Tag: #cheese

Simpsonville Polish Food -Review Blog

Hello again, Foodie Friends ๐Ÿ™‚ Hope youโ€™ve had a great week! For this special short edition of Foodie Adventures, Iโ€™m introducing you to a new business in Simpsonville specializing in a cuisine that I learned to love when I was young, Polish food! ๐Ÿ™Œ


I am very happy to be bringing you this blog about a cuisine that’s so near and dear to my heart. My grandpa was Portuguese, but we ate a ton of Polish food growing up. Papa lived near Fall River, MA, and there were both polish restaurants and bakeries that we could get our fix of Polish food at. One of our favorites that’s still there is Patti’s Pierogis (Guy Fieri even stopped by once!). It was always one of my favorite outings with my grandparents when we went to visit. You can find a ton of little restaurants and places like that up in New England, but thereโ€™s not a lot down here – until now!

Since moving to the Upstate, which is such a foodie-centric area, I count myself lucky to be surrounded by so many great cuisines. There are obviously some gaps, and Polish food is certainly one of them. So I was really excited to see Aga asking people if there was any interest in someone bringing Polish food to Greenville and the surrounding cities, and knew I had to reach out!

Allow me to introduce you to “The Carl’s Products“, run by Aga Michalska, and her husband, Karol. She recently invited me to her house to interview her, hear her story, and of course, try her food!

How did you get started with the business?

So my dad had a butcher shop in Poland and I worked with him. When we came to America in 2012, we noticed that none of the sausages and meats were the same and we couldn’t get what we were used to here. The meats were so sweet, for example honey ham, we didn’t have anything like that over in Poland, we couldn’t understand how the meats were so sweet. We really missed the food, so we started smoking our own meats in our garage by making hams and sausages for us and our friends. We had a big party when we first smoked some meat! For us it was like having a backyard bbq. After a while, we had a lot of customers when we lived in Virginia through word of mouth. We just moved to South Carolina in March and we are trying to spread our wings here.

Aga Michalska, Owner of The Carl’s Products
Karol and Aga of The Carl’s Products in Simpsonville, SC.

Tell me a little bit more about some of the dishes you make, I would love to learn more about your pierogis (not going to lie, these are my favorites)!

In Poland, pierogis are saved for special occasions. The recipes are passed down on the men’s side of the family, not the woman’s. So the Grandfather teaches his sons how to make the dough recipe, and they in turn teach their sons, and so on. We are using my husband Karol’s recipe, which I didn’t learn how to make until after we got married. Even in the states, we continue with this holiday tradition in our family. We have a competition between us and his brother at Christmas to see who can make the most pierogis. Our record so far was 500 in 2019 in one day!!

Aga Michalska, Owner of The Carl’s Products

Oh, we’ve made it a competition on Facebook at Christmas too. We’ll ask people on Facebook “How much do you think we’re going to have this year?” and whoever can guess the closest in the comments to the final total of how many we made, wins a bowl of pierogis! Some of our friends tried to cheat and asked us for status updates along the way but we made sure it’s always fair.

Karol Michalska, Owner of The Carl’s Products

The best part about making pierogis is when you get all the family around at the table. We have friends that live in Greer, and friends that came to visit us from VA, so it was six of us around the table and we hadn’t seen each other in a long time so it was such fun making pierogis with everyone.

Karol Michalska, Owner of The Carl’s Products

We were lucky enough to get to try not only both types (dinner/savory and dessert/sweet) but also four different flavors of pierogis that Aga and Karol make. The first savory pierogis were stuffed with sauerkraut and meat. They also make their own sauerkraut, which typically takes a couple of weeks to ferment, that gets added to the pierogis before wrapping. The Russian style is made with potato and white cheese, which is similar to a farmer’s cheese, which they also hand make themselves!!

Karol tells me that everything they make is fresh, all natural, and they make all the mix-ins they use from scratch or grow them themselves (if they can). They said the only thing they don’t grow themselves is potatoes, so that is one thing they do buy. However, I did fill them in on some great farmers markets where they could get some locally too.

We also got to try two types of fruit pierogis – one with blueberries on the inside and one with strawberries in the filling, topped with homemade strawberry jam. Aga loves dipping her pierogis in sour cream, but didn’t include any since I’m non-dairy, however, a good non-dairy brand is a great substitution here too.

The strawberries, from a local patch, were from Stewart Farms. They originally went there intending to pick one bucket, then came back with six buckets, they loved them so much!


Golabkis, both traditional and Aga’s way in a tomato sauce, covered in dill.

One of the other traditional dishes we got to try was Golabkis (pronounced gah-wump-keys phonetically). One was made in the traditional way, with meat and rice rolled in cabbage, topped in a tomato sauce.

Golabkis Aga’s way in tomato sauce, covered in dill.

Then she has a special way of making them if she has leftover cabbage, where she chops the cabbage up, if the leaves are too small to roll. She’ll mix it in with the filling and makes it into more of a meatball shape, which works better for people who aren’t huge fans of cabbage.

It was very kind of them to give us a loaf of freshly made bread as well, which made fantastic sandwiches and was both crusty on the outside and super soft on the inside. They also offer a jalapeรฑo & cheddar and a cinnamon raisin loaf on their menu, Karol’s favorite is the jalapeรฑo and cheddar.


So how does it typically work when people order food from you all? Do you have a menu that you give to folks or a specific pick up date range?

Our menu is here (see below), you can order through our Facebook page or Instagram by messaging us! It’s just a home business for now, so you come pick it up from us in Simpsonville. In the future once we get more established here, we’d love to do some markets or possibly get into small local grocery stores as well. When ordering smoked products, we need one week in advance to make them. All meat is cured naturally and needs some time. Pierogis, cakes, and bread can be ordered about a day or two in advance usually.

Aga Michalska, Owner of The Carl’s Products
Menu from The Carl’s Products in Greenville, SC.

Aga sent me a ton of great photos from their menu, feel free to sit through the slideshows below for a few minutes to check them out!

Desserts:

Breads:

Smoked Meats:

I was so so happy with everything that Aga and Karol made, and am super excited to share this with all of you! I can’t wait to bring some of these to my family and friends to share soon, and I look forward to watching them grow in the Upstate as they gain the following they so deserve. Make sure to give them a follow and some love on social media! ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ˜


So how was your weekend, Foodie Friends? Are you excited to try some wonderful Polish food? Have you ever had any before (the stuff from a grocery store doesn’t count)? Sound out in the comments below to let us know your suggestions of what dishes to make or places we should visit next. As always, feel free to like, comment, & share ๐Ÿค—

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Weekend Foodie Warriors- Easter Edition!

Hello hello, again, Foodie Friends ๐Ÿ™‚ Hope youโ€™ve had a great week so far! For this #throwbackthursday edition of Foodie Adventures, weโ€™re showing you our family’s Easter celebration and experimenting with a new gluten-free and dairy-free version of a carrot cake recipe to celebrate! ๐Ÿฐ๐Ÿฅ•๐Ÿ’œ

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Weekend Foodie Warriors- Take 58!

Hello hello, again, Foodie Friends ๐Ÿ™‚ Hope youโ€™ve had a great week so far! For this special edition of Foodie Adventures, weโ€™re taking you behind the scenes of the invite-only Foodie McFooderton Chef’s Alliance event, dedicated to showcasing great local BBQ, chefs, and local makers! ๐Ÿ’œAlso don’t miss our first experience with cooking lamb! ๐Ÿ™Œ

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Weekend Foodie Warriors- Take 56!

Hello hello, again, Foodie Friends ๐Ÿ™‚ Hope youโ€™ve had a great week so far! For this edition of Foodie Adventures, weโ€™re taking you on a culinary trip to Spain (locally) for our review of Abanico Tapas Bar, and celebrating Pi Day last weekend with homemade pizza!

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Weekend Foodie Warriors – Take 40!

Hello hello, again, Foodie Friends ๐Ÿ™‚ Hope you had a great Easter weekend! For this holiday edition of Foodie Adventures, join us for our Good Friday Fun, Easter Dinner, and Birthday Cake making!


Good Friday Fun

We have a lot of friends and neighbors who have been working tirelessly on the front lines of this virus for the last few months, including doctors, nurses, and grocery store workers.

My mom and I have always been good at sewing (must be in the genes), and spent a lot of my childhood home-making clothing, quilts, baby bibs, and embroidering blankets for our family, friends, and those around us. Every time one of our family members gets married or has a baby, they get a one-of-a-kind quilt made just for them to help commemorate the special occasion.

We knew that putting our sewing skills to work now more than ever would be helpful, as face masks were in short supply and the ones online were so astronomically priced. So we began making and giving them away to whoever needed them! See the slideshow below for some of our fabrics we used and in-action shots.

And these are pictures of the finished products! 100% cotton on the back and Batik fabric on the front, which is one of the tightest, thickly woven fabrics that the CDC reccomends when making homemade masks. The kid sized masks had elastic straps for ease and convenience for both the kiddos and parents and the adult ones had adjustable cloth tie straps.

So far we’ve made about 110 masks since the week before Easter!


Easter Dinner

For Easter this year it was pretty quiet, with only my immediate family, Jamie, and I, making sure to keep our distance and not going near my grandma as much as we could just in case (she’ll be 95 next month!).

Of course we started the day with a special drink, cranberry pineapple mimosas! We took no pictures of those though, but let me tell you, they were delish. ๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿน

Couldn’t have drinks without some appetizers to tide us over, here was our spread!

A variety of crackers (both regular and GF!), goat cheese, havarti, and some smoked gouda rounded out the plate.

For dinner, or supper rather, since we ate around 1-2 pm, we had both turkey and ham (Grandma’s favorite), along with tons of yummy sides! We made Roasted french onion potatoes, Brussel sprouts with bacon and onions, Balsamic brown sugar glazed carrots, and of course, both Mashed and Sweet potatoes.

We always try to eat at the dining room table during holidays, and this year was no exception! We have these gorgeous hand painted glasses we got from a yard sale a couple years ago and they remind us of spring, so we ended up using those and our pretty blue flowered plates to match.

For dessert, we each got a dark chocolate bunny and ate the last of our three pies from Buttermilk Sky Pie Shop, this one was their seasonal Lemon Icebox flavor, super delish!! I think this one and the Chocolate creme flavors were our two favorites.


Birthday Cake Making!

So if you follow us on Instagram (c’mon, y’all are professionals, I know you have ๐Ÿ˜, if not, click the link above ๐Ÿ”ผ), you would’ve seen us mid-icing these birthday cakes on our story, but here’s a brief overview of what went on!

Jamie’s coworkers are awesome and he’s started a trend of making them each a small cake (the flavors are always surprises) for their special day. The first cake we ever made is below for a March birthday, a Hershey’s chocolate cake with extra chocolate chips, a fresh strawberry compote filling made with local strawberry jam, and a bitter-sweet chocolate buttercream. Needless to say – this cake was a massive hit! ๐ŸŽ‚

There were two April birthdays back-to-back this month, so we made two seperate flavors. One was the same Hershey’s chocolate cake from above (which hapened to sink in the middle this go around, I think we opened the oven accidentally too many times ๐Ÿคฆโ€โ™€๏ธ) with the mocha frosting recipe from the right hand picture below as the frosting and filling.

The other was a lemon cake recipe from Alex Guarnaschelli (one of my favorite Food Network Chefs ever), using the lemon frosting from the recipe above, and then the filling from the same Good Housekeeping cookbook below (which made almost a lemon curd-like filling). I’ve had this cookbook since I graduated college, and it’s the same book my mom had to teach her how to cook when she was growing up, and she got me a similar copy as a present. This is the best book to not only find basic recipes in but also teach yourself how to make sauces, work with different cuts of meat, and identify herbs and spices.

With the extra cake filling for both of these, we also made filled cupcakes, which was super fun too! ๐Ÿง This lemon one was absolutely a winner, and while neither of these recipes are non-dairy, I’m working on creating the non-dairy substitutions this week that will be added to the blog! Stay tuned for those!! ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿ˜


So how was your weekend Foodie Friends? What’s been your favorite place to get take-out or carry out over the last week? Was the Easter Bunny good to you this year? Sound out in the comments below to let us know your suggestions of what dishes to make or places we should visit next. As always, feel free to like, comment, & share ๐Ÿค—

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Weekend Foodie Warriors- Take 26!

Hello hello, again, Foodie Friends ๐Ÿ™‚ Hope you had a fantastic long Labor Day weekend! In this edition of Foodie Adventures, I cooked up a storm – homemade pesto was the start of pizzas & calzones, apples from the Greenville State Farmers Market added to an apple cake & apple sauce, and we revisit and revamp an old favorite recipe!

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