Holiday Cooking – Pierogies!

Well we are somewhat settled into our new home, just in time for Christmas! My parents came up from Whitehorse to be with us for the holiday so us girls decided to have a Holiday Cooking Day!  My sister came over and on the menu today is Pierogies and Cabbage Rolls!

We grew up in small northern communities for almost all our lives, and instead of the Moms having cookie swaps they did food swaps.  They would all get together and teach each other new recipes!  Each of them would bring a recipe and ingredients to make it and then swap with each other so that each Mom went home with a couple different meals.  This year I went to a cookie swap at a friends place and it made me want to go back in time and be there at my mom’s food swaps.  I wonder if they would have had the same discussions that we had? Probably…but it would be fun to be there!

Back to the food!

This is my mom’s Perogi recipe that she got from a friend of hers in 1977 when we lived in Churchill, Manitoba.

Dough:

3.5-4cups of All Purpose Flour
1 Pint of Sour Creme
Pinch of Salt

Filling:

Mashed Potatoes & Sweet Potatoes (sweet potatoes is something new we are trying)
Shredded Cheese
Fried Bacon & Onions

Tips from Mrs. W: Use full fat Sour Creme and do not fill the Pierogies to full or you will have a mess on your hands! 

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Slice Bacon & Onion into small pieces and fry all together.  You just want the Bacon & Onion to go a light brown, not crispy!

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In a large bowl, put the flour, sour creme and a pinch of salt and mix.  Get your hands in there and mix everything up!

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Take a chunk out of the dough and kneed a bit and then roll out.  We used a glass cup to cut out the dough into a good circle size.

Mrs. W tip: are too make sure the dough is rolled out nice and thin.  

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Take your cooked potatoes and sweet potatoes and mash them up.  Add a little salt and pepper and any other seasoning you would like.  Take a dough circle and a small scoop of the potato mixture and place it in the middle of the circle.  Fold your dough over and press along the edges so that all the edges are sealed up.  Repeat the process until all ingredients are used up.  Place Pierogies on a single layer on a cookie sheet and place in the freezer until frozen solid, once that is done you can then transfer them to a ziploc bag.

When you are ready to eat them (we didn’t have ours til Christmas Day), bring a pot of water to a boil and place a few of the frozen Pierogies into the water.  They will be ready once they rise and float to the top.  Some people will eat them like that with a little bit of Sour Creme.  My mom has always fried up a little extra bacon and onions and then she would fry the cooked Pierogies in a little bit of butter and then serve them with the Sour Creme, bacon and onions.

CABBAGE ROLLS! My mom was first taught how to make Cabbage Rolls from my Grandma Newman-Jones.  She was a nurse and again was taught the recipe from a friend.  Typically my mom would make the cabbage rolls with a mixture of ground beef and ground pork.  However, this year for Christmas we had a couple of family members that you do not eat beef or pork, so we decided to try out ground Chicken instead!  They turned out awesome!

Ingredients:

Full head of Cabbage
Ground Chicken
White Rice (Uncooked)
Salt & Pepper
White Onion (Uncooked)
Garlic (Of Course!)
Tomato Sauce
Worcestershire
Chicken Broth
Tobasco
Herbs
Brown Sugar

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First things first, get out a large pot, place the whole cabbage head inside and and fill with water, bring to a boil. Once the water is boiling and the cabbage is cooking my mom just took a very sharp knife and cut around the stalk of the cabbage.

Mrs. W tip: do not rush cutting the cabbage, once you cut around the stalk the cabbage should come off in layers

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While the cabbage is cooking start working on your meat mixture.  Take a bowl and combine the ground chicken (or whatever ground meat you are using), rice, garlic, chopped onion, Worcestershire, herbs, salt and pepper.

At this time you also want to work on your tomato sauce.  So take a pot and start to simmer the tomato sauce, garlic (of course), some herbs, salt and pepper.

Mrs. W tip: put in a little bit of brown sugar with your tomato sauce to help sweeten it up a little bit!

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Now you are ready to roll! Grab a Cabbage leaf and you cut out part of the stem so you can roll them up easy.  Then take some of the filling and put into the “pocket” of the leaf.  Fold in the sides and roll them up! We put ours into a big aluminium roaster to make it easier for cooking.  Continue the process til your filling is all used up.  My mom just puts any extra cabbage leafs over the top and then pour over your tomato sauce all over.  My mom also pours in broth in the bottom of the pan to help keep them moist when you cook them.

Once you are all down cover and put them in the freezer.  We had ours on Christmas dinner, make sure you plan out your time so that you have enough time to cook them for dinner! Mine took a lilttle bit longer then I thought they would!

Enjoy!

My Kind of Jalapeno Poppers

A couple of weeks ago we were invited to Mr. & Ms. Sullivans for the big Super Bowl Game! Everyone brought an appy and there was a lot of GOOD food there! I really should have worked out that day! HAHA!

So I went online to a great website called Foodie Crush found this recipe and just mixed it up a bit! The great thing about this recipe is that you can be a little fearless! Mix up your filler and try different combinations!

You will need:

– Jalapenos
– Boursin Cheese
– Soft Goat Cheese
– Bacon
– BBQ Sauce

Preheat your oven to 450F

So my hubs showed me this tip, take your Jalapeno and roll it on your cutting board back and forth a few time to loosen up all the seeds inside. Then take your knife and slice the Jalapeno in half. Take a spoon and scoop out all the insides, I left a few of the seeds in for a little bit of extra heat! Once you have this done with all of your Jalapenos lay them out on a cookie sheet lined with tin foil.

NOW WASH YOUR HANDS AND MAKE SURE YOU GET UNDER YOUR NAILS…TRUST ME!

Take a small bowl and mix together your goat cheese and boursin cheese together. Take your cheese mixture and scoop it into your Jalapenos. Once you have them all filled sprinkle fresh cracked black pepper.

WASH YOUR HANDS!

Now take your bacon strips and slice them in half and then wrap them around your Jalapenos. Take the BBQ sauce and just lightly brush it onto your Jalapenos! Bake them for 15-20 min and voila you have a Jalapeno Popper!

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These were super tasty and really easy to make!

Enjoy!

Spicy Crunchy Tuna Appy

I made this last night for hubs, sis and her hubs and it was so good! I got the recipe from Skinny Taste. Skinny Taste is a great blog with a ton of healthy recipes. I have been following Gina’s blog for awhile and have made a lot of her recipes and quite a few of them have become a staple of mine!

For this recipe you will need:

8 oz Ahi Tuna, diced into small bites
2 tbsp Chives, chopped
1 Avocado, diced
2 tsp Lime Juice, Fresh
2 tsp, Soya Sauce
1 tsp Siracha Hot Sauce
1 tsp Sesame Seeds
2 tsp Sesame Oil
2 tbsp Panko Crumbs
1 tsp Rice Wine
1 Cucumber

Combine oil, juice, soya sauce and Siracha in a bowl. Add in the tuna, avocado and Panko crumbs. Take cucumber and slice and arrange on your serving platter. Take Tuna mixture and spoon on to cucumber slices, sprinkle sesame seeds and chopped chives.

I like a little bit more spice so I added in a bit more Siracha sauce.

Enjoy!

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Figs!

This Christmas we have fallen in love with FIGS! I have tried to do them two different ways. One with balsamic syrup and one with honey. I prefer the balsamic syrup over honey.

Preheat your oven to 375F, while the oven is preheating wash and slice the figs in half. Take your baking dish and line it with tin foil. Arrange the figs cut side up and drizzle olive oil over figs. I like to also sprinkle fresh ground pepper and kosher salt over top. Then bake for 15-20 minutes.

While that is baking take a pot out and pour in balsamic vinegar, bring to a boil and monitor closely so that the balsamic vinegar reduces to a syrup. Watch closely though so that it doesn’t turn to candy (unfortunately my first batch did this!).

Once your Figs have finished in the oven take them out and arrange them on your serving plate. Then take the balsamic reduction and drizzle it over your Figs. I also like to serve mine with a good piece of soft goat cheese…YUMMY!

Enjoy!

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Homemade Salsa

Today we went to a Farmers Market just outside of Fort Myers and it was great!

The fresh vegetables were amazing! We ended up buying our vegetables for Christmas dinner and to make fresh salsa!

Fresh Salsa:

Tomatoes (we were able to get red and orange ones)
Jalapeño (remove seeds)
Cilantro
Red Onion
Mango

Chop all your ingredients to desired size, throw in some fresh squeezed like juice and some kosher salt. When I chop up my tomatoes I scrape out the seeds. I find this way my salsa doesn’t end up sitting in a bunch of juice!

Stir it up and enjoy!

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