> Lemon and Strawberries: August 2015

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Caramel & peanut butter tart

There are moments in life, when the only thing that is missing is a solid dose of chocolate. Make it chocolate & caramel and it's even better.
Few days ago I was in this kind of mood - but in the same time, I really didn't want to make anything too complicated or time consuming. That's how I came up with this little sweet to-die-for tart. It has everything those with a bit of sweet tooth will love - there is a thin crust, caramel sauce, chocolate and an extra something - peanut butter that adds just a little bit of saltiness to balance the overall sweet taste.
This tart is like a candy bar you can cut with a knife - and what is better than a cake-size candy bar?

Monday, August 17, 2015

Polish vegetable salad (sałatka jarzynowa)

The most popular and loved salad in Poland - if you ever will be invited to a house-party, wedding or any event, there is almost 100% certainty that you'll find this salad on the table!

Even though we consider it a traditional Polish dish, the origins of this salad are Russian. It was invented by a Belgian chef Lucien Olivier in XIX century. Its recepture was a secret (especially the sauce), but the ingredients as we know today included: grouse, veal tongues, caviar, lettuce, capers, crayfish tails and smoked duck. Sounds pretty sophisticated, doesn't it?

That's why initially it was served only in some of the luxurious restaurants. Over the time Olivier's salad became very popular and the expensive ingredients were replaced with much cheaper and popular ones. So grouse was replaced by a sausage, capers by sweet pea, crayfish by carrots and so on.
After 1905, Russian aristocrats who were expelled from a country, popularised this salad in Western Europe - even now one can find "Russian salad" in many countries like Spain or Italy. Here in Greece, I also found it as "rosiki salata", it included potatoes, carrots, sweet pea mixed with mayonnaise only, which is far less ingredients than the Polish version served in my house.
In Poland this salad in a vegetarian version became really popular during PPR (Polish People's Republic) times, it was served in almost every restaurant and homes, as it's based on ingredients that were easy to find.

There are several versions of that salad in Poland - some of them include corn, some other beetroots or herrings, some add apple, some don't and so on - all depends on a cook's preferences. The recipe I present here, is one I grew up with and my favourite!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Delicious brownie from my Mom's cookbook (Murzynek)

When I was moving to Greece, my delightful mom gave me a notebook with her recipes. She actually sat for days after work and wrote down several family recipes for me as a gift. It brought tears to my eyes...a really precious gift and I will do the same for my future daughter for sure!
This brownie (called "murzynek" in Polish) is one of her recipes from that notebook. It brings back memories of my childhood, as it was one of my favorite cakes and my mom used to make it pretty often. Our whole house would smell like chocolate when it was in the oven...