Monday, December 29, 2008

Sunny cake

PC290203

I baked this sunny cake with vanilla cream for my daughter’s name day. Yes, today is 29th of December and day of Tamra in Hungary.

Tamara, happy name day to you! :)

happy name day -2

The recipe is similar like my Hedgehog cake recipe. Just let free your imagination and be creative!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Karácsonyi mákos lepény

My poppy seed cakes for Christmas:

Karácsonyi mákos lepény-3

Ingredients:

3 egg
20 dkg flour
20 dkg sugar
1/4 liter milk
15 dkg ground poppy seeds

Prepare:

1. Mix the eggs with sugar and the milk.
2. Add and the poppy seeds, the flour and the baking powder and mix well.
3. Finally put the whole mass into the pan and bake at 180 Celsius preheated oven, for 20-25 minutes.
4. After baking create forms.


I wish all of you Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

mézeskalács-2

Merry Christmas!
Merry Christmas to Vera and Panni (my sister and her daughter), written by my six and half years old son :)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Getting ready for Xmas

PC179788

mézes

mézes-2

Yesterday we baked the first gingerbread portions to the kindergarten and to the school. :)

My gingerbread recipe you can read here.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Onion soup

hagymaleves-2

I got cold and flu, hence I wanted to cook something simple, easily prep-able, but healthy meal. So I prepared onion soup and in spite of the fact that it was my first onion soup attempt it was very delicious. I'm sure this soup I will cook again and again and again... and the flu is not necessary for it :)

Well, let's see the ingredients:

3 piece of onions, 1 cloves of garlic, bouillon cube, 4 dkg butter or olive oil, 2 tbs flour, pepper, salt and ground nutmeg (to taste), 10 dkg ground cheese, parsley, toast cubes

Prepare:

1. Heat the olive oil (or the butter) in a large pot over medium-high flame. Add thinly slice onions and sauté until translucent. Add the flour.
2. Add water and the bouillon cube and add the smashed garlic and the spices and let it simmer on low heat until the onion is cooked.
3. Serve with ground cheese, fresh parsley and with toast cubes !

Bon Apetit!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Strudel and "Rétes Büfé" at Normafa

A strudel is a type of sweet layered pastry with filling inside, that became well known and gained popularity in the Habsburg Empire.

Rétes

The word itself derives from the German word Strudel, which literally means "eddy" or "whirlpool". It is most often associated with Austrian cuisine, but is also a traditional pastry in the whole area formerly belonging to the Austro-Hungarian empire (for example, in Hungary it is known as Rétes, in Slovenia as štrudelj, in Czech Republic as závin or štrúdl, in Romania as ştrudel, in Croatia as štrudla).

The best-known kinds are apple strudel and cottage cheese strudel (with sweet cottage cheese, my personal fave :)). Other strudels types include sour cherry and poppy seed strudel or raisins. There are also savory strudels incorporating spinach, cabbage and sauerkraut. Strudel pastry is very elastic. It is made from flour with a high gluten content, little fat (butter) and no sugar. The pastry is rolled out and stretched very thinly.

Pertaining to anecdotes, purists say, it should be so thin that a newspaper can be read through it. A legend has it that the Austrian Emperor's cook decreed that it should be possible to read a love letter through it. The pastry is laid out on a tea towel and the filling is spread on it. Then it is rolled up carefully with the help of the towel and baked in the oven.

It probably has its origins in Byzantine Empire or Middle Eastern pastries (see baklava and Turkish cuisine), and is related to the Balkan. It is very popular in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as other ex-Yugoslav republics.

Source: wikipedia

Normafa-20

Normafa is a popular place for excursions in Budapest located in the XII. district and in winter its a perfect place for skiing, sledging and snowboarding with great view to the city. There are few buffets (American hot-dog, mulled wine, hot tea, some grocery stores).

Normafa - Rétes Büfé

And there is my favorite small wooden shade hiding behind the ski-buffet building, it's called "Rétes Büfé" (Strudel Buffet) and you can find there the most delicious strudel, what I've ever eaten it. :)

Normafa - Rétes Büfé

PB159515

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Wines of Eger

Last weekend I had spent few days in Eger. I participated (with my colleges and all of my bosses) in a training. To be honest it was a special experience to me :)

Eger is a city in northern Hungary, the county seat of Heves, and it's situated between the Bükk and east of the Mátra Mountains. Eger is best known for its castle, thermal baths, historic buildings (including the northernmost Turkish minaret), and red and white wines.

Kata, ne mozgasd a poharat:)  -2

The Eger wine region lies in the North of Hungary, South-west of the Bükk Mountains at a distance of 120 km from Budapest. According to the provisions of the Wine Law of 1997 the region is divided into two districts: the Eger and the Debrő district. While red wines dominate in the Eger district, the Debrő district excels in the production of white wine, so we can conclude that both types are significant in the region.

Fókuszban az egri merlot

First in the list of characteristic grapes mention should be made of Kékfrankos (Blue Franck -- this kind is grown in the largest amount/volume/mass on 849 hectares) Kékoportó (Blue Oporto - Portugieser 293 hectares) and Zweigelt (317). Among white grapes Leányka takes the lead (543 hectares) in front of Rizlingszilváni (Riesling Sylvani - 330 h) Olaszrizling (Welshriesling 177 hectares) and Muscat Ottonel (204 h). Of its wines the duely world-famous Egri Bikavér (Bull's blood) was the first Hunarian wine to get origin protection. But this is not the one and only excellent red wine of the area, the region can boast with. Kékfrankos, Kékoportó, Merlot, Medina and Zweigelt all yield excellent quality wines. And of course, we must mention Pinot Noir, which also yields excellent vintages/wines due to the climate largely similar to that in Burgundy. From among white wines Debrői Hárslevelű, Egri Leányka and Verpeléti Olaszrizling have won general acclaim.


The colorful variety of the cellar system in the Eger region is unique in Hungary.

Eger, Kulacs csárda

It is well worth savoring the special atmosphere of the cellars in Szépasszony-völgy (Fair Dame Vale) as well.

Szépasszony völgy

Winemakers' Festivities:

The Feast of Egri Bukavér (Bull's Blood) St. Donath's Day Eger Vintage Days from early September to late October: Vintagers' procession, Vintage Celebration, Wine Auction The feast of Eger wine guards, the first Sunday of Advent The Blessing of Wine on St. John's Day 27-28 December: Eger Wine Salon Exhibition

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Why I love autumn?

Here are some reasons why I love autumn so much:


Autumn-1

Pannónia kincse

vilmoskörte

mézzel készített sütőtök :)

dió

and the other reasons you can find here and here!


I wish you nice and colorful autumn days!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Vilmoskörte

vilmoskörte

Like the alma (apple) the körte ("KUHR-TE") is cultivated widely and in several varieties in Hungary, most notably the vilmos körte (Williams or Bartlett pear, pronounce "VEELMOSH KUHR-TE"). Its widespread use for making pálinka (fruit brandy) is such that any pálinka made from pear is often called simply vilmos körte.




but honestly I prefer the fresh vilmoskörte like fruit :)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Szatmári plum cake

Every year a special birthday cake is prepared to celebrate our country's foundation. The National Guild of Hungarian Confectioners selects the best recipe submitted by confectioners from all over Hungary. This year the Zila Coffee House - Krisztina Confectionery's recipe for Szatmári plum cake won.





szatmári szilvatorta

And finally yesterday before I've tasted it! It was very delicious. I recommend you try it on day!

The cake is made with the fragrant Hungaricum the plum brandy (pálinka) from Szatmár region. Szatmári szilvapálinka is very famous and popular. Look at the advertisement boat on the Lake Balaton :)

Szatmári szilvapálinka

PS: Last year the floating island cake (or bird's milk cake) was the birthday cake of Hungary. And it'd became my personal fave :)

madártej torta

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Our 8th Wedding Anniversary

Scan-36

Last Tuesday was our 8th wedding anniversary. For this occasion I wanted to surprise my husband with an "8" form cake. But my children pressured me to create a "teddy bear" cake. :) And I 'accepted' their influence :)


Maci torta-2

I never thought before, that I would be waiting for my husband with a teddy bear cake :)


Maci torta

The recipe is similar like my Hedgehog cake recipe, but now I prepared the cake with punch flavor. Try it!


puncs torta

Friday, September 26, 2008

8th Cabbage Festival in Vecsés

Last weekend was the 8th Cabbage Festival in Vecsés. Have a look at my photos, which I took on the event!



Cabbage-2

Cabbage cleaning competition

káposztapucoló verseny, Vecsés

Treading out :)

Káposzta taposás, Cabbage Festival Vecsés

More pictures you can find here.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Balatoni Hekk

Hekk or "balatoni hekk" is a popular freshly fried fish, you can find it in any of the vendors at Lake Balaton.

Balatoni hekk

Ingredients:
* 3 pikes (1 lb. or less each)
* 3 1/2 oz. bread crumbs
* 2 tbsp. oil
* 4 servings of tartar sauce
* salt to taste
* 1 lemon
* 1 parsley as garnish

Prepare:
Carefully clean the fish, rinse in cold water and wipe dry. Salt and score each side, leaving 1/2 inches between the scorings so it will fry evenly.
Turn in bread crumbs batter and turn the ends up to form a half-moon shape, and place in the hot oil. Fry on both sides until crispy. Garnish with lemon, parsley and serve with French fries or home fried potato wedges.



Sunset and swans

Actually Balaton is the largest lake in Hungary, and in Central Europe, too. We call it the Hungarian Sea. The southern shore of the lake consists of sandy beach, while on the northern shore there are wonderful mountains. The picturesque landscape and the water ideal for swimming and other water sport attract more than million tourists annually.

Balatonkenese

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Somló and somlói once again

We have spent the last few days at at a wonderful traditional Hungarian peasant house in Magyarpolány. Magyarpolány is situated not so far from the Somló wine region, hence we've not missed it :)

Somló wine region

Somló wine region:

The smallest wine region in Hungary lies on the slopes of Somló hill on the one hand and those of KisSomlyó and Ság hills on the opposite side of Marcal baisin. The particularity of the region lies in the fact that vine is grown here even on the northern slopes of Somló, which means that vineyards reach around and actually embrace the hill slopes. The equalizing effect of Lake Balaton is hardly felt here. It looks as if vine grew right from the basalt rocks in many places so the mineral quality of wines is even more pronounced than in other regions around Balaton. This is why anyone ever tasting Somló wines will always recognise it / will never mistake it for another one. Although the climate is free from the extremes, the area is rather windy. A moderately warm summer is followed by a long warm autumn and a relatively mild winter. Somló hill used to be an active volcano, which is today a real basalt hill with a symmetric shape an the volcanic base rock is covered with remains of lava.

Somló wine region

Varieties of grapes and wines:

Wines grown here are fiery and rich in extracts and alcohol; they are primarily recommended for slow consumption.They are par excellence aged wines, which means that they characteristically show their real aromas only after two years of aging but are at their best after being aged in oak barrels for four years. The leading varietal is Olaszrizling in the region, followed by Chardonnay, Hárslevelű, Furmint, Rizlingszilváni, Juhfark, Rajnai rizling, Ezerjó, Tramini and Bánáti rizling. This is the only region where Juhfark is grown in a considerable quantity.

Somló wine region

History:

The area has been inhabited since the Bronze Age. Early man was attracted here by the opportunities offered by the brook Séd. Growing vine on the side/slopes of the inactive / sleeping volcano was probably started in Roman times. The first written document referring to winemaking dates from the 11th century. On the sunny slopes grapes often start to desiccate to turn aszú, and on the quondam church vineyards here even aszú wines were being made. One of the leading varietals of the wine region, Furmint was brought here by Italian settlers after the Mongol invasion int he 13th century. Till the mid-seventeenth century the sick were treated with wine int he absence of a doctor. Somlói, the Wedding-night Wine was a favoured drink of the Habsburgs because the it was reputed to assure male progeny for the ones tasting it on their wedding-night. That time wines from the region rivalled Tokaji wines in reputation. By now, the special indigenous varietals of yore has been replaced or at least supplanted by high-yielding kinds that are not really suitable for making quality wine. One of the most important challenges of the present is the structure of property, with a predominance of too small estates. A more reasonable and efficient division of property is under way and slowly everything gets together for the rebirth of great Somlói wine.

(Source)

Somló vár

Somló is the name of the hill, the Castle and wine region and "somlói" menas the somlói galuska and the wine in the same time. Of course we tried the authentic somlói, it was delicious :)


somlói galuska

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Challah (Barhesz or "szombati kalács")

Barhesz

Challah (hallah) (Hebrew:חלה) also known as khale (eastern Yiddish), barches (German and western Yiddish), "barhesz" or "szombati kalács" (Hungarian) is a special braided bread eaten by Ashkenazi and by some groups of Sephardic Jews on the Sabbath and holidays.

Barhesz

Maybe my callach is just a simple milk-loaf, because the kosher has 6 or rather 8 braids, which you can read more about here.

The authentic kosher challah looks similar like the traditional Hungarian Easter braided bread (or milk-loaf). Honestly in spite of the fact, that I originates from a half Jewish family it was the first time that I baked challah. Couple of weeks ago when I was watching Világfalu on dvd (World village, series by András Kepes) I decided that sometimes I would prepare jewish or kosher foods too. Finally Fűszeres Eszter's blog inspirated me to bake challah. Thank you! :)

According to Jewish tradition, Sabbath and holiday meals begin with a blessing over two loaves of bread. This "double loaf" (in Hebrew: lechem mishneh) commemorates the manna that fell from the heavens when the Israelites wandered in the desert for forty years after the Exodus from Egypt. The manna did not fall on the Sabbath or holidays; instead, a double portion fell before the Sabbath and holidays. It is these loaves, recognizable by their traditional braided style, that are commonly referred to as challah. Read more!

Barhesz

Ingredients for the CLASSIC CHALLAH

1 ounces fresh yeast or
2 packages dry yeast
1,75 cups warm water
0,33 cup sugar
1 Tbsps. salt
6 or 7 cups flour
3 eggs, slightly beaten
0,5 cup oil
GLAZE:1 egg, beaten, Poppy or sesame seeds (2 to 4 loaves)

Prepare:

Dissolve yeast in warm water in a large bowl. When dissolved, add sugar, salt, and half of the flour. Mix well. Add eggs and oil, then slowly stir in most of the remaining flour — dough will become quite thick. (Until the kneading stage, dough can be mixed in an electric mixer.)
When dough begins to pull away from sides of bowl, turn onto floured board and knead for about 10 minutes. Add only enough flour to make dough manageable. Knead until dough is smooth and elastic and springs back when pressed lighty with fingertip.Place dough in a large oiled bowl. Turn it so the top is oiled as well. Cover with a damp towel and let rise in a warm place for 2 hours, punching down in four or five places every 20 minutes.
Separate challah with a blessing. Divide dough into four to six parts and shape into loaves; place in well-greased bread pans or on greased baking sheet. Let rise until double in bulk. Preheat oven to 375°. Brush tops of loaves.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Aubergine cream a'la Nóra

aubergine

As far as I know the typical Hungarian aubergine cream originated from Transylvania, but for today the wide choice of the different aubergine creams can be found in the Hungarian gastronomic culture and also in the Hungarian restaurants. For example in some recipes, you may find the influence of Turkish flavors too. But to be honest I love mostly my own version :)

Take a look at my special recipe!

Ingredients:

2 pieces of middle aubergine
1 middle onion (or a half big onion)
2 slices of green pepper
2 or 3 slices of tomato
2 or 3 big cloves of garlic
olive oil
1 tbs mustard
salt and black pepper (to taste)
1 tea spoon fresh lemon juice

Prepare:

1. Peel and slice the aubergines.
2. Cut the other vegetables into pieces.
3. Heat olive oil in wok and put in the sliced vegetables.

aubergine cream a la Nora

4. Sauté the vegetables until tender.
5. Liquidize the vegetables to create a smooth cream.
6. Add the spices and smash well.
7. Serve with toast or with fresh baguette!

aubergine cream a la Nora

Monday, August 11, 2008

Sponge cake with apricot

sárgabarackos piskóta

I'm sure my readers already know my sponge cake's recipe. Try it with apricot, too!

sárgabarackos piskóta

Good luck for your first attempt and Bon Appetite!

sárgabarackos piskóta