Jan 31, 2015

POLAND: Krakow to Gdansk

An Eastern European country Poland has lots of culture, history, and scenery to absorb. Whether you travel its landmass from north to south, or south to north you'll be enriched with it's diversity and remarkable people.


One of the few cities in Central Europe to withstand its medieval buildings during the "WAR" days, Krakow is filled with many sights to explore. There is Old Town, Wawal Castle, Wawal Cathedral and the not to be missed Wieliczka Salt Mine. Built in the 13th century the mine has been in operation for over 700 years and is a whirlwind of chapels, galleries, monuments, statues, tunnels and lakes all carved out of rock salt by the miners. There's even an underground sanatorium where people with allergic diseases are treated overnight. Not far from Krakow are the Carpathian Mountains with their majestic high peaks. The resort town of Zakapone that is popular in the winter for skiing and hiking in the summer is a nice place to spend a night or two.


A port city on the Baltic coast and one of Poland's oldest cities Gdansk has interesting sights such as Neptune Fountain, Gradowa Hill, Royal Chapel, and the Great Armoury Hall. One of the most popular streets in Gdansk is the quaint Ulica Mariacka. Here you'll find cafe's, jewelry shops, residential buildings, and a Gothic style hotel called Kamienica Gotyk. From Gdansk you can easily explore the various seaside towns along the Baltic Sea.

Each country around the world is known for it's cuisine and Poland is no exception. The Polish are known for a multitude of dishes; beet soup, duck blood soup, mushroom soup, sauerkraut and kielbasa, meat loaf, pierogi, stuffed cabbage rolls, buckwheat, cucumber salad, makowiec (poppyseed swirl cake), and sernik (cheesecake) are some of the dishes that Polish people enjoy eating.


12 cabbage leaves
1 pound ground beef, cooked
1 cup cooked rice
1 15 ounce can of tomato sauce
1  teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup chopped onions
1/4 cup chopped green pepper

Cover cabbage leaves in boiling water and let them stand in the pot till they become limb.

Drain the cabbage leaves.

Mix together the cooked ground beef and rice, onions, green pepper, garlic powder, pepper and
1/2 the can of tomato sauce. Put a 1/3 cup of the mixture in each cabbage leaf roll tucking the sides. Place seam side down in baking dish. Pour the remaining tomato sauce over the cabbage rolls.

Cover and Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Once the cabbage rolls are cooked you can serve them with some sour cream or plain yogurt.

Jan 23, 2015

Chopin & Poland

Simplicity is the final achievement. After one has played a vast quality of notes and more notes, it is simplicity that emerges as the crowning reward of art.   Frederic Chopin


Ballads, Chamber Works, Etudes, Impromtus, Mazurkas, Minor Works, Nocturnes, Piano Concertos, Polonaises, Preludes, Rondos, Scherzos, Sonatas, Variations, Waltzes

Zelazowa Wola, a small village located in east-central Poland is where one of the world's most famous composers and pianists was born long ago on March 1, 1810. His name?


The home that Chopin was born in is visited by many people who want to view the "dworek" a little manor house. The house is surrounded by a natural park at the banks of the Utrata River.

A monument of Frederic Chopin designed by artist Josef Goslawski in 1955 was unveiled on July 13, 1969 and is adjacent to the birth house. It's astounding that for such a short life (Chopin died at the age of 39) he was able to compose so many works that have and will be enjoyed for centuries.

Not far from Zelazowa Wola is the Hotel Chopin, a full service hotel and spa with a very reputable restaurant. It's a good place to dine before heading back to Warsaw.


Zelazowa Wola is less than an hour to Warsaw. A visit to Poland just wouldn't be complete without a short or long stay in Warsaw. This vibrant city is Poland's largest city and is also the capital of Poland.
Warsaw is often regarded as one of the most livable cities in all of Europe. Chopin grew up in Warsaw. Some of the top attractions in Warsaw are the Fryderyk Chopin Museum, Clock Tower, Lazienki Park, Old Market Square, and Krakowskie Przedmieskie. Chopin's music continues to be performed by talented musicians throughout Warsaw.


Ballade No 3 in A-Flat Major Op 47
Nocturne in E Flat Major Op 9
Prelude No 4 Op 28
Waltz in D-flat major, Op 64                 

POLAND has a lot to offer…there's more to share in my next post!

Jan 5, 2015


It's 2015…a new year. It's time to start planning where to go in the world in 2015. So many places to choose from. How about POLAND?

POLAND, the country that brought us Frederic Chopin, Pope John Paul II, Madame Curie, Joanna Krupa, Doda, Robert Lewandowski, and many more famous Polish people.

A country that has so much amazing architecture, history, and food. Krakow, Zakopane, Warsaw, Gdansk, Lublin, Malbork, Torun, Poznan, Tatra National Park, and Bialowieza Forest are just a few of the grand places to visit when in POLAND.

The city of KRAKOW is a good place to begin your tour of POLAND. One of my favorite places to stay is the comfortable "Tango House" in the heart of Old Town and "Piano Guest House" which is run by an artistic and friendly Polish family who serve one of the best breakfasts in all of KRAKOW.




My Polish grandmother often made these traditional cakes which I love to this very day.

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg yolk, slightly beaten, (save the egg white in a small bowl)
1 cup flour, sifted
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup finely chopped nuts

Cream the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl until smooth, then add the egg yolk, salt, and vanilla.
Pour the sifted flour over the mixture until it makes a dough. Roll dough into small balls. Dip each ball in unbeaten egg white. Roll the balls into chopped nuts. Place the balls on a greased baking sheet and press down the center of each cake with your fingers. Bake the cakes for five minutes. Remove from oven and press the center of each cake again. Bake for another 10 minutes until cakes become slightly brown.

Remove the cakes from the oven and immediately fill each of them with fruit preserves of your choice.

Serve the POLISH TEA CAKES with a pot of tea!

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