Homemade Potato and Bacon Perogies

I LOVE perogies. I love to sautee onions in butter and fry the perogies in the same pan. DELICIOUS! I usually buy them from the grocery store though and they usually aren’t that great. Chris used to live near a bunch of Polish bakeries and one thing we used to pick up sometimes were freshly made perogies. They are 100% better than anything you can find in a grocery store.

SO after countless bags of half rate perogies I decided to whip up a batch of my own. BEST EVER!!! The dough was AMAZING, and the potato/bacon stuffing was better than any I’ve ever tried because it was FRESH! I started with a recipe I got from AllRecipes.com, my favourite website for recipes. I changed it up a bit to accommodate ingredients I had and they turned out great!

I don’t know if I’ll be able to go back to the ‘other kind’ now πŸ˜› ALSO, this is QUITE the process and if you plan on making a lot I would recommend getting a few people together to produce a perogie making line. It would cut down on time and potential frustration πŸ™‚

Cheese, Potato & Bacon Perogies

  • 2 1/4 cups unbleached flour
  • 1.5 teaspoons salt
  • 1.5 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 cup plain yogurt (no fat)
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 4 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 3-4 pieces chicken bacon, chopped into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese
  • 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese
  • A splash of skim milk
  • Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder and a lil’ Onion salt to taste. Or whatever spices you like
  1. In a large bowl, stir together the flour and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the butter, yogurt, egg whites and oil. Stir the wet ingredients into the flour until well blended. Cover the bowl with a towel, and let stand for 15 to 20 minutes.
  2. Cook bacon using your preferred method and pat dry. Cut into very small pieces.
  3. Place potatoes into a pot, and fill with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain, and mash with shredded cheese and Parmesan cheese with a little milk while still hot. Season with onion salt, salt and pepper and garlic powder. Set aside to cool.
  4. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface until it is thin enough to work with, but not too thin so that it tears. Cut into circles using a cookie cutter, perogie cutter, or a glass. Brush a little water around the edges of the circles, and spoon some filling into the center. Fold the circles over into half-circles, and press to seal the edges. Place perogies on a parchment lined cookie sheet, and freeze. Once frozen, transfer to freezer storage bags or containers.
  5. To cook perogies: Remove desired amount of perogies into a highsided bowl. Fill with HOT tap water. In a frying pan heat butter or oil and sautee onions. When onions are half done use a slotted spoon and remove perogies from water and insert into hot pan with onions. Cook until golden brown on first side, flip and continue to cook until golden brown on second side. Enjoy immdeiately!!
Cheese, Potato and Bacon Mixture

Cheese, Potato and Bacon Mixture

FINISHED PEROGIES!

FINISHED PEROGIES!

Hours later and I have 34 perogies! You can tell the ones Chris did :P

Hours later and I have 34 perogies! You can tell the ones Chris did πŸ˜›

I like my perogies with a Sweet and Spicy sauce that you can pick up at most grocery stores!! They are also good with plain sour cream, yogurt (healthy alternative to sour cream) or some barbecue sauce.

Fruit Protein Smoothie

This is a great smoothie for the morning as it really gets you going and makes your tummy feel nice and full! Or after working out. Anytime really. I picked up about $10.00 worth of protein powder from bulk barn and it has lasted for many, many smoothies – you just need to store in a cool, dry place. I could go on and on about how great of a product this is…OR, you could just check out the Bulk Barn website for all that great information including nutritional facts πŸ™‚ Add some ground flax seed for increased nutritional benefits!

I use the lil’ magic bullet for this task as it’s the perfect size for one smoothie!

Fruit Protein Smoothie

  • 5-6 ice cubes
  • 1/2 cup mixed fresh or frozen fruit, I used raspberries and blueberries (my fav) Options: Strawberry & Banana, Pineapple & Mango, Peach & Blueberry, Strawberry & Kiwi
  • 1/3 cup plain or vanilla yogurt, if using plain add a splash of pure vanilla extract
  • 1-2 Tbsp Protein Powder
  • 1/2 – 1 Tbsp Ground flax seed
  • 1 Tsp – 1 Tbsp Honey
  1. Add all ingredients to Magic Bullet or blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy Immediately.

Using the magic bullet makes clean up a BREEZE!

Raspberry/Blueberry Smoothie ready to enjoy!

Raspberry/Blueberry Smoothie ready to enjoy!

Delicious and nice colour :)

Delicious! and nice colour πŸ™‚

Broccoli, cheese, onion & red pepper whole wheat mini quiche

Yummy whole wheat mini quiche with sauteed onion, cheese, slightly softened broccoli and chunks of red pepper. Very tasty, and not *too* bad for you either πŸ™‚ Makes approximately 16 minis!

Broccoli, cheese, onion & red pepper whole wheat mini quiche

Whole wheat dough

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup unbleached flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, chilled and diced
  • 1/4 cup ice water
  1. In a large bowl, combine flours and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in water, one tablespoon at a time, until mixture forms a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least half an hour or overnight.
  2. On a floured surface and starting with half of refrigerated dough, roll out to around 1/6 inch and using a pastry cutter the same size as your tinfoil cups begin cutting dough. I am without pastry cutting instruments so I used different sized cups to get the perfect size for my tinfoil cups! Once you have cut as many circles as you can from the dough, roll dough into a ball again and repeat process until all cups are filled. Repeat process with remaining dough.
  3. OPTIONAL: I like to use a fork and pattern the edges of my dough. Just press fork around whole diameter of each cup.

WHILE DOUGH IS CHILLING IN THE FRIDGE YOU WILL HAVE PLENTY OF TIME TO PREPARE YOUR EGG MIXTURE.

Egg & Veggie mixture

  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 – 1 cup skim milk
  • 1/2 – 1 cup shredded cheese, your choice
  • 2 tablespoons unbleached flour
  • 1/2 medium onion diced & sauteed
  • When onion is almost done cooking, add 1-2 minced cloves of garlic (squish garlic with flat side of knife and chop very fine)
  • 3/4 – 1 cup broccoli slightly softened broccoli (cook in double boiler 3-4 minutes)
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup diced red pepper
  • Salt, pepper and other spices to taste: Oregano, basil, dill etc.
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Saute onions (put butter or oil in a fry pan over low-med heat, once heated add onions until soft and delicious smelling :P)
  3. Soften broccoli (cook in double boiler 3-4 minutes)
  4. Mix together eggs and milk. ADD flour cheese and spices.
  5. In a separate bowl combine sauteed onion, softened broccoli and diced red pepper.
  6. Scoop 1/2 tablespoon vegetable mixture in each cup and then fill until 1/2 – 3/4 full.
  7. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until mixture has set. Test with toothpick or fork.

Delicious mini quiche
Delicious mini quiche

You can freeze these by wrapping in tin foil and then placing into a freezer bag. Re-heat in the oven. If you plan to do this cook quiche until set, but dough is not too brown. It will brown MORE when you re-heat them.


Squash soup

Had a couple acorn squash in the back of the fridge and wasn’t quite sure what to do with them until I remembered that squash soup I wanted to perfect!Β  And thus emerged my delicious squash soup. The first time around it was a little thick for my liking, so I used a lighter cream and increased the amount of broth. I added some freshly grated nutmeg and instead of pureeing the whole pot of soup, I only did half and it was less thick and more chunky πŸ™‚

  • 2 acorn squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
  • 1 onion coarsely chopped
  • 1 stalk celery thinly chopped
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 cups lite cream (5%)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Salt, pepper and freshly grated nutmeg to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place the squash cut sides down in a baking dish and add a little water. Cover with foil and bake 35-40 minutes or until tender. Cool.
  2. In a large saucepan, melt butter. Add onion and celery and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally until onion/celery is soft but not brown.
  3. Scrape the squash out of the flesh and add to onions/celery. Add the stock, cream and spices. Cook over moderate heat and stir occasionally about 25 minutes.
  4. Puree half the soup in a blender or food processor and add back to remaining mixture, stir well.
  5. Add soup to bowl and swirl with a dab of plain yogurt or sour cream.
Chunky acorn squash soup

Chunky acorn squash soup

You can also make this soup with other types of squash or even a baking pumpkin! ENJOY πŸ™‚

Chicken Noodle Soup

I absolutely LOVE soup. I could eat soup everyday if given the choice. With that being said – Chris likes soup. I’m sure he would prefer to eat it less often, but when it tastes THIS good AND he doesn’t have to do anything in the kitchen, he never complains!

Chicken noodle soup is a great way to use leftover chicken! We had a delicious rosemary garlic rub “beer can chicken” last week, but instead of beer we used apple juice! I couldn’t tell the difference at all so I am going to try different juices” beer can chicken” style and see what happens! The leftovers from that meal provided the perfect amount of delicious seasoned chicken for a hearty chicken soup that Chris and I have come to love! This is another recipe where I am quite liberal with my ingredients, I don’t measure, just eye it and see how things turn out.

Hearty Chicken Noodle Soup

  • tablespoon or so of butter
  • 1 or 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 or 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • medium onion, diced
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • seasoned chicken, chopped [the leftovers from a 4-5 pound chicken or 2 chicken breasts]
  • a few hand fulls of egg noodles
  • basil, oregano, salt & pepper to taste
  1. In a large over medium heat melt butter. Add celery and onions and cook for about 5 minutes, until soft.
  2. Add broths, chicken, carrots, noodles and spices and bring to a boil. Reduce and simmer for at least 20 minutes! The longer you let it simmer, the better it will taste but it will be ready to serve after 20!

I used my wavy slicer to cut the veggies for this soup to make it look extra fancy [for chicken noodle soup] and Chris really liked that touch. It had been sitting in the drawer, still in the packaging, so I thought I would put it to use finally and I really have to say that veggies are EVEN MORE delicious when cut with the wavy slicer πŸ˜› You should probably go out and buy one right now πŸ˜‰

Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken Noodle Soup

Amazing garlic roast

So I don’t usually go out of my way to cook a nice Sunday meal – but mum used to. I think all mums do, or did and I felt like my man deserved something that he would really enjoy – a nice hunk of meat πŸ™‚

So this week while doing my grocery shopping, I slowly sauntered down the meat cooler and settled on a small boneless piece of prime rib roast. I don’t like to buy huge cuts of meats because I only like certain leftovers. I know, picky picky, but that’s just me.

This 4 pound piece of meat was enough to feed Chris and myself, as well as a friend we had over for dinner last night, with a small slice leftover for Chris’ lunch while I’m at work. I served the roast with roasted carrots and potatoes [that I cooked separately] and peas and I was quite satisfied and almost didn’t have room for the pecan pie the boys picked up!

Let me tell you now just how delicious this roast made my home smell for the couple hours it was cooking…and I’m not a huge red meat fan but I actually enjoyed my roast! I would definitely recommend it for first time roasters πŸ˜› I got this recipe from allrecipes.com, my absolute favorite place to go for new recipes!!! I followed a few tips posted by other reviewers and reduced the initial cook temp by 40 degrees to avoid burning and it turned out perfectly πŸ™‚

Garlic Roast

  • Five lb prime rib roast
  • 8-10 cloves garlic minced, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons dried rosemary, which the recipe didn’t call for, but I thought it needed.
  1. Place the roast in a roasting pan with the fatty side up. In a small bowl, mix together the garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper, thyme and rosemary. Spread the mixture over the fatty layer of the roast, and let the roast sit out until it is at room temperature, no longer than 1 hour.
  2. Preheat the oven to 460 degrees.
  3. Bake the roast for 12 minutes in the preheated oven at 460 degrees, then reduce the temperature to 350 degrees and cook for 10 minutes then reduce to 325 degrees and continue cooking until roast reaches an internal temperature ofΒ  160 degrees for medium rare – USE A DIGITAL THERMOMETER AND IT WILL TURN OUT PERFECT!
  4. Allow the roast to rest for 10 or 15 minutes [in a tinfoil boat] before carving so the meat can retain its juices.
My perfect roast before it hit the oven

My perfect roast before it hit the oven

Sliced and ready to enjoy

Sliced and ready to enjoy

Zucchini bread and muffins

Chris has been bugging me for a couple weeks now to make him some zucchini bread because of an episode of ‘How I met your Mother’ that we watched. In the episode one of the main characters Marshall goes for Brunch with another guy and has some zucchini bread that he exclaims is “ridonkulous”.Β  If you haven’t seen the show yet I would definitely recommend it. It’s almost like a funnier, cruder version of Friends, except they hang out in a bar instead of a coffee shop.

Sorry, off topic πŸ˜› Anyways, I wanted to ‘Feed two birds with one scone’, so to speak, and make Chris some easy to transport zucchini muffins, and a delicious [healthy] loaf that I could bring for dinner to our friends house the following evening.

The muffins and loaf were such a huge success that I’m not going to change the recipe AT ALL. I even got a certain someone who “doesn’t like zucchini or any vegetables” to reach for seconds!!!

I started with a recipe that I found on allrecipes.com and went from there. I wanted to make the recipe as healthy as possible so I used apple sauce in place of half the oil. I used a ground flax seed mixture in place of the eggs which made the loaf and muffins even lighter, whole wheat flour instead of all purpose and added some freshly grated nutmeg. I filled my bread pan first and then started on the muffin cups and near the end of the batter I threw in a few chocolate chips so we could test what those would taste like as well! That’s the beauty of muffins, you don’t have to have 12 of the same thing as it is really easy to portion your batter and add different optional ingredients to each.

So moist, fluffy and delicious… and gone already. I think I might have to make another batch this weekend!

Healthy Zucchini Bread & Muffins

  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg (yum)
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons ground flax seed mixed with 9 tablespoons water, let stand 3-5 minutes
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup apple sauce
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cups white sugar
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 cups grated zucchini (around 3 zucchinis)
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • optional: chocolate chips, raisins, an additional 1/4 cup ground flax seed
  1. Grease and flour one bread ban and line muffin pan with paper cups.
  2. Sift flour, EXTRA ground flax seed, salt, baking powder, baking soda, grated nutmeg and cinnamon in large bowl.
  3. Beat ground flax seed mixture with, oil, apple sauce, vanilla and sugars together in another large bowl.
  4. Add sifted ingredients to the creamed mixture and beat well. Stir in zucchini and nuts until well combined. Pour batter into prepared bread pan.
  5. I poured about 6 regular muffins and then added some chocolate chips and filled the rest of the cups.
  6. Bake loaf for around 50-60 minutes depending on your oven [when a toothpick inserted deep into the middle comes out clean] and muffins for 15-20 minutes [or until toothpick inserted comes out clean].
  7. Cool on racks.


Delicious zucchini loaf

Delicious zucchini loaf

Delicious Zucchini Loaf

Delicious Zucchini Loaf

Delicious zucchini bread slices

Delicious zucchini bread slices

Delicious zicchini muffins

Delicious zucchini muffins

Homemade butter tarts

I’ve always loved butter tarts but have often found that the mass-produced, store bought kind never seemed to stack up to the ones I’d get from farmers markets or bakeries.

I make these when friends or family come over because they are so incredibly easy to whip up (if you have your dough prepared) and if not you can always cheat and use the prepared mini-baking cups you get from your grocery store in the frozen section! I’ve also included the recipe that I use for dough! It is super easy to make and can b stored in the fridge until you are ready to use. You can also prepare the mini baking cups in advance and store them in the freezer. Just take out 10-15 mins prior to use!

I also always split the recipe in two as I find it is quite dangerous to have any more than 12 butter tarts in the house at one time…they just DISAPPEAR! Really not a huge fan of using corn syrup either BUT it’s the only thing I EVER use it for!

Yummy butter tarts

Yummy butter tarts

Homemade Butter tarts

  • 1⁄2 cup corn syrup
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1⁄3 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
  1. Preheat the oven to 350Β°F.
  2. In a bowl, beat together the corn syrup, brown sugar, melted butter, eggs and vanilla. Divide the raisins and walnuts among the prepared pastry tart shells. Fill almost to the top with the syrup mixture.
  3. Bake for 22 to 25 minutes, or until the tart shells are golden brown. DO NOT OVERCOOK. Allow to cool before removing from the muffin pan.

Tart Shells DOUGH

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, chilled and diced
  • 1/4 cup ice water
  1. In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in water, a tablespoon at a time, until mixture forms a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
  2. Roll dough out to around a 1/4 inch and using a pastry cutter the same size as your tinfoil cups begin cutting dough. I am without pastry cutting instruments so I used different sized cups to get the perfect size for my tinfoil cups! Once you have cut as many circles as you can from the dough, roll dough into a ball again and repeat process until all cups are filled.

Pumpkin, pumpkin, pumpkin

It’s been way too long since I’ve had time to write in my beloved blog…

BUT I’M BACKΒ Β  πŸ˜‰

And I have three lovely recipes that are perfectly suited for the season πŸ™‚ And, you can make ALL THREE RECIPES from one can of pumpkin puree, or one small baking pumpkin πŸ™‚

Pumpkin Spice Lattes and Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins, like Starbucks makes & Pumpkin Bread topped with glazed walnuts/almonds πŸ™‚

DSC01946

Pumpkin Spice Lattes and Glazed Almond/Walnut Pumpkin Bread

DSC01944

Pumpkin Cream Cheese muffins

Since I must give credit where credit is due [and credit is CERTAINLY due] I have provided here where I originally found the recipe for the Pumpkin Spice Lattes. They were absolutely fantastic! Chris and I had Pumpkin Spice Lattes from Starbucks and these were certainly comparable, without that icky, orange staining, pumpkin flavoring they use!

Pumpkin Spice Lattes Recipe

Pumpkin Spice Latte

Makes 2 servings

  • 1 level tablespoon pumpkin puree I used two for extra flavour
  • 1 cup milk (whole if you dare!)
  • 1/2 tablespoon light brown sugar (packed and leveled)
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg (+ a pinch for dusting later) I used fresh nutmeg because that’s all I had and it was quite good!
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves I omitted the cloves as I had none
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract I bumped this up to a whole tsp.
  • I also added a tsp. of Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 2 cups strong coffee (brewed using 2 tbs per 1 cup of water)
    You can also use a shot or two of espresso instead of coffee, I wouldn’t recommend using instant coffee…ICK!
  • 4 tablespoons creamer
  • 4 to 8 teaspoons of granulated sugar I used maybe four, tops
  • Whipped cream
  1. Begin brewing coffee.

  2. In a blender puree the milk, pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, pumpkin pie spice, brown sugar and vanilla.

  3. Pour into a small saucepan and cook over low heat until the milk is warm and begins to froth slightly. (About 4-5 minutes.) Remove from heat.

  4. For each serving: Pour 1/2 cup of the pumpkin mixture into your coffee mug. Add 2 generous tablespoons of creamer. Heat in the microwave for 30 seconds, then add 1 cup of brewed coffee. Add 2 to 4 teaspoons of sugar (depending on how sweet you like your drink, I added 3 tsps.) Top off with a touch more β€˜pumpkin milk’ then cover with whipped cream and sprinkle with nutmeg. Serve immediately.

Pumpkin Bread & Cream Cheese Pumpkin Muffins

Makes 1 Loaf and 6 Muffins

  • 1 1/2 cups Pumpkin Puree or Fresh Pumpkin
  • 3/4 veg. oil
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3 eggs, or 4 egg whites
  • 2 cups + 1/4 cup + 1/8 cup Flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie Spice
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350. Grease and flour a glass loaf pan and prepare six muffin cups.

  2. In a large bowl mix pumpkin, oil, sugars and eggs. Also combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and pumpkin pie spice. Stir dry ingredients into pumpkin mixture until blended.

  3. Fill loaf pan half full and use remaining mixture for the prepared muffin cups. Top loaf with a a mixture of chopped almonds and walnuts, push down slightly so that some nuts are in the batter. For muffins use around a 1/4 cup of cream cheese. Divide into six portions and either roll into balls or shape into whatever design you prefer and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Push cream cheese far into muffins as it rises while baking!

  4. Bake loaf for approximately 45 minutes to an hour or until top of loaf springs back when lightly pressed. Mix together a small amount of granulated sugar and water to form a glaze and pour over bread. Let cool, slice, and enjoy.

  5. Bake Muffins until toothpick inserted INTO MUFFIN comes out clean. Let cream cheese cool before eating as it becomes quite warm and could cause burning and would ruin the whole experience of these delicious muffins πŸ™‚

Fruit and Veggie Salad

We love Salad around here but sometimes get sick of the same ol’ thing.

After the lovely strawberry spinach salad we had a few weeks ago I was totally inspired to try another salad that involved fruits.

I looked round for a bit online to gather some ideas and then turned to my fridge to see what I had…I don’t typically like to go out and buy specific ingredients for recipes that I want to try, and I was very happy to find that I had everything that I needed already!

Be creative and use the fruits and veggies that you like best! This is no rhyme or reason to what I chose other than having those ingredients on hand!

I also whipped up a really yummy vinaigrette for this salad that was super easy and versatile! Try it out πŸ™‚

Fruit and Veggie Salad

Fruit and Veggie Salad

Fruit and Veggie Salad

Romaine, Arugula, Spinach or whatever leafy greens you have on hand [I used Romaine]

Apples sliced into thin discs [I picked Granny Smith and Red Delicious, but pick whatever you like]

Grapes sliced in half [Red or green, I picked Red]

Blueberries

Cucumber cut into thin discs

Broccoli

Red Onion cut into thin discs, Separated

  1. Wash and dry leafy greens in a salad spinner and put into salad bowl.
  2. Wash and cut other ingredients and arrange on top of salad.

Strawberry Vinaigrette

1/4 Cup Olive oil

3 Tbsp. Red Wine Vinegar

1 Tsp. Brown Sugar

Salt and Pepper to Tatse

And the secret ingredient: A big scoop of strawberry jam! Or Raspberry, or Marmalade. Try something new πŸ™‚ IT WORKED LIKE A CHARM!!

  1. Throw all ingredients into a jar with a tight seal and SHAKE SHAKE SHAKE ❀
  2. Pour over salad and ENJOY!

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