This week comes with no recipe of mine to share and as you are reading this post, we would be crossing the border into Belgium and making our way to Paris.
Yeah! Paris, baby! An impromptu one at that.
And this was only decided barely 2 weeks ago when an old mommy friend from our years in Bangkok announced that she and her tribe would be visiting back home. Her home being Paris.
For us, it would only be a hop of several borders away; with Spud and Squirt in tow…who, like us, are as excited to see their old friends whom they have not seen for several years since the moved to the Philippines!
Looks like we’ll be pigging on French food this weekend!
So, while we get that sorted out as I have no clue as to what we’ll be stuffing our faces with (Macarons are high on my list!), I thought that I’ll make this week a little special for you by featuring Balkan Cuisines instead.
More specifically, a home-cooking book on Balkan Comfort Food that features more than 50 recipes by Jas Brechtl.
If you are not already familiar with this multi-talented dynamite of a woman, mother and a Grandma of 2, Jas is a bit of a celebrity chef, a humanitarian, an avid photographer as well as the wonderful and humble creator behind All That’s Jas. I also found out through our behind the scene correspondences that she’s quite the OCD who loves to unpack suitcases!
A few months back, Jas gave me the honour to a copy of her e-book when she launched it on Amazon.
As I read each and every page of her book, I am fascinated by the plethora of recipes she has put together…recipes that ooze nostalgia of her childhood before her 6-year exile in Germany. She now lives in Indiana.
In each recipe, I can almost feel that sense of comfort in smells, taste and colours of childhood nostalgia filled with longing familiarity of the distant past…
….memories that keep a family together as they bond over profoundly unique traditional cuisines served at big weekend lunches.
…things that you grow up with, cognizant with deep impressions of flashbacks that were left behind yet never forgotten.
From all sorts of stews to stuffed veg to delightful desserts, Jas’s book is all about dusting off old recipes and preserving the art of creating dishes that many generations before her have enjoyed.
A Balkan at heart, Jas has now put all those memories into a precious compilation of culinary treasures with the mix of flavours from the Balkan Region (Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Slovania, Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Albania, Kosovo, Bulgaria, Greece, Romania and European Turkey) for the next generation to relish.
A very traditional but versatile recipe made with phyllo and a mixture of cheeses and eggs. Jas told me she used to make her own phyllo dough, from scratch! How crazy is that?!
2. Chicken Paprikash
A classic yet colourful, flavourful and a heartwarming chicken dish beyond the Balkan region. In Jas’ words: flavours and colours that inspire happiness! I couldn’t agree more after having a go at this quick and easy to make dish (recipe to follow and will definitely be posted on one of my weekly Fabulous Friday Flavours!)
3. Potato and Beef Casserole – Musaka
A rich casserole of what a Moussaka is to Balkan and what a Lasagna is to Italy! Enough said.
4. Bread Panada – Popara
A satisfying dish of stale bread (say whaaaat!) showcasing the inventive use of leftovers to stretch a meal by Balkan grandmothers.
Before you click away, do pop by Jas’ blog over at All That’s Jas, and in case you are not sure where to start and/or not quite into recipes or food, I recommend you read That’s Why.
It was one of the most heartfelt, real-life story of humanity that I have ever read. And I promise you that you’ll never be sorry and that you likely leave the page a little choked-up. It was also through the interactions from the post where a friendship has since been forged halfway across the world.
To Jas, thank you so very much for the friendship, not to mention the privilege of receiving a copy of such an authentic e-book. In other words, I’m so very happy I got this treasure trove of recipes for free. Bwahahhahahhaah!