So, as the temperature drops and the days shorten, our kitchen starts to smell less of vanilla, strawberries and lemon zest and more of delicious spices such as caraway, paprika, black pepper and bay leaf. Thus, I open a new category, Comfort Cooking, where I would like to share some of our belly, heart and soul warming recipes, old favorites as well as new acquaintances.
I will still bake, make no mistake about that, but as we turn from light pastas to soups, broths and stews, I would like to share some of that with you.
Now, the opening number is a recipe inspired by one from this book. (Yes, same edition as my baking book. I have 5 of them, planning on getting all 16. Yes, they are that good!) The goulash traditionalists out there might purse their lips a bit, but you know, everybody has their own recipe. Just like with chili con carne, there might be the original version, but usually, if the meal shares some basic ingredients and techniques, it is what it is. So for me, goulash is as goulash does! Continue reading
Man, are these tasty, moist, fairly healthy and super easy to make, or what? Seriously, I actually managed to impress myself with these and will be making them time and again!
So, I have mentioned that after finishing Sourpatch, I started a quick little project as my second project for Very Shannon´s Summer Sweater KAL. It is actually a cardigan for my boy, that I decided to cal Zippy, as it is based on a cute zipper I found some time ago.
I thought it would take me a week at max. After all, it is a toddler´s cardi, on fairly big needles, so what? Well, that was on August 18th and back then, I certainly did not know I was going to knit the thing 3 times. I mean, would you believe it?
I actually forgot that knitting a toddler´s thing with measurements based on what he is wearing NOW may very well mean he would grow out of it before it is even finished. We realized that a good while after I joined the body and the sleeves and made a good progress on the yoke. Grrr.
So I thought, OK, instead of 108 for the body, lets cast 120. Guess what I found when I got to the underarms? That – probably due to my coma-nearing constant state of tiredness – I only cast on 100. So I managed to make it even smaller!
Well, I tried again and this is where I am today.
Won´t take me long to get to the underarms and the sleeves should be fairly quick, so maybe, this time, I will get there and show you the cute thing next week :-)
This is a delightful treat! The cream is rich and decadent, the crust is delicate and sweet, the tart fruit adds a bit of surprise to the mix. Make it in advance for your guests or family and have vanilla-smelling kitchen for days :-)
And so they are! On Monday, my maternity leave comes to an end. After about 14 months, I am returning to my job in legislation. Only part-time, mind you, but still. I am quite nervous, but really looking forward to it.
Pip will be looked after by my mom and so far, they seem to be getting on very well. I am experienced in my work and the break was not too long. I am going to work great hours and the commute is very short (less than 30 minutes, door-to-door). I will still keep Pip´s playgroup and swimming lessons. I have full support from everybody around me. Yet, I am still nervous.
I am also quite sure to face lots of questions and I will need to explain a lot, most probably. It is a big thing here, you see, as the standard maternity leave here is 3 years per kid, for which your job is held and you get some parental allowance. Seriously. It may sound like a huge benefit to you, and it is, but if you want to do it differently, there are lots and lots of challenges.
However, as I said, I am looking forward to it. I will attempt to get the best of both worlds, career and home. The blog might change. There will most probably be a bit less crafting. However, I will have a chance to test lots and lots of time management and organization tips, and I will for sure blog about that :-)
Oh the seemingly random picture at the top? It is a pic from Prague, the lovely city we live in. Here, have one more :-)
Both are from the CzechTourism website.
Imagine a cheesecake, that is actually good for you… Well, enter quark, the star of today´s bake! This cake is a Czech classic, but every family makes it a little differently. This version uses beaten egg whites to lighten up the quark layer, almond slivers for a bit of crunch and fruit on top for another bit of flavour.
I spoke about the benefits of quark before but I cannot stress it´s goodness enough. If you can get it where you live, make sure to give it a try and get a load. If you can´t, you could replace it with some soft cheese, but try something not too runny. Add fresh or tinned fruit, or make it without, and make sure to have enough, as everybody will be coming for more :-)
Oh how I love my new cardigan :-)
I am really pleased with how this mod turned out, and it did give me a boost of confidence. I love the patterned yoke (which I used to think would give me even bigger shoulders than I have), I love the colours (I used to think that red was just not for me), I love the cuffed sleeves (certainly will wear it with bracelets) and the buttons! I love how it fits over my back as well.
I will wear it this autumn with tops and trousers and certainly next spring over sundresses :-)
If you are interested, I kept fairly detailed project notes over on Ravelry.
I knitted this as part of Very Shannon´s super busy and super fun Summer Sweater Knit Along, and as there is a lot of time left, I have already joined it with another project :-) More on that later, now let me show you one more pic, taken by my husband´s super kind colleague.