December 28, 2007


So, I've decided that Potica SUCKS! It was a hell of a day. The whole process took 9 hours. First had to get supplies, and fight through all the crazy people in the baking isle in Jewel. When I started to prepare the 1st batch of dough...Mike only put in a 1/2 a cup of milk instead of 1 and a 1/2 cups. And then put in too much flour. Threw that batch out. Second batch...took longer than normal to raise. And the filling was major headache too, Mike let it overflow all over my stove! 7 hours later......we were able to put the 4 loaves of Potica in the oven to bake. When the timer went off, I looked in the oven and they didn't even look done. I'm use to Potica being brown and it was definitely not brown. So, I left it in there an extra 45 minutes. Still wasn't brown but had to do. Didn't wait it to become dry and nasty. It tasted pretty good but wasn't like how I remember when I was little. Next year I'm going to have to find a different recipe. Oh, and I forgot the worst part of the day! The whole time we had the oven/burners on it stunk like gas. So, I was praying we didn't blow up! Needless to say our stove died. Couldn't use the stove for a few days...Dad cut the gas off. But I got a new beautiful stove with a griddle!!! And Gramps loved the Potica!!

December 12, 2007


As I was growing up I remember my Grandpa coming home with this yummy coffee cake bread, called Potica (Pa-teet-za). It's an old Slovenian/Polish (European) bread. His (older) lady friends in the neighborhood would bake them for him, because he was there "handy" man. Unfortunately, these ladies have past away or they are too old to make anymore. So, this year I am going to learn (and start) making it for him every Christmas. Hopefully starting a new family tradition. This bread needs to stay in the family. It's delicious!

I'm am going to share the recipe with you! (It is a 4 hour project)

2 Teaspoons dry active yeast

½ Cup warm milk

1 Tablespoon sugar

Dissolve yeast and sugar in milk let set 5 minutes to activate the yeast.


1 ½ Cups Milk

¾ Cups Shortening

5 Egg Yolks

¾ Cups Sugar

2 Teaspoons Salt

1 Tablespoon Vanilla extract

1 Teaspoon Nutmeg

7-7 ½ Cups All purpose Flour

Combine Yeast mixture and the rest (except 2 Cups of flour) mix add the remaining flour until the dough can be handled without sticking. It takes 20 minutes kneading by hand, 9 minutes on a mixer with a bread hook.

Put dough in a large greased bowl and cover with plastic rap and let it relax and double in size in a warm environment.

Walnut Filling

1 stick margarine or butter (¼ pound)

1 ½ Cups milk

2 Cups sugar

½ Cup honey

1 Tablespoon vanilla

Grated peel of a lemon (0r orange)

5 Egg whites


Some other variations you can add at this stage;

Tbsp Instant coffee, Coco or brandy to taste and to add color.

Start with milk and egg whites in 4 quart saucepan (or double boiler) and bring to 120 F, add margarine, zest and honey, then combine the dry ingredients then add it to the mixture, then bring to a simmer.

Take the mixture off of the heat and add 2 Pounds Walnuts, ground fine.

Roll out the dough pretty thin (about 1/4 inch), spread the filling (should not be hot) on the dough and roll it up.

You want it to end up as a 4 inch diameter cylinder, cut into loaves that will fit in your bread pans. (Good Idea to have a little piece of dough to put over the ends) or you can also use a “bunt” pan.

Cover with plastic wrap and let it relax and rise (not quite double in size).

Egg wash the top if you want a shinny top.

Bake in preheated oven @ 325 F for 1 hour.

After baking for 1 hour, remove from oven and remove loaves from pans.

Paint the skin with a little vegetable oil.

This is how it will look. Yummm!!!!!!!!!!!!!

December 6, 2007

Christmas Traditions

Christmas. It's my favorite time of the year. Every year no matter how old I am I get excited for Christmas. It's seeing the happy faces on everyone around, kids opening their presents gleaming of excitement, decorations, Christmas music...

It has been tradition in my family to celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve. We all gather at Grandma's house early afternoon, and simply hang out until dinner is ready. When I was younger my cousin Nate and I would sneak around the tree and find all our presents. (Wow, I miss him a lot...) We would always watch the old Christmas cartoons like Hard Rock and Coco and Joe, Frosty the Snowman, Suzie the Snowflake, Rudolf...

Just before dinner we have these Christmas wafers called Oplatki, we go around the table a break a piece off of each other and say Merry Christmas. It's an old Polish tradition. Then we feast on Christmas dinner. I make the scalloped potatoes, my Aunt Therese makes the Rum cake and pies, Gramma makes ham and polish sausage, Aunt Patty makes the salad... Everyone seems to have a piece in the puzzle. But I will admit, my scalloped taters are the best!

After dinner, my Uncle Bart tells a Christmas story..they are different every year. It was just another way to make us kids wait to open presents! He would always drag it out sooo long! But its one of those things that I learned to like and appreciate and now look forward to.

Then we would open presents. Everyone has a turn being "Santa": the person who hands out presents. We then rip presents open like wild beasts!!!!

Back when we were kids we would all share and play with our presents. But things are getting boring. All the boys are playing video games. Us girls are getting shoes, sheets, clothes. So, we started playing board games and watching movies. And we all drink wine now...its wonderful.

The only thing that has bothered me to this day, is that I've never spent one Christmas with my Mom and her side of the family. It has always been a week or a month later... I want that to change. So, this year I am going to try my absolute hardest to make time and see them on Christmas day!

Christmas is very special to me. I cannot wait to share this holiday and traditions with my little ones someday.

Merry Christmas!!!!