

Rich, creamy and super fresh cream cheese that tastes heavenly. You can’t buy this little wonder, but you can make it home. It only takes two ingredients- full-fat milk, lemon juice, and a dash of salt (if you like slightly salty cheese). Homemade Cream Cheese is super delicious and can be eaten plain, topped with fruit jam or mixed with herbs, dill, chives, spring onion and spices for a different flavour. Spread it on a bagel, a slice of sourdough bread, a bun or toast. Find the recipe for Homemade Cream Cheese here.

Homemade Raspberry Vinegar

Having a bottle or two of this ruby liquid in a pantry is fantastic; in winter, its flavour and aroma will remind me of hot summer days. Homemade Raspberry Vinegar is a unique condiment perfect for salad leaves, asparagus tips, in marinades or vinaigrette dressing. It’s easy to make it at home with just a few simple ingredients and a bit of patience. Allow the raspberries to sit in the vinegar for a week, and then let the vinegar rest for a couple of weeks in a pantry, and your patience and work will be rewarded. Find the recipe here.

Homemade Vanilla Extract

It is an effortless recipe for homemade Vanilla Extract that requires only two ingredients of excellent quality: vanilla pods and 95% rectified spirit. This strong alcohol is an ideal choice for vanilla extract. Although it has its specific taste and odour, unlike rhum or bourbon, it allows the vanilla to centre stage and the colour of the extract comes entirely from the vanilla, not the alcohol. The Homemade Vanilla Extract is quick and easy to make; however, extracting flavour from vanilla pods takes time. Allow at least six months up to a year for the extract to mature, and you will end up with a homemade wonder that will fill your bakes with a fantastic aroma. Find the recipe here.

Classic Basil Pesto

In the summertime, I literally can’t live without this bright green sauce made from fresh basil leaves, pine kernels, garlic olive oil and parmesan cheese. I can eat it daily, spread on fresh white bread, tossed with pasta or gnocchi. Pesto originated in Geona, the capital city of Liguria, the region in Italy and was traditionally made in a marble mortar with a wooden pestle. I find making the pesto easier and faster by using a food processor. Don’t be tempted by a ready sauce from the store, The ingredients are available all year round, and any other ready-to-eat sauce can’t be compared to a homemade version. This recipe shows you how to make pesto at home. Here...

Waffles with Whipped Cream and Summer Berries

This is the most delicious summer dessert: crisp outside and fluffy inside waffles, slightly sweet whipped cream and summer berries dusted with icing sugar. You can use any summer fruits of your liking: strawberries, raspberries or blueberries. The recipe is easy and quick, and the payoff is enormous. How long you cook the waffles and how many you get depend on your waffle machine, but the portion of the batter makes about 16 delicious squares ready to be paired with sweet fruits and cream. Find the recipe here.

Bilberry Muffins with Lemon Icing

They are absolutely scrumptious, soft, sweet and moist, packed with fruits with aromatic lemon icing and bilberries on top. These amazing Bilberry Muffins with Lemon Icing are perfect for breakfast or teatime, delicious when warm, and taste even better the next day. Bilberries are in season now, and although they’re not as popular as blueberries, stores with European (Polish deli) or Scandinavian food make them available sometimes. Frozen bilberries also are great for this recipe; you can find them easily online. Recipe for Bilberry Muffins with Lemon Icing here…

Bread and Butter Pickles

There aren’t many contemporary sources that confirm the origin of this condiment. Bread and Butter Pickles were allegedly a Depression-era staple due to their high availability and low-cost ingredients. They can also most likely trace their roots back to the early 1920s and Cora Fanning from Illinois, who made the pickles with the surplus of little cucumbers and exchanged them with a local grocer for household staples like bread and butter. Whatever the story is, these tangy and sweet crunchy cucumbers are an excellent addition to sandwiches, burgers and wraps. They are a great summer condiment when cucumbers are in season. Find the recipe here...

Homemade Crostini

Crostini, called in France Croutons, are small slim slices of toasted bread. They are served with different toppings: pâtés, rillettes, and spreads and make a fabulous canape or aperitivo with a drink. Ideal crostini are bite-size, made from a stale baguette, brushed with olive oil or butter, and baked in the oven until golden. Once you discover how to make crostini/croutons, you will never again resort to store-bought varieties. I serve my little crusty rounds with homemade Vegetable Spread, Pork Pâté and Duck Rillettes. Find the recipe here…

Vegetable Quesadillas

A classic Mexican quesadilla consists of corn tortillas filled with Oaxaca cheese - low-fat cheese with a texture similar to mozzarella. It’s cooked on a dry skillet until the cheese melts and served with guacamole and red salsa. But the quesadilla is such a versatile dish that you can substitute the corn tortillas with the flour tortillas, and fill it with whatever you like: vegetables, meat - chicken or beef, and cheese of your choice. It can be served with sour cream, spicy sauces, guacamole or cold condiments such as Picco de Gallo. Great for lunch, dinner or supper. Find the recipe for my Vegetable Quesadilla here.

Tartare Sauce

This is my last culinary discovery and a favourite among other sauces. I’ve actually known Tartare Sauce for ages, but never eaten a homemade version so delicious like this. The sauce is great for fish – fried or steamed, fish and chips, amazing with sandwiches, cold cuts and perfect for homemade beef burgers. It’s not the condiment for people on a diet or those, who don’t like rich dips. It’s only for those who love full flavours. The Tartare Sauce consists of finely chopped hard-boiled eggs, cornishons, flavourful shallot, with a pinch of black pepper and homemade mayonnaise. It’s very easy and quick to stir up.  Find the recipe here

BBQ Sauce

I’ve never eaten such superb and tasty tomato sauce as this BBQ wonder. Smoky and a little hot, can be used for bbq chicken, pulled pork, tacos, and burritos; it also goes great with pizza and burgers. You can adjust the flavours to your liking – it can be more tangy or sweet, smoky or hot. You can have it thinner or thicker- just keep it simmered longer on the hob. Homemade BBQ sauce tastes better than a store bought product, and its ingredients are known to you. Fine the recipe here…

Homemade Dumpling Wrappers

Dumpling wrappers, usually frozen, are now easily available in stores with Asian food or online. They can be used for Japanese Gyoza, potstickers or Chinese Wonton dumplings. Flour, salt and water are the main ingredients of the wrapper's dough, but I add the egg yolk to the mixture for extra flavour. This recipe is for those who like to get their hands dirty, have spare time and want to make dumplings from scratch. The dough is very stiff at the beginning, so it requires plenty of kneading and rolling to get the almost paper-thin wrappers. A stand mixer and pasta machine are a great help here. Find the recipe here

German Stollen

Traditional stolen often contains marzipan – a confection made mainly from ground almonds and sugar. I don’t use marzipan because the fruit blend and a thick coat of icing sugar that covers the bread are sweet enough, so extra sweetness is overwhelming for me. Stollen is a yeasted bread baked with dried fruits and spices that's originated in Dresden. It’s traditionally served at Christmas time in Germany, Austria and parts of France. Stollen symbolises the baby Jesus blanket, and the fruits in it represent gifts of the Three Wise Men (called the Three Kings or Three Magi as well). Find the recipe here…

Red Onion Marmelade

Red Onion Marmalade goes well with pâté, charcuterie platter, hard cheese, on a burger, with roast pork or beef steak. It’s sweet, soft and aromatic as it was cooked for some time in red wine and balsamic vinegar. Red Onion Marmelade is great freshly made, however, it gets even better the next day as the flavours have time to combine.  It takes only one hour to have it ready so make a double portion as it disappears quickly. Find the recipe here…

Traditional Italian Panettone

Panettone, sweet enriched bread comes originally, according to many sources, from Milan and is a true symbol of Italian Christmas. It’s more bread than a cake, although brioche-like dough of slightly sweet flavour is studded with dried fruits, almonds and raisins. The most traditional panettone is made by wild-yeast fermentation, augmented by a small amount of commercial yeasts. Making of this Christams sweet bread is a lengthy procedure, but the result is well worth it: you will end up with a golden, aromatic, and delicious Christmas bake that melts in your mouth with every bite.  Find the recipe here…

Orzo Pasta with Courgette, Mushrooms and Green Peas

This is an easy vegetarian dish, very soothing and comforting. You can whip it up in 20 minutes, so it’s great for a quick dinner or lunch. All you need is a small courgette, a few mushrooms, green peas small onion, chicken or vegetable stock and the orzo. Orzo is small pasta shaped like a large grain of rice, usually made with semolina. It’s available in most supermarkets and very handy when you are out of ideas for a homemade meal. Top the orzo pasta with parmesan, fresh parsley, and serve warm.  Find the recipe here..

St. Lucia Saffron Buns

My, oh my! These buns are so light, delicate and pillowy that you can’t stop eating them! They’re St Lucia buns, served in the run-up to Christmas across Scandinavia. The sweet rolls are eaten traditionally on the 13th of December, St Lucia’s Day (also known as The Festival of Light), in celebration of Lucia, the patron saint of light and the victory of light over darkness. These golden-hued saffron buns are formed into an S shape that resembles a curled-up cat and two raisins are added to represent its eyes. The slightly sweet rolls taste best warm with butter. Find the recipe here…

Christmas Gingerbread Biscuits

Gingerbread Biscuits of different shapes can easily replace traditional glass baubles and stars on the Christams Tree. They also can be an excellent edible Christmas present and great fun for children in the festive season. This gingerbread dough has a perfect balance of spices – cinnamon, ginger, cloves, all spices, and plenty of honey. It’s soft and may be a bit difficult to handle at the beginning, however make perfect and delicate biscuits that snap when break. The dough develop its flavour and makes better biscuits when left for a few days in the fridge. We decorate our Christmas tree with homemade gingerbread biscuits every year. Find the recipe here…

Ancho Crema Dip

This creamy dip is not for those who love super spicy Mexican food. Ancho Crema Cold sauce is a condiment that complements a dish and adds a smoky, earthy, sweet flavour. Ancho Peppers are a heart-shaped variety of dried Pablano Peppers. They are the mildest of chile peppers which grow on the vine longer. They are allowed to turn red and ripe for developing sweetness and then are dried. Find the recipe for the dip here.

Guacamole: a Classic Mexican Dip

I like to keep it simple: a ripe avocado mixed with a pinch of salt and a squeeze of lemon juice. But you can add whatever you like: hot peppers such as jalapeño or serrano, finely chopped onion, coriander and tomatoes. The secret of good guacamole is a perfectly ripe avocado smashed with the fork or pestle in the mortar. It's best eaten right after being prepared because the avocado oxidizes and turns brown. Guacamole can be prepared in advance but must be refrigerated in an airtight container, sprinkled with lemon juice, and covered with a piece of plastic wrap. Find the recipe here

Pico de Gallo Mexican Salsa

This is a type of relish-like salsa commonly used in Mexican cuisine. A simple combination of fresh tomatoes and onion, serrano or jalapeno chilli peppers, lime juice and coriander, generously seasoned with salt, is also called salsa fresca, salsa Mexicana or salsa cruda. You can enjoy Pico de Gallo with tortilla crisps, Totopos, tacos or quesadilla. Make it a few hours in advance to let all-natural juices combine and marinate together, providing the salsa with more flavour.  For those who can’t stand fresh coriander - use parsley instead. Find the recipe here...

Mexican Black Beans with Tomatoes and Totopos

This is a simple side dish, full of Mexican flavours and heat, cooked from ingredients everyone has on hand. The delicious, albeit quite an apparent combination of black beans and tomatoes has been enhanced with spicy chilli flakes and aromatic ground cumin. Mexican Black Beans with Tomatoes get more flavour with time, so prepare this dish in advance and keep it in the fridge at least overnight. Reheat and serve warm with tacos or Mexican crisps Totopos. Find the recipe here.

Homemade Flour Tortillas

Mastering the art of making homemade wheat tortillas requires some time and many attempts; however, the whole process is worth trying. Flour tortillas are much better than store-bought, even organic ones. Although sometimes not perfectly shaped and circular, they’re always fresh, soft, tender and full of flavour. Tortillas keep well, so they can be made in advance and warmed before serving. Try to make them once, then eat with guacamole, meat, refried beans or your favourite sauces - you will never look at ready unleavened flatbread in the shop. Wheat Tortillas - depending on the size, are great for burritos, tacos, enchiladas, and quesadillas. They also make delicious Mexican crisps, Totopos. Find the recipe here…

Fishcakes with Rémoulade

These beautifully golden fishcakes are great with Rémoulade – a cold condiment similar to Tartare Sauce, some green vegetables and freshly baked buns. I usually serve them at lunch or dinner when we want to have something a little bit different than usual. Boneless and skinless fillets of hake or cod are best for the fishcakes, however any other fish of firm and white meat would be good as well. The best mixture for frying the cakes consists of unsalted butter – for better flavour, and oil- for a crispy golden skin. Find the recipe here

Rémoulade - French Cold Sauce

This cold sauce is perfect for fish, seafood cakes, cold cuts and sandwiches. It consists of mayonnaise, cream, and mustard combined with pickles and flavoured with powder curry. Remoulade, which originates in French cuisine, is a little bit similar to Tartare Sauce, has a thick, creamy consistency, and finely chopped gherkins and capers add sharp and savoury flavour. The condiment goes well with French fries or baked potatoes. Find the recipe here

Tarte Tatin

There are plenty of recipes for this French classic. Some bakers use puff pastry, thinly sliced sweet apples but no caramel; others - rough puff pastry, firm, crispy fruits and a vanilla pod. This recipe for Tarte Tatin comes from the book “Le Cordon Bleu. Pastry School”. It calls for a slightly sweet shortcrust pastry, beautifully caramelised apple halves with a pinch of cinnamon baked in a Savarin form. Big, lightly brown apple pieces that create a ring on the crisp, buttery base are soft, juicy and sweet. This upside-down fruit tarte looks absolutely fantastic and tastes divine. Find the recipe here….

Bilberry Buns with Crumble

These little buns are light and fluffy, and their dark sweet-sour filling makes your fingers and smile dark blue. I always bake them in summer when wild blueberries are in season. Sweet little cushions are made with yeasted, buttery dough, stuffed with aromatic wild fruits, and a little crumble on top. They are the best straight from the oven, dusted with a pinch of icing sugar, for breakfast or as a dessert. Find the recipe here…

Golden Gazpacho with Melon

The secret of excellent gazpacho is fresh, natural vegetables at their season’s peak: yellow tomatoes, melon, bell pepper and cucumber. You can keep the gazpacho wholly vegetarian, and vegan using only olives and diced vegetables as a garnish or serve it with chorizo, cured ham and shrimps. The chunky soup is easy to make; it comes together quickly in the food processor. Refreshing chilled Golden Gazpacho is perfect for lunch on hot summer days. Find the recipe here…

Baked Aubergines stuffed with Mushrooms

Baked Aubergines stuffed with Mushrooms is a beautiful and delicious summer dish, a must when this humble vegetable is in season. The excellent dish can be served with roast, grilled chicken, baked fish or as a separate vegetable course. The preparation takes some time; however, it’s not complicated, and you may have it ready hours ahead. The aubergine skins are soft and hold the creamy and delicious filling perfectly. Find the recipe here...

Avocado Dip

This smooth and creamy dip of vivid green colour pairs well with a variety of dippers such as tortilla crisps, crackers or crudités. It’s not at all like the chunky guacamole most people love. It’s excellent as a salad dressing for fresh lettuce, spread for sandwiches and toast, or dolloping onto nachos, burritos, quesadillas and tacos. The avocado dip is simple to make, with just a few ingredients and the aid of a food processor; it only requires very ripe avocados. You can spice the dip up by adding, e.g. cayenne pepper, chilli pepper or chipotle paste, finely chopped spring onion or coriander. Find the recipe here...

Watermelon Lemonade

I could live on this beverage this summer. Watermelon Lemonade is delicious, naturally sweet, refreshing and has a beautiful vibrant pink colour. It’s better than anything you will find in the store! The lemonade is easy and quick to blend up. You need fresh and ripe watermelon, lemons, sugar or agave syrup for extra sweetness and sparkling water. Use sparkling wine instead of water, and you will get a fantastic watermelon cocktail.  Find the recipe here…

Homemade Ice Cream Cones

You will need a bit of practice rolling the waffle cones - most of them will crack or break at the beginning. But don’t give up; the whole process is worth trying because the homemade ice cream cones are divine. They are crunchy, flavourful, aromatic, not too sweet and totally free of food additives. An electric waffle cone maker is necessary for this recipe, but these machines are now relatively cheap and available online. The cone waffle batter is easy to prepare and consists only of a few simple ingredients. Find the recipe here.

Sunny Ratatouille

Ratatouille is a traditional Provençal vegetable stew, fragrant with garlic and thyme. It is excellent to have it on hand for a quick lunch or as a side dish for dinner. You can serve it warm or cold, on rice, with roast meat or a baguette. Aubergine, courgette, onion and pepper must be cooked separately in olive oil before being combined with diced tomatoes, tomato paste, chopped garlic, and herbs and stewed until all vegetables are tender. Use the vegetable at the peak of the season; then, you will get the perfect flavourful Ratatouille. Find the recipe here

Summer Galettes

The Summer Galettes are equally delicious hot or cold. They make a delightful picnic appetizer and can be served with meat, fish or vegetables, with cold toppings like tzatziki. The Galettes are great for a quick lunch accompanied by green leaves salad with a dash of vinaigrette. They can be made in advance and kept in the fridge until served. You even can reheat them on the barbecue. Find the recipe here...

Pita Bread

This round flatbread with a pocket inside originated within communities west of the Mediterranean Sea and is considered the oldest type of bread in the world. Pita Bread is made from yeast-leavened wheat dough and baked at high temperatures in the oven or on a cast-iron skillet. It goes well with meat, cheese, and grilled and raw vegetables. The pita also makes an excellent starter when served with sauces and dips such as hummus, baba ghanush, and tzatziki. My homemade Pita Bread puffs up beautifully and forms the signature interior pocket you can fill with anything you like. Find the recipe here…

Roast Vegetables Tarte Tatin

You can vary the vegetables according to your taste or what’s in season and make this Tarte Tatin a great starter or accompaniment to any meat meal. I’ve used new root vegetables, onion, and chicory, a few pieces of chilli pepper, thyme leaves – as simple as that – and homemade rough puff pastry. Serve Roast Vegetables Tarte Tatin warm, with a glass of cold white wine. Find the recipe here...

Rough Puff Pastry

It's said to be a cheat version of puff pastry, but in my opinion, this is just a more straightforward and quicker version of the French classic. Rough puff pastry calls for strong bread flour, a pinch of salt and, unlike the classic puff pastry, chilled cubed unsalted butter and cold water. Making the dough is simple but takes a little time because the dough needs chilling in the fridge between each round of folds. Once baked, quick puff pastry is flaky, crisp and buttery. It's excellent for Tarte Tatin, sausage rolls or vol-au-vents. Find the recipe here..

Bilberry Ice Cream

Wild blueberry pie or wild blueberry dumplings served with sour cream were a staple of summer cuisine in Poland. My mother and grandmother bought them at a summer farmer's market, but they were also sold on little stalls by the roads in woodland areas. Wild Blueberries were delicious, funny – they made our smiles blue, always expensive, and their health benefits were appreciated in healthy juices and jams consumed in winter. But Wild Blueberries also make delicious ice cream of creamy texture, naturally sweet-sour flavour and beautiful vibrant colour. Find the recipe here…

Homemade Marzipan

Marzipan is a confection, usually used for icing birthday, wedding and Christmas cakes. It can also be used in biscuits and petit fours and cakes such as German Stollen. Marzipan consists mainly of sugar and almond flour, augmented with almond extract, rose water, and it’s easy and quick to make.  The homemade treat is much more delicious than the store-bought one as it contains up to half less sugar, and almond flour is much stronger in taste. Find the recipe here…

Sauerkraut with Forest Mushrooms (Kapusta z grzybami)

A traditional polish delight is served usually on Christmas Eve. This meatless dish can be eaten on its own with a slice of bread or fill other traditional Christmas Eve meals – pierogi z grzybami (dumplings with sauerkraut and forest mushrooms). Sauerkraut is always prepared at least one week in advance as all flavours need time to combine and develop. We use porcini - the most delicious and aromatic wild mushrooms, a few dried prunes to balance the sour taste of fermented cabbage and a large glass of red wine that deepen the flavour of the dish. Find the recipe here…

Keks - Polish Fruit Cake

Keks is a sponge cake with a high content of unsalted butter, packed with dried fruits and almond flakes. It’s baked in a loaf tin and then served generously dusted with icing sugar. Dried fruits – apricots, black currants, sultanas and raisins are soaked in a warm mixture of orange liqueur and orange juice with the addition of orange zest. Keks is buttery, sweet and moist, taste amazing both freshly baked and after a few days. The cake can be prepared in advance and kept tightly wrapped in baking paper and aluminium foil. Find the recipe here…

Vegetable Salad (Salatka Jarzynowa)

Vegetable Salad is a staple dish of Polish cuisine, served on many occasions and holidays. It's a delicious medley of root vegetables, complemented by sweet garden peas, crunchy apples, eggs, sour brine cucumbers, pungent leek, all blended with homemade mayonnaise. The salad is quite simple to make, but the whole process involves a lot of fine dicing: the finer dice, the better taste. Vegetable Salad is served cold, usually with sliced meat and bread for breakfast or lunch. Find the recipe here…

Dried Fruits Beverage (Kompot z Suszu)

Dried Fruits Beverage is one of 12 traditional dishes served on Christmas Eve in Poland. This is a naturally sweet drink, which distinctive flavour comes from dried apples, pears, apricot, prunes and fragrant spices: cinnamon, cloves and star anise. Dried fruits, prunes, in particular, give the kompot enough natural sweetness; however, if you need to have it sweeter, add honey to the cool mixture. My Dried Fruit Beverage also contains thick slices of fresh orange, making this traditional drink even more Christmasy and citrusy. Serve cold with cooked fruits on the side. Find the recipe here...

Danish Crisp Bread

Wonderfully crisp, extraordinarily delicious and super healthy. Danish crispbread - Knækbrød - makes a beautiful snack served with dips, spreads, and pâté; it can also be eaten for breakfast with butter and sweet toppings. Flat and very dry bread contains rye and spelt flour, rolled oats, sunflower, sesame and flax seeds with a small amount of water. It can be shaped round or broken into irregular pieces.  I find Knækbrød a fantastic and elegant starter served with pickled herring or a thin slice of smoked salmon. Find the recipe here….

Spooky Black Chickpea Hummus

Three primary ingredients - black chickpea, black garlic, and black tahini- create this dip's distinctive earthy flavour and odd colour. Kala Chana, a black cousin of yellow chickpea, make a nutty and firm-textured base. Black tahini from unhulled sesame seeds, adds a slight bitterness and toasty flavour, black garlic- a bit of sweetness. The  Black Chickpea Hummus calls for raw garlic and lemon juice like traditional hummus, but unlike it needs a splash of olive oil and a pinch of cumin to develop the flavour. Spooky Black Hummus can be served with flat bread, but it's excellent with raw vegetables or crispbread.  Find the recipe here…

Polish Stuffed Eggs in Shells

They are a popular dish served at Easter breakfast in Poland. They also make a delicious appetizer we are used to eating several times a year. Stuffed Eggs in Shells are delicious, comforting and simple to make; however, getting empty shells without breaking them is the most tricky part. The entire unpeeled egg is cut in half lengthwise after being hard-boiled, and the insides scooped, finely chopped and seasoned. The eggshells are stuffed back, topped with bread crumbs and fried in butter. They are best served hot with a slice of fresh bread. Find the recipe here...

Chinese Walnut Biscuits (Hup Toh Soh)

Packed with bites of walnuts, reasonably sweet biscuits with a hint of saltiness go great with a morning coffee or an afternoon cuppa. But Hup Toh Soh - Chinese Walnut Biscuits, that symbolise happiness for the whole family are traditionally baked for Chinese New Year celebration. They're given as gifts or served to family and friends. The biscuits are round, slightly flat, have crackly edges and resemble walnuts, hence their name. They are so delicious that you will be whipping up at least a batch at any time of the year.  Find the recipe here...

Celebrating the Lunar New Year: Vegetable and Mushroom Potstickers

Crisp bottoms and juicy filling, these Vegetable and Mushroom Potstickers are my favourite dumplings. They're stuffed with carrot, Chinese leaves, Shitake mushrooms, bamboo shoots and fresh ginger filling that burst in the flavours of the sweetness combined with spiciness. The potstickers are pan-fried and steamed at the same time; thus, they're moist and crispy. Serve with a potsticker dipping sauce consisting of Chinese black vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil and minced garlic, spiced up with a sriracha dash for an extra kick. Find the recipe here…

Chinese Dumpling Dough

This is the classic Chinese Dumpling dough, generally for boiled dumplings (shui jia) and potstickers (guo tie) but I also use it - only thinly rolled - for wontons. This recipe calls for the equal amount of flour and water, and a generous pinch of salt which make the tougher dough that needs to rest at least 1 hour; however, the longer the dough is set aside and kept covered with a kitchen towel, the smoother and more springy will be. Freshly made dumpling wrappers needs to be used immediately as they become dry and difficult to shape. Find the recipe here…

Salmon Rillettes (Rillettes de Saumon)

I am a breakfast person who likes to start the day with a delicious meal. The better breakfast, the better day. Salmon Rillettes with a slice of a freshly baked sourdough can make a perfect breakfast if you feel like eating fish in the morning. The rillettes is extremely delicious, pleasantly filling and elegant. It can be served as an appetizer or afternoon snack as well. It requires some work and a few unusual ingredients such as white wine or green peppercorns, but it is absolutely worth this effort. Salmon Rillettes can be made a day ahead. Find the recipe here….

Smocked Mackerel Pâté

It’s great to serve as the starter to share with friends or a healthy snack, but we eat it for breakfast as a spread with our homemade sourdough wholemeal or rye bread slices. Smoked mackerel pâté requires a few ingredients finely diced and chopped but is easy to whizz up and cost very little. The smokiness of mackerel, sharp flavour of lemon juice and tangy capers make the perfect balance enriched by aromatic springs of dill. The Pâté must be kept in the fridge and lasts chilled for a few days in an airtight container. It’s best a day after it's made. Find the recipe here…

Cinnamon Ice Cream

Ice cream is not strictly for summer and just because it’s cold and dark outside, doesn’t mean you don’t want to enjoy this frosty treat. Cinnamon Ice Cream is a perfect partner for Apple Pie, a baked apple or any apple desserts commonly eaten in the wintertime. I used the cinnamon sticks to infuse the milk because they give the ice cream full and more complex flavour. The sticks were left in the cold custard overnight and removed just before the process. Cinnamon Ice Cream is delicious and smells insane. Find the recipe here….

Herring Tartare

We can’t imagine the Christmas Eve table without herring. It's usually served pickled in vinegar or oil with onions or with soured cream and finely diced apple. Herring tartare is a great option for having herring this Christmas differently. The tartare consist of Matjes fillet pickled in salted brine and soaked in water, gherkins, shallots, pickled mushrooms, spring onions, all combined with mustard and citrus sauce. The sour capers and red hot peppers give this small dish a kick. The herring tartare tastes great served on dark rye bread. Find the recipe here…

Pickled Radishes

Pickling the radishes completely changes their flavour. They lose bitterness and become sweet, salty and sour. You can use them almost everywhere as they land a lovely bite, they don’t overpower other flavours, add great texture and beautiful pink colour to a dish. Pickled radishes can be a delicious addition to a salad, tacos, burgers, Asian food, toasts, open sandwiches and many many more. They will last in the fridge for a few weeks, but are the best after 24 hours because they still have their crispiness and nice texture. Find the recipe here…

Double Rye Sourdough Bread with Honey

If you are a rye fan, for a real treat try this double rye sourdough bread. It contains dark and light rye flour as well as bread flour to give light texture. Double rye requires overnight sponge made of light rye flour starter and some amount of dark rye flour, but on a baking day, it needs only 3 hours to be ready to pop in the hot oven. The bread is delicious, moist, sweet and tastes great next day if kept in the container. Great served with herring tartare or pickled herring. Find the recipe here… 

Malt and Honey Dark Rye Bread

This is dark, moist and dense bread with a hint of sweetness - a bit in Lithuanian-style. Barley malt syrup and a little of honey give this beautiful colour of the crumb and a caramelized crust. My recipe uses light rye sourdough starter and a mix of bread and dark rye flour. It requires patience as the sponge needs to be prepared a day before and give it time to rise. But as a reward, the final rise of bread takes only two hours. Malt and Honey Dark Rye Bread is the perfect winter bread which tastes amazing with hard cheese, pickled herring or paté. Find the recipe here…

Cranberry-Walnuts Festive Buns

These buns are totally festive, perfect for a holiday table such as Thanksgiving or as a Christmas morning treat. Soft inside, light, reasonably sweet, full of dried cranberries and chopped walnuts, they taste delicious served warm, with chilled unsalted butter that melts on their tops. The yeasted dough is comprehensive and can be baked as a simple loaf or braided in Challah bread style. Cranberry-Walnut Buns are also great as festive burger buns served with turkey patties, vegetables and cranberry sauce. Find the recipe here…

Christmas Mince Pies

Traditional sweet mini pies baked and eaten in the festive season before Christmas. Mince pies are made from short crust pastry filled with the sweet mix of dried fruits, spices, citrus zest, all soaked in alcohol. These festive pies of English origin have been known there since the 13th century. They originally were savoury, not sweet as consisted of a mixture of minced meat, suet, fruits and spices. Today almost every housewife has her own recipe for mince pies and mincemeat if she prepares a homemade version of the pies. I prefer less sugary filling but use a bit sweeter French buttery pastry. Try my recipe here…

Simple Brioche Buns

Simple brioche dough is easy to handle and makes beautiful soft buns that can be served slit and filled with burgers, pulled pork or as breakfast rolls with a sweet topping. The buns are not quite eggy and buttery as these made from rich brioche dough, but still extremely fluffy and light. This recipe produces only 6 buns but simply double the ingredients, and you will get more these delicious creations. They are a real treat. Find the recipe here…

Winter Root Vegetables Slaw

The trick to this salad is to julienne vegetables thinly – the thinner stalks, the better taste - and homemade whole-egg mayonnaise sauce, free from unhealthy ingredients. Winter Root Vegetable Slaw is crunchy, flavourful and its sweetness comes from rich in minerals carrot, parsnip, celeriac and beetroot, so there is no need to add extra sugar. It’s delicious to serve with meat, burgers and sandwiches. For a vegan version of the salad, use vegan mayonnaise. Who says you can only make a coleslaw with a cabbage? Find the recipe here…

Simple Brioche Dough

Brioche Dough is an enriched dough, part bread and part pastry. Apart from yeast, flour and salt, it includes eggs, milk and butter which enrich the dough and produce tender and rich crumb. The simple brioche dough from this recipe consists of less amount of butter, eggs and is the easiest version to handle. It’s great for wraps, simple buns and as a sandwich bread although it lacks buttery flake of the richer brioche dough. Find the recipe here...

Roasted Tomato Soup with Comté Gougeres

This soup blends perfectly the flavours of fresh garden tomatoes, white onion and garlic. It’s very aromatic, velvety, comfy and healthy. The tomatoes are roasted to perfection in the oven as roasting brings out the sweetness and adds a ton of flavour to the soup. I serve this tomato soup with a dash of cream to create extra texture. French Comtè Gougères make the soup elegant and add an extra flavour to the dish however, it tastes great with a slice of toasted sourdough bread, a freshly baked small bun and sprinkled with grated Parmesan or Comtè. Find the recipe here.

New Potato and Garden Peas with Honey Dressing

This small dish brings together fresh flavours of seasonal vegetables: new potatoes and garden green peas. It can be served as a side dish, starter or partner food that tastes great with potatoes. Excellent cold but can be eaten warm. The recipe uses new potatoes which have a waxy structure and holds their shape when cooked, however, Jersey Royals or Charlotte Potatoes are good as well. Fresh garden peas still can be spotted in supermarkets or farmers markets but you will easily replace it with frozen petite poir. Find the recipe here…

Gratin of Courgettes Rice Garden Peas and Cheese

There're many ways in which courgettes can be prepared and used. I like them baked, stuffed, fried, in pasta, casseroles and salads with other summer vegetables such as peas, broad beans, tomatoes and herbs. So versatile and so delicious. Courgettes are available in supermarkets all year round but are at their best from June until September. This Gratin of Courgettes Rice Garden Peas and Cheese is a dish itself, however, pairs beautifully with many meaty mains. It’s creamy, flavourful and hearty, great for lunch or party. It can also be the star of a vegetarian meal. Find the recipe here…

Buchujeon - Garlic Chives Pancake

Buchujeon is a staple of Korean cuisine and real homemade everyday food. It’s eaten as a snack, an appetizer or a small side dish. The pancake is widely enjoyed by Korean families as is delicious, full of healthy ingredients, easy and quick to make. Kings of the pancake are garlic chives with their subtle garlicky flavour and flat green leaves but they often are accompanied by carrot, green onions, red peppers, chilli peppers, seafood or meat. I had a great pleasure for the first time in my life to eat Buchujeon prepared and served by Eun-Young CHOI at Laurence Pidgeon Design. Find the recipe here….

Croissants with Cherries and Vanilla Custard

Croissants are a family traditional treat and have been baked in my home since I remember. They are light, soft and have a beautiful crust due to the dough which is a combination of shortcrust pastry and yeasted dough. The croissants can be packed with anything you can think of: plum or strawberry jam, chocolate, caramel sauce or fresh apples in cinnamon. I love them with sweet cherries inside, sprinkled outside with icing sugar and served with vanilla custard on side. They're great for party, picnic, family event or an elegant afternoon tea plate. You will love them with your first bite. Find the recipe here….

Pearl Barley Risotto with Yellow Courgettes Peas and Broad Beans

This summer risotto uses pearl barley in the place of rice for a nutty flavour and interesting texture. It’s light, creamy and stuffed with seasonal vegetables such as yellow courgette, sweet garden peas and broad beans, finished with unsalted butter and Parmesan cheese. The pearl barley is a healthier substitute for Arborio rice used in traditional risotto. Rich in fibre, protein and nutrients, is substantial enough to be the main course for light summer lunch. Find the recipe here

Red Pickled Onions

They are the wonderfully vibrant condiment that goes with pretty much anything savoury – burgers, hot dogs, sandwiches, salads, slow-cooked meats and fish. They add piquancy and a sharp finish to Mexican tacos, tostadas or quesadillas but their flavour doesn’t overpower the dishes. Tangy- sweet Red Pickled Onions are super easy to make and ready to eat in 4 hours. Keep them cold in the fridge up to a week. Use only red onions because they have a more mild flavour. Find the recipe here…

Quick Picota Cherries Breakfast Jam

This recipe can be used for any summer berries which are currently in season. You can use fresh strawberries, blueberries, sour cherries or raspberries – anything you are fond of this summer. I’ve chosen Picota cherries as they are available in markets for only a few weeks a year so I want to enjoy them as long as I can this summer. Quick breakfast jam goes well with fresh bread, French baguette or bread roll but believe me, crumpets topped with this fresh jam and a dash of Crème Fresh taste divine. Find the recipe here…

Picota Cherries and Red Wine Sauce

I've chosen Picota cherries to make this delicious sauce. They are sweet, firm and have the unique flavour that comes from their stones and easily blends with red dry wine and spices – cinnamon, clove and lemon grass. The sauce is reasonably sweet but very aromatic and the combination of these ingredients makes it very elegant.  It’s great served with chocolate cakes and panna cotta, perfect as a topping over cream or vanilla homemade ice cream, for any fancy dessert you may think of.  One of my favourite things to make with Picota cherries lately. Find the recipe here…

Natural Orange Jelly

There is an authentic jelly made with oranges and mandarins, sugar and gelatine. No artificial colouring and flavourings, no high fructose corn syrup. It’s entirely natural, bursting with the orange flavour and packed with fresh sweet chunks of mandarins. The home-made orange jelly is super easy and can be made a day-ahead - which may be useful if you want to serve it as a dessert at the party all year round. It's a great, tasty and quite healthy sweet treat for adults and children.  Find the recipe here…

Asparagus and Red Peppers Quiche

Asparagus is a wonderful spring vegetable and considered to be one of the delicacies of the vegetable world. It’s good grilled and roasted, fried with exotic spices, with pasta and lasagne, in omelettes and soups. Fresh, crispy green shoots look exceptional in this elegant French quiche and their nutty flavour comes perfectly with the sweetness of roasted pepper semi-confit and savoury custard-based filling.  It is a perfect springtime appetizer, makes delicious light lunch. Find the recipe here…

Roasted Peppers Semi-Confit

Pepper semi-confit is exceptionally versatile in the kitchen. It can be used as a topping for toast and as crostini spread, in sandwiches, omelettes, pasta sauces, tarts and quiche. It’s great over grilled fish and with roasted meat or potatoes. Pepper semi-confit is sweet and very aromatic because the olive oil used for this condiment is infused with thyme and garlic. Confit should be refrigerated before serving and can be kept in the frige for 2 weeks. Find the recipe here….

Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns are a staple of British cuisine. They are made from enriched yeast dough packed with dried fruits, lemon or orange zest, spices and marked with an icing or dough cross on top. The cross is believed to represent the crucifixion of Jesus, the spies signify the spices used to embalm him at his burial. Traditionally spiced and fruited buns are eaten hot or toasted on Good Friday and Easter, however people buy them whenever they feel like a sweet and aromatic bun. In 1592, Queen Elizabeth I banned the sale of hot cross buns on every day except for Good Friday, Christmas and at funerals as they were too special to be eaten daily. Find the recipe for aromatic hot cross buns with a pinch of saffron here…

Marinated feta and pickled cucumber cocktail skewers

Marinated feta cheese is a king of toppings. It’s served on salads and open toasts, with grilled meat and fried vegetables but also makes amazing finger food to serve for entertaining. Marinated cubes have a beautiful texture and fresh aromatic flavour which comes from spices, herbs and lemon. They taste as delightful as they look so I use them - along with pickled cucumber and black olives to make colourful easy-to-grab cocktail skewers. Find the recipe here…

Quick Pickled Cucumber

Pickled cucumber is a delicious addition to charcuterie or cheese board, grate for serving alongside with burgers and sandwiches, as a cocktail condiment and a pickle on skewers. I like it pickled in slightly vinegary brine with aromatic spices: cloves, cardamom pod, mustard and caraway seeds, peppercorns and bay leaf. It has a nice fresh tangy flavour with a little kick and is great just after 3-4 hours in the brine. Pickled cucumber thinly sliced makes wonderful vegetable carpaccio which comes brilliantly with pâté or rillette. Find the recipe here…

Potato and Leek Soup (Potage Parmentier)

This is the perfect soup for this time of year, a comforting hearty dish which warms up from top to toe. The creamy smooth potato and leek soup is one of the simplest and takes about 1 hour to make. In autumn or winter is served hot but it can be chilled for vichyssoise – ideal for hot summer days. The recipe doesn’t call for broth but water which makes it even less complicated and more accessible for those who are not used to cook and eat soups. Serve Potage Parmentier for lunch or supper with croutons, crusty bread, the buttermilk rolls or the onion buns. For vegan version - swap the double cream for the coconut milk. Find the recipe here...

Mushroom Tartlets

Great for a lunch served with a crunchy green salad, as a starter or a savoury bite for any occasion. The Mushroom Tartlets which are extremely delicious and flavoursome, combine flaky shortcrust cases and creamy filling. I used Chestnut Mushrooms which have great flavour and texture but if you have wild mushrooms at hand, use them - they would be even better. The Mushroom Tartlets are quite easy to make and assemble. The filling can be prepared ahead and shortcrust pastry would be more crusty and flaky if it’s kept in the fridge overnight. The homemade shortcrust pastry can be replaced with good quality store-bought one. Find the recipe here…

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Banana Shallot

I must admit this is not my favourite soup – it’s hard to find one because I’m not a soup enthusiast, however, squash is in season and even soup opponents should eat it at least once a year. Autumn calls for warming and comforting dishes and my Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Banana Shallot is one of them. Sweet, velvety and vivid orange home-made soup has a nutty flavour, tastes best with crunchy croutons or Parmesan biscuits and warms up beautifully. The butternut squash is botanically and technically a fruit but usually used as a vegetable because is prepared like one. It's also versatile and makes sweet and savoury dishes. Find the recipe here...

Homemade Onion Buns

The Onion Buns originate from Jewish Cuisine and were baked by the Jews who lived in Lublin Old Town, in eastern Poland. At that time the buns looked like pancakes - were flat, very crispy and made with cake flour. They became very popular in the 19th century and were produced by many bakeries in the Lublin region. The original recipe was passed down the generations and... had been changed for years. Today the Onion Buns look like the rolls however their flavour is beautiful and widely valued. My Onion Buns are a bit French because the onion is cooked in unsalted butter. The recipe calls for bread flour and homemade buttermilk which make the buns exceptional. Find the recipe here...

Spanish Gazpacho

There are a million versions of gazpacho out there. Most of them call for garlic, oil and white bread blended with the vegetables. I prefer a lighter version of the Spanish cold soup, made of very fresh ripe tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion and red pepper seasoned well with salt, cumin and sour cider vinegar. My refreshing gazpacho is served ice-cold with the vegetable garnish, a splash of extra virgin olive oil, Milano Salami and crunchy crackers or freshly baked white bread. The gazpacho is very good on its own, can be a good start to the main meal or as a light lunch on a hot summer day. Don't try to make the gazpacho in the winter as you will get the flavourless salad vegetable puree. Find the recipe here…

Homemade Tomato Passata

We can’t imagine wintertime without homemade tomato passata. It forms the base of many delicious recipes, can be turned into comforting soups or pasta sauces. Tomatoes are in season now – sweet and fragrant, so this is the best time to capture them and close in bottles. The best passata is made from San Marzano tomatoes (obviously!) which come from the Campania region in Italy but they are quite expensive and difficult to spot. Ripe red Plum and Roma tomatoes are good as well as Polish tomatoes which are low in water content and rich in flavour. Making tomato passata at home takes a lot of effort and time but it’s definitely worth because its flavour can’t be compared to any store-bought puree. Find the recipe here…

Picota Cherry Confitures

Picota cherries are underrated and often chosen to sell as a "value" option because they are smaller, uglier and without stalks. But I do enjoy these firm cherries with big stones from the Jerte Valley in Extremadura in Spain because are always perfectly ripe, juicy and extremely sweet. They make an ideal clafoutis, fantastic summer soups, great gazpacho, crumbles, pies, amazing jams and confitures. When these summer berries are in season - only 6 weeks of the year, I make Picota Cherries Confitures which have a beautiful burgundy colour and sweet flavour with a hint of bitterness. They are delicious and can be a perfect substitute for the strawberry jam at the afternoon tea. Find the recipe here…

Carlin Peammus

These are peas of many names: Black, Maple, Grey, Black, Grey Badgers, Pidgeon Peas, Parched Peas. They are a traditional northern food eating during Lent, the Sunday before Palm Sunday. Parched peas are served in Manchester, cooked peas, served hot or cold with a little salt and vinegar in Lancashire but both are eaten around or on Bonfire Night, during fire displays and in Christmas time. Carlin peas are amazing with their distinctive texture and nuttiness. They pair perfectly with a traditional dish like shepherd’s pie, stew or salads. I love black peas and use it to make delicious peammus which is served with grossini. Find the recipe here…

Polish Beetroot Cleared Bullion (Borscht)

Classic beetroot soup served at Christmas Eve in our house is made with a vegetable stock, mushrooms and beetroot fermented juice called beet kvass. Sour, a bit tangy and very light beetroot bullion doesn't contain chopped beetroots or sour cream. It always comes with ear-shaped dumplings called sometimes little dumplings, filled with mushrooms paste. Ruby-coloured cleared borscht is like a meatless red consommé – clear, aromatic and very elegant which makes a perfect match with heavy meals eaten at dinner. Served as a first dish always almost hot, warms up and prepares your stomach for a real Christmas feast. Find the recipe here..

Fermented beet juice (beet kvass)

Beetroot soured juice, also called beet kvass is naturally fermented liquid, slightly sweet, salty and tangy, a little earthy. This very nutritious and health-boosting drink is famous for its cleansing properties. Beet kvass is also the main ingredient of red borscht (in Polish barszcz) – traditional Polish soup served at Christmas Eve's Supper. Easy to make at home red beet kvass calls only for firm beetroots, salt and water, however requires a bit of patience because the fermentation process lasts at least one week. Natural, healthy and extremely delicious, free from sugar and preservatives red liquid makes barszcz the best Christmassy soup in the world. Find the recipe here...

Homemade Granola

Granola and Granula. Both names were used in the 19th century in the United States for foods which contained whole grain products crumbled and baked until crisp. Then this breakfast meal consisted of Graham flour and was formed into sheets, baked twice and broken up into smaller pieces. It was edible only when soaked in milk overnight. Fruits and nuts were added in the 1960s and the first mass-market granola was introduced in 1972. Today most of the store-bought granola is high in sugar, unhealthy oils, artificial flavourings, some unnecessary ingredients and it isn’t healthy anymore. But amazingly delicious and healthy cereals can be made at home from the ingredients we know and like. Home made granola is absurdly easy to make. Find the recipe here...