Happy New Year 2013!

And have in general a great time!
We only live once :)

Holiday market in Warsaw

We went to meet friends in the old town, and wandered around the holiday market set up around the fountain square. Lights up everywhere, dozens of stalls selling food, mulled wine and beer, and other bricbrac. We had a lot of fun walking around, trying out Lithuanian dumplings with cheese, deep fried, some traditional polish dumplings called pierogi, we had mulled wine, and grilled sheep cheese, oscypek, with cranberry sauce. i think this came up a while ago, when fried camembert with cranberry sauce was introduced in Poland.


Oriental applepie

A different version of the traditional polish apple pie- with a hint of sweet mango and a kick of freshly minced ginger- this pie made my day.
In Poland, there are a few aproaches to apple pies- one is to make mush  from apples, and cover it with grated frosted pie crust. Or slice apples  onto sponge cake and add peach slices. Or cover it up with whipped egg whites. It's all really good, but looks really mushy, which doesn't really match up with my appetite.

So what do I do? I make a applepie fitting my terrible aestetic needs.
Plus I had some dried mango and fresh ginger to use.
But you didn't know that. I'm kind of crafty :P

I think I just gave away what exactly you have to do. Well, nearly.

Type of dish: dessert, cake
Serves: many hungry people
Cost: medium
Difficulty: easy
Time: 1,5h
Prep time: 30min
Baking time: 45 min
Oven temp: 190C

You'll need:
a large baking tray, medium mixing bowl, rolling pin, electric beater, medium saucepan with lid, wooden spatula, rubber spatula, cutting board, sharp knife, cup, teaspoon,

  • 6-7 large apples mixed ( tangy and sweet)
  • 100gr minced dried mango
  • 6 tsp finely minced fresh ginger
  • 1/2 cup sugar plus 3 tbsp
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • 100gr currants or raisins (or cranberries)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  •  2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 100gr butter softened

Dice your apples and put in the saucepan. Add the minced ginger, mango, raisins, cinanmon and sugar. Pour in half a cup of water and squeeze in a bit of lemon juice. Mix well and cover on medium heat.
 On a working space sift together the flour , baking powder, vanilla extract, 3 tbsp of sugar, egg yolks and butter. Use a knife to cut up the batter, then knead for a few minutes until the crust is elastic, pliable and shiny. Cover in wrap and put in fridge for 30min.
Watch if the apples are coming apart, mix them from time to time. When part of the apples is mush, or what some people call it applesauce, and the rest of the apples are intact. Turn off the heat and set aside.
Preheat oven. Grease the pan. Beat the egg whites stiff with a spoon of sugar but use a beater.;) Take the pie crust from the fridge and roll it out to fit the baking tray. Cover the bottom and sides of the pan. Transfer the applesauce on the crust, and smooth out. Cover the apples with the beaten egg whites and put in the oven to bake for  about  40-45 min in 190C.
Leave  to cool down and serve either warm with a serving of vanilla icecream.  Go crazy and add some whipped cream if you feel like it!


Boeuf Bourginion

I got a Le Creuset pan and I'm proud of it. And I wanted to make straight away this recipe. I will not repeat the full name, just call it "beef" , well, because I can.

First time, our friend Magali invited us over for this treat I have to say I was dissapointed. A stew? Come on. Then I tried it. Then the magic happened.
I will tell you no more, except that this is not her recipe, but it still gives off the magic of a slowly cooked meat in wine, tomatoes, and beef broth.
And the magic gets done somewhere in the oven, when the tastes frolic together. I adore it, and I will definitly advise everybody to get a cast iron saucepan with lid to make just this recipe. Go get one now if you haven't got one. Shoo!

Type of dish: main, stew
Cost: medium
Difficulty: easy
Serves: 5
Time: 3h
Prep time: 30 min
Baking time: 2,5h
Oven temp: 160C

You'll need:
a cutting board, a sharp knife, a large frying pan, spatula, bottle opener, a cup, teaspoon, cast iron pan at least 20cm diameter with lid.

  • 1/2 kg cut beef for stew (it's diced)
  • 1/2 kg mushrooms, cut in 4
  • 1 can tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 medium carrots, sliced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • few fresh sprigs of thyme
  • few sprigs of fresh parsley
  • fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1 bottle red table wine ( medium dry or dry)
  • 1 cube beef stock, or 250ml beef broth, unsalted
  • 500gr  short pasta (macaroni, penne, fusili), or rice
  • olive oil
 Preheat oven to 150C. Heat the frying pan, drizzle olve oil heartily over the pan, wait for it to sizzle, then pop in the mushrooms. fry them up a bit, until they brown evenly. Transfer them to the pot. Saute the onions and carrots for 5 min, transfer them to the pot. Next, add more olive oil, and add the beef to the pan. We need to brown it on all sides before we add it to the pot. While cooking the beef, add the bay leaf, thyme, black pepper, can of tomatoes, beef stock to the pot and stir around so the flavours integrate. Open the wine, and once the beef is done, throw it in the pot, and pour the wine in the frying pan, heating and scraping the bottom of the pan, to get the goody stuff in the sauce. Once the wine has reduced by half, pour it in the pot, try to stir it up a bit, cover up with the lid and put in the oven for 2,5 h. No need to check the pot in the meantime, so clean up and relax. After 2,5 hours, check if the beef and carrots have incorporated most of the liquid, and the leftover liquid is more stewish. If so, remove the pot, cook some pasta al dente and serve with a hearty serving of the beef. Garnish with freshly chopped basil leaves ,or chopped thyme.


Tis the time

Figs and Rosemary would like to wish you all a very merry and tasty Christmas!


Bigos- Mishmash to do

Bigos is another traditional polish recipe, which now is made usualy for Christmas (two versions- one with wild mushrooms, the other is with meat of all kinds- pork and beef), which in very loose translation means nothing more than mishmash- meaning you can throw in nearly everything to this dish and it's still good.

I told my husband it's a family tradition the man makes the bigos for Christmas. But I lied. It's no tradition, I just wanted him to do something for the holidays :) I hope he reads this :P
EDIT : he did read this, and then he took away my glass of champagne.... :P
It's a heav dish, more popular for autumn and winter, and traditionally, bigos was made, by cooking it for days, if not weeks. The best was supposed to be the one made in autumn, kept in the snow for a few moths, then reheated again for occasions.
There are also two schools of making bigos- with or without tomatoes. Originaly there were no tomatoes, but try making this with and without and decide which taste is yours (mine is definitely with tomatoes).

Type of dish: main
Cost: cheap to medium
Serves: a lot of people
Difficulty: easy
Time: from 2h to 3 weeks
Prep time: 30 min

You'll need:
a cutting board, a sharp knife, a spatula, a large frying pan,  a large and deep saucepan with lid, small bowl

Ingredients: (for the meat bigos, for the vegetarian, just go without the meat)
  • 1kg sauerkraut (taste it- if very salty, drain with water few times)
  • 1kg mixed meat (pork, beef- sausages, kabanos, cured bacon, cold meat or cooked meat -from soups)
  • 1 handfull prunes or plum jam
  • 5 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 pinch sugar
  • 1 handfull dried wild mushrooms
  • 1/2 litre water

In the small bowl, put in the ddried mushrooms and cover with 1/2 litre boiling water. Set aside. Wash the sauerkraut and put in the saucepan. Add the prunes, and tomato paste. When the mushrooms regain some of their size, squeeze out the water from them, and chop them up roughly, and add them to the pot. Cut up the meat, and fry it up on medium high heat to brown it. Add with the fat from the meat to the large pot. Pour in the liquid from the mushrooms and put on the stove, on medium heat with the lid on. Mix every 45 minutes to make sure the bottom doesn't burn. Cook for 2-3 h, or if you like the traditional way, cook every 7 days, keeping the pot in the snow or your freezer.
And thats it!
Just try the bigos during cooking to check if it needs more sugar or tomatoes.

Polish Christmas Salad

This is a typical Polish salad served on Christmas Eve, when we eat only food without meat. We eat a ton of fish, specialty is carp and herrings, in various ways, or the less popular but still very good eel and catfish.
I'm thinking about doing this year just salmon for Christmas Eve- with puree and vegetables, and for dinner, informal sushi or salmon teriyaki.
Or I'll make shrimps with green beans.

I have been making this specific salad for over 15 years, always having each year a lot of fun dicing the damn vegetables (I learnt how to chop with this salad- one year it was too fine, the other- the dice was too big and the salad wasn't that good). So dice small enough (the size of a pea or a bit larger is ok).
The key is to use regular mayonaise. No light mayonaise or a mix of mayo and cream will do the job. Accept the awful truth and just spoon in those 2 heaped table spoons of good mayonaise. I swear it'll be enough.  And you HAVE to add the apple, otherwise it dosen't make any sense at all.
Since you have to cook the vegetables anyway, it's good to slow cook them with a few more ingredients and make vegetable broth, which, by the way, I intend to serve also on Christmas Eve with some noodles and a few carrot slices. If you don't want to have soup, just freeze it in a ice tray or muffin tray- this way you have good quality broth to use in other recipes.

Type of dish : salad
Serves: 4-8
Cost: cheap
Difficulty: easy
Time: 1h
Prep time: 20min
Cooking time:

You'll need:
Cutting board, sharp knife, large bowl, medium saucepan with lid, tablespoon, slotted spoon, tongs

  •  3-4 medium carrots
  • 1 celery bulb
  • 2 parsley root
  • 1-2 leek parts
  • 2 heaped tbsp  mayonaise
  • 2 apples ( green granny, or any sour type)
  • 6-7 medium sized brined gherkins
  • 1/2 can of peas
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 tbsp Vegeta seasoning
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 onion
  • small piece italian cabbage
  • small garnish fresh thyme

Dice all the vegetables except for the onion  (which you don't peel, just wash- it'll give a lovely color to the broth), caggabe and leek. Put all the veggies, apart from the gherkins and apples in the saucepan, add the bay leaf and Vegeta, and cover with cold water and add additional 1/2 litre of water (this will evaporate during cooking anyway), and put on medium heat, wait till it boils, then turn down the heat to low for 20 min. In the meantime, add to the large bowl add the peas, diced apples and gherkins and the mayonaise. When the time is up, use the tongs to remove the leek, onion and caggage from the saucepan, and take out the bay leaf and thyme. Use the slotted spoon or a sieve to drain the vegetables from the broth (save it for other purposes), and add to the large bowl. Mix well, taste, add the salt if needed, then cover and put in a cool place (a fridge) and leave overnight for best results.
The taste is great, and kids really like this salad for some reason. I think it's because it's the only alternative to fish on that day. But still, a good way to feed them veggies :)


Pork Roast

In my family, pork roast was for special occasions. You would have it for Easter, the second day of Christmas, for special dinners.
And the leftovers would be eaten on thick slices of bread with the jelly from the baking process.
My mom used to do it differently than I do, I recall it being a bit spicy, which means there was a lot of pepper and marjoram.

It was good, trust me. But best the next day. Like roast chicken. Same thing.
Since I didn't have the recipe and I wanted to recreate the pork roast , I had to try to figure out what was it there. Of course, I came up with something totally different in taste, but still good.
And it's a very versatile dish, with the leftovers you can make sandwiches, or rice/pasta dishes with the leftovers cut up.
There are a few methods of making this: if you like garlic, then jab the pork with a sharp thin knige, making deep pockets in which you can push in the garlic. Or you can mince the garlic and cover the pork with it, with salt and pepper. You can also skip the garlic, and use herbs all over the meat. Fresh herbs, like sage, can be put over the meat when baking to give a wonderful aroma. Rosemary twigs put into forementioned deep pockets. You can even get some prosciutto or some thin cure bacon slices and cover it up.
But don't use butter for the meat, and don't forget to fry the meat on each side before putting the pork roast in the oven.This will seal the juices inside the meat, making it very tender and juicy.
And, like handling any meat after thermal process, before cutting and serving, leave on a cutting board to rest for a while.

I've tried making pork roast in a pan, covered with foil, in a foil bag ( Jan Niezbędny sleeve), in a casserol dish, and I highly recommend the sleeve and the casserol dish.

So how to do it?
Buy a nice 0,5kg piece of pork roast without bones, and try to get one that doesn't have a lot of the silverish skin, as we will cut it off anyway. And fatty bits are ok, they will melt out.
Since we are roasting in a closed dish, why not peel a few veggies to give extra aroma and will be a great side dish (from a one dish meal :)) . I usually peel a few potatoes, add at least 3-4 carrots (they always dissapear at once), some parsnip and parsley. And more garlic. I have a thing for garlic. If you have those small cipolina/cipoletti onions, clean them and throw them in too. They will be scrumptious after they finish baking.
Prepare your meat, best by a night of marinating. Rinse the meat under cold water, pat dry with a paper towel, and place on a board. If you plan on the garlic or rosemary pockets, do it now. Pour about a teaspoon of good olive oil on the meat, and massage it in. The massaging at this point will losen up the meat, making it less tough. Just a bit, it doesn't work on the meat like it does on us :)
Now sprinkle some salt and pepper over the meat, rub that in too, and if you're going with a dried herb version, rub that all over too. I often used dried mint and crushed green peppercorns.  If you are using fresh sage, then stick leaf by leaf on the bottom of the meat. As for the bacon wrap, you wrap it all around the meat, but you won't fry the meat then, before baking.
Once you're done with the seasoning, place the pork gently in a glass or ceramic bowl, cover with a plate and put in the fridge for at least 5h for the marinating process.
Btw, you can also marinate the meat in the same red vinegar marinade I posted a while back.
Baking time: around 40-60 min. In a sleeve, it usually takes 40 min. In a casserole dish, 50-60 min.
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Take out the meat about 30min before the baking/ frying. Cold meat take longer to cook.
Put the veggies in the dish you will use to bake the pork, nest it around, pour in half a cup of water, and a bit of olive oil. Season a bit with salt and pepper.
Heat up a large frying pan on high heat. There's some searing to be done. When it's hot, turn your ventilation on, and put the meat on the pan. It's going to sizzle, but that's ok. Turn on all sides to seal the juices inside the meat (the meat will be browned), then transfer to the dish with veggies. Close it up and put in the oven to bake for the estimated time, depending on the dish you used.
If you decided to do the meat with bacon, or anything else that prevented you from the frying part, at the end of the baking time, turn on the broiler and take off the lid ( cut open the sleeve) and let it brown for 5-8 min.
Let the meat rest a bit ( 3-5 min), before cutting, and serve.
This is a recipe for just meat, if you like serving meat with sauce, then a light brown will do, or a bernaise sauce, regular dijon mustard works great too.


Baked mushrooms- Crowd pleaser

We had a BBQ a while ago and I wanted to make some sides and salads as everyone else was bringing on the meat and wine. I had a few salads in mind but I got super cute mushrooms and just had to make something with them. While the stove was occupied on all four tops I had only the oven to make something. So I had them baked, and they came out delicious! Seriously, it was the first thing that disappeared from the table. To me, that's a sign that something is GOOD.
Deliciously easy. Make it for any potluck or party or for dinner. GUSH.

Type of dish: side, salad
Cost: cheap
Difficulty: easy
Serves: 4-8
Time: 25min
Preparation time: 5 min
Baking time: 20 min
Oven temp: 180 C

You'll need:
a shallow baking dish, knife, cutting board, spoon, oven

  • olive oil
  • mushrooms ( as much as you want)
  • butter
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, finely minced or crushed
  • 1 bunch of fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • addional: 1/2 glass of dry white wine
  • S&P
Go at heat the oven, chop up the larger mushrooms in 4, leave the smaller ones whole. Drizzle olive oil all over them,add the garlic, parsley, s&p, mix it over nicely and lay on small chunks of the butter over the 'shrooms. If you want the wine version, pour in the wine just before you put it in the oven. I swear to you, this is delicious. Now pop it in the oven for 20 min, just come back in 10 min to mix them so they brown evenly. After that they're ready to serve!
Serve with a fresh baguette to soak up the sauce. I'm hungry again:/

Cheesy Toast spiced up

I have no idea where I found this recipe, but it was probably the first recipe I found and used. I was 13 and it was good. Still is, for that matter.
Make this for dinner- 2-3 is perfect for a grownup, 4 is for the hungry people. A magic 1 and 1/2 goes for a kid. Trust me, you will be making this again and again.

Ok, let's say no more, let's make it.

Type of dish: snack, dinner, toast
Cost: cheap
Difficulty: easy
Serves: 1
Time: 15 min
Prep time: 7 min
Baking time: 7-8 min

You'll need:
a grater,  a fork, a medium small mixing bowl, a baking tray, parchement paper, spoon, cutting board, sharp knife

  • 1 cup grated yellow cheese of any type
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard or grainy french mustard
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch pepper
  • 2-3 slices of tomato
  • 2-3 slices bread
  • 1 egg

Heat up your broiler to at least 170C. Line your baking tray with paper. In the mixing bowl, crack the egg, add the mustard, salt and pepper and whisk a bit with a fork. Add the grated cheese and mix well. Put the bread slices on the tray, and a spoon of the cheese egg mixture on each slice. Spread it out evenly over the bread and on top of each slice, place a slice of tomato. Put inder the broiler for around 5 min, until the cheese bubbles and melts. Then turn it off and serve. Watch out, hot!


Raisin oatmeal cookies- like totally the best

I love raisins in my cookies. If you don't, stop reading now. Otherwise you will have terrible dreams about cookies with raisins EVERYWHERE.
Just kidding.

So, I may have mentioned somewhere before, I like/love/adore raisins, but only in cookies. Outside of cookies I only luuuv currants.
I'm sure that didn't make much sense.
So,  oatmeal cookies are my best friends now. Like really. We start the day together and we finish it together. It takes 15 minutes to make these babies, and they are delicious even after a week in a non- air tight container.
I've tried a few versions, using honey instead of sugar, or maple syrup, but to get this one right, you have to commit to sugar. But if sugar really isn't your thing, use brown sugar ( I did) and they come out beautiful. And so good!

Ah, some things are optional in the recipe, like almond flakes or shredded coconut. I found that some may like the taste, some may not. Totally up to you. You are the cook, you know. You have the POWER.

Yes, let's move along. Shall we? This way please.

Type of dish: snack, dessert, cookies
Cost: cheap
Difficulty: easy
Serves: about 20 cookies
Time: 50 min ( with cooling time)
Preparation time: 5 min
Cooling time: 30 min
Baking time: 15 min
Oven temp: 180C

You shall need:
a large mixing bowl, a egg beater, 2 tablespoons, a silpat or baking tray lined with parchement paper, oven rack ( for cooling)

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 100 gr softened butter
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup almond slivers
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 pinch of salt
I like to call this a one bowl cookie, and why:
crack the egg in the bowl, add the vanilla, sugar and butter. whisk until creamy. Add the baking powder, flour, salt, cinnamon and mix well. Then, add the raisins, oats and almonds. Mix again, try the batter, fall in love, and pop in the fridge for 30 min. This will make the cookies more chewy and less splayed around, but you can start baking them right away.
Heat your oven up, and prep your baking tray with the silpat or parchement paper. Take the rack out of the oven before and put in aside, as you will use it later on as a cooling rack.
Use 2 tablespoons. One to pickup half a spoon of the batter, the second spoon to ease it of the first spoon on the baking tray. If you've cooled  your batter before, make 1cm space between each cookie, and if not, 2-3cm space between them, bacuase they will spill over while baking.
When you have the whole tray in cookie batter,  tap them on top with a spoon to flatten them slightly down, but not enough to make them join each other. Bake them for 13-15 min, until they get golden- brown around the edges and tranfer them to cool on the rack. This way you can eat a cookie just minutes after you baked them:) Nifty, huh?



Cheese and butter pasta- everybody loves it

Believe it or not, but there is a way to keep pasta simple and really delicious.
The most important thing you have to know - always have some hard Italian cheese and butter. Otherwise, this will not work out. :)
Too simple to write down a whole essay about making it, so here goes:

Boil water with a tsp of salt, add enough tagliatelle for the desired amount of people you may or may not have. This is a dish to eat at once, so no waiting around for somebody to show up.
Cook your pasta al dente, according to package, and in a bowl, place about a teaspoon of butter  (if you're dieting, if not, give it a tablespoon:) ), add some grated hard cheese, like parmesan, parmeggiano, or even corregio. So?
Drain the pasta and add to the bowl and mix with a fork so the butter and cheese is evenly distributed all over the pasta. Add more cheese on top, and a good sprinkling of freshly ground black pepper and you're ready to go!
It's De-li-cious!
Even the most wicked person who hates butter and cheese liked it! When he was sick! Way to go!


Potato pie with veggies

I usually don't do pies, because even though they look nice, they usually don't taste that great. I did this one because potatoes are cheap, I had veggies that I had to use or else I would forget about them, and I did have some odd pieces of meat (bacon, ham, some sausage). But you can make this meat- free, and it still tastes good.
A plus- if you make  or have too much mashed potatoes leftover, store them in the frigde and make the next day wonderful, fluffy and light gnocchi
There is a lot of peeling involved, some cutting, some mashing action, grating too, and in general, there should be a light gravy sauce to make this pie perrrfect.

Type of dish: main, pie
Difficulty: easy
Cost: cheap
Serves: 4
Time: 1,5h
Prep time: 45 min
Baking time: 45 min
Oven temp: 180C

You'll need:
peeler, cutting board, sharp knife, large frying pan, a large saucepan with lid, a deep round baking dish, spatula, masher, big mixing bowl, grater, spoon

  • vegetables of your choice (carrots, brocoli, parsnip, turnip, leek, peas, onions, cauliflower)
  • meat of your choice ( bacon, ham, cold meat, leftovers, sausage)
  • 40gr grated hard cheese like parmesan or pecorino
  • 0,5 kg potatos, peeled and cubed (cooks faster)
  • olive oil
  • Cheese grated (edam, gouda, doesn't matter)
  • 1 tbsp flour or breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg and 1 yolk
  • S&P
  • nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • herbs like thyme, basil, parsley,
How to you do? How to do:
Heat a pot  of water with the potatoes, salt a teaspoon, and cook 15-20 min. When the water boils, turn down heat to medium high and let it simmer. When the potato cubes are soft, you can pierce them easily with a fork, drain and transfer them to the bowl. Mash them up, adding butter, nutmeg and cheese as you go. When the potatoes aren't so hot anymore, add the eggs and mash more. Set aside.
Peel the veggies you'll use, and slice them. Cut up the meat. Cut up some fresh herbs.
Heat up the frying pan on hig meat, drizzle some olive oil and throw in the vegetables and fry them up, so they won't be as hard. Start by the harder vegetables, like carrots, parsnip, turnip, adding later cauliflower, brocoli florets and onions and leek at the end. At the very end, add the meat to heat it up a bit. Then remove from heat and when it cools down a bit, add the grated yellow cheese.
Heat your oven to 180C. Take the baking dish, smear some olive oil on the sides and bottom. Sift some flour or breadcrumbs on the inside surface. Take the cooled mashed potatoes and start covering the insides. Make  the crust at least around 1 cm thick. You should have some leftover mashed potatoes, roll them into logs and flatten out to 0,5cm.
In the midle toss the veggies from the frying pan, and cover the sides with the flattened logs. Drizzle a bit of olive oil on your finger and gently cover the rim with the oil. Sprinkle the herbs on top of the veggies and put in the oven for about 45 min. When the top starts turning golden brown, it's time to turn off the oven, and serve,


Unexpected guests? Oh No? Oh yeah! Bring it on!

I have no idea if you've ever been in this situation- you come back home, you're tired and somebody calls you to say " yeah, I'm nearby, I'll pop over for 5 minutes, I haven't seen you so long". No? Maybe it's just me.

( sorry for the crappy pics, ipads do not take good photos)
<- crakers with cheddar cheese and strawberries, plain crackers with goat cheese, pear slices sprinkled with cayenne pepper. Next are rosette slices folded,cherry tomatoes, and strawberries.

<- crackers with cheddar cheese and pear slices, rosette, pear, more cheese, tomatoes, and sliced strawberries

 Please mind the gap

<- these are pepper crackers with cream cheese, chopped chives and a strawberry slice, next to some cherry tomatoes, cheddar cheese, and radish sprouts for a kick

 <- Basicaly the same as upstairs, except with rosette salami, and sliced pear

Anyway, a list of snack staples to keep around the house for times like this. Or when you don't really feel like cooking. Let everybody else do it. Their way. Let's smorgasbord! Love the word by the way :)
This is a list of things to have ( but you don't need to have all of them at once:))and how to serve"

  • smoked salmon, sliced, served with lemon and fresh dill, serve on salad
  • cream cheese philadefia, in a small bowl and butter knife
  • edam, gouda, cheddar cheese, in small pieces or slices, any cheese can do
  • small bowl of cherry tomatoes, or served in clusters with cheese or cold meat
  • bunch of radishes, sliced or with the stems for easy holding
  • carrots, cut in stalks, in a glass
  • celery, cut in stalks, in a glass
  • lettuce, served on crackers, sandwiches, or in small bowls, or as dressing
  • lemon, cut in wedges for drinks or seasoning
  • jar of mini pickles, served in small bowls, or cut in stalks, on a salad bed
  • pickles of any kind (radishes, gherkins, carrots,) served as a topping or aside on salad
  • pearl onion pickles, in a small bowl, with toothpicks
  • french pate in a jar ( comes from carrefour, quite handy), serve with a butter knife
  • cold meat (rozette, cured sirloin, kabanosy), cut in small slices, on a plate, or on crackers
  • cured baco, can wrap up prunes for baking, or fry it up, or fold it like a ribbon, serve on salad
  • butter, small pieces, on plates, or a small bowl, with butter knife
  • fresh cucumber, thin slices, on salad or a plate
  • small bell pepper, half cut in thin slices, half diced for toppings or nibbling on, in a glass
  • mayonaise, small jar, served in small bowl, or on crakers with toppings
  • hoummus, in small bowl around the table
  • horseradish, small jar, in small bowl
  • greek joghurt- small bowl for making dips and sauces
  • pancakes- which you can make from here and freeze
  • waffles- buy them ready made if , like me, you don't have the waffle maker, and freeze in ziploc bags
  • shrimps
  • baguette
  • loaf of bread ( you can defrost it in 15 minute in your oven, preheat 180C, just wet your bread first)
  • frozen dumplings with cheese filling, or kopytka
  • frozen pizza ( our fav: Ristorante for 20 min bake for a nice crunchy crust)
  • leftover lasagne sauce, or lasagne, or stuffed bell peppers
  • green beans 
  • fava beans for nibbling on
  • can of chickpeas ( to make hoummus or minestrone soup)
  • small can of corn (for salads, or as a fast, cheap side dish, or to add to a soup for more oumff)
  • can of tuna ( for pasta, pizza, sandwiches, salads, your cat)
  • small can of pineapple ( for dessert, cocktails, thai food, cravings)
  • raisins, cranberries, almonds, pine nuts, dried apples, prunes ( for baking, nibbling, cooking stews, desserts, meat)
  • applesauce (cookies, cakes, pies, cravings, on waffles, or pancakes, to serve with duck)
  • maple syrup ( pancakes, drinks, coffee, cookies, marinades )
  • box of dried herbs (oregano, basil, parsley, dill, garlic salt, onion, curry, cayenne pepper, tarragon, sea salt, colored pepper corns)
  • olives- black, green or verde (yum!) to snack on
  • crackers
  • jam ( great for pancakes, crepes, cookies)

For me, these are must haves, and it helps out a lot, especially when I'm really lazy:)