Simple advice for a better life.

Party-foodsParty-Time-Appetizer-table

 

 

 

 

The hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping is over for most of us (many Ukrainians will still celebrate Christmas on January 6th and 7th), so now it’s time to plan the New Year bash.

Since I will not be hosting  New Year  party this year, and not preparing anything exciting, you may click on the highlighted links to my previous posts with many fun party foods.

Also, I pinned a lot of interesting party foods on my Pinterest board, which you are more that welcome to check out, and test them out.

H A P P Y   N E W  Y E A R!!!

MAY YOU ALL BE BLESSED

WITH GOOD HEALTH,

LOVE,

PEACE,

AND PROSPERITY.

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL

Ukrainian  ChristmasNylon-twine-angelVertep

Mother Nature confuses us with its unseasonal weather, having several snow storms by now, yet yesterday and today the temperatures are climbing up to the upper 60 degrees F.

Nonetheless, Christmas Holiday is upon us, hence time for Christians to celebrate the anniversary of the Birth or Christ.

I would like to share links to some of my previous posts about Ukrainian Christmas traditions, as well as few recipes for Ukrainian Traditional Christmas Eve dishes.

Here is a of links to my previous post about Ukrainian Christmas Traditions observed by my family, and a list of traditional dishes:

Christmas-Didukh-with-Oat-stalks-from-my-Grandfathers-farm-

 

 

By clicking on this link you will learn about more Ukrainian Christmas traditions, and find pictures and recipes for to Ukrainian Traditional Christmas Eve dishes:

 

Kutia-Christmas-Beet-Borscht-with-Vushka

 

Click on this link to view My Ukrainian Traditional Christmas Tree Decorations:

Ceramic-ornament-51Ukrainian Christmas-Tree

I would like to share Merry Christmas wishes from around the world, which I received from my readers.

Please share your country’s Christmas Greetings if it is still missing from the list below:

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Veselykh Sviat Rizdva Khrystovoho i Shchaslyvoho Novoho Roku! (Ukrainian)

Wesolych Swiat Bozego Narodzenia oraz Szczesliwego Nowego Roku! (Polish)

Maligayang Pasko At Manigong Bagong Taon! (Tagalog is an Austronesian language spoken in the Philippines)

Buon Natale, Buone Feste and Felice Anno Nuovo! ( Italian)

Here are some new additions from a reader in 2012, who speaks 10 languages:

S Rozhdestvom I S Novim Godom  – (Russian)

Felize Natal E Feliz Ano Novo  – (Portuguese)

Joyeux Noel E Bonne Anne -(French)

Feliz Navidad Y Feliz Ano Nuevo -  (Spanish)

Eid Milad Mubarak -  (Arabic)

Shen Deng Kuai Le Xing Nin Kuai Le – (Mandarin)

Kurisumasu Omedetto Gozaimasu -  (Japanese)

Haartelijk Keerstfest En Een Goede Nieuw Jaar – (Dutch)

Frohe Weinachten Und Glückliches Neues Jah -(German)

God Jul Och Gott Nytt år – (Swedish)

Happy Holidays from Canada!

 

Crocheting Scarfs for My Grandchildren

Red Scarf - fringesGray Scarf - with fringesCamouflage - close up view

I have been bitten by the crocheting bug, and have been crocheting scarfs and hats for my grandchildren.

It all started when we could not find an appropriate hat for my grandson’s Halloween costume (he was a Minion), so I crocheteded one for him, and the rest is history…

Now I will share pictures and type of yarn used to crochet some of these scarfs, which made nice Saint Nicholas gifts.

 

Red Scarf   Red Scarf - fringes

 

 

 

 

Red Scarf - brand and type of yarn

This yarn is sooooo soft and fluffy, it made a very nice scarf for my granddaughter.  As you can see in the top picture, I also made nicely tied fringes for that scarf, to make it a little more special.  She loves it.

I also am sharing the brand and type of the yarn used, as well as the hook size H-8 (5 mm) hook, and a pattern created by rows of single and double crochets.

Gray Scarf - with fringes  crochet camouflage hat

 

 

 

 

Gray Scarf - brand and type of yarn

 

I crocheted this gray scarf for my grandson,  using the above type of yarn, which is also very soft and very suitable for children scarfs, hats, gloves, or sweaters.  I also crocheted a camouflage hat with a gray trim, to go with the scarf.

 

Camouflage scarf

Camouflage - close up view

 

 

 

 

Camouflage scarf - brand and type of yarn

 

Here is another scarf I crocheted, out of the yarn type displayed above, but this one is not as soft and cuddly as the previous ones, hence more suitable for hats or sweaters.

Now that I have a collection of yarn and crocheting hooks, I have been “inducted” into an actual, full-fledged Grandmotherhood…It’s quite an honor, don’t you agree?

If you like to crochet or knit, please share your experience with all of us.

Thank you.

 

 

 

 

Dark Chocolate Ganache CakeMy daughter’s birthday was fast approaching, so I was researching many cake recipes with lots of dark chocolate (her favorite ingredient).

For the past three years I have been making her favorite Chocolate Cake with Fleur de Sel Caramel Filling, but this year I wanted to do something different.

She selected a Dark Chocolate Torte with Dark Chocolate Ganache, so I took her up on the idea, and baked the above pictured torte.

The original recipe was posted by Tarra Knight from Texas, in Taste of Home, however I tweaked it a little, and printed my version here.

It earned high marks from the birthday girl, and all the guests.

This cake freezes very well, but the fresh raspberries had to be removed before freezing, and replaced with fresh ones before serving ( we served the leftover cake  at Thanksgiving).

 Cake Ingredients:

  •  4 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped (I used Bakers chocolate for baking)
  • 2 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cup hot coffee (I used Dunkin Donuts Caramel flavored)
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 cups white sugar
  • 3/4 cup Canola Oil
  • 2 tsp. Vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I used Gold Medal Unbleached)
  • 1 cup dark Cocoa powder, unsweetened
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup warm water ( for torte punch)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract (for torte punch)

Ingredients for Ganache:

  • 14 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped (I use Baker’s chocolate for baking)
  • 4 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 3 cups heavy cream for whipping (1 1/2 pint)
  • 7 tsp. light corn syrup

Cake Directions:

  1. Line the bottom of 3 – 8 inch round cake pans with parchment paper, and grease it generously (I also dab a little Crisco under the paper to keep it in place).
  2. Place the chopped  chocolate in a medium bowl, pour the hot coffee over it, and stir with a whisk until all chocolate melts, and smooth mixture forms.
  3. Cool to room temperature.
  4. In a large bowl, beat the eggs, adding sugar gradually, until creamy and light lemon color (the mixture resembles vanilla pudding).
  5. Mix in the oil and vanilla.
  6. Gradually add the chocolate mixture, continuously beating.
  7. Set aside.
  8. In another bowl mix the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  9. Gradually incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet mixture, alternating it with gradual addition of the buttermilk.
  10. Divide the batter equally between the three cake pans.
  11. Preheat the oven to 325 degree F.
  12. Bake 30-35 minutes, or until the toothpick test is clean.
  13. Remove from the oven, and cool in pans for 10 minutes.
  14. Remove from pans unto wire cooling racks, to cool completely.

Ganache directions:

  1. Place the chopped chocolate in a medium bowl.
  2. Place a medium saucepan on the stove, pour in the heavy cream and corn syrup, and bring to boil.
  3. Pour the boiling cream over chopped  chocolate, and stir with a whisk until smooth and creamy.
  4. Set aside for at least 30 minutes, to cool it off slightly, stirring occasionally.

Assembling the torte:

  1. Slice off the “hump” from each cake top, to create even and flat top cake rounds.
  2. Cut two rectangular pieces of waxed or parchment paper, about 6 inches wide.
  3. Place these two pieces slightly overlapping, on a cake platter.
  4. Place the first cake round on top of the waxed paper.
  5. Prepare the torte punch by mixing the warm water with the vanilla extract.
  6. Dip a pastry brush into the torte punch, and brush the  cake top with it to moisten it.  Use 1/3 of the torte punch on each layer.
  7. Spread 1/2 cup of ganache on top of the cake.
  8. Place the second cake layer on top of the ganache.
  9. Sprinkle the cake top with the torte punch, as previously.
  10. Spread 1/2 cup of ganache over this cake layer as well.
  11. Place the third cake layer on top of the ganache, with the trimmed off top down.
  12. Spread the rest of the ganache over the top and sides of the cake.
  13. Decorate the top with candy, or fruit.
  14. Keep it refrigerated for couple of hours, or overnight, to firm up the ganache.

Enjoy this yummy torte, which is very “chocolaty” rich, yet semi-sweet at the same time.

 

Hot Soups for Cold Weather

Chicken-broth-with-potato-balls-knedleCreamyTomato-soupUkrainian-Red-Beet-Borscht-Quick-and-Easy

With the cold weather upon us, we begin to crave comfort foods and hot soups.

Thanksgiving turkey is all gone by now, but I still have my homemade soup stock (frozen) from the turkey carcass which I cooked last Friday.

If you are tossing out the carcass from your roasted chicken or turkey, you are wasting a great base for a soup stock.

Saurkraut-Soup-Kapusnyak

Today I made some sauerkraut soup from the Thanksgiving turkey soup stock, which my husband and I really enjoy on a cold day, accompanied by a piece of crusty bread.

If you indeed tossed out the leftover turkey carcass, you can use chicken broth or beef broth to make your favorite soup.

Cream-of-Broccoli-Soup

Homemade Broccoli Cheese Soup.

Corn-Potato-Chowder

Homemade Corn Potato Chowder.

Mushroom-and-Veggie-Soup

Ukrainian Mushroom and Vegetable soup.

CreamyTomato-soup

Deliciously creamy Tomato Soup.

Ukrainian-Red-Beet-Borscht-Quick-and-Easy

Ukrainian Red Beet Borscht, quick and easy recipe.

Cabbage and Sausage soup

Hearty Cabbage and Sausage soup.

French-Onion-Soup

My husband’s favorite soup – French Onion Soup.

Chicken-broth-with-potato-balls-knedle

Soups are not only filling and delicious, but they are also known for their healing powers, as listed in this article.

Here you have it, all in a nut shell….lots of delicious soup recipes for you to try and enjoy.

« Previous Page« Previous Entries  Next Entries »Next Page »