Apple fruity bar

I had A Craving. In this Craving, I was eating something good, moist, loaded with chunks of crunchy apples, maybe some dried fruit, and some nuts. And this was formed like a bar of chocolate. Oh, it was good....
So search no more if you have cravings like mine! I finaly have the recipe you've not been looking for!

Let's go! The faster you make it, the sooner you can eat it ( my personal philosophy)

Type of dish: dessert, snack
Cost: cheap, medium
Difficulty: easy
Serves: 4-6
Time: 40 min
Preparation time: 20 min
Baking time: 20- 25 min
Oven temp: 180C

You'll need:
a cutting board, sharp knife, mixer, 2 medium to large bowls, a spatula, tablespoon, teaspoon, a cup, , a shallow large baking dish- rectangle or square size 23x30 or something that size.

  • 3 medium or large apples ( try the more tangy, crisp type)- half dice finely, half puree.
  • a handfull of dried apricots finely diced
  • 4-5 ripe plums, pitted, finely diced
  • 4 tbsp of butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup of brown sugar. Use white sugar if you haven't got brown. Go on, make yourself happier.
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup any kind of nuts you want, chopped, like walnuts, hazelnuts, pistacios, the sort. Or drop it out. But it's good and healthy and great for your poor tired brain. Boost 'em up!
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda 
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves ( I skipped it)
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 chopped dates- optional ( I prefered apricots)
Get along:
Chop up the fruit and dump in the bowl. Preheat oven and grease your baking dish. Beat the butter and sugar together so you get a creamy fluffy mixture. Add the milk and egg. mix again.  Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl, mix well, taste it. Pour the batter in the baking dish, smooth it down with your spatula  and bake for 20-25 min, until it's dry when you insert a toothpick and it come out clean and dry. Then turn off the oven and leave the door closed. This is a moist cake, so it need maximum baking/drying action. After around 20 min you can take it out, start cutting in bars the size of a bounty bar. It's good. The rest you can wrap up in cling film separately, put in a zip lock bag and freeze. When you want a dessert for lunch at work just take out one bar, and by the time you get where you want to and want to eat it, it's defrosted.
I love it.

Additional info: you can add raisins, cranberries, almonds, anything you want to this cake. You can use applesauce instead of cutting up the apples. Just use then 1 cup of the applesauce. This is also good for anybody on a low sodium diet.


Lunch Jars

This is some kind of new fashion in feeding at work or school to feed yourself from a jar. AFAR. A mason jar, to be exact. But in Poland we don't have mason jars, we have snazzy pickles jars. Which are the same size. So what?
I've been sceptic about this because:
a) I'm lazy
b) I don't belive in preparing a week ahead my lunches  to eat because I rarely want to eat something that I planned or whatever. I'm weird like that. OR maybe not.
c) I thought it might go bad in the fridge, or we'd forget about it and so on
d) The jars are heavy and I don't want my food to break with glass

But, I had a few jars leftover after making pickled pickles and stuff, I HAD to go on a salad diet  (when you quit smoking you have to watch out for binge eating), and I had the time to test it out, but I decided against the weekly planning, so I would make a salad each every evening. In the morning, I'd just get it out of the fridge so I wouldn't forget it, and go.
 And zo, DAY 1.
 I started on sunday, just preparing a jar for myself and T, only for the next day lunch.
I made caesar salad for myself, and a regular salad with vinaigrette dressing for T ( he hates cheesy dressings) both with rotisserie chicken.
I didn't have the energy to make my own chicken for the salads, so I bought 2 rotisserie drumsticks, whick I cut up. Financialy it came out cheaper this way, but maybe not so, you know, healthier or that you know what you put inside, apart from the meat.
First, I chopped and sliced and diced what I had to for the salad, so there was for my caesar salad/jar: half a carrot, half a medium tomato, half small romain salad, croutons, 1 drumstick chopped up.
The sauce came out a little bit too thick, but thanks to that I could store it in a jar up to 2 weeks in the fridge, using as much as I needed with new salads, just weaken ? it with more olive oil.  You make it with parmigiano cheese, 1 egg yolk, half a small garlic clove, some salt, and lemon juice. And lots of olive oil. You can add some anchovies, but I don't like them so I skipped them and it came out well. First, get a blender, and blend the egg, garlic, salt and lemon juice. Gradualy add the cheese and the olive oil. I gave too much cheese, so 1/4 of a cup would have done, instead of my 1 full cup :) Basicly, thats the caesar dressing. So, pour half an inch on the bottom of the jar, next the carrot, chicken, tomato, salad and the croutons on top. Put on the lid, pop in the fridge and you're good to go.
For T, in his jar was: half a carrot, shredded, 1 drumstick chopped up, half a tomato, a large handful of ready salad mix, croutons, half a cucumber sliced up, and vinaigrette.
Make he dressing by putting in the jar 1 small teaspoon of dijon mustard, 2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar, 1 tsp sugar, olive oil, lemon juice, S&P. Screw the lid and shake your heart out. When you're done, fill the jar up the same way- on the sauce carrots, chicken, tomatoes, cucumer, salad and croutons.
If you belive in yourself and love to eat what you prepared before, this is a good idea for you. Plus it looks really pretty all stacked up in the jar, and when you want to eat, just turn upside down the jar, and plonk it out on a plate to mix and eat. Or you can eat straight out of the jar, but I didn't find that easy, hence the plate.

Other salads I made was a nicoise one, with the same vinaigrette dressing, half a soft boiled egg, some green beans, tomato, bell pepper, cucumber, salad, tuna flakes and carrot. Same way of arranging it in the jar. That was ok, but on day 3 I made pasta with mozzarella, tomatos and basil and that was a mistake.
To be truthful, I made this for 3 days. It was ok for salads, but for pasta dishes it didn't pass the exam for me- maybe because the amount of pasta which fits in a big mason jar is too much for me. Same goes for couscous. Too much for one person.

If you're interested in how a lunch jar looks like, I suggest image googling it. Looks real nice.
The jar is a little bit heavy, but it's glass, it's reusable, it doesn't stink the way sometimes some plastic containers smell after a few uses. If you make more, for sure someone would love to have lunch with you - I got comments from people on that- so no more lonely lunches.
Making this every evening along making supper takes a minimum of effort, you just plan ahead for that. But I couldn't make on sunday 14 jars for the whole week. We wouldn't eat it and it would go to waste. So from me, it's ok Go only if I make it the evening before.

 Voila. What is your opinion on this?

Dark chocolate crepes with raspberry sauce

This is a beauty. You want to impress, make this for dessert. It's delicious, but I'd suggest this as a dessert after some light dish, like salad and soup, not lasagne ( we made that mistake yesterday- ate too much lasagne and were too full to enjoy dessert).
You can serve this alternatly with fresh berries and whipped cream, but we decided to skip the cream to make the fat factor lower. You can also skip the sugar in the raspberry sauce, or you can make the sauce out of a raspberry jam if you're out of fresh berries- I will be soon.
The crepes are great on their own, with a little bit of confectioners sugar ( sugar powder for some), or a bit of whipped creme.
It's a very elegant dish that will certainly become a favorite. And it's sooooo simple.
Oh, and two ways of serving- folding the crepes in four or rolling them up- rolled up they may look kind of weird. So for guests, maybe the quater fold is best, with a garnish of mint leaves and a stain of raspberry sauce.

Type of dish: dessert
Cost: cheap ( depends on the the raspberries- fresh or jam)
Difficulty: easy
Serves: 4
Time: 80 min
Preparation time: 10 min
Frying time: 15 min
Cooling time: 60 min

You need:
medium bowl, a beater, frying pan or crepe pan, spatula, cooling rack or baking rack from your oven, a plate , a small saucepan, a spoon, a laddle, plates to serve

Ingredients for the crepes:
  • 1 cup milk ( can be fat free, doesn't matter)
  • 2 egg whites and 1 whole egg
  • 1/2 cup evaporated unsweetened milk ( translation: condensed milk, unsweetened)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp salt
Ingredients for the sauce if you have fresh berries:
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1cup water 
  • 4 1/2 cup raspberries
  • 4 1/2 tsp cornstarch ( cornflour to thicken the sauce)
Ingredients for the sauce if you have jam:
  •  1 medium sized jar of good quality raspberry jam
  • 1/4 cup water
How to:

Mix the crepe ingredients in the bowl, mixing with your beater/whip as you go. Next, put it in the fridge for an hour to chill. During this time, if you have fresh berries:
heat up water in saucepan, add the cornstarch, and add the raspberries and sugar. This is if you like seeds in the sauce. Mix well and set aside. If you don't like the seeds then heat the water with cornstarch, and crush iwth a blender the berries, then strain into the saucepan, add sugar and mix till the sauce thickens, about 2-4 minutes. It's a pain in the A** so I skip this part, seeds are a good exercise for the toungue :P
If you have jam, just heat water, add the whole jar of  jam and mix well while heating. Or just use the jam, for the love of Gah. Just do it.

So you've waited patiently an hour, get your pan out and heat it hot.
Grease it slightly, and pour a laddle of the batter on the pan, swirlinf round the pan, so the batter evenly coats the bottom of the pan. Fry until the top starts getting dry, flip over and fry for 15-20 seconds and flip on to the oven rak to cool down. Offer the first one to the gods of the kitchen, try not to end up with a crepe on the ceiling and when your crepes have cooled down, smear with a spoon of the sauce, and fold/roll.
place 2 on each plate, garnish with whaever you like, like the whipped cream and mint leaves and go serve and listen to load praises about your cooking.
You can thank me later :)

If you have more time on your hands, make from the remaining egg yolks some Kogel- Mogel instead using whipped cream as garnish. You basicly cream together the yolks with a spoon of sugar until fluffy and pale in color.

Hamburgers! with fresh herbs

We're a lazy bunch ( I mean my husband's lazy, while I do all the work :)), but while it's much easier to go to MC Do for a burger, it does take more time to make your own. But at least you know how to make it, what's in it, and do it your way. If you have one.

The basic 100% hamburger is actually not made of ham, pork, but Italians use both. I mean one kind of patties from pork meat, others from beef. T. prefers beef to pork and while I don't really care, I wanted to make them beefy. So search in your shop or at your butchers for some ground round beef. Round beef is from the back/hind part of the cow. You can check it up. Don't be lazy like my T.
I didn't find ground beef so I had to buy some for goulash, which came in chunks that I had to ground by myself. That was a big mistake. I could have waited 1 day and bought the ground stuff. Instead I tried to kill my grinder by stuffing the knife and holey bit with the tendons. It was a tragedy. And it took to much time, so too bad.
Ok, let's do it!

Type of dish: main
Cost: medium or cheap ( depends on the
Difficulty: easy
Serves: 2-6
Time: 20 min
Preparation time: 10 min
Frying time: 10 min

You'll need:
a frying pan, a spatula, a medium bowl, a fork or spoon to mix, sharp knife, cutting board, plate and paper towels.

  • 1 box of ground beef or pork around 500gr
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch of parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch of thyme, oregano, dill, chives, finely chopped ( basicly any fresh herbs, apart from coriander, but if you're aiming for a slightly curry flavour, go on with that base)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup of breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 chili pepper, finely diced
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • additional: 3 tbsl lemon juice, 1 tsp worchester sauce,
  • olive oil

How to do, youhoo:
Get your bowl. Plunk in the meat, add all of the ingredients  except for the oil, mix well with fork- you know you're on the right track when the meat is nicely forming in a ball and not sticking to the sides of the bowl. Take a handful of the meat in your hands and form a ball, flattening it down on the cutting board to form a flat patty that will be no thicker than 1 cm. When you're halfway through making the patties, heat up on high heat your frying pan, finish making the patties, pour a small amount of oil on the pan, decrease the temperature to medium. If my cooker has a max 9 level, I heat on 9, pour in the oil, decrease to 6/7, depending on the strength of the cooker.
Plop the patties on the pan. 3 at a time, or 4 if you start. I came up with 7 patties, so I did 4 and 3, so I cooled down a little the temperature of the pan when I finished the first batch. Fry 3-4 mins each side, flipping them over to check if they're not burning. when brown on both sides, transfer to plate with paper towels to suck away excess fat.

Serve by themselves, or on warmed hamburger buns, or Kajzerki ( polish  buns), with ketchup, mustard, mayo, sliced pickles, tomatoes and lettuce. Go crazy and make add some caesar sauce instead:)

You can also freeze the done hamburgers and refreeze them for a quick lunch option. Ta da!

Oh, we didn't have buns today, so we just had them on a slice of bread and it was okay too. But not very hamburgerish.
Too bad:)


Potato salad german/austrian style- it ROCKS

I love a good pickled flavour. One that has a tangy kick is just perfect for me. This one came from T. who had this many times in Vienna on business trips, that he loves it and please please please, make it.

So, sceptic about any potato salads (apart from one my dad makes- but thats a different story), I had a few potatoes in the fridge and decided to give it a go. Use small potatoes unpeeled or larger peeled. It sounds weird, but actually comes out great!  Loved it! Nailed it! Whatever!
You can serve this badass with fish, or some other stuff or just eat it without anything else. It's gorgeous! You'll know what I'm talking about once you make it.

Get going:
Type of dish: side, salad
Cost: cheap
Difficulty: easy
Serves: 2-4
Time: 30 min
Preparation time: 10 min
Cooking time: 15-20 min

Will need to cook:
a large bowl ( preferably a steel/metal one), a spoon, medium saucepan with lid, frying pan, spatula, cutting board, knife, a measure cup, plates to serve

  • 8-10 small potatoes, unpeeled
  • 6 medium pickled pickles, diced
  • 1 medium white onion, diced
  • 50 gr bacon sliced
  • 30 ml hot/warm broth ( I used the cubed veg stock)
  • 30ml white vinegar, but you can also use apple vinegar or white wine V too
  • S&P
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley, finely chopped

You do this: heat the pan with water, boil it, add the potatoes, boil them for 15 -20 min, depending on their size. Chop up the stuff, and fry up bacon till golden brown. In the bowl, add the onions, broth and vinegar, add a pinch of S&P, but not much. Stir well the mixture, and set aside. When the potatoes are done, drain them, pour cold water over them, peel ( there is a great japanese method I use sometimes ( and looks freakishly cool) here, and cut in slices straight in the bowl with the broth. mix it well, add the bacon, pickles, and parsley. Set aside so the potatoes soak up the mixture and the flavours start mixing together. I swear it's delicious!
Served when not hot anymore. That's about 5-10 min, perfect to clean up :)

Simple late summer salad It's RED AND GREEN!

And believe it or not, it's vegetarian, so dig in, feel the love.
Love this kind of recipes that don't involve a lot going on. LUV 'EM!

 Did I say it's easy? No? IT'S EASY TOO!
Did I say it's yummy? No? Crap. IT'S YUMMY TOO!
Now, why am I shouting at you as if you're deaf, I don't know, but seriously- this is your salad of the Day! Kill It! Nail It! Just Do it!

Did I motivate you enough?
-if not, please read down:

Type of dish: salad, side
Cost: cheap
Difficulty: easy
Serves: 2
Time: 10 min
Preparation time: 10 min

You'll need:
a cutting board, a sharp knife, medium serving bowl, spoons to serve.

  • 2 medium ripe tomatoes diced large ( if you don't get the ripe ones, try to plan ahead, buy a few orange tomatoes and put them in a sunny place for a few days. They get a little bit better.)
  • 2 baked red bell pepper, skin removed, cut in inch wide strips ( you can get them ready made in jars filled with oil)
  • small handfull of olives ( the kind you find in the deli, unpitted, but colourful and flavourful- green, red, purple, black- you get the idea, right?)
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped ( I cannot belive the amoutnt of onions I 've been chopping lately. Makes me want to cry)
  • half a bunch of fresh parsley, chopped of course finely. You don't want to choke on the parsley, do you?
  • Olive oil and red wine vinegar
  • S&P
You go:
Chop up the stuff and start layering in a bowl- on the bottom the tomatoes with the bell peppers
olives, then, throw around and on the pile the olives, on top of that plunk the onions, so it doesn't topple of yet ( not until you mix it), and on the onion, put the parsley.
Give it a few good shots with the olive oil and vinegar- a few dashes like 3 is good enough and add the S&P at the table, so you can adjust the taste.
OMG, feels like heaven!

Additional info:
If you have some good quality feta cheese you can crumble in a chunky slice and leave it like that. Just use less salt later.
Oh, isn't this good? Don't you smell the sun? Holidays? Mwah!

Knife time

As you can see a lot of the recipes involve a lot of chopping. Or mincing.  When I got married we bought a cheapo Ikea knife that was good to use ( I still use it), but it's a little bit too light and the rubber handle tends to flake after some time. Here it is, my FIRST: 
Ikea 365+ Cooks knife

Then, after 6 years I finaly found a better knife- heavier, better in hold, with a wooden handle. A chef's knife. No picture though, sorry. I think that a knife is the same like a sword- it should be the extension of your arm, not too heavy and not too light, but just perfect. That's probably why I look like a crazy person in a store, waving around knives in an aisle, searching for the best balance and weight. Not too long and not too short. Basicly I use my knife for everything- chopping mincing, cuttig, meat, veggies, fruit, bread, the lot. I use it compleatly and don't bother with a million types of knives specially designed to do shit.  Why wash up more later? A knife should most of all be sharp and sharpable(?) - I hate those knives that are pretty and shiny but you can't sharpen them for your life. I want to throw them out the window, but it's still dangerous so usually I try to "loose" them.

The cooks and chef's knife is pretty easy to use, good for chopping without the blade leaving the board with is supposed to make it easier to cut, but I got a little tired of it.


So, on Tuesday we went for a shopping trip to Ikea to buy a desk for T, and I got all samurai in the kitchen department and FOUND MY KNIFE:)
Look at it:)
My baby- Ikea 365+ Gnistra

Now this is a sick mathafaka. Sharp as hell, with a large straight blade which makes cutting bread and cold meats thin and evenly sooooo much easier. It's like a mercedes of my knives.
I really have to watch out with this one, bacause I already cut 2 fingers in the ridiculous process of cutting in hand ( STUPID!), plus 2 swiped fingernails. DRAMA. Aside from the injuries, this is the best knife I've ever had. Heavy enough and not too heavy that my hand hurts, the handle is plastic but grippy, has the grovels on both sides of the blade which makes the produce you're actually cutting fall away from the blade instead of sticking to it. But I still have to do the feta cheese test- to see how that one goes.
So far, so good.  Easy to clean too, did I mention that?
So far- this is my best purchase in the best price- 40zl!
The chef's knife cost me 75zl on sale in Piaseczno Outlet, and the previous Ikea one cost 30zl.

What is your best knife?

Watermelon salad

You think watermelon is good for a dessert or kids time. I had some more to spare and was in need of a salad that could work as a side or main. Just try to get out as many seeds as you can. Be happy about it! Why not?

Type of dish: salad, side, main
Cost: medium
Difficulty: easy
Serves: 4-8
Time: 10 min
Preparation time: 10 min

You need:
cutting board, knife, large bowl, spoon

  • 1/2 kg ripe watermelon, deseeded, diced the size of half a dice
  • 1/2 box of feta cheese ( Arla, or the crumbly wet type, doesn't matter as long as it leaves you with pieces that don't melt away)
  • 1/2 bunch fresh mint, chopped finely
  • thumb sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
How to:
In the bowl, add the watermelon, feta, mint and ginger. Mix well and serve chilled. That's it!

Additional info: you can spice it up a bit by adding a tiny pinch of cayenne pepper, or some minced fresh chilli.


Simple Couscous

There is something amazing about couscous. I think it might be that it takes minutes to prepare, and that you can have it as a main, side or dessert.  Quite versatile, don't you think?
Basicly you do what they tell you to do on the packaging ad you go from there however you want to. Sweet, savory, a combination of both, who knows?
I like doing a salad-esque kind of couscous, savory, but with sligt touches of sweetness, that bring out the rest of the flavours. And you can make this garlic free:) But please use at least a tiny amount of sweet onions:)

Check your chopping skills as there will be some involved. And look after your nails, please. I've lost too many over the years, especially after weeks of growing them, you paint them, feel awfully proud of them, then you start chopping and BAM! Half a nail gone. S#(*)T!

Go on, get prepared:

Type of dish: main, side, salad
Cost: cheap
Difficulty: easy
Serves: 2 or more
Time: 20 min
Preparation time: 20min
Cooking time : 3-5 min

You'll need:
Cutting board ( no, really?), sharp knife, tablespoon, fork, large bowl ( easier for mixing), something to cover the bowl with.

Ingredients: ( for 2 servings)

  • half a small red onion, finely chopped
  • 100 gr couscous
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • curry powder
  • half an apple, finely diced 
  • half a yellow ball pepper, finely diced
  • a small hand of dried apricots, diced
  • half a cucumber, peeled, cored and diced
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 small hand of any kind of nuts, chopped roughly
  • fresh or dried herbs: parsley, basil, corriander, dill, chopped well
  • lemon juice ( a few good squeezes)
So, the how to:
Set up your chopping station. Fill the bowl with the amount of couscous you need, pour hot water over it according to instructions ( tractor instructor- where did that come from?), drizzle in some olive oil, a pinch of salt, cover it up and chop away. When you chop, put it aside on the board so you seehow much of everything you have. Should be around a handfull of everything. So, now that you're all chopped up, the couscous is done, fluff it up with a fork, add everything you have to it, mix well, taste for seasoning ( S&P), add the lemon juice, mix up again and set in fridge to let the flavours work through and do their thang. This is great for a party, or picnic, or a fast lunch at the office ( just chop the stuff at home and add it to couscous cooed at work.)
There. Done!

Oh, you can add dates, pistacios, walnuts, almonds, figs, olives and other stuff too.  Or spice it up with some chilli powder or fresh stuff chopped, of course.


Creamy Cheese Pasta

Another great one is one I came up with due to the cheasy leftovers in the fridge. It was Gorgeous! Can't help myself to not post this one :)
Basicly, it's a mixture of any cheese you have ( just maybe don't add goat cheese to the mix)
Simple and duh, verrrrrry good.

All you need is love. And some other stuff too. Sorry.

Type of dish: pasta, main
Cost: medium
Difficulty: easy
Serves: 2-4
Time: 20 min
Preparation time: 10 min
Cooking time: 10 min

The equipment:
cutting board, sharp knife, collander, saucepan medium, frying pan large, spatula, medium to large bowl to mix, plates to serve.

You'll need:
  • Pasta of your desire, penne or any other kind
  • 1 glass of dry white wine
  • 1 glass of chicken or veggie broth
  • 3 twigs fresh rosemary ( hi there!)
  • S&P
  • the cheeses: ementaler, ricotta, cheese spread, parmigiano and so on. Hard stuff  cut up in small pieces
  • 1 garlic clove smashed ( let it out!)
  • 1 small onion finely diced
  • 1 spoon of butter
  • olive oil
  • additional: prosciutto, or other cured ham, cut to thin strips, cherry tomatoes
 Put water to boil in the saucepan, and heat your frying pan. Add the butter and olive oil, mix well, add the garlic and onion. Add the rosemary twigs- you'll be throwing them out later anyway. Add the creamier cheeses, the soft first, then when you make them into a sauce, gradually add the broth, the wine. Mix all the time. Add last the harder cheeses, and work them well in the sauce. Remove the rosemary. Taste a bit, add salt, cook the pasta, drain it, dumo it in the mixing bowl. Pour in the cheese sauce, mix well and add pepper. Voila!
Serve with additional chopped up rosemary for some extra kick. Or if you like it hot and spicy, add some chopped up chilli peppers to the frying bit.


Pasta Arrabiata Mathafacka

Well Hello:)
We're very sorry for the lack of posts- AE had to leave to live the dream life in Italy
 ( I'm SO jealous:)), while I'm left behind without a camera. So if you don't mind the lack of picture's for some time, I will post some recipes.
Some I learned in ITALY:)
Sooo good... And yummy, you won't belive me if I tell you, that italian cuisine is hot damn simple? It is. Only problem we had ( I had) was the total lack of salt ( my beloved) and peppery pepper
( I missed you P!) We even had a brief thought of starting to carry around some of those paper sachets od S&P from some fast food place, but decided we would look way not cool. Hence, the pleading looks at our waiters, begging them to give us the s&p shakers. Tourists.
Apart from that, the freshness of the products Italian have, is unbelivable. Stuff in the supermarkets is better in quality than the stuff here straight from the bushes, as we say. Which, to me, is weird. I always heard about the great polish produce, without GMO's and other crap, but what it really lacks, is .....
Anyways, if you're craving some simple pasta, here's how to:
Pasta ( whatever type you have - but not lasagne!)  with the true arabiata tomato sauce

Get ready for some choping actions.

Type of dish: pasta, main
Cost: cheap
Difficulty: easy
Serves: 2
Time: 30 min
Preparation time: 5min
Cooking time : 25-30 min

You'll need:
cutting board, a sharp knife, a teaspoon, colander, deep frying pan, medium saucepan, spatula, medium bowl to stir things up, and plates (bowls) to serve.

  • 4-5 medium ripe tomatoes ( geez, if you don't have them, try chopped canned tomatos)
  • 2 small chilli peppers
  • 4 garlic cloves, pealed and finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • s&p
  • fresh basil leaves, choppe or torn, whatever, they'll wilt in the sauce anyway.
  • lemon juice
  • pinch of sugar
  • pasta ( as much as you need. For types like penne and that sort, the way to measure how much to cook is to use a bowl in which you will serve. One full bowl of pasta equals pasta for 2 ppl. and so on. Pretty easy, huh?)
  • water to cook pasta
  • olive oil
Heat water in suacepan, and cut on each tomato a cross on the round side. Put the tomatoes in the water for about 1 min, take them out and peel them. Then, using the spoon, take out the seeds and dice the rest up. Turn off the water.  Heat up the frying pan on high heat, add olive oil, add the garlic, onions and chilli and fry until onions are translucent. Then add the basil and tomatoes, sugar and lemon juice. stir it well, keep the heat now on low. The tomatoes should fall apart leaving a sauce behind. You'll gradually add more olive oil in the next 20 minutes- this will make the sauce stick well to the pasta. Mix every once in a while. Add the S&P to taste, and when the consistency is like a oily paste, boil the water again, cook your pasta, add 2 spoons of the pasta water to the sauce, drain pasta, toss in bowl, toss in the suace, mix all well, and serve.
Wou can add more basil leaves chopped up to the serving bowl for extra color but the fragrance will kick your shoes off anyway.
Remember! This is spicy! Hot! Hot! Hot!
But if you want it mild, don't add the chilli's.
So long!