One month ago I became a mother for the first time. So many things have changed since the birth of my son… for example I realized how amazing it is to sit down and eat a delicious meal for 20 minutes (now that I have to eat everything in 10 minutes :)) or to spend time with friends.
While I was writing this post it was nice to evoke memories from last July when we spent a long weekend with friends at a wonderful place, called Lake Balaton. I bet our holiday routine will change from this summer but if we have good company, the joy of spending time with your friends is priceless.
Lake Balaton is a freshwater lake in the Transdanubian region of Hungary. It is the largest lake in Central Europe and we, Hungarians call it the “Hungarian Sea”. It has silky green-yellow water and it’s one of Hungary’s most precious treasures and most frequented resorts. The mountainous region of the northern shore is known both for its historic character and as a major wine region (picturesque vineyards in the region produce an assortment of excellent wines), while the flat southern shore is known for its resort towns. During the peak tourist season (from June until the end of August) the average water temperature is 25°C (77F) which makes bathing and swimming popular on the lake.
Like every Hungarian, we try to go to Lake Balaton every summer (we are lucky to have friends who have weekend houses around the lake :)). I really appreciate spending precious time with my loved ones in a beautiful milieu. The most important “ingredients” of having a great weekend are good company, sunny hot weather, fresh air, cooking together, long lasting breakfasts, brunches and dinners eaten outside, swimming in the lake, eating lots of ice-cream, corn on the cob and lángos. We shouldn’t forget the rustic, old house that we called home for the weekend (I wish I could have a house like that!).
During the weekend everyone was responsible to cook or bake something for the whole group. I decided to make vegan hazelnut-vanilla pancakes, vegan chocolate popsicles and raw thumbprint cookies (yes, I have a sweet tooth! :)).
Tabuleh and baked potatoes
Let’s see this thumbprint cookie recipe. The history of the thumbprint cookie is pretty much a mystery. Credit for the creation of the thumbprint cookie is often given to either the people of Poland or the Jewish people of Eastern Europe. It is a very versatile choice in cookie as the ingredients required vary widely by recipe. All that is really needed to make a thumbprint cookie is the method of forming the cookies before baking. The dough of a thumbprint cookie is rolled into a small ball and then pressed with the thumb which creates an indent that can be filled with any kind of jams or chocolate.
Raw Almond Thumbprint Cookies
Ingredients (makes about 24)
– 3/4 cup dates, pitted
– 3 cups rolled oats
– 1 and 1/2 cups smooth almond butter
– 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
– 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
– 1/4 teaspoon salt
– juice and zest of 1 orange
Put dates into a bowl, cover with hot water and let it soak for 10-15 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup of the soaking liquid, then drain dates well.
In a food processor, pulse oats until coarsely ground, then transfer into a bowl and set aside. Transfer dates and reserved 1/2 cup liquid to food processor and purée until smooth. Add date mixture, almond butter, shredded coconut, orange juice and zest, salt, cinnamon to oats and “knead” together to make a dough.
Line a tray with parchment paper. Roll dough into 24 balls, transferring them to the tray. Press down your thumb in each cookie to make an indentation in the middle. Spoon a bit of jam into each one and chill the cookies for at least one hour before serving.