Saturday, January 11, 2014


We have this weird tradition in our family that I inherited with the apartment - the calendars (one or two) hanging on the inside of the door to the toilet. When I think about it I don't know even know why my parents started doing this. Let's face, we ALL read there... But I mean, there isn't really a lot to read on a calendar. Of course, when it comes to Slovak calendars there are all the names attached to every day - Slovakia being a catholic region and observing name-days. (I loooove name-days, well, but sincerely, who wouldn't love them - you get presents three times a year - on Christmas, birthday AND name-day. And my name-day is such a cool date - twelve days before Christmas - when I was a kid I used to get money from my grandmas which I later used to buy Christmas gifts for my family and friends. Cool-cool-cool. But I still don't get why 24th of December is name-day for Adam and Eve.... Obviously, I am too stupid to get the Christian logic. But maybe it would be cruel for baby Jesus to have same birthday AND name-day.Hm... But I know people who were "punished" by parents this way. But anyway, I digress!) Today with facebook being such a helpful tool for remembering birthdays, I still need something to remember name-days!  So I observe this tradition of calendars. My dad is totally hooked on hunting or fishing calendars (you know picture of a fish or an animal, a little bit of text, moon phases and stuff like that). As was seen this Christmas when I got a huge hug and a kiss and an i-love-you after I got him his fishing calendar. But thanks to this I can also claim a knowledge of latin names of animals - bubo bubo! or canis lupus! (Now I am just showing off). 
Ha! but I am finally getting to my point! Last year I got a free calendar from Billa (local supermarket imported from Austria) and whole year we looked on some product placements of processed foods and one Italian recipe a month. My man HATED the calendar but since I got it for free..... yep, I am that kind of person! I never actually got around to cooking any of the recipes BUT the last one. And that was THE tiramisu. 
I cooked it on 26th of December for the first time. I went all the way - bought real Italian almond liqueur, real Italian ladyfingers, real mascarpone - and later TOLD ALL MY FRIENDS ABOUT IT (it was karaoke night and there might have been some alcohol included - but only might!) and promised them a taste. The next day I had to keep my promise of sharing it and with all the ado about nothing I forgot to take the pictures! My man was actually pretty pissed about it (not me taking no pictures but me sharing his tiramisu), because he had only four pieces! The horror! But I promised him I'll make it again some another time. And since we had guests today I quickly whipped one up yesterday.
6 egg yolks
3 tbsp sugar
450g mascarpone
1 1/2 cup espresso
2 tbsp almond liqueur
24 ladyfingers
cacao powder 
Beat the yolks with sugar for five minutes. Add mascarpone and continue mixing. Add 1 tbsp espresso. Create one layer of ladyfingers, mix espresso with almond liqueur and pour one half of it on the ladyfingers. Spread half of the mascarpone mix on the ladyfingers, create another layer of ladyfingers, pour the second half of espresso on them and then spread the second half of the mascarpone mix. Cover the last layer with unsweetened cocoa powder.
Cover with foil and let it cool in the fridge for 2-8 hours. 

One of my friends told me (after making sure his girlfriend wasn't listening) that it was the best tiramisu he'd ever eaten and another one told me he liked it even though he never liked any tiramisu he'd ever tasted. 

And I think now I am finally forgiven for the calendar AND sharing his tiramisu!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Macadamia Nut And Herb-crusted Pork Chops / Orechovo-bylinkové bravčové kotlety

Phew, so much cooking in the last few days. This time let's make something really easy and quick (since I am essentially a lazy person).

My go-to pork meal is this recipe:
6 pork chops
salt, pepper
1/3 cup macadamia (or almond) nuts (or 1/3 cup of already ground nuts if you're as lazy as I was when I cooked this the last time)
1 garlic clove (or 1tsp garlic powder - the lazy way )
1 tsp fresh parsley
1/2 tsp salt
olive oil
Season pork chops and leave out of the fridge to come to room temperature. Preheat oven to 180°C. Combine nuts, garlic, parsley, salt and olive oil in a food processor and grind into thick paste (if you're doing the lazy way - just mix the dry stuff in the bowl and add olive oil to turn it into paste). Sear the pork chops for one minute on each side. Place the chops into baking tray, cover one side with nut paste and bake for 12-15 minutes, until the crust is golden.

Serve with veggies of your choice (in my case - broccoli from freezer and fresh spinach - there is nothing more easier for a lazy person).

SK: Posledné dni očividne nič iné nerobím len varím. Takže tenkorát si dáme niečo jednoduché a rýchle (keďže ja som vo svojej podstate veľmi lenivý človek). Môj obľúbený recept s bravčovým mäsom je tento:
6 bravčových kotliet
soľ, korenie
1/3 šálky makadamských orechov (alebo mandlí) (alebo 1/3 šálky mletých orechov ak ste podobne leniví ako ja)
1 strúčik cesnaku (alebo 1 lyžička cesnakového granulátu - ak je to "na lenivý spôsob")
1 lyžička petžlenovej vňati
1/2 lyžičky soli
olivový olej
Okoreníme a osolíme si bravčové kotlety a necháme ich vonku nech sa trošku "oteplia" na izbovú teplotu. Rozohrejeme rúru na 180°C. Do mixéra dáme orechy, cesnak, petržlen, soľ a olivový olej a vymixujeme na hrubú pastu (ak robíme "na lenivý spôsob"  tak si len pomiešame suché ingrediencie v miske a pridame olivový olej, aby nám vznikla pasta). Opečieme asi minútu z oboch strán mäso na panvici. Presunieme ho na pekáč, jednu stranu mäska potrieme orechovou pastou a zapečieme asi 12-15 minút, kým nebude krusta dozlata.
Podávame so zeleninou vlastného výberu (v mojom prípade s brokolicou z mrazáku a čerstvým špenátom - nič jednoduchšie pre lenivú osôbku ako som ja).

Reading: Ray Bradbury - Fahrenheit 451

Coconut Shrimp & Mango-Avocado Salsa / Kokosové krevetky & Mangovo-avokádová salsa

There comes a day when I have a perfectly good piece of meat ready to be cooked in the fridge but the idea leaves me cold. Today I had a piece of organic pork waiting for me but I just wanted something sweet. But since my complexion can take no carb-ful days anymore I decided to cheat my stomach and cook something sweet BUT paleo. So, here we go - Coconut Shrimp and Mango-Avocado Salsa.

Coconut shrimp:
500g of jumbo shrimp
1/3cup coconut flakes
1/4tsp salt
1/4tsp cayenne pepper
1/4tsp garlic powder
1 large egg, beaten
2-4tbs coconut oil
(Ha! so much measuring when in real life I don't bother with it at all!)
It's easy. Mix the coconut with the spices in one bowl. Beat the egg in the second one. Heat the coconut oil in the pan and take a shrimp by the tail, dip into egg bowl, dip into coconut mix bowl and put into pan. Repeat-again and again.

Mango-Avocado Salsa:
1 mango
1 avocado
1/2 red onion
olive oil
lime (or lemon) juice
salt, pepper
Cut the solids, pour the liquids and mix.

Voila! Sweet dinner paleo style!

SK: Niekedy mám také dni, že napriek tomu, že mám v chladničke ready mäso na varenie, ma táto predstava vôbec nenadchýňa. Dnes ma čakalo bio bravčové v chladničke a ja som mala chuť len a len na niečo sladké! Ale keďže chúďa moja pleť už nezvláda ďalšie cukrové dni, rozhodla som sa oklamať svoj žalúdok a navariť niečo síce sladké ALE paleo. Takže tu to máme - kokosové krevetky a mangovo-avokádová salsa.
Kokosové krevety:
500g veľkých kreviet
1/3 šálky kokosu
1/4 lyžičky soli
1/4 lyžičky kajenskej papriky
1/4 lyžičky cesnakového granulátu
1 veľké vajce, rozšľahané vidličkou
2-4 lyžičky kokosového oleja
(Machrujem s váhami, v skutočnosti to robím celé odo oka!)
Je to jednoduché. Pomiešame kokos a korenia v jednej miske. Rozšľaháme vajíčko v druhej miske. Rozpálime kokosový olej na panvici, zoberieme krevetku za chvostík, omočíme v miske s vajíčkom, omočíme v miske s kokosom a dáme na panvičku. Zopakujeme - znovu a znovu.

Mango-avokádová salsa
1 mango
1 avokádo
1/2 červenej cibule
olivový olej
limetkový (alebo citrónový) olej
soľ, korenie
Pokrájame veci v pevnom skupenstve, nalejeme veci v tekutom skupenstve a premiešame.

Voila! Sladká paleo večera je na svete!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Brunch (that lasted nine hours) / Brunch (ktorý nakoniec trval deväť hodín)

Few days ago I decided to host a brunch for a bunch of people - the best people I know - my choir. What with the holidays and no work 11 people managed to find some free time on Saturday. The plan was simple - I will cook the pancakes and prepare mimosa, my guests were to bring Nutellas, jams etc. My man was slightly horrified at the number of people coming - I tried to mollify him with Slovak saying: "Dobrých ľudí sa všade veľa zmestí" (Good people will always be able to fit anywhere). To which he replied: "Well, obviously it wasn't a physicist who said that!" But at the end it all worked out. I slaved behind the stove for three hours on Friday to prepare 34 pancakes and another two hours the next day to make another 20.
My basic recipe for pancakes (crepes):
1/2 liter of milk
3 eggs
250g of flour
50g of sugar
pinch of salt
The brunch was a HUGE success - the last of the people left at 8:15 pm! We didn't manage to eat all the pancakes, but managed to drink five bottles of bubbly - that's six litres of mimosa! and also some wine and some black currant liqueur. We played Activity (I am sure that the neighbours where thrilled when we all yelled pedophile as an answer to one question) and Bang (I was a part of the winning team both times). One of the best days ever.

SK: Pár dní dozadu som sa rozhodla spraviť brunch pre skupinku fantastických ľudí - môj zbor. Ako boli Vianočné prázdniny a dovolenky, až 11 ľudí si našlo čas v sobotu ráno. Plán bol jednoduchý - ja navarím palacinky a pripravím mimózku a moji hostia si prinesú Nutellu, džemy atď. Môj muž bol zhrozený, keď sa dozvedel koľko ľudí príde - posnažila som ho ukľudníť slovami: "Dobrých ľudí sa všade veľa zmestí" na čo mi on odpovedal: "Ale to nemohol byť fyzik, čo toto povedal!" Ale nakoniec všetko dobre dopadlo. V piatok večer som tri hodiny otročila za sporákom, aby som spravila 34 palaciniek, ďalších 20 som urobila v sobotu ráno.
Môj základný recept na palacinky:
1/2 litra mlieka
3 vajcia
250g múky
50g cukru
štipka soli
Brunch mal obrovský úspech - poslední hostia odišli o 8:15 večer! Nepodarilo sa nám zjesť všetky palacinky, ale vypilo sa päť fliaš sektu - čo je šesť litrov mimózy! plus fľaša vínka a nejaký likér z čiernej ríbezle. Hrali sme Activity (susedia museli byť nadšení, keď sme všetci zahučali pedofil ako odpoveď na jednu otázku) a Bang (dvakrát vyhral náš tím). Bol to jeden z najlepších dní!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Year's Resolutions / Novoročné predsavzatia

I am not big on New Year's resolutions but this year I decided to set a few goals and I made a plans and I wholeheartedly intend to stick to them. And I also reasoned that if I am going to put it out here on blog, it might be a bigger incentive for me to keep the plans (goals, resolutions) going. So, here it is:
1. Lose the last 5 kg and seriously tone up my body.
2. Open the shop and start selling dresses.
3. Renovate the apartment.
4. Learn Italian.
5. Improve my piano playing.
6. Minimize and simplify my life - throw out unused stuff - clean my house and clean my life
7. Write down my expenses and save money.
8. Create a new closet.

AND most importantly - Listen to people and stop being a bulldozer and so full of yourself!

Nie som hŕŕ do novoročných predsavzatí ale tento rok som sa rozhodla dať si pár cieľov a urobila som si aj plány ako ich dosiahnuť a chcem ich dodržať. A tiež som si povedala, že ak to dám takto na blog, bude to pre mňa väčšia motivácia, aby som plány (ciele, predsavzatia) dodržala . Takže tu sú:
1. Schudnúť posledných 5 kg a vážne si vyformovať postavu.
2. Otvoriť kamenný obchod a začať predávať šaty.
3. Prerobiť jadro v byte.
4. Naučiť sa po taliansky.
5. Zlepšiť sa v hraní na klavíri.
6. Minimalizovať a zjednodušiť môj život - vyhodiť veci, čo nepoužívam - vyčistiť si dom a vyčistiť si život.
7. Zapisovať si výdavky a ušetriť peniaze.
8. Vytvoriť si nový šatník.