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Walnut Snails Recipe Inspired by a Famous German Pastry

How the Walnut Snails Recipe Made It to Mom’s Recipe Book Mom’s walnut snails recipe is an adaptation of the Nussschnecken desert which is basically a sweet bun of Saxon origins, filled with nuts and cinnamon. Schnecken is the German word for snails, which suggests the unique shape of this finger-licking delicious walnut filled treats. Given Transylvania’s Saxon heritage, our cooking and especially baking have seen a tremendous German influence over the centuries.  When I was a child, mom’s best friend was a German lady who used to bake weekly. She would always invite us to keep her company while she was dancing...

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What’s On Your New Year’s Eve Dinner Table?

Menu Ideas For The New Year’s Celebration On New Year’s Eve, we all stay up and celebrate the end of a year and are hopeful for the new one. As it has been since times immemorial, the celebration always involves food and drinks, music, dancing and a hefty amount of joy. The New Year’s Eve dinner is one of the most important of the entire year. We invest time and effort to make it look and taste perfect so that at midnight we celebrate in style with our loved ones. Today, people pay more attention to what they eat and...

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How to Make the Best Festive Appetizer: Beef Salad

A Romanian Salad, French in Name and Historically Having Almost Nothing to do With What’s in the Title! If it sounds a tad confusing, here’s the disambiguation: Romanians like many things but absolutely LOVE food; therefore, they are inventing dishes that everybody loves at the first try and often become traditional foods for holidays. This is a winter appetizer that cannot miss from the Christmas or New Year’s Eve festive table! The story of Boeuf Salad, as we call it, has been originally a simple “game in mayo” dish, about two hundred years ago. In time, the pheasant was replaced...

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Christmas: The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Magic When I was eleven, some kids in my class told me that Santa did not exist. I replied that it was the naughtiest thing to say. He lives and brings me presents every year! The kids started laughing, so I turned my back and left them basking in their small, magicless and emotionless bubble. I instantly knew they would be on Santa’s naughty list! When we returned to school after the winter holidays, the same kids told me that their parents gave them Christmas presents. Well, at least somebody loved them enough to compensate for the lack of magic...

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Twelve Must-Try Christmas Treats From Around The World

Twelve Days Of Christmas “On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me” the idea to bring together a few of the most famous Christmas treats from around the world. Christmas is indeed the most wonderful time of the entire year. It is a time of reflection, a time of remembering why we even celebrate Christmas in the first place. A time for being grateful for what we have, for being together with the loved ones, for sharing the love for one another and of course, for eating the foods that we love. But most of all,...

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The Most Mouthwatering Christmas Treats: British Mince Pies

A Tradition In Name Only As a migrant who settled in the UK, of course, I got to learn and appreciate local traditions. But I remember staying away from mince pies for several years. The reason? I did not get why a meaty thing would be placed in a pastry sheet and have sugar sprinkled on top! My prejudice wilted when I decided it was time to do some research and get to the bottom of the story!  It turned up they were only called mince pies because, historically, they would contain minced meat (mainly mutton). In time, dry fruits...

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Romanian Cozonac: The Best Christmas Treat on Your Festive Table

A Culinary Delight with A Long History Cozonac is a beautiful Christmas culinary delight I grew up with as a child – a Romanian tradition that meant on each major holiday mom would bake the best treat there could be. Each important religious holiday (be it Christmas or Easter), the house would smell incredibly good, filled with delightful flavours escaping from the oven. And I would wait impatiently for the festive dinner to finally savour the best treat created by humankind! The ladies of Romania, especially in the countryside, would take at least half a day before a holiday to...

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Perfect Bread Maker Panettone – Christmas Made Easy

The Bread of Toni As is the case with everything Italian, the nation’s Christmas traditional dessert, Panettone, has its own history that goes back to the fifteenth century.  A legend has it that one Christmas Eve, while the entire court and guests of Ludovico Sforza, Duke of Milan were sat at the festive table, disaster stroke in the kitchen. The cook managed to accidentally burn the dessert!  Mamma mia, che dolore che faccio ora il duce mi va cortare il capo! (Oh, dear God, what a disaster, the duke will chop my head off!) While the unfortunate cook was pulling his...

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Sweet Cheese Pies. Easy Desserts from Mom’s Recipe Book

Sweet Pockets Cheesecakes are widely present in international cuisine. The ones I’ll talk about today are a traditional Moldavian recipe, from Northern Romania. Mom made them countless times when I was a kid. Since I discovered how easy they are to bake, I gave these pies many a try as well. The Romanians have called these pies “poale’n brâu” for centuries. That translates literary to “the bottom of the skirt raised to the waistband”. Why? Perhaps many years ago, women would wear their skirts as improvised bags to carry whatever they would forage in the forest or a small bunch of twigs for the...

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Biscuit Salami. Easy to Make Goodies From Mom’s Recipe Book

The Taste of Childhood The first time I made a biscuit salami – a simple but incredibly tasty dessert, I was eleven years old. It was in the good old days when the parents would go to work, and the children would spend the three months long summer holiday at home doing whatever they wanted. We would mostly go outside to play with other kids (we had a key we wore on a necklace), come back for lunch (yep, we were taught from an early age how to heat a soup without burning the house down) and go back outside...

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