Traditionally, during the Polish Christmas Eve supper we don't eat any meat. Instead we have twelve dishes with fish, mushrooms, vegetables and cabbage. In my home everybody waits for their favourite meal: my husband and daughter for the herring dishes and vegetable salad, my son for the fried fish, while I wait for dumplings and jellied carp.

One of the traditional dishes in many Polish homes is łazanki with cabbage and mushrooms. Łazanki are small, square noodles. The best dish is made with noble porcini mushrooms. I sometimes mix these forest mushrooms with sliced champignons, which look beautiful among the noodles. Łazanki are a Christmas Eve dish, but sometimes when my children ask me I prepare it during the rest of the year too.

500g of sauerkraut
1 onion
60g of dried porcini
6-7 champignons
1 tablespoon of caraway seeds
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons of butter
300g of łazanki
salt and pepper


When I read "I'm Travelling Alone" by Samuel Bjork a few weeks ago I wondered whether his next book would be equally good, and I was not disappointed - "The Owl..." is even better. Fast-flowing, gripping action and heroes I already knew from the first part guaranteed a few exciting evenings this time as well.

In a pentagram of candles on a bed of feathers lay a murdered young girl. This almost theatrical scene is the beginning of a gripping thriller. Leading the investigation, Mia Kruger and Holger Munch from Oslo homicide must once again confront a murderer who seems to be perfect in his insanity. Horrific movie scenes of the murdered girl and her assassin in a uniform of feathers, delivered by a hacker, give all police department workers a chill. Brutality and severity seems to be the most gentle description of the movie's creator. When the investigation ends in deadlock, Mia's sixth sense connects the murder with the will of a rich ship owner. His son can inherit the wealth only on the condition that his wife will not have her own children. You can guess that the woman did have children...

As in "I'm Travelling Alone" we find here a thread that ties the case to the police officers leading the investigation. Once again Munch and Kruger will race against time, nerves and their own demons. The divorced Holger cannot live with his loneliness and cannot communicate with his adult daughter, who is weighing up changes to her hitherto stable life. Mia, acting on the edge of waking and sleeping, fights against depression and addiction to alcohol and pills. I wondered sometimes whether without these drugs she would be so perceptive and keen. Do we dare to imagine the opposite? What would she be able to achieve if she were not inhibited by alcohol and drugs?


One of my friends from Ukraine told me about her traditional Christmas dishes. Except for stuffed cabbage with potatoes (which I have made already) I was surprised about cranberry kissel. I searched the Internet and I saw that in many Polish homes Christmas Eve supper ends with cranberry kissel. In my home we always drink compote with dried fruit, but maybe this year we will try a new dish on our Christmas menu.

I wonder why cranberries are on the Christmas table. I didn't find any particular information about it (except the fact it is tradition). I think that a few years ago cranberries were treated as a natural cure which aids digestion, and this could be quite useful after a hefty Christmas meal!

At my Ukrainian friends' home Christmas kissel is runny like a drink, but you can prepare it like a dessert with a more dense texture. I made the drink version, but you should choose which is better for you.

500g of cranberries
a piece of cinnamon and a couple of cloves
6-8 tablespoons of sugar
2-3 tablespoons of potato flour


Since I found the recipe for courgette muffins with lemon on the blog I decided to prepare them. My children looked at the ingredients with surprise. Courgette and cakes don't go together well. The argument that they add caster sugar to the courgette pancakes didn't convince them. The muffins reminded my husband of the lemon cake his grandma used to prepare many years ago. I just liked them. They were short lived, because they disappeared in no time, slightly lemony, moist and not too sweet. They were perfect.

If I didn't know they had courgette in them, I would never believe it. Try it, because it is worth it.

Ingredients (for 12 muffins)
200g of flour
a pinch of salt
half a teaspoon of baking soda
half a teaspoon of baking powder
150g of sugar
peel from one lemon
a tablespoon of lemon juice
2 eggs
150ml of oil
a teaspoon of vanilla essence
a teaspoon of lemon essence
210g of grated courgette


Today I would like to share with you the recipe for the best chocolate crème I have ever eaten. It is thick, smooth and very chocolaty in flavour and colour. Despite the chocolate, the dessert isn't too sweet. But if somebody thinks that it is, I recommend serving it with slightly sour fruit mousse. You can use cherries, currants or cranberries. You will make an unusually yummy arrangement and your dessert will look beautiful.

My children were delighted with this dessert. I told them about the fact it had been made with millet groats after they had eaten it, and ... they didn't believe me. Next time I will prepare the millet groats crème with a double portion of ingredients.

Ingredients (for 4 people)
chocolate crème
100g of millet groats
200g of dark chocolate
1 tablespoon of dark cocoa
250ml of almond milk
fruit mousse
250g of fresh cranberries
juice and peel of one orange
half a teaspoon of grated ginger
4 tablespoons of brown sugar

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