Thursday, September 30, 2010

Petite Pierogis

Carb fest eh? Mashed potatoes wrapped in dough? Um..not the healthiest dish..but dang..soooo good. And ALOT easier than I thought it would be! My 'line up' -dough in the silver bowl, masher mix in the bowl with the spatula, extra flour for dusting, biscuit cutter and wax paper lined pan.
I rolled the dough out supa thin...like really thin. My goal was to be able to see my table design through it, but it didn't get THAT thin. But I'm guessing it was at least 1/8 inch thick..if not less.
Little Miss (who is 2) took this pic of my petite pierogis!
Mmmm....dinner...
Sour Cream Pierogi Dough-(adapted from about.com)
4 cups ap flour
1 cup water
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 t salt
1 egg
In your mixing bowl put 3 cups flour and all the other ingredients. Add the remaining 1 cup flour until you get a smooth dough. Cover and set aside for at least an hour. My filling was leftover mashed potatoes (about 1 1/2 cups) + about 1/2 cup shredded cheese (I used the 'melts' shredded kind)+ 1/2 an onion that you run through a mini chopper or food processor..or if you want you can grate it in..just make sure it's really really tiny.
Once the dough has hung out for a while-roll it out really thin (see photo and note above), cut it into rounds, and fill...I used about 1 teaspoon of the filling, and used a little bit of water on my finger to get the pierogies to seal.
Then I popped the tray into the freezer.
I only pierogied up 1/2 of this b/c I was running out of time. and 1/2 of this prepared will get you about 30-if you don't have a toddler that is trying to help you 1/2 will probably get you 40-50..so the WHOLE thing will make a ton. Feel free to cut down the recipe for your needs...OR make them all and put them in the freezer for later.
Now..cooking them.
This is how I did it..and it worked out GREAT-Put two pans on at the same time
two pans...one big saute pan with some oil (about 2T) a chopped up onion and about a dozen chopped up baby bella mushrooms.
the other of water to boil.
by the time your water gets to a boil your veggies should be getting soft-
Put 1/2 a stick of butter into the pan with the veggies-
put some frozen pierogies in the boiling water. They'll float when they are done, then you remove with a slotted spoon and put them in with the butter and veggies to get nice and crisp.
By the time your pierogies are done...your mushrooms and onions will be nice and carmelized. Yum.
Sorry this post is kinda bleh..more just recipe and clinical than witty and fun. I'm having a very bad Mommy week...Little Man is teething and Little Miss who I 'thought' was pretty much potty trained has totally backslid. Boo.
I'll try to be back to my normal self really soon! Promise!

Monday, September 27, 2010

My battle with biscuits

I spent a good amount of my childhood in the south. My Daddy was born and raised in Arkansas. And I don't like biscuits. *hangs head* Dry, crumbly, dry, flavorless, did I mention dry? Generally..I'm not a fan. In fact I'll choose ANY other breakfast carbohydrate OVER a biscuit. Egg Mcmuffin, yes please! Croissant-wich, double yes! Even toast..that's right...TOAST, Hell....I'll take a piece of UN-toasted bread BEFORE I'd take a biscuit. I remember summers I spent in Indiana with my Granny and Papaw. I LOVED Granny's gravy..but she always made biscuits with it. So Papaw (who only had one hand btw) would wait until she left the room and would frisbee me a piece of loaf bread across the table in exchange for my biscuit. Loved that Man! When it comes to biscuits..homemade just wasn't for me. I gladly revolted against any semblance of heritage and bought them in cans. My Dad was horrified. He makes biscuits almost daily (probably another reason I don't really like them) He has his standard recipe and I've known that recipe for years. I finally tried it on the Husband..and he liked them...so I made them some more..and they were SO hit and miss. Usually..in my opinion..miss. When Dad would try my 'biscuits', he wouldn't even CALL them biscuits-he'd call them "bread like things". No really. But then I made a new blog friend and I began following her religiously. She made biscuits, I had the things she made them out of, and I figured if they sucked, well...I really just wasn't a homemade biscuit gal. I'd hang up any claim of southern I had and start wearing the scarlett Y for yankee *gasps*. I followed her recipe here (doing a half recipe)
And I will never again stray. These are the PERFECT biscuits. They are what all biscuits SHOULD taste like. They are what biscuits should STRIVE to be. I made them (again) the other day and took some to my Dad.
"What are these?" he asked.
"You tell me" I said..
"Well...*taking a bite*-it's flaky, buttery, good mouth feel, this is a BISCUIT!"
I FINALLY got the Dad-biscuit approval!
And...I finally LOVE biscuits!
Biscuits (barely changed from the recipe linked above)
2 cups self-rising flour
1 stick of butter
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
Cut the cold butter into the flour until it looks crumbly. Add whipping cream until it comes to a good dough texture (not too dry, not too sticky). Lightly roll out on a floured surface, cut and bake at 400 until golden (about 10-15 minutes).
My biggest biscuit test..the day after test (aka if they are edible and good the day after) they pass. So even though I make a half batch of Moogie's recipe-you can easily eat these ALL week.
Go make some biscuits kids!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Things I cannot make...

It's ok to admit that you can't do some things. I mean we can't be perfect at everything...and that's ok. But this place...does ALOT of things perfect. It's this little Mennonite bakery (just outside of Richmond, Missouri) and if you don't know where to look, you'll miss it. And you will miss out. It's a small little building and you walk in and your nose is instantly romanced by smells of yeast breads and fresh pies. They have a deli case full of meats and cheeses. They have shelves full of homemade pickles, jams, jellies, and marinated mushrooms. They sell saffron..like the actual little threads. But I go there for these...
in the unassuming cellophane bag, they don't look that impressive. That's the tricky thing about this place...everything is packaged so simply that you don't expect much...and everything exceeds expectations.
Behold! The chocolate crinkle cookie between my non-manicured fingers. It's my favorite cookie. And it's a cookie I can't make...I know b/c I've tried! They mix the dough up in 5lb buckets and keep them in their walk in cooler. And I think they must be using DARK cocoa powder. The edges are just a tiny bit crispy and the center is moist and soft, like a flat brownie. They are perfection.
And this one? Eh..it's just a picture I snapped out at the farm that I thought was kinda cool. Very hillbilly-chic. Dad's old truck (which is actually my old truck) and Pepper (one of the 12 dogs-not kidding) atop a pile of tarped off hay.
Buffet update-when I told my Mom my plans for painting it she said "it hurts my heart to think of it painted" I countered back with-
"really, painting it is such a problem, but the fact that it's been outside in a storage shed for over a year and is now peeling and falling to pieces (literally) doesn't phase you?"
The double standard is REALLY annoying.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Reubens and blueberry bars

Not usually two things that go together...and that's ok..b/c I didn't even make them the same day! But I'm happy to give you guys something savory AND something sweet in one post! Reubens are at least a once a month thing at our house. There isn't any special trick to them-but they are sure yummy! Rye bread pastrami or corned beef (from the deli) big eye swiss thousand island dressing bavarian kraut-I used bavarian instead of traditional b/c it's sweeter..and I like it better. When I do my reubens I use alot of foil....a foil lined baking dish to keep the finished sandwiches warm in a 200 degree oven. And a foil lined bottom of a just smaller pan to squish my working sandwiches. I don't have a panini maker..but this way works too! I put them together like a grilled cheese... butter the bread then add the meat then cheese then dressing then kraut then the other buttered bread. You just use however much of the fillings that you want. I usually use one piece of cheese, about 1-2 T of the dressing, maybe 3 T of the kraut, and eh...3-4 slices of the deli meat. If you don't like pastrami or corned beef...sub turkey...turkey reubens are really good too! Oh blueberry bars..how do I love thee, let me count the ways. -I love how you aren't that sweet -I love how after two days you are better than on the first day b/c you are softer -I love how crumbly you can be -I love how since I tossed in whole wheat flour it makes you in my mind-a health food. I think the thing I love most about blogging is I've tried more recipes than I ever would have having NOT been in the blogging world. I love how you see a recipe on a blog (I saw this one on Can you stay for dinner?) and they got it from somewhere else (smittenkitchen) who got it from somewhere else (allrecipes.com)it's like blogwide sharing..and that's the point isn't it? Well I had some blueberries that needed to be used. You guys know that Little Miss is a fruit bat and my parents willingly load her up with fruit. What you don't know is that even though they buy her a wide array of lovely fruit..she really just eats the grapes. And I wanted to bake. But I'm also trying to lose weight...so of course I decide to make something with fruit in it b/c that automatically makes it more healthy, right? Sure it does! Blueberry Bars Oven at 375 Line a 9x13 baking pan with foil, then spray the foil with cooking spray The crumbly part- 1 cup sugar 2 cups AP flour 1 cup whole wheat flour 1 t cinnamon 1/4 salt 1 egg-beaten 1 cup (2 sticks) cold butter Zest of one lemon Toss the flours, sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl, then cut in the butter with a pastry cutter, then mix in the egg and the zest. Press 1/2 of this mix into the bottom of your prepared pan, and set the other half aside the berry part- 4 cups of blueberries 4 t of cornstarch 1/2 cup sugar the juice of the lemon you zested Put that on top of the pressed part, then top it with the other 1/2 of the crumbly. Then bake it for about 45-55 minutes or until the top is a nice golden color. Stand and salivate until they cool. Devour one immediately. Then stash the rest, b/c really they are better when they are a couple days old. In fact I might have had one, ok fine 3, with my morning coffee. I think you'll love them too!

Monday, September 20, 2010

honey scented memories

A pretty sad sight huh? But one day--hopefully soon...she'll be beautiful again. The last remnant of my Mom's first marriage. She was rescued from the Ex's inlaws laundromat (say that 5 times fast). This buffet has been a staple of my existence. It's been moved from state to state, house to house, room to room, and it's always been one of my favorite pieces of furniture. Then a couple years ago my brother and sister in law bought a house and took this with them. I was pissed. There, I said it. Pissed. This piece of history hadn't even been OFFERED to me, and boom...there it was..in their house...with a terrible dark stain job. I wasn't happy. However fate had a different idea...from my last post you guys know I fully believe in fate...my brother and sister in law are downsizing and it 'didn't fit in the storage unit'-and the poor baby was dumped, literally in the back of my Dad's pick up truck. He called me-semi distraught b/c he can't move it (he's got mondo back issues), AND they don't have room for it anymore b/c another piece of furniture took it's place. I claimed it then and there, I apologized to my husband b/c I knew it was in a terrible shape even before I saw it, and we went and got it. Right now she's hanging out in my in-laws garage until I can sand her down and paint her. I'm thinking keep the distressed (b/c she is an antique) and maybe paint her an antique white, or maybe even a pale sage. Any DIYers out there have thoughts for me? I'm a 2 pink packet sweetener + creamer gal for my coffee...and I'm LOVING this new one from Coffeemate...back in the single day there was a coffee house that I spent so much time in they named a latte after me-it was the Suzy Spice-a honey, vanilla, and cinnamon latte. This creamer really makes me think of it. Gosh I miss that place! They had a German Chocolate Mocha, and a Cinnamon Roll latte that would make your eyes roll back in your head. I probably spent at least $200 there a month....scary huh? Oddly enough they closed about a year after I moved from Kansas City. Rest in peace The Perfect Cup. I've got an extremely squirmy and almost 19lb baby on my lap (well baby check today for Little Man). I'll be back soon with a couple yummy recipes for you guys!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Finally, right?

It's me. I'm back. With some yumm-yumms and traditional Suzanne-randomness that you all so crave and admire *coughs* Have you been keeping up with my WLB blog? Meh..me neither really. I got hit with the stomach flu last week, then this week a head cold..wah..wah...wo is me. I'm sick of being sick. I was doing SO well..getting on the treadmill and such then WHAMMO...sick+sick..boo. My energy is slowing showing up again..it's like that party that you went to in high school, and the ONLY reason you went is b/c that 'guy' might show up..but he didn't show up until the VERY End of the party...'guy'='s my energy at this point. BUT I have lost almost 10lbs. Woot for me! Yes..it's after 10. Yes..it's after my bedtime. But I'm full of thoughts...so I'm letting it fly. Also...I'm going to change up the blog a bit..so be ready. I won a giveaway for a blog makeover..so I need to jump on that...Aaaannnndddd.... I figure my brain isn't limited to food alone. I've got lots of stuff to talk about. Like things that annoy me. Days of our Lives. Vampires and other mythical things My absurd obsession with PC Cast books Trying to manage being a stay at home mom and wife housework and my hatred for it my dogs that piss on things they shouldn't.... But first- the picture... Chipotle-honey-lime shrimp tacos!! 1/2 pound of peeled/deveined shrimp (I buy them that way)-tossed in some taco seasoning and fried in some butter until they are done. flour tortillas shredded romaine cheese-chicka-cheese sour cream CHL sauce- 2 chipotles in adobo sauce (they come in a can in the mexican food aisle) 2 T honey zest and juice of one lime 1/4-1/2 cup vegetable oil run all this through a blender until it's smooth. 3 shrimp on the tortilla-CHL sauce on the shrimp-other toppings listed- PARTY IN YOUR MOUTH. I have leftover CHL sauce..and I'm not afraid to use it. In fact I can't WAIT to use it b/c I'm pretty sure it will be good on everything! One more thing...well..more than one...I think there are 7 questions. :) My buddy The Frisky Virgin (don't you just LOVE that blog name..you'll love her too..just read her stuff) tagged me! She also gave me an awesome bloggy prize, but I'm kinda slow and not sure how to post it...do I just save the picture of the prize and do it that way? eh? Here are the questions she wanted to know my brilliant answers to! 1)Do you believe in fate? why or why not? Yes. Take my relationship with my husband...we knew each other when we were 16-that's when we met. But we didn't date. We liked each other, but we didn't date. We went our separate ways. Years later-met up, dated for 13 weeks then got married (a story for another day)-I've traced my lines back of things that I could have done. Directions I COULD have gone in and somehow...he would have ended up in those places at some time or another...so I think it was fated. *collective AAAWWWWWW* 2)If you could marry/date any supernatural being/superhero, who/what would it be and why? Gah....toughie. You are probably expecting me to say Eric from the Sookie books, or Edward from Twilight. Well..there is that allure for that...yes. But...Eric is a complete narcissist and Edward is WAY too moody for me. I pick...Clan Fintan from PC Cast's Divine books. If you haven't read them..you need to...seriously. He's so awesome. Ok..so he's a centaur...but he can totally shape shift into human (giving away that part of the book for you) and he's spiritual and knows feelings. Uh...wow. Chills just thinking about him. 3) Which one: Harry Potter or Twilight, why? I might lose readers over this one. But I'm going Harry Potter....BECAUSE the Twilight movies are killing it for me. I loved the books..LOVED the books...but I'm not loving (and honestly barely liking) the movies. However the Harry Potter books...loved them...and the movies...make the books even more real and awesome. 4) Are you a morning person or a night owl? It varies. Two babies in two years has REALLY jacked up my schedule. I'm leaning on the side of night lately. I rarely fall asleep until after 10, and even then Baby Boy is usually wanting to be bed around 12 then again around 4. Sometimes I'm lucky enough that he'll let me be lazy and just side nurse, but generally I'm up with the nursing pillow across my lap (which is actually a really soft body pillow-so comfy) and I turn the tv on...bad habit...esp b/c I LOVE infomercials. 5) You have three wishes that will come true: What are they? -to have my 16 year old body back. I respect my body that I have now b/c it grew and nourishes two babies...but I want the old one back. The one that was toned and slender and beautiful and athletic (even though I didn't do sports). -a big house on at least 20 acres somewhere. I hate living in town. -money. but not just any kind of money. secret money that my husband doesn't know about and that I don't feel guilty spending on crap for myself instead of helping with groceries and diapers. 6) What is your favorite? :Classic film, rom-com, fantasy, animated? All of the above. Really...I honestly CAN"T pick a favorite movie. It's not possible for me. My favorites are widely ranged...I love old musicals like Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, old non-musicals Gone with the Wind. French Kiss is my all time favorite rom-com....I know it inside out and upside down. I guess my interest in Tim Burton movies would fall under fantasy...weird twisted scary fantasy...but Beetlejuice is another top 10 favorite. And I can't ignore cartoons...having kids that watch animated stuff all the time really reminds me of how much I love some cartoons....Alice in Wonderland is just great to me. I'm a movie head....it's rare and I can honestly say its only happened a couple times that I watched a movie and then felt like I'd wasted time and brain power. One of those times was Solaris...sorry George..I just didn't get it. 7)What is your favorite kind of music? Gah! Another one I can't pin down FV sorry! Instead I'll list my favorite stuff..it's ALL over the place....Robbie Williams-I love this man. LOVE him. If given the opportunity I'd like to do bad things with him. *swoon* I love his normal stuff and I ADORE his "Swing" cd where he covers old Frank and Dean stuff. Also..love Frank and Dean stuff.... I have country roots....I love Patsy Cline's Heartache album, and Marie Osmond (yes...I just said that),Charley Pride, John Anderson, ooh ooh The Gatlin Brothers. Favorite country right now is Lady Antebellum...my favorite country male of all time? Ty Herndon- I love his voice. If he and Robbie want to duet at my funeral-that would be awesome. I'll be sad that I missed it! If I went on with my other favorites...we'd be here all day...but that's a glimpse! That's FV for the GREAT questions and for reigniting my blogging fire!! :)

Friday, September 3, 2010

Breakfast + Fruit ='s Happy

I'm trying really hard to incorporate fresh fruit into everything I eat lately. Mainly b/c my parents keep our fridge full of it for Little Miss (yes..we're spoiled like that). It should be simple right? And it is...really. Raspberry Cream Malt o Meal with a sprinkle of Cloves... yes..cloves...yes I know this is a VERY strong spice, and yes I just used a tiny bit...it was really good. I'm usually a cinnamon girl...but cloves are a nice change and still in that same family. Oh...ha..and um..a healthy pat of butter. This however...might just be my new obsession. Aarti calls it Quinoa Porridge, I can't call it anything b/c when I'm eating it I'm without words and my eyes roll back in my head. I didn't make it the same way she did...I cheated...
2 cups of water
1 cup quinoa
into the microwave rice cooker and into the micro for 15 minutes and you have PERFECT quinoa.
My medium saucepan was still dirty from making Malt o Meal the day before *shrugs* but it worked, so don't judge my laziness, k?
when I discovered how perfect it was, I couldn't help but dig in and since I'd been inspired by Aarti's post earlier in the day I went sweet...
1T butter
1T brown sugar
and a handful of pitted Bings later...
O.M.G.
With the natural nutty flavor of the quinoa-the butter/brown sugar duo took on a totally caramelly flavor. Yes..I know that is the base for caramel BUT I'm usually a bbs duo girl in my oats and it NEVER has tasted like this before.
The little pieces of the quinoa nesteled themselves into the cherries and gah...just divine...I'm getting goosebumps even writing about it and as soon as I finish...guess what's for breakfast?!
Quinoa folks, it's not just for side dishes.