Blueberry Breakfast Casserole

This recipe is just amazing! My take-away are two things which I am going to use in the future:

  • soaking overnight, not just for ten munites before cooking or baking
  • adding almond (or vanilla or other) extract 

Both make the “dough” taste heavenly,

I made a half-portion in a rectangular baking pan. Copying it here, so that I do not need to jump to the original recipe each time:

Sliced stale bread, enough to cover the bottom of the pan 

1 cup blueberries (or other berries)

3 large eggs

2 tablespoons sugar

1 1/4 cups milk

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1/2 cardamon


1/4 cup packed light brown sugar

1/4 cup flour

2 tablespoons butter, cold and cubed

1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

I used an 8X8 inch pan. Gease with nonstick spray. Line prepared baking pan with bread, filling all the cracks. Set aside.

Whisk the eggs, milk, sugar, and extracts together until well combined. Pour over the bread. Cover the pan tightly with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator overnight. 

To save time in the morning, I prepared the topping the night before as well:

Combine the brown sugar and flour together in a medium bowl. Crash the cubed butter with your fingers while mixing it in.

In the morning:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove pan from the refrigerator. Sprinkle blueberries evenly over the top. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the soaked bread. Top with walnuts.

Bake for 45-55 minutes or until slightly firm and golden brown on top. I baked it for 50 minutes. 

“After The Holidays” Recipes

In December, whenever I would come across some interesting recipes, I would say to myself: after the holidays! Now, after the holidays is already here, and also, I had a lot of leftovers of the things which I bought “just for that recipe.” Here are several of my “after the holidays” creations.

I had half a package of ricotta left from my ricotta and merengue buns, and I had half a bag of spinach, which was left from the quiche, and I had some frozen puff pastry – here is a result:

It was fast and easy, and I really liked it!

Continue reading ““After The Holidays” Recipes”

Trying to Finish Everything

“Everything” means the book and the rest of Christmas. With the book, after two or three extremely nervous weeks, I feel a little bit better. We are done with the first twelve chapters, meaning we already received the reviewer’s feedback and replied and/or made changes. We are making final edits on Chapter 13, and we have both Chapter 8 and 14 more than half-done. (We realized that we missed something after we were already on Chapter 11, that’s why it is out of order).

After those two will be completed, we will only have Chapter 15 and a Conclusion left; those two are small and do not require new examples (examples being the most time-consuming part). It is still a lot, plus we need at least one Appendix and a Glossary, and some pictures clean-up. So, it is still a lot.

Christmas. On Thursday, I finished decorating sugar cookies, partially in the morning before work, and the rest – in the evening.

Today, I baked one more batch of Russian Tea Cakes because I suddenly ran out of them, although I baked two batches at the very beginning of the cookies marathon. Also, I tried one more time to bake pumpkin and dates cookies. Last year, I didn’t like the results, but though it might be because I used my own pumpkin puree instead of the canned one, and I thought that the problem could be in the wrong consistency. This yeat, I used preserves, but I am still not sure whether I like the outcome.
I mailed the last batch of parcels on Wednesday; all the rest will be hand-delivered. And I am very glad that almost half of the parcels had already reached their destinations.

774 cookies. 118 sugar cookies decorated. 18 parcels sent. 15 boxes of cookies hand-delivered so far (or ready to be delivered), plus one giant box for the youth shelter.
… Now, it’s time to start packing the non-cookie presents 🙂

In Chicago

On Tuesday, I went to Chicago, mostly to deliver cookies for several people in the city. I was surprised and delighted to see that they put up a Christmas tree inside the Palatine train station.

There is way less people n the train that in was in October, but still more than in March and April.

Continue reading “In Chicago”

The First Part of the Christmas Baking

Baking alone can be considered a success because I ended up baking enough to send all of my long-distance shipments, and there is still plenty left. I will bake more next weekend, and I should have enough for all my giveaways plus something extra. At least, I hope so. There are so many people to whom I want to give cookies! 

I brought this apple-cinnamon filling form Finland
Last year, after baking kolacki for ten years, I finally figured out how to prepare the apricot filling the right way!
Continue reading “The First Part of the Christmas Baking”

Weekend Baking

I want to complain about how I didn’t have time for the book writing this weekend, but I probably shouldn’t. After all, there were many other things which I did, although I didn’t have to do. this includes baking.

Although baking was in my weekend plans even before the election results were announced, I decided that it was in honor of our victory 🙂

I baked these two cakes:

Georgia Apple Cake

Orange Cake

The recipes are not super-complex, but both require a lot of time, especially the Apple cake which takes about four hours from start to finish (this includes three hours of wait :), but still)

Both cakes are delicious – i can’t even describe to what extent! You can’t stop till you are done 🙂

Christmas Card And Christmas Cookies

Whatever happens with the world, my Christmas cookies are here to stay:). This being said, it might be my 10th cookies giveaway campaign, but only the second one on the WP platform.

Here is it. First, I will be happy to exchange to Christmas cards with anybody in the world who would like to.

Second, I will be shipping my holiday cookies all over the world, as I’ve done for the past ten years.

  • First 10 requests from any country in the world, not including Canada
  • First five requests from Canada
  • Unlimited requests from the US not including Chicago and suburbs (I just have to know you, al least virtually:))
  • For Chicago and suburbs: unlimited pickup either at my house in Palatine or in Chicago Downtown on the week of December 14

Please send me a DM if interested 🙂

Apple Cake (As a Result Of a Stressful Week)


The last two weeks were… I do not even know how to describe them, “Lots of work” is not enough, and I can’t go into the details. It was a lot, and I had to manage all my previous obligations and the book schedule. The current chapter, which is due tomorrow, was indeed not as difficult as the previous two. It helped that we decided to move the last section of the previous chapter to the current one, so it was less writing after all, but still., writing is writing. 

As usual, my usual stress-relieving activity is baking. I bookmarked this recipe a while ago. I love apple desserts, and this one sounded very promising.  I made only one substitution. Since I do not like coconut, I substituted in with a cup of thinly sliced almonds, which I crushed to make them almost dissolvable.

On Saturday, it was dark, and raining, and windy for the whole day. This recipe is easy to make, but it takes a long time to bake, and then to let it sit, absorbing the sauce. The recipe calls for 1.5 hours baking, but it took almost 2 hours for me. That being said, it was a perfect activity for a bad weather autumn day. I was doing my writing, occasionally getting up and checking on the cake in the oven. 

It came out great! Gave some to mom, some to my neighbor – they loved it! The only thing I would change – next time, I will put a little bit less sugar in the batter, and possibly less sauce. I think half of the sauce would do. So – a little bit less of fats and sugars. But just a little bit 🙂 🙂 🙂

Continue reading “Apple Cake (As a Result Of a Stressful Week)”


I made quiche a couple of times in course of the past two weeks following that recipe. I love quiche, but I always thought that to make it right is a long and complex process. Besides, since I live alone, I was not sure what I was going to do with this huge thing.

It turned out, that humans can make quiche:), and that a large quiche tastes way better than a small one; and also, a slice of a large quiche can be frozen as well as a small one. And it is alway a good idea to share 🙂

Half with ham and cheese, and another half with spinach and mashrooms
The smaller ones were not that good!