Celebrating Tłusty Czwartek with Pączki

27 February 2017

When I lived in Poland, Tłusty Czwartek (Fat Thursday) was widely celebrated. Pączki were sold at every shop, kiosk, and served in every home. One year, on a dare, I ate 9… in one day… And I don’t even like doughnuts that much! In honor of Fat Thursday this year, I made 4 different kinds of doughnuts (a twist on 2 traditional pączki recipes, as well as 2 American style).

Old Fashioned Sour Cream Vanilla 
I used this recipe

Dark Chocolate Baked Cake Doughnuts with Chocolate Ganache and Sprinkles
For the doughnuts I used a donut pan as this recipe (undercooked slightly). I created a delicious sticky chocolate ganache for the topping, using several different dark chocolates, milk, vanilla, and cream. This is a dark and only mildly sweet recipe.

Pączki with Raspberry-Rose Filling
Rose filling is very common in Poland. It’s my favorite filling for jelly doughnuts. Since rose hip can be a strong and fragrant flavor, I decided to make a combined raspberry-rose jam for the filling, which turned out perfectly. YUM. Definitely recreating this. I sprinkled these with powdered sugar for the most traditional doughnut of the evening. For both doughs I modified several recipes online for jam/jelly doughnuts and traditional Polish pączki. I’m still not convinced I’ve found the perfect one.

Pączki with Marbled Blackberry Jam and Custard Filling
On to my favorite… I got the idea for this type of pączek here. It’s not a donut I think you would ever find in Poland but it sounded too good to pass up. I used store-bought Blackberry jam, and one of my favorite custard recipes from Bruno Albouze’s chocolate eclairs. That custard alone is to die for, and stuffing it into a sugar-rolled doughnut aside blackberry jam…? The messiest and best decision of the year so far.

Just… food?

23 December 2015

Sometimes I feel lame taking pictures of my food. But I wouldn’t feel lame if I could make it look AMAZING like this site. Just imagine our Coq au Vin looking as good…. So here are a bunch of pictures of food? I cook more, I need to take more photos, but here we are, catching up.

As a side note, life is very, very good to me, and I think I’m the happiest person I know.


There is nothing quite like tomato pasta sauce made with fresh basil and thyme from the garden. I want this in my mouth

The Crown Arts | Garden Tomato Thyme-Basil Sauce The Crown Arts | Garden Tomato Thyme-Basil Sauce

Here is my habit… I try something I love, and then I’m not satisfied until I make it myself. Then I inevitably recognize that food we make ourselves is so much better and more satisfying than food we buy! Then I buy the food anyway because I feel like I’ve already conquered this beast and it’s on to the next. Three cheers for culinary experimentation and mastery (one day). Hot, fresh, olive-rosemary bread. Ummm, I want this in my mouth too. It was really good. Especially with homemade herb butter. Especially that.

The Crown Arts | Olive-Rosemary Bread

I made these Peppermint Crackle Cookies for Christmas again this year. I have decided somewhat zealously that they are my favorite cookie. They have a bit of a brownie texture, they are dark and dense, just mild enough but just sweet enough. And a lot of fun to make and look at. Perfect for the holidays.

The Crown Arts | Peppermint Crackle Cookies


YUM. Ever since tasting gyros in Greece, I crave them all the time. And they’re never as good as they were there. I attempted (bit healthier using chicken… then again, I added fries). These are a pretty simple and delicious meal.

The Crown Arts | Greek Chicken Souvlaki


I was a missionary in Poland. It was the best. I now speak a language that sounds like I’m swearing all the time, and I actually like sauerkraut. What? Before I left on my mission, I had all my friends over for a giant Polish feast. I cooked all day. I was making foods I’d never heard of. And I loved them all. One of the recipes was a Polish beet cake. I was just intrigued enough to make it… and it blew my mind. I have since recreated it (see below). I’m not a cake person. But this cake is unreal! It is ultra-moist, dense, earthy, and decadent (not to mention, way healthier than real chocolate cake). I created a white chocolate butter frosting for this one, but next time I will probably try a drippy chocolate glaze sauce instead.

The Crown Arts | Decadent Polish Beet Cake with White Chocolate Butter Frosting The Crown Arts | Decadent Polish Beet Cake with White Chocolate Butter Frosting The Crown Arts | Decadent Polish Beet Cake with White Chocolate Butter Frosting


Coq au vin and brown butter sage mashed potatoes. I don’t make mashed potatoes very often, but I will only make them this way now. P.S. Bonus – bowl is from Poland 🙂 Love their beautiful pottery.

The Crown Arts | Coq Au Vin and Brown Butter Sage Whipped Potatoes


I love my sis, love naan, but love making it together even more.

The Crown Arts | Authentic Indian Naan The Crown Arts | Authentic Indian Naan The Crown Arts | Indian Naan with Almonds and Herbs


Never not craving. So I made them myself because “I could do that” and it’s much cheaper. After eating about 8, I stopped craving. For the next 6 months. Featured also is a honey-mustard dip. Mixed feelings.

The Crown Arts | Extra-Soft Pretzels with Honey Mustard Sauce


We jammin’. And I hope you like jammin’ too! (Peach-raspberry)

The Crown Arts | Peach-Raspberry Summer Jam

Garden Party

6 August 2015

Ever since my sister-in-law and I made chocolate eclairs, I have been dying to use the custard recipe for fruit tarts. I finally got a chance!

We made some fruit tarts and chocolate mousse for a garden party last week. Everything was delicious. I wish I had taken photographs of the whole party, but I forgot my camera and had to bring the leftovers home for some quick shots.

The Crown Arts | Summer Garden Party Fruit Tarts

The Crown Arts | Chocolate Mousse

The Crown Arts | Summer Garden Party Fruit Tarts

The Crown Arts | Summer Garden Party Fruit Tarts

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