Saturday, March 28, 2015

Palm Sunday Cross

Palm Sunday Cross

This is my husband's Palm Sunday tradition. He learned how to make palm crosses from his father, who learned it from his father-in-law, my husband's grandfather. My husband grew up in the same house as both of them and admired how they wove the palm so easily into this Christian symbol. With both of them deceased, Palm Sunday is the one day of the year that my husband feels closest to them. It's a tradition that he holds dear to his heart and wants to pass on to our children. I hope you enjoy this shared tradition.


Enjoy! Élvez! Piacere! Gustirati! Radosť!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

World's Best Homemade Deep Dish Pizza (according to Beve)

Pizza Dough:
1 package dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1 tsp. sugar
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. oil

Mix the sugar into the cup of warm water and sprinkle in the yeast. Let it proof for 5 minutes, or until foamy.
In a medium mixing bowl, mix the flour with the salt. Add the oil and yeast mixture and stir all together until well incorporated. Set aside to rest for 10 minutes, or until you have browned the ground beef.

Pizza Toppings:
1 pound ground beef
1 tsp. salt

Tomato Topping
1 (16 oz. ) can whole tomatoes, drained
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

Extra Toppings:
1 medium green pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 onion, thinly sliced (optional for one of my kids----you know who you are.)
1 small can of mushroom pieces
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Pre-heat oven to 425°. Lightly grease a 13" X 9" baking dish.
Brown ground beef over medium heat until thoroughly cooked and light brown. Drain grease from beef , sprinkle with 1 tsp. of salt and set aside.
Press the pizza dough on the bottom and half way up the sides of the baking dish. Spread the ground beef evenly over the dough. Spoon the tomato mixture over the ground beef layer. Top evenly with the green peppers, onions and mushrooms. Finally sprinkle with the mozzarella cheese.

Bake in the pre-heated oven fpr 20-25 minutes or until cheese is melted and crust is lightly browned.

Enjoy! Élvez! Piacere! Gustirati! Radosť!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Czech Easter Bread Rings (HOUSKA)

makes 6 loaf rings
1 package Quick Rise yeast
1 1/4 cups scalded milk, let cool to room temperature
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup butter, at room temperature
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup sugar
4 cups flour
1/2 cup raisins (optional)
1 egg, beaten with 1 teaspoon of water

In a large mixer bowl, put the yeast, room temperature milk, salt, butter, eggs and sugar. Using a wooden spoon, mix well until sugar is dissolved. Add 2 cups of the flour to the wet mixture and beat with wooden spoon until all incorporated.
Add  1 1/2 cups more flour; mix with wooden spoon until this additional flour is once again incorporated.. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead in enough of the remaining 1/2 cup of flour until smooth. Place in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about an hour and half.

*** ( If you would like to make half raisin bread and half plain: Divide dough into 2 halves and knead in the ½ cup raisins, into 1 half of dough. Then proceed with placing the 2 halves of dough in 2 smaller greased bowls, cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about an hour and half).

Punch dough down, divide into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece to form a 1" thick and about 14"  long log (or snake, like you do with play dough). Take two logs, twist to form a braid, pinching the ends.  Form each twisted braid into a circle.
Place on a parchment lined baking sheets. ( I put 3 on each cookie sheet in a zig-zag pattern). Cover with tea towel and let rise until double, about another hour and half. Make egg wash (1 egg, beaten with 1 teaspoon of water). Brush each loaf with the egg wash.
Bake at 350 ° until golden - about 18 minutes.  (Check after 16 minutes, for all ovens are different). Cool on rack.

Enjoy! Élvez! Piacere! Gustirati! Radosť!

When I give these for gifts at Easter, I place a hard boiled egg in the center of each ring, as shown in picture above). 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Old-Fashioned Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 can sliced pineapple, drained (you'll need 7 slices)
7 maraschino cherries

Cake ingredients:
1 1/4 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup shortening
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 325°.
Place the butter in a round 9" or 10 " cake pan.
Put the pan in the oven to melt the butter, remove after completely melted.
Sprinkle the brown sugar over the melted butter, and mix until sugar is incorporated into butter.
Place 1 pineapple slice in the center of the pan.
Evenly space 6 more slices around the pineapple in the center.
Place a maraschino cherry in the hole of each pineapple slice.
Prepare cake mix as follows:
Put all 8 cake ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
Beat for 30 seconds on low.
Increase speed to high and continue beating for 3 minutes, scraping the bowl down occasionally.
Pour over the sugar and pineapples.
Bake for 35-40 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.
Remove from oven and cool in pan for 5 minutes.
Invert cake onto a large heat resistant plate.
Do not remove cake pan immediately, wait a minute or 2.
Can be served warm or at room temperature.

Enjoy! Élvez! Piacere! Gustirati! Radosť!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Best Ever Biscotti

1 cup butter at room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. anise (optional)
3 cups flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup chopped almonds

Preheat oven to 300°.
In a large mixing bowl, cream together, butter and sugar.
Beat in eggs, one at a time.
Next add the vanilla and anise extract (if you don't use anise, use 2 tsp. vanilla).
In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt; and add to creamed mixture.
Stir in almonds.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Divide the dough in half, and form each half into a 3" X 11" rectangle on the parchment lined baking sheet.
Bake in the pre-heated oven for 35 minutes or until golden and firm to touch.
Remove from oven and lift parchment paper and logs to a cooling rack.
Cool completely.
On a cutting board, cut with a serrated knife, diagonally, 3/4 " wide.
Preheat oven to 325°
Place cut side down on an ungreased baking sheet.
Bake for 10 minutes. Turn cookies over and bake 10 minutes more.
Remove and cool completely on wire rack.
Store in an airtight container.

Enjoy! Élvez! Piacere! Gustirati! Radosť!