giggle kitchen

My name is Jennifer Wozniak. I'm a Kansas girl who moved to Hollywood to cook, draw + explore.

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    I love a man in a chemist’s jacket. In late December, my post described my love affair with coffee. Now, in early February, I have fallen in love with coffee all over again. The Portola Coffee Lab in Costa Mesa California rocks. Their coffees are served in ways rarely seen today - all made by men and women wearing chemist’s jackets that run around creating masterpieces. My choice? A single-origin macchiato {see above} served on a silver tray! True love. But, am I cheating on PT’s? Can my heart love TWO coffee shops? Jeff, I’m sorry. You will always be my first and I love your beans. But, I must now share my heart between PT’s and Portola.

    The Kitchen Sink. There are times when I simply do not want to eat dinner away from home. Yet, I’m not especially inspired to cook a four-course dinner either. Today was such a day. I wanted a fresh, healthy meal without a lot of work. After scouring through the fridge and pantry, I found a few odds and ends. The result? A smoked salmon, somen noodle dish topped with red bell pepper and cilantro {see photo above}. Who knew our kitchen essentials were so tasty?

    daybreak in San Diego daybreak in La Jolla seafood sandwich {pre} sunset in La Jolla local sea bass sandwich sunset in San Diego

    San Diego Sunshine. For the past few weeks I have been struggling to recover from an untimely illness. After coughing for days, I was assigned to San Diego, California for a work project. The timing could not have been better. Sun filled days that reached 80F, water as clear as a cloudless sky and a husband to dote on me. It was a near perfect weekend! The best part of our weekend was the food we ate in La Jolla. Each time we visit La Jolla we stop by the El Pescador Fish Market on Pearl Street. El Pescador is a small market, stuffed with fresh, local fish and a few tables. After weaving through a crowd of people, we made our way to the counter and salivated over our choices. We each chose a local sandwich - Hubert decided on a seafood sandwich {see the center pic above} and I settled on sea bass sandwich {see bottom-center pic}. Both were amazing! If only we could visit more often…

    An addiction to Italiano. First, I would like to apologize. Since the moment the clock struck midnight on January 1, 2012 I have been craving Italian food. I could blame Anthony Bourdain. The only episodes I’ve seen since NYE have been centered around “red sauce” “Sardinia” “Napoli”. Seriously, I cannot escape Mr. Bourdain’s Italian adventures. Yet, it is my favorite food to cook. So…it could just be me. Fortunately, I am married to a man who loves my {secret} recipe for red sauce. And that explains why, once again, you see an Italian dinner above {although this time I used short ribs. Oh, I do love short ribs}. Vive Italia!

    My New Year’s Resolution in Overdrive. Each year I try to better myself by making a few new year’s resolutions. They normally include things like “eat healthier” “work out more” “stop cursing” etc. This year, using my past failures as a guide, I decided to go with the anti-new year’s resolution. My 2012 resolutions include - be kind to others and the environment & eat what I want without regard to diet {crazy, but this keeps me thin}. These food pics show off my new year’s “diet” {the sauce is made from scratch, hours of simmering - and tasting}. I’m already in love with 2012! 

    Our new copper-plated roasting pan And {duck} Stekt And {roasted duck} Spinat Salat {spinach salad} Poteter Gulrotter Hvitlok {potatoes...} Lefse {hot, potato flatbread}

    God Jul. This year we decided to closely replicate the Norwegian Christmas dinners I grew up with back home. Guests are always welcomed to one’s home with a nice cup of globb. Globb is mulled wine with a kick of brandy {no, as a child I was not allowed to partake in this custom}. After time to settle in and share a few jokes, everyone sits down to a nice, hot dinner. The centerpiece of our dinner this year was a free-range, organic duck! Above are photos of our favorite courses {in english}: THE roasting pan; pre-oven duck; post-oven duck; spinach salad; roasted yukon gold potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots and garlic; & lefse - the best potato flatbread around! Merry Christmas. God Jul.

    Merry Christmas. As a child I was thrilled to wake up early on Christmas morning and run to our living room to find apples and oranges bigger than my head {a slight exaggeration} in my stocking from Santa. Now, as an adult, I cannot wait to run to our kitchen and make Christmas breakfast for everyone. There are very few things that can beat the combined smell of handmade brioche {see smaller-than-my-head version above} in the oven and freshly ground espresso beans for our morning coffee. Merry Christmas! Joyeux Noel! Wesolych Swiat! Feliz Navidad!

    marynowany sledz barszcz z grzyby pierogi zurek z ziemniaki kapusta z grochem makowiec z slodki sos smietankowy krupnik melissa herbata

    Wigilia. Our 2011 Wigilia was wonderful! We ate and drank late into the night enjoying each other’s company. Above you will find most of our courses - there were a total of twelve, as is the Polish custom, representing the twelve Apostles {and the more courses you have the better your crops the following year}. Here’s a quick english version {in order}: pickled herring; red beet soup with sauerkraut & forest mushroom dumplings; white soup with forest mushrooms & boiled potatoes; cabbage with peas; poppy seed pastry with a custard sauce; honey liqueur & soothing tea to settle the stomach after so many courses! I do love Christmastime.

    The beginning of the pierogi factory. Sauerkraut & forest mushroom stuffing. You must take time to pinch the edges. The final product - perfect pierogi. Awe...this is the life...dumplings!

    Let’s Make Pierogis! It wouldn’t be a Polish Christmas Eve {Wigilia} without hand-made pierogis. Pierogis are Polish style dumplings used as a main course, a side dish or as an added “pop” to soup. On Wigilia we serve sauerkraut and forest mushroom pierogis in red borscht & potato and serrano pierogis {a California touch} as the stand-alone third course. Although a bit time consuming {see a bit of the process above}, they are well worth the wait. This is definitely a tradition we will continue each year. We hope everyone who joins us at our Wigilia table enjoys them as much as we do. Wesolych Swiat!

    My favorite food holiday is Christmas. No, not Thanksgiving, that’s simply not enough food. Christmas is a true celebration. It’s the only holiday that lasts for three days and includes course after course of homemade food {see the beginning of my baking ritual above}. At our house we begin by serving a 12-course, Polish dinner on Christmas Eve, a 7-course Norwegian dinner on Christmas Night and a 4-course American dinner on Boxing Day {all courses will be posted over the next three days}. Merry Christmas!

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