Merry Christmas And Christmas Stories From My Kitchen


It's Christmas Eve and first of all, I'd like to wish everyone who celebrates Christmas, a blessed Christmas!

This was what I started my post with last night, but had no energy to finish it. The truth is, if you're making your Christmas goodies yourself, chances are, you run out of energy by the time the Christmas celebration begins.


It's the first day of Christmas today, so nothing is lost yet, every wish is still valid and I'd like to continue writing and publish my post today. This time I'd like to show you what I've been busy with the past couple of days.


Christmas is a family event and we like to keep tradition going, which means we cook our traditional dishes. Not because it's a must as no one is going to force us to do that, but because that's part of what Christmas is about, along with the religious meaning of it, of course.


This is why I always ask the family what they'd like for Christmas and usually I get the same answer each year, but this year only part of the family said they want the famous honey cake, some brave members said they'd like something new. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy with the old recipes (especially this one and you'll see why), but if I keep baking the same sweets every single year, how am I to learn something new?


So let's see what I've been up to in the kitchen 😀


The traditional soup for Christmas is chicken soup. Obviously it's not a must, you can cook whatever soup you'd like, or skip it as well, but I love chicken soup any day of the year, so it was not difficult to choose.


Stuffed cabbage can't be missing from the menu either. This specific dish is made with minced pork and ham (or pork ribs), but that's too heavy for me, so I made my own version with no pork and used only minced chicken. Swapping pork with chicken gives you a lighter dish. It is served with sour cream.


Next is this. Can you guess what it is? I don't think so :) This dish is called beef salad, but in fact has nothing to do with beef. It's made of the cooked vegetables from the chicken soup, like carrots, parsley roots, potato, chicken and it has pickled cucumber added and mayonnaise. I love it, but I need to take it easy as it's not a light dish and combined with the stuffed cabbage, can be a real killer. However, if you don't know this dish, you need to taste it as it's heavenly good.


This is the superstar of the sweets, when it comes to family preferences. This recipe is from my maternal grandmother's recipe book. I have no idea where she got it from though. Back in her day ladies wrote down a good recipe on a piece of paper, then copied it into their recipe book. My mom loved it and now it's on me to keep the tradition going as I'm the only one in the family who bakes this cake. When I say keep the tradition going, I mean bake it if it is requested and trust me, it is requested each and every time there's something to celebrate.


Why is this cake so special? It is called honey cake, because it is made with honey. But the real charm in it is the combination of sweet - sour flavor given by the sweet semolina cream and a sour jam, which is my special, homemade raspberry-currant jam. I'd say it's easy to make, but it's only easy for those who have a bit of experience as with honey, you need to work fast because once the dough starts to cool down, the honey makes the dough hard and you can't roll it out. However, it's not rocket science, you get the hang of it after the first or the second attempt. Totally worth it, trust me.


And this is the new entry this year, a cake called Teddy cake. Over the years I have bought and have been gifted a number or cooking and baking books. Most likely every lady has a few, but the truth is, when we need something, the fastest and most efficient way to find a recipe is to search online. This way those nice and expensive books have been staying on the shelf. Till now.

When I was given green light to create something new, I took out a recipe book I got from my nephew, who is the same person who asked me to bake something new and started browsing it. The truth is, there are a lot nice recipes in the book but I wanted something easy, simple and healthy as well, as I didn't want us to end up in a diabetic coma.

This cake is called Teddy cake because it has a special ingredient, which is chicory coffee, which in Hungary (the recipe book was issued in Hungary) is called Teddy coffee. The dough contains the chicory coffee, the cream has a small quantity of ground nuts and the top has a nice layer of dark chocolate, sprinkled with ground nuts.

I was a bit nervous as I don't like to experiment with new recipes when there's no room for error, but have no reason to complain this time. Everyone was satisfied with the result, even me, so I think this Teddy cake will be regular from now on.

It's the first day of Christmas, so again, I'd like to wish everyone Merry Christmas, and if you don't celebrate it, then happy holidays and all the best.


If you're a newbie, you may want to check out these guides:

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