Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Kolacky (Slovak Nut Roll)

Kolacky (co-lach-key) is a Slovak nut roll. My Czechoslovakian grandmother, Babbi, used to make Kolacky all by herself once a year for all her girls and their families. As she got older, my mother started to give her a hand, and it quickly became a tradition for my mother and Babbi to make Kolacky together. Eventually, I was also included. One year my mother showed up at Babbi's to help make Kolacky, and Babbi had already been working for hours just grinding the nuts...by hand! My mother saw that after an hour Babbi only had about 1/2 cup done. She recommended they continue cooking at my mother's house where she pulled out the food processor and ground all the walnuts in a matter of 15 minutes (obviously my Babbi was amazed). After that, making Kolacky was always done at my mother's house.

Babbi passed away 3 years ago and in those years no one in our family has attempted to make these, until now. Sadly my grandfather, Papa, Babbi's husband, passed on December 5th, and I felt the desire to make these Kolacky in honor of both Papa and Babbi since everyone in our family love these rolls, especially Papa. I was fortunate to get to watch Babbi make Kolacky a couple times (Babbi liked to do it mostly by herself). Those special experiences and handwritten notes from Babbi herself on how to make them allowed me to complete this traditional dish. I thought it would be a taste of memories and it would pay homage to my lovely grandparents. I miss them both very much and traditions like these are how I feel I am able to continue to pass on their love.
Babbi with her Kolacky in PA
Dancing at my wedding
Papa was my biggest fan :) Here he is testing my Cake Balls

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

I Love Fall In Indiana

 I was born and raised in sunny California; therefore, I never experienced a true colorful fall before moving to Indiana. Because of this, I am a little obsessed with capturing all the pretty trees and different colors I encounter on a daily basis. Here is a photo journal of the beautiful scenes I have witnessed in the past month around our home.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Molten Lava Cake

One of the most common, expensive and delicious desserts that is readily available at most high class restaurants is the molten lava cake.  I used to love ordering one when we would go out for a special occasion, but not any more, not since I learned just how easy and cheap these really are to make. I made these the other night and remembered just how absolutely amazing they are, although it is probably bad that I know that these are easy to make because I will start making them more frequently. YOU MUST GIVE IT A TRY!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Savory Cheddar Bacon Waffle

Nick and I both love waffles and nothing is better than a nice savory waffle sandwich. I found this recipe to make savory waffles and they were so incredibly tasty that they were perfect for a BLT style sandwich or even as a savory breakfast pastry. By using the oil from the bacon instead of melted butter, there is an incredibly strong bacon flavor that is exerted from these delicious waffles, that is why the waffles work well just by themselves without anything poured over or added to them.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Quinoa Pizza Crust (Gluten Free)

Another recipe for my gluten-free vegan friend, vegan pizza. We used a kale basil pesto as our sauce (with olive oil, garlic, and sunflower seeds) with no cheese and this quinoa crust paired with soy Mozarella cheese to create this absolutely vegan pizza. It was quite tasty and the crust was very good, it is definitely a do-able option for any of my vegan friends out there.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Cinnamon Rolls

I am currently addicted to cinnamon rolls. I made these as Nick's welcome back breakfast when he returned from Japan, since then I have been obsessed. This is a great recipe my great friend Megan shared with me, the baking queen. You should check out her blog MeganInMoshi, about her experiences living and teaching in Tanzania.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Fall Favorites

I love fall, it is my favorite season of them all. Every year I use fall as an excuse to overload on our squash/gourd intake. I tend to overdue it, which Nick doesn't appreciate very much but I just can't help it. If you are at all like me then the following recipes are for you. I know we are only a week or two into fall but I have already made all of the listed recipes. So, happy fall! May you enjoy it as much as I do :)





Pumpkin Coffee Cake

I love pumpkin and this is the season for pumpkin. I decided to make something a little different than the normal pumpkin bread by adding the topping and filling of coffee cake but with pumpkin spice. This worked out great! This was delicious and lovely. I expect you all to give it a try.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Vegan Creamy Tomato Basil Sauce/Soup

One of my friends recently decided to become vegan and so I have been learning all kinds of new vegan recipes. There was one in particular that she and I made together, where we made a creamy pesto soup by using cauliflower as the cream. The base of that recipe worked out very well, so much so that I decided to recreate that recipe but to make a tomato basil sauce instead. The sauce I created was so good that I would make it again and eat it all by itself as a soup. This is a great way for those who are lactose intolerant or vegan to enjoy a creamy sauce and/or soup without any regret.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Quinoa Patties

 Remember food, you know food, the real reason I started this blog. Well I have been cooking a lot and yet have not been posting, oops. So I thought I would start with this one. I have grown a love for quinoa and while Nick was off in Japan I decided to make these quinoa patties. They proved to be quite delicious, which is good because I made over a dozen of them. I happily ate them for what seemed like every lunch and dinner for an entire week. 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

World Heritage Sites in Japan

While traveling and visiting Japan, Nick and I quickly learned that Japan has many many UNESCO World Heritage sites, in fact according to the UNESCO website, Japan has 17 World Heritage sites in total, which compares to the much larger country of America that has 21 sites. According to UNESCO, "The World Heritage List includes 981 properties forming part of the cultural and natural heritage which the World Heritage Committee considers as having outstanding universal value...and meet at least one out of ten selection criteria."

Here are some of the amazing World Heritage sites we were blessed with the opportunity to visit while in Japan.

Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara:
Todaiji Temple - The Great Buddha
Kasuga Taisha - a shrine with hundreds and hundreds of lanterns
Fujisan, sacred place and source of artistic inspiration
Mt. Fuji
Himeji Castle (currently under renovation)
Himeji Castle Garden - Kokoen Garden
 Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto (Kyoto, Uji and Otsu Cities)
Tenryuji Temple - Zen temple in the Arashiyama district
Ryoanji Temple - Zen temple with famous rock garden
Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion) - Temple building covered in gold

Nijo Castle - Former Kyoto residence of the shogun
The Honmaru - Ninomaru Palace - Nijo Castle
Kamigamo-jinja Shrine
Yasaka Shrine
Toji Temple - Large temple with Japan's largest pagoda
Ginkakuji (Silver Pavilion) - Beautiful temple
Hiroshima Peace Memorial (Genbaku Dome)
Peace Park

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


I don't think I could truly say I lived in Japan (even if only for 5 weeks) if I didn't make Japanese food in our house, especially sushi. But, I not only cooked Japanese style food on a regular basis but I managed to make sushi multiple times, we even learned how to make rolls. Nick and I both love sushi and so it was great to live in Japan and get all the items we needed to make delicious sushi at home for super cheap. We managed to find us a sushi mat, wasabi, Japanese mayo, seaweed (nori), real crab, sushi grade salmon, tuna, sticky rice, cucumber, avocado, etc. Although we had the materials we didn't have quite the sushi roll making skills so our rolls didn't turn out the most attractive, but they sure tasted delicious!
 Lay out all the ingredients for your sushi rolls so that they are easily accessible to place on the seaweed (note the plastic wrap covering the sushi mat to keep the mat clean, a large plastic zipper bag works great too, just stick the mat inside the bag and seal)
Lay out the nori and spread the rice evenly over the paper to create a level layer keeping at least a finger width not covered on one end, then flip over so that the rice touches the plastic wrap and the empty nori is ready to be filled
 Place the ingredients you want in a single row on one edge of the nori
 Start the rolling process, make sure to tuck the ingredients away in the first roll
 As you roll up the sushi, squeeze it tight to make the roll stick together, use the mat to help with that
 Remove the roll and then slice into bite size pieces, to help make them equal start by cutting in the middle and then continuing to cut in the middle of the other parts