Pardon My French… Toast!

Lovely Carol of carolcooks2.com says that today is a National French Toast Day. I don’t know which nation, but I do have a delicious recipe to offer you, Beautiful People. One of those names that varied from country to country, it was called Spanish Toast in Germany, German Toast in Italy, Nun’s Toast in Spain,…

Elizabeth, the Jumbal Queen

The Great Elizabeth, the last Tudor, had a major sweet tooth. To be fair, she was not the only one. Food has always served to demonstrate and affirm status, and the royals of all times have asserted wealth and power by consuming the most luxurious and exotic comestibles of their epoch. Luckily for Elizabeth the…

Unfair Trade: Muffins for Tobacco

Are muffins bread? Are they cakes? Are they supposed to be eaten for breakfast, lunch, snack, dessert, or all of the above? Are muffins really cupcakes without frosting? Thomas Jefferson thought so, and called muffins “a luxury to us.” Today, you can get a recipe for Monticello Muffins at http://www.monticello.org.  But those are not American…

Meatless Surprise Wrapped in Mystery

Churchill described Russia’s actions as “a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.” Almost fifty years before the brilliant British statesman issued his famous phrase, a Russian artist Sergei Malyutin had a similar idea. Tzar Nicholas II, who ascended the Russian throne in 1894, promoted Russian culture, arts, and crafts. Granted, in a way…

Pardon My French… Toast!

One of those names that varied from country to country, it was called Spanish Toast in Germany, German Toast in Italy, Nun’s Toast in Spain, Amarilla in South America, and Poor Knights of Windsor in England, with translations of the latter into Swedish, Danish, and some more European languages. The reason for it, presumably, is…

Catherine the Great Needs a Diet (The Tsar Blini)

A petite, slender girl with a tomboy personality, little Sophie was growing up in a highly aristocratic, but dirt poor family. Parents largely neglected her while grooming her brothers to become royalty (both brothers became Kings of Sweden, one after another). Her life changed overnight, when two powerful monarchs and a French adventurer cast a…

Royal Wedding – Carrot and Banana

February – the stores are decked out in red and pink hearts, furiously marketing in the name of love. Jewelers and bridal salons are having their best time of the year, measuring love in carats and yards of lace. It was in February, cold and gloomy, that King Henry VII, the first Tudor king, proposed…

Kolobok, Kolobok, from the Grandma I Escaped…

Once upon the time, in a magical land of great forests, Onion Domes and warrior princes, there lived an old couple, Grandma and Grandpa. One day, Grandpa says to Grandma, “Bake me a pie.” “With what? – sighs the old woman, – we have nothing.” “Sweep the cupboards, scratch the bins, let’s see what you…