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Recipes & Stories

I love to spend Christmas at home, because Christmas is all about this – reunions, love, family, refreshing memories of good times, the tree, the cookies and all the winter. I love also, and I’m trying each year, to make each Christmas as Romanian as possible. Being away from my home country for years, made me realize that I miss a lot the good meals made with local ingredients, so each year, I’m trying to reproduce an authentic Romanian Christmas, as on the times when I was a child.

The tender shortbread cookies have an amazing taste when my grandma is making them, this year I tried them in my kitchen to see if I can reproduce that amazing taste. And yes, is possible, so for all Romanians which are abroad, don’t be shy to try this amazing recipe even if you are not in Romania.

My number 1 Christmas recipe – (also my grandma’s recipe) the cheese sticks with fennel – I could eat it day and night. I don’t know why I love them so much, but I do, so feel free to try this recipe. You’ll find for sure, more or less similar recipes around the internet, but be confident and try this one, and you’ll feel the difference. Until the Christmas I will try to make all other favorite Romanian recipes and I’ll post them here. Happy baking, folks!

[stextbox id=”custom”]Egg, bacon and milk breakfast
This is my favorite breakfast made with organic homemade bacon (made by my grandpa) and my all time favorite fried egg with cheese. There’s nothing best and faster you can think of, than this meal. Serve it also with a bit of greens and finely drink some good milk.[/stextbox]

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Tender shortbread cookies

Ingredients (around 20 small pieces):
3 cups all-purpose flour
250g unsalted butter, at room temperature
6 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon white vinegar
4 tablespoons powder sugar
raspberry jam for filling

1. Using an electric mixer or the bread machine, at medium speed mix the butter and the flour, until the mixture has a crumbly consistency. Keeping at low speed, add in the water and the vinegar and keep mixing until the mixture forms a dough. Transfer the dough to a plastic sheet and refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight.
2. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Spread the dough on your work surface (already sprinkled with flour) and flatten to a big square or rectangle. Cut it in small squares (2x2cm) or larger triangles. Fill each one with the jam of your choice. Roll them in a form of small croissants. Place them in a tray already lined with a parchment paper or sprayed with cooking spray and cook for 15-20 minutes or until lightly golden. Immediately after you have discarded from the tray, sprinkle generously  with powder sugar.

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Grandma’s cheese sticks with fennel
100g unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons of sour cream
2 teaspoons active yeast
2 tablespoons oil
1 cup milk
2 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
cheese (of your choice) and fennel

1. Place the milk lightly heated, in a small bowl and dissolve the yeast. Let it rest for 10 minutes. With an electric mixer or the bread machine, cream butter, sour cream, flour, oil, salt, 1 egg and milk and yeast until fluffy and well combined. Let it rest until doubled in size, around 1 hour. Than, flatten into a disk, wrap in plastic, and freeze for 20 minutes.
2. Divide dough in 2 parts and line each one in a form of big rectangle or square. Coat each one with the egg lightly beaten, then sprinkle with cheese (of your choice, I prefer salted and dry cheese) and finely top with fennel. Using a pastry cutter, divide the big lined dough in sticks, 1-2 cm large. Place them in a tray already lined with a parchment paper or sprayed with cooking spray and cook for 15 minutes, at 180°C or until lightly golden. Cool sticks on a wire rack.



Comments ( 12 )

  • sabina says:

    oaaa, sarateleee. nu ai nevoie de un motiv ca sa-ti placa, sunt pur si simplu divine! 😀

  • Andreea says:

    In poza am observat si niste pene, de gasca parca sunt. Cumva sunt penele de gasca cu care ungea bunica ta saratelele??? Bunica mea asa face, strange niste pene mai mici de gasca, le strange intr-un manunchi ca pe o maturica si cu ajutorul lor unge cu ou painea….E atat de frumos….! Te imbratisez cu drag!

    • Gabriela says:

      Andreea, ai un spirit de observatie extraordinar! Da, sunt pene de gasca, asa inca unge bunica mea prajiturile, si sincer e cel mai eficient mod. Sunt atat de delicate si fac treaba atat de bine, nici nu se compara cu cele din plastic! Sticla de Pepsi, are vreo peste 20 ani cred, am gasit-o in pivnita la bunica, in ultima vizita in Romania. Mi-a placut atat de mult, parca facea parte din viata noastra de atunci, incat am inclus-o in poza. Craciun fericit peste mari si tari, tocmai in China! Te imbratisez cu drag!

  • alison says:

    merry christmas,gabriela!:)

  • Ana Maria Ciolacu says:

    Ahhh, m-ai purtat inapoi in timp… Am si eu o sticla de Cola veche de vreo 15 ani, doar ca a mea e nedesfacuta. 🙂 O voi vinde cand va implini 50 de ani si-mi voi cumpara o masina noua! :)))))
    Si eu vreau sa fac cornuletele mamei zilele astea. Chiar acum o sun si ii cer reteta. Incredibil, dar inca nu le-am facut, si visez la ele de ani buni, ca nu ma prea nimeresc in tara de sarbatori. 🙂 Prefer mereu anotimpuri calde…
    Te pup cu drag si iti doresc sarbatori fericite alaturi de toti cei dragi,si un an nou plin de impliniri, succese si vise realizate. <3

    • Gabriela says:

      Draga Ana, iti urez sarbatori fericite in continuare si tie, eu lucrez saptamana asta, dar o sa imi fac timp inainte de Revelion sa mai gatesc cateva mici bunatati si sa le impartasesc cu voi. O sa scotocesc la tine pe blog, sa caut ceva italinesc usor pentru seara de Revelion si o sa il pregatesc. Iar cu sticla de Pepsi, am fost in culmea fericirii cand am gasit-o, o am de la Paste cand am fost in Romania, dar nu am reusit sa o includ in nicio fotografie pana acum, cand am vrut sa redau o atmosfera demult uitata, de pe vremea copilariei noastre. Iar tu, cred ca o sa devii ffffoarte bogata cu o sticla de Pepsi inca desfacuta!! ;))

  • Bell & Board (@bellandboard) says:

    What a lovely post! I am looking forward to more posts about the Christmas season this year.

  • Elena says:

    Beautiful work Gabriela! Bravo so nice to see proud Romanian girl! Romanian food is the best!! The writing on thses pages are too light & difficult to read for me:( my parents were Romanian, I live in Australia, my daughter is going to live in USA also for 2 years. She will love your recipes. I will pass them on.
    La Multi Ani si astep recipes in continue!

    • Gabriela says:

      Dear Elena,

      Thank you for your warm wishes! I am glad you enjoyed my recipes and I hoped your daughter will love them too! Stop by anytime!

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