CNN photojournalist John Bodnar is a second-generation Slavic-American whose grandparents emigrated from Eastern Slovakia, and his mother’s Carpatho-Rusyn ethnicity is the prominent influence for his cultural and family traditions. Previously, he wrote about haluski, holupki and paska.
I’ve always enjoyed the Slovak food my mother and extended family prepares. We eat these dishes at every family gathering: weddings, funerals and holiday celebrations. We eagerly approach the buffet display to find the holupki and haluski that usually occupy the first few trays, but at the end of the tables are the treats.
Cookies and cakes dominate that section, but the pastry that has always delighted my palate is the kolachi nut roll. Kolachi (sometimes spelled "kolache") is the name often given to a standard type of Slavic dough-filled pastry. Our kolachi is rolled dough filled with a walnut mixture, but other families fill theirs with a poppy seed mixture.
My aunt Eleanor was always celebrated as the one whose recipe held the quality edge over the other family members'. Obviously, this unofficial title has been disputed, but I concede that hers had a slight advantage in my childhood memories.
But Eleanor’s health eventually left her unable to make the delicious kolachi. As her health was failing, she insisted that her daughter Renee learn her kolachi recipe and carry on the tradition and her legacy. My cousin Renee embraced her mother’s challenge, and carries, in my mind, the title for making the best kolachi nut roll.
No one takes as much ghoulish glee in Halloween as the staff at Martha Stewart Living. Their signature blend of sweet, cute and just a touch spooky is irresistible to treat lovers of all ages and skill levels.
Take a peek at this gallery of creepy treats, and your guests will soon be gobblin' up their favorites.
Snip a piece of black licorice twist into a small triangle for the nose, and press into place. Poke the marshmallows a few times with the toothpick to make a large hole for a candy stick. Push the candy stick into the hole, through the jaw, and into the skull. Wrap in a cellophane bag if desired.
Talk about your Fat Tuesday!
We've sunk our teeth pretty deeply into Mardi Gras already, but New Orleans isn't the only float in the food parade.
Across the U.K., royals and hoi polloi alike flip pancakes in celebration of Shrove Tuesday. The Pennsylvania Dutch fry up fastnachts (a raised doughnut). Folks of Polish descent (and apparently, residents of Michigan) polish off plenty of pączki (extra-rich jelly or cream-filled doughnuts) with great, greasy abandon.
Editor's note: For more on Hannah Storm, don't miss "Sanjay Gupta, MD" on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. ET Saturday and 7:30 a.m. ET Sunday.
ESPN "SportsCenter" host Hannah Storm suffered severe burns as the result of a propane grill accident at her Connecticut home on December 11. CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta spoke with her recently. Here is an edited version of that interview.
CNN: Is it hard for you to just be by that grill where this all happened, psychologically?
This is the sixth installment of "Eat This List" - a regularly recurring list of things chefs, farmers, writers and other food experts think you ought to know about.
I'm a good cook. I'd go so far as to say I'm a damn good cook - not fussy or haute, but you could tell me that a James Beard-nominated chef was coming over to eat and I wouldn't panic. (They have, and I didn't.)
I also write about food for a living, which leads a lot of of people to infer that I've mastered a lot more in the kitchen than I actually have. I'm adventurous and fearless, but I still have a lot to learn. So, in the spirit of honesty (and letting the rest of you feel like Alton Brown in comparison), here's a handful of common cooking tasks on which I'd grade myself a C-minus or worse.
5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.
If your New Year's resolution involved being more adventurous in the kitchen, hold on to your toques - Charles Phan is opening up his highly anticipated first cookbook, "Vietnamese Home Cooking," for you courageous, budding culinarians.
Phan is the acclaimed chef and owner of The Slanted Door, a modern Vietnamese restaurant in San Francisco, California.
"These dishes all have memories for me and my family and have become favorites for one reason or another. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different cuisines at home, these are all very easy to make, " Phan said. "Go a step further with our wine or cocktail suggestions and everyone will think you’re a professional and might not want to leave."
Five Vietnamese Recipes to Try At Home: Charles Phan
CNN photojournalist John Bodnar is a second-generation Slavic-American whose grandparents emigrated from Eastern Slovakia, and his mother’s Carpatho-Rusyn ethnicity is the prominent influence for his cultural and family traditions. Previously, he wrote about haluski and paska.
When we were kids, stuck inside during a long, cold winter or seeking respite from the summer heat under a shade tree, my friends and I often played board games. These games could go on for quite a while, and we'd get to talking about sports and whatever else young boys think about. Eventually we'd get around to the topic of our favorite foods.
We all agreed that stuffed cabbage, known as holupki, was the best of all. Second to pizza, of course.
Casey Barber, a food writer in Clifton, New Jersey, says many Hostess products and their associated feelings of nostalgia are easy to conjure up in a home kitchen, but there's one thing she's never been able to replicate: "There's just a fakeness about them, a teeth rattling extra super-sugaryness that comes with the high fructose corn syrup that you're not going to get if you make a Twinkie or Devil Dog at home."
She made these raspberry "Zingers" - a snack cake sold under both the Dolly Madison and Hostess brand names - in October. The recipe is in her forthcoming book,"Classic Snacks Made from Scratch."
Hostess Brands – the maker of popular baked goods such as Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Wonder Bread – announced it is asking a bankruptcy court for permission to shut down, blaming a strike by bakers opposed to a new contract.
This weekend, we'd like you to bake your own Hostess treat. Please send us a photo of your homemade creation along with the recipe. And of course, tell us how it tastes! (If you're not the baking type, tell us about your fondest memories of the iconic snacks.)