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Slavik EASTER BABKA

Most of the Slavik Countries bake these breads…..

for Easter…

It is an Easter tradition!!

 

Recipe

2 pkg dry yeast

2 tsp sugar

1 1/2 cups milk, warmed

1 cup flour

Dissolve yeast and sugar in lukewarm milk. Gradually stir into 1 cup of flour in a bowl.

Mix until smooth. Cover with a towel and let set in a warm place until mixture doubles in bulk.

1/2 cup butter, softened

3/4 cup sugar

7 egg yolks

zest of 1 orange

1/4 cup orange juice

4 cups flour

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup raisins

Cream butter and sugar until well blended. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating until well blended. Mix in yeast mixture, orange rind and juice.  Stir in flour and salt. Beat in electric mixer until well blended. Dough will be soft.

 

Place in greased bowl, cover with towel and let rise in warm place till it doubles. Grease tall baking pans and fill 1/3 full. Cover with towel and let rise until dough doubles.

Bake in cylindrical baking forms!

Bake in 350 F for 50 – 60 minutes.  If the tops brown too quickly cover them loosely with foil…. Check with an Instant Thermometer for doneness.  Temperature should read between 190 to 200 F.  Carefully remove from baking pans and cool.

 

Traditionally the Babka is baked in a tall form.  One can use a 2 or 3 lbs coffee can or sometimes a fluted pan is used.

Serve with cream cheese and jam….

 

From Google………

Eastern and Central European babka, especially among Christians, is a spongy, brioche-like yeast cake that is traditionally baked for Easter Sunday. The cake is traditional in the lands of the former Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, namely Poland, Lithuania, Slovakia, Belarus, Ukraine, and Western Russia , as well as among the Rusyns (Ruthenians) in northeastern Hungary. Darra Goldstein, professor of Russian at Williams College says “babka comes from baba, a very tall, delicate yet rich yeast-risen cake eaten in Western Russia and Eastern Poland.”[1] Traditional babka has some type of fruit filling, especially raisins, and is glazed with a fruit-flavored icing, sometimes with rum added. Modern babka may be chocolate or have a cheese filling.

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Maja’s Viennese Kitchen

Maria Reisz Springer

http://www.majaskitchen.com

 

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The Colorful Easter Egg!

The history of the Easter egg varies, depending on the historian.   One story tells about the Roman Empire when people believed in many gods and how they obtained favors from them.  The Spring Goddess Ostara or Eastre was worshiped and honored by offering her baskets of colored eggs, and it is also said that her favorite pet was a hare.

During the early Christian era, and particularly during the time of Charlemagne (800-814 AD), Lent was observed by abstaining from eggs.  This practice lasted until 1784.  During the time of Lent all eggs that were collected from the hen houses had to be kept either for hatching, or were kept safely to be eaten at Easter.  To be kept edible for several weeks the eggs were dipped into melted mutton fat or wax.  At Easter they were then decorated to make them more attractive.  According to folklore these pretty eggs were given to children, because it was a pleasant and enjoyable  way of getting rid of the surplus.  It was always felt that “A pretty egg tastes better” and as time went on through the ages eggs began tasting even better when they were made from chocolate.

Color Easter Eggs with Vegetables,

Fruit and Spices!

Today I imagined I lived in the age of Charlemagne and was preparing to give gifts to the Goddess Eastre to obtain from her some special favors……I will not tell you my secret wish, but will tell you how I will entice this beautiful goddess to look upon me favorably.  I will beguile her with a gift that she would love most……..a basket of colored eggs.

Several days ago I stated to collect onion skins, and red cabbage leaves.  However, as I pretend to live in another era, yet live in the 21st century, I  went to the freezer and found frozen blueberries, and in the pantry Instant coffee and Turmeric which give nice colors to the eggs.  A bottle of Burgundy that went slightly bad in my non-refrigerated pantry, heavens… it was not stored in the wine cellar……..will give me a nice deep brown color. Oh, yes, I also found packets of Raspberry Herbal Tea……and wonder what that color would be?  It was a deep, pretty  gray that reminded me of a dove. First step is to boil the WHITE eggs……..you have to use white eggs only…… Wash them in some sudsy, warm water to get any oils off that may have stayed on them before they were packed into the cardboard egg carton……..and rinse them well with cool water. I like to poke a little hole – with an egg poker – to ensure that they do not break while cooking.  One can get that little gadget either in the grocery stores on the gadget wall or any kitchen store. Proceed with your favorite method of cooking hard boiled eggs. When cooked placed them into iced water to give them a quick cooling which helps with removing the shells more easily. This you can do a day ahead and refrigerate the eggs……..

To make the dyes………..

Note……use only stainless steel pots….enamel or china will be discolored with these dyes…..one can use glass containers/bowls or glass coffee cups……..

Yellow eggs with Turmeric

Add 2 cups of water into a 1 quart stainless steel pot…

Add 4 heaping Tbsp of Turmeric, mix and stir until all powder is mixed into the water

Add 1 tsp of vinegar

Bring this mixture to a boil and add your eggs, remove from heat and let the eggs be submerged for about 1 hour or longer.   The longer you keep the eggs in this dye the deeper the yellow color will be….

Rinse the eggs with cold water to remove any spice particles.

Pale blue to deep blue and purple eggs with Blueberries…..

Add 2 cups of frozen blueberries into a 2 quart pot Add 3/4 cup of water Add 1 tsp vinegar Bring mixture to a boil and cook the berries until they start popping, while mixing frequently Mash them with a potato masher to make a thick sauce like consistency.  If it seems too thick add a little more water When the berries are cooked, strain them into a glass coffee cup, it  will submerge  one egg . For a pale blue color – leave the egg in the juice for about 20 minutes.  For a darker blue color leave it in the juice for about an hour…or longer. Rinse the egg from any residue of the juice in cold water

Brown eggs with Instant Coffee…….

Use a glass cup and add about 4 heaping Tbsp of instant coffee, and pour hot water into the cup.  Mix well. Add the egg and let it sit in the coffee for about an hour or longer Rinse the egg briefly and let it dry

Red Cabbage leaves for Robin’s Blue eggs….

Place about 2 cups of chopped red cabbage leaves into a stainless steel 2 quart pot add water to cover the leaves. Bring them to boil and simmer for about 30 minutes or longer, until the cabbage is pink in color and has released just about all the color.  Strain the liquid into a glass bowl or cup and place the egg into the dye….let it be immersed for about an hour……or longer.  Check periodically for the color intensity….if you like a light blue color on the egg take it out earlier if you like the blue color be darker……keep it in the dye longer…..it is your choice.

Onion Skins for a nice pinkish/brown color…….

You will need about a cup of packed onion skins to make a deep enough dye to color your eggs……. Place 1 cup of packed onion skins into a stainless steel 1 quart pot and add enough water to cover the skins. Bring them to a boil and let them simmer for about 30 minutes or longer….making sure that the water does not totally evaporate……..if the water level reduces add more water to cover the onion skins. When the color of the dye is a deep brown strain it into a glass cup, and add the hard boiled egg Keep the egg in that dye for about an hour or more…….the longer you keep it submerged the darker the color will be.  I like them lighter in color…..with less time they come out almost a pinkish brown color.

A drop of olive oil in your palm……….

When all the eggs are dyed and dried………place a little oil into the palm of your hand and rub it into your hands Now pick up every colored egg and oil them to make them shine………. You need just a small drop of oil……do not make them too greasy.

Here is my basket of colored eggs for the Goddess Eastre………who will hopefully bestow favors upon me and grant my secret wish!

Unauthorized use, distribution, and/or duplication of proprietary material without prior approval is prohibited. If you have any questions or would like permission, I can be contacted via email at: maria@majaskitchen.com   Feel free to quote me, just give credit where credit is due, link to the recipe, and please send people to my website, http://www.majaskitchen.com

Thank you!

 


Murbe Teig Recipe …from the “Vanilla Queen”

I have used McCormick’s Vanilla……but, if you are in California….and are used to use the Vanilla products from the Vanilla Queen….she will be most happy to send you her products…go to her website…it is beautiful and most interesting…. http://www.vanillaqueen.com/murbeteig/#ixzz3l2wbD2to

Pastry Crust

  1. 2-1/2 cups flour
  2. 2 teaspoons baking powder
  3. 2 tablespoons sugar
  4. 1/2 pound (2 cubes) chilled unsalted butter
  5. 1 egg, beaten
  6. 1 teaspoon Rain’s Choice ground vanillavanilla bean powder or 1/2 teaspoon Rain’s Choice vanilla extract
  7. 2-3 pounds of apricots, plums, nectarines, peaches, or apples, sliced into 1/2 – 1-inch slices (larger if your prefer)

Streusel Topping

  1. 1-1/3 cups granulated sugar
  2. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  3. 1/2 teaspoon Rain’s Choice ground pure vanillavanilla bean powder or
  4. 1 teaspoon Rain’s Choice purevanilla extract
  5. Salt
  6. 2-1/2 tablespoons flour
  7. 1/8 pound (1/2 cube) melted butter

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Sift flour and baking powder together into a medium-large mixing bowl. Mix in sugar. Cut chilled unsalted butter into the pastry, either by grating it with a grater or with a pastry cutter. You can also put the flour, etc. into a food processor and add the butter in small pieces to blend. Don’t over-blend it. Add egg and ground vanilla bean powder or extract, and blend in.
  3. Mix well. Press into a half-sheet baking pan. You can partially bake the crust to keep fruit juices from softening the pastry crust, or simply cover the pastry crust with sliced fresh plums, apricots, peaches or apples. Large pieces of fruit can be used or thin slices overlapped if you want a very densely laden fruit dessert. You will need roughly 2 pounds of fruit.
  4. In a medium bowl, blend together the streusel topping ingredients using a fork, until the ingredients are blended together — small lumps of streusel are fine. Using your fingers, spread the streusel evenly over the entire sheet of fruit. No need to press it in.
  5. Bake 30 minutes or until fruit is tender and topping has caramelized the top of the pastry.

Read morehttp://www.vanillaqueen.com/murbeteig/#ixzz3l2wbD2to

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Maja’s Wiennese Kitchen

http://www.majaskitchen.com

You can also find me on Face Book!!

Maria Reisz Springer

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Decorating a Buffet!!

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“Edible Table Arangements!”

I love to place an edible centerpiece on a Buffet Table!

It gives me the feeling that all that is on my table is totally a …….

 part of the Buffet….!

 

 

If you are surprised I added this picture to my edible” arangements….

and you see the Chrisanthemums in a grapefruit bowl…

 

it is simply that Chrisanthemums are in truth…edible blossoms…

In China they dunk the Chirsanthemum blossom into a thin batter….

and fry them…!

Here are Vegetables and Herbs!…which I used in a mixed Salad!

These are the vegetables I had cooked or broiled ””’

for a couple of dishes that were on the Buffett!

Most of these vegetables can be used in a mixed Vegetable Stew!

A Christmas Tree created with Doughnut holes!

 

Hopefully you will be encouraged to create some of these centerpieces…

the next time you entertain friends …..

with a Buffet Dinner!!

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Maria Reisz Speinger

Maja’s Viennese Kitchen

http://www.majaskitchen.com

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Find me on Face Book

http://www.majaskitchen.com

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I enjoy baking, and try to do something diferent from time to time…. The elongated rather then round cake always fascinated me…and I make them when I want to make an occasion festive and different.  I also like the elongated cakes because they cut either in slices or one can cut them the traditional way without blinking an eye!! look at my pictures to see how it is done.  And when they are on a plate ready to serve they all look like the slices that came from a round traditional cake…It is also fun changing flavors of cakes… Most of my cakes are a  simple Vanilla cake…but what I fill the cake with is almost always different…It is not just Vanilla or Chocolate fillings…Because, after all a “sandvich” is not a sandvich with just two slices of bread!  A sandwich needs to have a filling between the slices of bread to be called a “Sandwhich.”

Did you know the story why it is called a “Sandwhich? Acording to a story…Lord Sandwhich could not stay for the gathering at a fancy dinner due to another obligation…he needed to depart quickly.   He asked the head cook in the kitchen to take two slices of bread and put a good amount of sliced meet between them…and to hand it to him that way.   He took, this “meal” being his dinner…into his hand while already on his horse and sped away. This was the first time a meal had been served between two slices of bread….and since then it is call a “Sandwich.”

Therefore when I read this story…I thought why could I not  make a rectangular or square cake?  I Knew that rectangular cakes were available…because I was able to buy a rectangular cake pan…but I could not find a cake form that was elongated and did not have slanted sides…so, I baked my cakes in a cooky sheet with an inch high rim around it…and when baked I cut it into three pieces to have three long rectangular layers….which I stack when I fill them with jams, butter creams and sometimes  I sprincle of  brandy over the slices first before I fill them with the jam and buttercreams… To decorate these cakes I sometimes like to use Chocolate Truffles either homemade or Lindt Truffles.  And I also like to fill these cakes not only with one cream…sometimes I use butter/Vanilla flavored  creams and also chocolate butter creams… One can use various candies, or small cookies…like meringue covered little flowers or stars…or anything you find in your store’s candy section ….that will make your cake festive and special.

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Maja’s Viennese Kitchen

Maria Reisz Springer

http://www.majaskitchen.com

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Find me on Face Book!

If you are interested in baking, cooking and nature!

Cakes and flowers are my favorite subjects

that I  photograph!!!

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Scones to delight you at any time of the day!!!

 

Maja’s SCONES Recipe

            2 cups flour

            1/4 cup sugar

            2 1/2 tsp baking powder

            1/2 tsp baking soda

            1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

            1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

            1/4 tsp salt

            1/2 cup dried currants and/or nuts, chocolate chips, coconuts, any dried fruit, etc.

            1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

            2 Tbsp honey

            3/4 cup sour cream

melted butter

            sugar

Preheat oven to 425 F.

            Mix flour, dark brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt in a bowl.

Add dried currants and/or nuts

            Melt 1/4 cup unsalted butter with dark molasses in heavy small saucepan – low heat.

Combine molasses mixture with buttermilk and pour into dry ingredients.

            Mix dough until just blended.

Gently knead dough on generously floured surface until smooth, about 20 turns.

            Divide dough in half. Pat out each dough piece into 5 in.-diameter round.

Cut each round into 6 wedges.  Place wedges to ungreased cookie sheet.

            Spacing wedges 2 inches apart.

Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake until scones are just firm to touch – about 20 min.

            They are delightful when serve hot with a cup of tea!

They freeze well.  When frozen, let them come to room temperature in the plastic bag before warming them in a 300 F oven on a cookie sheet.

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Maja’s Viennese Kitchen

http://www.majaskitchen.com

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Questions and messages

can be left below!!!

or on FaceBook!!

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Creamed Asparagus Soup!


This soup is so easy to make and it is one of the most delicious of it’s kind…I love all kinds of Creamed Soups…but, the Asparagus Creamed Soup is definitely my favorite…!!! There is no pureeing, and no straining of it’s fibers!  Just put the cooked pieces of Asparagus with it’s chicken broth into a blender…and let it “zip” to chopp it up !!!

The recipe is below…and hopefully many of you will make it and enjoy it!  It is also wonderful in the Winter searved warm with a toast…or cold in the Summer with some home made scones… It is also the best medicine when you are suffering from a cold!!!  It definitely works for me…it probably is the chicken broth in it…but the chicken broth has a better flavor with the pureed Asparagus in it!!!  “Try it you will love it!!”

 

Cream of Asparagus Soup

 

Maja’s Viennese Kitchen

http://www.majaskitchen.com

1 bunch fresh Asparagus

1 cup of Chicken Stock…..

1 cup of Heavy Cream

Salt and Pepper to taste

Wash and clean the Asparagus and break the ends off each stalk.

Prepare a bowl of  ice water and set aside.

Place the Asparagus into a pot and add enough water to cover.

Heat and boil the Asparagus until very soft.

Immediately transfer the Asparagus into the ice bath and let them cool in the iced water.

This is important …it retains the color of the Asparagus!

Cut the Asparagus into small chunks and place them into the food processor or blender.

Add the milk and or chicken stock.

Process until pureed.

Do this in a few batches, and transfer the puree into a soup pot.

Add the salt and pepper.

Add the heavy cream

Let the soup boil up for a minute or so, adjust the salt and serve.

Serve Frikaellen Crepe Noodles or with toast points or assorted breads.

Serves 4

Note……..This recipe can be doubled or tripled!  It also can be prepared a day before and kept overnight in the refrigerator.

I often freeze just to have it on hand when I feel to have soup…warm in the Winter and Cold in the Summer!

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Maria Reisz Springer

Maja’s Viennese Kitchen

http://www.majaskitchen.com

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Please, leave any messages or questions below

I promise I will answer any questions you might hve in regards to this recipe!

My best to you all !