Canadian cookbook author and Life Magazine spokesperson Helen M. Radics (born Ilona Szabo) has always enjoyed sharing her recipes through the pages of her 8 cookbooks, numerous e-books, television appearances, cooking demonstrations and her blogs.
Hungarian food has always fascinated people regardless of their background. The mouth-watering Hungarian Goulash has been the topic of conversations around the dinner table for generations. However through this blog, the author shows another side of Hungary’s culinary world as there are hundreds of equally delicious dishes and delectable desserts that need to take their rightful place as symbols of Hungary.
Bon Appetite! or as Hungarians say Jó étvágyat!
The story of my Mother, Helen M Radics
Her mouth-watering recipes spread like wildfire around the World
Dreaming of creating a Hungarian heritage cookbook has never been a problem for my Mother, Helen M Radics, after all her imagination and creativity always amazed everyone during family celebrations and get-togethers. She has enriched not only my life, but the lives of all her friends and family through her lovingly prepared Hungarian heritage recipes. She has always attracted people with her caring personality and joy of life. Her Great-grandmother created the family’s first little notebook of family recipes in 1891. My Grandmother has given a copy of that notebook to my Mother as a wedding gift in 1966.
My Mother, Helen started to sort trough her tremendous amount of family recipes several decades ago, wanting to gather the best and most cherished dishes in a book to share with the world. My Father Joe was a valuable help to her, especially in coming up with the title Treasured Hungarian Family Recipes® and at that time only as a subtitle, My Mom’s Hungarian Heritage Recipes™. They created a keepsake little booklet full of Hungarian heritage recipes in 1990. She was full of excitement, energy and I could see the sense of accomplishment giving her more and more confidence every day.
It filled me with pride to know that my Mother’s Hungarian heritage recipes would not be lost for future generations. She lovingly chose each recipe and shared with me memories of her childhood, that put a smile on her face, as she pressed on with creating her first full cookbook Treasured Hungarian Family Recipes®. My Father, Joe was also a great cook and baker, so he had a world of recipes to share. He made the best goulash, paprikash and his speciality “Cold Paprikash” (hideg paprikas) from his great-grandmother. It was a joy to watch them work together. Theirs was a marriage of not only two young people in love, but the fusion of Southern and Northern Hungarian dishes and recipes as well.
Then tragedy struck. My Father Joe, the love of her life had an accident. Her life, her dreams were put on hold, and almost forgotten for 3 years. My Mother’s daily life simply revolved around taking care of my Father and making him more comfortable. Time for herself was non-existent. I always knew that she was the best Mother in the world, but her selflessness while taking care of my Father brought tears to my eyes many times during those 3 hard years.
Following the early death of my Father, Joe who was only 53, my Mother’s days became filled with the need to take care of everyone around her. She fulfilled that need by channeling all her energy into spoiling our friends with mouth-watering dishes, delectable cakes and pastries. For holidays and birthdays she also made each gift complete with a little bit of herself by creating edible little treasures, such as her very popular chocolate truffles and earthy Pâtés. Seeing the joy in the eyes of her friends after opening one of her truffle boxes, slowly brought her back to life. Her lovely dark eyes shone like black diamonds once again, with each passing day making her stronger and more confident.
Seeing that confidence, I asked her one day, why doesn’t she start working on her cookbook again. She looked puzzled, as if just remembering her long cherished dream of sharing her love of food, and the joy of cooking with the world. The Secret of Hungarian Cooking® was in her heart, ready to be shared. Later that night I saw my Mother gather her notes and her favourite pen and Treasured Hungarian Family Recipes® The Secret of Hungarian Cooking® was born.
During Easter Monday 2010, my Mother, Helen held the very first copy of her long awaited cookbook in her hand, as a tiny teardrop rolled down her face as she whispered almost silently “I wish your Father could share this moment with us…”I told her that I was certain that he was with her every step of the way, how else would she be such a strong lady following all the hardship that she had to endure.
She kissed me, as she started to tell me about her plans for a second book already forming in her mind. Today, my Mother has countless cookbooks, baking books and e-books through which she shares with you her beloved recipes.
Story by Helen Radics
Helen M. Radics (born Ilona Szabo on May 21, 1946 in Hungary) is a Canadian cookbook author who has appeared on CTV, Life Network and numerous media outlets Worldwide. Her books were reviewed by The Record newspaper, and Life Magazine. She has been named the official spokesperson by Life Magazine for “Walnut Roll” for the 2010 Christmas Season. She is the author of a number of English-language Hungarian cookbooks, e-cookbooks / baking books and has a YouTube cooking Channel that has over 1/2 million viewers.
Helen M. Radics published her first cookbook, Treasured Hungarian Family Recipes® 1, in March 2010. She has also published two additional books in the series, Treasured Hungarian Family Recipes® 2 and 3 in 2010. Since the publication of her first cookbooks, Helen has 10 cookbooks and 11 e-books through which she shares her recipes.
She is also the producer and creator of her own cooking videos and online cooking show Cooking with Helen M Radics™ . Her contributions in spreading Hungarian culture outside of Hungary have been noted by the Hungarian National Tourism Board. Ms. Radics has instructed chefs in Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Hungary and Cuba in Hungarian cooking, and she and her books have been featured on several cooking shows, CTV News and Life Network.
She established her cookbook company in 1990 and her books are all part of the Hungarian Heritage Recipe Library™, which is also her sole creation. Her video collection is also referred to as the Hungarian Heritage Video Library™. Both Hungarian Heritage Recipe Library™, and Hungarian Heritage Video Library™ are ONLY featuring author Helen M. Radics’ works. No other author is being featured by them.
Helen M. Radics was born as the youngest of 8 children, with her twin brother Sandor Szabo on May 21, 1946 in Hungary. Her father Ferenc Szabo owned a vineyard, where he created his own label and sold it nationally. Her Mother, Zsuzsanna Szabo (née Zsuzsanna Tolnay) of aristocratic birth, was a homemaker as ladies of her time did not work outside of their home. On her mother’s side, Helen M. Radics is related to famed Hungarian actress Klári Tolnay. She married Joe (Jozsef) Radics, a professional boxer for team Honved and a prominent architect, in 1966. The couple was given a family notebook of recipes that Helen M. Radics’ great-grandmother created in 1891, which inspired them to create a Hungarian heritage recipe book starting in 1967. The author has one daughter, Helen Radics, who is also an author and poet.
Helen M. Radics owned and operated a boutique in Hungary for 20 years. She immigrated with her family to Austria in 1985 where she worked as a chef, until the family moved to Canada in 1985. She and her husband Joe printed their first cookbooklet in 1990 through which they shared their recipes with friends and family. They also planned to publish a full size cookbook prior to their Silver Wedding Anniversary, however Joe Radics’ accident and early death in 1995, at the age of 53, halted the publication of the book. Helen M. Radics started publishing cookbooks again in 2010. To date the author has published 10 cookbooks and several e-books.
Her online cooking channel HRCSIDARANOLI which features free video recipes from the pages of her cookbooks has over 1/2 million satisfied viewers many of whom became fans and customers.