Carpathia – Cookbook Giveaway

Enter our US giveaway to win one of two copies of Carpathia: Food from the Heart of Romania by Irina Georgescu with one additional copy being offered worldwide by Eat Your Books.

There are cookbooks that weave their magic so beautifully around our hearts that we are forever changed. Through words, imagery, and food these writers/cooks immerse us so effortlessly into their culture that we are there – in a cottage in a small village many miles away from our ordinary life. Carpathia is such a book.

Have I ever longed to visit Romania? Honestly, no. While I do suffer from wanderlust – I want to be anywhere except where I am with European countries particularly calling to me. That area of the world, replete with deeply rooted traditions and generations of cooks who keep those traditions alive, appeals to my love of history and the desire to belong to something bigger than myself. Now, thanks to Irina Georgescu, Romania is on my list of places to experience.

Carpathia is comfort. Hearty dishes such as Oven-baked pearl barley pilaf with chicken and mushroom are offered to warm our souls when temperatures drop or a decadent Pumpkin creme caramel with walnuts and raisins to celebrate an ordinary day well-lived.

I am writing these words watching the night sky outside my office window and debating if I should run out right now and buy apricots to make the gorgeous cake below or can I wait until daylight? Right now I’m torn. If I pull myself away from this dream of a book will I lose that feeling of having traveled somewhere special or can I regain it tomorrow when I whip up the cake (along with my son’s favorite chocolate cake for his 16th birthday)?

No matter my decision on an apricot gathering shopping trip by moonlight or sunrise trip, I am happy that I can pull this gorgeous book out any time and get lost. There is a saying that all who wander are not lost but I am proof that you can wander far without leaving your kitchen.

Special thanks to Interlink Books for providing two recipes for our members to try now and for offering copies of Carpathia in our giveaway below.

Cheesy polenta with sour cream and runny fried egg- a full Romanian breakfast (Mamaliga cu branza si smantana) (Serves 4)
Add this recipe to your Bookshelf (click the blue +Bookshelf button).

This Mamaliga is a satisfying, comforting breakfast. Easy and cheap to make, it offers a sunny start to the day whatever the weather. There is a certain type of cheese that goes with this dish called branza de burduf, a spicy, crumbly cheese that is often matured in pine bark cases, not easy to get a hold of outside of Romania. An alternative would be a spicy blue cheese such as Gorgonzola, however, a good mature Cheddar will also do the trick.

  • 1 ¼ cups (300 ml) milk
  • ⅔ cup (150 ml) water
  • 1 cup (5 oz /150 g) coarse polenta
  • 4 tablespoons (2 oz/60 g) butter
  • 1 ½ cups (6 oz / 175 g) crumbled blue cheese or grated cheddar, plus extra to serve
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) sour cream
  • 4 fried eggs
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Bring the milk and water to a boil in a pan over low heat. Turn the heat to medium and stir in the polenta. Keep stirring for about 10 minutes, adding more hot water if necessary, until the mixture reaches the consistency of thick porridge and slowly falls off the spoon. Add the butter and cheese and mix well until melted and silky. Season with salt and pepper and divide between pasta bowls. Top each portion with a dollop of sour cream and a fried egg. Sprinkle with more cheese and black pepper to serve.

Apricot yogurt cake (Prajitura cu caise) 
Add this recipe to your Bookshelf (click the blue +Bookshelf button). (Serves 6)

Romanians love to bake with fruit, and we are blessed with plenty of it. This cake is very easy to make and can be made with apricots, cherries, peaches, blueberries, or pears to create a multitude of versions and colors. The slightly sticky yogurt cake is the perfect accompaniment to the delicate flavor of the apricots. It’s just the thing you need on a summer evening, with a scoop of ice cream or a little sprinkle of fresh tarragon – the anise flavor of the tarragon contrasting so well with the sweetness of the apricots.

  • 3 eggs, separated
  • ¾ cup (5 oz/ 150 g) sugar
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil or rapeseed oil, plus extra for greasing
  • ¼ cup (2 oz/60 g) plain yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Salt
  • 1 ¼ cups (5 oz/150 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 4-5 fresh apricots, halved
  • Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Preheat the oven to 350F (180C). Grease and line a deep 11 by 9 inch (30 by 23 cm) baking pan. Whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks and set aside. Beat the egg yolks with the sugar then add the oil, yogurt, vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt, stirring well to emulsify. Add the flour and baking powder then gently fold in the egg whites.

Pour the cake batter into the pan, then arrange the apricot halves on top, cut-side up. Bake for 30 minutes or until the cake is firm to the touch. Leave to cool in the pan, then dust with confectioners’ sugar and cut into long rectangular slices to serve.

Special thanks to Interlink Publishing for offering two copies of this title in our giveaway open to US members. EYB is sponsoring one additional copy worldwide.  Entry options include answering the following question in the comments section of this blog post.

Which recipe in the index would you try first?

Please note that you must be logged into the Rafflecopter contest before posting or your entry won’t be counted. For more information on this process, please see our step-by-step help post and this forum post. Once you log in and enter your member name you will be directed to the next entry option – the blog comment. After that, there are additional options that you can complete for more entries. Be sure to check your spam filters to receive our email notifications. Prizes can take up to 6 weeks to arrive from the publishers. If you are not already a Member, you can join at no cost. The contest ends at midnight on August 25th, 2020.

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  • Shelley.b  on  June 28, 2020

    Charred autumn vegetable dip

  • miggsy  on  June 28, 2020

    Apricot yogurt cake. Looking forward to fresh apricot season!

  • JuneHawk  on  June 28, 2020

    Kurtos Kalacs!

  • ltsuk  on  June 29, 2020

    Dobos tort

  • DarcyVaughn  on  June 29, 2020

    Lima bean bors with smoked farmhouse sausage and red onion salsa (Bors de fasole cu carnati afumati)

  • ccav  on  June 29, 2020

    Moldovan polenta cakes with cheese and dill ….but there are so many others.

  • Rurban  on  June 29, 2020

    Apples Stuffed with Ham

  • riley  on  June 29, 2020

    Cider ice cream

  • TrishaCP  on  June 29, 2020

    The cucumber salad.

  • suzielarose  on  June 29, 2020

    Hope to get my Romanian copy from here! 😉

  • JRumi  on  June 29, 2020

    Apple and blueberry swirl pie

  • Kristjudy  on  June 29, 2020

    Apricot yogurt cake

  • matag  on  June 29, 2020

    Zucchini fritters with garlic sauce (Dovlecei pane)

  • AmberBee  on  June 29, 2020

    I HAVE to say, Little Honey Bee Cakes! 🙂

  • gilmonster  on  June 29, 2020

    zuchini fritters

  • RickPearson54  on  June 29, 2020

    kurtos kalacs

  • Mtetpon  on  June 29, 2020

    cider ice cream

  • xtravistx  on  June 29, 2020

    Duck legs with baked sauerkraut (Rata pe varza)

  • hbakke  on  June 29, 2020

    Caramelized apple cake (Tort de mere)

  • ravensfan  on  June 29, 2020

    Zucchini fritters with garlic sauce (Dovlecei pane)

  • MarciK  on  June 29, 2020

    Meat and mushroom slice (Placinta cu carne)

  • RuthGo  on  June 29, 2020

    My family hails from the Carpathian Mountains although we’re not Romanian but I think a lot of the flavors and approach to food are going to feel very familiar and comforting.

  • RuthGo  on  June 29, 2020

    Sorry, I missed the question! The oven-baked pearl barley pilaf with chicken and mushrooms or the pastrami-style leg of lamb both sound amazing.

  • mcrimmins  on  June 29, 2020

    Charred Autumn Vegetable Dip. The Chicken and Barley sounds wonderful also.

  • MarthaSarah  on  June 29, 2020

    I would try the Little Honey Bee Cske!

  • stepspior  on  June 29, 2020

    Goat cheese and spinach crepe cake (Tort de clatite cu spanac)

  • kmn4  on  June 29, 2020

    Caraway sauerkraut ciorba with potatoes (Ciorba de varza acra)

  • dmco6863  on  June 30, 2020

    Eggplant caviar

  • dbranigan27  on  June 30, 2020

    I would try Moldovan polenta cakes with cheese and dill (Alivenci).

  • sarahawker  on  June 30, 2020

    Breaded crepes with mushroom filling (Brasovence)

  • Mcc8206  on  June 30, 2020

    I love the thought of the apricot yogurt cake. Will definitely try this recipe!

  • Pizzacat13  on  June 30, 2020

    Breaded crepes with mushroom filling (Brasovence)

  • elinwoods  on  July 1, 2020

    Chimney cakes! I love them at festivals, but I’ve never made my own.

  • Julia28  on  July 1, 2020

    Stuffed zucchini ciorba with sour cream

  • bcarpenter  on  July 1, 2020

    Polenta coated anchovies with garlic sauce

  • kmetcalfe727  on  July 1, 2020

    Apricot yogurt cake (Prajitura cu caise)

  • JenThomas318  on  July 1, 2020

    Moldovan polenta cakes with cheese and dill (Alivenci)

  • tayla710  on  July 1, 2020


  • bopper  on  July 1, 2020

    Romanian Pork Lardo

  • maci234  on  July 1, 2020

    Cider ice cream

  • bangss  on  July 1, 2020

    The Potato Bread in Cabbage Leaves looks really interesting!

  • LeMinou  on  July 2, 2020

    Cucumber salad

  • Jow  on  July 2, 2020

    The apricot yogurt cake look very good

  • WingNut  on  July 2, 2020

    Yum, eastern European food is so good.

  • JessHeilman  on  July 2, 2020

    Apricot yogurt cake. Love all things cake!

  • Isis1981uk  on  July 2, 2020

    Romanian pork lardo

  • StudlyDoRight  on  July 2, 2020

    Apricot Yogurt Cake

  • Lrmum11  on  July 2, 2020

    The apricot yogurt cake looks delicious!

  • calguire  on  July 2, 2020

    Brioche baked cheesecake (Pasca)

  • agreaves19  on  July 2, 2020

    cider ice cream

  • divamode  on  July 2, 2020

    Romanian pork lardo (Slanina)

  • ElizM  on  July 2, 2020

    Oven-baked cheese polenta balls served with yogurt and roasted tomatoes (Bulz) I have a thing about polenta at the moment!

  • kayswo  on  July 2, 2020

    Oven-baked cheese polenta balls served with yogurt and roasted tomatoes (Bulz) sounds amazing!

  • Siegal  on  July 2, 2020

    Caraway breadstick

  • LauraAbenes  on  July 2, 2020

    I would love to get this cookbook, since I am half Hungarian and there are lots of Hungarians in Romania. I would first try the Apricot cake then the Mamaglia.

  • LauraAbenes  on  July 2, 2020

    Eggplant caviar sounds delicious. I wonder how it compares to Texas caviar which is also made with vegetables?

  • dbielick  on  July 2, 2020

    Apple and blueberry swirl pie (Invartita)

  • thecharlah  on  July 2, 2020

    Romanian lima bean dip with sweet caramelized onions (Fasole batuta)

  • IvyManning  on  July 3, 2020

    Romanian mackerel bouillabaisse sounds amazing!

  • svye  on  July 3, 2020

    Pickled cucumber ragout (Mancare de castraveti acri) . It just sounds like such an interesting dish!

  • LaurenE  on  July 3, 2020

    Dobos tort

  • mpdeb98  on  July 3, 2020

    Goat cheese and spinach crepe cake

  • debbiehb  on  July 3, 2020

    Breaded Alpine cheese (Cascaval pane)

  • hrk  on  July 3, 2020

    Yogurt and cheese flatbreads or “Romanian popcorn”

  • Dannausc  on  July 3, 2020

    Romanian pork lardo

  • Sand9  on  July 3, 2020

    Green Tomato Jam

  • Marsaluna  on  July 3, 2020

    So many delicious recipes to choose from! Charred vegetables.

  • youngsvnnhrs  on  July 3, 2020

    Cauliflower gratin with sour cream

  • t.t  on  July 4, 2020

    Romanian cornbread (Mamaliga)

  • roxlet  on  July 4, 2020

    Little Honey Bee Cake

  • emi10383  on  July 4, 2020

    Apricot Yogurt Cake

  • Ceekay  on  July 4, 2020

    I’d like to try the breaded alpine cheese! 🧀🏔️😋

  • jifar  on  July 4, 2020

    With apricots in season now it has to be the Apricot Yogurt Cake

  • Badgerlord  on  July 4, 2020

    Apricot yogurt cake

  • Tracey11  on  July 4, 2020

    I would first make the Charred autumn vegetable dip (Zacusca).

  • acorgihouse  on  July 4, 2020

    Eggplant Caviar with red onion and fennel seeds

  • RuthHarwood  on  July 5, 2020

    Dobos tort

  • miznic  on  July 5, 2020

    Zucchini fritters with garlic sauce (Dovlecei pane) – I can never get enough zucchini. This is perfect!

  • trudys_person  on  July 5, 2020

    I didn’t get past the Apricot Yogurt Cake pictured here – it looks delicious! And local apricots will be in season soon!

  • jd5761  on  July 6, 2020

    apricot yogurt cake for me

  • MissKoo  on  July 7, 2020

    Pan Fried Chicken with caramelized quince

  • fmd518  on  July 9, 2020

    Cider ice cream

  • fluffies  on  July 10, 2020

    sign me up for the Dobos torte as well….

  • ochs  on  July 10, 2020

    pork lardo

  • Breeze81  on  July 10, 2020

    I’d love to try that lush apricot yoghurt cake first.

  • wester  on  July 11, 2020

    They all look so good. Smoked mackerel salad with tarragon and mayo probably first.

  • vhfvhf  on  July 11, 2020

    Cheesy polenta with sour cream and runny fried egg

  • eyupitsjohn  on  July 11, 2020

    Honestly, the Mamaliga looks incredible!

  • acecil  on  July 12, 2020

    Apricot yogurt cake

  • HomespunHouse  on  July 12, 2020

    Definitely cheesy polenta

  • northwestwoman2020  on  July 12, 2020

    cider ice cream

  • Zigzag123  on  July 13, 2020

    Cider ice cream

  • Ishtar  on  July 14, 2020

    Grape leaves stuffed with sticky rice and raisins

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